Thursday, October 30, 2014

Illustrated Faith Retreat | April 2015

Welcome, I am so excited you are here! Today's post has been in the works for some time now! Let me tell you the whole story! :) August 1st 2014 I started a  facebook group (after it was requested by a couple of friends) for our journaling bible community. Right away around 200 people joined and I was excited, over joyed and humbled. I was amaze to find so many other people in this tiny niche community. My husband said "oh we should have a retreat!" and I laughed him off. That is when he said if we get to 500 people by September 1st we would have a retreat. God was up there laughing because we WAY over shot that!!! Now here we are almost 3 months later with over 4,440 people!! It is an amazing group filled with love, growth and God and I am thankful for it every single day. The fact that I get to play even a small part in all this is amazing to me!!

So here we are, keeping our promise to you! 

Yes folks, this is ACTUALLY happening and I could not be more excited! Once I found the perfect place (for on that below) for us to host this event I knew I wanted to ask Stephanie to join me in this crazy adventure!!! Yes is is AMAZINGLY talented but beyond that she has a heart for the Lord that shines in all she does. I can't wait to sit in a cabin with you guys and just soak her in! Ok, so let's get to all the fun details!

WHO: The lovely, funny, amazingly inspiring Stephanie Ackerman will be joining us and teaching and sharing insight on her journaling bible process as well as some other fun techniques she has up her sleeve. Me! Shanna Noel,  I am super excited to be teaching! I will be sharing my heart, as we dive into topics are harder to cover in an online class, and share our process of taking what we have learned and using it in our journaling bibles. Most importantly..... YOU!!!!! I can' wait to meet you! We have decided to keep this retreat small and intimate so that we can really just love on each and every one of you! 

WHAT:  My desire is for this to be a weekend where you can relax, feel at peace and take it all in. We will be covering the idea of a journaling bible, the techniques we use to get the most out of the process and share the product that work best for us. We will make taking topics in the bible, exploring them talking about them and then sharing ideas on how to journal them. We will be eating super yummy food, and exploring the amazing surroundings while we make new friends. We will spend time in prayer and dig a bit deeper than we can online into the reasons behind why we use a journaling bible and how that helps us to illustrate our faith. 

WHY: Good question! I believe that online relationships are fun and can give you so much, but there really is nothing like meeting in person, and meeting in person in a tree house, worshipping jesus, eating amazing cookies, wearing adorable pajamas, and playing with fun product? Really the question is why NOT! I really want you to come to this retreat and have it be EXACTLY that!!! A time that you are able to get a way from the busy ins and outs of every day life and just soak in a little YOU time. Time to create, time for friends and time to really allow a space for God to work in your life. 

WHEN: We are welcome to arrive to the cabin anytime after 4:00 p.m on Friday April 17th where I will greet you with a hug (this is my warning) and give you the GRAND tour of our adorable location! We will say goodbyes Sunday morning (April 19th) after a SUPER yummy breakfast from my wonderful friend Tracey. 

WHERE: The moment I thought about doing this retreat the Blackthrone (located in the beautiful Point Reyes, California)  came to mind. I first discovered it when I went to a photography retreat and fell in love with it. Even though its only a few miles from home it feels like you are in a whole different world. It is often referred to as a "treehouse fantasy" and you really won't be disappointed! It is the perfect place to just breathe (and feel spoiled while you are at it). 

COST: $475 all inclusive (excluding airfare and travel expenses).  If you would like to reserve a spot you will need to make a non-refundable deposit of $225 to reserve your spot, the remaining balance will be due by February 1st. 

HOW: We only have 11 spots and this will work on a first come first serve basis.  
1. Email me at
3. I will email you back with payment info. 
4. This post will be updated as rooms are filled. 
5. Rooms will be chosen in order of registration, so the first person to book will have first room pick and so on and so on. This will all be done once all 11 spaces are sold. 
6. SMILE and HAVE FUN!!! I can't wait! 

** 8 spots has been filled - 3 spots pending -  0 spots left*** <--- this is where I will update availability :) 

This is 6 bedroom, 5 bath house. I have also rented the tiny cabin next door. To allow us to have 11 guests we will be sharing rooms and queen beds (besides the one twin available),  just think of it as a camp experience!!! If you are uncomfortable sharing a room with someone else you have 2 choices. You can pay for 2 spots, or you can bring a friend and room with them! Just make sure when you are booking your spot to reserve a spot for YOU and a FRIEND at the same time to assure you will be together. 

I am super excited for this retreat and have already been praying for those of you that will be joining us! If you aren't able to get in, please know we hope to have more of these in the future! Also, if you would like to host an illusrated faith retreat in YOUR location and would like me to come and teach please email me at

Thank you for all of your support. xox

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Walden Reveal and an update on the Thankful Heart Stamps!

It's an exciting time over at Studio Calico! We are getting ready for Gratitude Documented, the Walden kits are live, Christmas items are hitting the store just so much excitement! Where should we start today? Since I have gotten many messages asking that the thankful heart stamps be restocked let's start there!!

They are restocking these, please push "notify me" so you will get an email as SOON as they come in and you will be sure to snag them before they sell out again :) While you are at it here are couple other things I recommend for the class : 

These 3x4 journaling cards are the basis for my album but they would also be perfect for Project Life or traditional scrapbooking as well!

I don't have a letterpress machine, but I have been using the letterpress plates as a stamp. I love an arrow background stamp and it's perfect for those 3x4 cards you want to add a little something to!

I had a lot of fun using the different elements in Walden in unique ways, this kit lends its self well to a little creative play! 

I also had a ton of fun creating the template this month! It was based on one of my favorite wood veneer pieces from Studio Calico and it is just so much fun to fill in all the pockets! 

Okay on to add-ons, I LOVE these kits for my gallery but I think I loved them even more for my gratitude album, they just had so many things that worked perfectly!!! 

Now I know you are thinking "but Shanna that is the most expensive kit in the store", yes I know! But friends, it is worth every single penny!! There isn't a single aspect of this kit that isn't crush worthy!!! That ephemera pack? SO JAMMED PACKED! The papers? Perfectly picked! That alpha stitch template alone is something you will use over and over again and turn your projects into something special! The world veneer is magical and those sentiment stickers from Amy Tangerine will help you set the ton of your page! SO much LOVELINESS!!! So yes, it may cost a little more but you are going to get miles out of this kit, I promise! 

So what do you say? Are you over the moon excited for this time of year or what?!


Monday, October 27, 2014

Illustrated Faith | Jaime Dougherty

Hi there! I feel so blessed to be able to bring you another amazing guest today! From the moment Jaime joined the journaling bible facebook group every one took notice, her art speak to the soul. In getting to know her over the past couple of weeks I see that she is talented but humble and that is something to admire! I will step aside and give Jaime the stage... 

Hi everyone, my name is Jamie Dougherty. I was born and raised in a small southern California town called Ramona, where I still live with my husband and two awesome kids. I grew up always believing in God but not really fully knowing the meaning that carried. I was shuffled off to Sunday school with family and friends but again, never fully understood what it all meant. We were those holiday church goers. I always had faith and a belief system but it wasn't until a few years ago when I found myself slipping deeper and deeper into a slump I couldn't dig myself out of, when I finally chose to look up instead in a mirror. I was centering everything around myself when I needed to center everything around my Lord and savior. The highs the lows and everything in between all revolved around me instead of HIM. I decided one day that had to change. I started to take my daughter to church with me––she showed interest and I wanted to nurture that. (my husband and younger son not as much) I continued to try and make my faith priority but it still didn't feel complete. Our church wasn't the right fit for who I was and I still struggled with where I belonged in God's plan. My husband's resistance also  deterred me from letting go and letting God take over. After fourteen years together, one day after watching a movie Fireproof,(funny how God works) something clicked inside my husband and he began to search out his relationship in God. From there it felt as if we were in this journey together and I have since found that the Holy Spirit has been working in me all along.

My art has grown leaps and bounds since I allowed God's direction in my life, and I try to give Him all the glory and praise for what I am able to achieve. Without Him I would still be that empty, lost self. I am forever grateful for where God's plan has lead my family and I. 

I am also grateful God led me to Shanna's amazing group on Facebook, where I can share my spiritual gifts in a way that might bring other's to God's word. I feel this could be just what God had intended for many of us all along a new movement to spread his Love and Grace. 

Thank you for taking the time to listen to my ramblings and I hope in someway they can help you in your walk with God.

Thank you so much Jaimie for sharing your beautiful talents with us, it is a gift God has given us and in turn you are sharing... there really is nothing better. I loved hearing your story, the part about your husband sent chills down my arm!!! THANK YOU JAIME!!

Jamie has been so generous as to share a free printable with you guys, and you will see exactly what I mean with this STANDOUT artist!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Walden Sneaks

It's time for sneaks for Studio Calico!!! Have you guys all checked out the amazing mood board for this month? I often use this as a jumping off point while planning my pages. 

All kinds of yummy fall themed pages come to mind, right?! The colors are just so lovely! 

I had a lot of fun with the main scrapbooking kit, here is a sneak of two of the pages I made

This month I decided to do a fun little project and I can't wait to share more when the gallery goes live but for now here is a little sneak :) 

I created a template this month based on a wood veneer from a previous Studio Calico kit, and I had so much fun using it! 

I love the "adventure" themed cards from the Project Life kit this month, they went perfectly with our yellowstone adventures!!

These kits go live to the public on the 28th, but subbers get a 12 hour head start 
so if you have you eye on something I would make sure you are all signed up!

What are you looking forward to this month!? 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Illustrated Faith | Mary-Kay Tilden

One of my favorite things about this journaling bible movement is meeting all sorts of wonderful people I might not have met otherwise. When I first starting seeing Mary-Kay post I thought I LOVE her, she is AMAZING and let's be friends!!!! Like I wish she lived in the same town so I could watch her create and just soak it all in. You know those types? I love how informative she is while being such a CREATIVE type, sometimes it's hard to find that combo! Her heart for God is shining bright, and I am so thankful she is willing to share!! 

So HI! I'm Mary-Kay Tilden and thanks to Shanna for the invite to be a guest blogger here!  This is my prayer for me and for all of you: (As always - you can click to "embiggen")

I have always been a major note taker. As a child of the early 80's I was diagnosed "Hyperactive" - You'll never guess... I still am, but with the diagnosis of ADHD as an adult. If you know me, that's no surprise. So, I have developed many coping mechanisms in order to concentrate. Keeping my hands busy or my body busy, somehow locks in my mind and then I'm good to go. In classes, or workshops, I'm the one knitting, or pacing in the back of the room. Or, in the case of church, both! One of the things I've really trained myself to do is note-taking. This works particularly well when it is something I'm very interested in. In this case, of course, I'm interested in learning what the Lord is saying/teaching me. 
There is something to be said about writing in your bible. It must be important if you write things down in there. Seriously. We take notes to grab something for later, to punch us again when we need it weeks, months, years down the road. So, I take notes in my bible, and also in my big Moleskein where there is much more room.

And then from there, to really solidify the whole sermon or study in my mind I "Art it Up" either in my Art Journal, or in my bible. The photo below is from inside my bible from a sermon by Pastor Bill at Foothills Bible Church from August 2014.

Let's go back a little bit. I was challenged about my faith in 2010 and I failed miserably. It was a humbling and frustrating time where I had no answers, and no real ground to stand on. I knew in my heart what I believed in, but could not express it, nor back up my beliefs in any way with scripture or knowledge. I decided to start in the book of John. You know, "In the beginning was the Word..." I got out my MacArthur commentary on John and got to work.  Studying this way really makes the Word stick with me. My way of study/journaling, may not be to your liking, but that's ok. We all have our own methods, and this just happens to be mine.

I've been making hand- made journals for awhile now and this seemed like a natural addition to my obsession.

Here are a few of my pages from my Journal in 2011:

Today we now have this wonderful community created by Shanna Noel on Facebook where we can meet and share the Word of the Lord with other like minded ladies and Gents. How fortunate we are!  So, now I'm also creating in my ESV Journaling Bible and having fun with that as well. Thanks Shanna for having me!

