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Monday, October 5, 2015

Journaling: The Power of the Pen

"If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive." Barry Lopez

Our pictures alone often only tell part of the story, and sometimes it's the tiny details that  aren't apparent from the image that will truly bring the memories to life. Journaling can often be the hardest thing to do when making albums, but it is a critical part of page completion  and one that should not be neglected. At the end of the day, it will be the stories and the photos that mean so much to you, not the embellishments and the paper choices you make, so try to at the very least include the who, what, when, where and why on your pages. These are often hard to remember as time passes which is why album making should be a part of your regular weekly regimen (just like exercise or grocery shopping), but if you can't make that work, keeping a journal is another good way to jot down things you worry will slip away. I often find myself accessing my journal to scrapbook because it's the tiny details that can get lost in the days and months that follow!

When making traditional scrapbook albums, I can think of several ways we can add journaling to our pages. I am sure there are many more, but I will talk about the following today:

1.) Titles made with bold tipped pens or ABC sticker letters
2.) Your own handwriting in caption form right on the page
3.) The creation of plain or decorative ruled journal boxes
4.) Full page spreads with nothing but your writing
5. )Print-outs of email messages or Facebook posts
6.) Detailed invitations or photos of venue/event signs

Let's start with the basics - the title of the page itself. Your handwriting in a bold pen is the easiest way to title a page, but you can also make it a bit more decorative using ABC letters or machine-cut letters on cardstock.

Your Own Handwriting on the Page
You don't need a formal journal box if you don't want one - feel free to write right there on your page. That is what is so great about the CM Group's white, spargo and natural refill pages. They provide a blank surface that you can use however you like to tell your story, and sometimes the easiest thing to do is to simply allow some room on your page to write around your photos themselves. At times I draw ruled lines to keep my handwriting in check, and other times I get creative and snip pieces of cardstock to make decorative shapes to journal on. I always make sure to only use the CM Group's acid-free and bleed resistant pens in my albums.

Journal Boxes
Placing journal boxes next to photos is a favorite method of mine. Some scrapbooking kits come with these or you can make your own using colored paper or cardstock. If your journal space is dark then  metallic silver or gold pens will be the best way to highlight your words.

Full Page Spreads of Writing
Quick captions are the most popular way to journal but sometimes you have a lot to say so a scrapbook page itself might be nothing but your own words. This type of page is pretty rare so don't be intimidated by it - you never know when you might need to do it yourself, however!

Typed Messages
Sometimes you've already told the story in print somewhere (perhaps in an email, on Facebook, or a blog post.) While your own handwriting is the preferred method of journaling as people who love you will love to see it, don't hesitate at times to print those pre-written words out and place them right there on the page! On other occasions I have incorporated page prints created digitally in my traditional albums for a sharp look.

Detailed invitations or photos of venue/event signs

Bring home the menu, save the invitation and take photos of venue signs if you want to be able to share the specifics of a certain event!

There are so many wonderful reasons to journal and so many ways to do it - can you think of any I haven't included here? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments and as always, keep scrappin'! Fran

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