Saturday, May 22, 2010

here be braggin'

for which i apologize, but i love making travel books generally, i enjoyed making the one from our recent new york trip especially, and now that it's finished i am both inordinately fond, and inordinately proud of it! the best part is, 90% of the materials which went into it were free things we picked up on the trip: brochures, menus, business cards, tourist maps, and the like...all the things a packrat like myself tends to want to amass whilst travelling were given a perfect home!

first here's the book as it looked when i left home: it's basically just 4.5 x 9" homemade chipboard covers (sized to accomodate the average tourist brochure!), and some pre-formatted pages for writing what we did each day. everything is punched and hung from a metal bookring:

i took my travel scrapping kit with me, (basic supplies packed in a plastic school box: adhesive runner, hole punch, a few pens, mini stapler, gluestick, etc) and each night i wrote down the basics of what we did on that day's page, and punched & added whatever fun things we collected. at the end of the trip it looked like this:

when i got home, i finished the writing and added a bit more "caption style" journaling with my dymo labeller. it really only took a few hours, but the few hours were spread over a week or so.

then all that remained to do was print some photos and decorate the book's cover, but that's where the project got a bit stalled, due to dithering: should i make photo collages, or single prints? should i use a panoramic format or regular 4x6's? or maybe i should i make a whole bunch of mini prints and attach them to the pages they illustrate? yeah, i got a little bogged down. then last night i suddenly got excited again and all in a rush i made my decisions and finished the book! yippee!!! :)

first, here's the cover:

i went with a subway map background. i love maps on the cover of travel books...they kind of put you RIGHT THERE again, dontcha think? a few rub-ons & dymo labels, and of course you need a centerpiece:

i got the cool diecut skyline card at the museum of modern art. i didn't want to do much to it, so i just matted it and added an equally iconic title: i love new york. ('cause i do!) but wait--you haven't seen the BEST PART yet:

yep, it UNFOLDS!!!!!!!!!! how cool is that??!?! ok, confession time: this one element cost more than everything else in the entire book--i think it was $10! i kind of had a qualm when i saw the price, but i couldn't resist; of course now that it's ON the book looking awesome, i feel like it was totally worth it!!! (on the right you can see one of several basic grey magnetic snaps which i used to keep it from unfolding constantly!)

to me a plain metal bookring just SCREAMS for ribbons...and...for something dangly! :) stef got me this awesome "NYC" compass and i knew right away it was going on my book!!! i found the mini-license plate in a souvenir shop, and the little apple is from a pack of charms i got at the ink pad.

here are a few highlights from inside the book:

at "top of the rock" they gave us these really cool booklets to identify all of the nyc landmarks. i wanted to included mine in the book, but i didn't want to punch holes in it, so i made a sleeve from the flattened out pillow box one of our desserts came in (don't worry, it's clean!) the brochure is snug enough not to move around much, but can be taken out easily.

i mentioned that the question of photos was one of my biggest debating points. finally i settled on something completely different:

i printed them on inkjet transparencies, at the same size as my hand-written journaling pages (4 x 8.5") so they would overlap...but not totally obscure...the text. as i was placing them, i discovered an added bonus: when you flip 'em over, they let the *PRECEDING* page of the book show through, too!

here's a closer look at what i collect when travelling. this stuff is from the metropolitan museum of art:

you can see my pre-made journaling page, on which i've written a bit about our visit, it has a tag from the shop and the little museum badge attached to it; there's the official brochure, plus a few poscards from the the one from the temple of dendur i've clipped a photo of stef & i which a fellow visitor was kind enough to snap for us. there's a photo of the met's mascot, william the hippo (taken by stef) printed on transparency, and the little handout from my favorite exhibit of victorian photo-collages.

finally, here's the whole sprawly thing:

i love that everything inside is a slightly different shape and size. i think it adds so much interest when you turn each page and get glimpses of what comes before and after!

thus i conclude the longest blogpost ever...only slightly shorter than the trip itself! :) thank you very much for coming along with me!!!

