The Really Real Travelling Journal

A while back Yetzirah invited me to take part in this project, which is a blank journal which has been travelling around DearDiary members, with each adding a couple of pages (kind of like the blank journal bookrings that are common in Bookcrossing). On Thursday it arrived, and I was stunned by the creativity of everyone’s entries (and a bit worried – I didn’t know if I could live up to that standard!).

I knew one thing I wanted to include on my pages was some embroidery, so Thursday night was spent cross-stitching a little patchwork cat that had caught my eye in when I was looking through a craft magazine the other day. Then yesterday I started planning my pages. I had so many different ideas, I was pulling out bits and pieces from all over the house until I’m sure I had enough to fill the entire book on my own, but still no real idea what I wanted to do with the two pages I’d been allocated.

Then I came across something we’d been given at the Dunedin convention: a box of little cards with quotations on them. My box had quotations on the theme of joy, and I decided to make the theme of my page things that give me joy – cats, cross-stitch, Bookcrossing, MrPloppy, travel, learning… So I collected together elements representing each of those things, and tried to lay them out on the page, but I couldn’t get them to fit together properly. Then I realised why – because I’d been trying to compartmentalise them too much. My life is utterly chaotic (in a (mostly) good way!), with different aspects totally overlapping, so its only natural that the pages representing my life were trying to do the same. So I abandoned my tidy design and just went with putting things wherever they felt like going, and ended up with a much more interesting page. It’s not as artistic as the other contributions, but it’s definitely me 🙂

And best of all, Yetzirah gave me permission to register the RRTJ on Bookcrossing, so Bookcrossing, which is such a big part of my life (does that sound sad or what?), is a part of the whole journal! 🙂 I’ve blurred out the BCID on those pictures above, but if any previous contributors to the RRTJ want to make a journal entry on Bookcrossing to record their involvement in the project, leave me a comment and I’ll give you the BCID number.

So now all I’ve got to do is tidy up the mess I made. I’ve always said you can tell how much fun you’re having with a craft project by how far the mess spreads, and I had *lots* of fun doing this one!

(Oh, and apologies to Yetzirah – I kind of ignored your rules about not putting bulky things on the pages. I was being really good, and then I came across some little plastic cat-themed scrapbooky things (technical term :-)) that someone sent me ages ago that were just crying out to be included and kind of accidentally on purpose snuck their way onto the pages… They’re not *that* bulky, but my pages definitely aren’t as flat as everyone else’s. Sorry!)

What did I do wrong?

It’s amazing how emotionally invested you can get in an on-line community like DearDiary. I’ve been a bit slack lately about keeping up with reading diaries, so this morning I decided to catch up with some of them. I was clicking through the notify emails and came to one from someone whose diary is friends only, so I logged in, but instead of being taken to their diary got the “you are sucessfully logged in but you do not have permission to view this diary” page. I checked my friends list, and sure enough, I’ve been “de-friended” by this person.

It’s weird, I’ve never met this person, and in “real life” wouldn’t know them if I tripped over them, but seeing that felt like a kick to the stomach. I really did feel like I would if a real-life friend suddenly stopped talking to me and started snubbing me in the street. Although I know people have all sorts of reasons for cleaning up their friends lists, and that many (if not most) of those reasons have nothing to do with the people being de-friended, my first thought was still that it must be my fault: “What did I do? Did I do something to annoy them? Did I leave a comment that was taken badly? Did I write something I shouldn’t have? Did I comment too much? Or not enough?”

It’s probably a sign that I’m a really insecure person or something, and nobody else has this reaction to being de-friended, but I’m still going to be a lot more careful about how I go about cleaning up my friends list myself in future!

On to more cheerful things. I’ve had a pretty constructive week off this week, getting all sorts of little jobs done (taking advantage of being able to go into town during the week when things like banks and post offices are actually open), plus a few bigger ones.

The main job was I finally managed to finish putting together our bid for the 2009 Bookcrossing Convention, and sent it off to bookczuk and Sonora. With some help from lytteltonwitch, and contributions of photos from various people from the BCNZ group, I put together a seriously multi-media powerpoint show with photos and video and music, which of course I went totally over the top with so it ended up being such a huge file that I think it broke a few people’s emails when I sent it (sorry about that!). It looks really cool though, especially because when I added the music (a clip from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack – seemed appropriate for advertising NZ :-)), even though I hadn’t worked it out to do so at all (I just bunged the music on at the last minute because watching silent slides seemed boring), it fitted the timings I’d given the slideshow perfectly, with some seriously serendipitous moments (some of the most beautiful parts of the music coincide with the photos of NZ scenery, and the theme that represents the fellowship comes in just as the slide labelled “Our Team” comes up!). Skyring has agreed to do the actual presentation for us (because the bid has to be presented at this year’s convention in Charleston, and none of us could get there), and I’m sure will do a fantastic job selling the wonders of NZ – he’s always been so enthusiastic about the country on his visits here. No idea whether we’ve got a chance of winning the bid, but it’s been fun putting it together anyway 🙂

I also finally went and did some clothes shopping! I hate shopping for clothes, so tend to avoid it for as long as possible, but the days are getting colder, and when I looked at last winter’s clothes they were looking pretty worn out, so some shopping was inevitable. So I bit the bullet and went to Riccarton on Thursday, and amazingly had total shopping success. In the first shop I went into, I walked up to a rack of trousers, saw a pair that I actually liked, and not only did they have some in my size, but when I tried them on they fitted perfectly! (They do need to have the hems taken up a little bit, but that’s normal for me) Then I looked at some tops and the same thing happened again – I saw something I liked, they had two in my size in colours I liked, and they looked good when I tried them on! So I’ve now got a couple of new outfits for work, which combined with the things from last year that aren’t totally falling apart should keep me going for the whole winter. Why isn’t clothes shopping always that easy?

Of course, I released a few books in between shopping and running errands: The Pimpernel Project by Mary Raymond, Michael, Michael by Wendy Perriman, The Love Songs of Phoenix Bay by Nisa Donnelly, and The Angelic Game by Lawrence Osborne.

Mostly though my week off has just been spent relaxing and doing as little as possible. Which is what time off is supposed to be about 🙂

Secret project report: Ming must die

One of Ming’s many oddities is an obsession about paper lying on the floor. If there’s a piece of paper on the floor he’ll sit there and paw at it trying to see what’s underneath it, and if he can’t manage to lift it up it usually ends up shredded.

The other night I left the pattern for my latest embroidery project lying on the lounge floor. I bet you can see where this is going…

Yep, that’s what I discovered the next morning. I suppose I got off lightly, as that was all the real damage, and he could have shredded it completely, but there’s a bit of the pattern missing completely (and believe me, I’ve searched everywhere for it… well, almost everywhere – I suspect it ended up inside Ming, and I’m NOT going to start searching through his poos!). Luckily most of the damage is on a blank part of the design, and I should be able to recreate the missing bit, but he still got some very dirty looks from me!

Here’s the latest work in progress: