03 December 2010

Of Friendship and Advent Calendars

Tonight I'm going to go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows with my dear friend Cornet Crazie. Yesterday we were chatting about times and such — I'm going to the theatre early to make sure we get seats. You see, we have been planning to go to this movie together since springtime. We're just a wee bit obsessed (this from a girl who started reading the first Harry Potter book in kindergarten, mind you).

Now, when you get Cornet and I in the same room — even just talking to each other long-distance on the phone — you'd better be prepared to wait a good long time. We live 45 minutes apart since I moved 3 years ago, so we don't see each other every day. Thus, like good friends, we have a LOT to talk about. Our record for phone conversation is one hour and thirty minutes exactly (beaten only by my mythological conversation with Elr√°nia that lasted over two hours).

So with that much time, what do we talk about? Everything and anything. Somehow it came up in our conversation that Cornet had never had an advent calendar — can you imagine? She didn't even know what one was. The poor, depraved child. She had never scooped out pumpkin guts either, but we cured her of that. There's a lesson in here somewhere: Interesting things happen at Olivia's house.

In case any of you lovely readers don't know what an advent calendar is either, I shall enlighten you: It's a piece of paper, traditionally, that has some sort of Christmasy painting on it. There are little doors numbered 1-24 in a countdown to Christmas Eve. You open one each day and there is a little surprise picture behind each door.
Of course there are variations. Some are wood, some are felt; some have hidden toys or candy, other have sayings or songs. There are some lovely examples of chic calendars here at oh, hello friend that make me wish I was a better crafty person.

Anyway. I've decided to cure Cornet of this terrible injustice by introducing her to the joy of advent calendars. My mother, a wonderful artist, created advent calendars for her younger brothers. She used scrumptious watercolors to paint little mice/people who went about their Christmasy way, then cut doors in the painting to let her brothers see the little pictures behind them. We still have them and bring them out at Christmastime... I shall have to share photos with you when we take them out, they're marvelous.
Well, I am not nearly so good an artist as she, but I tried my best and created something similar for Cornet, which I shall give her upon her arrival. It will be half of my Christmas present to her, given early so she can enjoy it (minus 2 days of December).

You see, as an only child I was usually the only one opening the doors of the advent calendar, so when I thought about creating one it seemed kind of redundant — the whole magic of an advent calendar is the childlike joy you get when you open a door and find a little surprise behind it. So I leapt upon the opportunity to give one to Cornet. Hers features mice in a farmhouse... I shan't share what's behind it because Cornet is a reader of this blog and I don't want to spoil her surprise. But here is the front of it. It took me about three hours last night and this morning — yes, I know, I am a slow painter and not a very good one. But it's the thought that counts, right?

Anyway, I must be on my merry way, getting ready for our venture to the theatre. (Side note: our dear old Regal Cinemas is closing, and it looks like it will be bought by the WalMart next door — nooo! Save the Cinema! I have good memories of that. Like the time when there was a poisonous pet snake crawling around. Or when my friend got evacuated because of a gas leak. It's a local love, and you can bike there from my house...)

update: some time later...
Well, the movie was incredibly epic (to say the least)! Cornet and I had a lovely dinner with my family, and she had great fun opening the first 3 doors of the calendar.

I was showing her some photos on my phone and (I'm not quite sure how she managed this) somehow she fell in the crack between my bed and my wall. It took a good five minutes to extract her.
This is mostly because instead of being a good friend and helping her, I grabbed my camera.
Being friends with me can be deadly.

My father drove Cornet home, and lo and behold there was snow! Our first real snow — not snowlike ice but big, fat, wet flakes. I tried my best, but snow at night with a lousy flash ends up looking kind of meh.

Wow. I can't believe I just posted that last photo. Those self-portraits were taken with an incredibly wide angle... gah, I look so round! Eh. Whatever. See my snowy hat? It's actually a legit Irish hat from Dublin; an old fisherman's cap. I got it at a yard sale.

Well! More photos will be following in my next post, since tomorrow I'm going to Boston with my good friend Sammy and her friend Megan. We're going shopping. :)


  1. Awesome :)

    I once tried (and horribly failed) to make an advent calendar out of an old chocolate box. Needless to say, it did not turn out too well.

  2. I thank you for enlightening me, I didn't know what an advent calender was either. :D

  3. At first I hadn't a clue what that was, but then I remembered that my friend has one.

    Harry Potter WAS epic. I might be seeing it AGAIN with my friend tomorrow when she sleeps over. HEHEHE! Sorry, when I talk about one of the best book and movie series in the world I kinda get obsessed.

  4. That was about the cutest advent calender I have ever seen! Mine is felt and we have little magnet felt pictures that we hang on there. Then, the last 12 days before Christmas, my mom puts little gifts in the giant pounch for each day. It's fun. :)

    Well anywho, you're a wonderful painter! Inspires me. :)

  5. Would you mind making a tutorial of this? I'm wondering how you cut out the little doors from the picture. What paper did you use?

  6. Oh, good idea, Anonymous!
    I used watercolor paper for both, with watercolors on the outside and colored pencil inside. I used an x-acto knife. I'll post a tutorial in a few days.

  7. I don't think your a bad painter at all!! All is I can do is stick figures lol. It turned out great! And yes I agree Harry Potter was awesome!


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