Anyone Scrapbook More For the Stories and Less For the Pretty Pages?

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Posted 1/26/2013 by TACK in General Scrappin'


PeaNut 177,299
November 2004
Posts: 1,142
Layouts: 58
Loc: East Coast USA

Posted: 1/26/2013 6:33:02 PM
Having just come off of a loooooong scrapbook hiatus I'm paying close attention to WHY I am drawn to this hobby and how to make it the most enjoyable during the limited time I have each week. I realized after doing my first traditional LO in a couple of years that while it was fun to make - and I think it looks pretty- I am left feeling like, "what's the point?"

This is not to disparage anyone at all so please don't misunderstand me. I think it's very cool for people to do hundreds of 12x12 pages a year and derive immense satisfaction with them. I just don't from the few that I have done.

So it got me thinking, why do I do this at all? And I have realized:

1. I love paper and stickers. It's really that simple. When I was little I wrote hundreds of letters to my friends and I loved picking out new stationary and stamps.

2. I love photography.

3. I love to write and I enjoy history.

The third point is where the big, beautiful, artistic pages dont work for me. I realize now that I enjoy looking at other people's work, the same way I look at art, but I don't enjoy my own nearly as much. I have never considered myself an artist

Interestingly, a little while before PL came out I began scrapping in a regular photo album. I loved it. I used some spaces for writing and some for photos. It was so freeing to me! I love PL now as well.

Scrapping for me this time around is going to look very different. A lot less about the art and a lot more about the photos and especially the stories. I haven't made many mini-albums but I think I am going to attempt a few digitally. I may never make a page larger than 8x8 again, focus on PL - style albums and just have a regular album for bigger photos.

Anyone else doing something similar?


PeaNut 454,238
January 2010
Posts: 4,328
Layouts: 69
Loc: Central Louisiana

Posted: 1/26/2013 7:38:40 PM
Everyone finds what works for them and everyone is different. I used to labor over my pages wanting them to be perfect. Then, one day I realized that I was focusing on the art rather than the journaling and memory keeping. I was really paper crafting. So, I'm trying to focus more on journaling and memory keeping. Shimelle has influenced me in the arena of journaling all over the pages I make. Another thing I'm having fun with, is project life. PL focuses more on the everyday happenings rather than beautiful pages.

Glad you found something that works for you! That is truly the most important thing.

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PeaNut 256,534
April 2006
Posts: 3,577
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/26/2013 8:19:06 PM
I, too, focus on the words. I teach English, write poetry and stories, and love to craft the words in my layouts. It's really an art itself. It keeps me scrapping more than anything. I wish someone would have collected the stories of my childhood and I want my dd to have that later in life.

That said, I love buying and using the stuff, too. I have lately done 8x8 with one page of photos and embellishments with the opposite page just the story with some embellishments. It's been working for awhile.

I do appreciate other scrappers' layouts with the artistry evident. My dad was a painter and collage artist and I grew up with a lot of that. I love looking at Pinterest layouts and altered art or mixed media.

Glad you have figured out your next step. Evolving is also part of art, I think!

Gone Walkabout

PeaNut 4,068
April 2000
Posts: 10,438
Layouts: 214
Loc: Aussie in SC. USA

Posted: 1/26/2013 8:20:32 PM
I pretty much did the same thing as you, and started scrapping again just recently. It got to the same point for me and I asked the exact same question.

So in trying to figure out why I was drawn to it, I realized basically the same things, I love history and photography but I love creating, I used to be involved in fine arts, so for me the process is purely for art.

While I love the stories, and family memories, I figured I could do that in a regular album. My final conclusion was to start something similar to pl to get photos organized, but with a mix in of scrap pages to satisfy my artistic side.

I'm going with the flow pretty much. Photos that are good and have a story but are not inspiring, will be pl'd and those I am inspired by for an artistic quality will be scrapped.

