Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Morning! The house is filled with the smells of yummy food cooking in the oven, the kids are chilling on the couch watching cartoons, the sun is shining on freshly fallen snow, and we are cozied up together in a warm house . . . Life is beautiful! :D :D :D

I just wanted to say how thankful I am today. Thankful for friends and family, for the beauty of this earth, for the spirit of Christ that is in all things. For the joy of creating and making something and the friends and fun I have found through this hobby. For health, safety, and life. :D My heart is full today! :D

And since Christmas is on our doorstep, I thought I would a couple of Christmas projects to my blog today. :)

Growing up, my mom had a felt Christmas Countdown Calendar that she would hang on the back of a door in our home. It was a happy Christmas tree decorated with gold ric rack and colorful beads lovingly stitched to it. Below the tree was 24 pockets that contained felt ornaments (with more colorful seed beads stitched to them) that we could attach to the tree to countdown the days to Christmas.

My siblings and I fought over that tree . . . we would wake up early just so WE could be the ones to place the next ornament on the tree. My mom didn't like that we were "fighting" over this countdown because . . . you know . . . the whole "good will towards men" attitude wasn't being fostered. LOL! Finally, she solved this little problem by making another Countdown Calendar. This one was Mary riding a donkey with Joseph by her side. Each day we moved Mary closer to Bethlehem. We loved that calendar, too!

To this day I LOVE Countdown Calendars! I can't get enough of them! The excitement of seeing the progression towards a special day still makes my heart skip a beat.

And just in case you share this same infatuation with countdowns, I thought that today I would share with you two Countdown Calendars that I made using My Mind's Eye papers.

M&M Countdown
This first one was created using a bead organizer from the craft store. How awesome that it comes with 24 little containers to fill with goodies! PERFECT! The containers are quite small, so you would need to choose small candies to go inside. Or how about including a clue to a hiding place of a treat or even a slip of paper listing a family Christmas activity you are going to do for that day. This one can be used in several ways. :)

The black numbers and title were created using my Wishblade, but you could just as easily use stickers that you have on hand. :)

Christmas Bead Countdown
The idea behind this countdown is that a bead is moved across the wire arch for each day until Christmas. By the time Christmas is here the gold star will be ready to place on the top of the tree. :) I used a wooden shape that I found in the Dollar Section bins at Michael's last year. The base is a oval wooden plaque. The wire and wooden beads are also found at Michael's. I simply spraypainted the pieces red and green, then added decorated them with paper. :)

For more ideas for Countdown Calendars that I have made check out these links.
Christmas Cookie Sheet Countdown
Halloween Countdown (this one could easily be adapted for Christmas)

I hope you enjoyed these projects! After today, I will be spending the rest of my weekend decorating our house for Christmas and spending time with my family . . . so you may not just see me until next week.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Holiday!



  1. Wonderful projects!! Happy Thanksgiving!!

  2. Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You a have a very nice Thanksgiving too.

  3. Love that advent calendar! So cute. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Sweet story about your felt countdown calendars! I have one for my kids as well. A star gets moved from pocket to pocket and they too, 'fight'. It's a race in the morning to see who gets to move the star. First one up, dressed, get's to move the star. And, it's the only month they rush to get up on school days!

    Super cute projects:)

    Have a beautiful Thanksgiving..

  5. Happy Thanksgiving! I am in LOVE with your countdown calendars! We have a felt homemade one as well, but I'm always looking for more ideas for more! I made a cookie sheet one a couple of years ago, and it has not stood up well to storage, so it needs to be replaced! I'm definitely going to be lifting your ideas! Thanks so much for being an inspiration!!!

  6. Great Projects, Love the bead container, Such a clever Idea!! TFS And Happy Thanksgiving!!!


  7. Cute projects. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  8. oh my gosh jana, how do you come up with these AMAZING ideas?? I am in awe, I LOVE them!! Now I want to make some sort of countdown calendar for our house. :) I always loved them when I was little too!
    I hope you had a happy and blessed thanksgiving!

  9. Wonderful idea! We have a Christmas countdown as well with little bitty gifts each day

  10. Really cute projects...and stories!!! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Cute advent calendar ideas...Love the candy one, but think the beads is a lot more practical. You're so talented!!

  12. Great Christmas countdown ideas! I love the candy tin one especially. A little chocolate everyday sounds good to me lol. Growing up we had a countdown to Christmas calendar. It had a mouse with a santa hat & scarf and every morning we'd move the mouse to the next pocket until Christmas. My sisters & I loved it. Thanks for sharing your stories & ideas.


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