Telos Art & Design

Jesse Tree

catholic gifts, christmastelos design, llc

One of the traditions my family practiced a few years back was the Jesse Tree. Following Old Testament stories, it is an interactive reminder of the history leading up to Jesus' birth. The blog, "Why Christmas?" tells us that "the first Jesse trees were large carvings, tapestries or even stained glass windows put in Churches that helped illiterate people (people who can't read or write) to learn about the Bible from creation to the Christmas Story. But now Jesse Trees are used as a kind of Advent Calendar." 

As our family has grown, this tradition has been a bit lost in the shuffle to prepare for the holidays. But last year I came across a unique set of ornaments made by Sara Estabrooks of the blog To Jesus, Sincerely. Sara is not only a talented writer with a genuine heart for the Lord, but she is also a very talented artist! She used her skills over several years to hand craft her family's Jesse Tree ornaments using pieces of paper to create beautiful mosaics. These ornaments are available to purchase in her Etsy shop. Each set includes 25 cardstock ornaments and a 6×9 booklet with scriptures, reflections, and prayers for each day.

You can read more about her creations on her blog:

Then hop on over to her Etsy shop here:

NOVEMBER: All Saints' Day

liturgical living, saintstelos design, llc

Up until this year, our family has not been proactive in learning about new saints. This year, in preparation for All Saints, we are encouraging our kids to research a saint, their story, feast day, prayers, etc. Then they will share about their saint with the family. In addition, we will be choosing a patron saint for the family at the beginning of the liturgical year. Slowly we are building an arsenal of saints to intercede for us!

write it down and plan ahead

For the individual saints, we will print out a family litany of our new saint friends. You can access a free digital download here: Family Litany of Saints worksheet.

After you have selected and researched the various saints, you might want to consider scheduling novenas with your "new friends" in advance. The website Pray More Novenas has an extensive list of upcoming novenas that you could add to your liturgical calendar. 


virtue, saints, liturgical livingtelos design, llc

October features both saints and angels who model virtuous love and charity. St. Thérèse of Lisieux (October 1) described her life as the "little way of spiritual childhood." Even though she is also known as The Little Flower with childlike faith, she knew that what mattered most "is not great deeds, but great love." A strong stubborness and big love fueled her unwavering devotion to God.

On October 2 we recognized our Guardian Angels. Each person on earth has a guardian angel who watches over him and helps him to attain his salvation (JGM, Matthew 18:10). St. Bernard encourages us to "be alert in your every action as one should be who is accompanied by angels in all your ways." And to "love God's angels with a most affectionate love; for they will be our heavenly co-heirs some day."

CRAFT: Inspired by the childlike faith of St. Thérèse, add to your peg doll nativity set by painting baby Jesus and build his manger. Emmaus Road Pegs offers monthly DIY sets to match our curriculum!


saintstelos design, llc

God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore, I will trust Him. Whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.


Letter to Young (all) Artists

arttelos design, llc

Pope St. John Paul II had such a big heart for artists. If you haven't read his letter to young artists I recommend you do so! 

True art has a close affinity with the world of faith, so that, even in situations where culture and the Church are far apart, art remains a kind of bridge to religious experience...Even when they explore the darkest depths of the soul or the most unsettling aspects of evil, artists give voice in a way to the universal desire to redemption.


My quest to design beautiful liturgical calendars was born out of the desire to promote contemporary Catholic/Christian artists. So many people wonder why religious art is so lacking these days. 

The root word of "patron" means "father". Without people fostering the arts, we cannot expect them to grow or even exist in the first place.

Recently I read an article about this lack of good, faithful art and the writer wrote something so convicting: There is a lack of good art, because there is a lack of patrons.

Back in the day, art was used to evangelize and reach those who did not have access to the scriptures or who were illiterate. It was a teaching tool. An opportunity to preserve historical events. And it was obvious to the patrons that beauty could reach the heart, soul, and mind of the viewer. In our current fast-paced, consumerist, throw-away culture, we no longer consider investing in these special heirlooms. We no longer value investing in beauty. And the generations to follow us will suffer the consequences. 

So, how can we turn the tide? Consider a few of these suggestions!

