Friday, November 22, 2013

Simple Sewing Blog Tour: Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings

Our next guest on the blog tour for Simple Sewing: 30 Fast and Easy Projects for Beginners is Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings! Aside from loving Ender's Game and Harry Potter as much (ok, probably more) than I do, I love Marissa because she is also just as excited about Christmas as I am! Marissa is the first in the blog tour to share the Felt Nativity Puppets from the book and I am so glad she did!

A little back story on this nativity set: ...
I made the first variation of this set a few years ago as a gift for my parents so they could have a kid-friendly set for all of the grand kids to play with when they came to visit. That version was stuffed and--haha--weighted down with rocks in the bottom to keep the figures from falling over. (Hopefully my nieces and nephews played with them reverently and didn't start throwing the holy family at each other.) The following year I made a similar set for my own little family, but switched out the rocks for some strong magnets and put them on top of a cookie tin so they'd stand up. Olivia has already shown that set quite a bit of love, which makes my little momma/sewing heart happy.

Then, when my publisher and I were negotiating on which projects to include in the book, they asked me to trade out some of the projects I had originally planned on using and replace them with more religious projects. As an author, I was surprised. During all of my development for the book up to that point I had stayed away from any religious kinds of projects, thinking that they would be a turn-off to publishers and stores in general. But when a publisher is talking to you seriously about publishing your book and they ask you to include more religious projects, well, by golly, that's what you do! So I mentally combed over any Christ-centered projects I had made over the past few years and of course our well-loved felt nativity came to mind.

I knew the way I made our set wouldn't fit well with the overall theme of the book, so I made some changes in the construction methods (mainly, the set in the book is much faster to make because it's all sewn by machine instead of all hand-sewn like ours is) and now it's available to all of you in Simple Sewing. I should also mention that, instead of being stuffed like our family nativity set, the ones in the book are actually finger puppets! Since they're flat, they also work great on felt boards, are easy to bring in your church bag, and fit in your Christmas storage a little more nicely.

I love what Marissa says in her post about the importance of keeping Christ at the center of our Christmas celebrations. Bryan and I have never been uber into Santa (I've got nothin' against the guy, we're just not Santa-crazy in our house), but this year Olivia has taken on a full-blown love for Santa and talks about him all the time. It's pretty cute and funny and I certainly don't mind it, but I'm also glad to know that, when it comes time to decorate for Christmas in a couple weeks, she'll be just as excited to play with our nativity sets and act out the Christmas story. We go to church every Sunday and read scriptures together every night, but there's something about letting a child include Christ in their play that just touches my heart. She was constantly playing with our nativity sets last year and it brought so much peace and joy of the season to our home.

I'm so grateful for a publisher that invited me to share a tiny little piece of my love for Christ with you through this project in my book. I hope that you enjoy creating your own Felt Nativity Puppets and acting out the Christmas story with your children this year and in years to come. Oh! And did you know that, while the book only includes specific patterns and instructions for Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus, you can easily alter the patterns (or really even just the colors of their robes) to make wise men, angels, shepherds, and others from the nativity story? It's been on my Christmas to-make list for years. One of these days I'm gonna get around to it, but if one of you beats me to it, please let me know so I can see!

Thanks so much to Marissa for sharing her Felt Nativity Puppets today! Head on over to her blog to check them out, read her review of the book, and enter for a chance to win a free copy for yourself!

1 comment:

Emily said...

I actually just decided last night that I am going to make this little set for baby girl for her stocking. And now today, there is this awesome blog post about it! This post is beautiful. I love what you said about a child choosing to include Christ in their play. Love this. Love you.