Journaling 'The Pocket Scavenger,' a Gamified 'Wreck This Journal'

4 years ago

I met Keri Smith at BlogHer '07 and I bought a copy of Wreck This Journal for Michelle, (who also attended BlogHer '07), because I thought Keri was pretty brilliant and I was fascinated with the idea of Wreck This Journal. That was also right about the time that I started thinking about altered books and art journaling, none of which Michelle ended up being interested in. So sad, I wasted that book. I should have bought it for myself!

Since then, I've stumbled over Keri's books in book stores and gift shops. I've seen other people blog about them. I've flipped through page after page of photos of people who are wrecking this journal and I've been jealous. Silly, thrifty me -- I've never bought any of her books for myself.

If I hadn't been offered a review copy of The Pocket Scavenger, I probably would have never owned one. But, now that I've got this copy, the sky is the limit! The next time someone asks me what I want for my birthday, (I'll be 50 this year, you know), or for Christmas, I'm going to point them to Keri's books and say, "Get me some of those!", because this is my kind of art journaling.

Unfortunately, The Pocket Scavenger is not the perfect Keri Smith book for me. I can't keep the list of scavenge items in my head so 10 days after the book arrived, I haven't collected anything. Which means I can't journal. And that makes me frustrated. I keep picking up the book, turning it upside down and flipping through the alteration ideas. I want to DO SOMETHING but I'm stymied by my own inability to scavenge.

Another week has passed and I still haven't scavenged anything. I checked to see if the app is available, hoping that might make it easier for me to collect things -- but it's not available yet.

I really want to play with this book so I wrote my name, contact info and location inside of the book. I drew a little picture of my house on the scavenger map page. I looked at the scavenge item list, again, and TW got kind of excited about the idea of gravestone rubbings, so maybe we can at least remember that one thing on our next walk? I'm going to create a mini package of white paper and crayons right now and put it in the car so we have it, just in case...

As I was trying to burn the scavenge list into my brain, I decided I would wander around the house and FIND something from the list I could use to journal and... there it was! A postcard on my desk. A very old postcard from Lisa Stone -- two, three, maybe as many as five years old. I love this postcard and I've been thinking about using it in my altered book art journal so why not use it here, instead? So I did.

I noticed another problem with The Pocket Scavenger -- after choosing a scavenge, I had to figure out where that item is in the book. The scavenge items aren't numbered and the page number isn't given either. So now I'm numbering each item to make it easier for me to find the proper page next time.

Back to the journaling process and my first scavenge...

Besides having a list of scavenge items to use for journaling, you're also supposed to flip the book upside down, randomly choose a page, and then do whatever alteration idea is on that page. For the postcard, I got the "choose your own alteration" page, (an almost too easy alteration. I thought about choosing another page but figured I'd be a purist my first time out.) I decided to cut the postcard into pieces, using both the postcard image and pieces of the note Lisa wrote on the other side. Here's how it looks right now. Though I'll probably go back and play with the page some more, that's what I do.

Now, I really want to scavenge more things because this was fun -- so I've taken a photo of the scavenger list page and I vow to look at the photo before I leave the house every single time, (and multiple times during our walks with the puppy.)

Another week has passed and I did collect a few items during our walk last weekend. It was kind of a pain to try and read the scavenge items from the photo while wandering around in the woods but I did it. Thankfully, The Pocket Scaveger app is finally available and I've paid the $4.99 to download it. The app is already making me happy because it does include the list of scavenge items and those items are numbered. Yay!

The alterations in the app are a little different than the ones in the book because the app is intended as a stand alone journaling tool. You're supposed to take photos of the items and then alter the photos within the app. Not my cup of tea. Instead, I'm journaling in the book and then taking a photo of the journal pages and adding those to the app. That's working really well for me. I don't love the forced dated entries in the app but that's not a big deal since I'm not good at dating my journal pages anyway.

After a month of having The Pocket Scavenger book and a week of having the app, I'm having a lot more fun with the book + app combo than I was having with just the book. But, the game aspect of this journal, (the scavenge), is probably going to be fun for some people but it's not ideal for me. I just want to journal. Yes, I want to find things and incorporate them into my journal. Yes, I like the randomness of flipping pages for alteration prompts. And, I do like uploading photos of my paper journal to the app. But, the scavenger hunt portion has become more of an obstacle to creativity than I'd like.

I'm still going to journal in this book and use the app and I'm looking forward to someday owning Wreck This Journal or one of Keri's other books -- I think those would suit me better.

Are you a fan of the scavenger hunt? If you are, give this book and/or the app a try and tell me what you think. (And if you have any of Keri's other books, share your journal pages, please. I'd love to see photos of your pages.)

BlogHer Community Manager
Flamingo House Happenings

This is an article written by one of the incredible members of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from entertainment

by Julie Sprankles
| 10 hours ago
by Allie Gemmill
| 18 hours ago