Once There Was a Map

This map of the world.

It was a little tattered and stained, well travelled over its 53 year life you might say. Take a look at the close-up of the key.

It's a moment in time in political history. I remember when my idea of countries and borders being unchangeable for all eternity was shattered as a child. I learned that borders and names of countries change with the times, and usually war is involved. It was sad.

But back to the map. It was only worn where it had been folded, so I thought parts of it were still salvageable. Here's what I was able to make:

Six aged map travel journals, now available in my Etsy shop...

...and a few envelopes with the odd bits left over. I use these envelopes to pass on a thank you card, my business cards and discount codes to my customers. Not bad for one map that nearly got tossed before I found it!


  1. That is the very best kind of recycling! I love those books - and you managed to make so many, with just one map.

  2. the turmoil of countries and borders changing can always be soothed with the imagination and reinvention of the people who inhabit them, and those fantastic journals you made are a beautiful metaphor for that

  3. Thanks Lizzie. It is amazing how much we have that can be reused before we think of throwing things away!
    Susana, thank you. What you say is so true, and I maintain places in my imagination for those countries that are now "formerly known as....."

  4. I have just had a lovely time looking at your blog, and am now off to see you at etsy. I have a whole bunch of 1950s UK maps and some sheet music - could these be used?

  5. Hi Benta,
    So nice to have you stop by and visit. Your maps and sheet music could definitely be used for journals or envelopes. I'll email you through your blog.

  6. Greetings from Hong Kong. I have to say that I love your travel journals! They are all so lovely and meaningful. I have just started to learn bookbinding and I am enjoying alot. Usually I use fabrics as the book covers. I am curious how you can remove the crease on the paper maps? It'd be great if you could share your experience. I tried to use papers as book covers too but I didn't know how to remove the crease. Thanks very much!!!


  7. Hi Doris,
    Thanks for stopping by. Usually I use large atlas maps without creases, but when I use a map like this, I often iron it to remove the crease. If any crease remains, it's part of the charm of the book and knowing where the map came from.


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