Smash book!! Gearing up for my my next adventure in Italy!

I am about two months from leading my fifth student tour abroad.  This time…10 days in Italy!  For each trip I like to make my own smash book to record all of the wonderful moments of our journey.

For those of you that don’t know about the smash book – read this.

 

 

getting ready; another smash book

As I prepare for for my trip this summer with students I am continuing my tradition of keeping a smash book throughout the journey.  I can’t wait to fill it!!

We are traveling with Education First Tours (EF Tours) and will be visiting Germany, France, Spain, and Portugal on a 16 day trip.  I have the largest group yet, at 27 travelers.  I encourage them to write about their experiences while we are traveling and I model this with my smash book.  Writing down the little jokes and other things that make you laugh; exploring your feelings as you are far from home in a new culture, recording your memories for years to come…these are the things I tell my students when they ask “what should I write about?”

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My Smash Books

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baby girl brag book

I recently made this paper bag album for a colleague.  I so enjoy making these little brag books. The color scheme – pink, green, and yellow – ridiculously cute.  Ribbons and buttons are two of my favorite cuteness tools.

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Stonehenge and Day 13, 2015

20160215_154016.jpgDay 13 of a 14 day trip – one of the best and the busiest. I visited this site in June of 2015 with a student tour from EF Tours (Education First) .  I love using this touring company to lead student tours.  Anyway – this stop, one of the last on the tour, far surpassed expectations.  A bucket list item for years and years, Stonehenge and the surrounding area truly boggles the mind.    As you can see from my SMASH BOOK page we did quite a lot on this last day on tour.  In fact, because we had ditched the middle school group that had been traveling with us – it may have just been the best day on the tour!  I have difficulty in declaring this because I loved every country we visited on this tour (Ireland, Scotland, Whales, England).

 

DSC_0493 (2) I know the photo of Stonehenge does not look any more remarkable than any other photo you may see on the internet, but when I am able to take it myself something amazing happens.  Visualization becomes more reality based.  I firmly believe in putting the camera down and living in the moment.  I encourage travelers to encounter the environment and experience the wonders without looking through the lens (or phone).  Still, as an avid photographer, when I look around DSC_0460 (2)sometimes all I see is “the shot”.  Like this one of the teenager and the horse head at Stonehenge.  Why not?

The slide show contains photos of cathedral and smash book.

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We started our day in Salisbury with the Cathedral and the a viewing of the Magna Carta.   Displays of honor and remembrance of local veterans from WWI and WW II fill the halls and alcoves of the cathedral.  Also, a display on a wall  (in honor of the language of change) amazed us as the illuminated words and letters seemingly moved to avoid our touch – only to form new words.  I profess that words are power daily in my classroom.  So, to see this presentation and read first-hand about the Magna Carta felt somewhat cathartic and validating – just plain cool.  Amazingly, there was no security surrounding this precious document – not like our own Declaration of Independence.  It merely rests under glass in the center of an unguarded room in a small tent protecting it from harsh lighting.  It is all very unassuming.

The day’s journey across the English countryside revealed the fields of poppies to me for the first time.  So beautiful – and again – unassuming.DSC_0489 (3)

 

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We took the Underground to the fictional home of the fictional character and found a real store…221B Baker Street.  The statue of Sherlock stands nearby.

Next – we traveled a bit more to satisfy the dream of one of my travelers…visit Abbey Road.  My son and I – and the rest of the group – did our very best at trying to recreate the famous Beatles cover as we crossed this very busy street.  Our tour director, Steve, told us how annoyed the locals get at the tourists in this spot.  I try 1557269_10152980260361918_2424869840105685698_overy hard to be respectful of these types of things, but the heart wants what the heart wants.  The white building in the background was then and is still now a music studio.  We rode our first double-decker bus back to the hotel for the night.  Quite a full day.

 

If you would like to climb to the top of Mt. Vesuvius in Italy or tour the ruins at Pompeii I would for you to take a look around!

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Decoupage Collection – Pretty in Pink

One of the things I love about crafting – the beautiful paper.  Paper can reflect my mood almost as wonderfully as words, music, and photos.  Expressive decorative paper brings me joy.

These all started at unfinished wood.  The pink with white flowers makes me smile every time.

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Memory Keeper Box

Great for special occasions and trips!

When I had my Etsy Shop (Miss Elaineous)  I sold many memory boxes…they were so fun to make!  I used an unfinished wooden box from Michael’s Crafts to start.  I would decoupage the outside and the inside – leaving the inside side walls of box and lid bare and natural.  Inside, I would put an embellished journal and an original paper bag photo album every time.  Other items were usually jars of some sort to hold trinkets or souvenirs of some sort.  This one was for a honeymoon couple.  The jar pictured was for sand from the beach.

I wish I still had time to work on projects like this.  I loved working on that shop and its contents.  Maybe some day I will return to it.

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Shadow Box

The ultimate scrapbook page – 3D and mountable.

My daughter fancied her shadow box first and I decided to copy the idea.  It rests on my desk in my studio, ready to be mounted.  As you may have read, I only recently completed my first marathon.  So, currently when I look a this shadow box I am reliving that particular race – only I am in a seated position and not straining myself to finish…well not straining to finish a race, anyway.  I mean, there is always something to finish, right?

This particular shadow box is cool because it has removable layers that allows for the contents to get thicker and thicker.  So, I intend to just keep adding my bibs from races.

Since all of my children are runners – I went ahead and purchased and started one for each of them, as well.  I love that we all share this activity and challenge with one another.

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The Smash Book

Every trip I take abroad with students can be relived while flipping through the smash book I created while on tour.  Just keep things as you go and take notes – when you have a free hour, spend some time writing, pasting, and doodling.  The end product is practically finished when you arrive home.  The practice has grown on my trips and now multiple members of the group work on them as we travel.  As for the others in the group, although they don’t care to complete a book, they do enjoy seeking out items to include in the smash book.

Post cards, maps, brochures.  I am always sure to put several clips and various types of pockets in the book before I leave.  It is also fun to try to fancy a pocket out of a travel trinket of some sort.  This just adds to the unique, one of kind souvenir I take home.  Also, I love to grab every free brochure at the hotels to cut the little picture out of the places that we end up going to.  I also like to use the words and titles in them.

When I do finally make it home and print out all of my pictures from a trip, I will always get extra prints of a few of my favorite shots – usually the ones with the people in them – and put them in the book, too.