Wednesday, November 25, 2009

WIP Wednesday: Preparing for Advent


The girls advent wreath (still in progress)

With the first Sunday of Advent only 4 days away the girls and I have been as busy as elves preparing. We will do a traditional wreath with four candles at our dinner table but I thought it would be nice to do something special for the girls' table as well. Inspired by a picture in 'Winter' by Eva-Maria Ott-Heidmann I decided to make a hanging advent wreath to place over their table. With rascally cats and little hands I knew having real candles in the wreath would not be a good idea. I had to think of some other way to have candles that look like they were lit for them. Wool to the rescue!


A rascal caught

The lovely Fiona Duthie of Living Crafts shared how she made some wool felted candles with those of us who were in the LC Ornament Exchange a few months ago and I had saved her instructions (they are also in the latest issue of Living Crafts, as I just discovered when my issue arrived the other day). I made my candles a lot fatter and taller than the instructions said to so that they would fit in the big candle holders in our wreath.


Helper C gets the ribbon for hanging ready

They were really simple to make and the girls love them. I still need to trim the flames some more but they are almost done. Now I am just trying to decide if I should take them out and put one in each Sunday to represent the candle being lit or if I should just have all four of them in from the get go.


Roving first rolled up

K and I plan on making more of the candles, but a lot smaller, to fit our candle holders on our Christmas tree, too.


After just a couple rolls with hot water and soap

We have a few other Advent crafts in the works, as well, but those are for December 1st.


Fully felted, ready for trimming

Also in the works:


Window stars. I am finding it much easier to make them this year with this quilting set. Now they are finally cut straight!

What are you crafting/planning for Advent this year?
Don't forget to check out my interview with Marie and enter to win one of her sweet walnut babies. I am truly enjoying your comments about your children's relationship with dolls and/or your own childhood memories.

Happy creating!!

*Detailed instructions for making the wool felted candles can be found in the 2009/2010 Winter issue of Living Crafts*

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29 comments:

Nadja Magdalena said...

I absolutely love the felted candle Advent wreath! I want to make one! I grew up in Bavaria, and we never had the purple/pink advent candles. They were either white, red or natural beeswax (it doesn't drip, so is better for wreaths and trees).

Thanks for a really darling idea. Would it be okay if I link to your post?

Naturalearthfarm said...

Nicole,
The advent candle wreath is a wonderful idea, especially with little ones....
Thank you for sharing all your handmade goodness!

Marina said...

Love the new header :D!

Thank you so much for the tutorial on advent candle wreath! It looks like a fun do-able project for me and the boys!

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving, dear friend!

xoxo, M

momma rae said...

oh yay! i was hoping you were going to tell us about that beautiful wreath on your blog banner! we are planning to make some of those candles, too. :)

Prairie Girl said...

what a lovely (and safe) idea with the candles!!

The kitty paws cracked me up :)

Pampered Mom said...

I've only ever known one start date for Advent, but that's primarily based upon the Christian church calendar. I suppose the December 1st bit came in with the start of an Advent Calendar...that it'd be too confusing if the calendar was longer than a month?

Liv said...

So beautiful! We just bought our candles today... although we may need a felt version as well. Thanks for sharing.

Frontier Dreams (Nicole) said...

Naturalearthfarm - Thank you! Thank you for stopping by :)

Nadja - Of course that is fine :) Thank you! We have the beeswax candles for our traditional wreath, I can't wait to burn them, I love the smell.

Marina - I want to see yours if you guys make one! Happy Thansgiving to you too, my wonderful friend!! Off to e-mail you soon ;)

Momma Rae - I can't wait to see! You'll put them up on your blog, right? :)

Prairie Girl - Thanks!! Our cats are a bit insane, aren't they?

Pampered Mom - Yeah the advent calender thing is what is throwing us off. The first day of Advent is this Sunday but yet our Adevtn calender we have starts on the 1st of December, and our advent spiral only has 25 spots so that has to start on the 1st, too. Ughh!!! :p

Em said...

Those look wonderful - a great idea for little ones. I love the photo with your cheeky cat too :)

Beth said...

