counting down

**update about the mural at the bottom

I was perfectly happy with our flat cardboard Charles Wysocki flip-open-the-window advent calendar until I had the idea of chocolates falling from the sky. This is one of those projects that didn’t quite work out the way I envisioned it. Maybe next year I can perfect it. I wanted hanging cones of treats that when the day came, you pulled the string, the treats fell down to the ground and the cone transformed into a beautiful snowflake. Sort of a pinata advent calendar. I really like the idea of the cones changing shape to snowflakes – a very clear way to see how many days left til Santa.

here’s what I came up with

It doesn’t work so well because I used cardstock and it’s just too stiff to unfurl nicely. Also I had to rethink the falling chocolates since I hung it in Oscar’s room. He’d never fall asleep knowing there were chocolates hanging overhead just out of reach! Still Oscar loves it and it’s pretty and it gave me another chance to play with my glitter glue (for the numbers on the outside of the cones).

note to next year’s Christmas self – try coffee filters like Siri!

updated to add: the wall? haven’t y’all seen the wall before? tim is very pleased that his handiwork is upstaging mine ๐Ÿ˜‰ but yeah, I can’t find the old post on it in the archives so maybe I’m just assuming. that is a mural tim painted on oscar’s wall before he was born. the walls are a grayish blue – took us 3 tries to find just the right blue. (benjamin moore’s gossamer blue for those interested). we wanted a tree with birds and tim started on a really elaborate branch system in dark brown and it totally overpowered the room so he painted over it and started again by mixing just a bit of darker paint into the wall paint and then he used that to do the branches. the birds are amazing – he used my parents’ birder book as a guide. we wanted very realistic birds and they’re just perfect! I did the leaves. you can’t seem them, they’re in a very light spring green. it’s actually a spring tree. I’m going to go hunt down some more pictures of it and then put them up on my flickr.

29 thoughts on “counting down

  1. brandie says:

    very fun idea! i wouldn’t be able to sleep with chocolates hovering above my head either ๐Ÿ™‚
    i have to say, i *love* the mural (is that the right word??) on the wall…it’s really lovely!

  2. jean says:

    Very lovely snowflakes, but that wall is stunning! Did you paint it? Absolutely beautiful. What color is the wall itself? And the branches?

  3. bellablue says:

    I like the idea… I know what you mean about the falling candy. My 2 year old can barely sleep just knowing there are the advent stockings hanging all the way downstairs with candy in them. Her first request each morning is to “pick a sock”. And I agree with Jean, the wall is lovely.

  4. *jenny says:

    to begin with, i am in love with that beautiful winter-tree-with-birds mural. but the idea for unfurling filled-with-candy snowflakes is complete genius!!! wow!

  5. Max says:

    On a completely different note, I am intrigued by the tree in Oscars room! I an about to do a mural in Emily’s room, which will have an outdoor theme with animals etc. I would love to see more of Oscar’s walls!

  6. tania says:

    woo! this is so funny.
    it’s like you , hyper creative all year, go into high velocity overdrive creative at santa time! AWESOME!
    you are making me crave “elf” ! where did we put our copy last year?

  7. roo says:

    I wonder what would happen if you used something like a paper parasol (like a cocktail umbrella, only bigger)that could open up into a snowflake.
    I know the unfurling action’s a little different than what you’ve done here. You’ve just got me thinking…

  8. jennifer w. says:

    Admit it, Hillary. You’ve found the secret to cloning yourself, haven’t you? There are really, like, 10 “Hillaries” living at your house, making all this fabulous stuff day and night.
    Nah – I know you are an original, and just super creative and very efficient with your time.

  9. Melissa says:

    I love that hanging chocolate idea!
    And the wall is gorgeous – in fact, we’ve been meaning to paint a bare-branched tree in one corner of *our* room for almost a year, now…and still haven’t gotten around to it!
    You did a beautiful job.

  10. laurie says:

    thanks so much for sharing the photos and info about the process, especially your painting process. i say “how do you know that a room really finished if you go with the first paint color, right?” ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. liz says:

    I think the wall is just gorgeous– definitely worth all of the fine tuning it took to get it right. I think your advent calendar is super, too. There’s enough candy at Christmastime already– haveing something pretty to look at is good, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. kelly says:

    Love the candy falling from the sky concept – who wouldn’t?!? And that mural… outstanding. I keep dreaming of the day where I’ll have the guts to paint something like that in Brynne’s room… I guess it would help to have an ounce of fine art talent, wouldn’t it…

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