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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: calendars, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 11 of 11
1. Books of December - Advent

Advent means "waiting" or "something good is coming".  This is why history professors are always talking about the advent of automation, the advent of industrialism, even the advent of the Stone Age.  Mostly, though Advent is about dancing around wondering if you can be good enough, long enough, to get that pony you asked for. (I never asked for a pony.  I wanted a horse. No half pint measures for this girl!)

Advent calendars are all over the place - chocolate, small gifts, even money, Babyccino made up a book advent calendar back in 2009 which she updates every year.  It's a simple enough concept.  Collect as many winter or holiday books as you can, wrap them in paper and number them.  Open one each night from December 1st through the 24th.

For suggestions on how to make another Bookish Advent calendar - with a list of book suggestions, visit Delightful Children's Books.

It's not too late to make a partial calendar for the dancers in your family.  Whatever you are waiting for this time of year - a baby, a miracle of lights, a fat man in red, snow, a magical star, the dragons of winter - a count down calendar can slow down the dance.

Here is another idea for a countdown calendar.

Image result for paper chain image

The Kindness Chain:  Cut and decorate strips of colored paper, longer than they are wide.  (Say five inches by an 1 1/2 inches.).  Make one strip for each day of waiting.  On each one write a kind deed; for example,  hold the door open for someone; let someone in front of you in line; help someone with a chore; talk to someone you don't know well.  You know your family well enough to choose the right acts.  Every so often add something fun, for instance, bake cookies; dance to holiday music; make a cotton ball beard. 
Make a ring of one strip; slip the next strip inside and make it into a ring. You will end up with a paper chain.  Each morning, pull open one strip and read the suggestion for the day.

0 Comments on Books of December - Advent as of 12/14/2016 5:14:00 AM
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2. Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a new year full of positive energy!




It's been a year of huge changes, a few setbacks and (multiple) stresses, and a LOT of learning-new-things for me. It's been quite amazing and I've loved every second of it, even those moments (a few) when I felt like giving up completely. Well, I can be pretty stubborn when pushed, and that comes in handy sometimes ... I refused to give up, have ploughed on, and am looking forward to the changes speeding my way (oh yes, they are there) this coming year. Yes folks, I'm taking my own advice and embracing a life full of infinite possibilities.

I received a lovely parcel through the post that wraps my year up beautifully: the calendar created from the monthly free printables I illustrated this year as give-aways for the subscribers of the Floating Lemons monthly newsletter. Couldn't believe how well it turned out, I love it. I haven't got my good camera with me (had to use the trusty iPhone) and of course am still in temporary quarters, so excuse the not-too-great quality of the photos below. Hopefully you'll get a goodish idea of how lovely it looks, up on the wall. A huge thanks to Zazzle for the amazing job printing it ...







6-june-2015"I Choose" Positive Affirmations Calendar 2015 by Floating Lemons for Zazzle


I don't want to overburden this post with too many images, so have placed the last 6 months of the calendar over at the Floating Lemons Treats blog, so if you'd like to see them just click HERE. And if you want to gift it to yourself or anyone you know who might appreciate some positive motivational quotes, click HERE.

Let me know what you think of it, and please forgive me for being just a teensy bit proud of myself at the moment -- not just of having created the art, but for having stuck to my promise and delivered an illustrated quote monthly even through the chaos of moving to a new country and (re)joining College!

So, have a fantastic and safe New Year's Eve and an even more fantastic 2015. Cheers.



ooops, almost forgot! As of the 30th of January the "I Choose" free printables from 2014 will no longer be available for download, as I'll be starting something new for 2015.

So if you're a subscriber and haven't yet grabbed one of the above, then do so very soon (you can see the 12 designs HERE, though they are formatted as A4 pages for you to download, for easier home-printing). If you haven't subscribed yet and you'd like to be able to grab one or all of them as free printables, please sign up for the newsletter soon as I'll be mailing out an extra issue just before the 30th, with the download link, before it disappears for good. Cheers!


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3. Findus, Food and Fun; a calendar based natural craft book for families

Although there’s something of a holiday / celebration at the end of this month to enjoy first (!), I’m already thinking about next year, planning projects, drawing dreams and envisaging adventures, not least of all here on Playing by the book (do let me know if there’s something you’d particularly love to see here in 2015).

9781907359347-430x600This forward and full-of-hope looking at the future, with plans for play and learning, is also found in the latest offering (in English) for fans of two of my very favourite book characters: Findus, Food and Fun – Seasonal crafts and nature activities is a calendar of craftiness from my long term Swedish sweethearts, Findus and Pettson, or rather from their creator, Sven Nordqvist, assisted by Eva-Lena Larsson, Kennert Daniels and translator Nathan Large.

