Bible Art Journaling

Isn’t it wonderful to stumble upon something that resonates with you? Recently, online I had seen that some people were drawing and painting right in their Bibles. This really drew me in. I love art. I love to create. I know that God made me that way because He is my Creator. I’ve endeavored to use my art to glorify Him and this was such an intriguing idea to me. To use art while meditating on verses from the Bible sounded just right.

However, I was apprehensive to doodle in my Bible. What if I made a mistake? What if it turned out ugly? Was it dishonoring to God’s word? My ever wise hubby finally cleared this quandary for me by saying, “Hon, monks have been drawing in Bibles for centuries.” Of course! I love looking at illuminated Bibles. So, I finally just jumped in and did it. I bought a wide margin Bible for journaling first. And then I joined an online group for Bible Art Journaling. Rebekah R Jones picks a verse each week to journal and video tapes herself doing it. She is graciously sharing her journey and expertise with us for free! How amazing is that?! Here are some verses that I have done with her group so far.Be BraveLaughBe Bold as a LionMake a Joyful Noise

I am enjoying it so much, that I decided to do a verse from my devotions. I started out with drawing in marker.As for me and my house

Then added some color with acrylic ink and watercolor crayons. Oh, I used gel pens too.We will serve the Lord

How about you? Wouldn’t you love to join in with us? I hope I see you on the Bible Art Journaling facebook page. God bless you as you meditate on His love letter to you.


My Favorite Place in England: England 6

Are you ready for some gorgeous green scenery?! I still haven’t written about the place I loved the most in England, the Lake District. This is a tough one to write because I have too many beautiful photos of the area and want to include them all. Ever since I saw the movie, Miss Potter, I ached to go to the Lake District. The movie was great, but the extra content showed that Beatrix Potter bought lots of land and then turned it over to the National Trust so that it would stay untouched and available to all. The video showed lovely rolling hills, lakes and quaint villages. I thought I’d never get there. But, you know, we just don’t have a clue what God has in store for us! I’m still amazed that I was able to go to this wonderful piece of God’s creation! Since Beatrix Potter was my inspiration for going to the area, I wanted to view her home in Near Sawrey. Would I find the area as lovely as I anticipated? Would Beatrix’s home town be as inspiring to me as it was to her? I just had to go and find out!

Of course, I looked for the best B&B in the area and was able to get a room! Buckle Yeat Guest House

Buckle Yeat Guest House was amazing! This 17th century cottage is right next to Beatrix Potter’s house and is warm and cozy with a fire blazing in the fireplace. The hosts, Robert and Helen Kirby are friendly and knowledgeable. We had such a lovely time visiting with them.Robert and Helen Kirby of Buckle Yeat Guest House

Just look at this beautiful breakfast! And it tasted as good as it looked. We were actually eating the same bacon that the Queen of England enjoys. Not many places can brag of that. Breakfast at Buckle Yeat

But as magical as Buckle Yeat is, I just had to explore some more. First on the list was the home of Beatrix Potter. As an artist myself, I have been fascinated by her art with her endearing clothed animals. Somehow, Beatrix captured realistic features of the animals and yet gave each character human qualities too. Beatrix was more than just an author of children’s books. She studied nature and wrote scholarly articles with detailed illustrations. I own a large book filled with her art. It was thrilling to see the home and countryside that inspired such creativity. Hilltop, her home, was right behind our B&B.Beatrix Potter's Hilltop

We were not allowed to take photos in her home, which was a bit disappointing since that is a way that I enjoy things. But I still have pictures in my mind of the simple perfection of the place. After growing up in London, Beatrix was ready for the simplicity of the country. Her home and village were quiet inspirations to her. In fact, as you wander through her home, Hilltop, books from her Peter Rabbit series were scattered about. Each was open to a page and upon inspection, it was evident that the drawing on the page included something from the room. One book had an animal cooking at the stove from Hilltop. Another illustration included the bannister from her stairs. It was fascinating to see! I have often heard that a good writer is one that writes from personal experience. Well, I was beginning to think that lovely art is from experience too. Miss Potter’s book, The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, includes a page that shows a path winding up a hill. A page from The Tale of Samuel Whiskers

As I looked out the window of her home, I could see that same windy path.Near Sawrey

Even though, I couldn’t take photos, I found this painting in Buckle Yeat that showed Beatrix’s kitchen. I wish I knew the artist so I could give credit where it is due!A painting of the kitchen in Hilltop

I so enjoyed my visit to Hilltop. And found a treasure in the gift shop, a book called, “Walking with Beatrix Potter”. Book of walks with Beatrix Potter

Exploring the area was just what I wanted to do and what better way than to take walks that Beatrix Potter would have taken? This little gem was full of maps and instructions for taking the public footpaths near her home. She often would walk, ponder, draw and write. It seemed right to take walk number one, a 3 mile walk named “Beatrix Potter’s Heartland”. We followed instructions from the book such as, “Go through a kissing gate” and “In a short distance go through a gate, reaching a permissive path, which soon becomes a boardwalk over muddy ground.” The permissive path

