We are home and getting ready to go back to Europe

I have not posted in a while because being at home is not that interesting.  We have gotten around to all of our doctor appointments and we are healthy and ready to hit the road again.

We have been doing household improvements since we have decided to keep the house for a while.

The new plan is a family Baltic cruise in June and then to stay on in Europe until October or November of 2018 and cruise home.

I am so excited.  I will keep you informed of our progress. Mac our dog is very happy that we are home. destination England 2 I have been working on some travel journals to sell in my etsy shop ( www.etsy.com/shop/LDphotography)  and I will probably post some information as I prepare my travel journal for this summer.  I make up my travel journal ahead of time so all I have to take with me is the journal,  water color pencils, glue, tape and scissors. destination Scotland 2

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Versailles Paris a magical place

I wanted to see the Versailles Palace and grounds when we were in Paris and I am glad we paid for a two day visit.  We were there in the end of October and the weather presented some problems.  The first day there was a lot of fog.  This was not great for the photographs.Versailles clock foggy day 5x7 net Though it did give a soft effect to the clock of the Sun King on top of the palace.Versailles fog trees 5x7 net

We took a tour of the Palace ( 6 euros, I think)  which is the secret way to get in and not to stand in the long lines trying to enter.  Everything inside the palace is covered with gold and lined with crystal.Versailles fireplace 5x7 net

 

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Hall of mirrors Versailles 

 

This is over the top decor is not my taste but it was an amazing bit of spectacle.  As you can see there were a lot of people in the palace with us which made the viewing uncomfortable.

The next day we went back on the train and the sun was shining.  This changed the entire experience.  I wanted to go back and see Marie Antoinette’s Village.  King Louis XVI built her a hamlet away from the main palace where she could play act being a milk maid and a country woman.  This delightful village was the best part of Versailles for me.  We spent all of our second day there , taking photographs and seeing the farm animals.  Here are some of my favorite photos.

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The Queen’s hamlet

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The gardener’s cottage

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One of the gardens

Mr

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So tying up this blog post,  my recommendation is to go for 2 days, try to go on a sunny day and do not miss Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet.

 

Free tutorial; How to prepare a travel journal

One thing that I do now since going to Europe the last 2 years is to prepare my travel journal before I go.2017 travel journal2017 travel journal 1 I keep tickets, train stubs, receipts and other ephemera as we travel and there is not time to make special pages to keep this loose stuff.  2017 travel journal 4So I put in pretty envelops in my journal at home.   I also paint and add decorative paper to my journal pages as it is difficult to find the time and carry all the supplies to do that on the road.2017 travel journal 3  I make pages with fold outs to put secret or just private thoughts into.  2017 travel journal 6 I also stamp and color pages like this. 2017 travel journal 2 or this2017 travel journal 7  I take along a zip lock plastic bag with scissors, double sided tape, tape, color pencils ( water color ones), colored pens,  a small spray bottle, glue sticks and a small stapler.  Now I am ready to add papers and pages as I go along.  Hope this helps you prepare for your next big trip or even a little one.

Easy tricks to make a travel journal

When we are traveling I take lots of photos but they are on my computer and I do not have time to print them.  So one trick that I do is to cut out explanations and photographs of places that  we have visited from the free tourist brochures that you get at the tourist information center.  Travel tip:  You should always try to go to the tourist center in the beginning of the time you are in a new place.  They often have tips and ways to save money that would not occur to you.  They also have lots of free brochures about the major things to do in the town.

So here are two examples of how I used the brochures to make my travel journal of Girona, Spain.

The first picture shows a fold out explanation of some dates when places we saw in Girona were made.  The second photo is of the Arab baths which I think I will remember but probably not.  You can see that I pasted the explanation under the photo from the brochure.

I even got time to make some art for my journal.  It was fun to use my watercolored pencils. art journal houseWe will be going to Barcelona tomorrow to get on a cruise ship.  It is for a 19 day Mediterranean cruise.  So there will not be much coming from me on this blog because internet time on a cruise is really expensive.  I might get to post some photos with instagram when we are on shore.

