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

Monday, December 8, 2014

Illustrated Faith | Laura McCollough

Hello Monday, and Hello to my new guest LAURA!!! I have recently "met" Laura through Illustrated Faith. She is actually attending our Illustrated Faith retreat!!! And I can't wait to meet her! She has a beautiful heart for women and I wanted her to share that with you today.... please welcome Laura!!

Hello! My name is Laura McCollough from A Kiss on the Chic and I am SO excited to be guest blogging today for this wonderful community of believers! I live in Southern California with my three daughters and my hardworking hubby. I own a small business that has grown into such a complete blend of all my passions and I truly give all the glory to the Lord for that! I’ve been in the scrapbooking and mixed-media world for over 10 years and have been on several design teams, owned a “kit club” and have taught many classes. My business has grown over the years into the most amazing thing to me... A way to share my love of travel, my passion for recording our memories and my desire to share the love of the Lord with others! I often wonder how this all happened, but it’s not that difficult to look back and see the hand of God in every step. That is why I have done my journaling for this blog post on the Prayer of Jabez.
I have been very blessed to have traveled many places in this amazing world with my family. I have asked myself many times “why us Lord?” Why did we take a year off and travel the world? Why do we get to go back to Italy every year? It wasn’t because we just had a bag of money sitting there for all of this. Hahaha It wasn’t until just about over a year ago that I finally realized the WHY. It’s a long story and I would LOVE to share it with you someday, but here’s what I realized:
The Lord has AMAZING plans for our lives... If we open ourselves up to them!

I know the Lord is directing our path and I know he gave us a heart for people and especially the people in Italy. We have made many friends and real connections with people around the world and I know the Lord has opened that door and “enlarged our territory” for a reason.
Since 2012 I have hosted Creative Retreats in Italy and it has been such a BIG blessing in my life! I get to bring amazing teachers together with people who want to travel AND be creative at the same time! I’ve met such wonderful people from all over the globe and it has been such a true JOY to do this as my job. From the very start I wanted to do a faith based retreat but I was really bringing together scrapbooking/mixed media teachers and students and didn’t know how to incorporate my faith into these Creative Retreats. I know they “knew” I was a Christian and I would put little scripture photos on top of their class kits each day and do other little things like that. But it wasn’t until THIS year that I felt the Lord telling me it was time... Time to go out in FAITH and do a full on faith based Creative Retreat! And you want to know how he was nudging me?
I would see these beautiful pictures on Pinterest of people doing CREATIVE things in their BIBLES!! I was totally AMAZED. It blew me away and I knew it was something I wanted to do from the very first photo I ever saw. This new way to express our faith AND be creative in our bibles just sparked a fire within me! I knew I would want to do that if I every did a faith based retreat... This was all happening at the same time I was praying about WHEN to do a faith based Creative Retreat. I wasn’t sure when, I wasn’t sure what it would look like and I wasn’t sure who to ask to come teach with me.

But the Lord knew. He gave me words of comfort and quietly told me “now” was the time. He directed my path to right people, he showed me what we should be doing, and I can’t tell you how excited I am about my first Art & Faith Creative Retreat in Italy next summer!! It’s amazing to see the Lord working and blessing things and I pray that he will continue to direct my path in all areas of my life.

Have you prayed the Prayer of Jabez? If not, I encourage you to read this passage in 1 Chronicles. “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain. So God granted him what he requested.”
Where will the Lord direct your path? He has amazing things he wants to do in everyones lives and I pray you will be open to His calling today and every day.
Thank you for letting me tell a story on here and be a part of this wonderful community! I hope to meet all of you one day...
Maybe even at one of my Art & Faith Creative Retreats!
Have a wonderful day,


Thank YOU Laura!!!! I hope to attend one day FOR SURE, how much fun would that be! For those of you new to idea of journaling in your bible, or love the idea of learning more about being creative in your faith I encourage you to check out TRUTH SCRAP a one of a kind online event! 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Illustrated Advent Week 1

Hello friends!!! I hope you are having a great week. I wanted to take a moment and reflect on what God is teaching me through this. First off can I just say this without sounding like I just started reading my bible yesterday? This devotional from Naptime Diaries is seriously my favorite, and here is why... IT'S SO REAL and RELATABLE!!!! I love how her contributors have just laid it out there in a real and honest way and I don't feel like I have to weed through the words to find the meaning, they just lay it out there!

