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Tag Archives: journal
One of my favorite things about scrapbooking is that I can document memories that happened yesterday, or years (or even decades) ago. I don’t have to limit myself to current photos when I’m creating a page, and I can even write about events that happened way back in the past. I scrapped this layout about May of 2007 in the summer of 2011. There was no need to explain in the journaling that this page was not actually created in May of 2007. I was able to recall the events of the photos by looking at them and reviewing my roundup from that month. All I needed was a date that documented when the photos were taken.
For this layout, I used details I had recorded in my son’s baby book and the date on the back of the pictures I took. This page documents a specific day in October of 1993. It is unimportant that I created this layout only a few weeks ago. No one needs to know that the journaling for this 1993 memory was done in 2012.
There are times when I do include both the photo date (or date of the memory) AND the date of the journaling on a scrapbook page. I find this is especially useful when writing about a memory that has an unclear date. When Kimberly had us scrap her childhood feelings about her sister for a play it again feature, she included an approximate date range of the picture and then jotted down the date that she wrote out her journaling.
Another reason why I like to include a journaling date in addition to the date of the memory is because it illustrates a change in perspective or feelings of reflection. My thoughts on my own mother in this photograph are based on the experiences I’ve had in my life up to this point. I would not have been able to do this type of journaling about this picture when I was a teenager. By including the journaling date, the reader can understand that I was a grown woman when I wrote about this moment.
A simple note to mark the date that the journaling was written can add a lot of information and depth to a story. Next time you add a date to a layout, take a minute to consider if it might be worth adding the date that you journaled the memory as well.
P.S. The title graphic was made with 365 date stamps from Wild Blueberry Ink
I’ve always loved to read and I’m a big fan of scrapbook journaling so I guess it’s no surprise to find out that when I surf the galleries, I spend a lot of time reading the journaling! A stunning page design or beautiful photos will grab my attention to get me to look at a page, but it’s the journaling that captures my interest. I feel like I’m on a treasure hunt to find the meaning of the story shared. Even just small tidbits of writing bring the layout to life and make it more memorable.
In the spirit of one of my favorite blogs Gallery Standouts, I thought it would be fun to share some favorite layouts with exceptional journaling that have jumped into my favorites folder.
This page is such a fabulous example of why it’s worth doing no-photo layouts! I love the boxes of journaling illustrated with fun doodles. This page is just asking to be read and I was fascinated to hear her likes and dislikes concerning many different career paths.
The sweet simplicity of this layout makes it so easy to focus on that darling girl and the journaling that details her cute personality and unique traits. Reading about her favorite things just made me smile!
Not only is this a gorgeous layout (check out the texture on the large photo), but the journaling is integrated into the page design in a very inviting way. I loved reading about the joy that the beach brings to this boy and his Mama!
This journaling really resonated with me since I used to play “school” as a kid and always dreamed of teaching as well. It was great to read about how she found her own way to be a teacher and her gratitude for the experiences she has had.
It’s fun to read about trip details on vacation layouts and you can even get ideas for sites you want to see if you ever travel to that location.
Because I love to read journaling so much, I often include the journaling right in my layout description on Flickr or in a gallery post. Others have commented how much they enjoy being able to read what I’ve written, especially when it can be hard to see on screen. While it isn’t difficult to read the text on this layout when it’s enlarged, it is a bit tricky to see in a blog post like this one.
I just copy and paste the journaling right into the description and it can be viewed by when the layout link is shared. This is just a personal preference of mine and I also like that it’s another way to preserve the memory in case I or someone from my family wanted to use the text without the layout.
Next time you take a gallery stroll, pay attention to journaling and think about what captures your attention. It’s a great way to find inspiration to add more text to your own pages. I bet you will also be surprised at how many pages don’t include any journaling at all!
P.S. the title graphic includes a splatterfic cluster by Karah Fredericks and the Café Rojo font.
Just my type by Mari Koegelenberg. The typewriter font by Heather Hess.
