I have a lovely old photo album with family photos from the 1870′s. Some of them are labelled many are not. I have no idea who these people are or why the photo was taken. That is one of the reasons I scrapbook. I want others to know what was important about the photos that are preserved. Yet sometimes it is easier to just make a pretty page.
Over the last few years, I have been exercising my storytelling muscles. Today, I want to share a few tips with you for including the story in your albums.
1. Write a letter. Each year, I try to write a letter to my girls around their birthdays. I then include this in their album. This can be typed as part of the page. I could also be written on a pretty piece of paper then scanned and added to the page.
2. Use a quote. Sometimes I only use a quote. It gives some information about how I was feeling about the picture. It is not my words though. A quote could be a jumping off point for your own thoughts. These will be treasured because it includes you in the page.
3. Be a reporter. Do you remember in school looking a the who, what, where, why and when of a story or event? Some of this may seem obvious to you as you look at the photo. Now imagine the year is 2112, your descendants have just found your old scrapbook on the shelf. Can they answer any of those questions by looking at the page? If not write a paragraph with some of the details.
4. Write a caption. This is a short snippet under, or beside the photo that gives the main information. For this I often include a name, place and date with no other information.
5. Use a definition. Pick a main word that describes what you want your page to be about. Then add the definition of the word dictionary style to the page. I often use this as a starting point and add a short description to the page that expands on the idea.
6. Use a Poem or Song. I have written poems specifically to go with photos. Not everyone enjoys writing poetry. I used to hate it. A part of a song can fill the same function and you don’t need to be a poet to use this tip.
7. Hidden journaling. When I use paper supplies, I can fashion an envelope to hold the journaling. Digital scrap booking is harder to use hidden journaling. the best idea I have seen for this is to put the journaling on the back of the page after printing. This will not work if you print your pages as an album. It might be possible to create an envelope using the digital pieces so you can add the dimension after printing. I have a few pages where I have written the information on the page after printing because I did not want it on the web.
8. Separate pages for story. Sometimes I want to create a fancy page that has photos and embellishments but the story needs to be told. For these I create a double page spread where one side is journaling. This allows more room to tell a story.
9. Make a list. There are many topics that can use a list style for telling the story. It could be a list of some ones favorites. A gratitude list. A daily tasks list (or schedule).
10. Have fun. We are our families storytellers have fun with it.
Many of the challenges in the forums contain journal prompts if you want more ideas.
Katie Mann is hosting the scraplift challenge for April/May. The gallery is filling up with pages inspired by this fabulous page by Angie Young. We would love to see your take on it. There are two more weeks to participate in the challenge before a new page is selected as our inspiration.
All who participate receive a Lovely in Lilac mini created by Katie Mann.
With two active girls and a home office, our family schedules are crazy. If I am not careful my creative time disappears in a whirlwind of activity. One of the things I try to do at the beginning of each month is to take a good look at the calendar. Most months they are jam-packed full. I use the mini from the calendar challenge to create a pretty page with the highlights we are looking forward to each month. My plan is at the end of the year to combine it with a second page for the month into an overview of our year.
How do you keep on track? How do you use the calendars for the calendar challenge?
1. the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice
2. something that is handed down
3. a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting
4. a continuing pattern of culture beliefs or practices.
We all have community and family traditions that are part of our pattern of living. These may be faith related but they need not be. Often we think of the big events as part of our tradition: Birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Easter. I started scrapbooking because I wanted to record a big event, my engagement and my wedding. I never actually completed my wedding scrapbook though. Along the way, I learned the value of noticing the details as I worked through the engagement time.
This weekend many communities celebrate Easter. Some may be thankful for an extra day off this week. I know some of my neighbours were hoping for good weather so they could get some yard work done. Others will spend time reflecting on the cross and the empty tomb. Whether you pause and reflect or simply enjoy the extra day, I challenge you to record for your family story your traditions on this weekend and others. It would be a great start to an album about your traditions.
What traditions do you have? Have you recorded them as part of your story?
1) Quotes. I love quotes and poems. I have some written on my mirror to remind me to stay positive and look for the good things that happen each day. If you are stuck on the journaling for a page perhaps a quote will kick start something. The Lyrics challenge and the He said, She said challenge are both places to find quotes. The Quotes, Poems and Journaling forum is a place to share some of your favorites.
2) Photos. It has been said that a photo is worth a thousand words. I recently received a number of old family photos. It is a treasure, but I don’t know who half the people are. I periodically go through my photos and pick some to tell a story with. Each time I do this means a little more of the story is told and less questions are left for others to hunt down.
3) Anecdotes. My kids had some cute things they said. Some I wrote down. Some I didn’t. Those cute sayings or fun stories that happen as part of daily life are a great place to start.
4) Colors. Do you have a favorite go to color? Do you have favorite photos because you like the color composition? Sometimes my pages start with a scrap kit whose colors I love. Red and blue are two of my go to colors. I like to pay attention to my girls favorite colors when I tell their stories. The youngest loved pink for awhile. I do not but I used it because it added clues about who she was at the time of the photo or story.
5) Advertisements. I read magazines for the ads. I do not like to shop but I do like to see what others are doing with color and design. Sometimes my reaction is “what were they thinking?” others I sketch out or make myself notes for things I want to try. The Ad Challenge is another place I find ad inspiration.
6) Sketches. I especially like sketches when I am trying to figure out how to include many pictures on the page. Many scrapbook magazines and blogs have sketches. Some designers have turned their sketches into templates to make it even easier to use them. Sketchy Details is a challenge using a sketch that I look forward to.
7) Events. Christmas, birthdays, tournaments, vacations are all easy choices to include in a scrapbook. This is why I started to scrapbook. When I am stuck for ideas, I look at my list of events that have not yet been scrapped.
8) Go for a walk. Sometimes inspiration needs a change of scenery. A window shopping trip is a great way to see what colors are being combined. A walk in the park allows nature to refresh the senses. During the summer, I take breaks in the garden, even weeding is a change and lets my creative mind work.
9) Completed scrapbooks and pages. Browsing through my completed pages often sparks a memory that hasn’t been recorded yet. Since I do not scrap chronologically, I find gaps in the story. I keep a notebook beside me and make notes of stories that are missing and need to be told. Browsing through online galleries allows you to see what others are telling stories about which could spark a few more of your own as well.
10) Challenges. Digitals has many challenges that are run on a monthly or bi-monthly schedule. Some are included in the ideas above but others aren’t. Any one of them can be used to kick start creativity.
What are some of your favorite sources of inspiration?