Friday, December 25, 2015

O Magnum Mysterium - Victoria

John 3:16

New International Version (NIV)

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

O great mystery and wondrous sacrament, that animals should see the newborn Lord lying in a manger. Oh, the Blessed Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear the Lord Jesus Christ. Allelujah!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Day - In Honor of Those Who Died Serving

My Dad, a Navy Lieutenant
If you know anything about me, you know that I <3 the military! I come from a family with military service roots - my father and brother both served in the Navy. I could not be more proud of them! If I wasn't such a wimp, as I am not athletic in any way, I might have served, too. But frankly the thought of being whipped into shape through boot camp does not appeal. That alone makes me respect our military men and women! God bless you for all you do! The idea of people going through boot camp, then being shipped off to serve only God knows where, whether in war or peace, for various agendas designed to ensure the freedom of our country and all truly humbles me that anyone willingly chooses this course for their life.

But war happens. Accidents happen. Life happens. And life is not fair. Death happens. And death happens a lot in the military. Our soldiers, knowing the dangers they may or may not face, walk headlong into the fray. Why? It's more than just a pay check, because they aren't in it for the money. What money?! They do it because of a deeper sense of purpose. They are made of honorable stuff, clinging to a somewhat fading ideal that this country and its ideals are worth fighting for.

We are not worthy of their service or their sacrifice, in my humble opinion. We send them off to fight in countries that don't want our help. We put them in harm's way abroad - sometimes for the greater good, but mostly because of political agendas - and we expose our own country to danger by spreading the military so thin. And don't get me started about the overall liberal agenda here and abroad. And as the result of war, conflict, and terrorism, many of our family members...our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children...are killed while serving others.

Are you moved by their sacrifice? I believe many Americans are not. Is the shock of seeing so many flag-draped coffins dulled because it so commonplace? We see it on the news a lot - crates containing the precious remains of American soldiers returning to the US for burial. Do Americans just think that death is a risk of enlisting? I mean, who would be dumb enough to enlist when they could die in the line of duty in Syria? It's not my family, so why should I care? I'm looking out for Numero Uno. Not my problem. Is that it?

Maybe that is why Memorial Day has become about barbecues and parties. Does it cross anyone's mind while swigging that beer or flipping that patty that the whole reason you have today off from work is because people are dead? Maybe in those moments of peace and relaxation we should breathe a prayer of thanksgiving to the Almighty that we have such a blessed country with a volunteer military who serves us daily. Maybe we should take a moment to reflect on the staggering number of men and women who have died in the name of democracy and American freedoms.

It's hard to appreciate what you have when you don't realize what life would be like without it. Most of us were born here in the United States, taking every freedom for granted from birth. Can you imagine what life would be like to be born in Cuba? Iraq? And somehow to make it to the United States later in life? How much would they appreciate the freedoms we freely abuse? How easy it is to forget that the military protect these freedoms for us. They try to obtain these freedoms for others. And so many pay the ultimate price.

Remember them! While you are watching the parade, remember them. When you sit down with your friends and family, remember them. When you open the pool this weekend, remember them. While you laugh and joke, remember them. When you lay your head on your pillow, remember them. And thank God for them. Because God put something great in each one of those men and women, and the earth will never see their like again. And we are a little bit poorer for their loss.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy Rosary Chaplet
The image of the Divine Mercy was revealed to Sister Faustina Kowalska. She was of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. The rays coming from the heart of Christ represent the blood and water which came from his pierced heart when he died. It reads, "Jesus, I trust in You." Jesus revealed to Sister Faustina:

Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who says it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most hardened sinner, if he recites this chaplet even once, will receive grace from My infinite mercy. I want the whole world to know My infinite mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who trust in My mercy.

What a beautiful gift He has given us! How can we turn away from such grace? Do you know that there is nothing you can do to earn this grace? Nothing you can do to wash away the stains of your mistakes and awful decisions. But there is also nothing you can do that is so horrible, sick, disgusting or twisted that God won't forgive you? All you need to do is trust in Jesus. Say it! Jesus, I trust in You!!

