Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Illustrated Faith | The Journey Continues

Two months ago, I would have told you quite adamantly that I couldn't draw a straight line. My sister is the artist and I struggle drawing stick figures. But I've found with a little practice, a lot of patience, and getting over my hatred of writing with pencils, I'm getting better!

I shared my first attempts HERE and HERE.

Now I love love love painting in my journaling Bible! It is truly transforming my days. And as far as details go, I started out with the black paint set and picked up the blue (36 colors!) at Hobby Lobby for $9.99 (before the coupon!). They all lock together for easy travel. Here are some of my favorites from the past few weeks.

I took over the title page for the New Testament with this one. I already had a painting on Matthew 6, and I wanted to copy in the entire passage from The Message Version (a paraphrasing), and the title page had plenty of white space. I found an image on Tumblr with a similar shirt/boot combo and added to it to suit my fancy. The scripture came next and to my surprise it fit PERFECTLY!

"Has anyone by fussing in the mirror gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion - do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp and shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best dressed men and women in the country would look shabby alongside them. If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers, don't you think He'll attend to you? What I'm trying to do here is get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. Peoplw ho don't know Him or the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find your everyday human concerns will be met."
Matthew 6:27-33

Next came this guy which is probably my favorite. I get the feeling iPhone shots will become a frequent design in this book. I love saving pretty verses as my phone background, and this was inspired by a calligraphy piece I found a few weeks ago. The thumb is a little awkward, but over all I am very happy with this one!

"Come to me all who are weary, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

It took me a while to decide which of my statement necklaces to use with Proverbs 3:3, but after receiving so many compliments on this one I knew it would work quite nicely. I sketched it in pencil, painted, then traced the design in black pen. I also had to spritz it in my favorite gold glitter spray. Because glitter.

"Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man."
Proverbs 3:3-4

Follow the whole journey on INSTAGRAM, and let me know if you've joined in! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Project Life | January 2015

Project Life is scrapbooking made easy. The fact that I have found time for it in the midst of a crazy semester is a testament to that fact. I've put a pause on buying any more goodies to use what I have, and I brought a small box of my favorite supplies home with me for the summer to catch up on the last few months. Now how about a review?

These are my first spreads for my 2015 album. Color-coordinating is my favorite thing. 

My first full spread! The center striped card on the left lets my first short-hair selfie shine through to the title page (which for some reason I didn't snap a picture of), and believe it or not this spread took the longest for me to put together. I had several clear pockets on my title page which meant I had to carefully select what would shine through. I also wanted to include my first big adventure of the year: cutting off almost a foot of hair! The before and after shots speak volumes here. 

When Studio Calico announced they would be offering a card set that collaborated with Lara Casey I almost jumped out of my chair! These cards provided a great space for sharing my thoughts on the start of a new year and to re-assess my goals now that the year is in full swing. I listened to Lara's book Make It Happen on Audible a few weeks ago and even picked up a hard copy, so these fit right in. Otherwise, these pages taught me how much I love using my own hand writing and the little typed phrases stickers. Those are sure to appear over and over again.

I'm actually not a huge fan of this spread, but I'm giving myself grace as I go. I wanted to include the collages I created for my two "Words of the Year" for 2015: BRAVE & GOLD, and I used a small insert with pockets that flip up and down to record my goals. I didn't get a detail shot of these guys but I will in the future. The page semi-hidden on the right put my first Messy Box into action, and I must say I like their style!

More Messy Box goods here! This is the back of the right page above, putting numbers to some of the final images from January. I actually really like the simplicity of all the white space and the small black designs with pops of color in the photos. This may be the way I go in the future.

One thing I struggle with is the desire to be instantly good at something, and Project Life is no different. I've been doing it for a while, but I'm still learning. Part of that learning process is making the decision to give myself grace and just keep going. Done is better than perfect, right?

What about you? How do you keep your memories? Any other Project Lifers out there?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Illustrated Faith in Progress

Last week I shared about my first attempts at Bible journaling. Today I want to give you a glimpse into my process. While many gals use scrapbooking stickers, alphabet stamps, and the like, I am trying to keep it simple for now. I would love to incorporate those one day, but for travel purposes I am limiting my supplies to watercolors, my favorite pens, and a glitter spray by Heidi Swapp pictured below. 

