Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Film about Our Lady of Guadelupe

Check this out- can't wait to see the film!

Infamous Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, 64, known for such sordid films as Basic Instinct and Showgirls, has undergone a conversion and now will be writing a new film on Our Lady of Guadalupe.
follow this link to read the article:

Vulnerability- Vice or Virtue?

In the past couple months, the Lord has put an interesting concept on my heart-- the virtue of vulnerability. For most of my adult life, I have learned from society and my environment in general, that putting on a hard shell of invulnerability is a good thing. Showing how strong and invincible you are is a true virtue- or so I thought. Isn't that what our society teaches us? Strong women are women who don't wear their emotions on their sleeve. Strong women take a blow and give it right back- with attitude. Strong women are independent of any outside help- they can do everything themselves- better! Strong women don't have weaknesses- or at least if they do, they do a very good job of covering them up.

But God has gently shown me that this is not a virtue. This way of thinking is damaging to our souls and to the souls of those around us. I have learned how damaging this mentality is especially in a marriage relationship after reading Holy Sex! by Dr. Gregory Popcak. When you don't share your entire self- body, soul, mind, and spirit, with your spouse, you are not truly loving. Dr. Popcak explains how our first parents- Adam and Eve did not know how not to be vulnerable until after the Fall. They shared everything with each other and God and did not experience any shame. They knew true freedom and love.

Yesterday, our priest, Fr. Mark also drove this concept of vulnerability home with his homily. Here is an excerpt from his homily on his blog:
"Being vulnerable is probably not on the top of our to-do list. It is risky, adventurous, spontaneous, free flowing and nerve racking. There is a rush of excitement and expectation, but as we journey through life we also learn that it can be painful, humiliating, and heart wrenching as well. Like the soft shell crab, we hide ourselves away from potential danger and lurk in the shadows and murky waters of the Chesapeake Bay of life. There is just one problem, if we don’t shed our shells, then we can’t grow, we can’t change, we can’t mature, and we can’t become more and more the person that God has created us to be. If we dwell only in the shadows and murky waters we might be alive, but we will never truly live. It is time that we start to see past the end of our own shell and take the risk to live again and allow the world in."

The ways we "hide under our shell", "put up walls", harden our hearts, or however you want to say it- are as numerous as they are varied. We hide behind our tv's or computers or video games or ipods to avoid any real conversation with those around us. We only converse in small talk with our relatives, children, spouses, friends, to avoid sharing anything real about who we are. And these are just a few ways we hide from intimacy from those around us. Think of the ways we hide from intimacy with God. Having constant noise and busyness around us, not truly acknowledging our failures, or even asking for His loving mercy takes a plunge into vulnerability.

Of course, being vulnerable means risking hurt, but with this hurt comes healing, as Fr. Mark said. Jesus knew this best of all. He was willing to be a vulnerable baby, a vulnerable friend to his disciples, a vulnerable minister to the hurt, and finally a victim of greatest vulnerability- of being physically and emotionally abused to the point of dying naked on the cross. We often don't think of the vulnerability there because Jesus always has a little piece of cloth on the crucifixes we look at, but he really gave his entire self up for us to the Father. He showed that true love means withholding nothing. He gives his entire self to us again and again through the Eucharist. He knows how much it hurts to be vulnerable this way, but he doesn't care because wants to love us with his entire self. Again and again.

I have so much room for growth in this "new" virtue. With God's help each day, I'll try to challenge myself more and more to be a little more vulnerable in order to be more loving and lovable.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 8 and 9

On day 8, I mixed the red clay to a more subtle coral color to match the original Guadelupe. After I was done conditioning the clay and mixing the colors, I made a little swirly design to mimic the floral pattern on Mary's dress. However, I'm not sure this will be visible after the bead is all done. No big deal if it isn't. I just thought it would be neat :)

On Day 9, I used the red clay to fill in the top part of her dress and sleeve (see picture)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Days 6 and 7

Here's a couple pics of Liam at the park- the reason why I haven't gotten very far on the bead!
Oh well, it's worth every minute of it to see his happiness!

