I have so many questions…

I have so many questions. They keep returning, again and again. Things like…

What does God want me to do?

What should I pray about?

How should I pray?

Is there a proper way to pray?

Is just talking to God okay?

Is it okay to just tell him what is on my mind?

Why am I so afraid of what He might want me to do?

Am I doing the things He really wants me to do?

How will I be able to tell what it is He wants me to do?

Most days I work on my computer. Who am I kidding? Every day I work on my computer. I write in my journal. I  create graphics or I alter graphics for my own personal use in my journal. I scroll through Facebook looking at images and sometimes reading posts, rarely replying to any comments unless something strikes a chord with me. And once in a while, I write in this blog.

One day, recently, I was working on some graphics in Affinity Designer. I tried to open one of the graphics but Affinity Designer responded with an error message stating the filename I was trying to access didn’t exist and yet I could see it right there in the OPEN FILE dialogue window.

I spent hours trying to rectify this situation.

At first, I thought it was associated with Adobe Bridge which I had installed a couple days previously to help with finding files faster on my system. I had started tagging some files and the one Affinity Designer had issues with was one of the files I had recently tagged, or added keywords for in Adobe Bridge. I use the keywords to help me find the files easier by creating a smart collection. What was odd was Affinity Designer could open other files I had been working with in Adobe Bridge, so I decided to uninstall Affinity Designer and install it again to see if that would fix the issue.

Things went from not so good to another step further into bad. Affinity Designer wouldn’t load after it was re-installed. Every time I tried to load Affinity Designer, it responded with a blue screen stating there was an issue with the cldflt.sys file and would cause my computer to restart.

My computer is really slow on restarting.

I spent several hours researching this new situation. I am sure that several of the “fix it” scenarios assumed the problem interfered with booting my computer but my computer booted just fine. I knew this because every time I got the blue screen when I tried to load Affinity Designer, it forced my computer to restart.

I finally found a location where I could get a clean copy of the cldflt.sys file and instructions on how to replace it. The author of the instructions warned that only the highly experienced should attempt to do this. I took the risk which wasn’t as straightforward as it seemed, and replaced the file, restarted my computer. This time,  Affinity Designer loaded successfully.

However, Affinity Designer STILL had the original issue of not being able to open the file I wanted. Although, the file would open if I located the file in the folder outside of Affinity Designer, right clicked the file and told it to open in Affinity Designer but I didn’t want to have to do that. I wanted to understand why Affinity Designer would NOT open the file when I tried to do so from WITHIN Affinity Designer.

I finally renamed the file and gave it a rather short name that was maybe 8 characters long. Low and behold Affinity Designer opened the file without any problems. So… my original issue was with a filename that was too long for Affinity Designer to handle.

I have run across problems with filenames being too long before but in that case the file just didn’t show up in the software. This can be rather frustrating because more and more people in the business of creating graphics are using rather long filenames and they are either not aware that some programs have limitations or don’t care.

I will admit when I was stuck on the cldflt.sys issue and Affinity Designer wouldn’t load, I started to believe my system might have been invaded with a virus. I had been through enough system problems in my life of working with computers for over 30 years to know viruses can manifest in very odd ways.

In the midst of my struggles and considering the possible infection from a virus, I sat silent before God, with only one question on my mind.

“What do I need to do?”

“Get back into the Word of God.”

rang loudly in the midst of my silence and chaotic mind.

For the past couple of months, or rather since I had completed reading the bible from cover to cover, I had become inconsistent in my reading of His Word. My goal of reading the bible from cover to cover had sustained me and kept me hungry for His Word, but as soon as I had accomplished my goal, suddenly, I was at a loss as to maintaining that focus or how to get it back.

I felt bad. I knew I should be in His Word every day but I couldn’t seem to maintain it.

Then this happened. And BAM! when I heeded his message, I hadn’t been in His Word for more than five minutes when the answers to “fixing” my issues started presenting themselves. I was taken to the location for the clean file to replace my corrupted file. I was able to replace it and Affinity Designer started working again. By the time I had read two or three chapters in the bible, I had also discovered the reason why Affinity Designer wouldn’t open the file, by renaming the file.  I was back to working in Affinity Designer but not until I had finished my daily reading.

I had more questions, like…

What bible study method should I use for studying the bible?

Should I follow the bible study courses I have added to my arsenal as they are, or should I find my own way?

