Artworks Studio

A New Experience | Artworks Studio

I made the great discovery this week of finding out my city has a place where art journalers can meet and create together! I’d been longing to connect with fellow journalers in person for a while. There’s something special about creating alongside other folks who understand your creative heart.

I’ve been very blessed to be connected with a tribe of Creatives through social media. They are special to me. I think of them, pray for them, laugh with them, cry with them…the fact that we are on the other side of screens, different parts of the country/world has no bearing on how much I care for them. I’m hoping that one day I’ll be able to see some of their faces in person one day. What a joy that will be!

But the need to meet and create alongside other Creatives, specifically art journalers, just wouldn’t leave me be. Finally, I did what everybody does when they need to know something. I Googled it.

What? I fully believe that God can use Google. ;)

Artworks popped up in my search results and I’m so thankful it did!

Artworks Studio



Sara Gant's Journals at Artworks Studio

Sara Gant’s Journals at Artworks Studio. They are filled to bursting with awesomeness.


Sara Gant, the owner and operator, and I created together and chatted all things artsy and it was SO GOOD.  She was open, welcoming and very passionate about making art journaling, or visual journaling as she called it, approachable and fun. It was a novel experience for me to create in front of another person outside of my immediate family and, once I got over my nervousness, I enjoyed it immensely! Sara didn’t even bat an eyelash at my tendency to talk to my art supplies. Instead she introduced me to an art supply I’d never tried before…

Dear Bleeding Tissue Paper,

I love you. I need you in my life.


Anna K.

Sara herself is a wonder. She’s a high school art teacher of 24 years (and counting!) with a degree in Art History, is certified in Art Education and holds a Master’s degree in Art Education from East Carolina University.  On top of that she’s Nationally Board Certified.  She’s taught online and face-to-face Art Appreciation courses, AP Art History courses and art classes and workshops for ECU, Coastal Carolina Community College,  NC Virtual Public School, and local and state art education conferences.

In short, she knows her art, y’all! But what was even more impressive was her obvious love of people and introducing them to the joys of art. She and her staff work with folks of varied artsy interests no matter their age. She proudly showed off the creations of kiddos, high school students, and adults alike.


"Don't be afraid of new experiences" art journal page | Anna K. Originals

Art journal page I made at Artworks Studio


 I hope others in our area will make the delightful discovery of Artworks Studio!


Anna K.
Turn ordinary labels into custom stickers for quick art journaling | Tutorial by Anna K. Originals

Quick DIY Art Journaling Stickers


Labels into Art Journaling Stickers | Anna K. Originals

 Supplies I used:

  • Avery 1 x 3 labels (but you can use whatever size/shape you’d like)
  • matte medium/Mod Podge with decorative napkin, vintage papers, and tissue paper
  • stamps & archival ink pad
  • acrylic gesso and paint
  • alcohol ink
  • pen & watercolor

Turn ordinary labels into custom art journaling stickers! | Anna K. Originals

How To:

  • You can apply a thin layer of gesso first, if you’d like. It’s not always necessary, though, since the labels are already white and the paint, etc., adhered just fine.
  • Got paint? Drip it, smear it, and brush it on those labels. Just keep in mind, the more you add, the longer the drying time.
  • Got alcohol ink? Drip it on there.
  • Got vintage paper, decorative paper napkins (peeled apart), tissue paper, or magazine page cut-outs? Use matte medium or Mod Podge (matte) to adhere them to the top.
  • Got a waterproof art journaling pen or a paint marker? Doodle! Add a touch of color with watercolor, colored pencils, pens, ink, etc.

Photo Sep 17, 11 23 04 AM Tips:

  • Keep layers thin. I used a small plastic palette knife to distribute even, thin layers of gesso/paint/matte medium. This helps with the drying time, which leads me to the next tip…
  • Give your label plenty of time to dry after applying wet mediums. The wet mediums will cause the label’s adhesive to separate temporarily from the back of the label. Once completely dry, the adhesive is back to being happy…and sticky. ;)
  • Don’t try to hurry the drying process along with a heat gun. It will also cause the adhesive to go bonkers. A hair dryer on the cool setting might be best, if you can’t wait for it to dry on its own.
  • If, after you stamp an image or letter the edges aren’t as crisp as you’d like, outline with your favorite art journaling pen. (Scarlet Lime, Pilot Permaball, uni-ball Signo Broad white or black,  are among my favorites)
  • Keep a few labels, of whatever shape/size you happen to have on hand, while creating other art projects. These are perfect to wipe excess paint onto, or catch drips from drippy artwork.
  • Once dry, I tucked the labels back into the original package. That way they’re all together and easy to find for those quick journaling sessions.

