Tuesday, September 1, 2015

INSPIRATION - August Review & September Plans

August was a quiet month around here, but there was still INSPIRATION to be found!

August Review
1. Top Five - I'm challenging myself to scrap my top five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. I completed a few layouts toward this goal, so I'm caught up through April.

2.  Rinda's 2015 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt - I had hoped to capture my third set of photos for this year's hunt, but I just didn't find the INSPIRATION . . .  maybe because I'd captured most of the list in June and again in July.

3. Blog Series INSPIRATION A-Z - I completed another post in this series. Click on a letter below to check out any that you missed.
A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)   
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)

4. Reading for INSPIRATION - I'm halfway through Creative Girl and have just started Creative Doodling & Beyond. Hopefully I'll finish those, along with Art Journal Freedom, during the coming month. (I actually did a lot of other reading in August and will be catching up on some book reviews soon.)

My creative INSPIRATION in August resulted in 9 blog posts, (+ 1 on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog), 5 layouts and 24 Bible Journaling pages. I'm especially enjoying coloring pictures (which I typically trace from a coloring page) in my Bible.



I also hosted a free Intro to Bible Journaling class here at my home for some of my young friends before they headed back to school and college.



September Plans
1. Top Five - I'm challenging myself to scrap my top five (photos or stories or events) from the previous month. I'll continue to work on catching up with layouts for May, June, July and August.

2. Blog Series INSPIRATION A-Z - I'll be working on the next series of posts for my blog series on INSPIRATION.

3. Reading for INSPIRATION - I'll be enjoying and sharing INSPIRATION from Creative Girl, Creative Doodling & Beyond, and Art Journal Freedom this month. 

  

What kind of INSPIRATION did you enjoy in August? What are your plans for exploring and acting on INSPIRATION in September?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Musings - My New Journaling Bible

As I mentioned in a previous post, I originally started illustrated Bible journaling using my New Inductive Study Bible (NASB) and did not have plans to purchase a new Bible. In fact, Robbie had pre-ordered me a journaling Bible for my birthday, and I had him cancel the order! However, after working with several Bibles that will be used for display at the local scrapbook stores I'll be teaching Bible Journaling workshops at this fall, I found I really liked the Bibles designed with a space specifically for journaling.

Many of the popular journaling Bibles have been out of stock recently due to the popularity of the Illustrated Faith movement started by Shanna Noel last year. I looked online at the Bible that Robbie had picked out for me and noticed that they were back in stock. I was extremely fortunate to be able to request and receive a free copy of the NKJV Journaling Bible from the publisher (in exchange for an honest review). It is a very nice Bible!! I love the size, which is a approximately 7" x 8 1/2" (shown here with the new Micron Pen Set Robbie got me especially for journaling in my Bible).


I am using and prefer the New King James Version, however this lovely Bible is also available in the Holman Christian Standard and King James versions. This is a one-column Bible with a 1 3/4 inch lined margin for notes.


The first thing I did was simply take time to flip through this beautiful book, anticipating diving into the Word of God and illustrating the scriptures and lessons that speak to me.


There are several features that I really like in this Bible (a Daily Bible Reading Plan, concordance, and a few colored maps), but my favorite is a page near the very front of the Bible that shares God's plan for salvation. I personally have been going to church my entire life. (Seriously - I was born on a Friday and was in church on Sunday morning!) I've always known about Jesus and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior at a very young age. However, there are many people who spend their entire lives in church and never understand that being a Christian is simply a matter of believing in Jesus, confessing our sin, and accepting the gift of eternal life. This page very simply explains salvation, and I love that it's included here and can be used as a witnessing tool at any time!


I have to admit that although I write and highlight in my Bibles and have illustrated quite a few scriptures in my NISB Bible, I always find it difficult to get started in a new Bible! It's kind of like staring at the first blank page in a new journal and wanting everything to be perfect. So, I decided to start with the Presentation page, which looked like this.


I chose to use a patterned paper to cover the white portion of the page, adding my name and how I want to use this Bible. It doesn't really show up in the photo, but I used a clear Wink of Stella pen to add shimmer to the flowers on the background paper, too.


