Category Archives: Journaling

tips and suggestions to improve the journaling on your scrapbook pages

Sunday Journal – Journaling without any actual pictures Post #3: song lyrics

Journaling without any actual pictures Post #3: song lyrics

I have been posting in this month’s Sunday Journal scrapbook journalingSunday Journal weekly series about how to make your journaling the center of a scrapbook page when you don’t have any pictures to help tell the story.  And this week I’d like to share another page and another way of doing this: by using album or song lyrics, and in this case, the iconic album cover from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Dark Side of the Moon journaling page

Dark Side of the Moon journaling page

This was an album that my friends and I loved during our freshman year in college – and ever since.  We would read the album cover.  Look at the pictures.  Read the words.  We would play it over and over again – really just side one – until the residents in the neighboring dorm rooms would complain!  Can’t you play something else?

It wasn’t just that it was great music, though – when you spend that much time with an album, you really get to know the words and actually think about them.  This song really rang true with me – it’s talking about how your life can just slip by day by day if you don’t actually engage yourself in your life.  And, I knew that while this probably happens to everyone to a certain extent, I didn’t want that to be my final thoughts at the end of my days.

So in making this page, I didn’t have any pictures of us sitting around in college.  And how do you show a picture of yourself reflecting on your life?

I decided to use the iconic album cover from Dark Side of the Moon, along with the actual song lyrics, as a reference point for my reflection journaling.  I used the pyramid image as the divider between the lyrics and my reflection.  And while I kept the lyrics a bit smaller and in white, I highlighted a few lines of the song in red that I refer to in my journaling – which I colored in bright yellow.  The fun thing is that I used the color picker tool in My Digital Studio to select these red and yellow colors from the rainbow on the album cover picture!

Digital album cover image courtesy of

So, can you think of a case where you could use album lyrics to support some journaling without any actual pictures?

Sunday Journal – Journaling without any actual pictures Post #2

Welcome to our ongoing discussion of Journaling without any actual pictures Sunday Journal Post # 2: Put a Tiger in Your Tank!

Last week, I started writing about how Sunday Journal scrapbook journalingto make your journaling the star of the page when you don’t have any actual pictures of the event or memory.  In that post, I showed an example of using a current day picture to supplement the journaling and evoke the image – a picture of my current lawn was added to my journaling about sitting and playing in the lawn when I was a kid.

This week, I’d like to discuss another way to supplement your journaling on your scrapbook page: finding someone else’s pictures!  There are zillions of pictures available on the internet, and the odds are that you can find an authentic picture to match what your words are saying in your journaling.  The key thing that you need to do is be sure you are not violating someone’s rights to the picture by using it.

Here are some ways to find a picture:

  • Google or yahoo search for the topic,
  • eBay for pictures of vintage items,
  • sites that sell antiques (if you’re as old as I am, LOL),
  • – you may need to pay $1 for a picture but you can get all sorts of images with no worry about copyright infringement!

Sometimes it is a logo or advertising slogan that brings back a flood of memories for you.  Here’s an example of a page I made, continuing the theme about Summer Days When I Was Young, where the slogan Put A Tiger in Your Tank really summed up a lot of what I remembered!

Put a Tiger in Your Tank

Put a Tiger in Your Tank

I made the page using My Digital Studio, starting with one of the plain photo template page layouts. While I didn’t have any tiger images to add to the background, I am kind of pleased at how the combination of the orange background and the layers of zig-zag stitching give a subtle evocation of tiger stripes and support the journaling.

And I like having key elements repeat in threes.  The most vivid element to me is the red & blue Esso sign (anyone else ‘member them?!) so I added the red & blue highway sign from Rt 81 (we lived in New York State so my dad drove us on that highway a LOT!).  Then for the third splash, I made the “Put a Tiger in the Tank” headline the same colors by using the color picker tool to match the Esso sign.  Cool, huh?!

