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?