I was so excited when Amy Tan came out with her calendar stamp almost a year ago. I bought it right away even though I knew I most likely would not use it until December. I make a desk calendar each year for myself and my mom. The first year I made it, I found cute monthly cut outs from Maya Road that I could just glue on the page. Of course, I couldn’t find them again the next year and had to settle for stickers last year. I was not a fan of the stickers because I had to adhere them to either plain cardstock or non-busy pattern paper, then cut them out, and then adhere them. I aim for easy for the dates. Then I saw this post from Amy Tan showing her calendar stamp. I ordered it right away.
Then it sat on my shelf. I used it a couple of months ago for the first time to make my 2014 calendars. I thought this would solve my problem of finding easy to use dates that do not require me to search far and wide. And since it’s a stamp, I can use it over and over again without having to buy new dates every year.
My first challenge was getting clearly stamped images. I admit that I am not much of a stamper, but it didn’t seem to make difference as to whether I had something squishy behind my paper or something harder. It was just a gamble. For example, it took 9 tries to end up with 2 images that were good enough for April.
The pieces are very tiny. If a person has any issues with dexterioty, they are going to have a difficult time using this stamp. Of course, it has to be small to make it of much use, but that is something to keep in mind if considering a purchase. One challenge with the size is that I dropped one of the numbers at least four different times. I had to get on my hands and knees to find the number because, if you are missing any of the numbers, the stamp is almost worthless.
Sliding the numbers onto the stamp was easy, but if you are making a calendar, which requires that you switch them out 12 times, be prepared for frustration and pain. A couple of times I slid in a number backwards. This wasn’t a huge deal, but you did have to watch for this before switching to a new month. The other challenge was that there is not enough space for every month. As you can see below, February 2014 uses seven lines. August 2014, however, uses eight lines. Hmmm….there is no space for an 8th line. I ended up moving the Sunday-Saturday line to the top and separately stamping the month on my paper.
Remember I said pain? Yes, pain. My right thumb was cut from repositioning the numbers so much. And they are blue from my ink. I think they were still a little blue the next day. I can deal with the ink-stained hands, but the fact it became painful to finish this project was very frustrating.
It took me nearly an hour to stamp all my months.
While I had a very difficult time with this product, I don’t think I was using it as intended. I don’t believe that it was designed for someone making a yearly calendar in one sitting. It was made for someone who wants to put the a single month on a layout.
Next year, I intend to find printable dates online and simply print them out for my calendars. This stamp would work well for me if I only needed to periodically stamp one month. To use it for a 12-month calendar was a huge pain. It did not offer the convenience I need for my calendar-making.
Has anyone else tried to use this stamp for calendar-making? Did you have better luck with it?