Friday, October 9, 2015

Time Is Free But It's Priceless

The new Kaisercraft Time Machine Collection is filled with beautiful papers, clocks, and quotes about time. I chose this Harvey Mackey quote as the INSPIRATION for a recent home decor project.

The 12"X12" acetate clock was the perfect piece to use as a background. I backed it with one paper, then trimmed around the clock and matted both pieces onto another patterned paper.

The four decorative strips are simply the reverse side of the bar code strips from the ends of several of the papers in this collection!

The "shelf" created by those strips holds the matted quote and lots of FUN embellishments. Everything except the paper flowers and Tim Holtz spinners used as clock hands came from the Time Machine Collection.

I removed the glass from a 12x12 frame that I had on hand so that this dimensional piece could be displayed easily.

This piece is currently on display at Scrappin' Goodtime, but will eventually return to me where I can display it as a reminder to enjoy the precious and priceless commodity of time!

How have you been spending your time lately?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Overcoming Obstacles to Getting Started with Bible Journaling

"I'm really not sure where to start!"

This is the comment I've received several times here on my blog and in the Bible journaling workshops I'm teaching. There are three common obstacles that seem to make it difficult to get started: (1) a new Bible, (2) too much INSPIRATION, and (3) intimidation.

First, let me say that there are no rules in Bible journaling! The purpose of this hobby is to grow closer to the Lord and spend time in His word. Take time to pray each time you sit down with your Bible and let the Holy Spirit lead you. I believe the Lord rewards and delights in those who seek Him.

Now, let's talk about each of these hurdles and how to make the leap to get started in this fulfilling hobby.

A New Bible

I've had several ladies show up to a workshop with a brand new journaling Bible, eager to get started, but finding it difficult to make those first marks in a pristine new book! Some are anxious about making a mistake or doing something wrong.

As I mentioned in a previous post, although I had already started Bible journaling using one of the Bibles in my library (and in Bibles for display at Scrappin' Goodtime and Personal Scrapbook), I still found it a little difficult to make the first marks in my new journaling Bible.

My solution to this obstacle is to begin with an introduction page. Choose one of the pages at the beginning of the Bible - the presentation page or title page - and just start. Add some color using pens, markers, colored pencils, or watercolors. It can be something very simple, like adding a favorite scripture and a few stickers. This is the first activity in my Intro to Bible Journaling Workshops.

I also provide a punched tab for participants in my classes and suggest that they add it to the contents page so it's easy to find. Many long-time Christians have memorized the books of the Bible and rarely use the page that lists the books of the Bible when they are flipping to a scripture. Others don't want to use the table of contents because it might imply that they don't know where all the books are . . . so they idly flip through all those lesser prophets trying to find Nahum rather than just look it up. (Seriously - you know who you are, right!)

This first page can be a space to give yourself permission to illustrate your faith in this new Bible. It can be as simple or elaborate as you want and is a great way to leap over that first hurtle to using your journaling Bible as a place of worship.


There are two different types of INSPIRATION when it comes to illustrated Bible journaling. Since the purpose is to use our creative gifts to draw closer to the Lord and spend time in the Word, I believe INSPIRATION for illustrated pages comes from the Word itself as well as from sermons, devotionals, quotes, prayer, the Holy Spirit, etc. This is the INSPIRATION that determines what we journal and/or illustrate.

As the Bible journaling and Illustrated Faith movement has grown, the amount of INSPIRATION online has increased, too. Illustrated pages are showing up on blogs, Pinterest boards, Facebook groups, Instagram feeds,websites, online classes, YouTube videos, etc. This is the INSPIRATION that determines how we journal.

For example, the first section in the Illustrated Faith Genesis Devotional is about beginning something new (like illustrated Bible journaling). While the devotional is not actually focused on the book of Genesis, it caused me to think about creation and how in the beginning God created such a beautiful world. I was inspired to re-read Genesis chapter 1 and illustrate that story. The devotional inspired what I wanted to illustrate, and an idea I had seen online inspired how I would illustrate it.

I printed a coloring page about creation, which I then traced onto my Bible page. (Most Bible pages are thin enough that you can put a printout under it and trace onto the page). I traced the picture with pencil, then went over the pencil lines with colored pen, and finally colored in the picture using colored pencils. I strategically added a few stickers around the page so that they would not cover up the words.

