Thursday, 28 February 2019

How to Safely Dispose of Sewing Pins and Needles

I had a whole bunch of blunt pins in my pin box - and it is really frustrating going through several pins each time you want to pin a new spot together. So I bought a new lot of pins and went through the entire lot of old ones taking out anything that wouldn't pin my felt easily.

It's not a great idea to put sharp objects into the rubbish bin - mostly for the sake of those who work handling the waste.

Here's how you can dispose of them safely:

Get an empty mint tin and put them in - close the lid and done! There should be no waste center workers going home with injuries today.

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Thursday, 14 February 2019

Re-labelled Baby Slogan Slippers

Pre-made baby slogans are often almost perfect, but they use the wrong names of endearment for your family.

For that reason, you can often pick things like this up quite cheaply at the end of the season because they don't suit anyone.

I have re-labelled these slippers so they fit my family. It was easy - you can do it too.

First I cut lengths of ribbon to cover the original names and melted the ends to prevent fraying. Then I hand sewed the letter beads onto the ribbon, securing each one individually. Next I attached the ribbon to the shoes with a little bit of hand sewing and a whole lot of hot glue. Sewing them in place is important if the gift is for a baby. A present that a baby ends up choking on is not a good gift.


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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Isaiah 53 - Messiah ben Joseph Quiet Book Page

Isaiah 53 is a Messianic passage which describes the sacrificial death of the suffering servant (Messiah ben Joseph).

Memory Verse: “But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5.

Materials needed to create the Messiah ben Joseph quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet - I used mid blue
  • four small nail looking shank buttons
  • felt scraps in skin colour, hair colour, wood colour and parchment colour
  • matching thread colours, and red thread (for the blood)
  • air erasable marker (or pen)
  • letter beads - or ink pads and small alphabet stamps or a permanent marker etc
  • hot glue and glue gun
  • my free Messiah ben Joseph template download
Cut out your template and most pieces from the felt scraps in appropriate colours. I find for intricate shapes (such as the section that needs to be cut from the inside of the legs) it is sometimes best to use a pen to draw the shape onto the felt and cut it out that way - of course you need to flip the pattern over and draw on the inside so it will be hidden when sewn together. I only cut the front of Jesus' body out and waited until I attached the front to the back to cut out the whole body.

The draw and cut method was certainly useful when trying to keep within the lines whilst sewing on Jesus' whip stripes. And of course you need to sew on the wound details in red thread before sewing the front body to the back. Jesus most likely received 39 stripes. Jewish law forbade any more than 40 (Deuteronomy 25:3) and in an effort not to cross this line, 39 were delivered just in case someone miscounted. Since the Roman whip had three tails on it, they would have delivered 13 strokes to make a total of 39 lashes.

39 stripes

Sew the front of Jesus' body to the back and cut it out. Then sew on the face - don't worry that you can see the stitching on the back as the hair will cover it. Use red thread to make small buttonholes to fit your buttons on the feet/ankle and wrist/hand areas.

For the hair, cut two fronts and sew them together, two backs and sew them together and then join the doubled front to the doubled back along the top of the hairline to a spot at about just above the nape of the head. Leaving the ends open will allow the hair to fit over the head and split over the shoulder. You will also be able to lift the hair at the back to see all of the stripes. Position the hair and secure in place using red thread on a zig-zag and/or decorative stitch to sew across the head to make a bloodied crown of thorns.

To make the sign for the top of the cross, sew the two white pieces of felt together and make a buttonhole the same size as the others using matching thread this time. It should be positioned down a ways from the top to allow room to roll the ends up. Use hot glue to keep the ends rolled in place. Hand sew on some beads to make a list of names on one side and to say "Messiah ben Joseph" on the other.

I did also try using stamps and ink for the lettering, but I don't think my ink was very good quality. You can see that it ran/separated a little, especially at the 'M' - it looks worse in real life. I have seen felt stamped before that turned out well. If you have good quality ink it might work better.

Sew down the cross onto your page and lay Jesus' body on top. Push sewing pins through the buttonholes to mark the position needed for the shank button nails. Add the sign and do the same. Hand sew the buttons on.


Difficulty Level = Intermediate.

It's not really hard, just a bit fiddly in some sections.

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Isaiah 53 - Taking our place and dying on the cross was not an easy task. This prophecy in Isaiah was fulfilled in such detail. Sin causes devastating consequences.
  • Imaginative Play - Jesus died on the cross so we don't have to. Turn the sign at the top of the cross to reveal either your name/s or Messiah ben Joseph. You get to choose who pays the price for your sin.
  • Buttoning - He died to pay for our sin so it is appropriate that our hands put the nails through.
  • Counting - see if you can count the 39 stripes on Jesus' back.
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skill development
  • Hand-eye Co-ordination - all quiet books encourage hand-eye co-ordination

I love you this much...

Read the Chapter

Isaiah 53


I did question whether or not making this page was a good idea. The topic is not really a fun one and I didn't want to encourage disrespectful play. However, it is also the central topic of Christianity and it is rather difficult to create a Bible full of quiet book pages without featuring the cross.

