Celeste Crafts Decorating a Catholic Home Domestic Church Ink Slingers Mary

Immaculate Heart of Mary Tutorial


The excitement over the tutorial for the Sacred Heart painting encouraged me to make one for the Immaculate Heart as well. I’m really excited to be able to share this with you, and encourage you to paint both and display them in a place of honor in your home. I’m sure Our Lord and Blessed Mother are both very pleased to have their precious hearts displayed where they can be acknowledged by our families and friends.

The video will show you exactly how I painted it. (Forgive the imperfections of my video! I’m not a professional!) If you haven’t yet painted the Sacred Heart, the video may be a good starting point, as you start both pieces with the same basic instructions. The most difficult part of painting the Immaculate Heart will be the roses. But as I say in the video, we’re aiming for the impression and not perfection. There are also some great tutorials out there for painting flowers too, if that is something that you think you’d like some more in-depth instruction on.

What follows is a list of the materials. I use what materials I have on hand for most of my art pieces, so don’t feel that you need to go out and buy anything high-end or special to accomplish something pretty.

Materials List

Canvas (whatever size you’d like, I did the larger canvas this time for the video)

Paint brushes, a 3/8 flat tip, #2 round, and a #10 flat

Acrylic paints: Red, Gold, 2 shades of Pink, black, Pink, White, Yellow, Black, Gunmetal, 2 shades of green

water and paper towels

I hope you enjoy the video and process if you choose to paint your own!


Celeste Crafts Domestic Church Ink Slingers

Paint Your Own Sacred Heart

My family has many different religious statues, icons and images in our home but we were lacking one of the Sacred Heart. I’d never specifically gone looking for one, and most of the images we have are a collection that has accumulated over the years simply out of happenstance. Perhaps the Lord has helped to orchestrate it that way? I’m not sure! But I thought that it might be nice to have an image of His Sacred Heart.

What follows are instructions on how to paint your own Sacred Heart that requires little to no artistic ability, and is easy enough for kids as well.


Acrylic paints in the following colors

  • Gold
  • Yellow
  • Red
  • Brown
  • Black
  • (Optional Acrylic Clear Coat Spray)

You also need a canvas. I chose a very small one, but you could use any size you like!

Brushes– One wide brush for the background, a round tipped medium size, and a thin tip for the details.

Start by covering your canvas in a layer of black for the background. Make sure that you cover all the white, and you can use a blow dryer to dry between layers. I highly recommend this so that you can do the painting in a very short time frame!

Next, put a nickel-sized puddle of gold paint in the middle of your canvas and using your round brush draw the paint outwards from the middle in even strokes to imitate light shining from within. Again, let the paint dry or dry it with a dryer.

Now you will add in the base for your heart. Using a dime-sized puddle of red paint, gently use your round-tipped brush to form a heart.
You can add more paint to make it thicker and less transparent so that it has an illusion of floating over the gold. Let it dry once again. Next, using some of your brown and black paint you are going to add in the crown of thorns. This is done using the thin brush and making small curved X’s, layering the brown and black to give the illusion of layers of thorns and shadow. At this point, paint in the wound and add drops of blood. I darkened some of the red paint with some brown to use to paint the blood droplets. Next, we’re going to add in the fire from the top of the heart. This is super simple! Collect a droplet of yellow paint on the tip of your thin brush and set it gently at the top of the heart. Clean your brush, and then collect a smaller droplet of red paint and set it on top of the still-wet yellow droplet. See next picture. Then, using the cleaned brush tip, or a pin or other very thinly-tipped tool, drag the red paint gently through the yellow to form flame shapes being careful not to mix them too much. This gives the impression of multi-colored flames of fire. At this point, you can call your painting done if you are happy with how it looks! If you are a bit artsier, you can darken some more red paint and add in some shading to your heart. Or leave it simply the way it is. If you are up to putting a clear coat on your art piece, I would let it dry at least overnight before spraying it and then give it a good 24 hours before framing it in your choice of frame. For my piece, I chose to use some tin and a hole punch to make a frame in the Mexican folk art style, but you could choose a premade frame in as ornate or simple as style as you like.

I hope you enjoy making your own special art piece, and that it blesses your home!

O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you, and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will. Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you. Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.

Deirdre Homeschool Ink Slingers It Worked For Me Parenting

Traveling Technology-Free with Children

My husband and I have lived far away from our families and friends for almost our entire marriage, so we take a lot of road trips with our young children. I’m not a fan of playing movies for my children and don’t give them electronic toys, so keeping them entertained on long road trips takes a little bit more planning and creativity. Here are some of my tricks and tips for keeping young children entertained on long road trips, without turning to screen time.

