Smash Book Sunday

I have been using smash books to record memories for years now. A smash book or smash journal is a simple way to capture life as you go along - similar to a scrapbook but much less hassle. Smash booking really just goes back to the roots of the scrapbooking phenomenon. For hundreds of years, people have been making simple memory books to preserve mementos from daily life - I know I did this long before I ever heard the term "scrapbooking"! The basic premise of the smash book is that you can just "smash" anything you want into your journal - photos, notes, lists, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, left over packaging or anything else you can think of. No need to worry about elaborate layouts or fancy embellishments, and no need to spent hours and hours on making records of your life because really, that sort of gets in the way of actually LIVING it!

Ever since I was a kid, I've tried to keep "normal" journals, but I never seem to be able to keep them going - I'll buy a pretty journal or note book and make an ambitions start but before long, entries become more and more sporadic, and eventually I'll just give up. The blank journal pages tend to intimidate me, make me feel like I need to have something REALLY good to say before I even put pen to paper.

Scrap and smash books work so much better for me. For one thing, the pages are not big, blank and intimidating, but colorful and inspiring. Most smash books use  scrapbooking type papers in different colors which sort of "set the tone" for each spread in the journal. And they are designed for a mix of mediums - you can write, draw, glue, collage or do whatever you like to the pages, they are sturdy enough to hold up. I do a fair bit of journaling in my smash book, too, but the pressure is much lower. Most of the time a few short paragraphs is enough to say what's going through my mind, but if I want to expand on something there's always room.

Another thing I love about my smash book is how portable it is. I often bring it with me to record travels and holidays while they happen, rather than waiting until I get home (and have inevitably forgotten half of what went on) to put photos into albums or journal my experiences. I keep all the things I need attached to the book using an elastic band, so it's easy to just grab the book and go!

I use K&Company brand smash books because I like the size and quality, and the sturdiness of the covers make them ideal for taking along on your travels. In this photo you can see what I like to keep attached to my book at all times:

- A Smash stick: This is the specialized pen that comes with the K&Company books and attaches with an elastic to the side of the book. It's got a black ink pen on one end, and a mini glue stick on the other. Super convenient!
- A black ultra fine point Sharpie: I mainly use this for writing on Instax prints (which most regular pens can't manage).
- An extra glue stick: The glue in the Smash stick is not very heavy duty, so I like to keep an extra glue stick with me for photos and heavier items.
- A pair of Smash scissors: Another K&Company product, these scissors fold up to become no larger than a normal pen or marker.

That, plus a few odd bits of paper, is all you really need to Smash book on the go.The pages you see here are a few of my favorites from my 2014 smash book - it's my third one and I think I'm really starting to find a style of memory keeping that works for me. I'll be sharing more pages as I go along, hopefully they can serve as some inspiration to someone out there!

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