by Cyn Gagen
I was AWOL for most of last night’s In the Zone. Yes, I know – I’m one of the hosts. But at the last minute, I had technical issues (my internet is being difficult) and couldn’t actually go on cam. By the time I had tried EVERYTHING, the show was half over. Sigh. I did happen to see the fabulous Roberta Birnbaum completing a most amazing passport holder. If you missed it, you should check out the playback link here: http://www.linqto.com/PlaybackRoom.aspx?roomname=creativeedventures&name=SingleExplicit_2011_05_23_20_01_04_301
Had I been able to take part and share my demo, you would have seen me making a paper bag journal/album. You see, reflecting on this theme, I started thinking about what I do about being creative while on a trip. A few years ago I was spending quite a bit of time on the road and I wanted to be able to bring some art supplies with me without having to carry too much. I also like to have keepsakes from my trips – scrapbooks, journals, and so on in which to put the photos that I take and the memorabilia (postcards, maps, tickets, and so on) that I pick up along the way.
The great thing about this little mini album is that it’s made from paper lunch bags which are flat and easy to pack, and it is quite quick and easy to put together. In many cases, I don’t even need to take any bags with me as often I can just buy them at a dollar store in the area when I get there.
Because of the way it’s constructed, there are little pockets created by the openings in the bags in which I can stash some of the souvenirs I find along the way. I like to wait until I get to my destination before assembling the album as then I can add in things like pieces of maps, brochures, and postcards right into the structure of the book as additional pages.
In this album I used only 3 paper bags to create it but you can certainly add more if you need a larger album. Or, along with adding pages such as those described above, you can also use scrap cardboard that you find along the way (maybe the packaging from a souvenir you purchased?), some pieces cut out of the hotel stationery from your vacation accommodations, articles from the local newspaper (if you glue a couple pieces together back to back it will make it sturdier), and more. Sometimes when you buy little items like postcards, they give them to you in a small paper bag anyway – add that to your album too!
With this idea, all I have to take with me besides the bags is a pair of scissors (I take the small folding Fiskars ones – GREAT quality for the folding type!), a glue stick (I prefer the Aleene’s Tacky Glue Stick), either a small hole punch or my preference, a “pokey stabby tool” because it’s smaller and retracts safely for travel (like Tim Holtz’s Craft Pick by Tonic), and a bit of string for binding the book. Of course there are many other fun things you might want to include in your travel art kit but I’ll get into those in another post when I share some more tips with you. AND a full tutorial on how to make these albums is coming! Stay tuned!