Friday, July 8, 2016

Getting Started: "Need to Have" Supplies

My long-term vision of Bible journaling has always been to share it with others, to use the lettering and doodling as a springboard for real conversations with others about the things God has done in my life.  I want to share with others what's happened since I committed to "drawing near" to Christ.  I want to hear others' stories and know what God is up to in their lives, too.  I am a social creature and these connections feed my soul.

That idea of community seems to be coming together nicely.  A request from a FB friend to come share with her church friends led to several other friends asking to attend a class and DOZENS of people who said they're interested.  Cue giant list of things to know, decide, buy and figure out in order to make it happen in what's left of my dwindling summer.  Open doors.  Opportunities.  Alright, God.  Let's do this.

For my classes, I've decided to give people the option of a shopping list ahead and just paying $2 for copying costs  (probably the reason you're reading this) or trusting me with a little money (I'm thinking $15) and getting a goodie bag of all the "need to have" supplies and some happy surprise "nice to have" items.

I've read lots of blogs and pins about bible journaling supplies and have always been a little overwhelmed.  I made the decision NOT to jump all the way in and spend a bunch of money to get started, so I want to share a very few basic things that I think are just right for getting started.  If you are a mega shopper and are ready to dive in and spend a little more, keep right on reading through the "Nice to Have" post as well.

1.  A pen that won't bleed through Bible pages: the list could almost stop here because everything else is something you could probably scrounge up from your house, your kid's backpack or the couch cushions.  My personal favorite is the Micron 05 (.45mm).  Micron comes in various sizes and colors (I also use an 03 and 08 regularly--the smaller ones are for detail work and not as helpful for lettering) and can be ordered or bought in some stores for $3-4 each.  A slightly cheaper alternative that works well for lettering and also does not bleed is a Sharpie pen.  This is NOT the Sharpie you have known your whole life.  The packaging on the pens has a specific "No Bleed" logo.  These also come in different colors and sizes at Walmart.  I personally like medium but fine is just fine.  Haha.  I'm something of a lettering purist and almost always use black pens but you should go for colors if they make you happy.

Micron on Amazon
Have-to-Have #1: an ink pen that won't bleed
2.  A happy pencil and a white eraser: while this is as simple as it seems, it's pretty important to note the adjectives.  "Happy" pencils have softer lead and don't dig a groove into paper and pages as you write.  For me, that's almost always a wooden pencil but I do have some mechanical ones that are happy.  It blew my mind when I realized that many of the people whose work I follow pencil stuff into their Bibles, letter over it with ink and then erase it.  Try it.  It works.  With the right pen, the lightest happy pencil writing you can muster and a good eraser, it's not visible once you erase.  Which brings me to the eraser adjective.  Every fussy teacher's worst nightmare is that eraser dust that is left behind with a bad eraser.  White erasers are made from something I don't know anything about but they will erase without smudging and don't leave (as much) eraser debris behind.  I prefer the clicky ones becuase I'm a middle schooler at heart.  Technically, there are mechanical pencils that come with white erasers that would accomplish both with one item.

Eraser Shown Below on Amazon
a happy pencil and a white eraser
3.  Colored Pencils: Even though I'm a lettering purist and prefer plain black lettering, I almost always add some sort of doodle with color to my pages.  The easiest place to start with color is a set of colored pencils.  The market for those ranges from the broken ones in your kid's backpack to Prismacolor, the soft, smooth Cadillac of colored pencils. Crayola Twistables come in colored pencil form and those are quite popular.  Colored pencils seemed kind of boring to me at first but can actually be blended to make unique colors and you can control the intesity of the color by simply adjusting how lightly you press.  I haven't had an art class since elementary school so some of the things that have been new to me are probably common knowledge to everyone else.  My own coloring pencils are mostly a no-name set I bought on sale at Hobby Lobby with a few Prismacolors I've splurged on along the way.
blending and variations on lighter/harder pressure

And that, dear friends, is how to get started Bible journaling for not very much money.  Stay tuned for some "Nice to Have" items.

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