The Art of Journaling: With Kids – PLUS – FP Day Contest Winners!

Image courtesy of dominiemahl on Instagram

Image courtesy of dominiemahl on Instagram

Oftentimes, children don’t have an outlet where they are safely able to communicate their feelings. Journal writing can be a very positive experience for children – especially when their efforts are encouraged and supported in a way that allows them to write without feeling like they will “get in trouble” for what they have to say.

In an article by Colorín Colorado, Helping Young Children Develop Strong Writing Skills the author suggests that the practical skill of writing is of value to children as an important form of communication, as well as being an essential element of a student’s education. The article also suggests a number of ways how you can help your child become a stronger writer.

Journaling For Kids at Home Schooling Ideas

“Journaling for kids is a wonderful way to open up new horizons. A journal can be a friend, a confidant and a mentor.”

The Benefits of Journaling for Kids at About Parenting

“For children who have a hard time expressing their needs verbally or making decisions about things, keeping a journal of their thoughts is a great way to help learn emotional organization.

Art Journal with Kids at Creative with Kids

10 Easy Steps to Introduce Journal Writing: Preschool – Third Grade at Waddlee-ah-chaa

Find a variety of posts about Journal Writing Prompts for children at Journal Buddies

Did you enter our Fountain Pen Day Contest? See if you are a winner by checking the list below.

M. David
SheilaM
Mark W
Joi
Jeff from Vancouver
Lynn Bustle
Monty
Shangching
B.Bennett
Drew
ginigin
Kris W.
Cari R.
Pat Hannon
John Ang
Michael
Mark Masterson
Steven Dennis
Herschel
DELively

Creative Prompt: Take a grounding walk in nature

Forest

What does it mean to be “grounded?”

The simplest way to describe it, is being fully present in your life as opposed to being distracted by past or future events. When we are “in our heads” and thinking about anything but the current moment, we lose the ability to operate from or with, our fullest mental capacities. You can think about this like the RAM on a computer. Whether it’s a computer or our brain, give it too many tasks to process at the same time and it will ultimately grow sluggish.

You don’t need to take a lengthy or expensive vacation to a remote island or mountain top to do this. One of the easiest ways to reconnect with your full creative self is just by taking a quiet walk in nature.

Try this: First find a quiet place to take a walk. If you have to get in the car or on a bus to get to such a place, do it – it will be worth it.

Next, turn off technology for at least an hour.

Then, start walking. Try to be fully aware of placing one foot in front of the other and not thinking about anything else. Breathe deeply. Notice the sights, sounds, and smells around you. If your to-do list pops into your head, gently place it to the back burner while you bring your awareness back to one foot in front of the other.

If you have the opportunity, try taking your shoes off and allowing your bare feet to touch the earth – if only for a moment.

It’s Anniversary time! Five years as your Rhodia Driver!

Stephanie Smith Rhodia Driver

It was five years ago this month that I first started writing for Rhodia Drive, and it will be 6 years in November that I made the overall decision to become self-employed. Aside from penning the Rhodia Drive blog, I make and sell art from my private studio at The Banana Factory – an arts and education center located in Bethlehem, PA. (Contact me if you’d like to visit!) I teach private students, offer workshops and do motivational speaking engagements on creativity.  Continue Readering »

Creative Prompt: Take the road not travelled

Ohio road

Today’s creative prompt is going to be a little bit different. Are you ready?

If you are anything like me, and often travel the same route to get somewhere, you might occasionally notice a road that appears to lead somewhere interesting but isn’t able to be explored in that particular moment.

My challenge to you, is to take the time to go back to that location and take that road not yet travelled. Notice everything you can about the surroundings. Be playful and explore.

The when you get home, take just a bit more time to write down a few words about your experience. What did you see? What new things did you discover? Is it a place you’d like to go back to, or one that you never wish to visit again?

Please feel free to comment with your experiences. We’d love to know what you find.

Writing Affirmations

DSC05519

Affirmations are a form of positive thinking and self-empowerment. They are carefully formatted statements which may be both written and spoken aloud. For an affirmation to be most effective, it should be crafted in the present tense, be positive, personal and specific. I will also always write an affirmation acting “as if” the desired circumstance currently exists. This is in response to techniques I’ve learned from reading the book, Creative Visualization.

Do you use affirmations? What are your favorites? Abundance is always at the top of my list.

The Staycation

080308 075

Have you ever taken a staycation? As in, scheduled more than a few days off with no specific plans? That’s just where I’ve been for the last two weeks- nowhere but here, and it was great!

Granted, it is somewhat a challenge for self-employed folks like me to ever really “stop working”, but I did what I could to clear my plate and free myself up to do as little or as much as I wanted on any given day. I spent time reading, resting, working in the garden, writing in my journal, and painting. I walked around a local music festival, watched a few movies and cooked a few really tasty meals.

