Monday, March 21, 2011

People and Places

Today I was thinking about our trip to France we are planning...

One thing I have always done on vacation is keep a journal of some sort. Oftentimes it's just a play by play of each day but every once in a while I see something that makes me go off on one of my pondering tangents and my journal is where I question, examine and wonder. When I delve into them months and years later, those are the parts I enjoy the most; I usually remember what I saw and did without a written reminder, but what I was thinking was long lost to me. 
So I love to come upon a query, or a ponderance I had when I was wondering about something. (Not sure if that last one is really a word but I'm going with it - my blog, my words Missy!)

So today I started on my journal cover.

I found some nice moleskin journals at Chapters (Canadian equivalent of Barnes & Noble, complete with the requisite Starbucks) and decided to make a removable cover.

We had got some nice canvas in at the shop, lots of texture, but not as stiff as the last batch. So I decided on that for the outer cover, a favourite fabric with French text (very apropos, don't you think?) for the inner flap, and the same canvas for the inside, which will be covered by the journal anyway.

I found instructions for a Randomly-Ruched Carnation so gave that whirl - not at all enamoured with the process but I do like the end results...

I have to say I have not enjoyed this project - it will be one of those "I'm so glad it's done" ones. I can tell you it was a whole lot of fun figuring out how to get the writing fabric so it would be only on the inside and that both sides would be right side up with the writing going in the proper direction - NOT! (Btw, this is the second version!). Because I had to get all that sorted before embellishing the cover, I am now trying to sew bits and bobs on without having ugly starting and ending threads showing, as well as dealing with the flap pocket.

Another great idea, poorly executed. 

I'll persevere though, because I want a nice cover to inspire me to write great things.

A lady came in to the shop a while back, we were chatting and it came out I was going to France and she questioned why. She said she emigrated to Canada from Europe many years ago. She thinks we have everything here: a beautiful, natural environment, little development, indigenous people and a true connection to the earth. With our history here relatively new, our connection to the undeveloped Earth can be very difficult to find elsewhere, so why go there?

I told her Canada may have a connection to the Earth but Europe has a connection to us - a history of our civilization, our art, architecture, a history of us. When I am there, surrounded by things made several centuries or millenia ago, I feel a connection to people that is tangible. I can touch something someone made five hundred years ago, look at a painting with brushstrokes three hundred years old, walk on a cobbled street worn by footsteps of a thousand years and I am comforted. We have been here a long time and  regardless of bombs, reactors and earthquakes, we will be here a long time yet.

And that is a true comfort.


Createology said...

Jillayne your journal is a memory in the making and it is stunning. I am in awe of your explanation of visiting Europe. I find your words so true and the history of it all is far greater than we have here in Canada or the United States. Looking forward to your journal progress as your trip comes closer...

The French Bear said...

Gorgeous, love the start you made on your journal...can't wait to see and hear all about Europe, remember I am living my dreams through you!!!!!
We do have a beautiful land but I agree, it is the history that they incredible!

Marj Talbot said...

Good on you!!! Your explanation for your trip to France is well stated although I'm not sure why one would have to explain your pick for a vacation. We do have many places and things to explore in our country, but cobbled streets and ancient paintings have we not.
Your journal cover is looking great.

Dorthe said...

Hello sweet Jillayne,
I`m glad you could tell that lady,that living in one place lovely, does not mean , we could not experience ,-and feel joy elsewhere.And I understand how fantastic it must be taking trips to Europe with all our very old, and beautifull castles-buildings, and places.
I ,on the other hand would love experience other places in the world,-like visiting you, or USA :)

Your journal looks lovely,dear,-it is great to have with you, a beautifull thing ,to load with thoughts,and ideas.
Hugs, Dorthe

Anonymous said...

Those are my feelings about Europe also, Jillayne. And I think going ANYWHERE on this beautiful earth is something to be done whenever possible and with the attitude of having an open mind to the culture and the architecture and landscape. No country "has it all". Each country has its own uniqueness to be explored, enjoyed and appreciated even if all we can do it view it on TV or the internet. But for someone to ask "Why"? That's rather sad I think, but might have roots in some past unhappiness she suffered?

I hear you about projects that don't follow our hopes!

Hugs, Diane

oldgreymare said...

another lovely post :D

i had one of those "oh why did I start this project?" moments last weekend and the dang thing won..for now... I'll attack again later..


Becca said...

Love your journal Jillayne, and I'm so happy you get to go to France! Wow, I would love to see Europe someday. Can't wait to see what wonderful things you bring back and hear about all the inspiration you find there. :-)

Michelle May (Shell) said...

Ok, just gonna put it out there...I'm JEALOUS about your trip!!! I can't wait to hear all about it and see pictures and travel along with you through blogland!!! I never go anywhere, so this will be sooooooooo fun!
Oh, your journal rocks!
xx, shell

MosaicMagpie said...

Doesn't it seem as though places and things just speak to us. I can hold an antique in my hand and wonder about the hands that held it and used it on a daily basis. Or, when you walk on those cobblestone streets to think of those that also walked there. Where were they going and what was going on in their life. I think if I had this attitude in school history class may have been a lot more interesting!