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Stephanie Ackerman

Love, Tuesday...  Creative Friends


Love, Tuesday... Creative Friends

I have some AMAZING creative friends!  When you get to do what I do and host CREATIVES in Italy... you get to see all kinds of inspiration.

So today for Love, Tuesday I wanted to highlight one of those creative friends that is doing some amazing things.


Stephanie Ackerman.  This girl... not only is she creative, but she is FUNNY.  I wish I could be funny like her.  I LOVE to laugh, but I just can't come up with the stuff she does.  This girl has been in the scrapbook/mixed-media industry with me for many, many years.  She may pre-date me actually.  We would run into each other at the CDA shows and say Hi and then go about our lives.  It wasn't until a few times of that, that we actually got deeper and found we had so much more in common.  I think we are the same age and when we friended each other on FB years ago we noticed we had a mutual friend from our childhood days!  How cool.  But what I love most is that her heart is so REAL.  She is open and honest and I just love that and am thankful for that.

So this girl is doing some GREAT things.  She has taken her love of the Lord and her love of being creative and blended them into a business called Documented Faith.  Her style of art is so easy to recognize if you are ever on Pinterest or surfing Instagram.  


Everyone LOVES her style.  So she has just had her art journaling published in a new book called "Faith Journaling For the Inspired Artist"  and it's a GREAT book to have, so go check it out via the link above.


She gives you all kinds of techniques to use in your art or bible journaling and gives you great advice on how to draw closer to Jesus.


Stephanie has taught twice with me at my retreats in Italy and I'm sure that won't be the last time you will see her at one of my retreats...

Go find her on IG @stephanieackerman1 and say Hi!

Next Love, Tuesday I think I will continue this series and highlight another CREATIVE friend.

Hope you enjoy your day!




Class Schedule -  2017 Art & Faith Creative Retreat


Class Schedule - 2017 Art & Faith Creative Retreat

We are getting so close to another Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Italy!!  

I am amazed at how the year goes by so quickly as I announce a new retreat and we get the sign ups, then we get to know each person through Facebook and our email correspondence, and then we start planning for our time together.  Then it's here before we know it and we are sooooo excited to go an this amazing adventure together!  


What they don't know (if they haven't gone on one before)  is that it is going to be such a transforming trip for them and that is what I look forward to the most!  The time spent in Italy is such a beautiful time of restoring our souls, meeting new people, and experiencing amazing places... each person comes away with a new set of friends, life long memories and Lord willing a new sense of closeness to Him.  Oh... I can't WAIT for June!

So for those of you who ARE joining us this summer in Italy, here are the classes you will be taking!  

For those who live close enough to come for a day trip... these are the classes YOU can sign up for right now, under the SIGN UP page at the top of the website!  I have always welcomed the local community to be a part of my retreats and that's what I think makes it extra special.  So if you would like to join us for a class, or 2 or 3... please go check them out and see if a time will work with your schedule and we would love to meet you and spend this time together!  I have about 10 spots I make available for local sign ups, so you will find out all the details under SIGN UP and then click on the REGISTRATION button to find each class.

Here is a sneak peek at each class we are teaching this June in Bellagio, Italy:

Class One | Creating a Junk Journal | June 26 - 9:00am

I am a huge believer that carrying a journal and a few supplies with us everywhere we go changes how we see the world. We will be creating in one of the most gorgeous locations in the world and I want to share some techniques that you can use as you explore and then also later when you return home. We will start by creating a handmade art journal full of watercolor paper, mixed media paper, vintage ephemera, fabrics and more. Each journal will have a hand stitched vintage French linen spine and will close with a leather strap.

Class Two | Stamp Carving | June 26 - 1:30pm

In this class Stephanie will show us how to create our OWN one-of-a-kind stamps!  She has been doing this for a while and will share her tips and techniques on making these fun stamps and using them in our classes during the week.  I don't know about you, but I'm excited to learn how to do this and I hope you will join us in this unique class!

