30 days of HAPPY MAIL: Challenge ACCEPTED!

Hi Friends!!!

Have you heard about the 30 day happy mail challenge that is going on at Illustrated Faith? If not check out this video by Shanna Noel, Founder of Illustrated Faith where she talks about the challenge as well as the brand new Cards she designed that are available through DaySpring. *She starts talking about the details of the challenge at the 5:50 mark*

Affiliate Links used in this post where available at NO cost to you! Thanks for your support!

  I love what Illustrated Faith has brought to Christian Creatives, and I have grown deeper in knowledge and in my faith since beginning to create in and outside of my bible. I believe that Faith based art and papercraft is more than just for the pages of my bible , so when I saw that Shanna Noel (that incredibly inspiring and kind-hearted woman) was kicking off a 30 day happy mail challenge, I got very excited and knew I had to participate.  I also think this challenge can be different for everyone….. you can customize it to fit YOU.  That being said I will share what I have in mind for the challenge (as I see it) and how I will be approaching it!  The basic idea is that you send some old-fashioned snail mail to a different person every day for 30 days. That’s it in a nutshell. This doesn’t have to be super time-consuming or cost more than a postage stamp and paper. Email is quick and convenient and pretty much the norm when communicating with our family and friends. So when you actually receive a letter or card in the mail, it just FEELS special. Can you remember the last time you received a letter or card or gift in the mail? Did it bring you joy? I am betting it did. Who wouldn’t want to be apart of something fulfilling and FUN like that! We definitely need more Joy, more Kindness, and more encouraging and lifting each other up.

To make things easy on yourself, you might want to gather a few things and keep them organized by your desk or a designated spot. The supplies you will want to pull together will really depend on how elaborate or simple you want your happy mail to be (BOTH are good!). I am going to list a few basic things and optional things that I am setting aside for myself, maybe that will help you figure out what you want to pull together.

I encourage you to use whatever you have on hand and try to think of new ways to use the supplies you already own. I am linking my favorite things that are tried and true and that I really do love, but again, you do not need to spend anything to make this challenge work for you! Another option is to get together with friends and share supplies! Any excuse for crafting and fellowship sounds great to me!


Paper Trimmer: THIS one is my favorite and is by Tonic. I also really love THIS one by Fiskars.

Scoreboard: (only if you already have one, a trimmer can do the job just fine if you don’t) I am using THIS mini one which is by Martha Stewart. There is a number of them on the market though.

Bone Folder: I recommend THIS teflon bone folder, It’s a little pricey but it will last you forever and it will be the only one you ever use! The reason for the teflon is that when you use it to crease your paper you will not get that shiny streak on your cardstock that other bone folders leave behind.

Scissors: THESE Fiskars one’s are my favorite.

Cards and envelopes: (unless you are making your own of both) You can pick these up anywhere but THESE envelopes are my current favorite , and some of them have a slight shimmer. I also like THESE that are made of vellum. As far as card bases, I prefer to use this heavy weight cardstock HERE and cut and fold my own. This pack of 25 will make 50 A-2 size card bases. They also sell it in 250 count reams HERE. I find they are more sturdy and I like top fold cards better.

Your favorite writing pens: I really like my Illustrated faith pens because they dry fast and are permanent. I also like the Pigma Micron pens.

Envelope template or tool: (if you are making your own envelopes) HERE is the one that I use and love!

Adhesive: (wet, dry, or both, whatever your preference is) My prefered Wet Adhesive Currently is THIS ONE by Nuvo and for dry adhesives I am liking THIS one by Tombow since my old favorite has been discontinued. For a very strong dry adhesive I love THIS tape, and it comes in lots of different widths. It is great for applying glitter and foil to as well.

Coloring Medium(s) of choice:  (paints, colored pencils, water-soluble crayons, markers, etc…) Right now my color mediums of choice are my Daniel Smith Watercolors, THESE pearlescent watercolors from Prima, These Water Soluble permanent-when-dry pencils by Derwent, and my Zig Clean Color real Brush Markers that you can find HERE. all of these are available in various packages and some even come singularly.

Stamps: (clear, rubber, digital stamps work great too) Some of my current Favorites are by Honey Bee Stamps (especially the Sentiment builders), Lawn Fawn, Penny Black, Concord and 9th, Stamping Bella, Neat and Tangled, and the Creative Worship line of stamps by Sweet n’ Sassy Stamps.

Black ink pad: (and other colors if you wish) My favorite is THIS black ink pad for crisp lines which is also waterproof when dry. For copic coloring or any alcohol based ink I like using THIS particular Hero Arts ink pad. For colored ink I really love the distress inks and especially the Distress Oxide ink pads. There is a great deal HERE If you are looking for them.

