Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Travel Journal

PART FOUR:  Embellishments and Add Ons

 This is my final installment in this four-part series.  Since I'll be doing a lot of flying, I've avoided adding things like brads, eyelets and other metal embellishments that may get me dragged out of line, assaulted with a taser, or otherwise hassled.  I can always add those things (if desired) when I return safely home.

I've decided to take the bare minimum in the way of art supplies.  I'm taking this Terrifically Tacky Tape (double sided).

I'm also going to pack a couple black pens and some plain white copy paper to use for journaling.  I've decided to journal on small pieces of the copy paper and glue them in.  At least that's the plan now!

I found this perfect 12" x 12" scrapbook paper (made by Reminisce) at our local craft store, Pat Catans.  It's double sided, but I don't care for the back side at all.

I've pre-cut all the words and road signs for easy application, and will place them into an envelope along with  my other goodies.

I don't normally use stamps in my daily journal, but hey, this is a diary of a once in a lifetime event!  I'm pulling out all the stops!

I'm making up tags ahead of time also.  I figure the more I get done now, the less I'll have to do on vacation to keep up with my pages on a daily basis.

FOOD is a main feature on our CA stint as we'll be taste testing many cuisines that are new to us.  I'm making several little booklets for these experiences.  Here's a Mexican cuisine booklet made from one sheet of 8' x 11" card stock, paper scraps, and stickers.

The green paper with attached tag is a little booklet that fits into the right-hand, side pocket that folds out.  This was a lot of fun to make, and I used this tutorial to learn the technique.  I modified it slightly to attach it to my journal page.  I watched quite a few tutorials on a lot of these clever paper folding techniques.

I hope you'll find this series useful when planning a travel journal for yourself.  I'll be sure to share the finished journal after we return from our vacation later this year.

I hope the remainder of your week is a pleasant one filled with love, laughter and creativity!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday's Musing

I adore altered Mona, and Keith directed my attention to this tee shirt on Threadless.  Of course, I had to have it!  So through the magic of the Internet and PayPal, it arrived last week.

What better way to celebrate the loss of 50 pounds and find new inspiration for an Altered Mona journal?  That will be this year's winter project for me!

I can't wait to see what I come up with.........my sick and devious mind already has several ideas bubbling and churning....


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weekend Journal


I didn't open my journal once all week.  That's because I've been busy making gift journals.  All 3 journals are still works in progress, but I thought I would show you what I've done so far. 

Here's the cover of the first journal.  Remember my mandala journal?  I've used basically the same technique, re-purposing cardboard, covering with paper (this time using gel medium instead of paper mache), and binding with a coptic stitch.  I've incorporated lots of my artwork printed from my computer.  I still have a lot of work to do on the pages, and I still need to finish the cover on this "Book of Wisdom".

I just love this binding technique!

This second journal is interactive.  It's loaded with all sorts of bells and whistles with fold-outs, hidden pockets and places for tags. The recipient was a stamp junkie, so I know she's got plenty of items to use to help fill this "smash' -styled journal.  Here's the cover and some of the pages.

Here's the inside cover and first page that is a tri-fold.

More pockets and fold outs

What could be hidden under the skelly flap?

YIKES!  I know she'll get a kick out of this!  She's a Halloween enthusiast, so lots of appropriate pages for ghouls, goblins, and things that go bump in the night.

A pocket complete with sugar skull tags

Some more pages that have to be bound in along with about 6 other pages that I haven't made yet.

The inside and outside of the back cover.  A compilation of my artwork.  You might recognize some of the images.

The 3rd journal is another travel journal.  Some lucky couple is headed to Hawaii in a few months!  Remember the journal I was going to use as my travel journal?  It was too small for my 2 week vacation, but perfect for a 6 day vacation.  The recipient takes lots of photographs but is not too much into creating art.  I have a lot more to do in this journal, and since I know she looks at my blog, I'm not going to give away too much :o)

I've included lots of pockets and tags in this journal too.  Hopefully there's plenty of room for photos and journaling.

So that's my week in journaling.  I may get to open my journal in the next day or two, but I really need to get these completed first.  Tomorrow was my deadline for finishing, but I've moved it out to Aug 1st.  I'll post photos of the completed journals soon.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tuesday Tips and Techniques: Travel Journal

PART THREE:  The Pages

I gave a lot of thought about what I wanted my pages and overall travel journal to look like when it's finished.  I know that I don't want it to look formal or store bought.  I know that I want it to feel very textural and I want it to be a reflection of the kind of vacation we're going to have; a fun, food, family and friend - filled two weeks!


It's important to remove some of the pages from your composition notebook (or other journal) to make room for additional travel treasures that you want to include.  If you don't remove some of the pages, your journal will be bulky and will not want to close.

