Collected Clippings: Cutting It for My Art Journal

You know how it’s just the coolest thing in the world to get a brand new box of crayons, open the lid, and take a good whiff?

new crayons, Rose Art, Victorian

Isn’t “new crayon smell” the easiest transport technique to connecting with our way-back childhood? That–and glue. And, the sound of a zippered pencil case. And the sensation of a clean slice of drawing paper or–better yet–colored construction paper between your fingers!

Not to mention, the feel of scissors in your hand! I don’t mean the baby kind, but those long thin sheers with the pointy ends that empowered you to completely transfigure the scope of your arts and crafts creations as a graduate to “big kid” scissors. 

scissors, glitter, craft supplies

In short, I joyfully regress when I step into the hallowed halls of a craft store–where sits upon the shelves in endless rows, the stuff of which my dreams are made. They are the invaluable tools to take the pictures I see in my imagination and materialize them into tangible realities. 

For me, crayons, glue, pencils, paper, and scissors were the first keys on my chatelaine to make me mistress of all things artsy/craftsy.

chatelaine, vintage notions, clock, antique keys, lace

Magic markers entered the scene at some point, and glitter, of course. Add to that watercolor paints, tempera paints, clay, and eventually private art class where I skipped into the world of pastels, India inks, and oil painting. 

These days, though, I have been learning to unlock the incredible worlds of online vintage images, scrap images, and random mixed media of “found treasures” where few rules apply as to how to arrange your mish-mash collection of cuttings and curiosities onto a canvas–or a journal page.

be still, journal

That’s where the WORDS come in. 

For me, image and words come together most forcefully when married on the same page. Text and illustration. 

For decades I’ve done this very thing with the writing, producing, directing, and performance of my plays on the stage. They begin as random ideas in my imagination. A thought. A concept. A line of words. Soon, a character emerges. A tangible prop or random costume found at a thrift store begins to knit sinew and flesh upon her. Story births, giving her a place to walk and work out the big picture. Eventually, I have the joy of taking her to full term with a team of actors and stage hands, bringing my words and images alive for an audience.

BUT–my journal . . . is mine own.

art journal, hope, roses

I have plenty of them filled with longhand words on lines. Some have embellished words and sketched images for a slice of visual appeal. This year, though, I am building a new wing on my journal estate as a very special repository of my thoughts and the caretaker of my experience: An Art Journal.

art journal, thank you, roses, daisies, dove

I’ve been preparing this journal page by page with some of my favorite vintage images and found treasures–or fragment left-overs of other projects. 

Tossed together like orphan puzzle pieces, random clippings and curiosities create a whole new landscape of sagacity, serenity and ministry for soul and spirit.

On these pages, I will record very select words and hide away the most intimate of “love letter” Scripture verses as I hear them from my Lord’s heart. It will not be a journal for dumping a litany of days or my august conclusions of one situation or another. It will not contain rants or discouraging words.

It will, however, be a chronicle of choice cuts from the fabric of my Father’s love as He pours it out to me this year. I am,  in essence, preparing for rain by creating a place wherein I can bottle each Divine droplet, holding them fast for the perpetual slaking of thirst in days of drought.

journal, scissors, glitter, tiny book

And, don’t we all have droughty days? His goodness pours liberally and sufficient. We tend to miss that central truth of our faith when faced with wells run dry. I have found, in my own life, that my dry wells are largely to be blamed upon my lack of preparation in the days of rain. 

Can’t do that these days, you know. Not with the blare of world headlines and local battlegrounds and lions roaring about seeking whom they may devour in our own backyards. We are hearing lots of words and seeing lots of images out there. I need to be choosing carefully what cuts I’ll collect in the journal of my mind and heart. Cutting out the “precious” and disposing of the “vile” makes me a worthy representative of Christ in this parched earth. 

Jeremiah 15:19, journal

Now, more than ever, I turn the key to unlock that new crayon box of transfiguration. I run with my scissors to the Secret Place where is stored all I need to form and fold and glue tight Truths to secure and save me from vain imaginings. My journal is becoming a thing of beauty–a joy forever–for the words and images it houses are delivered to the hiding place of my heart direct from His heart. Within its pages, I can soak in His cleansing, healing, refreshing rains, and walk in newness of mind with an empowered spirit.

My art journal this year is not about me. It’s about Him–my Lord and my God–He who gave me the creative keys to living each day in His Word and His Way, no matter the circumstances. It’s sort of like those Memorial Stones I wrote about last fall–marking Divine encounters with the Lord and His purposes by constructing a memorial that can be visually seen and physically touched.

joy, faith, thanksgiving. scissors, journal

In this case–my journal is the Lord’s love letter to me, and more. It is His “marching orders for such a time as this” set in stone with His artistic signature flourish. His words to me this year made flesh . . . with paper and scissors and crayons and glue and ink and random curiosities to hold in my hand and heart. To give words to my mouth and purpose to my steps.

journal, God

As I drink deep from the record of such a precious well, I’ll walk with God . . . and speak His Mind.

PWlogo signature WR blog

Sharing Collected Clippings: Cutting It for My Art Journal this week with: 

Judith at Whole Hearted Wednesdays

 Tell His Story with Jennifer Dukes Lee

A Little R&R Wednesdays

 Lyli at Thought Provoking Thursdays at 3D Lessons 4Life

 Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party

Random Journal Day Link-up at Enthusiastically Dawn

 Laura on Faith Filled Friday at Missional Women

 Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger

 Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays

My Fresh Brewed Life with Barbie – Weekend Brew

Janis at Sunday Stillness

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Kathryn Ross 


  1. I simply loved this post. I have been feeling led to start such a journal…. I have written and doodled in one for ages but never done an art one… and I love being artistic. Beautiful words and beautiful post. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. I have collected my mixed media art to get settled into doing it.

