Thursday, 21 November 2019

Matthew 1 - Baby Jesus Quiet Book Page

Matthew chapter 1 lists Joseph's genealogy and records the birth of Jesus by the virgin Mary.


Memory Verse: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”” Matthew 1:21.

Materials needed to create the Baby Jesus quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet - I used white
  • Betty Lukens Felt book 01 Bible Stories available at Koorong
  • sewing thread to best match the page
  • scissors!
Cut out all the pieces for this page and the page itself from the Betty Lukens set. The Betty Lukens FAQ section has posted a cutting tips PDF.

Sew the gates onto the doorposts by the sides.

Sew the Betty Lukens page onto the background felt along three sides, leaving the top edge open to form a pocket. Pop the pieces inside the pocket (or better yet - play with them)!

Finished!


Sew the Betty Lukens scene onto your page along three sides
to form a pocket for piece storage


Difficulty Level = Easy, plus No Sew version.

A very easy quiet book page!
Just use hot glue wherever sewing is recommended for a no sew version.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Matthew 1 - Learn about Joseph's lineage and how Jesus was born to the virgin Mary
  • Imaginative Play - put Baby Jesus to bed
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skill development
  • Hand-eye Co-ordination - all quiet books encourage hand-eye co-ordination

I left the wise men out of the cover picture as they are not mentioned till
Matthew 2 - didn't think about it until after taking the photos that
actually the shepherds are not in this chapter either!!



Read the Chapter

Matthew 1

Devotional

I often think about the fact that without sin entering the world you and I would never have existed. Should we be grateful?

In everyone's lineage there is going to be some kind of sexual sin... I'm not sure about my lineage, but with almost 6000 years of history there has got to be quite a lot.

Adam and Eve could have had children without sin entering the World - but would WE have existed, or someone else... there are so many eggs and sperm around with slightly different DNA. If everything hadn't gone pear shaped, there would have been different combinations made, and plenty of people, but not specifically me.

When I explain my view to people, they often think I am saying that sex is wrong or bad or something. I don't mean that at all. God created intercourse to be beautiful. But we are all descended from people who have resulted from sexual sin. Everyone has prostitution, adultery, rape or something in their ancestry at some stage. Even having multiple wives like Jacob did is something I can't see happening in a perfect world. Not to mention all the children from Levirate marriages whose first child was considered the child of the father's brother/relative (the woman's first husband who died childless).

Would you have been born if sin never existed? Would your great great great grandparents have slept together? And then would you have been created?

Jesus Himself would have never needed to be born in the flesh either. If sin never existed, there would be no reason for Him to bother. Matthew goes out of his way to mention all the unmentionables in Joseph's lineage. Tamar (who slept with her father-in-law by deception), Rahab (a prostitute), Ruth (from a despised race), Bathsheba (an adultress), and Jeconiah (who was cursed). If you want to read about the Curse of Jeconiah and the different explanations for the differences between Matthew's and Luke's genealogies the following article is a fascinating read - The Two Genealogies of Jesus, the Curse of Jeconiah, and the Royal Line of David posted on the website The Jesus Question.

So there are plenty of scandals in Jesus's family ancestry. He even wears the (assumed) shame of His own birth. People who did not believe Mary's virgin birth story assumed that Jesus was a bastard - Joseph's son conceived out of wedlock. And it's understandable. God had to send an angel to Joseph personally to convince him to continue past the betrothal and marry her. Until that point, Joseph had decided on divorce (a legal requirement of betrothals, unlike engagements today). He must have been so hurt by Mary's appearance of unfaithfulness.

If you are feeling the guilt of sexual sin in your own life or family history, take this record in Matthew as encouragement, and remember, none of us today would have been born without sin including Jesus.

I tried to think of a good song to include with this devotional - it seemed like a tough topic to find a song about. But God had it covered. This song popped up in my random Spotify feed that day, and although it was written as a love song, like a lot of love songs it can easily refer to God.


Selah - Bless The Broken Road (with lyrics)





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What do you think? Should you be grateful for sin because ultimately you wouldn't exist otherwise? I'd be intrigued to read your responses below in the comments.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Letter cutting hacks




When I made my first quiet book for Tahlia, as many people do I wrote her name on the front cover.


Tahlia's Quiet Book - Front Cover and First Page

I simply printed out a font with a computer, cut it up and pinned it on to use as a pattern to cut out my felt. Although cost effective, this method gets very tedious as you might imagine. So if you want to make things a little easier, then here are five methods to hack your way to perfectly cut felt:


1.  Scotch tape - 

Stick your pattern pieces down to stop them sliding all over the place while you cut them out. This method is brilliant for intricate details and wherever you don't want pin holes in special fabrics. 

