Thursday, January 8, 2015

Illustrated Faith | Debby Schuh

Good morning!!! Thank you for stopping by today, I have a wonderful guest! Debby is a leader, teacher and friend in the scrapbooking community so I was excited to see her step into the illustrated faith world. One thing I find so interesting about how God is working through this movement is to see who I have walked along side with in the scrapbooking community for so long stepping up and sharing their faith, it's such a beautiful thing! Please give a warm welcome to Debby!!!!

Hi! My name is Debby Schuh and I live near Buffalo, New York, with my husband Dave. We have two sons who live across the country – Jeremy in Iowa with his wife Becca and Brandon, who is in the Army, stationed in Washington, DC, and engaged to be married this June. We miss them terribly! 

I am a life-long scrapbooker and am so incredibly blessed that my hobby has become my career! I travel and teach scrapbooking and paper-crafting classes across the US and the world. I love what I do –  to meet the nicest people all over the world, to travel to amazing places, to inspire my students to tell their stories and preserve their memories and teach them techniques and make cool projects – 
it’s the best job ever!

The most important thing to know about me though is that I don’t want to take credit for any of it – every single thing I do, every place that I’m honored to go, every creative idea I have comes only from God. He is the One who helps me and gives me everything I need to do what He wants me to do. 

Last September I came across Shanna’s blog and saw the Journaling Bible for the first time. I loved it! It never, ever occurred to me to use my scrapbook supplies in a Bible! I’ve read and studied the Bible all my life, even graduating from a Bible school and a Christian university, but that is one of the things I love about the Bible! It never gets old, and you are never done studying it! For the last couple years I’ve just been reading my Bible on my cell phone, but now reading and thinking and then pulling the main ideas into the margins of the Journaling Bible has made it fresh and alive to me in a brand new way. It’s fun!

I read a little bit and then think about what God wants to teach me, how He wants to change me - highlighting important words with my colored pencils and placing stickers and rub-ons and die cuts in the margins with my writing in between, sometimes adding pages from an old hymnal to the edge of a page with washi tape. The two pages in the picture above were done over about six different days. I like to study one little section at a time and then how the words stay with me all day long.

I can truly say that having a relationship with God, trusting Jesus everyday, and relying on Him is an adventure! I’m always on the lookout for how He’s working and see His “finger-prints” all around me. I hope to meet you somewhere along the way at a store or event where I’m teaching or stop by and say hi at one of the links under my photo. I’d like to give a new Journaling Bible to someone on my blog, so if you leave a comment there, I’ll draw a name and send one out! 

Debby you have left me wanting to pull out all my alpha 
stickers and just get lost in my bible for a while, thank you friend!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Journaling Bible Giveaway on Instagram

Hi there! I am on vacation in Seattle visiting my sister but I wanted to point your attention to a giveaway over on instagram!!

Good luck! I will see you over there!

Have an amazing day! :) 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Illustrated Faith | Lisa (ibtough)

Hi there! Happy Monday! Today we are joined by Lisa and I have to be honest with you... I don't know a whole lot about her but what I do know I LOVE. I follow her on instagram and her bible entries are unlike anything I have ever seen before. You can tell she enters her bible with a sense of passion and determination and that is something I personally admire.  Please give a warm welcome to Lisa....

Thank you Shanna for noticing my work and allowing me to share with others.

When approached by Shanna, I explained up front that I was “just a regular person with no affiliation or blogs to make reference to.”  She knew this already and simply has asked that I speak from the heart about my artwork.

I grew up going to church and believing in God.  Unfortunately, it was just a Sunday thing and I know now I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

After I left home at 18, I stopped attending church altogether except for at Christmas and Easter.  Pretty soon, I was completely sucked into the world and this is when I began to live a life filled with some pretty hard knocks.  Lots of mistakes and lots of pain.  I was in survival mode for many years always pretending that I was strong and knew what I was doing but slowly dying inside.

Fast forward to me at the age of 40.  My life was so out of control that something had to give because I was done.  I decided to try to go to a local church because I was desperate.   I laugh as I type this because I never left.  I was baptized Christmas Eve in 2007 and have never looked back.