I removed 2 and 3 pages at a time in my journal.  Here's how I did it:

  1. Take the first four (or 5) pages. Remove pages 2, 3, (or 4) at the red, left-hand margin.
  2. Glue page 4 (or 5) to page one. (I used Mod Podge for this)  The back of page 4 becomes the left side of your second spread.
  3. TEAR your pages.  This will give you a seamless finish when you glue your pages together.
  4. Save the pages you tear out to use in other art projects!
  5. As you near the end of your journal, begin counting your remaining pages to make sure you have enough spreads for your trip!

TIP: Take advantage of the fabulous scrapbook papers that are available!

My very first spread is devoted to an index.  I will index my pages for Missouri on the left and California on the right.  I will probably print my index directly on the page for MO, but for the darker, brick page (scrapbook paper), I think I will type and print my index titles and glue them in for a more graffiti style look.
I have painted almost all of my pages with washes of craft and artist acrylics.

My next spread is reserved for the airport and flight to MO.  I haven't flown for well over ten years so I'm sure my experience is bound to be different than I remember.  This will give me a space for writing down my thoughts at the beginning of our journey and will be something to do on the flight.

TIP: Even if you've been to your destination before, order travel brochures online.  They're usually free and a great source of imagery for your journal! 

My next spread is for our first day in Missouri.  We arrive early in the day so I'm sure there will be plenty to document.

We don't have an itinerary (YAY!), but I am planning an art play date with my friend, Barb!  We've never met in person before but have developed a lasting friendship over many hours on the phone.  I included an extra spread because I know that day will require four whole pages!

On this spread, I only removed the top and side sections of pages 2, 3 and 4 so I would have a special place for journaling.

I cut each page about 1/2" shorter than each previous page and added scrapbook paper to the edge of each page for a little more support.  I also added scrapbook paper to the front and last  of the 3 pages.  I have plenty of additional room for journaling and any other small mementos that I want to include for this day.

TIP: Plan on using one spread per day.  This should give you plenty of space for journaling, sketching and photos.

The purple inset on this spread is a pocket I made using 4 pages.  I'm not going to show you how I did this because it was a HUGE pain.  I like how it turned out, but you'll note it's the only one in my journal!

I put a pocket on the back of my pocket. (Clever, huh?  I was out of control!)  The orange part is the front of the pocket folded down.  I used a paper punch to make the decoration and tacked the tag down with a spot of glue after looping it through one of the holes.

I tore about an inch off of the right hand side of the next spread.....and accidentally the one after that, too.  I'm sure it will end up being a happy accident.  I can add some tabs and they won't necessarily have to stick out beyond the covers. (Although I love that look, I'm thinking they will just get ruined during my travels.  That might be something I do once we return home.  Hmmmm.........)

TIP:  Use old or current maps of your destination as part of your backgrounds!

Here's another "flight spread" for our flight to CA.  We have to change planes in CO or TX (the airline can't seem to make up their mind).  I'm sure I'll have plenty to write about!

My first CA spread is a big deal because we've never been on the west coast.  I wanted to have plenty of space for photos and for writing down my initial impressions.  The "CALIFORNIA" is scrapbook paper I was lucky enough to find here in Ohio.  The blue booklet is also scrapbook paper. The only thing that is painted is the left side margin.

When I mentioned to my son that I would be more than happy to prepare some home cooked meals, he LAUGHED!  He assured me that there would be no opportunities for me to cook for them as they are taking us to all their favorite restaurants!  I know this includes Persian, Moroccan, Italian, Mexican, burger joints, and more.  When I heard Persian and Mexican, I knew I wanted to use lots of rich, gemstone colors.

I allowed to spreads per day (that they will be off work and with us all day) because I anticipate lots of carry out menus and photos, and lots of sight seeing.  I'm really looking forward to the very artsy, Laguna Beach!
I made an envelope out of this 12' x12" scrapbook paper that I HAD to use.  I love it!

As you can see, I've only got 1 1/2 spreads to complete - the "flight spread" for the trip home, and the final page will be "Home Sweet Home"........

Because as Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."


  1. Consider your destination. For example, if you're planning a vacation that involves most of your time in the woods, you may want to prep all your pages similarly using lots of earth tones and nature imagery on your borders.
  2. Do you plan on doing a lot of sketching?  You may want to take along loose sheets of paper or another journal that you don't mind tearing pages out of. (I'm going to take along a small journal for quick sketches.)
  3. You might want to number your pages or at least write the day or date somewhere on your pages so you allow enough spreads in your journal.
  4. Remember that your prepped pages are backgrounds and will be mostly covered with photos, sketches and ephemera.  If you're like me, it's easy to become tempted to add too many details.
  5. The more work you put into your journal before your trip, the more fun and pleasurable it will be to add memories and treasures day to day.

I hope you've found this helpful, and I invite you to come back next week for my last installment of Travel Journal.

Embellishments and add-ons

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