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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Travel Journals

~ trio of travel journals ~
Karen, My Desert Cottage, is hosting Where Bloggers Create, her third annual blog party to share creative spaces. This year I decided to take a deep breath, pull up my big girl britches and join in. In other words, I'm throwing myself on the mercy of others; showing my artwork and telling a bit about it and myself in the process.

Many, many decades ago, I had an art teacher...I seem to remember sixth grade...who told me, in no uncertain terms, "You have no talent in art; don't even bother." Needless to say, it crushed my creative spirit and it has taken me decades to quieten her voice in my memory and move forward. 

As an aside, recently a friend's daughter, was told by her "guidance counselor" (and I use the term Very Loosely!), "You only have a 3.5 GPA so I wouldn't count on going to university or on being a vet." My mouth dropped to the floor; the girl looked at me and said, "I'm only a sophomore, I have a few years to pull the GPA to a 4.0...right?"  "YES!" I told her and don't listen to that woman; she, very obviously, doesn't know what she's talking about!" 

What is it with dream stealer's and dream killer's? They seem hades bent on robbing others of pleasures well within reach. It makes me furious! Especially now that I'm older, wiser and not at all intimidated by the pettiness of folks who want to give me their opinion. Granted, it's taken me decades to get to this point but now that I'm here, it's best to steer clear! (smile) I refuse to listen to people who want to steal or kill my dreams and have found the absolute best way to deal with them is to sit, or stand, quietly and Not Say A Word. One thing I learned in sales, pitch your piece, ask for the order then Shut Up. The next person to say a word "loses". When someone attempts to steal or kill my dream, I simply look at them, never saying a word until they either speak or I turn and walk away. Trust me, it's a position of power and you've won your point without harsh words spoken or ill will made.

In the ensuing years my creative outlet has been the home. I'm not a great decorator but our home is a cozy sanctuary for folks, especially Dave and I, and it's a place where people feel safe and comfortable. I've made a dozen or more quilts for family and friends, knitted hats and scarves for charity, raised a garden, canned, dried and frozen food for family, friends and neighbors...generally, been a home maker, farmer and shepherd. It's been good yet I've always wanted to try my hand at Real Art. By the way, what is Real Art, anyway?
 ~ London journal ~
Last year, to celebrate Dave's milestone birthday, we went to London and had a marvelous time! How could we not, eh? (smile) The first, purple, journal in the first photo was my London Journal and it brings back such wonderful memories. Above, the incredible Felicity Kendal, a favorite from Rosemary and Thyme was in George Bernard Shaw's most excellent and thought provoking play Mrs. Warren's Profession.
 ~ rosemary for remembrance ~
 From our flat, a sprig of rosemary plucked from the garden, is a reminder of mornings begun with tea and crumpets; evenings finished with wine, crackers and cheese. The rosemary is held in a small business card holder from All Saints Spitalfields where 1,300 Singer Featherweights captured my attention.

I'd never made ART a travel journal and found the process delightful, challenging, frustrating and enormously rewarding. You see, I've always associated "art" with drawing or painting and, since I could do neither, I thought I couldn't be an artist. WRONG! I simply had to find where I was comfortable and now I've found figured out, the more I do make art, the wider my horizons, the greater my scope, the more pleasure and enjoyment, the more my wings grow because they are stretched...MORE! I'm like a child at Christmas, on her birthday who has been given this delightful gift by the First Creator and I'm growing growing growing little by little. It feels good; Very Good!
~ Europe 2010 travel journal ~
After the great success of our London trip, Dave said, "would you like to go to Paris, spend a day or two then board the train and go east?" Oh Babe, I am SO packed and ready! He also asked me, "do you think we're too old to do this?" My response, "Yep, but next year we'll only be another year older so let's go for it now!"Unfortunately, he became ill and that trip was put on hold but not until after I'd prepared the third travel journal.One of my favorite things about this journal is the tag that reads "
~ Dave ~
On one of the first pages, but inside a "folder" was the contact information for our travel agent. Underneath reads:
~some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. ~
The middle journal in the first photo? That's my journal for 2011, an upcoming trip where I'll travel solo on a great and grand adventure. The background is a page from a 1934 geography book showing shepherds, spinners, farmers and filled in with stickers, stamps, attachments and all sealed with modge podge. The bookmark is a green ribbon with Seize the Day in buttons, a purple heart, Celebrate (a charm) and felt flowers.
~ seize the day, cultivate gratitude ~
I'm excited and have been preparing like mad; working on my travel journal, packing and re-packing trying...and fit everything into a 21 inch carry-on suitcase with a small duffel as my personal item.
~ celebrate indeed! ~
God willing, I'll find i-net/cyber cafes and blog from the road but I'm headed to remote corners of the world so that may, or may not, be possible.
~ remote corners ~
You know what doesn't matter and it's okay; it's still a Great and Grant Adventure and I'm not letting allowing anyone to steal or kill my dream. The same God who takes care of me here at Thistle Cove Farm will take care of me where ever I roam so there's no need to worry or fret; I'm in Good Hands.

As Jack Lewis once said, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." So, I'm dreaming new dreams, setting new goals and urge you to go and do likewise. Please squelch the naysayers voices in your life. They don't know much anyway and if they could do, they would be doing it rather than being a dream stealer killer. Listen to your own calm center; it's there but you have to turn off the television, shut down the radio or audio book and...listen. shhhhhhhh....listen...

Blessings ~ travel ~ journals ~ folks who encourage ~


  1. I love, love, love your travel journals, Sandra and your great adventuresome spirit as you look to the future. I see you have Czech Republic on your list . . . Prague is one of my favorite cities. But, I do not see Chicago . . . I would love a visit, too.

    Happy Thursday, my friend who is an artist.


  2. Hopefully, Arizona will be on your list one day. You got to love Dave as in "Would you like to go to Paris for a couple of day"...oh gee let me think about use the moment of silence with more than the nay sayers ...anybody that wants to dredge up old hurts or old anything...I just don't have time or desire anymore to to that!.. You go girl!!!

  3. You are indeed an artist of many things including the written word.

    Naysayers - I go by the old "Kill em with kindness" works every time.

    I'm excited for your trip. :)

  4. I love, love, love your art in this post. I also love your posts from your trips. You see amazing things, learn so much that you share about a people, a place, a culture. I can't wait for your next trip! The best revenge for a nay-sayer. ;) Bon Voyage!

  5. Funny, I have always thought of you as an artist! I have always pictured you that way for your whole life!
    I guess as some get older and didn't follow their dreams or heart begin to put that off on others, don't they!
    I can't tell you how many times in my life I have heard all those same things.
    When all frinds went to college to become teachers, I went for a degree in Equine Science. (my Father was furious!)
    Moving state to state in the horse business, being able to travel over-seas...I was following my dream.
    Many would ask, "When are you going to get married and settle down?" I followed that dream (and my found my soulmate) after I felt like I had finally had lived out my first dream!
    I went to nursing school because I always dreamed of having that degree. It didn't matter that I wasn't sure I would use it. It was *just for me*
    And who knows whats to come!

    Your travel journals are gorgeous! I cannot wait to hear all about your adventure when you return :)
    Thanks for a GREAT post!
    xo, misha

  6. Sandra - your travel journals are fabulous! What a wonderful way to treasure the memories of your trips - I adore the colorful one you made for your London trip!

    I will anxiously wawit to see all the wonderful new memories that you make and fill in your new journal. I think it is going to be the adventure of a lifetime!

    Bless you for the time you took to make this fabulous post - I know your time is so very precious right now.


  7. Sandra~ I am in awe of your beautiful, creative, and inspiring travel journals! I can hardly wait to see your newest one 'finished' with momentoes from your 2011 adventure!
    Your journals highlight the beautiful place 'where you create'!

  8. Hello Sandra and Dave:
    Oh Sandra, how wonderful your travel journals are. Beautifully presented and packed with interest they are not only marvellous records of your expeditions, but most definitely works of art. Your big adventure sounds to be just that but we are sure that, with your indomitable spirit, you will overcome any challenges that present themselves.

  9. The travel journals look great!!!
    And I love "the tag that reads"..:o)!
    I am sure it will be an exciting journey!!!
    I am exiting too....:o)!!!

  10. I LOVE your travel journal!

    I too had a teacher that told me I had "no talent"...I didn't listen to her and am glad I pursued my dream!

    Happy Friday Dear Sandra!


  11. Those teachers should be shot! We all know one of them, don't we! Why do they do it? because no good comes of it.
    I like your journals very much and yes, you are an artist.
    I see you are going to Eastern Europe and I hope you have a fabulous time. Can't wait to hear all about it.
    Don't forget to wave to me as you fly over London!

  12. Beautiful travel journals and very encouraging post!

  13. Sandra, I hope you have a lovely trip and I can't wait to hear all about it!

  14. Sweet Sandra, I'm so happy to read this post. I've kept some travel journals, mostly just written pages when something splendid or something hilarious happened. Reading back through them brings the holiday back completely. Creativity comes in many forms, gardening-painting (even house-painting)-decorating-raising sheep-doing beautiful laundry-banging pots & pans. Whatever soothes your soul. Sending love...

  15. I hope you have a lovely trip! Prague is absolutely beautiful - everyone I know falls in love with it as soon as they get there!

  16. I love your art! It's so vibrant, creative, and fun!

  17. You are definitely in GREAT hands indeed. What a fun visit and what interesting and exciting plans in so many ways including ART. I, too, had discouraging moments with teachers who did not know how to encourage - both art AND PE of all things. But, like you, I eventually found my niche - writing and blogging - as well as enjoying very fun and VERY easy crafts for my grandkids not to mention seniors like me who may not be artistic but do love to create. :) And may I say - you have a TON more talent than me - and aren't we all having fun in the Lord. :) Thanks for the visit here and at SandwichINK and have a blessed trip.

  18. I share your outrage about the damage careless comments can do when kids are in school. That being said - I'm so pleased your were able to rediscover your creative side. Beautiful work!

    Best wishes in all your journeys!

  19. Thank you so much for having the courage to share with us!!! you are wonderful!! i'm just jealous of your view. WoW!!! hugs sandie

  20. Your journals are incredible! You are so talented and they are really pretty. Thank you for sharing! Kit

  21. I have so enjoyed reading your very inspiring post! I think your journal is fab and something to be cherished for years to come. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment, Nan
    PS, I just read your post about the shepherd, is the little dog in the chair a Jack Russell?

  22. Hi Sandra! I'm so glad I finally arrived to your lovely blog! This post and your sweet comment on my blog really touched me. I am so glad that you are ignoring those old voices in your head and allowing yourself to be the artist you truly are! It is horrible that there are people out there that have to bring other people down in order to feel better about themselves.
    Your travel journals are just beautiful and I am so glad you joined the party to share a bit of yourself with all of us.
    Keep on creating my friend!


Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

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