Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Undying Love - Day Seven of Twelve Days of Mary

This was my very first shrine that I ever made.  I made it in honour of Mother Mary and all the mothers in my love.  As my offering for the Seventh day of Twelve days of Mary I share this with you here.


I bought this vintage statue of Mary on Etsy and when I took her in my hand, 
an image and feeling arose, which I then did my best to re-create in this shrine. 
The image was that of the Divine Mother, weaving us through the aeons
 and us weaving life in return. It was a dance of giving and receiving; 
receiving and giving; all held together by love, 
whilst honouring the suffering of this world at the same time.

So I dedicated this shrine to Divine Mother, the Weaver of All.

I understand the intent of life to be loving purpose. 
This we are shown through the lives of the holy ones, the saints, 
and especially through the life story of Jesus and that of Mary. 
The intent of life is to manifest Love through our choices and decisions. 
As we live in a world of cycles, change and death, 
we often become burdened by the thoughts that joy, 
ecstasy and love is only fleeting. But by saying 'yes' to 
the givens in life, to the gifts and blessings of life, 
we can let go of our attachment to making it last 
and allow the inevitable change to transform us. 
As we weave our daily lives with the thread of Grace, 
we become part of the tapestry of the Mystery : that which 
shines with Love beyond reason, beyond logic and beyond mind.

In this shrine she stands on a piece of woven cloth and she holds threads,
 combined with gold and teardrop crystals, between her two hands - 
a garland of the web of life. To her left is a porcelain wing and 
behind her is a crown embellished with real freshwater pearls.
 In honouring Her as weaver, we are also honouring all those 
who weave and sew the stories. For them I have added a 
miniature set of knitting needles and some knitting, 
a tiny ball of wool, a sewn babe's cap; miniature skeins 
of tapestry wool, a dressing maker's mannequin, 
tape measures (one vintage made of cloth), 
and a tiny sewing machine. On the right is a 
bucket with copper wire and roses twisted around : 
reminiscent of the Passion of the Christ.
 In the bucket is a tiny tag that says 'Faith'.

On the left hand side, behind the tapestry wool, 
is a tiny safety pin, beaded with beads in the traditional African way. 
The shrine is decorated with pieces of vintage doily, trim and teardrop crystal beads.

As I worked on this shrine, I was filled with memories 
of my grandmothers; women who passed all their 
wisdom and creativity on to me. As I sat with my 
maternal grandmother and watched her sew, 
she told me about her life of suffering and the
 courage it took to re-create a life for herself. 
My paternal grandmother told me her story 
whilst knitting booties for the next grandchild. 
Both their lives spanned the war and my paternal 
grandfather died on the battlefield. In their memory
 and in holding their suffering, I collaged the frame 
with postcards and letters and ticket stubs from the war, 
as well as from some of my grandmother's sewing patterns.

Grace is Undying Love.

Rebecca of Recuerda mi Corazon is hosting Twelve Days of Mary. 
 Please click on the button below and join us.

Twelve Days of Mary


  1. I recognized the sewing theme right away, but I needed your words to spark in my head the idea that Mary "weaves" us together. That is such a beautiful vision. I am reminded of my mother. She passed at age 90, and she stopped sewing years before that. But I remember her sewing, mending, creating things for every member of the family. No button would go unattached, no seam or tear without being bound together again, all to make us comfortable and walk with deignity in this world. It's all right here in this post. Hours and hours of memories and truths. very nice indeed.

    Much Peace

  2. dear one,
    there is love and devotion in ever stitch of your mary shrine! i am completely struck with the pearl stitched crown. did you make that? so touching each element you have carefully chosen. being one to collect the strands of life and weave sacred in the ordinary...i am grateful to take in your first shrine!

  3. Every little detail is full of intention and meaning. It is divine, Hettienne♥♥♥

  4. She is the weaver we are the web. Beautiful shrine.

  5. Wow! Wonderful shrine so creative ~ and your messages through creating this shrine are so endearing and blessings to us all ~ the Web of life woven by Mary and us all ~~ thanks, namaste, Carol (A Creative Harbor) Happy AVAD ^_^

  6. This is absolutely beautiful and so full of creativity. I have been doing all 16 Christmas gifts for years by hand. Many things I felt that someone might think they were not good enough for Christmas gifts. How wrong I was. One day all those things will mean more to them than they do even today. This my friend is true art. Thank you so very much for reminding me of power of weaving and giving through the generations.

  7. Made with so much love - it is beautiful. Thank you.

  8. This is a beautiful shire. The images of Our Lady weaving love is wonderful.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

  9. Now THESE are the stories I love to hear and all the thoughts and care that went into this glorious piece!
    A treasure!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. And to think this was your first shrine. It seems like you had been making them a lifetime. Thanks so much for explaining the significance of all the objects, too. It makes me appreciate this beautiful piece even more.

  11. The intent of life is to manifest love through our choices and decisions, to let go of attachment and to weave our daily lives with the thread of grace. I will remember these words, Hettienne. Your shrine is filled with elements carefully chosen and designed as an offering of love, and a prayer. I like to think of Mary as a weaver. Weavers are patient, they spend time pulling all of the disparate threads of life together in one place and make them beautiful.
    Peace and Light,

  12. Your shrine is totally awesome! The fact that it honors both your grandmothers with its intent and contents is so very meaningful. It exudes love!
    So glad to hear that you'll be joining us in San Miguel for's my most favorite time there!

  13. I am so impressed with everyone's beautiful shrines, especially yours!! A wonderful collection of elements. Thank you for posting!!

  14. All of your shrines are so charming and intricate, Hettienne. You should charge much more for them on Etsy!! They are worth it.


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