A/Irreligious as I may be, I own a copy of the Bible (KJV). I checked that Bible, and not in Daniel, Matthew, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Proverbs, 1st Corinthians, The Book of Job, Deuteronomy, Esther, Exodus, Ezekiel, Ecclesiastes, Genesis, Obadiah, Psalms or the Apocrypha does anyone refer to the "wisemen." But Wise Men, as in came tramping through the desert to meet the baby Jesus, is two words in each reference. This was the first thing I noticed paging through the 2003 JCS Ornament Issue. The Shepherd's Bush ornament has a figure carrying a charm jug walking away from a star (followed by a boat for some reason) with the stitched caption "Wisemen came." It's unmistakably two words where, of course, there should be three. How could no one have noticed this--not the designers, not the magazine editor, or photographers, no one? What's more, everywhere you look in the magazine, it's "wisemen came." If this is what fundamentalist religiosity is doing to the country, well, it's no wonder everything's going to hell in a hand-basket.
My complaints about Dragon Dreams and the Stitcher's Habit (Merry Moosedroppings!) seem to have been heeded; neither designer is in this issue.
Overall, I was underwhelmed. There are about 14 designs I'd like to do out of 75; I think that's a record low. Both Bent Creek and Heart in Hand designed house ornaments. There's a neat circle of trees from The Workbasket. There's a page full of snowmen (I like the Twisted Threads one best, but SO asked, "didn't you do that one before?"). There's a set of "traditional" red and green ornaments with a particularly staid one from Mosey 'N Me that I like. There's a section of animal/bird ornaments, including a really funky flamingo with an Esatz wreath--my favorite on that page. There's a selection of Santas, but none are out of this world. There's a group with "dark palettes" including a Prairie Schooler that matches their new book "Starry Night." (That ought to give you a sense of those ornaments.) There's a collection of ornaments that have "Joy, Peace, or Love" in them. JBW's "Love" is pretty and Lizzie*Kate's "Peace" has a neat row of Christmas symbols underneath. This is where the wisemen appear. There's the page of "unusual color" ornaments. They're nothing to write home about, although I think there's something about Graphs by Barbara and Cheryl's plaid Christmas tree. The next page has several of the issue's ugliest ornaments, including a gingerbread man who could give children nightmares. And you know how I feel about Cherished Teddies. The last page of photos has the "white" ornaments. Lots of hardanger and cut-work, but my favorite is a bitty stocking by Brightneedle.
Am I jaded or have the designers lost something here?
I got K's scarf done and I'm very far along on Rose Gallica, even though I had to pick up the new magazine and flip through it again and again this weekend. I'm still not sure I can make the Friday deadline because there is a lot of backstitching left to do on this one. We'll see how far I get while watching Monday Night Football.