Thursday, December 11, 2014

Jesse Tree Treasures

{Please note… I am closing down my Etsy shop for the Christmas Season on December 13th. All orders for embroidery kits placed prior to that will be shipped out on December 15th at the latest.}

Hi. I'm Charlotte… and I'm a Jesse Tree addict. This year, I did NOT participate in a swap so, I'm working on moderation. I did however agree to accept a beautiful set from Jesse Tree Treasures in exchange for a review so… there goes moderation, I guess. I promise, it's going to be an honest review for anyone thinking about ordering their own. (And of course there is still time… Advent's not over yet!!!) Here is what I like:

The artwork is nicely done
While I have enjoyed my experiences in the world of Jesse Tree Swaps, there is just something to be said for a set that looks like it was put together by the same artist. The colors are complimentary. The style of the art is similar on each piece. Also… I love the bare wood on the backside. Wood is so beautiful, it should never be painted unless is absolutely has to be.
Cupcake loved looking at all of the pretty pictures.
Uniformity of size
Each piece is the same size. Some of the swaps I've participated in had dimension limits on the pieces being made but you still ended up with a variety of sizes. Some teeny tiny things, some 4x4 numbers. I think everyone has their own idea of where they are going to hang their Jesse Tree symbols and that influences the proportions  of the pieces they make. But to me, uniform pieces mean a nicely balanced, even look to wherever you decide to hang them. In our case, it's a skinny little 6 foot fake Christmas tree.

This is probably my most favorite thing. There are so many options with this set. We have a felt Jesse Tree that a sweet SIL made us that is starting to show it's age… it's been well loved. That Jesse Tree only has enough symbols to go from December 1st through the 25th. But some years… Advent starts in November! With this set from Jesse Tree Treasures, you can decide when you'd like to start your Jesse Tree. And some of the symbols can be used for different stories. If you have a Bible storybook that your family loves, I'm sure you could find symbols for the stories that you want to include. If you decide you want to focus on the female characters in Christ's genealogy, you can do that too.

Let's say you want a strict story telling focus, not a people of the Bible focus, you can do that with this set. You can tell the story of Moses' trip in the basket, the burning bush and the Ten Commandments all with different ornaments!

Right now, we are following my SIL's reflections (see her right side bar). Hers are based on the old felt version that we both have (same SIL made one for each of us) and we have been able to find symbols in this set to work for each of the original symbols. Next year, we might try a different line-up. It's the options that this complete set provides that I love.

But in case options make you break out in hives because…ahhhhhhhh... too many choices... this set comes with blank cards that you can fill in with the name of the symbol, the verse or story and create your own order to be used year after year without thinking about it. Jesse Trees should not cause you to sweat.

Now, I told you this was an honest review… so, here is what I don't like.

The set comes with thin little pieces of thread to string each ornament up with. Little wisps of thread that are way too hard for a toddler's uncoordinated hands to figure out. That's just not going to cut it for Miss Cupcake who wants to do everything by herself these days. (Pray for us, please!) I'm planning to get some thicker thread or string or ribbon to use instead so that it's easier for her to hang them on our tiny little tree. The holes that are in each ornament aren't very big so as not to obscure the lovely artwork, of course, but that means it's going to be tricky to find something that will work. I think I can do it. Maybe I'll try some wire twisted into an S shape. I'll let you know what ends up working.
Trying to decide on a favorite...
And finally…my one neutral thought:

Some of the ornaments that I've received in Jesse Tree Swaps didn't hold up against the heat of a Texas garage in the summer time and I just don't have enough closet space to store everything inside. These little ornaments seem like they will survive better but since I just received them a few weeks ago, I can't really be sure until we've lived through another summer. I'll get back to you on that.