Totoro and the advent truck

So I made the polar bear. I made the wolf. With three children, I had to make a third. Options included a tractor, dinosaur or a Totoro. All would have provided a great shape for the millet bag, but due to an (imaginary) Totoro accompanying us on several adventures over the year, I felt (pun intended) that there was little choice.

He is made of the softest felted lilac jumper. TF is going to love it. I managed to line up the ribbing, from the jumper, to create perfect opening for the heated millet bag. He is going to love finding Totoro warming up his bed on a cold winter night, or slipped into his coat pocket.

I’m not the only one cutting up the mountain of felted jumpers on this snowy day. AJ delved in and started her first patchwork. She has started to sew it up. I’d love to say that she was making it for me, for Christmas. It is looking so homey. Maybe next time. If I drop lots more hints.

In honour of the winter solstice, our green goddess or Mother Nature as the girls insist she is called, has arrived. When AJ was a toddler, before we started painting advent calendars, I bought our advent truck.

Each year, I made new gifts for the children, so that every day they found something in one of the drawers. The idea is wonderful, but in reality it ended up as a chore. I would stay up each December night to get the gift ready for the next day. Then one year, I discovered Fimo. Suddenly I could make all the treasures in one evening. What’s more they could be used every year and arranged to build up a little winter scene. The children love it. It is part of our family tradition.

(Apologies for out of focus photo. I didn’t realise until the daylight had completely gone.)

I have added a few more figures, over the years. Apart from the obvious characters, there are animals, solstice related and three characters that represent the children. BL made a stable, one year, to add to the scene. Some bits have been glued back on over the years. In some cases, blue-tacked. There is still excitement in the morning when it is time to open that day’s drawer.

I made one mistake. One December evening, as I made two of the animals, I failed to notice that I had NOT picked up the white fimo. Every December, as I turn off the kitchen lights at the end of the day, I am reminded about why I should not craft in the evening. When I look over at the scene, with the lights out, one sheep and one cow glow.  Oh they do glow. Unusual, but it makes me smile.

So what’s making you smile, at the moment?

12 thoughts on “Totoro and the advent truck

  • Tuesday 21 December, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Hi Cheryl,
    I love your Totoro and I’m sure your little man is going to love it. I had a good laugh about your glow in the dark animals.
    I’ll take this opportunity to wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas of happiness, love and laughter.
    Anne xx

    • Wednesday 22 December, 2010 at 12:27 am

      Thanks Anne. The sheep and the cow do make me smile. I did go on and use the glow in the dark to make the candle for the advent truck set. Slightly more appropriate! Happy Christmas.

  • Tuesday 21 December, 2010 at 3:04 am

    What lovely family treasures — glow in the dark animals and all!

    Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! xoxo

    • Wednesday 22 December, 2010 at 12:31 am

      Thanks Valerie. I like to think that the glow in the dark animals add a little more magic to it all. Happy Christmas to you and all.

  • Tuesday 21 December, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I LOVE Totoro! So gorgeous – I think my owls were a bit Totoro inspired, they are a similar shape 😀 I think your fimo characters are a lovely idea and glow in the dark makes it easy to find them on these cold dark mornings! Just being is making me smile at the moment, the childrens joy and excitement, the finish of school and work, the peace and comfort of home, the beauty of the snow, the packages under the tree made by me and all the other members of the family, the finishing of projects from ages ago, the smells and sights, the food and all our friends…yes I am really enjoying just being! Hope that doesn’t sound too corny! Happy Solstice and best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to all of you!
    Em x

    • Wednesday 22 December, 2010 at 12:42 am

      You sound like you have a peaceful and wonderful Christmas ahead of you. I think you are right about the shape of your owls. They have a hint of Totoro. He is quite owl like. I’m sure your boys will enjoy receiving them. Happy Christmas.

  • Tuesday 21 December, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Your post is making me smile at the moment! Such adorable creations! I love them all! What a fun childhood your kids get to have.

    • Wednesday 22 December, 2010 at 12:48 am

      Thanks Casey. I know the children enjoy joining in with everything we do. I hope they look back in years to come and have fun childhood memories.

  • Tuesday 21 December, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Totally excellent post…!!!!
    LOVE the Totoro AND the Advent figures…esp the glowing ones lol

    patchwork looks a great idea..very cosy

    I made a felt advent tree wall hanging …somewhat eccentric construction but cheerful …this year with little felt ornaments to hang up each day the girls have just reminded me I still have two pockets to fill oops better get sewing!

    • Wednesday 22 December, 2010 at 12:55 am

      Good luck with the sewing. Times like that I wish I had started in January. Never manage it. Glad I’ve finished most of the children’s presents. I’m still waiting deliveries, but no chance as our lane is totally iced up. Blah! I hope you all have a Happy Christmas.

  • Tuesday 4 January, 2011 at 1:58 am

    They are adorable little figures, and such a precious little story to go along… the trees in your header are very beautiful. I’m amazed by how many wonderful bloggers are living in the UK…

    • Tuesday 4 January, 2011 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks Jeanene. The children really do love the advent truck tradition. I sometimes think that I will redo some of the figures, but I think they would notice!

      Leaves have gone on the trees now, but I still like the reminder of what they looked like. Bit drab here now the snow has thawed.

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