The page was inspired by the buttons which looked to me like nails. I prayed about if I should go ahead with the idea and then decided to count how many buttons I had... if there were not enough then in a way it would be decided for me. I found exactly four and felt assured of approval.

Part of the message I wanted to portray with this page was that it is MY personal sin that Jesus died to pay for. Therefore it is appropriate that my own hand does the buttoning.

In times past Christians have blamed Jews and labelled them Christ-killers and given rise to massive antisemitism. Jews were driven from their homes and massacred during the crusades and the First and Second World Wars. I want to sincerely and profusely apologise for that. Anyone who wants to shift the blame in that way does not understand the gravity of their own sin, a point which the death of God's Son should certainly drive home.

The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Effectively, that cross had my name on it until I decided to ask Jesus to take my place. That is what the scroll meant to demonstrate... it has 'many' (unfortunately I could only fit four) names on one side, and the other is labelled with 'Messiah ben Joseph' our suffering servant.

In Jewish eschatology there is a belief that there are to be four Messianic figures: Elijah, Messiah ben Joseph, Messiah ben David and the Righteous Priest termed collectively the Four Craftsmen. There are correlations with the Christian belief in the two comings of the Messiah. At His first coming, Jesus fulfilled the role of Messiah ben Joseph, which Christians term 'the suffering servant', and at His second coming, we believe that He will fulfill the role of Messiah ben David or what we term 'King Messiah'. We also believe Jesus is a Priest in the order of Melchizedek. In Malachi 4, Elijah was prophesied to return and in the New Testament people asked John the Baptist 'Are you Elijah'? Although he denied being Elijah or the prophet - Moses (John 1:21), perhaps an effort to deflect attention away from him and towards Christ, Jesus did imply he played the role of Elijah (Matthew 17:12). But of course the real Elijah and Moses did return prior to the cross at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17, Mark 9, Luke 9, 2 Peter 1).

Interestingly enough here are some of the traits attributed to Messiah ben Joseph and how I can see them relating to Jesus' first coming:

  • He is the leader of the lost ten tribes and/or all Israel - Christians believe we represent spiritually the lost ten tribes who were scattered among all nations. It is said that in the future He will bring back the exiles and rebuild the land of Israel. Christians believe that this will be fulfilled by Jesus at his second coming.
  • 'Ben' means 'son (of)' in Hebrew, and Jesus was known as the son of Joseph (his legal father).
  • Joseph is also meant to refer to the tribe of Joseph (Ephraim) which was in the north and is linked to both the lost ten tribes and the physical northern area of Israel (i.e. Nazareth/Galilee area where Jesus was from). 
  • A stone tablet called Gabriel's Revelation refers to a Messianic figure from Ephraim who will break evil in three days - Jesus breaks the power of evil by dying on the cross and rising to life again in three days. Messiah ben Joseph is also associated with the rebuilding of the temple (hence why he is a craftsmen) - something Jesus claims he will do in three days referring to his bodily resurrection. 
  • Messiah ben Joseph is willing if necessary to die battling evil forces and the enemies of God and would receive an inadequate burial - which indeed happened to Jesus. Perhaps not in the way the Jews envisioned a battle would take place but it was the greatest battle ever fought and won. 
  • Later God would resurrect the dead and a peaceful Messianic era would follow with Messiah ben David ruling (sounds like Heaven to me). 

Your thoughts are welcome...

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Sunday, 27 January 2019

DIY Beaded Yad

I am in need of a toy yad for an upcoming quiet book page, but was unable to find one for sale. Real yads are very expensive, so I decided I would have to find a way to make one. I did consider using polymer clay, but when I thought of this beaded idea it stuck. These are so easy to make that your kids can do it!

A yad is a Torah pointer used to read scripture scrolls without damaging the parchment. The Hebrew word 'yad' literally means 'hand'.

carloriccardi, Parashat NoahCC BY 2.0

Materials Needed to Make a DIY Beaded Yad:
Long silver pipe cleaner
Pointing hand silver bead - available from here (not an affiliate link)
Decorative beads - with about a 2mm hole
Bend your pipe cleaner in half and thread on your pointing hand bead. Twist the pipe cleaner together to hold the bead tightly in place. Thread decorative beads over both ends of the pipe cleaner until you get close to the end. 
To finish:
1.  Use jewelry pliers to roll up the ends of the pipe cleaner to secure... or
2.  You could try placing a bead sideways at the end and thread the ends of the pipe cleaner through from either side. Twist to hold in place under the last bead. You can thread a ribbon through the last bead hole if you want a way to secure it to a book or scroll.

DIY Beaded Yad / Torah Pointer - Short Version

DIY Beaded Yad / Torah Pointer - Detailed Version

Now you can enjoy reading Torah!

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Comment below - which number yad is your favourite?

Friday, 14 December 2018

Genesis 39 - The Temptation of Joseph Quiet Book Page

Genesis 39 demonstrates Joseph's integrity.

