Welcome to the 12 Days of Crafty Christmas Blog Hop! I have teamed up with 5 other fabulous designers, and we are excited to be bringing you some crafty inspiration to help you celebrate this Christmas season. Look forward to some wonderful project ideas, tutorials, freebies and giveaways brought to you by Mari Koegelenberg, Pamela of Keeping Life Creative, Laura of Wishing Well Creations, Melissa of Domesticated Lady, Jen of Girl Boy Girl Designs and myself, Kelleigh Ratzlaff.
I’m excited to get the ball rolling today and show you what I have been working on!
Several years ago, I heard about the Jesse Tree Project, which is an advent retelling of God’s plan to rescue His children. It comes from Isaiah 11:1 – “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse: from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” This verse refers to Jesse, the father of King David, who was in the lineage of Jesus Christ.
It’s important to our family to keep Christ in Christmas and pass on a strong tradition of celebrating what the birth of Jesus Christ means for our salvation.
Jesus didn’t stay in the manger. He lived a life that we should try to live, he died a death we should have died, and he rose again so that we can live forever with him!!
Last year, I discovered the world’s greatest children’s Bible: The Jesus Storybook Bible. I had heard many, many reviews from trusted friends and pastors recommending this Bible, so I purchased one for our family. Now, I must say that we have several kid’s Bibles. Like, maybe 6? A lot. What I love about this Bible is that the subtitle is so true: Every story whispers his name. And, it’s true! Every story written in the Jesus Storybook Bible concludes with a paragraph that points to Jesus. All throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, everything points to Jesus. It is such a great survey of God’s Plan, and a wonderful reminder to adults and children alike. I get choked up every time I read from the Jesus Storybook Bible! Plus, the stories are short enough that we read one story each morning while waiting for the bus to come. If you have 5 minutes, you have enough time to have a meaningful family devotion time. Not kidding.
I loved the idea of a Jesse Tree, however I wanted it to be very accessible to my children, plus I was a little intimidated by the whole project. I needed simple, understandable and cute!! But, I knew that this was the year I was going to do the Jesse Tree!
At the same time all of this was running through my head, I discovered that someone had put together an Advent Reading list using stories from the Jesus Storybook Bible! I was giddy! A match made in heaven!
I asked my sweet friend, Pamela of Keeping Life Creative to create some printable ornaments using her felty talents, and she agreed! I was so excited with what she came up with. Check out her blog post to see how she put her ornaments together. It’s a lot easier than what I did, so those of you who are intimidated, please don’t be! You can do this! Pamela’s printable set is geared toward the actual Jesse Tree tradition and contains Bible story passage references from that tradition.
However, I bugged her again, and she agreed to create a FREE little add-on set just for those of us who are doing the Jesus Storybook Bible Advent!! YAY PAM! You are so wonderful, my friend. Thank you very much!!
I love how my ornaments turned out!
This is what I did. Some of it is technical, but for those of you who are familiar with Photoshop, it will be no biggie. I’ll include some “basic version” directions, too.
First, I had to pull Pam’s PDFs into Photoshop. I simply went to File>Open and selected the PDF file. I left everything on the pop up screen as-is, and imported all of her files. They opened on the screen as if they were jpg images.
Next, I selected (Rectangular or Elliptical Marquee tool) each image and cut it (ctrl X), then switched to Silhouette Studio and pasted it onto a blank screen (ctrl V). It comes in ginormous, so I clicked and dragged the corners to resize it to inky-dinky.
Next, I set up my Silhouette screen like this (and hopefully you will figure it out by just looking):
And I used the print and cut feature. Love that feature!!
Basic Version: Open the PDF document and go to your print dialog box (so, click the printer image). Then, on the next screen under “Pages to Print” type in 7-10 (the pages without the dashed lines) and under Size Options, click “Shrink Oversized Pages”. Now, look toward the bottom and click the Page Setup box. Scale the image down by a %. Your setting will vary, so I’m not even going to guess what you would put in there, but you could start with 40%, print it out and see what you get. Your ornaments could be larger than mine or smaller! The idea here is to shrink the page down so that when you punch the image out with your paper puncher, it will fit nicely in the punch-out area.
I added ribbon to the back of the little wooden disks I found at Michael’s. (They are about 1.25-1.5 inches in diameter.)
And then glued the pictures to the front. I plan to mod podge them one day, but today is not that day. Mama’s tired.
I knew I would forget which picture went with which story, so I made little punch-out (or cut out) labels for the backs, too! I created mine in Silhouette Studio, but I re-created it here for you! Click on the image below to download my basic sheet in a fully editable psd file (for Photoshop users) and two PDF files: one with circles and one without circles.
I am so excited about the way this project turned out. It’s simple, easy to use, and it will definitely help us to focus on the reason behind the season. My kids can’t wait to start pulling them out of the box one by one, read the story and hang them on a miniature Christmas tree!
The Jesus Storybook Bible: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0310708257/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0310708257&linkCode=as2&tag=kelleratzldes-20
My PDF with the words: http://kelleighratzlaff.com/Freebies/KelleighR-JesseTreeJSB.zip
Pam’s set of pictures at her Teachers Pay Teachers site: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Jesse-Tree-Advent-Project-436602
Pam’s free set of add-ons: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Jesse-Tree-Project-Add-ons-441037
Pam’s super easy and cute advent using the same pictures: http://keepinglifecreative.com/creative-projects/simple-jesse-tree-ornaments-tutorial