Thursday, 18 October 2018

a beginner's guide to faith journaling : part 2, supplies

so, in the first part of this series i talked about my approach to faith journaling, and so if you missed it, please do go and check it out because it talks through the process as well as why i love my faith journal!

today we are going to talk about everything to do with supplies! and i want to start by saying a cautionary "please don't get carried away" - there's something about stationery that can be so addictive, and i've also fallen prey to this... the costs seem so small, but i can guarantee you that they all mount up in the end.

instead now i add new things i want to a wish list and i plan carefully about what things i will buy with my budget that month - i appreciate them more and i save money! i also buy second hand and repurpose things, but more on that in a bit.

so, i'm going to start by running through a list of supplies that i love and use on a regular basis, you'll probably find you have a few things to get you going already...
  • glue - i use a 2 sided glue roller for sticking in photos and card (UK/US), i use Pritt stick for paper and i use PVA glue for things with odd surfaces.
  • scissors - i have one small pair and one larger pair, both are very handy to have.
  • paper trimmer - this is one of my most used items, because sometimes you just want a really clean line, and i'd eventually like to have a slightly bigger one but for now i have a small one that works beautifully (UK/US)
  • eraser - i like Pentel Hi-Polymer erasers (UK/US)
  • pencil(s) - i literally only have hotel pencils, because i've got a huge backlog of pencil supplies! but they work fine for what i need. if i got more into the painting side of things i might invest in pencils with different thicknesses
  • sharpener 
  • metal ruler - a metal ruler is great for journaling because you can easily tear paper objects with the edge of it, and you'll get a really clean line (UK/US)
  • washi tape - i get a load of mine from aliexpress, but also amazon and ebay too. it is endlessly useful.

  • hole punch - i've just got a regular double hole punch, but it's super useful just to use one side of it so you can create holes to add ribbons to. but i've got my eye on a single hole punch (UK/US)
  • stapler and staples - i've got a mini stapler which i use, which is great for now because i can easily take it with me in my holiday journaling bag. but i also have a larger one in my wishlist because it would be great to get a bit further into pages sometimes. i also have various types of colours of staples, including copper (UK/US) and white (UK/US).
  • paint! - i started simply with a beginners set of acrylics (UK/US) and a small watercolour palette (UK/US), and these are still my most favourite things to use. i've also got a larger white acrylic tube now because it's great to mix and make different colours. i also like metallic paints, and distress oxides are fun to play with too.
  • paint brushes and brush pens - if you're going to paint, then brushes are essential - i've got a set of Pentel brush pens (UK/US) for easy watercolouring on the go, as well as easy colourful lettering too. and then i have a few different brushes that are suitable for acrylics also. i'd just pop to your nearest craft supply store and get a cheap set to see how you get on with different shapes. you may also find a little spray bottle quite helpful for watercolours, so you can make the paint move more easily.
  • craft heat gun - a pretty essential piece of kit if you want to speed up the crafting process and be able to turn your pages without waiting for something to dry. i have a hand-me-down craft dryer from my mum and it still works! you could probably use a hair-dryer too, but these are slower and also have a smaller end so that you can be specific with the area you heat.
  • heatproof craft mats - this is one of my most used items, these Teflon sheets (UK/US) are great for putting under your pages whilst you work to stop any other pages being damaged. i bought one and cut it in half, and it works great.
  • stickers - i've collected lots of stickers from lots of different places, i love stickers! they are a fab addition to most of my pages and they just add a little something, whether it's phrase stickers, floral stickers or stamp stickers. i get mine from ebay, aliexpress and etsy. i also love enamel dots for embellishing pages (UK/US).
  • clear stamps - one of the best things to happen to crafting for a while is the invention of clear stamps, so they take up a fraction of the space in comparison with the old ones backed onto a piece of wood. although i have still kept a few of my favourite wooden ones, i've also got a couple of sets of clear stamps too - some alphabets, some flowers, some random patterns. you'll also need an acrylic block to use with the stamps.
  • stamping ink - as important as the stamp is the ink you chose, i really like mini pads, because i don't stamp a lot so they suit me just fine.  my favourites are from Versafine (UK/US) and i have a couple of different colours.

