Handmade Catholic Rosaries and Jewelry

This the Blog where I share my faith, my Rosaries, and other good things!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The first of the O Antiphons....O Sapientia

 Today begins the First of the O Antiphons

O Sapientia: “O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care. Come and show your people the way to salvation.” Isaiah had prophesied, “The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.” (11:2-3), and “Wonderful is His counsel and great is His wisdom.” (28:29).

The “O Antiphons” refer to the seven antiphons that are recited (or chanted) preceding the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours. They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, Dec. 17-23, with Dec. 24 being Christmas Eve and Vespers for that evening being for the Christmas Vigil. 

The above is taken from an article by Fr. William Saunders entitled What are the O Antiphons

Throughout this season of Advent, I have been attending Mass more often, and purchasing an online gift here and there.  But I have not been attending parties, listening to Christmas music, or doing anything particularly Christmasy just yet.  We did pick out our tree last weekend. But we are storing it in the garage until this weekend when we will put it up.

Picking out a tree is always a fun family event!
Today was a big day for me, because I began my serious efforts into preparing my home for Christmas Day.  I began making a note on my web shop that I am in vacation mode.  Then I cleared out my Rosary Workshop/ Dining Room and moved all my supplies to the basement storage room.  (Some day that room will be my permanent workshop...but I have to get better lighting first!)  I washed my kitchen floor, vacuumed, did a little baking and general tidying up.  We brought boxes of Christmas decorations out of storage and moved furniture to accommodate our Christmas tree.  

Throughout this week, our house will become transformed with the Decking of the Halls and the smells of Christmas cookies.  I am rolling up my sleeves and ready to go at it!  And I must say, its a lot of hard work, but I am excited!  

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Amazing and Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Most of us know the miracle of Our Lady of Guadalupe.   But have you heard the miracle fully explained.  In the video link below, Brother Peter Diamond from VaticanCatholic.com explains all the miraculous occurrences surrounding the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It is an educated and highly researched explanation.  It is very exciting and inspiring.  I highly recommend you view this remarkable video...
  The Amazing and Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

....Amazing things happen when God is the artist!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Novena for Advent.

On the Eve of the Feast of St. Andrew, I would like to invite you all to pray the Novena of St. Andrew also called the Christmas Novena...

I would like to ask that you join me in praying for Matthew Wise who is age 24 and has been acutely suffering for over 40 days in the ICU.  He has ARDS (intensive respiratory distress sindroan ).  He needs healing in his body, and Peace and Consolation in his soul as he endures such a tremendous suffering through his illness.

UPDATE:  Jesus called Matthews soul to himself on Nov 30 at 8:27 pm.  My prayers on now with him for the repose of his soul, and the consolation of his family.  Requiescat in Pace.

Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment 
in which the Son of God
was born of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. 
In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! 
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
(hear mention your request)
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, 
and of His Blessed Mother. 


(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (30th November) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)

+MICHAEL AUGUSTINE, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897

Click here to print a copy of the prayer for your convenience.

Below is a picture of a St. Andrew Chaplet with such a sweet little baby Jesus medal!  A beautiful piece for meditation of this prayer.  It is has SOLD out....but I may get another one in stock before Advent is through.
This sweet baby Jesus medal is precious on this St. Andrew Chaplet

Support Handmade during Advent

       Many of you may be thinking of decking your homes for the holidays.  I hope that begins with decking your homes for Advent.  And what better way to do that then by supporting home business during the Advent Season.  I have decided to post some lovely Advent finds here....

       First up is this Jesse Tree Project.  My sister, Teresa Zepeda coauthored a series of books with Laurie Navar Gill.  The series is entitled, Celebrating the Faith in the Home.  The book for Advent is called, Advent and Christmas for the Christian Family.  This book is a wonderful resource of prayers and projects.  I have always enjoyed the Jesse Tree project since it includes templates for ornaments, and the Biblical texts that go with it.  I have had mine for about 18 years!

DIY Advent Calendar Kit

But since Advent has begun,  you may want to rush to get going.  You could make your ornament every day with this similar Advent Calendar Kit .  This Etsy artist has used her own inspiration for these handmade ornaments.   I think it turns out very pretty.  (my own Jesse tree is 18 yrs old...and not so nice!)  If you need the assistance in collecting the materials for a Jesse Tree this is another option for you.  She also has a PDF Ornament Tutorial kit if you want it today.

