My best wishes to you, whether you keep Christmas or not.
This is a little nativity scene which I designed and made way back when I was young and ambitious. The idea was that I would add a new figure or animal every year. As you can see, I didn’t get very far, but it’s the sort of thing I can always pick up and start again as long as DMC keeps making embroidery floss.
I used the byzantine mosaics in Ravenna as my inspiration because the tiny needlepoint stitches reminded me of the stones of mosaics. The figures were roughly sketched out on a fine canvas and worked with the floss. I just picked out different stitches to use as I went along. The canvas was stitched onto felt stuffed felt forms that have heavy cardboard in the base so they can stand up. If I was starting this now, I’d just cut out some thin board and mount them flat. If St. Joseph ever gets to where he can’t stand on his own, I’ll fix them all up that way.
In keeping with the byzantine style, I used some conventions from early Christian icongraphy: the baby’s one hand is raised in blessing, and the other holds a fish, just in case you don’t realize who he is. He is also differentiated from the other holy figures by his nimbus.
I should really finish this out some day – the style was absolutely made for depicting resplendent figures like the wise men.