While I was illustrating this page, taking time to trace and color and add embellishments, I was able to meditate on the creativity of God and marvel at how He turned a void into something so beautiful. He invented everything from nothing - amazing! Remember that what you journal or illustrate is much more important than how you do it!


This last obstacle is one that many of us struggle with in various areas of our lives. We are intimidated by all the "artistic" and "creative" and "perfect" illustrated Bible pages we see online and don't think we can do work that is anywhere near as good as all that. I've even met women who have no intention of sharing their pages online who feel intimidated and don't want to create pages because they won't measure up to the examples.

The solution to overcoming this barrier is to return to the purpose behind creating illustrated Bible pages - to draw closer to the Lord and spend time in His Word. Remind yourself that the Lord sees your heart, not the crooked lines or the imperfect drawing or mismatched colors or the smeared paint! And besides, I believe it's all beautiful to Him. (He is after all the one who causes rivers to meander rather than flow in straight lines, creates snowflakes that are each unique and unlike any other, and smears a multitude of colors across the sky!)

If you're still feeling intimidated, check back in a few days when I'll share some of my less-than-stellar pages and what I learned from them.

Have you started Bible journaling? What obstacles did you overcome (or are you still trying to overcome) in your quest to spend time in the Word?

Saturday, October 3, 2015

INSPIRATION - September Review & October Plans

September turned out much differently than I'd planned. For some time, I've been contemplating going back to teaching, and I had the opportunity to interview for a couple of unexpected openings at local school districts. I was offered a position and spent a week in the (high school) classroom. However, it is difficult to take over a class in the middle of a semester, especially when the previous teacher/coach had very low expectations and an extremely casual classroom structure, so I've decided to continue my "unofficial sabbatical" concentrating on having FUN and finding and acting on INSPIRATION!

September Review
1. Top Five - I'm challenging myself to scrap my top five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. I completed two layouts from my May Top Five list.

2. Blog Series INSPIRATION A-Z - I completed a couple more posts in this blog series. Click a letter below to check out any that you  may have missed.

A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)   
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)
H(Hiking)   I(Immersion)

3. Reading for INSPIRATION - Oddly, I did not do much reading in September.

During September, I taught four Intro to Bible Journaling classes and completed quite a few Bible Journaling pages. In these classes, I discussed the beginnings of Illustrated Faith, demonstrated using pencil colors, water colors, pens and markers in the margins of the Bible, and then shared a devotional which class participants used as INSPIRATION for their own Bible Journaling. They did a fabulous job!

Other creative INSPIRATION in September led to 2 completed layouts, 1 canvas, 5 cards, and 1 framed home decor piece (which I'll share in a future post). I also completed a 40-page scrap- book-for-hire album. I published 12 blog posts (+2 on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog and 1 on the Personal Scrapbook blog). I updated and reviewed my INSPIRATION notebook and completed quite a few items on the INSPIRATION to-do list I created mid-month. I didn't actually participate in Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day class this year, but I did read the prompts each day. (One of my pages from 2013 is actually featured in the handout for the 21st!)

For the month of October, I'll be exploring and acting on INSPIRATION in several ways:

1. Top Five - I'm challenging myself to scrap my top five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. I'll be working on my layouts for May, June, July, August and September. Here's one of my favorite photos from September - just me and Robbie out and about on a Saturday.

2. Blog Series INSPIRATION A-Z - I'll be working on the next series of posts for my blog series on INSPIRATION.

3. Bible Journaling Workshops - I started this month out by teaching two Bible Journaling workshops at Scrappin' Goodtime and have three more scheduled at Personal Scrapbook in the next couple of weeks. (Check out all the details HERE.)

4. Reading for INSPIRATION - I'm hoping to get back to reading and sharing INSPIRATION from Creative Girl, Creative Doodling & Beyond, and Art Journal Freedom this month. 

5. Travel - We have a FUN trip scheduled for later this month, which includes a meet-up with Cheri! I'm sure I'll find INSPIRATION for lots of photography along the way, too!

What kind of INSPIRATION did you enjoy in September? What are your plans for exploring and acting on INSPIRATION in October?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

May Top Five - National Scrapbook Day 2015

As part of my year of INSPIRATION, I am challenging myself to scrap my Top Five (photos or stories or events) from each month. I am currently working on my May layouts and am using INSPIRATION from the Scrapping Everyday Miracles Birthday Mini Crop challenges for these pages.