What works best for me?

One of the things which had distracted me from my daily reading was my struggles with setting up a prayer/war journal. I tried about three different ways of setting one up but couldn’t quite make it work for me. It wasn’t something I would turn to every day and when I did, I always felt like it didn’t feel right. I even tried sticking prayer lists on my wall and sitting down to prayer but that wasn’t working either. Eventually, I sat down and prayed, that eventually, I would come across something that would work for me. I sort of felt like I was giving up.

I knew God was working on things. I am continually amazed when out of the blue one of my questions will be answered. The answers never come to me in any way I expect. Some of them come within minutes or hours of me forming the question in my mind. Other times they may come days or weeks later or even months later. Sometimes they come when I didn’t even realize I was asking the question. But in every situation there is no doubt that the answers come from God.

As I continued to try to find something that would work for me, I signed up for a free Bible Journaling Conference. I wasn’t sure what I would get out of it but I hoped I would get something. In fact, after viewing the videos, I was rather disappointed in it. I didn’t think I had gotten anything out of it at all.

Then, one of the videos I had watched kept popping up in my thoughts. I couldn’t understand why it was so insistent on popping into my mind at what appeared to be random moments. When I watched the video, I wondered how the person went about doing what they were showing and describing. The video had appeared to me as a show and tell of what she did with and contained very little instruction on HOW she did it. She, apparently, was doing this with a group of people and they all found it helpful but I didn’t feel like she gave enough detail as to how it was done.

After viewing the video again, and going on a search online to try and find more information, I didn’t find much that helped. Mostly what I found was just tidbits of what she had shown in the video. I started just looking at whatever images I could find and trying to deconstruct them until they made sense to me. I eventually gave up on getting any more information. The thing that intrigued me in her video was  the making of a prayer page and a gift page. All I could get out of the video were two things:

  1. the gift page was about selecting something from our day that we thought was a gift or a sort of gratitude and writing it down.
  2. the prayer page was about writing down one thing to pray about that day and doing some doodling and/or coloring.

Both pages were worked on for the whole month and then you start new pages for the next month. It wasn’t the actual making of the journal or pages that had me stumped. What stumped me was the same thing I had been facing since I started this journey over a year ago:

What is the thought process and how does that translate into prayer?

When I first watched the video, I had questions:

How do you choose what to pray for that day?

Don’t get me wrong, I pray every day. I pray abundantly every day. In fact, I feel like I overdo prayer. Why do I feel that way? Because, I don’t feel like I am very focused on prayer and my prayers feel very selfish and reactive. I don’t want to be that way but that is how it feels to me. I wanted to find a more focused prayer life and one that has purpose and power behind it. One that God would be appreciative of because it wasn’t always “me” focused or complaining in nature. This is why I set out to try and create a war/prayer journal. It bothered me that it didn’t seem to be working out for me.

However, I am learning.

The other things I eventually weaned out of the video and my research, is this:

  1. prayer page
    • divided into sections (can be random or any design you want) or just build it as you go
    • color while praying, helps to maintain focus as you pray (this is a huge issue for me, I loose focus and my thoughts go all over the place, sometimes I don’t even realize I have left my prayer completely for the random thoughts that pop into my head)
    • a scripture is selected for each month and used in the daily prayer
    • select one thing to pray about each day, write it somewhere on the page, then doodle and/or color while praying
    • creates a historical prayer journal
  2. gift page
    • format is a numbered list for each day of the month
    • select one thing from your day that is considered a gift or something to be grateful for
    • write it down on the number for that day
    • consider decorating the page as you go through the month
    • creates a historical record

In regards to the gift page. I heard the word gratitude more than once, and the word gift used not so much or I wasn’t listening very well. I have, in the past, several times in fact, tried writing out a gratitude daily but it wasn’t something that stuck and eventually they started feeling repetitive and to be quite honest, not sincere. Therefore, when I heard the word gratitude in relationship to the gift page, I became stuck. I felt a block go up and resistance entered my heart. BUT, a question kept haunting me:

Why do they call it a GIFT page?

It didn’t take long after formulating this question in my mind for an answer to come to me.

Think of it not as a gratitude page, but ask myself,

“what GIFT can you find in your day which you feel God gave to you?”

I knew when I heard that message, I was going to have to give this a go. I wanted to see if it was something that would stick.

Would it be my thing?

Would it work for me?

