2020 Advent Calendar

Hello my friends! I wasn’t sure if I would be able to add a post this month because my blog got hacked a few weeks ago, rerouting my site to dubious-looking websites of the spammy, identity-theft sort. My techie husband stepped up, however, and tackled the problem, and for now things seem to be back in order. So here I am, on the last day of November with a little update.

How are you? I spent the last four days of the Thanksgiving weekend relaxing and working at a snail’s pace on the project you see above. Yep, the annual Advent Calendar.

I returned to my neutral roots after the colorful calendar of last year. Because we’ve been fully quarantined yet again with the rise of COVID cases, I wanted to add some extra-ness this year, and decided to bend my normal rules of using mostly what I have on hand. I sketched out a design, then ordered faux foliage and large wooden beads and some kitchen twine. I think the fake leaves are pretty convincing from a distance — what do you think? Am I deluding myself? No matter, it looks pretty to me and I know that K will love it (she hasn’t seen it yet as I write this). A couple of my fingers are sporting burn wounds from my enthusiastic hot glue gunning of the greenery, but the effort was well worth it. Hmmm…you can see some of the dried glue strands on the leaves. Oops.

The big beads are 1″ in diameter and the smaller beads are about 3/4″ in diameter — the sizes feel just right. The little sparkly beads that are holding the wooden beads in place were a lucky find in my messy buttons container. I immediately found about half a dozen and I kept getting more and more excited as I unearthed bead after bead. Wouldn’t you know it, I found exactly 24 beads, so they were obviously meant to be.

This is the countdown part of the calendar and I wrote numbers on each bead with a grey colored pencil. The idea is to snip off one bead per day, so the numbers start at the bottom and go upward for each string. I’ll place a little container to house the snipped beads. There are some other treats to go with the calendar and ways to encourage K to give, but I’m still assembling those parts and will have them done by the end of the day, just in time for tomorrow, December 1st. If I get around to it, I’ll share all the components of the advent calendar at a later date (probably not likely, but who knows?). I feel like the main part is done, which was my ultimate goal. Simple, neutral, pretty. Ahhhh…now this is my kind of advent calendar!

Here are all the past calendars to date:









December! Are you ready for the holiday season? I’m actually looking forward to it — it will be quiet, of course, and I’ll miss gathering with family and friends, but I’m determined to make this a festive one regardless!


Advent Calendar Roundup

Around this time last year, I was puttering around a fabric store making plans for the holidays when I got a phone call from one of my clients. While I stood surrounded by mid-weight cotton, my very very part-time job suddenly transformed into a very very full-time job. Sadly, I had no idea how to balance 80-hour work weeks with family commitments and we had the most neglected holiday season ever…thankfully the job ended after 6 months.

Now that I have returned to a somewhat more balanced life, I am  determined to celebrate yuletide cheer to the fullest. And first on the list is creating an advent calendar. My last attempt at an advent calendar was in 2008 when K was 2-and-a-half – a valiant yet misguided effort using this tutorial. My matchboxes fell apart, and I painted an ugly tree the wrong way on the back so the puzzle element didn’t work out quite right.

I was, however, proud of the mini ornaments I made to fit in the little matchbox drawers. I sewed miniature felt ornaments that you see way above (there were more but have been lost over the years), and painted holiday motifs onto tiny wooden squares that are about 1.5 x 1.5 inches. These were then meant to be hung on a miniature tree that I bought at a craft store. Labor intensive, I know. I must have had a lot of time because I made three sets, two to give to friends with kids. These were the painted ornaments:

I’m looking for something much more minimal and simple this year. What do you think of these inspirational and modern advent calendars? OK, that last knitted one would require some serious effort, but it’s so darn cute…


[1]  [2]  [3]  [4]  [5]