Hello hello! Long time no post. I've been thinking a lot about this space here, my blog, and what my plans are for it, and have many thoughts to share, but I'll save that for another day. Today I'm inspired to put blogging on the top of the to-do's because of my thoughts on creativity.
While thinking about blogging and dreams and time management and all-the-things, I realized that we all have some true constants in our lives, and one of mine absolutely is pursuit of creativity. It's a non negotiable. It doesn't matter if I'm sick or well, happy or depressed, busy or with time on my hands, creativity happens. I have to make stuff, it's one of the great loves of my life.
I love that. I am deliberate about it, and also choose creating by default - it's my favorite procrastination technique, it's the most effective place for me to problem solve, it's an excellent well filler - to name but a few.
Let me back up a moment and tell you what brought on this realization:
Recently, I started thinking about what kind of travel journal I wanted to take with me to Italy soon. I even debated using a Midori Traveler's Notebook, but after looking at some of my favorite past travel journals (below)
I knew I would likely regret not making my own. I'm going to Italy to assist Amy
while teaching a jewelry class at La Dolce Vita retreat, so we started brainstorming together. We went to Italy together just over a year ago when we co-taught making Travel Journals at Adventures in Italy retreat and had so much fun constructing the design and making pre-trip as well as enjoyed having similar designs while there.
I've found that making a travel journal doesn't just leave you with wonderful scrapbook and souvenir, but extends the trip before and after the actual travel. Ahhh! is exactly how I feel when I look at them...a little bit of heaven!
Amy and I decided to get together to brainstorm and begin making our journals for this trip. She had some leather and I brought two of my TN's for construction inspiration, traditional Midori TN and a Webster's Pages TN:
Amy had some leather she had found at the flea market, so we cut strips, talked about options, and began sewing. (I loved the bright neon orange thread she bought at Wallmart.) We had our basic plans down and I had to leave for my son's baseball game. Of course, I thought about it the entire game. Later that night I worked on it some more and came up with some fun alterations and additions. I finished it late last night after a week of off and on playing.
I really really like it, I'm not sure I love it, but what I really loved was the whole process of creating it from brainstorming to execution. One true constant. There's nothing wrong with it and I'm not fishing for argument, it's just I'm not sure how well it will function as a travel journal for me. It might be perfect, it might take getting used to or I might not like it. I'm not worried about it, I'm just sharing that because it was such a great example to me about how it's all about the process, the result is the icing of creative time spent. So here it is! :
Unlike the traditional TN's we decided to extend the length so that there is a flap that covers over the open book edge (not the spine):
I went the traditional Traveler's Notebook route with elastic bands there to hold the pages in the journal and also to keep the Journal closed tight. I bought some white elastic and tried unsuccessfully to die it with Rit dye, so instead I painted it with some orange Sumi ink, worked fine. (Amy said she might sew in her pages or might sew a leather strap on the top that wraps around vs. elastic. We hadn't gotten very far before we split up.)
Before I attached the elastic that wraps around the book from back to front, I mistakenly punched a hole in the wrong place, so I added a little scrap of leather rectangle to cover it. I put a star eyelet in the center to receive the elastic cord for a more finished look. Problem solving- always a favorite part of making for me. Of course, I could have done a better job of sewing it on, but with my non industrial sewing machine and penchant for focusing on process over perfection, I'm just fine with it as is. I tend to embrace the unique aspect imperfections bring. ;) So much easier than ripping out and starting again!
I also added a little piece of stiffer leather with grommets (what's the difference between grommets and eyelets? One for paper, one for material? or??? I feel I should know this but I don't). I think I'll use some of Amy's tiny metal alpha stampers to write Italy on it.
Here's a breakdown of the inside of my book:
I added pieces of leather to the left side before folding the base flap of leather down on top and bottom to create a pocket. The larger brown is to tuck papers in, sewn down on the side and bottom and on top of that brown piece is a red piece that is a pocket that just happens to perfectly fit the Pocket Palette I just bought. I also tried in vain to make my own monkey's knot bookmark and resorted to buying one from Handmademits on Etsy.
Now that I've broken it down and shared it here, I'm finding myself more fond of it. That usually happens after I let time pass from when I first complete something and do a quick evaluation of it. I'm super excited to test it out soon!
And with that, it's now:
And just like that, I've gotten back up on the blogging horse. That's another true constant; this here blog is almost entirely about sharing my creative adventures, I can always start there when stuck since there are always more of those to share ;).
It's Friday here, hope you have a good weekend wherever you are! xoP
p.s. if you follow me on IG you know that I am giddy about my recent investment (they are spendy!) in an ipadpro and apple pencil. giddy I tell you! so please forgive the inundation of digital writing. it's just so fun:
Much more to come on that too, I'm just getting started. I think I'll Periscope it soon to share what I've learned and hear from all you others that use those apps. (@pamgarrison_ over there) or link here.