Die cuts: (Ephemera, Die cut packs, Digital cut apart, Die cuts you cut from your Cricut or Silhouette) I love the die cut packs from Illustrated Faith and Bella Blvd., Doodlebug is another company I buy ephemera or die cuts from often.

Embellishments:  sequins, enamel dots, Stickles or Nuvo drops, Ribbon/Twine, Glitter, washi tape, etc…  I also Love my Glitter brush pen that you can find HERE.

So you got your supplies all set, now what?

Some people are choosing to swap addresses with their online friends and do the 30 day challenge that way, some are randomly sending out happy mail to various people they know, Some are sending cards to friends and family. You don’t have to know who you are sending to for the whole challenge, Like Shanna said, you could decide that day who you’re sending to or you can make a list one week at a time if that works better for you.  The HOW you approach this challenge is whatever works for YOU, and the great thing is, you can figure that out as you go along the 30 days, or you can plan it all out now.  That being said I will go ahead and share my ideas and plans for my 30 Days of sending HAPPY MAIL!

Every day I will be sending out some kind of Happy mail to someone. (basic idea, right? right! but read on!)

Some days it will be a handmade card that I have already made, or will make that will be going to friends, family, or even people like my mailman, or the grocery store clerk that always seems to remember my name, Maybe even my favorite barista at Starbucks (who does not get enough credit for making my coffee PERFECT every time!) I really like the idea of surprising people who go about doing their jobs but don’t just do their job, they do it with a smile, detail, pride, and kindness… that should be acknowledged  more I think, Even if it’s just a card saying, Hey! I think you are AWESOME!

I might also sent some postcards. Like THESE postcards from the Illustrated Faith Collection. You can even embellish those premade postcards or you can make your own postcards! See my post HERE where I show ideas for making your own postcards. How nice to make the people who handle your card along its journey, smile as it travels to its destination. If you’re sending a traditional card, you can decorate your envelope as well. It may even encourage some one that sees your happy mail to send some happy mail of their own!

I love giving little unexpected gifts so some of my happy mail will include some DIY gifts that are fun to make and fun to send to some unsuspecting friends or family!  Care packages are always a great surprise and can really make someone’s day.

A few cards of mine will make their way to some people I do not know personally, but who I am aware are struggling with something, They need to know they are loved and are being prayed for.

And maybe along the way there will be mini cards left on a windshield, in with a bill that has to be paid, or handed to a mom who looks like she’s had a rough day, a simple card with a note of encouragement. I definitely think little acts of Card Kindness can be apart of this challenge, Not everything has to have a stamp on it. You may also consider writing your message on a removable paper inside the card with another note that encourages the recipient to write their own message inside and send to someone they want to encourage! Simon Says Stamp actually sells THIS post-it style pad just for that reason! Look for a post coming soon that has directions on how to create your own!

At the end of the month I want to  know that I made 30+ people smile, feel special, be encouraged, and know THEY MATTER enough that I will take the time to create and send them (or hand deliver) a paper hug!

I do plan on documenting my Happy Mail Month on my blog as well as social media. Sometime during the month I might just do a video as well. Make sure to subscribe to my blog for updates or follow me on Instagram ( @taniesa ) where I will update as well!

SO How about you? Want to jump into the challenge with me? You don’t need anything fancy, Just use what you got, grab some stamps if you need to, and send some love for 30 days (and if you can only commit to a week, then that is ok, make it your 7 days of happy mail challenge!) I think that in the end, the person it will benefit the most, is really those of us doing the sending!

The fun starts Tomorrow , July 1st and wraps up on the 30th (but if you want to be the overachiever and go to the 31st, then you go, girl! I will cheer you on and may even do that extra day with you!)

As a special bonus I am going to do a random giveaway to one of my readers that participates in the Illustrated Faith 30 day Happy Mail Challenge too! A bundle of new paper crafting items that will be useful no matter what type of papercrafter you are….a Scrapbooker, Bible / Art Journaler, Cardmaker, Planner girl, or any other artistic papercrafter, There will be things in this bundle anyone would be able to use and enjoy!  There was no way to photograph EVERYTHING but there will be stamps and dies, washi tape, stickers, ink, embossing powder, embossing folder, roller stamp, sequins, and so much more stuffed into a large padded envelope! This giveaway is open to anyone (Yes even international!)

If you are participating in the challenge and you want to be entered to win my giveaway, Link up one of your cards between July 1 and July 31st using the blue Link up button below and on August 1 I will randomly draw someone to win! *Edited to note that you may link up as many times/projects as you would like during the challenge duration! I hope that it will add even more inspiration to others participating in the project.*

Stay tuned for more ideas for this happy mail challenge as well as what I am doing for my 30 days of Happy Mail!

Until then! Have a fantastic weekend!!!

