Thursday, November 26, 2009

My creative space...

I always enjoy a bit of a sticky-beak into the creative spaces around the place on a Thursday. Thanks Kirsty for your lovely meme!

 My space today has all gone a bit advent.



Unlike last year, I've been saved by the newly-adopted 'Kris Kringle' approach to Christmas giving and thus am only making gifts for two family members, rather than, um, 12. But when my in-laws gave my family this gorgeous nativity scene on the weekend, I realised that the advent season is almost upon us, and having not had an advent calendar in all my adult life, I've decided to get cracking and make one.



The hardest thing was deciding what to do. There are so many ideas out there! I spent a while trawling through all the links I've seen recently (especially via whipup). After a while I realised that I kept being drawn to three different elements in different calendars: natural/muted colours; anything with linen; and bunting/garland-style calendars.

Once I figured that out, I pulled everything out of my craft cupboards that matched that description and got started. Actually, I'm still in the process of making up my mind what to do, but here's where I'm at so far.

I've stitched 24 old buttons 4 inches appart on a length of twill tape, and stuck it up along our bookselves:



Now I'm in the process of making 24 little bags to hang up. I'm using a cotton/linen blend for the outer and lining them with strips from old pillowcases that have seen better days.




I considered attaching loops but actually I think these cute pegs and a bit of kitchen twine do the trick very nicely:




Hmm, 3 down and 21 to go! I haven't decided whether to stitch/stencil/stick numbers on them, or just leave them plain.

I've made the little pockets to be able to hold all manner of things - treats, decorations, activities - and in years to come they shall do. This year, however, our family is simply going to put a verse of scripture in each one, and read it together each day in order to remember, to celebrate, and to show gratitude for the birth of Jesus.

Are you making an advent calendar this year? What does it mean to you?

31 comments:

  1. A fantastic take on the advent calendar! LOVE IT!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gina, that's beautiful! Love it! A x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love it. I only made 10 little bags last year as I couldn't face 25! I found them in my great cupboard cleanout on Tuesday and they are certainly not as nice as yours!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I HAVE GOT to make an advent calander, and soon, obviously!

    Not being religious, advent calanders have always meant, to me, the count down is on! I love Christmas as it is a family, giving & joyful time... I can't wait...!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Gina, what a beautiful idea. I love the little pouches in all their earthy goodness. I'm really into linen at the moment too.

    How about some thread sketching of some numbers, some raw edge applique for others?

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a beautiful advent calender! Really so clever and special.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It's gorgeous and very you Gina. I love that it can be changed to suit your family and changed each year. And the pegs look great.

    ReplyDelete
  8. amazing Gina!
    what a great advent calender.
    we don't do an advent calender but I definitely love your tradition.
    thanks for popping by, hope to meet you on Saturday!

    ReplyDelete
  9. They look lovely and I rather like the rustic kitchen twine and wooden pegs.

    ReplyDelete
  10. love those little bags, the lining is beautiful
    x isis

    ReplyDelete
  11. They are beautiful. We don't do christmas but I am madly racking my brain for an excuse to make some and hang them on button twill.

    ReplyDelete
  12. what a clever calendar idea, Gina!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very excellent idea! I love Cathy's idea for the numbers. Also, as they're so cool, what about another how to?

    ReplyDelete
  14. gina,
    love the advent calendar. maybe put a small printed numberin the corner of them but they are very pretty on their own. xo m.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a magnificent original idea! I've never seen anything like it and I just love it - so beautiful! You could probably use them all year round for various occasions too. Fabulous, Gina :) K

    ReplyDelete
  16. I must get on with mine too. I love yours with the buttons and little bags. So lovely!! We do an activity advent each year, keeping it pretty simple and rolling along. Its such a lovely way of making the whole month about family and togetherness and reflection and fun.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've planned for a few years to make an advent calendar but it's yet to happen.
    This is gorgeous Gina - I agree the pegs are a lovely touch. The verses are a very nice idea - I hate, hate, hate the idea of a chocolate each day - umm what's the message there?