             And now is a great time to get your Nativity Set in order.  Wouldn't it be great fun to get a set for your kids to paint!   Or if you are artist at heart, you may want to paint it yourself:)

White Porcelain Nativity Set -- unpainted  $35.99
This is an unpainted Nativity Set that you can purchase from an Etsy.  

I also have a particular fondness for the softness of a felted wool set.  Here is one that caught my eye...

Needle Felted Nativity Set ..$68.00

There are many Etsy artists who make wool felted pieces...so you could add to the set each year.  

    But of course, this post would not be complete without Advent wreath ideas.  There are many projects out there for making candles and paper wreathes for kids.   But like me, you may want a basic quality wreath.  And if you missed the Holiday Bazaar at your Parish, it is pretty difficult to find Advent candles and wreaths around town.  Here are some American home made online options....

Advent Beeswax Candles $8.50

Below is a very sturdy wreath.  I wish it included the greenery and ribbons.  I like ribbons:)

Quality Handmade Advent Wreath  $32.95

     So this is my plug for supporting Hand made as you celebrate Advent with your family.  Have a Holy Advent! 

     Remember....Jesus is the Reason for the Season!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Marys Shelter Fundraiser a huge success!

Here I am with my Graceful Rosaries pieces.
Last Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a Craft Fair to raise money for Marys Shelter, homes for unwed mothers and their children.

The Craft Fair  was a lovely warm inviting event.  The set up and feel was more like a boutique, and there was tea and cookies, and lots of friendly faces!

Best of all, it was a huge success too, raising $2,800.00 And this money all goes to REAL life saving babies!

Marys Shelter gives women in crisis pregnancies a place to live, and the support they need to get back on their feet so they can make better life choices for themselves and their babies.

I got photos of all the rosary shop pieces.  But I apologize for not getting good photos of the other lovely donations.  There were beautiful paper crafts and greeting cards, table linens, beautifully knitted scarves and cowls, baby items and more!  A special thanks to Adele from FiberFads who organized the event. 
Look how pretty Sarah's Clay Rosaries and Jewelry look here.  Donated by Clay Rosaries.
The beautiful stars were made by Lolli...I need some for my window below!!!

I need to get some better display options for next year!

Bridget had a huge selection of Rosaries and necklaces from her Beads for Mary shop.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Rosary for Men - Onyx Gemstones

A very masculine Rosary for Men.  Black Onyx Gemstones and Bronze parts.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Perfect Rosary for a Six Year Old

      A few years ago a friend asked me to make her daughter a First Communion Rosary.   She wanted her daughter to choose the beads she liked best.  When I asked the little girl what color she wanted for her rosary, she was very emphatic and firm that she wanted a RED rosary.  Being someone who felt very strongly that First Communion rosaries should be white, I had a little trouble wrapping my mind around a bright red First Communion rosary.  But I thought it was just an unusual taste in this child.

      A few weeks later, another friend asked if her son could come over to pick beads for his First Communion rosary.  I pulled out my favorite browns, blues and green gemstones onto the table.  He came over and his eyes fixed on the Red First Communion rosary that was waiting to be delivered to that little girl.    "Ahhh that is a beautiful rosary!" he sighed.  Hmm I see a pattern developing!

   This experience fully prepared me for my six year old to make his choice for a rosary.   Again, all my beautiful beads are laid out in front of him (and I don't have any red beads).  But without any deliberation in the matter, he emphatically declares it has to be RED!   LOL!  I have to chuckle.  It seems that red must be a very stunning color for little children of this age!

    My six year old loves to help bead rosaries.  So I was happy to include him in the process, even though it means waiting several seconds for each Hail Mary bead to be strung  (while I string the little spacer beads in between).

    I laid out several small crucifixes in front of him and asked him to choose the crucifix he liked best.  He reached past my choices into the supply box and pulls out the BIGGEST crucifix in my box.
  "OK, now why did you choose that crucifix?"
  He replies, "Because God is really BIG!" 
  "Well, that's a very beautiful crucifix, but unfortunately it is too big for your little rosary.  How about we choose this crucifix.  Look it has a picture of a Sacred Heart.  That shows how much Jesus REALLY loves us."
    To my relief he was very excited about that idea.  And very happily latched on to the Sacred Heart crucifix being the perfect crucifix for his rosary.  I was glad of that since it also is the most detailed crucifix for its size, and has a gorgeous corpus.

  When it came to choosing the center, I pulled out several of different shapes and sizes, expecting he would have a strong opinion on this choice too.  He said, "Eeny meeny miney moe.  Catch a monkey by the toe....(etc.  etc.) ....My Mommy told me to pick the very best one and you are it!" 