The decision to give these two pages a try occurred a few days before the end of October. I couldn’t wait to start.  I wanted to start that very day. In fact, I did write down something I thought was a gift from God that day and did a bit of a doodle which felt good. The next few days was in setting up my pages for November.

I chose a journal that was partially used. This journal had a blank page facing a lined page so the blank page would be perfect for the prayer page and the lined page would be perfect for the gift page.

How am I doing?

Well, I’m still adding to my pages every day. I haven’t been coloring yet on my prayer page but I am writing out something to pray about each day and sometimes I add a doodle to the page. When I take the time to doodle, I feel myself focusing on prayer.

Sometimes, I find it difficult to come up with something I think is a gift from God for my gift page but eventually I come up with something that isn’t repeated. I know there may end up being times when I repeat something, like the warmth of the sun, because I do love the feeling of the sun’s warmth, so I have no doubt God would love gifting me with that feeling quite often.

So far, I am keeping up with it and it feels right, though I still have a bit more to learn about the process for making it more powerful. And I feel like I have a lot of work to accomplish regards to my process for praying.

However, I am learning.

I just had a thought. Maybe I need to create a Question page, and maybe an Answer page. Wouldn’t that be something?

I mentioned my bible studies earlier, so….

what about my bible studies?

Oh, I’m learning there too. At least for now, about what works for me. I’m combining some methods I have come across to devise my own way of study. I’m using a class from Robin Sampson called, “12 Bible Eras”. I’m doing the first lesson “Creation Era”. Robin’s lessons usually involve Bible journaling, which can mean anything from using the images she provides for the lesson or finding free/purchased images or even creating your own, mostly digital or physically in a traveler’s notebook (TN). She does support you in doing your own thing or your own art but doesn’t teach it. Sometimes there is writing but it doesn’t seem to be a large portion of her classes.

I have another of Robin’s classes, called “Proverbs 31 and Bible Women” and I thought I could do what I had been doing in that class, where I take the PDF document she created and add it into my digital journal where I can add my own notes.  I am doing this so I can search for information later on if I want to go back and study something or need to find something. But she didn’t make the PDF for the Creation Era course the same way she did in the Proverbs class. This caused me some frustration. Who am I kidding? It caused me a lot of frustration. I spent a LOT of time trying to get the information from her PDF files which were setup like slides but they wouldn’t format correctly and I couldn’t get it so the text would be searchable.

Once I figured out the process for the PDFs from the introduction, I discovered that process wouldn’t work for the next lesson. The next lesson had 4 slides per page. Printing them didn’t work because they were too small to read. I had to do a lot more work to separate them so they would be larger and readable but once again would not be searchable in my digital journal. Merging PDFs was an option but again the slides were too small.

Then I discovered the next set of PDFs were done even more differently, and even smaller, so I gave up on trying to use the process I had used in the Proverbs class. Or even including her PDFs in anything I was doing.

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I like to find a process that works for me and stick with it. I don’t like having to come up with a new process each time I want to do something. It is very time consuming when all I want to do is just jump right in and learn.

Learning is my passion.

I used to wonder what my passion was. I think I finally know. Learning.

And if I learn something well enough, then I love showing others or helping others learn what I have learned.

I didn’t give up on Robin’s class. I’m taking her class, just adding my own twist to it. From another bible study group, they encourage writing out scripture that is being studied, so I decided to add this to the lesson. I listen to Robin’s videos, which are really just her talking through the slides/PDFs she provides. And I listen to other videos she has linked in her lessons. These videos are available online and don’t require Robin’s lesson to access them. Then, I choose an image I like that represents what I’m learning.  I add it to my page and I hand write the scripture.

As I was writing out the scripture for chapter 1 of Genesis, a question kept coming up, over and over again:

What is the original Hebrew word that was used, and what does that word mean?

So… I started looking up Hebrew text on blueletterbible.org. This site is extremely helpful for bible study. There is much more there than what I’m about to tell you. I lookup the scripture I’m studying and in the tools I can find references to the original language, and read the definition or possible interpretations. This gives me more insight into what the scripture means. I am adding this information to my journal because sometimes what I have heard others say about the scriptures isn’t really in context or within the meaning of the original language used and how it was interpreted. Yes, preachers, ministers, clergymen put their own spin on the meaning of scripture. I love that we now have access to the original scriptures in the language it was written in.

