Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Calendar

Part B of my day inspired by Karaimame: an advent calendar! For a couple of years now we've had some pretty frustrating mishaps with our paper advent calendars. This is mainly due to the fact that the cats are very curious about these standing papery things which, in their opinions, are perfect things to play with or sleep on. Every day they would be knocked down, dismantled or squished in new and interesting ways. In fact, I was so fed up with it that I wasn't planning to do one this year at all.

Oh, but then I saw Karaimame's post about her advent calendar and my brain yelled, 'Brilliant!' It was way up high where the cats couldn't reach it. It was cute. It could be made to incorporate things both from Christmas and from Pancha Ganapati, which commercially made advent calendars don't do. Perfect! I got so excited! But I wasn't sure what to do, I only had one day! So then I started looking around for really fast ideas and found this calendar at Coffee and Vanilla.
First: There was already a piece of picture wire stretched across part of my living room wall, complete with clothespins. It is A-chan's "art gallery" where we display pieces of art and crafts that she has created recently. Packing away her art took only a few minutes and then I could get down to business. I found a piece of scrapbook paper in my collection with a Christmas theme and cut out bits to tape to the clothespins.

Next: What to wrap? One thing that I have learned is to keep a stock of new things - small toys, crafts and candy - on hand at all times. This is incredibly useful when A-chan has to go to class with me or when we go to a convention, and it proved to be great for advent calendars too! I grabbed some things from 'the stash' and wrapped them up. At the best of times my gift wrapping ability is less than stellar and this time I was in a hurry, so they are wrapped very messily!

Then: I cut 25 lengths of yarn, taped them to the back of the packages and then taped them to the numbered circles. Pancha Ganapati is celebrated by colors and to incorporate that I made all of the colored circles go in order for the holiday. Yellow, blue, red, green and then orange. First I cut out all the circles from craft paper, then arranged them in the color order before writing the numbers. They are hung up randomly on the line, but when A-chan opens them they will follow the color pattern. The randomness makes for a very colorful but somewhat chaotic display!
It's pretty rough - my numbers are handwritten and they don't look very pretty. But overall I am totally delighted with it! And so was A-chan. It was a big surprise and she had huge eyes when she first saw it :) Making the advent calendar was fun and it made me so happy, what a fantastic inspiration!!

p.s. whoa. I meant to just post pictures, lol! But I was so excited that I started writing...and wrote a lot. I'm not sure if I will keep this post here, it seems kind of strange because it's not about bentos or food.


karaimame said...

It is such a great idea to combine the two festivities in the advent calendar! The colors of Pancha Ganapati are so vibrant, bringing so much light to the dark and cold december :)
A-chan´s art gallery seemed the best place to support the AC being far enough from the felines ^_^.

megan said...

great post - bento-makers are generally a creative lot, so i can't speak for everyone, but i certainly enjoyed reading about your creative process on this project, and i bet other bento folks did too.

plus, your enthusiasm is infectious ;-)

OhayoBento said...

It's fantastic! I love all of the different shapes and colors, it looks like so much fun! You and Karaimame are making me sad I didn't make one :) Guess I know what I'm doing next year!

Margot said...

Beautiful!! I'm so happy to see that... Thank you for visiting my blog :)

Natakiya said...

I am loving the advent calendar and so is A-chan, thank you Karaimame! Surprisingly none of the cats have tried to grab the dangling circles yet.

Natakiya said...

Yay! Thanks, Megan! :D

Natakiya said...

Thanks so much, OhayoBento!! It's strange - I didn't know how much I wanted one until I saw Karaimame's. You should definitely do one next year, it's fun :)

Natakiya said...

Thank you, Margo! I've been enjoying your blog :)