How it got here: weekly product highlight:
The Lenten Journey Map
All of our products are a combination of somewhat random and somewhat destined adventures. There was a desire to create items to help our kids and parishioners through the Lenten experience. Fr. Evan Armatas, the Priest at St. Spyridon's, is a very "big" thinker. The Passports, postcards, stamps, this map, and the Raising Lazarus Project, all have been his little (or big) thought babies. Those of us who were also involved were more about the implementation of his thoughts.
The Lenten Journey Map was a misinterpretation. The Christian Education Director and myself, the Youth Director, got a little carried away one day during a brain storming session, and ended up with this. Father had in mind something a little....simpler. Smaller, more straightforward, but still an interactive map that children could use to track their journey towards the "treasure": Christ's empty tomb.
We discovered a tapestry in my home, a Chinese heirloom painted by my husbands Grandmother and mounted in the traditional Chinese scroll format, and decided that this format was what would make an interactive map work. We jabbered and projected and dreamed and soon had decided that this was exactly what Father was talking about, and it would be awesome.
It was a little more work than that dream session took into consideration, and is still quite the production just to "get out the door". But, thanks to about fourteen generous and gifted souls, is a beautiful, special, one-of-a-kind .
It began with the canvas screen print. An idea by the CED of a treasure map, my simple black line drawings of each destination, the talents of our awesome Graphic Designer (who will be mentioned several times in these), and a teeny little screen printing shop in Denver. We all got inked up one day, making the first batch of these guys, before we decided it might be better for a professional to print them for us.
Then we found some amazing quilters. Well, one to start. She walked us through each step of how the binding should look, which batting to buy, we discussed how the Icons should attach, what fabric would be best, and she quilted about 70 for us using a really beautiful cross pattern. 70. She then embroidered them all with "Lenten Journey" in gold, and set up a system of other quilters in our parish to help do the binding. She glued the canvas map on to each quilt, glued the printed icons onto felt, and finished by teaching me how to use my own sewing machine for the finishing touches.
We then found others who knew how to sew who were willing to do the gold border around each canvas map, or sew the felted icons together, with a little ribbon "hook", or hand sew beads above each week of Lent on the map, or sew ribbons in various places. So many people chipped in and what would have taken years took a summer to complete.
Now when you order a map, I find the color you have requested, bring it home to sew the gold border around, and hand stitch the beads where you hang your icons. I pull out five prepared felted icons, some crosses that were die-cut by another parishioner, a smattering of colored beads, and a Lenten Journey Map Guide Book, written by the CED, and carefully fold and pack it up, and mail it to you. And the love of about twenty people, the gift freely given of their time and talents, comes wrapped and priority shipped to your door, hopefully to be used and cherished for years to come by your parish or family.