When I was younger, I had dreams of being a writer. I was sure that I would live in the English countryside (don’t know how I was going to get there from Utah?) where I would plunk away on my typewriter for hours every day. It was a ridiculously romanticized image of what the life of a writer would be and I’ve come to understand that is not likely to ever be what my life looks like. The best part is that I’ve since realized I don’t want that type of existence. Sure, the English countryside part still sounds wonderful, but I definitely want more out of my world than just a one on one relationship with words and paper. I want to live life each day and experience it. That means that I have to squeeze in bits and pieces of writing when I can.
Sometimes, when I discuss my love of scrapbook journaling with others, they seem to have an idealized notion of what it must be like to be one of “those people” who write a lot on their layouts. They act as if I have more time or talent than they do because I’ve put a few paragraphs on a page. What they might not realize it that it comes out word by little word, and it often takes many tries to simply jot down a few sentences.
I’ll open a word document and type a few thoughts, then I need to drive my daughter somewhere. That document stays open in the background of my computer while I answer emails, teach my children in homeschool, and balance our checkbook. I play around with the layout. It’s much more fun to arrange flowers than it is to extract words from my busy brain.
I remind myself that the page will not be complete without the story, so I go back to my word document. I switch back and forth between photos and thoughts. I stare at the pictures and try to remember what I want to say. I type a few words. I look at the clock and realize that dinner time is right around the corner. I forget about the journaling. Hours later, the kids are finally in bed, and I have a few minutes. But, I’m exhausted and I have other things that need to get done before morning. Those tasks come first, but I type a few more lines to explain the memories.
This process can last for days at times. It all depends on what interrupts me. I have a real life. I’m needed by actual people. I don’t give up. I write when I can. I take any little chunk of time that falls into my lap and I use it. That’s what writers do.
My new image of a writer is not someone who sits alone for hours in a quiet room, but it is someone who makes notes on her smartphone, works on ideas when she has a few minutes, types captions into her photo uploads, shares thoughts on social media, and post pictures and thoughts in blog posts. She can type memories while her son plays rock band in the other room, or in a quick dash as she fits in some time before a friend drops by.
When the time comes to pull it all together, a writer gathers the breadcrumbs she’s been leaving behind and gives them a home. In my case, the finished product is not a novel, but a scrapbook page. Bits and pieces at a time. Line by line, I’m writing the story of my life and I call it scrapbooking. Not in a cottage overlooking an English garden, but in a house full of people, cooking dinner, teaching school, wearing sweatpants, at 11 p.m. at night, or on my phone at the breakfast table.
I’m a writer because I stick with it. I keep going until those words are on the piece of paper. It’s not glamorous. It’s not even particularly talented. It’s persistent, and it pays off in the long run. I’m a writer because I’m a scrapbooker. I’m a writer because I keep trying to be one. The key is to just chip away at it until you have something down on paper, and when you do – put it on a layout!
Lauren Reid Hometown. Heather Hess The Typewriter font.
As I (Katie) pondered goals/projects/words etc. to guide me in this new calendar year, I kept coming back to the same almost urgent feeling… I have stories to tell. When I think about where my stories are, many of them exist on my blog or on scrapbook pages. I’m so grateful for the memories I have documented because I don’t have to worry about forgetting the details and I can share them with the people I care about. I’ve become more aware lately that so many of my stories have not been written down on my blog or on a page of any type. These are the pieces that make up the experiences of my life. They are precious, interesting, and often quite entertaining. None of these stories are about big events – they are the small everyday things that I want to remember.
