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The Man In Red (Or Blue): Our Nordic and Seaside Santas

Growing up many of us were told of the jolly old man with the big white beard and big belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly when he laughed. This man is Santa Claus—also known as Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, or simply Santa—the man in red who shimmies down the chimney each Christmas Eve to deliver gifts to all the children who’ve been nice. Though this depiction has evolved into a fantastical character, the origins of Santa Claus actually stem from a 4th-century bishop named Saint Nicholas.

Saint Nicholas was a Greek Christian bishop of Myra, a province of the Byzantine Empire, now in Turkey. Saint Nicholas was extremely religious and devoted his entire life to Christianity. He became famous for his generosity—giving gifts to the poor—and is usually portrayed as a bearded bishop in canonical robes. In honor of his selfless actions, December 6 was known as Saint Nicholas’ Day. Children were bestowed gifts in his honor by their families the night before. This date later changed to December 24, following the course of the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther.

The story of Santa Claus varies slightly in each culture, taking on their own adaptation, but the heart of the story remains the same—emerging from a single Saint who gifted to the poor.

Our Nordic and Seaside Santas are a simple reminder of this special story.

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Our Nordic Santa is prepared for the winter season—bundled up and ready to go with a bushel of holly, a pinecone walking stick, and a lantern to light the way down those chimneys.

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Decked in hues taken from the sea, our Seaside Santa is a coastal-inspired take on the man in red. Toting a bounty of real shells, he’ll add a splash of maritime cheer to your holiday collection.

Featuring intricate details and lifelike qualities, each of our Santas are made completely by hand and will make a festive addition to your traditional or coastal-inspired spread.

 

  
  
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Nonprofit Friend: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Nonprofit Friend: The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust | Wisteria

We first featured The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a beloved organization to Wisteria’s co-founder Shannon Newsom, in our March 2014 catalog. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) is a nonprofit organization that has worked to protect wildlife and habitats in Kenya for the past 38 years. World-known for the success of its Orphans’ Project, the DSWT is the recognized authority on the hand raising and reintegration of orphaned African elephants—to date, they have successfully hand-raised over 190 elephants and many have been reintegrated into the wild.

Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick founded The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in 1977 in memory of her late husband, and the founder of Tsavo National Park, David Sheldrick MBE. David and Daphne’s work to protect wildlife in Kenya began in the early 1950s, with their Tsavo home soon becoming a haven for orphaned animals. As the wildlife situation worsened due to poaching, human-wildlife conflict, habitat destruction, and drought, the number of orphans in need grew significantly and the Sheldricks worked vigorously to successfully raise and rehabilitate orphaned animals.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has evolved into a multidimensional organization, working in-air and on the ground to watch over, care for, and protect all of Kenya’s wildlife. The DSWT has six conservation programs to carry out their mission; this is done through the Orphans’ Project, Anti-Poaching Teams, Mobile Vet Units, Aerial Surveillance, Saving Habitats, and Community Outreach.

Though this nonprofit organization has been successful with raising and reintegrating elephants into the wild, their job does not end there. The anti-poaching teams, medical units, and pilots of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust continue to ensure these ex-orphans and wild herds are kept safe and given the future they deserve.

We would like to partner with you, our customer, in an effort to provide necessary resources to support the work of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. On December 18, 2015, Wisteria will Give 10% of your entire purchase to support the work of The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and you will Get 10% off your purchase. Use promo code DSWT2015 at checkout.

To learn more or make a donation of your own, visit

www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

  
  
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Unraveling the Story: Our Zardosi Wall Art

Zardosi is an intricate Persian embroidery technique that dates back to the Mughal Empire under the patronage Emperor Akbar. Traditionally done in gold bullion wire (Zardosi is a Persian word that means sewing with gold), this detailed needlework was once used by Persian royalty to embellish their garments and accessories. Due to industrialization and loss of royal patronage, this unique and extremely detailed technique is now practiced by only a handful of artisans—a dying art we’d like to keep alive.

