A Challenge for the New Year

When I saw Tami’s pattern for calendar type page at the end of 2013, I knew this was something I would have to try out. This is 12 x 12 pattern No. 463 for 36 photos. Little did I know then just what an addiction this would become! I have honestly taken a photograph every day in 2014 to fit in each day’s space. As time went by, it became impossible to think of letting this slip. Often it was easy but sometimes I had to make an effort to get myself out to look for a subject, which was no bad thing. Once I forgot until 23.40 so had to scramble to find something. One of the best bits of fun has been the unexpected opportunities that have turned up, often meaning that one photo was replaced by the surprise. One of the best examples of that is March 6th. I had taken some photos of crocuses by a roadside and was just beginning to drive away, when I spotted a man carrying a big flag coming along on his horse. It turned out that the man was going to play a leading part in our local tradition which involved him carrying the town’s large standard on horseback in July. His horse was accustomed to being a carriage horse, wearing blinkers, so both he and his horse were practising. The crocuses had to wait for another day. As with all of Tami’s Cropdog pages, each page is crammed full of memories.

As 2014 has been the Chinese Year of the Horse which began in February, I have tried to include at least one photo with a horse or donkey somewhere in it. I believe that 2015 will be the Year of the Goat – maybe a bit more of a challenge but less so than some of the other possibilities!

For each month there are a few unneeded boxes. Rather than leave them empty, I have put in a very small symbol appropriate to that month.

Early on in this project, I had to decide what I was going to do with my pages when they were complete. Eventually I decided that as most 12 x 12 albums, excluding the D-rings, contain 2o page protectors, I would try to make a complete album for 2014. So for the first page I used pattern 70 with 37 photos for photos of a special family birthday on January 1st. Then four pages for January to April were followed by two pages using mirrored patterns 237 and 522 each for 16 photos which would include photos too big or for some other reason didn’t get included in any of those four calendar pages. This set of six pages were then repeated for each of the following two sets of four months, which filled up all except a final page which I hope will be a summary page of the year.

I realise that I have only been able to do this because I am retired and can still get around reasonably well. I can also be very determined if not at times stubborn! However it would be possible to relax the self-imposed rule of a photo every day – maybe photos taken during a week would be easier? Or photos every day for a special month including a holiday or a month in your garden or other ideas?

Will I do it again? Probably not. I have had so much fun and satisfaction – I love my completed pages but on the other hand I think I should content myself with what I have done. My family and friends are now used to co-operating when I say I want a ‘people’ photo to try to keep a page balanced but I don’t think they will be sorry if I stop. I would love to know if anyone else has been doing this and certainly wish anyone good luck who will be giving it a go in 2015!