Viewing entries tagged
Sheila Atchley

Class Schedule - Fall 2018 Art & Faith Creative Retreat


Class Schedule - Fall 2018 Art & Faith Creative Retreat

Hello! It’s been a busy month with everything going on, but I wanted to make sure I came on here before I left for Italy in a little over a week from now. We are busy getting things all pretty and packed up as well as preparing for our classes, and I wanted to share with you a glimpse into our week in Bellagio.


It will be such a blessing to step away from our busy “home building” life and enjoy some time to sit. You will definitely find me sipping my cappuccino from this spot the moment I arrive…


This is a little SNEAK PEEK into some of the little ephemera packs I put together for my classes.


At this time of year the lake is quiet and still. This will be the perfect spot to take some moments to be refreshed…

Below are two of the classes that will be taught by Sheila Atchley in Bellagio, Italy for our October Art & Faith Creative Retreat. All the classes are available to register for on the SIGN UP PAGE, under REGISTRATION now!

Here’s a preview:

  1. The first class for Sheila Atchley will be her Altered Tin Class. This will be taught on October 8 starting at 9:30am. Cost is 50 Euro’s and you need to be local to Bellagio, Italy because this is not an online class. We will have a break for lunch, and then continue afterwards to finish this beautiful art tin class. Class will end by 4pm.

Altered Tin Class Description.jpg

2. The second class with Sheila will be held on Wednesday, October 10 at 9:00am. We will meet in San Giovanni to enjoy a Plein Air class as we walk and enjoy the surrounding beauty of Bellagio. Cost is 35 Euro’s & Class will be over at 12:30pm.

Sketch Class Description.jpg

3. I will be teaching classes during the week as well, and they will start with a class on Sunday, October 7th with Bible Journaling 101. This will go into detail about the heart behind this new “art form” as well as share with you the art products that you can use in your bible safely and delve into the worship aspect of Bible Journaling. Cost for this class will be 30Euro. (and again, you need to be in Bellagio, Italy to attend) This class will begin at 10:30am but you are welcome to join us at 9:00am for a time of worship and devotionals to start the day! Please Note: Picture below is just an example of Bible Journaling, not the actual pages we will be working on.

IMG_7937 2-2.jpg

4. On Wednesday, October 10th, after Sheila’s Plein Air class, I will be continuing to teach Bible Journaling. This class will be more in depth and if you have done Bible Journaling before and want to have time to delve into more techniques and just have time to devote a few hours to it, please join us! This class will just be a fun time of listening to the Lord’s promptings in His Word and journaling in our bibles. Cost will be 10 Euro.


5. On Friday, October 12th I will be teaching the last class & it will be a Traveler’s Notebook Class. This is a FUN way to journal and keep notes on ANY subject in one place. (Just check out the hashtag #traverlersnotebook on IG and you will see a whole new world! :) This class will come with a Brand New, HANDMADE… ITALIAN LEATHER Traveler’s Notebook!! Yes, I am having them made by hand by our favorite leather maker in Bellagio! It will come with the inserts to go with it and a fun package of ephemera to get your started! I will teach the basics on how to use this system and we will be creating ART and documenting LIFE in our BEAUTIFUL new notebooks. Cost is 85 Euro’s as you will be given a handmade leather TN along with the class. NOTE: For this class & afterwards, I will have some extra Traveler’s Notebooks and will be selling them online after I get back from our time in Italy. I will give a SNEAK PEEK on the actual TN’s tomorrow!


Ok, that’s a FULL load of classes and I know everyone joining us is super excited about them. We hope if are you local to Lake Como you know you are very welcome to join us in one or all of the classes! It has always been my heart to open these retreats to the local woman to join in our time together and to encourage community through these retreats. It has been a huge blessing to see the relationships that have started through this with women all over the world!

We can’t wait to meet you soon!




Italy in the Fall...


Italy in the Fall...

Let me introduce you to my beautiful friend Sheila Atchley.  Then I want to invite you to spend a week with us in Italy... because I know the Lord is going to show up during this week, and show us BIG things.  Below are Sheila's words (and if you follow me on IG or read my blog, you know I'm all about WORDS lately, and these words from Sheila got me...)


"This October, in Bellagio, Italy, I will be bringing a word for those of us “in the middle”. While we are smack-dab in the middle of some of the most beautiful gardens in the world, ablaze with autumn glory, we will play with the idea of an Autumn Planting.

Gardeners do it all the time.  Cold weather crops may need a little extra nurturing, and a little different mindset, but cold weather crops are some of the best.

It is never too late to plant something new and different.

God can take what you plant, right now in this middle-season of your life, even what feels like “late in the season”, and give you a “winter crop” that will knock your socks off and bless you all your days.  

Through words and art, we will play with this and other “in the middle” themes, surrounded by the beauty that is Bellagio.

