Monday, January 27, 2014

Midori Madness: Month-at-a-Glance Calendar Insert

I have been reading “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron.  (Love it!)  And while I don’t follow all of her teachings and recommendations in the book, I am happy to follow her suggestion of taking myself out on a regular “Artist Date.”  I have decided I want to put more focus and attention on this in 2014 and so I have created a monthly insert for my Midori Traveler’s Notebook.  Sure, I could buy a monthly calendar or even download a free version, (for example, check out the amazing resources offered by Ray Blake at: ) but I didn’t find exactly what I was looking for.  And besides, this is for my art journal…isn’t it more fun to create your own? 

Want to give it a try?  It took a bit of trial and error but was fairly easy to do:

Step 1:  Knowing that my Midori inserts need to be approximately  8.5” x 8.25” (folded to be approximately 4.25” x 8.25”), I started with an 8.5” x 11” page set to landscape orientation.

Step 2:  To make life easy on myself, I turned on the grid lines and dragged them out to the edges.  I also turned on the ruler.  (These don’t print.)

Step 3:  I inserted some simple shapes such as rectangles with rounded corners and a couple of lines.  I made them brightly colored at first so they were easy to see.  I then played around with size and layout, copying and pasting the rectangles, etc. until I came up with an initial design. 

Step 4:  When I had something I thought I liked, I hit the print button and then folded it to see if it lined up the way I wanted it to. 

Step 5:  After 3-4 tries, I was pretty happy with this layout.  So I removed the color from the boxes and toned down the outer lines.  I also removed the lines I was using as folding guides.  What I ended up with is a two-page spread with an approximately 2” folded flap printed on heavy cardstock.  I simply trimmed the top/bottom edge slightly to get it down to approximately 8.25.”

Step 6:  Then I went to town!  I added color with Soho Urban Artist watercolors, Uni Posca paint pens, and Gelly Roll pens on both sides, making lots of random marks as a first layer.  I then used watercolors to fill in the boxes (using the faint lines as a rough guide) and further embellished with pens, added days of the week and calendar dates, and added the month/year. 

Step 7:  For this go round I simply wrote in anything that counts as an “Artist Date.”  But for the future, I printed off the calendars for the classes I am currently taking so I can cut up little visuals to paste in some of the boxes.  I printed everything in black and white so I can doodle and color in the faces/images with watercolors, pens, etc.  Sort of like “inchies.” Can’t wait to see what some of my favorite artists look like all doodled up!  ;->  I will continue to add anything that counts as an “Artist Date,” including classes I am taking, free journal prompts/videos that get posted regularly, any art hangings, fairs, etc. I participate in, musicals, theater, trips to a museum, etc. 

Step 8:  I also added a tab.  I will use the outside of my calendar insert to capture goals and to-do items for the month, stuff to be added to future months, etc.  And when I’m done journaling for the month, the calendar will make a nice outer cover for that month’s insert and the tab will help me keep everything organized by month.  HINT:  If you pre-plan what you are going to use as your tab, you can use it to clean off your brush as you paint.  That way it has some random paint on it (and looks all artsy) while still coordinating with the page.

You can see more of my Midori Traveler’s Notebook here:

When was the last time you went on an “Artist Date?” 


  1. Thanks for posting this. I love the idea of a hand decorated calendar page.
    I am going to try your idea out as soon as I get a midori or a faux-dori.

  2. I saw this in your YouTube video and would love to try it. Do you have this available as a download. Thanks