“Untitled,” A Celebration of Past, Present, and Future

As I’m about to start a new school year, I want to share something that I have made in the past year that I did not get around to sharing. This piece is near and dear to my heart because it is a personal piece of who I am.

I made this piece around a year ago, but never got around to sharing it. This piece was inspired by a traditional Native American Headdress – the war bonnet. Not all tribes used/use headdresses, or at least the stereotypical headdress. There are many different kinds of headdresses and many different tribes, and they all have their own traditions and visual culture. Traditional Native American/First Nations cultures are not valued or recognized in modern mainstream North American culture. These cultures are being forgotten. The random patterns that are being culturally appropriated do not count as celebrating the culture. This is what inspired me to do this piece. I aim to celebrate traditional Native American/First Nations cultures. One, to celebrate. Two, to remember. Three, to bring awareness, to remind people that Native culture is still beautiful and valuable. This is not just something that is only talked about in history books. Newsflash! There are still many Native Americans today that value traditional culture. We are not extinct, and we are not just in the past, we are living today. 

Headdresses are sacred and can only be earned. To avoid violating the social rules of wearing a war bonnet, I used the same shape and made a piece that lays over the shoulders instead of placed on the head. I also used fabric strips instead of eagle feathers. I have not earned the right to wear those materials. However, I did make a piece inspired by the war bonnet.

Untitled, Mixed Media – Leather, Fabric, and Beads, 2016
Untitled, Mixed Media – Leather, Fabric, and Beads, 2016
This piece is comprised of 87 fabric strips, leather, and 2,970 beads. It look me about a month to make. The design used in the beading is a common pattern that multiple tribes adopted, and it is also used by the Cree. Most Cree patterns are floral beadwork, but they also use a few geometric patterns such as the one I used for this piece. The colors chosen are the colors of the Peguis First Nation community that my family is from. This piece means a lot to me, and was a very personal project to work on. I hope y’all appreciate it as much as I do, and I hope it gives you a reason so celebrate today ❤️

 First Nations Piece 2

God has filled the earth with so many different cultures and people, and seeing the beauty in this shows His very character. God is a creator. THE creator. And He created us in His image to also be creators of culture and the world around us.

 Until Next Time,

Victoria Grace <3

Zariah // Portraits

I know, I haven’t posted for a while, and I am sorry. School and life and all that those entail have been CrAzY these past couple of months. I had the opportunity to spend my Easter Break with one of my dear friends Zariah. I also had the opportunity to photograph this beautiful soul. If anyone has the privilege to be friends with Zariah, or friends with someone half the person she is, they are one lucky duck. Friends that are loyal, can encourage you at any split moment and have a love for God that is contagious are hard to find.

One of Zariah’s favorite Quotes: “But still, like dust, I’ll rise” – Maya Angelou

One of Zariah’s favorite scriptures is 2 Corinthians 12:9 “And He said to me, “’My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” She says that this verse makes her realize that where she is weak God is stronger and will help her!

 

Possibly future model or something… idk…. Also the name “Zariah” means “Shining Flower.”

Annnnnnd, of course I had to put some of us in here.

This human is super precious to me.

Thanks for checking out this post!

Until next time!

Victoria Grace <3

“Health(ier) dairy-free Sundae” 

I know I know, it’s the middle of winter. But I was really craving a big bowl of cold ice cream. Instead of going for the Byers we had in our freezer, I made an alternative!

  
(I apologize for the low quality photo. I took this picture on my phone.)
What you need 

  • 1 cup of frozen fruit
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips 
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut 

Super easy, all you have to do is blend the frozen fruit and honey together until it is paste-like. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle the chocolate chips and shredded coconut on top, and voilà! A yummy little snack to fulfill your ice cream cravings. 
Enjoy your sundae and your Sunday 😉

(^yeah yeah I know it’s cheesy, but I’m cheesy – so what can I say?) 

Until Next Time,

Victoria Grace ❤️

Reflection // Experimenting with Shibori

Hello there 🙂

As I’ve been home I have been reflecting on this past semester. I’ve thought about things I’ve learned, memories I’ve made, things I’ve loved, things I did not like, etc. One of my favorite things from this past semester was my Art course “Adornment.” It is a little hard to describe this course, so I will just share the official course description:

“An introductory course in the study of art objects and artworks located on the human body.  This course will explore the history, meaning, and creation of worn objects.  Students will learn how to think of the body as site and as an armature: a place of decoration, a site for transformation, and a tool for human occupation and life.  Students will explore these histories and meanings through the creation of unique and conceptual works in the traditional media of adornment: jewelry, body coverings, applied pigmentation…. Students will work in a variety of traditional and non-traditional media and learn historical and contemporary processes in object making and, art-making. Interpretation of these works within a Christian worldview and a theological understanding of the body will be discussed and applied in the creation of student works.” (Taken straight from Covenant.edu)

I previously shared about a Kimono that I made in this class in my blog post ” ‘Covered’: A Brief Explanation.” I will also post sometime in the near future about another piece I made that was inspired by my native american heritage.