Part of why I share this is because I didn’t own a Bible until I was 40.  I didn’t grow up with anyone telling me that some people feel it could be practically a sin to mark in the Bible much less cover up the actual words.  What I’d like to ask the audience is to look at the art, heart, and message behind it.  This is my Journaling Bible only.  I never read this Bible nor take it to church with me.  Believe me, I have quite an extension of Study Bibles!

My inspiration comes from sermons, experiences, and quiet time.  I find it humorous when people don’t know where to begin because I am the opposite.  The ideas are endless and are almost a distraction if I am at church as I think about turning the sermon nuggets into art.  I have Post It notes with a million future ideas.

I do not practice nor have it all laid out ahead of time.  I am a free spirit and go with the flow not knowing what colors nor total media I will end up using.  When I first started Bible Journaling, I bought all of the supplies that people recommended and guess what?  They are already collecting dust because it wasn’t me.  Someone else’s handwriting made me go slow and felt unnatural and almost shaky.  Once I used my own, it came easy.  Be yourself and you will find YOUR gift!

This also means that I do not conform exactly to the blank margins set aside for the journaling as some do.  If what I am doing can fit in there, great.  If not, I keep going and concentrate on the big picture.  This means I may cover up words that aren’t important to this particular piece I am doing.  You have to understand, my heart is usually very inspired.  A lot of times, I may have tears when drawing and the last thing I am thinking of keeping it in the margins.

This morning I started my Advent devotions.  It’s also pretty common for me to think I’m going to draw and discuss one thing and usually when I’m about halfway done, I completely go into a different direction.  I was planning on talking about Elizabeth here but then I keep praying and other thoughts come to mind, which I will share when I officially post.  By the way, I cannot watch TV when doing this.  It’s Pandora Christian music or nothing because I feel like it’s a distraction for some reason.

The bottom line in this article is that I have found a new outlet that I really enjoy.  It’s definitely for me, but I also hope to help relay faith based messages in a way that most people can relate to wherever they are at in their walk.  Social media makes it possible for strangers to see my posts on Instagram (“Ibtough”) who may get drawn in by the art, but I try and back it up with faith based inspiration and verses while keeping it real.

I’m a career woman with 4 grown kids and 2 grandkids living in Corona, California.  Thank you again Shanna for letting me tell a little bit of my story.  I do hope to meet you and other like-minded individuals at one of your future events and look forward to reading about other guests and their style.  What an inspiration you and everyone has been to me in this community.  God Bless!

Thank you so much Lisa, and thank you to my readers for supporting Lisa in sharing here today! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Illustrated Advent In Action

Hiya! I hope you are having a wonderful day! I sure am, today was my birthday so I hope you forgive this Thursday post going up at 9:24 pm PST but we just had to much fun the past two days to stop and blog! I knew you would understand :)

I wanted to take you step by step through the process of making an entry in my journaling bible. This entry is from Illustrated Advent day 17.  I remember reading through the devotional and this "shine" illustration coming to mind and I immediately thought of the sunburst stamp. I knew I wanted to create a graduated color effect and thought it would be fun to use the gelato. My favorite ways to use the gelato with the stamp is with a mister to create this fun watercolor effect with the gelatos.  If you have't tried it yet, YOU MUST!!!


The important thing here is to just HAVE FUN!!! Don't worry about doing it "right" go with the first image that comes to mind and just run with it!! P.S. That adorable green art print is from Valerie, if you haven't checked her out yet YOU MUST!!

Heather and Stephanie are sharing a peek into their Illustrated Advent process as well, you are going to want to check them out!! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Color Theory & Beautiful Mess Color Samples

Hiya all! I hope you are doing well today! :) When A Beautiful Mess first opened up their shop I was very excited, I love their design choices and their colors are always spot on so when I found out they were going to be making inks as well OH MY WORD I couldn't wait to try them out! I could see just from looking online that the colors were going to be bold and fun but you really never know until you get them in your hands to stamp them out! Well let me tell you they did NOT dissapoint, they are BEAUTIFUL in person and just so much fun to use on all of your projects! I also wanted to compare them to the color theory inks I have on hand as well and see how they compare. I decided to do a little color sampling and thought I would share with you just incase you were wondering some of the same things I was.  I gathered up all my inks and grouped them by color.

