About Bonnie Bay Crochet
Bonnie Bay Crochet is a website with a blog, instructional videos, free patterns, and whatever else we think of along the way to promote the art of crochet and serve those learning this wonderful craft. It is hosted by crochet designer Bonnie Barker and made possible by her brilliant (yet amazingly humble) husband, Craig Barker. The name Bonnie Bay is actually borrowed from an old blueberry farm in the lowlands of South Carolina, near where Craig was raised and spent many hours working hard on his parent's farm.
Bonnie started crocheting when she was 7 years old and has been fascinated with yarn ever since. Almost by accident she began looking to becoming published after receiving a call from a woman out of the blue from another state. This lady had seen Bonnie's afghan on display at the county fair and called to ask her for a copy of the pattern. Since this lady was so interested, Bonnie figured maybe others would be too. So using a small point and shoot digital camera, she took a few photos and sent them to the only publisher she was aware of: Leisure Arts. Bonnie had been buying their publications since she was a teen. Thankfully they liked her designs and sent a contract for 5 afghan patterns (Aran Afghans)!
Since then Bonnie has designed another leaflet (Noggins & Necks) with Leisure Arts, as well as patterns for Coats & Clark (Red Heart Yarn), Caron International, Cascade Yarns, Crochet World Magazine, Crochet! Magazine and Mainly Crochet. She is very excited about her new book (due September 2014) called "Contemporary Celtic Crochet!" She is also a Craft Yarn Council of America certified instructor and a professional member of CGOA (The Crochet Guild of America).
Bonnie is currently a homemaker/home school mom of 5 children (Two have graduated, and the remaining 3 are working on high school classes), and she also cares for her 80+ years young mom. She is a graduate of Hialeah High School (Hialeah, FL), and of The University of South Carolina where she earned a bachelor’s degree in music education. She loves leading worship for preschoolers at her church as well as playing guitar, flute, Irish whistle, loves dabbling in photography, learning about history, and of course doing anything related to crocheting. Life is full, life is good, God is amazing.
Ode to THE Master Designer...My Life in Christ
Of all the things that I have experienced in my more than 1/2 century of life, none has been more profound and life-changing as becoming a follower of Christ. My story being shared here is not meant to stir controversy, point a self-righteous finger or lay guilt on anyone in any way. As I once heard said, I am merely a beggar telling another beggar where to find bread…
I was born in the 60’s and grew up in the 70’s. As any student of history knows, these were very tumultuous, confusing and troublesome times to say the least. I had plenty of opportunities to find trouble, and at times it found me! With both parents working full-time, and me being a latch key kid from the second grade on, I was pretty much left to myself to figure out life. By the time I graduated high school I had plenty of regrets and deeply needed a way out; a new start.
In my senior year of high school I started reading the Bible. Being a first-born, I was very goal oriented and accomplishment driven. This goal quickly became much more than another check on a to-do list and began to change my heart and worldview as I recognized the truth that I had been looking for for so long. This process was gradual for me, not an instantaneous change.
During my sophomore year in college I met a woman who clearly explained to me how God’s love and forgiveness are a gift freely given. There is NOTHING I could ever do (or accomplish) to earn this. I know that in a world where we generally get what we deserve, whether this be punishment or rewards, this seems strange…even unfair! God can do this because Jesus Christ DID live a perfect life without sin and then was punished at Calvary on a Roman cross, and died for the sins of all who put their trust in Him. What freedom and release this brought to me after so many years of trying to justify myself somehow. He did it all for me.
Even after more than 30 years of walking with the Lord Jesus Christ, He has NEVER let me down. Sure, life has many ups and downs, but in all of disappointment that life in this world has thrown my way, I’ve never had to walk it alone. In the Bible, Jesus promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you…” (Hebrews 13:5) and He hasn’t. I could fill many books with examples of this from just my life.
Living in this world is still a challenge. Becoming a Christian doesn’t make this world sugar-coated and perfect. Because of the misunderstanding in our current culture regarding Christianity, it can sometimes be a bit more difficult. In some parts of the world Christians are hunted down and killed because of their faith, and more than a few don’t take too kindly to my faith here in the United States lately. This isn’t a surprise though, because Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world…” (John 16:33)
Still, I wouldn’t want to be walking any other path. When this brief life is through, I have the promise of eternal life in a place called Heaven, that is free of tears, sin & sadness. Thank God that this is not based on my merits, but upon the finished work of Christ on the cross. Period.
I will leave you with a couple of verses from the Bible that have sustained me for many years:
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:6-14