Article Courtesy Scrapjazz.com: by Maegan Hall

I like to make calendars each year for my parents to keep in their office at work. In recent years, I've began to purchase scrapbook calendar kits so that when the year was over, the calendar pages could easily be removed and added to a similarly sized album. When I first saw images of the new BasicGrey calendar , I really wanted it. I loved the fact that the page for each month was not tied to a particular holiday and the color schemes were just wonderful. Read on to see if the calendar is as nice as the page examples.

When you purchase it:

You'll pay around $20 for this calendar, which only comes in one style and size. The calendar is 8" x 8" and bound with a metal spine.

The calendar is ready to go, straight from the package! You only need adhesive and a pen. There is no trimming required, so this is perfect for just about anyone who wants to create their own calendar with little or no supplies needed. Each kit includes: one 14-page spiral bound calendar, 85 adhesive chipboard elements, 40 die cuts, 59 cardstock stickers and 39 rub-on elements.

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Let's talk about how it looks:

Honestly, I think it's one of the most attractive calendars out there. It's the most gender-neutral and it will surely match any occasion. The papers are all original BasicGrey releases, matched together according to possible seasonal color schemes, but you are not limited by that.

On the front of the calendar, you can decorate the cover with chipboard flowers, leaves and a title with a 2010 Calendar rub-on. The pages you decorate are the backsides of other calendar months, so liquid glue, paint and brads are not recommended. 

How it works:

When you open the calendar kit, you will find that BasicGrey put together a basic background for each month. This surprised me; I was thinking there was a package of papers to cut and glue, but instead, you are given diecut papers to embellish the printed background (see photo). They are already measured out and you "pop" them out of a diecut sheet. If you don't like those little "snips" at the top, you'll need scissors to trim them off. They didn't seem to bother me, so no scissors required. Since the backgrounds are printed, you cannot change the overall look of the calendar, only how you choose to embellish the background.

What I love about it:

The papers used in this calendar are papers that I love. They are not strictly holiday (which is great for those who don't celebrate holidays) and there aren't any words that would hold you back creatively. In fact, I used the title "Let it Snow" for "Snow Much Love" and I used "A Apple" for "Apple of our Eye." I just used a pen to change it and gave the extra letters away. I also found that most of the pages are flexible for switching their recommended vertical photograph to a horizontal one, and vice versa. This helped me match my photographs more freely. BasicGrey also gave us the option of whether or not to list holidays since the labels come in rub-on form. If you don't celebrate a particular holiday, you don't have to add it to your calendar.

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For my friends and me, this calendar is perfect to take to a crop when you want to pack lightly and mostly socialize. Having fun with my friends was easy to do while putting this calendar together. My non-scrapbooker friend also appreciated the ease of it.

Some things to consider:

The calendar is only for 2010. The monthly dates are already printed for you.

This calendar does not include any type of paper protector, so it might not be the best calendar to use in a high traffic area with multiple children. If a mistake is made, or drink is spilled, it will ruin the layouts. This only matters if you plan on putting the pages in an album at the end of the year.

This makes a great gift as it is simple to leave the calendar pages blank and the gift recipient can add their own embellishments and photos. I would recommend a blank 4" x 6" card in the place of the photograph as a guide for the recipient.

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All the stitching shown on the layouts is hand-drawn; there is no stitching rub-on. So, if you want that look, you're going to be doing the pen stitching yourself, which is quite time-consuming. 

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I think it's a bit too constricting for those who enjoy the process of creating. I know I felt limited at times. Overall I'm happy with the calendar. I think it's perfect for somebody who wants a quick and easy calendar gift. BasicGrey exceeded my conception of "kits" as this really did include everything I needed but adhesive. I could definitely get used to that!

 

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