A Sparkling Vintage Life

Monthly Archives: December 2015

Be Brave! My first Bible art journal entry

joshua 1 9

It took bravery just to put ink on the pristine page! But now that I’ve taken the plunge, future pages should come more easily.

I did not grow up writing in books, with the exception of some textbooks. Books were semi-sacred objects that one did not deface in any way, especially a Bible, which in our house was enormous and sat on a shelf and would have made a great biceps-strengthener, if I’d ever actually picked it up. It did make a very effective leaf-and-flower-presser, due to its impressive girth and weight. But the overall rule while I was growing up was that a written-in book was a ruined book.

Fast-forward to adulthood, when I began studying the Bible in earnest. After some initial hesitation, and following the lead of assorted spiritual mentors, I got over my writing-in-books phobia, swallowed hard, and started writing in my Bible–maybe underlining a phrase that stood out to me, or jotting a clarifying note in the margin. It turns out that, as a tactile sort of person, I learn best with pen or pencil in hand. So note-taking, underlining, and doodling is a way for me to more fully ingest the truths I am learning.

Now I’m taking one giant step further: I’ve started art-journaling in a Bible! One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a journaling Bible (mine’s from Crossway; there are others). It’s designed with extra-wide margins practically begging for reader interaction. But instead of just writing in it, I’m going to use it specifically for art-journaling, thus saving my regular Bible for normal reading and study.

Art-journaling helps me grasp onto biblical morsels in a different way. I suppose it’s a form of meditation: turning a particular truth over and over in my mind as I work on expressing it through ink and paint. I know it sounds sort of airy-fairy, but maybe if you’re an artist, you’ll understand. I’m not a visual artist–not in any typical sense–but I do love playing around with color and texture.

For my first entry, borrowing an idea from accomplished Bible-art-journaler Rebekah R. Jones, I chose Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

As in Rebekah’s example, the theme that jumped out at me is “Be brave,” so I masked off those letters. I chose dark, shadowy, thundercloud-like colors for the background, because the world is a scary place, but then the letters are in a contrasting light color (a pale peachy color that doesn’t show up well on camera) because Christ is the light shining in the darkness, the way a candle illuminates a dark room. Then I underlined the precise verse, Joshua 1:9, in orange to make it stand out. I don’t know if I’m completely finished with the page yet, but for now I like the way it turned out.

What do you think? Have you ever tried art-journaling (in a Bible or otherwise)? Does it sound interesting? Or does the very idea of using the pages of a Bible (or other book) as an artist’s canvas seem disrespectful? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have yourself a merry vintage Christmas

ill be home for christmas larger

Ad in The Saturday Evening Post, December 1946

I love everything about this 1946 Greyhound ad, which appeared in magazines the same month that the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, appeared in theaters. There’s something about the spirit of those times that plucks at my heartstrings. The man, the wife, the boy, the simple house, the classic tree…no matter what’s going on in the world outside, within their little home–at least for the moment–they have all they need and want.

The 1920s short story “A Christmas Robe” will remain available for free, a little while longer, by signing up for my newsletter at right. It’s also available for 99 cents on Amazon. I hope you enjoy it! If you do, and can take a minute to leave a review on Amazon, I’d be most grateful.

I wish a very merry Christmas to all my Sparkling Vintage readers and kindred spirits, and pray that the wonders of His love will touch each one of you this season. If there are ways I can better serve you with blog posts, short stories, and novels in 2016, please speak up and let me know what you’d like to see. In the meantime, sparkle on!


“The Christmas Robe”: A free short story, and a request


Cover design by Thomas Leo


Big crazy news…I just taught myself how to upload a book to Amazon! My “practice” book is actually a short story, just in time for Christmas. Called “The Christmas Robe,” it’s set in the 1920s and features Marjorie Corrigan, heroine of my forthcoming novel.

I’d wanted to make it free on Amazon, but it turns out I can only do that if I agree to list it exclusively on Amazon, which I don’t want to do. So it costs 99 cents there. BUT, dear readers, if you simply swing your cursor over to the right-hand side of this here website and sign up for my quarterly newsletter, A Sparkling Vintage Life, you’ll get it for free! (I use the term “quarterly” loosely. It’s been more like “annual, more or less” up to now. But I vow to do better in 2016. Really I do. On the plus side, history shows I won’t be cluttering up your mailbox…).

If you read “The Christmas Robe” and enjoy it, if I will be forever in your debt if you then take a moment and zip over to Amazon and leave a review. Reviews are solid gold to unknown first-time authors like yours truly. Heck, you could even subscribe to the newsletter, download the free story, read it, write a review, and unsubscribe from the newsletter! No judgment here.

And if you read the story and prefer not to leave a review…well, that’s okay, too. I simply hope you enjoy “The Christmas Robe” as my gift to you.

And if you’re already a newsletter subscriber, you’ll automatically get a copy of the story, as soon as I figure out how to do that. 🙂 (Edited to add: I think I figured it out, so all current subscribers should have received it by now. If you haven’t–and you want it–send me an email at jenny (at) jenniferlamontleo (dot) com and I’ll look into the glitch.)

Merry Christmas to you and yours!


Sign up for my Reader Community