Originally I thought a handmade calendar would be a fabulous way to welcome in the new millenium, so the year 2000 was going to be my year of the calendar. Just one year.
Oh no, customers thought otherwise and here I am planning the 16th one. I'm actually quite proud of the achievement.
Here they all are, all 15 to date:
This is the cover of the first issue - very simple, no woolly sheep until you get inside.
And this is how you would have welcomed in the new millenium - 3 woolly sheep in the hills. The weekends were greyed out to help see your way through each month - should I do that again? Not sure, so your feedback would be most welcome.
The following years I played around with different layouts and fonts:
Originally the images were all black, the only colour being the added fleece. I then decided I'd hand colour a few of the images, just to liven things up a little. Here is February 2009, the year of the cow - a brown Jersey cow:
As the calendars grew in popularity, I decided to get them digitally printed as it was really a labour of love to hand colour each and every calendar. I could then include more detailed drawings with more intricate colouring such as this Ford tractor for September 2012:
I've always liked a very pale yellow background for my work and the calendars have fallen in line with this. Until this year the printers and I chose a pale yellow paper stock, but this year we decided to run with white stock and print the pale yellow along with the images. I think it's worked well, and I've not had anyone let me know they're unhappy. It keeps the costs down and the RRP at an affordable level, so this is what we will continue to do.
Our biggest decision, always, is how many to print. I never know and we ran out of stock last year... It will never be very many as they are time consuming to make.
I do have several customers who have been loyal since 2000 and have bought one, two, three or more every year. I love these customers, and you know who you are!
So if you want to get your hands on a copy for 2015, you need to be signing up for our newsletter (the link to do this is on our home page) where you will be offered them first (and at a special price)
In the meantime, I need to go out and look for some inspiration for the images. What would you like to see, and for which month? It'd be great if you could let me know in the comments below