What is a Circle Journal/Round Robin Questions answered here

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What is a Circle Journal/Round Robin Questions answered here

Post by Maria on Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:35 am

Hi Girls,
Seeing as Noriel is new to circle journals I found this little introduction into doing a circle journal and thought it would be good to put it up here...



Here is another Guide to CJs by Rhomany
A Beginners Guide to Circle Journals
1. What is a Circle Journal and how does it work?
2. What do I put in it and how much?
3. Book? Which Book?
4. Themes
5. Decoration – the outside
6. An Introduction – the Inside front cover
7. Signing in – the Inside back cover
8. Layout’s – What do I include?
9. Etiquette

1. What is a Circle Journal and how does it work?
A Circle Journal is like a Round Robin. A group of friends get together, each with a themed journal. The journals are passed round in a circle with each member contributing to the books and passing them. Eventually, your book will pass all the people in your Circle and back to you.

The journals are each passed to the next person in line on a specified date. When you receive a journal, you look at the theme and the owner’s likes/dislikes and create a layout. When you have finished you wait for the next posting date and pass it on, receiving the next one, until your book gets back to you.

You should not send books in advance of the posting date unless asked by the person receiving it. If you have to because you are going away, you should organise this with the person receiving and let the organiser know.

Post is normally first class unless pre-arranged otherwise. If you feel happier using recorded delivery, that is up to you, but it cannot be guaranteed that everyone will do so unless the organiser specifies it. You should pay to send each book along as it comes time to pass it on. Books will get heavier over time, so pre-sending postage doesn’t normally work. If you specifically want your book to always go recorded delivery, you should arrange to provide the difference in cost between normal mail and RD, with each person in the circle, rather than expecting them to pay for it. Not everyone can afford to send recorded delivery. By the end of the circle, unless they have chosen otherwise, everyone will have spent roughly the same amount on postage.


2. What do I put in it and how much?
Circle Journals do not normally come under the acid/lignin free rule. So you can use just about anything. It is a great way to let your creative juices flow free, use up those scraps, get creative and try something new. Remember though that heavy embellishments and very lumpy bits will make the book cost more to post as it gets heavier and may cause problems for future entries. Also, being too experimental can end in disaster, so it’s not recommended to try e.g. Painting a page unless you know how to do it to stop the paper wrinkling etc.

You should do a minimum of one double layout on two side by side pages. If you have a small circle but a thick book with lots of pages, so there’s plenty of room, you can do two layouts if inspiration hits. You shouldn’t do more than two LO’s unless the owner has said this is OK. They will normally specify a maximum for you according to the size of the book. You can include photos or pictures, journaling, embellishments, collage, quotes – anything you might normally put into a LO or journal entry, as long as it fits the theme. Anything goes in a Circle Journal – remember, people will be looking at it along the way and adding to it until the owner finally receives a beautiful (and hopefully, but not always) complete book back.


3. Book? Which Book?
Your book needs to be postable. Don’t forget people will be adding things, so the weight will get heavier as it goes along. An A5 book is ideal as this will fit into a larger envelope as it gets bigger, but there’s nothing to stop you getting something smaller of you want to. Thickness and size really depends on your budget. You might want to go for one an inch thick, or just one with enough pages for everyone to do a 2 page spread. Don’t forget that those who know how will be able to add in extra pages and flaps themselves if they want to, so don’t worry if yours is only thin.

As for binding, you want something durable. Wire spiralled, or stitched are best as these allow for the extras on pages but hold their shape. Glued-in pages are best avoided because eventually the pages will come away from the binding with constant use and general wear and tear.

Paper is really up to you. You could get a normal lined journal and let people embellish as they wish, but this normally involves everyone adding cardstock as a backing thus making it four times as thick. Plain is better and there’s nothing to say it has to be white, however, thicker paper like watercolour or artist journal/sketch books hold embellishments better because they don’t bend under the weight. Cartridge paper is a good compromise between lightweight and sturdy.

If you’re feeling really adventurous, you might want to use a small album or make your own book, but for a beginner it’s far easier to just buy one and see the final result so you know what to choose for next time.


4. Themes
The theme of your book can be anything you choose and it might depend on the circle you are in. The themes need to be generic so that everyone can contribute, so choosing a theme like ‘Weddings’ won’t necessarily be suitable for everyone. ‘Favourites’, ‘Inspirations’ and ‘Beautiful’ are good start words if you’re stuck for a theme. But it needs to be a theme you’ll like when the book is complete too.



