Feb 3, 2010

Scrapbooking: streamlining your journaling

Whew! It feels funny to be writing about something other than Disney World! I've finally rejoined the land of Real Life, where I'm not surrounded by people in giant rodent costumes and I'm back to buckling in with a seatbelt instead of waiting for a black bar to lower into my lap to keep me safe.

I thought I'd jump back into regular blogging with another post about a key element of scrapbooking: journaling.

When we're on a trip like the one we just took, I take a few notes every night about what we did and things the kids said. I write them on Post-it Notes, and then I stick the notes in with the pictures when they arrive from KodakGallery ... or if it's going to be a few weeks before I order the pictures, I go ahead and tuck the Post-its on the first page in our family album so they'll be there when I get to work. I have a terrible memory, but even if you don't, that makes journaling easier in the long run.

As far as how to journal on the page, I used to leave a lot more room on my pages than I do now. Now I try to fit more pictures on a page, but I still journal what's important (names, dates, funny quotes).

I used to journal under each photo on a page in detail. For example, below I noted who each child is, who they were dressed up as, where we went trick-or-treating, etc. It's great to have all of that information, but it also mucks up the look of the page a little bit. GRANTED, this isn't one of my better layouts. It's plain-Jane and I didn't even use any mounting paper ... I barely embellished it at all. (Dollars to doughnuts this was the fourth Halloween layout for 2008 ... by the time I get to the fourth book, I'm usually tapped out.)

Even as recently as Halloween 2009, I still journaled some under the pictures on the bottom, because I wanted Nathaniel to be able to recognize his friends in 20 years by first and last name. As little room as I left on this page for journaling, I ended up putting the boys' costume information right there in the title bar.

But what you will find on almost ALL of my pages these days are journaling boxes. Instead of journaling below individual pictures, I try to capture the main points in a single box so that it's all in one place and it doesn't detract from the pictures on the page.

This particular page was part of a four-page layout, so the title is on the facing page.

I don't use pre-printed journaling boxes, since I prefer to make my own. But you certainly can ... I know that Creative Memories sells them, and I'm pretty sure I've seen them in Hobby Lobby and Michael's, too.

The most important thing is to remember to journal at ALL! You think you'll remember the little details later, but you really don't. It's such a pleasure for me to sit down and read about what Nathaniel and Nicholas were doing when they were Jake's age, because so much is the same but so much is different. With the jumbled state my mind is usually in, I can't remember details like that to save my life!


Wendy said...

Great journaling tips ~ especially the jotting down every night during a trip! There is so much going on it's hard to remember it all. Looks like a fun trip to Disney ~ we are contemplating a trip in FEB maybe. We NEED to get out of the cold midwest and get a little heat:) Thanks for swinging by my blog! Yours is adorable!

RLR said...

I like the idea of journaling on the title bar! It's something I'd never have thought to do, but what a great idea. I'm a bit of a stick-in-the mud with the new ideas... I'm with you on the journaling boxes. The pre-printed ones (especially die cuts) are pretty, but they don't work for me. I also love the natural and spargo pages because they don't need extra photo mats to look great!

Heidi said...

What is the best way to learn how to scrapbook?? I am creative but have never scrapbooked. Can it be done online and or hard copies as well?

Katherine @ Grass Stains said...

RLR, I'm thinking about swinging WAY away from my norm and doing BLACK pages for our Disney album! I haven't used black pages in years, but the colors pop so well off of them that I'm really excited about trying them for this special album. Since I use journaling boxes almost exclusively now, I don't have to worry about journaling in silver pen on the black pages ... which is what I didn't like when I used them before. Wish me luck!

Heidi, you can scrapbook in digital albums OR traditional hard copy albums. I have done both. I LOVE traditional scrapbooking and will probably never quit ... it's like therapy for me. I just relax and enjoy myself so much while I do it. But either is great ... it's preserving the memories that matters! If you want to try the traditional approach, I'd recommend going to a Creative Memories class at someone's house (you can find a consultant on their Web site to hook you up). That would familiarize you with their products AND show you the general ways to get started on your pages. In the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be writing a post about using templates and showing examples of those, since a lot of people showed interest recently. If you were in Birmingham, I'd just invite you over to get you started. You're not, are you?

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