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December 1st - Advent Calendar begins today - YAAAAAAAAAY
Submitted by Pam on Mon, 12/01/2008 - 14:31
Here it is! The inspiration for the advent calendar I made my children 35 years ago. Another "must make" I saved from Mom's holiday magazines. This one I am almost sure was from McCalls.
And here is the last surviving ornament from the original set I made. My very crafty daughter Diane and I made new ones when she was in high school, and I tossed out the old felt ones. But she managed to retrieve one from the waste basket!
Actually, the felt cut-outs were very quick and simple to make, and much easier on the budget of a young family than buying a set similar to the ones in that McCall's clipping. And, since felt sticks to itself, these little ornaments were perfect for little hands to attach to the calendar. I used simple shapes, many traced from cookie cutters. Sequins were all I had on hand, so that was what I used to decorate them - that and a bottle of good old Elmers glue.
Advent calendars have had a special place in my heart since I was a young girl and my Grandpa Ralph sent me a trifold cardboard German advent calendar. The tradition of advent calendars began in Germany in the mid 1800's, and by the early 1900's the Germans were printing paper advent calendars. Take a minute and visit this Advent Calendar Museum to see some amazing vintage German advent calendars.
This is my favorite from our new batch of ornaments. It took Diane most of the day to stitch all these beads into place. I always put it on the tree on December 1st.
We let our imaginations run free with these......Don't you just love the googley eyes she put on Santa and his elf? The doll is supposed to be a portrait of my little sister, who has beautiful long red hair.
These are more of Diane's handiwork. Think about how long it took her to cut out and mount all the tiny flowers on the wreath! And that gingerbread house was no picnic either!
Because we spent several lovely days crafting with beads and wire earlier in the year, I made a few little ornaments to remember those special times.
Here is the entire calendar! (I put every one back in the pockets after I took the photo - I promise.)
The snowy white creature in the middle is my version of Bumbles from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindee. And the angel at the top is part of a collection of little yarn dolls I have had in my collection since the early 70's. (Diane recently did a tutorial for something similar.)
A note about attaching the ornaments: We glued velcro dots randomly over the tree and to the backs of the ornaments. It's a good idea to place the dots near the top of each ornament so it hangs without falling forward - which they will do if the dot is placed at the center.
I also glued Velcro dots to the backs of these little green bows, which cover the dots so they don't show. When I place an ornament on the tree, I put the bow back in the pocket. (I noticed last year, after Diane posted about her own calendar (the original), some commenters were concerned about the velcro showing. So I thought I would offer that little tip.)
(By the way, if you prefer, you can always use this this online advent calendar instead!)
I am so happy to see so much renewed interest in advent calendars, and so many new ways to make them. Happy 24 days until Christmas!