so i came home from vacation with a minibook that was mostly done...and mostly free...consisting, as it does, of brochures & other travel ephemera interspersed with blank pages of staples index stock that i formatted and printed out on my computer before our trip.
but for *me* the best part of ANY project is the embellishing part... (as well you know!) ...so i spent a saturday afternoon doing "the fun bits": i added some stickers, applied a rub-on or two, and where i felt that a story or activity needed a bit more detail, i wrote on journalling cards which i either stapled to existing pages, or punched and bound straight into the book. i chose my favorite pics from the trip, or cut out bits from the chamber of commerce magazines to illustrate things of which i had no photos. basically i just PLAYED with all my trip stuff & tried to figure out how to get ALMOST ALL of it into the book!
to make the chipboard covers a little more exciting... (b/c trust me...homemade books *DO* get judged by their covers!) ...i used a roadmap of south carolina we got free from triple A as my base, adding a few more layers to the front. i had put a palm tree sticker on the green circle transparency before we left (gettin' in the spirit, so to speak!) but it didn't quite stand out as well as i liked over the map, so i outlined it with a sharpie, and added the "MB 09" rub ons to the circle which is right above myrtle beach on the map.
the photo is one i took of our rented beach umbrella! (an idea i stole blatantly from the man whose umbrella was next-door-but-one. i did say "THANK YOU" ...which i think freaked him out very slightly more than seeing me take the same photo he was taking 30 seconds after he took it!) i loved that it had the place name as well as the card with OUR NAME and the date...that just totally screamed "book cover" to me when i saw how well it came out! you can see from the pic above that all the elements are on the ring separately, unattached to each other; i wanted them to already be pages which said something about the trip. the photo card even has a little bit journaling on the back!
i like to vary the size of my pages for interest anyway, and the basic "use EVERYTHING you love from the trip" principle of travel books really encourages this. i've got postcards layered over photos, which are just slightly smaller than journalling pages. you see glimpses of a lot of layers from a lot of different angles. (this happened accidentally in the very first travel minibook i made...now i plan it!)
i printed all my photos for this project at home on my hp photosmart using kodak "ultra premium" high gloss photo paper. i used my xyron to laminate my pics so they were strong enough to be freestanding pages. some utilize their regular proportions and are sized at either 4 x 6 or as wallet size; some i cropped (in photoshop) into 9 x 4 "panoramic" shapes, i even made a couple of full-page photo collages. (these are extremely fun to make but more time-consuming than i imagined...i have a seriously increased respect for the popularity of templates on digi-sites!!!)
of course this would not be MY PROJECT if there wasn't something funky & vintage in here somewhere, now would it?! i was rather excited to find a page or two in my collection of old, falling-apart, garage-sale books which related to south carolina. i snagged a neat picture of the state flag in a children's encyclopedia from the 1950's; this illustration & paragraph from a rand mcnally children's atlas is actually about myrtle beach!!!
there isn't a lot of "product" in here, but there's a bit. i grabbed a pack of little yellow bicycle travel-themed word stickers and journalling cards from my lss after we got home. i had some old 7 gypsies vacation stuff, and miscellaneous travel diecuts and rub-ons. i didn't need much, really, there was already a lot going on with the ephemera...on the other hand, had i felt like creating "proper" pages... (or should i decide to do so later, even!) ...the flexible "just punch a hole in it" binding gives me the option.
the rest i filled in with non-specific stuff from my stash: i used some transparency scraps to add interest and a "clear factor"...what a great way to add in a page with "decorations" that adds to existing matter without covering it up! i love heidi swapp's teeny ghost hearts and stars anyway, and again, they make a great addition when you've already filled the whole page with handwriting...but it looks a bit dull! ek success' watercolory vellum clouds are a necessity of mine--i buy a pack everytime i use the old one up, and will weep bitterly should they be discontinued. ribbon scraps of various manufacture decorate the ring.
since i made my page templates before we left on the trip, i made them based on the things i THOUGHT we would be doing...some of which happened, while others did not. when we planned the trip we thought that an excursion to charleston was on the cards. we had even chosen a tour we thought we'd enjoy. since we wound up having great weather and a wonderful time at the beach, we never made the trek to the city. i was on the verge of discarding the pre-printed page and leaflet, when it occurred to me that the story of the stuff we *didn't* do was as much a part of the trip as what we wound up doing instead. the dymo-labels on the brochure read, "this is the tour we would have taken...if we had gone to charleston and taken a tour!"
and finally, may i present the piece de resistance, and lovely husband jeff's very VERY favorite part of the whole flippin' project:
light-up keychain from airport giftshop: $4.00
finishing touch to your travel book: priceless!
if you have questions about specific products or methods, please email or leave a comment & i'll do my best to answer. (i don't really DO "tutorials" as such...those who've read the ones i have done can tell you why!) if you'd like to see last year's model of a similar project, HERE is the book i made about our trip to asheville last spring.