SUMMER FRIDAY TRAVEL JOURNAL SERIES: Another Tool For The Journaling Tool Belt


Last week I shared about my magical day in Morocco, a strange and wonderful interlude from my trip to Spain. I also shared the ugly collages from my journal that I made from that amazing day. I expressed my disappointment and also my cherished rule of letting go.

So like I said last week, I let it go. Or so I thought.

When I got home, I made a few different sorts of collages. I couldn't help myself. I'm crazy crafty Kjersten and sometimes I have a hard time letting go of fun crafty projects. Especially when they relate to my travel journals. (It doesn't matter if I have tons of other stuff to do. Don't visit my house. It's always a mess).

So partially out of my frustration with my Tangier collages and partly due to the fact that when I added my photos to those of my camera-happy sister I had about a million photos, I decided to make a second journal altogether. I actually do this with travel journals quite a lot, I'm a bit ashamed to say.
Anyway, I made a blurb book of our entire trip as a gift for my Grandmother. Blurb books look like traditional coffee table books, but they're your own. Blurb makes the sort of self-published books that self-publishing is good for: family albums, family histories, family recipe books etc. They print on demand and their prices are awesome. Here's the Tangier pages from my blurb book:
I felt like I was cheating on myself at first to make a photo album from my trip that wasn't handmade, ordered off the internet no less. Gasp! But I had read about blurb books from a few other blogs and decided to give it a try for the photos from my trip. What I learned: They are just one other way of making a "hand-crafted" book. One more tool for the tool-belt.

Why limit myself? I have a personal pet-peeve against using the exact same kind of album or journal for every thing you ever need an album or journal for (sorry, I know for a fact that I have a lot of beloved artist and writer friends who are stuck in their journal selection and like it that way. But I have a hard time accepting this. It makes me more playful to use different sorts of journals all the time. I'm a bit evangelical about it. I don't like the idea of getting stuck in a rut. I dare you to buy a wacky and weird different kind of journal next time you fill yours up and go to replace it with that same boring old same-old you've been using for years. I've heard all your arguments for sticking with the same kind. I still disagree. But I digress).

I love my blurb book and if you have a gazillion pictures from a trip you should buy an album from me, another crafty artist and/or etsy. But if you're looking for something you can make a small print run of (say if you want to give a travel album to everyone you traveled with and you don't want to physcially make the book that many times), I highly recommend Blurb books.

Here's my two journals from Spain displayed on my wall using plate holders (why not?). The blurb book is on the top, the Collage Journal is on the bottom and underneath is a photo of my Great Grandmother cuddling my Grandmother who was then a baby.
I've often found that I end up having two books after a trip, one for photos and one for writing/art. They feel like a team. Here's my blurb book next to my handmade journal:
Thanks Grandma Muriel! For inspiring our trip with your dream. And also for passing on that travel bug you've always had.

Oh ya. P.S.
My house is cluttered with a few different collections: handmade books, puppets, pottery and weaving. Forgive me for being a tourist; I bought a weaving in Tangier:
Isn't it beautiful?