Single-decade steel and lapis rosary GIVEAWAY!

ICYMI, here is my interview with the wonderful Kyra Matsui, the brains and tough fingers behind Iron Lace Design. Kyra’s giving away one of her gorgeous single-decade rosaries, which sell for $35.

A handsome and tough single decade rosary, made of large, 8mm lapis lazuli beads on steel eyepins, joined with heavy stainless steel chain. The Our Fathers are steel chainmail in Japanese 4-in-1. Finished with an Italian silver plated crucifix. Perfect for keeping in your pocket or on your dashboard!

To enter, use the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of the page. If you can’t see the form, which no one ever can, use this link:

Lapis rosary giveaway entry form

I’ll choose a winner on Saturday and announce it then. Please be sure to use a current email address when you enter.

Good luck! And thank you, Kyra!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Catholics on Etsy, Part 2! Christmas and Advent Gifts for 2016

Yesterday, I shared part one of this year’s  list of Catholic-made, handmade goods — jewelry, art, and prints of various kinds. Today, part two: unusual rosaries, knit and fabric goods, and my favorite category of all, miscellaneous.

A few of the sellers have set up a special discount code or deal just for this post, so take note!

UNUSUAL ROSARIES and ROSARY ACCESSORIES

There are ever so many gorgeous rosaries on Etsy. I featured several of them on my Easter gift guide last yaer, including Iron Lace chain mail rosaries; a huge variety of styles from Rosaries by Allison; heirloom-quality rosaries from Athey Rosaries; sweet, affordable chaplets from ChapletsNSuch; a nice variety for various occasions from Snowshoe Rosaries; gemstone rosaries on flexwire from Prayer and Sparkle; and heavy, elegant rosaries from Et Corde.

Today, I thought I’d feature a few rosaries and accessories that are a little off the beaten path:

Two Hearted Ranch: Catholic and custom gifts and jewelry, rosary cases, keychains, including customized floating lockets
Featured item: Monstrance glass-topped steel-plated tin rosary case
, $9.95.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-8-24-19-pm

You can also add a stamped tin disc to the bottom of the inside to commemorate a sacrament. Many other designs, bold and eye-catching. Keep those rosaries untangled!


Roses for Mary by Becky Arganbright
Featured item: Clay Rose garden three Hail Marys, $7

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-10-19-51-pm

If you only have time for three Hail Marys, these rose counters are sweet and nostalgic-looking.


The Wallet Rosary, $12.50
Made of string, light, brushed stainless steel, and slim as a credit card, it fits right in your wallet.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-11-05-15-pm

Neat idea! Grab it when you need it.
Use coupon code “SimchaChristmas” for free U.S. Shipping on orders of 2+ rosaries through 12/15.


Chews Life – an assortment of rosaries, chaplets, and bracelets and necklaces designed to divert and delight nursing, teething, twiddling babies
Featured item: Chews life decade rosary, $18

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-9-27-41-pm

Gracefully bow to the inevitable and carry a rosary designed to be gnawed on. Love it.


Apple and Azalea by Theresa Barger – Memory wire rosary bracelets and other elegant jewelry and accessories
I always admired my friend Theresa’s style and elegance when we were in college together, and her original wrap-around rosaries ($24-$28) are exquisite and varied.  I had a hard time picking just one to feature, so I picked three.

rosary-montage

My own wrap-around bracelet, a southwestern-style one, has held its shape through years of abuse at the hands and mouths of various babies.



KNIT and FABRIC GOODS

The Knot Haus – many fresh and whimsical knitted gifts, including some CUTE cute cute baby hats.
Featured item: Green Celtic knot bracelet, $25

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-9-39-59-pm

Neat, eh? This knit knot bracelet is made with silver-plated ribbon clamps and a lobster clasp. Say that sentence three times fast!


