Monday, August 31

Journaling by Heart: Week 9: In Our Weakness He is Strong {2 Corinthians 12:9}

Welcome to week 9 of Journaling by Heart: our summer workshop for art journaling your faith. I know, I say it every week, but every week you guys encourage us {Melissa & I} with all that you are creating in your journals, how you are growing and learning and sharing.
If you haven't joined us on Facebook, join now. It's never too late! 

Also! Melissa has opened up a digital scrapbooking shop & 
she is generously giving away this adorable kit for the next 2 weeks! 
You can download it today. Thanks, Melissa! 

We started this workshop in the beginning of the summer because we both wanted to keep journaling and reading and growing during the summer months. Without some accountability & structure, that usually doesn’t happen for me. I’m so glad we did because it’s made me keep going and push through the hard stuff, when I would have stopped a long time ago, had I not committed been committed.

This week was by far the toughest week in terms of creating something that I’m not embarrassed to share! I just could not make this piece work. Been there?  I had to have patience and *grace* with myself and remember what I always tell you: This is about the process, not the product. It’s about what God is doing in His Word and in us to draw us to himself. This is our safe place where we are free to make ugly art and mess up and continue without judgement. When we are free to make ugly art, to be vulnerable in our creating, to not be afraid; then we will be free to take the risks required to make great art, to find our voice, our own personal style that is uniquely ours.

This is the essence of our faith. God sees our ugly broken bits and pieces, and He calls us daughter. He turns our sin into His glory, our darkness into light, our death into life. Jesus takes our shame and makes us radiant, just by spending time in His presence.

So, this week I kept saying, “I can’t do this Lord. This is too much.”
And I kept hearing, “You are right. You can’t do this, Erin.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in {your} weakness.

{2 Corinthians 12:9} That’s how I SHINE—in your weakness.”

 I love the New Living Translation:

Each time he said, "My grace is all you need.
 My power works best in weakness."
So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses,
so that the power of Christ can work through me.
{2 Corinthians 12:9}

Let’s begin.

Supply List

Your Faith Art Journal
(See Week 1)
You can buy one or make one.

(white, cream, and any other colors you like)

Paper towels

Assignment: Choose a verse that is important to you to paint in your art journal. 

Step 1: Cover your journal page in white & cream paint. 

Step 2:  While the white and cream paint is still wet, add different colors to it to get some pretty pastel colors.  
Fill the whole page with color.

Step 3: Use black ink to doodle and design. 

Step 4: Add your verse or text. I wanted to try to create something a little different than my go-to brush script, so I mixed it with some bubble letters. This was hard and came out kinda wonky and it’s okay. Just. Keep. Going.

Step 5: Add gesso throughout your doodles.

And then it all went down hill.
I kept meesing up.
I could not get this right.
I just kept going.

Step 6: Add more color.

Step 7: Add more black ink. and repeat, until you feel like you're finished.
Or at least close enough.



Saturday, August 22

Week 8: Journaling by Heart: Diagramming & Dingbats

Week 8 of Journaling by Heart 
{our summer workshop for art journaling your faith}
is on Melissa's blog! 

It is so good. I know I say that every week, but it really is, 
every single week. 
This week she created a diagramming worksheet to help gain insight into your verse.
She showed us how to use dingbats in a million different creative ways, 
that I never would have thought of,
and she created an adorable printable for our art journaling. 


Monday, August 17

Week 7: Journaling by Heart: Paint and Paper Pile -Up!

Welcome back to Week 7 of Journaling by Heart: our free summer workshop for art journaling your faith. Melissa and I have loved seeing all of your creating this summer! It is such an encouragement to us. It doesn’t matter if you are starting week 1, or finishing week 6, we would love to see how you are art journaling your faith in our closed Facebook Group. Everyone is welcome.

This week we’ll focus on Psalm 34 and we’ll be using my favorite go-to process I call paint & paper pile-up. Let’s get started.

Scripture Psalm 34

I just love how one thing always leads to another until you find what you are looking for; something that resonates and speaks straight to your heart. I want to hold on to those nuggets, those treasures. That’s what I love about art journaling. It gives me a way to express and record those gems in a way that I can hold on to them, remember them, and not just move on to the next thing.

I planned on creating Psalm 34. Verse 3:

Glorify the Lord with me;
    let us exalt his name together.

I wanted to create a verse that centered around God’s grace and my response to His grace for me. Then I decided to read the whole Psalm to get a feel for the context of the verse.

Read it here. Slowly.
Now read it again.
And one more time.

What verses stick out to you? What verses are you drawn to? What verses speak to your heart? Why?

Write down the one that you would like to art journal this week. Write a little bit about why it jumps out at you.

There are so many incredible verses to cling to, but the one that stuck out to me was verse 5:
Those who look to him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.

Huh? Wow. It reminded of Moses in Exodus:

29When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. 30When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. 31But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. 32Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai.
33When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. 34But whenever he entered the Lord’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, 35they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord.

