Advent

Traditionally Advent is a season, November 29 to December 24, and holds loads of religious significance. An advent is the arrival of something. All religion aside, there are many seasons and reasons to countdown and perhaps celebrate. While the holiday season is upon us, and there are many cultures to consider, we often focus on Christmas. Whether you recognize the birth of Christ, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Yule, the festivals of light have arrived and what better way to prepare than with lots of stars to brighten the long nights? I took to the trusty Cricut precision cutting machine to whip up an advent calendar of sparkling stars that can also be used as gift packages. This project builds upon the origami skills we gained in the Shining Stars class for Maker Monday in November.

Sparkle and Shine

The Southeast Steuben County Library makerspace, Creation Station hosts a Cricut Explore Air and all of the materials one needs to complete this Origami Star Advent Calendar. We have a subscription to Cricut Access, which can only be used in the makerspace, but you can complete these stars with good old-fashioned scissors and origami skills. After running through the process, I would even suggest using origami paper and following the tutorial provided later in this blog. There are some downfalls to the Cricut system that bug me, so I want to give you the heads up on how to proceed with the best success. This project creates twenty four paper stars that can hold a small prize, message, or cash. I took advantage of an extra star to personalize a gift for a relative, then hung it on the tree seen above. (Yes, that is our Jade plant decorated like a Christmas tree! Eclectic we be.)

Thinner Paper Suggested

Although Cricut offers lovely project ideas, their provided instructions lack in many ways. I often feel I am cutting paper or vinyl without a clear view of the steps to the final process. There have been several times when following a project in their design suite, that I have to research better instructions elsewhere in the internet. This project proved to be a prime example. If you search “Advent” in Cricut Design Space, this project pops up in the results. I highly recommend using a thin card stock or paper to construct these. I used thicker card stock, but the folds were tough to crease and the layers of the paper started to peel apart. This is apparent in sharp corners, like the brown star seen above.

The Countdown

I sourced this YouTube video to instruct the proper folding method to achieve these stars. Follow that link to find the best tutorial to guide you to success. A little patience goes a long way. Silver stickers I have had forever were perfect to adhere to the back of each star. I cut numbers to create the count down using adhesive vinyl. A punched hole and fishing line make these stars visually float, since the filament is clear. Add an ornament hook and you’re all set. Hanging these stars in a window on a curtain rod proved to be the most simple approach and festive touch to my holiday decor. I hope you give this project a try. Reach out if you want to learn how to use the Cricut in the Creation Station!

Booker the Reindeer

The Creation Station is starting to provide Take and Make project kits to our patrons. We currently have a daily raffle to win a 3D printed Booker the Reindeer. This model can be found on Thingiverse and printed upon request if you mention this blog post. If you want to enter the daily drawing, follow this link to enter. Each kit comes with an articulated reindeer, sandpaper to smooth the model, acrylic paints, and a brush. If you are a lucky recipient, please share your creation with us on social media. Tag the library @ssclibrary and use #creationstation. We can’t wait to see our fleet of reindeer out in the community!

Christmas Scene

If you happen to stroll through the library this month, take a peek at the Christmas Scene on display near the circulation desk. This project was a labor of love, also made with the aide of the Circut. This paper-craft takes lots of patience and dedication, but has provided a festive scene for several years. If I were to make this again, I would use an archival glue recommended by paper-craft artisans. Some layers of paper are starting to pull apart, but a little dab of Elmer’s glue stick is a quick fix. This scene easily stores in a shoe box and is actually living its fifth season in our care. Give a comment if your family has a paper Christmas Scene passed down through the generations. HOLLER if you are another crazy-crafter who made that scene above!!!

Ringing in the Spirit

As we wind down the year-we-never-could-have-imagined, there is a sweet suggestion spreading on social media. At 6pm on Christmas Eve, assuming Eastern Time, it is suggested to ring a bell for 2 minutes to spread the Christmas Spirit. My family has traditionally banged pots and pans outside around the house on New Year’s Eve. This bell ringing is likely a new addition to our tradition. Have you found this suggestion in your scrolling? Does it also intrigue you? Let us know if you celebrate with bells or lights or other unique ways to make the season bright. Stories unite us and create the blankets that keep us cozy through the long winter. We always look forward to hearing from you. ❤

That’s a wrap for this stationary moment. I’ll check you on the flip side!

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