Travel journal pages from Tuscany

Here are some of the pages I made about Tuscany in my travel journal. I started them when we were in Tuscany but I probably finished them in Cornwall as I could not find anywhere to print photos in Montepulciano.

The first week in Tuscany we  spent in an Air BnB apartment in Lucca, along with my daughter, my niece and my sister. It was gorgeous.

I don’t really want to say too much about these pages, if you click on them you might be able to read some of it if you are interested.  In this one above I created a pocket behind the photograph, where I have stashed some tickets etc.

This one on the left I used no photos, only pictures from pamphlets and flyers. We saw some opera arias one night, it was a highlight.

Ok this one below is about Paris not Tuscany. We had 3 nights there before we headed off to Tuscany. It was very special for me because I had both my beloved offspring there plus my niece and nephew. We had a 3 bedroom Air BnB apartment in the 14th arrondisement.

After Lucca we caught the bus to Florence for 3  nights…..such a romantic city! Once again we had an Air BnB apartment, this one with an amazing view of the Duomo, as you can see in this photo.

Even though it was only May, the Uffizi gallery has such long queues that we decided not to bother. We did see some other art in Florence though, I think it was the Pitti Palace gallery and also San Marco abbey.

After our 3 days in Florence we hired a car and visited a few small Tuscan towns.We had 2 nights in San Gimignano, an ancient hilltop town with lots of high towers.

Our final week in Tuscany was spent in Montepulciano, another hilltop Tuscan town with lots of ancient buildings. We had a car during this week so we made quite a few excursions to neighbouring towns including Cortona, Pienza and Montalcino. There was much drinking of wine and eating of pasta! We had family around as well, my sister had another apartment across town with 3 of her offspring, and we had Katy in our apartment. Lots of fond memories! Gerrit bought me this wrapping paper with the beautiful Florentine pattern, so I used it on a few of my Tuscan pages.I’m glad I made the effort to make this travel journal. It wasn’t always easy to find the time to work in it, but I persisted. By the time I returned home, after 4 months, the journal was full and very fat, almost to the point of the spine breaking, but not quite. It’s wonderful to have it now as a record. I love looking through it and remembering!

Travel Journal -Netherlands

I have been working on my travel journal in between sight seeing, whenever I get a chance. So far I have two main problems….surprisingly .it’s really hard to find places to get photos printed. And two, my darling husband wants to be out sightseeing all day everyday just about, so it’s difficult to get long stretches of time needed for art journaling. But as you can see, I have managed it a bit.

The journal I have is A4 landscape size so when I photograph a double page it’s very long and skinny. I tried taking the pages separately as you can see, but really they are meant to be seen together.


Keeping an art journal definitely enriches the journey for me. It’s fun collecting pamphlets from the Information offices, and looking for pictures and postcards I might want to include. On the left here I have made a pocket from a photograph and put our tickets to the Utrecht museum inside it. The postcard of the old cathedral painting is just attached on one side so you can flip it back and the writing continues underneath it. Nifty huh?


For this Amsterdam spread I used a serviette printed with a 16th century Dutch still life painting on the right hand side and I really like the effect. I am enjoying using a combination of postcards, ephemera and photos that we have taken.


The backgrounds I had already prepared are coming in very handy now, many of them already had paint and some scrap paper borders, so all I had to do was stick in a photo or postcard and write something.

However I know there are a lot of totally blank pages coming up late in the journal!

I have also done a few pages based on our time in Brittany (we are still there) but I will post them tomorrow. It’s been a long day. And if I may whinge about the weather for a minute, it’s still very cold, and also rainy today. I’m sure we will have better weather next week in Tuscany. Love to you all in blogland.

February and March Journaling

Here are some recent art journal pages. I have neglected my blog in the last couple of months, perhaps because I’m not sure whether anyone actually looks at it. Maybe people are looking at it, but just not making comments. Anyway, I thought I’d better do a catch up post before we take off for Europe in a weeks time. (So excited!)

I arranged a song called “Something opens our wings” based on a poem by Rumi for our Sanctuary group, plus I had this painting of a dark angel from an old calendar, and the page just came together. I “channelled” a letter from my dark angels telling me that its OK to be depressed sometimes. I LOVE this page.

The beloved local newspaper in Byron bay is called the Echo, and after I did some undercollage using the Echo I decided to turn it into a page about how I love living in the Byron Shire. I love the map border on the left, and  I used the trusty old plastic lacey tablecloth as a stencil. I LOVE this page too!

One week in our art journaling class we were challenged to draw something directly into our journals. I drew my hand drawing and turned it into this page about creating yourself. Since the drawing was grey pencil I tried out just having a whole grey scale page for a change and I like it.


For this next page our assignment was to cut 2 different landscapey pictures into interesting geometric shapes and fit them together. Since I have travel on my mind this is what I came up with.

