Monday, July 27

Summer Sale 2015:: 50% off everything in the shop!

Before I close the shop up for the month of August I thought I'd have a huge summer sale.

Stock up for birthdays, Christmas, even back to school teacher gifts. 

Have fun shopping friends! 


Friday, July 24

Journaling by Heart: Lesson 4: Getting Personal and Transparent


 Welcome to week 4 of Journaling by Heart,
our summer workshop for faith art journaling.
 Melissa and I have loved seeing what you are creating.
 It is so fun to see how different everyone's
journal pages are.
Week 4 of Journaling by Heart is up on her blog:
Getting Personal & Transparent.
This is such a good one friends.
I am learning so much from Melissa.
Today she walks us through meditating on God's Word and using transparencies in our journal. so. fun.
I can't wait to get started on this &
I can't wait to see what you make!
We know that summer can be crazy.
This is a work at your own pace sort of thing.
It is never too late to start!
You can start at week 1, or jump in at week 4.
Anywhere you start will be worth it.
We'd love for you to join us,
wherever and whenever you can.

Friday, July 17

Journaling by Heart: Lesson 3: Peter + Messy Script Lettering

Welcome back to Journaling by Heart, our free summer workshop for art journaling your faith. I hope you are diving in and experimenting and trying new things in your faith art journal. Most of all, I hope you are having fun.

I can’t tell you how much encouragement Melissa and I have gotten from seeing your work on the FacebookPage. Please don’t be shy. Be brave and post your work, your thoughts, your comments, and questions so we can do this together. You bless our socks off, so thank you!
Let’s get started. This week we’ll be journaling John 15:5 and writing with messy brush script {my favorite}


Let’s start with our scripture. We scheduled Romans 5:17 as our verse to study this week and I had a big long post written about what to do when you come to a big, long, hard to understand passage, and maybe I’ll share that with you  later, but I was in the shower this morning thinking about Peter.  And I can’t stop thinking about him {don’t worry, my husband knows} and how I’m just like him.

I’m so thankful for Peter. He is such an encouragement to me. And I was thinking about how he HAD to fail and fall flat on his face, so that God could make him the head of the church.
Let me back up a little bit. Remember right before Jesus went into the garden to pray, the last night of His life? {Read Matthew 26 here}. Jesus starts to tell his disciples how everything is going to go down, to prepare them. He tells them that everyone is going to be scattered and Peter corrects Jesus.

33Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

Let’s just stop there. I just love how Peter is always trying to correct Jesus. Don’t I do the same thing?
No, no, no Lord, here’s how my life is supposed to go. Let me tell you how it should all go down… 
And Jesus speaks truth

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

And then Peter corrects Him again:

35But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

I don’t think Peter was lying. I think he really believed that he could never betray Jesus.  
And then, the same night, after Jesus had been seized and questioned, Peter did exactly what Jesus said he would do. He denied Jesus three times.  Peter wept bitterly.

How devastated he must have been. That is the worst feeling in the world, when you hurt someone you love, and you can’t take it back and you can’t make it better.
How many times have I said,God I won’t fill in the blank, or God I will fill in the blank.

But God looks at me says, 
“Erin, of course you will. You’re human. You can’t do this on your own. You have to let me do this through you. I am the vine you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you willbear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

I love John 21, when Jesus comes to Peter on the beach after He has risen. Jesus gives Peter the chance to tell him how much he loves Him. A chance for forgiveness and reconciliation. Peter would go on to become the head of the church in Jerusalem.
God didn’t make him the head of the church inspite of his failings. God made him the head of the church because of his failings. He had to know, without a doubt, that apart from Jesus he could do nothing. {John 15:5}

He had to know the depths of God’s grace in order to be used by God. I am the same. I have to know that I can’t even attempt anything in my own strength, if I want to be used by God, if I want to bear fruit. 

God knows a will mess up a million times. He already knows I will go my own way.
He knows and will need forgiveness again and again and again. He knows He will need to pick me up and call me home.

The good news is, I feel like I’m starting to get it. Instead of starting my days saying, “Lord I will do this, this, and this…” I start my days saying, “Lord, I can’t do any of it without you. I need you. I need you. I need you. I need your holy spirit for every single thing I do.”

Thank you, Lord. Thank you for Peter. Thank you that we can’t do this life without you. Thank you that it is only through failing in our own strength that you can use us, in your strength.  Thank you that we don’t have to do or strive or be anything apart from who you made us. In Jesus Name.

I hope that made sense! It made sense to me in the shower this morning.  Now, let’s move on to lettering.

Tutorial: Messy Brush Script Hand lettering

This is what I get asked about the most: How do you do your hand lettering?
The short answer: Lots and lots of practice. The long answer? Here goes…
Here’s what you’ll need:

Supply List

Your Faith Art Journal (See Week 1)
You can buy one or make one.
Acrylic paint
Really thin Paint brushes
Paper plates


I love writing in messy script. It is highly addictive. The secret to mastering messy script lettering is: ink, contrast, pressure, and practice.

