The Diary of River Song

By Taheerah | 23rd November 2013 | 16 Comments

Hey everyone! Happy Saturday!

Sometimes an event comes around once in a lifetime, and for many geeks that day is today as Doctor Who turns 50. For those of you not in the know, Doctor Who is a UK show that falls under the sci-fi category (though to me it’s more fantasy/fiction than science fiction, but I digress… ). Anyway. if you’ve visited my blog in the past you may have gathered that I’m more than just a bit of a geek. ๐Ÿ˜›

I have been looking forward to this day with quite some time, and I’ve been keeping back a very special project to share on this day. Some of you may have seen this on my FaceBook, and I always vowed to post it on my blog someday.

Presenting… The Diary of River Song:

I have to apologise for the quality of some of these photos – they were taken in a hurry when the lighting wasn’t at its best. I’m planning to replace these shots with some professional ones at some point, but for now I hope these aren’t too terrible.

So, unlike most of my blog posts where I go through, step-by-step how I created what I’m laying before you, I’m just going to talk loosely about this work of heart here. For one, I created it over a year ago and some of the precise details escape me. And for two, it would take far too long as this was a culmination of several months’ worth of work and it would be extremely difficult to chronicle all the steps here.

So, this post will be filled with a *lot* of photos, a little explanation, and hopefully many ‘oooohs and aaaaaahs’ from you all. As this is possibly the most amazing thing I have ever and will ever make.

So, I suppose I’d better explain a little what a ‘Diary of River Song’ is, huh? Well, River Song is one of the characters in the show, and she keeps appearing in the Doctor’s life, at various points. We learn that her timeline is kind of running backwards to the Doctor’s – ie when he meets her for the first time (from his point of view) for her it’s the last time she sees him, when he meets her for the last time it’s one of the first for her. Or something like that. It’s a bit complicated. Wibbly-wobbly-timey-whimey, and all that.


As the timelines are so messed up, River keeps a diary of events as they unfold. She doesn’t let the Doctor see it as it contains ‘spoilers!’ from his future. And of course it looks like a TARDIS. And it’s old, and been through a lot of travels, so it’s more than a little worn.

For anyone who’s interested in their story you can read a better explanation here. Warning: it’s full of ‘spoilers!’

Here are a few pictures of the diary from the show, which I used as a guide when creating my own:

I hope you can see just how faithfully I tried to reflect every detail and nuance in my own Diary. Every crack, tear, crease, ageing, weathering, wearing… I tried to capture them as my own. I’ve seen many, many reproductions of this Diary and I have to say, will all honesty and no arrogance, that I think mine is probably the most realistic version out there. That’s how hard I worked on it.

The pages were from a book which I took apart and soaked in a lot of tea, then tore, roughed up and dried. I added some inking and darkening of the edges in some places too. Then I did a very rough stitching (taught myself from staring at some bookbinding photos) to bind the book with twine. It didn’t matter too much if this wasn’t perfect or accurate as long as it held together. The pages being worn and misaligned only added to the authenticity.

I created the liners/endpaper with Fine Linen cardstock, trimmed to size and tea stained again a little, and adhered to the front and back pages of the book securely with (I believe) Scor-Tape.

They are deliberately a little loose with the spine, so the book almost feels like it could come apart if manhandled.

The covers and spine were the biggest masterpiece. I created these from coasterboard (A:Muse has some 8.5″x11″ stock which I used, but couldn’t link to – if you search their site you can find some but it doesn’t work too well to link up).

I hand cut all the pieces that created the dimension on the front. I inked, painted with acrylic paint, inked again, roughed up, added dry-brush ink detail with A:Muse ink in Toffee, and repeated, with layers of Antique Matte Mod Podge in between. This gave the look and feel of an aged leather almost, absolutely fantastic.

Some more detailed close-ups of the cover and spine. You really have to see every inch of it to appreciate it.

As you can hopefully see, this was not just some roughly-thought-out project with no significance. Every detail was meticulously studied, analysed, and painstakingly incorporated into this work.

It was given as a gift to a very special person who would revere it in the way it deserves it. Packaged with a custom TARDIS tag of course, which I created a stamp for myself.

There are a lot more photos in an online album here if you want to take a look. I didn’t want to bore you with them all.

I thought I’d end this post by quickly linking to a number of other Doctor Who projects of mine.

A card for a friend:

A birthday card for my father:

I’m spending today watching the 50th Anniversary special episode in the cinema. I am *so* excited!!! Happy Birthday Doctor!

I would truly love to hear what you think of this project today. I love it when you leave love – and this project deserves it!! Thanks so much for stopping by!


16 thoughts on “The Diary of River Song”

  1. This is so wonderful! My daughter and her friends trick or treated as characters from Dr Who this year. She was River Song because she's got the crazy curls! She wore jeans and a denim jacket with a white button down shirt and I altered an old book to be a Tardis journal but mine didn't come out nearly this good. Yours is a masterpiece!

  2. Ok really?! The texture you created on the cover of your diary is absolutely amazingly spot on. I can almost feel the cool, cracked, leather and delicate spine with its precious pages held together with a string and a prayer. An absolute work of art. I'm sure the lucky recipient of this gift will love and treasure it. I love your presentation and gift tag. I'm inspired! Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. This treasure is worthy of much oohing and aahing for sure. It was a great project to share on today's 50th anniversary…:) (episode was fantastic – hope you had a chance to also watch the The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot – fun for fans)
    You made a wonderful diary. I wonder, will you friend use it as such? Write Doctor Who stories? Recreate River Songs scribblings?
    Use invisible ink?
    It really looks fantastic. Have a fun day! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hey, thanks for such an awesome comment!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I've not had a chance to watch The Five(ish) Doctors yet but I will!!

      Some excellent questions regarding what the Diary will be used for. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was hoping it would be filled over time with inspiring stories or Doctor Who memories, or perhaps once I've studied River's scribblings properly I would return to work on the inside myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ But the owner of this beauty wants to keep it as-is. I might suggest the invisible ink idea to him though – that would be awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. WOW! That is Incredible! Jeff and I LOVE Dr. Who and it's especially cool that the 50th anniversary is today – What a super cool project. I can tell you put lots of love into it! We are looking forward to watching the episode today (although we don't have it playing in a theatre nearby – so sad!) Thanks so much for sharing!!

  5. I have to be honest and say that I don't know what Dr Who is exactly. I have heard of it but haven't seen it. But I had to stop in and say that this book is amazing! You did a great job! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. What a labor of LOVE and DEDICATION, Taheerah! Hubby and kids have watched Dr. Who and will know what you are talking about…this is a MASTERPIECE!! Your attention to details are absolutely mind-boggling! I hope you share it with other Dr. Who fans out there. I know they will be AMAZED!

  7. oh my! I am speechless Taheerah! You are the one who is good with words, so nothing I write could translate how amazing this project is!! Let me just say that I can see it is a true work of heart and I very much appreciate your artistic abilities! This is a masterpiece! That special person must be very special for you to give this away! ๐Ÿ˜€

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