How To Make A Mini Memento Book

I like to always carry something comforting with me, whether it's a photo or a toy, or maybe a piece of jewellery. I thought it would be a nice idea to make a tiny little book full of pictures as a kind of natural progression from my 'scrapbook of treasures'. It's a similar concept, but more portable and streamlined. A nice little photo album that I can keep with me in my card wallet.

I made two rough collages and printed them on both sides of a piece of paper so that when I cut out the mini pages they'd roughly match up with one image on each side. I focused on one particular, er, 'interest' here but of course you could make mood boards and print them out, or collages of anything you like!

I cut out my pictures so they were all roughly the same size, then I folded the resulting wad of pictures in half and sewed along the fold. You can use a couple of staples for an easier time, but I wanted to practice my thread binding. After your mini book is bound you can cut the edges to make all your pages the same size and to neaten them up. Bear in mind that the more pages you have, the more difficult it will be to cut them all to size at the end. Mine has an unfolded thickness of eight pages, which cuts okay, but I wouldn't recommend going any higher.

And now I have the cutest, tiniest little memento book!

I kept my cover plain (I didn't actually intend to, it's just that one of my photos didn't have anything on the other side), but you could always designate a particular image for your cover or just decorate it like I'm doing with mine.

Sunlight Scans

My scans are usually very shadowy because I don't tend to make them in the daylight hours. Not for any reason, it's just coincidental. This time, though, I made them in the middle of a very sunny day, and all the surrounding sunlight brightens them up and gives them a slightly different feel. A little bit of freshness and airiness in the light.

I wish I could take my scanner outside and scan myself properly in the sun with some grass and twigs and daisies. That'd be much brighter, most likely, and probably really fun, but it'd be a bit of a logistical challenge. It'd be possible with about three extension cords, but also my neighbours would probably develop some new and not entirely favourable opinions about me.

If you ever see anyone outside holding their face against a machine, don't be alarmed. They're probably doing something fun and totally not weird.

Felt Tips & Diagrams

I have a collection of felt tips that I'm focusing on using right now and in combination with my school exercise books it feels like doing school projects and title pages and it reminds me of all the things I enjoyed about school work - all the little bits of creativity that crept in through every teaching style.

No matter how dull the subject or lesson I always doodled things all over my front and back covers and in the margins (to the exasperation of some of my teachers). I was really messy in my books because I liked decorating them as much as I could, inside and out. It was usually easier for me to be enthusiastic about something I could decorate. I liked drawing diagrams for this reason.

Maybe I should try drawing some fake scientific diagrams in my journal.

My Favourite Words

Words and sounds can be very pleasing and nice, so I've gathered some English favourites to discuss here. Please enjoy the words.


This currently has the top spot and I think that's in part due to its sense of mystery and secrecy. I prefer when it's used in a tender but not sordid or unethical sense. I like clandestine with a wide-eyed innocence to it.


When I picture this word I picture a tassel for some reason, but actually a tippet is a sort of dangly scarf for clergymen. It just sounds cute. A bit like thimble.


This was my ultimate favourite word for a long time, and I can remember the moment I learned it in science class. A meniscus is the curve of a liquid where it meets its container, and it sure is fun to say. Muh-niss-cuss.


This is such a pleasant word and it makes me think of rich food and pleasingly round desserts. Plump is a sort of positive fat word that celebrates the roundness and fullness of things. What's plump must be a delight.


This is a great word for a person pondering or sorting or inspecting or otherwise looking. Sift, sift, sift. It's gently onomatopoeic, calling up the rustle of shuffled papers, and it's also another food word.


These are my current favourites, but there are so many words out there that there does tend to be a bit of cyclical (that's a good word too) perpetual shuffling of my favourite words. They're all perfectly cromulent though.

Other quite nice words: crust, forlorn, quandary, settle.

Diary: The Sun & Photo Booths

Item number one this week concerns our dear illuminating star. Seriously, sun, you need to back off right now. I am not equipped to deal with this nonsense. As a result of the overbearing force of heat pushing me down into the ice lolly freezers of all local supermarkets, I have been feeling 'odd'.