Since we are all about confessions today, I have another one for you. This is my first Advent devotion. I know. I know. That is horrible. I have been a Christian for 17 years how is this possible. I have no real answers for you there, but I do know that my Advent season will never been the same again. This is a must now, this is making a difference in my life, and this is drawing me closer to the real reason for the season!! 

My goal was to do my advent journaling during nap time and as you might be able to see from the photos most of them took place close to 10 at night LOL! But that is ok, that is where I found my quiet moment to sit down and be able to take this in. So I suppose what I am saying is even if this Advent doesn't look exactly as you had planned, the important thing is that you are doing it! 

How are you enjoying your advent journaling? My friends Stephanie and Heather are blogging about their experience today as well, make sure to stop by soak up all their awesome!! I will also be doing a round up of photos I am finding on instagram so make sure to keep using hashtag #illustratedadvent

Also if you are loving this idea of being creative in your walk, make sure to check out Truth Scrap 2015 you can find more information on that here

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Truth Scrap 2015

Hiya friends! I am SO OVER THE MOON excited to have you here with me today and let me tell you why.. TRUTH SCRAP is coming! Since I started scrapbooking in 2011 I always remember hearing about TRUE scrap an online event hosted my Lain Ehmann! So when she approached my about doing a similar even but centered on our faith I could not have been MORE excited. Or so I thought! Once I saw the other teachers I felt honored to be a part of the group as well EXCITED for exactly what this group will be!

Here is a word from Lain:

"Truth Scrap is the galaxy’s ONLY online, live virtual art and crafting event focused on celebrating the intersection of faith and art. With inspiration brought right to your desktop, there’s no need to change out of your PJs because you’re logging on, right from home!If you want to learn more about the HOW and WHY of infusing your creativity with your faith, Truth Scrap is the event for you. Learn new skills while getting a new take on old favorites! And with seven energizing, talented instructors, you’re sure to be inspired. Can’t wait for you to join us!"

I am teaching one of the SEVEN classes offered at this online event (I know, right?!) I wanted to share the class description with you:

"For years, Shanna Noel struggled to read her Bible in a meaningful way. “I always wished I was more like that, that I LOVED to read my bible, that I even wanted to, but the truth is often times I felt like it was more of a chore than anything else,” she says. One day, though, she saw an image of a Bible all marked up, highlighted and underlined, and something about that struck a chord in her. She went online and ordered yet another new Bible – but this time it was a journaling Bible. “When I started to use the journaling Bible, a light bulb went off!” she explains. “I needed to have a place in my Bible for reflection, creativity, and journaling, and that is exactly what this new format provided.” Now, Shanna has taken her discoveries and is presenting them in a cohesive manner. You can join her as she shares how she uses her journaling Bible in a colorful and creative way that allows for personal growth, reflection and illustration."

So if you are new to your journaling bible or just want to gather with a group of like minded women and create, learn and grow together THIS event is for you!! P.S. I think this would make an EPIC Christmas present for those you love (or send the link to Santa (coughHUSBANDcough). 

Lain is running a great sale to start us off! The class is normally $149 but for a limited time snag it for $79!!! Plus I have a $20 coupon for you that is good through CHRISTMAS EVE. Just use code ADVENT when checking out! 

With this class you will not only receive the 7 classes but we will be having a PJ party the night before, I don't know about you but the 12 year old in me just got SUPER excited! PJ parties are the best!!!!

So what do you say, will you be joining us for TRUTH SCRAP 2015? I sure hope to see you there!