Buried Treasure

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It is no secret that I love journaling. I think that journaling is such an important part of the scrapbooking process. Most of us would say that we are scrapbooking in order to leave a story for our families. We want our kids and grandkids to know something about themselves, about us, and about the lives we led. It’s the story that we care about most. The pretty papers and elements are just for fun — a way to help tell the story. But in the end, the words and photos are what matter. Journaling doesn’t have to be a scary thing, though. I wrote an entire post on different ways you can journal. Today I want to show you a trick to add more of the story into your journaling…by burying little treasures of information.

A good author doesn’t tell you the facts, they bury you the facts. Take this “story” for example.

“Alone in the quiet of the early morning hours, Janet sipped her first cup of coffee for the day. The kids, still nestled in bed, would be awake soon. Working quickly to finish her post, she smiled slightly as she thought of the four little kids and the hugs and kisses and endless requests that would soon be hers.”

Buried within this story is a lot of information about this Janet character: she gets up early, she drinks numerous cups of coffee a day, she has lots of kids who get up fairly early too. Janet has work to do — a post of some sort. She is a busy mom but she enjoys it.

Just like an author gives information without “telling” it, we can do the same on our scrapbook pages. There are so many little bits and piece of information that make up our whole story. While they may not be worthy of entire page, we can bury them inside other stories and allow the readers to uncover them. Piece by piece, the treasures are unearthed and the entire story of our lives takes shape. Take these examples:

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The journaling says, “Whenever I think about my Granddaddy, the thing that always comes to mind is his love of books. As an English professor at NC State University, his love of the written word was passed down to my mother and to us. The memories I have of him usually involve him reading to me and my little sister Sharron. He would read and read, and although in this picture I don’t look too thrilled, I have very fond memories of these times. It is who he was.”

In that journaling, more information is shared than just that fact that my grandpa read to us. I was able to share more about him: 1) We called him Granddaddy and 2) He was an English professor at NC State University. I may never make a page about that, but now those two little pieces of our story are preserved.

Here is a more recent example, coincidentally also entitled READ.

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Here is the journaling: “I love seeing you love to read! It took me until I was in college to really appreciate reading. It was crammed down my throat when I was little so I didn’t have the chance to realize how wonderful it is to be whisked away in a story! I won’t push you, but I hope that your love of reading continues and that you can always find an excuse to cuddle up in the perfect spot and read a great story!”

Although this page is about my daughter and her love to read, I was able to share a lot about myself in it too (after all, our stories are very intertwined). In this small piece of journaling we learn that 1) I felt like reading was forced on me and so I didn’t like it and 2) When I got to college I realized how wonderful reading could be.

And finally,

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“It’s 85 degrees outside and she says she wants cold. She dresses in sweaters and socks and begs to live in a place with snow and cold (which convinces me that she is not my child since I’ve hated cold and snow for as long as I can remember). Sorry, babe. So far it doesn’t look like a cold weather climate is in your near future. You’ll have to settle for shorts, flip flops, and the pool. But you can still wear the sweaters. It’s so cute!”

Again, in this example I was able to give a piece of my story while sharing my daughter’s story. I haven’t made a page about my loathing of cold weather (though I really should!) but at least this little nugget of information is buried in my scrapbook somewhere.

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So the next time you scrap a page, think about what little treasures you can bury in your journaling. Think about how the full story will unfold as future generations gleam little nuggets of information from each page. Your story is important…write it down!

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P.S. THANKS to all of the scrappers that participated in the “From the Files” challenge! Each of them have won ALL of the items in the “winter collection” section at Zig Zag Scrap, our sponsor store for this month! 🙂 -Steph

Credits for above layouts:

1. READ (April 2007): background paper, notebook paper, and arrow by Catrine at Catscrap, alpha by Birgit at Catscrap brads and stitching by Shabby Princess, paper tear by Steph Krush.
2. READ (November 2009): Bookworm by Kristin CB at Sweet Shoppe Designs. Template by Janet Phillips (Collection 6).
3. SHE WANTS COLD (December 2009): Frostbite by Julie Billingsley at Sweet Shoppe Designs, template by Janet Phillips (Collection 31).