Typically I begin by sketching the image on a piece of scrap paper and testing colors there. Sometimes I'll have a verse in mind then hunt for an image, or other times it will start the other way around, first an image then a coordinating verse. 

Depending on how detailed the image will be, I will then sketch it into the Bible with a pencil. Most pencil marks disappear after the watercolors dry, but the act as a great guide for little ol' perfectionist me. You can barely see the sketch below. My test-sketch was actually for a right-hand page, so this took a little re-working. 

Up next comes the background and base colors. I have since purchased a paint pallet that includes purple and other versions of the basic colors, but it took me a few tries to get the purple/blue blend I wanted for the Tangled-inspired lantern scene below. I ended up going over the yellow with a thicker acrylic paint since the blue beneath it started turning the lanterns slightly green, and I swept over the sky with a glossy white to make it shine.

**I have a small piece of thin cardboard that I slip beneath whatever page I'm working on to keep the paint/water from leaking through or catching any other pages by accident. Honestly, I haven't had any major bleeding of paint from one side of the page to the other which I was pleasantly surprised about! It really all depends on how much water you use.

My original intention was to trace the lanterns in pen, but on a whim I used a thin brush and black paint for the sun and the outlines. It turned out much better than expected! Below is the final product! I spritzed the page with the gold glitter spray, which is hard to see in the photo, but boy does it shimmer! The verse itself was covered by one of the lanterns, so I wrote it in pen along the side to really emphasize it. 

A friend once asked me how I feel about completely painting over other scripture, and it was tough at first. However, I have a NKJV Women's Study Bible that I prefer to use for actual study and my devotionals (or the YouVersion/She Reads Truth apps) so this Bible is expressly for painting/art journaling. I try to choose one verse to emphasize or a quote that matches the chapter so the rest of the page can be painted over.  

It is perfectly imperfect, and combines two of my favorite things: scripture and Disney. And this is just the start! Taking brush and pen to paint and paper, spending time in the Word more often, oh I want more of it! Thankfully, I have time for it this summer and a small travel pack to take it with me. You'll be seeing more of this in the coming weeks, both here and on Instagram. And if you've given it a go, I'd love to see! I'm always looking for inspiration here! 

Monday, May 18, 2015

100 Happy Days II, Part I

A picture's worth 1000 words. And 100 pictures? That's a lot of words ;)

Last spring I used the 100 Happy Days challenge to count down my LAST 100 days in Seattle. This year I picked it up a few months ago to count down the 100 days before I go BACK to Seattle. I'm in the 70's now and thought it was prime time for a little update. This round appears to be full of days spent at home, my spring break travels, and Hope Spoken. Not a bad 25 days I'd say!

The first twenty-five days of the 100 Happy Days Challenge, II:

1. A weekend at home was happily spent organizing and resting mid-semester.
2. Brunch shaped like home? Yes, please!
3. A clean home is a happy home, and this couch might be my favorite place to relax.
4. I cleaned out my closet (50+ items gone!) and it felt oh, so good.
5. Sometimes grad school me ands 3am library dates. Hopefully not too many next year.
6. "Practically perfect in every way." Can anyone say Mary Poppins? :)
7. A few gal pals and I hosted an Instagram sale from our closets. This pretty went fast.
8. My messy box came in the mail, and I can't get over this quote!
9. Traveling alone is the only time I buy magazines, making for a much-needed retreat.
10. Of course we stopped in an Anthropologie in Vegas. Is anyone surprised?
11. Hannah, her brother, and I hiked in Red Rock Canyon. And we got lost. Twice.
12. Isn't Pro beautiful? Almost a week with one of the Three Musketeers was good for my soul.
13. Sometimes an afternoon at Barnes & Noble is the perfect spring break getaway.
14. Off again! I headed to Denver for the second part of spring break to see the beautiful Micah.
15. We went to an art exhibit and it was.. interesting. So we played in the kids' room instead.
16. This girl loves her queso, and a bowl with a pun about it? Absolutely came home with me.
17. Pizookies are a gift from Heaven. Get yourself to a BJ's asap.
18. Two new goodies: a journal from Kristin Schmucker and Prayers for the Dreamer and the Doer.
19. Another monthly box from Studio Calico with a motto I'd love to live by: Be Present.
20. One of my favorite worship songs is "Joyful, Joyful" by Laura Hackett.
21. Off again! This time to a weekend in Dallas for Hope Spoken. Boots, camera, weekender, check.
22. A manicure and pedicure with a good book and tea? Don't mind if I do.
23. Hope Spoken was so good for my soul, y'all. I can't wait for next year.
24. These pretty paper flowers were all over the conference. Just stunning!
25. While going to bed early is the new sleeping in for me, sometimes I could stay all day.

