Well Good Morning Class!
I'm so thrilled to be welcoming you to Lesson 1 of our Free Summer Workshop series "Journaling by Heart"!
I'm Melissa and I'll be one of your instructors this summer and Erin of Art by Erin Leigh will be the other.
In case you are a new reader and we haven't met yet, let me introduce myself.
I'm a full-time, homeschooling mom from Texas and two of my favorite things in the world are my bible and my art supplies. I'm also kind of a disney nut and I love anything and everything crafty.
If you must know more (ha!) you can find other details on my about page, like why I was kicked out of my 8th grade home ec class and in what country the course of my life changed.
Erin and I met online recently and became instant friends. When we were discussing our mutual love for art journaling the scripture on the phone one day, (and wondering how we could share that love with you) the idea of a workshop was born and we have been having so much fun putting it together.
How It Will Work
Each Friday you will receive a lesson from either Erin or myself via your email, if you signed up to receive our newsletters. (If you're not sure, go to our FAQ page and scroll down to "How Do I Sign Up" to learn how to make sure you are on the list for next week).
Read through the lesson, print the downloads if they are available for that lesson and complete your assignment as you have time during the week. (Or during your set time as we discussed in 3 ways to get ready for the workshop)
Erin and I welcome comments and questions on our blogs.
At the end of the summer you should have a completed mini-journal filled with inspiration and encouragement to spur you on to more art journaling adventures!
Where Are We Going?
"Let us then, with confidence, draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." -Hebrews 4:16 (esv)
Our goal this summer is two-fold, to learn to confidently and boldly, "'draw near to the Throne of Grace" and to experiment with new techniques and supplies as we journal that experience.
As I was praying about this class and what the Lord most wanted to tell you today in our first lesson I felt Him lead me to Colossians 2:10 which says, "...and you are complete in Him..." The word complete in that verse comes from the greek word "plēroō" which means "to cause to abound, to be liberally supplied, to render perfect".
Can I ask you a question?
When a special little one, maybe your child, a niece or nephew or your grandchild comes to you with a picture that they've colored just for you and it says, "I love you" with a backwards letter or two, how do you feel about that picture?
Do you critique the line drawing? Worry over the grammar? Or do you just swoon to know that that little person created something special with you in mind?
Our Father God wants you to know, you are completely perfect to Him, in Christ and because of Christ. He loves you and He loves your worship and your artwork. Once you receive Christ as your savior, "you are complete in Him".
As we go on this journey you will be tempted to criticize your work, to draw comparisons to others, to decide that you aren't "an artist" and maybe even to give up.
I want to encourage you not to give in to that temptation, but instead to constantly remind yourself, "I am complete in Him".
Art Journaling is about experimenting with different techniques and supplies without the pressure of designing a beautiful, finished piece of artwork.
Faith art journaling is about combining that experimentation with your meditation on the Word and your adoration of the Lord.
In both instances it is about process and not perfection.
It will take time to discover your style, and the quickest way to shut that process down is to beat yourself up over mistakes, or be overly critical of every mark you make.
So repeat after me,
"It's fine just like that."
"Oh well, that's ok."
"It does not have to be perfect."
"I am complete in Him."
Now give yourself a hive five. :)
Ok, so we know where we're going, lets look at what we need on the journey.
What Will We Need To Get There?
(These are free printable bible journaling stickers I created, download them here)
If I were to try to give you an exhaustive list of art journaling supplies it would take the rest of the summer.
There are as many supplies available as there are artists and as I mentioned on Wednesday, the only thing you absolutely have to have is paper, pen, adhesive and a little time. :)
Having said that, based on your emails, I know that you are interested in what supplies Erin and I use, so I will give you a run down of some of my favorites. But remember, you don't have to run out and buy a bunch of stuff. Just start with what you have and go from there.
Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links, but you don't need to buy from Amazon unless that's most convenient for you. If you do order from these links, you won't be charged more, but I will earn a small commission which makes it possible for me to offer more free workshops like this one! :)
Pens & Pencils
Black Fine Point Sharpie - This is my favorite black pen. It's a deep, rich black, it's inexpensive and it works very well when I want to write over paint. I buy them in 4 packs usually.
Prismacolor Pencils - These are one of the few expensive supplies that I use. They are fussy and temperamental (if you drop one and break the lead, it will just keep breaking when you try to sharpen it-grrrrr) but they are so rich in color and creamy and smooth when you draw with them. I just really love them. Most of my hand drawn printables, like the Bible Journaling stickers are colored with these.
