I love that our favorite scrapbook store is called Scrappin' Happily Ever After. It is the perfect play on words for the ending of a great story. Within our card making and scrapbooking, we are in essence telling part of the story of our lives. Through cards we make connections with the key characters in our life. With scrapbooking we are preserving the plots and events of our lives. This made me think of how we "tell" the story. Of course we use pictures and beautiful elements to convey information and a mood. In addition we also must use words. This reminded me of the often dreaded "j" word -- journaling. Some find journaling to be intimidating, perhaps because it seems so permanent, it is personal, or hard to word things just so.
Often at the crops, I see people working on various projects. One thing I noticed was how often people work on scrapbook pages but do not add journaling. It is not uncommon to hear "I'm going to add the journaling later." For scrapbookers, it seems one of the most challenging parts of the page is the journaling. I cannot count the amount of times I have heard people say (including myself), "I hate my handwriting."
This made me think of how we are often our own worst critic. When you see other people's pages, do you think "Gosh, their handwriting stinks!"? What do you think when you see your parents' or grandparents' handwriting? Isn't it neat to see what their writing looked like, whether it was an example of beautiful penmanship or whether it took some deciphering to figure out their version of script?
Of course, there are pros and cons to having both typed and handwriting elements. Typed journaling is often neater. It can be formatted in a font to go with the theme of the page from something professional and clean, to something more whimsical and fun. Typed journaling also allows us to fit more text in a smaller space. Written journaling has a much more personal and homemade feeling to it. For certain projects that we are doing, we may want this feeling expressed through the way we do our journaling. Consider the audience of the project. This may help you determine the best type of journaling.
Challenge yourself to think about journaling a bit differently:
- Consider drafting out your journaling comments on scratch paper before you do the page to help set the tone of the page layout and elements you use.
- What elements need to be included? Who? What? Where? When?
- Do not limit yourself to full sentences. Bullet lists can often convey information for many pages.
- If you tend to type your comments consider adding some handwritten elements. For example, type out the larger journaling block/story, but add in smaller handwritten elements. You can also type out journaling, but leave out spaces for key words you want to highlight and add those in your own handwriting.
- Use a pen in your Cricut or Silhouette machine to add some whimsical journaling elements that are not typed or handwritten.
- Journal along a curvy border strip or around the edge of one of your page elements.
- One of Ivy's cool techniques in the classes is to use coordinating strips of papers placed around the page for journaling elements. This is a great way to incorporate handwriting in smaller doses. :-)
Scrappin' Happily Ever After has many tools that can help you present your journaling in it's best form.
- S.H.E.A had the best gel pens. Use a fun pen color instead of sticking to the same old black pen. :-)
- Several lines have coordinating journal spots and tags you can incorporate into your pages.
- Use some of the lined, ledger type papers to create multiple journaling blocks in the sizes you need. Think outside of the square box and use cool punch shapes with lined paper. Punch the edges of journaling pieces with a cool detail.
- Tiny Alphabet Stickers: There are many lines of tiny letters now that can be used to create entire sentences.
- Use the Dymo label maker for that old school look.
- Stamp journaling blocks, use a time/date stamp, or use tiny alphabet stamps to create sentences or bullet lists.
- Use templates to draw or paint journaling spaces onto your page.
- Use decorative brads of other embellishments as part of a bullet list, add stamps or sticker elements within your handwriting to bling up your journaling space.
No matter what journaling techniques or methods you use, make sure you go back and add the journaling if you do decide to leave this part of your project until later. I am sure we have all had times where we thought we would remember details, only to forget them later. If you are going to postpone the official journaling, jot down notes or draft out your journaling on a large sticky note to keep with your page or sets of pictures as you get them printed. That way you are sure to capture all the sentiments and memories you intended to when you add your final journaling elements.
Share your journaling techniques and tips with us. How do you prefer to journal? What tips or suggestions have you found helpful in your own journaling practices that might help others?