2023 Advent Calendar – The Final One

This is it, my friends. The final Advent Calendar for my not-so-little girl. Next year around this time, she’ll be somewhere on a college campus, taking exams or grabbing food from the dorm cafeteria on her way to a class. The daunting phrase is looming above me all the time lately: empty nester. I have a plethora of thoughts on that. But I won’t go into them right now.

For 11 straight years, I’ve handcrafted a different advent calendar during the month of November to set it up by the last day of the month. I can’t believe we’ve come to this point.

Mushrooms. And acorns. K has an abiding love of shrooms (strictly decorative, mind you — at least as far as I know). Since greens and browns and neutral hues are her faves, I used those as the color palette guide for these sweet wool felt “ornaments.” And yes, I embroidered each one by hand, though I machine-stitched the actual mushroom/acorn shapes. As per usual, I added a touch of gold by painting a sheet of watercolor paper and punching out little circles.

It’s a similar concept to last year’s in that each day she’ll transfer a mushroom or an acorn to the Christmas tree as part of the countdown. I used these Merchant and Mills French safety pins, which I’ve had tucked away in my sewing desk. Cute, right? They work perfectly for this set-up because the clasp part grips nicely to the twine and she can easily remove each ornament. I could have gone blingier and bigger and way over the top for the grand finale, but this simple and homespun advent calendar feels just right.

I am quite emotional right now. K and I have been working on her college applications these past few months, and she’s nearly done (only two more schools to go!). So many changes afoot, so many amazing developments.

There are a billion other things going on, but for today I just wanted to share this assortment of fungi and oaknuts. Also! I included a couple of other store-bought advent calendars with chocolates and teas to add to the fun:

Incidentally, I hand-dyed the silk fabric under the advent calendars with red onion skins — I spent a delightful day with my awesome friend Rachel, who taught me many, many ways to dye with plants. We even did some indigo dyeing! More on that later!
At any rate, for some nostalgia, here are all the advent calendars from the past:











Alright, it’s time for me to design some stuff. I’ll be back in the next couple of weeks with the annual holiday tags and other downloadable goodies!

2 thoughts on “2023 Advent Calendar – The Final One

  1. I remember when you started doing these… and your sweet girl was so much bigger than mine and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for my only to be that “old”. Now now mine is older than K was at the time! This is all to say your post made me very sentimental (and more than a little teary)! I hope you all have a wonderful last holiday season before college and lots more during and post ones too!!

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