Sunday, 23 April 2017

Back from Japan

Hello all and welcome! I have finally returned from my trip to Japan, and as perfect timing would have it, I was delighted to be invited by Eileen Hull to create a journal cover with her Journal Die from her new Heartfelt Collection.

As regular visitors will know, before leaving for Japan I started a Midori traveller's journal to take along on te trip, if you missed it you can see some of the prepped pages here and here, and as Eileen's new die is just the right size for Midori notebooks, I knew it would make for the perfect cover.

I'll give you a quick step by step how I made it:

First I painted the covers with a mix of Golden Titan Buff and Victorian Velvet Distress  acrylic paints, scraped on with a little craft scraper.

Next  I added some Japanese text pages. These came from a vintage Japanese book picked up in a little antique store in Kyoto. It is printed on very delicate tissue paper, just perfect for mixed media projects.

Then I created a little front panel. The background was done with Oxide Distress Inks in Worn Lipstick, Broken China and  Vintage Photo. I then stencilled a cherry blossom branch with a Crafters Workshop stencil using Distress crayons and added a little Japanese stamp, picked up in a stationer's shop in Tokyo. I am sorry to say I actually have no idea what it says..... Here is a close up:

I added a bit of shadow with coloured pencils to bring out the flowers (it was of course cherry blossom season, Sakura as the Japanese call it), and a bit of foiling using a glue stick as well as some flowers etc from my stash.
Here you can see the front and back. The back page just had some scraps of a paper napkin and some Japanese washi tape added to it still.

The inside of the covers was done with paper from the new Tim Holtz Memoranda collection. It seemed to fit the junk journal style of some of my inner pages just perfectly.
The title was done with an additional little die that comes with the main journal die.
The spine has some charms, the Japanese one can be used as a bookmark for the inside.

The closure, another little die that comes with the main one, was adhered to the back cover and then tucks perfectly under the front panel as you can see below:

As the front panel was adhered with foam tape there is just the right space and this makes it super easy and quick to open and shut and as I plan to make several further inserts, there is still loads of space inside this brilliant cover die. 
Here are a few of the inside pages still, mostly all done while in Japan:

And finally, because so many of you asked for it, some photos taken during the trip. We literally took hundreds of photos, so this is just a tiny selection lol.
 One of the numerous temples we visited, this one is in the hills, just outside Osaka.

View of the countryside around the temple
View of a bamboo grove outside Kyoto
 A Shinto shrine

Cherry blossom season, a view near our apartment in Kyoto
And finally, just a few family picks, meeting up with our grand children was one of the main reasons we went there in the first place....
The oldest, 4.5 years old
And the younger one, nearly three.
Having some fun in one of the temple gardens while mum and dad were exploring

Well that's it for today....Japan is the most amazing country and we definitely plan to go back some time. Thanks for staying with me through this mammoth post and until next time!


Theresa said...

Astrid, your journal looks amazing. I enjoy seeing all the different ways people use Eileen's journal die. Yours looks so elegant. And your trip sounds delightful. thanks as always for sharing.

Annie said...

How fabulous to be asked by Eileen to showcase her new journal die. Your journals are stunning Astrid and the cover and pages here on this one are no exception. The cherry blossom is fantastic as are the Japanese touches. Incorporated xx stunning photographs and your grand-daughters look beautiful and so happy to be with their grandparents.lookiing forward to seeing you soon.
Hugs Annie xx

Valerie-Jael said...

Your journal is absolutely wonderful, and glad you enjoyed Japan so much. Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos. Hugs, Valerie

Maryann Laursen said...

I absolut LOVE your journal Astrid, it´s so gorgeous and delicat on each and every page, and the covers are just adorable.
And these pictures certainly makes me want to go and see Japan too, there´s absolutely amazing seen from these at least. It all looks just amazing, and also those little grandies of yours are sooo adorable.. Thanks sooo much for sharing

Brenda Brown said...

Oh wow Astrid, your journal covers and midori notebook are just amazing and beyond beautiful, as are your gorgeous grandchildren, you must have had the most amazing time and brought back lots of wonderful memories. The photos are stunning.
Welcome home. xxx

froebelsternchen said...

An AMAZING book - I am in love with it and I like to see your fabulous photos from Japan!

Great to have you back now!
Happy start into the new week!
oxo Susi

chrissie said...

Great to have you back Astrid and to see the wonderful journal pages. Beautiful photographs of you and your grandchildren and I am sure you are missing them now

Love Chrissie xx

Karen said...

This book is wonderful what a great keepsake!

Jennie Atkinson said...

Welcome home Astrid and so thrilled to see your wonderful photographs and of course your stunning journal. Such a fabulous memory of your wonderful time in Japan. Looking forward to seeing you soon! Jennie x

Dorthe said...

Your journal book is gorgeous, dear Astrid, really beautiful! I love the feeling of Japan, as soon as seeing it , you created a most lovely front cover. And the stunning photos from a very special country, I can see how you enjoyed being with the grandkids . Xoxo

eileen hull said...

Astrid, your book is simply beautiful and the perfect travel journal for your trip! So cool that you could journal in the insert and add all your memories on the spot. I love the cover and all of the different ways you used the pieces that came on the die. Your granddaughters are absolutely adorable! Thanks for taking us on tour with you!

toni said...

Looks like you've had a great time! Your journal is a beautiful ! A lovely way to record such a fantastic trip. Thanks for sharing your photos,beautiful views and gorgeous grand children ! X

c.szyba said...

gorgeous,I love it

Patty O'Malley said...

Wonderful journal and photos, Astrid!

Corrie Herriman said...

What a wonderful journal Astrid ! Looks like you had a fabulous time too... but I am glad you're back and I can't wait to see more of you fantastic art !
Corrie xx

Redanne said...

First of all, it is lovely to have you back! What a wonderful holiday you had and your journal is just gorgeous inside and out, I love how you made it so perfect for your holiday memories. The photos you shared with us are beautiful - and so are your granddaughters! Hugs, Anne xx

Meggymay said...

It is a gorgeous journal Astrid and the new dies seem great. The additions inside
and out look super. Your family photos and some of the things you saw on your travels are beautiful, thank you for sharing some of your photos.
Yvonne xx

Margaret Mifsud said...

Welcome back Astrid!! So glad you had such a great time. Looveee your journal cover .. absolutely stunning and simply perfect for your gorgeous booklet. Love all the details!! hugs xx

Helen Wallace said...

Your holiday sounds wonderful with the Cherry Blossoms and to be with Grandchildren sounds extra special. Your notebook is a triumph with the Japanese motifs throughout and the elegant style which I associate with your work. Thanks for the inspiration.

Marisa Job said...

Wow! What a wonderful trip to Japan! Love the journal, it's just beautiful! Great pictures with your grandkids, they are adorable!!

Jenny Marples said...

Oh Astrid you've had me positively captivated with gazing on your wonderful journal. The cover is a perfectly collage mix of stencilling, stamping and that divine Japanese text, whilst the pages inside are a very unique and gorgeous feast for the eyes. Loving seeing all your photos too. Thank you so much for sharing xx

sarascloset said...

Astrid, what a wonderful post! I've enjoyed everything! Your journal is gorgeous with the cherry blossoms and text. What a find to get the book with the text on tissue type paper. And what a fabulous background you've prepared for your collages. I resisted the urge to read your perfect handwriting within, but I glanced at the lovely page embellishments.

The photos of your trip are spectacular--loved seeing these as I probably will never travel there myself. The one with the bamboo forest is mesmerizing! And my favorites of all--family photos! Your grandgirls are precious and have the most amazing blue eyes! Thank you so much for sharing just a tiny bit of your trip--I hope we will get to see more! Welcome back! Sending hugs your way!

Unknown said...

Japan and precious blue-eyed babies - almost more exciting to see than your GLORIOUSLY BEAUTIFUL journal Astrid!!!! Loved this post. Xj.

butterfly said...

Absolutely glorious journal cover for your Japanese adventures, Astrid. The delicate stencilled cherry blossom is exquisite, and the delicate tracery of the Japanese calligraphy makes for a wonderful background.

It's lovely to get a peek inside at some of your pages, and I've had a nosy little read of your diary. Thank you so much for sharing that, as well as the some of the photos of your amazing trip. Quite apart from the scenery and the cherry blossom, your grandchildren are adorable! I hope we'll get to see and hear more at some point, and thank you for this lovely post.
Alison x

Margie Higuchi said...

Hi Astrid! LOVE the journal (the stamp translates to "How Are You?") and its pages - I must get that die! Thank you for sharing your journal, adventure and most importantly, your grandchildren! How precious the time + memories for you :)

Adriana B said...

Dear Astrid, your holiday looks amazing, thanks for sharing your photos of your trip to Japan, how wonderful were those blossoms in the trees. Always a good time sharing with your family. your journal is so special too, a great keepsake and memory for you XX take care XX

maria's knutselplezier said...

Wow what an amazing trip you made Astrid, I think you have a lot of new inspiration now, your books is gorgious ,I love all the details in it, and seeing your lovely grand children must have been the cherry on the cake!!

Have fun!!

Jackie PN said...

I am so happy that you had safe travels and sounds and looks like a wonderful time in Japan. Welcome back!
The photos you share are fabulous! What a beautiful place! I cannot believe that Bamboo grove- how tall do you think those tress are? They look like giants! lol
And your photos of you,and your family-are perfect! Your shot of the four of you needs to be on a commercial for LOVE! I can absolutely see it! Again it is seen with you and your grands and your arm around them- so beautiful- you made my heart melt! Thank you so much for sharing these personal pieces of your life!

On to your Journal , The cover and contents- Exquisite!! I just love how beautifully you put this all together, right down to your perfect penmanship! heehee That flower blossom stencil on the front is beauteous- Crafters workshop you say?
Your post brightened my morning!
Again welcome back and have a beautiful day!

Diana Taylor said...

I've so enjoyed this post - the journal is adorable and I love your stunning Japanese embellishments, everything comes together so beautifully and I especially love the pale pink blossom. A really special way to capture your memories of your trip. It looks like you had a wonderful time, and your grandchildren are sooooo cute.
Diana x

Sandy said...

Good Fathers Astrid - your journal is out of this world fabulous. Of course it helped that you visited Japan and were able to purchase some goodies there. I will be looking at this post many times over. Love it.
What beautiful grandchildren and how lucky you were to be able to meet up with them on a very special adventure. Love your art work but you know that!
Sandy xx

A Pink said...

The perfect way to keep those memories alive forever! Thank you Astrid for sharing your fabulous journal (inside and out) your holiday and the photos . You look so young and so well and you certainly have the most beautiful little granddaughters with their lovely blond locks, piercing blue eyes and cuter than cute smiles . Adorable .
hugs x

pearshapedcrafting said...

Your journal looks amazing and even more so for the memories stored within!The photos are wonderful - thank you for sharing them! Chrisx

Let's Art Journal said...

Oh my, what a beautiful journal you created to capture your amazing memories in! The cover is so pretty and all the elements work together beautifully. I watched a tv programme recently on Japan in springtime and the cherry blossoms and I was totally amazed, it must have been wonderful to experience this first-hand. It looks like you had a lovely time with your family, definitely moments​ to cherish! Happy Thursday! J 😀

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