Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Countdown

It took me until after Christmas, but I finally finished my advent calendar! It will be all ready for next year.  I have so many Christmas cuts on various Cricut Cartridges, and it seemed like a fun project that could last through the holiday season (and boy, did it!)

The base of the calendar is a cookie sheet (a large size, I can't remember the dimensions exactly).  I used two sheets of paper from the Paper Studio All Seasons 2 pack for the background.  I wanted to make the background look kind of like a present, so I accented it with some burgundy paper, which was from my stash.  It was a slightly lighter color on the other side, which makes me think it may have come from the Provo Craft cardstock that was part of my Cricut Essentials pack, but I could be wrong.  My husband drilled two holes in the top and sanded them down to make them safe, and I strung two pieces of ribbon through to hang it up.  One ribbon is a sturdy, silver ribbon with sparkles.  I'm pretty sure it was left over from my wedding.  The other ribbon was some miscellaneous burgundy ribbon that I thought would add to the effect of it looking like a present.  True story: I originally bought that ribbon to make a bell to hang from our back door so that Sophie can ring it to let us know she needs to go outside.  I probably got it from Hobby Lobby.

Next came the Cricut-ing part.  As I said, I used many cartridges.  I broke the pictures down into two rows at a time so I can go through and tell you where I got them.  My cardstock is almost all from Paper Studio, with some of the Provo Craft thrown in here and there.  I varied the cut size between 2-3 inches, depending on the cartridge.  It took a little trial and error, and unfortunately I didn't think to write down the sizes.  

Days 24-22: Lights cut from Create a Critter
Day 21: Gingerbread house from Stretch Your Imagination, circle from Accent Essentials
Day 20: Sled from Stretch Your Imagination, circle from Accent Essentials
Day 19: Tree from Winter Frolic, circle from Accent Essentials
Day 18: Ornament from Winter Frolic
Day 17: Presents from Winter Frolic

Day 16: Holly from Stretch your Imagination
Day 15: Cup from Winter Frolic
Day 14: Mitten from Simply Charmed
Day 13: Reindeer from Create a Critter
Day 12: Bird (I think it's a partridge in a pear tree) from Winter Frolic, circle from Accent Essentials
Day 11: Snowman and Snowglobe from Doodlecharms
Day 10: Ornament from Winter Frolic
Day 9: Snowflake from Accent Essentials

Day 8: Hat from Simply Charmed
Day 7: Gingerbread man from Smiley Cards
Day 6: Penguin from Winter Frolic
Day 5: Stocking from Winter Frolic
Day 4: Candy cane from Simply Charmed
Day 3: Mouse from Winter Frolic
Day 2: Star from Winter Frolic
Day 1: Jesus from Winter Frolic

Then I wrote the day on them with gel pen, two-sided taped a magnet on the back, and it was done!

Can I take a second to talk about Day 7's Gingerbread Man?  I don't own a gypsy, and I only joined the world of Cricut about half a year ago, so I was sad to find out that I had orignally missed the boat on Smiley Cards.  I love the little images on there and the silly faces, and this Gingerbread Man was one of my favorites.  When Cricut Craft Room was released to the public and the ability to download digital cartridges was announced, I was so excited that I could finally have access to Smiley Cards!  Yeah, $50 (plus tax, FYI) is kind of expensive for a cartridge that you don't physically possess, and I won't be purchasing the digital cartridges willy-nilly, but I'm glad I went ahead and got this one. It's really easy to use- you just design the mat in Craft Room, click "Cut." hold the mat in place, and it loads and cuts in one fluid motion.  You can choose to cut only portions of your mat or the whole thing at once, depending on how you've loaded in your paper.  It was great and I highly recommend it for cartridges like this one, that are only available that way, or for ones that are retired or hard to find in stores. 
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