Blue Ridge Purl Hand-knit hats, scarves, cowls, and gloves by a pair of homeschooling Catholic moms
Featured item: Hand-knit fox hood, $40

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-9-44-41-pm

Imagine glancing out the kitchen window to see a flock of little foxes prancing by, and knowing that for once, their ears are necks are warm. (Foxes do so come in flocks.) Completely adorable, and so cozy.


Three Jolly Owls by Katie McGinley: Handcrafted Goods and Gifts for the Liturgical Year: peg doll saints, Jesse tree ornaments, and more.
Featured item: Handmade felt Jesse Tree ornaments, $54

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-9-51-49-pm

Perfect! Simple, bright, and meaningful, and an easy tradition to follow every year. The ornaments have ribbons loops for hanging.
SPECIAL OFFER: Use coupon code PANTS10 to get 10% off! – valid until 12/31


S. Lochet Designs by Stephanie Lochet: Period and Vintage Inspired Creations
Featured item: Set of three tissue holders (tissues included!), $8

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-10-13-02-pm

I don’t even carry tissues with me, but I want these. So cheery! Many more styles and patterns on the site, as well as retro aprons and more.


Faith and Fabric Design – 
Reversible Advent and Christmas Table Runner
, $38

etsy-faith-and-fabric-runner

I love table runners. Such an easy way to change the look of a room. This one is reversible: When Advent is through, flip it over and see a pretty Christmas design.

I also like this peg doll flower, $12. Keep your peg dolls snug and sorted.



MISCELLANEOUS!

Pottery From Your Roots by Faith Connor
Featured item: Chicory Mortar and Pestle, $40

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-10-28-55-pm

Ooh, I like the looks of these. Spare and elegant with a soupçon of strangeness. Many more pieces on the site.


Door Number 9 by Elisa Low
Featured item: Hamilton Gimmel Rings, $25. You remember Elisa from when we chatted about holy cards as fan art, and the intersection of faith and geekdom. Well, those interlocking Alexander and Elizabeth Hamilton wedding rings she was working on are on their way! The first run sold out immediately, but you can pre-order, $25.

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-9-50-39-am

Elisa also offers a wide variety of unusual handmade goods, from saint wine charms to portable oratories to Cyberman tea wallets.


Sweet Soft Skin Handmade Soaps by Margaret Grimm
Featured item: Limited edition “Gifts of the Magi” soaps scented with frankincense and myrrh, $4.50

etsy-margaret-grimm-soaps

So luxe! I love how the natural shape of the soap is incorporated into the design, like a little landscape. Get several as little gifts or stocking stuffers, or keep them for yourself and enjoy that once-a- year scent.


Wild Things Adventures by Sarah Antonio
Featured item: Adventure bags, $85 Handmade leather satchels stocked with a hand stitched, leather bound journal with 24 watercolor pages, a Prang watercolor set with small water jar (not pictured), branch pencil, compass, binoculars, and a folding magnifying glass!

wild-things-adventure-bags

Eh? Eh? You can almost smell the outdoors calling.


Ashcraft Creative hand-tooled leather by Mark and Christina Ashcraft
Featured item: Stained glass leather wallet, $65

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-10-00-51-pm

Not gonna lie: this is probably my favorite item this year. Just stunning. Many more splendid, original, hand-tooled leather items on the site.


Art 4 the Soul – devotional art and retabolos
Featured item: Sacred Heart Leather keychain/bag tag, personalized, $25+

etsy-sacred-heart-leather-key-chain
Sacred Heart, you come with me! I love this. Many more original designs and combos on the site, great for bag tags, key chains, or zipper pulls.


Saong Jai – an assortment of Catholic and vintage goods
Featured item: Set of 3 vintage Catholic ornaments, $25

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-10-54-53-pm

Yes! Catholic up your Christmas tree. Aren’t these spectacular?



Don’t forget to check out part one of the Advent and Christmas Catholic Etsy list. That’s it for handmade gifts this year. I’ll be doing my annual “gift ideas for kids” post in the next week.

