before the journey...

...because the before is absolutely part of the vacation fun, right?

before we left for central europe, there came:

- reading about Prague, Krakow, and Budapest
- lots and lots of internet browsing about Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary
- shopping for good walking shoes, a good messenger day bag, travel pants, and the like
- planning, preparing, e-mailing back and forth with MIL about our hotels, hopes, etc
- asking advice from more experienced travelers about what to pack, what to wear, tips for using money, etc
- lots of time spent HERE
- dreaming of castles and cobblestone streets

...and of course, creating my travel journal!

this trip i went with a "remains of the day" style journal with a twist. (ever since i took mary ann's class i am obsessed with the random, the leftover stuff of everyday, and how wonderful it is all collected into one messy, interesting book! go take her class, you won't regret it!)

the twist was that i did not sew in signatures or sew pages together for this journal...i wanted it to be rather simple so i could add lots of bits & pieces while we were in europe (and after.) i also have a bit of a thing for spiral-binding everything (shout out to danielle!), so i was intent on finding a way to have the randomness of the ROD journal style, the softness of a fabric cover, and the spiral binding i so love.

and...much to my inexperienced book-making surprise, i found a way!

the recipe:
  • take lots of random papers, envelopes, travel themed scrapbook paper, a business card sleeve, and mix them all together in no particular order.
  • punch pages using the bind-it-all at local scrapbook store. buy a length of o-wire from same store.
  • struggle with getting the pages just right in the binding, curse and scrunch up face and then say "oh what the hell, it's all good."
  • then squish the o-wire together with the bind-it-all and move on to the cover.
  • guesstimate the size of cover by laying out fabric and sketching around journal.
  • sew other bits onto the main cover, and then deliberate how you will get cover onto the spiral book and simmer for a few days.
  • decide not to try to sew a removable cover for fear of screwing up the entire project, and glue cover to the chipboard on either end of book, and voila! the spiral-bound travel journal of randomness is born!
i'm guessing that didn't make much sense, so here is a video of the completed book...BEFORE adding journaling & ephemera:

the AFTER video is coming, i promise. along with the "shortlist" slideshow (short being around 400 or so) of photos from our 14 day adventure...i know, i'm such a tease.

here are a couple of photos to get the ball rolling...

the moving map on the airplane screen showing we are nearing prague...we flew 10:10 hours to
London, 2 hour layover, then 2:40 minutes to prague.

a very lucky shot of the vltava river and some of prague's amazing bridges
taken from the plane as we made our descent. the bridge nearest is the
famous charles bridge.

taken in old town square, prague

more to come, stay tuned...


Danielle Johnson said...

You are amazing! I love the travel journal. Looks like a great way to put together a december daily. Are you going to do one again? Would you like to make this the 3rd annual December daily girls day??? Maybe an overnight???? Let me know.

Heidi said...

Hi Danielle! Yes, I was totally thinking of doing my Dec Daily like this - spiral bound! I am thinking of getting one of those spiral binders with my birthday money if I can afford it. I would LOVE to do an overnight Dec Daily Day! Name the date lady! I have a 3 day weekend over Columbus day...or let's discuss!

Pat said...

Love everything about it! Also loved the music on the video and the swirly thing in the corner. Can't wait to see the After journal. (And I agree, since taking Mary Ann's class, pretty much everything I do now is in the ROD "style"!)
Thanks for sharing.

Elena said...

This is great!!! I too am obsessed with these ROD journals and have made 6 so far!!! LOL!!! I like the binding SO MUCH BETTER on yours!! I have a question though! I assume you put a chipboard on the front and back so then what did you do? Just glue the fabric onto the front and back cover? I LOVE IT!! I have the Zutter and the Cinch so I am all over this! Thanks for the inspiration!

Tracie said...

Your instructions totally made sense!! ; )
Loved your journal!! Let's see it all journaled up!!

mary ann said...


love everything about this journal! Music is fab! Can't wait to see MORE

Kristi said...

Hi, Heidi -

Love your travel journal and can't wait to see what you collected on your trip! The binding would be great on the Dec. Daily - thanks for the ideas!

Deborah said...

Dazzling, Heidi! Thanks so much for the how-to. Your video is so well done & entertaining; very inspirational.
Deborah D

Christine said...

just sitting here...waiting on the more to come ;)

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

oh wow! Your adventure sounds amazing. I'm an American living close by in Berlin. I also loooove journaling. I have a shop just for it that you might be interested in: www.gadanke.com

Here's hoping you had a lot of sunny days. Pick up any Czech? I know 10 words that my husband has been helping me with since we met. My tongue just can't quite get it. Safe travels! Envy over here.