Every year Spoonflower does a contest to put next year's calendar in a fat quarter-sized design, such that it can be used as a tea towel - you can see my previous entries here. This year, I was initially going to go with something generic that people like to have in their kitchens. Uhh, lavender flowers! And let's add fleur-de-lis and go for a French theme. But when I started trying to make the basic layout of all the numbers, it seemed kind of dumb and pointless. Back to the drawing board.
I had been laying it out in a diagonal checkerboard pattern, so I stuck with that. Then I had the thought to fill the background of each of the diamonds I was going to put a month in with just a large initial for the month. But, starting with "J", that seemed like it left too much empty space, so then I did the three-letter abbreviations instead, trying to stack them together like Mayan glyphs.
The Mayan connection reminded me of the ancient Egyptian colors I used before, so I used those. I made a polka dot background - instead of just circles, it's X's, stars, hexagons, and bursts, which you can see better here. I'm actually really happy with how that came out - it's one of the few designs I've made that came out exactly like I envisioned it.
In any case, the calendar came together like so:
It didn't go anywhere in the contest, but two people bought it. My favorite was this one.