Well, there are a few things about this past year that did not quite go as planned, one of those things being this poor dear blog where I’ve been AWFUL quiet! But, you know what, I’m ok with that, because what I did do, I’m feeling really good about.  I entered the year with the word BLOOM on my mind, and I certainly did bloom in many ways, I’ve done grown SO much as an artist – I picked up watercolors for the first time and made them my dear friend. Plus my lettering skills have come so far, and I’ve grown as an illustrator and in mixed media! Not to mention the 4 classes I aced, the books I’ve read (including FINALLY FINISHING the full unabridged version of Moby Dick!), and several new design collections I’ve freelanced on… I also art journaled my soul out, did some hard work in therapy, taught my now 16 year old son to drive, resurfaced my old tile counters with cement, and pretty much survived one of the most busy years in my life I think like ever between family, work, school and play!

Of all of my accomplishments, one of the things I am MOST excited about at the end of this year is the new found love an commitment I have for bible journaling! You may remember my post back in February about diving into bible journaling, and since then I have not stopped. I positively FILLED my very first bible to the brim over the year 2016. On new years eve I did my very last 2 pages, reaching a grand total of 160 pages!

bloom-2016

I have no words for how much this new found “hobby” has meant to me! I have learned so much about the bible and, honestly it feels like a whole new book to me after this year. Every page, one after the other has been filled with a message of love, more so than I ever realized – and for me that was really meaningful.

I was dying to share the full experience, a full flip-through of my bible page by page, so I went ahead and made a video for it and put it on YouTube! Honestly the song isn’t perfect, the quality isn’t the best thing I’ve ever seen, even at double speed it’s still over 7 minutes long! I have a lot to learn about video making! But if you want the “full bible experience” you can check it out.

If you want to see a bit clearer stills of most of my pages I was pretty thorough about posting to Instagram, so you can check them out there.  I’ll also have to do a post in the future with my updated favorites when it comes to supplies, I definitely learned a lot over the past year!

If you haven’t started bible journaling yet, and are on the fence at all, let me tell you there is no better time to start than NOW, I assure you you will love it so much if you give yourself freedom to be yourself in the process and look at as a chance to learn new things and grow.  I can’t WAIT to start filling the pages of my next bible! So far I have two lonely little tabs and I know I’ve got a ways to go! (I have a single column leather bound bible to fill up for 2017 and it is both gorgeous and intimidating!)

Thank you so much to everyone that has been supporting and encouraging me on social media as I picked up this brand new hobby, I’m so so grateful for all of you!

2017 my word is EMBRACE, and I’m ready to not hold back: to love myself and others without shame, reach toward the opportunities and fearlessly grab hold of my dreams, and to hold fast to those things that have been so life giving to me. My family, art, my faith, these are the things that feed my soul. Here’s to a new year and to learning from, growing through, and embracing what it has for us! Much love to all of you!

<3 Shawna

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