It WAS muddy. And it was good we had the written instructions as well as the drawn maps. Matt found a geocache near a lovely lake, or as they call it, tarn. This was at Moss Eccles Tarn.Geocache at Moss Eccles Tarn

Here are some of the lovely views we had on walk #1.DSC_5591 2 DSC_5613 2 DSC_5623 2 DSC_5620 2 DSC_5655 2 DSC_5661 2 DSC_5665 2 DSC_5673 2 DSC_5681 2

We had had a full day and needed dinner. What better place than the pub right next to Hilltop and Buckle Yeat?Tower Bank Arms

Tower Bank Arms is featured in Beatrix Potter’s book, The Tales Of Jemima Puddleduck. Even though it was chilly outside, this busy pub was cozy with it’s blazing fire. Fireplace at the Tower Bank Arms

We enjoyed the scrumptious food and made friends too! Paul, Sarah and baby Emily sat at the table next to us by the fire and excitedly told us of their holiday plans. They were knowledgeable of the area and suggested many places to hike.Our English friends

What an amazing day! I was glad to have such a wonderful place to sleep that night. Buckle Yeat was all I dreamed of for a B&B in England, quaint and yet comfortable. We sat by the fire in the lounge and planned and dreamed our next day in the Lake District. Sleep was sweet in the Lake District!

Check out the previous posts about England. England 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Or you may want to start at the beginning of our adventure – in Italy! Italy 1

Successful Pressure Cooker Soup

The new toy that I received for Christmas seemed a bit intimidating. I mean, if I used it incorrectly, I could blow up the house! Yes, I got a pressure cooker. But it’s not one of our grandmothers’ pressure cookers. It is a beast of a thing that looks like it’s from a space ship: an electric pressure cooker. I suppose these things are old hat to some of you, but I just recently learned of them and wanted to try one out. The reviews on the Instant Pot were good and it was 50% off on Amazon, so Santa brought one to me.The Instant Pot

I couldn’t face the beast while my family was here for Christmas. I need time to get acquainted with electronics that come with thick instruction books and warning labels. Finally, on New Year’s Eve, I enlisted my trusty cohort and we tackled it. I noticed that the very first recipe was one for which I actually had on hand all the ingredients: Butternut Squash Soup.Butternut Squash Soup recipe

I had purchased the squash hoping to roast it while family was here, but it never got used. Now, my hubby is not a fan of squash, but he was eager to have me try the new toy, so he pitched in. While he read the instruction booklet to me and fiddled with all the parts of the lid, I used muscle to chop up that squash. Yeah, I won over that thing!Cutting butternut squash

One thing I am going to appreciate about this Instant Pot is its versatility. Yes, onions needed to be sauteed and some of the squash browned, but unlike a crock pot, we could do that right in the Instant Pot. After they were sauteed, we added the rest of the squash.Butternut Squash Soup

The recipe called for vegetable broth, but I had some of my homemade lamb bone broth to use. Yum!Butternut Squash Soup

I had thought I had all the ingredients, but couldn’t find sage anywhere. So, we just substituted rosemary, one of my favorite herbs. Then I threw in some majoram and thyme for good measure. Hoping to make it taste good, I started singing, “Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.” Not sure that helped, but it brought a smile to my cohort.My cohort

The lid was properly sealed and then it was time to figure out the control panel. Have you ever noticed the confusion that some instructions bring? That instruction book that was so thick? You’ve probably guessed it. Most of it was in other languages. The English part was a bit vague, so we had to do some guessing, but Matt is good at figuring these things out. I probably would have just looked at the pot for several more days if he hadn’t been there to help me jump in and try it. We got it started and then it was time to wait. One of the main selling points about this pot is how quickly it cooks. This soup was only to cook for 10 minutes; That’s great! However, if you read further, you find that the cooking time is after the device gets to full pressure. We waited for that to happen. And waited. Matt timed it. Seventeen minutes later, the pot was up to pressure and ready to cook. Hmmm… Was this a rip off? I looked up other butternut squash soup recipes on the internet. They took 30 -40 minutes to cook. We were already up to 27 minutes with this pot. Well, we were saving 3 minutes. I must admit to being a bit disappointed by that fact.  But I have a feeling other recipes that I currently make in my crock pot that take hours will be much quicker. And an important added benefit of pressure cooking is that the food retains more vitamins and minerals. We used another gadget that I had around the house but hadn’t used yet, the emersion blender. The soup was looking so creamy and delicious. But what did it taste like? Well, I’m sure the title gave it away.Butternut Squash Soup

I felt like I was in a fancy restaurant with this yummy soup. This was amazing stuff! Super delicious!! And my cohort loved it too.This was amazing stuff!

Do you use a pressure cooker? What are some of your favorite recipes?