Monday, October 20, 2014

Illustrated Faith | Heather Greenwood

It's Monday time for a new start to another beautiful week..... and time for an amazing guest.  Heather was one of the first people I asked to be a guest because she is someone I look up to both as an artist and as a believer! I had the great privliedge of meeting her when I was near her home town for a conference, and let me tell you she is as sweet and centered as she seems. I wanted to just hang out with her for days and soak up all her inspiration.  I love what she has planned for us today, so sit back and take it all in.....
Heather Greenwood | blog | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

I am incredibly thrilled and honored to be featured here on Shanna's blog. It was almost a year ago that Shanna and I were introduced by Facebook message. I've been a huge fan of hers for years and had no idea that that meeting would lead to being a part of this incredible ministry called "Illustrated Faith".†

I've had the joy of working with her on a few projects and this is by far my favorite. I LOVE checking in each day to see what's going on in this "tribe" and community. I LOVE reading the testimonies of what this ministry has unveiled. Most of all, I LOVE seeing so many women in the Word and the joy that comes from that.

This past January, some would say my life was turned upside down... I say that I finally got the nudge (more like kick in the bottom) back on to the path God wants me on. For many many years I led worship in my church, it became my identity. Everyone knew me as the girl on stage. I thought this was supposed to be "my" ministry. This is how "I" serve in my church. But, something inside of me was nudging me that this was not my purpose in this short life on earth.

So, when we were told that there were going to be changes to the worship team, I knew that I could no longer let fear keep me from doing what God gifted me to do. I'm not just a singer on Sunday mornings, I'm an artist. I'm an artist with a purpose. I started to see the big picture for "my" ministry.

I decided I couldn't live in fear anymore. It was time for me to share my art AND my faith. So, I would write my notes on Sundays and then come home and do an art journal page based on the message. Then with the nudging of my friends and pastors, I started posting them on social media. All that fear went away. That was easy! Why did it take me so long to share my faith through art on social media?

Then Shanna started sharing her Journaling Bible, and a lightbulb went on. Why am I doing this art in a separate journal? Why not do it actually IN my Bible?†

I grew up thinking it was wrong for me to doodle or write in my Bible, (not my parents, btw, my peers) I did it anyways. My peers finally won the war and I put the pen down and stopped doodling and writing in my Bible. I thought there was something wrong with me. Why couldn't I love the Bible like them, why was it so difficult to read it and understand it?

A few years ago, at the age of 38, I was diagnosed with ADHD. It was like a million pounds fell off my shoulders. There wasn't anything wrong with me! I just need to worship and study the way God gifted me. All this doodling and art journaling has brought me so much closer to God. I now see his love and grace like never before. I now read the Bible like never before. I now can truly worship the way God intended me to worship.

Matthew 28:19 says "GO and make disciples of ALL NATIONS...", this is the lesson I've learned this past year. God wanted me to "GO" and share my faith and the arts to all nations, through social media.†

I love the Illustrated Faith Facebook Community, but I want to encourage you to think about what your purpose in this short life is. Are you going to keep God's gifts in our Facebook group, or are you going to share it for the world to see the loving Savior?

Thank you for that call to action Heather! I agree, the community is a great place to gather inspiration, and ask questions etc but it is important to share with those around you! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us this morning!

Heather does and art bible tutorial on Thursdays you don't want to miss!! She has also provided us with this amazing free printable that would work perfectly in any art journal/ journaling bible!

For those new to the idea of using a journaling bible in this way I have a FAQ here and wanted to link you to the bible that Heather is using as well as a few others: NIV Notetakers | ESV Journaling Bible Single Column | ESV Standard Journaling Bible | ESV Leather Bible | Writing in the Margins

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Reflect Sunday | A Thankful Heart

 It's Sunday! I hope you are having a day filled with beautiful little moments (and maybe an afternoon nap!). This morning I woke up in a hotel room with my youngest daughter Addison as we are in the middle of a girls trip! I LOVE one on one time with my girls, I think it is so important to really take the time with the special people in your life.

One of the things I love the most about this journaling bible process is that it is so easy when you are on the go! Just pack up your bible, your favorite journaling pen, a couple alpha stickers,  some watercolors and your favorite stamps and you are ready to go! You could create for days with a handful of supplies.    And even though there is so much gained by attending a church, sitting on the ground next to the huge window in our hotel room, with my little one snuggled up in her blanket playing with her penguin and me with my bible... there was really no other place I would have rather been this morning.

