Sunday, April 13, 2014

I Needed a Journal

Hands up those of you who keep a journal, a diary, or just keep the occasional note on your life.  When I was about 10 or so, I received a gift of a 5-year diary.  This was a small book and each page was marked off into 5 sections.  Each section being 2 inches of the page.  I was supposed to write my thoughts downs in those tiny spaces.  Oh, I tried. Some days it was easy enough to write " got up, went to school, kicked Billy for pushing me, had fried chicken for dinner."  but most of the time I needed more space.   I kind of gave up on that, but I loved the tiny key I could lock it with.
Years fly by and soon I am sixteen going on seventeen.   My mother decides she wants to take a trip around the United States.  Before we go, she suggests I take notes about all the places we visit.   I decided a plain school notebook would be find.  Lots of room to write and I didn't really need a key.

Upon returning from my wonderful, exciting, stupendous trip around the land that I love,  I continued writing.  There were things I didn't want my mom to read, but I still didn't need a key.  She told me she would never read my diary and I trusted her.

However, when I got married, I didn't want my husband to  read it so I burned it.  What a complete nut I was.   It would have been interesting reading to recall my thoughts from ages 16 to 21.  Some times I think of it with regret, but mostly I just get on with it.

Forward to many years later.  It's 1986.  I have my husband and three wonderful children, I've turned 40 and I am not writing much of anything.  I even gave up writing letters.  The occasional greeting card, maybe.  I'm working in a pre-school teaching 4 year olds to get ready for Kindergarten.  Carolyn, one of my students gives me the gift of a "blank book".  Consequently, I took up journaling again.  In 1992 I started nursing school.  One semester we were required to keep a clinical journal and turn it in to the teacher. She commented and then turned it back to us.

As I wrote more and years happened, I got other "blank books" and filled them up.

From Carolyn, clinical journal, a not-so-blank book.

So now. Present day.  I have one page left in my current journal.  I said, "I need to go shopping for a new journal."  My rational self said, " You can just make one, you have everything you need. You don't have to spend money."   I'm thankful for my rational voice.

First I took thirty-six pieces of printer paper, some bright ones. I folded them all in half, then stacked them in groups of 4, making a group of 8 pages.  (One folded page is called a folio, a group of folios is a signature)


I stacked the signatures up and put a heavy book on top to flatten them.  I don't have step by step photos as this isn't really a lesson.  I made the covers from a cereal box

This is a replica of the box I used.  I cut the front and back a bit bigger than the folded pages.  Then I covered them with some nice paper I had. Using other paper I covered the inside of each.

 Inside back cover.

Back cover.

Inside front cover

Front cover.

Then holes must be poked.  I used an ice pick over a phone book.  There are no photos of that process.

This is the book unsewn.

 Sewing.  A curved needle.  One must be careful.  It's easier to stab oneself with a curved needle than it is with a straight needle.

Sewing back into the center of one of the colored pages.

At last, sewing on the back cover.  My palm was a bit tired of getting poked.  I've made a book using a straight needle, but it's harder to sew through the signatures. Note the curved needle just making it look easy.

Finished sewing.  The back of book.

From the front.  Yay!

Inside the front cover.

This page is really a nice bright green.  Not a good representation of color.  You can see the stitching.

All finished and ready for daily jottings or the occasional poem.   Did she say poem?

The grass in my yard is up to here.
It's still a lovely shade of green
Presently  the green will  go
So I must find someone to mow. 

Oh, sorry.  I only have to look out the windows to see the truth of these  poetic lines.

May the Lord bless you today and every day.

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