So why did you "EEny meeny miney moe, this one?" I asked.
"Because they are ALL good choices!"  says he.

OK well that's the mind of a six year old for you.  Strong willed one moment and easy going the next!

     It is my belief that we should not give cheap plastic rosaries to our children if we are able to give them something better. Children are drawn to beauty and should learn from a young age that we save our best for God.

      This rosary will not be used as a necklace or as a plaything.  Beads can be very dangerous for young children and should never be used without close supervision.

    In our family, the kids rosaries are stored in a box and we pull them out for use during the family rosary.  My son will be so pleased to lead a decade with his beautiful red rosary.

    I was happy that the rosary (red as it may be) turned out very very beautiful....My son will love the rosary all the more since he had a part in choosing the key parts in the design and beaded much of it too!  (Look at how well the bead caps he chose match the crucifix and center! Do you think I have a future rosary maker here? ) .....I know that he will treasure this rosary for many years to come!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Solid Brass Wired Rosary - Blue Crazy Lace Agate

 Blue Crazy Lace Agate has to be my favorite bead.  I just love the color and the swirls of dark shades that run through this bead.  Each gemstone is hand turned with thick 20 gauge solid brass wire.  I pay close attention that the links are tight and with the thick wire it would be pretty hard to break this rosary.  (I haven't known of a 20 gauge rosary to break)  The chain that connects the decades are an even thicker soldered brass wire.  Yes this is a heavy duty rosary.  I have said a few rosaries on it myself, to break it in, and it is a wonderful prayer piece.  It is currently for sale in my Graceful Rosaries shop...and I hope that the recipient of this rosary will treasure it for years to come.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Free Give Away ----Handmade Rainbow Jasper Rosary Bracelet with Bronze Medals

Enter today to win this FREE Rainbow Jasper Rosary Bracelet...No purchase necessary!

Rainbow Jasper Rosary Bracelet  Valued at $25.00
Contest ends April 17, 2010.  Follow this link to the Etsy Rosary Guild to learn how to enter:

This bracelet is made with 8mm beads for the Hail Marys and Our Father bead.

The crucifix and miraculous metal are beautifully detailed. They are solid bronze, hand cast from antique pieces.

The bracelet is strung on Jewelers wire---49 strand of stainless steel that is nylon coated. It is very strong.

It is finished with a bronze plated toggle clasp that is so easy to put on or take off!

This Rosary Bracelet is a Large Size: 7 1/2"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sliding Bead Wooden Cord Rosary

Sliding Wood Rosary $35.00

This is my latest design in the Sacrifice bead collection....though they are not actually Sacrifice beads.  I have always loved the way Sacrifice beads slide so nicely up and down their cord and stay in place.  For a long time I have been wanting to use this concept to make a rosary where it would be impossible to lose your place.  I especially think it will be nice for children to be able to move the beads as they pray the rosary.  This is my original design...I have never seen a rosary like this before.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

About the Miraculous Medal

Semi-Precious Gemstone Miraculous Medal Necklace $50.00

"All who wear the Miraculous Medal will receive great graces; they should wear it around the neck. Graces will abound for persons who wear it with confidence."  Our Lady to St. Catherine Laboure

When one is looking to obtain a Miraculous Medal it is important that it is cast with the special characteristics and symbols as revealed by Our Lady to St. Catherine Laboure.  Many medals are cast with the image of Our Lady of Grace on the front, but they do not have the symbols on the back (a Cross intertwined an "M."  the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, both surmounted by flames of love, one having a crown of thorns, and other pierced with a sword. Encircling all of this are twelve stars around the oval frame.)  If we want to obtain the benefits of this medal, that heaven has sent to us, we must have all aspects of the medal in place as Our Lady described. 

I have made this particular necklace to showcase this gorgeous antique reproduction Miraculous Medal. (Available in my Graceful Rosaries shop)  It is fully detailed on the front and back.  I have chosen many blue gemstones in varying shades of blue, the color of Our Lady.  The gemstones include Lapis Lazuli, Sodalite, Angelite, and Iolite.

The History of the Miraculous Medal:
The Mission of making and distributing the Miraculous medal was first made manifest to St Catherine Laboure in a series of visions that began on November 27, 1830.  That day was the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent. The Sisters were gathered in the chapel as usual for prayers at five-thirty in the afternoon. Suddenly Our Lady appeared to Catherine.
At first Mary appeared standing on a globe and dressed in white having with a long white veil which fell to her feet. The Virgin held in her hands, at the height of her shoulders, a golden ball which she seemed to be offering to God as she raised her eyes to heaven. Her fingers were covered with rings whose precious jewels sparkled brilliantly and showered down innumerable rays of light on the globe beneath her feet, almost obscuring the view of her feet. Mary lowered her eyes and looked directly at Catherine. Mary said nothing, but Catherine heard this message, "The ball which you see represents the world, especially France, and each person in particular. These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The jewels which give no rays symbolize the graces that are not given because they are not asked for." Then the apparition changed.

