Saturday, April 10, 2010

What Happened in Panama?!

Besides filling a journal with bird lists, brief descriptions of daily activities, and a few drawings, I brought home a wealth of ideas for future art work and loads of photos to remind me of what inspired me.

I found a nice landscape-format sketch book with medium weight watercolor paper and covered it with some beautiful paper, including a label with hand-stamped lettering. I finished the inside cover with more of the green paper. Then I covered the outside with about three coats of glossy gell medium to protect it.
On the inside of the back cover, I made a large envelope out of an old calendar page and more paper. (I have to have a safe place to stash brochures, receipts, and other papers to use for the final compilation of the trip in the journal!) Of course, there were a few too many things in there and the next-to-last day of the trip, the end of the envelope blew out. Not bad for a month's worth of collecting though.

Here are a few of the pages, including one of the pages on which I glued the week's dates with spaces for a day's summary. I kept the "date strips" (also cut from an old calendar for a month when the dates and days matched those for March 2010) in the envelope and inserted them at the right place in the journal, not knowing ahead of time how many pages I would use. It turned out to be a great system for us, especially when we joined our bird tour group and we were busy all day and tired when we could finally rest. 

I left lots of space for photos, collaged sections of brochures, interesting receipts, and little doodles. Now I am in the process of printing out the photos on brochure paper (so they are not too thick), using my Microsoft Publisher software so I can adjust each photo to the size I want and to print out full sheets of many photos at once. I then cut them apart and place them in the journal with archival sticky strips or tape.

Eventually, we will have a completed journal that can give us not only lots of little facts we will want later but - more importantly - a way to remember and immerse ourselves in this wonderful, rich, full trip.

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