Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Introduction and an Advent Calendar

Bonjour! I'm Kate, an American in Paris, and I blog as Mommy en France over at Two little cabbages & cie. I didn't sign up for the Crafty Christmas Club in time to be a full-fledged contributor, so I'm very thankful that Tilly so kindly set up the guest account.

I've always loved making things and over the years have played around with everything from making my own wrapping paper and cards to knitting scarves to giving people clever little packages of home baked goods. I just started sewing this year - after a 22 year break (the last time was in junior high school home economics class), so I'm looking forward to adding that to the gift mix.

At the same time, I'm trying to be realistic about my time and the circumstances of my life. I have two small children (the little cabbages, ages 3 and nearly 6), a full-time job outside the home, and I try to do my part through volunteering. For Christmas this year, I'm not going to throw myself into complicated projects (particularly as I am still grappling with a pile of UFOs from my Fall Palette Challenge). Instead, I'm focusing on smaller, more easily accomplished projects. I'll be making...

Embroidered hankerchiefs
No-sew placemats
A couple cowls using this pattern
And possible a few other knit items like washcloths/bath mitts and this necklace/cowl
Perhaps a little zip bag or two, perhaps a few vide-poche type fabric baskets

I'm also going to be making decorations with the little cabbages. We already had a go at some pine cone and vintage paper ornaments, and we'll also be making bunting and paper snowflakes and possibly some paper chains for the tree. And of course we'll be baking lots!

The project I wanted to share today is an Advent Calendar I put together for my parents. They live so far away (in the northeastern United States) and holidays are often a little bittersweet as we don't always get to spend them together. And I know it's hard for them to be so far from their grandchildren. But this year they are coming to us for Christmas, hurrah! So I made them a very special Advent Calendar that goes from 1 December to the day that my parents leave to come here. The images are all vintage pictures of Santa that I found on various clip art sites and the last image is the Eiffel Tower!

Advent collage

Making this was a "learning by doing" process, involving a lot of glue and grouching. But I am happy with the end results and will probably try to make more of this kind of thing for next year. The concept does lend itself to endless fun variations... I just had a brilliant idea for one I could do for my sister - an avid Scrabble player - using 24 two-letter words allowable in Scrabble.

Happy holiday crafting!

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