Next week’s post: Using song lyrics for journaling without any actual pictures

So what do you think?  I know Tony the Tiger was from Frosted Flakes, but do you think he would like this journaling page about his cousin that I made by journaling without any actual pictures of my childhood?

Sunday Journal – Journaling without any actual pictures Post #1

In this week’s post for our Sunday Journal Sunday Journal scrapbook journalingweekly series on Journaling for your scrapbooks, I’d like to talk about scrapbooking ideas or events where you don’t have many pictures.  One way to include these in your scrapbook is to use your journaling as the focus of the page.  I’ll even suggest a journaling topic that you can use as the basis for a scrapbook page : Long Summer Days When I Was a Kid.

How does this work?  Simply take the suggestion of the Journaling topic and write a paragraph (or longer, up to you!) about what summers were like when you were a kid.  Here’s some suggested items you could include:

  • Summer camp
  • What I did All Day Long in the summer
  • How long a day seemed to last when I was little, compared to now
  • Places you liked to play
  • Friends from when you were little
  • My favorite ___________ (you pick it – favorite summer activity, place to go, game, kind of ice cream, whatever!)

Now make this writing the basis of your scrapbook page.  Add a headline (feel free to copy mine: Long Summer Days When I Was a Kid).  You can add a few pictures if you have them – but in all truth, we usually have so many fewer pictures of our childhood than we take today that using the journaling as the focus of the page solves that problem.  This will frequently be one of those pages that has a single picture, as opposed to being stuffed full of pictures!  The journaling frequently takes center stage.

Long summer days journaling page

Long summer days journaling page

Here’s a page I made in My Digital Studio, starring some journaling about sitting around in the grass in my back yard.  I really wanted to share the image in my head that I had of doing this, with my kids.

I used a couple of features on this page that refer back to the time period in question – frankly, the very early sixties.  I chose to include:

  • old-fashioned looking background paper – geometrical patterns were very big back then, and quite frankly, they were a little garish
  • the hexagonal shape was very modern and daring for the time period – this was the beginning of the mod era
  • I added the notebook paper punch shape along the edge of the orange (ORANGE!) journaling square to add a little eye texture, and to subtly refer back to my school days
  • I placed a subtle wood grain overlay on the orange square – wood was an important element that was much used in those days
  • and even the font that I used could have come out of a typewriter, as opposed to a cleaner sans serif font that might be more popular today.

In this case, I took a picture of my own lawn to demonstrate what I was talking about in the journaling.  In next week’s post, we’ll talk about how to handle journaling where you don’t have ANY pictures that match your journaling!

So, what do you remember about Summers When I Was a Kid?

5 key types of scrapbook journaling to include on your pages

Stumped for words when it comes Sunday Journal scrapbook journalingto scrapbook journaling?  Try using the newspaper journalist’s 5 key questions to include relevant info on your scrapbook pages.

1. WHO: Record peoples’ names – have you ever looked at those old family albums, with lots of pictures stuck on a page with little corner tabs?  Who are all those people? Are they related to you?  I wish my grandparents had written names on the pages!

2. WHAT: Tell what you were doing.  You’ll be amused to remember, in future years, that you used to have a fun game of “chase the forklift” with your kids as you pushed the cart through the Home Depot store.

3. WHERE: Document where you were.  Is that beach picture from the trip to the New Jersey shore, or down at the Outer Banks?

4. WHEN: Include the date (or approximate date) of a photo to help tell some of the story.  Or reference it indirectly by indicating someone’s age (“when Johnny was 5…”)

5. WHY: Express how you were feeling.  Some pictures speak for themselves – you obviously look happy or excited.  But in other shots, it is a bit harder to tell how you feel about things.  Are you looking solemn because you’re unhappy? Because your car broke down? Or because you’ve had such a fun day that you’re now pretty tired?!

I’ll explore some of these scrapbook journaling ideas in future posts of the weekly Sunday Journal.  Try some or all of these scrapbook journaling ideas and I bet you’ll feel more related to your pages!