Tell me what you mean about two different advent beginning days? Is it because advent starts in church on Sunday? Beth

healing hillary said...

love the wreath...have admired the candles in LC. so great to see them in action. we might have to make one of these...

healing hillary said...

oh and happy thanksgiving!

cakesniffer said...

Love the cat picture.
Sounds like one more reason to be eager for my Living Craft issue to arrive.

KnitterMama said...

Wow! Your blog is stunning! I am so happy to have ad the chance to read through your latest posts.

Grace said...

What a cute project, Nicole. And I love your new banner!

Grace said...

PS: We belong to a religious tradition that celebrated Advent beginning with the first Sunday. But our advent calendar begins on Dec. 1, as well. The Dec. 1 start is the secular version. I try not to get too heady in explaining things like that, I just do it and let it sink in as it will.

gardenmama said...

what a beautiful project nicole!
we have been talking about lighting real candles on our christmas tree for the night of christmas eve... i like the idea of these wool felted candles on the tree, it is so lovely to have handmade with love celebrations.

Frontier Dreams (Nicole) said...

Thank you everyone! We are enjoying felting more and more of these candles.

Beth - I think Grace answered your question for you :) This is our first year celebrating so I do not know the specifics or anything yet. I will post my first Advent post this Monday.

Knittermama - Thank you, you are too kind! I look forward to our exchange :)

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

I love your wreath! We are going to make a similar one, but as a crown for Chloe to wear on St. Lucia day.
Yes, I am finding it a little bit complicated planning to celebrate the first day of Advent on Sunday and then the 1st of December a few days later, even though we are not even using an Advent calendar this year. Our Advent celebrations really focus on each Sunday evening. We have special story time by candlelight after dinner, gathered near the nature table (and the tree as soon as we have one.) This week I will be busy working on the girls winter dresses. I hope to have them done in time for St. Nicholas day. The next week we will be making the Lucia crown. And there will be lots of baking this month. (Which will combine well with a measurement main lesson block for Chloe.)

Wow, that was long, sorry! And I have a question too... do you know why I can't find instructions for your little fruit basket on the Living Crafts website??

Hope all is well!

Frontier Dreams (Nicole) said...

Renee, that all sounds so lovely! Thank you so much for sharing! We have a needle felted wool crown for St. Lucia Day. I can't wait to see K in it this year!
You reminded me to get going on our baking,too. Eeek! Times goes by too fast!!

The baskets will be up on their website sometime in December, that was the last I heard. I'll post a link as soon as it's up. I hope it's soon :)
HTH!

Carin said...

That wreath is just gorgeous! I have been thinking of making a crown for my little one to wear at Lucia and have been struggling with how to do the candles- this is the perfect idea. Very timely!

lyneya said...

Adorable! What a wonderful use for that project!

Heather said...

Wow, what a special tutorial. This is just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing

Nadja Magdalena said...

Nicole, I used roving for the first time this week trying my hand at a little needle felting and at your advent candles. My wreath turned out nicely, but my candles a bit uneven and lumpy. How did you get them so very straight and even? Any plans for a tutorial in the future?

Frontier Dreams (Nicole) said...

Oh I would love to see your wreath and candles! How did you wet felt them? I rolled mine in bubble wrap. Are you ableto get a hold of the latest issue of Living Crafts? The instructions are in there. Please let me know if that helped at all and if there is anything else I can do!

Stacy said...

I just received the back issue of Living Crafts Winter 2009 I had ordered specifically for the candle tutorial, and much to my disappointment, it isn't there! (What issue is it in, again?) I loved the look if this project so much I had planned to give them as early Christmas gifts to our family from our kids. I also tried to make these without the tutorial and the candle turned out looking like yarn. I am surprised with as nice as these look, there is no online tutorial for felting candles -- seems like a great gift idea that I may not get to finish.

Nicole Spring (Frontier Dreams) said...

Hi Stacy,
I just double checked my copy and it is titled 'Winter 2010' (although it came out December 2009). You can see the cover of it on the left sidebar under 'featured'. I hope that helps!

Erinn said...

what is a quilting set? Do i need one to make paper window stars?

Nicole Spring (Frontier Dreams) said...

No, you don't need it at all :) I just can't seem to cut a straight line to save my life so it helps me out a lot!

Here's one:
http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp?pageName=search&flag=true&PRODID=prd23953

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