Item number two concerns my near-constant viewing of 1979 Australian prison show, Prisoner. I love this show a lot. As a result of watching it for over forty episodes so far, I am now feeling incredibly nostalgic about rotary phones (I just about remember having a grey one in the 90s). Send me a rotary phone with a little slot for a sim card and I'll seriously consider using that instead of a smartphone for the rest of my life, because I really like rotary phones.

Item number three concerns all of these photo booth pictures from some different parts of my life. I feel so weird looking at these. None of them feel like or look like me, except that they are and were me. It's confusing. The one of me aged four is the best.

Also, check out the picture of my cats, back when they were little (and alive) in the mid 90s. So cute. I wish I could reach inside the photo and hug them.

My Last Film

So this is it. My last roll of 35mm. My official departure from analogue. Maybe not permanently, but at least for the most part. I'm done fumbling with the awkward wheels and rescuing stuck film from a harsh world of being torn to shreds in an aggressive mechanism. I'm done waiting seven days + to have lengthy waits at understaffed photo desks. I'm done completely overexposing films or accidentally shooting them twice. But boy am I gonna miss it.

I think these shots are a nice, pleasant, fitting way to say a goodbye to film. Supermarket grocery aisles and cats. It's what I'm all about.

Flesh & Robotics

Something about scans I like is that sometimes when I have a fuzzy head they can make it feel clear. Something about the simplicity and reality of my face. Busy thoughts fall away when I just survey the clarity of my image. It also can happen by looking in a mirror (I like to look right into my eyes), or sometimes just from looking at the bones, veins, grooves of my hands. It's a nice way to be brought back to an easy reality.

It can be kinda gross to think about our bodies too much or to think of ourselves as machines, but sometimes I find it comforting to do so. We are built for certain purposes and can do certain things. We have every feeling and thought for a reason. We're squishy machines. I enjoy that.

Misery, Dogs, & Squash

I'm having some kind of moment here and I thought, "you know what, let's just write about it and talk about it and just throw it onto my blog like a frisbee of suffering, shall we? Let's just do it. If I wanted to write a blog post about Mr Blobby or different types of paintbrush I would (note to self: save those cool ideas for later!) so why not write about this thing, right?"

I keep having this sense that everything's wrong. Everything around me seems to at least be tainted with something sinister or unpleasant. People around me are full of complaints and sorrows and arguments and bad jokes and body fluids. I walk down the street and someone spits. I talk to friends and conversations end up in circular sad places. I have bad dreams all the time and I don't know why.

I remembered high school when I was thinking yesterday, and I remembered the atmosphere of exhaustion and disloyalty and apathy around everyone. I remembered the way everyone used to talk about everyone else. Everyone was sad. Everyone seemed to dislike everyone else. I haven't had any relationships like that since then, but I notice all around me that other adults still do this. I see a pattern of so many fully grown human beings keeping 'friends' around just to complain about them. What's the point?

I hear people arguing and I just think, again, what's the point? I see people holding onto packaging and heaps of objects they will never use. Why? I read books and watch films involving so many different versions of the same story. Someone suffers. Someone makes mistakes that make them suffer more, or make other people suffer. Someone acts with malice. Someone hurts themself, in some kind of way, over and over. We even put this fatalistic misery in our entertainment. It seems like it's lodged in us like a big bit of self-sabotage shrapnel.

And I hate it.

Can everyone cheer up, get rid of their rubbish friends, stop farting and spitting, and send me a bouquet of flowers, please? Thanks.

I hope you appreciate the way I've illustrated this blog post with drawings of dogs as a representation of how you can express yourself in a way that's positive and nice and not hideously draining for everyone around you. Also sorry if this blog post has actually just added to the thing I'm trying to squash here. Also, I like the word 'squash' - it's nice isn't it? Squash.