When Studio Calico asked me to design a stamp set for my next class - gratitude documented, I was keeping in mind how I might use this set with my bible, because lets face it, PERFECT MATCH! So for the next 6 weeks we will be focusing on an attitude of gratitude. In today's society it is so easy to think we need more, or our friend has this wonderful life and we are over here not living up to their standards. My friends, God doesn't call us to live up to their standards, but his. He has given us exactly what we need. That isn't to say that we can sit back and allow God to do the work, but we do need to be thankful for what we are given.

In my class we will be diving deeper into the idea of gratitude (so if you want a more in depth look please join us) but I wanted to share some samples of how we might do that here as well.

This week I decided to focus on 1 Thessalonians 5:18 which reads, "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Chris Jesus for you".  I love that is says "in all circumstances' it doesn't say when you get the "right" job or meet Mr. Right, is says in ALL circumstances. Which lead me to want to create a space where I can really see how my gratitude evolves by leaving room to document that gratitude in the coming years. So imagine my surprise when I opened my bible this morning to see this lovely 1/2 page of space to work with (since it was at the end of 1 Thessalonians). So if you are working in the same ESV journaling bible you will find that space as well, but if you are working in a difference format this is still do-able! Just take the column you normally journal in and create a space that you can document a couple sentiments for 2014-2016 (or longer if you wish). 

So what do you say, will you join me in documented your gratitude in this very important season of your life? Let's celebrate the little things while focusing on the word together. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Illustrated Faith | A Mother's Prayer Journal

Guys. Seriously. I am floored. I can't believe the response, stories, testimonies I am hearing on a daily basis about how you are using your creativity in a way that is drawing you closer to your relationship to God. Thank you so much for sharing, in exchange I wanted to open the door on this recent discovery of mine, something I started as a branch of my journaling bible.

I bought this traveler's notebook thinking that I would use it as a art journal sort of thing, but I suppose that never inspired me enough to get started because it just sat there. Then as I was exploring the idea of a journaling bible the thought of being creative in my prayer life really sparked something. I wanted to have one place to document the prayers that I pray over my children on a daily basis. My intentions aren't to document every single prayer obviously, but to have a book I could hand off to each one of my children when they are adults. 

My mother in law is a prayer warrior, I know that wherever I go her prayers have already been. In fact she was praying for me before I ever met Jonathan as she would pray for his future wife when he was only a child.  Prayer doesn't come as easily to me, my prayers are often short and sweet are rarely shared with others. Even though I pray with my children, I want them to know that they are on my mind constantly. When I walk by their messy rooms in the morning I pray for their day at school when I pack their lunches I pray for their friends, when I give them that final kiss at night after they are fast asleep I pray for their uniqueness and how I hope they hold on to that. 

Now that we have touched on the why, let's talk a little about the how; 

The reason I decided to use this journal is because I can use ONE notebook for each girl. You see these journals allow you to insert different notebooks within the same cover. My thought was as this project contrinues and books fill up I could set aside each notebook, one for Jaden and one for Addison and give them their very own journal filled with prayers. 

For the photos to include in the journal, I didn't want to put pressure on myself to take a new photo for the journal. I don't know about you but I have this little container filled with all the different photos I have from other projects that are either extras (I will often print more than one) or the wrong size etc. I decided just to use photos from this container for this instead. 

I decided to start the journal with two photos of the girls doing something that makes them happy, that is uniquely them.  I find that is what I pray the post about that they continue to SHINE in the way God made them. I want them to know I SEE THEM, I see their unique characters that make them so special. I then selected the "love this" stamp from Ali Edwards

I kept it very simple from there, just adding a bit of washi tape at the top to hold it down. I then used my journaling pen to jot down some lines and journaled my prayers out on top of them. I made sure to use a date stamp at the top so as the girls look back at these they will have some context as to when it was. 

What I love about this idea is that it was very easy to duplicate for Jaden's notebook. I did all the same steps only adding a unique prayer for each child. This workflow would work for any number of children. I have some ideas on a marriage prayer journal as well, but there are some different ideas I wanted to share there, so that will be saved for a different day! 