The prayers of the chaplet are beautiful. Read them here:

You expired, Jesus but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and the whole world.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and the whole world. Amen!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

First Holy Communion

I'm so excited to celebrate first Holy Communion with each and every one of your families! It's such a special time for everyone. If you are searching for a special gift for your child or god child partaking in this most holy Sacrament, I'm here to help.

Catholic Girls First Communion Rosary in White
Catholic Boys First Communion Rosary in Black

A five-decade rosary is a traditional gift for First Holy Communion. The traditional holy communion rosaries feature a centerpiece and cross with the Chalice and Host. Usually, the rosaries are black for boys, and white for girls.
Pink Catholic Girls Rosary Tenner

I have an "upgraded" option for boys, or perhaps men, taking their first communion. This handsome rosary features a sterling silver communion centerpiece with a matching sterling silver wheat sheave crucifix. You can see that option in my shop

Perhaps your special girl or boy already has a rosary from their baptism. I have many rosary "tenners," or one-decade rosaries, and devotional chaplets available. Tenners are perfect for slipping into a purse or pocket, or for leaving on the night stand for evening prayers. The prayers of the tenner are the same as for the five-decade rosary; they just need to be repeated a total of 20 times while meditating on the mysteries of the rosary. These are often a more economical option to a full rosary, depending on the types of materials used.

Catholic First Communion Rosary Tenner
Devotional Chaplets have special prayers and bead arrangements that are devoted to specific saints or sacraments. For example, the chaplet of St. Therese of Lisieux has 24 beads plus a single bead at the tail. The number 24 is symbolic of her 24 years of life on earth. In this case, the prayers of the chaplet are singular and very simple: 
St. Therese of Lisieux Chaplet

"St. Therese of the Child Jesus, 
patroness of missions, pray for us."

I love making devotional chaplets! Each one's prayers and construction is so unique and beautiful, they are an honor to create and share with the faithful.

Rosary bracelets are another popular option for girls taking their first Holy Communion. While I create many bracelets that can be worn by a baby on their baptism day, most of my bracelets are adjustable to also be worn later in life. Others are only for girls and adults.

Adjustable Genuine Pearl Rosary Bracelets
 with Sterling Silver Hardware
The genuine pearl rosary bracelets are lead- and nickel-free. They have sterling silver extension chains with tiny hearts on the end ensuring the perfect fit for babies or growing girls. They expand up to 7 inches in length - the standard size of an adult bracelet - so that your little girl can keep wearing her bracelet into adulthood. Most bracelets can be personalized by adding a sterling silver monogram or Swarovski crystal birthstone charm.

Girls' Pink Lamp Work Glass
and Sterling Silver Rosary Bracelet

Other bracelets are made of very special materials, such as handmade lamp work glass. Each glass bead is comprised of a handmade glass rosette which is then encased in pink glass. Each bead is a work of art by Czech glass artisans. Paired with sterling silver hardware, this bracelet is sweet, beautiful, and will be treasured for generations to come.

Irish Catholic Green Rosary
with Celtic Crucifix

Blue Rosary for Boys or Girls
Girls' Catholic Rosary with Tulip Bellflowers
If you are looking for something more unique or personal, you might consider one of these types of rosaries. The Irish Catholic Green Celtic Rosary has bright green Czech glass beads with silver accents. The Holy Family centerpiece is suitable for any occasion, and the Celtic crucifix is the perfect finishing touch to the ethnic rosary.

A best seller in my shop is the bright blue rosary. Suitable for boys or girls, men or women, this rosary is popular for it's vibrant color. A chalice medal can be added (as shown) if desired. This piece is also available in a very popular emerald green color.

Another unusual option is the bellflower rosary. Comprised of Czech glass bellflowers as the Hail Mary beads and Czech glass leaves as the Our Father beads, this floral inspired rosary is perfect for girls or women. A floral Miraculous Medal centerpiece and matching floral crucifix are so pretty with the floral beads.

There are so many options available. Whether you are looking for something traditional or completely unique, you will find what you are looking for in my shop. If you don't see what you want, just ask! Blessings on you and your child!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


So I just added Tumblr to my social media far I'm enjoying it. Not sure which I like better: the cute kitten memes or the Jimmy Fallon gifs. And of course, anything with Tom Hiddleston. I mean, come on.

