Vacation Memorykeeping Crafts

A recent examination of one of my storage boxes yielded a fun discovery. I found one of my travel journals from a road trip I took with my family across Canada in 1990. It is filled with remembrances and observations. Glancing through the pages triggered wonderful and specific memories of that summer-long vacation that really made me smile.

This got me thinking about today's generation of young people who may travel with a host of technological gadgets to 'pass the time' as they drive from one place to another, foregoing journaling and memory keeping in favour of watching the latest Disney DVD or downloading the newest hit. Meanwhile, picturesque scenery and moments of reflection or conversations with family get lost along the way.

Hopefully some young people use technology to document their travel memories; travel blogs are on the rise among young people, and almost no tween or teenager in modern, western culture is without some form of camera. Still, there was something so rewarding, so meaningful about actually writing down my memories in a book. Putting pen to paper somehow made the memories more tangible. The journal was a simple, hardback book of red leather with about 150 pages inside. Below are some of the pages from it.
I love looking at my round, bubbly penmanship from those days, some of it all jiggly from writing in the back seat of a moving car or sitting on a log on a beach at Pacific Rim in British Columbia, the sea winds nearly blowing me over.

Martha, too, has some wonderful, traditional ideas for preserving vacation memories. To view the entire collection of ideas, as well as the how-tos, please click here. I've selected some of my personal favourites below:
This family chose to archive samples of sand from every beach they have ever set foot on by filling small spice jars with the sand and then labeling them. The jars are on display on a long shelf in the family's living room.

Preserve your vacation memorabilia on the road with a handy organizer. All you need is a hole punch and a single binder clip, available at office-supply stores. The cover of the booklet, above, is a scan of a New York City, cut to the size of a postcard and then labeled with a printed sticker.

Display your beach-combing finds by filling a picture frame with seashells and showing off their nuances of color and shape.

One-of-a-kind wall art can be created inexpensively when you assemble a collage from travel paraphernalia. Scan tickets, postcards and other ephemera and then enlarge it. Print the images using a colour printer and then arrange them in an interesting way. I borrowed this idea but used a massive collection of postcards I inherited from my great aunt, which she had collected from her travels all around the world. In one frame I grouped a series of black-and-white postcards with the images facing out. In the other frame are the backs of those postcards, featuring amazing tales of adventure and some beautiful old stamps. I mounted them over my desk at home so I could gaze up at them anytime I want to escape.

Exhibit your vacation memorabilia as art by assembling it into a striking three-dimensional display using shadow boxes.

A paper-bound envelope book can store recipe cards for a young cook, photos, or even an enclosure of seeds for an avid gardener, and is a thoughtful alternative to a store-bought organizer.

You can keep vacation memories a little stronger a little longer with vacation memory jars. Filled with souvenirs collected on trips and pictures developed afterward, they are like little worlds that can be visited again and again. Kids can also add to them or rearrange them anytime they like. Bent wire can be used to lower and position objects in a thin-necked jar.

A travel scrapbook can incorporate anything picked up on the road -- even cafe napkins or business cards! I love the folded design of this one, reminiscent of travel brochures.


Ailsa said...

Lovely post Andrew. It reminds me of a photo of a home I saw once with a long, shallow shelf that showcased a row of identical mason jars. Each was labelled with the name of a location visited while on holiday and filled with sand from that spot. Perhaps surprisingly, all slightly different in colour and texture.


Ailsa, I believe that was from the September, 2003, issue of Martha Stewart Living! The home of photographer William Abramowitz.

Ailsa said...

Okay, now you're scaring me!
Did you pull that out of your head or did you go searching....?
I just looked through all the issues I've kept and, of course, Sept 2003 was gone. Do you have a way of pulling up that photo again Andrew?


Ailsa, I actually scared myself with that one too. I knew without even checking! Yes, of course I have the issue! I just checked and it's there! I'll scan it for you and add it to this blog.

dining room table said...

I think that is great idea. I had a lot of amazing vacations and I only have pictures and videos in every vacation. I think keeping some cool stuff from one vacation is a great idea.