Saturday, April 18, 2020

Easter Bible Journaling

Happy Easter!
One thing I've really found great joy in during the Stay at Home order is spending more time Bible Journaling. I've loved it as a creative outlet and a tool for prayer, and it has filled me with peace in a way few other things have. Honestly what kicked me back into the creative groove was this amazing Emmaus Road Bible Journaling kit from Open Journey. It's been a perfect tool to pray with during this Easter Season so far, and I wanted to show you all it has to offer in case you'd like to try it yourself!

But first, a big reminder--- these are things you DON'T need to have in order to try Bible journaling:
-A big journaling Bible
-Loads of artistic talent
-Fancy schmancy handwriting
-Lots of expensive supplies

However, you can still benefit from Bible journaling with:
-A heart open for prayer
-A connection to God as Creator and our ability to create
-The desire to dwell in Scripture beyond just reading

I do have a Catholic Journaling Bible, which I love, but have also added art in a regular Bible for many years. You also can journal and add art to a favorite notebook or prayer journal. I do have some favorite supplies that I share here (and this post is about pens), but seriously- you can get started with a pen, a gluestick, and some scissors. Be not afraid! ;) If you are nervous, starting with a kit might be the way to go!

(Open Journey sent me this Bible Journaling set in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and photos are my own. You know I only share things I have used and love!)

Ingrid Blixt is a Christian artist who creates Bible Journaling kits that incorporate her amazing multimedia art with a devotional inspired by the practice of Lectio Divina. You can read more about her methods and see some of her process videos on her website here.

I'm excited to be working with Ingrid to share her new kit, focused on the story of the Road to Emmaus, which is one of my very favorite Easter narratives. This new kit is filled with so many lovely elements that really are a perfect fit for prayer in the whole Easter Season. I'd love to show you a little more about the kit and what I made with it.

Ingrid sent me this Road to Emmaus devotional kit, which is a full set of physical tools to help you create and pray. All of the art and writing is hers, and you can tell that every piece of this kit was made with care. Some of the elements are even hand stamped and hand sewn! The packaging was a gift in itself, and everything could be reused as decor in a journaling entry. Depending on how you are going to use it, you might prefer the flexibility of one of her digital kits instead! Ingrid also has some awesome prints and vinyl stickers in her shop.

The set is much more than a pack of stickers- everything is centered around a collection of key Scripture and comes with a lovely devotional booklet to guide you through praying while you create.

If you head to this link, you can watch my unboxing of the kit on Instagram and see all the goodies inside! (It's archived in my #KatiesBible Highlight and is about halfway through the collection)

I had two distinct first impressions as I opened my box: 
-One, the quality of everything in this kit is outstanding. I can't overemphasize the thought put into the elements and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in Ingrid's original work. She has then translated her art and writing onto extremely well made materials for us to use. From glossy coverstock journaling cards to vellum sticker sheets, as well as die cut elements and ribbons made from silk saris, each little piece was impressive. My favorite part of the kit (and maybe the thing I was the most surprised about) was the set of four original stamps. The collection of Easter lilies and Psalm 148 will be able to be used over and over again long after the other kit elements have found a home. The stamp set alone adds great value to the kit.
-Two, I was blown away as well by the quantity of elements in the kit! So many pieces to use in all different ways, including varying sizes and materials. As I worked with the kit, I never felt like I needed to "ration" certain pieces or strategize about how to use them with out running out. As a matter of fact, after I made everything I'm about to show you and more, I had so much left over I split it into two piles and mailed a little collection to a couple of my students who also love Bible Journaling!

For an exact list of everything included as well as dimensions, you can check out the kit listing here.

Ok, enough description- on to some photos of what I created. I will admit that Open Journey's multimedia layering isn't my typical Bible Journaling style, so it took some stretching to still make it my own. I wanted to try some new techniques while still adding art to my journaling Bible that was still "me." In the photo above about the Road to Emmaus for Luke 24, I incorporated the Open Journey vellum stickers with watercolor, paper, and stamping. Immediately above, this entry about the work of the Spirit in Psalm 104 is just watercolor, pen, and an Open Journey die cut. I did get brave and do a little splatter painting- not something I've done in my Bible before. ;) Ingrid's elements certainly make it easy to have a lovely looking page using only a few steps.

Below, I put that gorgeous lily stamp to good use with black ink overlaid with gold embossing. Heat embossing with stamps is another thing I hadn't tried in my Bible, and wow, I love how it turned out! I wish you could see the shine and dimension of this page!

This image of Christ's hand reaching for ours caught my eye long before I knew I'd be working together with Ingrid. You can see a clearer picture of it here. I got my kit right around the time of Pope Francis' Urbi Et Orbi Blessing which focused on Mark 4. I thought Ingrid's painting paired perfectly with that story and this page will always remind me of the Pope's reflection during the pandemic. This one was done with a cardstock element, pen, and layered watercolor.

And I know we are not quite to Pentecost yet, but the Road to Emmaus story certainly points us in that direction. This entry for 1 Corinthians 2 was deceptively easy. The lettering is mine, and the rest of the pieces are Open Journey vellum stickers on top of the writing. They apply so smoothly and go on clear, so it looks like it is painted right on the page.

With all of these awesome supplies, I got inspired to set up a little notebook for Holy Week to help me pray in the absence of our beautiful liturgies. I found a partially used notebook, ripped out the pages that were no longer needed, stapled in some tabs, and got to decorating. I'm actually still using this notebook during the Octave of Easter. It was a gift to be able to also make it beautiful so easily with the Open Journey elements. The cover was made with acrylic paint, more lily stamps in both black ink and gold embossing, cardstock die cuts, paper, the vellum sticker of Christ's hand (I just can't get enough of that one), and a piece of the sari ribbon.

Here you can see the gold embossing a little better. The clear polymer stamps were so easy to use and cleaned up like a breeze:

The roses at the bottoms of these pages are a combination of vellum stickers and cardstock die cuts from Open Journey:

And another page with the lily stamps and my own Alleluia stamp:

Now, even after all those Bible Journaling entries and decorating a Prayer Journal, I still had lots of pieces to play with. So I made a few handmade Easter cards to stick in the mail:

And a couple more for Pentecost (or to save for a future Confirmation):

And even a couple that I plan to send to kiddos who are eagerly waiting on their First Communion:

I think that Ingrid's work speaks for itself. You can find her across social media as well as others who are using her kits to make beautiful things. If you are looking for a new tool to help you enter into prayer with art and creativity, I'd encourage you to go check out all she has to offer!

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