For now, though, I am going to share the scarves that I made using different Shibori dyeing techniques. Shibori is a Japanese dyeing technique that is done by using a variety of methods to resist fabric; such as folding, twisting, etc., to create a design. I used four different techniques: Folding, Ice Dyeing, Wrapping, and Stitching.

Shibori Scarves

For the first one I used a folding technique. If you are interested in making one like this check out a tutorial like this one.

Folding Technique
Folding Technique

I chose to ice dye the second scarf. This is my personal favorite. It is unpredictable and turns out so beautifully. The final piece will always be a pleasant surprise when you ice dye. I followed this tutorial, and it worked very well for me.

Ice Dyeing Technique
Ice Dyeing Technique – My personal favorite.

For my third scarf I did a pole wrapping technique. This blog helped me figure out how to do this method.

Wrapping Technique
Wrapping Technique

For my last scarf I chose to do a stitching technique. This was probably the most time consuming one for me, but I love the way it turned out. If you are interested in doing a stitch resist, check out this blog.

 

Stitching Technique
Stitching Technique

Shibori Scarves - Vibrant Color

I dearly loved experimenting with these techniques. I am far from perfecting them, but I am going to continue to dye some more items and play around with some different Shibori methods.

Comment and share if you try any of these out! I would love to hear how you did yours and how it turned out!

 

Stay Creative!

Until Next Time,

Victoria Grace

Brownie Turtle Cheesecake // Holiday Dessert

Merry Christmas, Y’all!

Christmas day is not complete without some yummy Christmas dessert 🙂

My brother and sister-in-law came over for our big Christmas meal today and I asked my brother if he could have any dessert in the whole wide world, what would he want? He said “Turtle Cheesecake.” So I went and did some research on Pinterest and found a somewhat easy turtle cheesecake recipe. I ended up on Sprinkle Some Sugar blog and found this no-bake caramel turtle cheesecake recipe with a brownie crust. Yum!

The only thing I did different from the recipe is I used a gluten-free brownie mix instead of the Ghirardelli or homemade brownies suggested for the recipe. It turned out great!

I would recommend this recipe! Very yummy and not super hard! 🙂

Chocolate-Caramel Lovers Dream
Chocolate-Caramel Lovers Dream

Brownie Turtle Cheesecake

No-Bake Turtle Cheese Cake // Holiday Dessert

 

Blessings to you!

Until Next Time,

Victoria

Abandoned Warehouses // Anna + Tori

I hope everyone is doing well in this crazy holiday season!

Recently I have been struck with how much God loves and deeply cares for His children. I am blessed in so many ways and am usually too naive to see it until after the fact. In the gospel of Matthew, chapter 7 talks about how earthly parents know how to love and give good gifts to their children, but these are in comparison nothing to the kind of love and care and gifts that God showers on his beloved children (Matthew 7:11). Right before this Matthew talks about how when we ask, God is gracious and gives to those who ask. I’ve been really thinking a lot about the power of prayer recently. So many times in my life God has proved Himself time and time again to me through answered prayers. If you are discouraged about a situation, pray about it. God hears us. He cares about us. You may not see immediate results, but then again you might. God may may answer with a no, but ultimately He is going to do what is best for us because He loves us and can see the big picture of our lives that we are unable to see. Even if you are not discouraged, I would encourage you to spend time in prayer. Thank God for the good things in your life. Lift up others to God that may be struggling.

One of the huge blessings that I feel Gods love through is my roommate, Anna. When we both came to Covenant we did not know anybody, and we just let the admission people put us with a random person. Little did I know that not requesting a specific roommate would be one of the best decisions I would of made for my college years. We were randomly placed together, but I could not think of a better person to live life with. I dearly love this sweet sister in Christ. I believe that she is a physical expression of Gods love in my life. Her selfless and compassionate character has been very good for me over these past three semesters and has gotten me through a lot and has encouraged me more than I think she will ever know.

I can always count on Anna for being up for a good adventure, or having a good discussion about some art piece, or pursing our creative passions in one way or another. If I ever want to talk about some hard theological questions Anna is the first one to be willing to talk through hard life stuff with me.

Before I went to college I prayed for a good roommate, little did I know what God had in store for me far surpassed what I was hoping for.