I don't paint as much as Erin so my list is pretty short here and I usually buy the cheapie student grade paints because they work for me.
Gesso - Gesso (jess-o) is a white paint used as a base for acrylic paint. It's especially helpful in journaling because you can give your paper a thin coat of it before painting and your paint won't soak into the paper. I also use it when I want to cover up a color that I don't like and sometimes as a wash over a page to give it a muted look.
There are many different kinds of gesso. As I said above I usually buy whatever student grade is on sale. Start with a small container and experiment to see what you like
Acrylic paint - I have a range of acrylic paints from the cheapie .59 cent bottles to some luscious Golden paints. I usually find myself reaching for the cheap stuff for my journals.
Watercolors - My favorite watercolors right now are the off brand from Michaels, (pictured above), but I also really like watercolor pencils.
As a lot of artists that I know, I'm pretty hard on paint brushes. I tend to leave them in water overnight a lot and forget to wash them out. For that reason I don' t buy the super nice ones, but I do spring for the acrylic handle ones because you can leave them in water overnight and they don't swell and split like the wooden ones.
Some of the papers and adhesives I use most often are below. We'll discuss these in more detail throughout the lessons.
Below are some of my most used tools. I'll discuss these in more detail throughout the lessons.
Ephemera - Envelopes, tags, receipts, vintage book pages, ledger paper, photos, old maps, postcards,
Embellishments - sequins, ribbon, yarn, stickers, rub-ons, die cuts, lace, fabric, thread, buttons, silk flowers
Printables from online - I have lots of free printables here, and Erin has lots here and I keep a running list of scripture printables for bible journaling here.
Whew! That's a lot of supplies. Don't get overwhelmed though. Just start with what you have and as we learn new techniques you can add things here and there. Are you ready for our first lesson?
Let the Journey Begin!
"Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace." -Matthew 6:6 (The Message)
What Does "Drawing Near" Mean?
Practice Hearing Him
This is one way you can learn to be certain you're hearing the Lord's voice. Practice just sitting quietly and listening and then remember what you hear. Which brings me to the next tip...
Write Down What He Says
Wait For Confirmation
Choosing and Making Your Journal
Gather, Fold and Glue Papers
The first step is to gather all your papers and ephemera together and fold them in half. I used my Trim & Score to make this go a little quicker, but you can also use your hands and the back of a spoon.
If you have a lot of single sided papers as I did, you may want to glue them back to back. I use Scotch Wrinkle free glue stick for this and I really like it because, well, it doesn't wrinkle the paper. :P
Once you've folded and glued all your papers, it's time to arrange them in the order you like. I had quite a few papers so I decided to make 2 signatures. (A signature refers to a section of pages in a book.)
Cut and Score Cover
To make the cover with a 1" spine you'll need to cut a piece of chipboard, poster board or even a cereal box to 12" x 14"
I used a piece of gold foil poster board from Michael's. *pretty*
Now you'll need to score a one inch spine down the middle of your paper. This is again where the Trim & Score is very handy. You'll want to measure 6.5" inches in from each side and score. This will create a 1" spine.
Once you've scored and folded your cover it should look something like this:
Binding with a 3-hole Pamphlet Stitch
We'll be binding our pages in with the 3-hole pamphlet stitch. So the first thing we need to do is punch our holes.
Whatever you do you want to make sure your table is protected by a piece of board or a craft mat of some kind. Otherwise you will punch holes in your dad's new table...um something bad could happen.
I have 2 signatures so I have three sets of 2 holes each. One set in the center of the spine and one set 2" in from each end.
Next you want to punch holes in your signatures the same way you did with the cover, except that you will only need one set of holes in each signature.
Use your binder clips to clip the pages together so they don't move around as you're punching.
Because my ribbon was thick and the holes in my page were large I didn't need a tapestry needle, but if you're working with smaller thread or holes you'll want to use one to make this part easier.
Now we'll bind the pages into the spine using ribbon and the pamphlet stitch. The first step is to line up your page with the holes in the cover and use the binder clips to secure them. Then thread your ribbon down through the middle hole on the inside...
And back through the top hole on the outside of the spine:
Be sure to check out Erin's lesson today and see her art journal tutorial!
The covers are in 2 large pdfs that have been compressed into a zip file.
When you click on the image above you should have the choice to open or save the file.
If you are on a windows machine you can choose "open with windows explorer" and it will download and then open the file.
You should then be able to save that folder wherever you would like on your machine.