And you shall count from the next day after the Shabbat, from the day that you brought the omer of wave offering; seven full weeks: until the next day after the last week shall you number fifty days, and you shall offer a new grain offering to YHWH. -Vayikra 23:25-26
Notice the use of the word 'you.' You shall count. Not let someone else count or just check the calendar to see when Shavuot falls. Count it out yourself.
Scripture does not specify exactly how to do this. In the past I have done a simple crossing off in my planner and I have also used Kosher on a Budget's printable calendar. You don't have to use a written count, paperchain, etc. The important thing is that you do it. This year I made a counting calendar to make it a little more fun. I also thought it would be a good use for some of the flair I have, uh, accumulated over the years. I've worked at summer camps and in the music industry; I have a decent collection of buttons, okay? Time to put them to work.
You will need:
-canvas, mine was 20" by 16"
-paint in your colors of choice
-letters to trace
-2 inch cut out circles (if you use a different canvas size, adjust accordingly)
Step 1: Paint your canvas the color of your choice and let dry.
Step 2: Once that's ready to go trace your letters on the top to say 'Count the Omer' or Sefirat Ha'Omer.
Step 3: Paint in your letters. If you mess up, no big deal you can always, paint back over it with your background color if needed.
Step 4: Put your number stickers on your cut out circles. This is one of those simple but tedious tasks where it's nice to talk to a friend or listen to a teaching. You could also write the numbers on with markers if you'd rather.
Step 5: Space your circles evenly on the canvas and use push pins or straight pins to hold them in place.
Step 6: Add a piece of flair underneath each and you're done!
-beads or charms from jewelry (a menorah or a Shema piece would be perfect!)
Each day remove one of the number circles (they need a better name), to display more and more flair as we get closer to Shavuot! I'm excited to use this calendar this year! How will you count the omer?
PS - Sources for flair include Walk in Love, they have so many beautiful things, and Petite Paperie, who makes the lovely menorah stickers. Some are handmade, including the clay matzah, and others were acquired long ago.