A blog where families who love and live the Catholic Faith can share, encourage and support each other.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beautiful art images for the daily rosary

I shared this posting a couple of years ago but it has been a constant blessing to our lives using these images in the recitation of the family rosary, so I thought this would be great to share for the month of the Holy Rosary ~ October.

I had mentioned recently that we have been using beautiful images to use for reflection and meditation during our daily, family rosary. Images that I know will sink deeply into the hearts of my children for life, creating cherished, prayerful memories. I know this can happen as I remember as a child, being facinated with my mother's daily prayer book. She knelt by her bed every morning with this book. It was filled with holy cards with prayers on the back and using them, she would recite her prayers for the morning. Inside this book (which I think from memory, might have been a latin missal) there were the most beautiful images of the life of Our Lord and Our Lady, many were the were work of Danish artist, Carl Bloch and it explains why I love his work so much. With the use of so many of the world's greatest artists work, it's also an effective way to cultivate in children, the love and appreciation for the finest art in history.

I remember in Maria Von Trapp's autobiography Maria: My Own Story she shares a similar childhood memory:

"In these first years of my childhood, God entered my life for the first time in a very gentle and loving way. My foster mother was a deeply religious person, truly pious. Every morning she would go to church, many times taking me with her, and I remember how I often looked at her rather than at the altar. Her face radiated kindliness and the love of God.

At home she would sometimes take me on her lap in the evening and go through an illustrated Bible in large print. I am sure I would think the pictures atrocious now, but at that time they were a source of great happiness. I remember a child Jesus in a pink gown with yellow curls, His mother all dressed in blue. I couldn't get enough of it. And then at the gruesome pictures of our Lords' passion, my little heart welled up in pity and misery. Once my foster mother found me in a corner curled up over the Bible as I pierced the eyes of those bad men torturing our dear Lord - with a crochet hook."

We have been using these images on our TV screen, just below our altar, for a couple of months now and it has been a wonderful help to us all. I find if I am reciting the rosary out of the home, I now recall images I love in my head to assist in my meditation.

I am at the present moment, sitting the children down and stepping them through the images, folder by folder, encouraging them to look for the symbols and images in the paintings, explaining to them what they all mean (similar to what they do in one of the Seton homeschooling Art books). It has been a wonderful learning experience for us all.

I have purposely chosen images that visualize the invisible spiritual world around us. You could have a painting that has only Our Lord being baptized by St John the Baptist in the river Jordan, very simple and straightforward, but doesn't everyone want to see the heavens open up, the God the Father and the Holy Spirit surrounded by beautiful angels, the light pouring down upon baptism? Catholic paintings emphasize the reality of the spiritual in a wonderous way. Catholic symbolisim also speaks strongly to us, so it is great to see it in a painting.

So I have finally shared here at Starry Mantle my 20 images for each decade/mystery of the rosary (20 mysteries all up). You can click open each image and it will blow up to full size, which then can save. I have one master folder on the desktop called "Holy Rosary" when I click it open, there are four folders, "Rosary 1" "Rosary 2" etc. Each of these folders are structured the same, click one open and there are four more folders, "Joyful Mysteries 1" "Luminous Mysteries 1" etc. When I click open one of these folders, say the Joyful Mysteries 1 for example, you will find 5 folders, "Annunciation 1" "Visitation 1" etc.

When you click open one of these mysteries, there are the 5 images and the Irfanview slideshow for those 5 images. It is this Irfanview slideshow I click open to display on our large TV screen (which is attached to a computer) ~ the TV screen is directly under our large family altar. If your TV is not readily turned into a computer screen maybe you can think of a way of placing the images on a DVD disk as a slideshow? I'm sure there would be a way. For some people their computer is a laptop and could be placed near their altar for the recitation of the rosary, or plug a cord from their laptop into their main TV screen and use the screen as the computer.

So why so many images? We discovered years ago when we use to have images in folders for the children, it was good to rotate images in a way that they were seeing the same image once every 10 days or so. The other reason is.....do you realise just how many BEAUTIFUL Catholic old masters paintings there are?? It's a very hard job to short list with only 5 or 10 pictures.

The opening for the TV cabinet has wooden doors which we can close and lock at any time. So we open them up for the times we want to watch EWTN, say the rosary or watch a video.

For those who do not want to place the images on the computer during the recitation of the rosary, you can just print some of the images and place them in folders, one for each of the children in the family, this is what we have done in the past.

Below are all the postings for each mystery of the rosary. Each mystery contains the twenty images (in groups of five) of old master paintings we have chosen to use for our rosary.

(The links below will take you to my personal blog, Under Her Starry Mantle)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Little Girl's Apron Tutorial

To fit approximately size 5, but is also multi fit.

Start with:

From main fabric -

11 x 7.5 " - Cut 2 (bodice)
45 x 13.5" - Cut 1 (skirt)

From contrasting fabric - 

25.5 x 3" - Cut 1 (waist band)
45 x 2.5" - Cut 1 (bottom of skirt)
24 x 3" - Cut 2 (waist ties)
22 x 2.5" - Cut 2 (neck ties)

*Please note that I refer to serging as overlocking throughout the tute (cos I'm Aussie!)

Take all the ties and press them in half. Open out, then press each long edge in 1/4 inch. Press one end in 1/4 inch also. Fold over in half again.

Topstitch down the length of both sides of each tie (including across the short edge you folded in) Overlock the short raw edges that you didn't fold in on each tie.

Pin the neck ties 1/2" in from the sides of one of the bodice pieces. Place the other bodice piece on top with right sides facing. Pin, then stitch around 3 sides, leaving the bottom open.

Turn right sides out and press. Topstitch around the 3 sides.

Take the skirt piece and the bottom skirt piece. Sew them together, right sides facing. Overlock the raw seams, then press open. Overlock the sides and bottom of the skirt also.

Run 2 lines of gathering stitches along the top of the skirt. Gather up until it is the same length as the waistband. Pin the waistband to the top of the skirt, right sides together.

Now take the bodice. Measure and mark the centre of the skirt and place the bodice in the centre, on top of the waistband which will be wrong side up. The bodice will be right sides facing with the skirt. Pin on and remove pins from underneath where you pinned on the waistband so that you don't sew over them!

Sew along the waistband and over the bodice from one edge of the skirt to the other. Overlock the raw seams.

Press. Now topstitch the top of the waistband to the bodice, sewing along the line you made previously. No need to topstitch the full length of the waistband, just at the bodice to attach them together.

Take the waist ties and sew to the edge of the waistband on each side.

Your apron now looks like this. The last step is to fold in the overlocked edges on each side of the skirt and topstitch. When you fold in the edges the ties will face outward and will be caught in the stitching. Add an extra short line of stitching to the tie to secure it more to the waistband if you wish.
Now fold up the hem and stitch.

Lastly, give it to a little girl and make her smile!

I hope you enjoy this tutorial and make lots of pretty little aprons. I'd love to see what you make :)
You can use this tute for personal use and to make aprons to sell, provided you acknowledge me, Kelly Casanova as the original author. 

I'd really appreciate you letting me know of any mistakes or improvements - I'm no expert at writing tutes!

Please visit Kelly's blog, Embroidery and Design by Kelly Casanovato see more of her beautiful creations