our advent calendar

My mother made this Advent calendar for us sometime in the late 70's or early 80's. It hung near the front door and my brother and I took turns picking ornaments each day, sharing the top star duty Christmas morning if we remembered to. The calendar went out of commission for about twenty years, give or take, so I'm so happy to have two little ones of my own who are excited out of their minds to see it when we take out the Christmas decorations every year. 

I'd love to break this down into a do-it-yourself project, but I'm not much into sewing and I think it's pretty much self explanatory. A big piece of burlap with a dowel and ribbon at the top for hanging, a felted triangle for the tree, twenty-five sets of velcro dots, felt and stuffing to make twenty-five little ornaments (including a star), and felt to make the twenty-five pockets to hold the ornaments.

He's got two faces for the camera, this one and the giant smile/squinty-eyed one.

The things I could show you that my mother has made. She's incredible! She actually designed a line of Christmas-y dolls and angels and worked the craft fair circuit with my stepfather ON TOP of working a full-time year-round job that basically paid my way through five years of architecture school. Our tree is covered with homemade ornaments (many hand painted wooden ornaments from really cool kits). There is just so much! I have had a really hard time parting with any of it, which is sort of a problem because the Christmas stuff takes up a good percentage of our current small storage situation.

It dawned on me to share this because I am seeing do-it-yourself Advent calendars all over the place this year. Some really fantastic, creative and elaborate ones. Many are even three dimensional. There is a little round up of great calendars here by Kelly at StudioDIY, and Jordan and her team at OhHappyDay have been making some really cool large scale ones. There have been several in the last few weeks, just scroll through her blog to find them. The idea of having to come up with twenty five little gifts to put in the boxes or pouches on top of all the other shopping that needs to get done is a little daunting to me, but I still think they are awesome.

Have a great weekend everyone! We're doing the tree thing tomorrow, and then Sunday I'm taking Stella to the Bazaar Bizarre Holiday Faire to do some Christmas shopping. I have several donut projects on tap for next week, possibly even FIVE DAYS OF DONUTS (we'll see), so see you Monday! xoxo


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