Friday, 26 December 2014

Creative Advent 2014

Creative Advent 2014 was a great success! On it's first day it had over 150 fans on Facebook. To date, the page has had 382 likes and 96 tweets! As far as I know, it reached from Sydney all the way around to New York.

I had so much lovely feedback! One person told me they looked at it every day whilst they had their breakfast. I had a few emails from complete strangers thanking me for it. 

I would love this to gain in popularity in 2015. You can help by following the facebook page here: or by following this blog. 

If you would like to submit a piece in the 2015 advent calendar, please comment on this post and I will contact you with more details towards the end of September 2015. 

See the whole advent calendar here:

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Delux Ear Muffs

I burnt the inside of my ear muffs with a hairdryer (don't ask). So I deconstructed the fluffiest thing I had to hand – a cushion – and sewed it to the inside to make a wonderful, super-fluffy lining! 
A happy accident as they turned out ten times better than they were originally! 

Day 25 – Creative Advent 14

Seasons Greetings and Good Cheer
By Karl Newson in Norwich, England

A little something to wish you well and keep the good cheer rolling!
See more from Karl Newson:

See the whole advent calendar here:

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Day 24 – Creative Advent 14

Last Minute Checklist
By Matthias Parchettka in Hannover, Germany

See more from Matthias:

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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Day 23 – Creative Advent 14

By Frazer Jones in Norwich, England

Highlighting the importance of not giving up on seeking out peace
in an increasingly fractured and materialistically driven world.

See the whole advent calendar here:

Monday, 22 December 2014

Day 22 – Creative Advent 14

Message in the Snow 
By Emma Chiplin in London, England
Music by Lullatone

A short animation of a crafted little snowman and his family.

See more from Emma:

See the whole advent calendar here:

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Day 21 – Creative Advent 14

Lesser Known Elves of the Festive Season
By Tim Maytom, from Norwich, England

An exploration a few of the more obscure elves who work for Santa Claus and are responsible for some very particular Christmas phenomena. Download a printable version here.

See more from Tim Maytom:

See the whole advent calendar here:

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Day 20 – Creative Advent 14

An Evening of Stories
By Jessica Toth in Berlin, Germany

Download this illustration and use it as your desktop background.

See more from Jessica:

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Friday, 19 December 2014

Day 19 – Creative Advent 14

Just for You
By Maria Crutchley from Norwich, England

Big or small, the greatest gift is the act of giving.
Click here to download, print out and share with those you love.

See more from Maria and other Norwich artists

See the whole advent calendar here:

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Gift for a new home with a garden…

My gym class instructors and friends, Anne and Chris, finished instructing at my gym as they are moving away, to a cottage with a garden. As a fiarwell gift I put together a little gardeners starter kit. 

I made a lining for a box…


…with a flower trim…

…pretty pleased with that…

…I filled it with gardinging essentials…

…and tied a big bow around it…

…and gave it to them after their last class when we said goodbye…

Wishing you lovely people all the best in your future home! 

Day 18 – Creative Advent 14

Recession Buster
By Paul McNeill in Norwich, England

See more from Paul:

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Day 17 – Creative Advent 14

A Floating Face and the Things Inside
Illustration and narration by John Huck McAbee (age 6) in New York City, USA

Ink, paint, pencil and color pencil on paper. 14"x17".
Download the narrated map for a full explanation of this illustration.
Narration maps by Cory McAbee.

Find out more about Cory

See the whole advent calendar here:

Tuesday, 16 December 2014


I had this idea for a stamp for a long time. I finally got it made, but I'd like to have it bigger and mounted on a wooden block, just to look nicer. 

Day 16 – Creative Advent 14

By Juliet Holton in Hove, England

Gloss and varnish on board, 60cm x 60cm.
See more from Juliet Holton:

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Ooh La La

Here's a new piece for The Mustard Cafe's wall…

Day 15 – Creative Advent 14

Christmas is coming!
By Henning M. Lederer from Essen in Germany

Find out more about Henning:
See more Christmas animations here

See the whole advent calendar here:

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Day 14 – Creative Advent 14

A gif from me to you
By Stephen Ong from Norwich in England

See more from Stephen:

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

Day 13 – Creative Advent 14

Festive Fruity Nut Clusters Recipe
By Catherine Gasson in Norwich, England

A festive recipe to get you in the holiday spirit which also makes a lovely homemade gift with a personal touch.
You can download the page here and print out the recipe.

See more from Catherine:

See the whole advent calendar here:

Friday, 12 December 2014

Day 12 – Creative Advent 14

Know Your PenguinsBy Joanna Stafford in Norwich, England
Download your penguins here and use it as a desktop wallpaper.
See more from Joanna:

See the whole advent calendar here:

Rob Ryan Related News…

Today I finished packaging everything that had to be sent out for Christmas. I'm very excited to be able to use my special seasonal Rob Ryan tape. However, it's so huge I think it's going to last me about 10 years, even though I'm using it for everything at Christmas!  

And in other exciting, Rob Ryan-related news, my competition prizes arrived today! I was absolutely thrilled to win these books as they were on my wish list for a long time!!! 

