Joseph and Mary's hardships would have begun just weeks before the birth of their son, when the couple had to leave their home in Nazareth to register for a Roman census in the city of Joseph's ancestors, 90 miles away.
Relax, enjoy beautiful collections! November 20, 2016 10:14
I recently discovered Polyvore.com ... yes, I'm a bit behind the times with these amazing online places to visit! What a wonderful way to relax with gorgeous collections of goodies from all around the world!
Loving the Catholic themed collections put together by the lovely Teresa Russo from TerryTiles - like the one above and this one here:
Loving the 3 Hail Marys Chaplet in the center of this collection too ...... just happens to be right here in my shop
Beads to Bracelet for Mary ... September 14, 2016 11:05
Thought I would share with you how my designs often come together in my workroom. They start with a theme I am thinking about and grow into my beads of praise, going directly from my hands to yours.
This time of year always brings the Virgin Mary into my mind, thinking of her as she awaits the birth of her baby. Just 3 months to go ... and she and Joseph will be aware that they must be on the move to Bethlehem very soon.
They had to travel south along the flatlands of the Jordan River, then west over the hills surrounding Jerusalem, and on into Bethlehem. It would be a hard and dangerous trip, probably only covering 10 miles a day because of Mary's pregnancy.
The trip through the Judean desert would have been at a time when the temperatures during the day are very high and at night it would be freezing.
So with this journey in my mind as a guiding inspiration, I assemble my beads and the design seems to come together of its own accord. I am happy with the result in this bracelet - flowers for Mary in the color purple to signify majesty and the deep night skies the family traveled under. Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows ... and hope, beauty and faith.
Past and present - a beautiful combo! August 20, 2016 15:08 2 Comments
Loving combining the beautiful designs found in rosaries from the past with today's materials!
The Renaissance Era included some really intricate metalwork in rosaries, with beautiful filigree and layers of decoration around the beads, especially the Our Father & Glory Be beads, as well as ornate crosses and crucifixes.
From the workroom ... August 06, 2016 13:07
I love this part of my job ... who would think being a rosary maker means I can get out my sewing machine?!
Here I am making the rosary pouches that go with all my full-size rosaries. There are many things happening in my workroom to make sure the pieces you buy from me are "special" and meaningful for you.
One of the things I like to do is create a little lined rosary pouch to go with each full-size rosary. If you are gifting the rosary, the pouch is a nice finishing touch for when you present your gift.
You can use it to store your own rosary when not you're not using it, and they are very handy for carrying your rosary when you are on the move so the beads don't get damaged. They slide easily into a pocket, purse or backpack.
All rosaries made with natural gemstone beads - like many of mine are - should be stored away from direct light. Popping them into a rosary pouch is one way to easily take care of that!
Feel free to contact me and request the style of rosary bag you would prefer - you can ask for 4 different styles although I will choose the exact material I use from my considerable stash. You can request a pouch specially for a girl or a boy, or for a man or a woman. Or I will choose a bag that goes with the rosary for you.
Let us pray .... July 12, 2016 13:22
“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.”
- Meister Eckhart
For men who pray July 04, 2016 10:43
Just adding some new pieces with tons of masculine appeal in the Men's Collection. Two new pieces today: a contemporary Sacred Heart chaplet featuring a Saint Benedict cross, and a black onyx and antiqued brass 5 decade rosary.
The Sacred Heart chaplet is a traditional "niner" style - ideal for today's busy life-style. The smaller size makes it easy to carry with you, and it uses 3 easily remembered prayers: the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Glory be to the Father. A prayer card is included.
The handsome black onyx rosary is smooth and cool through the fingers, and is well-made for rugged hands - will last for many years of prayer. The antiqued brass radiant crucifix and Miraculous Medal center give the rosary the look of a treasure from a bygone age.
Rosaries in unusual hands! April 11, 2016 10:30 1 Comment
I have been researching old images of rosaries and just have to share these two with you!
This image is actually a 15th century cookie mold from Bonn in Germany. It's a classic illustration of an old proverb, showing a fox in a monk's cowl preaching to a congregation of geese.
The proverb says “When a fox preaches, take care of your geese.” The proverb is about keeping an awareness of hidden agendas even when the "preacher" speaks fine words - the fox has but one agenda which is to eat the geese. The proverb says that if you let your guard down then Mr Fox will do what comes naturally, so stay alert.
You can see the fox up in his pulpit. He has already collected two geese - their heads are sticking out of his hood - yet the congregation of pious geese is still listening to him. You can tell they are pious because they are all carrying rosaries in their bills!