Our Lady appeared with a white dress, a blue mantle, and a white veil which draped back over her shoulders. She was still standing on the globe, and had one foot on the head of a serpent which lay at her feet. The 1830 was marked on the globe. The Virgin had her arms and hands pointed downwards, and a cascade of rays was falling down from both hands onto the globe. An oval frame formed around the Blessed Virgin, and written around within it, in letters of gold, was the beautiful prayer, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you." This was the front side of the medal that was to be made.
Then the vision revolved to show the reverse side of the medal. Catherine saw a Cross with a bar at its feet with which was intertwined an "M." Beneath the "M" were the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, both surmounted by flames of love, one having a crown of thorns, and other pierced with a sword. Encircling all of this were twelve stars around the oval frame.

(From an article entitled St. Catherine Laboure and the Miraculous Medal by Rev. Robert J. Billett, C.M.F)

By .

Friday, February 18, 2011

More Sacrifice Bead Designs!

Last year on  October 11, the Feast of St. Therese, I felt the inspiration to improve my Sacrifice beads and make them better than ever.  It took a little time to find the parts I needed and bring my ideas to fruition but yesterday, at last, I unveiled several new design variations. 

Click here to buy Beads with Toggle Clasp

My first design was to add a toggle clasp (shown above) Since after all, if the beads are not easy to carry, who can use them?  This toggle clasp makes it very easy to attach your Sacrifice beads to a belt loop, a key chain, or a purse.

Click here to buy this bracelet
My second design variation was to make these sacrifice beads into a bracelet form with 10 beads and a St. Therese medal, and a small magnetic clasp.  This is also a very practical way to keep your beads with you throughout the day. The clasp is tiny and unobtrusive, yet allows you to pull your bracelet on and off without effort.

After making that bracelet, I had another design inspiration.  Since there was so much extra cord that was loose in a bracelet length, why not make it into a full rosary bracelet.  In other words, after adding 10 Hail Mary beads, I tied a knot and add 5 movable Our Father beads.  This way, you can move the Our Father beads to count which decade you are on.   It also occurred to me that this would make a masculine looking rosary bracelet for the guys.  So I removed the St. Therese medal and replaced it with a single crucifix.  My idea being that men would like a smaller, simpler medal.
Click here to buy this Rosary Bracelet

I felt affirmed with my new ideas because each of my designs was purchased within hours of listing them for the first time.  I am excited to continue to offer these designs, as practical and beautiful for adults as for for children....Oh and on that last note, I will soon be offering these beads in Sacrifice bead kits to be used for Little Flower groups.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Scarf Holder

Antique Reproduction Scarf Holder

Look at the detail in this beautiful Scarf holder.  Originally I believe it was designed to be used as a Rosary Center....a long time ago!  Now that is one large fancy rosary.  A lady in Australia, who goes by Aussie Annie had the idea to make them into Scarf Holders.  I want to give her credit, because I would not have thought of this myself.  I think it is such a beautiful way to utilize this eye-catching piece that I had to make one!  All I had to do was attach a chain and a few crystals, and Voila! Scarf Holder!

I have another idea for its use, but you'll have to wait for that surprise!

To the right you can see that the clasp allows you to tighten or loosen the hold according to your needs.  All the parts in this construction are solid bronze, except the Swarovski crystals, that add a little bling!

This Scarf Holder is available in my Etsy Shop.

Zipper pulls and Necklaces....new Saint medals in stock

Female Patron Saint Necklaces
Female Saint Zipper pulls
I love the unique details of these beautiful antique reproduction medals.  They are detailed on the front and the back.  I came up with the idea to attach them to a lobster claw last year,  but have only offered them with St. Christopher and the Four Way medal....until now.  The other zipper pulls have been so popular I thought it would be very helpful for Confirmation gifts to offer them in a variety of Patron Saints.

I also have solid brass chains so they can be worn in the traditional manner, if that is your preference.  Personally, I find I wear more beaded necklaces than chains...but that's because I make them! 

The great thing about a zipper pull is its not just for zippers! You can attach your medal to a key ring, purse, or wherever you would like.  Its a great reminder of your faith and special devotion.