Above you can see the color theory on the left two columns and the messy ink on the right. 

Of course to really see the colors you have to STAMP them ... right!? Yes I think so too so let's get to it shall we? 

I tried to keep these colors true to what I am seeing in person so I didn't edit this photo in an effort to give you a true idea of the color.  As you can see there are a lot of similar colors including the black, coral colors, yellows, and some of the blues. There are also a lot of colors in the messy ink that color theory doesn't have yet. I really love the hot pink and I think the cement is my favorite color from the messy inks. The plum is a lot of fun too and there is really nothing like it offered in the color theory line. All that being said I have had some of these color theory inks for a while and have yet to stamp them and now I wish I stamped them the moment I got them! I fell in LOVE with glass slipper and I think it may even by my favorite color EVER!!! All in all I think both lines offer some amazing colors, both stamp REALLY nice and both brands stack together to make for easy storage. 

What do you say, what is your favorite color if you had to pick just one?! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Illustrated Faith | Jann Gray

Happy Monday! It's pouring here and I LOVE it!! I hope you are doing well where you are. So imagine I am sitting in my car doing my grocery shopping listening to one of my favorite podcasts Scrap Gals and my two favorite gals had Jann on their show as a guest. I love love love both Tracie & Tiffany like to a million pieces and was EXCITED to meet one of their friends Jann! Everything she said just sat on my heart and made me smile! I LOVE her approach to being a creative person. So as any NORMAL person would do... I stalked her. Yep.. it's true... I went on instagram and commented on all her lovely photos... it was only when  I looked up and saw that the photo I was commenting on was 54 weeks old that I might be scaring her. Okay, now I might be scaring you.. all I mean to say is she is AWESOME and I am so excited she is here.. please welcome Jann!!

I just knew that I had found a “kindred spirit” when I first discovered Shanna’s blog and saw that her masthead said, “to live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong!” Yes!!!! I mean “YES!” Like the throw your hands up in the air and shout “Yes…of COURSE!” kind of yes…only to discover that the people sipping coffee next to you in Starbucks are not as appreciative of your “eureka” moment as perhaps they should be! Smile

But I get ahead of myself! Hi, I’m Jann and it is an honor to get to share a couple of thoughts with you today on Shanna’s blog.  I came to work in the creative arts world in a bit more roundabout manner than most. For more than 25 years, I was a missionary working with the Josh McDowell Ministry here in the United States and abroad in Russia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East!  I helped Josh with his publishing, radio and tv shows, youth rallies and the humanitarian aid division of his ministry called Operation Carelift. I was a single gal who loved the Lord and loved to travel…and working with Josh was as close to a dream job as I thought it could get!

That is, until I met Royce and his son, Weston! Yeah…I knew I was sunk the first time I met Royce. He loved Jesus, he loved his son, and…he loved me! I left the Josh McDowell Ministry and moved to Nashville, TN to start the second grand adventure of a lifetime with Royce and Weston! 

If you’ve been a missionary for most of your life, your resume is filled with an interesting mixture of skills and abilities.  Who DOESN’T need someone who has climbed down into sewers in St. Petersburg, Russia to interview the street kids where they lived? What organization isn’t searching for someone that knows how to take 600 people into Cuba and fly “under the radar?” Everyone needs someone that can tell stories of being pulled off a plane in Israel because they found something “suspicious” in their luggage? No? Well, maybe not those specific skills – but all the things I learned from those situations had prepared me to do all kinds of fun things when I moved to Nashville. I have helped Royce with his businesses, taught public speaking at Cumberland University, been the ghost writer for a couple of books and hosted a weekly TV show called “What You Make It.”

Jann on set of What You Make It 

One of the most fun things I have gotten to do is teaching all forms of paper crafting for the past 10 years in stores, conferences, retreats, YouTube and in online classrooms

No matter where I am or what I am teaching, the theme of my message is simple. YouCan! Create! Fearlessly!

Somewhere between when we were five years old and we thought everything we created was refrigerator worthy and now…we became fearful! Fearful of it not being perfect. Fearful of mistakes. Fearful that others won’t like it…fear, fear, fear, afraid, afraid, afraid!!!!! 