I don’t always realize how inquisitive my mind is. In fact, I didn’t think I was very inquisitive at all until I started writing this post. If I want to know something, I just start researching it. Sometimes, I don’t consciously realize that is what I am doing. I just do it.

What is next?

Where do I go from here?

I’m not sure. I do feel I am finally finding things that work for me. I have no doubt these will evolve over time. For now, I am glad God is teaching me what I need to know and answering my questions.  Sometimes, he even answers questions that pop into my head even though I haven’t taken that question directly to Him. This is something that was mind blowing for me. To know he actually pays attention to my random thoughts and takes the time to respond to them without me going to him in prayer. It is like my thoughts are prayers even when I am not consciously attempting to pray to Him, if that makes any sense.

Don’t get me wrong, I have heard preachers say that God knows our every thought. I believed it but in the way a child believes what someone says is true, not in the way where I believe it because I’ve seen it in action or experienced it. Seeing it in action, is just mind blowing for me, because I never thought I would experience that aspect of Him knowing my every thought and Him thinking it is important enough to take the time to respond.

Below are images from my journal for the Creation Era class. I have used some images that Robin supplied but I also used other images I got from other places. I made the journal by printing a pattern on both sides of just regular printer paper, then folded them in half, stacking 4 or 5 papers together and sewing them into signatures. This booklet has 3 signatures sewn into it. The cover is watercolor paper I painted and then coated with matte medium. I haven’t put a title on it yet. I may not do so until I complete the journal so I know how much is included in it.

 

The writing is scripture handwritten on a piece of paper before I glue it into my journal. The paper was created by me in MS Word where I can add images, background color and lines, before printing it. The I write out scripture before gluing it into my journal.

Before writing out the scripture, I read through it and decide how I will organize it. I don’t mean I change the order of it. What I look for is how to group it. I look for things, like subject or topic, search for images I want to use, then where there is a change within scripture and what image to use with it. In that way, I split scripture into manageable sections. The images help me when I look at the section to remember what it is about.

I discovered something interesting when using images someone else selected for a particular passage of scripture. I don’t connect with it like I do when I find the images that resonate with me. For instance, I used the images for the 6 days of creation supplied by Robin. When I flip through my journal, those images don’t immediately make sense to me. She had no image for Day 7 so I selected an image online and as soon as I see that image I know it is for the day God rested without reading the words. The same goes for the other images I selected in Chapter 2. Now I know, don’t use an image just because someone else used that image, choose one that resonates with me, so that is what I’m doing as I go forward.

I chose to create this journal differently than I did the journal I use for the Proverbs 31 class. I learned the hard way in the Proverbs lesson on issues that can be caused by gluing backgrounds onto a page and how it can warp the binding of my journal, so I’m trying it differently in this journal by printing the background on the paper and then making the signatures. This seems to be working very well.

Plus, my journal isn’t getting distorted due to the thickness of the layers. If I want to go back to this lesson and dig deeper, I will be able to add more notes by creating tip-ins. I could add in a tip-in that has information such as WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW as a deeper study and even later I could add another tip-in that contains relevant references to other passages in the bible.

I expect, I will be creating many, many, many more journals like this as I work my way through the bible. Only time will tell if the prayer and gift pages continue to work for me or if they morph into something completely unexpected.

I am grateful to God for every moment I have in His Word and for the answers he gifts to me every day.

 

Slowly but surely….

I am adding some unexpected interest to my digital planner.

I’ll state this up front, the actual digital planner was not created by me. This planner was offered in the Friday Freebies on Boho Berry’s Digital Planners Facebook group. I have only made slight alterations to the planner so it will work for my personal use.

It first started when I decided to add a tracker for my bible reading. Then I thought I would try adding the daily weather. Things progressed from there.

2018Dec20&21 journal

These are my pages for yesterday and today, without my journaling. I inevitably fill up the white space with journaling about my day and my thoughts. I should tell you now, the artwork is NOT mine.

The graphics for the weather came from a Friday Freebie on, you guessed it (if you read my previous posts) Boho Berry’s Digital Planner Facebook group.

I did create the box with the list in it and the trackers at the bottom. Thanks to someone in the same group sharing how they could easily create trackers in a spreadsheet, copy them and paste them into their digital planner.

The flower on the list and the background fox image came from a coloring app I use on my phone, called Happy Color. After I completed coloring in the graphic, there is an option to share it so, I sent it to my computer and pasted it into my digital planner.