He makes all things new.  He does all things well.

No one reaches the middle without a few regrets.  Nevertheless (I love that word), we don’t have to settle for our present mid-life harvest, if it is even a little less than we hoped for.  We can plant again, for a future harvest.  Because our God makes and does, we don’t have to “make do” with what is.  Such grace!

Come away for a little while, and let God restore your capacity to play, to dream new dreams and to plant new things."

~ Sheila

Beautiful, right?

Well here is a sample of one of the classes she is teaching that she just sent me.  


We are praying the Lord moves in the hearts of those that need to be at this retreat.  So pray about it and see if that's YOU.  

We can't wait to meet you in Italy this Fall!


Find out more details here.  Or Sign up HERE.

Hugs to all,



Art & Faith Creative Retreat... Fall 2018


Art & Faith Creative Retreat... Fall 2018

Yes... it's happening!


I am very excited to announce our 2nd Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Bellagio, Italy next year!  


Mark your calendars and plan to join us:

October 6 - 13, 2018

 We are very excited to have this special teacher joining us...



This beautiful lady is Sheila Atchley and if you don't know her... you need to!!

Here's a little bit of information on this talented, funny, honest & open gorgeous lady:


Hi, I'm Sheila Atchley:  artist-author, wisdom-chaser, silver-haired ordinary mystic.  

I'm a celebrant, a congregant, and a flagrant creative.

I have a semi-empty nest, a pet husband, and five adorable grand-wildlings.

And I over-use the hyphen.  

While I am equally drawn to words and art, words are my defining first love, and a big part of my art form.  I'm here to encourage you with paint, prose, and poetry.  I'm here to unleash an army of women whose metric is grace.

One of my passions is the middle age woman.  This beautiful season of life is under-celebrated and under-valued.  Middle aged women do not get enough support, by and large.  I aim to change that, when and where I can.  I believe that, just like Abraham in the bible, “everywhere the soles of your feet tread shall be yours…the Lord will extend your boundaries…”.  

Middle age is a vast and gracious land, a land where many of us now find ourselves walking, a land where the potential fruit is enormous if you are willing to slay some giants.  I’m busy doing just that, in my personal life, in my art, and in my writing and speaking ministry.  I want to help you extend your boundaries, and to inherit what’s yours, in every season.  

After all, if I encourage the women, I encourage the world.

So sit down, relax, and please overlook my hair (it is its own light source, my apologies.).  Let's talk about the things that really matter, and laugh about the things that really don't.  


Ok, don't you love her already?

I didn't even know this lady 4 months ago!  Our dear mutual friend Jeanne Oliver mentioned her to me when we were in Italy together this past summer and she told me it was someone I needed to know.  Well, a few hours later I got a Facebook message that was Jeanne connecting us.  THANK YOU JEANNE!  I truly am in Awe of the Lord's PERFECT timing and the way He brings people into our lives.  I already love and adore Sheila and the conversations we have had just confirm it over and over.  You do NOT want to miss this special, special lady having a BLAST in Italy with us next FALL!

You can check out more of Sheila's life and art at:

So let me share with you the WHY we decided to add this retreat next year.  I know... I already have a retreat in Italy in 2018!  And if you want to join that one... Please feel free to join us!  I think I have a few more spots open if the Summer 2018 retreat works better for your schedule.  I know for some people it's easier to get away when the kids have their summer break and that would be a great time to actually BRING the family!  This past summer we had our biggest group EVER and it was because we said YES to hubby's or families and it was a BLAST!

Getting back to the FALL 2018 Retreat...


My daughter and I just got back from a work trip to France & Italy for our retreats and we really didn’t expect what happened.  We knew it would be beautiful in the fall (and it WAS) and it would be so great to see new things and discover new places we want to take YOU in the future… and it WAS.  But we didn’t think we would be coming back… NEXT Fall!  It was just SO beautiful and SO inspiring and we could feel the Lord stirring something in us to come back with YOU next fall… so we are.  

Each year that we have done these retreats I am just in awe of how God is moving and knitting people together through these times together.  We are so thankful the Lord has blessed us with this opportunity to serve and love and come along side the women that come to our retreats! Our prayer is always that the people who the Lord is calling to be there COME, and that throughout the week they are able to draw closer to Him and hear and experience what God is wanting them learn from this time in Italy.  

It is so evident that He places us in the right place at exactly the right time because He has something to show us.  Mostly, because the Lord wants so show us how much He LOVES US but ALSO to show us how BIG of a God He is and that He does have a PLAN for each one of us and He wants us to see that!  He also brings others into our lives for a reason and I get SO excited to see that each year… the people who come into a group of strangers and leave a week later with a FAMILY of friends.  He is so good to bring us together and bring people into our lives who we need to know… who we may need to help us through hard times, or to share our joys or simply to share laughs with and beautiful art with… and that it ultimately is His gift to bring us together.  I am so unbelievably sure of that... and it's why I always cry at these retreats...

because of the STORIES.

