While I’ve been thinking about making an Advent calendar for years, it’s taken a lot for me to actually start on it. My vision of what it will look like when it’s done is rather intimidating. Making a board of inspirational images definitely helped, but the other trick that really worked was starting with something simple.
I intend to make quite complicated ornaments for this project, things like birds, wild animals, flowers, and musical instruments. While I have embroidered and beaded before, I’ve never made felt ornaments like the beautiful ones I envision. In order to get started, I lowered the bar. My first ornament needed to be a simple shape, so I chose a star.
I grabbed a star-shaped cookie cutter from the kitchen and traced it onto my felt. Then I looked at my inspiration board and my stitch samplers for ideas. I made a quick sketch and started embroidering.
Almost immediately, I realized the benefits of starting with such a simple design. While the symmetrical shape made my lack of skill obvious, I feel like the my results, though a tad wonky, are still very pleasing. I was able to layer stitching and beads easily to build up the rich sort of look I’m going for.
The satisfaction I got from making the stars has me itching to move on and try my hand at birds. While I worry that my first birds may not be all that great, this project is perfect for experimenting and making messes. I know I’m making this up as I go, so I’m giving myself permission to practice. I’m free to discard anything I am unsatisfied with.
Will it take me all year to complete twenty-five ornaments? I just made three in one week, but it may be a while before I am generating exactly what I want. Fortunately, I’m finding the process of making these ornaments really fun. While I look forward to the day this project is completed, I can tell that the journey I will take to get there is going to be a satisfying one.
How do you get started on an intimidating project?