For years, I’ve wanted to make my own Advent calendar. I’ve had a clear idea of what I wanted to make but never started. While the weirdness that is 2020 is one of the reasons I’m finally doing this, collecting images that I can use for inspiration was what actually got me going.

It sounds silly to be starting on an Advent calendar half-way through December. But I never really think about Christmas except during December, so it seems like the best time to be working on this project. I hope to have this ready for next year, or maybe the year after.

My idea is fairly simple (and there are a lot of kits available for variations on this idea): a wall quilt of a tree with ornaments for each day. I’m hoping to disguise the pockets that hold the ornaments as presents under the tree, but that may prove too complicated. We’ll see. I’ve decided to start with the ornaments. Once I have twenty-five I am happy with, I can make the quilt that goes with them.

I’ve been thinking about this particular project for years and have always had a clear idea of what I want for the ornaments. Richness. Sparkly color. Luscious-looking. I’m particularly attracted to decorated felt ornaments, so I will use a combination of embroidery and beads to produce detailed designs.

Since I intend to design my own ornaments, I decided to start by making myself an inspirational Pinterest board. By collecting images that fit the aesthetic I’m after, I have a resource to help me refine my ideas.

My original inspiration was The Birds of Beebe Woods, a the stunning quilt by Sallie Mavor. I love the detailed stitching on her three-dimensional birds. Since then, I’ve found plenty of other examples of hand-stitched ornaments that are just as inspiring.

Having an inspiration board for this project has made it much easier for me to actually get started. While I could imagine the final look I wanted, I was having a hard time knowing what elements would give me satisfying results. Seeing how others have achieved the look I’m interested in has made it much easier for me to figure out what to do.

Do you use inspiration boards for your creative projects?

4 thoughts on “Collecting Inspiration for My Advent Calendar”

  1. What a great idea for an advent calendar! Every day, the addition of a new ornament would gradually make everything feel more Christmassy. I really like the aesthetic of the ornaments you’ve found for inspiration.

    1. Thanks! I’m excited about it and look forward to seeing where it takes me. I can tell my needle skills will need to improve to get where I want to go.

  2. I have used Pinterest to plan library craft programs, my wardrobe, travel adventures, and my garden. Right now, my garden is getting most of my attention. In addition to using Pinterest I like to take photos of other people’s gardens or ideas I see in books and collect them in albums on my phone. I have been thinking about looking for an app that could combine text and images on sticky sheets I could move around.

    1. I’m using it to collect images for research for various books I’m writing, too. It’s handy to have some place to put all the images. I add my personal stuff to the Pinterest boards so I have everything in one place.

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