Hope is Not a Strategy

Art journaling is new to me.  I’m still at the stage where what I imagine a page will look like is nothing like how it turns out.  But, if I’ve learned one lesson experimenting with mixed media, it’s to just keep going.  If you don’t like how a page looks, don’t give up, just keep pushing through, working with the layers until you get to a place where you are satisfied.

I started my page this week with two goals:

  1. Use the fun new Dylusions shimmer sprays that I received for Christmas.
  2. Incorporate the quote “Hope is not a strategy”.


Every Wednesday, I attend a Mom’s Bible study group at my church, made up of some pretty incredible women at all stages of life.  As we were talking about goal setting, making action plans, and giving ourselves grace when we fall short, one of the other women brought up the quote, “Hope is not a strategy”.

That thought really hit me.  As a Christian, hope is certainly something I hold on to.  I believe that the hope provided by God is something that shines light in the dark times.  But can hope, by itself, get something accomplished?  Can hoping for a goal or dream to come true make it happen?  No way!  To reach your goals, you have to put in the work, take the risks, and step out of your comfort zones.  Having hope is something that might spark a dream, but the steps to make your dreams come true take action.  Love that thought!

This page definitely taught me a lesson in pushing through.  As I mentioned before, I knew that I wanted to start with the shimmer sprays I received for Christmas.  They really are gorgeous, but they sure were pigmented….

The colors overwhelmed me, so my next step was to add swipes of acrylic paint on the page.  I chose three colors that complemented a lovely Felicity Jane die-cut I planned on using for the page.  I love the expression that “Autumn” has…she definitely looks like she has a goal and a plan to achieve it!

Once I added the paint to the page however, things started getting a bit out of control!  My impatience came back to bite me, because the sprays were not dry when I added paint on top, so the color was picked up and became a bit of a muddy mess.  I chose to use some texture stamps from Felicity Jane to add some more interest and break up the color splotches.  Thinking that dark blue might help tone down the color explosion, I added acrylic paint through a stencil.  Well, I was wrong.  Adding more color DOES NOT tone things down.  Duh.

Time for a new strategy.  I decided adding white, using a stencil mask would be a great way to cover up some of the color.  It did cover up SOME of the color, but I still wasn’t really pleased with the result.  In the end, the only thing that worked for this page was a light coat of white Dylusions paint over the whole thing.  Deep breath.  Looks better!


I’m pretty sure the color explosion in the beginning made me a bit wary of color for the rest of this project!  For the rest of the page, I utilized black and white pieces, including floral die-cuts from my stash and a lovely star paper from Felicity Jane.  I played with another new Christmas present as I was finishing up the page….my Jane Davenport Deep Sea Die Cutting Machine!  I grabbed some background die-cuts from Sizzix, and am super pleased with the results.

After adding my main quotation, I felt like it invited more words.  So, to balance it out, I added my action plan – “Get it done!”


I learned so much from working on this page, which is one of the main reasons I’ve been enjoying art journaling.  There are no mistakes, only incomplete pages 🙂  Once you push through, there is always beautiful art waiting on the other side!

What are tips you’ve picked up on while art journaling?  Let me know in the comments below!


Keep it creative,

-The Scrappy Wife


Published by Elisa

I'm a mom of 3 who loves all things creative! My current passion is bible journaling, a creative outlet that has really shaped my faith journey. I'm also excited about diving into some memory-keeping projects and dabbling in a bit of art journaling.

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