Friday 29 May 2020

Stamps and Inks for Bible Art Journaling - by Tracy Southam

Hi everyone, for those I have not met my name is Tracy Southam. I live in leafy Warwickshire with the boss Sir Peter my rescue cat (still not quite clear who rescued who) and by day work as an Area Manager for a charity. I worship at an Anglican Church.

Over the past few years I have supported Deborah, Emma and Megan at Faith Treasury with delivering demos and workshops at their events and these have largely centred around stamping. I have been stamping since my late teens, so a good 20+ years of using stamps in one way or another. I am still learning as there are new techniques all the while.

We have some very talented ladies and gents on the group some of which do amazing work with stamps and mediums so you are in safe hands today with the techniques being shared.

I love using stamps as a medium and if you are less confident with drawing or using your own lettering in your bible they are fantastic. Like most craft supplies there are a raft of different products on the market but you can get simple stamps starting at £1 from the works, you can also get a nice mixed set on a number of the craft magazines on the market and then can adventure into the raft of suppliers on the market as you find what you like and need. However my aim today is not to spend your money for you but give you some basics on stamping as a medium!

So lets start with some basics…..

Stamps come in a few different formats:

1 – Clear stamps that are a polymer image that you can see through that is stuck to an acrylic block or stamping platform (or if you want a go without loads of kit initially a cd case). This little video shows you stamping platforms
In the art work to follow shortly I have included some pictures of an acrylic block
2 – Cling stamps – normally red/grey rubber which you use in the same way as the clear stamps in point 1 but they are not see through
3 - Unmounted – a number of suppliers sell unmounted stamps or you can carve your own as Sarah’s demo later today, these can be mounted to a block with Pritt stick or repositionable adhesive or in some cases just inked and pressed by hand
4 – Wood Mounted stamps – stamp images on a wooden block that do not need to be mounted.

There are a lot of inks on the market and too many to discuss on an introduction, I am therefore focussing on two and have done some sample art work to show you.

Firstly Versafine, versafine comes in a variety of colours and are manufactured by Tsukineko. Versafine is a natural oil based pigment ink pad. You are able to watercolour over the ink and it will not bleed. Alcohol pens will smudge with Versafine in most cases.
The second is Memento which again comes in a variety of colours and is dye based which means it doesn’t like water colour based products but will keep its image with any alcohol based pens such as a sharpie, pro marker copic etc.

The first photos are using Memento pad to stamp, with alcohol based Promarker pens to colour:

The clear stamp clings to the acrylic block

 Take the ink to the stamp!

 Gently tap ink onto the stamp

 When coated evenly, use the block to stamp the image onto the paper

Added colour to the stamped image using alcohol based pens (ProMarkers)

Colouring Mediums come in many styles, in the main I colour with Kuretake clean colour pens which blend with water, Derwent inktense pencils a dye based (ink) pencil which blend with water, traditional water colours, Promarkers and distress inks or distress oxides which blend with water. If you are feeling sparkly you could also use a clear sparkle pen such as a clear Wink of Stella or Crafters Companion sparkle pens in place of a normal water brush.

In the following pictures I have used a Versafine pad to stamp, coloured with distress inks:

Image stamped in the same way as above, using Versafine (onyx black) 

Going to use Distress ink pads to add colour

Dab the distress ink pad onto a hard plastic surface to leave a smudge of colour 

Use a water brush to pick up the colour, and paint your image

The finished image! 

This example has a stamped image using Versafine, and I used a Distress Oxide pad to paint on colour

Another example of using Distress Oxides to add colour to a Versafine stamped image.

This image was coloured with Kuretake clean colour pens:

Some tips when stamping in your Bible:
1 – If you are worried about bleed through, prep your pages with clear gesso or liquitex matt medium
2 – Do a test page for pens and colour mediums and see how they work for you
3 – If you are less confident do your stamping as a tip in or stick a stamped strip on to your page
4 – Keep a hairdryer or heat gun hand to dry your page between layers
5 – Keep your stamps out of daylight and try to clean them when you use them to keep them in good health, if clear stamps lose their stick you can wash them under tap and leave them to dry and they will resume their clinginess.
6 – Tap the ink onto your stamp to cover the image– do not press it down with force or push the stamp into the ink. You want a crisp even finish and if you overload it with ink you will get smudging.

I have included some pictures below of stamping in my Bible:

I hope these tips have helped you, if you have any questions give me a shout on the Bible Art Journaling UK Facebook group. Let me know if you would find a Beginners YouTube helpful!

