advent calendar 2014

Last year, because we moved, there was no advent calendar (with activities) planned for my boys. It made me sad, I think it made them a little disappointed. Last month, they both asked me (at two different moments)  if there would be an advent calendar this year. My heart skipped a beat, since I thought they wouldn't be interested at all anymore. But, they were ! So, while making for the shop, while planning Christmas gifts, and all the rest, I managed to make it happen.

But this year, I had to adapt it a little because

  1. my sons are older now (over 12 & 10)
  2. my eldest has busier days in the week (compared to last year)

So, on busy days of the week (Tuesday & Thursday), they will have a sweet treat (organic when I could find them) And because of this new fact (there were no sweet treats in the previous advent calendars), I couldn't use the calendar I had made 6 years ago (you can see it here, and it was included in the book "Count Down Calendars : 24 stitched projects to celebrate any day"), simply because of the size !! So I had to make something new this year, but I didn't want to make something that we would have had to throw away (= paper), so I thought about making 24 little bags. That's what I made, last Friday between 5 & 7 pm. I cut 24 long rectangles, handstamped them with number stamps & a stamp I carved recently, machine sewed them, & pressed them. It was faster than I thought. It was much more time consumer & head scratching inducer to find activities ! It took a little of imagination, a lot of planning, but I'm here, on November 30th, with the advent calendar ready to go, with sweet treats in 6 little bags, and activities (baking, crafting & more) in the other 18 bags.

I displayed the small bags in two separate wire baskets, then add fairy lights & a cute Santa for good measure. I used red/white ribbons from my stash to tie all the bags.

A piece of fabric, two stamps + an (textile) ink pad, and ribbons, that's all it took. I am quite proud of myself (humbly said !!) to have managed my time properly for making time to plan everything, to make the bags & to have it up in time !

It's no big surprise that the first activity will be putting the tree up ! I'm sure you all want to know what are the others, so here is the list !

  1. putting the tree up
  2. sweet treat
  3. 3 Dimensional paper tree
  4. sweet treat
  5. drinking hot cocoa with marshmallows
  6. going to the (nearby) musuem for a fun exhibit
  7. making paper window decorations (not snowflakes !)
  8. watching "The Tailor of Gloucester" (watch it here) & "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown !"
  9. sweet treat
  10. making speculoos mousse dessert
  11. sweet treat
  12. play with Playmaïs (100% biodegradable craft material)
  13. making recycled paper
  14. going to the cinema watch "The Hobbit 3"
  15. metal (simple sheets) embossing activity
  16. sweet treat
  17. baking biscuits (sugar cookies)
  18. sweet treat
  19. watching (Sherlock Holmes) "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" (watch it here)
  20. making chocolate lollipops (some will be gifted to family)
  21. going to the cinema with their two grandmas to watch "The Nutcracker" ballet, live from Moscow Bolchoi (yes, ballet !)
  22. making a 3D tree by folding an old book
  23. nails & wire activity
  24. making chocolate truffles

These were made during previous advent calendars, and are now on display around the current calendar. Sweet memories of time past.

I will be posting either photos from our activities, or the movies we've watched, or Christmas songs during the month of December.