Tuesday, 20 February 2018

'MIY' Beautiful Birthday Calendar

To mark the begining of a new year and a new season for Trigger Editions I decided to design and make some creative new birthday calendars. 

I am so fed-up with only just remembering important dates on the day or too late I decided to do something about it!

There are lots of designs out there but I've not seen anything else quite like this. I've seen lots of cute, girly or crafty designs, and lots of cool, graphic modern calendars. I wanted something that my family would enjoy looking at for years to come, but it had to be infinitely adaptable as our needs and tastes change.

I'm really pleased with the outcome, a 'Make It Yourself Birthday Calendar', which is why I've decided to make a free download available so anyone can print their own on their choice of beautiful paper. 


My personal version has been printed on all the wonderful recycled book, envelope, map, and music score paper that I love to collect and use to make art prints and multiples with. The names and dates are then added with stickers and tags which are easily changed and added to.

I have found two really effective ways of displaying and using the calendar prints. One you can see above which uses a clip frame from IKEA called MYRHEDEN 



The second, on show in the middle of my table at a local Christmas Fair, displays the prints in a frame with the date stickers applied on top so that they can be added and removed easily. 

I have been selling my sets of 'Make It Yourself Calendar Prints', which include a set of date stickers, for £8 and giving them as gifts. I'm really looking forward to see how other people use them in creative ways.

Talking of which, here are the files so you can print your own calendar. The PDF's are all 23 x 11.5cm. Each of the 12 files will give you the text for two square 11.5cm prints, which is just the right size for the IKEA frame. One set for you and one to give to a friend. I just set my printer settings to 'custom' paper size - 23 x 11.5 cm, and cut my paper to the right dimensions before printing.

Set One - MIY Birthday Calendar just has the names of the months and a few botanical illustrations (as seen above).

Set Two - MIY Birthday Calendar has the same botanical details plus a selection of biblical verses to facilitate and stimulate prayer for all the special people you put in the birthday calendar. 

(There is an extra file suitable for creating date labels in each folder. This could be printed on an A4 sticker sheet.)

We hope you enjoy making, giving and using your 'MIY Birthday Calendar'. Do send us photographs of your own versions.

If you like what we are doing at Trigger Editions, join our mailing list (Link on the right, above). We use it to share opportunities for new projects and products that require some collaboration or interaction. If you want to see what we are getting up to, get involved creatively or just enjoy our free stuff then leave us your details. 

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Being an Artist and a Mum


For 5 years I haven't blogged,
I haven't completed any new works for Trigger Editions,
I haven't taken work to Artist Book Fairs,
I haven't felt able to contribute.

Should I feel disappointed?

As a woman and mother in the 21st century shouldn't I have been able to nurture my children whilst simultaneously maintaining my 'art practice' in the usual way? So many seem able to.

You can't turn off that part of who you are and, indeed, who would want to? Not producing artworks in the way I would have previously, over these last years has felt so wrong, like a spider not making webs, and yet this, due to many factors, is the choice I was led to make and I don't regret it.

My boys have needed all of my attention, all of my strength. My eyes have been down, fully occupied by these very needy little beings, caring for them and others walking this particular stony track with me. Many others have found the strength, time and space to continue making art and I am in awe. Had circumstances been different, that would have been me.

Thankfully, however, it turns out that ideas don't stop coming; the motivation doesn't disappear and the impulse to respond creatively is wonderfully insatiable. I have been so creative and incredibly productive. I consider myself to have been an artist in residence for 5 years, experiencing, analysing, playing, discussing. Now it is time to respond.

For five years I have shared with other parents and caregivers; I have created crazy, awesome cardboard, Lego and play-dough constructions, adapted toys for creative play, made whole immersive worlds for my boys and their friends, designed creative activities for playgroups and workshops. I have contributed and have loved it. I have grown.

So what exactly is my 'art practice'? My challenge now is to bring together the very messy creative explosion, which is bringing up children, with this world of artist books and art multiples. There is so much of this creative experience that could be collected and packaged into a shareable form. There is so much of the human experience to be exchanged and reflected upon, to be given and received. There are so many ways in which creative expression and creative gift exchange can assist those struggling with this particular life challenge, even if it is just to help provide inspiration for a rainy day.

With all these ideas brewing and the end of my five year 'Art Residency in Motherhood' a few months away, I've decided to launch 'Little Triggs' to share creative ideas, products and art editions with kids and families in mind. Coming soon... Get in touch if you would like to share in this new adventure.