Zardosi Method 

The Zardosi embroidery process begins with the artisan sitting (usually cross-legged) around the wooden framework with their tools. These tools include curved hooks, needles, gold or silver wire, and whatever style beads or sequins they choose. The design is then traced onto the fabric and stretched over a wooden frame—the intricate embroidery then begins.

Our Collection

Unraveling the Story: Our Zardosi Wall Art | Wisteria

Our Zardosi Isaiah Crown Wall Art  is fit for a king and will deliver a spiritual element to a wall space. Profiled in a gold wood frame, this ornate crown features delicate, hand-sewn beads and is outlined with the verse from Isaiah 28:5, “In that day the Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people.”

Zardosi Cross Wall Art | Wisteria

Our Zardosi Cross Wall Art fits with holiday or everyday decor. Featuring an ornate crown atop a cross, this intricately detailed piece delivers the message from Isaiah 40:29–31, “He gives his power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength . . .”

Zardosi Psalms Crown Wall Art | Wisteria

Last but not least, our Zardosi Psalms Crown Wall Art  features an ornate crown on a bed of laurel leaves above the verse from Psalms 149:4, “For the Lord takes delight in his people he crowns the humble victory.” This beautiful piece is embroidered on stretched canvas over a wood frame.

We can’t imagine how a wonderfully unique and traditional technique has become almost obsolete, and though it’s not much, we hope these pieces will help keep this dying art alive.

  
  
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In a Sea Full Wonder: The Legend of the Sand Dollar

In a Sea Full Wonder: The Legend of the Sand Dollar | Wisteria

You may have collected sand dollars on your visits to the beach—picking them up to collect or to break in half and release the five “doves”—but are you familiar with The Legend of the Sand Dollar? As legend has it, the sand dollar represents the birth, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Written anonymously, there is a story that explains how this unique creation is a symbol of Christ’s life and is used as a way to spread His message.

We were awestruck with this sentiment and wanted to share it with you. Our The Legend of the Sand Dollar set features a real sand dollar ornament—a visual of the story and a keepsake for you—complemented by a handmade jute bag to stylishly and securely hold this unique piece. It also comes with the written story, so you can always be reminded of its sacred message.

‘Tis the season! This special set makes a great gift for your favorite storyteller.

The Legend of the Sand Dollar

The legend of the sand dollar,

That I would like to tell,

Of the birth and death of Jesus Christ,

Found in this lowly shell.

 

If you will examine closely,

You’ll see that you will find here,

Four nails holes and a fifth one,

Made by a Roman’s spear.

 

On one side the Easter Lily,

Its center is the star,

That appeared unto the shepherds,

And led them from afar.

 

The Christmas Poinsettia,

Etched on the other side,

Reminds us of His birthday,

Our joyous Christmas tide.

 

Now break the center open,

And here you will release,

The five white doves awaiting,

To spread good will and peace.

 

This simple little symbol,

Christ left for you and me,

To help to spread His message,

Through all eternity.

Anonymous 

  
  
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A Peek Into A Time-Honored Artistry: Our Blue & White Collection

The origins of blue and white ceramics are rooted in Persia, once traveling to China down the Silk Road. It was here the craft was perfected by skilled artisans, and soon these handcrafted pieces became a vital component of China’s export trade. The popularity of these classic pieces continues today, and as you can see we’re quite enamored by their beauty—translating this appreciation into our Blue & White Collection. Inspired by this classic style, we’ve created an array of pieces—ranging from pottery to wall art to holiday decor—that transform this time-honored tradition into a carefully curated collection.

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Now that the holiday season is among us, we’ve selected a few timeless blue and white pieces we know will make great gifts.

Our Koi Fish Salt & Pepper Shakers make a wonderful gift for the kitchen enthusiast.

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This set of Chinese Floral Ornaments are the perfect addition to a traditional tree.

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And of course, you shouldn’t forget to treat yourself! Deck the halls with our Chinese Bud Vases and your favorite blooms and deck the walls with our Chinese Pottery Wall Art.

“I find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china.” – Oscar Wilde

Check out the rest of our gifts here!

  
  
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