Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Handmade Journal for My Africa Trip

I wanted to make my own journal for my trip to Southern Africa in the fall.  Frankly the idea was daunting but having taken Mary Ann Moss' online class, Travel to Venice, I felt that it might just be possible I could turn out a journal that would make me happy.

I found fabric for the cover that delights me!  It has guinea hens and geometric designs and is in the colors of Africa.  It is just what I wanted for the cover of my new travel journal.

I decided that this time the journal needed to be big.  On my last safari trip I had a terrible time deciding which photos to use for my daily pages.  There was so much to see and I had been lucky enough to take lots of good photos, but because of the small size of the journal I worked in, many photos had to be excluded.  Not this time!  I have (probably) way too  many pages.  Better too many than not enough, right?

I used five signatures of six pages each.  The paper is a mixed lot----some vintage, some pages composed of vintage ephemera,  some heavy book weight text and one sheet in each signature is 140 pound cold press watercolor paper, my favorite.  I used what I call signature "wraps" for lack of a better work on each of the signatures.  It's the stripy paper you can see in the above photo.

Here is the book completed with the spine sewn in the Double Diamond stitch that Mary Ann taught in her Travel to Venice online class.  It nearly drove me bonkers working with five signatures at the start, but by the second set of diamonds it all came together and was much easier.

some of the vintage ephemera I used through out the book

these are vintage postcards

I used the original end papers from the old book I cut apart to use for the construction of the journal.  I liked the old design so much and I knew they would fit perfectly as I used the covers (cut from the book text) for the substrate of my covers.  The title page has a copy of a vintage luggage tag for Victoria Falls, which I will be able to visit on my trip. 

This is a real bill from Zimbabwe.  I bought several of these from a local shop (Fabric of Life) that sells lots of free trade imports from all over Africa.  It seemed so improbable that there would be an actual one hundred trillion dollar bill that I just had to have a few.  I put one in each of the nieces and nephews Christmas cash envelope and they were a big hit.   I gave one to Nonie for her journal and saved the last one for my journal.  What you can't see from the photo is that I sewed it in upside down.  Alas....
If I'd wanted the journal to be perfect I'd have bought it, right?

This transparency here is one I printed using one of my photos from my last trip to Africa.  I believe this shot was taken in Tanzania.

I used another copy of a vintage luggage label for the last page of the journal.  My trip will end in Cape Town next October so it seemed appropriate.

Now I have to be patient and wait for autumn!  That will be the hard part.


roadie said...

Very nice, Michele!

roadie said...
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Judy Wise said...

Glorious job, Shelley, this just makes me want to make a new journal soooo bad. Yours turned out gorgeous. I love how you've sewn your anticipation right onto the pages. Africa will be amazing. xo

Unknown said...

Wonderful journal, what a talent. My favorite trip, Africa.

Unknown said...
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diane b said...

Whoo hoo you do some fabulous trips. You have done a great job on that Journal as always.

Mary Ann said...

michele that journal is mag-effing-nificent! period. end of story.

john said...

Well, I am very lucky because I have actually held Michele's journal and looked at every page. It is indeed a marvel. Michele did an amazing job with photos that she took on a previous Africa trip which she incorporated into the journal. It is a treasure!

Cynthia said...

Absolutely fabulous! Your choice of papers is awesome. Love your idea of the watercolor paper in each signature. Your cover fabric is stunning. Wow!

Pilgrim said...

love your book and the process you used I think I may try to make one for my trip to China in September. I will let you know if I do. Take care my friend