  • gesso and matte gel medium - depending on what sort of journal style you go for, you may find preparing your page to be helpful so that no inks bleed through to the other side of the page. gesso is made perfectly for this (UK/US) and it also helps create more texture on the page too. matte gel medium (UK/US) is a thicker version, and can be useful to add more 3D elements to your page.
  • papers! - i bought a few paper packs back in the old days of scrapbooking and they come in really handy when i want to give a frame to a photo or make a pocket, or if you just need something a little bit thicker - i love this style (UK/US). printer paper and white card are also essential.
  • sticker paper for printing - i bought matte white sticker paper on a whim, but i've really enjoyed having it because it's a really simple way to add your own cute designs to a page. 
  • iron - you've almost certainly already got an iron at home, well i use mine all the time to iron out my pages after i've used watercolours. just make sure there's no water in your iron and then use a low setting, grab a paper towel to put between the iron and the reverse of the page and then press over it a few times. this also works with bible pages.
  • paperclips - great for adding in extra elements, and you can get so many sizes, shapes and colours for additional interest.
  • bulldog clips - if you're far through your journal and you need to keep pages open, then big chunky clips are important, especially if you want to paint on them so you need them flat also.
  • border, shape and corner punches - i've got a couple of rounded edge corner punches and circle punches and i use them a lot! i also have a couple of pairs of craft edging scissors to create some interesting edges. 
  • ephemera - this is really a fancy word for extra stuff to stick in! you can buy "ephemera packs" on amazon but my favourite ephemera pieces are things that i pick up in my daily life.
  • stencils - i've only got one alphabet set and one leaf pattern stencil, but they are useful for adding texture and more "mixed media" type spreads.
  • tombow dual brush pens (UK/US) - my favourite above all because they make your writing look so pretty without much effort, and the colour range is fab. i've built my collection up over years, but i've still only got a small pencil case full because they're quite pricey. if i had to pick just a few colours i'd have 553, 312, 912, 020 and N95.
  • uniball signo white gel pen (UK/US) - this is my most used pen! it writes on everything and works beautifully on darker papers.
  • sharpie bronze metallic pen (UK/US) - i seem to use this on most spreads to create borders or doodle.
  • uniball signo bronze (UK/US) - same as above but thinner
  • sakura pentouch gold (UK/US) - a lovely way to add some extra dimension to your page
  • ballpoint pen - i have a Waterman Hemisphere with a medium black refill and it writes so beautifully (UK/US), and it was a gift from my father when i turned 18. but any black ballpoint will work great - i love doing most of my journaling with this pen.
  • tombow fudenosuke (UK/US) - this makes anybody's handwriting look a thousand times better - really easy to use scripting pen
  • staedtler triplus broadliner (UK/US) - a thick fineliner that works great when you want quick definition
  • pilot g2 black gel pen (UK/US) - there are some surfaces that need a gel pen, and the pilot g2 works great for that.
  • artline fineliners (UK/US) - i bought a set of these fineliners and they come in really handy for doodling, and they're waterproof so you can paint over them too.
repurposed items:

  • old books, papers and stamps from secondhand stores or charity shops - these create a really warm interest to any page, i just love how they look and the different things you can do with them.
  • junk mail - i love making pockets out of inside out junk mail envelopes and then using my sewing machine to sew up the edges.
  • cut up magazines - i receive a monthly subscription of Country Living as a gift from my dad, and i love it! it also has great fonts, pictures and other bits to stick into my journal.
  • ribbons and fabric scraps - i've got a collection of bits and bobs that i use to add things to the journal, things from old crafting days. you can add them to the edges of a page, sewing them in, or you can make tags or envelopes. or make another page to attach in.
  • pressed leaves and flowers - great for adding in autumn leaves or seasonal flowers. i just press mine in the pages of a really big book and then put more big books on top of it!
also, for those interested, when i travel i use a Bonthee Canvas Tote Bag (UK/US) and then the Lihit Lab pen case (UK/US). also a5 tuff bags for storage (UK/US) and an a5 wiro display book from Paperchase for storing my stickers (UK/US).

i've got a bunch of new tapes and edgers saved in my wishlist ready for Christmas, and also a couple of bits for making my own junk journals with. that should be a fun thing to try next year!

i hope you enjoyed this post and it answered some of your questions - please let me know if you have any other questions in the comments below and i will get back to you x

don't forget to follow me on instagram to see more spreads, and to watch my flip-through faith journal video on YouTube.

please note, this post has got amazon affiliate links in, which don't cost you anything extra but do help me keep my blog running, so thank you very much if you do chose to use them.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

a beginner's guide to faith journaling : part 1, process

hey all, today i'm going to answer some questions about faith journaling - what it is? what's my process? why i do it? how to start? i've only been doing this for a few short months, but i've picked up lots of tips that i hope will be of use to those of you interested.

let's start with the reason why i even started to journey down this path... i think i'd seen a "related" video on YouTube about "bible journaling" and clicked on it - i watched til the end and i had never seen anything like it before! i thought, wow, a creative way to spend time in the bible, why haven't i thought of this before?! honestly until that moment, each time i'd taken my bible out to study i'd found it a real struggle to spend much time reading, let alone meditating on it. i love group bible study but that had been a challenge for me to get to with a little one, and it's not the daily practice that i knew i needed.

