I was able to find two separate places that made oversized, blank journals. One was the world record holder, I think, that featured a journal four feet across, which means when opened, this journal had a wingspan of eight feet. That was not only a bit outside my price range with a before shipping cost of $1200, but even with my house, I would have lacked a place to properly display this thing. Sitting on the kitchen table with children would not have made an ideal place to keep the thing. Another journal maker did not only feature oversized journals, but made very thick ones, containing very high page counts. These were ideal as they were leather bound, came with handmade linen fiber paper, and had ever mark of quality craftsmanship one could expect for the price, about $220. These days, my total budgeted amount I spend directly on myself had been very limited pending my children’s needs, and some legal matters, so while normally I would have snatched up this very suitable journal, again I was stumped.
What I do have in my favor is the ability to write in journals that are not on lined paper. Lined paper journals, while I make opinion about one’s needs for regular spaced lines to write words in, for myself, they tend to not meet my writing size, and are too easy setting one up to waste the space on each sheet. I prefer blank sheets of paper for this reason, and because I will often include drawings and/or photographs in my journal entries, both of which do not require ruled lines. It was while shopping for water color paper that I came across this little number, an oversized sketchbook that would serve the perfect mix of acid free paper (this is needed for long term paper preservation), a bound journal, and paper thick enough to handle a dip pen with quality ink. The cost was a bit more than most leather bound journals you’d find at a chain bookseller, but only by about $10.
Now comes the eternal problem of what to do with very large, blank spaces, and over time the inside covers (back and front) of my journals are a place where I usually put two things. 1. I begin the journal with the hand written words of when the journal was officially opened, the location of where the journal was opened (i.e. city/state, or geographic location, and that I was the person who opened the journal. This is a habit from years of filling out military logbooks of all types from gear sign-out logs, barracks duty logbooks, and communications logbooks, all of which have multiple points for cementing accountability by the users. When one goes back in to old, personal journals, this manner of recording becomes part of the entire experience of taking in the information and visual of the journal.
I suppose there is a bit of artistic flare and social freedom of how the personal journals of Kevin Spacy’s character in the movie Se7en were kept, with no dates, written in hundreds of different journals randomly not only in which journal he was writing in, but also how the journals were kept on the shelves “…in no particular order”. I’m sure with enough manpower, and todays overuse of surveillance video equipment, they might have been able to piece together how that character’s writings could be put in to some type of organization. With chemical analysis of the ink used, the SKU number on the notebooks, and any references to current events, those journal would have eventually rendered a timeline. Me, I can see myself keeping writings or even drawings in such a fashion, but my need to keep journals has more to do with solidifying family cohesion, and the healthly amount of family pride as to more past a point where generation after generation keep making the same mistakes.
It was reading a quote from our second president……. JOHN ADAMS! JOHN ADAMS was the second US president! So I read this quote in whatever book I was reading at the time, which for the life of me I can not remember the book, but I remember it was one of the many history books I had checked out of the base library at Kaneohe Bay.
“The science of government it is my duty to study, more than all other sciences; the arts of legislation and administration and negotiation ought to take the place of, indeed exclude, in a manner, all other arts.
I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy.
Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.”
-John Adams. May, 1780
There is no requirement that a journal be decorated with artwork, much less hand done artwork. If so desired, there exist a collage of materials, tools, and products that can allow this for those in the stick figure school of art, and the interweb has no shortage of entries showcasing ideas to fit any flavor preference.
While below is what I’ve done, it is still very much a work in progress. The time needed and materials are that which I have to gather in pieces to put together, but I’ve been slow to get new posts up, so here is what I have so far.
…and just because you read this far, a tree I saw yesterday morning…
finally, some night time listening….nothing too particular on this one, but its great to play on a quite, dark night.