Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent tree

Having decided to celebrate Christmas this year, I tried to recall the things that as a child gave me most joy. I loved our advent calendar. I loved opening a new set of doors each day to reveal the treat beneath. In this spirit I have created this advent tree. I got the idea of using fantails after seeing the very cute ones made by Heart Felt. I think she nailed their cuteness, in a very simple design. 

I thought the body would display a number quite clearly, and the tail could hold all sorts of booty. I then decorated them with fans of old patch work scraps and buttons. Then I stitched them all onto the tree, which I made using chain stitch. I have stuffed them with quotes from the Dalai Lama et alia, so every day there is one wise thing to meditate on.

There are a number of satisfying things about this project. The patch work scraps had been in stash for 20 years. It was like saying hello to old friends when I pulled them out of their shoe box. Every thing on this calendar was made from stash, not a single purchased item, which appeals to my sense of resourcefulness (aka stinginess).

2 other great christmas ideas I came across recently: 

1) Jenni-from-across-the-road is organising a "stay at home mum" christmas party. Why miss out because we don't work in an office? Good thinking Jenni. I'm wondering what a christmas party without booze and office affairs looks like. At least no-one will be looking for their next job in the new year.

2) Here's a fun holiday season swap that I saw on a sewing blog. The holiday season apron swap. Yes that's right. You sign up and sew an apron for someone and they send you one. Nice alternative to the decoration swap, I thought. Besides, aprons making stirling re-gifting if they end up a wadder.


  1. Glad you enjoyed my fantail design. They are such fun birds. What a great way to celebrate Xmas with a kiwi twist. xx

  2. Marynana I really like this advent tree. I was wondering actually if you could put excerpts from your article - the zen of sewing or whatever you called it on your blog please. Kind of like in installments?? Just a suggestions but I found myself thinking about your article and was inspired to read it in bits so as to ponder on. Also Miri if you are reading this at anytime could you let me know if the parcel arrived or not. Thanks

  3. This advent tree with fantails is like walking in the bush in the summer- all the fantails with their flit-flit-flitting all around you as you walk.

    I can scarcely bear to tell you about our advent calender...from the warehouse...with chocolate under every window. No philosphy, no re-use, a plastic wrapper that will be thrown away. Oh the shame of it, the shame of it (gnashing of teeth, wailing, tearing-out-of-hair with remorse).

    They're fun tho.

  4. We have the regular in-your-window calendars for both boys...gotta get them out for tomorrow a.m.!

    We also have an advent angel that I made years ago, made of white fleece, carrying a small bundle (golden fleece with white) to indicate the sacred baby. There are four silver stars getting progressively lower down, and for each week angel and baby hover below the star. On XMas day, angel is quite low, and baby is on the earth (our nature table window sill) surrounded by our collection of wooden animals. Will try to take a picture and post it...the explanation sounds complicated and really it's so simple. Designed when my first was tiny and broad brushstrokes were better than a daily update!
    And I finally added your link to my Favorite Stops on my blog, since I am now a dedicated reader. Kept meaning to do it!

  5. That is one of the lovliest things I've ever seen. You would get along with my non-blogging friend, Mary, who's gorgeous craft makes me swoon and faint most days.

  6. You finished! You're such a whiz. It's really beautiful. Perfect combination of colours, delicacy and quirkiness.