Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's coming along...

Here's what my little work space looks like. Like my art table? Seth gave it to me for my bday this year. :) It's matchy-matchy with his on the other side of the room. So hanging up is Pottery Barn's super cute advent calendar and on the table are my pockets I've been making. My sister Kristie and I have split up the work. We figure that if you have to make one pocket than you might as well make more, right? So together we are making enough for 4 trees. One for each of us and one for each of us to give away for a Christmas present. Krisser has just finished embroidering the snowflakes and numbers on the trees with her fancy new embroidery machine and has sent them to me in the mail with her pockets today, so I should get that in a few days. I will sew on all our pockets and sew the tree front to back and add the trunk and star at the top. Hopefully this will be done to start counting down the beginning of December. I wanted to show some of the detail of a few of my pockets. The fun of making your own stuff is that you get to change it to fit you better. I've had great time making alterations and adding more details. So in each photo I have Pottery Barn's pocket on the left and mine on the right. (Mostly I'm showing this because Kristie keeps asking how they look and telling me she wants to see them- so here you go Kris)


(Seth sketched the design of this one for me to make- thanks honey)

Red Skate

Pink Skate

Christmas Tree
(I changed the shape to mimic the advent tree that these pockets are all on)

I didn't do much to change the Santa except add a nose and a little snowflake (can you tell that I like snowflakes?) :)
And here is just one I made up for fun. There were a few designs that repeated and were simple and I decided that I wanted a wreath. It replaces one of the green stripey pockets (pocket #9 in the top photo). Also Kris- I added little bow ties to our penguins, but didn't take photos of them. The #19 penguin has a red bow tie and the #14 penguin has a green bow tie.

So here is my progress. I'm pretty excited and have been having a great time. It's been a good way for me to relax since the nesting phase is setting in and I want to attack every part of my house. I keep over working and then contractions set in for a few hours- ug. So this has kept me sitting for long moments and I still feel like I'm getting something done. Only 3 more weeks and our little Penelope will be here!!! Man alive have I got a lot to do- but at least this will be one thing to check off my list that I really wanted done. BTW- I've had 3 people in the last 2 days tell me that it looks like she has dropped, which might be a nice way of saying I'm looking bigger. I sure feel bigger and more uncomfortable. Thank goodness there's an end in sight!

Halloween Costumes

I just read my cousin Jill's comment about checking in often to look for Halloween costumes. Since I didn't really sew any- except my Igor one and it wasn't that amazing I just put all of our Halloween fun (including costumes) on our family blog. Sorry if it's confusing with these two different blogs. I'm trying my best to keep this one for projects and art stuff. Speaking of I'm just about to post some photos of the progress of my advent calendar...

Monday, November 10, 2008

THE Advent Calendar

I grew up looking forward to the first day of December with much anticipation- because my mom would hang up a hokey craft looking similar to this (but of course ours was better). :) Everyday leading up to Christmas my siblings and I would take turns pulling out an felt ornament from it's pocket and deciding where to put it on the tree. It was so exciting to get the day that had the ballerina or the rocking horse and you were most lucky of all if your day was the last and you got to put the star on the tree. I've been wanting to make a special Christmas advent calendar for many years now. I have a sketch book filled with ideas of what the different ornaments would look like and have had a pile of felt stashed away waiting for me to actually do it. At times it was going to be a tree like my mom's and at times I was turning it into a nativity type scene where everyday you'd put a different animal or person on until the last day you could place baby Jesus in a manger. I even have patterns of cross stitch characters that could be put with the manger scene.
I had also considered different kinds like these two. All I knew is I wanted to make it myself and I wanted it to be something magical my children could anticipate every year.

This year I got more serious about it. I decided to locate a pattern somewhere and put feelers out with friends. My sister came across this at Pottery Barn's website. Not 24 hours later I drove 40 miles to the nearest Pottery Barn Kids and bought it to use as a start for a pattern. Kristie has joined in the fun as well. We are splitting up the pockets to make and she has even ordered herself an embroidery machine (so jealous!) It costs with tax close to $75 at Pottery Barn and Krisser and I are making them for a little under $25 each and having lots of fun at the same time. I hope these get done before the first of December. We're sure trying.

Here's another photo of it. It is just too cute! Although I do love the idea of a simple one that is just hanging ornaments up I didn't know how I could refuse making this. Everyday there is a little gift in there. What I think I will have to do is put a clue in there everyday leading our kids to a different place to find a little treasure instead of stuffing it with 3 presents in each pocket. We are going to put a bit more detail into it and make pretty stitching around each pocket and more embellishments. I'll post pictures when it's complete.

Just for fun here is a cute idea for Halloween. Well you know us... if we are going to have an advent calendar for Christmas, we better have one for Halloween too. I love the Christmas one so much more, but this is a good place to start for ideas for a Halloween one.