I decided to make a list of all the stories I could think of that I want to share. I set a timer for 20 minutes and just started to write. When I ran out of ideas, I opened my photo files and browsed through pictures until something jogged my memory, and then I continued to write some more. This is the list I came up with:
1. Putting parmesan cheese in the dishwasher instead of soap
2. Vacuuming up the living room curtains
3. Riley decorating the cat with toothpaste
4. Coming home to sleeping kids covered with pop tarts
5. Calling the police when I thought someone was breaking in because Jeff came home early from a business trip and thought it would be fun to surprise me
6. Alex yelling “those thieves stole my blood” in the hospital parking lot
7. The $30 I loaned Jeff to pay for a marriage license
8. Zach’s electrical “experiment” at age 2
9. Finding out I was going to be an aunt
10. Mike’s scary broom face
11. Drinking a raw egg in front of my high school
12. Chasing the kids with the vacuum
13. Game dates with the Andersons
14. Quilts made by Jeff’s Grandmother
15. The 2,000 Tony the Tiger towels Alex tried to order on the internet
16. Hosting crop parties
17. Fogged in at the airport for 5 hours
18. Playing Risk with Brett and his dates
19. Drinking a raw egg at a Super Bowl party
20. Marshmallow gun fight
21. Eating lunch in the courtyard in high school
22. Alex reporting Jeff to the Oregon airport security
23. Riley drenching herself in Asian hot sauce
24. Why we joke about “minor skin irritations”
25. Riley’s warning from the go-cart operator
26. Mike’s “mild” New Mexican lasagna
27. Grandma Smith’s rolls
28. The custom Barbie Doll Alex made for Riley
29. Accidentally cutting the cable wires while doing yard work
30. Scaring my Mom with loud music in the car
31. Sleeping in a leaky tent in a rainstorm
32. Alex’s monopoly games with Kyle
33. Playing balloon volleyball in the living room
34. Lola eating our puzzle pieces
35. Alex’s Amazing Mumford tuxedo
36. The time my Mom thought she had a blog stalker
37. Winning a bet by eating octopus
38. Jeff trying to stop the New York Knicks from coming in our window
39. Riding the Matterhorn with our eyes closed
40. Riley singing “Don’t Buy the Liverwurst” in her sleep
41. Being sorted into Slytherin at Pottermore
42. Laying on my left side
I bet you would like to know more about some of these memories. Can you imagine how my family must feel? These are experiences that I want to journal about! Now that I have taken a few minutes to jot them down, I feel very motivated to put them somewhere to be enjoyed. It didn’t take me very long at all and I’m going to use this layout and list as motivation to tell my stories. I bet if you set a timer for a 20 minutes that you would find you have a lot of stories inside of you as well. Think about the little moments worth remembering. Reminisce about inside jokes, things that make you smile, and the kind of memories you swap around the kitchen table when you get together with friends and family. Make a list and keep it somewhere near your scrapping supplies. Don’t worry that the items you want to share might be small or uninteresting – I promise you that they are meaningful and worth sharing. YOU have stories to tell!
P.S. Rhadoda was the random comment chosen from those that commented on K Studios post from Monday. She won $10 in product from K Studio!
krafty title by Shawna Clingerman, font is traveling typewriter
It’s no secret that I (Katie) love this time of year. I really enjoy the slower pace of the week after Christmas and I take inventory of the year that is passing and prepare for the new one ahead. Of course, I do my monthly roundup at the end of December, and I like to use that same format to look back at the year’s events. One of my favorite things to do is to conduct year-end interviews with my family members. You can turn this into an official activity (great for family gatherings) or just sneak in a few questions here and there into your everyday conversations. Need some ideas? Here are a bunch to get you started:
- Use a top ten list format to countdown favorite memories of the year. It would be fun to list the top ten favorites for the year in several categories such as music, entertainment, accomplishments, etc.
- Since we are ending the year 2011 you might want to play off of the number eleven as a theme. I put together 11 lists on 11-11-11 and I’m excited to use these on some scrapbook pages!
- Act like a newspaper reporter and take notes on the big stories of the year. Get quotes to use in your “story” (even from very young children) to add eyewitness accounts.
- Use a letter-writing format and write a letter to the year 2011. Tell 2011 what you liked and didn’t like about it, or what you learned or enjoyed most because of it.
