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Thursday, June 3, 2021

Making A Rosary

Although I have several sweet rosaries, I have decided to make myself some perfectly to my taste, in terms of heft and handling and colors.

Oh, I know the actual rosary doesn't matter. But I like little beautiful things. Not necessarily valuable things, but things I find charming.

I buy used broken rosaries for their parts and incorporate them into new rosaries. I like vintage things and to reuse things. Sometimes it's a whole broken rosary, and sometimes just a collection of the crucifixes and the centerpieces and medals. Sometimes it's new bronze parts if I know they are from Italy, France, or U.S.

First I get my helpers alerted that a bed-based project is going to begin. Not shown: Red the cat, up on the pillow at the head of the bed.

two dogs on the bed waiting for the rosary-making to begin


The materials are placed in a TV-dinner type holder.

beading materials in a plastic divided dish


And it is begun!

beads on link, handmade beaded chain for a rosary


Kitty cat "Red" is modeling the first few links. Red is the kindest, smartest, sweetest, largest cat in the whole wide world, and that was said by our vet back in Texas so you know it is true. He would let Red just wander the clinic, and liked him to stay the day whenever we brought him in. And Red was always the perfect guest. Red came into our lives when as an emaciated young cat he pushed in through our dog door, slowly walked to a dog bowl, and began eating. 

first links of beaded chain rosary


I like to make the rosary decade by decade, and then put the five decades together. 

several decades of a rosary being formed


Now it is zusammen, all together.

blue green and red rosary


I used coral beads for the Paters (the Our Fathers), and aqua terra jasper for the Aves (the Hail Marys). Modest beads, but pretty. 

aqua terra jasper and coral beads links
The Aves look like little globes to me.

It is not as lightweight as a plastic or wood rosary, but it is still very easy on arthritic hands and wrists. I like to carry a rosary with me at all times. I never know when I might need to whip it out.



The centerpiece is of a thistle, which represents not only the beauty and resilience of Mary, but torment, suffering, and Christ's Passion.

One somewhat-former friend told me after she knew I was Catholic, "You Catholics are so weird and overwrought." It hurt my feelings but became somewhat of a joke between me and my priest.

thistle rosary centerpiece with mary medal


I always put a Mary medal riding along on any rosary I make. I used to sell rosaries and may begin again, because I really loved sitting with the window open, the pets around me, and just the beauty of it.


dainty rosary in my hand
I like a dainty rosary for daily use. 

I think next will be a pale blue with peach or again the red. And then I need to get an autumn one ready, and I always rush the coming of autumn so I need it by August 1st! And then an Advent one in purples and pink. 

Now to pray it, as I should! I will get it blessed at noon Mass today. I like to go to the cemeteries, not just in November, but all year 'round, to pray for the souls. I stick to the Catholic cemeteries so as not to push my beliefs on others who may hold different beliefs.

I hope you are having a wonderful day, or at least a peaceful one!

Kind regards,

Olde Dame Holly




35 comments :

  1. Well, seeing aa Rosary made is a first for me. They do turn up here amongst the jewellery and nicknacks at some Antiques Fairs but I'm not Catholic and just note them in passing and move on.

    You have made a beautiful one there and I see it is going straight into use. I can't believe how rude that former "friend" of yours was.

    How generous a soul you have to go and pray for the souls in the Catholic cemeteries. Bless you (not that I am religious but I can appreciate your being so).

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    1. You may not be religious but by your blog posts I can tell you have a deep and wonderful spirit!

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  2. It was interesting to see how you made the Rosary and learn about what some parts symbolize. I think it's a beautiful thought that your Rosary are made with colors and pieces that you love and mean something for you. It is in a way to give something beautiful to God when one prays.

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  3. I am Catholic too. We used to have a rosary for our first communion wearing long white dress . I have two rosaries a pink one and a blue one .
    I love the colours of the rosaries you make.

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    1. I have seen some incredible First Communion rosaries! I would love to see your rosaries!

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  4. What a beautiful and personal craft of making the Rosary. You truly have a special gift of putting parts and pieces together and making something wonderful. I have my grand-mothers Rosary; it is very special to me. When my mother was in her last days of living; there was a lady from the Catholic church that would make a Rosary and give to the priest to deliver personally. She did beautiful work like you do. My mothers Rosary went to her brother. I like the fact that you take broken bits and make something whole out of them. Your pets along side of you make the process even better!

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    1. Thank you for sharing that story. It has certainly given me an idea! And oh yes, the pets are my heart, I love them near me!

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  5. I did not know until today that you have 2 dogs and a cat and how you got the cat is fascinating and I love that story. you are very talented at using the parts from others and creating your personalized rosary.. i am all about recyling and this is great.

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    1. Oh, and there's ANOTHER cat, too. I will make a post about the critters soon!

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  6. What a beautiful post! I was brought up Catholic but sadly do not have the faith you do.
    Your rosary is lovely. I hope you will share the others as you make them.
    Next time I am out antiquing, I will be looking for rosary parts.
    LOVE your furbabies. You can always share more about them, too ;-)

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    1. I did not always have as strong a faith. Maybe because I'm getting old it has become strong again. I think I will make a post of the furbabies, as each is a rescue!