Findus is a cheeky, cheerful cat on the ramshackle farm owned by grumpy but loveable Pettson. Stories of their life together are full of mishaps, mysterious little creatures called muckles, kindness and compassion. The illustrations are scrumptious, drawn with delicious humour and attention to detail. I don’t think there is another series of books which I’ve dedicated so much time to on Playing by the book. Perhaps that alone tells you how wonderful I think these books are and how much I want to press them into the palms of everyone and anyone who stumbles upon my blog.

This latest book isn’t a story book, but rather a compilation of crafts and activities very much in the spirit of Findus and Pettson, with lots of outdoor exploration, tinkering, making, pottering, discovering and being resourceful. The crafts are themed by calendar month and richly illustrated with Findus, Pettson, chickens and muckles getting involved and trying out the projects at hand. The choice of crafts is wide ranging and includes the unusual; from propagating succulents, to using ants to dye bluebells, to making your own weather station to weaving a rug, there’s a mixture play and exploration driven by interacting with the natural world and/or being inspired by the farmstead on which Findus and Pettson live.

An interior detail from Findus, Food and Fun.

An interior detail from Findus, Food and Fun.

I suspect many readers will come to this wonderful book because they are already solid fans of Nordqvist’s lovely world where problems are solved with kindness. cooperation and respect. However, if you’ve not met Findus and Pettson before there’s still an enormous amount to enjoy in this book; the crafts are quirky, sometimes a little bit crazy, and ideal for anyone who wants to encourage natural play and exploration.

The first project my girls chose to try was making necklaces out of dried beans; first you have to soak them overnight and then you can thread them onto thread (as the book advises, dental floss is good because it is extra smooth and slidey). One packet of mixed dried beans meant for soup were sorted into bowls and left to soak:


Next morning the girls were intrigued to see how the beans had changed, and were soon up and running with threading them into necklaces.

Compare this with the photo above!

Compare this with the photo above!

With lots of opportunities for learning about science, plant life and even maths (via patterns on the necklaces), this project – like so many in the book – could be used for more structured learning, as well being simply an enjoyable experience. These lovely chains of beads could be used as alternative Christmas decorations too – perhaps alongside popcorn strings.


Whilst making our necklaces we listened to:

  • Black Bean Soup by David Soul
  • Beans In My Ears by Serendipity Singers
  • Oats and Beans and Barley – there are loads of versions, but I like this one for its melodeon

  • Findus, Food and Fun: Seasonal crafts and nature activities is so packed with activities I won’t suggest any more here, other than to also point you to another craft book from the same publisher, Making Woodland Crafts by Patrick Harrison, a trainer of Forest School leaders. Many of the activities in this book are ones I can imagine Findus, Pettson and kids and families who love the outdoors relishing.

    What nature crafts have you enjoyed recently? When did you last take a book outdoors to read under (or up) a tree?

    Don’t forget to leave me a comment if you’ve any ideas / suggestions about how you’d like Playing by the book to develop in 2015 :-)

    Disclosure: I received a free review copy of Findus, Food and Fun: Seasonal crafts and nature activities from the publisher.

    3 Comments on Findus, Food and Fun; a calendar based natural craft book for families, last added: 12/3/2014
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    4. It’s a Words World

    Photo | EKHumphrey

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    For my editing, I generally use the Merriam-Webster’s or the American Heritage online dictionaries. My books collect more dust than they used to, which means I spend less time distracted by perusing nearby entries. My rate for learning new words has plummeted.
    A few months ago, I bought myself a calendar with a word for each day. I hadn’t owned one in several years and this one became lost in a sock drawer until well into January, but that’s for another post.
    In addition to writing, I figured I might find the calendar useful to challenge, in the words of the fictional detective Hercule Poirot, the “little gray cells.” (Granted, many online dictionaries provide some way to push out a word per day, but I like the tactile experience of a page to rip off.)
    Without any space to write down appointments or accomplishments, I enjoy the daily calendar as a way to mark the passage of time and I’ve saved many of the words I’ve torn off. I keep a stack on my desk. When I have time, I flip through and try to learn some unfamiliar words, such as calenture, moiety and nyctalopia. I position the calendar where I can easily see it and I look forward to the task each day.
    It is a gentle reminder to keep learning, while giving me a different challenge than writing, researching or reading gives. And, although there is no vocabulary quiz each week as happened in elementary school, I like to try to keep my word muscles exercising and stretching.
    You never know when you’ll get to use trichotillomania (an abnormal desire to pull out one’s hair) in a sentence. Knowing how unique puissantis compared to power and potent, even though they share a common Latin parentage, can help when choosing the perfect word.
    With the tens of thousands of words we learn as we grow, I’ve been amazed at how many words and definitions I’ve forgotten, misused or stopped using through the years.
    As a writer, I know that words are my business. The calendar reminds me of that each and every day.