Thank you so much for joining me today, I hope you have an wonderful day!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gratitude Documented 2014

Last year I asked my friend Chantal if she would be interested in helping me pull together a gratitude mini kit and create a blog series around it. She agreed, and came to the table with some amazingly inspired ideas. We both blogged about it and I don't think either one of us imagined the response that we got. You guys reacted in a way that set the idea on fire, you really brought it to life. It was so much fun to see how everyone was documenting their gratitude. As a thank you we have taken it a step further this year and partnered with Studio Calico to bring you a class with MORE content, MORE product, MORE inspiration and even MORE ideas .... GRATITUDE DOCUMENTED!!

This is the first class that I have taught at Studio Calico that is really going to dig deep into the idea of gratitude. It is my hope that you will grab a warm cup of tea, your favorite fall blanket and curl up with a journal to get the ideas flowing before we even start our creative process. Gratitude is so much more than putting together a beautiful mini album, when you are done with this I am positive it will be something you cherish for many years to come.

I feel so blessed and humbled to work with some of the best in the industry as Jamie Waters, Lexi Bridges, Chantal Philippe will be joining me to bring this class to life. I seriously can NOT wait to see what these talented ladies come up with! 

In gratitude documented we we be going in depth prompts to help you explore all of your gratitudes from this year, super simple tag book minibook that you can tailor to your own style, 3 videos, message board and class challenges, I will be there every step of the way to help encourage you, Jamie will be adapting the ideas to a WRMK 4x4in album, and we’ll wrap up by Thanksgiving so you can share your project with your loved ones.

As with all the wonderful classes at Studio Calico, we have teamed up to provide you with supplies that will inspire you as well as work seamlessly with the class. The stamp set is one of my faves with fun sentiments in my signature style along with elements you will find yourself reaching for over and over again. I can not wait to explore these more with you in class! 

Even though class does not start until November, the fun starts now! In classic Studio Calico style they have already loaded the class up with some digital goodies for you (the cut files and cards are available at this very moment and the digital stamps will be in there very soon!) 

oh and one last thing....

I want you to know that I am VERY grateful for each and every one of YOU!! Blogging doesn't come easy to me, I forget to post, or don't know what to post about, but the support I have seen on this blog in the past couple of months is just stunning. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Illustrated Faith | Andrea Gray

It's Tuesday and I have a very special guest for you today! Andrea is just a JOYFUL person and it shines through whenever you interact with her or see her most online. She is one of those Christians that doesn't need to say a whole lot because you can just tell by her actions where her heart is. Thank you so much for sharing with us today Andrea!!

Well hello there! My name is Andrea and I am best known in the crafty/online world as retrohipmama. I’m usually posting about pocket scrapbooking, easy and modest outfits, hand lettering, embroidery and now - bible journaling! Shanna invited me to share a bit about my take on this fabulous new art form and to share my story. To say I am happy to be here is quite the understatement! :) I’m confident this is a place where I can be honest. so here is my secret: I am terrified of the bible. I have never really understood it and that has prevented me from getting deep into the word of God. And I’m not necessarily "new" to Christianity, so I don't really have an excuse. God has always been in my life though, even as a little girl. At about age 5, when it was normal to leave windows open and doors unlocked, my mom left the sliding glass door open before we headed to bed and I asked her, 'but what if someone comes in who isn't supposed to?' She said to me, in the most confident voice I ever heard, 'God wouldn't let that happen to us, He always protects us.' And my natural response was complete confidence that she was right, and that He would do what she promised. As a teenager, I found myself in a dramatic and abusive relationship that grew me closer to God as I built strength and faith that I could get out of it. Nightly prayers for direction and protection helped me through a section of my life that is still difficult to forget. But through all of these attempts He made to bring my all the way in, I didn't understand that just being a good person wasn't going to get me the full power of His love. Not that he was going to take love from me, but I wasn't really experiencing that healthy relationship with Him. It wasn't until I was out of the house and my mom began going back to church, my catholic dad began to go with her and I saw them be baptized together that she told me what I really needed to do. She told me to ask my dearest and oldest friend, who was away at a Christian college, because I honestly thought just being a good person was going to get me into Heaven. Well, I asked and I was mistaken. So during the summer of 2000, at a church service with that friend, I stood up and gave my life and heart to Jesus. And every 20th of august, that amazing friend sends me a happy spiritual birthday note. Fast forward to a couple months ago: was starting a new bible study on Hosea and I was super interested in learning and studying. But if you recall my confession in the beginning, the words always go in one eye and out the other. I have a difficult time retaining information unless I write it down and as an adult, I am so glad I know this about myself. So, you know how God's timing is pretty much perfect? Well, yeah, here is a perfect example of that. I began noticing photos of scrapbook type art in the margins of bibles showing up in my facebook news feed. Hmmmm.....intriguing. Women were gathering in a facebook group and sharing their art. Bible art. Sharing verses and topics that spoke deeply to them and how they were engaged in the word of God while drawing, doodling and painting. Uuummm, I clicked JOIN GROUP in a heartbeat! Since I love hand lettering and I have a ton of scrapbook supplies, I gathered up some stuff I thought would be perfect for bible journaling. After researching a few different bibles, I settled on this one: ESV Single Column Journaling Bible (Black) Outside of buying the bible, I only bought a $10 set of watercolor paints (which I needed anyway), a bottle of gesso (which is only necessary for painting) and a $4 stamp set. Everything else is stuff I already had.


