Art Journaling with Anna Ruth

"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way-things I had no words for-Georgia O'Keefe"

And that quote is the reason why I'm writing this whole post.  I love to journal, in various forms as you all know.  Lately I've really been into art journaling and sketching and really been wanting to make my time with the girls more intentional.  So this idea for an art journaling time with Anna Ruth came about, thinking it would conquer two mountains at once.  

I decided we'd journal after breakfast and reading the bible.  We take our time at the breakfast table most mornings.  Anna Ruth almost always asks to sit in my lap and Betsy Grace is usually down for a nap shortly after we finish eating.  I read my bible (out loud a lot of times) and Anna Ruth "reads" her children's version.  Then-we journal.  

The shelf you're seeing above is how I organized her art journaling supplies for now. We had a major clean out of this shelf! 
Anna's journaling supplies are kept in this cute produce basket, found at Tractor Supply (for less than a dollar if I'm remembering correctly).  I keep pictures, stickers, tape, and recycled pages in here.
I admit, I am REALLY surprised how much Anna Ruth loves sitting at the table, working in her art journal.  We usually sit and create for 30-45 minutes!  
To begin each session I lay out a few interesting items at a time and show Anna Ruth the possibilities with them.  Sometimes I'll also show her a new technique, or how to use a new crafty tool like the mini stapler we recently purchased!  
Journaling time is generally messy.  There are lots of supplies to choose from and we just aren't a neat and tidy kind of creating house.  And that's ok.  We always clean our mess/supplies up after we're completely done with our art journals, but don't worry about the mess while we're creating.  I feel like stopping to pick up trash or organize the table would disrupt the whole creative vibe we have going.  And so, the mess waits.  
Something else to keep in mind is that I journal right along-side Anna Ruth!  I'm currently working on finishing my Smash journal so that I can make my own art journal next.  I make sure Anna Ruth gets to see/hear me choosing which materials I want to use and decide where I want to lay each piece by talking out loud during the process.  It's important to me for Anna and Betsy both to see how much their mama loves to create and live an artful life.  It's my worship to God.
One day I let her have some of my fancy stickers.  I try to be really generous about sharing as long as it's something she's really going to use and not just thrown down on the table or ground.  I was very amused that this day she colored on the picture of Betsy Grace and I, and then covered us up with tape. Please tell me there's not a hidden message in this, lol! :) 

There are so many great learning opportunities that can arise from art journaling time besides the fact that it's just FUN.  On this particular day Anna Ruth was very in to the butterflies.  We happened to have a magazine page with the word "FLY" on it so I helped Anna tape it on to her page, after explaining what the word was and what sound each letter made.  

Through doing things like art journaling with the girls I never want them to feel the pressure to be a carbon copy of myself.  I had told myself Anna and I would do the journaling for just a day or two to see how she liked it.  If she didn't like it that would have been ok and I would have found something else we could do together instead.   I think you can tell by the pictures how much she is liking it!  

{Do you art journal?}

Tomorrow I'm blogging about my newest brave endeavor.  Writing an online course called "A Rosy Retreat".  You won't want to miss it!  


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