Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Our Jesse Tree: The Project Begins

For two years I've had grand plans involving Advent and our very own Jesse Tree.  The first year I ran out of time.  The second year I started in November and tried to make ornaments out of baker's dough, which resulted, with the first day ending in disaster (ornaments that were too thick and cracked, plus my apparent lack of sculpting ability, which was disheartening) and me giving up.  

I'm following (for the most part) with the symbols in my Meredith Gould book, The Catholic Home, but there's an explanation with verses and symbols here too.

This year I started sewing during the last week of October and it's a good thing I did.  The first ornament took several days.  I'm afraid if I'd started in November I would have given up again when the first ornament took so long, thinking it was impossible to finish in time.  Apparently I'm not great at free hand map sewing (don't you love how Florida is gigantic?)  But I was still pretty excited to finish my first felt ornament.  They're the size of a roll of duct tape (in circumference) because that's what I used to trace my pattern.  I've since gotten a little quicker and am averaging one ornament a day too, so I should finish in time.  Here's what I have so far:

Day 1: 
The World is Created
Genesis 1:24-28

I made the little red apples out of velvet, so they stand out.  I cut out a spiral, trimmed the inside and then spread it out to make the snake.

Day 2:
Adam and Eve
Genesis 3:1-24

I sewed this yesterday while the girls were watching Therese.  The second meltdown of the day occurred when Sadie announced she had to watch Therese for All Saint's Day and then cried while I got it ready because I was moving sooooooo slowly (apparently asking if she was sure she didn't want to watch Song of Bernadette was big no, no).  The movie, which begins around the time Therese's mother dies, and ends... well... we all probably know how it ends... she's not one of those saints who lived out of her mid twenties... isn't exactly made for a three year old.  But Sadie loves it...

Anyways, I digress.  Here's yesterdays ornament:

Day 3:
Noah and the Flood
Genesis 6:11-22

And here are all three of them together.  Sadie has taken to carrying them around the house and waits impatiently for a new ornament to be finished each day.  She would very much like to help me sew them: 

And here they are, numbered on the reverse sides.  Once I've made them all I'm going to sew little velcro circles on the back, so we can stick them on the felt tree that I will hopefully have time to make!  With the size of the ornaments it looks like the tree is going to be pretty big!

 And that's my craft project of the moment!  

Do you have any plans for Advent Calendars or Jesse Tree's this year?

I'm trying so hard to be organized this year!


  1. We have an Advent Wreath that we use every year, and I always get an Advent Calender to do with Jacob as well. This year we also got an advent book that can be reused. (It's actually more than just a little paper booklet)

    I absolutely love the book "The Catholic Home" by Meredith Gould. It is what I use as a starting point and basic guide to celebrating all the feast days. It is so helpful!

    Like you, every year, for the past 3 years, I have aspirations to make a Jesse Tree. I never seem to get organized in time. I didn't this year either. Maybe I should start working on it now to be ready for next year.

    Your Ornaments look really cute! I wish I had your talent!

  2. What a great idea!!!!! I really wanted to sew our own advent calendar with more of the Jesus theme than the "Christmas trees and reindeer" theme but I don't have access to a sewing machine anymore. I might just buy fabrics on sale after the season is over and try again for next year. But I love this craft! I'll bookmark it for next year :)

  3. Cam what a fantastic idea. I love reading about all of your sewing projects; and this one is wonderful.

  4. Last year while I was watching two girls I printed out pictures that they could color and put cardboard backing on them (glued on a piece of wrapping paper for color on top of the cardboard), punched a hole and strung them on our regular Christmas tree. I also had them make ornaments for the various saints during Advent if it was appropriate (a candy cane/Shepard's crook for St. Nick).

    On Christmas Even I took down all the decor and then put up our regular Christmas stuff.

    This year is going to be tough though. HB is the right age, but I'm due Dec. 11 (right in the middle of things) so I'm going to have to cut out that tradition since it's a little time consuming.

    I think I'm just going to make an Advent wreath from felt (more kid friendly) and an Advent calendar from felt too and call it a night (so to speak). That way Hubby can take over since he's not into crafts whatsoever. He can at least read the "stories" and have HB move or afix the pieces.

  5. I've been wanting to do a Jesse tree for a few years, too. Good on you for starting the project!

    (I bought Meredith Gould's book a few weeks ago, by the way, and apart from a few digs at the Extraordinary Rite - why? I have no idea! - I'm finding it really inspirational for building a Catholic home.)


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