 My bible arrived on a Friday. Naturally I wanted to rush home from work and was so excited to get started. I had seen a few people doodling on the edges of their bibles and knew that I wanted to do something like that. And a simple hello jesus was perfect for me. I sketched it in pencil first, then carefully penned it with an ultra fine sharpie. tip: be sure to squeeze the pages together while you sketch and pen on the edges. it keeps your marks from getting inside the pages.


Choosing a special verse for the opening page wasn't too difficult. Even though I don't have many verses memorized, I knew I wanted this one. 2 CORINTHIANS 5:7 says for we live by faith, not by sight. This has been on my heart for as long as I can remember. I never doubted God's presence or questioned His love for me. So I sketched and penned into the night. tip: use a piece of freezer paper behind your page to avoid marking on the next page.


There is no one way to journal in your bible. Whatever kind of medium you enjoy is perfectly fine! Personally, I do like several different kinds of art and wanted to try a few out to see what worked best on this thin paper. I’m going to share 3 with you today:   watercolor // Messy art is sooooo not comfortable for me but I really wanted to just go with the flow of my watercolors and color outside of the lines (on purpose)! And have faith that it would be okay. Plus, it's about the words and not the perfection. For this style, I placed a small piece of freezer paper behind the page so the water didn't soak through. tip: if you watercolor over the pen marks you've made, you might need to pen over a few parts that get covered by the color if you want the lines to really stand out.


sketching // My next adventure lead me to this verse from Isaiah. Since strong is my one little word for this year, I had this quote saved on my pinterest board and thought this was the perfect place to finally put it down on paper. I decided to keep this one in pencil because I liked the look of the sketches. tip: be sure to erase carefully when sketching in pencil. we all know how fragile bible pages are.


scrapbook style // Earlier I mentioned that I am trying to keep up with She Reads Truth's Hosea bible study. As I read through the study in the she reads truth app, I highlighted certain verses and words I wanted to remember for a future worship art session. Using random scrapbook supplies, I laid out my reflection of what I got from Hosea 2:19-20. Sometimes I need a reminder...and a little humor to help.


My hope is that you're not afraid to get your bible a little messy and that you use the art you love to spend quantity time in The Word. This style of worship may be scary or weird, but for me, it's drawing me to the words I’ve longed for but have been fearful of for years. Thank you Shanna, for creating a group that allows us to share these special experiences with each other.

 Happy worship-scrapping!  - Andrea You can find me here: blog facebook instagram youtube

I love seeing your journey and where your adventures took you!! Thank you so much for sharing your secret with us Andrea, I think so many of us can relate!! Leave Andrea a little love for sharing her heart with us today!

Monday, October 13, 2014


Happy Monday everyone! I am excited to be joining Studio Calico for an INSPIRATIONAL blog hop! They are giving away some amazing prizes JUST for sharing some inspiration, how easy is that?! First off EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON gets to download this ADORABLE art print. It is perfect to frame and put up in your home or even slip into your project life album, you really can't go wrong!

