Friday, December 17, 2010
Hi everyone! :o) It’s Kylie here with some more seasonal inspiration!
For me, the countdown to a special event is always full of anticipation and much excitement. And let’s face it; a big build-up nearly always makes the day seem even more wonderful when it finally arrives! A lovely holiday tradition is counting down the days with an Advent Calendar. I’ve always loved them! When I was young, my Mum would often buy one. It would be a beautiful picture on a piece of letter sized cardboard – sometimes Santa Claus, sometimes a Christmas tree, sometimes a Nativity scene. And there it would sit on our refrigerator with all its little numbered windows sitting, waiting, and ready to reveal a cute little Christmas picture underneath. And it always had glitter – glitter was a must! We all took turns to open a window each day, and if you were lucky enough that the 25th came around on your turn – well that was always the best picture!! When I look around today, there are so many different styles of Advent Calenders to choose from – and many have little gifts, like chocolates, included or even spaces to put your own small gifts – kind of like hidden treasure! – and all so much FUN!!
This year I decided to make my own calendars. I recently spotted this Advent ‘beyond the page’ Project from Kaisercraft – found HERE - and knew that I HAD to make one. I will be showing you today the one I made for my nieces as a Christmas present. I also made it double as a ‘creative’ Christmas card! And although it will be too late for the girls to use this year, it will be all ready to go for next December.
I used the adorable sugarplum dreams kit and the NEW sugarplum ADDITIONS from the Shabby Shoppe to decorate the cute MDF advent calendar. I basically followed all the Kaisercraft instructions and added a few ‘Kylie’ touches too! That’s the great thing about hybrid projects – you can always create something that is unique – use any papers, any trims, and all the crafty bits and pieces you want. Here are some details about how I used the Shabby Shoppe products for this project:
Each individual drawer is covered with almost all the sugarplum dreams papers.
I crafted a small 8”x8” scrapbook page to attach to the calendar center frame. This is my “Christmas card” to the girls. And being just that, I couldn’t help but choose a 5×5 Holiday Card from this year’s Shabby Shoppe Holiday Cards Vol 5 – PERFECT! I popped a favorite photo of the girls in one opening, a layer of pink sugarplum dreams notepaper as a background, added my message and then embellished the page with a couple of pieces from the NEW holiday gift tags Vol 1 – too EASY!!! Now that’s what I call speed scrapping! :o) I printed it out on satin-finish photo paper and decorated the edge with some pretty ric-rac.
To add a little more fun to the advent calendar, I made my own ‘free standing diorama’ using the new graphics from the sugarplum ADDITIONS. I chose all the pretty rub-ons I wanted, reduced them in size and printed them on some more photo paper. After trimming, I used some craft wood and little 3D dots to build up my scene.
But I couldn’t stop there – (whatever happened to keeping it simple and ‘less is more’, huh?…well, that went out the window as soon as my glitter and glue came out!! LOL!!) – So I made up some strands of peppermint garland with some sugarplum dreams peppermint graphics I cut out, and a length of pink ribbon, and attached it to the top of the calendar frame.
Here are some more pics of this super fun and definitely festive hybrid project.
Well, I ‘pulled out all stops’ for the girls with their Advent Calendar, so now I’ll show you what I made up just for me – kind of a reminder and little tribute to all my childhood Advent Calendars. In Photoshop, I created two PSD files – one for the little picture layers (‘underneath’ page) and the other for the numbered windows (cover page). I made the work area of both files the size of a standard A4 sheet (close to a standard 8.5″x11″ letter size). You can choose whatever size you like – it really all depends on the size of paper you want to print on. Tip: to get each window box to align, create all the boxes in one PSD file, select them together and duplicate all at once to the other PSD file. That way they will be in exactly the same position.
I then printed the ‘underneath’ page on plain paper and the cover page on my satin-finish photo paper. For the cover page – using a craft knife or a perforating blade cut the top, bottom and right-hand side of each little box. Score the left-hand side of each box for easy folding. For the ‘underneath’ page – attach thin strips of double-sided tape in between each row of windows and around the edge of the paper. Carefully, stick the back of the cover page to the ‘underneath’ page, making sure all sides are aligned. For a final touch I used pinking shears to cut the edges in a zig zag fashion and then mounted the calendar to a sheet of cardstock. Here is my finished refrigerator Advent Calendar that I have been using to count down the days!!
To stick my newly created Advent Calendar to my refrigerator, I recycled an old promotional fridge magnet. This is such a quick and easy project – it literally took 10 minutes! I chose a small square of sugarplum dreams plaid paper and a pretty circle holiday gift tag (I love using these pre-layered tags as embellishments – the hard work is already done!) and printed, trimmed and attached them to the magnet with double-sided tape and a 3D dot. I used my trusty pinking shears again to trim each side and added a stick-on gem and some glitter.
Thanks so much for taking a look at my take on Advent Calendars! And remember these hybrid ideas can be applied to any occasion and/or theme. Counting down each day until a wedding, a milestone birthday, a family celebration, starting school, etc. arrives, will add a new dimension to ‘waiting’! Getting to open up a drawer and discovering a little gift or opening a little paper window to see what’s waiting behind (a picture, a message, or both) can be used as a fun way to reward children, too. So many possibilities!!
Wishing you all a wonderful, wonderful weekend! :o) And, please do not miss Lu’s YUMMY blog post directly below, complete with free recipe card (yep, TWO posts in ONE day)! SP will be back tomorrow to share the BLOG’s holiday schedule!