Out of the habit of journaling...

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Posted 5/26/2011 by SDeven in General Scrappin'
 

SDeven
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Posted: 5/26/2011 10:09:59 AM
I used to take the story-telling side of scrapbooking so seriously...but lately, I've wimped out and just been using tiny snippets here and there. Still valuable but not story-rich like I used to.

I used to teach journaling. I used to tell my class people that writing was a muscle. When you use it, it grows stronger. When you don't, it turns to mush. I'm afraid mine has now turned to mush.

Do you have a source for prompts...what journaling scrapbookers do you armire?

Help! I want something deeper.






Tam2
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Posted: 5/26/2011 12:43:27 PM
Nope, I'm like you - I journal very little. I kinda take the easy road since I don't have any children to pass the memories on to - the problem will be me when I'm older, with less memory than I have now, trying to remember what was going on in those darn pictures!


Tami

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Philippians 4:8


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identicaltriplets
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Posted: 5/26/2011 1:22:16 PM
Well, I post faith prompts each week and have 76 thus far. However, I use the prompts in regular journals. Sometime my scrapbook pages have a lot of journaling but a lot of times not anymore either. I am taking an AMAZING art journaling class, and I am going to start doing most of my journaling there. I am loving that they are like Smash books but better for me. I am SO excited as this is the way to blend my art with my journaling!


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Meridy77
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Posted: 5/26/2011 1:27:11 PM
This isn't really a prompt, but more of a process that makes journaling on my layouts easier.

I try to go through my pictures on my camera every 2 weeks or so and do all of my journaling on 3x5 cards. I include the date, a possible page title, a note to remind myself if I have memorabilia to go on the page, and the journaling and/or lists (like a list of people who came to a birthday party, or the menu from Chritsmas dinner, etc). If I have a definate layout idea, I'll jot that down too. This way I don't forget any of the details between when I take the photos and when I scrap them (which might be years later). Then, when I'm scrapbooking the layouts, I don't even have to think about what I'm writing, I just re-copy my notes onto my layout.

I would love to find a resource for journaling prompts so I could include some "everyday" stories into my everyday layouts.



Seanna.
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Posted: 5/26/2011 1:45:54 PM
Story is my thing. I don't really follow anybody for their journaling but an approach I've been taking lately has been to ask my children about their thoughts after they look at the layout, not about the layout but about whatever it is depicting. The other day I did one about a trip to Graceland and I asked two of my daughters. Their responses were so very typical and telling, and indicative of their relationship with each other as sisters. It so happened that I had not gone on the trip so it wasn't something I felt qualified to tell the story about anyway.

Let me see if I can link it. I am just so proud that I used the elvis paper and button things from 2006. I never buy that stuff but I was DETERMINED to use it and I finally broke down and did it. The very best thing about this layout, by far, is the journaling.





Anyway, hopefully you can read it. I have been doing things like that lately---going back and scrapbooking what I feel like from several years ago or even longer, and journaling whatever strikes me about it, which usually includes the perspective of time. I usually put the year/date of the photos and then the date of the "story" too.

I am finding this to be pretty satisfying---if you are doing older stuff sometimes, maybe give it a try?


When I went to edit my signature, the "Edit Signature" title was spelled wrong. So that was distracting and I forgot what I wanted my new signature to be.

identicaltriplets
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Posted: 5/26/2011 2:38:55 PM

I would love to find a resource for journaling prompts so I could include some "everyday" stories into my everyday layouts.


Meridy, get the book title "To Our Children's Children" by Bob Greene. It is nothing but questions. A HUGE and wonderful resource! I got mine free from Paperbackswap.


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birukitty
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Posted: 5/26/2011 3:40:24 PM
Just a reminder on the importance of journaling-I'm a perfectionist. In the last few years (I started scrapping in 1998) I've made my page and then kept telling myself "I'll do the journaling later", because in my mind it had to be perfect.

Over a year ago I had some medical treatments and I lost a lot of my memory. To the point where I can't remember 2008 at all, not to mention lots of other things. I do remember my family of course and most things too, but whatever I held in my memory-lots of that is gone.

How I wish I'd done the journaling on those albums before! We never know what is going to happen to us in the future. In a blink of an eye one of us could be in a car accident and sustain brain injury-just something to think about.

