Sunday, June 12, 2016

With LOVE... for the summer

I will be away...

catching my breath

healing my heart,

mind, body & spirit
taking gratitude notes

finding refreshments 

love & happiness

time with family & friends

reconnecting & recharging the batteries

looking for the bright side
soaking up some summer sun

gathering glitter

lovelies to share
contemplating new roads ahead

and love lessons...

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. Mother Teresa
Read more at:

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. Mother Teresa
Read more at:

Wishing you all a LOVE-ly SUMMER! ... or winter, if that's your next season! ;)

Monday, May 16, 2016

May: the month of Mary

During Lent I worked on reconstructing this Rosary of olive wood beads which belongs to my Daddy. It was in pieces and fallen apart, and which I shared about here, along with the happiness of putting it back together again. I had a few requests for a photo of the completed Rosary. I thought now, the month of May, was a great chance to show this Rosary, as the month of May in the Roman Catholic faith is dedicated to Mary--Our Lady, The Blessed Virgin--Mother of God. (Last summer I offered this photo/link post with image of my favorite pink crystal Rosary. Yes, I have more than one Rosary! ;) To learn more about The Holy Rosary, stop by this lovely site.

During this Marian month, prayer, the praying of the Rosary, and veneration of Mary happens in churches and in the homes of the faithful. I've been delighting in some extra time at church praying the Rosary together with others. Very much I credit The Blessed Virgin Mary for her intercession and prayers in bringing me back to the Catholic Church, the faith of my childhood!

For some extra Marian celebration, I made these (pictured above), what I call homemade prayer cards. I use them as bookmarks in my Bible. The Marian art is clip art  modeled on vintage prayer cards, which I found online.

To honor Mary... here are the words to one of the four beautiful Marian antiphons we sing at church. This one, Salve Regina (in Latin first, followed by English translation), we sing now after Pentecost and through the months to come, until just before Christmas

Salve, Regina
Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae;
vita, dulcedo et spes nostra, salve.
Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae.
Ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes
in hac lacrimarum valle.
Eia ergo, advocata nostra,
illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.
Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui,
nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.
O clemens, o pia, o dulcis Virgo Maria.

Hail, holy Queen
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. 
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ!

May is such a wonderful month--for so many reasons! Do you have anything special happening this month?! 

P.S. Also in the making lately I have a new crochet project just started on the hook--a bag for summer! Details on my Summer Stripe Bag on my Ravelry page--link in sidebar... 

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Heart's Desire

"The Heart's Desire"
mixed media on canvas
by Tracy Bakkelokken

"May He grant you your heart's desire,
and fulfill all your plans." 
Psalm 20:4

A little more of my recent paint play--this time on canvas... an extension of the Bible art journalling shared last time.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Simple Gifts... bible art journalling

Last year after discovering the beautiful and inspirational Bible art of Illustrated Faith, Rebekah R. Jones and Valerie Sjodin of Visual Blessings, I was completely dazzled and motivated to try it! It's been about a year since I've been creating art in a Bible of my own. Every now and again I share a peek of a page or spread, but this has come to be something I do weekly, and has become very much a part of my days.

These are some recent pages created in my Bible. I've been praying with and working with the Psalms for a few months now. My art play is simple, and I like it that way. I appreciate the wide margin of the single-column pages of this Bible I'm using. And I don't paint or cover up too much of the text, as I want to be able to read/see as much of it as possible.

Um... yes, aqua blue... again... There seems to be a LOT of aqua blue in my Bible art too, as you've seen in my other creative endeavors... What can I say? Along with pink, it's my color.  ;)

Each page begins with a coat of clear gesso, which seals the page--so paint, ink or other does not bleed through. I often then just apply a quick color wash with thinned acrylic paint. I don't have a lot of supplies, actually. What I use is mostly acrylic paints, watercolor pencils, inks, stencils for letting, artist pens with variety of tips for different effects. For texture, embellishments & marking it's fun try different things--wine bottle corks, foam/brush stencilers, cookie/biscuit cutters, old tooth brushes for splattering paint, the eraser end of a pencil makes great dots. Pretty rubber stamps and stickers add more color and pattern. Oh, and wet wipes must be close to hand for blending techniques, wiping away a "mistake", or just cleaning up a mess! I learned early on, unfortunately, that the pages of my particular Bible for creating art are too thin to support a lot of mixed media--so paint + collage has been a no go. Bibles can be expensive. So this is the one I have to create in, and trying to make the most of it. Every week I'm learning what works, and what doesn't. It always feels fresh and fun!

This form of creativity is the most meaningful for me  above any other I do these days, as I see it as extended prayer time. Time to be with God in a happy, playful way... I think He likes that! ;)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Leaves and Lace

Gentle afternoon light... but maybe not the best photos... I apologize for not having a decent photo of myself wearing this creation I've sewn recently. This tunic top was meant to be a new little lovely to wear to Mass for Easter, but it was too cold to wear this--even with a long-sleeved top under it. But happy to say I've worn it a few times now... still with a top underneath. And this tunic top needs a top worn underneath no matter the season! For in truth, this top does not fit me perfectly, and is a bit too big around the neckline and sleeves--so a top underneath helps. This tunic really ended up being a somewhat-wearable muslin.

This tunic is largely based on the popular Dottie Angel Frock/Dress pattern created by Tif Fussell--crafter/textile designer of Dottie Angel fame (A great podcast of Tif can be found at Woolful--a podcast/blog for fiberfolk.) 

Anyway... much as I fell in love with the sort of retro style of the Dottie Angel Frock, and itched to buy the pattern, once I had the pattern to work with, I found the pattern VERY confusing at times. Some of the construction steps and techniques just seemed strange to me. Quickly I realized that the dress option was NOT going to look good on me, and even the tunic option in the pattern was not working out well. So I did some improvising. I like the tucks on the bodice! But I don't like the ties. The "skirt" of the tunic is a bit much, and tied in the back it feels like there's too much of a swath of fabric going around me. I didn't like the bias tape method in which a lot of the seams where handled, so I changed that. I also created a facing for the neckline, which worked better for me. The "sleeves"  don't seem like sleeves to me, and really don't offer much coverage of the upper arm. With this tunic I really need to have a top under it! I want to reshape the sleeves and try this tunic again. There is potential here! I have other ideas to tweak this top too--hopefully--fit and suit me better. What I LOVE are the French seams along the sides of the tunic--love French seaming! To make this tunic took about 2 yards/meters of fabric. I can't find a link to this fabric. It is an old Moda print cotton from some years back that's been in my stash a while.

The very neutral color/print of the top almost disappears into the wallpaper--ha! Here's a close up of the delicate floral/leaf-like print in beige tones and white... and a little froth of lace for hem trim.

P.S. Next on the "chopping block" is this a piece of natural linen which I'll be using to make some new bread bags for the kitchen.