I really loved how the flower looked in my planner yesterday so today I decided to see how the images work in the background. It worked AMAZINGLY!! So now, I can capture some details about my day without having to say anything, by choosing one of the pictures I color that day and placing it into my planner.

None of this is difficult to do. Some of it requires using a couple different applications. I had a few obstacles to overcome, like acquiring Affinity Designer. If push came to shove, I could have done most everything in my older version of Adobe Photoshop Elements but the process takes far longer and is much more complicated. I discovered Affinity has all its products on sale so I jumped on it and gave it to myself (a few days early) for a Christmas present.

I did have one issue in trying to figure out how to make the background of the images transparent in Affinity Designer but a quick google search took me to the Forums on Affinity where someone had already asked the question and received an answer. Again, it is a very simple process. It was just a matter of finding where in Designer it could be done. This wasn’t one that would have been intuitively obvious. I might never have found it if I hadn’t searched online for the answer. Once learned though, it is quick and simple and I don’t have to use a magic tool to click in all the small areas where I want the background transparent.

There is at least one huge difference between Adobe Photoshop Elements (I have version 10), and Affinity Designer. Affinity Designer will import a PDF file and build layers. If I open a PDF file in Affinity Designer it shows a dialogue box where you can import ALL pages or select a page to import. I usually select one page. Designer builds layers for each element in the page. How quickly Affinity Designer does this is amazing.

My version of Adobe Photoshop Elements does NOT build layers. It opens a single page onto one layer which means there are NO elements which can be altered.

The layers Affinity Designer creates are great because each element is given a layer. I can then select an element and alter it if I want to change part of it. For instance, in the digital planner, if I want to change the text on a tab, all I have to do is select the text and change it. Same with the tab, if I want to change the color, I can do that as well. I can alter the shape of the tabs or any part of the page.

In Adobe Photoshop Elements, I’m either stuck with the shape and design or find a way to put a layer over it to cover it with what I want. Adobe Photoshop Elements is also VERY slow in rasterizing the PDF file.

I know this functionality of creating a layers from a PDF file so all the elements can be altered can create an ethical dilemma for designers. When I first came across digital planners, I wanted to know how they worked. Knowing how they work, also helps me to know what software was needed to make them work. I needed to know this because I was wanting to use them on my Windows desktop, not an Android table or an iPad. Watching some of Boho Berry’s videos gave me enough information to find some software to play with but it took a lot of searching to find the RIGHT software for the job I wanted them to do.

The other thing watching her videos did was help me to understand the planners are built by using layers upon layers to achieve the effect. I wasn’t sure how deeply this went until I discovered Affinity Designer. Breaking a single page down into ALL of its layers gave me the information I needed.

These planners take a lot of work to build. What Kara and others have built took a lot of time. Seeing all the layers in Affinity Designer for just one page makes me appreciate all the HARD work the creator of the planner did to develop it.

Affinity Designer enables me to alter an existing PDF to make it the way I want it. But it also opens up a possible ethical situation if someone should use it to take someone else’s design and change a portion of it and then call it their own. As an artist, I would never do that. It bothers me immensely when I hear of other “artists” taking someone’s work and either not crediting the original artist and letting people assume they own it or altering it slightly and then claiming it as theirs. They are not artists in my opinion.

I may one day attempt to create my own digital planner. If I did, I would create it from scratch. But right now I’m just happy to be able to use a planner someone else built for my own personal use so I can determine whether this is a daily practice I will continue with or if it will peter out like it did when I tried creating my own bullet journal. Working with a bullet journal lasted maybe six months before it became old.

I had, also developed an issue with my wrist due to all the handwriting I was doing. Switching to using the computer to type out my journal digitally has allowed my wrist to heal. I,also, learned the benefit of being able to keep up with my thoughts through typing. Many of my thoughts wouldn’t end up on paper because I couldn’t write fast enough.

I am an interesting balance of analytical/logical and creative/abstract. This becomes apparent when I consider what I’m drawn towards. I love math, especially algebra and geometric shapes. I think things through logically. I’m always wanting to create things with my hands. I knit and crochet, draw, paint, write stories and poetry along with my journaling. Once I learn how to do something I then find ways to tweak it, especially in my handmade items, like knitting. Computers have enabled me to combine both worlds which is why I think digital planners/journals will be my forever “go to” for expressing myself.

