Tuesday, January 22, 2019

January Junk Journal

Last year our faithart Facebook group decided to use one journal for everything for the whole year. I did it, with the exception of my Colossians Words and Advent Words challenges. Can I tell you how hard it was for me to just use one journal! So it seems that even art is about self-discovery. I learned through that challenge that part of what I really enjoy about art journaling is making the journals themselves. I love the creativity of making a journal or book. I like trying new ways to bind them. It actually inspires more creativity for me.

So, this year, I have a different approach. I've been following some people on Instagram who make junk journals and it really appeals to me. Junk journals combine using vintage papers and ephemera with the concept of a commonplace book. (For a definition of a commonplace book read this post or this post.) The appeal of junk journals combined with my enjoyment in making journals is going to be lived out this year with a monthly junk journal. This way I will get to experiment with making a variety of journals and sizes. Last week I shared about the January junk journal I made and how it served to break me out of the creative slump I was in.


Valerie Sjodin shared a post recently about making calendar pages in her art journal. I have watched over the years how she decorates her calendar page, but it just didn't seem my style. That is, until I started thinking about commonplace books and the purpose of writing down quotes and things you want to remember. So I made a calendar page in the front of my junk journal and have been adding things from books I'm reading, from podcasts, from my calendar, or just a Bible verse that was significant that day. 




Then I'm filling the pages with prompts from different groups or challenges, such as Life Documented and Junk Journal January. It seems that another bit of self-discovery is my need for variety when making art....a bit of a contrast to my daily routine driven personality!




What have you learned about yourself recently through art journaling or some other creative habit? Feel free to share in the comment section below.


Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group: Living Your Word of the Year
Bernice Hopper, Valerie Sjodin and I facilitate a Facebook group about Living your Word of the Year. In it we share insights through blog posts and connect with other like-hearted and like-minded people who want to live out a word focus throughout the year. We offer participants a bi-weekly A-Z Inspiration to help prompt reflection and creativity. as well as other inspirational ways to connect with your word of the year. If you would like to connect with others in creative ways about living your word throughout the year, explore new ideas, record thoughts, prayers, and events, you are invited to join our Facebook group.

Please use #livingyourword2019 on social media.

Check out the other blogs:
Bernice: www.newlycreative.com
Valerie: 
www.valeriesjodin.com/blog


Monday, January 14, 2019

Living Your Word 2019: A is for Abide


A is for Abide


My desire this year with my word of the year, sacred, is to see every part of my life as sacred - to be used by and for God.




I'm especially trying to gain a better perspective of my body being a sacred instrument for God's use. So I have been working on seeing health as an issue of stewardship.

"We are the stewards, not the possessors, of health." ~Ed Young


In our Living Your Word 2019 group we are doing a bi-weekly A-Z Inspirational challenge to help us live out our word. For the letter A I chose "abide". The best passage of Scripture that explains the principle of abiding in Christ is found in John 15. Abiding is a word that describes our union with Christ. Jesus says in John 15 that we can doing nothing apart from Him. He is the vine, we are the branch that connects to the vine. When we continually remain connected to the vine, we are abiding, and we will bear fruit.




For my life to be sacred, I must continually abide in Christ. I must remain connected to Him through His Word and prayer, and draw my strength and power from His Spirit.


Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group: Living Your Word of the Year
Bernice Hopper, Valerie Sjodin and I facilitate a Facebook group about Living your Word of the Year. In it we share insights through blog posts and connect with other like-hearted and like-minded people who want to live out a word focus throughout the year. We offer participants a bi-weekly A-Z Inspiration to help prompt reflection and creativity. as well as other inspirational ways to connect with your word of the year. If you would like to connect with others in creative ways about living your word throughout the year, explore new ideas, record thoughts, prayers, and events, you are invited to join our Facebook group.

Please use #livingyourword2019 on social media.

Check out the other blogs:
Bernice: www.newlycreative.com
Valerie: 
www.valeriesjodin.com/blog


Saturday, January 12, 2019

Hello January 2019

I so love the start of a fresh year. 

