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Crèchemania Blog

  1. A church burns and, miraculously, much of its glorious Byzantine iconography survives

    The iconostasis icons glow even more brightly amidst the blackness that is now the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Basil in Chicago. And the icon of the Nativity in the north wall where the fire started was saved as if an invisible hand had extinguished the flames a hair's breadth from Mother and Child…

     An icon and its stucco frame testify to the flames that miraculously stopped within a hair's breadth of Mother and Child. The Nativity, by Athanasios Clark, Saint Basil Greek Orthodox ...
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  2. Living Christmas 365 days a year — An American Annual of Christmas Literature and Art

    "The Annual of Christmas Literature and Art became an all-consuming passion for many years," says Leonard Flachman. It's a perfect summer day in Minneapolis, and under the shade of an oak tree former editors Leonard and Karen Walhof reminisce and leaf through Christmas Annuals that have been cherished by so many — including a young thirteen-year-old fresh off the boat from Greece…

     The Annual of Christmas Literature and Art, in the words of its founder and long-time editor Randolph ...
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  3. What's in a name? The Oinochoe Nativity

    Finding a beautiful vintage nativity is one thing; finding it in one piece — or a good name for it? — another…

     Rollover the image above with your mouse to see the vintage version of the Oinochoe Nativity — with the feathered headdress Magi hidden from view. 

     
    The original vintage ntativity: a torn, distorted and scratched Front, a Magi placed where he could not be seen. You'd think, in an economic crisis, paper nativity prices wouldn't ...
  4. Treasures from Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Mankato, Minnesota

    As if the beautiful stained glass — including the Nativity — wasn't enough of an inspiration, the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church museum offers us two ornaments to cherish…

     Roll over the image above with your mouse to see the other side of the Saint Anthony and Christ Child Ornament. 

     
    The Nativity window, Saints Peter and Paul, Mankato, Minnesota.

    As if the beautiful window of the Nativity — not to mention all the other ...
  5. An old scrapbook page holds a surprise — The Earthenware Jar Nativity

    Glued for eternity on a yellowed, tattered, album page a nativity is discovered amidst a cornucopia of colorful scraps…

     The star, so often missing in vintage paper crèches (extending above the stable it's often torn off) again shines on the two-layered, fold-out, Earthenware Jars Nativity. 
     The star shines againThe one-piece album Earthenware Jar Nativity sans all the decorations. A pleasant surprise

    Blooming roses, cornucopias brimming ...
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