Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Fun?!

7:03 AM

Acadia National Park Sketchbook Cover
Stillman & Birn Zeta Paper
Watercolor and Ink
Going on a trip, for me, begins long before I ever get in the car or plane. It starts with the planning of the trip and once the tickets are purchased, I begin the long and lovely process of deciding which journal format I'm taking, the type of paper I'll be working on and what pigments to put in the palette (often, but not always, determined by the location).

"A-n-t-i-c-p-a-t-i-o-n is making me wait…"

As you might have guessed, I'm heading up towards Maine and the art you see above is the cover of my new sketchbook I'll be using.

I decided I wanted a long horizontal spread for the trip. Take a look over on Flickr at some of the panoramas and you'll know why I want this format! Here lately, my paper of choice has been Stillman & Birn's Zeta paper, but they don't make a horizontal themed sketchbook.

What they do make is loose sheets of paper, 22 x 30 inches!

And violá, I have the beginnings of my sketchbook. The folded page is 7.5 x 4.5 inches. A full spread will be 15 inches wide—plenty of room for some of those gorgeous views. You may be wondering about the size…let me explain:
Damaged paper
Unfortunately, when I received the paper from the art house, it was damaged. Since I'd already decided on the long format and to go against the grain with the pages, It was just a matter of adjusting the width to eliminate the damage at the bottom.

Over on Facebook, in the Artist's Journal Workshop group, Tina Koyama shared that she made signatures of paper, but them in a cover and then bound them together after they were complete rather than carry the entire sketchbook around at one time.

I decided to take that fabulous idea and run with it, but I needed a cover:
Leather Cover with an elastic loop close
If this puts you in mind of a Midori's Traveler's Journal then I did something right as that was my inspiration! I stumbled across those journals late in 2011. In mid-2012, I bought some leather, stamps and dye with the intentions of making my own. We already had a collection of tools for working with leather.

Ummm…I have no idea what happened to the intervening years so let's fast-forward to July 2014 and I finally got around to making my own journal. For those of you interested in making your own, there are a number of excellent YouTube videos on the subject.

The sketchbook allows me to carry two signatures of 4 pages each. I've already punched holes in the middle of the pages  and tied them together. This is only for the sake of carrying and so the pages don't move when I'm working across the spread.

When I finally complete my journaling from the trip, I will take all of my completed signatures and bind them with covers using the coptic binding method. (There are also a number of YouTube videos on this as well.) Using this method, I won't have a lot of unfinished pages and I won't have the bulk of the entire sketchbook to haul around.

One other plus will be that if by some odd chance I should lose the sketchbook (eek!) or drop it in the water (argh!), I won't lose all of my pages.

I'm only just getting started on this journal and I'm already having way too much fun and building my anticipation. Rather than have all the fun and then bombard you with all the pages at the end of the trip, I'm going to start sharing them now and along the way.

What do you do to prepare for your travels, anything special?

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