I used the scotch tape method for my
Psalm 122 - Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem Quiet Book Page


2.  Tracing - 

Use a marker (you can get air erasable ones) to draw on the felt so you can cut out your pieces without worrying about the pattern pieces at all.

I used the scotch tape method for my
Isaiah 53 - Messiah ben Joseph Quiet Book Page


3.  Freezer paper - 

Although this is expensive and difficult to find in Australia, this method may suit you. Find a tutorial on how to use this method by Oliver Rabbit here: How to Cut Perfect Shapes out of Wool Felt - The Freezer Paper Method.


4.  Die cutting -

This is a great method if you are doing a lot of lettering. Just put your die on top of your felt and put it through a cutting machine. All the edges are perfectly cut for you. I use the Lollipop Uppercase Alphabet Set with an Original Sizzix and it cuts well, even though thick felt. Because the font is so thin you only need to stitch once down the middle of the letters which is a great advantage compared to the original hand cut font on Tahlia's front cover.



I used the die cut method to make these number blocks


5.  Buying pre-cut felt letters - 

You can find packets of felt letter and numbers in dollar stores, craft stores and online - such as these (not an affiliate link). But be prepared to buy as many packets as you will need as you may only get a couple of each letter per pack.





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Which methods do you prefer? Do you have any other suggestions? Share them below in the comments.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

5 Awesome Kids Bible Resource Websites

Today I'd like to share five awesome Bible Resource Websites for children:

1.  My Little house


Image source

I love the free printable Bible 3D calendars and pictures available here. I plan on printing some of them on felt and turning them into quiet book pages. Didier Martin also makes wonderful printable toys and MiniWorlds, which can be put together to make a scene to inspire imaginary play.

2.  Gospel Hall


Image source

There are an ton, and I mean a tonne, of Children's Bible Activities, Crafts & Printable Games available on this website - and they are all free. You can print, make and take many of the activities to your Bible class or Sunday School. So many of these ideas are brilliant, excellent quality Bible class activities. I highly recommend this site, despite it's lack of picture appeal.

3.  Christian Preschool Printables


Image source

Whilst you do have to buy some of these resources, they do have many good quality ones available for free. There are colouring sheets, crafts, puzzles, games, MiniBooks, worksheets, holiday themed and file folder printables and even whole curriculums for download.

4.  Let The Little Children Come


Image source

This website is full of wonderful child evangelism tools that you can use to teach your children how to share their faith with others. This is such an important skill to develop in children to give them confidence and to learn to stand up for their beliefs.

5.  Bible Games Central


Image source

This website is all about conveying Bible truths through fun and captivating activities. You will find a variety of free games suited to all ages, and each one includes Bible lesson suggestions.


Let me know if you find these websites useful!





To get free ideas, tutorials and printable templates to make your own Bible quiet book pages for the children in your life:
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Thursday, 15 August 2019

Genesis 13 - Abram and Lot Separate Quiet Book Page

In Genesis 13, Abram allows Lot to choose which part of the Land to use because their families and herds have grown too large for them to stay together.




Memory Verse: “Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”” Genesis 13:9

Materials needed to create the Abram and Lot Separate quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet - I used light blue
  • felt scraps
  • shiny blue material scrap for the lake
  • clear craft glue (optional) - I used polyacetic acid & ethylene resin based glue
  • ribbon scraps in vegetation motifs and colours
  • thin grey ribbon
  • letter beads
  • my free Abram and Lot Separate template download
Cut out a section of shiny blue material to fit where the lake goes. My material was very prone to fraying, so I folded it over the edge and glued it down and then zig zagged around the sides at the back once it was dry. The front was covered by the mountains and foreground so I don't think I worried about zig zagging around that, but I did glue it down.




Next I sewed down the mountains followed by the foreground and a series of decorative ribbons to look like rows of fields and vegetation on the same side as the lake.

To make Abram and Lot, first sew the hands to a piece of the same coloured felt and cut them out. Wedge these under the sleeves of their coats when sewing the coats to a piece of the same coloured felt to double it up and cut then cut them out. Sew a small button hole in the center of their coats to thread them onto ribbon with for sliding across the page.

Cut two heads for each person - you can't sew one to a larger background and then cut it out for this one as it will be difficult to cut out afterwards because the coat is in the way. But it doesn't really matter if the sewing is messy here anyway. It will be covered up by a beard and turban.




