Thursday, August 8, 2013

My Embroiderer's Travel Journal


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.

46 comments:

Linda H said...

Oh Susan, you will have a fabulous time! It is such a beautiful country. I'm sure you will capture it all and hopefully share it with us. Bon Voyage! Safe travels!

Dolores said...

So, is this a virtual trip?

Nadja said...

How beautiful, I love it!

Allison Aller said...

Susan, your journal is a true work of art already, and so innovative. This is simply thrilling....

Starr White said...

I agree with Allison, your journal is already a work of art! I CANNOT wait to see what wonderful things you add to it. Since travel is not an option for me at present, I will be following along eagerly!!

Wishing you the very best on your trip!

Janet said...

What a beautiful journal and a beautiful starting point for collecting ideas, snippets....
as you travel. Can't wait to see it upon your return and then again after you've had time to process it all.
Janet

brodanni said...

You keep finding new ideas on any type of subject, you are an exceptional person. I like the way you turn everything on something so interesting and deep. Thank you for sharing your world to us.

NickiLee said...

Hi Susan,
Once again I am in awe of your talent - not only your eye for beauty and details but in your writing - you capture ones imagination and I for one can't wait to see what you add to this already beautiful journal. Have a wonderful trip!

theimperfectionary said...

How fabulous! This is such a wonderful idea and already so so beautiful! And I totally agree with your sixth love language! Perfect!

Lisa said...

As always, you bring beauty and joy to everything you do! I hope and pray that Scotland blesses you richly while you are there! Can't wait to see what treasures and ideas you bring home!

Blessings and peace!

victoria said...

OMG! My head just exploded! I love-love-love your travel journal. When can we expect a kit to available? (Just kidding. Kinda.)
Safe and Happy Travels!
victoria

Renee said...

Your journal is gorgeous! I hope you have a wonderful time and look forward to hearing about your adventures! My husband and in-laws spent a night in Scotland 17 or 18 years ago. We cannot forget that our room in the B&B we stayed at had a sink that folded out into a shower. And, one restaurant we stopped at had Tuna and Banana Pizza on the menu. My husband had to ask, and the waiter said the locals requested it so often they added it to the menu. Although short, it was an amazing visit. I am so excited for you!

gracie said...

Your book is marvelous as is! Cannot wait to see what is added.

Mary Ann said...

It's one place I have to go to as my mum was born there. Been to England and Wales but I never made it that far north. You'll have a fabulous time:)

Thearica said...

Such a fantastic idea. I have been in conversation with a few of my customers for a few weeks about doing a Scottish themed challenge on my website. So please do not think I played off of you if you were to hear about it.

I look forward to seeing where your journal takes you.

have you ever read the Diana Gabaldon Outlander books? They might help you on your journey.

Catherine said...

Your journal is fabulous! My friend who traveled there last year actually met jump with one of my bloggy friends!

Catherine McAtier said...

Your journal is gorgeous - you've really captured the beauty and varied textures of Scotland - there is so much to see.
I've never been truly happy with my day to day journal and now I know why - time to get to work, starting with some Paisley Pattern from my home town. Cx

Cath said...

Enjoy your trip. I'm sure it will be full of beautiful creations when you return.

Mouse said...

I think it will help a great deal :)
enjoy using your book .. and can't wait to see what you add to it :) love mouse xxxxxx

Createology said...

Susan like all that you do this is a work of art ready for new experiences you will have in Scotland. Brilliant idea to make and take an Embroiderer's Travel Journal. Not only can you capture more than memory or photos this will also serve to share your love of needle and thread with others you meet along your journey. Very lovely indeed dear...

dar traviss said...

You're journal is beautiful....I can't wait to see what you do with it. Happy trails to you and yours....

dar traviss said...

You're journal is beautiful....I can't wait to see what you do with it. Happy trails to you and yours....

Judy S. said...

Wishing you, your family and your journal a fabulous trip!

margaret said...

Susan your journal is wonderful, such creativity and imagination not to mention your skill with a needle. Have a wonderful time in Scotland, have only been to Edinburgh and Glasgow and that was with work, oh yes forgot 40 years ago had a log cabin holiday with in laws when daughter was 1 year old, that is where she started to walk.

Corina said...

I love your journal! It's amazing, love all the details and it's clearly made with love!

underatopazsky said...

My goodness, Susan, that journal is an utter delight and breathes Scotland from every stitch already. It's a real work of art. Enjoy Scotland but don't forget the industrial strength insect repellent - the clegs (midges) are fearsome!!

tich said...

