Friday, November 28, 2014

Gelli Printed Advent Calendar for Bonnie

I've adored Advent Calendars since I was a child. My parents would purchase a single calendar for us (4 siblings + myself) and we would alternate opening the doors each day. (I can remember one year where we were given individual calendars. Talk about feeling like a kid at Christmas!)
Some calendars are paper and the thrill is finding and opening the door with either a verse, greeting, or image. Other years, we had a CHOCOLATE calendar, where there was a piece of the waxiest, (most delicious) chocolate you can imagine. Sure, there was the thrill of getting to open that door and knowing it was all for you.... (except the time my sister raided the calendar early.) But, there was also the realization that Christmas was nearing.
When my children were small, we introduced them to Advent Calendars and I think they're hooked on them as well. Now, that they're away at college during most of December, I don't get to see their anticipation and excitement.
But, that changed this year thanks to my friend Bonnie. She jokingly calls herself, "Buzzkill Bonnie" due to her practical nature, but I think she is both practical and delightful. I think she should be renamed something like, Bold Bonnie, Big League Bonnie, or... BODACIOUS Bonnie. That's it. She's now been renamed.
Bodacious Bonnie and I were playing around doing some Gelli-prints when she threw down the gauntlet... "I'd like to see the prints used in some sort of Advent Calendar."
CHALLENGE accepted.
I gave some thought to creating an Advent Calendar using Gelli-prints and Bonnie. I contacted her to try and find a daily temptation and see how I could work it into a daily gift. It became difficult rather quickly.
I thought about using K-cups or gourmet coffee. Do you drink coffee?
Are you a tea drinker?
Good, God, Woman. What is your vice?
I should have known. Chocolate. An oldie, but goodie. It brought me back to my childhood. But, I had to create an adult version because, frankly, waxy chocolate is not as appealing as it once was.
I sought out a good chocolate that was individually wrapped and found Ghiradelli Chocolate Squares in assorted flavors. Peppermint bark, dark chocolate, salted caramel... oh the list goes on and on.
Then, I needed a way to contain all the gifts together. Could paper hold it together? Should I make a box? Should I do envelopes?
It came to me.... How about a long wooden box that could be reused throughout the year? I could wrap the chocolates individually with a number that corresponded to the day... Now it was coming together.
First, I started on the box. Since I am not a skilled woodworker, I used balsa wood. It's lightweight and can be cut with an exacto knife. Glue is enough to hold it together, so I don't even need to drill or hammer nails.
I chose sizes of balsa that were wider than my chocolate squares.
 I measured a long piece for the bottom, 2 long sides and 2 small sides. I attached them with wood glue and then taped the piece with painter's tape unit it dried.
 This kept it together. It's not going to win any woodworking prizes - but it is sufficient for my goal.
Then, I got started on the envelopes. I wanted to use reds, white, and turquoise to make something in unusual Christmas colors.I cut 6 inch strips of Gelli printed turquoise card stock into strips that were 2.5X as long as the chocolate square. I made 24 strips.
Then I punched 24 red Gelli printed circles.
 I found these white card stock glittered stickers. One package had enough digits to do all the numbers. I made one for each day leading up to Christmas.
 Then, I went back to the turquoise strips and scored them at 2 1/4", 2 1/2" and 5". I folded them at the creases to make matchbooks.
I stuffed chocolate the envelope.
I put the number on top.
And then stapled it shut. I did that with all 24 numbers and chocolates.
 Then I went back to the box. I decided that I wanted it to have feet, so I found some flat wooden beads and glued them on the bottom of the box. I let that dry.
 I went back to the box, removed the tape and stained the outside of the box with acrylic stain.
After the box was completely dry, I wrapped around a coordinating ribbon, attacked the "Merry Christmas image" with a glue dot and filled the box with daily goodies. I couldn't wait to take it to Bodacious Bonnie! We met for lunch and I pulled out the calendar. I reminded her of her challenge and she paid me the highest compliment... she reached right inside and opened Day 1. 


Sadelle said...

My gosh, Daniela!! What a fantastic idea! I love it!

Sandy Steen Bartholomew said...

Very cool!