So far the only other thing I've done is to add a little strip of lace to the cover. Now I'm ready and excited to begin using my creative gifts to draw closer to the Lord and glorify Him in this new Bible.




(BTW - Here are the answers to the questions in yesterday's post - I was missing a white letter "S", however I solved the problem by using a "J" upside down & bending it around!)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

April Top Five DONE!

A quick post today to share the last of my Top Five layouts for April. I really like these FUN photos we took on my friend Michelle's birthday. We spent most of the day scrapping . . . and laughed a lot about those clown stickers that didn't coordinate with any layout we worked on that day . . . so, of course, I had to use them on this one!


I had my title all picked out and chose a variety of alphabets to use, however I discovered that I was short one letter. Can you tell which one it was? And how I solved the problem?

Monday, August 24, 2015

INSPIRATION A to Z (G - Goals)

This post is the seventh in a blog series where I’m exploring various aspects of INSPIRATION. When I chose INSPIRATION as my word for this year, my first thoughts were about finding, acting on and (in some cases) limiting INSPIRATION. I also knew I wanted this word to motivate me not only in my scrapbooking and crafting but also in my physical, spiritual and intellectual goals. During my FUN year last year, I published a two-week series entitled Where Does My Inspiration Come From?, which looked at the many different sources of INSPIRATION specifically for scrapbook layouts. However, in this series, I’ll be sharing a word for each letter of the alphabet (from A to Z) that relates to INSPIRATION along with my random and in-depth thoughts on that word and the various ways it relates to INSPIRATION in our lives.

G is for Goals

Goals are defined as "the objects of a person's ambition or effort" or "things you are trying to achieve." Basically a Goal is "an end toward which effort is directed." Goals often provide the INSPIRATION to do or complete something.

I've always been a Goal-setter. As far back as I can remember, I kept lists of things to do and Goals I wanted to accomplish. When I was working on my Bachelor's degree in the early 1990s, my Goal was to graduate before I turned 25-years-old.

At the time, I was working as the office supervisor for a specialty chemical sales company and taking evening classes at the local university. After signing up for the available courses in the spring of 1994, I discovered that I needed one more course to be able to graduate that May (2 months before my 25th birthday). I convinced the department chair at the university to work with me on an independent study project, and I convinced my boss to schedule a sales meeting so that I could do a presentation on Goal setting as my project. I even created a booklet for all the attendees.


This booklet contains my research on goals, including the definitions of a Goal and illustrations on how our Goals overlap time-wise (long range, mid-range, and short range) as well as in all areas of our lives.


 I included lists about what a Goal should be, the benefits of setting Goals, and hints for success.


There were also several worksheets for the participants to complete during the presentation, like this one specifically helping our sales reps set a sales Goal based on their desired income level.


For the research and two-hour presentation I completed, I earned credit for the final course I needed and was able to accomplish my Goal of graduating before I turned 25!

I recently read the book Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, in which the author shares a Goal he set for himself - to make the first computer-animated movie. After college, he began working in the (new-at-the-time) computer industry, eventually becoming the president of Pixar, which in fact did produce the first computer-animated movie, Toy Story.

The sub-title of this book (Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration) is a good illustration of how Goals and INSPIRATION are interrelated. Once Catmull's dream of creating that first movie was fulfilled, he set about contemplating and defining the Goal of Pixar. Despite problems that will inevitably arise during the making of a movie and issues that develop in a company with numerous employees, Pixar continually strives to learn and grow as it maintains focus on the Goal - to make films of the highest quality. To accomplish this goal, Catmull and the management team at Pixar continually evaluate and make adjustments for the "unseen forces" that get it the way of INSPIRATION.

The book was a wonderful read as the author shared the story of Pixar and its growth. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to learn more about the computer-animation industry and those who want to improve their management and problem-solving skills. There's a wealth of knowledge in this book, as evidenced by these quotes regarding goals:

Don't confuse the process with the goal. Working on our processes to make them better, easier, and more efficient is an indispensable activity and something we should continually work on - but it is not the goal. Making the product great is the goal.

