Monday, December 14, 2009

Countdown on the Avenue...


To view an image up-close, please click on the photo.

I decided to be ambitious this month for Nichole Heady's Guest Star Stamper Challenge and make something that I hope can become something of an heirloom keepsake. I have always loved advent calendars and have wanted to create my own for quite some time. After many starts and stops (and a few little tears!) I finally finished and I was pleased with how it turned out.
We recently moved to Manhattan, and, though the skyscrapers are breathtaking, it's the older, lovely brownstones that speak to me. For my project, I was inspired by these beautiful buildings. First I chose my colors, which was a combination of black, red, green, and light blue. For my masonry, I printed a brick background using my computer and an inkjet printer.


Next, I stamped and embossed all the windows on heavy vellum, cutting each one out and then gluing on paper-pieced shutters and then adhering each to a piece of vanilla cardstock (some with pretty curtains!) for a lighted glow. As a wintry touch, I sprinkled a bit of Fun Flock on the rooftops and the sill of each window.


To add some holiday festive flavor, I made pine branch swags to decorate my embossed vellum lamps, with a few Stickle-berries thrown in.


For my doors, I stamped onto colored cardstock and carefully painted each doorknob with Shimmer Paint (the knobs are so tiny I had to use a needle!) For my sweet wreath, I again used a pine branch punch and trimmed them down, layering around a circle and adding more berries. A shimmery outlined ribbon punch spruced up my blue door, and I made a tiny door hang with the letters J-O-Y stamped on tiny pieces of cardstock with an itty-bitty nail for good measure.

Assembling the houses took quite some time, as I had to make up my own template. Each window/door opens into a little box inside the houses, and each frame had to be hand cut into the walls with a hobby blade. The countdown numbers were printed on the computer in an elegant script and hole-punched into circles.

(The teeny window on top of the green house is just large enough for a plump jelly bean!)

I used a cornice punch for my rooftop, layering in the same textured cardstock as used in the large masonry behind each door on the first floor.

I then added a "wrought-iron" fence to each house and then attached all three houses to a base. The finished advent calendar is approximately 9-1/2" tall x 13-1/4" wide.


Now, since December is already well underway, we'll enjoy this calendar without any treats inside it this year (the above chocolates were for display, and I'm pretty sure my husband has already eaten them!) - but we'll be filling it with yummy goodies in the next!
BEAN NOTES: Papertrey Ink Home Made and Simple Alphabet Stamps; Stampin' Up Basic Black Craft Ink; SU Riding Hood Red, Wild Wasabi, and Baja Breeze Classic Dye Ink; PTI Stamper's Select Vellum Cardstock; DVWV Dark Gray Textured Cardstock; SU Riding Hood Red, Basic Black, Baja Breeze, Wild Wasabi, and Very Vanilla Cardstock; Martha Stewart Pine Branch, Cornice, Picket Fence, and Ribbon Bow Punches; 1/16" and 1/4" Hole Punches (generic); Hobby Blade; Computer and Inkjet Printer; Black Embossing Powder (generic); Foam Dimensional Squares (generic); Sakura Clear Star Gelly Roll Pen
HAPPY BEANS: Scor-Pal; SU Silver Shimmer Paint; Needle, Ranger Christmas Red Stickles, Fun Flock, SU 2-Way Glue

32 comments:

Ann Schach said...

Phenomenal! With its attention to detail, this is absolutely stunning, and is sure to become an heirloom!

Pam said...

What an amazing amount of work. You are so talented. thanks for sharing this wonderful project.
!Pam
http://stamapsinc.blogspot.com/

Cards by Gina said...

Mouth-droppingly gorgeous! This is an heirloom piece for sure! Thanks so much for sharing this with us...and good for you for accomplishing what you set out to do!

Mary Fish said...

If you don't win the papertrey challenge, I'll eat my hat!! Unbelievable, clever, charming! Hugs, M

Patti MacLeith said...

OMG! This is so fantastic! If you don't win it's a crime. This is just too creative! I love all of the details, they work very well. Excellent project, Regina. I know that you worked very hard on this. Good luck!

Barbara said...

This is so incredibly beautiful! Your family will enjoy this for many years to come!
:-)

MaryBB said...

AMAZING! I sincerely hope you win, this is beautiful. You are one patient & talented woman.

dustypenny said...

Wow!

Taheerah said...

Beyond stunning, you would be a very worthy winner indeed!!

Margaret Moody said...

This is incredible, Regina! I absolutely LOVE it! What a great idea to utilize this set in this way and make the Advent calendar! What a wonderful family keepsake! I love everything about it...the colors, the glowing windows, the brickwork, and, of course, all the tiny details! AWESOME! Hugs to you!

Melisa Hunter said...

This is absolutely gorgeous! I would love to try this and I have the stamp set needed, too! Thanks for sharing!

Karen said...

Wow! WoW! WOW!!!!! This is brilliant! What a fantastic use of Home Made. It has really taken my breath away! :>

Wahinelei said...

OMG, what a great job you did! It looks like you put a lot of heart and soul into it. I would definitely treasure this for years to come!

Sharron said...

This is an absolute masterpiece--a definite winner! Love all your beautiful detail.

Sandy Kay said...

WOw, this is amazing!

Kathleen said...

So pretty---congrats on being Moxie Fab! :) Love your work---

Jennifer said...

I'm in awe at how you made this. It's stunning and so clever!

MissyC said...

This is an incredible project! Such a great idea and so well executed. I could look at it for days. Thanks for sharing.

anya said...

Wow Regina, this is just breathtaking! I can't even imagine the amount of work you put into this creation! It is stunning and what a great thing to look forward to using each year!

Diane Jaquay said...

I'm SPEECHLESS!

Karen Motz said...

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!! I really did WOW out loud at every picture. The craftsmanship and detail in this project is utterly amazing!!! Makes me wanna live on that street!!! Everything you made is exquisite, but I think the little wreath on the door takes my breath away...it looks SO realistic!!!

Kim said...

I am completely bowled over by your design. It's fantastic!

Jessica said...

Oh my golly. I'm in awe of your amazing creativity and talent. I love each and every bit of your beautiful keepsake!

peggysue said...

These are fabulous, what an incredible project! Wow!

Stephanie said...

These houses are just amazing, I love them!!!

Penny said...

OH MY! This is absolutely gorgeous! I fully expect to see you on Nichole's blog in a few days as the winner!

Barabara M said...

This just fabulous, I really loved it. I love your details and your use of that stamp set! Making up your own type of place just set it apart. The "brick walls" you made just added so much!! ( I now must put that stamp set on a list of must buys!) Thanks for shareing:)

....Linda.... said...

Absolutely amazing..........and then some.....

The Wired Angel said...

Wow... I am so impressed with your project. I haven't seen the other projects, but this looks like a winner to me! Best, Peggy

Jen Cozz said...

Simply amazing and beautifully done! All the little details just make it incredible!

Taheerah said...

Congratulations, I knew you would win!!! Couldn't be more deserved!!!

Kittie said...

Oh, my word!!! Rgina, this is such a unique and exceptional project. Every little detail is perfect. Congratulations on winning the GSS at Papertrey.