YOUR JOURNAL IS FABULOUS AND THAT IS FROM A SCOT LIVING IN SCOTLAND!! Scotland is beautiful, the scenery is breathtaking, but it is really the colours that blow my mind. There is something to stimulate you everywhere. If you look at the woven tweeds and tartans you can see the reflected scenery, just like the American pioneers used their everyday environment to name and design their blocks (Shoo Fly, flying Geese). Are you travelling ond Scotland, or staying in one area? You must see Glasgow art Galleries, the Transport Museum (for your husband) the Burrell Collection (the equivalent of the Randolph Hearst collection in California) and that is only a few things in Glasgow!! Have a wonderful time!! Looking forward to hearing and seeing your impressions. Take your camera everywhere!!!

Shirlee Fassell said...

Your journal creation is divine!!! I know you will have a magical journey because of who you are.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Oh, it will WORK! You have a natural talent for telling a story in pictures and props and I can't wait to see what inspiration this trip will bring. You are off to a wonderful start.

Some people save greeting cards to look through when they grow old. You capture memories with needle and thread.
Much Love,
Carol

Suztats said...

I'm sure your travel journal with be filled with all the wonderful sights, sounds and experiences of Scotland. Have a fabulous time!

Laurie said...

This is incredible Susan, what an awesome way to capture all the special moments in your life, an amazing keepsake and future heirloom. Absolutely beautiful!

Rachel said...

I'm sure it will work, but it may work in an unexpected manner!

Sheila Iskin said...

The Charles Rennie Mackintosh roses on the ribbon are lovely. I was always a big fan of his design influence. You'll have a wonderful time, and some great stories to tell. You travel with an open eye and now, a "sticky" book to collect impressions and ephemera. It will be really fun to look through for years to come. Be safe in your travels. :)

Gerry Krueger said...

My most stirring memory of Scotland was a day we were by aaccident were by the route of a military marching bagpipe band on the equivalent of our Veterans Day. About 80 of them marching up a road to a memorial. If I close my eyes I can still hear them... And of course there were the sheep!!! Ger

Elizabeth said...

I know that you will have a beautiful and magical time!! I have been to Ireland and Scotland is sort of similar- in climate and green and sheep anyway!! Your book is stunning as is all of your work!! Looking forward to hearing all about your trip!! Safe and Happy Travels!!

RuthB said...

Absolutely stunning and I'm soooo envious. How big is your luggage? Room in it for a spare stitcher?

Star of the East said...

Wow, it is impressing already!

Susan Hook said...

What a wonderful journal, you have such creativity and imagination, well done I love it!

Mosaic Magpie said...

Of all the fabric books I have seen this must be the most beautiful. It is practical and interesting. I love all the pockets you have added. The detail that tugged at my heart, was how you used the MOP belt buckle as a thread holder....the places your mind travels! Speaking of travels, have fun, soak it all up and be ready to share it all with us on your return!
xo,
Deb

Karen said...

Your journal is a beautiful, amazing creation.

FYI, if you're looking for fiction with a Scottish setting, try Dorothy Dunnett's series, the Lymond Chronicles. 16th century Scotland, Mary as a young princess, sword fights, drama, romance, violence . . . the series is a rough read but absolutely wonderful if you put the time into it (like a long plane ride).

Miriam said...

Really beautiful! So much work has gone into this journal already! Congratulations on such stunning work. :)

Padparadscha said...

I can't wait to read about your Scottish adventures, and see what you stitch about it ! I just love the Embroidery Doggie Bag, what a brilliant idea !

Marnie said...

Wow. Exactly how I view traveling. I try to gulp everything in while 'in it', then reflect and digest back home. I've equated it to drowning in the experience.

Gilli said...

Looking forward to see what you think of it. Our hopes are to get to Scotland sometime in 2014. Bon Voyage.

Mary said...

So many things to comment on! I agree with you that needlework is another language; one you are defiantly fluent in!

I just love this idea. It prepares you for the visit, focuses your thinking, and allows you to collect things that will add to that vision, instead of the usual tourist crap we pick up and never look at again! I love picking up yarn, fabrics, and TOOLS, love tools! You will be able to pull the book from the shelf and FEEL it again anytime you want!! Love the addition of the flowers!

We meet at Bob Havens Embroidery class in Kentucky. Are you doing tambour? I haven't had the time to keep up. I hope I can soon.

Lovely Blog!

Padparadscha said...

Hey Susan, did you hear about the Grat Tapestry of Scotland ?

http://scotlandstapestry.com/index.php

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