Journaling as part of scrapbook design

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Journal post,Sunday Journal where we’re going to look at an example of using journaling as part of scrapbook design.

I made the cute page below in My Digital Studio, incorporating the journaling around the edges of the page in order to frame the pictures in the middle.

Square journaling example

Square journaling example

I created a wide, short text box in My Digital Studio, and typed in the words across the top.  Then I adjusted the font, font size, and text color to be the way I wanted them, and copied it.  I pasted it on the page three times, changed the words in each text box and rotated them 90, 180 and -180 degrees to make them read correctly as I placed them around the outside of the page.

Do you like the way the journaling makes a frame around it?

There’s a couple other things I would like to share about the page:

  • No, Munchie the cat did NOT chase a mouse on Christmas Eve, but I really liked the picture of him sitting in the wrapping paper and thought this would be an amusing way to bring him into the page!
  • I particularly like how his darling pink ears and nose match the pink bow and wanted to emphasize it, so I used the Color Match feature in My Digital Studio to make the mat around his picture match the color of his ears!  I simply selected the mat, clicked on Color Match, and then the screen shows the objects on the page in pixellated format.  I moved the cursor to select the pixel with the exact shade of pink that I wanted to feature, and clicked to select the color.  Voila! pink mat!
  • We all know that using Stampin’ Up! gives us scrappers a great benefit because the colors match all across the product line.  Well, I did the same thing on my page by making the outside mat the same pink color!  When I was Color Matching Munchie’s photo mat, I simply saved the pink color as a “favorite,” then selected the Background Paper of the page and changed it to my new “favorite” color: pink kitty ears!
  • I made this page 8 x 8″ so it would show up well on the blog, but I can easily turn it into a hybrid 12 x 12″ scrapbook page by printing it and mounting it on a 12 x 12″ sheet of card stock.  And that additional layer would give it even more dimension, and add to the frame effect!

Check back next weekend for the next Sunday Journal post, when I will share another way to get words on your page and use journaling as part of scrapbook design!

Journaling about your holiday decorations

This week’s Sunday Journal post covers journaling about your holiday decorations!

Sunday JournalWell, the holidays are over and many people have either already taken down their decorations, or are planning (or dreading) to do it!  But I suggest that if you still have holiday decorations around the house, you can take a look at them and consider the story (or stories) that they tell.  Think a little bit about them.  Consider:

  • Why do you put out these things in your home?  do they say something about you or your family (for example, quirky or goofy decorations can reveal your fun side; a snowman collection can reflect upon times that you enjoyed as a child)
  • Look at a specific item – Where did it come from? was it a gift, or was it passed down from family? does it make you remember someone special, or a special time?
  • Is there a religious connection with your holiday decorations? this might be a way to record some of your beliefs so that you can share them with your family and friends.  What is the significance of a particular item to your religious or cultural group?
  • Is an item part of a tradition that you do every year? tell about it!

Once you have pondered some of these ideas, think about how to get the ideas you like onto a page.

  • You can include a picture of select items and write a few lines or a little story about each, and lay out the page as if it were a series of encyclopedia entries.
  • Or include a large picture of your home, decorated for the holidays, and add a few lines or paragraphs to explain some of the things you came up with while doing the thinking exercises above!  If you want to refer to specific items in the large picture, try adding numbered arrows that correspond to numbered reflections on the side or bottom of the page.
  • If certain items were a gift from a treasured friend or family member, you can add a picture of the person along with the item!
  • If you grew up with a particular decoration, tell how it was used when you were a child.

So many great thing to consider when you are journaling about your holiday decorations!

Journaling about the New Year

This week’s Sunday Journal post covers journaling about the New Year!

Sunday JournalWhile many folks are uncomfortable about incorporating words or writing on a page, perhaps because they are not sure what to write, I find that words can be used to either embellish the story that the pictures tell, or to spark my creativity in coming up with a page that I want to create.

