On Monday, I shared that I believe journaling should be on every single scrapbook layout- real journaling. When you journal every time, every page, it becomes much easier. You develop your own toolbox and style. Today, I’ll share some of my tried and true scrapbook journaling tips that you can use time and time again. I know I do. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.
12 Simple Scrapbook Journaling Tips and Ideas
Scrapbook Journaling Tip #1
Follow the journey the page sets you on. Let it be what it is. As you scrapbook a page, let it speak to you. I know that seems rather out there and a little flighty. But, I’m sure you’ve set down to scrapbook about something but in the process you wind up somewhere totally different.
Don’t force your page into a box and get dead set on what it’s about and what you want to say. If you find yourself really wanting to say something else, say it. You can always create another page- or perhaps add a companion page or some hidden journaling. (I love the idea of adding a 6X12 beside a layout with more of the story.)
This was certainly the case with this layout. It was the pictures that changed the direction of this one. I still tied it in, but really I planned to talk about the history teachers I loved in school. I wanted to document that even in college it was something I enjoyed. I took “Double Davis” twice. . . the second time by my own choosing- not because I flunked but because he was so interesting. But, I stumbled on these two pictures and the page took another turn.
Journaling Reads: I set out to scrap this page about how I love history- always have- but look at the way I’m standing in these two pictures! I didn’t plan that part. It’s something, though, that I love about history- it makes us appreciate things in our life today. Looking back at history, we learn from our mistakes, grow our roots, remember the things that have changed, be mesmerized by the things that don’t, and cherish today.
As I read that journaling- isn’t that also what scrapbooking is all about? (Of course, I think it’s my love of history that plays so well into my love of scrapbooking.)
Scrapbook Page Ideas: As I wrote this, I realized I still really do want to go back and do a layout about how I love history. Make a note of things you want to scrapbook about somewhere you can keep them handy. Mine are either on my phone or in one section of my planner. In this case I noted that I have pictures of me in period costume from my CAR days (Children of the American Revolution) as well as some from recent trips of historical things I talked Cody into. It seems like such a simple thing to do, make a note. But, it’s so nice to have a place that when you are looking for things to scrapbook, you’ve got extra ideas.
Scrapbook Journaling Tip # 2
I also use the space in my planner to make notes about what I want to journal. Sometimes it’s long before I want to scrapbook the page. (And sometimes in that case, I put it on my cell phone.) In fact, I started a list of things I wanted to say about our year of concerts last year but couldn’t scrapbook the page yet because I knew we had more concerts to attend. I also keep my planner or a piece of scratch paper handy when I am scrapbooking so that I can jot down things I want to say when I get ready to complete the journaling.
Scrapbook Journaling Tip # 3
Write your journaling as if you are talking to the main character sitting beside you or in a letter. In this case, the main character of this story is my brother.
This layout makes me laugh every single time. I love this layout. And to be honest, I’m rather proud of this journaling. But, it was just me being me. It doesn’t get much more authentic than this. I simply set out to tell this story- or really to give my brother a hard time about it again. When I went to tell this story like we’d told it and laughed about it- like I’d already been giving him a hard time, it just poured out.
Journaling Reads: To my baby brother,We went out to eat today. You set yourself up for a reminder of one of your finest moments when you said you’d had too much tea. I couldn’t help it. I was reminded you of the call you had to make to Tracy. It’s funny to look back at these pictures and see how young you look. It doesn’t really seem like we’ve aged that much since 2004 but I guess we have. Of course, these pics are from several days after the infamous incident. We all got such a laugh out of you that night we drove 17 hours straight to Tampa. It was hilarious when you said you had to go potty and asked us to call Tracy and them in the other vehicle. Oh no, we weren’t going to call because you couldn’t hold your bladder. Of course, we made you call and had quite a laugh at your expense. We’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of that moment for many years now. Love, Your Sister- who will be reminding you of this incident for many years to come.
Scrapbook Page Ideas: Try looking for the stories that you tell over and over again. Shouldn’t they be in your scrapbooks?
