Monday, 3 February 2014

Arts Club at the Library

For each of their program sessions the Calgary Public Library has a theme to the programs they offer and the theme for this session was Around the World. So for this session we offered Travel Journals and Stitch Your Way Around the World and we started out February with one session of each.

Arts Club – Travel Journals

The idea of mixed media journaling is to mix decorated backgrounds, hand lettering, photos and ephemera from your trip and of course the actual journaling about your trip. With a limited amount of time we raced through the preamble and the participants had a great time using the items we brought along to colour, stamp and stencil backgrounds into the journal given to each participant from the library.

Each participant brought photos of their trips and other paper ephemera and started right in on a few pages. One gal had been given a bicycle and her journal was a photographic journal of the sights she sees on her adventures along the great bike path system here in Calgary.

If you’re thinking about starting a travel journal as a tourist in another country, a staycation right here at home, or as an armchair traveler from your barcalounger here are a few tips you might find helpful:

  • If you are actually going to start your journal on your trip and do your entries while on your trip, but don’t have any photos to include, decorate your pages before you leave, journal on your pages and use yellow Post It Notes™ as place holders for your photos.
  • If you are going to leave the assemblage of your journal for when you get home and are sending emails home to family members, remember to copy yourself on the emails then you'll have a chronological diary of your trip and you won’t have to write all the journal entries from memory.
  •  Send yourself the journaling entries on postcards from the countries you visit so when you return home you have pictures of places you have visited, postage from that country and journal entries you can use for your journal.

 “A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.” Moslih Eddin Saadi

Stitch Your Way Around the World: Ukrainian Cross Stitch

In the afternoon we joined a group of ladies at another library branch to give an introduction to cross stitch while they made a bookmark based on Ukrainian patterns.

Some were accomplished stitchers but were interested in the ethnic background of the pattern styles and thread colours used in different regions in the Ukraine, while others were new to cross stitching and discovered great tips on starting and ending threads “with NO knots” making for a clean and flat back to the project.

Thanks to Mona S. for sending us a photo of her completed
cross stitch which was used as the background in this photo.

We still have several sessions in March and April and will cover several more embroidery techniques from other cultures as we Stitch Our Way Around the World.

We hope you can join us on our journey.

Jan and Meredith


  1. Good idea to send yourself e-mails and postcards! :)

  2. I love the word "staycation"......and what a great way to remember a short break away from the norm!