Debbie in MD.

birukitty
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Posted: 5/26/2011 3:55:02 PM
PS. I didn't mean to be such a "Debbie Downer" with my post above. I was just relating my experience and how I learned a very important lesson. God forbid any of us every experiences that type of injury.

Debbie in MD.

PS Meridy-I love your idea about journaling on cards soon after taking the photos. That is brilliant! I'm going to try in incorporate your idea after my next shooting session.


JannyGirl
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Posted: 5/26/2011 4:09:25 PM
I don't actually "follow" anyone, so I can't answer that part of your question. I am writing a series of journaling articles for another forum, and I have taught scrapbooking and stamping classes also. One of the suggestions I always give to people who are having difficulty with journaling is to start with the 5 Ws: Who, what, when, where, and why. If you begin there, and try to expand a little bit on the "why" (i.e. why you took the photo), I think you will find that journaling might not be quite such a daunting task.

Debbie, I'm so sorry to hear about your memory loss. That must be a very challenging thing to cope with. I don't think you're a "downer" for mentioning it. I think you have reminded us of just how important it is to document our memories with journaling as well as photos.

Happy writing, everyone!



TravelAgent
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Posted: 5/26/2011 5:39:06 PM
I can't help you. I don't use my scrapbooks for storytelling in words. My philosophy is that you can see the photos, see the expressions and pretty much figure out what's going on.

Maybe I just take photos that are too obvious?!

Anyhow, if you are in a cycle where storytelling isn't your thing, go with it. This is a hobby, not a command.

Julie

SDeven
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Posted: 5/26/2011 6:16:57 PM

The other day I did one about a trip to Graceland and I asked two of my daughters. Their responses were so very typical and telling, and indicative of their relationship with each other as sisters.

That's a great idea, Seanna. I think I'll try that. And cute that one was looking for an "American experience" and the other was remembering the "stolen" tank top. Very cool.


I can't help you. I don't use my scrapbooks for storytelling in words. My philosophy is that you can see the photos, see the expressions and pretty much figure out what's going on.

I guess I'm kindof the opposite. I couldn't care less about the strawberry birthday cake...and the 6 gifts...I wanna know (save) the backstory...the story you *can't* know from just looking at the pictures.

Like the story of your friendship with the little girl who was at the birthday party that year, who passed away the next. Or that grandma sew and sew made you a hat to wear on your birthday. Or that Fourth of July picnic where your father broke his shoulder trying to show you how to slide down the slip n slide.

I have this picture that I used to share in my classes of a big wooden cross on the front of a church building. As an excercise, I ask "what's the significance of this photo?" Invariably, they all come up with something...it's a church...you got married there...it's a symbol of faith...etc. This excercise illustrated that without the backstory, photos can quickly lose their value. No one would ever know that my father was a highly-skilled craftsman who was commissioned to build the cross that hangs on the fornt of the church. It's beautiful. It's a symbol of my faith. I got married there. But to me, it's special because of my very personal, very unsee-able connection to the man who hand-crafted it. Without the story, it's just some wood in the shape of a cross.


I don't think you're a "downer" for mentioning it. I think you have reminded us of just how important it is to document our memories with journaling as well as photos.

Absolutely!






cropduster
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Posted: 5/26/2011 7:06:25 PM
Lately I've been trying to journal in the way that you describe. I love backstories. There are so many old pictures that are in boxes at my moms. On the back are comments like "Christmas 1958". What I want to know are some of the things said or done by the people at that gathering. One picture is one of my mom as a child. She is wearing a cute dress. One story my mom recently shared with me is that her mom used to make her Easter dresses and they always had to be in yellow. I would have never known that if she did not tell me that and I am determined to tell that story in a layout of that picture so future generations will know.

Debbie, thank you for reminding us the importance of telling your stories. I hope things are improving for you and you are good as new.

I wonder if we should start a journaling challenge of some sort?


cropduster

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

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Posted: 5/27/2011 12:02:22 AM

Lately I've been trying to journal in the way that you describe. I love backstories. There are so many old pictures that are in boxes at my moms. On the back are comments like "Christmas 1958". What I want to know are some of the things said or done by the people at that gathering. One picture is one of my mom as a child. She is wearing a cute dress. One story my mom recently shared with me is that her mom used to make her Easter dresses and they always had to be in yellow. I would have never known that if she did not tell me that and I am determined to tell that story in a layout of that picture so future generations will know.