Well, I haven't had much time to work on the bead. Analee's sleep schedule is nonexistent when we are out and about in the a.m. Then when it's time to lay Liam down for his nap, Analee is wide awake. There goes my time to get anything and everything done! This week, I will set aside some more time to work on the bead.

What I did get finished are Our Lady's praying hands. I made it big enough to use the extra on a different bead that I plan to make- the praying hands of Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane. I will add three drops of blood to that bead to symbolize his agony and the real blood he sweat at that time.

More to come soon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 5 Guadelupe Bead

I put Mary's face together. It is very tricky to get her to appear to be looking downward and to her right. In hindsight, I should have positioned her pupils differently, but when the whole bead is put together, you probably won't be able to tell the difference. I did take my time on her face, though. The rest of the bead should go faster.

Day 4 of Guadelupe Bead

Here is the pic of Day 4. I didn't have time for anything but the nose and eyebrows :o) But I did have a great time at the Harkins' party!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Day 3 of Guadelupe Bead

Below is the before photo and above is the after. Sorry, they downloaded the right way- I guess next time I will download them the wrong way and it will come out right!

Today I worked on the face of Mary for the second day. Yesterday (day 2 of Guadelupe bead), I tried a new technique for canes. I included the video clip in case you are interested. Anyway, this new technique interested me, so I made the curved blades that the video showed, made the transparency, and set to work. First of all, I should have noted that at the end of that video clip, the face is distorted at one end- and that design wasn't even all that difficult for the face to be that distorted. I think that the whole slicing off pieces of a picture with the curved blade is very inaccurate. I tried it yesterday and the part that I got done looked pretty bad. Luckily, I only used a small amount of clay, so I just started over today.

I included some pictures of my progress so far. I finished the lips and eyes. I know it doesn't look like much, but I had to mix a bunch of different clays for different coloring on the face.

Good news: my 6 month old is finally taking longer naps, so I can work for more than 30 minutes at a time! I might get this bead done quicker than I thought!

Oh, and I wanted to say another reason why I trashed the first attempt- the transparency I was using of Mary's face didn't show her eyes- so I didn't make her eyes. I only made an eyelid with a bigger shadow. But then I remembered what my husband told me about the actual Lady of Guadalupe. He said that scientists studied it, and couldn't find any paint, or any medium at all. It's just there. Also, that they looked with microscopes into her eyes and found- very clearly- three (he might have said four) men in the reflection of her pupil. The people were even positioned the same as if the had looked in a real pupil. It was so clear that they could even see a tear coming from one man's eye! Ok, that's a little hard to believe even for myself, but it true! If you don't know the story behind Our Lady of Guadalupe, this won't make sense. The men who are in the pupil are the ones who Juan Diego showed his apron to. They were shocked to see that Our Lady had really appeared to Juan Diego and even more shocked to see her image on his apron when all the roses fell out.

I am deeply sorry for my sad rendition of the story. Here is a link to a much better one: It doesn't go into detail about the eyes, but it's good to read the whole story.

Anyway, I wanted her eyes on the bead after I remembered what significance they have. So far, everything is turning out well. I'm hoping for some time tomorrow morning to do some more work on it.

Polymer Clay Face Cane - For more funny movies, click here

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Guadalupe Bead- Day 1

Today is day one of making the Guadelupe Bead (the center Madonna Bead on my rosaryies). And I can't say I got too far, but I guess the day is completely over and I could still get more done. This new Kato clay is very hard, and takes more than a bit of effort to make it pliable (soft enough me to work with). So today I:
  1. Found a brick that I could use to pound the heck out of the 12.5 oz. of clay block
  2. Worked up a sweat pounding clay
  3. Went to the pasta machine to roll out the clay to soften it some more
  4. Worked up even more of a sweat rolling out clay, piecing it together, and rolling it out again for a good 30 minutes
  5. Broke my cheap pasta machine from rolling out the clay so hard
  6. Got a blister on my thumb from rolling out so much clay (might have happened at the same time as #5)
  7. Ordered a new pasta machine and more clay from the internet
And you thought making rosaries was for sissies! lol!
I will try to keep working (as time allows) on the bead until my new pasta machine comes. I am working on Mary's face first, so the two clays that I softened today were the skin tone and brown. I'll take a pic of it when I'm finished.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The New Guadalupe Bead

