Saturday, December 6, 2014

Calendars for the New Year

As 2014 draws to a close, I'm beginning to think about which calendars to purchase for the new year. Calendars are one of my favorite things to buy. When I was younger, I gravitated toward glossy travel calendars with romantic destinations like Paris or tropical islands. Now I prefer simpler handmade calendars with bold graphic designs that reflect the beauty of nature, especially birds and flowers. I also like supporting artists and small businesses.

Last year I purchased a small desk calendar from ModernPrintedMatter through Etsy. The calendar comes in a plastic jewel case that folds back to act as a stand. I have really enjoyed the simple botanical illustrations printed on each month's card. I'll be buying one of their 2015 desk calendars for myself and a couple as Christmas gifts. ModernPrintedMatter also has lovely wall calendars with botanical and nature designs.

Yesterday I searched Etsy for 2015 calendars and an artist named Rigel Stuhmiller caught my eye. Her work can be purchased through her Etsy store, Drenculture, or her website. Her designs are beautiful, from colorfully printed note cards and art prints featuring birds and flowers to kitchen towels hand screen-printed with bold vegetable and fruit designs.

You can learn more about the printmaking process here. I took a printmaking class years ago and made (or tried to make) a block print by carving into linoleum. I found it very difficult and frustrating, so I really appreciate the skill level of this art form.

I'm a bird enthusiast, so the 2015 Garden of Birds wall calendar below is one that I will be purchasing. It would brighten up any space, don't you think? Look at the colors!

I also love these raven cards for both the design and the subject. I'm fascinated by ravens and crows, which are very interesting and intelligent birds; the common raven is a larger bird than the common crow, but they look very similar. (If you're interested in learning more about crows, watch this PBS Nature show, which I thoroughly enjoyed.) Stuhmiller sells an 8 x 10 print of this raven illustration through her Etsy store. I think it will end up in my shopping basket along with the birds calendar!

Here are some of Stuhmiller's adorable designs for dog lovers (she also has a cat series). The holiday card assortment is so cute! The naughty beagle card reminds me of our Ella, and look at the face on that Chihuahua wrapped in Christmas lights. Precious! 

Stuhmiller's studio will be open this weekend and each weekend until Christmas as part of the Berkeley Artisans Holiday Open Studios event in which 100 artists and craftspeople open their studios and galleries to the public. Visitors can shop for unique, handmade holiday gifts while getting to know the artists. If you live in the Berkeley, Ca., area, check it out. Wish I could!
 Photos: Rigel Stuhmiller (used with permission)

Any of these items would make thoughtful Christmas gifts, don't you think? So tell me, do you purchase things through Etsy? What are some of your favorite Etsy shops? 


  1. Serendipity! I was just looking, this morning, for calendars on Etsy! I had bought several last year from twin2kim shop and love them. I am debating between her new version and the very one you bought from Modern Printed Matter. Love them both so I'm having a hard time here. I've had these for at least five years now and can't live without it!! Ditto my daughter and a friend. So cheerful on my desk. I am actually thinking of designing one or two for next year….I'm getting back into designing and have been playing around with downloadable gift cards for the blog. We will see! Loved this post, needless to say.

  2. Love these! What a great idea to find unique calendars on etsy. I love bird and botanical prints, too!

  3. My list of favorite etsy shops is quite long. I have purchased several items from Rigel's shop in the past. Her designs are so appealing. Love the tea towels and the bird calendar is beautiful.


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