Debbie, thank you for reminding us the importance of telling your stories. I hope things are improving for you and you are good as new.




I just spent the week with my mom who is recovering from surgery. We were looking at old pictures. We had everything from my great-grandparents wedding to my grandmother's childhood photos to my teen photos. I had to ask who some of the people were in the vintage photos. My mom also had some great stories that I want to get down. For example, my sister and I were born 16 months apart. In alot of the photos, my sister had yellow on and I had on blue. My mom said that those were our favorite colors. I have 2 DDs that are 15 months apart - their favorite colors are - wait for it - yellow and blue.


- Renee

identicaltriplets
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Posted: 5/27/2011 6:08:59 AM

I wonder if we should start a journaling challenge of some sort?


You are certainly welcome to look at my faith related prompts and there are some fun questions we got from a school project too. Here are the links:

Faith Journaling Prompts

Family Member Journaling Prompts

You can also search the web for 'journaling prompts' or 'journaling jar' and get a BUNCH of prompts that way too. Hope that helps!


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cropduster
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Posted: 5/27/2011 10:56:57 AM
Thanks identicaltriplets!


cropduster

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identicaltriplets
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Posted: 5/27/2011 11:25:53 AM

Thanks identicaltriplets!


You are welcome!


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crimsoncat05
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Posted: 5/27/2011 11:52:18 AM
I think journaling can be different, depending on what the picture is of, or why you took the picture, if you will... most of my pictures are from trips, pictures of our dogs/cats, the house, yard, etc. "Scenic" pictures from a trip don't get much journaling from me, because they're just a "pretty" picture and the rest of the layout shows and tells why and when we were there.

I have started doing more "heart-felt" layouts and journaling, like this page: You where the photo doesn't go with the journaling at all. The photo was from a vacation we took a couple years ago, but I scrapped it separately because I didn't want to talk about the vacation on this layout, and the "feelings" that I journaled would have been kinda out of place amongst the pics of the trip.

I've also started writing the "why" behind some of the pics, too, like here: Tombstone layout- border patrol and balloon. The photos aren't visually interesting at all, really, but I had specific reasons I took them relating to the issues surrounding border security and how it feels to live close to a border with a foreign country. Without the journaling, those pics wouldn't make ANY sense to anyone (including me, in a few years, the way my memory is...)

I do agree, though, that these kinds of things get harder to remember, the farther back in time the photos go...

maybe the thing is to think about the story kind of separate from the photos, and don't worry so much if you don't have the "perfect" photo or photos to illustrate the story?? Tell the story anyway? And, also, I'm trying to journal more in my "authentic voice" which is short phrases, run-on sentences and sort of a sarcastic, funny edge. I don't do a lot of word-intensive "story-telling" on my layouts, because that just wouldn't be "me." Maybe story-rich journaling isn't "you" any more, either?? nothing wrong with that, I don't think!

(although I have lots of photos that still I'm waiting for "the right thing to say about them" or stories I want to scrapbook, but haven't because they don't have photos... apparently I need to take my own advice, too!!)



"Accepting anything without question is the antithesis of critical thinking and education. ~wren*walk, 8/20/12"


birukitty
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Posted: 5/27/2011 4:13:49 PM
Awww, thanks for all of the love and best wishes! I've made my peace with the memory loss and whenever I feel frustrated about it, I just tell myself, "things could be worse, count your blessings."

Debbie in MD.


Meridy77
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Posted: 5/27/2011 4:47:44 PM
identical triplets- thank you for the book suggestion, I'm going to go on-line and look for it, and I'm going to also check out your faith journaling prompts!

Debbie in MD-I'm glad my idea was helpful to you. And I don't think you are a "downer" either! We never know what life will bring from day to day...you have a very good "count your blessings" attitude about the situation.




thenancyrd
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Posted: 5/27/2011 6:24:55 PM
Very thought-provoking post. Meridy, that is a great idea and one I am going to start doing. Not sure if I will do it on index cards, or incorporate into a journal/diary. Debbie, hugs to you. My Mom died of Alzheimers which runs in my family, and my greatest fear. But you are dealing with memory loss now... I take my hat off to you and I will do a better job to remember to count my blessings, now, as you are doing. Seanna, that journaling cracked me up! but seriously just goes to show how we all have different viewpoints on life. Off to look up "To Our Children's Children"! Have a great weekend


~Nancy

New for 2013... scrap more, read more, run more, enjoy more... worry less


EllenPea
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Posted: 5/28/2011 12:05:34 AM
Being a writer for a living (in public relations and previously in journalism), I am very journaling oriented on my LOs. Most of it is prompted by the basic five W's and an H (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How), but I have a few other "rules."

