Some of us who were on the 2nd Annual National Scrapbook Day Cropathon this past Saturday have issued challenges and we’re hoping you’ll participate in them. As an added incentive, we have EVEN MORE prizes to give out for them!
Go here for Kelly’s paper bag book challenge: http://knittingandthings.com/2012/05/paperbag-journals-and-creative-edventure-replays/
Go here for Roberta’s monochromatic challenge: http://decorablesart.blogspot.ca/2012/05/win-creative-edventures-crop-challenge.html
If you attended the cropathon or have heard me speak about scrapbooking before, you’ll know that journalling is very important to me. I’ve always been very “into” history of any kind and that includes my family history. There’s something about knowing the story behind how the world, my country, my family came to be that resonates with me. I love to hear stories about what I was like when I was little – I love to tell my daughter stories about her childhood. It makes my heart swell when I find an old recipe card with my grandmother’s handwriting on it or the pages in an old cookbook where my mom has written notes on the recipes or when I come across an old letter from my Dad. Sometimes we stop ourselves from journalling in our scrapbooks because we don’t like our handwriting or we think we don’t have anything eloquent to say but that’s not what our children and grandchildren will care about. They will just be so touched to see our handwriting, to read our words, to feel connected to us through them.
Here are some of my favourite tips for journalling:
- Don’t like your handwriting? Does it intimidate you and keep you from journalling more? Then do most of it on the computer – just be sure to add in little bits of your handwriting here and there for future generations! Afraid you’ll make a mistake if you write it out yourself? Write on a separate journalling block and then attach that to your page once you’re happy with it. Already wrote directly on the page and made a mistake? Well, you could leave it. Future generations will see it as charming and sweet but if it really bothers you, cover it with a journalling block or a picture or some stickers/diecuts.
Flickr, the girl & boy
- Add some pizzazz to your journalling easily. Incorporate some embellishments into your writing – replace letters with something else like using a button or flower for an O or a strip of ribbon for an I. Use some sticker words in place of some of the words you’re writing…or make it like a rebus and use images in place of some words. Journal in a shape – write on a diecut or inside a stencilled area.
- Sometimes trying to write a story or even just a paragraph can be intimidating and we don’t even know where to start. So, make a list instead. You can even use some of the embellishments suggested above as your “bullet point marks” for the list. Or how about finding a quiz online related to your topic and using that as the basis of your journalling? You can even try “interviewing yourself” – think about it as an outsider and what questions you would ask the person about those photos. Use those to form your journalling.
- Forget the details about each event easily? Here are some ways to keep track: You certainly could jot some details right on the back of the photos when you have them printed but just be sure to use something that is photo safe. Years ago my grandma used to use pencil on hers and many of them have faded and are impossible to make out now. I know people who used basic ballpoint pens on theirs and over time not only are there indented lines on the photos from the pressure of the pen but also the ink has leeched through to the front of the picture. Creative Memories sells china marker pencils that are acid free, safe for your photos, and have staying power! Another idea is to file your photos in boxes when you get them back, quickly jotting some details on a 4 by 6 index card as you do and using that as a divider. One of my favourite ways to keep track is to jot things on a calendar. I hang onto the calendars until my scrapbooking is done not just to refer to the appointments and special occasions I have written there as reminders ahead of time but also because when something special occurs, I write it down on the date it occurred so it serves as almost a mini journal too.
- When you go through your photos, don’t get all hung up on specific dates. If you can’t remember the minute details, focus instead on the bigger themes. For example, if I look at one particular picture of my daughter in a Halloween costume, I may not be able to immediately put my finger on when it was taken but if I lay out all the photos from all the Halloweens, I can usually put them into chronological order and figure it out that way. Or, I can simply make some spreads of Halloweens over the years and not focus on the dates at all. Sometimes I have random pictures that don’t seem to fit anywhere else so I’ll just make a page like “funny faces” and then jot down silly captions for them. Captioning is another way of taking some of the pressure off the journalling process – it’s much easier than writing a whole account of an event. Another thing I relied on a lot when my daughter was little and still utilize now that I’m a blogger is to carry a notebook and pen with me everywhere. I keep one in my purse and used to keep one in my camera bag, one in the diaper bag, and so on. It makes it so easy to just grab it and jot down some details that you might otherwise forget! (Oh and I highly recommend keeping one on your bedside table for those middle of the night brainstorms or sudden memories!)
- Find a poem or song lyrics that has words to suit your scrapbooking page.
- You don’t have to scrapbook every photo nor do you have to journal every one. Some speak for themselves. Add some pockets to hold memorabilia and it can do some of the talking for you as well.
So, my challenge is for you to add some journalling to something – a scrapbook page, a mixed media piece of art, a cookbook – whatever you’d like but it needs to be something that you’d like to memorialize for future generations. Share pictures and a description of what you’ve done or a link to your blog post in the comments to enter the giveaway. You have until 12:01 am on Tuesday, May 15th to get your entries in for a chance to win a prize pack of assorted scrapbooking supplies!
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