Ink: First of all ink. Do not attempt this with acrylic paint. It won’t work. You have to use ink. This stuff is so delicious to use because it is so smooth and thin and opaque and yummy. You can find this at any craft store or order it on line here.

Brushes: Use a variety of brushes as you practice, notice the effect each different brush has.

Contrast: To make it look interesting, make your letters vary in size and spacing. Try to relax and not allow your letter to be too uniform.

Pressure: Lift up on your brush as you move your hand up in a letter. Press down on the brush as you move your hand down in a letter. Practice your pressure. Press down, lift up, press down, lift up, and repeat.

Practice: Lots.

Okay, let’s get started.
Pick your favorite verse & some scratch paper and start writing. Start with loops. Try big and small. Notice how the strokes change as you add and release pressure. Write some letters of the alphabet.

Write the same verse 10 different times. Try to make each time different in some way. Experiment with contrast and pressure.

Remember: It’s always okay to mess up. You have to make bad art in order to make good art. You have to! So, don’t be afraid to mess it up, that’s what we’re here for!


Step 1: If you have a journal made of watercolor paper, like mine {made here} paint a base coat of gesso both pages. 

Step 2: Add some blocks of color, not too many, only 3 or 4 colors.

Step 3: Use stencils to add texture to your page. If you don't have stencils use bubble wrap or any other textured items you have.

Step 4: Paint some branches.

Step 5: Paint some grapes.

Step 6:Paint some leaves.

Step 7: Add a border & some detail.

Step 8: Paint your brush script on top.

Step 9: Keep practicing! 


Practice messy script lettering on scratch paper.

 Create a journal page with script lettering.

 Share your journal with us on Facebook.


Saturday, July 11

Journaling by Heart: Lesson 2 Study Tools + Fabric & Sewing

Welcome back to the Journaling by Heart Workshop! 
Melissa has a huge treat for you this week:

How to dive into the original meaning of scripture
and creative ways to use fabric & stitching in your journal.

Welcome to Lesson 2 of the Journaling by Heart workshop!  I had so much fun working in my journal for this lesson, because it's all about fabric and sewing in your art journal
We're also going to talk about some of my favorite tools to use for art journaling scripture!   So let's get started.


Friday, July 3

Journaling by Heart: Week 1: A free summer workshop for art journaling your faith.

Welcome to Journaling by Heart:

We are thrilled that you are here. Melissa from Pink Paper Peppermints and I, Erin Leigh, have teamed up to provide you with tips and tricks for your faith art journal, encouragement and inspiration for the content of your journal, and a community (join here) to cheer each other on. Learn more about Melissa here and Erin here.

What to Expect From the Workshop

First and foremost, we want you to have fun, to set aside some you time,
 time to explore and play. 

Each week we’ll be reading and exploring scriptures centered on God’s grace. What it is, what it means, and what it means to us today in our real life. I have been so encouraged going through these verses. I keep thinking I need to remember this, to hold on to this. That is the essence of faith art journaling, getting those whisperings of God, the truth, in your head and in your heart; working it out in real life, so that the Word of God can become living and active in our lives, not words on a page. 

Our anchor scripture for the workshop is Hebrews 4:16  

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace,
 that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

What to Expect Each Week

Each week Melissa and I will trade off hosting the workshop on our blogs. Make sure you are signed up for our newsletter so we can send let you know where we’ll be each week.

Sign-up for Melissa’s Newsletter here, on the left margin of her blog.

There 2 basic parts to faith art journaling: the content and the technique.
The content is the words, the heart of what you are journaling: scripture, prayers, thoughts, quotes, anything that you want to hold on to, to document and remember.
The technique is the supplies you use and how you use them: watercolor, acrylics, etc.

Each week we will give you both content (a verse centered around grace and some thoughts on that verse) and an art journaling technique to try. At the end of each week we’ll give you an assignment.

Our blogs are where you come to learn. Then {more importantly} our Closed Facebook Community  is where you can share your work and encourage others and see what everyone else is doing.

Week 1: Creating Your Journal

Okay, let’s get started! This week we’ll be creating a special journal just for this workshop. So that at the end we can have a whole completed journal (what is that?). Ha!

There are so many fun journals that you can make with simple supplies OR you always have the option of buying one, too. Melissa made an adorable junk journal and included a tutorial here. I created a recycled journal which I’ll walk you through today.


Our anchor verse for the workshop is Hebrews 4:16
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that

we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

So, first of all, What is grace?
Unmerited favor. A gift. Someone deposits $1,000 in my bank account. I didn’t earn it. I didn’t work for it. I’m not entitled to it. It’s a gift.

