Currently | October 2014

I love using list journaling to prompt ideas for scrapbook pages. This “Currently” list is an easy way to come up with a variety of things about your life…right now. Pair it with a recent photo and you have a scrapbook page in the making.


I am currently…

Watching…the sun rise on my way to work on these late October mornings.

Enjoying…the cooler weather. And by cooler I mean our highs have been staying below 90 degrees. Finally.

Eating…Kind bars. So good. Especially these.

Making…a sweater. Crocheting actually. I’ve been in a very nesting mood lately.

Excited for…a family Thanksgiving get together in a few weeks.

Listening to…the “…In Death” series in the car on my commute. Susan Erickson is a master with different voices.

Wishing…my body would heal from my surgery already and not hurt every time I workout.

Taking…a couple of mental health days off soon. Just because.

LovingSnow Angel bath gel and lotion. Most. Favorite. Scent. Ever. But I save it for the cooler months.

Looking forward to…some crafty time this weekend. This has been a stressful week. Really need some down time.

What’s going on in your world?

Thanks for stopping by!





Scars – Part 2 | The Journaling

Back in December I shared a layout that wasn’t quite finished. I sometimes get so into the design process, arranging photos, pattern papers and embellishments that I forget to plan where the journaling is going to go. And I don’t leave room for it.  For this particular page, I knew I had a lot to say so I just focused on creating the layout first and intended to go back and finish the journaling later.

And now it’s finally done!

I decided to to go with a 6×12 page protector and added it over the left side of the layout. I used the same papers from the original layout (Fancy Pants Collecting Moments collection and Basic Grey’s Hey Girl paper pad). After a quick Pinterest search, I came across a quote that I thought expressed what this layout is all about. I added it to this first side of the 6×12 page. I mixed different alphabets, added the floral border with a zig zag stitch and roughed up the edge just like I did in the original layout.

I typed up my journaling and printed it on the Walnut Cream cardstock. To make this page flow with the original layout, I backed the journaling with the blue floral paper and a strip of orange pattern paper that lines up with the other page.

Because this journaling is really an extension of the other page, I went ahead and stapled the page protectors together so that when you open up the 6×12 flap, there is no gutter between the pages. I normally do not care about the gap in the D-ring albums between my 2-page layouts. But there will never be anything between these two pages so I went ahead adhered them permanently.

I don’t often share all of my journaling but I did want to share this because writing about the hard stuff can be…well…hard.  Writing comes easy to me. It always has. But when I journal about the hard stuff, I just focus on keeping it real and keeping it honest. That’s what you’ll find here if you actually want to read it.

I am so pleased with how this extended page turned out. If you ever have a page with a lot of journaling and forget to leave room on the layout, give this idea a try. Not only does it give you the space you need, but it also adds an interactive element for anyone looking through your album.

Thanks for stopping by today!

How To Talk And Chew Gum | A Scrapbook Layout

Have you ever had a group of photos that you really liked but couldn’t quite bring yourself to print for one reason or another?

That was me with these photos. I have quite a few photos of my youngest nephew hamming it up for the camera (the boy knows how to work the camera!) and there wasn’t anything remarkable about this particular set. Don’t get me wrong – they are super cute photos. But two issues were bugging me. First, I have no idea what he was doing or what was going on. For photos like this I generally have to come up with a clever angle and that’s not my forte. Second, there are seven photos in the series. If I printed all seven photos at 4×6, I’d have to do a two page layout.

I have an aversion to 2-pagers. I’ll do them for travel and event photos, but even that is a major challenge for me. So when it finally occurred to me to print just a few of the photos in a smaller size, I was suddenly much more excited about scrapbooking them. I could actually see the page design in my head and feel it coming together. I’m so glad I finally had that epiphany because this page is now one of my current favorites.

With photos like this where I don’t really know the details or what story the photos could be telling, I turn to my nephew’s personality and let the photos tell me what it’s about. How to talk and chew gum at the same time naturally emerged.

