Friday, June 19, 2015

Documented Life Project - Week Twenty Four

June Theme
Travel Journaling

June 13

Art Challenge: Recording memories

Journal Prompt:  Taking the Road Less Traveled

This week's prompt brings to mind absolutely Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken".  So it was natural for me to think about one of my favorite places in Mississippi - The Natchez Trace.  If you've never heard of the Natchez Trace, traveled along it, or simply Googled it, then you don't have any idea what you're missing.

The Natchez Trace was the only way for folks to get back home, in particular to Tennessee, after having traveled down the rivers to take their goods to New Orleans in the early 1800's.  It was too difficult to get the barges and boats back upriver so they dismantled and sold them in New Orleans and (more often than not) walked home.  It was called the "Devil's Backbone" because you took your life into your hands by traveling the Trace.  It was home to Native Americans who didn't like the settlers and tradesmen who were encroaching on their land and using their old paths.  It was home to many famous highwaymen who plied their terrible trade along the route.  The Trace is 444 miles long and covers some of the most beautiful landscape in Mississippi and Tennessee.  I love it!  I love the history and beauty of the whole thing!

I have traveled the 16-19 mile section of the Trace between Madison/Ridgeland (my hometown) to Clinton (where I live now) my whole life - every weekend for two years and it is usually the quickest way to get to Madison.  I'm very familiar with this particular stretch.  Several years ago I mentioned to my hubby that I wanted to travel the whole Trace from start to finish and stop at each of the Historical Markers located along its length.  I wanted to know just why it was important enough for the Federal government to make it a national parkway and put up signs!  So several years ago, we planned a trip during Spring Break and my hubby, my oldest daughter (this was pre-Wee One), and I loaded up the truck and went to Natchez.  We spent four days and three nights camping, hiking, and driving.  I have probably 2,000 pictures from this trip.  It was hard, dirty, hot, and fabulous!  We managed to make it half way up - from Natchez to French Camp.  Eventually we'll get back and do the other half - from French Camp to Nashville.

My absolute favorite spot was a place called the Sunken Trace.  It's a section of the original old Trace that has sunk down over the passage of centuries below the bluffs.  It is wonderfully still, breathtakingly stunning, and very eerie.  Click on the picture below to pull it up large so you can read the story of the Sunken Trace.

To create this page, I printed out a map of the Trace and picture of the Sunken Trace from the internet.  I adhered them using Matte Medium and then covered the pictures with Clear Gesso.  I needed to give my Neocolor II's something to grab a hold of.  I used Olive, Ochre, and Russet Neocolors and created a blended background.  Using Dylusions border stamps, I created the border around the map, the leaves, and the scallops around my card.  The card is from my stash and I adhered a picture of an "Old Trace" marker to the insert.

I used Tim Holtz Tissue tape along the center to help strengthen the pages as well as add some visual interest.  It also helps to adhere the insert.  The insert is two cards from the same stash as the Old Trace one.  I used them to journal on.  I know I don't do a lot of journaling in my art journal but I wanted to include the story.  After all, this journal will one day pass down to my daughters and they might not remember the story.

I used Dylusions alpha stamps for the words "devils backbone" and my white Uni-Ball Signo to add some doodling.

This page is more "scrapbook" than anything I have ever done but I absolutely love how it came together!

That's my share for this week!  I'll see you next week for another challenge.

Until then,

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