Hi everyone!  Sorry this took me all week to get posted...  This week has been busy with car issues and home repairs.  So fun... I know.  ;)-

So I did a post about Bible Journaling back on January 15th but I've had so many people since then ask me about it I thought I would do an update.  And, since I went to Italy with Shanna Noel, the "OG" Bible Journaling lady, I have some more insight into this art form that might be interesting to you.

If you are new to this, Bible Journaling really has been around for a very long time, just not in the way you see all these pretty bibles on Pinterest.  We know many bible theologians, authors and bible study leaders who have shown us ways to highlight in our bibles.  Or we have underlined or written notes in the margins of our bibles.  We were just cleaning out the garage last week and I found three old bibles of mine!  I opened them to see highlighted passages that spoke to me as a young girl and even hand written notes in the margins that I was so happy to read 30+ years later!  So this is not new... But what IS new is taking this "note taking" or "highlighting" in your bible to a whole new level!

This is how it all started for me... well I think for Shanna too.  If you haven't been to one of her Bible Journaling classes I highly recommend going!  She shared how this page came about and it's a really great testimony.  But when she posted it on Pinterest she really didn't think anyone would notice or think twice about it... Oh how she had it all wrong!  This blew UP.  This was what I first saw on Pinterest and got immediate goosebumps!  I think thousands of people felt the same way!  Especially those of us in the scrapbooking world!  What??  You can actually color in your bible?  And you can put STICKERS in your bible??!  hahaha

At first I think it was a bit shocking for some people.  But for me it was a way to COMBINE my LOVES!  I love color, I love art, I love creating... AND I love the Lord and His Word!  To put them together was a lightbulb moment!  But what I didn't realize would come out of this is a new found PASSION for God's Word.  It's not actually ABOUT the stickers and colors and fun stuff... Oh it's definitely a fun aspect of it... but it wasn't the ultimate GIFT that I have gotten out of this. 

That is the GIFT of a closer relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

So I truly encourage you to start this if you are at all interested.  There is NO right or wrong here.  There is no judgement, no perfection... It is ALL about you and your alone time in His Word and what He speaks to you and wants you to focus on.  I am not an artist in that I have great hand lettering skills or artist abilities and can draw a gorgeous tree or lion like you may see on Pinterest.  Do NOT stop yourself from this expression of faith because you don't know how to draw!  Use stickers, paints, letters, etc... and just go for it!

Here is a picture of some of my favorite items I bible journal with.  And below I have a list of some of the items I have found work best on the thin bible pages.  I give a "Bible Journaling Supply List" at all my classes so this is pretty much off of that list:

Inks:

Ink pads from Illustrated Faith
Pigment based inks like Stayz On work best and don't bleed
India Inks from Faber-Castell
Chalk Inks from Prima or Ranger

Paints:

Water color is my favorite and any cheap water color tray works.
Pebeo Paints.  These are acrylic but when applied you can see through to the pages.
Water color pencils
Faber-Castell Gelatos are one of my FAVS!

Pens & Markers:

Prisma Color Premier Markers
Faber-Castell PITT pens are great
Stabilo Fine Liners and Markers
Copic Pens
Illustrated Faith has a line of pens that work great too
Crayola Twistables actually are great if you want to have just a little color

Sprays:

Studio Calico Spray Ink
Heidi Swapp Color Shine
Sei Tumble Dye (very vibrant... use sparingly)

These are just some of the many products you can use.  Added to these items I would say to experiment with:

Stickers of any kind
Lettering - Whether it be by hand or with letter stickers
Stamps - There are thousands to choose from!
Washi Tape - we all LOVE Washi tape, right?
Tabs, paperclips, shaped clips
Flowers, Scrapbook paper, embellishments (get out your old scrapbook stash!)
The sky is the limit of this... so use your imagination!

Here are some TIPS for working in your bible with these products:

I like to PREP my bible pages first before I paint or color in them.  This isn't a necessary step if using some of these products above but I just prefer to do it. It gives you an added protection on the thin bible pages you are working on.  You can use a Gesso or Matte Medium.  These both strengthen the page and give some "tooth" to the page so the inks adhere and stay.  I like to use Art Basics Clear Gesso as it dries fast and smooth. I apply it with an old credit card/room key and just put enough on to cover very lightly over the whole page.  It only takes a few minutes to dry if you have a very thin layer of gesso. 

If I am spraying ink (as in my very first bible page below) I spray the ink from a good distance away and have a few paper towels on hand to blot the ink right after I spray so it doesn't soak in too much or be too dark.  

When using watercolor, (or Gelatos which are water-based) I like to use a blender pen instead of water and paintbrush. That's the water brush you see in the page below.   This is because you can have more control over the amount of water you are using when you use the water pen.  I always have a paper towel when doing this as well because I like to blot my pen on the towel so I can control how much water goes onto the thin bible pages.

I encourage you to look on Pinterest and see what speaks to you.  If you are nervous to start in your journaling bible, start in a art journal.  I have several journaling bibles now and my first one does have mistakes in it.  But I look at it as an art journal that I learned in and I am ok with imperfection.  These are not really the bibles you are taking to church or doing your bible study with.  Some of the pages will be covered, some of the words you won't be able to read.  That is totally OK with me because I have other bibles I will take to church or study in.  These bibles are where I do my WORSHIP and ART in.  And let me tell you... it is life changing!

Some people have asked "How do you start?"  How do you know where to begin?  Do I start in Genesis and work my way through the bible?  Well, the answer really depends on YOU.  

I have found that as I started this journey it has changed along the way.  And it may look different at different times.  Sometimes I have a devotional that speaks to me so much that I want to do a page in my bible on it.  Sometimes I hear a song on the radio that prompts me to look for a verse I could journal in relation to that song.  Or sometimes I am going through something  difficult and I look up verses to help me and that inspires me to make a page.  There are so many ways to be prompted... just go with what the Holy Spirit is putting on your heart.

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This page was inspired by the song by Hillary Scott.  How many times have we heard this scripture and not let it really soak in?  One thing I LOVE about Bible Journaling is that it has helped me remember more bible verses than I ever have before!  And now I find myself thinking about them during the day and repeating in my mind ALL. THE. TIME.  Especially this one because it is where I find I have to remind myself daily to trust the Lord and His will... not my own.

This page I made while in Italy WITH Shanna!  It was such a fun time together.  I had had a prayer running through my head before the retreat and had circled these verses.  I posed about it a few weeks back if you want to hear the whole story...  But this page is BIG for me and I am praying BIG prayers over it still.  The paints we used in class were the ones she brought from Pebeo that she collaborated with them on.  Then she had some fun stencils that I used with a globe stamp and my PRAY BIG stamp I got from one of the ladies that came to my retreat in June.  I love this page and go back to it often.

So as you can see there are SO many things you can use to CREATE in your bible!  To me it is a time of worship and a time with the Lord.  I don't have time to be creating like this every day but it is something that has become a top priority in my life.  I LOVE that it has pushed aside other things in my life that were time wasters and this is now a life saver!

Next week I will be talking about being a LIGHT in this world and how the Lord shines HIS light on the darkness in our own lives.  Kinda a tough one I'm finding out...

Hugs to all of you!  

Have a wonderful weekend!!  I'd love to hear what you use if you have any FAV products you use in your Bible Journaling!  You can leave a comment for all of us so we can see what fun "tools" you like to use as well!

Laura

 

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