The Bible refers to Jesus as the throne of grace. He is this big fountain of grace. And we are told to approach, not as beggars or with timidity or shame or an apology, but with confidence. I love that. 
I think of my boys, ages 4 and 6, as they listen for the garage door to open at the end of the day. They yell “Daddy!” as they run out to greet him as he pulls into the driveway. 

And you know what they say? Every. Single. Day. “Daddy, do you have a treat for me?” Because every once in while he brings home something special just for them; a handful of Skittles, a tiny little ninja guy, a cake pop.

They don’t say, “I’m sorry for hitting my brother and being selfish today.” They don’t say, “I know that I don’t really deserve a treat today, but do you think you could manage to eek out a little something for me?”

They don’t hesitate to ask.

With that said, I can't talk about God's grace without talking about his holiness at the same time. All of our sin and mess ups separate us from a holy God. There is so much power in coming to him first confessing our sin that we are aware of , and asking God to reveal the sin that we can't even see. 

That's the whole point of grace: we need Him every single moment of every day. We walk around this broken world pretending like we have our act together and we don't. I don't. No one does. We need His grace to see what is real, to hear what is eternal, and to love people with His perfect love.

I am called to come to the feet of Jesus as a child, and confess, "I can't do this without you. I need you." I need His help to even come to Him, to empty myself of so. much. self., to lay down my own agenda so that I can ask with open hands," What do YOU have for,me today, Lord?"

The Bible says "Let's draw near to His throne of grace {without hesitation} so that He can give us the mercy and grace that we {so desperately} need." He is waiting to give it to us. All we need to do is come to Him and ask. 

What if I approached each day like that? How different would my whole day be? 
I am called to come to the feet of Jesus as a child, with full confidence.

Every single day only He has the mercy and the grace that I need to be filled up, so that I can spend the whole day pouring it out.

When I run right past the throne of God, the throne of grace, into the busyness of life, I miss out on the gifts that He has planned specifically for me. I am filled up with SELF and, honestly, that's not pretty. or fun. or the way I want to live.

Lord help us approach your throne of grace each morning with open hands and eager expectation. Give us eyes to see YOUR grace all around us. Don’t let us miss it. Hit us over the head with it. Give us ears to hear, minds to understand, and hearts pour out your grace into a broken and hurting world. We thank you for pouring out your grace, your holy spirit, into our lives, for what you are doing and going to do today. We love you. Amen.

Challenge: Make written list of the "treats" that God has for you today. A fresh cup of coffee, a morning snuggle with a little, just enough strength to make it through your work out. Ask God to open your eyes to His hands at work today and write it down. 

Tutorials & Tips

Today we’re going to make an art journal from a cereal box, some water color paper, and a few extra supplies. 
I included some links for easy ordering. They are affiliate links on products that I would recommend to either way.

Supply List

A quick word on supplies: You don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy supplies. 
Buy inexpensive supplies and use what you have.

A cereal box about 9” x 12”. 
(Any food box, or thin piece of cardboard will do.)

Paint brushes of various sizes

Super thin paint brushes 

Masking Tape

Washi Tape


Wax paper

Acrylic paints 
(Basic acrylic craft paints in your favorite colors.
Above is just an example. You don't need all of those colors.
Get colors you love. )

White ink

Black ink

Paper towels

Step 1: Make your cover.

Cut the front and back rectangles out of the cereal box. 

Tape the two pieces together with masking tape on both sides.

Step 2: Add pages to your journal.

Fold 5 sheets of 11 x 15 watercolor paper in half, so that they are "inside" each other. 
Trim the watercolor paper to be about a half inch smaller than the cover.

Attach the watercolor paper into the cereal box with masking tape.

Turn the page and attach each page of watercolor paper with masking tape. 
Turn the page and do the same for each page, so that each page is secure.
Trim the tops and/or side of various pages for some variation.
I know it looks ugly now, but we will paint right over the ugly.

Step 3: Paint a base coat of gesso on the cover of your journal.

Cover the outside of the cereal box with gesso.

Pick 3-5 colors that you like together.

Paint different sized rectangles of each color, covering the whole cover. Paint big blocks first.

Step 4: Paint more smaller color blocks on the cover.

Add circles and doodles.

Step 5: Paint details.

Paint different colored lines and dots and words.

I didn't like the orange, so I made more blogks of color until I liked it.

Paint big circle flowers and leaves.

Step 6: Paint more details.

Continue to paint smaller and smaller details.

Step 7: Paint more the last details with white and black ink and the 

thinnest brush you can find.

Step 8: Add washi tape to finish the sides of your cover.

Assignment: Make your own art journal.

Be sure to check out Melissa’s blog & tutorial.

Share your journal with us on Facebook & have fun!