I didn’t use a sketch or other inspiration for this one. I knew I wanted the photos to be sequential and show the action step by step. Once the photos were lined up and the journaling spots included, I added the borders on the top and the bottom to provide a contained space. I played with the title a bit, trying to add an embellishment cluster. That didn’t look right. I tried random enamel dots. Nope, that didn’t work either. But something was needed to anchor the title. When I finally tried the clear acetate star,  I knew I had letters to put on the other side that could create balance and tie it all together.

I’m really thrilled with how this one turned out. And I’m noticing a trend. When I have less time to fuss around with my layouts the design tends to be cleaner and more streamlined. Do you streamline your designs when you have less time too?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Back On Track | A No Photo Scrapbook Layout

I am still diligently working through the materials for the Hello Story workshop at Big Picture Classes. I am never one to do all of the assignments. I take classes for the inspiration and ideas, not really for the opportunity to make pages. But there are times when I am really inspired by something presented and I take the idea and run with it.

That is where today’s page came from. This is my second layout recently featuring pie charts. For this particular idea, Ali talked about doing a layout about the different pieces of your life. The different pieces that make up the whole.

I liked this idea and the page Ali created, but I took it in a different direction.

I decided to focus this page on all of the areas of my life that I’m looking forward to getting back on track. I made quite a few layouts that documented my struggles after being laid off. How you have to make hard choices and do things you never thought you’d do in a million years. Life is just not the same and I stopped doing many things I loved in order to stretch my savings. I haven’t visited my nephews in several years because I couldn’t afford to. That can change now.

No photos on this one, just a list of the different areas of life that I want to get back on track. I’m still loving working with circles. After trying several different things, I eventually went with the idea of attaching the circles with one brad and having them swing open to reveal the journaling. No, the journaling won’t be on display but that doesn’t bother me. This is the kind of journaling where just getting my thoughts down on paper is enough. I do not need to revisit the words over and over. If I do want to look at it, I’ll take it out of the page protector to read it. No biggie.

Loved using the Thickers for the word headings. I’m sure I am not alone in that using my vast collection of Thickers for a word here and there for titles barely puts a dent in them. It was fun to use them in a dramatic way here.

Did you notice all of the gold? It was a stretch for me and I had to get over the feeling that I was cheating on my beloved silver. I wanted to finally use the Funkidori Thickers I’ve had for awhile and needed to bring in other gold touches from there. The paper is from the Violet Leaf stack from DCWV and I’ve had the brass dragon flies in my stash for years and years.

I really enjoyed this “pieces of me” idea for telling a story. There are so many ways and different directions you could take it. We could all stand to get a little more of ourselves in our albums.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Seasonal Photo Layouts | Compare and Contrast

For my third layout in my seasonal photo series, I wanted to share another journaling trick that works great with photos you may or may not know all the details about.

Most of you probably know that I have two nephews. I don’t have children of my own (yet) but I do love to create layouts with these boys. My sister-in-law takes tons of photos and she shares them with me freely. But when I go to scrapbook them: 1). I don’t know the details about where they are, why they are there, what’s going on, etc… and 2). I’m not scrapbooking my nephews to document their lives, I’m doing it because I want to create fun layouts.

Why is this important? Not every layout we create has to be a puzzle piece that fits perfectly into our family album. It’s OK to create a layout for fun. If I didn’t have photos of my nephews in their Halloween costumes, I wouldn’t have much of a reason to add to the Halloween section of my album. Yet, when I do have these costume photos, I don’t have the details to tell the real stories. So what’s an Aunt to do?

Then & Now to the rescue.

Rather than call my sister-in-law to see if she remembers details from Halloween in 2005 and 2010, I just looked at the photos and went with my instinct. By putting two photos that are five years apart on the same layout, you can take the focus away from the details about each individual photo and instead talk about what’s changed and what has stayed the same. I know just by looking at the photos that the little boys from five years ago are quickly turning into pre-teens and their costume selections show it!

This works well for me because my goal is not to “document” Halloween for my nephews (i.e. why they chose their costumes, who they went trick-or-treating with, and all the other details a Mom would want to include). I just want a fun Halloween page for my album.