Remember this art work is for you and God, not for a gallery - and have fun!

God Bless


Thursday 19 March 2020


Hi all I’m back to my blogging this is my first one. My mum has put me back on and this year I’m going to do a blog per day, I been kept busy doing my writing, listening to music, watching DVD’s and colouring and enjoying the food my mum makes and playing games. As we stuck inside our apartment i start doing journaling cause I haven’t done it for ages and I’m glad that back on track and each day I’m making myself to do journaling and doing more blogging on my I pad. It was disappointed not going to Anglesey but I fully understand why. But I’m looking forward to going to bath in November 16th cause that’s where I was born (my birth town) and to celebrate my birthday which I turn to the big 30. This Saturday 21st of March would be my granddads 90th birthday so and me and my mum will make that day special for him and it’s also world Down’s syndrome day and we be Wearing our odd socks. I’m doing fine and enjoying the company with my mum praying together and reading scripture together but also we making a scrapbook of our little adventure in our apartment. My latest interests is RENT the musical. 
Our 12:00pm scripture is from psalm 91 and 2nd Timothy 1 to 7 which we pray over for our world friends families and Hazelmerewhich we take in turns and these two reminds us that we have hope and peace in Jesus and that he covers  us with his feathers of wings and he’s our protector and shield fortress and refuge and that we call onto him to keep us safe in his conditional love. I pray that this virus comes to an end that we all be well protected and kept safe amen. Ben  

Tuesday 6 February 2018

"nothing" is perfect!

Goodness me, its been a while! I know you're all loving the amazing video presentations on you tube; courtesy of my very talented and technologically savvy fellow admin. You may have noticed there is no video from me! My computer skills are entirely (and even then, spasmodically) founded on key board, or, even better a pen and paper!

I am no artist, I'm a bit "arty" and I can draw a bit, my lettering is pretty neat and my handwriting is fairly decent but I don't really have any great expertise or skill sets to teach and inspire. I feel what I can best offer is the odd word of encouragement, a touch of humour (hopefully) and the thoughts the Lord lays on my heart from time to time.

I love to see a blank piece of paper, pristine, unspoiled, perfect, or an un-journaled page in my Bible. The possibilities are endless, the ideas sometimes tumbling through my mind, a vision in my head of what I want it to look like. Sadly, the reality of what I actually fill the paper or page with is often far from the wonderful idea I envisaged. the blank page is no longer perfect!

Or is it? How much can a friend or loved one get from a blank piece of paper or an unwritten note or card? Better a card or letter with spelling mistakes and smudges than a perfect sheet of nothing.
If you are ever lucky enough to look through an old illuminated manuscript it is almost certain that you will find errors, spelling mistakes, smudges, a dirty finger print, even some rather questionable art work if the monk in question was feeling playful, or maybe bored! Parchment, vellum (true vellum)and ink was far too expensive to waste, not to mention wasted hours of painstaking hand copying in poor light and uncomfortable surroundings. Mistakes would be concealed as much as possible or maybe even ignored!
I'm pretty sure I have blogged about this before, but my recent mess up with my lettering stamp with Sarah at DEN has reminded me once more about the need to avoid the lure of perfectionism. Well, more actually my response to my error. I'm ashamed to admit I had a (minor) paddy, screwed up my deli paper and threw it across the table. Sarah in her wisdom reached across, calmly unscrewed it and gave it back to me, " you could cut it up into pieces and use them separately" she said. A group discussion followed while we tried to remember where to find the verses which describe King David dancing. (the internet was down so my usual go to aid of google wasn't available!) Gemma came to the rescue and found it in 2 Samuel. As Sarah advised I tore the paper into three sections and carefully stuck them on to the page, perfection! (almost) they fitted as if I'd planned it like that all along, and to be honest I love it, its one of my favourite pages! 
How many of us are disappointed if our efforts fall short of the perfect image we had in our heads? How many of us throw away the imperfect attempt and feel cross, frustrated and inadequate? How many of us would gently encourage our child in that situation, doing as Sarah did, retrieving the cast off failure, unscrewing it and helping to put it right or simply hugging them and telling them it was beautiful and perfect as it was?

