Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Queen Genevieve

Like souls that balance joy and pain,
With tears and smiles from heaven again
The maiden Spring upon the plain
Came in a sunlit fall of rain.
     In crystal vapor everywhere
Blue isles of heaven laugh'd between,
And far, in forest-deeps unseen,
The topmost elm-tree gather'd green
     From draughts of balmy air.

Sometimes the linnet piped his song;
Sometimes the throstle whistled strong;
Sometimes the sparhawk, wheel'd along,
Hush'd all the groves from fear of wrong;
     By grassy capes with fuller sound
In curves the yellowing river ran,
And drooping chestnut-buds began
To spread into the perfect fan,
     Above the teeming ground.

Then, in the boyhood of the year,
Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere
Rode thro' the coverts of the deer,
With blissful treble ringing clear.
     She seem'd a part of joyous Spring;
A gown of grass-green silk she wore,
Buckled with golden clasps before;
A light-green tuft of plumes she bore
     Closed in a golden ring.

Now on some twisted ivy-net,
Now by some tinkling rivulet,
In mosses mixt with violet
Her cream-white mule his pastern set;
     And fleeter now she skimm'd the plains
Than she whose elfin prancer springs
By night to eery warblings,
When all the glimmering moorland rings
     With jingling bridle-reins.

As she fled fast thro' sun and shade,
The happy winds upon her play'd,
Blowing the ringlet from the braid.
She look'd so lovely, as she sway'd
     The rein with dainty finger-tips,
A man had given all other bliss,
And all his worldly worth for this,
To waste his whole heart in one kiss
     Upon her perfect lips.
                                         Sir Launcelot and Queen Geneviere by Lord Tennyson

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mary of Avalon

In the arms of Mary
Our Lady of Avalon
mystical isle of sacred apples

In the arms of Mary, Our Lady of Avalon.  This is a small wearable shrine and altar.  A beautiful image of Mary of the Sacred Heart, set in glass, hand soldered with lead free solder that has the appearance and effect of pewter.  You can however, polish the solder with silver jewellery cleaner and make it shine like silver.  On top of the frame I soldered the arms of Mary and underneath hangs a beautiful red shine enamel apple, a chalice, a sword, a pomegranate and a beautiful icon of Mary.

The apple represents the sacred isle of Avalon and the sacred orchard of apples which still grow in the Abbey grounds in Glastonbury;  the chalice is the cup from which we drink from the sacred wells of Our Lady;  the sword can either be an athame for the altar or the sword of Archangel Michael;  the pomegranate is a symbol of the divine feminine and her ability to go deep into the underworld and to return to this world with gifts and sight;  the icon of Mary is set in resin in sterling silver.

I used many swarovski crystals in the chain, as well as handmade lampwork roses; it also consists of black onyx rosary beads, semi precious stones, coral roses, plastic roses and silver coloured roses with real turquoise pieces scattered in between.

A magnificent Ave Maria connector connects the pendant to the chain.

More pictures and information is posted on my blog

The entire necklace is 45 cm long.  

You may also like my blog on Cloister of the Heart

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mary Most Holy

Holy, holy, holy
the great Mother of God,
Mary most holy

To me, the Blessed Mother is not limited to any religion, any dogma or any culture. 
The Soul has its own religion and that is where you will find Her and Her many faces.
She is present for all 
Her Grace enfolds everyone
You only have to become aware of Her.

Wherever I travel in the world, I visit Her sacred shrines.
 I have visited Kwan Yin in Ayutthaya in Thailand;
Kali Ma in Her many temples in India;
I have attended the Navaratri and Durga Puja, the nine nights of the Goddess in Varanasi;
the holy well and holy fire of Brigit in Kildare;
the Goddess Temple in Glastonbury 

all of these have been numinous experiences
that touched me deeply

me so profoundly
Our Lady of Lourdes.

(If you would like to read more, go to

This is my latest offering in my Etsy shop.

Mary Most Holy wearable shrine and altar.

A beautiful cathedral window arch, soldered with
lead free silver solder
with a piece of a prayer card from Lourdes
set between two pieces of glass.
On the back I added a prayer cut from a Mary prayer book

I attached the pendant to a piece of hand dyed pure silk ribbon,
ready to wear or to attach to your rosary or chain.

All my pendants are anointed with sacred oil containing
53 relics, and this one comes packed with dried rose petals
steeped in St Therese of Lisieux holy oil.

Monday, October 21, 2013

St Therese d'Lisieux

'For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; 
it is a simple look turned toward heaven,
it is a cry of recognition and of love,
embracing both trail and joy. - St Theresa of Lisieux

I have always, well, let me re-phrase that,
since I came to know about the saints,
felt a deep connection with St Theresa of Lisieux.

“God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realized; so in spite of my littleness, I can hope to be a saint.” 

This is a hand soldered hanging shrine.  I placed a holy card
between the two sheets of glass.  I placed a sterling silver cross
in the shrine and fixed tiny swarovski crystals and other
glass crystals onto the cross and over some of the roses.

The miraculous medal that I placed in the shrine, I brought
back from the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal in Paris, France
and it is also cast in silver.