There you have it. The first 25 of 100 Happy Days. Have you taken the challenge? Try it! Cultivating gratitude and looking for the happy moments in your every day is a game changer. I promise.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Essential Oils | The Beginning

Trends fly around the blogosphere at lightning speed, and suddenly everyone is doing them. At first, I thought that is all that the Young Living Essential Oils frenzy would be, a passing trend. Several bloggers I admire started posting about them months ago, and while my curiosity was piqued, I chose to steer clear. I didn't want to hop on the bandwagon just because. No ma'am, no thanks. 

But the more I read about them, the more my curiosity grew. Could these little bottles full of natural remedies really work? Were they worth the investment? What if I join the wrong team? Do I really have time for this? The questions circled and circled at a dizzying pace. Finally, I put it on my goal list to save up for the premium starter kit to see what it was all about. 

That next weekend while at a trade fair with my mom we ran into the sweetest mother/daughter duo who had a booth about their oils, and they sealed the deal. These gals love the Lord so much and were quick to share their hearts behind the business and their efforts to go back to the gifts God gave in the garden, these natural elements that heal and help His people. They were SUCH a source of encouragement and joy that it made so much sense to dive in.  

I took the leap, and it has made all the difference!

Now, almost two months later, I am absolutely SOLD on YL Essential Oils
and I wanted to share my journey from the beginning with some of 
the how-to's which were so helpful. 

The spring semester was the hardest I had experienced in a long time, and I was suffering physically. I couldn't sleep, and when I did it was very lightly, leaving me awake much of the night. I was struggling with anxiety and overwhelm in a way like never before, paralyzed with fear and the inability to tackle what I needed to. I had also been experiencing food sensitivities and digestive issues for months with no known cause or remedy. After a little research and practice, I have found essential oil remedies that have helped tremendously!

But what's the big deal, you might ask? 
To me the "big deal" about essential oils came in three parts:

1. The community aspect of Young Living  is how the business thrives. When you sign up for your premium starter kit, you join a team who are there to help and support you along the way. Dia and Martha are in my direct "up-line" and they have been more than willing to answer any questions and get me going from the starting line. Our team has tons of resources, such as Facebook groups, newsletters, and personal check-ins that can simplify the process and put answers at your fingertips. If you sign up with me, I will be in YOUR "up-line" and more than willing to help you dive in!

2. The immediate results  were shocking! I started putting Lavender on my wrists at night and diffusing it an hour before bed, and I started falling asleep so quickly and staying asleep!  Two feats that had been nearly impossible for months. I had tried a different essential oil for my stomach troubles, but after ordering DiGize and applying it with coconut oil and a hot pad, I found relief within the hour whereas the pain would typically keep me up between 3-5 hours. And now I never leave my house without Stress Away, a lovely vanilla-smelling oil which has alleviated my anxiety (and doubles as a perfume!) with ease.  I have now used every oil in my starter kit, and there are several I go to daily. These are no joke, y'all!

3. The joy of sharing  with others seems to be Young Living-wide! Everyone I have encountered who uses the oils in real life or online seem quick to share their secrets (and the oils!), so eager to help others find healing, rest, peace, whatever it might be. I have a few large resource books that have been so helpful, but I started out by searching through Pinterest for recipes. "Essential oils for Insomnia" was my first and tips/tricks GALORE popped up! My pinterest page is HERE with some of my favorites. There are also Facebook groups where questions posed are answered within minutes, and everyone seems truly delighted to do so. 

I will sharing my essential oils journey here on the blog as well as @essentiallybailey on Instagram. You'll get a glimpse of how these oils are used in daily life, new discoveries as other oils arrive, and my own recipes/tips/tricks that I come up with along the way. 

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in a COMMENT on this post or SEND ME AN E-MAIL at I will do my best to make the starting process as care-free as possible! 

If you're ready to take the plunge and order your Premium Starter Kit
>>>>>>> CLICK HERE <<<<<<<
You'll be added to my team and get $300+ of oily goodies for half the price!

Check back next week for an in-depth look at the Premium Starter Kit. 
Again, if you have any questions, send them my way!