Christmas Countdown calendar adventimations
The calendar changed enormously in 2014 from being a collection of objects to being a collection of drawings created, scanned and coloured by Handsworth comics legend Hunt Emerson. He had been enjoying the annual calendar and was interested in the idea of working on one.
The whole process of building Hunt's ideas into the windows, using his high quality cartoon illustrations and making all the 'adventimations' work as animated gifs for his approval, was a treat. I concentrated on the one version of the calendar that would work on all platforms, and had to have it ready well ahead of December - no more moving files around manually at midnight.
On the technical side, I used the Drupal scheduler module to time the appearance of the different pages from day to day. After Christmas I redirected the pages into a permanent table to preserve the work so you can now enjoy this everlasting advent calendar every year.
There's an optional link to a Just Giving page for cancer research supporting Hunt's calendar. ALL the work on it was entirely done for free - just for your enjoyment. Please follow the link.
The year before
I had used the Drupal platform for the calendar for the first time the Christmas before, having worked with this open source software for most of the year. I had also become the owner of a collection of retro Christmas decorations, mostly from the 1950s and early 60s. the result was this responsive Retro Countdown to Christmas calendar
I knew that a Drupal calendar should work very well on all screen sizes so would be much more straightforward than working on different mobile and tablet solutions, but I felt that I couldn't miss the opportunity of adding tunes from a stylophone, so I worked a Flash calendar, from a generic Photoshop master file as well, to get the sound. My stylophone rendition of 'I'm dreaming of a white Christmas' was eventually turned off for being too annoying, but If you've got a Flash player installed you can still get to the calendar from the link below and you can hear 'All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth' when you open the last window,