Shipping Tag Journal

Traveling makes taking a journal a bit harder. You don’t want to take a wire-bound journal in your bag, because the wires will get crushed. A hard-bound book takes up a lot of space. So I’ve been experimenting with loose-leaf journal pages.

Take a few loose-leaf pages on a trip, fill them up, bind them in some way in the future. With a date on them, you won’t lose the order, if that’s important.

Book1Most recently, I’ve used shipping tags. They are just under 5 inches x 3 inches, so they are great for one-sentence journaling, capturing a quick thoughts and impressions.

After I filled up some manila tags, I decided to color some of them. What a fun idea! Using only a brayer and a credit card to apply paint, I colored a dozen or so tags. Once they were dry, I put a bolt and wing nut through the hole to bind them.

BookpageThe poem fragment by Mary Oliver caught my attention, so I copied it down. Using a dark Sharpie on the light part and a white pen on the dark, the quote fills the page in an interesting way. The circles (done with the corner of a credit card) look like portholes. It says “Now, of all voyagers remember, who among them did not board ship with grief among their maps? “

Practical, easy to take along, you can always keep the next blank one on top to work on.

Book2The only thing that made this project hard is that the fluorescent bulbs we all have to use make the colors look harsher and more gray than they are. There is a good amount of gold in the pages, and it doesn’t show. That will teach me to photograph the blog images late at night.

-–Quinn McDonald thinks there are no limits to what constitutes a journal.

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6 responses to “Shipping Tag Journal

  1. I’ve found it pretty interesting that now there’s a wide choice of lighting colors. With CF lights there’s everything from warm pink to extreme bluish white. Then there are LEDs, and some of them are tunable to a wide color gamut.

    By the way you don’t have to use fluorescent bulbs, you know. Incandescent bulbs only burn out because they’re designed to; if you step down the voltage a bit they’ll last considerably longer. And besides that, they’re easy to make.

    LEDs themselves are not easy to make but the LEDs themselves are cheap and easy to work with (you need some resistors as well), and even more fun.

    • I love LED lighting. I don’t like the CFs because they contain mercury and are not supposed to be discarded in a landfill. No one cares so they are winding up in landfills anyway. Ikea collects them, but that’s 42 miles away. I love the light from incandescent bulbs, but they do burn out quickly. Or at least, faster than CFs. But ahhhhh, LEDs. I like the quality of the light, they last a long time, and I can find some brands that have a warmer quality to them.

  2. Love this idea Quinn! This is the kind of journaling I could get into…thanks for sharing.

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