New Projects

The New Year is always a good time for people to start new projects and make new commitments. My new project is to start a faith journal. A creative art book with lots of glue and paint but also a real journal where I can keep prayer lists, copy Bible verses, take notes from Bible studies, copy my notes from sermons, do word studies, and anything else along those lines.

I haven’t decided what kind of structure I want to use. I am leaning toward a loose binding, made with binder rings. For example:

Anyway I made the first folio using one of the “Nature Up Close” images printed on tracing velum. Tracing velum feels smooth and crackles when you handle it but you have to keep in mind that it is translucent. This time I think I will not put anything on the other sides of these pages. I also used bits of paper from various colored collage paper packets available on Etsy.

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Beautiful Background Pages

I love making books. Art books or collage books. And I love to make background papers. I have heard it said that mixed media artists should not fall in love with their background pages, instead they should add layer after layer of collage, paint and ink. But I really like my background and collage pages! I’ll just do it my way and they can do it however they want….which usually turns out very pretty too.

So I decided to turn my background and collage papers into digital products and make them available in Etsy! The hand painted papers are organized by color. I also turned my not-quite-good nature photos into digital packs too. It always surprises me how simply cropping an image can make it look entirely different.

Last year when the leaves changed color they went from green to brown, but this year they turned brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red. So of course I took lots of pictures of the leaves and put them in the Nature Close-Up packets.

The blurry maple leaves were made that way by photographing them through the window screen.

I scanned Grandmas sewing scraps! Some of them are pretty old, Mom remembers the scraps from clothes they wore when she was little.

I also did some sketches to make journal sets. Take a look and see if there is anything you can use.

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Patchwork Collage Paper

Art as therapy is a wonderful idea! Making things you like to make lifts your spirits….maybe that why making things is addictive! However some days grief and sorrow get you down so you don’t want to even brush your hair let alone make art. But here is a good project for the days you don’t want to commit yourself to working on a masterpiece: paste collage paper!

Get out your box of little scrapes of colored paper, if you don’t have a scrape box you should start one. Also get a piece of paper for the base, scissors, ruler and pencil, or a paper trimmer if you have one, glue such as Modge Podge and an old paint brush. Then start gluing the scraps of colored paper to the base.

I used deli paper, it is thin so it won’t add bulk to your project and it is strong for how thin it is. I started gluing on the left hand side to make it easier to hold the paper while applying glue. I applied the glue to the base paper, then laid down the colored pieces and applied a very thin haphazard coat of glue on top.

Work your way across the base paper, over-lap some, butt-end pieces (I don’t know what else to call it when you attach two pieces exactly side by side!) and put small pieces on top of others…whatever looks good.

When it is dry you can use it for collage paper, use it as a background, draw on it, doodle on it or frame it!

While you are doing that, think about this:

I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.




Romans 8:38-39
  • Easy art as therapy project for when you don't feel like doing much. Yellow collage paper. For grief ans sorrow.
  • Easy art as therapy project for when you don't feel like doing much. Blue collage paper. For grief and sorrow.
  • Easy art as therapy project for when you don't feel like doing much. Blue collage paper. For grief and sorrow.
  • Art as Therapy Art Journal page 2

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My Precious Nature Journal

When you are working through grief and sorrow it is hard sometimes to be creative. Here is an idea that you can do to get your friends to help you without having to talk about your broken heart and how you are dealing with life: ask them to do a page in your creative journal! Tell them you want something from them that fits your theme, and it doesn’t have to be “fine art”, just something from them. Figure out a way to share pages, I was using a spiral bound journal so it was easy to take pages out. If you have to, you can just glue new pages in.

When every one is finished you will have a precious book made by those who love you so when you are feeling down or lonely look through your collaborative journal and feel the love of family and friends!

Years ago my friend gave me a pre-printed nature journal. After making a few entries I decided to ask friends and family for input. I carefully removed pages and gave them away with instructions to have them done by my birthday. I scanned a few pages and put them on a Word document with instructions so they knew what I was expecting.

I absolutely love the pages I got back, such creative variety and interesting stories! So I thought I would share them.

  • nature journal with colored pencils
  • Nature journal page made with watercolors.
  • Nature journal with dried azalea flowers
  • Nature journal with a crayon drawing.
  • Nature Journal leaf rubbing.
  • Colorful nature journal page.
  • Nature journal with photo and dried flowers.
  • Nature journal made with a coloring page.
  • Nature Journal Collage.
  • Nature journal about a racoon thief.
  • Nature journal with a a copy of a watercolor I did and pasted it in.
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This One Hope

When you are drowning in grief and when your world is crashing down all around you, when your heart is so broken you feel like you will never be OK, let a lone happy again, there is one thing you can depend on: God loves you so much that He let his son die for you.