If an app is ever created which will allow a user to work completely within one app with their digital planner, I can see using these digital planners by everyone from church leaders/pastors to, business leaders, government aides and even children with their school work. I have been able to incorporate pages into my planner from a Bible in PDF format, have a blank page opposite where I write my notes, highlight the bible text, circle, underline and add supporting pictures and whatever else someone does to make it stand out. AND… it is all searchable in the PDF document once it is saved, including any annotations and notes. This can’t be done in hand written notes or hard copy books. I can add links to the PDF document as well so a reference can be found easily. In essence, these planners are becoming archival information of people lives and the knowledge they gather for themselves.

WE ARE CREATING OUR OWN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS.

For someone who didn’t excel in history class, I find this fascinating.

 

 

Book of Journals

I am so excited about something I have been working on. But first some background…

I think I have been writing and creating my entire life, some of it has ended up in journals or diaries, or in boxes, though from my childhood most have vanished somewhere into the black hole that happens sometimes with childhood things. I haven’t stopped writing or creating but I did step away from art. A few years ago when I decided to return to my art, I wanted to be better organized with my writing and my artwork. I had this vague idea of trying to find a book which would allow for proper organization and storage. After searching and never finding what I wanted, I stopped looking for something that was already made and decided to see if I could learn how to make it.

This lead me down a path of first learning to make scrapbooks. I’m not one to do much with photos other than to shove them into a box or put a couple in frames. I did learn something about making scrapbooks. I LOVED THE PROCESS of making them!  Decorating, however, posed a challenge. I can’t say I have ever had a great mind for decorating, so I set this aside. The scrapbooks I did make ended up being storage for my small tangle pieces of art because they were the perfect size, almost like photos.

I moved on to learn how to make my own handmade journals from the variety of paper available. And YES, I fell in LOVE with creating my own journals! I have several blank ones awaiting my attention. If I didn’t hold myself in check, or have financial restrictions I’m sure I would have a wall full of plain journals awaiting my attention.  I learned several binding methods from Kiala Givehand, and Sea Lemon and possibly a dozen other sources on YouTube.

Lately, I followed Kiala Givehand’s “7 Books in 7 Days” on Instagram and ended up purchasing the course for the additional content. As I worked on creating the books (I made two of each, one for me and one for my daughter) my thoughts returned to the idea which had been swimming around in my thoughts way back when. I wanted a place to store these journals.

I put my powerful brain to work gathering all the information I had learned over the past couple of years to see if I could come up with a way to create a storage place. In 2016, I had purchased a tutorial from Scrappin Rabbit on her scrapbook journal. In this scrapbook, she permanently attaches handmade journals to the pages. This was a great start to my idea but I wanted the journals to be removable. And no, the traveler type covers with elastic binding for removal journals wasn’t what I was looking for.

Kiala’s journals in her “7 Books in 7 Days” were perfect size to experiment with. I found most could be stored in the pockets I had learned to make for scrapbooking. For the thicker handmade journals I decided to try and make a more dimensional pocket.

Here are the books I made from Kiala’s class, some I added color to and some are still just plain paper due to time and not knowing what I wanted to use them for as of yet.

The first book I made was the french door journal:

img_1643.jpgI added some color to mine with Prang watercolor paint. On a few of the pages I started penciling in ideas for what I wanted to put on the pages. I am on a spiritual journey so it has been predominant in my artwork lately. This seems to be the direction I am going in with this one.

 

The next journal is what she called a clutch journal:

I again used my Prang watercolors to give it some color. My plans for this journal is to write a letter, most likely to God.

IMG_1644This is the book I made using the chain stitch binding from Kiala’s lesson which was the next book in the series. I made it with a 1/4″ spine. This was the big challenge on how this would fit into the book I wanted to make, so I decided to attempt to make a pocket attached to the page which  was 1/4″ in depth. Here is a picture of the pocket.

Next came the washi journal:

IMG_1642

I wasn’t sure how this one would hold up. I haven’t had much luck with my washi tape sticking permanently so only time will tell with this one.

 

 

 

 

 

The window journal came next:

IMG_1645I added some color again with my Prang watercolor paint.

 

 

 

 

Then the meandering journal:

IMG_1641

Followed by the back-to-back journal:

IMG_1637IMG_1638

As you can see with the chain stitched journal, I started working on designing the book before I completed making all of these journals. I had decided to use the process I learned for making scrapbooks from Kathy King and Scrappin Rabbit (as well as, a thousand other videos I watched on YouTube over the years).

