This little notebook-sized booklet was perhaps over-worked and as such, began falling apart but i couldn’t resist the metal elephants on the vertical layout journal with tactile paper within.
As i fill up these notebooks in “real-time” while roaming (always looking for glue sticks and scissors), i needed a new book anyhow and there it was.
Anyhow, used from Thailand (where it was purchased) through Philippines to collect various bits and pieces of paper items: in this case, i developed a collection of wi-fi passcode slips from hotels and coffeeshops – tiny like fortune cookie fortunes – as well as snippets of poetry, clippings from maps, brochures and newspapers, and other breadcrumbs to retrace steps and recollect where i was or had visited. This was a foggy time for me.
This leather-bound beauty was a gift, long waiting for the right time to come into service. Finally, after lingering for too long, this mighty handmade (just not by me, obv) was pressed into purpose to gather and curate travel annotations and ephemera (tickets, snippets, stickers, postcards, brochure clipping, bits of maps and the like) on a long ramble from Gabriola Island BC, to Adelaide Australia, to Japan (Kyoto, Okayama, Sakura), and then into a suitcase in storage in Victoria, Canada, awaiting another chance to share secrets.
In the meanwhile, a few sample pages for your perusal… my lil nieces helped me snap the pics.
This oversized bonanza of goodness started life as a hitch-hiking themed board game, complete with funny names for various cities, and then, after various knives, scissors, drills, and glue, became a scrapjournal filled with items from Grateful Dead 50th anniversary shows in Santa Clara, CA and Chicago, IL.
This trip was a “big deal” for my as part of my healing process from a chronic and complex consortium of diseases and i pre-populated with all sorts of little inspiration pick-me-ups to keep me trucking on.
The end result is bulging with thick items including programs from each day of the concerts, dried flowers, envelopes of treats, and also includes set lists, messages and signatures from various conspirators, and other new pals met along the way, along with loads of stickers, sketches, road poetry, postcards, and a few sketches by others.
Oh, the edges are finished with hockey tape and a page from a Japanese manga schoolbook. It is huge and heavy and joyful. A few pages shared here for your amusement.
Hand-sewn (in Japanese-esque style) with hemp twine assembling board-game for a backer-board and binding support, a hefty block of colourful cardstock, and delightful Audrey Hepburn (as Natasha Rostof in hollywood rendition of Tolstoy’s War and Peace) from calendar paper for a cover. Finished with some Chinese Joss paper and blue handmade washi.
Took to Jamaica and filled with scheme, dreams, musings, lyrics and the like.
My pal in Indonesia had a lovely guestbook he made with me for his boutique diving resort and shisha lounge (pictured elsewhere in this archive), alas a fire in the bar took it away. So I humbly pitched-in to make a fresh one from available materials.
In this case, a manila airmail envelope for a cover, a clip-board for a backer, some lousy binding tape and ribbon to try to hold the whole block together. The block was certificate paper made for school award, hearty and decorative.
Added a variety of cancelled international postage stamps, a few stickers, and instructions in sparkly paint maker, plus a few social media related logos with water colour pencils. Oh yeah, a few inky stamps too. I had a helper named Tymur for this project.
This is another over-sized construction with a vintage tour book for front cover as well as decorated a sort of flyleaf. Such interesting material I couldn’t help but include. A fantastic hitch-hiking board game makes the back cover (and pairs well with the other maps I think). Dear Audrey Hepburn (cut from a calendar) covers up the binding and a cider sticker from my pal David White’s cidery adds more old-times flair.
I put this mighty tome to use for a personally important project of assembling a draft of sorts for my “Fck Stats, Make Art” project while sequestered in Indonesia and Thailand in 2015. In brief: I took printed metaphorical photos, as well as transcripts from various talks, chopped all the raw material up and re-contextualized into a semi-content narrative, interspersed with a few handwritten pages – all of this required several glue sticks and generated significant pile of paper trimmings.
I then began editing by sticking in dozens of little notes and thoughts. So much in fact the book was bulging and, well a bit overwhelming. As such, it lives in an appropriately old-timey suitcase awaiting another chance for editing and to evolve into a final, more cogent, form.
