Feb 4, 2014

Timey-Wimey Book Binding Project and Art Journal Idea!

What do time travel, art journals, brown paper, book binding, Dr. Who, embroidery, polaroids, Star Trek and sealing wax have in common? 

My Timey-Wimey Journal project! 

No idea what that means?
Guess I'll have to enlighten you.

Sometime last year I got a positively brilliant idea. I was inspired by Dr. Who and decided to make a journal somewhat like River Song's. (For you non-Whovians out there: the Doctor and River are both time travelers, and River keeps a journal so when they run into each other they will know where they're at in each other's stories and River won't give spoilers about the Doctor's future, etc. The show is also where I got the phrase "Timey-Wimey" ... it's from a famous Dr. Who quote.)

So basically, thinking about time travel journals eventually led me to this idea. I decided it would be AWESOME to write to my future self, leave some blank pages, and then seal the book for ten years. The idea is that when I open the book, I will fill in the blank pages with responses to what my past self wrote. Like an interactive time capsule, y'know? A journal between my now-self and my then-self.

But I couldn't use just any common journal for this brilliance, so I decided to bind my own! This is much different from my last book binding escapade because I used a real tutorial this time instead of just making up random goop as I went along. ;)

I used this awesome super-easy-to-follow tutorial up until about the 6:20 mark in the video, after which I guess I did end up doing my own thing, now that I come to think of it. Apparently I can't get away from making up random goop after all. :-/

Anyways, I wanted my book to be TARDIS blue like River's, so I went to a thrift store and found an old bright blue book to tear apart. I cut off the front and back covers and part of the binding. I used a few strips from the original spine and covered two small sections of my binding for reinforcement. I didn't want to cover the whole edge though because I was impressed with my binding skillz and wanted to show it off. ;) After that, I simply glued the covers to the first and last page of my book, on top of the spine reinforcements. Just gluing them on worked really well, actually, because I had used super thick paper!

I like the texture of the cover. The squares remind me of the doors on the TARDIS!

Then on to filling the inside with time traveling goodness. Writing to my future self really sparked my imagination for some reason! (As you can see from the polaroid, this was before I got my pixie cut ... I've been working on this book for a long time, I guess. Oh, and this is the camera I used.)

Click to enlarge

After the intro page, the first thing I did in my journal was to put myself into context for my future self. I wrote down how old I was, where I was living, what I was doing, what my family was doing, etc. 

Then I wrote a bit about where I was at, just in ... life. Where my thoughts and emotions were, that sort of thing. The chameleon is in reference to how I was at a point in life where I was exploring different personalities and always morphing and blending into situations to try out different versions of self during the process of growing up. More about that towards the end of this post if you're interested.

The next one is one of my favorite pages, and it made me reaaallly fall in love with my choice of using brown paper. The thing I love most about drawing on brown paper is that you can really use white instead of just negative space. White becomes an actual color that really pops and adds such dimension! If you've never tried brown paper, I highly suggest it.

(For this doodle I taped a square with washi tape, filled in the space around it, and then pulled off the tape; I thought the clean edges made a cool look. It's especially prominent in the top left corner!) 

And of course I had to include one of my favorite Dr. Who quotes! (Written in silver sharpie.) 

We all change ... when you think about it. We're all different people all through our lives. And that's okay, that's good. You've got to keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this. Not one day. I swear. I will always remember when the Doctor was me.

This quote made me realize that remembering who I have been and being okay with changing and becoming someone new is kind of the whole point of this journal, and I think that's really cool. <3

I had fun throwing in some craziness too. Like predicting the futures of my family members and friends, and then leaving a page for my future self to fill in if I was right or not. :)

I am just so fascinated by the idea of life and how we can look back all we want, but we can never look forward. All the mysteries our lives hold for us that we won't know until we've lived them. It's so strange, and so intriguing. 

I found some lyrics that I fell in love with. Personally, I don't really enjoy this style of music, but the words are beautiful so I had to include them. 

From where I'm standing
Lord it's so hard for me to see
Where this is going
And where You're leading me
I wish I knew how
All my fears and all my questions
Are gonna play out

In a world I can't control 

From where You're standing
Lord, You see a grand design
That You imagined
When You breathed me into life
And all the chaos
Comes together in Your hands
Like a masterpiece
Of Your picture perfect plan
When I'm lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You're already there
You're already there
Standing at the end of my life
Waiting on the other side
And You're already there
You're already there

One day I'll stand before You
And look back on the life I've lived
I can't wait to enjoy the view
And see how all the pieces fit

One day I'll stand before You
And look back on the life I've lived
Cause You're already there
You're already there
When I'm lost in the mystery
To You my future is a memory
Cause You're already there
You're already there

(Pieces of Already There, by Casting Crowns) 

Aaaaannnd then I decided to embroider some life advice for my future self onto one of the pages:


And on the very last page, I included some more time-travely nerdiness - from Star Trek this time.
In case you are not a Trekkie, Spock always makes the Vulcan solute with his hand and says, "Live long and prosper" instead of goodbye. At one point in the film, he talks to his future self (Spock Prime). When it's time for goodbye, Spock Prime makes the solute and says:

"Since my customary farewell would appear oddly self-serving, I shall simply say ... good luck." 

