Saturday, January 11, 2014

Advent Wrap-up

This is a little overdue, but I wanted to share our traditional Advent countdown. Once again, I tried to keep my daughter crafting throughout the Christmas season. As I mentioned here, I whipped together a quick advent calendar of craft projects, including the elf ornaments above.

With 24 craft projects, I thought I had boredom under control and excitement in store. But this year, some were hits and some were misses! My daughter has moved on from my scheduled craft projects to doing her own thing. She's so quick to say, "Daddy, is that a coffee filter? I'm going to do a project with that!" (He's thrilled!) For the first few days, I was about 0 for 5. 

I started off our craftraganza, by making some decorations for Maddie's room. When we moved, Maddie got to pick out the paint color of her room and surprisingly, she chose Pepto Bismal Pink. It actually does look really cute and she seriously loves it. It looked a little jarring with any of our traditional red and green Christmas decorations, so I figured that she needed something new. I started off with the idea to keep her Christmas decorations whites, muted greens and pinks. The music box above is something that her Grandmother bought for her first Christmas in Germany, and it set our tone for Christmas with nightly rituals of listening and singing along. Surrounding her bed, I plotted out a Christmas tree forest, inspired mostly by the Charlie Brown Christmas tree lot. White trees that I drew on packing paper and we cut out together. Then I gave Maddie a pack of price tag stickers that I found at Target. She decorated in her very typical OCD way (I'm quite sure you can tell which ones I was allowed to do.) When she opened that pack of stickers, she was pretty thrilled with the first day of her Advent calendar. It deteriorated from there.

The stickers were a hit. Decorated the trees was awesome.   Hanging them up was apparently torturous. She did not want anything on her walls because then there would be no room for her valentines. I kid you not. I basically went all Grinch on her and hung them up anyway. She got teary eyed the second night they were up. She has since refused to take them down.

Our next two projects were to give Maddie a Christmas tree for her village. I was planning to make this Christmas tree to keep with the color scheme, but Maddie likes primary colors more. (By the way, that book leaning against the wall is the "bookstore". We also made a wreath out of a feather boa and a wire hanger. Easy peasy and also apparently torturous.

Then we started to fall in love with crafting all over again.
Most of our projects this year were some great Pinterest finds. These were Maddie's favorites -- the ones that she got very excited to do. From left to right, top to bottom:  Maddie coloring an ornament, snowflake ornaments, edible Christmas trees, snowflake window clings, pipecleaner garlands that apparently were better as a necklace, global warming snow globes (Maddie didn't want to put any snow in hers!), a gingerbread house that would last inspired by this large scale version (this is so typically Maddie. She loves decorating any box into a house!), the borax snowflakes up close, and a playmat of the North Pole (it's actually Elf-correct with a Candy Cane forest and a sea of swirly twirly gum drops).

This is one of my favorites: Borax snowflakes. So cool to watch crystalize over the course of the day. 

And fantastic for our mobile. We also made these candy trees (which I'm really hoping that I can somehow save until next year??)

As you can probably tell from the many links throughout this blog, this season I was not at my creative best. My lack of creativity may have been a product of a long hard fall. Or maybe it was the fact that I remembered the whole thing on November 29. But regardless of the amount of time I put into doing craft projects over the season, it just magically makes everything so much more Christmassy. Not just making decorations but the process of counting down, building in more quality time during a normally busy time, and handmaking something that will someday mean a lot more than the Popsicle sticks you made it with. 

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