In the last few years, travel journals have become a big part of my vacations. I like to take an empty book and a box of supplies (I used those clear plastic bins with snap on lids, that are about shoebox size), and gather tidbits of goodies along the trip to add to the pages.
Now that I have a retro style instant camera (from Michaels) I can add some pictures as I go. But I limit myself and don't put too many in, I save plenty of space in the book for other photos once I get home.
On these pages, I used a tourist map of the area, torn out of a free guidebook. I glued down shells from a shopping trip in Venice Beach, and a sunshine yellow flower from a hat my sister, Bobbie Sue brought to me.
(Can you see more blooms from this hat peeking out of other pages? What I've done, is to kind of stair step style, layer the flowers over the pages,so that they make a row of petal ruffles that show when the book is closed)
These two pages are covered in crumpled tissue paper that was in a shopping bag. I've covered a large tag with scrapbook paper, and added some lace, a flower, and birds that I brought with me.
The name of the restaurant we were eating at in these pictures is hand written because I didn't save anything from the restaurant guide that had the name on it.
It is fun to add little surprises that remind me of the events, like the tiny alligator I glued on here. The restaurant was on the bay, and my sisters were certain that a gator might climb up the dock at any time.
When I put down a background, I don't know what photos I will be using on it. Usually, I gather up papers from the trip, and pack some scrapbook paper and wallpaper, and while I'm relaxing and watching the water, I make backgrounds. Some pages get details while I'm on the vacation, others get finished when I get home and add pictures.
But I do try to keep in mind where we are going and what we are doing, and semi-plan some pages around the photos I took that day.
On this pocket, I've glued a beach scene from a vintage photo album I found at a junk shop we stopped in. It is lined in ruffled ribbon.
Trim on the bottom of the right hand page is crumpled tissue paper, lace that I brought with me, some shells I picked up, and millinery forget-me-nots.
I like the shells combined with the flowers, so I used that on a few different pages.
For one thing, I like the way it looks. For another, I think the flowers help keep the shells in place. Since the shells aren't flat, not a lot of their surface area makes contact with the paper. Gluing flowers to the shells and to the paper seems to make them have a more secure hold.
This shark tooth from Venice Beach, also is not flat, so to make it fit more securely, I stuck it into a blob of glue on a piece of brown paper bag. Then packed sand tightly into the glue to cover the brown paper and to hide the glue.
It was then added to a border of gross-grain ribbon that I tore off the yellow flowered hat my sis gave to me.
The background here is a place mat from the restaurant we ate at after shark tooth hunting. So, I decorated the page with that fossilized tooth, and photos of us from that day.
On the right page, I took polaroids of my sisses as we worked on our scrap books, and wrote down funny quotes from them. I won't show you the whole page, because those aren't the best pics. But I liked them and wanted to use them in the book. They are just private, not to share, since they aren't all that flattering.
The white paper is that pretty, sparkly stuff. It reminded me of the Sarasota sand and seemed to fit the picture of Sissy walking there.
The green netting border is the lining from that same yellow flowered hat. And I found a vintage bird book at the junk shop with the photo album. It was nice to have the old pics of beachy birds to add here and there.
More crumpled tissue paper from a shopping bag was used for the pages about the three of us sprinkling our Daddy's ashes. And I cut out the picture of the bottle Sissy carried the ashes in, instead of posting the whole photo of her holding the bottle.
Some of the photos are matted with sparkling teal paper, others are outlined with blue marker. I like to vary the size and shape of the pictures I add to the paper.
Bobbie gave me the seahorse sticker, as well as some transparent, sparkly, sticker pages. I cut a strip of that sheer glitter sheet to stick over the words I'd written onto text from an old fairy tale book about a sea maiden.
It says, "good bye," for our Daddy.
Pockets to hold brochures or receipts are handy to have.
And the mermaid scrap book paper was too pretty to cover up, so I just glued a picture in a corner of the page. And I cut out the silhouette of me on the rocks instead of adding the whole photo with ocean and sky.
I brought vintage swizzle sticks with mermaids for all three of us to use in our books. And the "beach mist" paper was a soap wrapper from our hotel.
Wrappers, labels, brochures, tickets, postcards are all good things to snag while on a trip to add a sense of location to a travel journal.
This page of old fairy tale text about mermaids was just ideal for my trip! I loved the three sisters in the corner, so left it as is, except for a hint of glitter (which doesn't really show in the photo)
At the top, I glued a napkin with three more mermaid sisters and embellished them with glitter ink, and rhinestones. At the bottom of the page, is a strip of more rhinestones, and another bundle of flowers and shells.
Handwritten messages are always special and will keep memories of a trip alive.
This one is extra special. I was so proud of my sisters. They love being by the ocean, but HATE getting in the water. They have always refused to even wade in the water. I tease them about ankle sharks, and then swim away and have fun on my own.
But on this trip, they over came their fears. Off the beach, there was a sandbar, that ran for hundreds of feet. I waded out to it, and walked around out there, feeling like I was on the edge of the world. Being so far out, away from the beach, but being in water only a few inches deep was just magical. It was such a beautiful experience, I wanted to share it with my sisters.
Now, I don't think I bullied them.... but I really wanted them to have the same joy I did. And our father loved walking on the sandbar years ago, and had asked that we take his ashes there.
I thought I'd be taking the ashes out on my own.
But they surprised me.
Our mom had raised us to fear everything, but I have forced myself to ignore that voice in my head. I don't know if they had realized just how fearful she had made us. Maybe hearing me talk about our fears helped? Maybe wanting to honor Daddy's wishes gave them courage?
At some points, the sandbar was 30 feet or more away from the shore, but we found a spot where the shallows were only about a 10 foot walk through waist deep water to reach. We stood on the beach, and Sissy led us in some Tai Chi deep breathing exercises, she said a blessing, and we all marched off into the waves.
I hope they felt the same magic I did out there. They seemed to have fun. And while I promised to keep an eye on them and help, they were so engrossed in shell hunting that they kept wandering off in different directions. I told them they were as bad as Sugarwings and Dewdrop and were lucky I didn't give them a time out for heading out in two different directions at once and making me follow them back and forth.
But then, I realized, they didn't need me.
They were exploring the gulf. Free from their life long fears. I don't know if I've ever been so proud of anyone before.
Yep, I was very proud. And happy to have been able to share the experience with them.
ps- Want to come to my cottage studio for a Christmas class? I have two available, how to see you here!
And I wanted to let you know that I have some flocked, pink, tiny trees in the Etsy shop now. They are a bit different than the typical bottle brush trees that I carry.
And I have them in two colors of pink.