Sunday, July 2, 2017

Week 2 of 30 Day Book of Mormon Challenge

If you've joined with me so far for the challenge, that's fantastic. I hope you've had some great experiences reading the Book of Mormon this week.

One thing I've learned is that it isn't as hard as I thought it would be. I mean, 18 pages a day is a lot. But it is actually doable, and I'm glad to be doing it. What it really means for me is that maybe a chapter a day or two pages a day is actually not that much. I've been so terrible about consistently reading my scriptures. But now I can see that being consistent is possible. What's more; if I can do 18 pages a day for the month, surely I can keep doing a chapter a day after the challenge.

So far, that's been the greatest blessing I've had; the realization that I CAN do this. I can read my Book of Mormon every day. And only a chapter? Easy peasy.

If you haven't joined with me so far, that's totally okay! Start today with us. If you want to go back later and catch the beginning of the Book of Mormon, great; if not, that's fine, too. But join with us now. Get the blessings promised to you for diligent study of the Word of God.

The schedule for this week:

Day         page          read through:
8              143           End of Omni
9              161             Mosiah 7
10            179             Mosiah 16
11            197             Mosiah 25
12            215             Alma 3
13            233             Alma 10
14            251             Alma 17
15            269             Alma 24

 Why are we doing this now? I read the talk by President Monson given at the last General Conference and felt strongly that I needed to change the way I read the Book of Mormon. Since I get to teach Relief Society, I challenged all the sisters in my ward to join me in this challenge. And since I'm a mom, I challeneged my family to join me, too.

Read President Monson's message here: The Power of the Book of Mormon

Sunday, June 25, 2017

30 Day Book of Mormon Challenge

I have challenged the sisters in our ward to read the Book of Mormon in 30 days. Of course, I can't issue a challenge unless I'm willing to do it, too!

One thing I want to remind you of is that you may not be perfect. If you miss a day or miss some pages, don't give up! That is not God's way. He wants you to keep trying, even when you mess up. So start the next day with us, right on schedule, and try again.

It's not a contest, so do YOUR best. We are tweeting about our successes and posting on facebook with the tag #30dayBOMchallenge so that we can support and encourage each other. Whenever you feel successful or that you learned something interesting or felt something uplifting, share it with us!

Here is the schedule I will be following:

Day             Page     Read through
Sunday          18        1 Nephi 10
Monday         36        1 Nephi 16
Tuesday         53        End of 1 Nephi
Wednesday    71        2 Nephi 7
Thursday       89        2 Nephi 18
Friday           107       2 Nephi 28
Saturday       125       Jacob 4

I have included some fun charts so you can track your progress if you want to.

I'm using this bookmark from Someone in Mind to keep track of my schedule. It's free to download, so check it out from there.

If you like to keep track of which chapters you've read (it might help so you can go back and read any you miss!), try a printable chart like this one.
Hop on over to Making Precious Things Plain to get your free downloadable copy.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Prepping your pages

I get this question a lot: what do you do to stop things from bleeding through the pages?

Now, if you only plan on using colored pencil on your pages, then you are good to go. For me, though, I love adding all kinds of things. I have tested numerous methods of sealing, prepping, and finishing pages to prevent bleeding, smearing, and tearing. 

Even though it is good quality paper meant to be colored and written on, the individual pages are still thin, and there is writing on both sides, so even a little bit of bleed-through will show on the next page. 

Clear gesso
My number one go-to for any wet media (think watercolors, watercolor pencils, paint, ink, markers, etc.) is to prep with acrylic gesso. I have it in both white and clear. When I am going to start from scratch by drawing or painting an original image, I usually choose the white gesso. It has a finish almost like white acrylic paint and gives me a completely clean background.  When there is line art already on the page, like in this example, I use the clear gesso so I can still see the lines.

I use an old hotel card to spread a very thin layer onto the page, making sure the page gets even coverage. After letting it dry (about 2 hours), I test it with a wet brush. Just swipe a little water across the page. Flip the page, and if the underside doesn't appear wet, then it is good to go. Otherwise, do a second thin coat of gesso.

The Fall

Now, in the example here I used watercolor pencils. Some benefits of watercolor pencils:
  • They give vibrant color
  • They are easier to use than watercolor paint
  • They are portable, especially if you also use a water brush
  • After the image is dry, you can add more color by going over it again with the pencils
  • You can use them without water as a colored pencil
  • They blend very nicely with a water brush
Some things to watch out for: 
  • Unless you use a fixative, the color is still water soluble. This means that any time later, water will still cause it to smear or blend into the other colors.
  • They don't blend well with regular colored pencils, which are wax-based.
  • If you color the whole picture and then use a water brush for blending at the end, your results can be a little bit muddy.
I typically add the gesso to my pages, wait for them to dry, then turn to the next page and gesso those as well. I find that having both sides of the page prepped before I start gives the best outcome, and I know that I will be onto the next page soon anyway.  That is my preference, but if you don't plan to do both pages, prepping just one still works.

Scripture Art Journaling for Beginners

So you want to use art in your scripture journal but don't know where to start?

This time last year, I was exactly there. I didn't feel like I had any art skills, but I loved seeing the beauty and time spent on each journal page. I set out on a mission: learn enough to start my own art journal in the scriptures so I could spend time with the Word in a new way.

Title page of my art Bible:
ready to color

Some of the things I discovered that helped:

Use a Bible intended for art journaling. It had wide margins and good paper, but even better, it had sketches and word line art so that I could color without the pressure of knowing much about artwork.

Practice art techniques on coloring pages. I spent a lot of time learning how to color with different media on coloring pages because I wanted to improve my skill. I also experimented with how things would look on a coloring page and what kinds of prep each page would need before I used it in my Bible.

Watch videos of coloring and art techniques. This is where I learned most of what I know! 
Use this download as a 
bookmark or tracing template 
to start creating art in your Bible!

Choose just a few supplies or media to start with. A decent set of coloring pencils or watercolor pencils will go a long way.  As you get confident with your supplies, then try adding in new ones.

Don't worry about 'messing up.' This is about spending time with God and His word, not about perfection. I decided to start at the beginning, in Genesis, and work my way through page by page. By the end, I fully expect that my art and journaling will look completely different. 

Try tracing or sketching work you like. There are plenty of templates available for bookmarks and margin art for the New Testament. I am working on more for all of the standard works. Try this free download for a margin artwork or bookmark to use with John 16:33. 
*Hint: when you print it, make sure 'fit to page' is off.*

Share your work. I love seeing others' work, and sharing my own is not as daunting as it used to be. It is a great way to share a meaningful verse with someone and give them the opportunity to have a positive influence from God's word.

Just start. Whether it's like my decision to start on page 1 and just keep going or you choose a place that is meaningful to you, get going.

Join us here and share your work. We would love to see your ideas and talents.