Friday, July 8, 2016

Supplies Phase Two: "Nice to Haves"

Hopefully you've read the other supply post and have a plan for getting the basics.  This list is by no means anything you should go out and buy every item on but is instead a list of my favorite things that I have added to my stash over the course of a year.  I do not have desk or dedicated work space so all the supplies I use fit in a caddy and small tote bag.  They live in a cabinet and I get them out and put them back away every time I use them.  Limited space has made me carefully consider what I really need and what will not be worth the storage space.  Several of these will be included in some form or another in the "goodie bag" for the session I'm planning.

Tab-Making Supplies: My tab punch is meant to make one-sided tabs that fit into a plastic sticky insert that you can buy from the company.  I don't personally like one-sided tabs, plastic sticky inserts or having to buy more from the company, so I figured out how to punch a folded piece of paper (lined up just below the top chopping part) to make a double-sided tab.  I use plain old school glue to glue a tab to each page I work on.  I use the glue that is purple and then dries clear because I'm a juvenile and like watching the purple disappear.  Some people use tabs for each book of the Bible but I have chosen to tab each page I journal.  Totally a matter of personal preference.  I've always been a bit of a paper hoarder so most of my tabs are made from leftover scrapbook paper I already had.

My Tab Punch

tab punch, glue stick and scrapbook paper
Stickers Some Bible journalers use big, 3D treatments and glue all manner of not-flat things into their Bibles and have Bibles that are bulging at the seams.  "I like Big Bibles" is literally a thing and probably a hashtag.  My boring little self is a little too orderly for that so I have only ever added flat stickers to my Bible.  I have a few sheets of alphabet stickers in colors and textures that appeal to me and also dig through my old scrapbooking supplies for other shapes and things that fit a particular verse or style I'm going for.  I tend to use stickers sparingly because I want my pages to be "my work" but sometimes it's an added detail that goes a long way.

"GO" in glitter letters and arrows on the opposite page
Sketchbook: you can doodle and practice on napkins, scrap paper, your homework...whatever suits your stage of life.  All of those are a great way to pass a faculty meeting.  Not that I know, obv. but I recommend a dedicated sketchbook.

I've told the story several times that when I bought the one below at Walmart, I literally hid it under something in the buggy (people not in the South call them carts...weirdos) because I knew that anyone who saw me with a sketchbook would laugh and call me a phony artist.  I'm so glad I still have the original because it shows my progress over the last year.  One year ago, I had neat handwriting and zero creative talent.  I spent hours finding things I like on Pinterest and plagiarizing them in this sketchbook.  I did not even own a journaling Bible for the first several months I was a "Bible journaler" because I didn't feel like I was talented enough to come up with my own stuff worth putting in the Bible.  I copied and studied and tried to find a style that is my own.  Amazingly enough, I did.  When I finally started actually putting pen to Bible, I experienced an actual, authentic creative spark or two.  Our brains are amazing things that can grow and learn and CHANGE and I believe that those months of copying others' work helping open up new pathways in my brain that have allowed me to come up with my own designs quite freely less than a year later.  I still have to look at Pinterest for ideas on how to make a doodle look right (ever try to draw an umbrella??) but have grown in confidence.

the journal where I copied work from Pinterest and tried to discover my own style
Chalk: this was an accidental find but my current favorite way to "color" my pages.  I use them dry by taking the cotton balls beside each color and smearing it on to the page with the cool pincher tool after I've lettered.  I think there's a way to use them wet as well but I haven't gone there.  Wrinkled pages aren't my jam.  There is a bit of color transfer to the opposite page, but it brushes off.  I love the soft, blendable colors I get from chalk.  I've been asked about adding a fixative to the chalk to "set" it but I haven't cared enough to make a purchase to try.

Craft Chalk Set
a set of chalks from Hobby Lobby with a fun smudging tool
Gelato: So I thought gelato was fancy ice cream but apparently it's an art thing too.  I bought this set on clearance and decided to give it a go.  It's the texture of lipstick, has an amazing, saturated color and can be smudged or blended when first applied.  It also came with a paint brush for splattering wet.  I tried that on a piece of paper and then decided it would wrinkle my Bible page and never tried it again. I tend to be drawn to stars and sunshines so this yellow gelato has gotten the most use.  It's the one thing I've used that will smudge a Micron so it's definitely not meant for precise work.

My favorite yellow gelato
gelatos with smudger and brush for wet use
Tip-In Supplies: sometimes you turn to a verse, just itching to journal it, and you've already journaled a different verse on that page.  Or, sometimes you're a chicken and don't want to journal That Verse quite yet because it's your favorite (Hebrews 6:19, I'm looking at you) and you don't want to risk hating it.  Enter something called a "tip-in," fancyspeak for "taping a piece of paper to the page."  Washi tape is one of my all-time favorite school-supplies.  I use it for everything and already had a stash.  It sticks well but can be peeled up without damaging the paper.  As far as the paper part of a tip-in goes, use what you have.  I happen to love these little Project Life cards.  Other brands make them for various purposes but I love the ones that have quotes and patterns on both sides.  I recently had this verse on my mind after small group and couldn't journal it because the page was taken so I made a tip-in instead.  Hopefully Draw Near does what this verse in Hebrews commands: lets us stir each other up to love and good works by meeting together.
recipe for a "tip-in" = paper + washi tape; background shows the caddy I use for nearly all of my supplies

Stamps: I'm new to stamps in my Bible.  So new I actually haven't done it yet.  Illustrated Faith is the mothership of Bible journaling and sells supplies through DaySpring.  I recently ordered one of their monthly devotional kits which comes with a set of stamps and an ink pad, among other fun stuff.  I'm working up to incorporting some stamps into my actual Bible journaling.  Some people who don't feel comfortable hand-lettering order stamps to use instead.  This sounds expensive to me because I can't imagine using the same stamp over and over without getting tired of it.
devotional, stamps and ink pad by Illustrated Faith
The obvious missing item on this list is acrylic paint.  Most of the "famous" Bible journalers use it in their Bibles.  I haven't gone there yet for a few reasons.  First, I keep my journaling to the wide margins of my Bible and don't cover up text.  It's personal preference but I want this Bible to be wholly readable when I'm done journaling.  Second, I live in fear of wrinkled pages.  There are preparation techniques using gesso and whole-page techniques that are supposed to limit the wrinkling but I'm skeptical.  Maybe my next Bible...

Speaking of Bibles, there's a separate post coming about choosing a journaling Bible.

Random note: These are all products I've bought and used.  I mean...I'd love to be a brand rep for any of them but no one's asked.  Yet.

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