Taking time for oneself doesn’t need to be complicated.

 

Which of these books on creativity have you read?

birdbybird

After seeing this post on Buzzfeed: 37 Books Every Creative Person Should Be Reading, I noticed that I’ve already read several and will probably want to eventually read them all. Do you have any favorites from this list? #25 is an all-time favorite for me.

3. Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott: Read this a long time ago. Remember it being sweetly encouraging.
4. Steal Like An Artist, by Austin Kleon: Read recently. Good info, but nothing that was really new to me
7. The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron: This is a classic. Excellent info to be found here. Do the work if you want to experience transformational growth in your life. (It’s not just about art)
15. Just Kids, Patti Smith: This has been sitting patiently in my Kindle for over a year…
19. The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White: Great info. “Omit needless words” is a classic.
21. Art & Fear, by David Bayles & Ted Orland: I’ve never read it cover to cover, but every time I crack it open and read a few pages I find something totally relevant.
22. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards: Just recently bought a copy.
25. The War of Art, by Steven Pressfield: One of the BEST books I’ve ever read. It’s about resistance. You do not have to be an artist to get a lot out of this book. It’s tiny – read it in an afternoon.
29. On Writing, Stephen King: I owned this a very long time ago. Can’t remember if I read all of it. The one thing that sticks with me is his mantra of “Write every day:”

Permission to Doodle

butch_gordon

Are you a doodler?

By allowing yourself to be creative in a way that is not dependent on any particular outcome, you can focus on the process itself and simply appreciate your hand moving the pen across the surface of the paper.

The next time you find yourself waiting at the doctor’s office, the DMV, or when picking up your children after school, I’d like challenge you to reach for a paper and pencil and allow yourself to doodle. If this is something you don’t normally do, I think you might be surprised at how calming and meditative the process may be.

Image courtesy of butch_gordon on Instagram

 

Vision Board Video Follow Up

Stephanie Smith Vision Board

Back in December, I wrote a post about how I’d been interviewed in my art studio by a local television lifestyle program called “Save the Kales!” The segment was about using Vision Boards as a tool to being about a desired situation. Simple to create, the primary component is intention followed by collaging images and words that support your goal.

You can watch the clip on YouTube at this link.  (Filmed in one take, I was a bit nervous.) 

What Are You Reading?

Books and Paperwhite

I started reading The Goldfinch on Christmas Day and just finished the 800 page novel last night. While the concept was interesting, I found this book to be mind-numbingly looooong.

Contemplating what to read next: Dr. Sleep by Stephen King, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, or something else that you will tell me is wonderful and is a must read.

So… what are you reading right now, or what have you read lately that you really enjoyed?

Have You Ever Created a Vision Board?

Stephanie Smith and Jaime Karpovich

Last night, I was interviewed for a segment on creating vision boards for “Save the Kales” – a local TV cooking show hosted by the magnificent Jaime Karpovich. (Keep your eye on this girl – she is Food Network bound for sure!) 

Vision boards are used a creative visualization process to manifest some aspect of change in your life. Made simply by collaging inspiring images and words cut out from magazines, these boards can be used to inspire, maintain focus, shift perspective, and attract abundance into your life.

Have you ever created a vision board? What did you think of the process?

This episode will be aired in January and will be able to be viewed online as well.

The creative routine

cvg22

Unsure of how other creative people (artists, writers, etc.) work, I seem to be at my best and most productive when I able to work when inspired. I had a friend that encouraged me to simply keep “showing up” as in, sit at the typewriter every day or in front of the easel every day, and creativity will eventually flow. I’m not sure I agree with that because it seems (for me) to generate a lot of wasted time and a lot of sub-par work.

As frustrating as the “showing up” felt to me, I’d feel an equal amount of fear if I didn’t do it because if I allowed myself to become distracted, I might never be able to tap back into that creative stream again. Ironically, I’ve since discovered that as soon as I have that thought and am able to push it away, I find myself right back in the creative flow. I guess for me, it’s all about having faith that the creative source is always there and is just waiting to be tapped. (Maybe if you look too hard for it, it just vanishes- like something from a Douglas Adams book.)

Image courtesy of cvg22 on Instagram

The Creative Retreat

Stephanie Smith Rhythm Renewal

Have you ever considered taking a creative retreat? I’ve been going to one in central Pennsylvania for the last seven years that includes a variety of expressive options such as hand drumming, African dance, writing, and mandala making. (Guess who teaches that class.) People of all skill levels have the opportunity to try new things in a safe environment- and speaking from experience, it can be life changing to do something you always wanted to with 100 people cheering you on.