5. Decoration – the outside cover
Decoration of the cover should be according to your theme and something you will enjoy looking at. Again, remember it needs to be postable and durable, so if you really want it covered with antique lace, you might want to wait until you get it back before you finish the decoration. Anything that sticks out too much, makes the book too heavy or might easily become detatched ought to be left until you receive your book back.

You can cover you journal in anything – paper, material, library sticky plastic, collage, decoupage… the choice is endless. People contributing on the whole look after these books, but the same cannot always be said of Royal Mail unfortunately. Use plenty of common sense and you can’t go wrong. You might want to add some sort of adjustable closing (like tie-able ribbons) to keep the book closed securely, but don’t use anything that will prevent add-ins until you get your finished book back and know its final thickness.


6. An Introduction – the Inside front cover
You will need to decorate the inside cover and the first single page. A good way to do this is to use these pages to explain your theme, your likes and dislikes and any special instructions. You might have a cat phobia and not want cats in it, you might be colour-blind and ask for a specific colour not to be used. You might be a glittery person and specify that everyone must use glitter in their layouts! It’s your book, you set the ‘rules’.

However, try not to be too restrictive. Specifying that everyone uses a specific LO style might mean some people can’t do their entry in the way they’d like to. You need to allow everyone room to be creative, but we all have our pet hates and favourites, and most people will understand reasonable requests.

You can do these pages in any form you like – a letter, pictorially, hidden journaling, tags, any way you want.

7. Signing in – the Inside back cover
In the back inside cover and the last single page, you need to create a signing in section for people to say who they are, which page they contributed etc.

Again, you can do this anyway you like. The most common way is a simple list on paper, tags etc. over two pages, according to the mailing list, but there a re thousands of ways to do this. Slide mounts or envelopes for people to put a mini-photo and message in, a patchwork of cut-out shapes, metal rim tags… the list is endless.

It is always a good idea if you are pre-naming the sign in page, to put it in the order of the mailing list so there is no confusion about who gets the book next. Your organiser should provide you with this when or before the first post date is announced.

There is nothing to stop you asking people to leave a photo either if you want to, but please remember some people are camera shy and might prefer to just use a picture that represents their personality.

Among these, you should also include your own name and postal address. You might put this in as a temporary item to be removed when you get the book back if you prefer, but it should be noticeable by the people receiving the book. Some people are involved in several swaps and CJ’s and it’s easy to forget whose CJ is whose. Putting your name and address in ensures your book can be returned directly to you if all else fails.

8. Other Layouts?
If you have an especially thick book, you might choose to select certain two-page spreads and mark them in pencil for your use, or you might want to fill up a couple of layouts at the beginning. Or you may choose to wait and see what everyone else puts in and fill up the spaces at the end. Or not. It’s entirely up to you.

Since the inside cover is usually the intro, if you have a particular special layout you want to do, you might pencil in the details or you might do the layout. But you don’t have to.

9. Etiquette
It probably goes without saying that other people’s journals should be treated with respect. However, don’t forget that what you consider normal might be a problem for someone else. Journals should be kept away from pets to avoid causing discomfort to anyone with allergies; if you smoke or have young babies, a little packet of pot pourri etc in the parcel will be appreciated by the next person to receive it. Always check your parcels before sending for any unwanted or uninvited additions!!!



Maria

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Re: What is a Circle Journal/Round Robin Questions answered here

Post by Guest on Tue Apr 13, 2010 3:51 am

WOW Maria, this is great I will print it out and keep it for reference!!!!

thanks xxx

Guest
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Re: What is a Circle Journal/Round Robin Questions answered here

Post by Lou on Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:59 am

Yes agree Noriel it is excellent... I shall also have to study it!
Thanks M Smile

Lou

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Location : Tablelands North Qld

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Re: What is a Circle Journal/Round Robin Questions answered here

Post by Maria on Tue Apr 13, 2010 6:30 am

No problems

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Re: What is a Circle Journal/Round Robin Questions answered here

Post by Chris M on Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:11 pm

Oh wow Maria, that is fantastic, will also print this out and keep it in my ref folder. I had no idea how much work could go into these CJs.

Chris M

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Re: What is a Circle Journal/Round Robin Questions answered here

Post by Lou on Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:37 am

Just had to come back and re check here.... Smile
Off to check out your tags again now...

Lou

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