Handmade journal

Handmade journal image image

Well, next month I have decided to focus on faces for a month in the hope of getting better at drawing, painting and mixed media.  We shall see.  So, I thought I would make my own journal. Having just received my new Inktense pencils from Amazon in a nice cardboard envelope, I decided to use this as the basis for the cover of journal.  I covered it in gelli printed deli paper, added some holes for a handmade button and some of my own printed washi tape (this is really masking tape which I love making).  I used some water colour paper, some white card and some pale purple card to make the signatures and just wrapped some embroidery silk through the signatures and round the cover.  I finally covered the silk with a couple of layers of my washi tape and some sellotape for final stability.  It was a quick fix but I am quite pleased with the results although I am sure it would not win any prizes for a perfect homemade journal but …..

Final stages of our Arctic road trip

So, we travelled down to Trelleborg in Sweden to catch the ferry to Rostock.  It was an old ferry, the cabin rather musty and no hot water until the morning.  But it was a safe crossing and we arrived in Rostock, Germany in the morning sunshine.

Crossing from Trelleborg, Sweden to Rostock Germany
Crossing from Trelleborg, Sweden to Rostock Germany

We then drove to Vegesack to a Stellplatz we stopped at on the way north.  We like the area and we spent three days relaxing the sunshine, walking along the banks of the Weser and I ran each morning.  Coffee stops in the town centre and a great pizza restuarant all added up to a peaceful time after our long drives.

Three days in Vegesack
Three days in Vegesack

On Saturday 28th June we headed off for the ferry port at Hoek van Holland spending the whole day travelling slowly and stoping off for drinks, food and sitting in the sunshine.  We arrived in good time for the overnight crossing back to the UK.

Giant deck chairs on the roundabout before the port
Giant deck chairs on the roundabout before the port

Another great crossing and we felt rested enough to drive from Harwich straight back home arriving in the afternoon back in Devon.  We had driven over the month over 4,000 miles.  A great experience.

Once home we were greeted by our dog Pippin and our land completely overgrown and looking more like the forests we had left behind in Finland and Sweden.  It has taken us three weeks to tame it and I am now ready to start more arty stuff again.

Back home after a 4,000 mile road trip
Back home after a 4,000 mile road trip

 

 

The journey through Sweden

The banks of the Kemioki River
The banks of the Kemioki River
John engrossed in his iPad with WiFi from our 3 account MiFi.
John engrossed in his iPad with WiFi from our 3 account MiFi.
A lovely proverb
A lovely proverb
The long journey through the forests
The long journey through the forests
Mixed media playfulness
Mixed media playfulness

Well, our journey through Sweden was interesting.  The roads were easy to drive and the stop over places in their Restplatz were great and trouble free with all facilities needed for wild camping ie drinking water.  Great!  The forests are endless and the road view does not differ very much until you go off the main roads into the villages.  But we were on a mission to get to Rovaniemi and we did not deviate from the road on the way there.  In fact, if you blinked you might have missed the road sign saying Finland as we crossed the border from Sweden.  We camped on the banks of the Kemioki River in our second campsite of the trip.  Great location but very expensive!!

 

A Restplatz
A Restplatz

Heading to Midsummer’s day

The lupins on the roadside in Germany and .sweden were stunning.
The lupins on the roadside in Germany and  Sweden were stunning.

We are now heading south wards in Finland and as we head towards Midsummer’s day the temperature near Jyvaskyla is 3C and there is snow in the rain!  However, remembering back to the frosts of Sweden, the colours are subtly different than here in Finland and the forest floor is bare compared to the flora in Finland.  I think the canopy is denser in Sweden.

The dense forests of Sweden
The dense forests of Sweden

Leaving Denmark and our first stop in Sweden

A little yellow hammer joined us for dinner before crossing the first Danish bridge
A little yellow hammer joined us for dinner before crossing the first Danish bridge
Our first wild camp in ?Sweden.  Brilliant!
Our first wild camp in ?Sweden. Brilliant!

We are currently at a campsite in Ranua, where there is a wonderful zoo with the animals mostly indigenous to Finland.  It is a great place where we have had walks, wandering through the zoo and had time to get out the BBQ for our vegetarian feasts.  However, my journal is still way behind us!!  Too much travel and not enough painting.  But, I completed another four pages today.  I use my digital photos and ephemera picked up along the way.  It is a great process to go through even a few days behind as we can relive the journey even whilst we are still on it!

 

Germany and Denmark

On the banks of the Weser, Germany
On the banks of the Weser, Germany
Lots of bridges and great architecture
Lots of bridges and great architecture

Well, although we are now sat by the edge of the Kemijoke River in Rovaniemi, my art journal is still behind us.  So, the pictures here show an impression of Vegesack in Germany where we stayed in a Stellplatz by the river and had a lovely time walking backwards and forwards along the river’s edge.  The weather was warm and sunny, almost too hot!

From here we drove to another stellplatz in Germany and went onward and upward into Denmark.  Bridges are a feature of our travels so far as we cross various countries and rivers/seas to get to our final destination of the Arctic Circle.

In Denmark

Near where Constable painted the famous Haywain
Near where Constable painted the famous Haywain

Near Nyborg, Denmark

On the Weser, Vegesack, Germany

On our way up to Harwich we stopped off at the National Trust’s Flatford Mill to see where Constable had been inspired over 200 years ago.  A lovely place and a great sense of peace.  Then off to Harwich for the overnight crossing to Hoek Van Holland in Holland.  A brilliant crossing as we had splashed out on a Captain’s Class cabin.  Very nice.

In the morning we seemed to fly through Holland into Germany and onto a town on the edge of the Weser, Vegesack.  We came here before in January 2013 when the temperature was -15C and the water in our motorhome was frozen the whole time!  We only went there to visit one of our children Aidan, whose super yacht was in dry dock for upgrading.  What a difference the time of year makes and we had glorious warm sunshine.  After some walks into the town along the Weser and a run in the morning we were off again traveling to the North of Germany.

We found a little Stellplatz in a village next to a park where we could walk and go for a run in the morning.  Lovely weather but woke up to torrential rain in the morning so decided to drive up into Denmark staying just south of Nyborg at a campsite.  Gorgeous spot over looking the sea and the bridges we are crossing tomorrow to work our way towards Sweden.

The art journal is coming along but no finished pages yet.  All works in progress so I will post those when they are in a better place!

Art journal travel suitcase

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All packed now and ready to go.  Over the past few months I have been gathering together my supplies to take on our next adventure to the Arctic Circle.  I have been making my own ‘washi’ tape or rather art tape from masking tape which I decorated with Scandinavian designs.  I have made mini journals using an idea from Jenniebellie (find her on the internet – full of loads of inspiration), completed my journal with a variety of backgrounds with some pages left blank and made lots of pieces of ephemera such as labels, shapes, arrows etc to add into my journal through my travels.  

My first art journal I completed was when we went away in our motorhome last Autumn.  I enjoyed it so much that I have become a bit carried away with the whole art process.  It is great to look back on where we travelled and what we did.  It feels more alive because I took more time creating it than I do taking a photo.

So, very excited about beginning the next journal.  I hope to post as I go.  It depends on the internet connection, but it should be OK.