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.