Something is really, really missing. As I have been travelling around the galleries in the digi world I have been noticing time and time again that there are no words. I see lots and lots of incredibly talented scrappers who are scrapping amazingly beautiful layouts, but I keep asking myself, where are the words?
I know people scrapbook for all different reasons. Some people do it purely for the artistic expression and creative release. It really isn’t about the legacy they leave behind, but rather, for the experience of actually making the page. But for most of us, the motivation to leave a legacy, a piece of our heart, drives (at least in part) the creation of our pages. Without journaling, our pages are just pretty pictures and elements. Future generations will look at them and not even know who is in the pictures, much less why we loved them. Don’t you want to savor the feelings in your heart for others to see?
When we released our 10 Reasons Art and Album last week, I really wanted to make something with it. I knew I wasn’t going to have time for a whole album, but with Valentine’s Day approaching, wanted to make a page for my husband.
Look at these two layouts. The first one is a tribute to my man. It tells him that I love him (which is true!) It is a nice layout and a sweet sentiment.
But you know what? It is missing something! For me, it isn’t enough to tell him I love him. I want him to know why. I want him to know the things about him that make me feel lucky to be with him. And right now, the way he is with our kids is topping the list. So this layout better portrays what is in my heart. And not only did I tell him I love the kind of dad he is, but also I was able to sneak in two other reasons.
If journaling is hard for you, don’t worry! The more you do it the more naturally it comes. There is no “right” way to journal! It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out mushy sentiments. Journaling can take many forms. As I looked through my own albums I saw that I journal in lots of different ways! If you get stuck on some of your love pages, try some of these ideas:
1. List format: A simple list can work well. It gets the point across! Top ten lists keep you stretching and searching within your heart for more. In this two-page layout I listed a bunch of little things about my son that was loving at the time (and yes, I know, I am the queen of typos. These were fixed before printing 🙂 )
2. A letter to someone or something: Sometimes, talking “to” someone or something makes it easier to share what we are feeling.
3. Pretend like you are talking: written and spoken language tend to be different. As your write, just imagine that you are just talking to a friend and sharing about something you love. Write like you speak, even if it isn’t gramatically correct.
4. Question and answer format: sometimes it is easier to answer a direct quesiton rather than “start from scratch.”
5. An acronym: Sometimes, using the first letters of a persons name or a place we love helps us get creative when trying to share what is inside our hearts
6. Record real conversations: Nothing is truer to life than the actual words spoken!
7. Take 5 W’s approach: who? what? when? where? why?
If the placing of your journaling on your scrapbook page is more of a problem, try some of these ideas:
1. Shaped journaling or text on a path: Sometimes we can help convey meaning through shape or flow. (For some great premade text paths try these by Jen Caputo! That is what I used on the two page layout below)
2. Journaling as a border: sometimes there isn’t a great place to put our journaling. Instead of using a frame or other border, why not use journaling? That was the case in this layout. I loved the TIC TAC TOE theme I had but I just felt like without words, it was missing something. The journaled frame was the perfect accent and the perfect way to share how I felt about these people!
3. Random words: Rather than writing out a lengthy journaling block, try putting random words on your page. They can convey the same meaning and they are fun to read!
4. Add another page! Sometimes I get done with a layout and love it. But then as I look at it I realize it is missing the story. Rather than redo the whole page I just add another one! For example, this past weekend I made this page. But as I looked at it, I realized that there was more to it. There were reasons that I wanted to make a page about being creative. So, I just flipped the page and added the story behind why the pictures are important to me.
5. Journal on a photo. From an artistic standpoint, it is sometimes hard to find the right place to put our journaling. Why not try adding journaling on top of a photo!
6. Hidden Journaling: If you are willing to give hybrid a try, you can take advantage of one of the great things about paper scrapping — hidden journaling. In this layout all of my journaling is hidden underneath the photo.
Go ahead, take a look through your albums. Imagine yourself as your own grandchild and great grandchild a few generations from now. What do you learn about yourself? Are the stories there? Do you know what the photos are about? Think on your own grandparents. What do you wish you knew about them? Do you ever look at photos of them and wonder what they are all about? Yes, the pretty papers, unique embellishments, and cool photo treatments are FUN. I love new digi supplies as much as the next person. But I want to leave a story behind. My story. The story of my family. And to do that, there have to be words.
So come on…try it out. Look at one of the journaling ideas above and give it a try!