Class Three | Mixed-Media Canvas | June 28 - 9:00am

During the week I will be teaching you some Bible Journaling techniques and we will be enjoying this time of art in our bibles!  But I also wanted to have something you could take home with you and hang or display in your home.  So this class will be on a thin canvas board and I will be teaching you some of the basic techniques of mixed-media.  We were learn how to create a collage base on our canvas and then we will be adding layers of dimension to the canvas.  In keeping with our theme for the week, you can add some wording with stamps and hand lettering or add your own saying to the canvas

Class Four | Prayer Journal Midori | June 28 - 1:30pm

In this class we will learn from Stephanie how to make a beautiful Prayer Journal.  She will share with us her insight on how to bring our prayer requests before the Lord and to remember to journal those answered prayers as well!  We will have fun putting this Midori styled journal together with all her colorful paints and stamps!

Class Five | Altered Journal Pages | Friday June 30 - 9:00am

We will then explore fun and easy contour sketching so you can learn to capture the beauty around you in landscapes, architecture and even people.  We will then create a two page spread in our journals as we practice mark making, collage and stitching to create beautiful works of art. My hope is that your journal will become full and well worn as you explore and create in Bellagio and back in your own towns.

So that is all the classes for this summer.  Again, feel free to sign up if you are local to the area and can be there for any of the classes listed.  You can go to the SIGN UP button and the click on the drop down menu on REGISTRATION and you will see all the classes and can pay as well.

If you have any questions you can email me via the contact page at the top of this website.

For those interested in joining one of these trips to Bellagio, Italy there will be another Art & Faith Creative Retreat NEXT SUMMER!  I will have all the details about that in the next month or so.  The dates for that will be most likely the last week in June of 2018.  If you want to be on an Interest List for next year you can also send an email via the Contact page at the top.

Have a GREAT day,





2017 & 2018 Art & Faith Creative Retreats...


2017 & 2018 Art & Faith Creative Retreats...

Good morning everyone! 

I thought this fine January morning with the sun shining out my window (I know, I live in sunny So. Cal but it hasn't been so sunny lately...) would be a good day to update you on the upcoming Art & Faith Creative Retreats.  

Yesterday Rebecca and I worked on this summer's retreat, thanks to her knowing how to put together nice Excel spreadsheets!  That is one aspect of my business/ministry that I am not so good at... so a big shout out to Rebecca for taking three years of business classes in High School!  And making her dad so very happy that when he asks me business related questions I may actually be able to show him the answers now.  :)

I really can't tell you how excited we are about the things the Lord is doing through these retreats, and this summer looks to be the biggest event ever! I have always wanted my art retreats to have a faith element to them, but when I finally felt the Lord calling me to put Him FIRST in these retreats...THAT is when He blew the roof off of them!  I've said it before and I will say it again:  When you give the Lord the control and yield your will to His, that's when He shows you how incredible He is and how His plan is WAY better than yours.  I LOVE how He shows us this and that He truly gets all the glory for it. Yes & Amen!



If you've come to one of my retreats in the past you know my girls are my helpers.  I have been so blessed to have them love what I do and it has been even more of a blessing to see where the Lord is leading them THROUGH these retreats.  Rebecca specifically has such a heart for this ministry and is praying about joining me full time after college!  And the ladies LOVE her and all that she bring to the retreats so it would be a joy to have the Lord use her in this way.  

So this summer can't come quick enough!  If you have signed up for this retreat, we are SO excited to meet you and see what the Lord is going to show you during our time together in Italy!


How could it not be a GREAT time with these two humans?!?  I knew right away when the Lord told me to start doing the faith based retreats that these two were who He wanted me to teach with the first time and I asked them right away!  And I am so honored that they want to come back... AGAIN!  So this year I will be teaching, and laughing, and learning with these great ladies!  Sooooo looking forward to the time we will have together this June and what the Lord will put on our hearts to share with all the people coming.  And speaking of "all the people coming"... right now we are at 32 people!  WOW... that is by far the biggest group I have had, but I know the Lord is going to do amazing things and He has brought each person to this week in Italy for a reason.  

