Thursday, June 23, 2011

England 2007 Journal Part II

We are now about halfway through this book and it is starting to get pretty full...and that is the problem with this style, as nice as the pockets are, they really don't take as much as I am likely to want to save.  But then, I guess that is my problem.
Pretty much more of the same.  There is a story behind the photo of the performance artist in Winchester on my regular blog here
I took vintage postcards with me, most made into tags, and wrote on the backs.  I also purchased new postcards and wrote on them.  After I got home, I did prune back some of the paper, largely by only saving relevant parts or front pages.
I must make a confession here, I never did find anything suitable to put in the nifty pocket I attached to the inside back cover.  I am confidant something will come to me - it has only been four years after all.
And of course, the back cover had to have my beloved Tower Bridge, a wonderful rubber stamp by Claudine Hellmuth.
I think I have covered most of the various things I put in the pockets, but here are a few examples:

From the top: one of the vintage postcards made into a tag and embellished with a postage stamp; a rubbing from the church shown on the reverse of the postcard I glued it to; the bill from a hotel with a humorous exchange as we drove into the town; a cartoon I had saved before the trip.

I really didn't take much other than the actual book on the trip.  I took some thin paper and soft pencil for tracing, a glue stick, a couple of fine line pens and as mentioned, blank tags and vintage postcards.  The most important thing is to keep the book with you and when something wonderful or clever or funny happens - write it down immediately, on a card or the bill or the back of a ticket stub.  You can never quite remember them perfectly later, and these are the things that make travel journals special.
Some sample jottings:
   Poetic...The Quiet, the absolute peace and quiet atop Dartmoor, a sheep bleating across the valley, a crow passing by, and occasionally a gust of wind ruffles the gorse.
   Amusing...After I left the shop I sat on the rockery in front and watched the world go by. Then I visited the PO and bought some stamps, then sat on the rockery again for a while.  A sweet old lady who had passed me coming and going stopped and asked me "Are you hatching something dear?  And isn't your bottom cold?"
   A B&B...Period Living & Traditional Homes Finalist - Best Tea Shop 2004-2005.  NO BIG SURPRISE THERE! So far, best pasty, best cream tea, best furnishings, best mattress, best full English breakfast and best host - that would be John - a real charmer.
   Food...Tomato & fresh orange soup with a great hunk of granary bread & plenty of pure Dorset butter - and not one drop spilled on my white blouse.

My June book, which will be posted soon, is a version of a pocket book which I worked up myself considering the things I didn't like about this one.  Like all such enterprises, I solved the problems with this book and wound up with some wholly new ones I hadn't anticipated.

Monday, June 20, 2011

England 2007 Journal, Part I

I learned to make this book at a workshop.  The pages are folded 12x12" scrapbook papers and at that time I only had a reasonable amount of 12"x12" paper to work with (as opposed to the very unreasonable amount I now have) so the color scheme was determined pretty much by what I had the most of.  Although I am very happy with the book in general, it turned out to be a bit thick, rather clunky.  The book was made and much of what eventually went in the pockets was prepared before the trip.  After we got home, I decorated the pages, copied over some of the jottings, and added some bits I had at home.

The pages had punched holes and were bound by some elastic ribbon I was lucky enough to find in the perfect colors.  I had been saving a couple of pewter Tudor Rose buttons for just such a project.  The bookplate is also metal.

I feel that I need to explain why the Journal is titled York 5x3, especially since we didn't go anywhere near York.  Our first trip to England, and the Journal from that trip was entitled 'The Great York Expedition - and we did go to York.  When we began planning the second trip, thinking we would go back to Yorkshire, I called it 'York 2'.  Understand that I probably had a dozen Excel spreadsheets preparatory to making the trip and so I needed an umbrella title.  Although we eventually didn't go to York on the second trip, the name stuck and we had started a tradition of sorts.  So the third trip was lazily called 'York 3'.  Then along came the fourth trip in 2000 - what a lark to be able to call it 'Y2K'.  The fifth trip included my son-in-law so there were three of us and it became York '5X3'.  Amazingly enough, the sixth and most recent trip actually included York and was largely centered around a group of old friends visiting all seven of the Betty's Tea Rooms in Yorkshire - so it was York4T...get it?  I am already working on an itinerary for the hoped for next trip - goodness knows when or how - and it does not include York, but I simply have nothing clever yet in the way of a title.

The Vintage postcard I decorated the inside cover with is by the photographer Fred Judge whose cards I collect.  Like everything else I do, the pages and pockets of this book were highly decorated with postage stamps.  I also used rubber stamping and some stickers.  Beer mats made great additions to the pockets.

I took along blank pieces of paper already stamped and tagged, and wrote on them as we traveled.  I tried to capture the little things that made us laugh or caught us by surprise, I wasn't worried about listing exactly where we went or what we did when.  These pockets have another beer mat (I'm awfully fond of cider) and a small brown paper envelope with a pressed oak leaf from the Cotswolds.
And here is a journaling hint for you.  Since customs looks down on bringing any flora or fauna back into the country, I always take a thick paperback for reading.  On the trip I tuck a few leaves, feathers and flowers into the pages and keep it closed tight with a heavy rubber band.  By the time I get home and unpacked, everything is nicely pressed.  No one has caught me yet.....

More notes, one of my best photos, and a notecard.  I used a teabag wrap as a pocket and managed to pull a price tag from one of my small purchases.  I had a small clear envelope that I filled with several small coins.

A playing card from a childrens game, the lid from clotted cream (don't knock it if you haven't tried it), a theatre ticket, and another plastic envelope with another oak leave and a car park ticket.

Tags, notes, pressings, postage stamps, rubber stamps, stickers, a vintage photo, and more postcards.
This is the first half of the book and I will finish in the next post.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bookmarks - Series 1

Every good book needs a good bookmark.  In spite of the fact that I have a whole jar full of collected bookmarks of all sorts, I most often use an unloved antique postcard.  One of the joys of buying used books is that one sometimes finds a previous owner's bookmark remains - I've found train tickets, theatre tickets and sales slips from foreign countries - which tells me that I am not the only one loath to part with those little paper mementos.

While I am playing around with my photos - editing and enhancing, rearranging, uploading to any site that will take them - I find some that simply do not crop well into anything other than a bookmark shape.  And so I have been 'collecting' them and I have a flickr set devoted just to them:

So I finally converted a bunch of them into photos and spent a couple of afternoons using up paper bits, punching holes, and carefully coloring the cut edges of both photos and papers.

I made forty-four of them and have already given some of them away.  Pretty sure I'll be making another batch before the year is out.