Today I want to share my new obsession with you. A very unique and wonderful form of artistic worship is sweeping the country!
Before we get started, though, I need to just open my heart to you. I have mentioned here before that I am a Christ-follower, so I’m sure that’s no surprise to you, my dear reader. Perhaps you are not a follower. I truly hope if that’s you, that you will indulge me this post from a purely artistic view, if not a spiritual one. While the Bible is of infinite importance to me, these same ideas can be applied to simple journaling as well.
And please know that I don’t have it all together by any means! I falter… I fail… and I fall. I’m no different from anyone else – but I’ve been forgiven. That’s the main thing, and forgiveness is available to everyone! If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I first heard about Bible journaling through a Facebook friend of mine. I saw a photo she posted of her ‘journaling’ group that meets at her home bi-weekly. While I still didn’t ‘get’ it or know exactly what it was, my interest was piqued!
Then, I happened upon a post (Bible Journaling at Pitter and Glink) by another blog friend of mine, and was hooked. Instantly. After reading her post, my Facebook friend happened to sit near me in church a couple of Sundays ago. During the service, she leaned over to show me a page in her Bible that had special meaning to her, and voila – I laid my eyes on a real-life page of Bible journaling. It was love at first sight, and I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to do! Plus, she invited me to join her group the next time they gather.
On my own, I began to do some research. I really think this is still so relatively new that there isn’t as much info out there as there is for other art forms. Some people have been Bible journaling for years, but I really believe we’ve yet to see the full force of the movement.
The most important supply that I knew I needed was a journaling Bible. My friend from church had already warned me that they were really hard to get right now (because of the current rise in popularity of this form of artistic expression). Well, as you can just imagine, that made me all the more determined to find one! I spent a good deal of time online, trying to look at as many as I could, and finally decided on this one – ESV Journaling Bible by Crossway. I found mine at a local Christian bookstore, but I have seen this one available online.
Other supplies I really wanted were:
- Archival Pens (of several different tip sizes)
- Alphabet Stickers – such as Label Letters by Tim Holtz
- Colored Pigment Sticks called Gelatos
- Paper Pad – My Mind’s Eye
But aside from the Bible itself, and a good set of pens, there is much you can do with supplies that you may already have on hand, such as…
- acrylic paints
- assorted watercolors
- paint and watercolor brushes
- colored pencils
- washi tape
- sewing machine stitching (see this post!)
- custom shapes using a Silhouette or Cricut machine
- alphabet stickers
- alphabet stamps
- assorted stamps and ink pads
- scrapbook paper
- patterned scissors
Now that we’re set with our supplies, let me show you my very first page!
As excitement began to build within me, it became a matter of deciding which verse or passage to refer to on my first journaling page. One night when I should have been sleeping, Psalm 119:105 came to me in the form of a song I’ve known for years: ‘Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a Light unto my path’.
And then I began to reflect on that verse and the meaning it’s had for me all these years. You see, I found Christ (or He found me!) during Vacation Bible School a long time ago (I’m old, so trust me on this one). As children, we used to march into the worship center according to school grade and before we could be seated, we were led through three pledges… those of the Christian flag, the American flag and the Bible. The Bible pledge makes reference to this passage in the Psalms. That night there in my bed, I knew I had my first page!
Getting Down to Business
Since some of my supplies were still on order, I decided to just start with acrylic paint right off the bat (go big or go home, right?).
The colors I opted for are yellow, turquoise and royal blue. The only thing I sketched out beforehand was the word ‘lamp’ in a vague shape of a lamp. The word worked out perfectly… the ‘p’ even forms the handle of the lamp.
Then I began to apply paint to my page. First, I applied the yellow for the word ‘lamp’ in a lamp shape. I tried a couple of methods that I had read about: One is to apply the paint and then use an old credit card to gently spread it and scrape any excess away. I also used a flat paintbrush to apply some of it.
After the paint dried, it was time to begin lettering. I traced over the letters in the word ‘lamp’ with one of my new pens. Since I had begun pretty much in the middle of the page, I worked outward from there – upward and downward. Also, I knew that the sizes of the lettering needed to vary, so I wrote above the lamp ‘is a’ in a small size, then wrote a traditional calligraphy lettering style for ‘WORD’ much larger. For ‘THY’ I tried a fun style that I had seen in a neat book called ‘Zenspirations’ – it’s open and kind of sketchy.
Next, I used 2 different kinds of stickers for ‘unto my feet’. I used a friend’s page as inspiration for the next part! I wanted to record the Bible pledge somewhere, so I cut a tag shape from a cute pattern of scrapbook paper, finished the verse on the front and wrote the pledge with a small pen on the back. I attached it at the side with washi tape.
Oh, yeah – Please do pin this image, if you’re into Pinterest! It’s a great way to archive resources for a later date… And here’s a great Pinterest board to follow with lots of ‘pinspiration’: Illustrated Faith on Pinterest.