Backing Your Own Backyard

People ask us all the time how we travel so much. Want to know our secret? Most of our travels and outdoor adventures aren’t far. In fact, many of them are in our own backyard or within a 2-3 hour radius from our home. Sure, we love to travel to far off places and try to do that as often as we can, but we also know that we can see some pretty awesome places nearby too.

We may not be readily able to to travel outside Victoria but we can explore our own backyard. The Goldfields Guide is a rich mine of information for anyone wanting to get out and about. Why not rug up, lace up your boots, pack a bag with your journal supplies, a thermos and something to eat and head out to explore our fascinating backyard.

More Resources

8 Tips for Finding Adventure in Our Backyard

Why Every Aussie Should Explore Their Own Backyard 

 

 

 

 

Travel Inside Artwork

Before lockdown I used to take my writing groups to the Castlemaine Art Gallery and encouraged them to sit with art work and imagine themselves entering the scene that the artist had created or talk to the character whose portrait had been painted. At a time when so many places are closed or restricting entrance there are an abundance of virtual galleries that we can visit. 

Transpose yourself inside Paul Joseph Constantin Gabriël ‘s “In the month of July” painting! Visit Netherlands windmills farms in 1889.

Lean on These Resources

What is originality? It is a fallacy to think you have to come up with totally original ideas. Take the time to contemplate and consider which creative giants have influenced you. Who have you leaned on? 

These resources are ideal for journal keepers, looking for extra ideas.

How often, for example, do we ask ourselves what makes us happy and what we really want from life. In ‘A Life of One’s Own’ Marion Milner set herself to grapple with this. It is written in the spirit of a detective story searching out clues. As readers we get caught up in the chase and find ourself looking for our own clues.

‘The New Diary’ by Tristine Rainer provides a very modern concept of journal keeping and is as much for someone who has kept a journal as it is for someone who is just beginning. It does not tell us the right way to keep a journal but, rather, offers numerous possibilities.

Exercise: Recalling a Special Childhood Place – from ‘House – Exploring the Deeper Meaning of Home’

Starting a Journal

Students often think of journals, sketchbooks or visual diaries as a chore, but they can be an exciting space where they can synthesize and express experiences of both the external world and their own internal worlds of imaginings, feelings, dreams and ideas.

In this time of lockdowns, journals can be an even more useful tool.

This week’s resources will help you inspire students to let go of pre-conceptions, be experimental and find the joy in starting an artist journal.

Source: Latrobe Art Institute  Education Matters Edition #7
Link to Education Matters sent by Carol, one of our journal group.
You will find more 2020 resources here 

Tell Their Story

Paper dolls are figures cut out of paper or thin card, with separate clothes, also made of paper, that are usually held onto the dolls by paper folding tabs. They may be a figure of a person, animal or inanimate object. Paper dolls have been inexpensive children’s toys for almost two hundred years. Today, many artists are turning paper dolls into an art form.

Paper dolls have been used for advertising, appeared in magazines and newspapers, and covered a variety of subjects and time periods. Over the years, they have been used to reinforce cultural beliefs regarding the appearance of ideal women.

Today, they have become highly sought-after collectibles, especially as vintage paper dolls become rarer due to the limited lifespan of paper objects. Paper dolls are still being created today.
Source: Wikipedia

Perhaps as a part of a mixed media project you could make dresses for paper doll figures using things like water colours and silk flowers. Then you can create a world for your characters to live in and fill a journal telling their story.

As Good a Time as Any to Make a Start

Today is a good day to do what we have been talking about doing – to begin creating our new journal.

The Muddle-headed Wombat – Ruth Park

After a frost it is a bright and sunny day today! What to do? Alas! It is another Covid day and we are all supposed to be staying at home. At least in the Muddle Headed Wombat’s world the rain that saw them pull out their paints and pencils was eventually going to stop.

This Covid business is lingering on and on, with no end in sight.

It is the perfect time to get out the paints and pencils and make a start on that journal we all promised to start.

