Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Scrapbooking 101: Journaling

Picture this... you work hard to create a beautiful memory book for your daughter depicting every year of her life. Years pass and your daughter marries, so you give her - her childhood memory album. She opens it to share with her children (your grandchildren) and... she does not clearly remember the events in the pictures because she was too young and there are no stories to go with the pictures on the page. So they flip through it like any other photo album and it goes back on the shelf, those precious detailed memories lost forever. None of us want to forget. When you have gotten to this last stage of a page, take a few minutes and think about the event. In the very least, you want to include answers to who, what, when, where, why, and how. Ideally, you want to convey the story of that day, including the feelings, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches.

Note: There are some pages that do not required much journaling or where a title tells it all. Use your judgment.

Often what makes a set of photos special is the story that goes along with them. Whether you're detailing the unforgettable events from your last camping trip or simply identifying the subjects in a photo, written additions to your scrapbook page make it that much more unique. What would you say if your were showing your album to a friend? What does that particular picture make you think of? Write it down! Quotations, poems and song lyrics are great additions to your journaling that add extra personalization. Try your hand at different lettering styles - or use letter stickers and even your computer to add character to the journaling section of your page! In this way, you can really personalize your photo pages and create a lasting legacy for future generations.

Choose acid-free, permanent, scrapbook pens in colors that coordinate with your scrapbook page. Begin by adding a title to the page. You can keep it simple; it could just include the event and date, i.e. "Easter 1998." Next, start with the basics, especially dates and full names. Write this information under or around your photos. Continue by adding some basic circumstantial information, such as where the events in the photos took place, or why the people in the pictures were there. If you have room on your page, you can complete your journaling by adding some personal thoughts, emotions, poems, or quotes.

Your personal handwriting adds another element of history to your albums (even if you don't especially care for it). However, if you can't bring yourself to write in your albums try printing the journaling on acid-free paper from your computer and mount it on your pages. Remember that your family's story is the most important part of preserving the past and the present for the future, don't neglect it with too few words.

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