Challenge #2 was to create a layout using a row or column or diagonal on the Tic-Tac-Toe board provided. I chose the center column which dictated that I use (1) die cut or chipboard, (2) patterned paper, and (3) buttons.

(1) I used my Cricut to die cut letters for my title.

(2) I created a background for my two-page layout using four patterned papers.

(3) I chose buttons as embellishments for the flower centers.

I used eight photos (plus two small circle-punched photos) along with two Project Life journal cards to tell the story of this FUN day!

While I'm sure I would have used patterned paper on this layout anyway (right!), without this challenge I might not have considered adding the button embellishments (which I really like) or taken the time to die cut my title, so I'm really glad I decided to try the challenge because this is such a happy layout! Have you tried any scrapbooking challenges lately?

Monday, September 21, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (I - Immersion)

This post is the ninth in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

I is for Immersion

Immersion is defined as "deep mental involvement" and "complete involvement in some activity or interest." It's also "a method of learning a foreign language by being taught entirely in that language" and "instruction based on extensive exposure to surroundings or conditions that are native or pertinent to the object of study."

I've read that the best way to learn a new language is through cultural Immersion - "the process of becoming familiar with a culture by extensive questioning and by active participation in the life of the culture." While this sounds fascinating, I cannot imagine totally immersing myself in a culture where I don't speak the language or understand the differences in traditions and lifestyle. It seems rather scary to me. 

I began thinking about the link between Immersion and INSPIRATION because of the two courses I participated in focusing on the writing life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I've shared about these courses several times over the past year (most notably HERE and HERE), and I realize how by immersing myself in the study of this topic, I found INSPIRATION for additional reading, discussions with friends and family, and places to visit on our travels. Because of my "deep mental involvement" in the subject, I have a much greater understanding and appreciation for Laura Ingalls Wilder as an individual and as a writer. 

In summary,  Immersion is a great tool for learning new things and it provides INSPIRATION for additional learning or activities. And the INSPIRATION for Immersion could come from a need to learn something quickly or in-depth.

What have you immersed yourself in lately? Please share your thoughts on Immersion and INSPIRATION in the comments. 

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)   
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)
H(Hiking)   I(Immersion)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

May Top Five - Meeting Karen

As part of my year of INSPIRATION, each month I am challenging myself to scrap my Top Five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month, although I am quite behind on this goal. However, this week I am using INSPIRATION from the Scrapping Everyday Miracles Birthday Mini Crop challenges to get some of my Top Five scrapped.

Challenge #1 was to create a layout using a "recipe" based on your birth date. The number of photos, types of supplies and techniques are determined by the month, day and year of your birth. Based on this FUN formula, here are the "ingredients" for my layout.

Three Photos - Because my birthday is in July, I needed three photos, which I printed here at home . . . well, one of them is actually a collage of three photos. I also pulled a piece of memorabilia that went along with this story.

A Base & Two Patterned Papers - The directions were to start with the papers and a title, but since I like to pull colors from the photos, I started there, then pulled a white cardstock base and two patterned papers from my stash. I already knew I wanted my title to be "Meeting Karen."

Buttons & Stickers - My birth date dictated that I use buttons and stickers as embellishments. I pulled a small assortment of items, although I ended up not using them all. I did use the yellow flowers (stickers), one of the purple labels (sticker), and six of the buttons.

Inking & Misting - Because I was born in the 60s (at the very end!), I needed to include inking and misting techniques on my page. I inked the edges of all my papers and used spray mist on a couple of scrap pieces of cardstock. I printed my title onto one of those pieces.

I printed my journaling for this layout from this post and set to work incorporating all these various pieces onto one page. I ended up with a grid-type design and three embellishment clusters with the yellow flower stickers and buttons.

I'm absolutely thrilled with the way this layout turned out and enjoyed the INSPIRATION provided by this Birthday Recipe challenge!

This is my second time to join in with a challenge at Scrapping Everyday Miracles. The first was when I used the August sketch for my Little Green Arrows layout. I'm excited to announce that I was chosen as one of the Top Three entries for August . . . AND I was chosen by the random number generator as the prize winner for the month! Check out the happy mail prize package that I received this week!!

There are six challenges posted over at Scrapping Everyday Miracles open until the end of the month. I'm planning to try a few more this week. Anyone want to join me?