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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