Monday, 8 July 2019

Nautical Themed Travel Journal - by Claudia

Hi and servus! I am so happy to see you pop by today!

Summer is in full swing and everyone is longing for a refreshing cool breeze and a lake or ocean to hop in and not get out again until the dog days of summer are over. ;)

I have still four more days until I will be able to soak myself in the fresh water of my beloved Lake Atter, but I have already tried to capture this hard longed for feel in today's project - a little Travel Journal, made from packaging material and embellished with loads of gorgeous Calico Craft Parts!

I was inspired to create this album cover by the recent makes of my wonderfully talented good friend, Kerstin, who is part of the Calico Craft Parts design team too and whose makes you all surely know and can easily recognise, as her style is quite unique and mainly inspired by scrapbooking - something I cannot do but admire a lot.

So on this journal cover I tried to do at least a bit of that awesome layering she always does so delicately well and has it look so easy, natural and beautiful...the Nautical Multi Frame with the Ships Portholes already had that layered look, so that was the perfect starting point for a scrapbook numpty like me. ;)

Calico Craft Parts used: 

- Nautical Multi Frame - Ships Porthole
- Sheet of Mini MDF Wood Birds - Seagulls
- Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Motifs Style 2
- Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Motifs Style 1
- Ships Wheel Compass - MDF Wood Shape
- Word Elements - Art & Journaling

The size of my journal cover was chosen after the size of the Multi Frame shape I used as my base element. I went for a square format and used heavy scissors to cut the cover from old packaging cardboard scraps from my stash.
The corners were rounded using a corner punch.

Once I had cut the cover to size I continued with die cutting the two holes for my printed out Captains' images (I used royalty free images from the internet). To find the exact spots for the holes I put the Multi Frame in its planned spot and traced the holes' edges with a pencil. Then I fixed the circle dies with washi tape to the cardboard so they stayed in place during die cutting.

The printed out images were given a coat of DecoArt Antique Decou-Page, which added a light vintage brown-ish tint and also sealed the images.

Once I had found all the spots for my craft shapes to put them in, I removed them and generously spread DecoArt media white Crackle Paint with a palette knife across the whole journal cover. The craft shapes that built the base layer were pressed into the still wet Crackle Paint to glue them in place.

The other craft parts that were to go on top of base layer craft parts were glued in place using DecoArt matte Decou-Page. I also used tiny scraps of left overs from Mini MDF Wood Shapes sheets to stabilize some of the craft parts. The little shark shape for example has one of these underneath as it only partially sits on top of some of the base layer craft parts.

Once the crackling process was finished my cover already looked quite appealing.

Time to prime the glued on craft parts by dry brushing them with DecoArt Titanium White Americana acrylic paint. This time I didn't go for thorough or even coverage, so the brown from the MDF still remained more visible in some areas.

This was important because the next step I was going to do meant spraying on self made spray paint that I mixed with a few drops of DecoArt media Cobalt Teal Hue and water to create a very light tint only.

In those areas where I had applied more Titanium White the Cobalt Teal Hue became more visible, in those where I had just loosely covered the MDF with the Titanium White the brown mixed with the Teal and gave some beautiful subtle shades of greens.

Once the sprayed on paint had dried, I added traces of DecoArt Brown Vintage Effect Wash here and there and sprayed these with water from my spray bottle to create drip lines.

Some of the smaller craft parts came off where I had used a lot of water, so I glued these in place again with matte Decou-Page. I also added sprinkles of Titanium White, Cobalt Teal Hue and Brown Vintage Effect Wash.

The printed out images were glued behind the openings. Then I cut out two more sheets of cardboard, using the finished cover to trace its shape (so I didn't have to do any measuring).

One of the cardboard sheets was glued to the back of the cover.

To create my back cover for my journal the other one was covered on both sides with some left over prints from one of my latest gel plate printing sessions. Gluing paper of the same weight to both sides of the cardboard saves lined cardboard from ugly warping.

To add a bit of contrasting texture to the lovely crackle on the cover, I poured some DecoArt Triple Thick directly from the bottle into the Ships Portholes so it covered the glued behind images and added a glossy quality.

Now I had to be patient until the Triple Thick had fully dried. The hardest part is to NOT touch the surface to check if you can already touch it (because in most cases you can't). lol

The binding of the journal is quite simple - I used a hole punch kit to set two holes and threaded a piece of linen ribbon through these to put the covers together. I only tied the ribbon with a bow, so it can always be opened again to add pages to the journal.

The inside - without pages -, ...

the back cover...

...and once more the finished travel journal.

Some close ups:

Thanks for stopping by! See you in two weeks!

Have a wonderful summer!


  1. Wonderful, the delicate colours and crackle textures convey a touch of maritime nostalgia! And many thanks dear Claudia for your sweet compliments, I think my style is mainly nature inspired and there are always new things to discover :-). Creative Hugs! xxx

    1. Thank YOU, dear Kerstin, for the inspiration and the kind words. I really wish I could do scrapbook style the way you do it - to me it is always magic that you create. So happy you like my little journal cover. Mwah! XXX

  2. Claudia, this is superb! It's a wonderful little travel journal with crackle to die for! Love, love, love! xx

    1. Aw! Thanks so much, Julie Ann! Hugs! XXX

  3. Those portholes are fantastic, and your painty treatment makes them look even better. Of course I love the crackle too! Enjoy Lake Atter (I'm envious!).
    Alison x

    1. Yes, those portholes are so cool - can't go wrong when you use these I guess ;)
      Only three more days until I will see my beloved lake again. Yay! :)
      Have a great summer! XXX

  4. Hello Claudia! Your work is great !!! I like colors and a beautiful, aged look. You inspired me!

    1. That's wonderful, max! Thank you so much! xxx

  5. This is absolutely gorgeous, Claudia! The nautical parts are used in a perfect way! Love it to bits <3
    Have a wonderful summer!
    Evelyn xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Evelyn! I am so happy you like my journal this much! Have a great summer! xxx

  6. This is everything beautiful !

  7. That's fabulous, I love nautical theme, and the photos in the portholes are a great idea.

    1. Thank you, Lys, for your kind words! Hugs! xxx