social spark Aisling Beatha: September 2013

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Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy your stay, however short, and find something that interests and blesses you.

The tabs just below will take you to posts of particular topics. So if you are looking for my posts on food, fitness or creativity, you will find them there. You will also find my posts on thankfulness or other more contemplative posts, as well as a set of posts with traditional blessings from a number of different cultures.

You can find posts with labels not included in that list via the labels list over in the sidebar.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Yes, it's ANOTHER Journal


Prayer Journaling

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Shhh, don't tell anyone but I made ANOTHER journal.  Well actually I prepared this book for journalling many months ago, but only started using it this week.  This week on the Made eCourse we were talking about art journalling as prayer and about pouring stuff out on the page, then petitioning, then listening, and I decided this book would be IDEAL for that.
I picked this book up a few years ago in a budget book store.

Altered Narnia Activity Book

Then, some months ago I prepared it for use in art journaling by covering some of the text with gesso and some of the pictures with just a layer of gesso to tone down the image rather than cover it completely.

When I came to do this project, I wanted to see some of the words that I had covered, so I tried wiping off some of the gesso and while it did work, to an extent, in some places I took too much away and had to add a few of the letters back in in pen. I drew lines around the areas I wanted to reveal.

Altered Narnia Activity Book

Then I did some writing around the edge of the page, pouring out some stuff to God and so on. I did this in blue biro, which is not waterproof. I went all around the page twice, in various different directions. Then I took a damp songe and wiped all over that to blur the ink.

Altered Narnia Activity Book

After that I took some gesso and sponged that into the same area to further blur the ink and writing underneath.

Altered Narnia Activity Book

I grabbed some pastels and added more colour in one corner then took an image from a magazine as well as a quote and glued those in along with some alphabet stickers.

Prayer Journaling

The quote at the bottom is from The Horse and His Boy, from the Narnia series of books.

Prayer Journaling

As are all the quotes on the other page.

Prayer Journaling

So, there you ahve it a finished page of art journaling as prayer. I am looking forward to doing some more of this.

Prayer Journaling


If you don't know why I made the comment about yet another journal, check out my recent posts about some of my other journals by clicking on the images below.

Long stitch and chain (sometimes called Long Stitch and Link Stitch)

Testing out stencils

Visual Bible Notes

You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Another Journal

Yes, ANOTHER one.  I know, I already have too many journals.  But one of them is nearly finished.  This is my big journal, with A4 pages.

Big Journal

There is an unfinished project in there which I have left space for and other than that there are only 2 pages left. I do like working on the bigger pages and needed to get another one for when those 2 pages are used up.

The main problem with this journal was that it has glued in pages rather than a stitched binding, which had perforations at the top to allow removal of pages.  That created problems on two levels.  First it wouldn't lie flat for working in and 2nd it was just ridiculously difficult to work on two page spreads.

So I decided to make a new journal.  I picked up an A3 size pad of artist paper from Hobbycraft.  At the time of writing there is currently a sale on art materials at Hobbycraft and I picked it up at half price.

I wanted to try a stitch combination for the binding that I had seen on Pinterest, but I couldn't find a tutorial anywhere!  I tried to work it out myself but it didn't quite go according to plan.

Long stitch and chain (sometimes called Long Stitch and Link Stitch)

If you take a closer look you will see that the chain on the ends isn't quite right. It's supposed to look more or less like the Coptic Stitch, but on the outside of the cover rather than on the bare pages.

Long Stitch and Chain (Well, it was supposed to be)

It might not look quite how I wanted it to but it still works.  From further research after this I think the key is you work into half as many holes, so if you have 8 signatures you have only 4 sets of holes and so on.  I have another A3 pad ready to go, so I shall have to give it a try on that and see if I can figure it out.

Do you recognise that cover paper yet? You have seen it before. Look at the very top photo in this post, at the surface the book is sitting on. Yes, that is the drop sheet from my desk.

Think that drop sheet is nearly done

This is the cover.

New Big Journal - cover

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And this is the inside cover. I used a hand made paper in red with gold threads which I picked up years ago at Paperchase.

New Big Journal, inside cover

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I can't wait to start working in it BUT I shall have to discipline myself to finish those two pages in the other book first.


You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's Her!

If you've been around my blog for a while you will know that one of my passions is storytelling and that  one of the ways I get to do that is by doing assemblies in local primary schools.  One of the extra perks of the job is that occasionally when I am out and about one of the children will recognise me.  And I will hear a young voice shouting my name from across a supermarket, or even a long way from home at a motorway services on one occasion.  This embarrasses my grown children no end and I love it!

At the moment there are 4 different schools that I am in on at least a monthly basis.  Two weeks into the new school year I have now seen all of the new children in each of the schools.  So it was no surprise that when out shopping with my 18 year old son the other day I heard a very little voice shouting at the top of his lungs "It's her!"  I turned in the direction of the voice to see this little boy who honestly didn't look old enough to be at school yet pointing right at me with his bemused mother looking on.  I waved and said hello and he yelled at his mom "She's a teacher!"
"Not quite" I replied and smiled as she, rather embarrassed, pulled him away to continue with the shopping and try and make some sense out of who I was.

