Monday, December 5, 2011

Zentangle Advent Calendar

[Picture heavy post!]

Wow! Can't believe December 1st has already come and gone! I still feel like it is September. I can't keep up with time.

One of my cherished memories from childhood is an advent calendar someone had sent us as a card. I just loved the illustrations on it and each year would revel in opening the tiny door to see what was underneath. No one else participated with me, but I didn't care. I loved it! That poor thing was worn out as I carefully shut the doors each year and put it away for the next year.

I had hoped to do some kind of fabulous calligraphic advent calendar at some point in my life. I just never found the time. * However, this past June our guild challenged each of its members to calligraph a cylinder to be displayed at our December meeting where we typically showcase our calligraphic work from throughout the year. Being given a blank canvas and an assignment with a deadline is probably one of the worst creativity stiflers I can imagine. I stared at that cylinder for five and a half months!

Then I sat down just before December to write this blog. I got to the point where the * is and the idea hit me! I could make the cylinder into an advent calendar! And that is exactly what I did! This project took 32 hours. But I am very happy with the result. And it is a nice way to display some of my greeting card work.

I started by mapping out the spacing for the envelopes to determine which size tags to make. Once that was done, I made the envelopes from left over Stardream pearl envelopes from an old calligraphy job. I knew I would use those some day! They had a return address printed on them but the front was blank. I used Joanne Fink's zenspirations to create the numbers.

Once that was complete, I zentangled the entire sheet - 21"x31" sheet of hotpress Arches watercolor paper. This was the exact size needed to cover the cylinder. I then glued on the envelopes and started on the tags. Many of the tags use designs I created for greeting cards over the years but some were designed solely for the calendar.

Now that it is complete, I would only do one thing differently. I would have left a white space around the squares where the envelopes were. I loved the zentangles but once the envelopes were added, it detracted from the zentangle which really became just a background pattern. I think with some white space around the envelopes, the zentangle would still really stand out.

I am thinking of doing another one for the future but as a flat canvas. Instead of envelopes, I would cut a slice for each tag and tape an envelope behind the canvas.

Hope you enjoy!