The beards have a slit up the middle to allow them to sit correctly over the coat. I only cut one side of the beard and left a large piece of felt on the other side so it could be sewn neatly from one side and cut away on the other later.




Sew the turbans in a similar way, cutting the back felt piece away after sewing.




Thread Abram and Lot onto a piece of grey ribbon each and cut it to the length of your page. Melt the edges of your ribbon - see my post on How to Stop Ribbons Fraying.

Cover the bottom section with grey felt and then cover the line where the grey and foreground meet with grey stones. Thread the word 'left' using alphabet beads onto Abram's ribbon on the left side and the word 'right' onto Lot's ribbon on the right side. Sew down both ends of the grey ribbons using zig zag stitch so that  Abram and Lot can slide along the bottom of the page. Cover the ends with more rocks so you can't see the ugly stitching.

Finished!

Difficulty Level = Intermediate.

Getting the beards and turbans right is the most difficult part of this page, but I have shared my tips on how to do this in the tutorial.


Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 13 - selfishness often harms us without us even realising it.
  • Directions - this page teaches about right and left. There are very few quiet book pages that teach this.
  • Imaginative Play - would you choose the left or the right side?
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skill development
  • Hand-eye Co-ordination - all quiet books encourage hand-eye co-ordination

I did consider putting Abraham's tent on the left side, but I decided against it -
the starkness of the landscape contrasts better with the lushness of the right.

Read the Chapter

Genesis 13


Devotional

Lot leaves Abram as a very rich man, having so many herds and servants that they cannot continue to live together. He chooses the best part of the land for himself however, and it is not long until we find that Lot has not benefited from his decision.

It is only the next chapter in which he is taken captive when an army attacks the cities of the plain. Following his rescue by Abraham, he remains living there. Why?

When we find Lot in Sodom, there is no longer any mention of his flocks and herds and servants - the very reason he left Abraham in the first place. I often wonder what happened to them. They must have been sold before the visit from the angels, else surely Lot would have been given a chance to save them as he was with his other daughters and sons-in-law.

I always wonder how different things might have turned out had Lot chosen the other side. I don't imagine that Abraham would have lost nearly everything if he had lived near Sodom. Perhaps that is where Lot went wrong. He moved to a wicked city. Abraham stayed in his tent. And I imagine if he had been given the other side, he would have still lived in his tent. Don't let the priorities of the world sway you. Romans 12:2 NKJV says "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."




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Which side would you choose?

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Why do hedgehogs feature so often in quiet books?

If you have an interest in quiet books, I'm sure you will have seen some of the many pages featuring hedgehogs.


In The Hoop With Lee sells this machine
embroidery design


I've been thinking about making a hedgehog page lately, but not because I like them. I don't!

I remember a post from a quiet book group on Facebook - Quiet Book hints, tips & ideas by one of the moderators, Cheri Chiles. She blogs over at Fabric and Memories and was wondering why hedgehogs always seem to get things stuck to them and if that was something that real hedgehogs got up to in their spare time. What is the point of doing that as a quiet book activity?! I totally hear you Cheri!! Hedgehogs in a quiet book - I'm just not a fan.

Ok... so why am I thinking of making a hedgehog page then? Good question. Someone I know keeps spoiling me and buying craft goodies online. And she adores hedgehogs. What better way to say thank you than create a quiet book featuring that somewhat-cute creature.

So what is the deal with hedgehogs and quiet books?

You Tube sensation Irina Sorokina of My Craft Quiet Books fame has the answer.  Both hedgehogs and quiet books abound in eastern Europe. Hedgehogs inhabit the forests and the fairy tales, and they are very popular with children. I'll leave a couple of folk tale examples below and then carry on with why they get to get stuff stuck to them.


Hungarian Folk Tales: The Hedgehog


Must Hedgehog Be Prickly? [1990]
Soviet cartoon with English subtitles


Irina also says that hedgehogs are predators and whilst they don't eat veggies, mushrooms or fruit, they do use them to repel insects. I found it a rather strange idea so I looked it up, and yes, it exists and is termed "self-anointing". The process often involves chewing things up with their saliva and coating themselves in the mix. It may also serve as a scent camouflage or type of chemical weapon! Ok, so maybe these pages are not so bad after all, but still, hedgehogs are just not part of my culture. I'd take a joey in a pouch over a bio-sludged hedgehog any day of the week.

If you think you might like to make your own hedgehog page, check out this helpful tutorial and free pattern from Irina below. Then you can self anoint the hedgehog to your heart's content.


My Craft - Quiet book tutorial:
"the hedgehog" page + template


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What do you think - do you love a good hedgehog quiet book page? Or are you with me?