I could go on and on with stories... one about a woman telling me she "needed to hear those exact words" or another lady saying she doesn't have very many women in her life and she now has a whole group of ladies!  Or that one lady was so down on herself and how she felt she was "weird or didn't fit it in her world" until another lady who came was JUST LIKE HER... and she realized it was OK to be who she is!  Or how one has struggled with a certain problem and two other ladies were going through the SAME THING.  The stories go on and on.  So as we pray each year for the people to come, I am in AWE of how the Lord orchestrates it... 


I say all this because I want that for YOU.  I'm not trying to sell you on a week in Italy.  You could go by yourself and see Italy.  What I am wanting is for you to come spend a week getting to know what the Lord has for you here at one of our retreats.  Because if you are feeling it on your heart to come... than He does have something here for you.  And trust me... you will go back changed.  I hear it all the time... "This was LIFE CHANGING"  

So please pray about it, seek the Lord's will, and if you feel the Lord prompting you to come next year, then come.  There WILL be room for you.  If you sign up NOW... OR if you can't sign up for a while.  I truly believe if you are meant to come, there will be a space for you.  

Registration will OPEN THIS FRIDAY, November 10, 2017 at 9am PST/Noon EST

You will click on the SIGN UP button at the top of this website and then the drop down menu will show three different retreats.  Click on the "Italy Retreat - Fall 2018" if that is the retreat you want to join and then it will take you to another page.  On that page you will click on the retreat you want to SIGN UP for and it will take you through the prompts to pay the deposit.

Oh, I hope to meet you in Italy next year!



P.S.  I am always available if you have ANY questions.  You can contact me via the CONTACT button at the top of the page as well.



Bible Journaling Techniques


Bible Journaling Techniques

Hi everyone!

Thanks for coming to my blog, it's where I share my passions of Art & Faith and all that comes from that.  This week I have been following Sheila Atchley's class "Let us Make" on Jeanne Oliver's Ning site and it is incredible!  She is such a beautiful heart, full of such wonderful words of wisdom and to top that off... she's such a talented artist!  

I will be honest with you, I don't usually take classes.  NOT that I am this talented artist b/c I am NOT.  But it's because of my own desire to, in my own art,  not copy anyone else.  But something tugged at my heart when I saw Sheila's class and so I talked to Jeanne and told her what I was feeling.  She totally gets where I'm coming from b/c we had just talked about it when I was at her house last week, but she thought it would be fun if I took the class and interpreted it through Bible Journaling... which she knows I am passionate about!

So that is what I am doing and it has been SO fun.  The first few minutes of Sheila's class she delves into Genesis 1 and WOW... her depth and wisdom made me write about 2 pages of notes!  You really can't help fall in love with this lady's heart for the Word of God and her fun personality too!  I feel a teaching for Italy coming on... :)

(If you're new here, I have an Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Bellagio, Italy each year... and you are WELCOME to join us...)

I thought I would blog a little about the classes and let you see how I have been inspired to do them IN my bible.  Now Sheila's class is in-depth and she has a list of art supplies and goes through each one and shows you step-by-step how to create these beautiful pieces she has created!  But with the very thin and almost transparent pages of a bible I have had to change things a bit and use different products to achieve a similar effect.  So I want to show you what I have done and give you some ideas and products you can try when you are bible journaling.

These are the basic steps I use for every page I create in my Bible.

Step 1: Always prep your pages before you start.  I wish I could say that I have done this each and every time, but I forget... and when I forget I am not happy about it because it usually ends up in having the artwork show through to the back page.  

This is very easy to do but really important, so try to remember... (unlike me ;)  I like to use Art Basics Clear Gesso.  It doesn't have the "grit" of other brands so when you are working on your page you don't feel that sandpaper texture.  Just take a bit out of the jar and spread it on the page in a very thin layer with an old room key or used gift card.  Let it dry for 15-20 minutes or you can run a heat tool over it to set it quickly.

