The Countdown Begins

Growing up, we always had these cool German advent calendars to help us mark off the days until Christmas. My mom was German and it was such a key part of my childhood memories that I continued the tradition with my own kids.

The boys are all grown up now (and might be known for plowing through an entire calendar in one sitting rather than opening one door each night) but we continue to get advent calendars for them and their little sister. In recent years I’ve considered making one — because nothing makes you feel quite like an underperforming crafty mom like the Internet — but never quite found a style that really meshed with my taste.

Enter this handy little book:

Countdown Calendars popped up on my radar earlier this year and I couldn’t have been more excited*. There are several countdown events with calendars and a nice selection that are just perfect for the Christmas season. Some of the designs aren’t really my style but one really stood out to me and I quickly picked out some fabrics for it to create a shop sample.

Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane (p. 16) is pretty fun and leaves a lot of room for personalizing. The book calls for button numbers but I opted to use my expensive paperweight embroidery machine instead. If I had to do it again, I’d leave off the flat piping. I struggled to get it to lay flat; there’s just too much bulk in the seams with all the on-point stuff (which is definitely not my strong suit).

It also merits pointing out that I’m not a quilter and also should not work on projects after 9 p.m. I was so eager to finish the calendar that I kept working until 11 p.m. After I finished the entire thing (including the binding), I realized that “squaring up” is not quite what happened. In fact, the top edge of the project has a very noticeable slant. Feel free to copy me — it’s a trend I’m sure will be all the rage in the coming year. *wink*

Miss L is excited about using it and I’ve already loaded up each pocket with a piece of Dove chocolate.

*Disclosure: The book is published by Stash Books, an imprint of C&T Publishing, which is also my publisher. I paid retail for this book at my local LQS. I received no compensation for writing about this book and all opinions are mine.


My book arrived yesterday.

I knew it was coming and knew it would be here by 3 p.m. Wednesday, but I somehow was still not prepared when I picked up the envelope next to my front door.

My book.

I think most people would have just ripped into it right then and there. I’m not most people.

Instead, I thought about opening the envelope and felt like crying. Crying. I’m such a freak.

So I stuck the envelope in my bag and figured I’d be ready to open it…eventually. “Eventually” doesn’t work when you’ve told your friends and family on Facebook the book is on it’s way, and then that you have it but can’t open it. Still, I couldn’t do it.

Until this morning.

Maybe I can just pull the tab a little bit…

Maybe I can pull it all the way off…

Not so bad! Hey, what’s that peeking out?

Well, hello there!

Hey, that’s me!

It’s all flippy n stuff!

My book. My. Book.


Susanne Woods, the acquisitions editor at C&T, wrote a beautiful introduction to Little Girls, Big Style on the Stash blog. It almost made me cry, too.