I finished my snowman project last night. I am calling it a "garland thingy" because I haven't yet decided if it is going to be merely decorative or also functional like my stocking advent calendar. I had lots of ideas in my head about how this was going to turn out and I am pretty happy with it. Originally, I wanted something similar to the stocking advent calendar but using snowmen to "reveal" some seasonal activities for January. I had planned to design the snowmen with a little pocket on the back where I could insert a folded up piece of paper stating the activity. However, I didn't have as much white wool blend felt as I wanted, so I didn't put the pockets on. Instead, I sewed a strip of ribbon on the back so they would each have a loop that I could use to string them onto their hanging ribbon. I didn't want to hang them using clothespins; I thought that would have looked strange. If I decide to use this to present activities, I will paperclip a folded piece of paper onto the ribbon loop on the back. Otherwise, I may just put all the papers with our activities into a container and we can draw out one at a time. Regardless of what I do, the little snowmen look festive and bright.
Here's a close-up. I made 10 snowman heads in all. I just traced around the bottom of a mug for the pattern. For each "head" I used two circles of white felt. I hand-stitched a piece of orange felt to one of the circles. I also sewed on button eyes and used embroidery floss to stitch a mouth. Then I sewed the two white circles together on the sewing machine; on the backside I sewed a piece of ribbon for hanging. The final step was hot gluing pipe cleaners and pom-poms on so they would have "earmuffs". I liked the color this added, but they would be cute without the earmuffs too. I used some extra blue ribbons I had to tie a little "spacer" onto the hanging ribbon between each of the snowmen. This added color and also kept them from sliding into each other.
Here is what the garland looks like hanging up. I hung it in the same place as the stocking advent calendar. As I was hanging it my oldest son asked when I was going to put numbers on the snowmen. I explained that they wouldn't have numbers. Of course he wanted to know why. I told him that way we can just do the activities whenever we feel like it and have time instead of trying to do one every day. Luckily, this explanation satisfied him.
This shows the back of one of the "heads". You can see the transparent ribbon "loop" that is sewn onto the back and the white "hanging" ribbon strung through it.
Tonight after I post this I am going to try to go downstairs and cut out all the pieces for my big quilt project of 2009. I kind of have a headache and my kids are still up, so I am not really motivated to do it. But I know I'll be really happy with myself if I get that part done. We'll see. I told myself from the get-go that I wasn't going to put pressure on myself about the quilt. That would definitely kill the joy. So we'll see. No matter what, it's all good here.
I hope you have a wonderful New Year. We are just staying home as a family tonight which is what we always do. I wouldn't have it any other way. There are no other people on this earth with whom I would rather spend the last moments of 2008 (or any other year).