*All supplies mentioned are linked within the blog post are in BOLD font. To enter TheCraftyPickle Happy Mail giveaway click the blue button below and link up one of your cards that is for the 30 Day Happy Mail Challenge hosted by Illustrated Faith.

How to add your project to the link-up : Click the blue button with the frog below. Add the URL link to where your project is located (blog, Instagram, Flickr, other) add the required info and enter! You should see the photo of your project below. I created a Flickr group for those of you that don’t have a blog or don’t want to blog but you do want to upload your projects and share. You can find that group HERE! If you have any problems or questions please leave a comment in this post or email me at Taniesa@thecraftypickle.com.


Christ has set me FREE |Journaling bible entry.

Hi Crafty Friends!

Happy 4th of July to all of my American friends out there. Today I am wrapping up red, white, and blue week with my final project for Honey Bee Stamps. Today, rather than do a card, I thought I would share with you an entry I did in my journaling bible. Maybe even give you a few tips that might help you in your bible/art journaling. I also want to mention that there is a sale at Honey Bee Stamps today 7/4/16. 15% off your total purchase by using the code 15FREEDOM (this is on top of the sale prices listed).

Here is a close up view of my finished entry. I kept it pretty simple with just journaling the verse on the right and text along the left margin. (this is before I added the tab to the right hand page)

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

To begin I prepped the pages with a thin coat of clear gesso. I used the Ranger Dina Wakley Clear Gesso brand but I also love the Clear gesso by prima and use both interchangeably.

After the gesso was fully dry I masked off sections for the flag using post-it tape. I did some ink blending for the square and the stripes with Blueprint sketch distress ink and Candied Apple distress ink. After the ink dried the red wasn’t as vibrant as I would have liked so I added a bit of red acrylic paint. I also took the star stamp from the Brush Grunge Alphabet set and stamped  that in the blue section with Hero Arts Unicorn white pigment ink.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

After I let the pigment ink dry I stamped the stars on the other side but this time in blue chalk ink, and stamped “Christ has set me free” in Ranger archival black ink. I used the Brush Grunge Alphabet stamp set. (Can you tell I really love this alpha set?) Because the page was prepped with gesso the ink does not bleed through.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

I didn’t think that the text popped out enough so I took a white paint pen (Derwent Graphik Line Painter ) and went around the stamping.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

Next it was time to highlight the verse I wanted. Because I had a different plan for the page the actual verse was on I chose to use the first chapter of Galatians. Now I am really bad at hand lettering. I wish I could letter like lots of the beautiful and talented ladies and gentleman I see on Pinterest but I know my strengths and I know my weaknesses. Thankfully, I do know Photoshop! I have a love for different fonts and so I played around with the verse and came up with something I liked. (you could also use Microsoft word for something as simple as this)

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

After I printed out my verse I coated the back of the copy paper with Derivan liquid pencil . This stuff is AH-MAZE-ING! I saw a review on YouTube for a completely different purpose and thought it would be great for bible journaling. The rewetable version of this watercolor type paint is completely erasable! You can also wet it and blot it off that way if you prefer. I think this is much cleaner than using graphite paper, but I have used that as well with fairly good results. I do like that this paint makes a light mark when traced over. I chose the lightest grey shade that they make (Grey #3).

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

I applied the paint to the back side of the paper just where the text was.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

You can see the paper I used to print on was cheap thin copy paper. I found this works the best so that you do not over apply the paint.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

Now you can use a ballpoint pen to trace your text, but if you press to hard you run the risk of tearing through the paper. I like to use a small ended stylist to go over all of the text. You may have one in your stash if you are a card maker. These were meant to be used for dry embossing. I also love using these tools to add small white dots on my projects with acrylic paint.

Once in place go over all of the text with your tool, you can outline the text or just trace over the center depending on your font. For the bold text I chose to outline and for the thinner text i just went over it once. you can lift up your paper as you go to make sure you are getting the transfer you prefer. If you mess up, just erase and go over again.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

Below is what it looks like after I was all done tracing.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

Simple right? Now I don’t have to worry about straight lines, mis-spelling (provided I used spellcheck LOL) and style of text.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

Now it is time to go over the text in a waterproof bleedproof pen. The pens above are all of my favorites for bible journaling. The Faber Castell Pitt artist pen (I also love the large brush markers in this same line). The Pigma Micron pens have been my go to pens for YEARS and I love that they come in a wide range of sizes. My new favorite is the Illustrated faith pens. They now come in three different sizes which I love and used all three for my outlining on this project.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

I used the .25 for the thin text, the .35 for outlining the bold text, and the .65 for filling in the text and making the bolder downstroke lines in “Christ”.

