The eleventh day of Christmas swapping is my turn to give ornaments to my artsy friends in my ornament swap group.
The wrapping is always a bit of a dilemma for me. I have several different options, stashed away from years previous, but I'm never truly happy with them so I end up with something completely different than what I started with.
This year, I found this incredible, embroidered and beaded, wide ribbon which I encased my ornament in and stitched it closed. I wasn't thinking of this when I wrapped but, in our swap group, peeking is a huge temptation so stitching the wrapping closed is a good way to keep things secret until the special day! So, here is my secret revealed, for day 11...
rel i quar y
n. pl. rel i quar ies
A receptacle, such as a coffer of shrine, for keeping or displaying sacred relics.
I've developed quite an obsession for boxes, lockets and, especially, reliquaries. I love the idea of a small keeping place in which to tuck a precious bit of treasure. Traditionally, religious reliquaries are shrines or containers used to hold holy relics; pieces of clothing, bones, hair or other objects associated with saints. I used vintage prayer cards inside my Christmas reliquaries, as well as a bit of metal bullion, a scrap of silk and a strip of antique Bible text.
I covered the inside and outside of my reliquaries with antique Bible text and added a crackle finish. I also added a little trim to the outside of each box; rhinestones, antique metal trim or velvet.
From the bottom of each, dangles a cross or crucifix and I used vintage Czech beads to accent. The backs of many religious reliquaries are sealed with an embossed wax seal to ensure the authenticity of the relics inside. For the backs of my reliquaries, I added wax seals I made using a special mold I made from a vintage religious medal.
Each seal was painted and affixed with it's own bit of silk, representing the silk cord found on many old reliquaries. These are pretty small, in keeping with my friend Richard's description of my work "in the land of tiny." The actual container is only about 1 1/4 inches across. A happy Christmas wish to my swap friends is also sealed inside.
The eleventh apostle is Simon the Zealot, so named for his zeal for Jewish law before he was called as a disciple. Like the other apostles, he evangelized for the cause of Christ but where he actually preached is uncertain. He was a martyred for his faith but the place and method are in dispute. Some traditions have him crucified in Samaria, others say he was sawn in half in Persia.