  3. I have always kept a journal off and on through the years. Have become slack with this though over the past few years. Never have I thought about an art journal! What a great idea. Loved your sharing today. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  4. What a lovely post and so rich with beauty…Like you I prefer to cut and paste MORE than draw…as a writer I tend towards words though I love imagery and artwork of many others. I have been allowing myself more scrappy time in my journals, I tend to go through trends with this…and the verse by Jeremiah is on I used to carry with me when I was Personal Training Director at an all women’s Gym…God used it to remind me of my priorities and purpose…he has for this mouth…lol. and I have to watch it. LOve you, Kathryn and your amazing creative heart!

  5. My first time here. You are pretty amazing in a lot of ways! So happy that you are using your God given gifts to give him glory!

  6. Hi,

    I agree with Marissa!

    It’s ironic, but I’m right beside you at Spiritual Sundays!

    Have a great weekend :) God Bless

  7. I love your artwork and pinned one of your pictures. I really enjoyed your post!

  8. I can get lost in the beauty of your site alone…Loving the pictures and the words and the feeling of nostalgia and eternity that come to my heart as my heart drinks in the richness of your creativity. Wow! Inspired. This: It’s about Him–my Lord and my God–He who gave me the creative keys to living each day in His Word and His Way, no matter the circumstances. Yes! May His blessing of creativity continue to abound in your life!

  9. Sacred. Beautiful. Distinctive holy ambition…inspires me to collect and gather and drink in all of our God this year! Thank you!

  10. Visiting from Random Journal Days. I love this post, it makes me want to do something like that….but I am always scared because I am not very artistic yet and I don’t want to mess it up. I know that I need to just do it….but it’s hard when I think if I wait until I can draw a bit better I could have a better scripture journal. Yet I know that I can always do another although not working means that it will be awhile before I can buy a second notebook…but I totally need to start with the one I have.

  11. Coming to you from the Random Journal Days Link up too. What a gloriously gorgeous post. Makes me want to smell the glue, and crayons again. Reminds me of sniffing the play-dough that I bought for my grown kids this last christmas. So many memories attached to fun craft supplies.

  12. I love my journal. It’s where God reveals so much of my growth in my relationship with Him through His Son. What a blessing! Your post is lovely. A beautiful combination of words, pictures, truth and blessing. Your heart shines through. So glad I followed you at The Weekend Brew. Bless you!

  13. Mary Geisen says:

    Beautiful images and words! There is something so special and freeing about a personal journal. I love how you described it as the Lord’s love letter to you. So thankful that you linked up with The Weekend Brew.

  14. Incredible, Kathryn!! I love journaling…have been doing it for over 28 years!! I love your art journal!!! I wish I had more time to create some of my own. Instead, I try to find creative journals others have created! It’s not quite as personal, but I have found several beautifully made journals to write my most thoughts and prayers that are to/of the Lord!! Thanks for sharing!

  15. So fun and pretty. I am new to Bible journaling but love it. It increases my time spent in the Word.

  16. Your journal inspires me, Kathy. You and I are kindred spirits indeed. The smell of crayons is one of my delights. I love to see them because they remind me of getting a new box each year during my elementary school days. Thank you for sharing the pages as well as your words.

    I especially like this: “Now, more than ever, I turn the key to unlock that new crayon box of transfiguration. I run with my scissors to the Secret Place where is stored all I need to form and fold and glue tight Truths to secure and save me from vain imaginings.” Oh, those vain imaginations….I struggle against them, too.

    Love this post…love, love, love.

    Blessings and shalom to you and yours,

  17. I loved this post! Absolutely loved it as you give the word “journal” an entirely new meaning. This is just precious. And motivating to me. I am so glad that Julie shared your post at Fellowship Friday as I know it is going to bless many besides me!

  18. Oh thank you for this post. I loved the picture, words and beauty. You show the spirit moving in your heart as you draw closer to Him. The Secret Place does this. You find it in pictures – He’s given me poetry. Now I know why. I have to express it someway and even the poetry does not do it justice. The relationship is just that personal. Yours in Him….Chris~

    His divine power has given us everything we need… (II Peter 1:3a)

    A new day dawns
    I open my eyes and breathe a “Good morning, Lord!”
    I drink deeply of my first glass of water
    He’s provided, “Thanks I needed that.”

    The warm water feels good on my body
    Soapy suds doe their job
    Nice fluffy towel to dry
    He’s provided. Clean.

    He comes to my kitchen table
    The wheat farmer grew the grain
    The cow gave her milk
    The chicken laid her eggs
    He’s provided. Breakfast!

    Enter the Secret Place
    Close the door – open the Word
    He speaks – I listen
    He listens – I speak
    He’s provided. Fellowship!

    I breathe a ready sigh
    Walk out the door
    Enter the plans He’s set for me
    He’s provided. Peace!

    I accept the challenge
    Leave my home
    Face the world with new strength
    He’s provided. Confidence

    A new day dawns
    I am ready
    He’s provided everything I need for life

    Mornings – more than just a good cup of coffee

I would love to hear from you--share your thoughts!


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