Looking forward to the future... Rebecca and I have been praying over what that looks like.  I know I have mentioned on here that we want to do a Paris Art & Faith Creative Retreat and that is in the planning stages right now!  It looks like it will be a Summer of 2018 time frame and is going to be the LONGEST retreat as well!  

So we are THRILLED to announce that we are planning a Paris-Bruges

10 day Art & Faith Creative Retreat!  

We will start it off in the beautiful city of Paris and explore the city we all love and dream about.  Rebecca and I have been to Paris many times and we love to show the ladies all the hidden jewels of this city.  We will explore some of the not so well known places and little cafes and stores that we love, as well as take everyone to the famous icons of this enchanting city!  Then we will visit some places outside the city to get a feel for the countryside of France.  And then on to Bruges, Belgium for a couple days to enjoy what that storybook town has to offer.  This is one of our favorite little towns in Europe and if you ask others who have been to Bruge, they will agree with you!  Then we will come back to Paris and end our 10 day retreat right in the heart of Paris where it all started.  We can't WAIT to spend this time with everyone! If you are trying to plan ahead for this trip, the dates are not set in stone yet, but it looks like it will be:

Paris - Bruges:  July 14 - 24, 2018

If you have sent me an email to be put on the Interest List, I will be sending you an email towards the end of the month with more specific details on pricing and what will be included.  This will be a much smaller retreat than the one in Italy, so if you haven't put your name on the list yet, go ahead and send me your name and information via my Contact Page at the top of this website.  

If you're wondering about a 2018 Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Italy... YES, there will still be one!  We haven't picked the exact dates of that yet as well, but most likely it will be towards the end of June.  If you are interested in that retreat you can also send an email via my Contact Page above.  

And if that is not enough for you... we are also planning some U.S. Art & Faith Creative Retreats!  I know a lot of you would love to join us and have expressed interest in having us do these locally.  So, with that in mind, we are planning for a Fall 2017 retreat locally in So. Cal!  We love where we live and in the Fall it is just beautiful here and we would love to share that with you!  We are SO excited about this and you can check back for details on this here or send an email via the Contact page as well.  


Eventually, we will be planning 3-4 of our Art & Faith Creative Retreats each year.  Rebecca and I feel the Lord moving us to do more to touch more lives and to bring the love of the Lord to as many people as He gives us the opportunity to!  We are so blessed to have this opportunity and we look forward to what the Lord is wanting it to look like.  There are lots of ideas in our heads right now, but we are praying for guidance as He shows us what that looks like.

Thank you to everyone who has been on one of our retreats and has had such kind words to say!  We feel such a JOY getting to serve you for the week and sharing our love and passion for being CREATIVE and sharing in our FAITH with everyone!  And to all of you who email me or leave a comment, THANK YOU!  I also know many woman who would love the opportunity to come on one of these retreats but just don't have the way to make that happen.  We are praying for the Lord to make a way for that to happen if you are prayerfully considering joining us.  I think that is why the Lord is putting it on our hearts to do this here in the U.S. as well so we can make it more affordable and easier to get to.  

Much to be thankful for as this year is just beginning!  And much to be HOPEFUL about.  (my #onelittleword if you haven't read the last blog post)  We hope to see YOU some day and share time with you at one of our retreats!

Have a GREAT day,



Love, Tuesday...


Love, Tuesday...

Hi everyone!

We are 20 days into 2015 and I don't know about you guys but I'm kinda falling short of some things I wanted to focus on the year...

Some of those things I talked about in my "one little word" post and some things that I didn't talk about but have been pressed down by for a while.