8 Retreats to Spark Your Creativity

Art Making is Accessible to Everyone

Stephanie Smith Mandala

If I may, if like to share a little something with you about art that might make it more accessible to you. Children are able to create art without fear. Put any variety of art supplies in front of the average child and they will have a blast. Put those same supplies in front of the average adult and your likely to hear something like, “No thank you, I don’t draw because I’m not an artist.”

Here’s a few things that might help you warm up to the idea of making art. Continue Readering »

Friday Link Share!

Rhodia LeCarre

Three Good Things at Little Flower Petals

Journaling Through Your Injuries at Creative Write Now

Where do you get creative? at Lifehacker

List It Tuesday: Been There Done That at Daisy Yellow Blog

Creative Thinking Exercises for the Workplace at Chron

Packing for India at Urban Sketchers

Marker Review…..2nd Edition at Draw Doodle Decorate

Name that Pen at PENS PAPER INKS…WHATEVER!

This Old Notebook at Patrick Rhone

You Can Have my Notebook When You Pry it From My Cold, Dead Fingers at The Digital Reader

The Post Office at Collage Journeys

12 Most Inspired Online Resources for Creative Juice at 12Most

Pen Shows: The 2013 Philadelphia Pen Show Review at Anderson Pens.net

Robin Quivers gives Howard Stern a $1700 pen at Examiner.com

Writing works wonders: Personal growth, creativity among benefits of journaling for children at The Joplin Globe

F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Secret of Great Writing at The Passive Voice

51 Examples Of Matching Ink To Pen To Paper at Inkophile

Lisa Cargile’s Pencil Photography. at Pencil Revolution

Waterman Early Crusader at Fountain Pen Restoration

The Power of Handwritten Notes and Reminders at Journal in a Box

Myths About Our Right and Left Brains at Psychology Today

Subscribe to Rhodia Drive

Enter your email address:

  

Delivered by FeedBurner

Rhodia Drive on Facebook

Search Rhodia Drive

Find Rhodia to Buy

rhodiapads.com

Local retailers and full Rhodia product lines available in the US can be found at rhodiapads.com

Check out the Rhodia Journal Swap

Rhodia Journal Swap

Visit the Rhodia Journal Swap on Tumblr

In Your Bag

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of Rhodia in your bag to: stephanie at rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page.  ... Read on »

Rhodia Customization Module

Visit our customization module at Exaclair.com

Grab Your Camera and Show us Where You Buy Your Rhodia!

Target? Dick Blick? Borders? Art Brown? We want you to show us where you buy your Rhodia... The next time you are out and about,  snap us a picture of where you buy your Rhodia products so we can assemble an online gallery of local retailers. To... Read on »

Favorite Pens

Will you show us yours? Send us a photo of your favorite pen: stephanie@rhodiadrive.com so I can add it to the page. ... Read on »

David Allen of GTD on Rhodia

David Allen is a productivity consultant who is best known as the creator of the time management method known as “Getting Things Done”. David comments on the Rhodia Meeting Book: “I love this Rhodia pad. First, the paper stands... Read on »

Chef Hosea Rosenberg on Rhodia

Season 5 (Bravo Network) Top Chef Hosea Rosenberg, originally from Taos, New Mexico, was always good at math. After graduating 3rd in his class at Taos High School, he moved to Boulder, CO to study at the University of Colorado. His dream... Read on »

Download the Life Noted App

Life Noted App

Visit the App Store on your iOS 7 device to download Life Noted

Would you like to be a guest blogger on Rhodia Drive?

If so, contact me via e-mail at stephanie at rhodiadrive dot com with your proposed subject matter. We are looking for posts ranging in length from 100-500 words. Photos to accompany the article are a welcome bonus. If you have been reading... Read on »

Journaling Blogs

Archives

Exaclair Themed Videos

Rhodia Anniversary Video

Rhodia Classic Pad Showcase

PanPastel and Rhodia

Rhodia Fashion Show

Tom Bihn loves Rhodia

Clairefontaine Basics - Life. Unplugged

InkNouveau.com Clairefontaine vs. Rhodia

Alberto Lung reviews the Rhodia Pencil

Testing a vintage Mabie Swan fountain pen with a lot of flex - on a Rhodia Pad

Click here to read the story behind this video.


About

Rhodia Drive is a blog about Rhodia notebooks and the people who use them. It’s a place where devotees of this “French orange notebook” contribute ideas, experiences and links on the latest tools, events and general notebook-related news.

Rhodia Drive attracts creative people passionate about their Rhodia. Designers and artists, writers and pen collectors, thinkers and free spirits—anyone who loves notebooks—come together on Rhodia Drive.