Christmas is coming! It does seem to come around fast with a toddler in toe!
I love Christmas. It’s one of my ‘things’. I had fairly non-eventful Christmas’s growing up, Mum always worked and I have no siblings so it was just me, Dad and Nana on Christmas day. We always had a pleasant time but I have felt like I’ve missed out on something. I certainly didn’t have an advent calendar when I was a kiddo! (It’s official then, I was deprived!)
Toddler M is fast approaching 2. It has been an amazing ride, his learning seems almost tangible and it still boggles my mind the rapid change in just 21 months, it seems the perfect year to introduce him to the start of a family tradition – the Advent Calendar.
I have been compiling ideas and inspiration from other people’s creations for some time. I couldn’t find exactly what I was aiming for but there were a couple of things I was able to narrow down:
– Fabric was to be my chosen medium
– Count up the days (1-24) not count down (24-1)
– Same sized pockets
– Mixture of zipper pockets, button pockets and plain pockets
Here is what I came up with in the end, I’m happy with the final result and have started the Calender for the soon to be girl. I’m excited about the ‘girl’ version, a whole new world of trims and embellishments has been opened up to me. Sparkly, lacy, frilly – here I come!
For the back, I quilted some simple squares together from most of the left over fabric of the front pockets plus a couple of extra scraps I had on hand. You don’t have to do a quilted back of course, but it can be a good way to use up scraps. This post by I’m Feelin’ Crafty was used as inspiration for the corner and top flaps to hang the quilt.
I made my own binding for the quilt using some more left over material from the front pockets, working with a strip size of 2 ½ inches and machine sewing it to quilt using a fancy stitch detail. Here is a great youtube video showing you exactly what to do.
If you do happen to make a Bubbles Before Bath Time Advent Calender, please email through a pic to email@example.com I would love to see it!
I had always found felt a rather boring craft medium… and then I became a Mum and the world of felt opened up before my very eyes. I have to eat my words as I say ‘FELT IS AWESOME!’ (Yep, this is what your life amounts to when you become a crafty Mum, you’re excited by the idea of FELT, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!)
Strawberries were my first food of choice for toddler M’s play food assortment and why stop at one when you can have a whole punnet (20 hours or crafting later…)!
I followed this picture tutorial as a rough guide, making my own little adjustments along the way.
I think toddler M likes them, he’s been throwing them around the lounge room all afternoon!
……. I confess and luckily my husband doesn’t mind!
I turn 30 in a couple of weeks. It is one of those age milestones we are all cliqued to feel nervous about as the programmed mantra of ‘Good bye glorious 20’s, hello old age!’ inevitably runs through ones head. Seriously though, it either hasn’t sunk in yet or I just don’t mind as my thoughts of turning 30 aren’t wrapped with anxiety nor am I desperately clutching onto the straws of my youth. So mid life crisis is averted for now.
Hmmmm…. I wonder if I will be able to say the same about turning 40 (probably not!).
So back to Otsukaya! In celebration of this milestone my husband arranged a trip to Japan incorporating a cruise around other parts of Asia. I was the most excited about stepping onto the shores of Japan, the country responsible for some of my favourite handicrafts such as Japanese block printing and amigurumi (the crochet of small stuffed toys). In my recent fabric obsession, I have found myself drooling over Japanese fabrics while simultaneously gawking at the price!
After a quick google search I found this blog post by felt cafe Japan who provided step-by-step instructions with photos on how to find ones way to Otsukaya, a 5 story fabric shop and according to the blogger perhaps the best fabric shop in Osaka. Otsukaya was now priority number one! Our absolute first stop in Japan would be dedicated to the all important cause of expanding my fabric collection (extensively)!
So off we went and despite the detailed step-by-step guide we still got lost! I take full responsibility, I was a little too excited and wasn’t paying enough attention to the map but after the small diversion I was setting foot in my dream shop. I perused all the levels first as I wanted to have a good overview of what was available before working on narrowing down the massive selection. I deduced level 1 & 3 were the levels for me.
Level 3 housed an impressive selection of traditional style Japanese fabric with countless combinations of cherry blossoms, dragons and gold fish etc. Level 1 offered a large selection of fashionable children’s fabric, Hello Kitty and other Japanese characters had their own dedicated area but it was the less commercial elephants, hippos and owls I was interested in. I fell instantly in love with the Enchino range, the colour combinations and well composed designs were irresistible.
I was able to sneak in another visit to Otsukaya on our last day while hubby took our toddler M to Hiroshima for some last minute sightseeing. I really enjoyed having a couple of solitary hours to explore this shop at a leisurely pace and select some more fabric to add to the ever expanding pile.