Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:6-7

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Sewing with needle and thREAD

I'm joining the ladies at Elizabeth Foss' blog today to talk about stitching.


Two Sundays ago, on the Feast of Christ the King, our parish published in the bulletin an article about the Jesse Tree. We have "done" the Jesse Tree in the past, but lack of, shall I say, enthusiasm, has kept that tree and its ornaments packed away for a year or two. I had no intention of doing it this year. And then I saw how thorough the article was...all those scripture verses, all those symbols for the ornaments, and I caved, again. I disliked our old ornaments, made hastily from cheap craft foam. I decided they needed to be embroidered. Beautiful thread, beautiful wool felt like the felt I use for my scapulars. Oh, yes. Sigh. 

Don't get me wrong, I love the embroidery. Love it. This felt is so beautiful (I get it here). I am having a ball stitching them. It's not the sewing that is stressing me, but the lack of enthusiasm in my family is still there. And I am letting them ruin it for me. After a dear friend suggested I stop stressing myself out about it, I decided to do it just for myself. I will read the scripture verses and I will hang the little ornaments myself. Joy.

So far I have five and I am getting one done each day, sometimes two. I switch back and forth between sewing a scapular and an ornament. 

I love my little Jesse Tree. My mom gave it to me when my Noah was born. It's hard to see how small it is, but the ornaments are slightly larger than a quarter.

Also on the list of projects is a new stocking. Until yesterday (to be honest, yesterday evening) when Faith got the stockings out, I had forgotten that I threw mine away last year. It was an ugly store-bought stocking and I didn't like. I thought I would have a whole year to stitch a new one! Hahahaha! I did, but unfortunately I forgot about the old stocking about thirty seconds after I threw it in the trash. And so, or sew as the case may be, I pulled out some precut (thank goodness) squares last night and stitched. I feared it wasn't meant to be after I broke two needles, unfortunately my last one, and so I had to finish up by hand and didn't get a chance to quilt it. But there it is anyway.

And while I am photographing the mantel, I thought I'd show you the whole thing. I mentioned in a post last week that my husband tore the old mantel off the wall, after he ordered a new fireplace screen. He decided the old mantel was too low -- too close to the fire -- and started over. Here is his handy work with a new wreath I put together. I ordered some pretty, sparkly candles for Christmas (which have not arrived yet) and I have my Kitchen Madonna up there right now, but I am hoping she will be replaced by a slightly taller Blessed Mother statue for Christmas. Whadya say Santa?

I still have my St. Francis book by my bed, but I admit I started Little Women last night. I love Little Women at Christmas.


  1. Lovely mantel and ornaments! I can just imagine stitching the Jesse tree ornaments and thinking about the story each one represents. They don't look tiny at all -- it's hard to believe they are nearly quarter size. Great work!

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  3. All very pretty, and I'm glad you've got your little bit of Jesse Tree joy. :-)

    Me, I'm baking Kaiser rolls. I don't even know if anybody out here knows what a real Kaiser roll is, but I found a recipe yesterday, and I always loved them growing up, thickly slathered with butter. When I go looking for things like this, I discover, every time, that they are regional foods, and I have found that while sometimes a package of buns is labeled kaiser rolls in the store, that doesn't mean they actually are kaiser rolls, know what I mean?

    Anyway, baking - for myself, for my family, just for fun - makes me happy. So that's what I'm doing. :-)

  4. I think it is so lovely that after the Monday (and Tuesday) you had that you are doing something so beautiful and peaceful as stitching symbols of salvation history. Just for you. They look wonderful! And I sure hope Santa reads your blog so he knows what you really want for Christmas and brings it for you, who love your Mother so.

  5. Your ornaments are precious; you may have to make a set for your etsy shop!

    It's too bad your family doesn't enjoy it. I can't say that ours ever got a huge kick out of the nightly readings, but they didn't complain too loudly, and sometimes we had really great discussions about how the reading relates to the Nativity. This year, I tell them what the reading is and they have to tell the story that goes with it instead of just reading it from the Bible. However, they are NOT enjoying the other Advent activity I chose for us. So, you can't win 'em all!

  6. Oh, Barbara, those beautiful embroidered ornaments put my felt ones hot glued ones to shame. Yours are beautiful!

    My kids are never really enthusiastic either...This year they are, now, after the initial, "Do we have to?" I admit, I do it for myself too, We didn't do anything like this growing up, never even heard of it til blogworld. I love it though. I love the meaning. I love the readings.


    Good for you!!

    Your stockings are lovely too.

  7. Wehave been reading Little Women aloud this year and it has become as dear to me as the Little House books. Every bit as instructional imo! I wish I had read it when I was a younger woman. And then perhaps several more times! Love your handiwork.


I appreciate your comments -- sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself!