Traveling Art Journal with Hut-n-Trek


Hut-n-Trek has a new post up with more photos of our scouting trip in the Austrian Alps.Click on the links to see us while we figure out if we can do Art Journaling Workshop Treks there.


Flip Side Friday #14 – The Waiting Game

the waiting gameThe past two weeks have been full of waiting – waiting for busses, planes, boring explanations in a class, waiting for meals, kids and my turn to vote. You name it and there we are waiting!

During that class I mentioned? I turned to a page in my journal that had no prep work on it just a little bleed through and called it my WAITING page. This particular journal has grid marks on the pages so I drew a 4 X 4 square, got out a pen and filled in the square. Next stop – I pulled it out again. Soon I was looking forward to a chance to “wait” making what can be boring or frustrating into my next practice session.

Have you done this or something similar?


Flip Side Friday #12 – Vintage Treasures Found!

From my husband’s-other-sister’s-husband’s storage came some vintage treasures! Carefully cut and saved through wars, famine and more wars, now something that just takes up storage space.

Lace in box

This trove came into the light of day after visiting a handcrafts museum display. Seeing my interest in the stitching and other fabrics, Klaus asked if I had any use for this kind of thing? You understand we communicate via a combination of German, English and charades…Lace closeup

That evening he came out with a box marked SPITZEN (which means something like little points i.e. lace) the box was stuffed with these lovely scraps. Carefully cut and saved, now something that none of the children, grandchildren or great grandchildren have the time, room or use for. He diffidently offered them to me. Believe me this ALL fit in my suitcase – I was going out to buy another if they didn’t!

I am a huge fan and follower of Mary Ann Moss and loved her online class Remains of the Day. I have made more than one journal using that class and have often wished I had something more elegant to make a really, REALLY special piece…ahem…now I do!


These pieces are mostly hand-stitched and some must be made using machines – I just can’t believe otherwise – but they are not mass-produced and were made in the homes and shops of my husband’s family in the 19th and early 20th century.

Even if you don’t have relatives in Europe or old family homesteads in the U.S. you can find similar goodies at flea markets and thrift stores. I found some in Florence, Italy and then some in a second-hand store in Nebraska. But as our families age there are less of these lovelies surviving – so keep your eyes open.

The Traveling Art Journal Part 5 – Adding in the Natural World and More

We continue on the theme started with the Julie Fei-Fan Balzer take on the 5 main ways of Art Journaling which I still refer to. Her categories are (or were a few years ago) Painty, Wordy, Collage-ish, Scrapbook-ish, Doodler and I have added a sixth type Fabric-oriented.

Today another take on collaging some nature from the area and adding more of each category on one spread. Sister II just jumped in with both feet and took off. Here she used fern plants picked on the way from the parking lot to the beach, tiny flat stones from the beach, a current photo of the bridge and a couple of text cut outs from the park brochure.


She pressed the fern in a phone book overnight and used heavy gel medium to adhere the ferns and the stones.


She pasted a photo from that day on back of first photo. Then she used an antique postcard of the bridge found in an old family photo album from 1935. The way she layered the photos shows the bridge dates quite cleverly – see the first picture above. Here she used washi tape for the hinge. The washi tape isn’t real strong so it is probably decorating something stronger i.e. masking tape, underneath.

Jan's Deception Pass #3

Above she added another photo of the beach from the day and to the right you can see butterflies sticker-type tape holding in another insert. The shell on the blue ribbon was made by one of the younger set and will be used either to mark her place in the journal or as a closing ribbon.


A couple more of the old photos from the family album. These really added interest to the current art journal.Jan's Deception Pass #5B

Please note that Sister II has left plenty of room for journaling on each set of pages – and she has caught on to taking photos as she goes – I could learn something from  her!


As with all travel you have to carry anything acquired – so ephemera needs to be small, lightweight and cheap enough to discard the extras.  When shopping add in thrift stores, farmer’s markets and garage sales to get some local flavor. If anyone will be joining you by car, have them bring the heavy/bulky stuff and pay for your share.

Supplies: A journal, glue stick, scissors, tape, watercolor crayons, water brush, pens, matte gel medium and heavy gel medium (if you have room).

Ephemera: Napkins, maps, business cards, post cards, pressed plant materials, very flat rocks.

Thrift Store Finds: Old jewelry, old postcards, rubber stamps, music note stickers, other stickers and ribbon.

Tourist Information Stops: Local maps, Stickers – often bumper sticker size, brochures with local names in fancy fonts, key chains or other dingle-bobs.

Add in at home: Printed photos from the trip. Relevant treasures (i.e. old photos, postcards and fabric) you have at home.

Flip Side Friday #11 – Bookbinding – It’s All in the Family

My husband’s sister’s daughter’s husband – can you believe it? In the states I think he would be considered my nephew. In Austria they don’t quite see it like we do and he is somewhat of a stranger.

Master Bookbinder

Modern Master Bookbinder

He is also within 5 years of my age so it adds to the confusion. However he is a Master Bookbinder, one of the last of a dying guild system in Europe.

When I finally understood what he did – I was all over seeing his workshop. This workshop is in two or three rooms in the vast structure that has been the family home for hundreds of years. Yes I said hundreds – I don’t think our country was around when the family built this compound.


Old-style line embossing tool heating on element. Electric letter embossing stamp.

The tools and storage cabinets have been updated at least three times since the bindery began, so there were tools to heat by fire, by electricity and those that now have the heat included if necessary – not a digital tool anywhere. Ahem – except his phone. 

Hmmm- I want to show more pictures so have collaged a few together. Slow down enough to really look – these are amazing tools and probably will not be used again after our Master Binder retires.


Yes – gold leaf.

Okay, control your lust – I have it too. See the little wooden box in the right picture towards the top? He has stacks of those – they are different letter fonts and sizes…drool.

Instead of keeping this contained and going into the evolution of printing and binding. I am just going to show you these amazing machines with their uses and assume you know that they are obsolete and only currently used for special orders in a declining market.

Lines and Grids

The biggest machine in the shop – this is for printing lines and grids on enormous sheets of paper.




Gluing-gluing papers together and into fly leaf etc.

This one above, is harder to imagine how it works, but see that roll of cloth on the right? It spreads out to the left of the machine and glue is painted on it. Then the pages to be glued are lain along the length and fed through the heavy roller. This heat seals and eliminates bubbles.


Bookblock gluing

I believe this was for gluing the book block.

I know this is getting long so I will show you my two favorites that I could use today…

paper cutter

I used this photo with Master J included so you could see the size.


Cabinets to love

Drawers, shelves, slots, hangers and workbench – what’s not to love?

And yes I lust after this workshop and its contents and the hundreds of journals I could make, but the reality of moving or shipping them is undeniable. 

My man points out that I should say our Master also restores old books and manuscripts (He’s working on a cookbook that is at least a hundred years old now.) And does make books for special order…if you want to use his services, contact us through the comments and we will link you up.

Thanks for reading. We should be back in the states when this publishes!