13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about people who have died so that you won’t mourn like others who don’t have any hope. 14 Since we believe that Jesus died and rose, so we also believe that God will bring with him those who have died in Jesus. 15 What we are saying is a message from the Lord: we who are alive and still around at the Lord’s coming definitely won’t go ahead of those who have died. 16 This is because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with the signal of a shout by the head angel and a blast on God’s trumpet. First, those who are dead in Christ will rise. 17 Then, we who are living and still around will be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air. That way we will always be with the Lord. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Common English Bible

When I was a child we lived overseas and every 5 years we came back to the USA for a year. Until it was my oldest sister’s senior year, she wanted to graduate with her friends. So we staid. Then she came back to the USA to go to college. Then my next sister graduated and left too. Then the next year was my turn to graduate and leave. That was the year my oldest sister passed away. Although, of course I was heartbroken I was comforted by the knowledge that someday I would see her again and that we will be all together again. She graduated from this life and went on to the next.

Because of the salvation that Jesus gives us we have hope of life with Him after we die. To me that is such a comfort, because: 1. We get to spend eternity in heaven with Jesus 2. All our brothers and sister in Christ will also be there 3. If Jesus returns before we die we still get to go to heaven with Jesus!

That hope is worth hanging onto, tightly. When grief is overwhelming and your world is crashing down all around you remind yourself over and over that Jesus loves you and one day if you are in Christ you will get to be with Him.


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Big Collage Using Handmade Papers

Making things is always good therapy when you are living with grief and sorrow. Especially making collages, because before you paste anything down you can write out all your negative emotions: tell that so-and-so just how you feel about them or write about your pain and sorrow. Then pray about it, ask God to help you deal with those feelings. Then paste over what you wrote and turn it into a beautiful work of art, knowing that God is also transforming your life into something beautiful too.

Here is an example of how I used the crayon collage papers I made the other day.

At first glance it might look like an easy art project, just gluing 2 inch squares on a canvas. But all those little squares represent hours and hours of work -if you can call it work, it’s more like play! Some of the papers I made with my sister. Some are art pieces that didn’t turn out, some were experiments and some were accidents. All the little pieces together make a beautiful work of art.

If we let God have control of our lives He will take all our miss matched pieces and make something beautiful of our lives.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Your life will be beautiful again!


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Love Each Other

There is only one hope for our country right now and that is the hope we have in Jesus. His love is the only power strong enough to make a difference.

“I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”

John 13:34-35

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.

John 3:16

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

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Crayon Collage Papers

Having a heart that is full of grief and sorrow can drain you of any creative thought, but making something will lift your spirit, amazingly so sometimes! So when you don’t feel like starting a master piece just make collage papers.

Just spread your favorite colors of paint on the paper, when the paint is dry, and shapes with another color of paint. By the time you get that much done then you will probably be feeling a little creative so you can add lines or splatters or…..doodles…..writing….

Yesterday I made some patterned collage papers with crayon.

First, a week ago, I stained some papers with coffee.

Second, I drew some leafy patterns, dots and stripes with crayon.

Thirdly, an iron to the back of the papers melted the wax into the paper, so they don’t look like crayon and they don’t smear like crayon.

To collage with these patterned papers I could use the original papers or copy them on the printer and make them smaller even!


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Unite in Prayer

After Solomon became king God appeared to him in a dream and offered him anything he wanted. Solomon asked for an understanding heart, for discernment and wisdom in order to be the best king he could be. God granted him that request, to this day Solomon is known as the wisest man that ever lived.

1 Kings 3:9

So give your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great nation of Yours?

If ever a country needed a government that rules with understanding, discernment and wisdom it is this country right now.

Philippians 1:9

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more in real knowledge and all discernment,

1 Timothy 2:1-2

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.


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Staining Papers

Bad things that happen in our lives can leave an ugly stain on our hearts. If we let it that stain can negatively affect our lives. On the other hand if we let God fix it he will make that ugly stain into something good.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

People like to used coffee or tea to stain papers, but I wonder about the long term effect of those substances on the paper. I use either ink or acrylic paint.

First apply a little ink or paint to the bottom of a cookie sheet, then add just enough water to wet your paper. Then lay the paper down into that mixture. It is up to you to decide how thoroughly you want to stain the paper. You can add more color if you need to. Then lay it aside to dry.

Here I used “rice” paper that needed toned down. I used colored ink on these.

DSCN6613
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