I'm trying not to go crazy with posting my listings. It's like with would be very easy to lose followers with too much "me, me, me!" I like to share the love. And kitten memes.

Come follow me!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Show's Over

So I just got done with a two day craft show at a neighboring high school after another show last weekend.

I. Am. Spent.

Early rising. Unpacking. Packing. Standing. Walking. Sitting. Chatting. Selling. :) The mood shifts from moment to moment as waves of people circulate, pause at the table, and then move on to the next booth. The people are fun. The other vendors (and customers) can be colorful and entertaining.

I was hit on by a vendor of homemade dog biscuits, fairly relentlessly until my husband and kids showed up at the craft show. Awkward, but harmless.

My vending neighbor was a wonderful lady named Kim who sells handmade body butters and soaps. Her story and experience with body products was so interesting and her company enjoyable. And I walked away with an armful of yummy smelling products! Be sure to check out her shop on Etsy... Butter Duck Farms.

Butter Duck Farms Conditioning Natural Detangler
I bought this for my daughter's long hair, and we love it!
Get the Monkey Farts Scent - smells like bananas and other fruit :)

We were surrounded by all sorts of handmade whats-its and stuff you didn't realize you needed until you saw it. Fluffy tulle wreaths with painted wooden ladybugs and flowers. Crocheted kitchen towels and clothes for the goose on your porch. (I want one of those!) Candles. Yard ornaments with your favorite sports team logo. Ceramic Easter bunnies, 'cuz you know, it's Easter and all! Duct tape wallets and lunch bags...really? Hasn't that fad run its course? Hairbows. I mean rows upon rows upon rows of hairbows! Too many soap and lotion vendors for one show. And certainly too many jewelry vendors. OMG. You couldn't walk 20 steps before running into another jewelry vendor.

Every show and sale teaches you something new. Should you go back to that show next year? Should you bother with craft shows at all? Is your product suited to the show environment and market? Is your display appealing and inviting? Does it make your customer want to linger? Is your price point suitable for the show?

As I learned from the last show, my product was not suitable for that particular show, and I won't be going back. BUT, I made several incredibly valuable contacts, and learned many valuable lessons, most of which I won't bore you with. The experience was not a loss.

However, I highly recommend that if you are considering entering the craft show scene, visit the show before you pay money to vend at it. Otherwise it's a craps shoot. The show I attended last weekend at one of my local high schools was so different than the show I attended this weekend. It would have been better if I had visited the shows before buying a spot. Lesson learned. :)

So no more shows for a bit. Not sure when I'll do another one. Maybe none until Christmas. There's a little show that our Catholic church does each Christmas that has become near and dear to my heart. The people are nice, the sales aren't great but the interaction is priceless. And it's cheap fun :) I'll keep you posted if I decide to show up elsewhere in the Chicago area this summer.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

And....we're back!

It's a little embarrassing to know it's been something like 6 months since my last blog post. I have had every intention of maintaining my blog and it simply got away from me! Christmas came and went. Wow, what a busy season! And now I'm back to blog again.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the West Fest Craft Show in New Lenox, IL. Met several new folks and got to see lots of interesting crafts. This weekend I'm heading to A. A. Stagg High School in Palos Hills for their craft show. The show runs Saturday from 9 to 4 and Sunday from 10 to 3. Stop by and check out the goods!

I added lots of Beach and Sea-inspired jewelry to the shop as well as more garden tea party themed items. I have felt tea pot brooches made from my own pattern. I hope to add one with a Union Jack on it as a nod to the tea-kings, the British.

Tea Pot Felt Brooches
I've added a few felt plushies, too. I haven't been able to devote any more time to them than the few I have in the shop, but they are a compliment to the angel ornaments that I started making in November. The patterns are from Gingermelon on Etsy - she is an amazing pattern- and doll-maker. I love this new medium of felt and polyfil because it lets me exercise my other crafting skills. I used to sew regularly, making clothes, curtains...I've even upholstered a few chairs in my time. But I love smaller projects with hand-sewing. And felt is so comforting - soft and warm. And it comes in so many yummy colors!

So, I will report back after my craft show this weekend. I'm glad to be back in the blogosphere again.