Cookie molds are a form of late-medieval folk art from Germany and they showed images of religious, proverbial and humorous art of the times.
And here is a rabbit with a rosary! This pretty image is from the border of a medieval illuminated manuscript. Back in the days when texts were painstakingly copied out line by line entirely by hand, the monks often added wonderful hand-drawn images to the borders of the pages, as well as the fabulously ornate lettering.
This year I will be introducing a new line of medieval-inspired rosaries to my shop. My desk is covered with beautiful pictures from the past as I design a range of medieval rosaries made with modern materials. Keep an eye out for them in about a month!
An Art-Full Start to 2016 January 10, 2016 15:48 1 Comment
Finding inspiration for my new creations each year is a big part of my work, and the start of a New Year is always really enjoyable as I look outwards at the way other artists and craftspeople are expressing their faith through the work of their hands.
There are so many talented people - I could lose myself for hours immersed in the art of people who will probably never know how much joy and inspiration they have given to me.
Let me share some of the clever artisan's work I have found on Etsy - the best place online to find art and crafts in one place handmade by folk who make their living through their own work.
This year I am really feeling a pull toward folk art and rustic icons as inspiration for my work - so expect to see these influences in my shop later this year (possibly the result of reading the parables again, and how they relate to the everyday lives of people of the time).
For now, I hope you enjoy this selection of beautiful images of faith from the folk art painters on Etsy as much as I have. Click on any of the images to see more work by each artist.
May your 2016 be blessed in all areas.
A Christian Meditation for Christmas November 14, 2015 17:44
A lovely song known by many people, that can serve as a prompt for meditative prayer at Christmas, and a wonderful way to keep Christ right in the center of busy lives at this time of year. I know when this song is in my mind, thoughts of the love of God are in my heart too.
As a meditation, the meaning of this song can be used at any time of year. I have been making Christmas Chaplets this week for this song, so that the meaning of the 12 Days in the song can be used as meditative prayers with a little rosary. You can see them in the Christmas Collection in my shop, along with other Christmas devotional prayer beads (and some Christmas earrings!).
Good As Gold August 24, 2015 18:48
I just finished a gold pearl baptism rosary and got to thinking about how precious a wee baby is ... and how the color gold means precious too. Gorgeous gold has many layers of meaning.
In Christian art this color symbolises the sun, divine radiance and revealed truth. In decor and fashion, the colour gold is associated with optimism and positive energy, gold adds richness and warmth to everything with which it is associated.
Here are some of my favourite gold finds for a special baby's Baptism day - enjoy!
Take it from the top!
Little feet leave big footprints on your heart!
Gifts from godparents & family - timeless treasures.
Smile for the camera! May 24, 2015 16:05
I love researching the history of prayer beads down through the ages. I spend a lot of time looking through old pictures and records from the early days of Christianity and earlier times too, looking at how rosaries and religious jewellery have shown the faith of their designers and how they have been chosen and used by centuries of faithful people.
I am always struck by how all early photos show such stern and unsmiling people! Were times so grim back then that the people in the photos - adults and children alike - had nothing to smile about? And how did they get all those babies and young children not to smile for the camera?
I may have found an answer to my question in this extract from an old book I have uncovered, written in the early 1700's, which was a manual on how to "behave like a Christian" ......
“There are some people who raise their upper lip so high… that their teeth are almost entirely visible. This is entirely contradictory to decorum, which forbids you to allow your teeth to be uncovered, since nature gave us lips to conceal them.” – Jean-Baptiste De La Salle, The Rules of Christian Decorum and Civility, 1703
Well ..... there you have it! And to think that I never knew that was what my lips were for!!
Praying Mothers May 08, 2015 20:35
I have been thinking about praying mothers lately, and all the mothers right around the world who are praying for their children right at this very minute. There must be a great number of them every minute of every day, because praying for your children is such a natural urge and at times the only thing a mother can do to help her child.
As a mother of three sons, I know I started prayer for my children before they were even born! Now they are all young adults, I pray for them all the more as they move into taking on the cares and responsibilities of adulthood. Which led me to thinking about another mother who knew her fair share of despair over the path in life her son chose to take. Her answer to her sorrow was prayer, and her prayers were answered.
