Advent Calendar Activities


Being confined gives me more opportunity to blog...

The kids want to have an Advent calendar this year. The only trouble with that is that we celebrate the twelve days of Christmas by opening one package every morning. A couple of years ago when we had an Advent calendar (by Playmobil) it was just too many days of opening presents.

Then today (or yesterday) I received Kids Craft Weekly in my email inbox. This issue had a link to an Advent Activity Calendar from the Kiddley archives. This is it, folks! Essentially every day there is some small-ish suggested activity.

I have made a list of activities, but I need a few more, particularly if the weather is as nasty as it often is. Here's my working list (some are from the list in the link and some are my own):

  1. Paint everyone's toenails
  2. Make hot chocolate
  3. Bake cookies
  4. Build a fort
  5. Have a play bath
  6. Give everyone a wild hairstyle
  7. Go walk in the woods
  8. Take pictures of each other
  9. Play UNO (even Clara plays UNO)
  10. Make a giant picture
  11. Make paper snowflakes
  12. Write letters to far away friends
  13. Make a wind boat
  14. Thank someone for being nice
  15. Make a shining star
  16. Have pancakes for dinner
  17. Make fingerprint people and animals
  18. String cranberries for the tree outside (maybe not a good idea since there is a family of raccoons living next door)
  19. Dress fancy for dinner
  20. Play soccer
What else friends? I need a few more ideas!

We do also light Advent lanterns every night during Advent and we have a liturgy that we say together that David came up with a couple of years ago.

The All Handmade Sale 2009

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That's me at my table! I wore my cozy wrap sweater (and long johns) and it's a good thing I did. I was right in a draft from the open door. The sale was a great success. Each vendor agreed to donate 10% of their sales to Salsbury Community Society and all together we raised around about $1000!

I sold all five checker board sets that were finished and brought along my sewing machine to work on two more that were already spoken for. Several backpack doll carriers went home to delight children. A host of handkerchiefs found happy homes as well.

Along with the two checkerboard sets that I need to finish for folks at Peter's school, I took orders for an art smock and a moebius scarf. The scarf was a last minute idea. I had forgotten that I wanted to make them for the sale until two days before. I made two - one according to the instructions that were in last fall's issue of Stitch magazine, and one a bit bigger as I found the smaller size to be unflattering and difficult to get on and off my ginormous head.

There are several backpack doll carriers left (and PLENTY more materials to make a ton more) so I might try figuring out how to set up an etsy shop. Just as soon as I get out of bed. A flu thing that I was fighting off has attacked full force. Bleh.

Help Requested!
I am trying to come up with a good etsy shop name. SarahSews is taken SarahSewsSimply is available, but seems long. Do any of you have brilliant ideas? This is your chance to comment if you are usually comment-shy.

Second Update
I have scarlet fever and probably have strep throat. I'll have amoxicillin, thanks. Maybe make it a double. (Just kidding, though the doctor did say that if I am feeling any shortness of breath that i should go straight to emerg.)



Well, I shouldn't have done it, but while I was sticking my head in the sand last night playing at the computer when I should have been sleeping or sewing or staining checkers, I tried out a new background for my blog. I didn't like it so attempted to revert it back to the usual orange. This should have worked well since I hadn't saved any changes.

But I lost all of my links to the blogs that I had listed on my sidebar. I have recovered most of them, but if your blog is usually on my list and it isn't now, please leave me a comment and I will add it. Also, if you are a real life friend of mine or have a sewing blog that you would like me to add to my list, leave a comment and I will add it.

I've also been thinking about adding a list of fashion/style blogs that I regularly read as well. Does anyone have any preferences about this?



Hey Everyone!

I am still here and still sewing (just cranked out a yellow nightgown for Clara, a black long sleeved t-shirt with yellow at the neck and hems for Lucy - her request, and almost finished a yellow boat necked 3/4 length top for me).

The All Handmade Sale is barely over a week away and I still have to stain and clear coat the checkers, make buttons for the checkerboard bags, finish one more checkerboard, finish the bookmarks, and hem the last 6 handkerchiefs.

I also have to pick up 6 tables, finish the table layout for the sale, find websites with images of craft sales to send suggestions to all of the vendors, find paper and make business cards, find ribbon and bags for packaging, find a cloth for my table....

And still eat and sleep and try to pay attention to my kids and visit my friends who are in town this weekend.

I also had a massage today and as a result, I will be changing some things in my sewing space. But that will make for a lovely post of its own!

See you soon!

Finished Costume Photos!

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Sorry this took so long to post! Life just doesn't slow down around here, and then my computer had to go to the shop. Without further ado, here the finished Halloween costume photos!

Here is Lucy in her princess costume. Somehow the skirt got flatter with wearing (not poofy enough). I guess I'll have to make a petticoat of some sort if poofiness is necessary. Anyway, to review... I used Burda envelope pattern number 9702 and then modified the neckline to suit Lucy's design by using Burda magazine pattern 07-2009-139.

I added a layer of the sparkly sheer fabric (polyester organza?) over the sleeves and the skirt. I have come to loathe gathering fabric, so I pleated the skirt. Now that I think about it, this may have contributed to the lack of poof. I changed the button up back to a standard zippered back. I made the waist tie twice as wide and much longer. I also doubled it so that it looked the same on both sides (no hemming the long sides). Unfortunately, I used entirely the wrong fabric for the waist tie. It was something found in the fabric stash. It was too heavy and drapey. It made a floppy bow with a thick, loose knot. Bleh. I should've used a stiff, thin fabric for a showy bow.

But, all in all, and thanks to this last year's experience at sewing garments, this was pretty easy and uncomplicated.

Here is Clara roaring in the lion costume I made for Lucy two years ago. Bless her for wanting to wear a costume already in the closet. She was so funny. She would walk up to a house say trick or treat in her tiny voice and then mildly roar at the person.

And here is the collage for the Design-From-Scratch R2D2 costume. It could have used a bit more embellishment on the arms, but by the time was doing them, I ran out of steam. I found the instructions for drafting and sewing a sphere out of fabric here, so I simply cut the pattern piece I drafted in half. I felt that six pieces wear still too much for Peter's head and R2D2 has a bit more of a dome with straight sides and half a sphere on top. I removed one piece and all was resolved.

The hologram projectors are rectangles of vinyl that I sewed into a tube and then folded over on itself (wrong sides together). I drew a circle on the vinyl dome and cut it open. I then snipped the raw edges of the projector tube all around to make little flaps that could be tucked between the vinyl and the polar fleece and hot glued in place.

The front of the costume attempts to approximate the R2D2's actual front. The back does not. I had to account for the opening down the back. The arms are made of milk cartons duct taped together to make a hinge and then covered in vinyl.

The resulting costume looked cool, but was not appropriate to wear to school (he couldn't sit in it or move his arms terribly well). And hot glue is by no means a permanent method of attaching vinyl to vinyl. There was a fair bit of re-gluing that had to happen before Halloween night.

Here is the candy haul. We have decided to allow the kids to binge on as much candy as they can eat the night of Halloween. Then all of the candy goes into a common bucket that all of us can eat out of occasionally. We don't often have candy and I can't stand being the monitor over whose candy is whose and who has eaten that day's allotment of candy, etc. And, this way they get to experience being excessive in a fairly safe manner. We think this is good practice for getting to know your limits.

No one got sick, although Peter might have kept going, but we cut him off after about an hour. I think he was actually hitting his limit about then, but he wouldn't admit to it.

I am glad that Halloween is over for the year. I have been busy tracing out a bajillion patterns that I want to sew... eventually. The next big thing is pulling it all together for the All Handmade Sale.