Friday, February 28, 2014

Master of the House?


A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get a girls' day out with my friends C and L (i.e. our amazing husbands watched the kids for us all day! Thank you amazing husbands!).  Of course, we spent our free time going to a seminar... because that's what we do.

It was called "The Art of Living" and it's an ongoing program hosted by a local Opus Dei group.  The title of this particular offering was called "Master of the House" and it focused on beauty and the importance beauty has in our homes.  I could write a whole post on that idea, but the keynote talk was all about the Most Important Room in the Home.  Can you guess what it is?

Most of us guessed the kitchen.
Some said the family room.

It never crossed my mind that the answer is: The Master Bedroom.
I didn't realize my bedroom looked EXACTLY like Jackie Kennedy's!
As I sat there trying to comprehend how I could possibly have committed such a huge oversight, the talk turned to a few key ideas that I want to throw out there for my reader(s) and get some input.

1. Your marriage is the foundation upon which your family is built.  
2. Husband and wife need their own space apart from the children, a place where they can relax... and do other stuff.  
3. While it is important to try to make your whole home communicate "beauty," your first obligation is towards nurturing that marital relationship and therefore you should focus on the bedroom when you begin decorating. 

I take number 1 as a given, though I will venture to say that perhaps there are people out there who would disagree.  I totally agree with number 2, but consequently, how seriously should I weigh number 3? Because right now my master bedroom kind of looks like this:

Yeah, I was totally kidding about the last one. This one, too. Kind of. 
It's not that we're messy people-- actually far from it. We try to be very neat. But when you're on a grad school budget with two kids, something has to give-- and the most logical place to skimp is the place where you never have company. Right?

I also find myself thinking that even though it's nice to have a little "retreat" space set up for us, we don't really spend all that much time awake in our bedroom.  We have a front room in which we relax, do our work and socialize. How important is that other room?

I say these things and then I think: "Really important."

I hate walking into the bedroom and feeling like I'd rather be somewhere else.  As I said-- it's not even that our room is particularly messy or even that it's poorly decorated. Right now it just feels sparse. And cobbled together.  We weren't really thinking about "designing" a room when we lugged in the discount furniture and the cheap blackout curtains a few years ago.  But now I really want to do something about it-- because even if the Master Bedroom doesn't register as The Most Important Room, I can admit that perhaps it actually is.  And even if not, I'm getting stir crazy with this New England winter and I need a project!

So here's where you all come in!
1. What is the "most important" room in your house as it stands now? Ours is the living room because I've spent way more time decorating/re/re/re/redecorating that than I have anywhere else. And that's where we spend most of our time. 
2. How would you start beautifying a sparse and perhaps eclectic room on a budget? (bonus points: do it without paint! Or changing carpeting. Or buying a new wardrobe)  
3. What's your favorite colour palette for a bedroom?  
4. What do *you* think about prioritizing the bedroom when putting together a home? 

I will excitedly await your responses. :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Teaching Liturgical Colors


Let's jump right in! Post #2.

Background info: I am one part of a two-family preschool co-op.  My daughter, S (a total ballerina sparkles girlie-girl) is three and a half and her classmate G is a four-year-old boy. We get together twice a week for handwriting/reading, math, religion, story-time and craft.  More on all of that later.

I was trying to come up with an easy way to teach the kids about liturgical colors when I found this great post up at Catholic Icing. Perfect! Now all I needed was fabric, ribbon, a cross and a base. Oh-- and paint. And glitter glue. And probably hot glue.

But the vestments in all of these pictures looked... sewn.
               WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT?!?!
So of course I grabbed FELT and didn't have to sew anything and here's how they turned out:

The complete set: Green, Red, White, Purple, Rose
Chasubles and stoles
Fancy white: Alpha/Omega, Chi Rho.
Do you see the grapes and wheat?
My color is off here-- it's definitely purple.
Jerusalem Cross. 
ROSE. Not pink. Don't you dare say pink.
Chalice and Host.
Celtic Cross, minus beautiful knotwork.
Glitter glue has its limitations.
Our "priest"
Not bad, if I may say so myself! It was actually rather fun to put them together and I think it probably took me about two hours of active work time to complete the project. The "priest" was made by taking a simple cross ($.79) and super-gluing it to a wooden base ($1.00). Then I painted the whole thing a rich, chocolate brown colour.

As you can see, the chasubles were made simply by cutting rectangles (I rounded my edges, but not necessary!), folding in half and cutting the diamond shape for his "neck" to go through.  Gold ribbon was hot-glued on for some, and the rest of the design was simply done with glitter glue and a relatively steady hand.

And, should you be interested, the lesson was very well-received by both children. We talked about the colors and the different symbols and then they took turns "dressing up" our priest for different days/seasons in the Church Year.  S's favourite were Gaudete/Laetare Sundays.  G liked red... because, you know-- blood.

Then they got to make their own little peg doll priests with vestments! The glitter glue was everywhere...

Next up: teaching about the vestments. Anyone want to sew me an alb??

Blog Launch


Well this is just great.

First I was the Domestic Engineer. Then I was Mother Merry. Now I'm Summa Momma.

Seems I'm having trouble finding a blogging identity and sticking with it. For those of you who followed me through the first two endeavors, I think you'll notice some major changes. Whereas the Domestic Engineer was private and wrote all about the cute, hilarious things her kid(s) said/did, Mother Merry was public and wrote almost exclusively on Important Things like Religion and Parenting.  I think after a few years, I've mellowed on both of those fronts. Neither of those blogs lasted because they were too narrow and let's face it: writing only One Type of Thing gets boring after a while.

Here, what I hope to do is combine the best of both of my previous blogs, adding in some new things along the way.  I want to talk about My Wonderful Family and My Catholic Faith, but I also want to talk about home decorating, crafting, my journey with the Dominican Family and books. So if any of those things sound interesting to you, by all means-- welcome!

Now let's get this blog started.