Purify My Heart, Lord

I love that the Lord has brought me into the Bible journaling community. Not only has it grown my faith tremendously, this community has introduced me to awesome friends and opened up new paths that I never would have imagined for myself. The latest blessing is that this month I have the awesome privilege of sharing some of my writing and art on The Crafter’s Workshop Blog!

When I started worshipping in my Bible last year, I (like many newbies)  experimented with everything. I bought All. The. Supplies. In. All. The Colors! But as I quickly learned the things I like and continually refocused on process over product (right, Shanna?!), I have found that I do have a short list of must haves. TCW stencils are a permanent staple on that list. I pick one up pretty much every time I go in Hobby Lobby or Tuesday Morning. (And I promise I go in those stores a whole lot less than I used to!) The awesome team at TCW sent me a few of their new releases to add to my collection, and I am loving them.

I hope you’ll head over to the TCW blog and check out my post as well as the other artists featured there. There are some great tutorials posted for holiday cards and mixed media projects. I’m humbled to share space with these amazing artists! Now go–go to the blog!!


Art Journal: Heart Work

I am so glad summer is here! Time to get out of the classroom and into my paints!

Today’s post is a throwback to an art journal page that received a lot of positive feedback on my Instagram and that I wrote about here. Here’s a process post so you can get an idea of how I work, and so I can think through some new ideas for the summer! Enjoy!

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All of my art journal work happens in my Canson XL Mixed Media Pad which I covered some time ago with this great “Shine” paper.  For this project I turned to a fresh page and covered it with matte Modge Podge.

Then, I wrinkled up some tissue paper that I had received as wrapping paper on a purchase from my favorite Etsy store, By The Well 4 God.

[The shop owner, Lori, always wraps things in great patterned paper, which means I’m always saving pieces for future project!]

I quickly stuck the crumpled tissue paper to the page. Once the tissue paper was spread across the page, I added a bit more Modge Podge with my fingers to make sure it was secure.

I typically work on several pages at once, but this one was pretty wet already so I set it aside to dry, then I used scissors to trim the edges to fit the page when it was ready. What to do next??

I knew I wanted to add some color, and Distress Ink, one of my very first art supplies, is still my go-to for color. I held my journal up at an angle over a towel and swiped a section at the top near the spiral with each of the mini Distress Ink pads. Then I sprayed the ink with my water mist bottle and watched the colors run down the page. [Very satisfying I must add.] I continued to swipe and spray until I had the color saturation I desired and then gently set the journal down to dry again.



I knew I was not finished, but I was a bit stuck with what I wanted to do next. So once again I set it aside until I was inspired by some hearts I was working on for my cardmaking. I got out some computer paper and cut out some hearts of various sizes using the templates I already had lying around. I arranged the hearts on top of the page until I settled on three with a layout I liked. I wanted to make sure each color was represented in the design.

Then I used my black Pitt Big Brush pen to trace the outline of the hearts onto the colored tissue paper. I applied a thick coating of white gesso over the entire page, except the hearts, using my fingers to get into all the creases and crevices the tissue paper had created. Here’s a close up of the gesso around one of the hearts:

The last stage of the project was to decide on a background color that wouldn’t compete with the hearts. I was inspired by DianaColors to try gray. I mixed together the gray acrylic paint I had with a little bit of white and applied it over the gesso with my fingers and a makeup sponge.

I really liked the concrete-like texture the makeup sponge gave me, so I dabbed on more white in a few areas while the gray was still sticky. I also used the edge of a paint card to drag a few lines in the paint to bring out a little of the color beneath the gray. I smeared on just a little black paint on the edges as well.

For the finishing touches, once the page was dry, I outlined the hearts again with my black brush pen to help them pop (and correct my aggressive painting!).  I added a few pieces of Tim Holtz Small Talk that spoke to how I was feeling (for more, see my previous post).

This was a great project to get messy with. I had a lot of fun painting over several days. I think I am going to see what else I can do with Lori’s tissue paper this summer. Maybe canvas next???

Day 20: Name Doodle

My one close girl cousin drew the best bubble letters. They were round and graffiti-like, and they added to her older cousin coolness. I will always remember the afternoon we spent chalking up the sidewalk and the street in front of my mom’s house with slogans and words. She would mostly outline them, and I would help color them in. But as a young preteen I can remember wistfully wishing not only that I could letter like her, but also for a boy’s name to doodle.

Sheesh. We are so socialized in fantastical notions of romance and love that I thought as a kid I was supposed to doodle some guy’s name all over my street and notebooks, scrawling out Mrs. So-and-So and S0-and-So + Mon 4ever. I gave up on the fantasy pretty quickly and settled on the notion that I would never marry before I was out of high school. I never dreamed of a wedding or a marriage or a house with 2.3 kids and a picket fence. Too many things (good and bad) happened after those days of childhood innocence.

But thank goodness that the love of God is a pursuing love. He pursued me and opened me up to the idea of love and ushered in the man designed just for me to love. And the funny thing is, now that I am Mrs. John, I don’t doodle his name! imageSo for a fun Saturday journal entry, I went with the name doodle theme to spend some time being artistic and reflecting on the name of my husband–which of course I barely use because we call each other all sorts of lovey-dovey nicknames (as well as just Mom and Dad). I think I should write and say his name more often!!
Happy Saturday! Have fun being creative! 

Bonus Love: Do you know the meaning of your spouse’s name? Look it up if you don’t and think about a gift for your future gift list that represents their name!

Day 6: Color Love

I know the color of love,
And it lives inside of you.
I know the color of truth,
It’s in the image of you.
If it comes for the heart, then you know that it’s true.
It will color your soul, like a rainbow.
And the color of love,
Is in you.
–Boyz II Men

imageLast year I unabashedly became one of “those women” who buy and gush on and on about adult coloring books. Angie Grace became a part of my end of the day routine, and I quickly traded TV time for coloring and a stash of pens and markers that grew…mysteriously. [I have since learned that adult coloring books are a gateway craft, so buyer beware.]

But given my love for coloring, I had to include a day (or two) in the challenge to color. Today is a day for creativity. Whether in your home office with highlighters and pens, or with the kiddos in their box of crayons, find a way to have fun coloring the word love today and share your work via #writelovechallenge!

Happy Saturday!