“ Publisher: Workman Publishing / 19 July 2010 / ISBN: 076115762X „
I'm a girl, and what can I say? I love shoes. Any size, any style, any make, any colour; a shoe's a shoe, and I'm sure to love it.
Unfortunately, my limited budget (and extremely narrow feet) mean that I very seldom get to indulge myself in shoes as I would like. So instead, I resort to drooling over books with large, glossy pictures of shoes, and window shopping. Oh, and this Page-A-Day 'Shoes' 2011 Gallery Calendar!
I'm not really a diary kind of person, but am rather more interested in calendars. Over the last few years I have become a big fan of page-a-day calendars, and now actually have a few scattered about the house!
As soon as I saw this calendar, I knew I had to have it. It's a little bigger than most page-a-day calendars: the base is around six inches wide, and it stands a little over six inches tall. At full price, The Calendar Club sell this for £12.99, although as I bought it a few days into the new year, I bought it at a discounted price. I'm not sure I'd pay the full price for it, but that's mostly down to my miserly self. As a discount, though, I don't think you can go far wrong! It is also currently available on the Amazon marketplace for a starting price of £6.19 for a new one.
For those of you who aren't aware, page-a-day calendars work by dedicating a single page to each day of the year - who would have thought it?! Weekends often share a page, however. There is usually no space for writing any notes or appointments, as with this calendar, but to be honest I think you'd be better off buying a separate diary to write those things down rather than spoiling the beautiful pages!
With this calendar, at the top of each page the date (just the number) is very prominently displayed, with the day of the week, month and year printed neatly just beside it. The font is black, plain and simple, but is elegant. For the six inches or so below this, the rest of the page is filled with a gorgeous, full-colour picture of a shoe, or a pair of shoes. In the very top right of each page there is a small amount of detail about the shoes, including a brief description, the designer and the year the shoes were made. This writing is very tiny and unobtrusive, yet interesting and factual all the same.
The pages are made from an excellent quality paper - thick and sturdy - the same kind that you'd find in a posh art book. The pictures themselves are bright, well-lit and full of colour. All the printing is crisp, clear and sharp, and in terms of quality I can't fault this product at all.
The calendar comes sealed in a cardboard sleeve; once you remove the sleeve, you will find that the pages are neatly stacked in a plastic case. Simply remove the top to the case, and slot it in the back (a very simple and quick step), and this makes the stand to prop the case up. As before, the quality of the case and stand is great. The plastic's thick and sturdy, and I've never felt like it's flimsy or in danger of breaking at all. I have it standing in a perfect spot in my bedroom, but if the only space you have is wall or hanging space, then it won't be suitable as there is no hanging facility on it at all.
Each day, you simply remove the front page, with a little sadness at having to say goodbye to a lovely pair of shoes, and slot it in the back, saying hello to a new lovely pair for the day. Slotting the pages in the back is easy as pie, as the case isn't too full that you end up just jamming the pages in. Or, worse still, giving up. Halfway through the year you'll reach a page telling you to flip the whole stack of pages round, as lo and behold, the pages are double-sided and the second half of the year's shoes are on the back of the first half.
I think this is great as it means you have to keep all the pages if you want to make it through the year. As a result, at the end of the year I'll have a browse through them all and choose the best ones: chopping the date off the top and framing them would make some great pieces of artwork for the right space.
As for the shoes themselves? They are simply gorgeous. Of course, not every pair can be to my taste, but I can appreciate every single one. A lot of the shoes are quite modern, but there are a few golden oldies thrown in, too. For example, the 12th January's pair is a black and red silk twill pair of ankle boots, from France from around the 1860s. Very old fashioned, but magnificent for their day. Then in contrast, Tuesday's pair was a stunning Givenchy metallic magenta kidskin d'Orsay pump with leather appliqué from the 1980s. If ever I had shoe envy..........
The shoes featured in this calendar aren't just focused on the weird and wacky. Of course, something a bit different can spice things up a bit, but in general the makers have gone for original, fun, designer shoes which still have a touch of class.
If you've heard of the bestselling book 'Shoes' by Linda O'Keefe (basically a coffee-table book filled with similar pictures of shoes) and enjoy flicking through it, then you'll love this calendar. The calendar's based on the book! It has the same look and feel to it, but a lot of the shoes in the calendar are a bit more modern than those in the book. If you've got one but not the other, I urge you to invest in both as they're both wonderful if you love looking at shoes.
Overall, I love this calendar and can wholeheartedly recommend it to any shoe lover. It certainly manages to quell my shoe withdrawal symptoms! Although it may be expensive for just a calendar, it isn't JUST a calendar - think of how many pairs of shoes you're getting for that price!
The only thing I would like to see added to the calendar is some information about the price of the shoes; perhaps their original retail price, or the last price they were bought for? It wouldn't take up much room in the top corner with the other background info, and would give us dreamers a bit of an idea of how many million DooYoo miles we'll have to save to be able to afford them!
Although my review is of the 2011 version, I've seen it for sale in previous years and I'm sure you'll be able to buy it in the future as well - I'll certainly be buying it again! It's unlikely to change much, so you can be sure that what you're getting is quality.