1. When journaling about a place, I tell a little of the history of the place. For instance, my most recent LOs were about casinos in Las Vegas, so between three of them, I described how some of the casinos are old and built in a different style, some are very new, and The Mirage, built 22 years ago, is one of the casinos that serves as a bridge between the old and new. I mentioned the casinos Las Vegas has torn down, and some of the newer casinos by name, even though we didn't visit them.

2. When journaling about my SKs or DGD, I try to include something about how we felt about the day.

3. If I'm doing any LO enough in the future that things have changed, I update the situation. For instance, a LO of my SKs when they were 4 and 6, I said "When H and J were teenagers, they went here and ___. But on this day, having been much younger, they were content to merely___." Or, I went to this place, and then three days later, ___ happened there."




EllenPea
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Posted: 5/28/2011 12:05:42 AM
Being a writer for a living (in public relations and previously in journalism), I am very journaling oriented on my LOs. Most of it is prompted by the basic five W's and an H (Who, What, When, Where, Why and How), but I have a few other "rules."

1. When journaling about a place, I tell a little of the history of the place. For instance, my most recent LOs were about casinos in Las Vegas, so between three of them, I described how some of the casinos are old and built in a different style, some are very new, and The Mirage, built 22 years ago, is one of the casinos that serves as a bridge between the old and new. I mentioned the casinos Las Vegas has torn down, and some of the newer casinos by name, even though we didn't visit them.

2. When journaling about my SKs or DGD, I try to include something about how we felt about the day.

3. If I'm doing any LO enough in the future that things have changed, I update the situation. For instance, a LO of my SKs when they were 4 and 6, I said "When H and J were teenagers, they went here and ___. But on this day, having been much younger, they were content to merely___." Or, I went to this place, and then three days later, ___ happened there."




Meridy77
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Posted: 5/28/2011 1:10:32 AM
Oh EllenPea,
I love the approaches you have...especially about the history of the places and things! I'm not very good at writing, but I could add a short history of the place/development/etc. I think our kids/future generations will find things like cell phones, computers, and technology of today fascinating 20+ years from now. I'm sure it will give them a chuckle! (Like those old "brick" cell phones from the 90's.) Writing for a living has given you an excellent point of view when it comes to journaling for you scrapbooks. I could learn alot from you Thank you for sharing.



pennyscraps
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Posted: 5/28/2011 7:51:47 AM
Sarah, first of all I want to say that I am so glad you are here. I think of Nashville still and how broken-hearted you were after the floods. I love that you are scrapping and that your beloved city is healing.

I don't want to go all Dr. Phil, but I think the journaling bubbles out of the overflow of the story we carry in our heart. You have a voice. You have a story to tell. When I journal, I write out the feelings. I really focus on the feelings.

WHY did I take that photo? What made me go grab my camera? WHY did I want to scrap this? WHAT do I want them to know/remember? What do I want to remember? What do I want to tell them about all of this?

And what I have found is that my teenage sons don't give a fig about the paper or the embellishments, but they will fight over who gets to hold the book and read the story first. And that compels me to keep fighting to get the story out - to know that it has value, to know that it is worth the time and effort to lay it out, to let it sit, to re-read it, to edit it, to make space for it on the page, to be okay with putting in print what I think and feel.

I don't "work fast". My pages come together because they percolate in my head. I process through what I want them to look like, what I want to say, how I want those two to marry....

On a practical side, if you are wanting to flex your muscles, try making lists or giving quizzes. Q & A and bullet listing are great ways to get your thoughts down without worrying about flow and cohesion.

It is like riding a bike. You may need to oil your chain and you may be a little wobbly at first, but it will come back to you and before long you'll be gliding effortlessly by.

sugaredsongbird
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Posted: 5/28/2011 10:57:32 AM
I don't have much to add, except a thank you for the great reminders and helpful ideas!