And being afraid stifles our creativity. I want to share just two thoughts with you today…

First, regardless of your skill level, YOU ARE AN ARTIST! And secondly, “whatever you do, do all for the glory of God!”

In every class I teach, I begin with a pledge…I ask them to pick up their scissors or a ruler and repeat after me…

I am an Artist. For the next few hours, I pledge to forget about perfection and focus on having fun! I can spill paint, smear ink and tear my paper…and I will STILL be an ARTIST!

I’m not worried about making a mistake. It is ALL fixable. And when I am done, I will have a work of art, because I AM AN ARTIST!

I find people have a hard time calling themselves an artist! Do you? See, I think that we believe that the term artist is a “quantitative measurement” – not a word that describes what we do.  And most of us don’t see what we do as “good ENOUGH.” 

In Genesis 1:27, the Bible tells us that “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” As imperfect as we are, we have built into us a creativity that is there because God made us in His image. It isn’t about being “creative enough.” We just are creative because God made us that way. And the beauty of it is that He allows each of us to create in our own special way. My hearts desire is to help everyone who attends one of my classes or retreats to take that part of themselves that holds up the art that they create and compare it to another artists’ work and “drop it like its hot!” 

So let me say to you, dear blog reader, “You Are An Artist!”  I would love it if you would say it out loud – try it on – and see how it sounds. (Unless you are sitting in Starbucks and don’t want to start a conversation with those sitting next to you).

And very briefly – I want to share my second thought.

As an artist, and particularly when I am creating art in my Journaling Bible, I want to keep sharpening my skills. I want to get better – not because where I am is not good enough, but because I want everything I do to be done for the Glory of God! (1 Cor 10:31) Right now, I am working on lettering…I want to have a better grasp on how the written words enhance the art that I make. I’m taking classes. I’m practicing. And while I am doing all this “learning” – I’m still an artist, creating art to Glorify God. I don’t stop until I get “better” – I give the best I can – today…and maybe tomorrow the gift I bring will show that I have learned to use the gifts God gave me to a greater degree. I would pray that as you create in your Journaling Bible that you will give the BEST gift you have to give to God, today. And then, practice, try new things, and continue giving it back to God.

It has been a joy sharing with you today. I’ve created some tabs for you to print and use in your Bible/Journal art if you would like.  I designed them to work with the Jenni Bowlin punch but I have also created a cut file if you use the Silhouette. Here is a PDF that you can print and use the punch with – or hand cut if you like!


I look forward to seeing what you create over on the Journaling Bible Community. I am working on creating some fun new resources on my website in the YouCan! Classroom and if you would like to try out some new techniques, please visit my YouTube channel to find more than 200 tutorials covering all kinds of projects and techniques!

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite pages from my Bible

Blessings! - Jann

See, I told you she is one of the most amazing women you will ever meet! I want to squeeze her to a million pieces WHEN I meet her in person!!! Have the most wonderful day!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Illustrated Advent Round UP & free Cut File

Hi there!!!! For those of you that are journaling your way through advent how are you enjoying it? I have to say it is just my favorite EVER!!!! I love going through a devotional each day that is just so relatable and inspiring and then entering just a simple entry into my bible that reminds me exactly where I am, what I am learning and what I hope to do this season in my life.

I have been sharing my entries daily on my instagram account and have been using the hashtag #illustratedadvent to tag those posts, if you follow that tag you will see many others following along with this process as well and I wanted to shine the light on some amazing journaling I have been seeing!

Make sure to follow all these wonderful ladies as they are sure a source of inspiration for me and I am sure they will be for you as well!! Also, Heather and Stephanie will be sharing their journey through advent as well so make sure to stop by! 

Earlier this week I shared that I made a cut file to go with the 7th day of Advent (but this would go well with so many entries) and I wanted to share it with you guys! It fits perfectly in your margins, enjoy!!!

Speaking of Advent and enjoying the season what are your thoughts on 2015 and starting the year off on the right foot? For me that means setting the tone for the year RIGHT off the bat with Truth Scrap 2015, I can't wait to soak up all the inspiration from some amazing teachers and the community!! Will you be joining us for the first ever Truth Scrap!!?
Shanna Noel