What do I call these things anyway?


_MG_6569In the interest of chronology I’d originally planned a few posts ahead of this one, but I just finished a beast that soaked up around 15-20 hours of my life and am excited to share it! As the title suggests, I’m having trouble figuring out what exactly to call these books I’m making. Journal works, but doesn’t feel exactly right; I’m making these with the intention of them being a kind of already-visually-stimulating-so-all-one-has-to-do-is-write-their-stuff-and-paste-in-their-ticket-stubs-and-what-have-you scrapbook. Ready made scrapbook? Smashbook with cheese? Suggestions are appreciated!

While making this book I learned a valuable lesson about leaving enough space inside. I thought when I made the paper signatures that I’d left enough space for embellishments, but I was overcome with the need to really make every page unique and special, and ended up over-stuffing by a lot. The decision to remove an entire signature proved harrowing, but worth it. The book is still just a tad full for my taste, but it can at least be added to now.

There are tons of folders, pockets, and tabs for slipping things underneath. The front cover opens to an original book page, and an accordion-style folder.

Pockets, pockets everywhere

The title of the book, “The Girl Scouts at Singing Sands,” helped me direct the theme for both this book and the one that will follow. I used ephemera and techniques that reminded me of the woods, the nostalgia of yesteryear, and childhood summer camp. I wanted to keep it eclectic and fun, but stay within a kind of unified theme.

Some of my favorite pieces of ephemera live here now, including this page from a vintage typesetter’s font book, and a postcard from 1904!

Attached to the spine are five charms on ribbons. Four are meant to be book markers with the remainder-a porcelain birdie-left out to decorate the spine. Birds are a subtle reoccurring element as what is a forest without birds?


There are three hinged, and two open-faced lockets that have been intentionally left blank. Adding tiny narrative pictures was a temptation, but ultimately I decided that to add personal tidbits to these secret little places is really what will make this book a treasure once completed as a scrapbook.


As mentioned earlier, this journal is way too big. The next one will have less pages, but more attention spent on the details within those pages so the quality will actually improve! When I look around for inspiration on Pinterest, the altered books that really catch my breath are so ethereal and dreamy, and I find myself irresistibly attracted to the sort of “layers of negative space” they exude. Those artistic beauties are wonderful to look at, but I’m not sure if they quite lend themselves to having anything new added-as a scrapbook would need to be. My focus for the next project will hopefully move more in the same direction of those journals, but stop short of becoming unusable.

The original library check-out card from the 50’s, and original book illustration

Some typical pages

A pocket of lace

I love that black ribbon so much. It reminds me of Grimm’s fairy tales and the deep, dark woods!

Thanks for slogging through the photo-bomb. I’m contemplating making a video to show all the pages but that sounds like some serious work. Let me know what you think! What do you look for in a journal?

End Transmission.


2 thoughts on “What do I call these things anyway?

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