Mary Garden Markers -
Stepping Stones to Mary's Heart.
Used with permission, a preview from "A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families"
by Monica McConkey
MARY GARDEN MARKERS can punctuate a MARY GARDEN offering subtle reminders giving honour to Mary.
They can be positioned within the arrangement of flowers or used as stepping stones along a path when enjoying and maintaining the garden.
Formwork for the concrete pieces can be easily and simply created out of pizza boxes or round collapsible cake tins.
An octagonal shape can be made within a pizza box by adding additional pieces of cardboard set diagonally across all four corners.
Once you've chosen a form for your MARY GARDEN MARKER set a plastic garbage bag over the formwork, taping it in place. Then lay some bent wire hangers within the form, bending them and flattening them if required so that they do not extend beyond the expected 2 inches height of the MARY GARDEN MARKER.
Experiment with other containers. For other, more complex shapes usable molds are also available at most craft stores.
Mix some concrete or mortar mix according to the directions on the bag, in a large bucket or garbage can.
For one MARY GARDEN MARKER, scoop approximately 2 times the volume of the mold in concrete mix powder. Add small amounts of water as needed and mix thoroughly with a small shovel, until no dry powder remains. The mix should be pliable, but not 'soupy'.
Scoop out or pour the mixture into the formwork.
Stir the mixture within the form and gently shake the filled mold from side to side, on the ground. This will allow any air pockets to be filled.
Smooth out the top surface with a trowel, wooden spoon or toy shovel.
Mosaic designs can be created by placing pebbles, shells, buttons, marbles, coloured glass pieces, glass pebbles, bottle caps, jar lids or other small found objects into the top concrete surface. Any sharp edges should be carefully positioned into the concrete so that only smooth surfaces remain.
Special designs can be created on the top of the MARY GARDEN MARKER, by drawing into the concrete with a stick, or pressing down handprints or footprints.
Allow the decorated stepping stone to dry.
NOTE: Keep a cookie tin or other close-able box for pieces of broken dishes and glass: particularly those pieces holding sentimental value. The pieces can be used for mosaic materials in projects such as these. But be careful of sharp and jagged edges! Keep out of reach of children!
Hose down the bucket (or garbage can), and trowel or shovel, before the concrete begins to harden.
After 24 hours, remove the dry concrete MARY GARDEN MARKER from the form, peeling away the plastic garbage bag.
Sand any rough edges, and place strategically within the MARY GARDEN.
If you have an idea to add to these activities or a comment to clarify these instructions, please respond here. You could be eligible for an EMI (Experienced Mom Idea) Award and could have your idea and/or name published in the upcoming book. Please be sure to respond with your name, city, state/province and country.
For more information about "A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families" click on the treasure chest.