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PeaNut 272,082
August 2006
Posts: 586
Layouts: 0
Loc: Midwest

Posted: 1/27/2013 12:52:23 AM
I think I've finally come to realize that it's okay for me not to create trendy, artistic layouts. I have zero artistic talent and I really don't like to write that much either. I've tried to do some of the trendy stuff, but that isn't me either. I love to see it when other people do it, but I just can't seem to pull it off and I'm done trying.

I'm all about the cut titles and a couple of journaling boxes. I've thought about PL and even bought some binders and sleeves, but I'm not so sure about that either. Maybe I should just go back to the magnetic pages. I at least use to get my photos in an album!



PeaNut 120,429
December 2003
Posts: 1,089
Layouts: 3

Posted: 1/27/2013 6:11:18 AM
I love playing with paper and ink, but, that being said, i'm not 'artsy'. I always say I scrap more like an engineer than an artist. I do mini books which tend to be more 'creative', and 12 x 12's, but even my 12 x 12s aren't 100% scrapped pages any more. I scrap title pages, chapter pages, and put most of the supporting photos in divided pages between them.

Captions get written right on the photos with a photo pen.

If I just have a little bit of story, then it goes in one of the divisions on the divided pages. If I have a LOT of story, it gets printed from the computer and 'bound' into the album either in 8.5 x 11 page protectors, or just punched.


PeaNut 260,218
May 2006
Posts: 2,153
Layouts: 31
Loc: Missouri

Posted: 1/27/2013 8:45:29 AM
I think you can do both. I love the pretty goodies, but I also scrap meaningful stories and never scrap just to scrap i.e. use up product. I do about 60-75 layouts each year and 2-3 mini albums.


PeaNut 56,444
November 2002
Posts: 1,047
Layouts: 7
Loc: Some where near by!

Posted: 1/27/2013 9:08:47 AM
I think I might be right in line with you. I love photography, I love history, especially my own families history, and I love writing. But I also love the creative side of this hobby, the pretty papers and stickers. But I am in no means all about those beautifully done scrapbook pages that look like they took days to do. I've tried to be that and it's just not me!

I can't even do a page with just a title And no journaling! it just feels wrong! Because I'm a writer at heart and want to tell the story.

So while I like my pages to look nice, I don't agonize over them, and as long as what I want to convey and say are on the page, I'm happy! And I too have turned to using more of the page protectors with the pockets for some events and adding the story to them. It's whatever works for you!

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PeaNut 177,299
November 2004
Posts: 1,142
Layouts: 58
Loc: East Coast USA

Posted: 1/27/2013 10:29:18 AM
I love all of these variations on the traditional LO's. I just had an aha moment when someone mentioned putting the large LO's in between the pocket pages. That may be the way to go for my PL album.


PeaNut 412,905
February 2009
Posts: 1,708
Layouts: 5

Posted: 1/27/2013 4:04:40 PM
I enjoy looking at and admiring arty pages, but I'm a simple scrapper and don't have a lot of embellishment on my pages. I scrap for the memories and the story telling is important for me.

Baby Pea Step

PeaNut 576,554
January 2013
Posts: 1
Layouts: 0

Posted: 1/27/2013 9:30:12 PM
Me too, me too!!

I just came off of a scrapbook hiatus of 6 years but I was always a simple scrapbook kinda gal.

I think a hybrid PL with a dose of "regular" 8x8 or 12x12 is the route I'm gonna take too! So glad to know I'm in good company
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Manic Mom of 2

PeaNut 274,243
August 2006
Posts: 11,866
Layouts: 473
Loc: Northeast

Posted: 1/27/2013 9:49:07 PM
I don't scrap for the pretty page. I scrap the memories. Mostly the stories, occasionally just a great photo. Some of my pages I love, some not so much. But, if the story is told or the moment captured then I am happy.

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Pea with a Pen

PeaNut 70,644
February 2003
Posts: 19,346
Layouts: 785
Loc: Southern California

Posted: 1/27/2013 10:54:08 PM
It is definitely about the memories for me, although more the photos than the stories behind them. Pretty pages are nice, but most of the pages I do are not about that.