One of my best car tricks I learned from a dear friend when we lived in student housing in Austin: set up a store in the car, filled with various types of prizes: stickers, matchbox cars, magic invisible markers, books, special snacks and lollipops, etc. I try to have a variety of car-friendly activities and snacks/special treats in the store. These don’t have to be expensive, I try to find things on clearance or dollar aisles. I also have a set of toy money. My children are paid $1 for each half-hour or 1 hour they behave in the car, depending on their age and the length of the road trip, etc. In addition to normal expected good behavior, behaving in the car includes not asking “are we there yet?”, “how much longer?”, “has it been an hour yet?” or “when can I have my dollar?” I try to start the time on the hour, so it is easier for the children (and me!) to keep track of. Once they have behaved for a full hour, they earn their dollar. They can choose to buy something small from the store, or they can choose to save their dollar so they can buy something bigger from the store once they have earned a few more dollars. Admittedly, this game takes some planning: buying varying prizes for the store, having enough prizes to last the entire trip, and enough desirable prizes that different children will want, coming up with their prices, keeping track of the time and money, etc. But it also teaches them so much: they are learning about time, the clock, money, adding and subtracting, the value of saving your money versus spending it immediately, the varying prices of commodities, and adding and subtracting. I am also reinforcing values of obedience and good-behavior: if a child does not behave, they don’t earn their dollar that hour. I’ve also added in other incentives at times, like when my oldest son was learning to read, he could earn an extra dollar for every book he joyfully read to his younger siblings. This game has worked very well for us on various road trips, especially as the children get older. It’s harder to implement with young children but I will usually just reward a young child with a small prize when the older children are buying their prizes. There are many ways you could adapt this game to work for your family.

Certain crafts can also be great for road trips. We’ve had great success with stringing beads on pipe cleaners, stickers on construction paper, and pre-packaged craft projects from craft stores like foam letters and numbers to write things or make a picture on construction paper, or foam nativity pieces to put on a foam stable at Christmas time. With children as young as mine, I avoid projects that require glue or glitter or anything excessively messy in the car, but stickers and pipe cleaner projects seem to work well.

Coloring is another favorite for my children. I try to get them a new coloring book or small activity book for a car trip. Melted crayons can make a huge mess in the car so I bring colored pencils instead. But my new favorite coloring tool for road trips is magic invisible markers! The ink in the marker is clear, but color appears when the marker touches the special paper sold with the makers. These are fantastic because they don’t leave a mess on your car seats, clothes, or fingers, and the young children love using them and seeing a beautiful picture appear. This is a little bit more expensive of a road trip prize, but I have been able to find a package of 10-20 special pictures that the magic markers work on, and just buy one package and all the kids share it. They really love this road trip treat!

Books can be another great activity on road trips. Older children can obviously read their own books, and I strongly encourage this (as long as they don’t get car sick!) but my children also enjoy being read to. Our home school curriculum usually has a chapter book that we’re supposed to be reading for family read-aloud anyway, so I’ll bring that in the car and read that to the children, which they really enjoy. Another educational option is to bring library books specific to the area you’re going to visit (we brought some great books about the Grand Canyon and the dessert when we took a road trip out west. The children loved having new books to look at and learned a lot in preparation for the sights they were about to see). We tried a book on tape for our children on our most recent road trip, and it was not a huge success, but that’s mostly because our children are still too young. The 6 year old was very into the story, but the younger children were not. It was still great for the 6 year old and I’m sure the other children will enjoy it more as they get older. Favorite picture books for the younger children or a new book older children can earn from the prize bag are always a hit.

Of course classic car games can still be a lot of fun, for children who are old enough: My Mother Packed a Bag and the License Plate Game are essential to any good road trip! Spot It is small and easy for children sitting next to each other to play in the car. The Magna Doodle is another favorite for long car trips. Children of all ages can use it to draw and practice writing, but it can also be used for tick-tack-toe, hang man, Pictionary, and other drawing games.

The car can also be the perfect place for some home schooling lessons, especially group history and geography lessons relating to the areas you’re visiting. My children enjoy school workbooks, so I bring those and encourage them to do a few pages of phonics and math throughout the trip.

Snacks can be a good distraction and special road trip reward. I try to buy special snacks that we don’t usually have, while also bringing snacks that are healthy, aren’t too loaded with sugar, and aren’t too messy.

For younger children, I rotate through several of their favorite toys and books, but this is by far the best road trip toy I have found for my babies and toddlers: the Manhattan Skwish. It is amazing, trust me.
Obviously, pulling off a successful technology-free road trip with several young children takes a bit of extra planning and packing, but I think it’s worth it. My husband might joke about how much extra stuff I bring in the car to entertain and educate the children on our trip, but I’d prefer that to the mind-numbing hum of electronics in the car any day.

What are some of your road trip essentials for children?

Ink Slingers Karen

February: The Month of the Holy Family

Attacked on all sides, the infrastructure and value of the family has crumbled in our society. High divorce rates, lower marriage rates, increased acceptance of gay marriage, and a society based on the wants of the individual rather than the needs of the family, have all contributed to this sad decay.  On top of the morally problematic issues of today, families are also increasingly separated from extended family members, and having to forge their own ways without help or guidance as to a good, genuine way of rearing their children and navigating marriage. Thankfully the Church, in her wisdom while dedicating the months of the year to specific devotions, gave us a month to dedicate to the Holy Family, February.  February: The Holy Family

The Holy Family is the ultimate example of how each family member, acting in holiness and accordance to God’s divine law and plan, can create an environment that glorifies God. Through self-sacrifice and selflessness, the individuals create a beautiful family structure. Looking at each of the members of the Holy Family, you can easily see how this yielded good fruit.