And to finish this post here are 2 backgrounds which I have begun to collage and now I don’t know what to do next. This first one I think is so beautiful I’m afraid to do anything else to it.. The second one I think I’m liking the way its going,….but I’m not sure where that is exactly.


The background is quite textured ( I gessoed through the plastic tablecloth, let it dry, then painted over it with watery cobalt blue and raw umber) I shall be interested to see what appears on the left hand side.

I’ve been busy preparing some painted backgrounds in the journal I will be taking with me to Europe. I’m not planning on taking my acrylic paints, just a small watercolour travel set. I’m totally inexperienced with watercolour, so….it will be interesting!

Art journal pages that came easily

It’s getting towards the end of January, I have a brand new art journal ( I bought the bound Strathmore one) and I have quite a few pages from my finished journal that I still haven’t posted about…so here they are! I’ll spread them over 2 posts. This is one I started in Zom’s class.We were meant to use a photocopy of some part of our body but I’ve recently fallen in love with some scrapbook papers so I decided to cut my hand out of one of those. I wrote about being left handed, whether or not that makes me “artistic” and I added some pics of some famous left handed artists. I love this page, esp the silhouettes of my hand in the background, created with gesso resist.

This next page was mostly done in class also. People had brought in tarot and other divination cards and we chose 2 of them for our writing prompt. “Knowledge” was one of the cards I pulled and  I ended up writing about what I would like to read over the next few months. I had a bunch of images that I carry to class, including this beautiful painting of the reading woman. She seemed to want to be on the page with the ancient writing and statues so I just tied them all together with some burnt umber and yellow ochre paint. The whole page came together really fast and was very meaningful to me…I love it when that happens! I added the bird when I got home and then the sentence “through the doorway of knowledge flies the bird of wisdom” just popped into my head and became the title of the page.

Here is a page about our coming trip to Europe and how excited I am about it. I had lots of fun experimenting with writing in many different fonts..I’m a bit of a font lover, I think it dates back to my childhood days. When I was 10 I was sent to the opportunity school in Summer Hill and we had to buy the Speedball book of writing. We were expected to copy fancy fonts for heading on all our work and I loved it, especially the “old english” font. It’s much easier now to find interesting fonts, I’m always downloading them from free font sites on the net.

Love and light to all of you!

Travel Journal continues into Switzerland

It’s summer holidays here, and I’ve been spending some time working in my travel journal. So far, since my last post about this journal here I’ve finished the pages covering our journey to Saverne and Strasbourg in France and on into Switzerland.


Some pamphlets we picked up are stored in a pocket made from a postcard from the Bosch museum.

I employed the Azza technique again here on the right page, cutting up 3 photos to make a gothic window shape I used a bit of walnut ink around the edges of the page to give an aged effect. Love that walnut ink!!

We were lucky enough to catch this wonderful English choir in an old church near Saverne. They were certainly the best choir we heard on the whole trip…the English really know how to do choirs!


We drove from Saverne in France to Romanshorn on Lake Constance in Switzerland in one day. On the way we diverted up a mountain to see the Chateau of Haut-Koenigsbourg.I made this background using a new stencil by Michelle Ward that my darling husband gave me fro Christmas. First I painted 2 pages with yellow ochre blending into cobalt blue, then used blue, green and yellow spray inks through the stencil. Then I ripped some fleur de lis scrapbook paper to make a border. I loved the effect of the ripped patterned border so much I used it again on a few more pages. On the left page I used a photo I took to make a pocket to hold a pamphlet from the castle. This is my favourite page so far from this journal, I LOVE everything about it.

A double page devoted to Strasbourg, where we explored the cathedral and took a boat tour. As you can see I used another fleur de lis scrapbook paper here. I visited a few scrapbook stores in my area and bought every medieval/baroque style paper I could find.


I painted the next 2 pages with yellow ochre and red oxide, and printed out a map from google maps of our itinerary from Saverne to Romanshorn. There’s a pic of the city of Konstanz in the centre which flips over separately.

Here it is again with the central photo flipped over. Now you can see the old door (from 1322!) and the library of St Gallen, which has many beautiful OLD manuscripts and books.




We drove over and through the Alps to the Italian part of Switzerland and stayed in Bellinzona which was gorgeous. I had forgotten to print out any photos from this part of the trip, so I put together a montage of 3 photos on the left page, the 2 in the background I made pale.  I used a pale green damask patterned paper for the background on the right and tore a border with it on the left. That walnut ink came in handy again around the edges.

Over and through the Alps again to Grindelwald, a beautiful valley surrounded by snow capped peaks. The left page is a map I picked up in Grindelwald  and the right page another Azza style of cut photos. I had yet another fleur de lis patterned paper that I used to make a border and tie the 2 pages together. There is some of Gerrit’s writing (in Dutch) about Grindelwald on the left page.  I have not really written a great deal in this travel journal, just a few lines here and there. Partly because it all happened over a year ago now and partly because I have so many photos I want to use. When I travel again this year I expect to write a lot more, as I intend to be making the journal as I am traveling.

