Saturday, January 15, 2011

Prepping a New Travel Journal

I am a very lucky woman. My sister-in-law has given me a trip to Hawaii for Christmas! Not many people are given a whole state for a gift....we are leaving on February 7th. We will first stay in Honolulu for a few days and then head over to the Big Island (Hawaii for those of us who are Hawaii challenged). I always keep a journal when I travel and I will for on this trip too.
Since our departure is creeping up on us more quickly than I can believe, I decided that this was the weekend for getting the journal covers completed.

There is a very creative woman who creates blank watercolor journals and sells them on Etsy. I love the size of these little books (about 6 inches square) because they slip into my pocket or my purse, the covers are a nice quality of paper that takes paint well and the watercolor paper that she uses for the signatures is heavy and wonderful for sketches, water media and just for journaling. This will be my fifth travel journal I have made using L's little creations.

For this journal I decided to use Hawaiian quilt block designs for the front and back covers. I love the graphic quality of Hawaiian quilts and I thought they would translate well to a journal cover. I had a copy of Hawaiian quilting by Elizabeth Root in my stash and I liked many of the quilt block designs featured in the book. I opted for a hibiscus for the front cover and the anthurium design for the back.

I photocopied my chosen designs and resized the images to more closely fit the covers of my journal. Then I scribbled with a plain old pencil all over the back of the designs to create a sort of carbon paper to transfer the design to the covers. (Placing the design face up, with the pencil scribblings on the cover and then tracing over the design with pencil.)

Once I had the designs transferred to the journal covers I went over the pencil design with a ultra fine point Sharpie and then I used my Copic pens to add color.

When I was happy with the covers, I then gave them several coats of matte gel medium, applied with a small roller, to protect the covers and make them waterproof. I like having the covers to my journals waterproofed so I don't have to worry so much about slopping water (or tea or lattes!) around when I am journaling. I am, I'm sad to say, very messy.

I used a very thin wood veneer "paper" that I found at a scrapbook store for the inside of the covers. I cut the veneer to fit with my paper cutter and then used a permanent glue to affix them to the inside of the covers. I weighted them down while they dried as wood veneer has a tendency to curl and I wanted them, of course, to be flat.

Not the most elegant covers for a journal, but I am hardly the most elegant of journalers. I am pleased with the end result. Now for the fun part---taking the trip and creating the journal while I'm away. I'll add ticket stubs and ephemera that I collect on the trip and I will also probably add small photos that I will print with my Pogo printer. I love that printer and the fact that I can print out 2" by 3" sticker-backed photos while I'm traveling. By being able to add photos to my journal pages while I am still on the trip I have a completed journal when I return home....ready to bore my friends and family with my adventures!


diane b said...

You have really got the art of holiday journalling down pat. There is no way I would find time to journal on holidays. I scribble notes in a book I call a journal but it is very rough. I use the notes to blog and make photo books. I keep saying I'm going to make a jurnal when I return but never do. You have it sewn up. Well done. Enjoy your trip. Nice place to go in winter.

lori vliegen said...

wow, michele.....i am loving the way you finished the covers of your hawaii journal! what a great idea to use the quilting designs.....they're bold, graphic, and are a great introduction to all of the fabulous pages that you'll be creating inside! using the gel medium to protect your artwork is another great idea, too! happy, safe travels to you......enjoy playing in hawaii, and in your journal!! xox, :))
p.s. thanks SO much for your sweet link.....i appreciate it very much! xo