Morning + Art


Oh the magical morning hours. The sun shining in. Little feet pitter pattering around the house. Fire crackling. Backyard bird watching. Steamy oatmeal on the table. *sigh*

Oh wait. Add screaming little girls, snowy dogs running about & eating food off the juice being spilled everywhere, and a baby peeing on the floor. NOW you've got the picture. As I type this, there is a small monkeychild jumping on my back and pulling my hair. In the midst of this chaos, I try to sit myself down at our little art table by the window.

My Bible waits for me there with encouragement and wisdom for the day. My prayer journal is filled with reminders of God's grace and provision. And so before anything else, I try to fill my heart with the words of Jesus. They are a balm that sustains me through these wild days! That...and coffee. Lots of coffee.


This year, in my quest to find the perfect planner, I came across "The Documented Life". It's a group of people who are creating their own planner, and incorporating art journaling into it as well. I am not following all of the prompts, but I love visiting the Facebook group for inspiration. Many of them were using the Moleskin planner, but that was sold out everywhere I looked. I ended up getting a journal from Target and printing out my own calender pages for free. (Check out the Instagram collage she made using Photoshop! Awesome.)

I chose to have a week at a glance on one side, and a blank page on the other side for my to-do lists, menu planning, etc.  It took me forever to get all the pages washi taped, but I love the effect! I'm slowly getting my thoughts and life organized.

art journal 1.JPG

Bella and Lucy work on their art journals as well and Emma throws it down freestyle. Many of you have asked if I guide them in any way...and I really don't. I provide tools for them to explore and create art on their own.

We don't rely heavily on coloring books or craft they really like to just do their own thing. I like to gather art supplies on a regular is a list of our favorites:

  • Watercolor paints (the highest quality I can find...we like Prang)
  • Acrylics (use a flexible cutting board as a will scrape right off when dry)
  • Magazines for cutting (I get them free or at thrift stores for 25 cents each). We look for words that we like or images that speak to our heart.
  • Gesso
  • Washi tape
  • Gel Sticks (excited to try these out...they are on their way)
  • Sharpies...80's Glam Baby!
  • Paper (I grab lots of my paper at thrift stores. And I stock up on watercolor paper when it's on 50% off at Hobby Lobby/Michael's)
  • Bubble wrap. Paint on it and lay it on your page. Makes an awesome background!
  • Spray bottles full of diluted paint. These work great for  a splatter effect or when using stencils.
  • Old books. Rip pages out and use gesso to bring out your magical secret messages (below). You can even art journal IN an old book.

Sometimes I will walk into the room and the girls will be busily working on creating something together. Makes my mama heart swoon.


Art journaling is extremely therapeutic and meditative. If you've never tried it, but you are curious...DON'T WAIT! Just get started today. I know it's intimidating to get on Pinterest and see all of the amazing artists out there. But this is your OWN journey. Do not compare yourself to anyone else. Use their ideas as a springboard to release your own creative spirit!

To start...

  • Get a journal. Find one with thicker paper. You will appreciate one that lays flat.
  • Get some supplies. They don't need to be fancy. You could totally start with a box of crayons and glue.
  • Get to work. Carve out a tiny piece of your day. Or an entire day. Invite friends over!

I have found that when we have a dedicated art/writing space, we gravitate toward it daily. When it's only temporarily set up on the kitchen table, it becomes a chore to get it all out and it rarely happens. Even if this means that you set up a card table in the corner of your basement with a naked light bulb above it...just do it.

Write prayers. Write dreams. Pour out your heart on the page.

For more inspiration and resources, check out these beauties:

Mandy @ Messy Canvas and another art journal share of Mandy's here
Catina Jane Gray (watch her techniques in this new video!)
Tara shares her journey to art journaling The Art Journaler CommunityArt Journalist (Love these prompts!!)

There are several books that we love:

The Art Journal WorkshopJournal Spilling: Mixed Media Techniques for Free Expression

And lastly, here is a post I wrote a few years ago about creating art spaces. Lots of good links!

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