Saturday, October 17, 2015

Nativity Quiet Book

While I have been waiting for The 12 Day Nativity to get published, I’ve been making a Nativity Quiet Book – (honestly, I have no idea why I picked this project... just saw some fun ideas on Pinterest and got a little crazy with myself)--  and I finally finished it up today!

There are so many fun quiet book ideas out there, and I admit that I have adapted those concepts to characters in the nativity story.  I’ll post some tutorials soon, but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of the pages:

Ok, first of all, please don't judge my sewing skills.  But here's the front cover.  Notice the little tab that says, "press here"?

This is what it does...

(I can say that because it wasn't my idea - found a similar concept on Pinterest!)

So-so-so-fun!  pull a star and another star somewhere else on the page moves!

Somewhere in the path is a marble that you push through the maze from the donkey to the stable.

Tie up the camels for the night!  

Incidentally, the text on the little notes ironed to each page?  It's MY HANDWRITING!  ha!  Yes!  My daughter & son-in-law (Kira and Cam) gave me an app for my birthday (One of the best birthday gifts ever!) that allows me to create my own fonts.  This is the first one that I did and while it has some "issues", I love it and have downloaded it onto my computer. I printed the captions out on fabric straight out of my computer. 

Find the Nativity characters;
I have little nativity buttons, as well as letters that spell out the names.

Look!  I found the donkey!

This next one is quite possibly my favorite page:

adapted from an idea I found on another blog, you lift the hay under the baby Jesus to reveal several surprises:

a sheep
a loaf of bread
a fish
a heart
a cross

each is a symbol of a story of Jesus from the New Testament.

A fun project -- but definitely a labor of love!

The Family Nativity

Excerpted from the 12-Day Nativity: Christmas Activities for a Christ-Centered Home,  (Cedar Fort Publishing, 2015)

As a child I remember my family having one nativity set that was displayed each year.  It was a simple white set made of plaster, and the stable was built out of scrap wood and leftover paneling from our 1970’s chic basement.  The set always sat perched on top of the piano, surrounded by twinkle lights covered with angel hair (a spun-glass product that is hair-like and white-translucent).  The figures were not heavy, and it was always a challenge to find a spot where they would stand up in between the lights and angel hair.  Over the years our family nativity grew in “character” as heads were broken off and re-glued, and delicate features became worn with use.  The shepherds and wise men were referred to as the “German shepherds” and “wise guys”.  My sister affectionately labeled the sheep as “cheats” before she could pronounce them otherwise.  I was more concerned about the naked baby Jesus, and exasperated my mother as every time she passed the nativity she would find a dirty old rag or handkerchief covering the baby Jesus.  When she finally discovered the responsible party, I explained that I thought the baby Jesus must be cold. 

Somehow, the family’s nativity set ended up at the home of one of by brothers, and was saved from the Goodwill pile by my sister-in-law who knew I had begun collecting nativities.  It had come to them as a “white elephant” gift exchange between siblings a few years prior, and it had been abandoned on a basement storage shelf for a few years.  The stable is warped, and I have to re-set the nails every year.  The figures have been broken and re-glued many times, leaving one to wonder what horrific tale of carnage they would tell.  It is by no means the most beautiful nativity in our home, but it is one of my favorites.  First as a symbol of happy Christmases past, and also because it reminds me of my relationship with the Savior – broken and fixed many times over, warped, not pretty, but loved and beloved just the same.

Do you have a family nativity for your home?  If not, find a favorite and pick a special spot to display it.  If you have small children, you may want to consider a set that will withstand sticky hands and a few bumps and bruises. There are lots of ways to celebrate the Nativity this season, The 12 Day Nativity has lots of suggestions for getting you started with your family nativity.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The 12 Day Nativity - In the box and on the way!

So while I haven't seen my copy yet, (argh!) my sister marched down to the publisher yesterday and picked up a box of The 12-Day Nativity and sent me this picture:

Hopefully you'll be getting YOUR copy soon!  You can find it here,(Amazon) here, (Walmart) here , (Target) here  (Barnes & Noble) and here ( - book or e-book formats are available.

As soon as I get my copy I'll do a video book trailer highlighting all the good stuff inside!  In the mean-time, here's sneak preview:

In the 12-day Nativity you’ll find activities that you can use to prepare to celebrate the Nativity story -- one character at a time -- and fill your home with the spirit of Christmas as a result.

Other things you'll find in the 12-Day Nativity:
O·         A template to create your own nativity scene or advent calendar.
·         Directions for creating or performing your own nativity using family and friends to depict the key characters and events of the nativity.
·         Information and related activities on how other countries celebrate the nativity.
·         Recommendations for other nativity-related events that will help bring the true meaning of Christmas into your home.


Non-traditional Nativities - the 12 Day Nativity

One of my favorite "nativities"  is not what most would consider as a "traditional" nativity set. 

 I love all the fun subway art that is so popular right now.   Having something that isn't a set of small pieces helps "break things up" and gives a little visual relief.   

These would be great as a centerpiece over a mantle, or they can be easily hung  on any wall (and just as easily removed when using the Command Strips -- I like the velcro strips when hanging these big pictures) if you don't have countertop  or mantle space.

You can find a link to the artwork here:

This link will take you to an instant download so you get the JPEG file, which you can then have printed, or even have it printed on a canvas.

The ribbon came from Hobby Lobby - a local craft & home decor store.

Here's another, more rustic version.  You can find the artwork here:

More subway art: