There are myriad inspirations for crafting a homemade calendar.
For Camas' Tracy Maguire, it's to celebrate her still-energetic dog Curly turning 22 years old. Vancouver artist Anne John's calendars showcase her body of work from the prior year. Joe Duchie, also from Vancouver, sells calendars featuring his photography for $15 to raise money for schooling.
While some of us are content glancing at a calendar each day that features a clever cartoon or picturesque landscape, homemade calendar enthusiasts look for something more significant when tracking the year.
The Columbian requested Clark County residents send us images from their personalized 2013 calendars. Though the submissions varied in style and subject matter -- cute to wacky to bittersweet -- a unifying concept emerged: cherished moments.
After all, aren't the days within a calendar merely a blank slate for new memories to be made?
Here is a selection of behind-the-calendar stories from our readers:
Calendar cover: Surprise photo shoot
Floreen Clark thought she was auditioning for a role as Rosie the Riveter on her birthday this year, but was pleasantly surprised to learn she was instead dressing up for a one-of-a-kind calendar photo shoot at Pearson Air Museum, organized by her husband, Dave Clark. With friends by her side, Floreen posed as the iconic WWII figure in a number of fun scenarios. "Once she found out, it took her a few minutes for her mind to wrap around what was happening," Dave said. One calendar page shows Floreen hanging from the cockpit of a classic plane, another is a close-up in front of the phrase, "Keep 'em flying, buy war bonds."
Calendar cover: Hiking trip in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness
• Since 2005, Richard Mielke has been giving his friends photo calendars documenting his favorite summer activity: backpacking trips. This year he is on the cover, standing in front of a stunningly reflective lake within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the middle of the state. While his favorite shots are inside the 2013 calendar and not the cover, he put himself on page one because he reasoned, "the cover photo will be facing the wall all year."
Calendar cover: Morning stroll to pick apples
• A multigenerational snapshot of an early morning stroll to gather apples on Jack and Mattie Roscoe's Hockinson property just screamed "family," Jack said. That's why he wanted the picture of Mattie and nine of their grandchildren picking apples for horses in his 2013 calendar. "What struck me about the picture is the casual, but friendly and helpful atmosphere among the children," he said. "Appropriate for a family calendar."
Calendar cover: The Scottish fold cat Stanley
• Starzman started making calendars in honor of her 10-year-old cat, Stanley, because of his advancing age. Starzman found the newborn kitten abandoned by his mother under a bush, gasping for breath with his umbilical cord attached and body still wet from birth. Starzman said she performed CPR on Stanley until his breathing became normal. Her pet is such a cherished part of the family she even maintains a website dedicated to him: www.thescottishfold.com. "I enjoy sharing Stanley's story," she said.
Calendar cover: Family trip to the coast
• Sharon Kays and siblings do their best to meet at the Oregon Coast each September to catch up. Now grandmas and grandpas, the family uses the yearly opportunity to take a break from life's usual distractions. "We have pretty busy lives and this is the one time the adults can get away together and enjoy each other's company. Through the years we have lost some of our loved ones and the times we shared together at the beach come rushing back and it feels like they are still with us." This year the oldest sibling, Carol, is on the cover. She and her husband loved the ocean so much they talked about buying a home on the coast, Kays said. "But he was sadly taken from us and that was not to be."
DIY CALENDARS ONLINE
The Web is full of ways to create your own personalized calendar without the need for a significant investment of time or cost. Here are some user-friendly options to consider:
Walgreens offers many different templates, from "Botanical Blossoms" to "Elegant Swirls" with wall calendar prices ranging between $19.99 and $24.99.
Through Lulu you can create a master list of important events that can then be simply added to whichever calendar format you choose, including the $18.99 standard option and the $29.99 premium.
Shutterfly lets you upload your images and include them on a wall, desk or poster calendar, which all start on the month of your choosing and continue for either 12 or 18 months. Prices range from $21.99 to $26.99.
There are hundreds of templates on Vistaprint as well as calendar formats for varying tastes, including a $12.99 calendar magnet, $6.99 desk calendar and a $15.99 wall calendar.