I had the most beautiful experience in this chapel and I wrote about it

On the back of the shrine I placed a French
Holy Card with a prayer to the Sacre Coeur le Marie,
the Sacred Heart of Mary.

The shrine comes ready to hang with a piece of French
silk ribbon that I brought back from my pilgramage
to the sites of Marie Madeleine (Mary Magdalene)

Trust and trust alone should lead us to love” 


“i can nourish myself on nothing but truth” 

Images of the Divine carry enormous energy and Presence. There are various ways of explaining it, but the ancients believed that the Spirit of that aspect of the Divine lives in Its image and form. Those of us who can see light around living beings, can see the light around sacred objects. In holy places of pilgrimage one can often smell the fragrance of the Divine.
Each one of my pendants, shrines, paintings and other sacred art are first infused with holy water from Lourdes (which I brought back), and then infused with holy relic oil of more than 53 Saints & pure essential oils. A mixture of one hundred oils are used, including frankincense, myrrh, spikenard, agarwood and rose. It is also immersed in blessed pink dead sea salts, infused with rose petals steeped in holy oil of a third relic of St Therese of Lisieux and it is packaged with blessed salts, frankincense and sprinkled with holy water collected form many sacred places in the world. So it becomes sort of holy object to be handled with reverence and care.

This shrine comes with a bottel of the rose petals that was steeped
in the third relic oil of St Theresa and then dried,
as well as a bottle of blessed pink salt crushed together with
some of the holy oil and rose petals - all crushed together.
Here is an image of some of the rose petals and the
blessed pink salt - still to be crushed together.

“When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens,I will spend my heaven by doing good on earth.” 

This shrine is ideal for hanging in a window, letting the
light of the sun and moon flow through these images.

If a little flower could speak, it seems to me that it would tell us quite simply all that God has done for it, without hiding any of its gifts. It would not, under the pretext of humility, say that it was not pretty, or that it had not a sweet scent, that the sun had withered its petals,or the storm bruised its stem, if it knew that such were not the case.” 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

St Francis of Assisi shrine and altar

Canticle of the Sun

St Francis of Assisi

Most high, all powerful, all good Lord!
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing.

To You, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your name.

Be praised, my Lord, through all Your creatures,
especially through my lord Brother Sun,
who brings the day; and You give light through him.
And he is beautiful and radiant in all his splendor!
Of You, Most High, he bears the likeness.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars;
in the heavens You have made them bright, precious and beautiful.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
and clouds and storms, and all the weather,
through which You give Your creatures sustenance.

Be praised, my Lord, through Sister Water;
she is very useful, and humble, and precious, and pure.

Be praised, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom You brighten the night.
He is beautiful and cheerful, and powerful and strong.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Mother Earth,
who feeds us and rules us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers and herbs.

Be praised, my Lord, through those who forgive for love of You;
through those who endure sickness and trial.

Happy those who endure in peace,
for by You, Most High, they will be crowned.

Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.

Praise and bless my Lord, and give thanks,
and serve Him with great humility.

A hand soldered shrine rosary of St Francis
I used different colours of freshwater pearls, symbolising the moon,
fire beads, symbolising the sun,
amethyst, morganite, mother of pearl, 
symbolising Mother Earth;
garnets symbolish Fire,
various crystals and shell symbolising Water,
sterling silver icon of Mother Mary,
and the tassel is made up of
a St Francis holy medal,
a sterling silver four-way cross,
swarovski crystal drops
and a sterling silver swallow
and a dainty heart with tiny wings,
engraved with the dove and olive branch on the one side
and on the other side my name.

The altar contains a gold dove milagro.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Madonna di Lourdes

Madonna di Lourdes
A wearable shrine and altar of Our Lady of Lourdes, Mystical Healer

A wearable shrine and altar Our Lady of Lourdes - a miniature shadowbox of the grotto at Lourdes. 

This small shadow box is hand soldered with lead free solder. It is between two cathedral window shaped pieces of glass. It contains part of a Lourdes holy card that I brought back. The holy card has the full image of St Bernadette and Our Lady with her magnificent light on it and the words I Am the Immaculate Conception. These were her words to St Bernadette. 

St Bernadette said that with the later visitations, the light in Mary's feet had turned into roses - the rose is a very mystical symbol and also symbolises the chakras in the energetic system of the body. I added miniature porcelain roses, seed pearls and tiny crystals to create the deep effect of the grotto. The solder on the sides of the grotto is reminiscent of the water that drips down the sides of the cave. 

I put a portion of the book of Wisdom 7:11 on the back as well as the inscription of the vintage prayer card that I used for the image : Madonna di Lourdes

It hangs from an exquisite Lourdes rosary that I brought back with me. Look at the detail of each bead. Each one contains an image of the Mystical Rose on the one side and Our Lady on the other. The rosary connector contains some of the healing waters of Lourdes and is engraved with the words Lourdes on the back.