    ReplyDelete
  18. Your advent calendar is beautiful Gina - it is the simplicity and the earthiness (muted tones) that makes it a really classy and sincere way to celebrate the birth of Christ. Not a hint of commericalism, consumerism ... etc to it, rather it is wholesome and family orientated. I'm pretty confident that JC would mark it A+.

    I'm afraid it is bah-humbug in this household. No advent calendars to speak of. Pre- children we didn't even own a tree but since their arrival we've started the tradition of putting up the tree Christmas Eve after the babies are sleeping ... it has been a delightful surprise for our son to wake up to a tree in the house! It is packed away on boxing day.
    I'm going to make some decorations this year... might even get tinsel - previously it has been just paper chains.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I was just thinking about how to come up with a crafty new advent calendar last night...And looks at yours...I LOVE IT!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hun theses are great!! I made a canvas cal one year. It was HUGE and become a work of art with little boxes arranged in the shape of a tree for Moo to open. Now they have a much small cal which I picked up from the op shop. Might have to make something like yours for next year.

    xo Steph

    ReplyDelete
  21. Having seen these up close I can confirm they are even sweeter than in the pics. I’m voting numbers – you could do an extra and find some sort of excuse for an ampersand. Hmn. Behaving now.

    ReplyDelete
  22. it looks so gorgeous I love the colours. nice to see a move away from the predictable red and green together.

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a brilliant idea!
    It's nice to see a little more linen and a little less plastic for Christmas :-)

    ReplyDelete
  24. a lovely idea and it looks just beautiful too. i like the idea of the verses too.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I love the linen/garland numbers as well. Fiona at Hop Skip Jump made one (last year?) It was utterly gorgeous as is yours. An elegant advent calendar, what a star!

    ReplyDelete
  26. It looks fabulous Gina, you're too clever. And I love the idea of using verses too. I vote for not stressing yourself out with adding too much. Get them done first - you can always improve them to keep it fresh next year!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Love your ideas! Two years in the UK magazine Green Parent I saw the idea of an advent tree - basically a branch with 24 envelopes on with a different activity in each. Haven't put it into practice yet but I had thought I'd get something sewn up for both girls!!!!!! Well that's the theory but it's now the 27 Nov! xx

    ReplyDelete
  28. Love it!
    Might find a little something for my favourite little boys to put in one of them...

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am loving your idea. This was my first attempt at making an advent calendar this year so I went fairly basic. Next year I can't wait to do something different and give to my friends with children. Having an advent calendar to count down to Christmas was one of the highlights of the season for me as a kid and I think it's important as it creates that excitable atmosphere so you (as the parents) don't get too stressed out for the manic month ahead.
    Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I LOVE this! I was actually thinking something similar... Well, the pockets bit anyway. Not this year I am afraid, the sewing machine is buried under a mountain of boxes labelled "craft etc". But advent pockets and birthday bunting are my first proposed projects in xxxx years.

    When we all lived at home, we had a "tree" that we hung a decoration on each day. I loved the permanency of this advent calendar, and the adding to rather than taking away from. Mum still has it, but I've been hankering after my own permanent advent calendar. I've been lusting after a wooden one with little drawers I saw in a shop three years ago, but can't quite bring myself to pay nearly $100 for it.

    I saw an article in some mag (Home Beautiful maybe?) that had Welcome bunting across a bedhead, and they used those wooden cutout letters from Spotlight or similar. For my birthday bunting, I was thinking chunky fabric letters, but Mum suggested maybe covering the wooden ones with fabric. Ideas... we have them...

    ReplyDelete
  31. Gina,

    What a woderful way to maintain the true meaning of this important holiday! I have purposefully avoided the normal advent calenders forever because they are so large, and I have never seen a style I liked. This is just perfect!

    If you are considering numbers, couldn't you just number the "pegs" (we call them "pins" in the U.S.) instead of the bags? Then you could swap out the bags, or reorder them whenever you wanted to.

    Great Job!Thanks for posting it!

    ReplyDelete

“Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
~Albert Einstein