This same strategy could work for cousin or family reunion photos that you want to scrapbook but just don’t feel compelled to share a deeper story. Take two photos that are several years apart and include some of the same people and see what you can come up with!

Other: American Crafts Boo collection paper, Little Yellow Bicycle Halloween journaling card, Making Memories journaling spots, 7 Gypsies 97% Halloween stickers, paper clip.

On a side note, I’m sure I don’t say this often enough but a super huge heart-felt thank you to everyone who takes the time to stop by and comment on my posts. I love reading your comments and emailing with you. There couldn’t be anything more rewarding than knowing something I’ve shared helped you solve a problem or generated an idea. So again, thank you so much for stopping by!

Seasonal Photo Layouts | Sensory Journaling

I don’t know about you, but I have a ton of seasonal and event photos that I haven’t gotten around to scrapbooking. While I know these memories are important to document and I want to preserve them in my scrapbooks, they don’t always spark my creative interest.

Today, I wanted to share a fun journaling idea that can help break through that creative block: using the five senses as a journaling queue.

Sensory Journaling

If you don’t have a particular story or specific details to share about seasonal photos you want to scrapbook, think about the feelings they evoke instead. Seasonal photos are unique in that they come with built in triggers based on the time of year they were taken. Focus on your photos and answer these questions:

  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What do you smell?
  • What do you taste?
  • What can you feel?

Hello Fall

I knew that I wanted to create a page that celebrated how I feel about fall and all the things I wanted to remember about autumn in Tennessee. My photo is fairly generic with the only story being that the tree turned vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red that year. Kind of boring and not that creative. I think the journaling takes on more meaning and evokes more feelings when I add all of the other details about what I was seeing, hearing, smelling, etc…

As I was designing my page, I thought I was leaving plenty of room for journaling. But once I started writing, I had more to say if only I’d have had more journaling space. Quick tip: for pages like these, write out or type up your journaling before you design your page so you know exactly how much space to include.

Other: Pyrus floral paper, We R Memory Keepers Doily.

These triggers can work well for event photos as well. Do you have Christmas photos that you’ve been avoiding? If nothing notable happened, it can be hard to come up with a new angle to scrapbook these annual events.

Try approaching your journaling using the senses to draw out some details.  Sprinkle the “Christmas was fun and the kids had a blast opening their presents” with details about the twinkling lights, the squeals of delight as boxes are ripped apart, the scent cinnamon rolls baking in the oven, the first sip of coffee for the adults as you erase the sleep from your eyes and warmth of the fire crackling in the hearth.

Sometimes a small shift in perspective is all you need to get started!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Currently | May 14, 2012

I love using this prompt as a list journaling technique. It’s a really easy way to come up with a variety of things about your life right now. Pair it with a recent photo and you have a scrapbook page in the making.

I am currently…

Interesting colors in this one - it's an overcast day so no bright sunlight.

Meeting – my new neighbors. My condo opens out to this lovely pond and there are always an assortment of ducks in the water and on the grass to greet you. Have not met any neighbors of the human kind yet.

Working – on an organizational post for Wednesday and a crafty post for Friday. Trying to get back in the groove now that things are getting settled. Will get the last boxes unpacked this week and I hope to put up some art work and photos soon. I’m setting up my crafting space now and will be sharing ideas along the way.

Eatingbaked oatmeal and strawberry banana greek yogurt. Finally found all of my baking pans so I’m back to my usual breakfast. Toast was easy but getting old. And I will be brewing coffee momentarily because I can’t seem to wake up this morning.

Anxious – to start working out again. Moving is exhausting and draining and has consumed most of my time this past week. I need to start setting aside time to workout every day.

Looking forward – to the daily afternoon thunder storms. It’s my favorite thing about summer in Florida.

Hunting – for a job. Now that most of the boxes are unpacked, I cannot put it off any longer. Fingers crossed that something good is out there waiting for me.

WatchingDownton Abbey on Netflix. Have heard so much hype about this show so I had to see it for myself. Totally lives up to everything I’ve heard. I’m hooked and I also got my parents hooked. Awesome show.