PeaNut 431,787
July 2009
Posts: 64
Layouts: 0
Loc: craft room, Minnesota

Posted: 1/27/2013 11:18:44 PM
I love pretty pages, paper, ink, markers, EVERYTHING! Some of my pages are pretty pages, but some of them are mostly photos and memories. I often head off into a history or geography side trip! An example would be some photos I took of a rededication ceremony of a parkway & monument a block from my house. It was originally dedicated to WW1 veterans who had died in the County. They had information on the role of women in WW1. I used my pictures, brochures, but also did more research on women serving in WW1. I want my children and grandchildren to use my scrapbooks to learn what has been important to me, what I value. In the end, I LOVE this hobby!

Photo HapPEA!

PeaNut 110,614
October 2003
Posts: 9,115
Layouts: 326
Loc: Ã…rhus, Denmark

Posted: 1/28/2013 2:08:07 AM
I am all about the story.

I love photography, and I love to scrap pretty photos with pretty paper. However, recently I've overcome the pretty and found the heart. More of those photos that kept getting pushed aside because of looks are now getting scrapped. And frequently I'm looking for the photo to pair with the story.

8.5x11" pages in 2014 -- 31


PeaNut 433,880
August 2009
Posts: 565
Layouts: 0
Loc: NW Ohio

Posted: 1/28/2013 3:05:13 AM
That's the great thing about scrapbooking. No "right" answer and everyone can do what fits for them. I think there are a lot of scrappers like OP, and back in the days of Simple Scrapbooks magazine you saw a lot more if it in print. If you want more inspiration look for some of those old mags.


Stash Dash count, goal of 50 layouts by NSD.
38/50 done!
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Leader of the Banned

PeaNut 52,171
October 2002
Posts: 17,687
Layouts: 105
Loc: Froogville

Posted: 1/28/2013 4:46:31 AM

It is definitely about the memories for me, although more the photos than the stories behind them

Same here. I just can't remember much stuff (even if I was scrapping the recent photos first, but I'm not) and I'm not one to carry around a pen and paper to jot notes so I'll have stories. We'll just have to be happy enough with the basics and the odd bits I actually can remember.


PeaNut 217,769
August 2005
Posts: 1,056
Layouts: 18
Loc: NY

Posted: 1/28/2013 6:13:14 AM
I'm so much about the story that sometimes I don't have enough room to write it all. My pages are very personal and sentimental.

I did a layout once on my son and it came out awesome but I had so much to write that I didn't want to ruin the page so I had to put it on the back of the page.

Then again, I love to write and put feelings down on paper


PeaNut 3,602
April 2000
Posts: 14,291
Layouts: 376
Loc: Massachusetts

Posted: 1/28/2013 6:19:12 AM
I've always been a simple scrapper who hand journals. My pages aren't very embellished because I'm not good at it.

The whole reason I started scrapping was so I didn't have to stand next to people telling stories and pointing out things as they looked at my photos. Remember back in the film days when you picked up an envelope of photos and then people flipped through the whole pack?

It is still my reason for scrapping today. To put the words together with the photos in one place.

Christi in MA
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likes shiny things

PeaNut 114,614
November 2003
Posts: 22,668
Layouts: 499
Loc: Ontario, Canada

Posted: 1/28/2013 7:01:59 AM
I'm a story-teller and telling a story is always the main focus and goal of every page I do. But I also think that (almost) every page I do is pretty!

I don't think you have to choose one or another!

See things that shine on Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.


PeaNut 433,506
August 2009
Posts: 918
Layouts: 8

Posted: 1/28/2013 7:36:43 AM
I actually love both styles...but I have realized that telling the stories is the priority for me. I am in "catch up" mode this spring, trying to get the stories written down before more details are forgotten. So, I am using the PL supplies to catch up on several years worth of pictures. However, sometimes I just enjoy playing with pretty paper and pictures...without having a story to tell. For me, they sort of serve different purposes.


PeaNut 431,787
July 2009
Posts: 64
Layouts: 0
Loc: craft room, Minnesota

Posted: 1/28/2013 8:20:36 AM
Kaleidoscope -- So true!
Ashazamm -- Me too!


