One day while watching The Today Show I saw a segment that really caught my attention. A group of women, in an effort to stay connected after moving thousands of miles apart, created their first Traveling Journal. The story touched me closely because I have too moved thousands of miles from many of the friends I hold so dear. Inspired by their story and motivated by my own bookbinding skills, I decided to see if any of my friends would be interested in participating in a Traveling Journal with me.
I sent my first request out to 13 people, and to my surprise, every single person wanted to participate!! I was so excited I got to work right away. I call this first traveling journal the “Fleur de Lys” journal because of the pattern of the paper used to cover it. I bought that paper in Italy when I was traveling with Angela back in 2008 and have been holding onto it for a special occasion. Since there were so many people involved in this journal, I wanted to include everyone in the Intro on the first page, so I used my awesome Silhouette machine to cut out a background of everyone’s names (and nicknames). The journal has been sent off about a month ago and is already on it’s third recipient! I know it’ll be awhile with so many friends participating, but I am so excited to get it back and see what everyone added!
Unfortunately for me, I had two very dear friends move away from Boston shortly after I made my first traveling journal, so I made a second as a going away gift to keep us in touch too! Boston certainly hasn’t been the same without them, but I’m so excited about their new lives in other corners of the country and can’t wait to read all about their new adventures.
I call the second journal the “ASA” journal simply because it’s all of our first initials. Nice and easy, plus I couldn’t think of anything else. “Polka Dots”? Nah. I took a bit more time with the Front page and Intro page layouts (separate pages in this journal) because I wanted to give them a chance to get settled in their new homes before the journal arrived. Both pages were made using my Silhouette and I must admit that I am very pleased with the final product. I have yet to really test the limits of my Silhouette but every project teaches me something new and I really had to surmount some software issues with this project! Got to be creative with the product as well as with the approach!
Both journals were made with the Coptic Binding Stitch that I initially learned in a Bookbinding course I took in college. It had been about 5 years since that class, though, so I had to use a few resources to remind me how to do it. Creating Handmade Books by Alisa Golden was my primary source, but she calls the method a “Chain Stitch” so I had a hard time realizing that her book could even be a resource (however the book is really fantastic, great explanations of tons of different book making techniques). I also used this Youtube video to get a better physical sense of what was going on.
Anyone else want to participate in a traveling journal? I would love to keep in touch, or if you’re interested in starting one up with your group of long-distance friends, let me know! I would happily take commissions on designing a handmade journal for you.
Topic: Art, Artist Book, Boston, Friends, Silhouette Tags: Alisa Golden, bookbinding, Chain Stitch, Coptic Binding, Creating Handmade Books, Friends, Handmade books, journal, long-distance friends, paper, Silhouette machine, The Today Show, Traveling Journal, youtube