~Jen

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Gem Girl
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Posted: 5/29/2011 2:50:49 AM
SDeven, as usual, you've added a wise & thoughtful piece to the board; thank you. There's a member of my family who's gone to great lengths to document our geneology, but the stories of what went on during people's lives are what friends & families will tell & remember, I think. It's been that way throughout history. And I think that makes for good journaling.

Ali Edwards
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Posted: 5/31/2011 9:00:52 AM
I read this thread last week and started thinking about some of my favorite everyday journaling prompts/jumpstarts. I put together a list and shared it on my blog here: journaling prompts

And Sarah - I go through phases with journaling too. Sometimes it's richer with more "meat" and other times it's just little snippets of life gathered here and there. In the overall scheme I like the mixture of both.



pennyscraps
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Posted: 6/1/2011 9:03:43 AM
Wow, Ali - great blog prompts!! Thanks!!

click2scrap
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Posted: 6/1/2011 11:48:19 AM
Sarah, thank you for this thread. Thank you to everyone who has contributed ideas! Ali, thank you for the PDF--I have printed it out and it is going at the front of my ideas folder.

Seanna, I love how you included your children's perspective. I am going to do that more often.

My latest method for tackling journaling is to use plain journaling cards [BH project life 3"x 4" journaling cards that come in packs of 100] and just write down what the kids just said that made me laugh. Or what the weather is that day and how it makes me feel. How I feel about the latest news headline.It is more of a diary style. I date the cards and I file them with my photos in chrono order. I am thinking of using Stacy Julian's LOM category drawers. If I am going to put pictures in the category drawers, why not put thoughts in there as well? Maybe in five years I can make a page about the way winter makes me feel using all of my journaling cards on the LO???? [Brainstorming aloud here].

Anyway, Sarah, I think you have some wonderful suggestions here. I wish you the best with your journaling journey.


Clickin' & Scrappin' since 2001

SDeven
Love Letters Pea

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Posted: 6/1/2011 8:20:59 PM
Oh wow. This is why I love 2peas.

I went away for the weekend and just got back to this thread now and yes, it has helped me so much. Thank you all so much.


maybe the thing is to think about the story kind of separate from the photos, and don't worry so much if you don't have the "perfect" photo or photos to illustrate the story?? Tell the story anyway? And, also, I'm trying to journal more in my "authentic voice" which is short phrases, run-on sentences and sort of a sarcastic, funny edge. I don't do a lot of word-intensive "story-telling" on my layouts, because that just wouldn't be "me." Maybe story-rich journaling isn't "you" any more, either?? nothing wrong with that, I don't think!
That's kindof how I write on my personal blog...lots of ellipsis points...lots of run on sentences. For whatever it's worth, I've found it difficult to blog lately too. Maybe it is just a phase. I hope so because I'm just not prepared to not be a writer. My father is a poet and I have always walked in his footsteps that way...


Sarah, first of all I want to say that I am so glad you are here. I think of Nashville still and how broken-hearted you were after the floods. I love that you are scrapping and that your beloved city is healing.

Thank you pennyscraps. I was really in the dumps for a while...maybe this is just the last hurdle. You are the sweetest for remembering.


And what I have found is that my teenage sons don't give a fig about the paper or the embellishments, but they will fight over who gets to hold the book and read the story first. And that compels me to keep fighting to get the story out - to know that it has value, to know that it is worth the time and effort to lay it out, to let it sit, to re-read it, to edit it, to make space for it on the page, to be okay with putting in print what I think and feel.

I don't "work fast". My pages come together because they percolate in my head. I process through what I want them to look like, what I want to say, how I want those two to marry....

Very good advice. I think I have been in a hurry. Just need to slow down and absorb, before trying to create.

I think we all know that sometimes art is easy and "just flows" and sometimes it's more like giving birth...a little painful and alot of work...before the love.


SDeven, as usual, you've added a wise & thoughtful piece to the board; thank you. There's a member of my family who's gone to great lengths to document our geneology, but the stories of what went on during people's lives are what friends & families will tell & remember, I think. It's been that way throughout history. And I think that makes for good journaling.

Thank you and I totally agree.

Now I have to go check out Ali's blog and the other links that sweet peas have sent over...thank you so much, y'all.






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