You Say I'm A Repurposer Like It's a Bad Thing

Some folks enjoy the luxury of travel to exotic destinations -- and I've been fortunate to do a teeny bit of that myself. But mainly I've been an explorer of my local environment which contains some world-class adventures that people come from all over the world to experience: California's Pacific Coast and the High Sierras, to name just two.
Pigeon Point Lighthouse 2010
On Top of Mt. Whitney 2006

I was born near California's Central Coast and raised in Northern California. I was grown before I stepped foot outside of the Golden State, and I've lived my whole life except for five young adult years, for better and for worse, here. In this place. California.

Those five young adult years away I lived in the Intermountain West. It was then I lived for the first time in a smallish western town. It was then I visited for the first time Las Vegas, and Salt Lake City, and Yellowstone National Park, and The Grand Canyon, and I fell utterly and completely in love with the American West.

That love affair has only deepened with time so that I now keenly feel the urgency of one limited lifetime to explore the reality and the mystery and the romance and the mythology surrounding the time and place that we refer to when we talk about the American West. The geology, the history, the vistas and stories of desert and mountains and aboriginal peoples, the cities and towns peopled with descendents of pioneer settlers. This summer I'll be revisiting various corners of the Intermountain West and I need a place to document my trip(s).

All this is to explain the first photo at the top of this post. It's a magazine page of a early photographer set up to capture his shot in the Grand Canyon. I have repurposed the page as end paper in a handmade pamphlet-stitched journal made to take with me on an upcoming travel adventure. Here's the cover:

I cut security envelopes saved from junk mail into strips and wove them into a 8x10 sheet that I adhered to a manila folder. I used red lace-patterned bargain packing tape from the dollar bin at That Big Craft Store That Real Artists Despise to seal the ends. A length of embroidery floss was used to sew the pages inside the cover. Then I folded it up and stretched hair elastics above and below Winston (the Red Elephant) to hold everything neatly in place.

So you can say I'm a Repurposer like it's a bad thing, but it gives me the freedom to do as I please. Nothing about this little journal is precious or irreplaceable. Or entirely original, really.

So if I lose it or if I make a mess of it I can always make another one.

And the second will undoubtedly be better than the first. I know for sure it's value will increase as I add my photos and impressions and mementos of my travels to the Red Elephant Security Envelope Journal.

But you can be sure you will not find me hanging off the edge of any canyon with a tripod just to capture a scenic shot.

Only Extreme Scrapbookers go to such lengths.

I'm just a Repurposer.

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