I decided to fill in the words Freedom and firm with a Copic Atyou Spica red glitter pen. I thought this tied the red from the other page over to this side well. After I was done with the text, I let dry and then went around the letters carefully with a Tombow Mono Zero eraser (Ultra fine 2.3mm) I just LOVE this eraser any time I am working in my bible.

I did add some black splatter with some diluted black acrylic paint. Unfortunately it smudged just a little but I went with it. I used my WRMK Tab punch and some star dies to make the tab on the upper right that you see for a final touch. I also added a thin coat of Distress Glaze as I do on most of my finished journaling entries as this seals the paint and ink. you only need a very little bit and buff lightly with a paper towel. One jar will last you a very very long time.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

There you have it, my completed two page entry. All in all I am happy with how it came out. I love our country and the freedom so many have fought for. It also made me reflect on the freedom I have in Christ.

As a little freebie gift and a way for you to practice using the text transfer method I shared (or graphite paper), I created a little printable for you all. You could even use this as a tip in for your bible. Print it out on a laser printer and you can run it through your foiling machine too! Lots of possibilities.

Freedom bible journaling by Taniesa Vlasak. Get your free printable too at www.thecraftypickle.com!

Download your free printable here.

Listed below (and within my blog post) are the links to the products I have used for this project. Affiliate links may be used, this means if you make a purchase I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I really appreciate your support toward the costs of running this blog.

Stamps used:

Honey Bee Stamps Brush Grunge Alphabet set (on sale as I type this 7/4/16)

Other products used:

Glitter paper
Blueprint sketch distress ink
Hero Arts Unicorn white pigment ink
post-it tape
Candied Apple distress ink
Ranger Dina Wakley Clear Gesso
Clear gesso by prima
Ranger archival black ink
Derwent Graphik Line Painter
Derivan liquid pencil
small ended stylist
Faber Castell Pitt artist pen
Pigma Micron pens
Illustrated faith pens
Copic Atyou Spica Glitter Pen
Tombow Mono Zero eraser (Ultra fine 2.3mm)
WRMK Tab punch
star dies
graphite paper
Distress Glaze

 Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you have a Fabulous and safe Independence day celebration!

Happy crafting!

Taniesa Vlasak for Honey Bee Stamps

Illustrated Faith: Thankfulness

Hi Crafty Friends!

When Shanna asked me to share my journaling bible with you all I was honored (and a little nervous because I just started). I grew up thinking that you weren’t supposed to write in your bible. Not that anyone told me that, I just assumed because I never saw anyone do it before. To be completely honest I have very rarely picked up my bible in a long time. Now, I find myself wanting to dive into my bible several times throughout the day and the word really stays with me more than it did before. Using my creativity and my love for Jesus has really made this something very special to me.

Today I am sharing pages on being Thankful. Being thankful when everything is going just right is easy (for me) but it was the being thankful with times were really very hard that I had to learn. My husband was out of a job for almost a year; our marriage was rocky not to mention the 5 kids that we were raising were hard at times. We started going to church and I started thanking the lord for EVERYTHING even the hardship we were finding ourselves in, because though that I knew that he had a plan (and he definitely did). By having a thankful heart though the rough times we stop focusing on ourselves and focusing on the only one who is really in control and TRUSTING in him. My prayer for all of you today is that you have a heart full of thanksgiving not just this month but 365 days a year.

In addition to a few pictures that I will post here, I thought I would share a little video talking about a couple of my pages and what I used.

Colossians 3:17
For this page I used some die cuts out of watercolor paper, colored with distress ink and water accented with some gold paint. The sequins are some from the autumn mix in my etsy shop and just glued on with a little bit of glossy accents. I added a transparency page for the final touch. I printed the verse on the portion covering the text and the “Be Thankful” over the journaling column. In the video I show how to attach the transparency in the bible. There is also a thin strip of gold washi tape covering the glue in the center; you could easily skip this step because the glue really isn’t noticeable.

Illustrated Faith: Bible journaling @thecraftypickle.com

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
For this page I did a lot of stamping, I used the hopscotch alphabet from Close To My Heart and some stamps designed by Shanna for Butterfly Reflections Ink. I stamped everything in a permanent dye ink because I knew I would be doing some water coloring. To add color to the page I used the Neocolor II crayons. I added touches of glitter with my wink of stella pen (hard to see in the photo) It is also what I use over the verse(s) that I journaled about.

Illustrated Faith: Bible journaling @thecraftypickle.com

Here is a video sharing a bit more info.

If you haven’t already, please head over to Shanna Noel’s blog. I am giving away a NIV Note takers bible, I hope it blesses someone who needs it.

Illustrated Faith: Bible journaling @thecraftypickle.com









Finally, if you haven’t checked out the WONDERFUL journaling bible community on Facebook, click HERE. We would love to have you!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Happy Journaling!

The Crafty Pickle