This is the time of year that causes many of us to spend a little time in reflection… we think about what has happened in the past year, or our lives in general… what the new year will bring… are we on track for what we planned for our lives?  what is coming up in the new year?  do we have any resolutions for the new year?

How can we use this info on a scrapbook page?  I’ll explore this topic every Sunday during this month!  The first idea I suggest for journaling about the New Year involves an examination of what happened LAST year!

Here is this week’s idea:  Try making a two-page spread that shows the highlights of the things that have happened during the past year.  You can organize it several ways, including things like:

  • major events (births, graduations, weddings, new tooth, new job, new home)
  • milestones reached (ran first 5K race)
  • your thoughts and feelings about some of the events
  • why these things are significant to you (I never thought I would live in such a lovely home!)

Your pictures or topic can be organized in different ways:

  • chronologically – for example, put them in order by month (but don’t feel like you need to show something for every month… unless you WANT to!)
  • by person in the family (great things for Janey, and Michael, etc.)
  • by topic (vacations, home life, friends, pets)

You can tell the story in a variety of ways:

  • use a lot of little pictures to remind you of the events
  • you can use a series of your words or musings about the events
  • you can use a simple format, without much other embellishment, as there will likely be so many pictures on the page
  • you can divide the pages into sections for each topic by using pretty ribbon or strips of cardstock, or different colors of cardstock for each section
  • don’t forget to put the year on the page!

If you like the results, consider doing a series of pages like this for other years and making a separate scrapbook out of them.  It can give you a great overview all in one place!  Because, if you think about how many scrapbooks you would (or will) have if you scrap all the pictures that you probably have, you could fill a whole bookshelf!  Having one book where you can see people grow and change, and see the major milestones and events of each year can give you a whole new perspective on things.

Amazing what you can come up with while journaling about the New Year!

Journaling on my scrapbook pages

I have a confession about the journaling on my scrapbook pages that I hinted on Wednesday that I was going to share… I don’t like my handwriting!

Here’s the picture from the last post that started this off… it shows my friend Pat, who sat next to me at the last NJ Crop Weekend.

My friend Pat at the Fall 2011 NJ Crop Weekend

My friend Pat at the Fall 2011 NJ Crop Weekend

And do you see the scrapbook page about San Antonio that was in progress
at the foreground of the picture?  I was working on our Texas vacation pictures
that weekend.  Here’s how the following set of the finished pages turned out:

San Antonio pages

San Antonio pages

I used a variety of the Spice Cake Designer Series Paper, since the  colors really seemed to match the subject – and of course they are all color coordinated with each other and with the Stampin’ Up! cardstock and ink colors, making life really easy for me to piece together this quilt style scrapping!  I added strips of the 3/8″ Quilted Satin Ribbon to separate the rectangles on the page.  I love how it came out!

But here’s the confession that I want to point out about pages – notice the journaling that I hand wrote on the bottom right.  I have to tell you that I really, really do not like my own handwriting.  This is not an issue when I do a lot of my scrapbooking in My Digital Studio and just type my journaling messages.  But, when I do paper scrapping, I make myself hand write it – for many reasons:

  1. I find that I can wind up spending TOO much time on a set of pages
    if I get too crazy making the journaling look perfect.  I get involved with creating a document to type the journaling, then worry about the size and shape it will wind up to be, the font size, alignment and so on…
  2. Focusing on the appearance of the journaling makes me lose track of what I am actually saying – kind of a form over function thing, I guess!
  3. I also think it is really important to make the pages more “organic” and accessible by including the personal touch of my own handwriting.
  4. Our writing changes over time, and years from now it will be great to look back on these pages and see what it looked like now!

Now don’t get me wrong – there are some times when I am doing a hand made page, and I will go to My Digital Studio and print out a title in the correct matching color for the page… but I no longer go out of my way to omit my handwriting from journaling on my scrapbook pages!