The healthiest organizations are made up of departments whose agendas differ but whose goals are interdependent.

The Goals that I'm focusing on currently are the items on my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list. I prepared this list around my 45th birthday last year, so theoretically I need to complete 10 items per year to check them all off before my 50th birthday. If you check out my progress HERE, however, you'll see that so far (after a full year has passed) I've only checked off four items. I do have plans to check off one more of my travel Goals before the end of the year.

And in fact, I have actually made progress on several of the other Goals on my list as well. Here's an update on six of the Goals that require longer time commitments:

Read all the Pulitzer prize winners in Fiction
I've completed 12 of the 61 winners - click HERE to read my reviews of each one. Assuming a book is chosen for this prize in each of the next 3 years, I have 52 to go!

Re-read all my children’s/young adult books 
After my bookshelf re-organizing, decluttering, and inventorying activities this past December, I am now able to track this Goal easily using the spreadsheet listing our books. We currently have 407 (!!) children's and young adult books in our collection. After highlighting the ones I've read in the past two years, I have 340 to go! (It's really not all that bad because about half of those are short picture storybooks, which I'll probably take an afternoon this fall to read through and enjoy.)


Complete 10 scrapbook projects
I've completed five projects (10th Anniversary Cruise albums, Summertime Scavenger Hunt photos, 2011 Visits Photo Album Scrapbook, Gross Family 2014 Vacations & Visits Photobook, and 2015 Texas Spring Break Vacation Photobook), and I'm working on two other projects that I'm hoping to have completed by the end of this year.

Review all paid for scrapbook classes
I'm doing well on this goal and recorded my progress HERE and HERE.

Watch all the movies in our collection
In a post earlier this month, I mentioned that I'd rearranged our collection of DVDs/Blu-Rays and updated our inventory spreadsheet along the way. I'm checking items off this list as a way to track this Goal. There are actually 700+ line items on this list because it contains all our movies, TV shows, documentaries, cartoons, etc . . . obviously my goal is not to watch everything on the list! I simply want to watch the majority of the movies we own, although I reserve the right to skip the zombie, monster, and horror movies that Robbie enjoys but that really do not appeal to me.

Read through the Bible again
I'm currently two-thirds of the way through this goal, so I'll be able to check this one off soon. 

Before I end this discussion of Goals, I have to share the one thing that is essential in the accomplishment of a Goal. It's a single word that I included near the end of the booklet I created for that class so many years ago . . . action! Without action, a Goal is simply something written on a piece a paper or a thought that never comes to fruition.


In summary,  Goals often provide the INSPIRATION needed to move toward (action!) the completion of those Goals, thus the two are intertwined.

What Goals are you working on right now? What action can you take this week to move you toward the completion of one of your Goals? Please share your thoughts on Goals and INSPIRATION in the comments. 

Click HERE to see all my INSPIRATION A-Z posts, or click a letter below to see individual posts.

A(Art)   B(Baking)   C(Creativity)   D(Drawing)   
E(Experiences)   F(Finishing)   G(Goals)
 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Sunday Musings - Illustrated Bible Journaling

I've mentioned before that I'm enjoying doing some illustrated Bible journaling in my Bible as well as in a Worship Journal. I also attended a workshop and meet-up with others who are journaling in their Bibles last month. I am truly enjoying this form of worship and meditation on scriptures. Taking time to illustrate a scripture helps me internalize, personalize, and remember the message.


I am excited to announce that in September I'll be teaching Intro to Bible Journaling Workshops at Scrappin' Goodtime (Sept. 10) in Corsicana, Texas, and Personal Scrapbook (Sept. 17) in Allen, Texas. (Check out my blog post on the Scrappin' Goodtime blog for more information about the classes there.)

As I prepare for these workshops, I have spent most of this past week in the Word - studying, praying and illustrating scriptures. I am currently using my New Inductive Study Bible (NASB) as my journaling Bible because it has wider margins than my other Bibles. It's not specifically a journaling Bible, but it is working well as I try different ways of illustrating the messages I want to remember.


