Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy feast of Ss. Peter and Paul!

We had so much fun making our Apostles postcards! I went out of town the last week of the fast (and missed the feast with the kids), so we didn't quite make one for every day. But we learned about some new-to-us saints, and some new details about familiar apostles, and I found that my kids really like cut-paper collage. I'm hoping the postcards actually went through the mail successfully. :)

I am really enjoying my own growing understanding of the continuity of this fast/feast with what we've been thinking on through Lent, Pascha, and Pentecost - the Apostles work and our own carrying out of Christ's gospel into the world. I'm so grateful for the cycle of feasts and the way they are educating me in faith.

I'm keeping the other 28 postcards we didn't send in our homeschool cabinet, so I'm all ready to go for next year! I might improve on my apostle's guide between now and then.

Our 12 completed postcards

Apostles Timothy and Ananias of the Seventy

St. Mary Magdalene, Equal to the Apostles; and St. Patrick Apostle of Ireland

Ss. Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles of the Slavs;
and St. Nicholas of Japan, Equal to the Apostles

St. Zacchaeus of the Seventy Apostles;
St. Olga Princess of Russia, Equal to the Apostles

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Apostles Epistles!

This year, I'm finally getting into the rhythm of the Apostles' Fast - celebrating for a long period after the resurrection, and then again for Pentecost. Then, just as the Apostles began their hard work, we, too, take up the mission of the Gospel and return to fasting.

I've made a kids' calendar printable for Lent, and the Nativity and Dormition fasts, but I never know what to do with the Apostles' Fast. Since it is a little longer this year, I decided its time to organize something for the kids, and I'm pretty excited about what I've got planned.

Since the Fast of the Holy Apostles is variable in length, instead of counting down the days, we’ll count up! I made a set of 40 postcards, including the 12 Apostles, some of the Seventy Apostles, and several saints Equal to the Apostles. The fast is usually (much) shorter than 40 days, so this should be more than enough for most years, and I can save the leftover cards for future years.

Each day (or at least a few times a week) we'll select one postcard and learn about that saint named on the card. Then we'll decorate the front of the postcard with a picture of the saint or their story, and write a note to a friend on the back. I think we'll keep our finished cards in a basket on the kitchen table where we can see them throughout the fast. On the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, we'll celebrate by collecting all the postcards and sending them to our friends - just like the Apostles were sent out to deliver the Gospel!

I think it will be fun to decorate postcards with a variety of mail-friendly media (markers, glitter, construction paper collage), to learn about some new saints, to involve friends, and to imitate the Apostles in a little way by sending out our messages.

[A little update to show our first handful of cards.
My girls really like cutting shapes out of construction paper!]

If you want to get in on the fun, you can download the Postcard pdf, and the Instructions and Saint Guide pdf.  [With typos fixed!] I really wanted to keep it from being too complicated, just simply print and cut the cards and decorate when you can. Of course, in summer it is hard to stick to a daily activity, so feel free to just make cards on week days or in a Sunday school class, or whenever you have a quiet moment during the fast. Just do whatever is simplest and most helpful for your family. Use the links above, or check out the embedded files below. Blessed fast!

(I used 65# colored paper from walmart, which is heavier than printer paper, 
but lighter than cardstock so it works better in my home printer.) 

Instructions and Saint Guide
(to print or just read on the computer)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Orthodox Liturgy Quiet Books

Ancient Faith is still stocking the Liturgy play mats and the printable pattern, but I also made 7 Quiet Books with some of the same elements for my Etsy shop. They don't have quite as many features as the play mat, but the do include real coins, jingle bells, and sticks dipped in real beeswax for the candles. They are for sale on Etsy.

Now that these are all finished, I'm packing up my sewing machine for awhile to focus on painting! I have a solo exhibit this fall - so many of my paintings have been removed from Etsy to be included in the show along with a whole lot of new work. So, expect to see about 30 new paintings in the shop in November!

Orthodox Liturgy Quiet Books

Ring the bell, drop in pennies in the money box.

"Light" a candle and place flowers by the icons.

Swing the censer, peek in the royal doors... see the Bread and Wine.

Read the Gospel book!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Holy Fire

I've been making this little gif to track the Holy Fire as it spreads across the US. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

A Few More Egg Printables

Just a few more quick printables. I wrote a little poem about red eggs last year, and put in on a few new cards. They're pretty plain, but I think they teach what the red egg-dyeing is all about. I also made a coloring page so kids can decorate 12 eggs, too. Remember you can check out all my printables and pascha cards with these tags. 

Dozen egg coloring page with Red Egg Poem 
Red Egg Poem printable cards

Red Egg Poem printable postcards

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Christ is Risen! (New Egg and T-shirt Designs)

We're starting the 5th week of Lent, and I'm wearily looking forward to Pascha. I made some new printable cards for the kids to give or mail to friends for Pascha (check out all my Pascha cards). I also uploaded these new simps edesigns to Zazzle just for fun. Last year, I ordered myself a t-shirt with one of my red-egg designs, and I think I may get a new one this year. I was having fun playing with the designs and dazzle and made a ton of options. Printables and links below!

Postcard-style Pascha cards: print at 100% on card stock
and cut apart. Write notes on the back

Postcard-style Pascha cards: print at 100% on card stock
and cut apart. Write notes on the back

Greeting card-style Pascha cards: print at 100% on card stock,
cut apart along black line, and fold on gray line. Write notes on the inside.

Greeting card-style Pascha cards: print at 100% on card stock,
cut apart along black line, and fold on gray line. Write notes on the inside.

Greeting card-style Pascha cards: print at 100% on card stock,
cut apart along black line, and fold on gray line. Write notes on the inside.

Greeting card-style Pascha cards: print at 100% on card stock,
cut apart along black line, and fold on gray line. Write notes on the inside.

The designs on Zazzle can be customized and printed on any of their products, so you can put these designs on tee shirts, mugs, totes, stickers, and other stuff. Click customize it!

Lenten Clam Chowder

We listened to some of the Boxcar Children audio books during our summer vacation last year, and everyone was especially drawn to the descriptions of their yummy meals. We were delighted to find a Boxcar Children Cookbook, and tried some of our favorites over the next few months.

The clam chowder is my favorite, and I knew I needed to adapt it for Lent. (Orthodox Christians fast from animal products during Lent, but shellfish is allowed.)

It is a big hit. The instructions say serve immediately, but I have also made ahead and reheated in a crock pot for potluck (and reheated leftovers) with no problem. The original is in the image, but my adaptation is below!

Lenten Clam Chowder

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • optional: 1 celery stick and 1 carrot stick, diced
  • 1 cup peeled/cubed potatoes
  • 2 cups water (or clam juice)
  • 1 6.5 oz can minced clams
  • 2 cups coconut milk (1 can + enough water or clam juice to make 2 cups)
  • 2 TBSPs coconut oil
  • 2 TBSPs flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper


  1. Melt coconut oil in large saucepan over low heat. 
  2. Add onion (and optional celery/carrots), and cook until soft.
  3. Carefully add potatoes and water. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until potatoes are done, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add clams and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk and cook 5 minutes.
  6. Melt coconut oil, and mix with flour, salt, and pepper. Add to chowder. Cook, stirring constantly until the chowder is thick and hot. Serve immediately.