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  7. Holly, this is such a lovely Rosary, and you made it with your own hands with love! Your story about broken parts and pieces hit home for me, as my Rosary is broken, and have been trying to fix it. I like how you added the coral to the turquoise beads. It is really nice. Do not mind the person who said that to you. Catholics have been taking a beating from the beginning of time. We have beliefs that are good and true, and look at the Saints who suffered tremendously because of their faith. Keep me in your intentions when you say the Rosary today, would you? And I must come back and see your post this week, it was very special, indeed.

    ~Sheri

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    1. Sheri, ask around the diocese, there is usually someone who (for no charge) will fix a rosary. I don't fix them here because I am new in town and do not wish to step on toes but I have a new idea of how to share them thanks to the comment by Sandra of Sandras Swedish Weaving above. Thank you for your comforting words, and I will certainly keep you in my Intentions.

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  8. One doesn't have to be Catholic to appreciate the beauty and meaning of your special rosary. I, too, will keep my eyes open for broken bits and pieces when I am out and about.

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    1. I am touched by your kindness and sweet comment!

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  9. Well now I know a little about a Rosary. The one you made is beautiful. I didn't know you had two dogs and two cats either. I would love to meet Red. He sure sounds special. Know what you mean about the animals gathering on the bed. Just as soon as I lay everything out on the bed to cut out an apron, both cats jump and land in the middle of it all. :) Love your blog!

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    1. Isn't it funny about your cats? They want to be in on the action, they want "Mom's" attention!

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  10. This are beautiful. I'm not Catholic but I have a couple of rosaries on my dresser as things of beauty!

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    1. Rosaries can be a very special decorating touch, for sure! I have seen some eye-popping vintage rosaries.

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  11. I am not Catholic. My mother-in-law was one of the most devout Catholics I knew. She always had a rosary with her and often just ran her fingers over the beads in the manner of worry beads. One of the most profound things I saw was at my brother's funeral. My parent's neighbor came into the funeral home just before services began. She signed the guest book then strode directly to my brother. She knelt and said the rosary. She then quietly left. She was not only comforted by her religion but she knew exactly what to do in that instance. It has been 50 years and I still feel awe when I think about it. I would be honored if someone like you were to remember me when I am gone.

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    1. Emma, don't leave us yet! I will include you in my intentions when I say the rosary this afternoon before the special Mass we are having for an ordination!

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  12. For a time I had participated in Rosary Makers at a local church. It was fun stringing the colorful/plastic beads on the cords, and I might say complentative as you strung them on.Overraught? I don't agree. Say a decade for the "former". Yours are lovely.

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    1. I make mission rosaries from multicolored cord, too! I would love to be part of a guild that makes them with plastic beads, good for those in combat, too. Thank you for sharing your rosary-making story!

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  13. I just love how your kitty came into your life, what a lovely story.

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  14. I feel as though I learn so very much from your posts. I did not realize there were different parts like that to a rosary. It may be wrong, but I have always been a bit envious of Catholics having them....I am a tactile person and love having things in my hands (perhaps why I am drawn to stones and crystals)...I could almost feel the cool smooth beads of this beautiful one. Can't wait to see the pale blue/peach! And it seems especially fitting that you use broken/discarded pieces. It is like keeping alive a bit of all the prayers said with them. I would never be able to do something like that one my bed with MY cats. One of them is a terrible kleptokitty. And we get to see photos of Red when??? I love big cats and I cannot lie. ~Robin~

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  15. How wonderful to learn about rosaries. I have a Catholic friend who carries one, but I had no idea what it meant. Thanks for explaining the many parts and seeing how it progresses. I also hope to see Red one of these days. Hope your day is going well, Holly.

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  16. The rosary you made is lovely. When I was a child attending a school run by nuns I saw all the other kids with their rosaries and wanted one but my parents were horrified. ( I was raised Mennonite.) Needless to say I didn't own a rosary until about 20 years ago I got one off e bay. Since then I've slowly gathered more and like them for their beauty as well as their religious significance.

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  17. I carry a St Anthony medal in my purse and am Catholic. Beautiful rosary and you had some wonderful helpers! Janice

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  18. I am not catholic but married one. I appreciate the beauty and reason for them. My husband has his late mothers.
    Cathy

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  19. Extraordinary!!! And beautiful outcome. I have only one...one that was blessed by the priest at San Xavier in Tucson.

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    1. I loved visiting San Xavier when I lived in Tucson. The White Dove of the Desert. We would buy fry bread from trucks in the parking lot! How lucky to have had your rosary blessed by the priest there!

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  20. I love the mental picture of you "whipping out" your rosary! :) Just a plain old Protestant here, but I love the beauty of the rosaries you make. You can pray for me anytime!

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  21. Another post that I enjoyed so much. Thanks for sharing!

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