Steps in the Journaling Bible Journey: My Mixed Media Art Bag!

When I received my Journaling Bible as a Birthday present last Fall, I was really excited.
I had been Faith journaling in Art Journals for several years during services. I wanted to try it with this Bible. When I saw this little bag at a local Art supply store, I KNEW it was for my Journaling Bible and tools.
 I used it for several months. It was a tight fit, but a small bag to carry with me to weekly gatherings. :)  But it just didn't hold all that I would want if I were traveling. I like to use a lapboard and work while in the car. Then I was inspired by another member of a Journaling Bible group to purchase a "rigger's bag"  from Harbor Freight.


I was really surprised that they were so inexpensive!  I had lots of canvas, and thought about making my own, but at this price, WHY?!!!!   So I took the plunge and got one. And there it sat for a long while. I wanted to personalize it in a way that I would like for a long time. NOT trendy. But still meaningful.
   I thought of SO MANY scriptures that I might put on it. But, no. All text-script? No. I wanted some illustration, but not one limiting one -  too specific or an image of a particular event. And I wanted the actual WORD of God on it. Yet I wanted to represent a bit of playful artistic style. God has a great sense of humor, if you don't already know! And He laughs. So, it took awhile to strike the balance.

 I began by covering nearly the entire outside with Gesso. I wanted to be able to use any medium I liked.
I have learned how to paint watercolors on Gesso. My favorite medium is watercolor. But I did use other mediums as well: 
Gelatos, acrylic paint, craft paint ( metallic gold),  Twinkling H2O'sBombay India Inks , 
Inktense blocks (didn't have my Inktense pencils yet) 
and of course, my pens.
                                          After the Gesso, I painted the inside- yes, the inside of the bag. Stripes! They represent Joseph's coat of many colors -(at least to me they do). I wanted to get a feel for how the color flowed on that particular fabric. It is a much more rough canvas than I am accustomed to using.  I then laid down some background color. I have to admit that I thought of the inner pockets on the outside almost too late! I did stripes on one side to repeat the inside, and solid green on the other. I was originally going to write script on those pockets, but, umm, no, I realized
  1. ) too difficult to get my hand in there, and 
  2. ) too busy.
  Trying to keep it simple and balanced. haha.

This was a bit tricky. I wanted the one side to remain mostly neutral. I have a tendency to really blast things with color, and  I was trying to restrain myself from doing that with this project. LOL! 
The blue background had to be blended carefully as I didn't want a heavy application of
paint with the poppies. So I had to make sure that it was more cloud-like than a solid background.
Then I began with the flowers.

Next the side pockets!
This was the space I decided could take my bit of unexpected style.

I had some Art Journal papers that I had painted- pages actually that were left loose.  After rummaging
through a drawer of those I chose these two papers. One had a page from Ephesians on it. Ephesians is
a very special N.T. book for me. So it was integrated into the bag!
If you lightly mist the paper with water it is more pliable for adhesion. Just don't soak it or
it will tear to pieces!
I used Gel Medium to adhere the paper. Carefully smoothing out any air bubbles, and then
a coat of the gel was applied to seal the surface.

 I repeated that process with the small pockets, using a palette knife to help it along, and to
secure the paper into the edges and creases of the bag.

 The  pockets from the other end had papers, and some freestyle painting.
I don't know why I like circles so much, but I do!

I thought the punchinella would be a great stencil for an accent of tiny circles. Didn't work as well as I'd hoped. But it added some texture. ;)
Last step once all had dried overnight was spraying the bag with several coats of clear sealer. Letting it dry thoroughly in between. That should pretty much make it resistant to moisture.

This side has a passage that is well known, and I had a vision of this-
the Earth being "filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord." 
There was a great outpouring over the earth and there was an awakening;
like a morning. Thus the Morning Glories.
This chapter (3) of Lamentations is so beautiful. I have always loved
to sing of the faithfulness of my Father.  I couldn't fit the entire passage
on the bag, so I pulled some portions from it. 
"This I recall and therefore I HAVE HOPE;
...His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. "
Do you have to have a bag similar to this to do FaithJournaling?  
NO, you do not at all. But I travel often even day trips, and like to use the time in this way. 
That means ALL my stuff needs to come with me! :) I can fit everything in one place!
So this bag was productive for me.
I am happy with it and enjoyed the process.
 Has me humming the song: The Steadfast Love of the Lord!