I never know whether to stop and explain to parents or whether to let their child explain, but on this occasion it seemed to be OK to let them figure it out together.

I was thinking about it this morning as I walked up to one of the schools to do another assembly.  I was thinking about his obvious delight at recognising someone he knew from in school in an outside of school environment.  I was thinking about that huge grin on his face and the loud exclamation and then I was thinking about God and how His word says that there is rejoicing in heaven whenever someone who doesn't know God turns to Him and makes Him their Lord.
Luke 15:7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Imagine that.  Imagine the excitement of that little boy on seeing me, multiplied many times over as on that day of your return God yells at all the angels.  "It's her!" (or him for any guys reading). "It's her, I know it is.  I recognise her, I know her, yes it's her!"

And with salvation being an ongoing process, by which we have been saved we are saved and we are being saved, that same sense of delight at your return on any occasion on which you repent and turn back . . . .
"It's HER!  She's here.  See, I told you she'd come back.  It really is her, oh how happy I am to see her!"
I know life can sometimes get us down and we can feel as if no-one cares, sometimes even as if no-one would ever be delighted to see us.  We can know without a doubt that there is always ONE, who is always delighted when we turn to him.
delighted-logo
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You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

HOW MANY journals?

A week or so ago I discovered that the number of journals I have is rather surprising to some people.  However I also discovered that there are others in the Made eCourse who have even more on the go than I do, so I'm not worried! :-)

How many?  Well, take a look.  Video first and then a few stills and an explanation.


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First the journal I picked up from Asda, with a cover of recycled leather and really nice paper inside.  They were in the reduced section and I haven't seen them again since.

Recycled leather journal

I started this on the same day we began a new season as a church and am mainly following a set of journaling prompts from an Australian company that makes journals.

So, some days it is straight journaling, some days it is stream of consciousness writing, some days it is finding pictures and gluing them in and some days it is drawings, and sometimes it is a mixture of some of all of them.

Journal tips

Draw your favourite animal

Dream Home

My Favourite things

What if I could . . . .

Next there is my writing exercises journal. You can see the sections it has below. In here I work on creative writing and most of Jochebed's story was written in here.

Writing Exercise journal

The word bank is just a list of words for prompting writing when you can't think of what to write. I'll be honest, I don't use it very often, but it's there when I need it and I keep adding to it, as you can tell from all the different pens I have used.

Word List

Word list

Next there is my regular written journal with the pockets that I have adapted to be able to move them between journals. This is where I work through all the stuff of life when I just need to write it out to process it and think clearly. Consequently I am only showing you one small entry, because most of it is intensely personal.

Regular written journal

Regular written journal

Next is the smallest of my journals, a little hand bound, coptic stitch journal made from squared paper that I use for lettering practise. Some days the practise goes really smoothly and other days, not so well.

Lettering practise book

Sometimes lettering practise goes well

Lettering practise doesn't always go well

Here is the spiral bound art journal a friend made for me that is filled with watercolour paper. I use it for all sorts of things, from drawings, to testing things out, to full blown pages, to using up leftovers from other projects. Some pages are finished and some are not.

DSCI0022

Testing out stencils

Using up leftovers4

Trying things out

Unfinished pages

Trying things out

Then there is my big art journal. I really like working at this larger size but hate the binding on this journal. Need to find a stitch bound larger journal soon as I have nearly come to the end of this one. Or maybe I will make myself one!

Big Journal

You will have seen pages from this in my recent posts, such as below. Click on the picture to go to the post about that page.

Only Be Still Before Me

Safe

Finally there is the journal I made recently for Visual Bible Notes. You can find that here.

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That's it for journals I am currently working in. Journaling is not the only creative thing I do. You can check out some of the other stuff by following the links below.

You can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Only Be Still Before Me

Last week I had a whole day where I did not need to leave the house so I spent most of the morning in my craft studio.  I am still working on the classes from the Made eCourse.  Last week's class was about making your own journal and I wanted to leave that until I could get some more supplies to make one with a mixture of different papers in it.  Since I have done book binding before I thought I would USE one of my journals instead.  The main teacher of the course is Beth Morey and she had shared a devotional with us that morning, by Frances J. Roberts. I used a single phrase from that as my inspiration for this page.

Only Be Still Before Me

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I am still working on my drawing skills (more on that next week), so I chose to trace the outlines of the image from a photo and then shade it myself, by eye, following the photo.  I am over the moon with how it came out.

Only Be Still Before Me

As you can see I drew her first.  I wanted to know I was going to get her right before I started putting colour down on the page.  Then I filled in the background, following the rough horizon line that was in the photo.

Only Be Still Before Me

Then I added the lettering, which I practised in another journal first, to make sure I could get it right.  I like this font, I think I will use it more often.

Only Be Still Before Me

Normally my art journal pages have a lot more layers than this.  You can check out a recent example by clicking on the image at the bottom of the post.  But for now here's a closer look at this image.

Only Be Still Before Me

And here's that other page for you to check out the layers I usually use.

Safe


Finally you can check out the sites I link up to over in my sidebar. Before you go, why not check out my recipes index page, or my craft projects index page, I am sure you will find something there to interest you.
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