Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bookbinding in the bush

As I've mentioned before, I have a rather different approach to the "travel journal" concept. Rather than taking a blank book with me when I go away, I travel with no book, just a bag. I collect papers, postcards, tickets, maybe some random notes here and there, and end up with a bag of loose papers and brochures and other related paraphernalia. Then when I get home and get organized, I transform the paraphernalia into a book.

Recently, I made one of these "travel journals" for myself, using papers and materials that I collected over the summer with my family. We didn't have a big vacation, just a bunch of smaller weekend-type-stuff, but there are lots of memories to be kept nonetheless. I never seem to have time to make books for myself so this time, before we went on our last camping trip, I packed up everything I needed and took all the materials with me so that I could make the book while we were camping.

The camping/bookbinding studio:


I completed the book in a few hours, all the same day. It was dark when I was doing the last of it and I was working by the light of the campfire and a flashlight...so the case is a little crooked... and the whole thing has a lot of swell due to the nature its content...but that's ok.


I had a plan for this book beforehand, so I knew what I had to bring with me. The cover has real birch bark on it - collected during a hike earlier this summer. But the little window in the front cover was unplanned so I had to be resourceful finding material to use for the window pane. I ultimately settled on some cellophane-type-stuff from a cracker package. Why bother with the window? Well, the day before I made this book, Raland (my dh) discovered wild mussels in the waters by our campsite so he collected a big pot of mussels, boiled them on the campfire and ate them. Rather to his surprise, unlike cultivated mussels, wild mussels have pearls inside them and he nearly broke his teeth on every one of them. Ah, the memories! It was amusing... so I saved some of the little pearls and put them in this little window so they will rattle around in there forever... or as long as that cracker-box cellophane survives.


Inside the book, the content consists of all the papers and ticket stubs and whatever else I had. They are organized chronologically, and related stuff is grouped together of course. I wrote a few details on shipping tags and stuck those into each section.


I used some larger papers to create pockets in the middle of each signature, so the loose bits like ticket stubs and the shipping tags, etc, are tucked into those pockets. There are also a few pages that fold out, and stuff like that.

24 comments:

BookGirl said...

Very cool, Rhonda. Enjoyed seeing your on-the-road creativity.

Clara

Amy said...

I so love this idea! It's what I always intend to do, but can never get myself organized enough to actually do. Thanks for showing your book. I love it--especially the pearls in the cover. So creative and resourceful!

moreidlethoughts said...

Now *that* is a very cool studio! And a lovely reminder of what could have been some expensive dentistry!

Elspeth said...

What a superb idea for a book! I bet it's really fun to flip through them after some time has past and relive every adventure.

SuperDave said...

So beautiful, Rhonda. What a special way to capture your camping memories!

Hagit said...

The book is wonderful! I love how fat and interesting it looks with all those tags and stubs!

Dolores said...

And you did all of that in a few hours? Amazing and very cool. I always collect paper bits like brochures and ticket stubs thinking I will organize it when I get home but it never happens. I should do it immediately and then it will get done.

Monica Holtsclaw said...

I thoroughly LOVE it! Thanks for sharing :)

CraftyAsh said...

that is such a GREAT idea! I have all these random papers from my holidays that i'll probably just end up recycling... i'm not really into scrapbooking, i like your idea way better! and the pearls- so cool!! love the outdoor studio idea too.

AUSTRIA KREATIV said...

this is great, and a very good idea for all the stuff I collected through our short trips this summer. Thanks for the inspiration ;)
Monica

Rhonda said...

Thanks Clara!

Amy & Dolores, thanks, I know what it's like - there are other bags here with materials from other times...still waiting to be made into books...

lol, moreidlethoughts!

Elspeth & SuperDave & Hagit, thank you, yes it should be a great memory keeper :)

CraftyAsh, I am also not "into scrapbooking" - don't get me started, lol! You will have to find a bookbinding class or some tutorials so you can make your vacation books!

thanks Monica! & the other Monica! if you make your own vacation book, be sure to share some photos :)

Paperfection said...

Love it!!

Carol said...

I think I commented on Facebook but this is so good I feel I need to say again how much I like this book. I think we get too tied up in believing we can't create without the workroom surroundings but look what you've done on your camping table. Whenever I feel I need a better space or more equipment I remind myself of those Nepalese paper makers who drape the sheets on bushes and grass to dry. a lovely book with many happy memories.

Carol said...

I've just added your beautiful papers to my latest blog post and they do look very nice. Thank you again. And I forgot to mention in my earlier comment - how wonderful to find pearls in the mussel shells. Lucky there were no dental accidents. Great idea to pop them into your cover.

My Love is..... said...

this is awesome. well done.

Debera said...

I really apprecitiate your.....infact I would suggest you to take part in some Competition.....espescially i liked the bunch of cards.......

Debera


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Merry said...

You are so clever and what a wonderful way to remember your holidays.

Rhonda said...

thank you Carol! You are right, who needs a studio??? We can be creative anywhere :)

and thank you Paperfection, MyLoveIs, Deborah, & Merry :-)

Velma said...

this book has meaning for you now and someone in the future will also feel excitement when opening it's secrets. the pearls are nifty, quite nice: great how it came together.

Rhonda Miller said...

thanks, Velma :)

Niko said...

What a fantastic idea! My plan is usually to make a box for the bits and pieces collected from each trip, but your book turned out great.

Ana said...

You definetly have a way with everything, and I admire you for that. I particurlarly like the way you think when travelling, and collecting all the artefacts to put into one book. A most memorable book, so treasureable too especially created by you.

Rhonda Miller said...

thanks Niko and Ana!

Lubna said...

I love how you've created this travel journal. I have so many travel journals still waiting to be made - all the paraphanalia for each journey is sitting waiting to be used - it's a time thing:-) Anyway, just wanted to let you know how much I love your books:-)

Lubna (UK)