"What one can see out in the sunlight is always less interesting than what is behind a windowpane."

Thursday, August 2, 2012

An Advent Calendar with a Twist

Here's a new way to count down to Christmas - an Advent cubby calendar decorated with antique Holy Prayer Card images.

A couple weeks ago, I blogged about working on this calendar.  It's taken much longer than expected, but the results made it worth the wait.

Whenever I looked at these old prayer card pictures, the word, "grotto" kept popping into my head.  How could I incorporate that into this piece?  By decorating the sides with hand-sculpted rocks.  Yes, one...by....one.  Remind me never to do that again!

I knew I wanted to do something different with the Advent Calendar, but nothing inspired me....until after making some wooden blocks with these old images.  The rustic artwork just called to me. 

Most of the images I chose are of Mary, Jesus, and angels. 

By scraping off parts of the pictures and adding Burnt Umber paint, I created a more rustic feeling to the overall piece. 

The original box had a door that closed.  I riiiiiipped it right off.  Couldn't stand it.  It got in the way.

The most challenging part of this project was working with a high-gloss finish. It was very difficult to adhere paint to it.  I did wind up using their numbers though, which I thought fit very well.

Finally, I considered actually attaching a vintage stable scene to the top.  After eyeing it a few times, I concluded #1 it looked best left alone and #2 it would make storing it difficult.  Sometimes less is more.
Another project that's been sitting on my shelf for two years completed.  Mission Accomplished!


  1. wonderful wonderful wonderful!! I love this. what a great idea. I cant believe you made everyone of those little stones! I would have gone out and pick some up out of the drive way! lol!
    really this is a great piece.

  2. Wow! This is very unique and I've never seen anything close to it before. Lovely piece.