- Review your past blog posts, status updates, and email archives for 2011 to get plenty of information to use in your interviews.
- Interviews are perfect for lightning-round journaling!
- Even if you can’t talk face to face with someone, send them an email or ask them questions on the phone or via skype.
- Include historical events and pop culture in your year-end summaries. There are so many great resources to tap into!
- Browse through the past calendars from the year for some great memory-joggers and ideas.
- Use memes (rhymes with themes) and quizzes to find ready-made interviews to use.
- Don’t worry about writing huge blocks of text, use a simple bullet journaling format to record the information.
Without even realizing it, I just gave you 11 ways to document your 2011. Now go and ask someone (even yourself) some questions and have fun recording the memories of 2011.
When we document our memories, we often look to photographs to remind us of the details we want to share. Usually, there is an obvious scene or story in a photograph like the one pictured here. This was my (Katie’s) 16th birthday and I was trying to stop my almost 4 year old brother from blowing out my candles. That is the memory I journaled about when I digi scrapped this page and I will always cherish that thought. Just because that photo has been scrapped and I told that story doesn’t mean that this picture can’t give me any more information. Most photos have more than 1 story to tell and can bring up many forgotten experiences. I like to call this “photographic memory” because the photo itself can jog your memory.
If I take another look at this picture, I discover a few interesting memory joggers; my brother’s sweatshirt, my bow tie scarf, the cake, the brick bench, the wood paneling, and the wallpaper.
- The Mickey Mouse sweatshirt was from a vacation my family took to Disneyland the previous summer. It’s notable to remember that since I only went to Disneyland twice with my brother. It also reminds me that I had a matching Mickey sweatshirt that I later had to give away. I had a major leg surgery later that year and after that, the sweatshirt suddenly smelled like anesthesia to me, even though I had not taken it to the hospital with me. I couldn’t stand it after that experience and gave it away. I’m not sure if I have a picture of my own sweatshirt, so this was a great reminder of this memory for me.\
- How about that jazzy bow-tie scarf? That was definitely an early eighties trend and I felt very fashionable in my gray sweater, pink oxford button down, and print scarf. Preppy handbook anyone?
- The cake is a poppyseed Bundt cake with powdered sugar on top. It was always my very favorite cake that my Mom made. It’s a very simple recipe that uses a cake mix, so I’m sure she was pretty happy that I chose that for my special birthday cake. This recipe is similar to this one, but my Mom would coat the pan with shortening and cinnamon-sugar and then add the mix. So yummy! I haven’t thought about that cake in years, but looking at this picture makes me want to dig out my Bundt pan and make one!
- The brick bench came with our house and we kept it around for at least a decade before my parents tackled a major remodeling and add-on project. I think it opened up for storage, but I don’t remember that we kept anything in there? It was kind of unfinished inside the bench. I do remember that my Mom always had cute cushions and pillows on that bench. I don’t remember ever sitting on it though. Interesting to remember that.
- Our house was also filled with that dark wood paneling. My mom painted over it in some of the rooms, but I think she kept it the original color in this room for as long as it was on the walls? Not sure – makes me realize that it would be worth discussing the timeline of the house renovations.
- About the wallpaper, every wall in our house had it. My mom was really into wallpaper and I still tease her about some of the wild patterns we had on our walls. The backdrops of my childhood memories definitely were well decorated!
Can you believe all of that came from the background details of this ONE photo? I know you will find that many pictures are holding many memories just waiting to be rediscovered. I encourage you to look through your photos with a new appreciation for what might not be obvious at first glance. Using your own photographic memory will help you tell the meaningful stories of your life.
(sign from Hogle Zoo)
One of my (Katie’s) favorite resources for finding journaling comes from taking pictures of signs. When I go to the zoo, a museum, or any location with informational signs, I snap photos of the words written on these valuable journaling sources. Someone put a lot of effort into compiling and displaying the information on these signs and that means that I have some easy shortcuts to use when I create my own scrapbook layouts.