Needing – to run to the grocery store and drop off my latest bags of packing paper and empty boxes to the recycling bins. So off I go, to get another day of unpacking and organizing started.

What’s on your agenda today?

Thanks for stopping by!

5 Journaling Ideas For Photos With No Clear Story

Photo credit:

So many of our photos tell a story all on their own. You can just look at them and remember the event, the details, the cute thing your kid said that day, the story about what was happening beyond the camera’s reach, the reason the family was together. For these photos it is easy to record the rich details that makes our scrapbook layouts meaningful.

But sometimes, you’ll have photos where there is no story, nothing big happened and there is no life lesson to teach. It’s just a cute photo. You know you’ll scrapbook the photo, but no journaling ideas come to mind.

Frustrating, right?

Forget the frustration. Here are five journaling ideas to help create journaling when it seems like there is no story to tell:

1. Look at the photo and start with the basics – who is in the photo, where was it taken, what was happening that day, when was it taken, why were they there… Just evoking these details might spark an idea. Sometimes, that’s all you need. If that’s not enough, what do you know that the photo does not convey? Who else was there? What’s happening behind the scenes? What happened in the car on the way there or on the way home? What happened 20 minutes after the photo was taken? Did this day go as planned or was it an unexpected outing? Thinking about all these other details might help you uncover a story you can tell.

2. Relay a recent conversation – if the subject of your photo is a person and you really have nothing to say about what’s going on in the photo, think about a recent conversation you’ve had. Do you text back and forth or email frequently? Did they say something funny about another family member? Whatever details you come up with do not have to be specifically related to the photo.

3. Journal about right now – Listing things is one of my favorite ways to journal. When items are put in a list, you don’t need a whole lot of detail. What is the subject of your photo into right now? What are their favorites? What’s their current schedule? Is there something they want to do every single day, without fail? What games are they playing, what is their current favorite food? Do they have an outfit that they wear constantly? The list could go on and on, but you get the idea.

4. Identify quirks – if the photo is of a person, start listing out all of the quirky things that are totally them. Are they saying a new word all the time or do they constantly gesture with their hands when they talk? Do they walk in a unique way, skip down the street when they are happy, give you a certain look when they are mad? Compare these quirks with what you see in the photo.

5. Random observations – this is a strategy I employ often with photos of my nephews (and I discuss the idea in more detail in this post). If you really have no details about what is going on in the photo, come up with some random life observation that can be gleamed from the photo. For example, life is better with a friend to share it with; or you can get away with anything at Grandma’s but don’t ever try that at home; or your smile makes the day brighter.

The next time you have a photo without a clear story attached, give one or two of these strategies a try. You might just be able to pull out a story and jumpstart a list of other ideas to use the next time you are in the same situation. Just remember that writing – just like crafting – is a muscle. The more you exercise it and work on it, the better it will be.

What are your go to ideas for creating journaling when you have no specific story to tell?

Thanks for stopping by today!

Journaling Inspiration

Happy Friday! I am so happy the weekend is almost here. How precious these 48 hours on the weekend have become in such a short time. I’d forgotten how much I used to cram into two days off. It will be no different this weekend. Errands, laundry, cooking, cleaning, watching a movie, crafting time, catching up on emails and paying bills….. Oh, the fun never ends. Do you have big plans for the weekend?

Today, I’m sharing a little journaling inspiration for the weekend. One of my favorite journaling techniques is list journaling. So today, I’m sharing a list (an idea that I’m totally stealing from Sara B!) of how I’m feeling right now….

The sunrise on my commute...

Happy about the cooler temps and colorful trees

Dreading the cold weather

Glad to be working again

Eager to listen to books on my iPhone during my hour long commute twice a day

Thrilled to wear something besides jeans and t-shirts every day

Scared that there won’t be a full time job for me when this temporary assignment is over

Frustrated that the only way to get a buyer for the house is to drop the price to nothing

Re-committed to my daily workouts and yoga twice a week

Motivated to get some crafting done this weekend

So, what’s going on with you right now? Jot down a list and create your own layout this weekend!

