... and I'm not exactly sure how it turned out.
My perspective is gone. I wrestled those items that could possibly be made into a travel journal, however eccentrically conceived, into a form that may or may not be worthy to be called a travel journal, and I now lack the ability to assess the outcome.
Feel free to mock me in the comments!
I do love making little notebooks. The appeal of paper cannot be denied.
In the course of pinning inspiration to my Pinterest board, I realized that a conventional journal represents too much of a demand on me. I can't face up to all those blank pages and that uniform structure. I can't commit to being able to fill so many pages and no more, or to sure that all my thoughts and memories would live up to the imposition of a certain form.
But something flexible like what I started seeing around the 'nets (and once again I will credit other people's real ingenuity for sparking my possibly lame interpretation) got me crafting.
Thus it came about that for Natasha this Christmas, I fell into the grip of an obsession to make a travel journal.
I can't explain these creative urges -- they come over me all of a sudden, and the recipient just has to deal with the result. (A few years ago I decided that Sukie and Bridget had to have Mammy dolls. I don't even know if those are even politically correct (nor can I explain why those two had to have them, but not necessarily the others), but I had to make two. I spent hours -- literally hours, possibly even days -- looking for vintage rag doll patterns online. I cut. I sewed. I embroidered. They came out really adorable. Not sure if the girls really wanted them.)
Using the accumulated paper stash of a lifetime (also of my mother's lifetime; also of my father-in-law's lifetime if you count the stamps, which clearly you should), I put together something that hopefully won't feel constricting, although it might feel... random.
I also tried to incorporate some elements from Natasha herself -- like her name from one of her cards, for which the lace didn't add exactly the embellishment I had hoped, after mod-podging it onto the plastic cover. And the yellow ribbon and monogram circle had wrapped her wedding favors (adorable greeting cards, naturally) after the reception.
The covers (which are sturdy plastic) and the printed pages are from an old planner/calendar (a kind I really liked and now don't see. The paper was of excellent quality and I made many notebooks out of its pages.)
And of course, there's always a place for vintage trim, monkey clips (Natasha loves monkeys! I think.),and whatever is handy.
Some of the maps I used were from the days when we had a National Geographic subscription. Do they still send out those unusual maps? I know that Germany is one country Natasha would like to revisit, so I included this tourist map, and of course, everyone needs to be street smart in New York. I chose not to bother with 16th century Spanish exploration or 18th century east-coast American development.
I used a lot of office supplies like binder rings, big paper clips, manila envelopes, glassine envelopes, cut-up file folders, and ledger paper. Things I just have lying around! Although: More glassine envelopes, STAT!
A hole punch and a paper cutter are essential (oh, I wish I had snagged Grandpa's old-school heavy-duty paper cutter! But where would I have put it?).
And can we just admit that the concept of a travel journal that includes such embellishments as possibly outdated hotel information, time zones, and business vocabulary -- in this age of Apps and instant Googling -- just might be superfluous?
However, Natasha, although well provided with the proper electronic equipment, really does appreciate paper. Hopefully this gift was something she could use -- either on a future trip, or to document a past one. Anyway, she can get endless amusement out of how wacky my ideas are!