Thursday, November 11, 2010

Advent Calendar for Graphic45's Calendar Challenge


One of the blogs that I like to frequent is the Graphic 45 paper blog.  They have great hints, projects and tips for using their products, which I really love. They also feature different scraprooms, which is always a wonderful way to get new organizational idea.  I know that some people think the Graphic 45 lines are too busy or too retro, but that is exactly what I love about them.  That, and they seem soooo feminine.  Anyway, Graphic 45 is currently hosting a calendar contest.  At least 50% of the project must be completed using Graphic45 paper products.  Since I had already completed a huge calendar project, I decided to make an Advent Calendar.


It is a little ironic that when my children were small we always had an advent wreath with weekly candles and now that they are grown we finally get the treat count down calendar!  I began by purchasing this Kaiser Craft wood and heavy duty chip board kit.  The frame of the advent calendar is made of wood, with a peg and groove construction (though you will need to do a bit of filing/sanding).  The drawers are made of heavy duty chip board and also require assembly.  The kit also contains chip board numbers for the drawer fronts.


I began by assembling and painting the wooden frame section.  I chose a glossy white paint, for a nice neutral background. The wood required two coats of paint on all of the exposed areas.  As a hint, if I were to do this again, I would paint first, then assemble.

The second step in assembly was attaching Graphic 45 Christmas Past cardstock to the out outside edges of the frame.  After measuring and cutting the paper I used strong liquid glue to affix the paper to the frame. 


Above is a photo of my desk as I was working on the project.  At one point I lost the number 21.  I had to wait until the end and clean up my desk before the number was ever found.

After preparing the frame, I moved on to the numbers.  I heat embossed all of the numbers, rotating embossing colors as I worked my way through the numbers.  Once the numbers were completed, I moved on to the drawers.  The drawers took a really long time to assemble!  Just sayin'....

Utilizing the 12 inch trimmer and a scoring board really helped speed up the drawer assembly process.  I began by measuring the drawers and cutting strips of Graphic 45 and Bazzill cardstock - 24 strips!  I scored all of the strips 1/4 inch from the bottom edge and then I traced the half circle shape (finger hole) onto all of the strips.  I cut out all of the half circles.  Finally, I lined up the half circles and glued the paper onto the chip board drawers.  The heavy duty glue and cardstock wrappers hold the drawers together.  Fold under and glue the 1/4 inch border to the bottom of the drawers.

Remember I said that I rotated the color of the numbers while embossing?  As I covered the drawers I made some decisions about color choices.  I decided that all of the white embossed letters should go on red drawers.  I also decided to use some of the postage stamp images from the Graphic 45 cardstock to embellish the drawer fronts.  For the double digit numbers where there was not enough space for an image, I used paper punches and punched circle and tag shapes on which to mat the numbers. I finished the drawers by adding black and white pen doodles, pearls, gems and flower embellishments. 


After the drawers were complete and I had added the center image to the box I began working on embellishing the center image.  I started by trimming out the image with red cardstock.  Next I cut the Santa, the calendar page, and the little girl from a second sheet of the same cardstock and using pop dots to create layers I created a 3-D effect on the scene. The calendar page has single thickness pop dots, the girl has two layers of pop dots, and the Santa has three layers of pop dots.  Stickles were added to the fur on Santa and the girl as well as to the candles in the background trees.

I added some artificial greenery; ribbon, old fashioned paper chains (made of 1/4 strips of Graphic 45 and Bazzill cardstocks), and 2-D and 3-D snow flakes to complete the vintage feel of the scene.  I also added greenery, ribbon and a snowflake to the upper left section of the frame. 

The snowflakes were cut with the Cricut expression using the 2009 Seasonal cartridge, When It's Cold Outside.  The flakes were cut at 1.5 inches each.



One last embellishment was added to the lower left corner of the frame inside.  I added the word "family" to a rectangle of red cardstock, as well as dots and a flower.  Why family?  Because family is the most important thing to me.


Above is a close up of the inside of the box.

And below is a semi-side view showing the frame as well as the completed advent calendar.