Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Jesse Tree Ornament Exchange

Crafting is like solving word problems or cake baking for me.  Something freezes over in my mind and all the channels lock up, which is why I ignored an email from a sweet friend - twice. When the email came to my inbox for the third time proclaiming it's need for more crafters, I caved. It's what we do for friends.    I was too late to pick an easy craft, so the "Altar of Fire" (this account can be found in I Kings 18,) became my responsibility.

My personal craft supply is pitiful.  That would mean a trip to Michaels, where beads, florals, fabrics and who knows what else, abounds. I sniffed out the felt isle. That's all I know. Felt, pipe cleaners and a glue gun. Eureka! Did you know there's textured felt now?? I chose "cobblestone grey" and the fun began.

After deciding how big I wanted these puppies to be, I started my assembly work by cutting out 25 rectangle altars, 25 rectangle bases and puddles of water, and then I cut out pieces of "wood" from a floral ribbon I found. The fire, I made from tissue paper and the twine to hang this ornament came from scrap bits of burlap I had when I washed   a few yards of burlap fabric. Don't ask.

The day of our ornament exchange arrived quickly. (The fly on the wall was most likely amused at my disheveled appearance, hunched over piles of felt.) My not-cute, messy pony tail barely held my hair in place as I scrambled to get the last 13 ornaments complete. The smell of banana bread wafted through the house, but apparently not strong enough because I never noticed that it was over baking.

This took me about 4 sittings, 8-10 minutes per ornament. Yes, I timed how long it took me to finish one!

I was so excited to package these up!

Hopefully, my ornaments turned out better than the banana bread, which ended up being left at home to feed to my boys (almost like feeding the dogs). In the place of banana bread I threw a bag of tortilla chips and a jar of salsa into a tote and headed out the door. I am notorious for this.  Though more notorious for bringing my failed baked item. At least I have learned to leave that at home.

Once I arrived and saw all the different ornaments, one for each day of advent, I was over taken by feelings of inadequacy and nervousness. Who wants to disappoint their friends, knowing how much time they spent on their ornament? But I also felt excitement to visualize our Rowden family Jesse Tree, heavy laden with these gifts. The realization that each one represented the loving hands of a friend became clear and made every minute of work worth it!  I looked around the room at everyone visiting and smiled to myself. Did they have little ones clamoring around while they worked on theirs? Did they work late into the night to get it done? Were they nervous too?  I wanted to hug each woman. But I didn't. Some of my friends are not huggers you know.

HOWEVER, the special lady who spent a lot of time organizing this event?! Well, she definitely deserves a big hug for gathering all the ladies, scheduling and re-scheduling!

And I think I'll give myself a hug in the form of chocolate. A convert to the world of crafting I'm not, but I am very glad I did this one!

Have you participated in an advent ornament exchange?

Below are the pictures from our set up, followed by more up close pictures of the ornaments. Enjoy! And happy creating. :) By the way, the inspiration and guide for these ornaments came from Ann Voskamp's, "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift".

Where Love Grows, the Earth, Serpent in the Garden,  Count the Starts,
Gift of Laughter (sandal), Ram, Jacob's ladder
A little closer, so you see the sparkling "stars"
Commandments, Rahab's Rope, Wheat (Ruth & Boaz), King David, Light in Darkness
The fruitless tree
This one has a candle inside to emphasize the "Light"
"God Remembers" Angel, Esther's crown and scepter, Watchtower, the Whale, & Wide Awake Dreams

Jonah in the belly, with sand, seaweed etc
This one came after the party.  Hmmm, wonder what it is?
"Thunder in the Desert"
Joseph's coat, Carpenter Nails, the Manger Scene, Star of David

1 comment

  1. Love it!!!! Can't wait to start mine this week and start some family traditions with the girls :) thank you for the ideas!


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