 My Results: Enjoy Life | Bible journaling page by Anna K. Originals Enjoy Life {in detail} | Bible journaling page by  Anna K. Originals

I used my sticker creations in my Journaling Bible. The creative practice of journaling in a bible (set aside JUST for journaling) is a recent and delightful discovery for me! It allows me to connect with and soak in the Word in a way the perfectly fits my artsy tendencies. There’s a whole community of Creatives who do this, too, which is all kinds of awesome. :) {You can find out more about Bible Journaling, and the community HERE!} I cut out strips of my label sticker to underline words and elements, and I cut out shapes to add illustrative elements to my layout (the heart and the boy with the megaphone).  I used deli paper (dry wax paper) left over from another project for the rest of the background. Also, please don’t do like I did and use your glue stick on your deli paper without first checking to make sure said glue stick is “clean”. * S I G H * There was a bit of black on the stick which resulted in what looks alarmingly like snot smears. Yes, I’m claiming it. I got in a hurry and “snotted” my deli paper. After I got over my horror, I laughed. I’m chuckling as I type this. No, really, I am! Just keeping it real, Y’all!

He Writes Love | Bible journaling page by Anna K. Originals

This quill pen that I doodled and lightly filled in with watercolor might be my favorite sticker so far. I wanted a quill pen on this page, but I knew I didn’t have a stamp to make the image for one. Labels to the rescue! The heart is another deli paper creation that I used a fine point Montana paint marker to write on.

I really like that I can quickly create and use custom elements in my art journaling that don’t compromise delicate pages, like those in a journaling bible. I could also see myself using these in my Documented Life Planner or any of my other art journals.

In short, this project was versatile, inexpensive, involved readily available supplies, was easy to create, and easy to use.

What’s not to love about that?


Anna K.


Drawing Lines or Loving People | Anna K. Originals

Drawing Lines or Loving People

This post will be a departure from what I normally share here. I tend to steer clear of anything to do with popular culture, politics, theological debates and the like.

It’s not that I am oblivious to those things or haven’t formed opinions…I just don’t voice them here.

Creativity is my God-given refuge and I want that to be what people find here.

And, yet.

And, yet, I cannot remain silent when I see, read about, and hear of behaviors that grieve me. Behaviors that I don’t want my children to think are acceptable. Especially when they are coming from within the Body of Christ.

I have begun to notice a pervasive movement by some Christians to “shun” or turn their backs on souls who have questions about the Bible or God. Instead of fostering an atmosphere of love and open dialogue there has been an overwhelming amount of ridicule and shame aimed at those who believe differently than them, or simply have questions.

Drawing Lines or Loving People | Anna K. Originals

God, the only one who has any right to judge any one of us, is okay with questions. He isn’t threatened or upset by them. The ones who seem to be upset or threatened are other Christians.

Dear Ones, let’s not be too busy drawing lines in the sand to see the people, the souls, we are meant to love.

We are called to love God and love our neighbors. (Matthew 22:37-40)

We are called to be salt and light. (Matthew 5:13-16)

The bottom line for me is when I stand before God at the end of my days, He won’t ask me if I got everyone to believe the exact way I do.

He will ask me if I loved.

Romans 14 says it perfectly. And, yes, I’m posting the entire chapter. I think all of us – me as well – need a refresher::

14 Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

2-4 For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ’s table, wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn’t eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God’s welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.

Or, say, one person thinks that some days should be set aside as holy and another thinks that each day is pretty much like any other. There are good reasons either way. So, each person is free to follow the convictions of conscience.

6-9 What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for God’s sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s God we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.

10-12 So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:

“As I live and breathe,” God says,
    “every knee will bow before me;
Every tongue will tell the honest truth
    that I and only I am God.”

So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

13-14 Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I’m convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.

15-16 If you confuse others by making a big issue over what they eat or don’t eat, you’re no longer a companion with them in love, are you? These, remember, are persons for whom Christ died. Would you risk sending them to hell over an item in their diet? Don’t you dare let a piece of God-blessed food become an occasion of soul-poisoning!

17-18 God’s kingdom isn’t a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness’ sake. It’s what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you’ll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you.

19-21 So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Help others with encouraging words; don’t drag them down by finding fault. You’re certainly not going to permit an argument over what is served or not served at supper to wreck God’s work among you, are you? I said it before and I’ll say it again: All food is good, but it can turn bad if you use it badly, if you use it to trip others up and send them sprawling. When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don’t eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.

22-23 Cultivate your own relationship with God, but don’t impose it on others. You’re fortunate if your behavior and your belief are coherent. But if you’re not sure, if you notice that you are acting in ways inconsistent with what you believe—some days trying to impose your opinions on others, other days just trying to please them—then you know that you’re out of line. If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong.

In Love,

Anna K.