Our God does not expect or demand perfection from us, its impossible! All He asks is that we give our best effort; in terms of our Bible Journaling, that it comes from our desire to delve deeper into His Word and to worship Him and give Him the glory.
But, even then...
...God doesn't want us to make ourselves ill, stressed, unhappy or discouraged. Bible Journaling should bring joy, dare I say it fun, and a deepening of our faith.
I'm sorry to repeat myself but I see so many posts which express the stress of being a perfectionist, if some of our worlds greatest inventors or artists had allowed themselves to be ruled by perfectionism I wonder how many awesome works of art would have been lost, how many inventions that we take for granted might never have seen the light of day.
There's a well known quotation, "Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all." I have another version, "Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all!" My apologies for the use of photographic images rather than journaling images, they make the point so much more clearly! 

Saturday 27 January 2018

The Sovereign Lord is my Strength - by Lisa Emmerson

Habakkuk 3:19 NIV
"The Sovereign LORD is my strength, 
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
He enables me to tread on the heights"

Head over to our You tube channel to see Lisa's step by step guide to creating this page here

We now have a Youtube channel!

Thanks to the wonderful Lisa Emmerson, we now have our very own You tube channel, Bible Art Journaling UK, where we will be sharing at least a short film a month.  This month features the lovely admin team sharing which of us prep the pages in our bibles, and how.  You'll find it here.  Whilst you're there, you'll find some extra films.  Please subscribe if you don't want to miss the next one!

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Keeping it Simple - by Sarah Anderson

When people first discover bible art journaling, they often ask what materials they need to do it.  I find this a difficult question to answer as I guess you can almost use any art material there is (oil paints would prove tricky I imagine!!).  Another common question is about the minimum amount of resources,  the 'if you were stuck on a desert island what would you take' line of thought, to which I easily reply - my trusty fine black Bic biro, and a pencil!

Don't get me wrong, I adore colour, and art shops are one of my happy places, where I breathe in the smell of paper and paint, and stroke the coloured pencils; and I love that my bible is full of colour where I've played with the materials I love such as rubber stamps, gelli plate prints, watercolour, spray inks, distress inks ....  

But it's also full of simple lettering using my favourite pen.  This leaves a gorgeous crinkly texture to the pages, encourages me to spend time pondering the verse as I embellish the words, and is pleasing to my eye as I adore lettering.

I get lots of inspiration from Instagram, and have learnt the different types of lettering that I like over time, gaining in confidence with each verse!

Lettering is all about practice.  In the long summer holiday after my O levels I spent a lot of time in the library practicing my handwriting as I hated it.  The ascenders and descenders leaned this way and that without consistency.  I now have handwriting I really like (I'm sure being a Reception teacher before computers also helped as I was constantly writing out letters for children to overwrite or copy!) and sometimes I just emphasise my normal handwriting a bit more in the margins of my bible.

I am currently practicing these fancy 'r's.  I discovered this lettering style on Instagram and I enjoy writing a word out in pencil, then drawing around it with my biro (the only reason I'd have a pencil on my desert island!!!).

There really are no rules in bible art journaling.  It's about using the art practices you like and enjoy within the pages of your bible, and finding that through these processes you take in truth from God's amazing word.  There is a lot of joy in learning new practices and techniques and having fun with them in the pages of your bible, and for me, one of those is as simple as lettering with a fine black Bic pen!!

Monday 2 October 2017

Applications welcome - by Jane Butcher

Bible Art Journaling UK is hiring! Positions available, all backgrounds considered, no previous experience necessary. No forms to fill in, no age (or gender) restrictions and formal qualifications not required
Still interested? Great, let's proceed with the interview.

Do you possess a desk, table or work space of any sort, big or small?
Is your designated work space a haven of ordered peace and tranquillity or an explosion of creativity and works in progress. if anyone called would they feel the need to phone 999 to report a burglary or to sit down and enjoy the calm serenity.

Do you own a Bible and a notebook and a pencil? Additional equipment is welcomed but not necessary, we can advise you on supplies and how to use them.

Do you want to delve deeper into your Bible, draw closer to your Heavenly Father, find encouragement, support, inspiration and have fun? 

If you can read and write independently or with support, if you can draw a stickman and colour in side the lines (not essential), if you enjoy painting, colouring, gluing, stamping, writing, collaging or doodling then you are uniquely (the Bible tells you so) qualified to join our Bible Art Journaling family.

Training can be provided, opportunities to meet together to share fellowship, faith, food and fun are available around the UK. 

Still interested? Your application has been approved, welcome to the family. Monetary incentives not applicable but blessings in abundance guaranteed.
You're Hired! When can you start?