 

Anna Jumping Correction

One Sunday afternoon we were feeling a little extra adventurous and our creative ideas were flowing. We had been wanting to do a photoshoot for a while but just had not been able to find the time with our busy school schedules. After church, before heading back up the mountain, we passed some old buildings and abandoned factories and old warehouses . We could not pass up the perfect opportunity so we pulled over and took some pictures and enjoyed each others company. Doing photo shoots with people you know so well is so much more fun than doing them with strangers or people that you do not know very well.

Joyful Blessings
Joyful Blessings
That stunna gaze though

 

tori + anna

Anna 4

 

Now boys, I know she is stunning, but you’re going to have to get through me first 😉

Sisterly Love
Sisterly Love
“Partners in Crime”

 

Photo Creds to Anna for these next three Photos 🙂

tori 2

tori 4

tori 9

We are coming for you, World.
We are coming for you, World.

Don’t be afraid to seize opportunities when they arise. Take some chances. Would you rather wonder what what could of happened? Or would you rather have tried it and either it be an amazing experience or possibly you might found out it wasn’t the best, but at least you tried.

Go. Adventure. Hope for the best. Love those around you. Pray. 🙂

Until Next Time,
Victoria

“Covered”: A Brief Explanation

Woah. The last time I posted was on August 30th right after I had moved back on campus and settled in to the swing of college life again. From then till now has been a whirlwind. It is crazy how when you are so busy you blink and three months fly by.

My time here has been consumed by studies, sports, and the occasional mini adventures (but lets be honest, mostly studying)

This past semester I have been taking an art course titled “Adornment” to fulfill one of my electives for my Art concentration. I am working on my Interdisciplinary Studies degree in which I am studying Art, Sociology, and Marketing. The first project for this class was to make a Kimono or an altered version of a traditional Kimono. Kimonos are quite a unique piece because they serve as a functional garment but also a piece of artwork at the same time. The actual construction of making a Kimono is super interesting but for the sake of this post I will not go into the details of that, although if you are interested you should definitely look it up ;). I love this idea of well made, meaningful pieces of clothing that is functional but also beautiful. You should not have to lessen the quality and functionality of a product to make it beautiful or aesthetically pleasing.

To go about making this item we researched different methods of decorating the kimono. Before I choose what method I wanted to do I thought through what I wanted to convey by my piece. I decided I wanted to tell the beautiful story of how God clothes me with His perfect righteousness even though I am horribly broken and far far from perfect.

The inside of my kimono is made of a black cotton fabric that I distressed with scissors, x-acto knives, nails, etc. In the middle of the inside of the garment the word “chaos” is written right side up and then upside down in Japanese. My life is consumed by chaos without Christ. I get so caught up and tangled in the craziness of my own brokenness that I loose sight of what actually matters. Although I constantly am falling short, God is constantly forgiving me. When Christ looks at me He sees His perfect self and the work of the Cross on me. By the grace of God, He has adopted me into His family, and I no longer bare my name, but I bare the name of Christ. He has taken my chaotic and broken life and has embraced me,  loved me, and forgiven me, and He has clothed me with His own righteousness. The outside of my garment is pure white with golden doves stamped all over it – starting with more congested doves at the bottom and thinning out toward the top of the garment. The prophet Isaiah talks of how our sin is red like crimson, but we become as white as snow by the work of Christ, “…though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”(Isaiah 1:18). I am cleansed from my sin, and seen as clean in the sight of the Lord. The gold doves represent the Holy Spirit engulfing my life — the Spirit is within me and surrounds me. 

The act of putting on the garment is a symbol for how Christ clothes me with the garment of salvation: “I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10).

Kimono_
“Covered”

I do not think that the pictures fully do this piece justice, but I also wanted to share my work with y’all. I also think that even though I gave a description and explanation of this, the only way to understand the full story is to experience the piece its self. I think there are some things in life that is best expressed through physical artwork rather than words (although words can be made into art as well).

Kimono dove stamp
Detail: Dove Block Print
Kimono distressed
Detail: Distressed Fabric

 

 

I see Art as so much more than just an avenue to create aesthetically pleasing things. I think we can tell stories through art and portray some of Gods truth, goodness and beauty in a way that is not possible to convey by just words. I think this is true in all forms of art whether it is painting, writing, dancing, etc. I hope I have inspired you to channel your inner creator 😉

Thanks for reading and God bless!

Back on the Mountain

Welp. I am back on the mountain, and to say that I missed these sunsets would be an understatement. The semester started off a little rough but God is gracious and things are working out nicely now. Praise the Lord for his comfort in our times of weakness! God has been exposing how broken I really am and it makes his love so much sweeter and his comfort so much more precious when I realize how much I truly do need Him, and that I am nothing without Him. Below are just a few words of encouragement that have been very helpful to me over the past couple of days.

