Did I mention I'm heading to Cambodia for three weeks? Yes? Multiple times? Oh. Well, just imagine how much I'll be mentioning it when I get back! Anyway, while we're out there, we're going to be teaching English in rural communities, training Guide leaders and running workshops and living in and experiencing a whole new culture. And I want to scrapbook it. All of it! It shall be mine!
When I travel, I often take a notebook and keep a journal of everything that happens, but I've never scrapbooked on the road before and I decided this was to be the trip where I gave it a shot. However, in between health forms and flight details, insurance and lesson plans, conference calls with the team and insane amounts of packing, I knew I wasn't going to have much time to get organised.
So I kept it minimal. I wanted to take as few things as possible, limit the use of tools and forget pictures entirely at this stage. The kit I put together needed to be small, robust and able to withstand a kicking, and ideally something I can break out with anywhere when I have a couple of minutes. We're going to be busy after all! And hopefully I'll have some 6x4 mini pages when I get home that can go into divided page protectors.
In the end, I packed some 6x4 journalling cards, some tags, a notebook to jot ideas/quotes in, a few postcards, some embroidery thread, a couple of rolls of washi, little letter stickers and some Elle's Studio tags. Then in terms of tools, I chucked in a glue runner, two journalling pens, a pencil, a date stamp, a ruler, some scissors, needles and a paper piercer. Those last three pointy objects will not be joining me in my hand luggage though - they'll have to travel in the hold. Alas! No pointy objects on planes!
I'm going to worry about photos when I come back. My lovely camera will be joining me, and I can flick though a day's photos and note down the photos that could be printed to go with the project. But the printer is staying firmly at home. I'm going to take one little instax-stye print with me so I can get an idea of size - then I could leave space on a card and add the print at home afterwards. But that's it.
The main focus of this scrapbook will be journalling. Hence my journalling card hunt. I cut them up myself as they used to be 12x12 cut-apart sheets. Both are by American Crafts, one from Amy Tangerine and one from Dear Lizzy and both are lovely. They were also inexpensive as it's just 12x12 paper and I bought four of each which gives me a range of designs and patterns, but they all tie together.
To personalise the cards however, I wanted them ink splattered. So I've done that here at home and they're ready for the trip! There was no way I was going to be taking mist with me :D
The advantage of this preparation, even though it's been minimal, is that it all packs up very small. And it's absolutely vital that you find a really cute back to pack it all in. And I mean seriously cute. Even if it is supposed to be a washbag.
It's probably worth pointing out that I don't expect everything to be perfect and finished when I come back. I may want to add extra stickers, pearls, labels, paperclips, you name it! But I can't take it all. This way, I can ensure that I get the important memories and experiences recorded in a pretty way, and I can have fun reliving the experience when I get back!
So there's my kit, all tucked away and ready to go. This bag is actually doubling as a pencil case as well as a scrapbook kit, so I've also got notecards to give to our hosts and pens and so on in here too. I wrapped the journalling cards up together in a little plastic resealable bag - if we do get monsoon rains, they will be safe! It also helps to keep them flat and together as they suffer untold abuses in my hand luggage.
Now all that remains is to hop on the plane, whip out the kit and start doodling borders and designs on the cards so they're ready to use!
Have you ever scrapbooked on the road? If you have any last minute tips, I'd be v. grateful!
P.S. As I write this, it occurs to me that I have packed a date stamp and no ink. Now I need to decide whether to pack the ink, or leave the date stamp. Argh, not another decision to make!
P.P.S. The sensible thing is to leave the date stamp.
P.P.P.S. I can't decide if I'm sensible or not.