Saturday 8 November 2008

Yes ... we can.

I won't say I wasn't warned.

Way back at the beginning of 2008, some of the ladies at my local crop had not only told me of the pitfalls of becoming involved in a Circle Journal - they'd actually illustrated their point with examples. I'd seen pages which appeared to have been put together in minutes and which gave off the air of being made by someone who just wanted to rid it from their possession.

Perhaps I should have filmed their warnings, sold it to a cable channel as 'When Circle Journals Go Bad' and then ran for the hills. But I'm afraid I've always had something of a contrary streak ...

So I joined one.
We decided that all 10 of us would choose our own topic and, as I'd been making an effort to think positively and broaden my horizons at the time I chose 'Saying Yes' as mine. [I've written more about the whole 'Yes' thing here].
For my covers and journal entries I used up all of those things that I'd been keeping for a special project. [If indeed I'd ever planned to use them at all - being as they were - soooooo precious to me!!!!].

You know how it is, all those things that you consider 'too good' to actually use? The things you treat like they're rare gems or belong to a protected species? Yeah, those things.
I actually used them: the teeny tiny tags; the gold ribbon; the leopard print ribbon[swoon], the pink foil scrolls, the grungeboard alphas, the much loved rub-ons, the ticket from my (late) Grandma's bingo club .... and so on.
I used them.
And I was so happy that I did.
I loved how it all turned out.
One of my layouts included 2 pockets into which I'd tucked 10 tags. On the back of 5 of them I'd written things I was glad to have said 'Yes' to in 2007. The other 5 I left blank in order to add five new things I'd have said 'Yes' to by the time the CJ was returned to me next month - December 2008...
I think you're ahead of me already, aren't you?
Yes, that's right ... when and if it was returned to me in December 2008.

Which, unless some miracle of the festive season occurs one day soon, it appears it won't be. [Although, to be totally honest an un-announced return of the prodigal CJ, is not an event I'm happy to rule out entirely!] .
But I'm not alone in this. In fact 2 CJs have failed to be sent around the circle by another of our team members [over on UKScrappers]. I did try to remain positive for a long, long time - playing the whole Obama / naive Pollyanna role within the group - consistently repeating that 'Yes we can get it back'.

And boy did we try... but to no avail.
My teammates were so upset by it all and as their completed CJs begun to return home safely to them their pleas for me to let them make me a new journal have increased. An idea which, at first I couldn't entertain.

Initially I felt that 'it just wouldn't be the same', that the only CJ I really truly wanted ... was the one I'd originally started and poured everything I had into .... and then ...
... then something changed. In some ways it was just like how I changed my mind about using up my 'best' stash. Sometimes you have to let go of being so 'precious' about things and just go for it. The end result is so very often worth it!

As the quote I used on this layout says: 'Leap and the net will appear'.
My net appeared in the form of my fellow team members, the wonderful crafty ladies: Karen, Margaret, Tracy, Roo, Sarah, Rebekah, Clare and Audrey who've all promised to make me a new CJ entry based upon my original theme. They are then going to post it to me for me to compile into a brand new 'Saying Yes' journal!
Now that's a safety net if ever there was one!
So, the scope for what I should take as the moral of this story is vast. After all, my crop ladies were right: CJs can and do go 'bad'.

But I think that I was right too - to throw caution to the wind; to try something new; to put my trust in virtual strangers.

I was also right to use up my favourite, much beloved stash as, once you've lost that ... you're a bullet proof crafter!!!
Really, at the end of the day, [and at the risk of being a paper-crafting heretic] it was only a pile of paper - ephemeral in nature from the very start!
What wasn't, isn't, ephemeral is the care, consideration and camerarderie of 8 very special papercrafting ladies. Through whose genuine concern and persistant 'one for all and all for one' attitude I may just have an unexpected, fully completed 'Saying Yes' journal in my sticky, inky little hands by Christmas-time.

Who knows ... maybe I'll be getting that miracle of the festive season after all!!!


  1. Bravo, bravo, bravo! Fantastic post, Julie. And one that is timely and very much taken to heart for me.

  2. Wow, a new blog! I will be following with interest - love your stuff Julie. Sorry about the CJ, but hope it all turns out well in the end xxx

  3. Oh no Julie, sorry to hear about your CJ but you are right, sometimes you just have to stop being precious, when I have, I often feel liberated and love the end result.

  4. Just wanted to say...congrats!!!! You definitely deserve to be a BOB, your work is awesome. Love Clo xxx

  5. a new blog!!! woo hoo!!! how come you didn't tell me?

    Lookin good!

  6. Sorry the cj went 'bad' - well done your friends for making it good though :) :)

  7. Was it *really* nearly 7 years ago that you posted this post (sorry....not being creepy-stalker-lady-ish, am looking for inspiration/instructions as to how you make your wonderful collage-y backgrounds!)....


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