To see the listing for purchase, click on the title of the picture.
Male Saint Zipper Pulls

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Lady of Grace Antique Reproduction Medal Necklace

My rosaries sell quickly enough that I always have to be thinking ahead of what beads I will be ordering next.  The design rules are pretty straightforward, but I still like to think of some way that I can make them a little unique.

For this reason I don't have much time to think about new designs for jewelry pieces as much as I would like.  But what I really enjoy about making a necklace is that there are no rules..or specific bead numbers that one has to follow.  In fact it is really fun to try and make something totally different whenever I can.

So yesterday I enjoyed making this necklace because it was just that...very different from my rosaries and from any of the necklaces I have made in the past.  I like the fact that I can wear it with any color, either casually or formally.  Because it has fewer beads, and links of fine chain, it is lightweight and easy to wear.  Sometimes I think simple is the way to go....and that's what I was aiming at with this necklace.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Pardon Crucifix

BlueAventurine Rosary with Pardon Crucifix and IHS center
I love to use a Pardon Crucifix on my rosaries because it carries a special indulgence attached to its use.  For those who are not familiar with the term indulgence it is given by the Church to remit the temporal punishment of sins that have been forgiven.

This particular rosary is made with affordable based metal parts...but I can also make it in solid sterling silver, for those who prefer the real deal.

   About the Pardon Crucifix:.
These indulgences have been declared upon the Pardon Crucifix by Pope St. Pius X in 1905, and have been approved in the pardon of the living and the souls in Purgatory in 1907. The lengths of the indulgences were repealed in the new Enchiridion, and the indulgences were granted to remit the guilt of the sin committed:

1. Whoever carries on his person the Pardon Crucifix, may thereby gain an indulgence.

2. For devoutly kissing the Crucifix, an indulgence is gained.

3. Whoever says one of the following invocations before this crucifix may gain each time an indulgence: "Our Father who art in heaven, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." "I beg the Blessed Virgin Mary to pray to the Lord our God for me."

4. Whoever, habitually devout to this Crucifix, will fulfill the necessary conditions of Confession and Holy Communion, may gain a Plenary Indulgence on the following feasts: On the feasts of the Five Wounds of our Lord, the Invention of the Holy Cross, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the Immaculate Conception, and the Seven Sorrows (Dolors) of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

5. Whoever, at the moment of death, fortified with the Sacraments of the Church, or contrite of heart, in the supposition of being unable to receive them, will kiss this Crucifix and ask pardon of God for his sins, and pardon his neighbor, will gain a Plenary Indulgence.
Definitions courtesy of newadvent.org

A busy Rosary day

I made several new rosaries this afternoon.  I love making different ones, and then and old favorite as well.
Brown Tigereye Rosary with Brass

Leopardskin Jasper rosary with Bronze

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

St. Therese Sacrifice Beads now in stock!

Back by popular demand.. St. Therese Sacrifice beads!
I have been unable to make these St. Therese Sacrifice beads, because my source for cord, FNT Industries, went out of business.  Amazingly, FNT seems to have been the only internet source for rosary cord!  No one else had colors or this size.  The internet buzz was one of distress and panic as corded rosary makers were scrambling to find an affordable source for their mission rosaries.

I would have just given up, except that Googlers kept requesting my beads!  (It feels so good to be loved:)  On the Feast of St. Therese (Oct 15) I felt too much heavenly pressure that I resolved to find a way!  I had to do an extensive search for cording, ordered many different kinds...a lot of trial and error...mostly error.  But finally, I have found it!

The gold thread is the color I will stock.
So here they are. Although I have several colors pictured, most of these strands were sample cord.  After these are sold, I will only be offering the gold corded beads.  As I use up some of that massive spool, I will be able to purchase other colors of cord.

These Sacrifice beads are even better than the originals.  I now have new medals, all solid bronze antique reproductions.  I am offering the beads at $13.00 per set. Visit Graceful Rosaries to purchase. I wish I could make them more affordable for children....but most of the cost is in  the medals. 

History of the Beads:
When St. Therese was a young girl she began the practice of counting out her acts of love for Our Lord, on a string of beads. You too can follow her example of holiness with this beautiful string of beads.

The Sacrifice Beads can also double as a one decade rosary. I have strung 10 beads for the Hail Mary's and 1 bead separated by knots, for the Our Father.

The beads are beautifully detailed wooden beads, strung on nylon cord. They slide easily when pushed up or down, yet they stay in their place when left alone.