Thursday, September 30, 2010

Advent Calendar

 I've been thinking about this project for a long time.  Implimentation has been my problem.  In my family everyone loves A Muppet Christmas Carol (and A Muppet Family Christmas and a Muppet...) and we often sing the song about "Sleeps til Christmas".  I knew what the background would look like and I had a pretty good idea what the sides of the blocks would look like.  What I couldn't figure out was how to make the blocks.  I wanted them to be sturdier than a cardboard block but I didn't think modge podge on wooden blocks would work (I wanted each side to be exactly the same size).  So, I searched and searched.  Finally, I found the photo cubes.  You know the ones I mean, they were all the rage in the '70's.  Anyway, they were 3.5 inches and perfectly square.  I would have preferred something 4 inch square but I haven't found that just yet.

In case you would like to make one of these yourself, I will have the numbers you need for each cube in order to make it work.

Here is another picture without the cubes. 

This shows a few of the sides of the cubes.
 and some more of the cubes.  These aren't as fancy as some of the others but when you are paper piecing items this small, it can get a little tricky.

After making this project, I thought about using this as a wonderful project to teach many different techniques.  Way until you see all the ones I used and think of the additional ones you could add.  I didn't do any heat embossing on this version (I think I will the next time). 

This is my favorite side of the cube:
 Don't you love the snowflake design on the background paper?  I used the Cuttlebug Snowflake Embossing Folder. 
 I used flocking on the pompom and cuff of the hat.  Doesn't it look fun?

And this is my least favorite
I'm taking a stamping class soon.  I'm hoping that might help.  The trees were embossed on the bottom and then I lightly ran a pine green stamp over them.  It feels too linear and not quite put together.  I liked the Burgandy Stickles on the holly berries.  I tried stickling the leaves also but it was just too much. 

 My all time favorite Cricut cart is A Child's Year.  I think this one is simple but elegant.  I used the Cuttlebug Holly Embossing Folder for the base.  Then I added one piece of bling -- the star.

 I like the way the nutcracker and reindeer came out.  Again, I dry embossed using my Cuttlebug.  The paper piecing on the nutcracker was... challenging.  I ended up inking the eyes and the mouth because I couldn't figure out an alternative way of doing it.  The reindeer had to be cut twice because there are no layers to that cut and I REALLY wanted him to have golden antlers.

I really like this snowflake.  The embossing is the same as the one I used behind the Santa hat.

The last ones have paper piecing and inking only.  Given the complexity of the designs, I didn't think they needed a lot of additional work (or maybe I was just getting tired). 

I hope you like my advent calendar.  I'm thinking about designing a new one using only SVG's.  No carts at all.  What do you think?


Jen79 said...

Your designs are so cute... I love them all so far. The advent calendar is gorgeous, and hopefully you don't go all SCAL as I don't have it and can't justify it yet as I only just got a Cricut Expression and Gypsy so need to really explore the basics first I think... Thanks so much for sharing, your ideas are lovely.

jillangel said...

How incredibly cool! I love all the details. You did a wonderful job. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

You go girl!!! how wonderful it looks. Love all the elements. And for those of us with the Scal program, go for it!!!! Thanks for sharing with us.

Diane said...

This is a wonderful Advent calendar - what a cute idea for a countdown. Hmmm, I wonder if I have any of those photo cubes around!

Grace Baxter said...

I like so many of them it's hard to pick a favourite. The deer and snowflake are probably my faves.

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