The time has come to remake the center Madonna bead of my rosaries. I am running out of my current beads, and soon I will be all out! This is a huge project and will take many days- hopefully not more than a couple weeks to complete. It's also nerve wrecking because any mistakes I make, I cannot go back and fix once the bead is complete.

I ordered some new clay- a new brand of polymer clay that I have never used before. It's called Kato Clay and it promises to be the best for millefiori designs such as mine. Here is a picture of the new clay. Even though it is supposed to be better in many ways, it is harder to work with. I will have to really work at softening this clay before it can be used. It takes a lot of muscle work and I often recruit my strong husband for this task!

I'm recreating Our Lady of Guadalupe. Maybe in the future, I will do a different Mary, but for right now, this one's my favorite :)

Keep posted for new developments on this huge project.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Handmaid of the Lord Song

This is probably my all time favorite Christian song. It's kind of hard to hear the words (maybe it's just my computer), so here are the words so you can follow along.

Mother’s Song – Kelly Pease

"I will hold and I will love Him, until He’s big enough to walk
And even then I’ll pick Him up, and I will teach Him how to talk
To say the words that will save, all the people of every nation
I will feed the flesh, that will bring about salvation

And when He kisses me goodnight, I’ll be living my reward
Be it done as you said, I am the handmaid of the Lord.

I will walk these roads behind Him, and I will follow where He leads
I will be with His good works, and I will love the mouths He feeds
I'll be a mother to my Son, and a mother for the world
If You can set them free through Moses, then You can do it through this girl

And when He brings the dead to life, I’ll be living my reward
Be it done as you said, I am the handmaid of the Lord

But is this what You've called me to? To watch Him lose His life?
I am bending, will I break, how can I just stand back?
__________, He’s my only Son
Help me pray that I carry Him, Father Lord Thy will be done!

And when He walks that lonely road, my heart will go with Him
And when He falls my spirit dies, and when He bleeds I hate this sin
And when He utters those last words, and when He finally hangs His head
I'll be planted in the ground, my whole life my soul is dead

But I will stay here at this cross, where He brought You Your reward
Be it done as you said I am the handmaid of the Lord
Be it done as you said I am the handmaid of the Lord."

At Franciscan University in Steubenville, instead of fraternities and sororeties, they had "households". My household was call "Handmaids of the Lord." and yup, we sang the Magnificat song every Saturday at our "Lord's Day Celebration". So, when I heard this song, I immediately fell in love. It's such a fresh take on the Magnificat.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Analee is 6 months old today

Yes, it's her half year birthday today. She's the big .5! Here's a list of her milestones and near milestones:
  1. She's sitting up all by herself
  2. She can stand- with support
  3. She is making strides toward crawling
  4. She rolls over very well
  5. She almost has a tooth- I can see it under the skin!
  6. She knows how to get what she wants (and that's all that really matters!)
She is such a good baby. We all love her so much!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Best Birthday Gift EVER!

Today is my 28th Birthday and I received many wonderful birthday gifts, but the best one was from my Lord- he gave me the gift of his precious body and blood at Mass today. I couldn't think of a better birthday gift! He loves me so much that died on the cross and rose again so that I could be with him in heaven. Today he again poured his never ending love into me through the Eucharist. He knows my every need, and he knew that today, I would need Him most of all. It was actually quite by accident (or divine intervention) that we were at Mass today. Because of my husband's work schedule, we usually go to Mass on Saturday evenings. But because of a birthday party yesterday afternoon, we had to go to Mass today. And I couldn't be more thankful!