Felt Jesse tree

I've been hard at work for the past few months, guys.  Christmas has been on my mind for a long while, if you haven't noticed.  I've been cutting and stitching and piecing together a Jesse Tree.  I'm no stranger of craft projects with big time commitments, but this is my pièce de résistance.  I think I started this in September or October, and it was all done by hand except the lines on the pockets and the finishing of the edges.  If this doesn't make family heirloom status, everything is hopeless.  

I decided to use the Jesus Storybook Bible as the corresponding reading plan.  The book just so happens to have 24 stories leading up to, and including, the birth of Jesus.  It's so great at tying in every story to Christ that it lends itself perfectly to such an advent calendar.

The individual ornaments may or may not make much sense without the book.

The Book (the first story is pretty much an overview of the Bible and the Gospel story), Creation, The Fall, the Flood, Tower of Babel, God's Promise to Abraham.

the Ram sacrificed by Abraham, Leah, Joseph's coat, the Burning Bush, the Red Sea parting, the 10 Commandments

the Fall of Jericho (ram's horn), choosing King David, David & Goliath, the Good Shepherd (Psalm 23), the story of Naaman, Isaiah's Prophesies

Daniel and the Lions Den, Jonah and the whale, Ezra reading the Scroll (party hat for the celebration), the birth of Jesus, the angel appearing to the shepherds, and the Star leading the Magi.  Whew that was a lot for me to remember!

I went a little crazy trying to make each piece special and unique.  What I love about this type of hand sewing is that no pattern is required - I make it up as I go.  

Baby Jesus is nicely swaddled and attaches to his "manger" by velcro.

All of the pieces have numbers on the back so I will know which pocket they belong in.

I was two whole weeks behind when we started reading through the book as a family.  We've been reading it at mealtimes, and finally - today - we are now caught up.  I've tried to make it as tangible as I can for Ellis's age - here he is blowing a "ram's horn":

Down go the walls of Jericho!

Ellis gets to hang the ornament on the tree.  By "hang" I mean "try to rip all the buttons off first".  

I'm not sure if this project scared me from taking on anything so big again, or if it makes me want to take on something else.  I'm taking a break for now and enjoying the handiwork.   Until the next challenge presents itself!

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