Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Praying in Colour - by Sharon King

A couple of years ago Bible Journaling became popular, looking at my journals I discovered that I was already doing a form of Bible Journaling. I then came across a book by Sybil McBeth an American author called Praying in Colour and this set me on an adventure with my prayer life.

I don’t know about you, but I find it very difficult to sit still, and even more difficult to concentrate for any length of time. When I pray, I need something to focus on, otherwise my mind wanders and I think of all the things I have to do, and not focus on the prayers I should be saying.

Sybil McBeth states the following in her book: One morning I retreated to the back porch of my house, determined to catch up on nine months of a somewhat neglected spiritual life. I lugged a basket of coloured pencils and markers to the centre of the porch’s glass top table. I have never been able to draw, but I love colour and shape and movement. Doodling allows me to combine those loves on paper. So, I opened a pad of paper and began to draw. I doodled a random shape with a black pen, without even realising it, I wrote a name in the centre of the shape, the name belonged to one of the people on my prayer list, I stayed with the same shape and the name, adding detail and colour to the drawing. Each dot, each line and each colour became another moment of time spent with the person in the centre.

When the time seemed right, I moved to a different place on the page and drew another shape with another name in the middle. I embellished the new shape, I drew new shapes and names until friends and family formed a colourful community of designs on the page. To my surprise, I had not just doodled I had prayed. The entire prayer time was silent and wordless. I had thought ‘of’ each person as I drew, and when I had finished there was visual record of my prayers.

As I read this, the idea of praying in colour appealed to me and I began to experiment

On Friday 16 June I had the privilege of leading a Praying in Colour Workshop at a Come Closer Event in Milton Keynes. This was something I had never done before but was encouraged by a friend Deborah Gregg. The session lasted for approximately an hour. During this time I had opportunity to introduce Praying in Colour, I then lead a time of prayer using this method. I didn’t really know what to expect, but it was mind blowing, all the ladies participated, and we prayed for people they know who had concerns. At the end of the session many ladies wanted to share their experience of praying in this way, comments included, helpful, able to concentrate, blessed, challenged and many more.

As I drove back from Milton Keynes, I could not thank God enough for the way His Spirit had moved in our midst, and the way He equipped me to lead this workshop. 

If anyone is interested in a workshop, I would be more than happy to organise one at Waltham Abbey, as a taster,or at another Church within a 50 mile radius of Waltham Abbey. Please contact me on for further details.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Walk in Love - by Deborah Gregg

Following on from Sarah Anderson's fantastic blog last week about 'Love' I thought I'd share some photos on how I put together this colourful page in my Journaling Bible - using watercolour smooshing, gelato stamping, and washi tape ripping! :-) 
It's only as I write this, that I've realised that I think I've learned all these techniques from Sarah Anderson - so thanks for your inspiration, Sarah!  

This tiny book of 2 John contains some real gems of encouragement and exhortation. We are to love one another, to walk in obedience to God's commands, and to walk in love. This will help us to stay the course with our faith.
I love the way John ends this letter (and in fact 3 John aswell) so personally, saying, 'I've so much to tell you but don't want to use paper and ink, I hope to visit and tell you face to face!' Part of me wishes he had written a longer letter about all this so we could learn more from him. But equally, that's often how I feel when sending little comments and words of encouragement on Facebook to many of you in the Bible Art Journaling UK Facebook group! It was so good to be able to meet some of you at the DEN Retreat in Winsford last weekend, and I'm so looking forward to meeting up with more of you at New Wine (week 2) this summer! And at other events no doubt. And in the meantime we have the beauty of sharing our faith together via Facebook! :-D

So, back to the page...first I prepped the Bible page with 2 coats of Art Basics Clear Gesso, dried each coat with a heat tool. I've recently found that applying clear gesso with an old store card (working gently from the centre out to the edges) it goes on really smooth! Also the short edge of the old store card fits straight in the pot so actually no need for a brush at all and less waste/mess. 
 Then I chose two colours - orange and lemon (citrus theme here!) and used a waterbrush to paint splodges of colour straight onto the page randomly. I did make it fairly wet for this (which is why I prepped the page first with 2 coats!)
 Next I took a piece of very cheap kids tracing paper (it's a bit like deli paper but not waxy) and laid it on top of the page, smoothing it down with my fingers and moving some of the liquid paint around a little, in the layer underneath.
 Then I very gently lifted the paper up and separated it from the Bible page. (And took a photo with one hand!!!)
 As you can see, it printed a lovely image on both the Bible page and the paper. Then I repeated the process using some red paint splodges.
 Tracing paper over the page, smooshed it around with my finger tips, and lifted it off again!
 Then dried with a heat tool.
This tracing paper is now ready for use elsewhere, to cut up, rip up etc. so will be added to my rummage box for future projects.
Now for some stamping! I used a 'Love' word stamp from Time to Sow, which I had mounted onto some EZfoam. I decided to use a bright red gelato stick, and made a gelato scribble on a craft sheet (you can use an old plastic folder for that, or a laminated A4 sheet, etc)
 Using a waterbrush, I added a little water to the gelato colour, and dipped the stamp into it to coat the word.
 I then totally copied Sarah Anderson's technique and stamped repeatedly all over the page, using up the fading colour as I went along, topping up with more colour now and then.
I quickly dried the page with a heat tool, and then used a Versafine Onyx Black ink pad to stamp the same word 'Love' once in the big space below 2 John. To mix up the lettering a little, I used a Dovecraft mini alphabet stamps with the black ink for the word 'IN' and simple silver stickers for the word 'Walk'. I quite often add my words in reverse order, it sometimes helps to get the positioning right on the page, to start with the key word and then fit the other words around it.
I finished off this page with some ripped sections of washi tape. Another Sarah inspiration (!) tearing off small pieces, you can also rip them lengthwise to create little softly ripped edges and dot them around the page.
I then left this page open to dry fully for at least 24 hours - I have found that stamps on top of Art Basics clear gesso can smudge unless completely dried. (In truth, the Versafine ink did feather a little but I think that's because the page was still slightly damp). So I left it open on my dining room table for a day or so, and actually that was a great reminder of this passage and verse to me.
This verse is a great encouragement to us all to walk in Love.