Step 2:  While this is drying gather all your supplies.  Depending on the kind of bible you have  (if it has blank pages or if you are going to be doing your art over the words) you will want to be careful on the supplies you use so it doesn't ruin your bible or go through the pages.  The gesso works wonders for that, but it's not a "go ahead" for all kinds of art mediums.  Here is a list of some of my favorite things to use that I know are not going to bleed through the gesso'd pages:

Pigment based ink-  Illustrated Faith has great ink pads
Chalk Inks - Prima or Ranger
Stamp Markers by American Crafts (These are pens you can use on stamps or directly on the page)

Watercolors work GREAT and don't bleed through
Faber-Castell Water Color Pencils
Distress Inks by Ranger
Acrylics also can be great, but you need to watch the type. Pebeo paint are great
Winsor & Newton Galleria acrylic paint
Studio Calico color theory paints

Pens & Markers:
Copic Pigment Liners
Prisma Color Premier Markers
Faber -Castell PITT Artist Pens
Pigma Micron Pens

Crayons & Pencils:
Crayola Twistables
Faber - Castell Mix & Match Art Grip
Faber - Castell Gelatos (use dry and gently rub, use with a paint brush with almost no water or use on stamps for a light color)  These are one of my FAV's

Studio Calico Spray Ink
Heidi Swapp Color Shine
Sei Tumble Dye

Be careful when using sprays so it doesn't go everywhere.  I like to control the area with paper covering the areas I do NOT want to have color on and I also have lots of paper towels handy to wipe any excess ink away after I spray.

Step 3: This probably could be started at the very beginning, but if you haven't already, protect the other pages in your bible before you start coloring.  I like to use regular parchment paper or if I don't have any, I use wax paper.  I layer that underneath the page I'm working on, underneath the whole bible and on the page next to the page I'm working on if I don't want to get that messed up.

Step 4: Get creative!  I like to put on worship music, pray, see what the Lord is showing me and then just start.  There are NO mistakes in what the Lord is showing you and even if your page does not look like those you see on social media... that is NOT what this is about.  This is about you drawing closer to God through His Word and through the creative spirit He is giving you.  I don't consider myself an artist in the sense that I went to Art School or had any kind of natural ability is art class when I was in grade school... or beyond.  But... it is a part of my.  Being CREATIVE, using my hands, being INSPIRED to worship the Lord is this way.  It is something I started about 2 1/2 years ago and had drawn me closer to the Lord like never before!  I have learned so much about His Word, His heart for us, His beautiful story that He has for each one of us... and it has filled me up completely!   The JOY I have found through this "art form" is immeasurable to me.  I hope that you find that too...

So finally getting to the pages I have done so far with Sheila's class... here are the two I have done so far:

Here class delves into the Beginning, as in Genesis 1.  Let there be light.  So the first class exercise was to draw a face!  Yikes... that is my least favorite thing to do and I probably have only shown 1 or 2 faces from my artwork, ever!  But we learned the different in values and finding that in a photo of your face.

This is the picture I used for this exercise.

And this is the page I created.  I have LOTS to learn... I know... but it was something that really stretched me and it actually made me want to work on faces more.  Sheila's was much more abstract then mine, so I would like to keep trying this outside of my bible to get better and finding the light with color and not trying to be so realistic in my art.  Love that she pushed me though and that I really got so much out of her bible study on Genesis.  

Here's what I wrote on IG with this post and a few more photos:

REPOST FROM IG:  Really enjoying @sheilaatchleydesigns class "Let us Make" on Jeanne Oliver's Creative Network! I'm going to be posting all my art and bible journaling over on my @awelldocumentedlife IG account so if you want to follow along, please follow that feed. On day one it already challenged me and was so inspiring! It's not to late to sign up and join the fun!
Purpose. That word keeps popping up everywhere lately. Last weekend my hubby and I talked about it, then Sunday in church the guest speaker talked about it, and then yesterday @sheilaatchleydesigns brought it up again! I guess the Lords trying to tell me something?? I listened & watched only the first 3 videos from Sheila over at Jeanne Oliver's Creative Network and you can't help but fall in love with this ladies heart and the words coming from that heart! I don't draw faces people... this may be the 2nd time I've dared even show one online! But, Genesis starts with such an impactful first sentence that is directly connected to YOU & ME that I dared to (With way too much hair, haha) IN the beginning, GOD. There is so much in those 4 words that you can rest on, I so encourage you to take Sheila's class IF ONLY to listen to her study on that alone! (I think I wrote two pages of notes yesterday!) Little did I know if I scrolled down there were lots more videos! 😂 But listen, God not only created an incredible World, He created you... and it was for a PURPOSE. Did you hear that? Sit on that today, thank Him for that, ask Him what that looks like... because when you know what He is calling you to, there is a party going on in your soul! I took these photos in the morning light which was awesome to catch but I know these are a little dark and may not show the true values in the painting. Oh and I decided to start this journey with Sheila in my new journaling bible! It's the ESV Interleaved addition and its thick and chunky and leather bound, and I love it already! ❤️ Have a great day and let me know if you've joined in on "Let us Make" by Sheila Atchley!

Since this was such a long post on the basics of Bible Journaling, I will go ahead and do another post later of the page I finished and put on IG this morning.

If you have any questions about Bible Journaling feel free to email me or send me your questions via the Contact Page up at the top of this website.

Have a Blessed day,