Mary, in her acceptance and welcoming of God’s will for her to become the mother of Christ, gave life to the Christ Child. She fed him, loved him, raised him up to follow the laws of God, and showed him how to function as an individual.

Joseph is the ultimate example of fatherhood. He helped raise Jesus, provided for his family’s needs, and shared his carpentry skills with Jesus.

The child Jesus followed Mary and Joseph’s examples of good behavior and listened to what they instructed him to do until he was an adult and ready to accomplish his mission as Savior.

May we all follow the example of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in their roles within the Holy Family.


Resources for the Month of the Holy Family

To help little ones understand a bit about the Holy Family, Catholic Icing has a few nice craft activities to depict the Holy Family here

Consider joining me and others in praying this prayer to the Holy Family from the Missionaries of the Holy Family

The Holy Family PrayerThe Holy Family Prayer
JESUS, Son of God and Son of Mary, bless our family. Graciously inspire in us the unity, peace, and mutual love that you found in your own family in the little town of Nazareth.

MARY, Mother of Jesus and Our Mother, nourish our family with your faith and your love. Keep us close to your Son, Jesus, in all our sorrows and joys.

JOSEPH, Foster-father to Jesus, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm. Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.

HOLY FAMILY OF NAZARETH, make our family one with you. Help us to be instruments of peace. Grant that love, strengthened by grace, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass. May we always have God at the center of our hearts and homes until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with you. Amen.


For more on the Dedication of the Twelve Months of the Year, click here.

Next month’s dedication: St. Joseph

Crafts Domestic Church Guest Posts Homeschool Liturgical Year Ordinary Time

Celebrating the Feast of the Archangels

Today we feature a guest post by reader Janalin Hood. She is a stay-at-home-momma to three and one on the way! She homeschools her littles and loves learning about our faith with crafts and hands on play/activities.


On the feast of the Archangels, we celebrate St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael. In our home, we have a special place in our hearts for St. Michael (he is who our homeschool is named for) and I wanted to do something special this year to celebrate the feast day with our family! I came up with an idea to involve the children in decorating for the event with some simple coloring and reading of prayers to hang above our dining room table from the chandelier. This is a simple craft that uses supplies that you likely have on hand and takes 20 minutes from start to finish!


  • Printouts of the PDF (3 pages)
  • Coloring supplies (I used colored pencils)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Hole Punch
  • Yarn


picture 11. Print out the coloring pages and prayers for each saint.

2. Color your saints with your children. As you are coloring it is a great time to talk about angels and archangels… here is a little background you may want to read aloud. Be sure and recite each angel’s prayer as well! 

Angels are spirits and are messengers of God. St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael are Archangels which means they also have the most special and protective love for people on earth. And being called Saints they are the most holy of all the angels in heaven. 

St. Michael (Who is like God?) appears in the Bible in Daniel, Jude, and in Revelation where he is depicted in the famous war in heaven against the devil. He is a warrior and we ask him to intercede on our behalf to keep our families strong in our love for Jesus and in the practice of our Catholic faith. 

St. Gabriel (The power of God) is a messenger who is best known for announcing to Mary that she was the chosen mother of Christ. His Bible passages appear in Daniel and the gospel of Luke. We can ask St. Gabriel to help us communicate with others. 

St. Raphael ( Medicine of God) appears in the book of Tobit and is the patron saint of the healing and protection of travelers. Ask St. Raphael for protection during travels or when illness strikes.

picture 2

3. Cut out each oval for a front and a back to your archangel ornament.

picture 3

4. Glue the front and the back together with a glue stick.

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5. Trim any edges showing on both sides.

picture 5

6. Punch a single hole at the top of your ornament while your helpers patiently wait. Tie approx 12-18” of yarn on for hanging.

picture 7

7. Repeat for all three…

picture 8

8. Hang your ornaments and now you are ready for your celebration!

picture 9

Our archangel feast menu plan is as follows

Angel Hair Pasta

Deviled Eggs

Blackberries (Folklore in the British Isles says that this day is the last day that blackberries can be picked and symbolizes when St. Michael kicked Lucifer out of heaven. Lucifer is said to have landed in a prickly blackberry bush and cursed it so it would be unfit for eating….(possibly the reason for the seeds inside?) 

and Devils Food Cake for dessert

We love great resources for building our home library and wanted to share these links of books we hope to add to our own library soon!

A board book for babies about angels

Elementary age reading about the angels that appear in the Bible


A book by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan telling stories about angels visiting people throughout time

(including many Saints!)


I hope you enjoy the Feast of the Archangels!


Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle,

be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil.

May God rebuke him we humbly pray;

and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host,

by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan

and all evil spirits who wander through the world

for the ruin of souls. Amen.