Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tuesday Tips & Techniques: Create a Travel Journal

PART ONE - TIPS


It's been many years since Keith and I went on a vacation, but later this year we'll be headed out for just over two weeks.  Yes, I'm just a little excited!  Not just for the travel, but to hang out with family.  First we'll be staying in MO with Keith's sister and hubby (Keith's sister and I have been best friends since we were 10 yrs old!), and then we're off to CA to stay with our son Mike & his girlfriend, Nadia.  We've never been to CA before, so I'm really looking forward to finally going out west!


That I would take along a travel journal is a given.  I've done one other travel journal in the past and it was a on a return trip to FL so I knew exactly what to expect.  This time is a little different.  I've been to my sister-in-laws before so I remember the "flavor" of the area and know pretty much where we will go.  Since we're also going to CA and I want to include both trips in the same journal, I had a lot to consider.  By sharing my thought process with you, I hope I can save you some of the agony I went through to finally arrive at my journaling decisions.

Things to Consider

How are you traveling?  If you're traveling by car, this probably isn't an issue.  If you're traveling by air, you'll have to be a bit more particular about the items you back for journaling.  After all, you don't want to be detained as a possible security threat and undergo hours of interrogation. <insert sigh here>  Yes - I'm a little annoyed that I can't just throw my little tube acrylics into a bag and be done with it!

What's your journaling style?  Do you like to write detailed descriptions of your travel adventure, or are you more prone to outlining your major thoughts with words and phrases?  Do you collect freebies everywhere you go, such as carry out menus, paper/board coasters, pamphlets, business cards, etc.?  If you collect these things do you want to include them on your pages?  

How much time are you likely to spend on your journal each day? Will you have leisurely time alone to gather your thoughts and work in your journal?  Do you want your journal mostly completed by the time you return home?  Do you want to allow just one set of pages per day or per special activity?

Considering all of these questions first, will help to determine the type and size of the journal that will best suit you.

Keith and I have decided to do nothing but carry-on bags for our trip.  We're not fru-fru types, so we won't need anything besides comfy, lightweight clothing. (As long as I have room for my art stuff, I'm good!) That was a major factor for me in selecting a journal.  I don't want to take anything too large since packing space is limited, so I chose this journal.  I thought it would be a perfect size to carry around for sketching and writing, and it would take up very little room in my luggage.  At $2.99, it was also the right price!

  
I had to do something about the white cover right away, so I applied a light coat of heavy bodied gesso, let it dry, and then applied black acrylic paint around the perimeter.  I didn't like the smooth, glossy texture either, so I took a sheet of handmade paper, added crimson and cadmium red paint and applied it to the cover with gel medium.


I didn't know what else I wanted to do to complete the cover so I began working inside the journal.  I began by making pockets out of the first pages  so I would have somewhere to stash the items that I know I will gather along the way.


I then began prepping the next set of pages for our airport experience and flight to MO.  I used acrylics and painted sky and clouds.


And then I decided that this journal just wasn't going to work!

It's far too small for my style of journaling.  I like to include every juicy detail of my experiences.  I like including napkins, and coasters, and receipts, etc., etc., etc.  I decided I didn't like the ringed binding.  I decided to go larger.


I decided to go with the very book that began my art journaling in the beginning - A Mead Composition Book.  I've been working diligently on this project and I've decided that it's the perfect journal for me. I realize that had I asked myself the correct questions to begin with, I would have never given the first journal a thought.


This journal is going to be absolutely perfect for my journey!  I'm really happy with the way it's turning out and I can't wait to fill it with goodies from our travels.  Here's a sneak preview of some of the pages:





Come back next week for Part Two, and I'll share the techniques I used for the cover and pages.  In the meantime, gather all the fun papers, stickers and stamps that feel like vacation to you!





CELEBRATE * LOVE * CREATE

15 comments:

  1. Well, I can't wait to see this in person!! So looking forward to playing in my studio when you're here. (fingers crossed for some arty farty time together)

    Soon. . .
    Barb

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    1. I'm SO excited to hear you say that. I was longing to hear "playing in my studio" from you ;o) I'm looking forward to our art day! YAY!!!!

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  2. How wonderful you're getting a long awaited vacation. The journal looks great.

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    1. Thanks so much, Geri. My journal would look even better if I knew how to take a decent photo! LOL

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  3. I LOVE the way you've set this journal up! Maybe you could finish the first one with pictures/collages from your trip?
    Have a great trip!

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I am going to finish the first journal as a gift! :o)

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  4. Angelia what a wonderful idea & what beautiful journals you are creating. Wonder if the composition book will stand the spread of being filled or if you are widening the spine someway? I have never worked in one like that for a journal so not sure how it takes extra pages. Good Job, have fun on your vacation.
    Linda

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    1. Thank you, Linda! Come back next week and I will show you step-by-step how to make room for all those extra goodies that get incorporated into the journal! :o)

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  5. Looks like a fun journal and I'll be checking in for the second session :0)

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    1. Thanks, Carol! I'm having a great time with it.

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  6. I love this! I am gearing up for a real vacation with my daughter - the first one in . . .years. I am so excited at the prospect. And it will be an important trip for us. I am now inspired to create a travel journal to take with us. Thanks for the inspiration. Can't wait to see the next phase of this project. And who doesn't like the good ole' composition book???

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    1. Yay, Laurie! I love when synchronicity manifests! I'm looking forward to seeing what you create so I hope you'll share it with us! You won't regret taking a journal and working on it before your experiences become foggy memories! :o)

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  7. You are one very creative person. Good job, Mrs. Thompson!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Art!

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  8. Great post! I really like it and very nice place to view the look...

    Travel Tips

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me! It's a pleasure sharing the creative world of art journaling with you. I love hearing from you, so comments and questions are always welcome.

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