Those Advent elves – options

I have been trying to get back to this but got sidetracked by a variety of things which I’ll get to at the end. But I wanted to add a bit more, some options, and a link to a tutorial that I adapted for my own use.

First, you remember the cone-head ornaments from the other day. I had originally thought that I would construct the countdown a bit like the Snorfs, with this sort of bottom added to stick them to a base:


The problem with that, and indeed the problem with the Snorfs 12 days countdown, is that it is tricky to store.  The cone-heads, when loose, stack and would store easily in a small box


Leaving them loose I had two ideas for adding the countdown aspect – beginning with the easiest one, stick the text strip inside the cone like so:


I liked that as you could then hang them on the tree with nothing to get lost or come loose.  They would always be the same, which may not be an issue, but if you wanted to vary them each year, sticking them in won’t do.  Another option is again like the Snorfs, a little strip with a number on the side that tucks into the tab slit like so:


To access it you just pull it out.  Again, no base required and so long as you do the thing then store the tab, you can use them every year, shift the order around, easily make lots of ones to pick from in future years. I think the cones could be hung on a painted branch, or just set out on a table or the mantle.

But the one thing I know MY kids loved about advent calendars is missing – the chocolate!  So I wanted a way to add that and still have most of the rest of the advantages of each option still there.  I think I cracked it.

First, I have to go back to something I bookmarked in a previous browser that I didn’t transfer over.  It was actually two browsers ago so it took some hunting to find it again but I did.  I remembered the basics, but I really wanted to add the link so I had to hunt it down.  What I wanted to do was sort of invert the process, and use the punched strip to make a holder.  This is how I did it.

You will need:

cardstock enough for

  • six 2 inch circles
  • eight 1 inch circles
  • seven 1 x 8 inch strips


  • ribbon slot punch – mine is Fiskars but I think there are others that will do the same thing
  • adhesive

1. Either add adhesive (like Stick It!, which you can punch or die cut even after the adhesive is in place) or punch then add adhesive to the circles.


2.Punch the slits all along the strips of cardstock


3. Score just past the slits


and cut along the edge to turn the slits into tabs


4. Curl the strip around the circles, sticking the tabs to the adhesive


When you get to the last couple of tabs you will want to add adhesive to both the tabs and up to the edge to close the cup


and give you this:


I’m not QUITE done yet, but this will give you an idea of how it will come together:


So, the bottom of the cup gets stuck to the base, and either the circles can be stuck in or you can have a little bag of them and simply place them in, and add a chocolate on top (a wrapped one, obviously!) then place the cones over them. Taking each cone off in turn, the kids can then add them to the tree.  Since the cones are all loose, they can stack for storage, and the base is an A4/US letter size so would slip into, say, a cereal box for storage.

As you can see there is still plenty of room if you wanted a longer countdown – I don’t think it would quite make a full month-long one on an A4 sheet but you could get 10 days or a fortnight, I think, with ease.  Mine isn’t done cause I am just not sure what I want to do – make 18 more elves or leave it as a final-week one.  We don;t have room on our tree for 22 elves, I know THAT. Anyway, there are a few ideas – if you make one, do share it with me.


Why I am so frustrated.  Warning: it’s long and most people won’t “get” it.  Really.  Skip it – and if you don’t, remember, I did warn you. But I just felt the need to vent.

I am STILL struggling with the word verification on Blogger.  I was fine for the first 5 or so blogs yesterday, still trying to get to my WOYWW visits, when all of a sudden, either because I had done too many in one go so they assumed I was a spammer, OR because maybe I typed the numbers in wrong, it switched to word verification on all of them.  My eyes are just incapable of seeing the garbled word.  If it takes me 10 minutes to cycle thru a few options then two or three attempts to get one right, it takes me an hour to do a few blogs.  And I am not a brief commenter, usually. I had hoped that with a new day the number verification would come back.  It didn’t.  I am guessing there is some cookie or another Google has put on my machine that tells it to show me word verification instead of the easier number one. And after spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out exactly what to type in to block that, and reading a tone of post complaining about it on Blogger forums, I know two things – first, it is not the fault of the blogger.  This is Blogger’s way to stop spam. The Blogger bloggers can’t stop it even if they want to.   Secondly, a side benefit to Google is you can avoid the word verification (but still have to do the number one) so long as you are logged in to Google.  I tried it. It works.  The advice they give on the forum is to get a Google account and log in to it to comment.  This is not something I choose to do.  If I had an option that worked I would not be using Chrome.  I don’t like things being displayed or worse, things being blocked or NOT displayed, based on my tracked “habits” so I try never to stay logged in to anything (Facebook or Goggle or Pinterest or Amazon) that tracks my browsing.  I did try to log in, make a comment, then log out and see but as soon as I logged out, the word verification replaced the number on before my very eyes. So I am left with the decision to either bail on WOYWW (a great joy every week) cause I can’t comment, do something that goes against every fibre of my being and log in to Google to comment (perhaps do only that in a session then log out and carry on) or carry on posting my link and never commenting on any Blogger/Blogspot blog.  None of the options make me at all happy, hence the annoyance.  Having used WordPress for my blogging and seen how elegant and reliable the Askimet spam filter is (over 60k of spam comments blocked, and in all the years I have been blogging I would say no more than 10 not-spam comments ever got blocked) I just can’t believe that Blogger can’t put something as good in place.  Instead it’s been weeks of frustration just finding out the specifics of what needed to be done thru trial and error.  Was there a memo that every single Blogger blogger I read missed, one that said you can only easily get comments now from Google-logged in people?  I have open ID and anonymous commenting on my blog.  I moderate if WordPress asks for that, but only some comments require it and I’ve not figured out what triggers it. So I am just going to have to decide before next week what I am going to do.  And see if things change again and the number verification returns for me – I will HAPPILY take the extra time to work thru that, cause I can read it. But not word verification. Never.

So sorry for the rant.  Believe me, I know I am peculiar in this.  And 99% of readers won’t care or will find another blog to read.  But when technology thwarts me I just have to vent.