June 30, 2012

The World is a Book

Hello, lovlies!  I have a journal-heavy scrapbook page to share with you today.  It has no photographs on it, a hand drawn sketch, a bit of collage; does that make it an art journal page, even though it is not bound in my art journal?  PoTAYtoes, poTAHtoes--I say, "Yes!!"

This tree is very much like the beloved shade tree in our backyard.  Note the trunk
way to the left and the leaves that stretch so widely across the entire top of the page.
Now, imagine our neighbor despising the crap that falls from this tree into his
pool, and see this as half a tree whose trunk resides on our side of the fence and
whose half-a-canopy provides lovely shade for our appreciative family and
a host of wildlife.  *sigh.*  Thank you, Tree!  WE love you!

This project was set forth as a challenge for the design team at my local scrapbooking store, Remember When, and let me tell you, the emphasis was on challenge!  We were each given a couple of papers from the Reminisce Travelogue line, and trading amongst the designers was almost immediate!  "I have Paris paper, but I know I have pix from New York I can scrap--anyone wanna trade??"  One of my sheets was a pattern of vintage travel posters.  I have purchased wall calendars with such prints in the past, because the art is just so darn cool!  I had no idea what I was going to create for my 12x12 inch page, but I knew I liked the hand I was dealt!
"The World is a Book"

At home, upon closer inspection, I read the quote by St. Augustine that was imprinted on one of my papers, and thought, "uh oh."  "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page."  Should I have traded papers with someone?  While I've never been to Paris, I could easily have put together a fantasy page, and going to Paris IS on my 2012 to do list, considering my sister's lived there for the past few years and I've yet to visit.  (What is WRONG with me???)  It's true:  I live a bit in a cage.

Sketched with pencil, traced over with Pigma Micron pen,
and colored using Distress Inks and a water pen

So, back to contemplating the quote.  A sticker sheet was included with my 2 sheets of paper, and there the quote was repeated, "The world is a book and those who do not travel read only the first page."  Granted St. Augustine wrote this circa the year 370.  Travel was certainly more difficult, and without photographs and the internet, relying on other people's tales of far off lands may have sparked the wanderlust in some via fantastical visions conjured, or a simple need to see for one's self in order to believe.   And in that sense, and in that day and age, I suppose St. Augustine had a point.

I began thinking about the Tree of Knowledge and the difference between book-smarts and life experience.  I started cutting leaves out of the travel poster themed paper.  I felt like that quote on the brown paper was starting to mock me, so I cut strips, stripes, and Y's out of it NOT using that quote, and created the bark of my tree trunk.

Another thing on my to do list this year is to be brave and experiment with free-motion sewing.  I took an online sewing class specifically to learn this skill over a year ago, and kind of abandoned the projects that involved it...which was basically half the class.  Part of my hesitation was that my sewing machine is "not capable" of free motion--I'd have to do a little jimmying to allow fabric and paper to be hand guided under the needle in any direction I chose, rather than letting the feed dogs do their work, gently and evenly, grabbing and pulling the material to be sewn straight under the needle and out the back of the presser foot.  

I removed the presser foot, punched a hole in a scrap piece of postcard-like
junk mail, positioned the hole over where the needle drops down, and taped
it in place.  The feed dogs will still be working away in vain on the backside
of that postcard, and I can whisk my project free-willy-nilly under the needle!

My thread tension needs some adjusting, but I love the
white-on-white texture of the stitched branches

What to do next...the journaling started to pour out.  When I started this blog I made a promise to share my journaling.  I am such a Nosy Nancy when it comes to other people's journaling as I skip through the blogosphere, so I think it's only fair.  I know that this has been a VERY wordy post this far, so if you need to jet because you've already spent far too much time here, I totally understand.  Thank you for making it this far!!

The journaling reads:
I am self-conscious about how little of the world I've seen.  I have a short list of places that I'd really like to go, but I'm in no hurry to get there.  I may not be an adventurous person, but I'm not closed-minded either.  I enjoy having new experiences, learning about different cultures, meeting new people and hearing their stories, trying new foods.  I haven't identified one thing that is holding me back--is it fear? money? time? hassle?  My mother grew up in Germany.  My sister lives in France.  My husband has been to England, Asia, Europe.  When I read this quote about those who don't travel, it made me feel sad.  It made me feel "less than."  And, it made me think about one of my most favorite books, a book that found me, and turned out to be so important and so relevant to my life.  "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time" by Mark Haddon, a novel about a boy with autism, though it never says he has autism, and as I read it I kept thinking, "Haha!  He reminds me of Jeremy!"  Three months after this book found me I had to quit my job to be available for J. and his troubles at school; four months after that he was diagnosed with autism.  In the book, Christopher's school aide explains that people go on holidays to see new things and relax.  Christopher counters, "there are so many things just in one house it would take years to think about all of them properly."  And to some extent I share this mindset.  I enjoy noting the details and miracles in my everyday life and my everyday surroundings.  I'm sure I will see more of the world at some point in my life.  But the thing is, Dear St. Augustine, the word may be a book--one book--and there are so many, many books within it.

I didn't have room to include my last sentence on the page:  "We each must write our own."

I'm happy in my cage because I hold the key.  Most days I leave the door open, and sometimes I perch in the tree's lower branches.  Maybe I'll fly off one day, knowing it will be waiting for me and welcoming me back home.

Thank you for visiting!


  1. love your journal page...esp the leaves :)

  2. This is incredibly lovely!

  3. This is such a perfect "Lisa" page. LOVE it. I'm with you. I've always been amazed by people who travel and wonder how they find the time. I feel like there is so very much to explore right here. Or maybe I just love knitting more than traveling? Beautiful page.

  4. Yes! tomAtoes toMAtoes too! Love this page and the added stitching too!

  5. Lisa Lisa Lisa! So wonderful to be visiting you again! What a wonderful, inspiring post! I LOVE this unbound journal page; don't worry if it's not part of an actual book at this time, because you can always self-bind with other loose pages in the future! There are lots of ways to do it, from sewing with your machine to binder rings to simple handstitched bindings like Japanese stab or pamphlet, and there are great websites and blogs out there that demonstrate how to do it.

    I can relate to your feelings of not being well-traveled. I was raised in a family where we never took that many trips, and I didn't even leave the state of Wisconsin until freshman year of high school! I've only flown a few times, and have to date been to just a handful of states; needless to say, I've never been out of the USA. Paris would be a wonderful dream, as I'd really enjoy seeing the sites and visiting the flea markets, which I've heard are full of vintage paper items, my first love!:-). I hope you'll take that trip this year, and take great pics of all the wonderful things you see and buy! And someday I must do the same!:-)

  6. Lisa what a great page! You have such a wonderful way of breaking down your thought processes on how you make your pages...my favorite part is the sewing...I so wish I could do it! Thanks for sharing your journaling!

  7. First of all I love that page- it's GORGEOUS! Second talk about determination! GO ON with your bad self! I love that you tamed the feed dogs with a post card! I signed up for that very same class and failed miserably to make even one project so the fact that you did so is awesome.
    I love the journaling- I love that you read and book and decided to follow where it led- so many parents would do anything not to face the reality that their child might be within the autism spectrum. As for travel- it's awesome but expensive- sometimes it's better that your home is a peaceful place of growth and love (which is what I sounds like to me). That being said- traveling ROCKS- maybe that's your next mini adventure- a trip to NYC- just sayin'. :D

  8. Wow, Lisa - beautiful journaling and a lovely layout.

  9. Seriously SO in love with this!!!!!!


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