Nothing literally changes between December 31 and January 1, but there is a mindset or perspective change that a new year will bring a new beginning, a fresh start. And I fully embrace that each year.

At my job, we usually close the office for the week between the holidays. So I am able to begin the new year, and January, feeling rested and refreshed. This year has been no different. I feel rested. I feel refreshed. However, I also began the new year in a bit of a creative slump. One thing I have come to know about myself over the past few years, is that after a long daily challenge, like Advent Words, I tend to go into a creative wandering phase. It's almost like having creative attention deficit disorder, I can't seem to focus on one thing for very long. Over time I have found that there are a few ways to jump start my creativity when in a slump: play with art supplies and/or make a new journal. I did both!

I had already made an altered book signature journal for my word of the year and our A-Z challenge in the Living Your Word group. You can read about that in this post. But I needed to just make a journal to play. 

Since I like using vintage papers and found items in my journals I have been drawn to junk journals. There a few junk journal artists that pop up in my Instagram feed and on Pinterest that inspire me, so I decided to make a junk journal. I've had this conference promotional folder saved for a few years waiting for the right project. The graphics caught my eye and I held on to it. The front cover folded in half made a perfect size for a journal.



The back side of the journal ended up narrower than the front because I wanted to keep the full graphic in view. So I simply cut a piece of kraft paper cardstock, folded it in half and attached it to the narrow side, making them both the same size. 



I then took a mix of magazine pages, book pages, maps, etc. and folded them in half, sewing them into the fold of the cover.


My assistant felt I needed a paper weight for the pile of papers I was combing through, so he cheerfully gave me his assistance.


My junk journal has enough pages to have one for each day in January. I'm following along with the Life Documented project again this year after not participating for a few years. Plus, there are a few junk journaling challenges this month on Instagram that I am not going to follow religiously, but will borrow from their prompts when I need some inspiration. So I will use this journal for the art I make in response to those projects and anything else outside of my word of the year pages.




It was great to play with supplies and make a junk journal. I really enjoy making journals and bookbinding so I may just make a new one each month...just to play and spark my creative juices!




Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group: Living Your Word of the Year

Bernice Hopper, Valerie Sjodin and I facilitate a Facebook group about Living your Word of the Year. In it we share insights through blog posts and connect with other like-hearted and like-minded people who want to live out a word focus throughout the year. We offer participants a bi-weekly A-Z Inspiration to help prompt reflection and creativity, as well as other inspirational ways to connect with your word of the year and your faith. If you would like to connect with others in creative ways about living your word throughout the year, explore new ideas, record thoughts, prayers, and events, you are invited to join our Facebook group.

Please use #livingyourword2019 on social media.

Check out the other blogs:
Bernice: www.newlycreative.com
Valerie: 
www.valeriesjodin.com/blog



Saturday, December 29, 2018

My 2019 Word of the Year and the Living Your Word Group



Each year for the past 7 or 8 years I have selected a word for the year to help guide my focus for the year. Ali Edwards, the creator of One Little Word,  says this practice of selecting and living with a word for the year is "seeing life through an intentional lens".

Every year I spend time in December reading back through my journals from the year, praying and asking God to reveal what my focus should be in the new year. For the past few years there has been a thread in the goals and intentions for my yearly word: getting healthy physically. Unfortunately, I have not seen much progress. I'll have spurts of time where I eat healthy and try to develop a habit of exercise, but it usually gets trumped by a busy schedule. This past year, however, has seen all three of our living parents struggle with health issues, and it has brought the reality of the need to lose weight and strengthen my joints and bones to the forefront, in order to be healthy and strong as I move out of middle age in the next few years.

If there is one thing in my life that proves to be a motivator over and over again, it is studying God's Word and then seeking to apply it to my life. So this year I intend to study what God says about our physical body and its connection to our spiritual life with the intent that this will help me develop a healthy rhythm for my life drawn from the call of God instead of my best laid plans. So the word that has kept popping up for me is sacred. When something is sacred it is set aside for God's purpose; it is consecrated, marked as holy. God tells us that He makes all the parts of lives holy and calls us to see them as holy and for His purpose. I have to admit that I have not thought much about my body as being set apart for God's purpose, but as I grow older and begin to experience how my body is aging and not keeping up with my mind, I realize that something must change if I want to serve Him for the long haul. So I will explore this theme throughout the year and try to create a healthier lifestyle with this as my motivator. Of course, I have made a journal just for my word through the year. It is a Signature journal full of watercolor paper and various book pages and maps - a cross between and alterd book a junk journal and a commonplace book.








