Artist Rachel Shares Her Work

This is what Rachel Patten made with my digital download backgrounds and clip art:

The tag features Grandma Anderson’s fabric and the other has Naomi’s leaves. I made them according to a challenge in the art journal club I’m in.  The leader gives some color and word prompts and everybody in the group gives it a go.  These are last month’s prompts. Colors, cerulean blue, copper and reddish and the word was magnificent machines.  So I tried to express how household machines made life easier for women.  The prompt for the tag was “repeat, recycle and reuse”.  So I wrote “love” three times, reused the picture of Jesus from a card and recycled the fabric scraps as paper art.

The digital background and clip art sets by Naomi Eve Designs are available on Etsy.

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My Art Studio

I enjoy looking at other people’s art studio pictures online. I like the ones that are neat, everything organized in attractive containers and with lovely inspiring things picturesquely placed around the room. I also like looking at the ones that are total chaos and absolutely a mess! Looking at art studio pictures is fascinating!

My junky art studio is not fascinating. I’ve been looking at that same old stuff for years! It occurred to me that other people might find my creative space interesting to them.  So here is my studio, it is in the corner of my garage.

The Dream collage and the three ATCs are my sisters art.
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Handwritten Scripture Collage Paper

Quick thought: Instead of using random text stamps as part of your background write out a Bible verse or two. Count it as another opportunity to meditate on God’s Word, another opportunity to receive His blessing and because it’s a good thing to do.

If you write in pencil it won’t dominate your page, you can erase parts to make it look “hit and miss” and you can smudge it also. Then make sure you seal it at some point. Keep in mind that mistakes don’t matter, they will just get covered up anyway!

If you don’t want your handwriting in your artwork here is a full page of mine, to use as collage paper. (Psalms 23 and 100, and John 1:1-5, 10-12) I know I did this at least once before (using John 1) but I can’t find a photo of it.

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To Do, or Not To Do? Bible Journaling

Bible journaling has become very popular these days. But I just can’t do it. If you want to color in your Bible as an act of worship than who am I to tell you otherwise? To me it would be very distracting because I like looking at my art, gazing at it, picking out the mistakes and admiring it at the same time. Not very conducive to Bible reading!

Thankfully there is more than one way of doing just about anything. I suggest a separate faith journal. You can put anything you want in it Bible verses, hymns, songs, prayers, prayer lists, gratitude list…..

While you are reading your Bible and you come across a verse that speaks to you copy it by hand (or type it out on a word processor.) The act of actually writing it will help you remember better. Writing it over and over on scratch paper will help you memorize it. You can write it directly into your faith journal or on a separate sheet of paper which you can paste into your journal or tuck it into a pocket.

Not to mention that copying will help improve your penmanship!

I enjoy reading through my faith journal, just to admire it and to aid my praying.

So however you do it just keep praying and reading your Bible.

Adding handwritten Bible verses to your faith journal.

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New Projects

The New Year is always a good time to do a little art as therapy and 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:

Here is a little art as therapy: I felt lie pasting so I decorated a bunch of index cards!

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, all the cutting and pasting is therapy for me. 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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