Scrapbook Journaling Tip # 4
Tell someone what you are scrapbooking about. My husband gets to hear this all the time. Or if you’ve ever been at a retreat, you may have found yourself talking about what you are scrapbooking about. Even if you are alone, what would you tell someone? Why would you tell them this is the page you are scrapbooking right now? Why is is important?
Scrapbook Journaling Tip #5
Take a few queues from your pictures. How do they tie in together? What is the deal?
Sometimes we scrapbook pictures where the story might be well known to us. I totally get that all of these are baseball related and even more so that at least half relate to superstitions. But, no one else is going to really make that connection without some help.
Journaling Reads: Superstitious? Not Much? It’s the shoes. No, it’s the shirt. Don’t listen to Chuck Ragan. But, is Luther Dickinson Rally Music? Do they always win when I wear my purple bracelet? Is that why they lost in Natchitoches? And don’t talk about that bomb you want them to hit! That first “thingy”. Never jinx the team. No, I’m never superstitious in life- I don’t worry about black cats or throw salt over my shoulder. But, then there’s this game. Being superstitious is just a part of Baseball. And I suppose, for me, it’s a game within the game. It’s something I do for fun. I might wonder what whether listening to Lucero while watching a team from outside of Little Rock is bad baseball juju (at least it wasn’t Ben Nichols solo stuff). It might be an anecdotal observation like noticing that I’ve never watched the Royals lose in my “Royals Stadium Exclusive” shirt (which dates me and my Royals love.) But you know, it’s bad when you want to listen to Chuck Ragan but watch a team score 20 runs against your team. And fun, when they rally while listening to Luther Dickinson. And, if SFA will win if I wear my purple bracelet, I’ll wear it every game. This is baseball.
Scrapbooking Tip: Did you notice that when I added the journaling in this post I corrected wander to wonder. I don’t often go back to fix typos. It jumps out at me now, but it’s clear what I meant. I am not going to get fanatical about my layouts being perfect. That stress is a great way to suck the joy right on out of our hobbies.
Scrapbook Journaling Tip #6
Have Fun With It. Just say it. Let go of how it’s supposed to be. The journaling in the above layout isn’t going to win me any writing awards. And it would probably make my English teachers croak- most of my pages would. (And to be honest, I had one English Teacher I didn’t care for- maybe this is a way to get back at him?)
Do you know my mom is a teacher? She’s taught her share of English over the years and I can’t tell you how many time she corrected my grammar as a kid. Yet, when she reads my writing now, she doesn’t tell me that. It’s because like the rest of us, she’s caught up in the story.
The story is there and that’s what really matters to any of us.
Scrapbook Journaling Tip #7
Make Belief you’re telling a secret.
Speaking of having fun, this one here. Well it’s has to stay between us because my husband doesn’t need to know I’m having an affair. Okay? Seriously? Yes, even after 20 years of being with my husband, I’m still also seeing this guy too.
Journaling Reads: This is just between you and me. . . My husband knows about this guy, but has never caught me cheating with him. He’s “The Windshield Washer Dude”. I never know when I’m going to see him. Somehow, it’s always at the convenience store when we’re fueling our truck. He’s so kind. Whenever I see him, he tries to get my windows clean. Long before my husband and I were married, I figured out that when I flirt with this dude, he does a better job of cleaning my windows. So, it started as innocent flirting, but, as time has gone by, we’ve grown closer. Our moments together are always so brief, but filled with those flirtatious glances, special conversations, and an occassional kiss. It’s too bad I don’t get to see him more often. My mother-in-law has met him a couple of times. . . She’s watched us flirt. But, then, he cleaned her windows. I think she’s kinda fond of him too! But, she’s old enough to be his mother.He is so cute! I love his blue eyes and his smiles. I love the way he cleans my windshield and the faces he makes while cleaning it. I really must say, I love him dearly.If only we could get more alone time. But, drats ,my husband is never far away. It’s always that way. Thank goodness, my husband doesn’t realize that I’m flirting with him the entire time my husband is paying for our fuel or getting us snacks. Our love affair has been going on long before I ever married my husband and it’s still going strong.You know, speaking of my husband, you may have noticed that they share the same good looks. There’s a song called, “I married her because she looks like you.” Perhaps that explains why I married by husband- he looks a lot like The Windshield Washer Dude.Please don’t tell my husband that I’m having this secret love affair. . . I don’t want the magic of The Windshield Washer Dude to end. I love my husband, really I do. But, I sure do love this man as well. I guess somewhere, out there on the road, I gave him my heart.
