A New Year in Jean’s Garden
|The year I began Jean’s Garden, the blog, I also created Jean’s Garden, the calendar, a gift idea I had been thinking about for years. (See A Year of Gifts from the Garden.) I wasn’t sure how the calendars would be received, but it turned out that they were a big hit with family and friends and are well on their way to becoming a holiday tradition. So in this fourth year of my blog, I’ve also created my fourth calendar.
Last year, when I had some quality issues with the printer I had been using, I tried having a couple of calendars printed by Lulu.com (which came highly recommended by other bloggers) and was very pleased with the high quality of color reproduction (see A Doubly Good New Year). So I went back to Lulu this year, and here is the result:
|(All images were photographed by me in either my Poland, Maine garden or my Gettysburg, Pennsylvania garden, and all are (c) Jean’s Garden 2013. Click on any image to enlarge.)|
Each year, I have tried to improve my calendars in some way. The switch to Lulu created some new challenges that I tried to address in this year’s calendar design. Lulu offers only one calendar theme with the clean, contemporary look I prefer, but when I chose the page layout of a single photograph with room for a caption, the resulting image was an awkward shape (too wide for its height); and I much preferred the white border around the images that my previous vendor offered. To solve this problem, I chose the Lulu page layout without caption, used the Picasa on-line software (free from Google) to add a white border around each photo, and used the photo editing software that came with my Canon camera to add a caption in the white border below the image. I am very happy with the way these look. The other challenge was the cover of the Lulu premium calendar. I like to use an image from inside the calendar for the cover, but because the Lulu calendar is printed on only one side of the page and spiral bound at the top rather than in the center, the cover is a portrait orientation, while the page images are landscape. Last year, I used a portrait-oriented segment from a collage as the cover of my Lulu version calendar; this year, I chose instead to use two landscape page images, one above the other, for the cover. Doing this requires careful selection of two images that work well together. The two images I chose (April and May) had a lot of similarities in colors and texture and had the added benefit of representing both my gardens. Again, I am pleased with the result.
One advantage of using Lulu is that the calendars can be made available for purchase by the public. To learn more, click here.
Happy New Year, everyone, and best wishes for a wonderful year in your own gardens.