  1. Art as a means to build community: You can organize an art walk with your friends at your local galleries, museums, or parishes. 
  2. Invest in a love of art with your kids: Enroll your children in art classes during the summer or during school breaks. Talk to them about the art they see in church. 
  3. Surround yourself with beauty: Find artists you love and invest in their work for your home.
  4. Art as a means for evangelization: Original artwork on the walls is a amazing conversation starter, and a great way to evangelize to your friends. 
  5. Check out some of these faithful artists (and don't forget to share with your kids, too!): James Langley, Kristen Brown (The Saint Project), Juliette Aristides, Bernadette Carstensen, Solis Camerata, etc, etc...

Catholic Art Guild is another avenue to learn about and support Catholic artists. 

Man can live without science, he can live without bread, but without beauty he could no longer live, because there would no longer be anything to do to the world. The whole secret is here, the whole of history is here.


A Blessing

liturgical living, virtuetelos design, llc

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. 

NUM 6:24-26

"This blessing was entrusted by God, through Moses, to Aaron and his sons, that is, to the priests of the people of Israel. It is a triple blessing filled with light, radiating from the repetition of the name of God, the Lord, and from the image of his face. In fact, in order to be blessed, we have to stand in God’s presence, take his Name upon us and REMAIN in the cone of light that issues from his Face, in a space lit up by his gaze, diffusing grace and peace." -- Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI


Announcing Our Featured Artist!

virtuetelos design, llc

2018-2019 Liturgical Calendar - Year of Faith Featured Artist

 2018-2019 Year of Virtue Calendar, 12x18" wire-bound, full color liturgical calendar.

2018-2019 Year of Virtue Calendar, 12x18" wire-bound, full color liturgical calendar.

It is an honor to be collaborating with Tricia Dugat of Providential Co. on the 2018-2019 Year of Virtue Liturgical Calendar! Tricia's work is a great fit for this family-inspired resource because of her playful use of color and her approachable illustrations. My kids are already drawn to the final proofs they have seen me working on; I can't wait to get the final calendar up on the wall for them to experience throughout the year. 

If you have not heard of Providential Co., read on and then go check it out! If you are familiar with her work, you will recognize a few of the images and be delighted to find a few newer images!

From the moment I met Tricia, I felt like I had known her for a long time! We met in person at Edel 2017, but had been online friends for a few months prior to the event. I appreciate that Tricia and I are both adult converts to Catholicism who desire to use our interests in graphic design to spread the Good News and the beauty of our faith. Tricia's attention to detail, her eye for color, and her craftsmanship combine for a unique spin on traditional iconography. She utilities simple symbols, intentional shapes, and a fresh palette to emphasize the story within each image. 

With the new design of our monthly liturgical wall calendar, we decided to simplify by focusing on one Catholic artist this year. In addition the artwork, we have also added spaced for your own daily notes, a focused verse, a monthly prayer, a focused virtue and corresponding craft idea each month. 

Our mission to design modern calendars for a timeless faith pairs well with Tricia's mission to serve you and God's truth with distinctive design and materials.


Be sure to follow Tricia on Instagram @providential_co and visit her shop,

In addition to Emmaus Road Pegs and Providential Co, we have a few other fun partners to share with you in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!!



liturgical living, virtuetelos design, llc

Many religious education and Catholic school teachers utilize our calendars in their classrooms. Recently we've had requests for the schedule of our upcoming Year of Virtue calendar so that the classrooms might organize accordingly. Below is our tentative plan. We will try to roll out our craft ideas near the beginning of each month so there is time to plan ahead; alternatively, all the crafts suggestions will be listed in the 2018-2019 Year of Virtue Liturgical Calendar!

Catholic Liturgical Calendar - Year of Virtue

08 -  FAITH (Mary & Joseph)
09  - HOPE (Guardian Angels)
10 -  LOVE (Baby Jesus / St. Therese of Lisieux)
11 -   ALL SAINTS 
12 -  CHRISTMAS / Immaculate Conception
01 -  PRUDENCE (Magi)
02 -  JUSTICE / Candlemas (Candle Blessing)
03 -  FORTITUDE / Lent
04 -  EASTER / Annunciation (Eggs)
05 -  TEMPERANCE (Fatima / Rosary)
06 -  PENTECOST (Sacred Heart of Jesus)
07 -  COURAGE (St. Maximillian Kolbe / Bl. Solanus Casey)


virtue, saintstelos design, llc
Year of Faith Liturgical Calendar

"A model of faith and virtue..."