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Day 11 – Creative Advent 14

A Forest
By Leo Nickolls, England

Quite often in my job my favourite sketches won't get picked and I'll often sit and wonder what the finished result would look like. This is one of those roughs that I re-opened and finished! Originally this was for a book called 'Gone are the Leaves', a modern fairytale, but actually may end up on a different book cover next year...
See more from Leo:

See the whole advent calendar here:

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Day 10 – Creative Advent 14

We Love Christmas
By Simon & Rachel Gilles (upto20words) in Bury St Edmunds, England

See more from upto20words:

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Day 9 – Creative Advent 14

By Kerry Dawn Illustration in Lincoln, England

The Robin is hand drawn with coloured biros. Kerry's work is influenced by her memories of growing up in Derbyshire and time spent with her family.
Robins are significant for Kerry, especially since her beloved Grandad passed away. Through out the year, whenever Kerry has a sighting of a Robin, she feels her Grandad and is reminded of him. Christmas was a much loved family celebration with Kerry's Grandparents, and a Robin's presence feels especially poignant and significant this time of year.
See more from

See the whole advent calendar here:

Monday, 8 December 2014

Day 8 – Creative Advent 14

8th December
By Marcel M. from Stuttgart in Germany

Find out more about Marcel by looking for him in the Bonnie & Clyde pub in Stuttgart.
Helping hands and minds:
Anne J. – advice, encouragement, voice
Henning L. – technical support
Manuel M. – all audio;

See the whole advent calendar here:

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Day 7 – Creative Advent 14

Flores de Noche Buena
By Deborah Ballinger Illustrations in Nottingham, England

'Flores de Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the Holy Night' is inspired by the old Mexican legend of how the Poinsettia flower came to be. The story goes that a poor Mexican girl, on her way to Christmas Eve services, felt sad at having nothing to give to baby Jesus. Reminded that any gift is a treasure, she plucks a bunch of weeds into a bouquet, and as she presents them at the nativity scene beautiful bright red stars fall to earth, transforming her weed bouquet into a beautiful bunch of red flowers. Even to this day, the shape of the Poinsettia flower represents the star of Bethlehem and the red leaves of the blood of Christ.
Download the poster here and print it out to re-tell this story, or to remind yourself of the importance of giving this Christmas season.
See more from Deborah Ballinger Illustrations:

See the whole advent calendar here:

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Day 6 – Creative Advent 14

The Second Shepherds' Play: A Medieval Nativity
By Dr. Daisy Black in Sheffield, England

A modern version of a medieval nativity play. Featuring singing shepherds, sheep thieves, and a not-very cunning disguise.
Download the play here.

Details of Daisy's other work can be seen at:,-daisy.aspx

See the whole advent calendar here:

A Saturday in Norwich before Christmas

Today I spotted the new window display at The Book Hive. It's nothing less than genius. A forest of silver birch simply made from painted polystyrene, surreal 'B's swarming around a hive, and a Narnia-esque lamp. Fantastically imagined and beautifully put together. 

I then went to a craft fair on St Benedict's where I was inspired by these handmade wreaths. I thought they were very tasteful and expressive.

Finally, I treated myself to an early Christmas present. At the craft fair on St Benedict's, Vicki Johnson's prints were on sale. I previously bought this as a card but gave it away. I wanted to buy another to frame but found this first and decided it will be perfect in my living room. I love it because it's so warm and lush. I love the shapes and curves, and I love how it's comfortably balanced without being symmetrical.   

Friday, 5 December 2014

Day 5 – Creative Advent 14

By Aubrey Dye in Bristol, England

An acoustic song about unrequited love for a very bright and shiny star the bird could never catch, as who can catch something millions of miles away? Spend your time and love at christmas with the most glistening of gems; those that are there for you every day.
Find more from Aubrey Dye: and

See the whole advent calendar here:

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Day 4 – Creative Advent 14

Christmas Bauble Tags
By Hannah Carty for Dusty Does in Norwich, England
Download the page here, print it out, then mount onto card and cut out the baubles to make your tags. Happy wrapping!

See more from Dusty Does:

See the whole advent calendar here:

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Day 3 – Creative Advent 14

By Grace Sandford in Norwich, England

Grace's Christmas Card design for this year uses bold, modern colours and distinctive patterns to embody a fresh and fun perspective on the festive holiday.

See more from Grace here:

See the whole advent calendar here:

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Day 2 – Creative Advent 14

Credit Crunch Christmas 
By Sportsday in London, England

A doleful ditty about that most wonderful time of year.

See more from Sportsday here:

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Monday, 1 December 2014

Day 1 – Creative Advent 14

Dreaming of a White Christmas
By Adam Howling in Norwich, England

See more from Adam here:

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Sunday, 30 November 2014

Merry Christmas Garland

My amazing friend Kate made this Merry Christmas banner for me. It's got dear faces on bulbuls hanging at either end. I absolutely love it!!!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Happy Birthday Nan

My gran turned 88 today. I made her this card and bought her some German honey. 
Here are some work in progress shots in reverse order: