Sunday, May 6, 2018

Visual Faith Academic Enrichment for Middle-Schoolers

 I have been teaching a Visual Faith Academic Enrichment program for middle-schoolers since April. This is a 9-week/twice-a-week/40 minute- sessions course.

It's been an interesting few weeks. The whole class  - 24 of them - is following along and completing the projects. Since most of them signed up for this, I know they're interested.....maybe those who "ended up" in the class will decide that maybe God put them there for a reason ;)

We made notebook covers for composition notebooks so that they would have a place to journal and keep "tests" of projects/tools I share with them. I don't believe any of them have journaling Bibles, and the ones they have are for daily school use, so their journaling for now will be in notebooks.

We also made paper bag "gratitude"journals. I asked them to write down 2 things every day that they are thankful for.....and praise God for them. I made a card for the front that says "Hey, God....." and on the inside cover, they can write or stamp "thank you for....." The paper bag booklet has pockets for more personal writing, if they like. They attached  lined paper to each page to write their thanks on. We added scrapbook paper to the front and back of the booklet. We've played with Gelatos™, water color pencils, stencils, lettering, etc. This week we'll do another tip-in and  the tissue technique. 

When they come into the classroom, I usually have a contemporary worship song playing, based on the theme of that month (courage, truth, strength). They are supposed to get their place card with their name on it and write a couple of things they need prayers about, and to pray for them while they doodle around those thoughts f)

The place card is a copy of two prayer cards printed together and folded in half. I added their name on the front, and handed them out the first time we met. I asked them to keep the prayer card on the back blank. This past week I asked them to direct the back card to one person in their life they'd like to pray about the rest of the days we meet. I will leave it up to them if they want to sign them.

They would write on the back of the card: Dear._______,
I have been praying for you. 
On the front they will put specific things they prayed about, then color/doodle around them as they pray those thoughts.
They will separate the cards in June and give/mail the card to the person they prayed for. The other card may be placed in their Bible or notebook. i

Layout draft.
This class isn't all about projects, art tools and art....I found a series of books* that works really well as a devotion time for the group. The topics (mentioned above) with appropriate scripture and the stories in the books help us create visual expressions of them...helping us to remember. For example a sextant was used to save a lost crew and ship and that story had another story relating how a woman used The Word as her sextant in her marriage.

I am learning along with the students and the art teacher who is gathering ideas to carry on in her classes. After talking with the students, I set up a Visual Faith Youth Community for them (and other youth) on FaceBook. Hopefully, they will share with each other. I will monitor it and parents may join for their children. If you know of a parent/child(12-18) wants to join the FaceBook group, make a request at

Our God is our creator and He gave each of us the abilities to create in various ways.....I am so thankful to be able to do this teaching to His glory.

Feel free to contact me with any questions on how you'd like to create a series of classes for youth.

* Character Stories for Families by Barbara Rainey at FamilyLife at


Monday, April 23, 2018

Noonan Family Support

I met this his lovely couple through our church, St. John Lutheran Church & School in Rochester Hill, MI. Trevor is the Modern Praise Director. He was also so helpful in handling the technology and music for our "Lingering Longer in His Word" Bible Journaling retreat last year.

I can't even imagine how difficult the days ahead might be for them. Please, if nothing else, support this young family in prayer. I thank you on their behalf for prayers and donations!

Thank you!



Tuesday, March 20, 2018

This past Saturday may have been St. Patrick's Day but it was also Visual Faith Community - Metro Detroit day! 

We did have delicious soda bread, thanks to member Konni, as our homage to the Irish event

We spent a couple of hours discussing Psalms 42, 43 and 73 (Hope When Life Seems Unfair and Finding Hope when Downcast). These chapters are from the book "Discovering Hope in the Psalms." Our discussions are the highlight of the afternoon for me, as we all get to know each other, and linger in the Word longer. Some of our members have been together for a couple of years and we welcome new participants frequently.

Our long-distance member Karen dials in from Texas via FaceTime video to participate in the afternoon discussions. If she has the materials, she also does the projects along with us.
This time we collaged wooden eggs for Easter with small image designed table napkins, using school glue or matte medium for the collage adhesive. Then, thanks to Marie Schwartz's extensive bead collection and contributions from Konni, we were each able to make one 23rd Psalm bracelet. Mine is for my granddaughter but shhhh...I think I'm make 2 more for my daughter and me. 

We look forward to our April time together as we continue with Psalm 71, Chapter 7 in the "Discovering Hope in the Psalms" book. Authors Pam Farrel, Jean E. Jones, Karla Dornacher (also illustrator) have truly created an interesting "creative Bible study experience." 

We recommend using this book for a group, or even individual, study. There are resources associated with the book on the website of the same name.

Feel free to join us anytime! Watch for notices here about the next get together.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Monoprinting Play at the OPC

I spent this afternoon with students at the OPC Senior Center in Rochester, MI. We enjoyed getting creatively messy with acrylic paint. I showed them how to monoprint from plates I've purchased over the years, and new ones I made myself (gelatin and glycerin)  Somehow I was the only one who forgot to put gloves on, so guess who won the award (if I were giving them out) for being the messiest of all???!!!! How in the world did I do that? :)
Anyway, they learned how to create prints, using various tools - stencils, mesh, stamps, string, rubber bands, bubble wrap, etc. They seemed to fall in love with the process. After about 90 minutes, I asked them to pick a stencil or a mask they could trace. They also chose several of their favorite prints. After making their choices, they traced their design choice on the back of a favorite monoprint, then cut it out to reveal a unique image for card fronts or scrapbooking. Each made at least one card. 

We then moved on to the remaining papers which we trimmed to about 4" x 6". White card stock, trimmed just slightly larger, was covered with monoprints for the covers. They added colorful string to holes punched into the papers and covers, resulting in a little booklet. The booklet is now easily taken apart so they may choose a page to make additional cards, a mini album. Some might keep it, as is, to use as a journal.

They were terrific in helping me clean up at the end of the afternoon, as they eagerly talked about doing it all again one of these days.

If you are in the Rochester, Michigan area, you must check out the OPC - it's a pretty amazing Center!


Monday, January 29, 2018

Acrylic Pours on a Sunday night

I have been telling myself that I would not start doing acrylic pours because I tend to let techniques take me over, and then I don't get other things done! Believe me, acrylic pours can be addictive!!

Since I was "playing," I used Elmer's glue (rather than a pouring medium), various acrylic paints I had on hand, and a bit of silicone and water. Cells (the circle shapes) appeared whether I use the silicone or not. My intent on the red and black one was to really limit my color selection. 

It's a great way to use up acrylic paints that need to be recycled out before they are too old. There are some ideas I might want to try in the future, but I think I will do a bit of work with these. I will probably add a text transfer to at least one of them.

For now I will let them dry for 48 hours and try out some other ideas I have in mind at a later date.

stay tuned.