Wednesday, 27 November 2013

WOYWW - An Artful Dwelling Christmas Advent

Actually, my work space is empty.  You see I have been on a creative retreat this weekend and my bags are still packed....

I had a glorious time with an amazing group of women. There is nothing like crafting from morning til night, or if I am honest, the early hours.  I found my mojo two weeks ago on my last retreat.  Yes, two retreats in two weeks, how lucky am I?! 

This time I was inspired by a Christmas advent that I'd seen in the latest Craft Stamper magazine. It used Tim Holtz 'Artful Dwellings' die, but I decided I didn't want to buy this as the houses looked simple shapes. So I cut card templates and made my own. 50 of them in 4 different shapes.

Meanwhile a friend posted on Facebook, asking if anyone had the die that she could use. I offered her my templates but she managed to buy a die before the weekend, so that made two of us making this calendar. I turned up full of motivation. I have too much Christmas paper so using it up on this project pleased me.  I spent Friday evening cutting out paper to decorate the houses. And I did it again all Saturday morning. And afternoon. What had seemed a simple project turned into something much more complicated. Though perhaps that was just me over thinking things because trying to balance patterns, colours, size and shapes was much more time consuming than I ever imagined.  I was not going to bed before I had finished because I could not face getting up and working on it again! The row of 25 houses were attached with tape and backed with another house shape to give strength and neaten the back. Meanwhile, my friend with the die cut out her houses and papers in a short time. She used just a small selection of co-ordinating papers and the same for the numbers. Hers took a fraction of the time it took me and I learnt several good lessons:

a.  Using up old papers is a good idea in theory
b.  Using different sets of numbers and materials is also good in theory 
c.  Cutting out my own templates is cheaper than buying a die
d.  Cutting out my own templates takes considerably more time than using a die
e.  When you plan a project it is worth thinking about the time involved to prepare materials rather than assume using up your stash is a good idea
f.  You can save much time by using co-ordinating or complimenting papers and embellishments  
g.  Time has a cost.  Enjoyment can give way to frustration!

The day after I got home my friend let me know that Sizzix had the Artful Dwellings die at a great discounted price.  Guess what?  I BOUGHT THE DIE!!!  I also bought 9 others.   Next week these might be on my workspace.    Do pop back and see!

I hope your own creations have been less frustrating than mine, but I'm pleased to say I like the Advent Calendar now it is finished and on display.  What's more, it's a perfect fit. At least I got that right! 

This post is part of Julia's weekly sharing of 'What's On Your Work Desk?' To see what others have been up to why not pop over and see.
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