Seriously how cute is that?! You can win a SUPER duPER cool prize by simply downloading this print using THIS LINK and entering what inspires you in the comments section.  More on the super duper cool prize below! 

I am kinda smitten with this print! I makes me want to jump in a huge pile of fall leaves and make some hot apple cider. It makes me want to snuggle under our favorite blanket and watch a chick flick. It makes me want to CREATE! There is something about fall that I find to be SUCH an inspiration. How about you? So today I wanted to share 14 things that are inspiring me RIGHT this very moment!!

1. Vintage ephemera | Come on folks... is there anything better? I have been going through my Grandmother's scrapbooks and just soaking up all the GREATNESS of these old papers. 

2. Color Theory Paint | You really have to try it if you have been holding out, what are you waiting for? The creamy texture is just perfection, and the colors SC comes out with will leave you inspired!

3.  Woodgrain Hearts | When I am just not sure what to use a big old heart will always do the trick!

4.  Buttons | Oh buttons, how I adore you. They are the perfect item to finish off a fall project! 

5. Acorns | because, acorns = love. 

6.  Funky Wood Veneer | We are talking totally unique only can be found in Ashley's AWESOME class kinda of unique. Who can resist that cat? I don't even like cats!!!! <-- don't tell anyone I said that!

7. Teen Tiny Vintage Books | I pick them up whenever I find them because they are perfect for a little collection of acorns, or a frog with some vintage photos peeking out!

8. Color Theory Ink | Specifically this color of lime light, I want to stamp it on EVERY.SINGLE.BIT!

8a. (because I forgot to put a label on it) Fall Sentiment Tape | I have considered picking up another Project LIfe kit just got this tape, don't judge. Once you have it in your hot little hands you will understand and we will be best friends again! 

9. Lindsay Letters | EVERY single thing she does is such an inspiration! I had the pleasure of meeting her two weeks ago at the influence conference and let me tell you she is one of the sweetest most generous people you will ever meet in your entire life. Love her to bits! 

10.  Photos of those I love | because that is really what this is all about, right?

11.  Ribbon | I am lucky that the nice ribbon store in town is open mainly when I am working or I would be in big trouble. I LOVE the texture it adds to any project and this color is just YUM!

12. Funky Pumpkins | I LOVE this pumpkin I picked up at our local craft store last year. I adds just a fun touch on a mantle otherwise covered in traditional fall colors. 

13. Fall Art Print | Fall is such a magical time and anything that is inspired by that is just meant to be loved. 

14. YOU | My friends, I am humbled to be a part of such a creative, loving, giving, INSPIRING community. Each and every day I am left in awe of the things you create and the love that you spread, keep it up friend! 

Now since you are SUCH an inspiration I wanted to give you a little something from the amazing folks at Studio Calico! Remember the super easy rules? All you must do is download this adorable art print using this link  and leave a comment sharing what inspires YOU! I will draw a winner by next Monday to win *weneedsupercooldrumrollnoisehere* 

The Project Life Underground Kit from Studio Calico! How fun is that?! (see totally worth the wait!!) 

The is not where the fun ends my friend, Studio Calico is also giving away some AWESOME prizes and I want you to get in on the fun! We’re giving away over $1,400 in prizes drawn from the people who download the printable. The prizes get bigger and bigger the more uses of the #scinspires hashtag.  So get on your social media platforms and start shouting from the rooftops what INSPIRES you and make sure to use the #scinspires to get the word out! Check out the Studio Calico blog every Friday for update on how we are doing!!! Let's blow those numbers out of the water!! 

P.S. For those looking for my guest blogger I have a very exciting post for you tomorrow!!! 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Reflect Sunday | Glorify God By Sharing your Authentic Struggles

I thought it would be fun to do a video this Sunday so you would see my process from start to finish. I hope you enjoy and just ignore the part at the end where I imitate God, sometimes I get a little wacky when I create! LOL

Illustrated Faith | Glorify God from shanna noel on Vimeo.
Supplies | alpha stamps | versamark ink | journaling pen | bible

For those looking for a different version of the bible here are a couple people are loving!!!
King James Version | Leather Bound | Single Column | NIV Note-taker's
If you decide to use this prompt in in your bible this week I would love to see it! Leave a comment in the post and I will leave you some love! Make sure to use #illustratedfaith on instagram so I can find you!