so, after watching that video, i actually started this whole process off with getting a proper "journaling bible" (the ESV Crossway Double Column - US/UK), which is super pretty and was a great starting place for me.

i did a few spreads with craft things i already had, but it felt a bit too "confined" for me - the margin wasn't big enough and the text wasn't big enough, and the paper is really thin (and i'm not the most delicate of people!). and i also felt a lot of pressure to do it perfectly because i didn't want to ruin my bible...

so i bought a Leuchtturm 1917 journal (US/UK), which is one used often for bullet journaling, and started writing, doodling and painting in there, and then my real style evolved...

i have previously done quite a bit of scrapbooking, both in the traditional sense and also with a Project Life style binder (i recorded all of our time living in Belgium that way). so i had quite a lot of stickers, washi tape and other bits and bobs i could use. though i must admit to purchasing a few new bits to experiment with.

i'll list in part 2 some of the things that i think are quite essential items if you're interested to start, and i'll definitely share a 'what's in my journaling bag?' style video in the future to show you what i've been taking on trips with me.

but let me first explain the process, because a lot of people have asked that on instagram...

 - firstly i search for a quiet hour or two, most often when my son is sleeping, so that i know it won't be disturbed time and i can fully let myself enjoy the process of creating and spending time in the Word. 
 - i like to get out all of my craft things before i start so i know what i've got to work with. i don't have a separate craft room, i just keep everything in boxes under our sofa bed and then get that out each time - it's a bit of a faff but it's so worth it!
 - next i get out a bible study, turn on a podcast or just open my bible and turn on worship music, and sometimes a combination. and i open up my journal.
 - sometimes i just start writing as i listen and read, and sometimes i listen and read first and then create. it just depends on the day. sometimes i just create a journal spread based on some amazing quote or verse that i've read that week and want to remember.
 - as for quite how i go about it, i take inspiration from a lot of my favourite creators on social media, (see below) and then i just go from there. sometimes i have an idea in mind of a picture i want to paint or a medium/craft tool/method i want to try out, but other times i just journal what i am reading/listening to. 

there are lots of people who've inspired me along the way, and i wouldn't be doing this if they hadn't inspired me, so here they are, some are Christian "bible journalers" and some create other types of journals:
 - Scribbling Grace
 - Doodling Faith
 - Grace Laced - and I would really recommend Ruth's book with the same title (US/UK)
 - Johanna Clough
 - The ReBookery
 - Merel Journals 
 - Meg Journals
 - Katie Jobling
 - Sarah Swan
 - Cheyenne Barton
 - Pinterest! i've got a whole board full of journaling ideas, so that's also another great place for inspiration from a wider variety of creators.

i would love for you to comment on your favourite inspirations in the comments box too - it's always fun discovering new people!

and without these people i wouldn't have felt confident enough to try out acrylics or watercolours or collage. i find watching other creators really inspiring.

the MOST important thing for me is to have a time and space allocated at least once a week, if not daily, to get out my bible and spend time in God's word, meditating on a verse or worshiping with music, and this is the first time i've really been able to and feel excited to do it!

so i praise God for leading me down this path, where i eagerly anticipate my next session, where i carve out time in my day to sit with Him and spend fully focused time. it's a great way of putting your phone to one side and relaxing too.

i've spoken to a few people who've said they would find my style of journaling too distracting - they thought they'd end up getting too caught up in whether something looks good rather than with spending time with God - to this i can say 2 things; 1 - journaling isn't for everyone and 2 - give it a go! if you end up spending at least some time reading the bible instead of none it's a big win!! i also find that some days when i spend time making just one verse look pretty instead of an intense study, i still spend the rest of the day thinking about the verse, meditating on it and singing praise songs. it's a bit like creating adult memory verses.

anyhow, i've loved it so much that i've created a journaling travel bag that i've taken on my last two holidays so i can keep on creating and reading His word. i'll share more about that in part 2!

extra notes:
 - my bible book tabs are from a seller on Etsy, you can find them at OpenBookPrintShop and they are the 'Magenta Rose' edition (click here).
 - my favourite podcast to journal to is the Journeywomen Podcast with Hunter Beless - it's been a fantastic blessing to me, and i'd recommend it to anyone. also the associated playlist on Spotify is fab.
 - i've had to take a lot of pages out of my Leuchtturm 1917 because i have been adding in so many pockets and tip-ins/flaps and other things to bulk it out, you can easily take out pages by finding the middle parts of each signature and gently taking them out where they've been sewn.

to see a talking flip-through of my journal, watch the video below on my YT channel:

please let me know your questions, and i will do my best to answer them! otherwise, head on over to part 2 to see what my favourite supplies are...

*and also please note, this post has got amazon affiliate links in, which don't cost you anything extra but do help me keep my blog running, so thank you very much if you do chose to use them.