Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 23 of 45, and advent calendars

Just past halfway now and feeling good!  Mind you yesterday I didn't exercise at all since ALL of my muscles were aching so much after the new Spartacus workout I found - oh my goodness that's a good workout!!  I'm still aching today, but have a day of housework ahead which should stretch my muscles out enough to be able to have a cycle tonight!

Now today being December 1st, we started our advent calendars! So yes, the girls finished their new one yesterday!

My eldest daughter is still sick, poor thing. I took her to the doctors yesterday and he told us it's a virus so all we can do is rest and wait it out!  Anyway, she managed to make some ornaments for the pockets, but I did her sewing part!

My youngest was game to have a go with the machines though!
I wanted something very simple that they could do themselves, so I thought using scraps of Christmas fabric I've collected over the years...(sorry about the blurry photo)

 we'd make 24 small bags, number them, and then make ornaments to go in them, which can then be hung on a small tree we have:

 So I cut out 24 rectangles, then showed my 5 year old daugther how to use the overlocker to finish the edges off to stop them fraying.  Here she is having a go!  She did so well..
 After a couple of practices, I was able to stand back and let her do it all by herself!

 She managed about half of them before needing a break! So I finished the rest off! 24 is a lot to do of anything!
Next step was to turn the top edges over to make a 'tunnel' for the drawstring to run through. 
Folding a pinning was a simple enough job for a five-year old..
(this rectangle had to be cut and sewn together at the bottow so the pattern on the fabric was the right way up on both sides)

 Then there was just joining the two sides together..
 And adding the cord for the drawstring..
Using a big nappy pin to push them through. A nice job for small fingers!
Knots tied at both ends (tricky bit done by Mummy)
 Then using glitter glue the girls both added numbers to the bags..
 Then came the real fun part - cutting and sticking and creating ornaments to go in each bag!  The girls did this all by themselves, making secret ornaments for each other so that they both get surprises!  They love making things for each other, and they had a really fun afternoon!  I've only seen a few of the ornaments, so it'll all be a surprise for me too over the next 24 days!

Here's the finished advent tree waiting last night in the girl's room..
 The box of bags to rummage through and find each day's goodie bag..
 And this morning, bag one was opened by my youngest, and out came a sparkly pipecleaner, with 'Merry Christmas' stuck to it!  The first ornament on the tree! You can just see it here in the middle of the tree.
 My eldest got to open the chocolate calendar that I made a few years ago, from small cardboard boxes a friend had leftover from her wedding favours!
We have to put each chocolate in the night before, otherwise they would all melt in the heat!  And each box has a picture inside too.

So there you have it!  Two homemade advent calendars - that I can fill each year with whatever!
The girls love taking turns with the chocolate one, but I think they like just as much to open one they have made more or less by themselves!!