adventures in advents

December 3, 2009 at 12:24 am (christmas, craftiness n' colors, holiday, pieces of me)

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.”

-Harlan Miller
Advent calendars have been on my mind a lot. Seriously. I’ve been thinking about them since I saw this one on Sew Mama Sew back in – um – July. No joke. Ask Kendall. I sent her the link.
This beauty has also been lurking in the corners of my mind – and it was posted on Pink Chalk Studio back in December of 2008. . .
*sigh* They’re so pretty. . .
But lets be realistic here, even if I HAD the time for a QUILTED project like those (and there is no way in H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEY-STICKS that I do) I still would be faced with the dilemma that, yeah, I don’t know how to sew. Sure, I’ve DONE it before, but I totally suck at it. I wouldn’t be considered even a moderately decent seamstress by the kindest of souls. I can’t sew a straight line (well, I have problems with those no matter the medium – its my free spirit, I’m sure ). But these! These beauties look like someone put serious time into them, not to mention God-given talent. Tutorial or not, I just don’t think I can swing it. But it makes me sad.  Cuz’ I really WANTED one! I’ve always wanted one, and I don’t remember ever having one as a kid (sorry if I’m misremembering, mom). They just look like they’d be so much fun!
So, I checked out the shops. But the ones I saw there were either waaaaaay to expensive or just. . .not fabulous. So I figured I’d have to wait another year. Maybe between this Christmas and the Christmas after I could find a way to butcher my way into sewing an advent calendar of my very own. Then I remembered that I’m pregnant. And due in April. Well. . . phooey. Even in a year, with a new little infant to nurse and everything else that I do in a day – let’s be realistic here. I’m lazy, and busy, and it won’t happen – even in the 4 months I’ll have left between Christmas and April. It just won’t! This is a project that could possibly take me years to complete. *sigh*
And so I resigned myself. . .but I was sad. T would REALLY love one, I’m sure. She’s at the perfect age to start Christmas fun of this sort. And aside from that, we’re going to be learning about the days of the week and calendars starting in January, and what better introduction than a calendar that you get daily prizes from!?? Still, the end of November was upon us, and I had yet to find or create an advent calendar. . .
But on November 30th, I got all upset about it. Cuz’ . . . I just did. So I decided to make one of my own. And I did.
It is by no means perfectly done. . .
It was super-cheap, done entirely with stuff I randomly had around the house at the time. . .
I didn’t bother to measure. Anything. And we all know I can’t do straight lines to save my life.
Totally spontaneous, and created sans pattern using nothing but scissors and hot glue. . .
But I am SO proud of myself!
Teaball really loves it, and I like it, too! The whole thing took about an hour and a half-ish. And let me tell you – I never knew until now that I am a frikkin’ DIVA with a hot glue gun! Not a single stitch sewn. . . it may not last forever, but I’ll be happy with it for this year, and hopefully the one after.
Now I’m going to break down the cost of this whimsical project. . .
1. White background felt: 36"  white felt was around $2.99/yd,
but I got it at 50% off, and used 1/2 yard - so . . . 'bout $0.75
2. Felt for pockets: 4 sheets for $1. I used 3. . .  again $0.75
3. Ribbon for pockets: I got 2 packs of Christmassy ribbon from
the dollar rack at Target, and had EXACTLY enough. . .$2.00
4. Big pocket: This was a hand-towel that I got from the dollar
store, cuz' T was infatuated with it. . . $1
5. The blue edging ribbon I have had around since T's birthday
party. I wanna say it was 2 rolls for $1, but I didn't have a
whole roll.  I'll say $0.25
6. Hot glue can be bought here at the dollar store, and I used
about a half of a pack . . . $0.50
7. The dowel rod came with the house, so free for me.But I've gotten
them for around .25 in craft stores before . . . .$.025
8. Glitter fabric paint: I bought this 4 oz bottle years ago for
something like $3. I've used it countless times, and it still is
more than half-full. I have no idea! I'll randomly assign it $0.50 ?!?

Grand total: $6.oo and about an hour and a half of my time. 
I’d say it was well-spent. It may not be as perfectly nice as the ones I wanted, but it will do nicely until I get there. I also think its nicer than what I saw in the stores for a similar price – even if the lines don’t quite. . .ahm. . .line up perfectly! Plus, it matches my blue, silver, and white Christmas theme! Hooray for advent calendars – I’m so excited to finally have one!
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