Scrapbooking on the road

I spent a couple of months earlier in the year unemployed and during that time, I got a bit into scrapbooking. I’d owned a scrapbook for at least five years and finally, I not only filled it, I had to order two sets of additional page protectors. I also discovered “scrapbooking on the road”.

It’s exactly what it sounds like except that smaller books are favoured and it’s less… not formal, exactly, but less planned and carefully thought out and staged. I wanted to make a scrapbook on the road. I bought binder rings and I will make better use of them one day than merely binding my Girlguiding Walking Scheme papers and my Senior Section Spectacular scrapbook.

Rather than use papers and bind it all together, I started with a ready-made book. This one is 7 x 5.5 in, from Titan Leathercraft and it caught my eye one day when I was on lunch and wandering around their shop on Poole Quay.

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Handmade and handstitched, with handmade paper inside. They come with an assortment of stones on the front or they come embossed with dragons and trees and angels and a huge variety of other Celtic-inspired decoration.

I had my scrapbooking stuff:

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A set of Stabilo Point 88 pens, a sandwich bag full of small letter rubber stamps and a second sandwich bag containing two ink pads, four rolls of washi tape, a roll of glue dots, a packet of luggage tags and a set of sticky arrows/banners. I also had, not pictured, a bright yellow Instax Mini 8 camera. And also not pictured, a glue stick (which I didn’t use at all because the glue dots were so much more effective) and a Swiss Army knife with a pair of scissors in it.

I didn’t really use the tags and the arrows/banners weren’t as sticky as I thought they’d be. I did make use of the washi tape! I’ve never used it before, it’s not something that’s ever really worked for me, in the same way that pre-printed trite words and phrases which are so popular with more professional scrapbookers than me don’t work for me. I used the stamps and the ink to put the day at the top of every page and that multi-coloured pad is the best scrapbooking thing ever invented.

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I left the front page blank to use as an index. It looks pretty bleak at the moment.

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That first page kept getting squashed and crinkled so the postcard is there because I liked it a lot but it’s mostly in that particular position to reinforce the first page. I hoped for a more exciting cover page but everything interesting went in the days rather than on the front.

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I spent the first day travelling so I just noted down times and events. There’s an Instax photo of my plane, the Hoppa ticket from my hotel to the airport and the wrapper from the complementary chocolate I was given on the plane.

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I got upgraded from Economy to Economy Comfort and invited into the lounge – along with half of Gatwick! – so I left a space for a photo of the lounge invite. The real thing got taken off me when I went in. Opposite that is the page removed from the hotel brochure about the place I stayed, with the pool times added on one of those not-sticky banners, which is stuck down with a glue dot. Actually, so is the photo. The tape is just for decoration. Everything is stuck down with glue dots and merely decorated with tape except the things on hinges, which are 100% tape.

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One photo of the lava field, one postcard on a hinge of the lava field during the eruption.

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And underneath that postcard is another Instax photo, on a hinge in front of a postcard of the pretty lake – I couldn’t capture the colours on my real camera, so a postcard went in instead.

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Sunday was my birthday and I went to Holuhraun. OK, I also took a sheet of red sparkly letters for this very purpose. I’d already stuck in the leaflet about the trip and the postcard of the 2014 eruption and I kept the journal at my side all day to write down everything Anton said. I made pages and pages of notes.

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Under the postcard is the leaflet, folded in half and also on a hinge so I can open it out.

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More notes.

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More notes and three Instax photos on hinges.

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Another postcard of the eruption and a space left for a photo of myself on the lava field.

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A postcard of Viti and Instax photos of Askja and the two lakes.

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And under the postcard is yet another Instax photo and a bit of writing.

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Blurry Monday and Tuesday. Sorry. On Monday is the card from my guesthouse, on Tuesday a colour-coded drawing of the lovely municipal swimming pool at Borgarnes – and I do mean lovely, I genuinely think it’s my favourite pool in the world, and an Instax of Þingvellir.

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And if you open the card, there’s an Instax photo of the little house where I stayed.

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Tuesday continued. The stick from the ice cream I ate at Þingvellir and a page from the leaflet about the baths at Fontana.

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Which folds out so you can see the rest of it, plus the local map cut from the same leaflet with my route drawn on it – in biro, which promptly smudged. I need to carry something like a CD marker in future for drawing on things too shiny for my rainbow Stabilos.

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Silver accents for Wednesday as I drove from Selfoss to Vatnajökull. Instaxes of Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Dyrholaey and Vik.

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Little map of the campsite at Skaftafell, my ticket for the boat trip on the glacial lagoon and a space left for a photo of the glacial lagoon.

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While I waited for my tent to dry in the sun on Thursday morning, I walked down to the glacier and then to the visitor centre on the way back, where I bought a postcard of the glacier that looked so much prettier than any of my photos.

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Here was where I bought the postcard at the beginning. They would have been here. I stopped at the Eyjafjalljökull Erupts exhibition, watched the film, read everything then ran out to get my notebook to write down important things. The trouble was that I hadn’t actually so much as stamped Thursday’s title at that point, so I didn’t know where to begin writing. The gap was filled with one of these lovely postcards, actually purchased at Skogafoss the day before, and there’s my entry ticket to the exhibition.

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An Instax of my apartment and then I wanted to go on the ferry and I got sick of constantly searching for wifi to steal so I could check the ferry times. So they went on the tags, which I hadn’t used. And finally, an article on a new spa being built in west Iceland which I cut out of the Reykjavik Grapevine to remind me to go there next year when it’s finished.

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On Saturday I went to Heimaey and I got an actual ticket. In that went, along with an Instax photo and a page about the ferry, folded in quarters and taped in along one edge so it can unfold all the way.

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Ta-dah!

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And then I did it again on the next page, only with a sheet twice the size. Postcard of another eruption and sticky flag as label. Should have used them more.

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See, it folds out to an A3 map of town.

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Or if you fold it in half, an A4 map of the entire island.

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More Instaxes and my return ticket.

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That map on the left, give or take some peculiarities of colour, is exactly the same as the one on the wall of my apartment. I didn’t do much on Saturday except go for a drive and a swim so I drew the pool again.

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And finally, my last day. Instaxes of the geothermal area and the luggage return tag for my flight. No upgrade this time.

I’m pretty pleased with it. There’s enough book for at least six more trips so I plan to fill this up over the next couple of years. The stamps and tape and whatnot don’t take up much room and the scribbled look of doing it in haste after a long day adds to the effect.