As I prepare for the upcoming workshops, I suggested to the scrapbook store owners that it would be great to have a Bible with a variety of illustrated pages that could be on display at the store. Susie, the owner of Scrappin' Goodtime, purchased and sent me a very nice KJV Journaling Bible. The margins are lined and designed with lots of space for adding journaling.


I especially enjoyed getting to use some of the new Bella Blvd Illustrated Faith Genesis collection products in this Bible.


Candi and Patti, owners of Personal Scrapbook, purchased an NIV Note-Taker's Bible that I've also been adding illustrations to this past week.


This Bible has a decent sized side margin plus a wide bottom margin.


When I originally started illustrated Bible journaling in my New Inductive Study Bible (NASB), I thought I probably would not get a new Bible . . . but after working with these different Bibles, I changed my mind. So I'm just getting started in a new Bible that I'll tell y'all about in a future post! :)

However, I want to say that all of these Bibles work very well for illustrated journaling. The most important thing is simply spending time in the Word . . . and engaging our creativity along the way is just an added bonus to drawing closer to the Lord. I recommend simply finding a Bible in a version and format that you'll actually read and use and that fits within your current budget.

Are you adding any illustrated journaling to your Bible? What type of Bible are you using?

(Want more INSPIRATION for Bible Journaling? Check out the Illustrated Faith website where it all started!)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Divided Page Protector Layouts

A quick post today to share a few completed pages using divided page protectors.



And a combination layout - one 6x12 divided page and a full 12x12 page.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Musings - Invisible (book review)

Jennifer Rothschild’s newest book, Invisible, will be released this Tuesday. I was fortunate to receive a copy of the book early (free from Jennifer Rothschild Ministries in exchange for an honest review). 

 

This book uses the story of Gomer in the Biblical book of Hosea to share just how much God loves each of us. It begins with the idea that we all have characteristics that are similar to Gomer – we are all deeply loved and we have been redeemed, but we still have tendencies to wander and let other things draw our focus away from the Lord. If you are familiar with Gomer’s story, it might rile you to be compared to her as she was a woman of ill repute. When Hosea, a prominent priest, married her (because God told him to), I imagine it was quite a scandal. However, as the book points out, God’s love for us is also scandalous – we are so unworthy, yet He loves us unconditionally!


The book continues with Gomer’s story and the truths that relate to our own lives: 

God loves me, and His love makes me lovely.
I am loved because God is love.
I am not the be-tolerated; I am the beloved!

After a while, Gomer actually leaves Hosea and returns to her previous lifestyle. It’s pretty unbelievable to think that she leaves the safety and security of Hosea’s love, but this quote reminds me that we’re all prone to think that the grass is greener on the other side.

When we’re stuck in the rut of sameness, we fail to notice that we already have everything we need.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the lessons it shares, although I found the flow of reading slow due to the use of unusual or new words. For example, the author used the word “idolotrinket” when discussing various things we turn into idols in our lives. Honestly, this is a catchy phrase, but to me it was overused throughout several chapters that would have read much smoother if these things would have just been called idols. Other words that slowed down the reading were iddiction, Gomerisms, and phroneo (a Greek word meaning “set your affection on”). For me these words slowed down the reading because I had to continually remind myself what the words meant or were representing. Of course, reading slower also helped me absorb the lessons and information presented in the book, so I guess the addition of those words could also be a positive thing!

After reading this book, I just had to pull out my Bible and reread the book of Hosea. And truly that's what I think Christian books should always do - create a desire in us to seek truth in The Word!

In order to receive my free copy of this book, I also had to pre-order another copy of the book to share. There was a glitch at Amazon, and I received that book early, too. I've already passed it on (with a pocket card gift tag attached, of course) to a friend who I know will enjoy it, too.


I am a huge fan of Jennifer Rothschild and have read several of her previous books (my favorites are Lessons I Learned in the Dark and Self Talk, Soul Talk), participated in and lead one of her Bible studies (Lessons I Learned in the Dark), attended one of her Fresh Grounded Faith events, and been a featured expert on her womensministry.net website. I definitely recommend Invisible: How You Feel Is Not Who You Are as well as her other books and Bible studies!