Referral Friday: and Nikki McClure

Referral Friday is an ongoing series inspired by John Jantsch's Make-a-Referral Week. For more about that, and loads more referrals for everything from cobblers to coaches to gee-tar teachers, start here. Pass it on, baby!


Nowhere are my whack-job Virgo tendencies on better display, metaphorically and literally, as you can see by the photo, above, as they are in my picky picky picky set of criteria for a great, functional wall calendar.

  1. It must be stunning, because it is going to be displayed prominently on my wall.
  2. It must be simple, because it is going to be displayed on my wall all year. I use my digital calendar to write stuff down in; I want a wall calendar to show me the date, period.
  3. It must be compact, because it is going to be on my wall, which I like to use for other stuff besides two square feet of What's Going Down When.
  4. It must be easy to read from four feet away, because my eyes ain't gettin' any better.
  5. It must be matte, because glossy paper is for magazines and bad motivational posters.

I fiddaddled with all kinds of calendars over the many, many years I've used them, but once I discovered Nikki McClure's, I stopped looking.

Her woodcut papercut* illustrations are both stunning and simple, wearing well over the year and years after. I've saved most of my Nikki McClure calendars from previous years because they're too beautiful to pitch or even recycle.** The sentiments are thoughtful, not cloying, the design is perfection and the paper is delicious. I could eat that paper.

Toward the end of last year, it struck me that, just like having the previous and upcoming years printed alongside the current in one's checkbook in equal weights, you know, back when we still used checkbooks, it might be useful to have such a set-up on the wall, so I could at a glance see what's going down, what's coming up, and, if necessary, grab a day/date from the previous month. Production people scope out a few months at a time on those heinous but useful dry-erase calendars; wouldn't the same thing be nice if it was, you know, nice?

A year later, I can happily say that it is. I no longer have to fire up my electronic calendar while I'm pacing around with the phone, or jump to a different program when I just need a quick date. It helps when I'm writing thank you notes, it helps when I'm writing in my notebook (I date the pages of stuff I'm working on), it helps when trying to get a basic handle on where I am in time and space (this will sound crazy to more organized people, but may make sense to ungrounded, arty-farty visual types who are perpetually in danger of floating off into the stratosphere if they become unmoored.)

So a couple of months ago, I wrote to the fine folk at BuyOlympia, showed 'em my rig, and asked if they could perhaps offer a specially priced three-pack for other OCD types. They talked to Nikki, everyone agreed, et voila! Here it be.

As they point out in the item description, a perfectly fine use of the three-pack would be to keep one and gift two friends with the other copies. Let's turn the world onto these wonderful calendars, and keep Nikki in linoleum blocks and carving tools until she drops! Or, if you're not into Colleen's Overzealous Ordering of Time in One Place, you could have a calendar for key rooms in your house. I swear, just like a clock, it's nice to be in eyeshot of a calendar.

Especially one that is essentially art masquerading as a useful item. Because as we all know, when in doubt, buy art...


*Sorry! I knew this, I swear. But Ms. McClure emailed me herself to remind me that they are cut with an X-Acto from a single sheet of black paper.

**And they're still (mostly) sitting around. Hawk-eyed McClure fans out there will note that a couple of birdie illos made it into the frame, but boy, I'd love to pass along what else I have to an interested party. If that's you, email me your contact info and what you like to make. I'll ship off what I've got to the first one I get. Thanks for your emails, Nikki McClure fans! They've been snatched up by a lovely reader who will use them to decorate the walls of the apt. she's newly moved into.

Image by Colleen Wainwright via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.