Wednesday, September 5, 2012

When words are just not enough...
~Travel Journal Tutorial~

My husband and I love to take cruises.  We started sailing when our son was eleven and our daughter was nine.  It was then that all four of us fell in love with the whole concept of ocean travel.  From the start, I kept a written journal each time that we cruised because, along with our pictures,  I wanted to have a permanent account of our experience. 
 In the fall of 2008 I decided to do something a little different.  In addition to my written journal, I also began doing what I call a travel art journal. I worked on each of these every day while we were away.  After a trip or two I found that keeping up with both was just too much.  My husband and I agreed that the art journal was a perfect way to capture our adventures, so I quit doing a written version.  Who actually goes back and reads their written journals anyway?  And your friends would certainly  have no interest in reading it, although  I have had several friends "read" through my travel art journals.  A few have actually done one themselves after seeing mine. 

Before leaving on a trip I prep my book so that each day while I am traveling, I just add our adventures to each page.
After my step-by-step prep instructions, I will give a list of the art materials that I take with me when I travel.  I keep this kit packed at all times.  
You just never know when a cruise will "call your name"!

Step-by-step Travel Art Journal Page Prep 
(to be done before trip)

Basic Supply List:

 Printed scrapbook paper golf cards or other  desired journal pages Gesso  acrylic paints Paint brushes deli sheets or wax paper hair dryer hole punch Loose-leaf rings  heavy books or item to flatten pages Glue sticks brayer Ink pad sea sponge 

Step 1:
Paint golf cards/journal pages with Gesso. Let dry (may wish to use hair dryer to speed drying time).

Step 2:
"Doodle" paint inside of golf cards with acrylic paints that compliment the colors of the printed scrapbook paper you have chosen.  The scrapbook paper will go on outside of golf cards.  Don't worry too much about what this looks like because most of it will be covered up each day with maps, tickets and various other trip ephemera. Once again, you may wish to use hair dryer after this stage to speed things up a bit.

Step 3:
When dry to the touch, place deli sheets or wax paper between each painted golf card and press for several hours (I usually press mine over night) under books or other heavy object.

You will end up with something like this
(number of pages should correspond with the number of vacation days)

Step 4:
Using a glue stick, cover the outside of each golf card with printed scrapbook paper. Use brayer to flatten.
After gluing the paper to the golf card, layer with deli sheets or wax paper and press until dry.

If the corners of the cards are rounded, make sure to trim the scrapbook paper 

Step 5:
Rub a sea sponge across the surface of an ink pad and dab around edges of finished golf card.  This will soften the corners and add a bit of an aged look.  

Step 6:
Punch holes in the left-hand side of all cards then join cards with the loose-leaf rings.

Your journal is now ready for you trip!

A few of my journal pages

Back of journal

I usually complete the front of my journal and add some fibers to my loose-leaf rings when I return from my trip

Basic Travel Kit for Journal

  The long white thing is glue for  adding embellishments that are too heavy for a glue stick.  For a week, you will want at least two glue sticks. The round container has tiny beads and colored safety pins in it.  The small round container has very fine glitter in it.  The stacked set, the purple thing and the tear-drop shaped thing are stamp pads, but you probably could see that.  The two colored pencils I use to trace around anything that I want to accent.  The red thing is my travel brayer, although if you don't want to add weight, you could probably use a bone folder to smooth down your glued items. I always take a few tags and stickers.  I just put all my items in a zip-lock bag. 
 *Make sure you put your kit in your checked bag so your scissors don't get confiscated.

Happy Journaling!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I love to read.  Reading is an inexpensive way to transport oneself from this world, to meet different people, visit far off lands and just "slip into neutral" for awhile.  Blogging provides us with the same sense of adventure. The difference between reading and blogging is like the difference between dreaming in black and white and dreaming in color.