I'm going to be honest with you, I just don't have time for everything.  You probably don't either. At least I think I'm not the only one...  But boy don't we think when the New Year comes around we are GOING TO!  lol  

We have been remodeling our house and are STILL in the process of a complete make-over on the backyard.  We started this process last March.  I was REALLY hoping that we would be done by now.  But not so.  Tomorrow starts another big project; organizer closets in every bedroom!  It's very much needed as the builder of this home seriously didn't think people would have STUFF to put away.  But it's a HUGE undertaking and I just am tired of all of it.  I wanted to be focused on other things this year and there's still SO much to be done on the house.

Other things are still lingering too...  My health issues are not resolved yet and I know a surgery of some type is coming up soon.  I also know that there are a ton of little projects that need to be finished before we can call this remodel DONE.

But I say all this to let you know that even when we get down and are bummed about what we DIDN'T accomplish or didn't have time for... it's OK.  I try to take a minute and just step out of my thoughts and think LONG TERM.  Will all this be a big deal 2 years from now?  Will I look back and really care if the closest or the remodel got done in January of 2015 of June of 2016? Does is matter 5 years from now when my surgery was or is it just important to take care of our selves and do what needs to be done regardless of the timing...  We ARE making progress on things, and even though it's slow I know one day we will get to enjoy the benefits of the beautiful back yard we are creating and we will be happy when we have actual SPACE in our closets for the stuff we have and I will be back to walking and being healthy again.  So I need to remind myself these things and just BREATHE...  

Do you need to "just breathe" too?

Ok, here's my Health Tip of the day:

Go ahead... I'll wait for you.  Breathe in for 7 counts, hold for 7 counts, and breathe out for 7 counts.  (At least that's what Dr. Weil's says to do)  I actually do this breathing exercise at night in bed a lot and it really does help! I do it about 10 times and it just calms me down any time of the day. 

But I also have found that another thing that helps me is my bible journaling.  I don't have a lot of time for it, but when I am in the WORD, it helps me focus on what really matters.  Journaling in my bible is such an AMAZING new thing for me and I really can't say enough about it.  I love the Word of God and I love being creative.  Being able to blend these two things together brings me so much JOY.  Honestly, I really wasn't reading my bible every day before this.  I was doing a devotional a few times a week but if I'm being honest I just wasted focused on reading the word of God and having it be a daily part of my life.  I am so THANKFUL that I found this new way to connect with the Lord and use the talents HE gave me to draw close to Him and be IN THE WORD.  It's such a huge blessing and I really encourage everyone to give it a try!   I can't WAIT to share this with all the ladies at my Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Italy this Summer.  It's going to be a part of our day each morning after breakfast and I'm so excited to see what comes from this... So here is a page I just did when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed the other day:

Luke 12:22 - 31  

Do Not Be Anxious

22 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! 25 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[a] 26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,[b] yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 Instead, seek his[c] kingdom, and these things will be added to you."

I wrote "You are SO valuable" because if he loves and cares for those little birds every day, how much more does he LOVE us, and care for us and TAKES CARE of all our "stuff"...  So needed to hear this.  Now I can "just breathe"

I hope this blesses you as much as it did me. 

You can find more information on bible journaling on Pinterest (my Pinterest link is at the bottom of this website if you want to see my pages) and you can also join the "Journaling Bible Community" FB page to learn more and get started with this great little community.

Have a GREAT Tuesday everyone!




P.S.  There are just a few spots left for my Art & Faith Creative Retreat this summer.  If you are at all thinking about joining us, send me an email soon.  I have one apartment left but I can try to get another or a hotel room next door.  I don't want to have to say no to anyone who feels lead to come to this because I know the Lord is going to work in the lives of these ladies and I can't WAIT to see what happens!  And I know Stephanie Ackerman and Jeanne Oliver are SO excited about it too!  Just today we were all talking about it (and booking flights) and it's going to be SO FUN!