Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Advent Calendar...it's finally finished!

I can't believe that I finally finished our Advent calendar...at the halfway mark I wasn't sure I was ever going to be done.  This post is LONG and has LOTS of pictures, so be prepared!  

I had a lot of fun working on this calendar, but I'm not going to lie to you and say that it came together quickly.  Parts of it came together REALLY fast, but other parts took a bit longer.  I worked on it on and off for about 3 weeks...I should have kept better track of my time, but I would guess that I spent approximately 15-20 hours on it.  (Part of that time was spent trying to figure out what images to use...I tend to be a bit indecisive.  Also, one draw back of the Silhouette Design Studio for me is that I tend to take a lot of "internet breaks.")
I had a hard time deciding whether or not I wanted to use all drawers or all boxes, but then I saw Tania Willis' calendar and she used a combination of both.  There's no rule that you have to use one or the other, so I went through and decided that there were definitely a few boxes that I didn't like very much.  I then just tried to space out the drawers evenly, so I would get a balanced look.  One big tip that I have for you - don't try and work numerically.  I started off making box #1 and planned on going through each in order, but I quickly figured out that I needed to start working by color and/or patterned paper.  For example, I made all of the pink boxes at one time...that way I didn't end up with two pink boxes right next to eachother.
I also probably could have saved myself a little time by using chipboard or sticker numbers instead of cutting out each of the numbers 5 times to create faux-chipboard.  I looked for chipboard numbers that I liked, but in the end it would have been too expensive to buy enough sets...plus, I changed the size and font of the numbers based on what I was placing on the box.
I'm sure you're not exactly shocked that I incorporated kraft cardstock in the project.  I love it and I feel like it provides a nice neutral for all of the bright colors I used.
I REALLY wanted to use this star shaped box, but I had a bit of trouble with it.  To cover up the fact that the top of the box isn't as perfect as I'd like it to be, I used a little baker's twine around the edge.  I also pretty much stole borrowed the layout of this box from Tania Willis' calendar.
I think this box may be my favorite.  I used three colors of baker's twine to create the little braided string for my mittens.  
I had a hard time deciding what to use for drawer number 18...it's fairly large, so I needed something that would fill the space.  I was thinking of using a sleigh, but decided on colorful snowy houses instead.
I also really like this little snowman.  I used white pigment ink and a q-tip of all things to create my falling snow and the snow on the ground.
Materials Used:
  • Silhouette Limited Edition Advent Calendar
  • Patterned Paper: Doodlebug Designs Santa's Workshop Collection
  • Solid Cardstock:
    • Bazzill Basics Paper: Avalanche, Chablis, Grenadine, and Parakeet
    • Turquoise - DCWV Textured Cardstock Bright Stack
    • Kraft Cardstock - Michael's Recollections Brand
  • Glitter:
    • Martha Stewart Glitter Glue: Garnet, Peridot, Tourmaline, Yellow Barite
    • Stickles: Diamond Dust
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Walnut Stain
  • Baker's Twine - Scrappy Moms Stamps: Maraschino, Blossom, Honeydew, Carribean & Pink Sorbet
  • Assorted 3/8" Ribbon - Michael's
  • Die Cuts - Silhouette Online Store (Mostly Lori Whitlock files because #1 I think they are adorable and #2 a lot of her holiday shapes are sold in sets of 5 or 6 shapes, so it's also cost effective.)
  • Embellishments
    • Assorted Adhesive Glitter Dots: pink, gold, white & red - Michael's Recollections brand
    • Clear Adhesive Gems
    • Candy "stickers" - Jolee's Brand (I added the glitter to them using Stickles.)
  • Adhesives:
    • Red Tape - Recollections Brand (I used this for all of the boxes and drawers.  I wanted adhesive that would really last, so I can use this again for years to come.)
    • Pop Dots
    • Martha Stewart All-Purpose Gel Adhesive
I hope you like the calendar!  I am finishing up filling it with a few little goodies.  I picked up a few little surprises for my little one, but the majority of the calendar will be filled with activities that we can do...watch a Christmas movie, drive around to look at Christmas lights, bake Christmas cookies - that sort of thing. 


Kate said...

Wow this is absolutely Beautiful. I just love the colors that you used. It's just breathtaking.


Christine said...

I really really love it. All the time you put into it really shows. I really love the mitten box and the little houses.

Mindy said...