This mother had a son who was gifted and had a bright future ahead of him. He left home to study, moving away from his devoutly Christian mother for the first time. Soon he falls into a bad crowd, causing his mother great concern and grief as he turned to a life of reckless living and vice. He forgets the faith he had as a child, and moves in to live with a woman with whom he has a child - this poor mother hardly knows anything about her grandchild. Finally, her son drifts into a strange cult and his chosen path tears his family apart - and his mother cries as she prays for his return to the safety of his loving family and comfort of his old faith.
Thirty-two years Monica prayed for her son Augustine! And her prayers were answered in a way that satisfied her mother's heart to overflowing and brought great benefit to people of faith everywhere. Today Saint Monica's patronages include married women (she herself was a widow), and she is a role model for Christian motherhood.
For mothers who despair for their children, Saint Monica's story offers hope and comfort. With these thoughts in my mind and holding my children and all the other children whose mother's are praying for them in my heart, I created a chaplet of Saint Monica. I love the prayers that come with this traditional chaplet, so will include a printed card of them to go with the chaplet.
You can see more of my work that includes Saint Monica by clicking this link: Saint Monica Collection
Confirmation - A special time for teens and adults March 12, 2015 14:59
Some milestones in a Catholic's life are so important that many Catholics like to give a gift to the person at the center of the occasion, both to share their faith and also as a lasting reminder that they and the person they gift to are both parts of a wider Catholic Church community. Accepting the Sacrament of Confirmation is one of those special times for Catholic teens and also for adults entering the Church through an RCIA programme in their area.
Confirmation is the time when Catholics fully join the Roman Catholic Church as adults and embrace the responsibilities and joys of choosing to be Catholic, and builds on the Sacraments of Baptism, Penance and Holy Communion. Through the Sacrament of Confirmation the Holy Spirit is bestowed upon the baptized in order to make them more perfect soldiers of Christ.
Naturally you will want to choose a gift that is symbolic of this wonderful occasion, and is a personal gift from you to a special person.
* The dove is a common symbol for Confirmation.
The white dove is representative of the Holy Spirit descending upon the Confirmed to more firmly unite them to Christ. Sometimes the dove is inflight, sometimes descending as the Holy Spirit descends on the confirmant, and sometimes the dove holds an olive leaf or branch in its beak as a symbol of the peace that passes all understanding. This symbol perhaps is rooted in the Acts of the Apostles 8:14-17 when Peter and John laid hands on the Samarians and prayed that they would receive the Holy Spirit, as is done in the Confirmation ceremonies of today. Through Confirmation, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are increased and a medal or emblem of the Holy Spirit included as part of a confirmation gift is always appropriate.
* The color red is associated with Confirmation.
Pentecost is also closely related to the Sacrament of Confirmation as it was the day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles. This is why the color red is associated with Confirmation. The red flames of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit dove are often included in some way in a confirmation gift, making it a special reminder of this Sacrament. For this reason, gifts in red or with red accents are good choices for this occasion.
* A Patron Saint medal is a popular choice.
Choosing a Confirmation name is a part of being confirmed. Find out what patron saint your Confirmand has chosen and make them a gift of that Saint's medal. Patron Saint medals come in a variety of styles and are included in rosaries and chaplets as well as being worn in jewellery. Make their confirmation even more special by giving them the patron saint medal just before the ceremony as something special to wear as they are being confirmed. Catholics share the belief in the Communion of Saints with many other Christians - the belief where all saints are intimately related in the Body of Christ as a family, and the Confirmand is entering the same family as their patron saint through the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Easter is a popular time for many Catholics to be confirmed. As we draw closer to Easter, I have added some new pieces to my Confirmation Collection for you to consider.
A rosary is a traditional and popular gift for a Confirmand, and is often given by a godparent or family member. A rosary bracelet is another gift that can be worn as a lasting reminder both of the occasion itself, and of the person gifting it. Catholic saint medals feature in many rosaries and rosary bracelets, and are also able to be worn as a simple neck chain.
Personalisation options are available for many of the items you see in my shop - please don't hesitate to contact me and ask if any item can be personalised for you if it isn't specially offered in the description. Including a name or initials is a lovely way of showing extra care and attention in your choice of gift.
Sometimes we can't be present physically at these important ceremonies for the people we love, and so I am always happy to gift wrap your choice and send it directly to the recipient on your behalf with a personal message included. There is no extra cost for this service, you only need to ask and I am happy to be the person in the middle of the pathway from you to your loved one. Whatever your gift choice, it is sure to be treasured for a lifetime.
New chaplet bracelets coming soon! February 16, 2015 19:49
... a new range of chaplet prayer bracelets which will allow the wearer to carry a wee chaplet with them as a lovely item of jewellery ...