I knew when we visited the Totem Pole park in Alaska, that I would never be able to remember all the things we learned about. We loved reading all of the signs to understand more about the meaning and history of the various Totems. I snapped a picture of each Totem Pole and then photographed the accompanying sign right after. When I browse through my photos I have ready-made bits of journaling that I can include by using pieces of the photos, or I can rewrite the messages in many ways to document the memory I’m sharing.
A recent trip to the zoo gave me the perfect photo-opp with the elephants. I knew I would want to scrap those photos so I took pictures of the plaques that shared details about the family of elephants residing at the zoo.
Even if the journaling doesn’t show up very well in a photograph, I can enlarge it on my screen and read through it to jog my memory. I can also extract the shape of a sign (like the round one pictured below) and use it as a type of “journaling card” embellishment on a layout.
My kids appreciate me taking the time to snap pictures of the things they learn about on our field trips. It’s a great way for them to review their new knowledge and it adds interest to the memory being shared.
Signs can tell an important part of the story that you might otherwise forget to include. We’ve been going to the Shakespeare Festival for years, but somehow I’ve neglected to mention the ongoing campaign to raise funds for a new theater. Now that I have this photo, I will remember to journal those details.
We had a fabulous time at a recent Weird Al concert (he’s so funny!) and the t-shirt we bought for my son had all the tour stops listed on the back. This is a fun and interesting tidbit to remember!
If you get a really clear picture of journaling (like this jellyfish sign at the aquarium), you have a ready-made journaling card. I can use this picture just like a photo on a page, but it tells a very interesting story that I wouldn’t have known about without the sign.
Journaling doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t always have to be in your own words. Feel free to borrow from all the readily available pieces of text that are informative and well-designed. Just take a picture and you will have instant words to add interest and meaning to your layouts.
Layout by Aaron Morris (Sir Scrapalot). Papers and Elements: All Star by Kristin Cronin-Barrow. Template: Take Out Tuesday 5/25/10 by Lynnette Penacho. Fonts: The Typewriter by Heather Hess and Lizzy Fizzed Out by Darcy Baldwin. Shadows: One Little Bird and Jenn Barrette. Photo Action: My Four Hens
When I (Katie) saw this fabulous layout from Aaron, I had to ask him where he got the idea for the “Lightning Round” journaling? He told me that “the layout was actually for a challenge in the June Portfolio at Sweet Shoppe Designs. For the challenge, we were supposed to pick one of the parts of the fill in journal pages from this site. There are a TON there and they are all great!”
This reminded me of how awesome the internet is when it comes to journaling! There are so many prompts and ideas already out there to help us! It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of journaling ideas and information. I want to encourage you to just pick something to jumpstart your journaling and then simplify the idea by mimicking Aaron’s “Lightning Round” approach. All you need to do is list a few prompts and answer them. Don’t spend a lot of time on the task, you could even set a timer for yourself if that would make it easier.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Memes & quizzes to help you “cheat” on journaling
- Journaling is as simple as answering a question
- Monthly portfolio challenges at Sweet Shoppe Designs
- Journaling Pad at The Lily Pad
- Journaling prompt – list your current favorites
Here are some fabulous layouts with “Lightning Round” style journaling to inspire you: (all images are linked for credits)
Isn’t it amazing to see all the ways this type of quick journaling can be used to tell a story? Let some lightning journaling strike you when you sit down to create your next layout!
Just like titles don’t have to be on top of a page, journaling doesn’t have to be in a box, or in the shape of a block. It’s easy to get into ruts with our digital scrapbook layouts, and for me (Katie), typing my thoughts into a square or rectangle box of journaling has become a habit. Don’t get me wrong – I love the look of a nice, clean, word-filled box! I also love that there are other ways to add the story right into the design of a page. I decided to stroll through the galleries and find some examples to share here. (All images are linked for credits)
I have to admit that if I had created this page, I would have felt pressured to fill in all that middle space with journaling – but I absolutely love the thin strip of words connecting the top and bottom of this page! It’s a very refreshing design, with plenty of breathing space to let you take in all the gorgeous photos and embellishments.
