After I started thinking about putting together a travel journal, I took a trip to Michael's (for embroidery floss) and ended up bringing back a Making Memories 8 x 8 inch scrapbook kit (I really loved the decorated cover, and the travel-themed tags, stickers, and doodads that were included!). Plus, it was on clearance! I don't know quite how that happens; I go to the craft store for one specific thing, and come back with three others...it's impossible for me to not look at the $1 section and the clearance shelf in those stores... darn their marketing managers!
I thought it was sooo cute, I showed it to Tom right away when I got home. He looked at it, and said "with all the stuff you have, you could make that yourself," which is true- and, after I started thinking about it, I decided 8 x 8 in. was going to be a bit too restrictive anyway, so the kit will be going back to Michael's. (... I did love the travel-themed doodads, though; I may have to make my own stash of doodads!)
So, I got out my stash of papers and gel medium, and went to work. (see messy table below for proof of creative frenzy)
I got my inspiration from a journal made by Ingrid Dijkers for JournalFest- see her cool journal on her blog. Ingrid's journal started with a 3-ring binder- she took off the vinyl covering and recovered the binder with paper and images. I have plenty of boring white three-ring binders, so I found one and got to work. I decided to dispense with the binder altogether, and just use the covers loose with rings; this way, I can easily add as many pages as I want just by adding larger rings. So far, I've covered the heavy chipboard covers with brown paper bags for texture and more stability (a la Ingrid)... the covers will be painted, then decorated in a travel theme.
The pages inside are all different kinds of semi-sturdy paper- different colors of cardstock from my stash, and different sizes of hot and cold press watercolor paper. I will also add envelopes and paper bags as pockets to hold maps, pamphlets, etc. from the places we've visited. I've started painting and collaging some of the pages in preparation for adding the journaling elements. Tthis is the stage I like the most: the painting, cutting, and pasting stage- I get stuck on the "finishing" stage of things, probably from my "perfection" complex- I don't want to actually finish things, just in case they don't turn out as good as they are in my head... I really need to overcome that, though, otherwise this won't be much of a travel journal!
the photo below is a closeup of the left page above... I broke out my watercolor paints, and made the textured page below with green and blue watercolor paint and plastic wrap! Once you get the wet paint on the page, you put wrinkled plastic wrap onto the paper, which allows the paint to pool into the creases. I held the plastic wrap down with a magazine to keep the creases in place till the paint dried, and voila! a textured watercolor background- perfect for a photo of the Seattle Space Needle, I think!!