All we have to do is look to him and HE makes us radiant.
We don’t have to strive or accomplish or do. We just look. We just spend time looking at His glory, and we become radiant, without shame. I love that.

When I leave His grace at the door, it’s all about me. What I’m lacking or missing or the opposite, what I’m achieving or doing. But God calls me to simply forget myself and look to His gloryso He can make me radiant. Like Moses, we can’t be in the presence of the living God without being changed. He calls me to simply come and sit and look. To be blessed by his presence. TO be radiant. Really, what am I waiting for?

As you begin your process of art journaling your faith, I encourage you read and explore until you find a verse that speaks to you right where you are at. 

Supply List
Your Faith Art Journal (See Week 1) 
You can buy one or make one.

Acrylic paint
Patterned/Scrapbook Paper
Mod Podge
White Ink
Black Ink
Really thin Paint brushes

Tutorials: Paint & paper Pile –up

Last week we talked about color and created a color palette before we started painting. Today we’ll follow my typical process I call: Paint and paper pile-up. So get out your paint (acrylic, craft store paint) and any paper (patterned scrap book paper) and get ready to let it fly.

It’s important in this process to work quickly and intuitively, so you don’t overthink it. Try to push all judgement and criticism aside so that you can simply play with paint and paper. This is a good opportunity to practice grace for yourself. 

Step 1: Big Paint

Today we’ll work big to small, rotating back and forth from paint to paper. Let’s start by filling the page with color blocks, like we did in lesson 3.
***Please note: This is just a guide. These are just the colors I chose. I encourage you choose your own colors and go your own way whenever you want to.***

Start with a clean page.

and a medium sized brush.

Create big blocks of color with any color of your choice.

Switch colors and add more blocks.

 Add more blocks of color until the page is completely covered.

Step 2: Paper

Lay out your paper. Start tearing and gluing (using Mod Podge). Tearing and gluing.
There is something so fun and therapeutic about this process. It makes me so happy. I can’t really explain it. I hope you love it too.

Tear. Glue.

                                                                Tear. Glue.

                                                                Tear. Glue.

Step 3: More Paint
No brushes. Fingers only this time! Get your hands dirty and start spreading paint all over the page with your fingers. Color by color. If you get too much paint on the page, just use a paper towel to wipe it away. 

                                                  Paint lines, dots, and doodles.

Step 4: White Ink
Using white ink and teeny, tiniest paint brush, write your verse. Please note, with the white ink, it’s pretty see through the first time you write. I like it because mess-ups don’t show up as well, and you can just paint over it to fix it. Once you get the text the way you like it, paint over it with a second coat of white ink.

First coat.

Second coat. With doodles.

Step 5: Paint on top of ink

Next paint over the words you want to emphasize with paint.

Step 6: Black ink

Last, paint over the white ink with black ink. Include doodles and designs if you’d like.

Step 7: Share
Share your creations with us in our Facebook group. We’d love to see what you’re doing.

Happy making!


Saturday, August 15

Week 7: Journaling by Heart: Coming tomorrow!

Hi friends,

Thanks so much for joining our workshop this summer!
I just wanted to let you know that I am working hard on finishing up our

Journaling by Heart Workshop 
Week 7: Paint and Paper Pile-Up

I will post it tomorrow.


Friday, August 7

Journaling by Heart: Week 6: Magazines and Mystery

Welcome to Week 6 of Journaling by Heart, 
our free summer workshop for art journaling your faith.
If you're new you can start here.

We {finally} created a closed group for you to share your
thoughts, comments, questions, and projects.
We want to connect with you and see what you are doing.
Join our closed group here and say hello.

Melissa's lesson is packed full of goodness today.
Lots of Bible study, lots of super fun techniques: 
collage, making masks and stencils, mosaics, and more.

Have fun this week!


Sunday, August 2

Journaling by Heart: Week 5: Process & Palettes

Welcome back to Journaling by Heart, a free summer workshop for art journaling your faith.
 I’m so glad to be back with you for this week's workshop.

Melissa and I have been SO encouraged by your work, your journeys, your stories.
Truly you bless us by being here, so thank you.

This week I’ll going into more detail about my process of art journaling
& we’ll play with color palettes. Let’s get started.

My Process

Last week I loved Melissa’s description of meditating on God’s Word. I so enjoyed her assignment to carry around a verse and meditate on it. It helped me stay focused and REMEMBER what it is that God is teaching me, instead of being focused on me. 

Today I want to take you through my thought/faith/prayer process so that it {hopefully} might help you on your journey. Our goal in art journaling our faith is to meditate on and interact with God and His Word and to be changed by it. It’s such a personal, individual process, but it’s so encouraging to do together, isn’t it?