PeaNut 570,639
October 2012
Posts: 2,808
Layouts: 0
Loc: pea formerly known as GIPfunny

Posted: 1/28/2013 9:12:54 AM
That would be me. My reasons are

1. I love paper and simple embellishments. I love cutting and pasting and seeing end results. It's that simple for me too. I'm not "artsy". It's a hobby for me.

2. With recent losses of two very special in the last few years, I'm trying to get more of the stories down. I like to read the stories and realize I need to add more journaling.


PeaNut 40,368
June 2002
Posts: 3,682
Layouts: 132
Loc: In the Land of the Gingersnappers

Posted: 1/28/2013 10:08:03 AM
I love pretty pages; I love the stories; and I love the photos. I love it all! Some of my pages are pretty; some are mainly photos with little embellishments and some contain a bit of all three. I think the difficult thing for me is writing about personal things when I know that someone, someday, may eventually see it. That's also why I love pockets and neat places to hide the journaling. I'm also finding that the divided page protectors make scrapbooking so much easier - especially if you have a lot of pictures, or just need a space for a few photos and a journaling card. Scrapbooking has come a long way and I think it is a lot more flexible than ever. There's so much you can do, and it all looks just right!


PeaNut 31,845
March 2002
Posts: 463
Layouts: 53
Loc: Poconos PA

Posted: 1/28/2013 10:48:11 AM
I find/hope that my photos tell the stories on their own but I don't mind small journaling spots. I'm in it for the aesthetic values mainly but really I scrapbook simply so my children know I valued their childhood and wanted to document as much of it as possible. There are very few photos and no videos of me as a child, and it kind of stinks.

Mom to six kids, two pugs and a cat
2013 Layouts Completed: 324 (and counting but no project life...)
2012 Layouts Completed: 219



PeaNut 51,649
October 2002
Posts: 383
Layouts: 0
Loc: Ill

Posted: 1/28/2013 11:38:06 AM
This post is so timely because I just had my a-ha moment yesterday. I had emailed a childhood friend questioning something way back when. She was so thorough I couldn't believe it, because I had no memory of most of it. I thoroughly enjoyed her details and know it's time to change my ways and do my journaling while I still remember the full stories of my precious grandchildren.


PeaNut 177,299
November 2004
Posts: 1,142
Layouts: 58
Loc: East Coast USA

Posted: 1/28/2013 3:26:42 PM
So nice to hear from everyone.

I have had a few children in the past few years and I also want them to "hear my voice" when they see the photos that I love. Right now they are drawn to the big bright pages but I know that one day they will appreciate the writing as well.

And I am not shy about what I write. My Mom is quite reserved when it comes to affection but I go out of my way to let those I love dearly know it. And I don't care who else knows it too!


PeaNut 431,787
July 2009
Posts: 64
Layouts: 0
Loc: craft room, Minnesota

Posted: 1/29/2013 11:20:33 AM
I do daycare for my almost 5 yr old granddaughter. One day she suggested that I get rid of my scrapbooks that must have been interfering with her space on the bookshelf. I pointed to the "pink" scrapbook and said, "Yeah, I should probably start with this one." "No Grandma, that one has all my stories in it". Haven't heard any more housecleaning tips! Guess I just wanted to share that even as young as she is, she enjoys "her" stories.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 509,811
May 2011
Posts: 6,639
Layouts: 27

Posted: 1/29/2013 11:31:15 AM
I scrapbook to record the stories, preserve he pictures, and because I really enjoy doing something artistic. I am sure that many have different reasons for scrapbooking, and they are all good

Child of God, follower of Jesus, and so thankful for His presence in my life <><


PeaNut 210,542
June 2005
Posts: 3,160
Layouts: 19
Loc: Behind the camera!

Posted: 1/29/2013 11:33:29 AM
I only scrap for the story! Almost every page I have done has 100 plus words. Even my December Daily pages have a ton of writing. I do love to look at pretty pages, but they are not the way I scrap.

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