Stories & Typewriters

I've been feeling a little weird lately, like I'm emerging from a dream about myself, or something. I've been feeling like I've forgotten who I am, or like I'm in two different places at the same time. It feels like this kind of dimmed consciousness. So I'm thinking about how I remember myself, and how I contextualise myself. The way things are around me have such a huge impact, whether that's the atmosphere or just whether there are a lot of books nearby or something. It all frames who I am in the moment. Sometimes I wish I could be this solid, definable, static thing just because I guess sometimes I crave a certain kind of certainty, but on the other hand the fluidity of life and identity is freeing. The human propensity to forget and remember is freeing. We slot into these different forms and consciousnesses. We're cool robots.

I actually love thinking about people as robots, animals as machines. It's calming to categorise myself and us as a whole into that idea of a linear, logical, and almost fated being. That's probably a big reason why it's appealing to pretend you're in a video game or a movie, because that means you're not making decisions. You're a character. A story. And really, in many ways that's exactly what we are. People struggle with their sense of purpose often, but y'know, we're stories. That's the purpose.

We're stories on stuck typewriters, stuttering, unwinding, stopping and starting. We're full of typos and some odd illustrative diagrams. Embrace that, I guess.

Magic: Black & White Diana Mini Photos

This is almost my last film (there's one more left) and it's fitting that it's a black and white film full of blurry, eerie things. Lots of trees and tranquil moments. Taking photos of puddles always seems to work out pretty well.

I like this film a lot. A little bit gloomy and spooky, but very gentle and relaxed and nice. Looking at these pictures makes me want to go for a picnic or go camping. Black and white has this strange, ethereal serenity. It's magic.

Book Review: Madonna In A Fur Coat - Sabahattin Ali

★★★★☆: A pretty but painful tale of suffering, art, self-loathing, and the awe of love.

Penguin asked me to review this book, and I can only conclude that this was a plot to shatter my heart and soul, but you know what? That's fine. They sent it over with a big poster of the author, but sadly I can't use it to mop up all my tears because it's not very absorbent.

This novel tells the story of timid and endlessly suffering Raif Efendi, a young Turkish man in 1920s Berlin. He is a lost soul constantly struggling against his own feelings and personality, which he unrelentingly punishes himself for.

We also meet Maria Puder - a smart, cynical, fearful artist with a deep distrust of men and a buried and buzzing need to be respected, cared for, and loved. She is eccentric, in denial, and a little bit magical - but also quite matter-of-fact.

The story is incredibly emotive and deals with themes of passion, loss, depression, and life's cruel and unfair circumstances. It's reminiscent of Herman Hesse's Steppenwolf in its close and uncomfortable focus on the cycling thoughts and perceptions of a loner and outsider. The writing style takes on similar Hesse-like poetic description and style in its moments of happiness and in intense moments. The book presents an unflinching sense of injustice and despair swirled with streams of pure beauty, sweetness, and an aching love.

It's a storm of tragedy with a pearl in the centre. A smart and heart-wrenching beacon for the sheer force of human suffering, and possibly an allegory for how devastating the effects of oblivious cruelty can be.

An intense and incredible read.

Diary: Violins & Video Games

I've been playing lots of games this week. I highly recommend The Lion's Song, a free Steam game about a composer who travels from Vienna to the Alps to write her next composition. It's a point-and-click episodic title and it has such a nice atmosphere and art style. Really soothing and pleasant.

I've also been reading 'Playing to the Gallery' by Grayson Perry, which was a really nice, down to earth little book about his experiences within and in relation to the art world. It was particularly enjoyable to me to read his words about ways he felt alienated at art school and in other establishment areas vs the positive aspects he found in them. That was really good to hear as a fine art graduate who felt out of place with the other students to some extent. It actually helps me to feel more positive about those experiences despite the not-so-great elements.

Following that, I am now reading 'The Driver's Seat' by Muriel Spark, which is very interesting. Odd and building and eccentric and detailed.

Other than that I've mostly been slowly turning into a puddle of goo. Hopefully I can reconstitute myself by next week. Wish me luck.