And yes, I thought putting that at the end of my time-travel journal was devastatingly hilarious. Don't judge.

And for the final touch, I decided to seal the book with actual real honest-to-goodness sealing wax. Because my sister just happened to have some on hand ... I have a cool family. 

In between all the artsy pages I also did a lot of plain ole writing, asking my future self a ton of questions about if I was happy with my choices about college, what kind of job I should/would get, if I'd found my purpose/what in heck I should do with my life, what happens to my siblings and all their questions, what happens to all my friends/who will stick around in my life, etc. etc. The answers should be pretty interesting. 
I'm secretly hoping that my future self will be cool enough to reply in ten years, add more new stuff, seal it for another ten years, and etc. etc. 
We shall see. :) 

And now, I will leave you with a few more ideas for things to include in a time travel journal: 
  • A bucket list or a page on where you want to be in ten years. (How much will you actually accomplish in that amount of time?)
  • A letter reminding yourself what kind of person you hope to become. (How will you match up to your past self's hopes?)
  • A prediction about your life in ten years, done by a close friend or family member. (How well do they know you?)
  • Your favorite books/movies/music. (Has your taste changed?)
  • Photos! (You could totally recreate the pose/location/outfit in ten years ... it'd be hilarious and awesome.)
  • Ask your future self to introduce you to someone you will love very much, but haven't even met yet at this point in your life. (A new friend? A new relative?)

The possibilities for awesomeness are endless!

So what do you think of a time traveling journal? Does writing to your future and past self sound intriguing? 


  1. This is such a neat idea! and I LOVE the Star Trek page. :)

  2. WOW. This is so, so brilliant, in so many wonderful ways. I'd love to make something like it.

  3. The amount of references here...
    Let's just take a moment to realize how chameleon this really is. Dr. Who. Star Trek. Christian music. Journaling. Art. A real ... flat ... chameleon.

    You will always be about 10 characters dancing together inside an arkenstone-beautiful girl.

  4. Wow. Talk about planning for the future. I enjoy the boundlessness of your ideas.

  5. This is honestly one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Incredible idea, beautifully crafted notebook, awesome pages, and to top it all off it has Doctor Who/Star Trek references.


  6. WHOVIANS UNITE! I am proud to call myself a whovian... :) I am always glad to meet another one.

    I love this journal idea and I love that Doctor Who inspired you.



  7. I am a huge Doctor Who fan and I think this is just fantastic!
    Might just have to try this. Thanks for sharing!


  8. You are so brilliantly creative with these sorts of things. You've inspired me to go to an op-shop and get a nice hardcover book to turn into my own journal! Where did you get the brown paper?


    1. Hi Erin,
      Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you enjoyed my post. :)
      I think we bought the paper at Hobby Lobby or Michael's. It came in a large pack that looked kind of like how printer paper is packaged, and it was near the construction paper. Hope that helps!

    2. Hi Inna! Thanks for replying....

      Unfortunately we don't have those stores anywhere near me I'll definitely have a look next time I'm in a crafts shop!

      I decided to get this (http://shop.cottonon.com/shop/product/make-and-create-book-craft/) for now. I've decided to use it as a place to document new things I do :) I just loved your idea of using white as a colour - it really pops on the brown paper and I don't think I'm skilled enough to make my own journal just yet.

  9. Gosh Inna, you don't stop inspiring me with your creativity! Your idea is sooo brilliant (: Keep going on,

  10. Well done, my friend, well done. Not only have you made yet one more marvelous creation, but you have inspired me! Hmmm...to get to work!

  11. Beautiful beautiful blog and artwork, Inna. Stumbles upon paperraindrops today and what a treasure, following you now!

    This journal is lovely, right from the blue cover, to the details on each page.

  12. That is such an awesome idea!
    My friends and I decided to write letters to our future selves when we were 16 not to be opened until we're 30. Only 7 more years to wait to open it!

    And you might be interested to see the River Song journal I made for my sister

  13. Hey Inna! I'm commenting on this post again to say that I awarded you on my blog. If you'd like to do the tag, I'd love to see your answers :D


  14. Inna, we miss your super awesome posts! Hope you are having a good Springtime. Keep "doing things different",


Thank you for commenting!