Archive for the 'Crafts' Category

Our Mantle Adorned with Traditions of Lent


Our Lenten Traditions (from left to right): In the trunk, our “Alleluia” banner is buried until Easter morning, where it will adorn our mantle proclaiming Christ’s Resurrection and the Great Feast of the Church. (During Lent the “alleluia” is no longer proclaimed during the Mass. How great it is on Easter Morning to hear it thundered through the church!!!)

On top of the trunk is a vase for Alms. The children earn this money by doing Charity Chores that are jobs not included in their regular responsibilities but which they can choose to do in order to earn money for the poor.

Next to the trunk is a blessed candle that we light during our family prayer time reminding us of our prayers raising to the throne of God.

Beside that is a vase labeled Works of Mercy with a bowl of beans next to it. When the children perform a Work of Mercy or a good deed, they may place a bean in the jar. On Easter this vase will be filled to the brim with jelly beans symbolizing how Jesus can take what good works we offer him and transform them by His grace into something even sweeter and more beautiful than we can imagine!

In the center is a shadow box with a crucifix and some other mementos. This was a gift I made for my husband’s birthday. It has a great story behind it (which I might share another time).

Wrapped in the purple cloth is our Easter candle with has a holy card with an Agnus Dei sealed to it. It will remain wrapped in this shroud taking on the symbolism of our Lord’s body lying in the tomb until Easter morning when the children wake discovering it unshrouded and blazing with light.

Below the Our Lady of Grace statue (which is always holding a place of honor on the mantle) is a Crown of Thorns made from a grapevine wreath and toothpicks that were dyed with coffee. (If I were to dye these again I would use tea.) This is labeled with the word Penance. As we place the thorns ( toothpicks) in the crown (wreath), we discuss how each one represents our sins and the sins of the whole world. We discuss ways we can make reparation to God for these sins and the sins of others through sacrifice, prayer and by offering the Holy Mass for this purpose. An exceptional book to read to go along with this activity is The Weight of a Mass; A Tale of Faith.

Here is a peek into our home last Easter morning:



The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes


Yesterday, in honor of Our Lady appearing to St. Bernadette 150 years ago, we visited the Lourdes Marian Center to pray in the grotto and to receive miraculous water from the spring where Our Lady told Bernadette to dig.

After receiving a tour of the center we headed over to the John Paul II Center for a Lourdes storytime and craft. The younger children made these shrines:1dscf1156.jpg

and the older children made these:


This was a great way to conclude last weeks pilgrimage to Our Lady Lourdes Parish to pray the jubilee prayers after receiving the Sacrament of Confession and attending Mass at Holy Ghost Parish.

Beaded Clay Snowflakes

We are on a Snow Adventure here in Colorado & in Narnia, so the children and I decided to bring some of the snow inside with these beaded clay snowflakes. We found the instructions for them here but simplified them a bit by using 4 colors of Sculpey III clay; dark blue pearl, light blue pearl, white, and pearl. We added a little white to a larger amount of blue to give us more shades and then rolled them into “snakes”. We then twisted them together as shown on the link but did not cut them in half, rather, we put them through the pasta machine at this time giving them a marbled look. Then we cut them out with Snowflake Cookie Cutters . (Use a toothpick to poke holes where you want to hang or piece them together.) We then dusted them with pearl flakes (you can use glitter) and baked them at 275 degrees for 17 minutes. After they were cooled, we sprayed the snowflakes with Clear Acrylic Sealer and then pieced them together with glass beads & wire. We then hung them with ribbon on our mirror to enjoy until spring or until Aslan returns–we hear He is on the MOVE!hpim2119.JPGcopy-of-hpim2125.JPGcopy-of-hpim2123.JPG

Clay Ornaments

2-copy-of-hpim2031.JPGI I always heard rumors of  the salt clay ornaments that Grandma M used to make for the Smithsonian Musuem’s gift shop, but it wasn’t until recently that I finally got to behold these precious treasures. They had been packed away when the family moved back to Colorado from Virginia and just never seemed to make it out of the box until a few years ago.  This year they were the only decorations adorning Grandpa & Grandma’s tree, and while we took in all the precious clay personalities, Grandma shared with us that while raising 9 children she some how made thousands of these hand painted ornaments to be sold in the museum. She was even recognized in the paper for her artistry! Inspired by her example, the girls and I decided to try our hand with the polymer clay Grandma had given us. I don’t think will be selling ours in a museum but they sure are bringing us joy, just like Grandma’s treasures.


Polymer Clay Angels

Rocky Mountain Catholic Home Educator’s Conference

June 21-23, 2007

The Glory of God is man fully alive! -St. Irenaus

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