Brown Wooden Rosary


I finished a new rosary on Saturday. Its wooden beads are stained a warm brown color, and its metal parts are brass and gilt. The circlet is about 30.75 inches in circumference. The drop is 6.125 inches long from the top of the centerpiece to the bottom of the crucifix. The rosary is 21.25 inches long from the middle of the third decade to the bottom of the crucifix.

This is a simple and unpretentious rosary. Because the beads are wooden, it feels relatively light and has a pleasant texture as the beads move through the hand.

The Ave beads are wooden ovals about 7mm x 4mm, stained a dark brown. I got them from Ave Maria's Circle [AMC 521].

The crucifix is a style sometimes called "papal" or "JP2," and is about 38mm long (1.5 inches) 35mm without the eyelet at the top, and about 23mm wide. It also comes from Ave Maria's Circle [AMC 344] the rough bark-like texture goes all around the crucifix. This crucifix could not be engraved. On the back of the crucifix, and the bottom of the upright is the word, "ITALY."

The centerpiece is about 16mm in diameter, just a little smaller than a dime. Including the eyelets, it is about 19 mm wide at the widest, and 21 mm long. The front of the centerpiece is an image of Mary based on the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, but also includes a representation of her immaculate heart. The reverse shows the mystical rose. It comes from TierraCast, and I bought it at the JSM Bead Coop.

The Pater beads are rectangles 7mm x 4mm. I got them from Ave Maria's Circle, but they are no longer up on the site. The rosary is wired with 22-gauge brass wire. I bought the wire at JSM Bead Coop. All loops are wrapped, but for the beads, the wrap is tucked inside the bead. While this adds strength to the wraps, I also did it to simplify the look, to keep the rosary from getting too long, and to let the beads, rather then the wire, dominate the appearance of the finished rosary. the paters are connected to the decades of aves and the centerpiece and crucifix by wrapped-wire bows. I make my bows with two layers of wire because when I started wire-wrapping rosaries, I didn't think I had the precision needed to make them in the way I saw them made by others. I have since found that the way I developed to do it was already in use, and these kind of bows are called "Sailors' Knots." There are 14 of them in the rosary.


Scanner is set up and working.

My goddaughter set my scanner/printer up and helped me get it working. (Woo hoo!) and so, blogging will resume. Now I will focus on my digital camera. If I can find the software it needs, I can get it functioning too.


Beads for a Milwaukee Brewers Rosary

Navy strands for Rosary Guy. Photo credit: Michelle at JSM Bead Coop.
I am considering making a rosary in the colors of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. I have discovered that it is not going to be as easy as I first thought, because navy colored beads are hard to come by and navy colored beads in simple rounds or oval shapes are even harder to find.

My local bead store, JSM Bead Coop had a few suggestions for me, as seen above. The strands from top to bottom are:
  1. Night Blue Swarovski (glass) pearls 6 mm. These are a little darker than the Brewers' navy color, and have just a hint of red in them, making them look slightly purple. They have a slight pearlescent shimmer to them, but not as much as other Swarovski pearls because these are so dark. These are available in both strands and loose, so it will be possible to buy only the number of pearls I need.
  2. Opaque navy "twists" rhombus (diamond) shapes twisted along their axis. they are about 8 mm in length. They have a high gloss. They are the Navy color used by the Brewers. There are 16 of them in a strand. I would need 4 strands to make a rosary.
  3. Matte navy "pillows". These have a non-glossy finish and each bead is about 8mm x 10mm x 2mm. They are close to the Brewers' navy color. There are 26 to a strand. I would have to buy 3 strands to make a rosary.
  4. I am not sure what to call the shape of this bead, they are rectangular prisms with all eight corners cut off to give them a faceted look. Let's call them "faceted rectangles".  They are made with 2 colors of glass fused together (crystal clear and navy, the navy is slightly darker than brewer navy). I am guessing they are about 9mm x 5 mm x 3mm. 22 to a strand. I would need to buy 3 strands to make a rosary.
  5. Larger rhombus twists like the ones in strand #2 , about half-again as large in each direction. To use them just as the HM beads, I would need 5 strands. If I wanted to use them for both the OF beads and the HM beads, I would need 6 strands.
  6. The same glossy opaque navy glass as in strands 2 and 5, these are somewhat cube shaped with the edges and corners so well rounded as to make them resemble globes as much as cubes. they are drilled from vertex to opposite vertex and they are about 12 or 13 mm long. (half an inch). There are 17 to a strand. I would need 4 strands to make a rosary.
  7. The bottom 3 strands are made of cobalt glass. #7 looks brighter in color than the next two because it is a little thinner and so more light passes through in this picture. These are a rich (slightly purple) blue color. #7 is a 6mm round (that is, a sphere). There are 50 on a strand. I would need 2 strands to make a rosary.
  8. these are irregular cobalt cubes about 10 mm. they are drilled from center of a face to the center of the opposite face. There are 25 per strand. I would need 3 strands to make a rosary.
  9. These are 8mm rounds (spheres). There are 25 per strand. I would need 3 strands to make a rosary.
What do you think? which would you choose for a Brewers rosary?


business card 3

Here is the third design. The background color looks aged and distressed. It has a drawing of a rosary. Here I used the slogan, "Hold on to things that last." I described my wares as "durable rosaries: custom designs, handcrafted."  I used my initials rather than my full first and middle names. (Most folks know me by my initials).  Which card has the best slogan? Which product description best describes my rosaries? Which fonts work best for the text? What do you think about the backgrounds and graphics? 

Give me some feedback, people.


business card 2

okay, here is the second card. I used the slogan: "custom prayer beads." Is that better than, "custom rosaries, handcrafted?" What impression does this card give, compared to the previous card? Are there circumstances where this card is more appropriate than the previous card? Are there any circumstances where it is less appropriate?


I am back!

I apologize for not posting for over a year. I want this blog to be mostly photographs with commentary, but for a year I have not had a digital camera nor a scanner to get photographs in digital form. I finally have a scanner, but I need to set it up, and since it seems complicated, I want to get some help with that.

In the meantime I had my first craft show, and for the show I got some business cards from Vistaprint. They offer three background graphics featuring rosaries and I got a small number of each, just to test things out.

So while I am waiting to set up my scanner, I thought I would post on my business cards to get some feedback. Please comment, not only on the graphics from Vistaprint, but also on the text. Above is one of the designs, and in the next few days I will post the other two, and talk some about the text and fonts I chose.


Priest's rosary 3: as seen from the back.

     Ordinarily such a large crucifix would provide a lot of space on the back for an engraved message, but that is not the case here because of the slump in the center of the cross. The slump is formed as the molten metal hardens and contracts as it cools in the mold.

     The back of the centerpiece shows a descending dove and a sunburst of seven rays, showing the descent of the Holy Spirit and his seven-fold gifts (Isaiah 11:2-3). The Latin words around the top of the medallion are "Veni Creator Spiritus" (Come Creator Spirit). Together with the image on the front of the Father reconciling His prodigal son to Himself, this image of the Holy Spirit recalls Christ's words to the apostles, "When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained." (John 20:22-23).