Note: the pages *are* photographed and while don’t make a lot of sense at this point, perhaps I’ll scrounge a few up to include for reference.
An oversize example with a sample of folk-art wall paper for a cover (co-opted from a colour copier at a Kinko’s I briefly worked at), a box from a cake purchased in Russia for binding cover (atop some quilted Kraft paper) and a board game backer (iirc). Sewn up with twine so mighty its almost thin rope.
I made this when I first became ill with a couple of chronic and complex diseases to hold the cards and letters I received from well-wishers, as well as notes, thoughts, and dareisay, inspirational bits and pieces.
Note: Making and filling scrapbooks is/has become a part of my “therapy” in that I pass the time and contextualize my personal archeology within the pages and also construct to give as gifts to keep human connections sparked.
Did I mention this particular construction is very large? Ledger rather than letter paper block.
In 1993-4, I worked as a mushroom farmhand in Tottori-ken (prefecture), a rather remote area of Japan (southwestern-ish Honshu). The work was long and arduous and the boss was a jerk so, I eventually split unannounced one day.
Determined to explore some of the country before my visa ran out, I stuck my thumb-out seeking a “bouken” (adventure) after making destination signs by copying place name kanji characters onto 100 yes store notebooks with crayon and decorating with some lucky words and stamps (not sure if this helped).
Hitch-hiking isn’t very common in Japan but by sticking to rural areas – including the traditional “o henrosan dori” (the pilgrim’s path) on Shikoku (the smallest of the 4 main islands of the Japanese archipelago) which has seen many wandering poets, seekers and prayers over centuries – I skidded along alright.
Getting rides in the country areas was usually rather quick but often times, the ride would insist of showing “hospitality” in form of taking to their hometown to show off “the thing their town is famous for” (of which every town has one thing). Not ideal for fast moving but well… the take the ride, you go where it goes. Getting between big cities along the expressways was much less enjoyable and relied on waiting around rest/service areas in these cases.
I pitched my small tent most anywhere (beaches, shrines, parks etc) much the chagrin of caretakers and so on who would scold aloud in the early hours. In these situations, I poked my shaggy head out of the tent flap and yammered confused apologies in my farmer Japanese – this tactic would usually confuse the situation into submission.
Some of the time I was accompanied by a mysterious and intrepid Japanese surfer girl who thought my ridiculous plan was worth trying. I liked this part.
What follows are a few pieces of photographic evidence from these journeys, snapped with an early generation panorama camera – but developed “normal aspect” hence black framing bars on some shots.
Brother Dan and I went to Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary (and final) shows – 2 in Santa Clara, California and 3 in Chicago, Illinois. We roadtripped the whole she-bang from Vancouver, BC to Olympia, WA to Pacifica, Santa Clara, then Las Vegas to Provo where we switched vehicles and rode with some pals across the midwest (camping in an epic storm in Nebraska along the way). We hit all 5 shows and enjoyed the community and music.
Other stops included Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael California and Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado to see Neil Young and Promise of the Real. We parted ways in SLC as i had to head to rescue a broken RV in Mendocino (unsuccessfully as it turns out) and Dan headed back to BC.
Along the way, stopped at various craft breweries, made loads of arts and crafts (including an massive scrapbook of ephemera, road poetry, set lists, newspaper clipping and other sundries) and a series of photos by Lomo camera. Also documented a series of two-fer photos of us enjoying beers or joints or scenery and the company of conspirators. Several of these became a “memory book” i created (via an online publishing service) for Dan as a wee present. When visited his home, i snapped quick shots of the pages (note to self: take better ones next time). Here the are the lousy pics of an otherwise lovely book – for my amusement and your curiosity.
I did not make this book, but rather found at a yard sale, and filled with travel ephemera and oddities from magazines and newspapers, wrapped with narrative annotations collected on a trip to Netherlands, Spain and Portugal in 2005. Added a few snapshots and poems and tied it all up with the attached ribbon. This book is very much an refined example of the more-renegade variations I create. The elegant black binding allows the outline of the binding thread to still add texture and the hand cut, heavy weight paper inside holds the almost ridiculous amount of stuff I glued inside.