my wall of shame – a perpetual calendar up-cycle project

I was inspired {and distracted} this week by this post by Lindsey Bugbee over at The Postman’s Knock blog. She created a calligraphy calendar she has called her “wall of shame” from an old painting covered over with blackboard paint. As fate would have it, I had intended to head out to the stationery store this weekend to pick up some sort of whiteboard to have in my gym area to track my workouts. The budget is a little tight at the moment, so I hesitated on the purchase… and I’m glad I did! I remembered that I had an old framed drawing of mine from the very early days of when I started doing graphite portraits… no contrast…iffy features…YUCK!  Time to get rid of it and repurpose the frame for my own wall of shame project. Given that this is a procrastination project and I am supposed to be cleaning my house…my credo for this one is quick and non-fussy … squeeze elements of the project in between chores as a little reward … at least that’s what I am telling myself!

1. starting place
Umm.. something not quite right with this picture.. Mr Denver just doesn’t fit… have to fix that!

I dragged out a full A2 sheet of paper I had in my stockpile… I don’t think it was even watercolour paper, possibly something I had intended for a graphite piece perhaps given that it’s about 250gsm and a smooth surface. I taped it to my plastic-covered dining table since it was too big for any of my art boards {with the exception of my A0 drawing board that currently has a half finished nude on it}. Predictably the movement of the plastic didn’t stop the paper buckling when I wet it, not that I particularly care for this one… quick and non-fussy! I mixed up a couple of watercolour washes and slopped them on the pre-wet paper to form an abstract background for my design to be applied to.

taped to table
A2 sheet taped to plastic table cloth .. and I wondered why it still buckled.. d’uh!

It dried a little darker than I had imagined, but that wouldn’t be a problem under a black ink design. I left it overnight to dry, but given the subzero temps here last night, it didn’t really dry properly….hairdryer and iron applied!

Over brekky I sketched up a very basic mudmap design for my calendar allowing space for the grid, a banner for the name of the month at the top and a box at the bottom where I can list the protocols and goals for the month.

2. mudmap
Second coffee for the morning and my trusty Moleskine and Lami Zebra

I liked the look of Lindsay’s henna doodles around the edge of her chalkboard, so I researched those too. How cool are these?

henna hand
Indian bride decorated for her wedding
henna belly
Henna design on a gorgeous pregnant belly

Next I measured up the grid and pencilled in the key elements for size and balance.

ruled up
Light pencil lines to guide the sketching
Basic grid outline done

And then set to work inking in with a thin-point black permanent marker. I had toyed with the idea of using my dip pen and india ink…but I woke up to myself and remembered the quick and non-fussy credo for this {unplanned} project.

almost done
Slow but hypnotic completely absorbed doing this!
detail 2
Bottom left-hand corner detail
close up 1
Partway through the bottom right


Eh voila! The finished design slipped into the old frame. The glass will act as a whiteboard that I can mark off my workouts and try to stay on track 🙂

finished but not filled
Ah! That looks like it belongs! Mr Denver is tucked in underneath the calendar to pad out the frame

Here’s what August looks like after I filled in the details with a dry-erase marker.

as whiteboart
Very pleased with how this turned out!


This was a good fun way to slip some creativity in between my housework today. Hope you had a creative day too.

Don’t forget to visit my shop … lots of new original artwork for sale as well as a new range of greeting cards alongside the old favourites.

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