Forewarned and forearmed: to be prepared is half the victory.
The more personal, experiential embroideries I complete, the more I've come to realize the importance of capturing details while I am in the moment.
My camera helps a lot. There's no doubt that my picture-taking helps my design process.
And, like many creative travelers, I jot down notes and journal a great deal while I am on the road.
But both of these media have their limitations.
Capturing details is a multi-sensory input activity.
Couple that with the novelty of traveling and my senses are on overload.
New culture, new geography, new foods, new plants, new sights, sounds, tastes, textures and smells....phew!
It's like the most bountiful banquet I can imagine...a feast to devour...only it's subject to the limitations of my stomach.
I can only take in so much at one time.
If only there were doggie bags?
Enter my Embroiderer's Travel Journal: The ultimate in traveling doggie bags
Since it's my trial run, I imagine that I will have lots of changes and improvements to make once I've tried using it.
It's a blank slate of sorts.
Lots of pockets to capture important information, textures, and tidbits. Lots of spaces for stitchery and embellishment. Lots of paper to hold sketches and ideas.
My hope is that I will have more raw material to work with once I'm home.
It's like stash building but from a design perspective. The more choices (sketches, ideas, curiosities) you have in your stash, the better you're able to translate your story. Just like the more fabric, threads, and skills you have to draw upon, the more likely your translation will meet your vision. That's the theory anyway.
But here's the rub.
I don't really know which stories I'll want to tell until I get home.
Until I have time to process, to reflect. To wonder.
What did it all mean and how will I write the experience in my heart?
That's what it all boils down to, isn't it?
Travel changes us. It nudges our deep, tectonic plates. Even the slightest shift gives us new ideas for living. For stitching. For telling our story.
Have you heard of the Five Love Languages? Well, I believe that there is a sixth.
It's the language of Needle and Thread.
It is how I most completely express my love for my life, my family, my world.
Using my gift of embroidery, my knowledge of needlework...to honor and love my life.
I have already fallen in love with Scotland and I haven't even been there.
I've spent countless hours reading books...travel books, literature, and history books. I've scoured the internet and found wonderful lists of the "Top Ten Greatest..." I've found beautiful blogs by folks who are living in Scotland and sharing their lives online.
I'm armed and ready. My book in hand.
Let's hope it works.