Our first month's activity are to paint pegs dolls of Mary, Joseph, and a donkey. We chose to begin with Mary and Joseph because...well, who else represents the virtue of faith better than these two? It's also been said that donkeys are loyal, faithful animals...  As an added bonus, we celebrate the Assumption of Mary into heaven on August 15

Pope Francis gave a beautiful homily on the the Assumption of Mary in 2017, in which he said, 'Mary “is the model of faith and virtue,” and in contemplating her assumption into heaven, we give her thanks “because she always precedes us on the pilgrimage of life and of faith.” Mary trusted God's word in her life because of her strong faith foundation, which gave way to the virtues of humility and courage.' (Read a full article about his homily at National Catholic Register, here.)

Humility is like a void that leaves room for God.


TIP: If you're looking for an adult resource for pursuing the virtues, you should check out Sara Estabrook at To Jesus, Sincerely. Sara has developed a great curriculum and group challenge on Facebook to keep the momentum going each month. As you learn and grow in virtue, your life will be an example to those around you. 

St. Joseph is a man of great spirit. He is great in faith, not because he speaks his own words, but above all because he listens to the words of the Living God. He listens in silence. And his heart ceaselessly perseveres in the readiness to accept the Truth contained in the word of the Living God.


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "By faith man freely commits his entire self to God. For this reason the believer seeks to know and do God's will." (1814). St. Joseph's life clearly reflects this commitment to God and a man of faith. 

ACTIVITY: For your peg dolls, paint Mary, Joseph, and the donkey. Set them out to remind you of their great examples of faith. 

DIY Peg Dolls Kits

Emmaus Road Pegs DIY kits correspond with the monthly activities suggested in the 2018-2019 liturgical calendar. 

The 2018-2019 Year of Virtue calendar will be announced later this month! A limited number of pre-sale calendars will be available. If you would like to be notified of the pre-sale, you can sign up for our monthly newsletter here.


Year of Virtue - An Introduction

virtue, saintstelos design, llc
Year of Faith Liturgical Calendar

My prayer is that this year will be one of genuine transformation for our family, your families, and individuals. I think most of us could benefit from building awareness and application of the virtues. A Phoenix friend of mine and I are developing a casual, monthly curriculum for our kids. It is out of this new curriculum, the ideas for the calendar have grown. Through studying the lives of the saints, following the liturgical calendar at home, making hands-on crafts, and lots of prayer we will begin our pursuit of virtue.

A big thank you for those who completed the liturgical calendar questionnaire (congratulations to our calendar winner!). We've taken all of your feedback into consideration. This year the Sacred Art Calendar has a new, improved look. We've simplified the design by working with one outstanding artist (to be announced soon!). It's larger, at 12x18", to allow for relevant monthly information about the lives of the saints, liturgical activities, craft ideas, prayers, and space to write your own notes!

Y e a r   o f   V i r t u e

We are excited to introduce our new blog series in conjunction with the upcoming Year of Faith calendar! Rather than wait until the start of the liturgical year, we will begin our online activities in August to follow the academic calendar. Our hope is that through these simple crafts, suggested activities, and powerful prayers, your family will grow in virtue together.

Over the next 6 months we will be painting 2-3 different pegs per month which will each represent a virtue or liturgical season for that particular month. These hands-on activities can be great fodder for conversation (kids ask great questions!) as we examine the lives of the people we hold and paint. We can see the virtues lived out through their actions. 

Emmaus Road peg doll subscription

DIY Peg Dolls Kits

Emmaus Road Pegs DIY kits correspond with the monthly activities suggested in the 2018-2019 liturgical calendar. 

We are also pleased to announce that Kristina from Emmaus Road Pegs has developed special DIY peg doll kits to correspond with the 2018-2019 Year of Virtue calendar. Each set includes 2-3 blank pegs, paint, brushes, sealer, and instructions. Kits will be available to purchase individually or as a monthly subscription. (TIP: By the end of the year you will have the cutest hand-painted nativity scene around!)

When you purchase the liturgical calendar, you will receive a discount code to use at Emmaus Road Pegs! Additional details will be outlined when we launch the Year of Virtue calendar. 


The 2018-2019 Year of Virtue calendar will be announced in August! A limited number of pre-sale calendars will be available. If you would like to be notified of the pre-sale, you can sign up for our monthly newsletter here.