by Heather Bock
Oh my goodness, how excited was I when I opened the box that contained three Ellie Claire art journals that I have the blessing to review and give away! They looked cute on the website where I signed up for this promotion, but they were so much cuter in person. If I were an artist, journal writer, or coloring page aficionado, I wouldn’t be giving them away at all. As it is, I can only give away two because my creative daughter laid claim to one. I will, however, review all three, just in case you’re interested in purchasing one for yourself or a friend.
Let’s start with The Illustrated Word: An Illuminated Bible Coloring Journal. The front and back of this book is high quality and thick with an embossed floral design, covered in cream, light blue, green, orange, pink, yellow, and metallic gold. The spine is an orange fabric.
The book is inspired by the work of medieval monks with full-color small pictures of medieval Scriptures or artwork in a corner of most pages. Every four pages is a full size intricate coloring page closely imitating the artwork shown. For example, a coloring page has been created for a woodcut by Melchior Lotter d.J. in 1522 of Martin Luther. Another is from Hours and Psalter of Elizabeth de Bohun, Countess of Northampton, c. 1350. For something more recent, several coloring pages have been made from a natural parchment Esther scroll in a medieval style created in Israel in the 2000s. Except for the coloring pages, every other page is lined for journal writing.
The second journal is Faith & Lettering Journal, the one my daughter chose, also made from the same thick material and embossed with a floral design, this time in bright pink, turquoise, green, grey, cream, and metallic gold. Covered in a bright pink fabric, its spine has an elastic band near the top for storing a favorite pen or two.
This journal not only gives you lined places to write, but offers dot grid and square grid paper throughout. It’s also an art instruction journal. The author provides many artistic flourishes, swashes, and calligraphy lettering techniques and tips with room to practice. She recommends practicing 15 minutes a day to improve. Full-color Scriptures written with beauty adorn many of the pages.
Reading the introduction, I discovered that the author was originally inspired to create beautiful scriptural art after noticing some online. She discovered as she attempted new techniques that she was naturally memorizing the verses she was designing. She was thrilled to find that she could tuck these gems away into her memory while doing something she so enjoyed.
The third journal is Illuminate Your Story Journal. Bound with the same heavy-duty cover, fabric spine, and elastic pen holder, this time turquoise, cream, red, spring green, and metallic gold, this little art journal is my favorite. It has fewer lined pages for writing and more art instruction. It is absolutely filled with intricately designed letters, flowers, birds, and flourishes with step by step instructions for how to mimic them. These are the kinds of letters you would find gracing the pages of an ancient illuminated Bible. Empty dot grids lie beside the designs, waiting for ink to fill them. Scattered throughout are verses and inspiring quotes by such authors as Billy Graham, Abraham Lincoln, and Charles Swindoll. This journal is even equipped with a flat woven attached bookmark string, an elastic band to keep it from falling open, and an accordion pocket in the back labeled “Keepsakes.” It includes a history of illuminated letters in the front, from the Insular period coming out of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon traditions to the designs of the Renaissance.
All of these journals would make lovely Christmas gifts, either for yourself or for a friend or family member. See below for how to win one from me, but if you’d like to purchase one yourself, click the links for each journal here: The Illustrated Word, Illuminate Your Story Journal, and Faith & Lettering Journal.
I am excited that I am giving away both the Illuminate Your Story Journal ($13 value) and The Illustrated Word ($16 value). I will be choosing two winners. If I hear from my winners in time, I will make every attempt on my end to mail these out in time for Christmas. If you would like to enter, subscribe to my blog and comment below, especially if you have one in particular that you want:
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Giveaways are open to residents of the continental U.S. and Canada who haven’t won a prize from me within a year only.
I will announce the winner by Wednesday, November 21, so look for it! If I don’t hear from the winner within a week, I will draw another name. Thank you!