Are you a Catholic who sells handmade or hand-designed goods? Feel free to leave a link to your shop in the comments.

Why does the Church make things so complicated?

sheep-690198_640

If a dumb sheep starts nibbling on the medicine spoon, rather than drinking the medicine, that doesn’t mean that vets aren’t necessary. It means the sheep needs to be redirected to the goal, which is being healed.

Read the rest at the Register.

***

Has Etsy banned the sale of sacramentals?

459397533_380dad971d

To a casual onlooker, it really does seem like Catholics believe that if you die with a scapular, God has to let you into heaven; that if you stick a St. Christopher medal to your dashboard, you can drive like a maniac and walk away unscathed; that if you pray on a rosary blessed by an especially good Pope, or sneak a relic of your favorite saint underneath some sinner’s mattress, then whatever you wish will come true.

This is not what Catholics believe. We do not believe in magic, and we do not believe that God is bound to perform for us like a genie in a bottle.

Read the rest at the Register. 

***

Free shipping on rosary bracelets and more from Apple and Azalea

My dear friend Theresa Barger makes elegant rosary bracelets and other jewelry.

apple and azalea header

She’s offering free shipping for my readers on orders of $10 or more through 12/20! (Free shipping orders are guaranteed to arrive by Christmas if you order by 12/17. For Christmas orders placed after the 17th, you may upgrade the shipping.) Use the coupon code ThanksSimcha (eeee! My first coupon code!) when you order.

Theresa also takes special orders, so if you have a specific color or stone in mind, let her know. If she has the materials on hand, she may be able to fill your special order in time for Christmas.

Here are just a few of the items Theresa is currently offering:

Garnet Red Wrap-Around Rosary Bracelet, $24

garnet rosaryThis bracelet has an old world, vintage look to it, with faceted, garnet-colored glass beads, and freshwater pearl nuggets for Our Father beads. There are matte gray seed beads separating the others, and the rosary begins with a black bead that has a cross stamped on it. This rosary has a full five decades.

It is strung on 2 1/4″ memory wire, which is comfortable and flexible, but retains its shape. It can be stretched to fit different size wrists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Bold Wrap-Around Rosary Bracelet. $26

be bold rosary

This bright, bold colored rosary is sure to attract compliments. It is made with vividly dyed magnesite and chalk turquoise beads.

Also a full five-decade rosary, made with memory wire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Theresa says: Besides the rosary bracelets, I love experimenting with new materials and styles for other projects.  This season, my newest item is

guitar pick earrings, $13, each.

guitar pick earrings

 

I punch the picks out of various recycled items – shampoo bottles, laundry detergent bottles, castoff school binders- and pair the color and texture with charms or beads that I have on hand. I think they are really fun and a perfect gift for a young (or young at heart) musician this year.

My favorite way to use up extra beads, however, is to make

beaded bookmarks, $8.50 each.

beaded bookmarks

I start with a strand of waxed linen, a material traditionally used for bookmaking. Leaving about 12″ in the middle to lay between the pages of your book, I bead the ends that hang over the edges. Some are fun and playful, some are classic and sophisticated.  Some are even for men! Each bookmark is truly individual and built around the beads I have at the time. These are a great gift to have on hand for teachers or for thank-you or get well gifts.

***

Theresa also offers other handmade items and accessories at Apple and Azalea. Remember to use coupon code ThanksSimcha for free shipping!  For guaranteed delivery by Christmas with the free shipping, you must order by the 17th. If you order after then, you may select an optional upgrade to priority mail, to ensure delivery before Christmas.

Theresa, here with three of her six kids, makes all her merchandise by hand in Webster, NH.

Theresa, here with three of her six kids, makes all her merchandise by hand in Webster, NH.

 

Tomorrow, I’ll post an open thread for sharing Etsy stores and other homemade merchandise.