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


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

La Pianiste Aveugle - the blind pianist

This sweet vintage doll I bought at a street market in
Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume right across the
Cathedral of Mary Magdalene.

I received about twenty of these from the market seller
in a plastic shopping bag.

You can see in what a tattered state she is and she has no legs
and the moving eyes have fallen out long ago.
But she is beautiful and so I created a special shadow box for her,
La Pianiste Aveugle, the blind pianist.

The piano is a toy piano, part of a doll set.  I distressed and aged the little piano
and added a magnificent butterfly to its lid, symbolising the freedom and liberation
that her ability to play the piano, brings the blind woman.

The entire box is covered with vintage sheet music paper.  A reminder
that life is music, and even as we live our small, boxed lives
of ordinariness, we hold the potential of creating the music of our souls.


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Shopping for shoes on the Champs Elysees

Shoes, shoes, shoes, shoes

Bonjour mademoiselle!  Please step into my shop

I lined the box with velvet papers, velvet ribbons, beads, lace, ruffles
paper chandelier, and I created the framed painting of Marie Antoinette in the back.

The beautiful scene of Paris is a magnet that I bought in Montmartre.

I had such incredible fun creating this small shoe shop which now hangs on my wall.
Every time I look at it, I remember the smell, the colour, the sound and the happiness
of visiting Paris and the South of France the past two years!

If you enjoyed this one, please come back for another visit and see the
beautiful vintage french pianist shadowbox which I will share with you.