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Showing posts from 2014

All Hallows' Eve Shrines

This is my first year as a homeowner, and with Halloween approaching I began to wonder what I would do for decorations. In light of this interesting article by Fr. Grunow about the Catholic roots of Halloween and why Americans came to think of it as a pagan holiday, I decided to try to use this opportunity to reengage the culture and maybe even evangelize my neighbors. The crazy idea I came up with was to make little shrines to honor a few saints who died as martyrs for their faith in Christ. That way we can remember death, but in a way that points to the Kingdom of God and not the occult. I also hope people are drawn to some of the beautiful and unusual imagery. I made a banner wishing everyone a "Happy All Hallows' Eve" and will leave a basket of free holy cards outside the door. We have really good candy to hand out too! Materials: empty cereal boxes paper (for template) pencil marker ruler compass scissors x-acto knife black poster board print-outs of

Crucifix Craft

Children need beauty as much as any adult. In fact, when we pay attention to providing an aesthetically pleasing environment for children, it fosters the growth of their creativity and visual/conceptual skills. But here's a research paper so you don't have to take my word for it: Perhaps more importantly, if children learn to love beauty, they will love what is true and good. With that in mind, when we moved into our new house, I realized that we lacked crucifixes for our children's room. It's strangely difficult to find a nice-looking crucifix these days, and if I did manage to find one, I didn't want a blessed and expensive object to wind up broken or on the floor despite my 2-year-old's best intentions.  So, I thought, maybe I could make one that he could handle: I found an unfinished wood hanging cross and a small unfinished wood plaque at Michaels. I sawed th

Apocalypse Prize Entries

The winners of the Apocalypse Prize art contest have been announced. Congratulations, Joseph Moats! Here is the complete gallery of entries: ...and the highlights of everyone's work. I'm honored to be considered a Fellow of the Apocalypse Prize. Here are the 3 paintings that I entered: The Adoration of the 24 Elders (Acrylic and metal leaf on panel board, 24" x 24") The Adoration of the 24 Elders (Detail) The Harlot Riding the Beast (Acrylic on panel board, 12" x 12") The Marriage of the Lamb  (Acrylic and metal leaf on panel board, 12" x 12") I already loved medieval illuminated manuscripts, especially in the Gothic style, so I jumped at the opportunity to really research them in-depth to learn how to create works of art in continuity with the conventions of tra

Pop-Up High Mass Card

Here is a craft you can make, maybe as an Easter present or as a way to teach kids about the Mass. It folds out into a tiny high altar with a little priest and altar boys. This started out as a gift idea for my children, but I decided to make it in a format that could be reproduced and write instructions for how to construct it.  Free PDF file here:  Pop-Up High Mass Card Materials recommended: card stock or some kind of sturdy 8.5" x 11" paper for printing X-acto knife and/or scissors cutting surface ruler glue stick Instructions: 1. Download PDF file and print out. 2. Separate pop-up card side from priest side. 3. Cut sides of altar and stairs along dashed line. Start below top dotted line.  If you are using scissors, fold the card in half and snip a slot for the scissors to get started. 4. Score along dotted lines to make folding easier. Use dull side of x-acto blade or a single scissors blade. Make alternating folds

The Crucified Christ

Fra Angelico, circa 1437-1446. Museo di San Marco, Florence.