Scrapbooking Journaling Tip #8
Tell the stories you love to tell. The ones you’re inspired to tell.
When that’s your starting point, when you only choose to scrapbook stories that matter to you, the journaling comes so much easier. Start looking at your pictures through the lens of the stories that matter. We can’t scrapbook it all. We might as well tell the stories that matter to us.
But, also it’s important to tell them when you are ready- when they are calling your name. Forcing your journaling isn’t doing you or those that will be enjoying your pages any favors. It’s when we end up with cookie cutter journaling or worse. So, scrapbook what you want, when you want.
Scrapbook Journaling Tip #9
How can you tie in current events and culture?
I have a layout about cell phones that mentions an episode of 90210 from back in the day with the huge cell phones. Which was like so 1900’s. (I say that and that little phrase, a story we heard during a Lucero show, is going to make it into my pages yet.) I have other with hashtags in them. And this one is framed completely around N.C.I.S. Which of course, my husband and I love- all of which is very much documented in my scrapbook pages. What shows do you love to watch. This story became about a “case”, a “mystery”. These are little ways you can add pieces of you, your interests, and your life into your journaling and stories.
Journaling Reads: The mystery became our case when we came around the corner and did not see any deer feeder. it took some serious sleuthing to find it. Our only clues- feeder legs and some mechanism parts. The hogs left a trail of parts leading towards the road and we used our best N.C.I.S. skills to find the feeder barrel which was dragged almost to the road. I took crime scene photos as we went. Gibbs trained us well.
This is Why Journaling Is So Important: The Why can’t be on any tag. We can add the who, what, when, and where to simple little tags or tabs. I did here. But that doesn’t tell the story. To really tell the story, you need the why.
Scrapbook Journaling Tip #10
Do your journal when you scrapbook the rest of the page.
Everyone I hear say that they’ll wait to do the journaling has pages and pages of unfinished or un-journaled layouts. I make it a rule that I will journal when I scrapbook the page. (I might have to read over it later if I’m at a retreat to double check it- and my friends know when I put my headphones in I’m journaling.) I don’t even think about it because it’s a part of the process. When you make it a habit like that, it just happens.
Scrapbook Journaling Tip #11
Include both the story and your thoughts about the story.
Most often I don’t split those two things up. Maybe I tell the story and then add my thoughts at the end. Or maybe I tell a portion of the story and what I thought about that part and then continue on with the story. But, you can also split it up. In this case, the story got kinda long. And I had a lot of stuff I wanted to say. It’s all about the discovery that I am distantly related to Tim McGraw, the country singer. (You can see how distantly with all those links on the bottom that chronicle the connection up and back down the family tree.)
And you know what? having that much journaling solved a big design problem for me. Most of those pictures at the top- the ones of various people along that connection- well they’re really low resolution. Rather than getting the originals from mom for the ones of my own side of the family, I downloaded them from Ancestry.com.