Using text paths is a great way to break out of the square mold of journaling. I love the wonky circle of words on this page, it gives the layout a playful energy and an artsy feeling!
I just LOVE the big numbers filled with journaling on this layout! The theme of the written words is totally emphasized by the shape they are typed in. Super fun!
Adding words along the outside edges of a layout is a creative way to document the page, and frame it at the same time!
On this layout, I journaled around the stitched edge of the page. It’s different than my usual style, but I love how it turned out!
Break up lengthy text blocks into smaller pieces and use them in creative ways on a layout. This page feels like a doodled diary entry full of illustrated thoughts. The word strips are also a clever way to add journaling!
While the journaling on this next layout is technically in a large block of space, I wouldn’t consider it to be a journaling box. The way the font was used on the wrinkled paper, gives this the look of a handwritten letter with uneven paragraphs and spacing. What a creative way to think outside of the “box”! And if you want to read some great journaling, be sure to click on the layout. Fabulous!
Next time you find yourself struggling to put your words on a page, try getting creative with journaling placement. It might just give you the creative spark you need to jot down those important thoughts!
P.S. iciclelady was the random winner chosen from yesterday’s comments! She won $10 in product from Sahlin Studio!
My parents are visiting my house right now, so I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to spend several full days with them. It’s been fun to watch them interact with my children, and also nice to have the time to just sit around and chat. The other night I was asking my Mom something about her father and somehow it brought up that she interviewed him (and recorded it on tape) shortly before he died. I commented on how great that was and she said “Yes, but I really did it wrong.” I couldn’t imagine what would be “wrong” about that interview so I asked her. She replied that she spent too much time trying to ask him certain questions. She said “If I could do it over again, I would just push record and let him talk.” I’ve thought about that a lot over the past few days and have come to realize how brilliant that really is. Of course she didn’t do anything “wrong” by conducting a more formal interview with him, but the idea of just listening to someone talk is probably some of the best advice I could ever think of to find meaningful material for journaling. Listening to what people are saying when they are just talking, is a wonderful way to discover who they really are and what is important to them. You can find out things you would never think to ask, and you will gain a great appreciation for their experiences and their personal story.
After thinking about what my Mom said, I decided to try and be more aware of what my parents were just openly sharing with me during this visit. The other night, we were driving to get a hamburger together and my Dad and my son were having a funny conversation. My Dad said something like ‘Don’t play mental checkers with your Grandpa because I’ll win” and we all laughed. Then he also joked about how he might win in real checkers because he learned from his own father who was nearly unbeatable at the game. He told us that it wasn’t until late in his Dad’s life that he could actually win in a game of checkers against my Grandfather. I had no knowledge or memory of my Grandpa playing checkers, and I really didn’t know that my Dad is also good at the game. I only found this tidbit out through listening. I’m sure I would have never thought to ask it as an interview question. I’ve been entertaining the idea in my head for days now – trying to imagine my Dad and his own father playing checkers. I’ve wondered if my son could have beat him (he’s pretty good at the game as well), or who would win in a match between my Dad and my son? A simple overheard conversation led to a lot of reflection AND gave me some great journaling material for this layout:
It’s All Fun & Games Triple Dip by Jenn Barrette, Julie Billingsley, & Libby Pritchett. Fonts are Fontologie Textura Traced and Calibri.
If you are looking for inspiration in the journaling department, remember to put on your listening ears. Just pay attention to the conversations that are naturally happening all around you. I bet you will find something interesting to write (and scrap) about!
P.S. Corinne was the random winner selected from the comments on yesterday’s post. She won $10 to the Ette’s store.
P.S.S Mary(HappyNow) was the random winner selected from those that entered the Reader Challenge, JUST SCRAP!! She won $10 in product from the Ettes as well!