Holy Cow !!! This is amazing. All the images and cutting and putting together and deciding which papers to use for which box.... way overwhelming for my poor little brain ! It really came out awesome !

jessica said...

OMG!! This is FABULOUS!!!
You did an awesome job!!

Donna said...

This is beautiful! I should start one now, for next year.

Rachel said...

This is gorgeous! I love the braided twine too!

Angelica - Market Street Stamps said...

SO gorgeous, Lauren!! I was indecisive about purchasing it and waited. Unfortunately mine won't be here until Wednesday, but I do plan to take my time so even if they have to open a few boxes at once, I Hope it will be half as amazing as this is!! You rock, girlie!!!

buglvr2010 said...

This is so so beautiful! I want to get one now! It's just amazing!

Jens Craft Corner said...

Oh Lauren, your Advent calendar is absolutely beautiful. You always do such beautiful work. Enjoy your calendar. You did such a nice job with it. I'm sure it took a long time to make, but it was so worth it. Just beautiful!

Kristin said...

Wow!! So beautiful, this should be in a magazine!!

Ro said...

This is beautiful!! The star box came out so sweet. Actually everything did. You have inspired me to make my own. But for next year!! =)

Jenny said...

Lauren, you are so amazingly talented! I cannot believe the amount of inspiration you provide ...it's scary, LOL!

What is/where did you find the white holder? Is it wood?


Laura said...

This is flippin' amazing!!!!!! ♥ x infinity!!!

Lezlye said...

Love this Lauren! I want to make one too! But I have to wait for my cameo to get here!

Diane Hodrick said...

This is absolutely gorgeous. Well worth the effort I would say. Just amazing!

Joann said...

This is amazing, I love EVERYTHING about it! I can not stop looking at it! Thanks for sharing this with us!

Erica said...

Hooooooooooooly crap that is insanely great-looking. I haven't even managed to PURCHASE an advent calendar.

mandalj said...

Such patience you must have, and what a beautiful result! I love it and you must be so proud of yourself!

HappyPlaceJen said...

This is just awe-inspiring. AMAZING job, Lauren!!!!!! ~Jen http://happyplaceforjen.blogspot.com/

- said...

Love it. Sooo pretty!!


Jen N said...

OMG Lauren, I LOVE it! You did a great job! Wanna do one for me?
jenny dot naus at yahoo dot com

Ruth said...

OMGosh!! This is absolutely beautiful. I LOVE it.

Pat N. said...

Wow, I know that was a lot of hard work, but your end result is absolutely awesome! What a fantastic advent calendar.--Pat N.

Debican said...

I can tell you put a lot of work and time into this. It's so, so pretty. I really like it a lot. I think you will enjoy it for years to come. Hugs, Debi

joeygirl86 said...

Wow!!! This came out AMAZING! I can see all the hard work you put into this! Lots of love and time too! :) Great job..I love everything about it, especially all the different sized boxes..soo cute, i want one! :)

~Molly~ said...

AMAZEBALLS!!! This is gorgeous!!!

Teri said...

This is amazing. So much detail. Thanks a million for posting.
Happy Holidays to all!

moknowsall said...

Absolutely priceless!!! wow is all I can say. I want one..


bonnie said...

This is amazing Lauren...fabulous lil' boxes and I love the cook colours...adorable! ;) Hugs x

SaraBug said...

WOW, This is awesome. I just love everything, the colors ,the shapes the details. It must have been so fun to make. I sure your daughter will have so much fun every day opening a box or drawer.

liz at liz's paper loft said...

this is just darling! I made one for tomorrow, no where as cute as yours!!!!

Patty said...

Lauren, this came out absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I appreciate the time you took to post all your tips. Mine Advent Calendar is set to arrive on Friday and I feel more prepared after reading your post! :)

GiGi said...

This is AMAZING! I just love everything about it!

Live Love and Scrap said...

GASP MISS LAUREN!!!! I cant even find the words!!! This project is STUNNING!!! You should be VERY PROUD of it!!! I think my favorite is the mittens too with that PERFECT braid OMGeeeee!!!



Erica said...

Don't know if you saw, but you're getting some love over on my post too...

Tracy said...

Just beautiful!! What a project!!


Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elaine said...

The advent calendar is just fabulous!! So much to look at

Love it

Scrappy Moms Stamps said...

OMGosh, Lauren - IT'S BEAUTIFUL! Seriously, you did a fabulous job - the colors and images are perfect! I'm sure you all will treasure it for years to come! :D

- Mel