Journaling Reads: The Story 2/11/2011 I remember the night mom called to tell me our family was on TV. She said she was watching it and Tim McGraw was researching his family history. For some unknown reason, I actually asked mom if she was sure. Dumb! Must have been the shock of the call- totally unexpected. As soon as I asked it, I knew she had to know if she was saying it so definitely- it’s not something she’d take lightly. I tuned in immediately, mom quickly gave the run down. It started in Lee’s Summit with Breedens. . . and soon turned to family members mom’s already researched. We got off the phone when the commercial was over. The story line she gave me and the story line of the show quickly became familiar to me. . . I’d heard this family story before. Yogi Berra phrases come to mind to describe that moment. . it was deja vu all over again kind of material for sure. Totally surreal. I never thought we’d be ‘famous”. I never imagined seeing the land our ancestors settled on television. It was so neat but yet so unreal. It was hard to grasp it at the time- it still is today. Seeing the land, the documents, homes- more than I ever imagined watching on TV. From believing there were people in the TV and wondering where they went in Grandpa’s shop as a child, to seeing my people on TV. One of the funniest moments, though, was the show producers trying to build suspense into the show. I guess you could say mom long ago ruined the plot of the show for me. You see the Crismon’s line runs deep. In fact, Tim and I’s seventh great grandfather is in George Washington’s diary. Trust me, ask mom. She’ll tell you all about it for sure. She’s told me many times- neat facts and a little scandal. So, when they ask Tim whose diary it is that they are reading in the Library of Congress, I found myself screaming at the television, “George Washington!” while they went to commercial break as if it’s a cliff-hanger who wrote about our kin. If only I could have told my new found cousin through the tv- no need to to build the suspense, there wasn’t any for me. I don’t often post directly on Facebook, but I had to mention this! Besides, I wanted to make sure my cousins checked it out. Especially Tracy, she’s “endured” the George Washington diary tales too. (Mom, you know I’m kidding as I appreciate your research.) The next morning, I couldn’t wait to watch the full episode online. There were some clips that didn’t make the show the Crismon homesteads.
Random Thoughts Who knew all those years ago when I fell in love with “Indian Outlaw” and “Don’t take the Girl” that I was listening to a cousin- however distant. (After all, our kinship is through our sixth great grandparents). While I don’t take much stock in being kin to Tim other than it’s a fun thought, there are times when hearing his music that it seems a bit different since discovering he’s my cousin. Really, though, it’s the connection to Tug McGraw (the generation back) that interests me- the baseball fan. Tug McGraw would be the same generation as Mom, Uncle Gary, and my Cousin Danny. I quickly made this connection. . . For years all I knew about my Cousin Danny was that he’d played minor league ball for the Twins. It was about the only thing I could hang my hat on- knowing that if something happened to Mom and Dad we’d be sent to Danny’s house though we didn’t know him- Baseball I could connect with. Gary was quite a player in his own right. While Danny was a catcher, Gary was a pitcher like Tug. Danny and Gary played some pro-ball together. Interesting, isn’t it? Now, I think about the SFA game that I took Uncle Gary, Scott, and Justice to. I remember Gary talking about how the catcher Riley Huble reminded him of Danny and a little glimpse of what it was like when they played together. That game was three generations of Floyd men together at the game. But what’s interesting to me is how the love of Baseball follows us women too- my grandfather wasn’t into baseball though his brother’s were. (They’d take Gary and Mom to the games.) Mom and I could be classified as fanatics from an early age. But Grandma bloomed later. By the time I was halfway through Middle School, the bug and had bitten her. I’d hurry off the bus to watch Astros games with her. Perhaps I dwell on the Baseball, because I’m not absolutely sure the music side of things follows this line of my family tree- at least I don’t know about it. But, looking at the pictures I compiled for this layout and the connections, I can’t help but wonder at how all the generations come together- all the things our ancestors did for us. And about all my family tree- how each piece came together to create me- how much each triumph and struggle shaped our family. There’s a lot of power in that family tree- in knowing your ancestors and family history.
Scrapbook Journaling Tip #12
Always be thinking about the story that you are telling. From the moment I pick out what I’m going to be scrapbooking, I’m thinking about the story I want to tell. I think about what other stories link to the one I’m currently scrapbooking. I think about the things that happened that day, that trip, or that moment. I think about what was said. I think about what I felt in that moment and what I’m feeling as I put the page together. All those things prepare me to journal the story.
And sometimes, that’s before I usually journal- if it’s really hitting me, I stop to write it down, go ahead and add to the page, and/or make notes.
What tips for scrapbook journaling can you share with us? Do you struggle with journaling? What makes it hard for you?