“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – II Corinthians 12:9-10

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling… BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.” – Psalm 46:1-3,10

“You arouse us so that praising you may bring us joy, because you have made us and drawn us to yourself, and our heart is [restless] until it rests in you.” – Saint Augustine

Sunset Covenant August 2015

 

In the next few weeks I will probably be posting some photos from this past summer that I did not have time to blog about – that is if I have more time now (haha, not likely but I am going to humor myself and try anyway).

I hope whoever is reading this will have a fantastic week and I pray that God’s grace would fill your life!

Until next time,

Victoria Grace

DIY Wooden Bead Necklace

What you will need:
  • Natural Wooden Beads – I used 25mm size
  • Gold Metallic Spray Paint
  • Clear Acrylic Coating (optional)
  • 2 Feet of very thin ribbon (cut to length you want) or any chain of your choice
As I was in one of my creative moods, I wanted to make something I could wear. I have been getting into the minimalist style recently and have been wanting to make a simple wooden bead necklace. I headed to Hobby Lobby and picked up some generic wooden beads (almost any craft store you go to will have these) and a roll of thin white ribbon.  I grabbed my favorite gold spray paint (Rust-Oleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish in Gold) and a paper plate. I spray painted one side of 3 beads, waited for them to dry, and then flipped them over and spray painted the other side. I did two coats of this and finished with a single layer of Krylon’s Crystal Clear Acrylic Coating.

 

When I put my beads on my ribbon (or chain) I put two unpainted beads, then the three painted beads, and then two more unpainted beads. I then tied the ribbon in a knot so that it would not fall off easily when I was wearing it.

 

This was the result. A perfect pairing to almost any outfit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Christ,
Victoria Grace

 

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:17

Chicago // Millennium Park

Since I have been home for the summer from college I feel as if I have just been constantly traveling. I started off the summer by going to Alberta, Canada, then Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee. This week, my family went up to the suburbs of Chicago for a wedding. So of course it was a given to take the extra time and explore Chicago for a bit. Even though we were worn out from all the festivities, we still made it to downtown Chicago.We spent about 2 hours in the city and we were able to see something that I have been wanting to visit for a while. THE BEAN. Actually the real name for the famous sculpture in Millennium Park is “Cloud Gate” but most people refer to is as the “The Bean” due to its shape. Its reflective qualities make for some pretty intriguing compositions in pictures.

 

Cloud Gate
“Cloud Gate” in Millennium Park, Chicago, IL.
Cloud Gate
“Cloud Gate” also known as “The Bean” is a huge stainless steal sculpture created by Anish Kapoor in 2006. It is made up of 168 stainless steel plates that were welded together to get its seamless surface. It measures 33′ X 66′ X 42′ and weighs 110 tons.

 

Cloud Gate
Hi. That is me. The one with the camera.

 

Cloud Gate 6
R E F L E C T I O N
Cloud Gate
This is the view if you are standing right underneath The Bean and are looking straight up. I know, cool. Right? If you look super close I’m Right in the middle looking up. Good luck trying to find me. 🙂
Millenium Park, Chicago
At the entrance of Millennium Park there is this beaut. It is one out of four portrait sculptures in the park created by the Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa. This particular one is titled “Look into My Dreams, Awilda”

After walking around the park for a while we went to get some coffee from Intelligentsia, at the Millennium Park location. No words that I can use to describe this coffee will do it justice. It was phenomenal to say the least. I was able to try their Cappuccino and Chai Latte. I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a Chai Latte so much. It was like heaven for my taste buds. I also got a pastry that I can not remember what it was, but regardless it was outstanding as well. That amazing coffee experience was the close to our short stop in Chicago, but I dearly loved my couple of hours spent in the city. I absolutely love traveling and revisiting and/or seeing new places.

Intelligensia
Busy city vibes.

 

Intelligentsia
Cappuccino from Intelligentsia. Delicious and of course you can not forget the lovely latte art.
If you are ever hesitant to go on a spontaneous trip. DO IT. You will regret it if you do not go. I almost did not go with my parents on the last trip (Memphis/Nashville), but I am so glad that I did! I was able to experience and fall in love with a new city. I used to not be the most spontaneous or adventurous person out there, but I’m getting there. If you are given opportunities to travel, take them. Those opportunities may not always be there, and I can guarantee you that you will be able to see and experience places and things that you would not have been able to otherwise. Go places. Live life. Explore. Even if its just for a day, or even a couple of hours. Go. Have fun. Don’t be afraid to look like that stupid tourist, because chances are the locals can spot you from a mile away, so you might as well own the awkward title (thats not an excuse to be a jerk or obnoxious on purpose though, still be courteous of others). Learn about different places and ways of life. Enjoy the experience. God has made so many places with so many neat things. Get out there and explore His creation. 🙂

 

Until Next Time,
Victoria Grace