(materials: two layers of thin recycled chipboard xyroned together & trimmed to size to make book covers; white cardstock pages formatted in broderbund printshop; 4990810font downloaded free from; accordian-folded skyline of new york city greeting card purchased at the MoMA design store; heidi swapp chipboard letters; creative imaginations rub-ons; dymo labels; stewart superior india ink pad; basic grey, american crafts & current patterned papers; staples bookring; ribbon, rhinestone heart sticker & epoxy sticker from michaels; basic grey magnetic snaps; photos printed on 3m inkjet transparencies & kodak premium photo paper; making memories brads & paper clips; all other materials acquired on our trip...MTA subway map, postcards, business cards, menus, brochures, bits of packaging, floor plans, etc...most of these were free!!!)


  1. Braggin', indeed! And rightly so! This is magnificent! I LOVE the NY thingie on the cover and would TOTALLY have paid $10 for it! The BG magnet is genius!

    How do you pring on a transparency and not have is schmear? LOVE that idea! And of course, your photos are WORTHY of transparencies. Great shot of the Statue of Liberty!

    Fun book! I'm sure you will enjoy it! (I did!)

  2. Amazingly fabulous!! How do you do it?!! Holy Moly! That skyline die cut was definitely worth every penny!! I just LOVE every piece of this!!

  3. Amazingly fabulous!! How do you do it?!! Holy Moly! That skyline die cut was definitely worth every penny!! I just LOVE every piece of this!!

  4. WOW!!!
    You've completely blown me away!
    This is an amazing memory book. The dymo labeling is the perfect touch.
    Did you computer generate the pages to start? I LOVE that idea!

  5. OMGoodness Lauren, this is SO amazing!! It's like the best keepsake/journal/album ever!! I absolutely LOVE the idea of printing the photos on transparencies!

    (-: Heidi

  6. Yeah, I am pretty much smiling from ear to ear ... I am so going to "steal" the transparency photo idea ... now to get my butt in gear and get mine finished (the second vacation within a few weeks of returning got me stalled). Can't wait to do it again.

  7. Here be braggin' is right because girl, you are OFF the map!

    I cannot choose one thing that would be my favourite. No, no, I really can't. Instead I shall sit here and just imagine what I could actually do with all the gumpf from my trip home if I were as talented as you.

  8. THAT book is so cool!!! Wow I love it. Next trip I go on I'm totally commissioning you to make me one. lol. I love the skyline in white. Totally Totally great. Love this!!!

  9. Wow, wow, wow Lauren! What a treasure! This is really what scrapbooking is all about and you have totally taken it to the next level. Love all the fun embellishments and that cover--oh my! Incredible work!

  10. wow! this is waaaaaaaaaaay cool, Lauren!! i wish i can hold it in my hands and go through it! i collect those things when I travel too, but most of them never go into my scrapbook pages. i LOVE how you used them and it's just perfect! i LOVE this awesome project!! thanks for sharing!

  11. holy moly. HOW on earth do you keep TOPPING yourself. This is so frickin' cool. You are indeed the creative QUEEN. EVERYTHING in here is perfect.

  12. Lauren. You're the queen of creating traveling books. Beautiful and very creative..Thankyou for taking us on your creative trip. I know I'm gonna collect a few items on my next trip, the Laurenish way.. :-)

  13. now THAT is something to brag about! your book frackin' ROCKS, girlie! i love all the fun elements, that AWESOME unfolding book, the compass and license plate, the yummy transparency.... i just LOVE the whole stinkin' thing!

    you have the best "journals" evah!!

  14. hey sweetie pie....
    EV-ree time you make one of these books i think - i wanna go on a trip and make me a travel scrapbook like Lauren! and now.. since i'll be doin a bit o'travellin in about a month i'm determined to do it!. this is a-maaaaay-zing-lee in-spur-raaaaaaashunul! :-)
    i love it to bits! thanks for sharing it all

  15. OMG, I LOVE THIS!!! I always admire whatever you are working on but this is just seriously awesome. Actually better than awesome, I'm just in love with all the interest and goodies you've included in this, and each time you open it up or show it to someone the happy memories are going to just flood back to you. Loving the embellishments (that was the best $10 you could have spent) and the extra touches. SUPERB!


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