Free tutorial making clear packing tape image transfers in your travel journal or smash book

So we are here in Europe for an extended period with very little luggage and just a few art supplies beside my smash book / travel journal that I brought from home.  We have been touring so there is not a lot of time to play with art journal techniques.  I have had to be inventive and use very basic techniques and supplies to make my travel journal interesting and quick.

Here is my clear packing tape image transfers using free antique images .  I found this old paperback book in Florence that a book seller had left in a box on the sidewalk for free.  There were some antique images in it and I thought the images  would work in the smash book.  I bought some $1 clear packing tape at the 1 euro store ( yes, they had several 1 euro stores in Florence but none here in Lucca)  and went to work in my apartment’s kitchen sink.image transfer tape small 1  I pressed down the tape to the images with a rolling pin that happened to be in the kitchen and put these babies into some warm water to soak in the sink. image transfer small 2  Turned them over and carefully rubbed the paper away from the back side of the tape and dried it off.  Then I used them in my travel journal in an appropriate place for the image.image transfer  3 small As you can see it gives another dimension to the travel smash book / journal and it took less than 30 minutes to make 4 of them.

I am experimenting with other papers and have discovered that you can do an image transfer with this lovely Florentine paper.  The paper on the side of this photograph.Smash book  tutorial travel postcards small I will do a quick tutorial about that in the upcoming days.  It is amazing how inventive you can get when you do not have all of your supplies and cannot even find them in the stores.  I really miss my distress inks.  Hope this helps.  If you have any questions or comments about your own travel journal ideas please leave a comment below.  Happy travels

Tutorial quick & easy ; How to make a travel smash book or journal on the road

Here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to make a travel smash book or travel journal .  It is important for me to keep my tickets and memorabilia ( plus I like to keep the prices of things like food and tours for future reference) from a trip because all the days sometime melt into each other and I cannot remember. Later, David will ask “When did we do that?”  and I cannot recall.  In addition, when we are traveling like this, it is hard for me to find the time to record all of our activities everyday.  This is where a travel smash book comes in handy.

It’s a journal where you just tape or glue in receipts, tickets, itineraries and menus as you go.  Here are two photos; one of two pages already prepared at home and another of the cover of my smash book that is not decorated yet.travel smashbook tutorial small 10travel smashbook tutorial small 6  This is not an art journal like I would make at home.  I only take a small amount of art items with me due to packing space. ( watercolor pencils, double stick tape, scissors, a small stapler, pencil, black sharpie pens, paint brushes, glue sticks, eraser and dry watercolor paints).   I prepare my journal before the trip by lining the pages with papers themed to where we are going and/or painting different backgrounds . Smash book  tutorial travel postcards 3 small

Then all I have to do is add the date to the page and a couple of comments. travel smashbook tutorial small 7travel smashbook tutorial small 9  Some times when I have larger brochures I glue some pages together and put the brochures inside.  travel smashbook tutorial small 11

I take lots of photos but I will not have time to get them printed until later so I leave space for them in the smash book.  Another trick that I use is to purchase postcards that have three photos on them in places we visit and cut them up and paste them into the book as I go along.  Here is a post card that I purchased and how I made a page from it.Smash book  tutorial travel postcards 2 smallSmash book  tutorial travel postcards smallThere is a pocket I made from some manuscript paper that I purchased here to put the tickets in to.

By the way, if you are short of packing space, you can acquire most art supplies here in Europe, and at reasonable prices. Here in Italy there are “99 cent only” stores, and a chain of Danish stores called Tiger. These last have lots of low-cost items ranging from spices to socks, including many office supplies and small craft materials.  Here in Florence, every museum and many other stores offer high-quality wrapping paper, two sheets for €2.50. They have Florentine motifs and are great for use in smash books. You can see a couple of sheets in the pictures above.

These are just a few suggestions.  If you have any other ones you would like to share , just leave a comment below.  Happy traveling and smash booking.