Memory Verse: "No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9

Materials needed to create The Temptation of Joseph quiet book page:

  • A4 felt background sheet - I used black
  • sublimation printed Ancient Egypt dress-up dolls by Gabi's Paper Dolls (I only printed some of the female costumes and the dolls) - you can read how I had it done on my Sublimation Printing on Felt - Test post
  • Veltex material (also called loop fabric or industrial webbing) in skin colour
  • Velcro dot
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • Double sided iron-on interfacing scrap
  • gold coloured material that won't fray - I used pleather but it was difficult to sew due to it's stretchiness (made easier by gluing first)
  • clear craft glue if using pleather to make sewing easier - I used polyacetic acid & ethylene resin based glue
  • decorative material
  • two decorative buttons
  • jump ring tassel
  • gold ribbon
  • gold elastic
  • felt in gold/straw colour
  • sewing thread to match
  • my free template (Egyptian wardrobe only)
First cut out your paper dolls, clothes and wigs, cutting off the tabs as you go. Then use your male paper doll to cut out a section of Veltex and double sided iron-on interfacing to the same shape as his torso/legs.

This one is Tahlia's favourite dress

Arrange your pieces onto the background and iron on the Veltex to the background in the correct position using the interfacing. Sew around the edge to hold in place.

Potiphar's wife acting like a 'cougar'... - this one is my Grandma's fav dress

Hot glue the feet of the male doll to the background in place over the Veltex. Cut out his undergarment and finish gluing down his legs. Hot glue the Velcro dot to the back of his undergarment and place in position. Then line up the head and glue the remainder of his body down. Hot glue the woman into position.

To make the wardrobe, trace the pieces using the template onto the back of your pleather using pen - this will avoid puncturing the pleather unnecessarily. Cut them out. For the decorative panel, cut the size to the back piece and then trim down slightly so it doesn't show on the edge of the wardrobe when layered. Using the clear craft glue, glue the decorative panel to the gold/straw felt and allow it to dry. Then glue the gold edging on top and allow to dry. Sew the inner section around the decorative panel.

Glue two sections of gold ribbon on the back to form hinges for the front door of the wardrobe. Then glue some pleather to the back of your felt and allow to dry. Sew around the outside edge of your wardrobe door and then cut it out, making sure not to cut off the hinges.

I found I had to shorten the bottom of the wardrobe base by around 5 mm and overlap the door over the lower section of the wardrobe front slightly to fit it on my page. I didn't change the pattern as you may be using a different size page to me.

Glue the pleather wardrobe base to the background page and insert the hinges from the door underneath on one side and insert a short loop of gold elastic with a jump ring tassel threaded onto it on the other side where you want the latch to be. Allow to dry and sew in place, reinforcing the stitching over the hinges and elastic loop.

Glue the remaining pleather pieces to the gold/straw felt and sew along the top edge of the draw and lower section of wardrobe front. Cut the draw out and sew the lower edge in place over the lower section of the wardrobe front. Then sew the lower section of the wardrobe front down over the base on the bottom and sides to form a pocket. To complete the wardrobe, hand sew your buttons on.


Difficulty Level = Hard

It will be easier if you use something other than pleather that stretches! If you use pleather, be sure to use the glue.

"Hey Joseph, want to see my secret garden?"

Key Learning Areas and Skills

  • Genesis 38 - This page teaches about how we need to be prepared to suffer even when we do the right thing.
  • Buttoning - Open and close the wardrobe
  • Tucking - Tuck the wigs into the wardrobe draw
  • Imaginative Play - dress up Potiphar's wife in all her outfits
  • Velcro - rip off Joseph's undergarment (and re-position them)
  • Fine Motor Skills - all quiet books encourage fine motor skill development
  • Hand-eye Co-ordination - all quiet books encourage hand-eye co-ordination

Read the Chapter

Genesis 39


I admire the way that Jacob brought up Joseph. He was only around 17 when he was sold as a salve and yet His devotion to God is to be greatly admired. It must have been difficult to follow God in the situation he found himself in, and it would have been easy to go along with new cultures and customs and tell himself that God had forgotten him, so he may as well do likewise.

"Hey Joseph, do you want some 'trifle'..."

There are a few boundaries Joseph put in place to reduce the chances of finding himself in less than ideal circumstances. You can read about Joseph's 5 Steps to Avoid Temptation: Genesis 39:6-23 on the God Running blog. He had resolved to keep himself from "strange" women (those who did not follow God) as told in the story of Joseph and Asenath, translated by H. F. D. Sparks. He must have envisaged a celibate life, exiled in the land of Egypt. And not only exiled, but imprisoned. Nevertheless, as stated at the end of the blog post mentioned above, God preserved his life in that the punishment due Joseph was death. I noticed that Joseph was sold to Potiphar the Captain of the Guard (Genesis 37:36) - and the same titled person is in charge of the prison. It looks like Potiphar realises that Joseph is innocent because instead of putting Joseph to death, he saves face by putting him in his prison, but eventually puts him in charge of it just as he had done with his household (Genesis 40:3-4). Despite his circumstances, Joseph sticks to his values and God rewards him with freedom, power, and a beautiful convert, Asenath.

There are so many parallels between the story of Joseph and Jesus in the Bible, and I can only see more told through the love story of Joseph and Asenath.

Dreamcoat Part 8 - Potipher

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