Strategies for Combating Scrapper’s Block | Part 2


Welcome to Part 2 in my series of Srapper’s Block articles.

In Part 1, we discussed  photos and different tips and strategies to help get past common issues. Today, we are going to talk about journaling.

There are many opinions out there about journaling on scrapbook pages. Some feel that heartfelt journaling should be on every page created. If you are a good writer and it is your focus, that’s fantastic. Journal to your hearts content. I personally don’t think that’s realistic for everyone and some of my pages don’t have journaling.

But most of our pages are going to have words in some form or another.  If you struggle to get the words on your page, it might be stopping you from getting other pages done.

Journaling Hangups

If photos are the focal point of our pages, journaling tends to be the heart of the page. Here are several common problems and ideas to overcome these stumbling blocks.

The Words Won’t Come

You’re in the middle of creating a layout and you want to add some journaling. No matter you think up, it just doesn’t feel right. It’s frustrating because you want the journaling to be as special as the layout.

What can you do?

  • Just start writing. Ignore your inner critic. It doesn’t have to be perfect. At first, what you write doesn’t even have to be the story you end up with on your page. Just get the flow going and then start thinking about your photos and what you really want to communicate about them.
  • If photos are bringing up a particular emotion, it might be good to get your feelings out first. Write about what you are feeling or what you would say to the person in a separate document that no one will ever see. Once the emotion is out, turn your attention to the story and start the journaling that you will include on your page.
  • Start listing all the traits about the person in your photo. Once you have a good group of words, take a few traits and start writing. As you write, a perfect story idea may naturally come out.
  • If a full-blown story does not come, use list journaling or retell a conversation.

You have no story

You’ve got a new photo of you and your husband, taken at a friend’s wedding. You’ll document the wedding on another layout. This photo deserves its own layout and you want the journaling to be something more meaningful than “here’s a great photo of us at so-and-so’s wedding”.

What can you do?

  • Go through your phone select some fun texts that you sent back and forth to each other one day.
  • Get him involved and do a “He Said/She Said” layout about some subject that you have differing opinions on
  • Create a compare and contrast layout about how long it takes you to get ready for events vs. how long it takes him to get ready for events.
  • Just because a photo was taken during an particular event does not mean you have to use that photo only in that context. Maybe that wedding brings up feelings about your own wedding and you journal about how strong your relationship is today.

You’ve forgotten the details

You just put together an adorable layout layout of your daughter with photos in her new outfit. You’ve had this layout in mind ever since she put on that outfit and said….. Oh darn, she said the cutest thing…. What did she say that was so cute?!?

What can you do?

  • Keep a notebook handy and record these things when they happen. You don’t have to copy it word for word, just use a few trigger keywords and the jist of what was said. It’ll take all of 2 minutes and you’ll have the notes you need to complete your journaling.
  • Ask for feedback. You can’t remember the details but maybe another family member will. If their response isn’t what you wanted, maybe it will trigger an idea for something even better.
  • What do you know about that photo? What comes to mind when you look at it? Maybe you don’t know the who, what, where and when, but you can write about how the photo makes you feel.

Another idea? When you are in the mood to write, think about other stories you want to tell. Write as much as you can in that space of time. Even if it’s only bullet points or main ideas. Then later, when you go to create that page, the journaling is already done or at least started for you. It’s never a waste of time to have a list of stories you want to tell. You’ll get to them all eventually.

Be Creative

Sometimes, all it takes to get the warm fuzzies over journaling again is to do something different. Here are a few ideas to make the journaling on your page a little more creative.

  • Add sticker words into a block of journaling. As you write, look through an assortment of sticker words and include one every few lines. It breaks up the block and it’s fun to do.
  • You can do the same thing with word stamps. Nichol Magouirk shows you exactly how to do it in this video.
  • Create tags and pockets for your journaling. Who says it always has to take front and center? As long as you record the details, it’s OK to tuck the journaling behind the photo or in a pocket.

So, what is your favorite tip for overcoming your own writer’s block?