    Do you try to keep your vocabulary growing? If so, how do you do it?

    Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and editor. Her The Feminist Movement Today (Mason Crest, 2013) was recently selected for the Amelia Bloomer List.

    0 Comments on It’s a Words World as of 3/16/2014 4:03:00 AM
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    5. 2012 Calendars featuring art by children’s book illustrators

    September has already arrived and yesterday was M’s first day back at school, starting a new year. With plenty of planning on my mind I thought today would be a good time to share a round-up of 2012 Calendars featuring art by children’s book illustrators.

    The one calendar I’m definitely buying this year is that produced by Carousel magazine, a quarterly publication in the UK dedicated to children’s books.

    The calendar includes work by thirteen brilliant illustrators: Helga Bansch, Raymond Briggs, Nick Butterworth, Polly Dunbar, Rebecca Elliott, Sarah Garson, Emily Gravett, Pat Hutchins, Mick Inkpen, Catherine Rayner, Pam Smy, Helen Ward and Brian Wildsmith. It costs £6.95 plus £2.50 postage & packing and all proceeds go to the charity CCAA -Kids with Arthritis. To order a copy fill out the form here.

    Other kidlit calendars I’ve come across for next year include ones for The Little Prince, Arthur Rackham, Beatrix Potter, the Flower Fairies, Miffy, and Edward Gorey.

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    6. Something to make 2011 get off to a great start…

    I’ve one last giveaway for this year and although it’s not large, it is beautiful and inspirational and just perfect if you love children’s books. But first some background…

    A few weeks ago I wrote about calendars I had unearthed which featured the work of children’s book illustrators. In the process of researching those calendars blog reader Annette introduced me to the Family Reading Partnership, one of my highlighted charities in yesterday’s post all about book and literacy charities around the world.

    The Family Reading Partnership, based in New York and working in their local community since 1997, has a great mission:

    To create a culture of literacy in which all children in our community experience the pleasure of books as part of everyday family life, right from the start!

    I love the emphasis on the pleasure of reading and also the normalcy of reading, making it part of regular family life.

    As a coalition of several local organizations, individuals, schools, libraries and businesses, all committed to creating a “culture of literacy” the Family Reading Partnership delivers all sorts of programmes to families. Some of my favourite include:

  • A Welcome to School Book
    New kindergartners receive a brand new book entitled A Splendid Friend, Indeed at kindergarten registrations each spring. It includes an enclosure with a personalized message about the importance of reading aloud, a note to “readers to be” from author Suzanne Bloom, encouragement to use the library, and information about making books a part of everyday, summer, family fun. I love the idea of using books to form bonds and friendships.
  • Read-Along Songs
    Children in low-income based pre-school programs receive a bright red book bag filled with six beautiful books and a CD of the books being both read aloud and sung. The same set of books and CD is also given to classroom teachers in pre-school, kindergarten and 1st grade so that children see and hear the set in both school and home. I think the idea of using singing as a way into literacy is a great one.
  • Traveling Books
    Every two weeks, a volunteer reader delivers a crate of 20 carefully selected children’s books to a participating daycare home. He or she reads to the children, leaves the books for them to enjoy until the next visit and in two weeks arrives with a new crate of books.
  • If you’d like to support the Family Reading Partnership you can donate online (or via post), you can donate gently used children’s books, or if you’re local you can donate your time and become a volunteer.

    Every year the Family Reading Partnership produces a calendar featuring from children’s book illustrators. These calendars are typically used as gifts to families involved in their programmes and they are gorge

    3 Comments on Something to make 2011 get off to a great start…, last added: 12/13/2010
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    7. Calendars with art by children’s book illustrators

    **Today’s the last day to enter the international giveaway for the two Moomin Mugs – click here and leave a comment to be in with a chance of winning!**

    It’s that time of year when I’ve been looking for a new calendar for next year and this year I set myself the challenge of finding one with art from children’s book illustrators. I found some lovely calendars – it’s a shame I only really need one! Just in case you too are looking for a calendar here are my findings:

    The Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books produces an annual calendar featuring artists exhibited at the Mazza. If you become a supporter of the Mazza Museum, a Mazza Enthusiast, ($25 per annum) you will automatically receive a calendar. It is possible that calendars may be also available for a donation to the museum (without becoming an official supporter) – please contact them if you are interested in this.

