I made my own advent calendars…

homemade advent calendar from 2014

Dweeb that I am, I have, on three occasions over the years taken the time to make my own advent calendars. It can take a while to make one as I have to use scary things like “Maths” to work out how to align images and  where to do the cutting. Not to mention coming up with 24 weeny Christmassy pictures that I like. I don’t remember when I made my first one but it was definitely pre-babies. There is a way I can date them all; each one has a picture inside that is representative of where I am in that time. (Above is last year’s calendar)

First advent calendar. Have improved since.

This one makes me laugh, it’s so bad. I’m still fond of it though and at least I can see I’ve improved.

First advent insides

Embarrassingly bad pictures inside too. Gotta start somewhere. See, pre-babies, just me and Husband. I don’t even know if we were married when I made this. Maybe it’s around 2006/2007?

homemade advent calendar 2009

I made the second one to represent the fact that we now had a baby. So it’s 2009. And I’ve tried harder with the drawing too. I was very proud at the time. I know I’m not the best drawer in the world but I have my own silly illustrative style…

Insides from the second advent calendar.

We’re looking a bit tired in this picture. I like my attempt at Mary on a donkey ha!


And then, because I had done that, I had to make a third to show that baby now had a brother. I quite like it here, before I finished it. Right at the end I added the dark blue for sky and I stopped liking it as much. I think I ran out of steam.


The illustrations have definitely improved but I am not often satisfied so maybe next year I’ll make another one and include the cat.


I’m using this one again this year. It’s mine, the boys are not allowed to open the doors, they have their own. The doors have been closed again and I’m interesred to see what’s on the other side. Apart from these two photos (from last year), I have forgotten what they all look like complete.


My Eldest had a go at his own too but I didn’t want to slice into it, it’s too lovely as it is.


And, just before I go. This is a picture of my stall on Saturday! It was lovely to have a go. The PTA made lots of money for the school. The felt decorations I made were my most popular items. I sold all of them apart from four lonesome doves. I guess they just weren’t festive enough. I have lots of things leftover but that isn’t a problem. I have plans for them…


Upcycling those old books, a quick project.

Vintage illustrations. Little bit of upcycling.

I cut up a lot of books. Usually they’re ones that have been scribbled on, which puts a stop to any guilty feels. This is most of what I’ve got shoved in my crafty drawer, some may have fallen down the back.

I’ve got a lot of birthdays in October and my collection comes in handy when I haven’t got the time to draw a card design. You upcycle those old pictures into something new like a card!That’s another thing to feel bad about; If you make a birthday card just by sticking a picture onto some card, is that cheating? Well, it’s what I do when time is an issue.

My favourite pens and pencils and things!

Here is my favourite box of pens and things. I have a scalpel in there wrapped in a tatty masking taped protective thing (Husband made it a long time ago and I have stolen it along with the blade), it’s the dirty thing on the left, next to the brown pencil. We’ve tried to find those Stylo pens but they don’t make them any more. This one is used sparingly, it is lovely to draw with.

making birthday cards

Anyway, I use that scalpel to slice up my old pictures and then just bung them on some card with a bit of glue. Easy!

leftover scraps


handmade birthday cards using vintage pictures.

See? Easy! A bit more slicing and done.

handmade birthday cards using vintage images.

Lazy, or what? I regret not having made the effort to do some drawing but I have been so busy that I haven’t had time to think of ideas. I really don’t like drawing something if the idea doesn’t please me greatly. Which reminds me, it is another birthday tomorrow…. Husband’s… I have lost my thinking cap. (The fabric in the background is for a project I did at the beginning of the week. I’ve taken pictures, so it will deffo become a blog post soon.)

Gotta sign your work.

Not forgetting to sign “your work” after. Sorry to everyone who gets these. I do try to match the picture to the person but it isn’t always possible.

Playing with picture frames

two rainbows!

On what was a bit of a weird weather day, I decided to try something I’ve been thinking about for ages. Over the past couple of years I’ve been risking jumble fingers by collecting loads of old picture frames from jumble sales and junk shops.

a bunch of old frames

I have now got too many lurking in drawers and other nooks and crannies so it was about time I did something with them. Mostly, the pictures inside the frames are not that good and it won’t be too hard to chuck them away. Sorry Kylie.

faffing about with frames

I bought mount board and a cutting tool thingy from Amazon ages ago but have only just got round to playing with them properly.  I’m not very good. Not sure I’m keen. I quickly gave up on the bevelled edge as my lines were wonky and I was in danger of slicing off a finger. I will try again but I’ll take a break first. Will give it a go in a couple of weeks. I’ve got a lot of frames to get through.

framing pictures

I had a bit of trouble deciding on which picture to choose. I don’t know why, because ultimately, I will be able to frame an awful lot of pictures. Any way, I went for one I’d drawn myself as that is what I fancied. I do have lots of old books to cut up too though. I love old illustrations, especially from children’s books. I’ve got a good collection of them, some of which are waiting to be chopped up!

make shift sticking of picture frame

I’m not sure I even did it correctly, but I’ve played around with it and hopefully stuck it in the frame securely. I used the old picture as the backing and wodged it in tightly. I have avoided buying any pins/nails and hook type things, relying on what is already stuck in the frame.

waiting for more detail

This is the picture I chose. It looks crappy unfinished, with no colour, but I got my colouring pencils out and I’m actually very pleased with it.  Most of the time I’m not really sure what I’m doing, but I know that it’s fun and I’m enjoying playing pencils! Such a dweeb.

next step, practise a neat bevelled edge.

I was inspired by the woodland bluebells I saw in Dorset a few weeks ago and I used one of the photographs I took to sketch the scene. Not exactly a replica…hmm.

my first framed picture!

I’ve got to work on the angled edge of the mount board, I think it’ll make a difference in the presentation. But, I might just be being fussy.  The only thing now, is to work out where to hang the picture! And all the others (whenever it is I get round to doing those too).