Mary of Lourdes is the mystical healer and this shrine carries some of that incredible miracle of healing and compassion that the pilgrim witnesses at Lourdes. Thousands of volunteers serve there free of charge; they take care of the invalids and the ill who come to the healing waters of Lourdes and every night at the special Mass, one can witness the procession of ill and crippled one.
No-one leaves the grotto of Lourdes untouched! The feeling of spiritual and divine love is palpable there and the light burns like a giant flame on the spot where Mary appeared. 
She is the Mystical Rose of our hearts that has such incredible potential power for love and compassion.


Monday, September 16, 2013

St Thérèse de Lisieux the little Flower Shrine and Altar

St Thérèse de Lisieux
also known as The Little Flower
has always grabbed my imagination

What a comfort it is, this way of love! 
You may stumble on it, 
you may fail to correspond with grace given, 
but always love knows how to 
make the best of everything; 
whatever offends our Lord is 
burnt up in its fire, and nothing is left 
but a humble, 
absorbing peace deep down in the heart." 

And through time I have made many shrines dedicated to her

Not long ago I found the most beautiful vintage
statue of her - quite different to the modern day ones
and it was time for another shrine
for this young nun who was known for her
innocent faith and optimism despite being ill for most of her short life

Then I found this image of also a very unique
vintage prayer card that looks very differently to the
modern ones.

Here she is holding a candle
symbolising the light of her love and God's love

'For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; 
it is a simple look turned toward heaven,
it is a cry of recognition and of love,
embracing both trail and joy.

So obviously it was time for me to make another shrine for
The Little Flower, but with a twist this time!!

A word or a smile is often enough
to put life into a despondent soul

I decided to add a wearable shrine to this altar -
a handmade pendant of a holy card of St Therese
which fits snugly into the altar
or you can pop it out and wear it around your neck on
your favourite chain or St Therese rosary

I added a few tiny rose petals to the pendant

The rosary beads are real onyx;  the roses are porcelain;
I used a variety of paper flower, silk and ribbon roses
and a tiny madonna set under resin in a sterling silver setting
and a miniature St Therese statue dangles below the onyx cross
and black swarovski bead.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

A tiny St Joseph and Jesus the Child medal dangles
on the pendant and it has a beautiful St Joseph lily on the back -
this is a very old medal.
The entire shrine, inside and out, is lined with ribbon and lace
and the back is covered with pages from a very old
Afrikaans Bible.  Afrikaans is my home language
spoken here in South Africa.

and to add to the beauty of this shrine
I found this vintage prayer card image which
I used as the back of the pendant

'Let this Presence settle into your bones,
and allow your soul the freedom
to sing, dance, praise and love.

Holiness consists simply in doing God's will
and being just what God wants us to be

'Let us not be justices of peace,
but angels of peace.!

All quotes by St Therese of Lisieux, the Little Flower

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wearable shrine and altar - our Lady of Lourdes, mystical healer

I cannot think of anything more profound and powerful.
and yes, beautiful,
than wearing an altar on my heart!

I am so excited about these pendants.

I could write an entire book about the weeks and literally
months it took me to source the right material - as these are
not freely available in Cape Town.  

I went through three different soldering irons until I imported
one - thank heavens for the internet, EBay and Etsy!!

This tiny shadow box is recreation of the feel of the grotto
at Lourdes.  I used a holy card that I brought back from
Lourdes and I embellished it with tiny silk roses, seed pearls
and tiny crystal.  I placed it between two cathedral shaped
pieces of glass and then created a tiny box.  I applied the
solder on the sides reminiscent of the water dripping on the walls
of the grotto - so I spent quite a bit of timing getting the solder
to run down like water.

Above the box dangles a tiny crown - the one thing
that stands out most about Lourdes is the presence of
Mary's crown

Here are some images that I got on the internet
that makes clear what I am talking about

Underneath the shrine hangs an image of Our Lady of Lourdes
cast in sterling silver with resin and a beautiful
sterling silver piece with tiny swarovski crystals.

The beaded chain of the rosary is hand strung and
contains swarovski crystals, freshwater pearls and indian silver.

What a blessing to wear her image and fragrance on your body.

She is the Mystical Rose of our hearts that has such potential
and power for infinite love and compassion for each other
and this world and all her creatures.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sacré Coeur de Marie - wearable shrine

Sacré Coeur de Marie - The Sacred Heart of Mary
wearable shrine

I made this beautiful miniature shadowbox as a wearable rosary shrine
altar of the sacred heart of Mary.

It is in the shape of a cathedral window, soldered with lead free solder.

Inside is an image of a vintage prayer card with a tiny
seed pearl halo.
I placed a sterling silver hand cast sacred heart on top
of the image of her sacred heart.

Just above the box is a sterling silver vintage Ave Maria rosary connector.

Here you can see the depth of the shrine

On the back is a portion of a french prayer card 
and another sterling silver hand cast sacred heart dangles on the back.

The rosary necklace contains beautiful crystal beads
in shades of pale pink and amber which allows for the
light to play through

and the piece de resistance
is the beautiful sterling silver hand cast hand holding a heart
amplifying the beautiful hands of Mary on the holy card
which says 'compassion' much more powerfully
than any words possibly could.

A daily reminder that your heart is connected to the heart of Mary.

May her compassion bless you and your days.

Now in my Etsy shop