Monday, November 28, 2011

A Magazine, Needlepoint , and the Magi

This magazine was in my mailbox today :)

It has some lovely stuff in it: a 3-part mystery quilt (my subscription expires with the next issue so if I were to do it, I'd have to remember to go buy the last issue), a lesson on tying a machine!, a pretty batiks pattern (not my thing, but it is pretty and could be done in other colors/fabrics), a very nice log cabin, an article on color balancing, a valentine's wall art quilt, a blue and cream 'leaf' tessellation quilt (oooh, aaahhh I want to do it), and a whole bunch of other projects :) This magazine is probably in my top three, maybe top two. My favorite-est quilting magazine is The Quilter Magazine.

Many, many years ago, when Victoria was just a little girl in the early 1980s, I thought I'd try working part time as an in-home craft demonstrator/salesperson for Artcraft Concepts. I think I lasted about a year. I found, as maybe others did, that as a 'consultant' I turned most of my profits back to the company by purchasing more and more kits. And it didn't help, that about the time you'd finish making a kit up for demo purposes, the company would discontinue that kit and come out with a new one. Sure, I got them at a deeply-discounted rate from retail, but I still had to make the kit before I could display the product! As far as the kits themselves, I loved them. They were great quality and the company was great at sending out additional yarn or thread or whatever if you didn't have sufficient for whatever reason. I made one of their latch-hook rug kits - a snowy scene that I still use as a cover on an ottoman...even when it isn't winter or Christmas. I was in the midst of a divorce toward the end, and gave up on trying to do this as a business and went to work for a big aerospace firm with a steady income.

This project (below) is called "Magi Christmas Classic". It was first published as a kit in 1978. I bought mine (as a special discontinued offering) in 1983. I didn't begin working on it until Jan. 2006. Until recently I'd been keeping it in the door pocket of my car to work on while I waited for Nick to get out of school and while sitting in the car pick-up line. I don't have to wait in that line anymore, and I get to the school only a few minutes before he's out so thus have no time to work on this there. I decided I'd take it out and work on it while I watch television.

This is the floss that came with the project. I cut slits in a piece of cardboard and numbered them accordingly.

Obviously, this is the color key for the floss, and the color placement chart for the printed fabric. I highlight as I go, it makes it easier.

The project measures 14"x14" finished. What you see in the hoop (an 8" hoop) is all that was done at the time of this photo. Since then, I have done the upper portion of the robe on the one to the left of this one. It's done in the purple, and is a stem stitch, which is the main stitch used on the characters. I don't think it'll be finished for this Christmas, and then what I'll do with it when it's done has yet to be decided. It was intended to be a framed wall art, but as with a couple other Artcraft projects I did, I may intend to put it as a medallion in a wall quilt and/or table topper.

Did you know that "three" wise men (Magi) is not in Scripture? It's true. There is only the mention of "wise men from the east bringing gold, frankincense and myrrh", and from those three gifts came the errant notion of 3 wise men. There may have only been two, but then again, there may have been six or eight and yes, the possibility of only 3 is still there too. Truth is, we aren't told. And Scripture certainly didn't tell us their names. I'm not sure where the names came from. Regardless of how many or few, it's most likely also that they traveled in a large caravan and maybe not even on camels but swift horses. The route they likely would have taken would have been dangerous with robbers, and carrying an amount of gold - tempting to say the least. Unless one has read and studied Scripture and really paid attention to it, one would blindly go on believing many of the songs composed (with a LOT of error) right along with greeting card depictions of those same errors. Another error is the nativity where we often see the wise men on bended knee with their gifts at the manger. Nope. They weren't there. They likely hadn't even embarked on their journey until after He was born and the saw the star to guide them. Herod met with the magi to determine when Christ would have been born...the magi went to "a house" (not a stable) so the family was already 'home' ...Herod wanted to destroy the Child and thus his order to kill all the male children in and around Bethlehem from two years and younger (Jesus may have been as old as 2 by the time this all happened - remember, Herod inquired of the Magi as to when the Christ was born - Herod issued this order after discovering the wise men learned from God Herod's scheme to kill the Child, which had been removed to Egypt with Mary and Joseph for protection. In Scripture at this point He is referred to as "Child" not "Infant" thus also attributing that He was older than a newborn baby. Isn't Scripture interesting if you dig deep into it? It's fascinating how God's plan unfolds from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation.

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