In this workshop we want to give you a bunch of tools to pull from as you continue art journaling your own personal faith journey. To do that, I thought I’d share my process:

   1. Read the Bible
               Pray that God would open your heart and mind to what He wants to teach you.
         {But how do you decide what to read?}
         When I am unsure of what to read, there are several things I’ll do.
*** I’ll read and reread and reread a gospel: Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John. My mentor in college taught me to always have a foot in the gospels.  If you haven’t read through those four books I would highly suggest starting there.
As I read I mostly ask, Lord, what does this say? What does this mean? What does this mean for me today?

*** Second, do a topical study by looking up verses with specific words  freedom, love, anger, children, marriage, grace}  to see what the Bible has to say about it. We looked up verses about grace for this workshop and this week’s verse, Galations 5:4 spoke to me.

          *** Third, Psalms and Proverbs are always great wisdom.

          *** I listen to a sermon online or read whatever series my church is going through at the time.           Right  now we’re studying Proverbs and the sermon notes always have extra verses to look up.
          What do you want me to learn?
          What do you want me to do with this?

          2. Meditate on it.
          Think about it, break it down. Ask lots of questions, as Melissa explained last week.
          Sometimes, if I’m really confused I’ll turn to a study Bible or an online commentary. But it’s             also okay to read and be confused, and not know and ask questions. In fact I feel like it’s in all           of my questioning that I find my faith and understanding grow stronger. God is so faithful to             show up.

    3. Choose a verse or phrase
              that speaks to you, that encourages you, or that you feel like God is trying to teach you.

          4. Start journaling.
         I like to start with paint. You can start with your preferred medium.

For this workshop we looked up verses about grace. 
Galations 5:4 spoke to me about me.

You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ;

 you have fallen away from grace.

You have fallen away from grace.
You have fallen away from grace.
You have fallen away from grace. 

Then I read the verse in context:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let

yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 

Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.

Galations 5: 1-4

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It’s part of the freedom passage. 

God keeps bringing me back to freedom. 

I instagrammed this in a doodle last spring:

It’s all for freedom. So that I can be free to be all HIS, to do what He is calling me to do, what I was created to do. God is opening my eyes to so many areas that I thought I was free, and I’m not. 

In this verse I’m seeing how clinging to his grace is the only path to freedom. They are connected. Everything is connected.

And then, as I go back and read {I love this} Paul begs us to stand firm. To not let ourselves be burdened. I have to be vigilant and refuse to allow it, like our default mode is to be burdened, and I have to fight to be free. It’s a choice. I have to get to choose grace each day. I get to invite the Holy Spirit into every area of my life, or else I’ll be burdened again.

Lord, I can’t do this. You have to do it for me. Help me cling to your grace through your Holy Spirit. I lay down my running and striving and trying. I lay it at your feet. I don’t want it. I pray that you would lead me and guide me to freedom, only by your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen!

There’s so much more I could say about the whole process of journaling my faith; how it’s causing me to interact with the scripture and see things I've never seen in a whole new way. I wanted to give you a glimpse of that today. I hope it does the same for you.

Playing with Color Palettes

I was in a rut with color. I found myself drawn to the same colors and same combinations in every single piece. I wanted to get out of my go-tos and explore some new color palettes.

Here is a fun excercise I use to find new, interesting, and different color palletes,
that I wouldn't naturally choose. This is so fun.


index cards

or buy one.
I like this one.

Brushes of various sizes
Small, detail brushes
Various Sizes 

Step 1: Lay out 8 index cards and choose a color.

Any color. 

Step 2: Paint a line of the same color on the top of each index card.

Step 3: Choose 2 more colors.

Paint a line of the first color on the top row.

Paint a line of the second color on the bottom row.

Step 4: Start painting lines to complete your palettes.

Add more...

And more until...

you're done!

* Note: Some have 4 colors and some have 5.

Some felt like they needed another color. You decide!

Step 5: Choose a palette.

Stand back and soak in the color goodness.

Isn't it pretty??? This makes me so happy.

Now, choose a palette you love. It's gonna be tough,
but the cool part is, now you have 7 more palettes to use,
either on another piece, or to cut up and use in your journal.

Step 6: Paint a layer of gesso over your page.

Step 7: Using only the colors from the palette card you chose,
start painting.

Choose one color from the palette you chose.

Paint half of each page OVER THE WET GESSO. 

{Don't let it dry.}

Paint vertical stripes of the remaining colors from your palette on the rest of the page.

Step 8: Doodle your words with white ink.

I like to start with white ink to get an idea of the spacing and composition.

If I mess up, it's easy to paint over.

Add doodles with your white ink.

Step 9: Doodle your words with black ink.

Paint over the white ink with black ink and continue your doodles all over the page.

Your Assignment:

1. Read & choose a verse for your journal.

2. Create lots of color palettes from steps 1-4

3. Choose one color palette that you love and create your verse.

Have fun with this!
I can't wait to see you color palettes.
Join us on Facebook to share your journal.