So, how do I intend to keep my word focus before me through the whole year? With a spiritual and creative challenge, of course! For 2019 Bernice Hopper, Valerie Sjodin and I have changed the focus of our Everyday Journal group to focusing solely on our individual word of the year.And we intend to do this with an inspirational bi-weekly challenge:

Living Your Word 2019: A-Z Inspiration

Valerie has practiced an A-Z of her word over the past few years. For 2019 she has designed a set of inspirational questions and activities for each letter of the alphabet. We have put together a list of word suggestions for each letter. Each person can select a word from the list, or make up one of their own, and explore how it is connected to their word for the year. Then you can use Valerie's questions and activities and find Scripture passages to go deeper into exploring that word in relationship to your journey with your word. In addition to the bi-weekly A-Z challenge we will offer other practices and activities throughout the year to help you focus on your word and live it out. You can then share your thoughts and creative responses in the private Facebook group, and join the conversation and the adventure of living out your word of the year.


Valerie will be posting the first letter and inspiration post on Tuesday, January 1st. 

Below is the list of possible words we have put together. You can select a word from the list or choose one of your own. A PDF copy for printing will be in the Word Challenges tab above, as well as in the Facebook Group under files. We will use each letter for two weeks beginning on the date specified on the Word list. Valerie's posts with questions and activities will be posted on the first Tuesday of each two week period.






Join Our Inspirational Facebook Group here: Living Your Word of the Year

Please use #livingyourword2019 on social media.

The best way to make sure you don't miss any of our posts is to subscribe to our blogs via email. Check out the other blogs:
Bernice: 
www.newlycreative.com
Valerie: 
www.valeriesjodin.com/blog

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Advent Words: Z is for Zeal


Z is for Zeal

"The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this." Isaiah 9:7

Zeal is not a word that is used often in the present day. Its dictionary meaning is dedication, strong interest, or intense enthusiasm. We may use the word passion in its place. In a religious sense it means devotion to God. The Hebrew meaning of the word used for zeal is ardor or jealousy and has the picture of intense fervor, passion, or emotion. At the end of Isiah 9:1-7, after having described the coming Messiah's character and reign, it says "the zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."




Throughout the Bible we are told of God's unfailing love for His people and His faithfulness in doing what He has promised He will do. God promised a Messiah, a just King who would redeem His people. Commentator Bob Utley, says that the zeal of God "is the guarantee of its reality". God the Father's intense love and devotion for His people is the motivation for Him to fulfill His promise.

Today we celebrate the fulfillment of that promise in the birth of Jesus Christ. Love came to earth. God's zeal and commitment to fulfill His promise of the Messiah seeks a zealous, passionate, and obedient response: Our devotion to His Son.

On the night of his birth an angel declared that our Savior, Christ the Lord, had been born. A host of angels made a zealous response:

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men
on whom His favor rests!
Luke 2:14






Merry Christmas!
Our Advent journey ends today. Thank you for journeying through this season with me. May you know His Presence and His blessings today and in the year ahead. May Christ be alive in your heart and in your life in fresh and new ways in the coming year.  

Next weekend Valerie Sjodin, Bernice Hopper and I will share our plans for an inspirational project in 2019 that will take place in the Living Your Word of the Year Facebook Group. Watch my blog for the introduction to this 2019 project.


Share your creative response to the Advent Words challenge in our private Facebook group  Join here:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/Wordschallengegroup/

Share  on Instagram and other social media with the hashtag #adventwords2018.

Check out my Pinterest board for this challenge and see some of the wonderful and diverse creativity of Advent Words 2018 participants. https://www.pinterest.com/marynbtol/advent-words-2018-challenge/