    The Family Reading Partnership, based in New York, produce an annual calendar full of lovely illustrations donated by picture book artists, all depicting reading actually taking place. Click here to go to the order page. Individuals can order calendars for $9.95, although if you are a not-for-profit organization and can order a minimum of 50, then the price is $2.50 per calendar. Calendar images are also available as vinyl banners - these would make wonderful decorations in a library, school, or even a play room.

    The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has 2 calendars for 2011 for sale – an Alice in Wonderland calendar and Storybook Land “featuring illustrations from classic editions of beloved children’s stories including Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, Gulliver’s Travels and The Sword in the Stone. Includes artists such as Walter Crane, Margaret Tarrant, Honor Appleton and John R. Neill.”
    4 Comments on Calendars with art by children’s book illustrators, last added: 11/22/2010
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    8. Calendars, Notes, & Time Management

    Are sticky notes your wallpaper of choice? In our busy offices it's hard to keep organized through the day. We have meetings. We need to return calls. We have tasks that must be completed at a specific time.

    Let's look at some ways to organize our notes and appointments.

    Video #1 - How to Use Your iPhone Calendar

    Link to the 15 best apps for iPhone calendars: http://www.iphoneness.com/iphone-apps/10-best-calendar-apps-for-iphone/

    Video #2 - How To Get Things Done With Google Calendar

    Video #3 - Create and Use a Google Team Calendar

    Video #4 - Tutorial for Google Calendar

    Video #5 - Sharing Your Outlook Calendar

    Video #6 - Using Outlook 2007's Schedule Assistant

    Video #7 - Creating Tasks in Microsoft Outlook

    Video #8 - Android Calendar and Text Messenger Applications

    0 Comments on Calendars, Notes, & Time Management as of 1/1/1900
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    9. New Prizes added to the Giveaway!

    studio on fire

    New Prizes in the Grain Edit Design Stimulus Package Giveaway!

    1st up is the 2009 Studio On Fire calendar courtesy of Studio on Fire.

    Details: Features designs by Studio On Fire, Adam Garcia, Brian Gunderson, Rinzen, Justin Blyth and Clarimus.

    12 month cards, 1 desk stand, 1 box

    The stand and month cards are printed on 100% tree free cotton stock made of fibers reclaimed from the garment industry. Minimally packaged in a clear plastic box.

    studio on fire

    Next is this our Love is here to stay print courtesy of Enormous Champion.

    enormous champion

    Visit the Grain Edit Design Stimulus Package Giveaway! to enter for a chance to win these items plus many more! Its quick, easy and free to enter.

    No Tags

    Enter the Grain Edit Design Stimulus Giveaway! featuring goodies from Steven Harrington, Aesthetic Apparatus, 2K Gingham and many more! We're giving away over $1000 worth of goods. Enter now!

    ©2009 Grain Edit

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    10. Dan Reisinger Perpetual Calendar

    dan reisinger calendar

    Dan Reisinger: Zurich - 125 years Perpetual Calendar.

    I’m drooling over these pictures of the Perpetual Calendar that Barry of the Studio Smith blog just sent me. The calendar was designed by Dan Reisinger for the Museum of the Modern Art in New York. Great score mate!

    dan reisinger

    dan reisinger

    dan reisinger

    “Inspired by Tomorrow” Love it.

    Not signed up for the Grain Edit RSS yet? Give it a try. Its free and yummy.

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    Join our new Grain Edit Fan Page on Face Book

    ©2008 Grain Edit

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    11. Dan Reisinger Perpetual Calendar

    dan reisinger calendar

    Dan Reisinger: Zurich - 125 years Perpetual Calendar.

    I’m drooling over these pictures of the Perpetual Calendar that Barry of the Studio Smith blog just sent me. The calendar was designed by Dan Reisinger for the Museum of the Modern Art in New York. Great score mate!

    dan reisinger

    dan reisinger

    dan reisinger

    “Inspired by Tomorrow” Love it.

    Not signed up for the Grain Edit RSS yet? Give it a try. Its free and yummy.

    No Tags

    Join our new Grain Edit Fan Page on Face Book

    ©2008 Grain Edit

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