IMG_1647This is the unfinished scrapbook. I created a video flip through and posted it on YouTube for anyone who wants to see a flip through. Please forgive the amateurish video. I hope it doesn’t cause anyone issues with motion sickness. I don’t have anything to mount my phone on for taking the video so I’m holding it while recording. The volume maybe quite low as well. I may have to invest in something to make it easier to create these videos if I do more of them but I hadn’t planned on ever making any so I didn’t invest in any equipment. The two videos I made were only made because it was easier to show what I created in a video than to take millions of photos.

The book is no where near finished. Most of the pages are not decorated. The few I did decorate was only because I needed to decorate the main page before adding the pocket or other elements. My supply of decorative paper is pretty limited and since this was really a prototype just to see if it would work out, I didn’t want to spend the money on buying decorative paper. In fact, I’m pretty sure I won’t be buying any decorative paper in the future. I will, most likely, make my own using my art supplies and tools.

I absolutely LOVE how this book turned out. I especially love the pockets that have a flap and close with a magnet and just love how the books slide in and out of the pockets. Now that I see this one with the pages in the cover, I’m coming up with other ideas to make this even better. OH, BOY, are the ideas flowing.  I need to jot them down before I lose them completely.

And in case you are wondering, yes, I did jot down my ideas. If I didn’t have so many other things on my plate right now, I would be jumping into those ideas full tilt to see if they would work.

Additions to my Faith Journal

I am thrilled with how my Faith Journal is evolving. Below is a closeup of the front of my journal.

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I used Tombow markers to add color to the text, and the shading around the white paper. The black was used throughout the journal around the edge of the white papers. I loved it so much on the cover I felt it would work well through the rest of the journal and I think I was right.

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Here you can see what else I added to the journal, tags. Yes, tags. I wasn’t sure I was going to use tags. That inner voice of mine told me to just play around with them. I could always change my mind since they aren’t permanently attached and can be pulled out. I have other ideas which I might still use. It all depends on what further changes I decide to make.

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This photo and the next two show the inside pages with the black Tombow marker added. I blended it using the Tombow blender.

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Below are two of the tags. I used acrylic paint using a wet wipe to apply the paint and blend it, then added some stamps using a Stazon ink pad. Stazon won’t move once it is dry and since I wasn’t sure how I would add scripture to these I wanted to make sure the ink didn’t move with whatever method I use.

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Below are two pictures showing the tags slightly pulled out of their pockets. Two pages have the opening at the top, creating a top pocket and two other pages have the opening on the side, creating a side pocket. The pockets are the full depth and width of the page.

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I counted all the sides and pages I have available for adding scripture and there are 19 in total counting the tags. I believe I can add even more to possibly create a total of 54 surfaces or more for scripture.

I would love to fill it completely right now, however, I want to choose scripture which resonates with me. This means I should take my time and make note of what scriptures call to me, either during my daily reading or other events.

I am considering other ways to decorate my journal. Maybe dangly bits of odds and ends, shiny twinkly things, or whatever else I might have lying around. This is about creating something which inspires me to keep my faith, constant and true. The glorious thing about this is, it doesn’t just do that, it lifts me out of the darkness which has been enveloping me recently and not so recently.

IMG_1539I need to mention one other thing.

I AM FLABERGASTED!

When I saw how my Tombow markers worked in my bible on a page treated with one coat of clear gesso. As long as I do not use too much water the Tombows will not bleed through the page. I definitely don’t want to use Tombows on an untreated page. I tried it in a small area and not only did it bleed through to the backside, it also bled through to the page underneath. But on the treated page I think I found my new ‘go to’ markers. I love the way they blend and move over the clear gesso. Not to mention the brightness of their colors! For tiny areas I will still rely on sharpies, and other permanent markers and highlighters for text. But, DANG, I do love the Tombows on the artwork on this page.

I love how my bible is providing me knowledge in many ways. Not just knowledge of God, though that is my main purpose in reading the bible. It is also teaching me what my various art mediums are capable of over clear gesso and that I don’t always have to have heavy art paper in order to use them. I am also enjoying how I am being inspired creatively with the projects designed around my faith. I haven’t felt this type of connection with my art before so this is new and exciting for me.