I still have all of our 4 week trip through France to go in this journal! I don’t know whether I’ll get it all done or any case I quite like what I’ve done here so far. Thanks for listening, blessings to you all in blogland.


Travel journal

I’ve become interested in travel journaling in the last few weeks and have been looking at LOTS of travel journals, scrapbooks, smashbooks etc on the net. Next year we will be traveling back to Europe (both my offspring are over there) and of course I want to be journaling while I am there. I’m not sure what sort of journal I will be doing, but I thought I would have a go at making a travel journal retrospectively of our trip to Europe last year. So far I’ve only done the first part of it, which was about the 10 days we spent in Holland before we headed off to Switzerland and France. I used a plain 2 ring binder (A4 size). Here is the cover which I covered with a scrapbook paper and an antique map of Europe.

Here is the inside cover, on which I put one of my favourite photos taken in the Avignon palace, and surrounded it with a border of a scrapbook paper that I thought looked a bit medieval. The opening page with the airplane I made on photoshop.

First inside page shows some photos taken in Utrecht (where my son is living) I made a “filmstrip” of a few photos on photoshop.


I printed out quite a lot of photos so I had to find ways to fit them in. The small yellow page in the middle has a photo on each side.

On this next page I scanned a map of Utrecht that we had collected, made it lighter to create the background, then stuck strips of the original map around the edge as a border. I got my husband to write something in Dutch for me also.

The next 2 pages are a bit more “art journal” and less “scrapbook” like because I used a stencil and some spray ink to create a border (supposedly resembling some Delft blue pottery). First I collaged down some black and white pics of some delft buildings and gessoed over them. When I posted the photo of us in a giant clog on facebook the next day there was a funny little conversation about it, so I took a screen shot of this and included it on an extra flap in the centre. This is also a pocket in which I have put a pamphlet from the cathedral. Delft is where my husband went to University many years ago, so it was wonderful for me to see it with him.

We spent a couple of days in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, which everyone seems to just call DenBosch. There is an amazing huge cathedral here, very gothic, and we were lucky enough to hear a beautiful choir singing there on the Sunday morning. I also met  Gerrit’s sister and brother (pictured at left). The background of this page is a photo I took in the cathedral which I made pale on photoshop.

There was also a museum dedicated to Hieronymous Bosch who hailed from this town in the 15th century. The flap/pocket in the middle is made from a postcard from this museum.

Here are some more photos from Utrecht, which was our base when we were in Holland. I had a belated Mother’s day lunch there with my two darlings. The page on the right is 3 photos of Utrecht cut in the French scrapbooking style known as Azza, which I discovered on the net. It is supposed to be a kind of tulip shape. The edges of this page are painted with watercolours. I expect I’ll be taking watercolour paints with me next year, but I don’t know whether I’ll be easily able to print out photos while we’re traveling.

This is the last page that I have done, with a couple of photos in Amsterdam.

I made a stamp myself (carved it with ezy carve) of some old Dutch houses (like you see in Amsterdam) and printed it here with a golden coloured ink. I’m rather proud of it. The page on the left is just a scrapbook paper with a photo stuck on it. I had fun one day visiting a scrapbook crafty shop in Lismore to buy some travel themed papers for this journal. I guess this travel journal is kind of a cross between a scrapbook and an art journal. It’s been a lot of work so far, and I’m only about one seventh into our trip (which was over 8 weeks long), I’m still learning as I go along, trying out different ways to present the photos, and to write some memories. It has been nice to relive some of those memories while making this journal. I hope that I continue with it. My other art journal is calling to me though, because it is nearly finished, only a few pages left…..and now Zom is back and art journaling classes have resumed, yahoo!

Blessings to all of you out there in blogland.

A Travel Page

The prompt was simply to write about a place we had been, and as we had returned relatively recently from our big European trip I wrote about one of the most special moments of our holiday, ie our visit to Beynac castle on the Dordogne river in France.

The borders are just ripped from some magazines, the background was raw umber paint smeared over the gesso and rubbed back. Some sky blue was painted over part of the page and then some of my holiday photos collaged on. I’m still experimenting with my writing style, trying out different things. I tried to do a sort of curly flourishy font here, with limited success. I feel a bit dissatisfied with my own writing, everything I write in my journal looks like I’ve written it (which of course I have) but somehow I want it to look different, more interesting, more artistic.

Anyway, back to Beynac. This was such a beautiful place especially the view from a grassy terrace where other castles could be seen all down the river on both sides. We both felt very happy and I could almost imagine that perhaps we had had a past life there together. Who knows?!