Advent Calendars: Not Just for the Holidays

carolyn dube of a colorful journey

My dear friend Carolyn Dube, a self-taught art adventurer and mixed media artist, is on a journey filled with fun! She is one of the teachers in the Handcrafted Holidays class and has finally reigned in the critical voice that squelched her joy and held her art back for many years. Today, she avoids rules whenever possible and lets the little kid inside her free to create art without judgment. She teaches workshops and art classes online, has more than 300 YouTube videos, has written articles for Somerset Studio and Cloth Paper Scissors magazines as well as designs stencils for StencilGirl Products.

When we chatted, she shared her story with me and her unique—and joyful—approach to art.

Advent Calendar for all Occasions

Growing up, Carolyn’s family was “Advent Calendar crazy,” and it’s a tradition she has continued with her own family.

Traditional Advent calendars are used to count down the days until Christmas by opening up little number doors to reveal a prize. Advent begins on the Sunday nearest the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle (November 30) and continues for four weeks; however most Advent calendars typically begin on December 1 and continue for 24 days to mark the days before Christmas. The word Advent is derived from the Latin word for “coming” and has been celebrated since the 4th century.

Throughout the years, many Advent calendar traditions were adopted from simple paper calendars with pictures to every kind imaginable from the largest to the most expensive and LEGOS to the Hubble Space Telescope’s version.

Carolyn loves to create her own Advent calendars throughout the year, so she doesn’t have the last-minute December rush to complete presents, especially since she gifts them before December 1. It’s the perfect gift to give someone who can buy anything for themselves, because it’s a gift from the heart.

“I like the heart that goes into gifts more than the dollar amount,” said Carolyn. (tweet this)

Handmade Advent calendars can be themed for kids and adults. Carolyn even uses the concept of an Advent calendar to celebrate any occasion including birthdays and other holidays or events such as leaving for college gifts. In addition, they are the perfect way to use up any gelli print O.O.P.S. you may have sitting around.

I’m thrilled that Carolyn will be showing us how to create our very own Advent Calendars as part of our Handcrafted Holidays class.

About Me (Miriam Schulman)


Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where I help other artists learn how to profit from their passion. Through online classes, business coaching programs, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. My signature coaching program, The Artist Incubator, helps artists go from so-so sales to sold-out collections.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and M.I.T, I initially pursued finance but after witnessing 9/11, I abandoned a lucrative hedge fund job to work on my art full time. Since then, my art and my story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. My forthcoming book with HarperCollins Leadership on how to make it as an artist is scheduled to be released January 31, 2023. When I’m not in the studio, you can find me hanging out with my husband, adult kids, and a tuxedo cat named Ebony. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for art lovers (of every passion level) at



About Carolyn Dube

Carolyn Dube of A Colorful Journey

If Carolyn could go back to her 20-year-old self, she’d give herself a head slap and say, “Quit worrying and do something! Play, screw it up. Make a mistake. It’s just paint and paper.”

Once Carolyn allowed herself the freedom to play, her art was transformed. Creating became joyful and the stress faded away. Although the urge to be a perfectionist still bubbles to the surface from time to time, it doesn’t have the same power as it did when she was younger.

Carolyn has made it her passion to share this way of creating with others through classes and workshops. You can find Carolyn online at


The Free “Artist Chats” Video Interview Series

You won’t want to miss any of the “Artist Chats” I recorded with the Handcrafted Holidays teaching team. The conversations we had and the information we discussed during these interviews to prepare for the class ended up being so incredible, I decided to create a FREE video series so that everyone could benefit from their unique stories and insights. Many of these artists started their professional art journey after raising children or having other careers (just like you)! This series of interviews is called “artist chats” and will be posted on the blog throughout September and October so be sure to add that to your “must see TV” list. (sign up here)

A sneak peek at Carolyn’s project for Handcrafted Holidays…

Carolyn will be teaching us how to make a colorful (of course) Advent Calendar. This makes a a great gift idea for all ages and you can countdown to any holiday.

Cool trivia: In 2016, December 24th is the first night of Hanukkah, Christmas Eve and my birthday!


Here are just a few reasons to say “yes” for the Handcrafted Holidays class:

Connect with 10 Inspirational Art Teachers


Join us for our newest class, Handcrafted Holidays! It’s a smorgasbord of teachers. Enjoy them buffet style as you sample ideas for crafted gifts for the holidays!



Are you ready to create your own handmade gifts from the heart?

Colorful Advent Calendar with Carolyn Dube • Mexican Star Piñata with Danita Art  Poinsettia Mola with Jane LaFazioGift Boxes with Marjie Kemper • Wrapping Embellishments with Andrea Gomoll  Inspirational Word Ornaments with Miriam Schulman  Wonder Poppets with Mystele Paint  Star Ornament with Blenda Tyvoll  Tzedakah Box with Jessica Sporn  Golden Letters with Joanne Sharpe  •

  • Nothing compares to giving handcrafted gifts from the heart to your loved ones.
  • Our online format gives you the guidance you need and step-by-step instructions so you will complete your project without the frustration of going it alone.
  • Plus you’ll have the bonus of external accountability to get your holiday projects done in time!
  • Our teacher team has done the heavy lifting of figuring out 10 unique gifts to create, so you won’t need to struggle to come up with ideas.
Registration now CLOSED.

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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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