Sunday, December 27, 2015

My Midori Travelers' Notebook - Japan Travel Journal

Japan Travel Journal

We are back from another epic trip! And this time I have recorded / journalled our trip in my new Midori Travelers' Notebook, bought right there in Tokyo. It wasn't planned, but once I saw how beautiful it is, I rationalized how we can use it! Besides it cost about half the price it is sold in Singapore! I figure I will re-use the cover for every trip we take, with 1 notebook to cover notes/research we always make on where and what to do each day, and a 2nd notebook to record and journal on the trip, and where all the bits and pieces we pick up can go! The notebooks can then be removed and stored in folders as completed records of our trips, while the cover will be used on future trips :)

To see highlights of how I did travel journals in the past, see these posts:
also check my latest LONDON TRAVELERS NOTEBOOK  post 
by clicking the image below

And so the moment I got back I got to work on my traveler's notebook. Really enjoyed the process! 
I chose the 014 kraft paper refill notebook which has 64 pages or about 32 spreads, and planned out my pages to cover highlights of our trip. First I selected (about 3 to 5 photos for each spread), printed them out on my home printer, and cut them out. Then I got busy pasting and using all the stickers and washi tape in my rarely used paper scrapping supplies. I tried some stamping but my inks weer all old and didn't work well, so left that out. And finally hand-journalled. My handwriting is kind of messy and doesn't go straight even though I tried, but it feels authentic and me, how it should be in my opinion :)

The simple Cover Page

A Preface page 
- as this is our 3rd time to Japan, our goals were to take it leisurely, go beyond the touristy spots, and try to taste and soak in and savour all that is Japan and Japanese.

Two spreads to cover the day to day itinerary for the 16 days trip

Followed by Highlights of the trip, sorted by themes:

We visited Historical Sites 

Hiked historical trails between preserved old towns

Went up to UNESCO Heritage site of Koyasan and the atmospheric centuries old Okunoin cemetery
Koyasan travel journal

Marveled at the beauty and elegance of Kyoto
Kyoto travel journal

We did the whimsical, quirky, cute and fun,

including going to a Bunny Cafe (!)

We experienced traditional towns, streets and traditional foods and ways of life

We made our own Cup Noodles

Also skiied (on fake snow) and stayed in a 'log cabin'

But mostly we stayed in Various AirB&Bs 

We always play games on trips, but here in Japan we played Japanese games

Went on a walking tour led by volunteers
Tokyo travel journal

And of course we totally enjoyed the Japanese Food!
tokyo travel journal

Mostly in hole-in-the-wall joints, and also in the very-happening Japanese Cafe scene!
tokyo travel journal

They have the fanciest bakeries and confectioneries, and even their train station bento sets are incredibly delicious
tokyo travel journal

Taking the public transport is a big way in how we get to know a country

We also got to visit some parks and take one of the many giant Ferris wheels

Not to mention the shopping and window-shopping we did.

The 3 men went on anime/manga hunt

The rest of the pages were filled with more store-cards, name cards from all the shops

Finally I ended with 3 pages of reflections - 
so much good stuff and fantastic shared memories unique just
to the four of us
tokyo travel journal

The completed notebook - just about an inch thick - I love it!

A Bit more about My Process
You might have noticed that on each page, I tied the theme together using these labels that said "we were here", "we did this", and so on. What I did was to repeat and arrange digital labels (I used these from 'SmartAleck by Sugarplum', and 'So Majoe by OneLittleBird) on a page in photoshop, typed out all the phrases I wanted to use, and printed them out on A4 (8.5x11) sticker or labelling paper. Once printed and cut, they easily went into my notebook.

 For the photos, because I chose the kraft paper notebook, a white frame for the photos would look great, so that's what I went with most pages. I did some without frames to keep it interesting. Also did some in phonebooth strip style, and in varieties of square, landscape and portrait formats.

I did mine in A4 (8.5x11) photoshop files so I can print them on my printer, and sized them so they would fit the notebook nicely. If you want to try these, you can download the template by clicking on the link below. Once printed out, cut along the grey lines. Love to know if you are trying this too!
photo template for midori travelers' notebook

Also see my latest Bali Travelers' Notebook here

Friday, December 25, 2015

Blessed Christmas!

Isaiah 9:6
 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, 
and the government will be on his shoulders. 
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, 
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

May the Love, Peace and Joy of Jesus be with you and your family!

Thursday, November 26, 2015


Tonight is a rare occasion where I am all alone at home. Jared is staying at his school hostel, Ryan is at his High School Graduation Dinner, the hubby is playing tennis, and I'm pulling this blog post together while listening to one of the Paper Clipping Roundtable podcasts. It's nice to have an uninterrupted evening to scrapbook and blog, but ugh! it's increasingly like an empty nest - and I'm not ready!!

I had several stories like this one tonight that I wanted to tell for September and October, and I was inspired to make 12x12 layouts for them.  I hadn't done this in a while and it was so satisfying I made eight of them :)

Both our boys started their first jobs recently and there was such mixed emotions for me. I'm so happy and proud they are taking it in stride and learning the meaning of work. I got to meet them for lunch as they are working near me, take the bus to work together, all wonderful new experiences and new ways of engaging with them! But they are literally flying out of the nest!!

In September Marlyn, one of the readers of my blog turned friend and frequent contributor of the Inspiration layout pages visited Singapore. And we got to meet up for a meal and a fun time catching up in real life! Another wonderful story told!

And here is Marlyn's page of the same occassion! 
Beautiful isn't it? Thanks Marlyn for the great time and sharing your layouts!

My husband's birthday was full of surprises! Celebrated and remembered here....

...Including an outing to watch the WTA opening match featuring Sharapova! Did you notice in the layout that I made my own 'pattern' paper by typing out words related to WTA?

Our family love the 'escape' room challenge and I love the chance for a great family time! This layout will bring back lots of insider jokes, fun memories who solved what and who botched what, haha!

My mom in law celebrated her Birthday in style, what cause to celebrate and what a great time for the family!

Here I told the story of my alopecia by recording the fun of figuring new ways to style my hair!

We are going to Japan! This is our first trip in eight years and we want to go to the less touristy places and experience more local neighborhoods. Planning has taken a good part of the last two months and it's a story in its own right!

These templates are all in the Store!
What Stories are you telling? Have they made it into your memory books? Capture them in any way you feel like doing. Don't let formats or albums constraint you!

Project 365 Layouts
Of course I have the half monthly review pages for Sept and Oct capturing the daily stuff. Still love how quickly these come together and the snapshot of our days and months they provide!

8.5 by 11 Templates
You may recall I took the 30 Days of List challenge in September. Enjoyed it greatly and I'm signed up for the next round starting 1 December! I am going to add the Sept lists I made to my Project Life Album in 8.5 x 11 pages like this. 
If you are interested to use these, the template can be downloaded here. 

Inspiration Pages
Now here are more lovely pages by Marlyn from her time in Singapore! You can find more of her beautiful layouts on her blog here.

And look at these fabulous layouts by Stephanie! You can see more on her gallery here.

Thanks ladies for letting me share your beautiful layouts!

Away in Japan
I will be away from this Sunday for two weeks in Japan!!! Very excited indeed. Please note there be a delay in how quickly I can respond to your emails. Please bear with me I will definitely get back to you.

I will be posting trip photos as well as 30 Days lists on my Instagram account: yin_dgs if you want to follow me :)

And I just might have a chance to post some trip photos here on the blog. :)


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