Here are some pages from my ESV Journaling Bible below. I can see that this bible will be a lifelong work in progress. I'll tell you what, this is a great way to bring the bible and all the history it holds inside, to life. God's Word is a living, breathing entity. Always staying the same, yet staying relevant to you and me today. Have you ever been in church, or read the bible and thought, "Wait a minute.... That was just for me, right?" Only to realize later, "Yeah, that verse, that message, has been read, or said, time and time again." Uh, huh. God's word? It's ALIVE.

See, I wasn't kidding when I said she was just out of this world creative, right?! Thank you so much for sharing with us Mary-Kay I look forward to seeing more work from you in the future!!! If you are new to the idea of a journaling bible you can check out my FAQ here and please feel free to ask any questions!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Illustrated Faith | Heather Greenwood

It's Monday time for a new start to another beautiful week..... and time for an amazing guest.  Heather was one of the first people I asked to be a guest because she is someone I look up to both as an artist and as a believer! I had the great privliedge of meeting her when I was near her home town for a conference, and let me tell you she is as sweet and centered as she seems. I wanted to just hang out with her for days and soak up all her inspiration.  I love what she has planned for us today, so sit back and take it all in.....
Heather Greenwood | blog | Pinterest | Facebook | Instagram 

I am incredibly thrilled and honored to be featured here on Shanna's blog. It was almost a year ago that Shanna and I were introduced by Facebook message. I've been a huge fan of hers for years and had no idea that that meeting would lead to being a part of this incredible ministry called "Illustrated Faith".†

I've had the joy of working with her on a few projects and this is by far my favorite. I LOVE checking in each day to see what's going on in this "tribe" and community. I LOVE reading the testimonies of what this ministry has unveiled. Most of all, I LOVE seeing so many women in the Word and the joy that comes from that.

This past January, some would say my life was turned upside down... I say that I finally got the nudge (more like kick in the bottom) back on to the path God wants me on. For many many years I led worship in my church, it became my identity. Everyone knew me as the girl on stage. I thought this was supposed to be "my" ministry. This is how "I" serve in my church. But, something inside of me was nudging me that this was not my purpose in this short life on earth.

So, when we were told that there were going to be changes to the worship team, I knew that I could no longer let fear keep me from doing what God gifted me to do. I'm not just a singer on Sunday mornings, I'm an artist. I'm an artist with a purpose. I started to see the big picture for "my" ministry.

I decided I couldn't live in fear anymore. It was time for me to share my art AND my faith. So, I would write my notes on Sundays and then come home and do an art journal page based on the message. Then with the nudging of my friends and pastors, I started posting them on social media. All that fear went away. That was easy! Why did it take me so long to share my faith through art on social media?

Then Shanna started sharing her Journaling Bible, and a lightbulb went on. Why am I doing this art in a separate journal? Why not do it actually IN my Bible?†

I grew up thinking it was wrong for me to doodle or write in my Bible, (not my parents, btw, my peers) I did it anyways. My peers finally won the war and I put the pen down and stopped doodling and writing in my Bible. I thought there was something wrong with me. Why couldn't I love the Bible like them, why was it so difficult to read it and understand it?

A few years ago, at the age of 38, I was diagnosed with ADHD. It was like a million pounds fell off my shoulders. There wasn't anything wrong with me! I just need to worship and study the way God gifted me. All this doodling and art journaling has brought me so much closer to God. I now see his love and grace like never before. I now read the Bible like never before. I now can truly worship the way God intended me to worship.

Matthew 28:19 says "GO and make disciples of ALL NATIONS...", this is the lesson I've learned this past year. God wanted me to "GO" and share my faith and the arts to all nations, through social media.†

I love the Illustrated Faith Facebook Community, but I want to encourage you to think about what your purpose in this short life is. Are you going to keep God's gifts in our Facebook group, or are you going to share it for the world to see the loving Savior?

Thank you for that call to action Heather! I agree, the community is a great place to gather inspiration, and ask questions etc but it is important to share with those around you! Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us this morning!

Heather does and art bible tutorial on Thursdays you don't want to miss!! She has also provided us with this amazing free printable that would work perfectly in any art journal/ journaling bible!

For those new to the idea of using a journaling bible in this way I have a FAQ here and wanted to link you to the bible that Heather is using as well as a few others: NIV Notetakers | ESV Journaling Bible Single Column | ESV Standard Journaling Bible | ESV Leather Bible | Writing in the Margins