"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Making Advent ... work ...

Advent shrine.
Ed. note: Click 'source' for more inspiring photos.
Mom or dad could cut out all the parts,
then the kids can decorate the panels with dough, gesso 
or modeling paste, using cake decorating tools -
then grandma can help paint and rub with gold paint.
You will be busy right up until Christmas Eve
and won't have time to shop or cook.

I have an idea!  Let's put on a Christmas Advent show in the barn!

I was going to make this a craft post because I think making 'stuff' during Advent for Christmas is an excellent means of praying and working and being together.  Whatever.

I decided not to make this a personal arts and crafts post because I won't be doing much arts and crafts until after Christmas - I hope.  Although I'm doing little paintings and crafty stuff now - it's nothing to blog about.  So anyway.

Allow the ancient and antique 
to inspire and inform your creations.

I'm intrigued now about Jesse Trees for Advent.  They really are the perfect thing - aside from Advent calendars, and if you have to, Advent wreaths - I still think wreaths should be more creative and natural and festive though.  All of these things you should make yourself however - with the kids or with your friends in the attic.  I know!

When you make stuff - your hands are busy, you are free to pray as you work.  It's so contemplative.  You listen to a tape or someone leading the rosary or reading ... it's very monastic.  You can talk if you are together as a family of course.  It's creative and should be fun.  So here's the deal.

Try making dough figures for a painted box (cajon).

Like this:

You could use stiff cardboard instead of wood,
apply fabric or glue on 
cut out holy cards and scrap.

I'm not doing an arts and crafts post - I'm just suggesting how you could make a really cool Jesse Tree, Advent calendar, shrine (retablo) in the manner of the antique, or even in the style of the Peruvian cajones de San Marcos - if not a Jesse Tree, then a homemade creche - or santo ornaments for the tree.  I can't tell you what to do, how to do it, but I can give you some ideas to inspire or even copy.  I also found a site with instructions on how to make dough ornaments - as suggested, the same recipe could be used to make santos figures for retablos in the style of cojones de San Marcos.  So look at the photos and be inspired.

Salt dough ornaments.
Go here.

So how to make dough ornaments and figures?

It's called salt dough.  You can get clay at art stores, but it's more fun to make dough to sculpt.  I found a recipe with how to photos here.  It's not all Advent/Christmas stuff - but you can use the same technique.

See - Abbey Roads really is family friendly.

Song for this post here.

1 comment:

  1. Terry - this is excellent - I'm going to share it with all the homeschool moms and dads and the prisoners I teach arts and crafts to. I wish so called 'Dad's' blogs like Ax the Apostate's Larry D would dedicate their blogs to enhancing Catholic family life the way you do. You are just great!

    A blessed Advent!

    Amy Poehler


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