Can I start by saying I loved making this. I thought that the twenty four small sections were perfect for an advent tree but I wanted to make something that would allow the tree to be looked at all year. By removing the middle struts from each of the shelving levels, I could have twelve sections which I wanted to represent each month of the year. The integrity of the overall structure was unaffected - Exciting! Choosing each section to differ from another meant I had to have a plan at the outset. I made a template for a section on each of the four levels which helped me get an idea of the differing sizes and spaces for the month I was working on. I decorated the skies/ceilings and bases on the bottom level for October, November and December as I began construction and then once the next base level was added, worked upwards to July, August and September etc. This was much easier than building and decorating the entire tree and trying to work with paint and effects afterwards. However, for an overall decoration the excellent instructions that come with the kit show clearly how to assemble and can be followed with ease.

Using a few miniature pieces and dies from CKC, I was able to ensure that the seasons and occasions that occur throughout the year were not just represented but – hopefully – easily identified. The miniature makers tool kit was a great help in getting the right results and helped minimise the well known condition of “gluey finger ”. There were some obvious things to include but it was great fun thinking how the CKC dies could be incorporated and which flowers represented each month the best. Double sided crepe paper was great to give a variety of colours and in differing shades rather than block colour which can look less natural. Some of the leaves and/or petals have been individually coloured using felt tip pens – I really must get out more! As I have been previously heard to say, the dies give a choice of size and shape of the same leaf/petal so the overall effect is more authentic than a punch or machine cut can do. A short summary of what I used is as follows:

January The snowdrops were made using the calyx die set with the smallest of sword leaves. To celebrate the start of the year I used the CKC miniature bottle and glasses set and added a personalised label on the champagne, wishing a Happy New Year “from us to you”.

February Red roses were made using the ruffle petal die set and rose leaf dies. The vase is from the CKC set and the box of chocolates was made using the largest of the cereal packet dies and from which I cut an aperture to one of the box faces and then added acetate and a picture of chocolates on the inside before assembling as usual. This was finished with red ribbon and a small bow.

March In real life I love the variety of daffodils and was able to use both the pointed petal and the oval petal dies with double sided crepe paper to give different shapes and colour combinations in miniature. The leaves were made from the sword leaf die which I did not cut separately but left as a joined piece. I then rolled and stuck the leaves before putting the flower stems in the middle and only positioning the whole host of golden daffodils on the base once they fully dry.

April The depth of this section does not really show off the result that can be achieved with the cobble path stencil but I loved the effect of the uneven shapes to create a town garden with colour from the masses of tulips. These were also made using the oval petal dies and rolling carefully to get the leaves overlapping for a bud shaped tulip head.

May The maypole dominates for this month but CKC dies are still represented with a few leaves among the hedgerow.

June The ferns worked well on a small bank of grass in the backdrop to the picnic scene however I was really pleased with the poppies in the long grass made using the pointed 6 petal die and red crepe paper.

July As I wanted this to represent lush bushes and shrubs I chose not to use too many flowers for this month but I did add die cut heart leaves to the sunflower stalks and included a few pink flowers as a contrast to the greenery.

August Crepe paper dune grasses were placed into modelling paste before it dried and was later scattered with fine sand. The sea is also made using modelling paste, painted with a translucent blue and green to represent the waves lapping at the seashore.

September What schoolroom doesn’t need a Cheeseplant made from CKC dies and dark green paper painted, lightly varnished to give a slight sheen to the leaves? The school clock was made from a button and a small printed clock face, the easel from coffee stirrers and the coloured pencils in the pot are pieces of coloured paper clips.

October The maple and oak leaf dies were perfect to cut tissue paper and crepe paper leaves in autumn colours and I liked the way I was able to have some of them falling into the November section as well.

November I have used the ivy leaf die cut pieces with wire before but this time added them to “untwizzed” string (it’s a technical term, don’t you know?!). I felt that it gave a softer look and also allowed a more natural shape to form with a creeping ivy. The other way in which I incorporated a CKC die was to use the small sword leaf for flames within the bonfire and which could easily be cut for a log fire indoors.

December Presents, presents and more presents. The shape and size of the three CKC box die sets are perfect for this little Christmas scene and there is a special Christmas gift box decorated with a die cut poinsettia. Please note not only is there is miniature mistletoe die set being wrapped at the last minute but also there is framed picture of a cat who, because he is not cold in a hat and scarf, is just a very CoolKat!

How fantastic is that idea I know it's got us all excited to try a few of those idea's out. And if you want to recreate Carol's Tree of the Year Wizz you can find all the links below along with links to our CoolKatz Facebook Group and YouTube channel.

Happy Crafting

The CoolKatz Team x

No Tags