Monday, April 14, 2014

Pascha Basket Cover design

I've been enjoying this egg design so much, I decided I want to print one as a Pascha basket cover. St. Mary Magdalene is my saint, and so I especially enjoy red eggs. :) I didn't get it done in time for this year, unfortunately, but this is the design I'll be printing. 

There was a typo in the card shared in the  previous post - surprisingly in the English, not one of the other languages! It's been corrected now. Certainly glad to see it before I printed the basket cover!

This is the design on Spoonflower (where I'm printing it). I originally mean to print it on linen-cotton canvas, which is nice for tea towels, but since this will be more decorative I put it on a nice cotton voile instead, to make it more like a large handkerchief. Click on the image below to see it on spoonflower where you can order your own print (or design your own!). I just love spoonflower. I will probably lay it over my basket before I decide how wide to hem it.

I also turned this design into a printable for cards, too, because why not? Below both printables are meant for letter size paper, one can be cut into six postcard style cards, or use the second image to scale down into a normal card, or whatever you like. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

2014 Printable Pascha Cards: Christ is Risen!

I made a new red egg Pascha card this year (see last year's card). It has "Christ is risen! Indeed he is risen!" in 4 languages: Greek, Arabic, English, and Russian. I used those 4 languages because they are the languages represented at our mission - but wouldn't it be fun to make one in many more languages?

I put together a few printable versions of it. I love, love the black and red one, but the white one uses less ink. The first two images are 8.5x11", so you may want to scale them to a half page to make a folded card. I also assembled one 8.5 x11 page with 6 cards - I'll probably print a few of those on card stock, cut them out, and let the kids write on the back. That way we can have lots to give out to friends. If they take a moment to load, its because they are large files. Click on the image, and drag it to your desktop to save (...or however you windows-users do it).

May you have a good remainder of the fast!

UPDATE: EEk! Typo corrected. And find a colorful flowery version here

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Purpose of Fasting

"For us who believe in theosis, asceticism’s very purpose is the retraining of the will, not for the sake of mere self-discipline, but rather because the will has to become receptive to divine grace in order to receive it." - Fr. Andrew

" Bringing our body and our will into greater submission to God strengthens us in the work of repentance. But the fast of Great Lent is far more than changing our eating habits. It includes increasing our time at prayer. The services are longer and we should make every effort to attend – at least more services than we have been attending. Fasting includes what we do with the goods of this world. Denying ourselves the benefit of our own riches, we share them with those who have less. This action conforms our heart to the heart of God and teaches us compassion." - Fr. Stephen 

"Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take pity on him.If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice. Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin. Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful. Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip. Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism. For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers?" - St. John Chrysostom

"None of these actions earns us anything because we are not saved by such works. But neither is the grace at work in us a legal concept. Grace is the very Life of God dwelling in us, changing us from one degree of glory to another. Grace is the 'Lord concealed in the innermost sanctuary of our being, stimulating us to carry out the commandments…' We do not keep the Fast. The Fast keeps us." - Fr. Stephen

Orthodox Lenten Calendar Printable

Printable Lenten calendar using the line drawings from the OCA education website - color in the days with a purple crayon as you go. 

The top image is scaled to fit on Legal paper (8.5x14). The Annunciation icon is included on the bottom so you can cut it out and glue it on the correct date each year. There are also two tiny Lady Sarakosti's on the bottom edge. I cut them out and color them, then paste her to the top right corner of the calendar, with the glue just behind her head so the legs can be cut off each week.

The bottom image is scaled to fit on Letter paper (8.5 x 11) but does not include the Annunciation.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Mother Gavrilia Printable Valentines

I made three versions of these printable valentines. They are quotes from Mother Gavrilia on love. I suppose they aren't quite the kind of valentines 1st graders share with their friends, but I thought they'd be fun to give to friends at church. You can find the simpler valentines I made for kids at my craft blog.

The top version is full color, and the middle one is black and white. The last one has some color, but not quite as much if you don't want to use up all your ink!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Many many mercies

Yet in Your manifold mercies
You did not forsake them in the wilderness.
The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day,
To lead them on the road;
Nor the pillar of fire by night,
To show them light,
And the way they should go.
You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them,
And did not withhold Your manna from their mouth,
And gave them water for their thirst.
Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness;
They lacked nothing;
Their clothes did not wear out
And their feet did not swell. - Nehemiah 9:19-21

I've been struck lately by how many prayers have been answered, and how very present God and His saints and angels are in my life. At the same time I seem to be struggling in the wilderness of my own sin and selfishness.  It seems I am better equipped to battle my own passions when I remember the presence of God, and yet how easily I forget! Why is that?

I would like to share some of my recent experiences that have made me aware of God's presence, and I would also like to make a greater effort to acknowledge his presence in my life every day. So here begins a simple record of the many mercies that accompany me as I journey through the wilderness, simple blessings, gentle nudgings, answered prayers. Today:

  • the remembrance and strength to say my morning prayers
  • joyful giggling over a repaired toy
  • friends who help each other
  • my children who forgive again and again

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

55 maxims: living an integrated faith

Like many others, I've enjoyed returning to Fr. Hopko's 55 maxims from time to time. Fr. Stephen wrote about them recently as way of living an integrated Orthodox life, a survival skill when living as strangers in a strange land.

It prompted to make a new pretty printable. As I finished I noted his comments on the blog, encouraging you not to post them in a prominent place, which might tempt you to keep these as strict list. Glad I didn't make the check list version! I may be hanging these in my office (in a not so prominent place) to return to study them again when needed.

Please feel free to print and share. Its 300 dpi - you may want to check "fit to printable area" when printing.