I draw a card from the Australian Animal Wisdom Cards and the Fairy Penguin reminds me that whatever is going on, we are here to work at living, not, as so many would have me believe, here to be serious and living just to work.

If you are reading this, do that thing you have been talking about doing right now! Let yourself play! Start the journal by creating a notebook to put your first ideas in! Go on! Just do it!

Four Reasons to Establish a Journal

Some Reasons Why You Should Be Journaling

1. Journaling Relieves Stress

Writing professionally can be stressful. Demands on word counts and creativity can be draining. You might think, why on earth would I de-stress from writing by writing? When you’re writing creatively, you’re writing for a specific purpose. You are fleshing out your characters, setting a scene, or moving plot along. But when you journal, you are just marinating in your own thoughts. Putting your worries, frustrations, and victories to paper can help you add closure to your day, and can provide an emotional release. (This is assuming that you’re journaling before bed.)

2. Journaling Helps You Process Your Thoughts

Sometimes in the midst of releasing your emotions on paper, your mind is clear enough to work through those emotions, and figure out solutions to your frustrations. I’ve had some great “a-ha” moments when I’m journaling, or maybe thirty minutes to an hour after closing my journal I’ve found mental peace after littering pages with word vomit. And who knows? Maybe in the midst of one of your own word vomit sessions, you’ll find the solution to that plot hole you unintentionally fell into. By the way, if you spend time journaling, you’re likely to be physically and emotionally healthier according to a 2005 scientific study.

3. Journaling Boosts Your Self-Esteem

If you spend ten minutes every day writing about something positive you did or something you like about yourself, your self-esteem will thank you. Similarly, writing five things you’re thankful for each day can make you more grateful, and as a result, can make you happier. You’re enforcing positive truths about yourself and your writing each time you practice this.

4. You’ll Be In Good Company

Kurt Cobain. Abraham Lincoln. Leonardo Da Vinci. Andy Warhol They all kept journals. If it worked for them, who’s to say what you’ll get from the practice of journaling? The hardest part of journaling is starting the habit. The easiest way is to schedule a time for yourself that will be consistent every day. Get a notebook that you love looking at or touching, or if you prefer to go digital, try Evernote or other note-taking apps. Of course, there’s always blogging if you’re ok with being more public with your mental processes. No matter which route you take, journaling is a worthwhile life practice to start. Do you journal? How does it improve your life? Let us know in the comments section!

Source: The Write Practice

References

Benefits of Journaling

Journalling for Mental Health

Surprising Benefits of Journal Writing

The Bullet Journal Method: Tarot Inspired Journal Writing

How to Start an Art Writing Journal

50 Visual Journal Promotes to Promote Drawing

How to Combine Drawing and Writing into Deeply Personal Art

Timed Journal Writing

Founded in 1914, Daiyo is a 4th generation family business of candlemakers who are based in Shiga prefecture, Japan. There are 2 types of fires, says the company: Hinoe and Hinoto. Hinoe, the elder brother fire, and Hinoto, the younger brother fire, live without hierarchy but in a Yin-Yang relationship. The elder brother fire is like the flame of a burning sun. It is wild and must be handled with care. The younger brother fire is much smaller and can be handled with our hands. Fire has been with mankind for longer than history and have offered comfort in many shapes and forms.

“To light a candle is to share the stories in our lives and to establish new relationships.” – DAIYO

These fun tiny candles are handmade from natural rice wax. Because they’re virtually free of contaminants, the candles burn for 15 minutes with almost no smoke or drippage. Unlike typical candles that are made from hydrocarbons (or fossil fuels), these are environmentally friendly and perfect for indoor use.

The cat & mouse packaging design pays homage to the history of candle-makers in Japan, who have always made candles from vegetable wax. The natural wax attracts mice so candle-makers always had a cat around; a pet that was also a guardian.

Use a tiny candle it for your daily meditation, as a timer for taking breaks, a timer to write an intensive journal entry or simply to relax.