Welcome to our blog.

….. Making pretty things
….. Simple living
….. Growing a family

Three children (17, 15, 13)*** Two parents *** one dog *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That’s us!

We’ve been blogging since January 2010, about everyday happenings that bring us joy.

Just a thought….

“A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe.”


HIBS100 Index of Home and Interior Blogs


Recent Comments


Subscribe to Time To Craft

Christmas countdown

advent calender set

Running up to Christmas is a slightly frustrating time for any craft blogger. Time is taken making presents for loved ones that would be perfect to post on the blog. The camera captures the process and the finished gift. Perfect. Except that would defeat the object. What if the intended recipient saw it and thus the surprise has gone? No, I can’t do spoiler posts before the day.

advent calender

So you can imagine my joy when John Lewis offered to send me a Make-Your-Own-Advent calendar for review. Now this is something I can make and post up. Before anyone thinks I’ve forgotten how to sew.

The kit consists of 24 cut-to-size coloured squares, 4 sticky back felt sheets, the calendar cloth, a ribbon, embroidery threads and a little sewing kit with needle, pins, poppers and thread. The instructions included are clear, but not prescriptive. There is plenty of room to make the calendar yours by adding your own style. It is also perfect for a first sewing project.

advent calendar point at pocket

The kit is designed to be done by hand. I love these kinds of projects, as I can sit and listen to the children reading or doing their music practise, while finishing another square. Inevitably, I shall never be able to look at the tenth pocket without hearing “Lavender Blue” being played on the harp.  Or look at pocket number 5 and not hear “We three Kings” being practised on the piano. Christmas comes early in our household.

making advent calendar

Not that I have done the project alone. I had lots of help, from my daughters (11 and 9), cutting out the numbers from the sticky back felt using the templates on the instructions. Fiddly, but made more fun as we did it as a team. Being sticky back felt meant that the numbers were quick to add on, after they had been cut out.

After a while, the children found the temptation to use the odd bits of sticky felt left over, as moustaches and beards, too much to resist. I was left to finish alone. They did return to help me with the stitching.

advent calender reindeer

The kit suggests that the name of the child receiving the calendar could be cut out of felt and stuck to the top. As my three children will share the calendar (only fair as they all helped), I decided against adding names. “Merry Christmas” was another option, but as I stood back and looked, I just felt an image would work best.

So I sketched a reindeer. I used brown felt, some sequins and fabric pen from my stash. I couldn’t resist adding some sequins to the pockets, as well as ribbon embellishments that I happened to have around.

checking the advent pockets

All done. I’m really pleased with the end result. We will be using this for years to come. Another tradition to add to our seasonal celebration.

If you are thinking that making your own calendar would be a great idea, I suggest you get your skates on. Don’t leave it to the evening of 30th November. Not unless you can put a few hours aside and don’t mind working against the clock. It is well worth the effort though.

John Lewis were also kind enough to send me a voucher to fill the pockets with goodies. Oh, the choice, I did window shop for a while and um-ed and ahh-ed, but I finally went down to this (ok, can’t show you as it will spoil the surprise for the children). I can’t wait for the 1st of December!



Disclaimer: I was sent the voucher and kit by John Lewis for review purposes. The words, opinions expressed and photos are honest and  100% my own.

2 Responses to Christmas countdown

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.
Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don’t just take. Written permission only. Don’t pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It’s not nice.

Cookie Policy

Our web pages do not use cookies however this website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. Google Analytics uses cookies to help us analyse how people use our site. The use of cookies by Google Analytics is subject to change.