Category Archives: journaling

A Quotable Life: Catching Your Family in the Act

A Quotable Life: Catching Your Family in the Act

One of the things that I have always loved is the way people say things. If you’re paying attention, you’ll find the people around you saying things that are funny or profound or just wonderfully phrased all the time. As a writer, I’ve been saving these quotes for a long time, since they’re wonderful windows into character creation.

As a documenter, aka a scrapbooker, saving these quotes are a great way to capture the personality and interactions of your family. (And friends too, but we’ll talk about them at a later point.)The things people say show you how they look at the world, how they think, and how they interact with others.

However, you can’t always immediately stop what you’re doing to go create a scrapbook page when one of your family members says something memorable. What am I saying? You almost never can do that! So what do you do?

You take notes.

There are a bunch of ways you can take notes, depending on your circumstances. A scrap of paper and pencil will work in a pinch. Having a notebook in your purse or stashed around the house for just such moments is handy. Your smart phone is helpful too, since you can jot notes or even dictate them there. I’ve found Facebook and Twitter helpful for capturing moments too, and screen shots of text messages and chats are great as well.

If  you’re not careful, though, those notes will just sit there. If you’re like me at all, you may even forget to date them, so you don’t even remember how old someone was when they made that memorable quote. Try to remember to date them when you jot them down. Don’t be like me!

Do try to turn those quotes into pages though.

ethan in his own words||

You’ll be glad you did.

Embracing Your Inner Geek

Embracing Your Inner Geek

I have a confession to make. I am a geek.

Bet that doesn’t surprise you at all, does it?

I am a fan of storytelling, of huge epic stories that create worlds worth exploring. Whether it’s books, or TV, or movies, or comics, or even world creating tools and games like Dungeons and Dragons or Minecraft, there’s something about immersing myself in a fully realized, but not completely explained world that just makes me happy.

You know what’s even better? Combining these passions with another — scrapbooking.

D & D ||

There are lots of ways to add bits and pieces of your passion onto your scrap pages. When playing D&D, mapping is an important part of the game, and it seemed appropriate to add a map to the grid paper on this page.


Of course, if you can save and re-use packaging materials from your favorite geeky passion, there’s every reason to put it on a page. (This is my youngest’s favorite game. He spends hours playing it and watching videos about it. He’s a certified Minecraft geek.)

And then there are the things you do to surround yourself with the people and objects that make immersing yourself in geek culture so rewarding. TV watching parties. Midnight showings. Posters plastered all over the wall. (Am I the only person out there brainstorming Doctor Who patterns for a digital kit?)

My friend Laurie is loving Supernatural right now, so of course she made a page about it:

Supernatural || Laurie Louis

Don’t you just love how she took detailed shots of all the bits and pieces she and her friends do to increase their enjoyment? (And the grungy red, white, and blue color scheme suits the tone of the show so well!)

Are you a geek? What have you done to celebrate your geekiness? Don’t forget to document it too!

If you’ll excuse me, I’m in the middle of season 6 of Supernatural on Netflix. I’ve got a date with the couch, and my crochet hook.


A Very Merry Christmas to You!

A Very Merry Christmas to You!

A very Merry Christmas to you all!

Do you have a favorite Christmas song? Growing up, one of my favorites was Christmas Is. It was on a compilation of classics that my parents had, and that I played repeatedly during the holidays as a kid. (Oh cool, the original vinyl is up on Amazon! Affiliate link)

It is the quintessential 70s Christmas tune. And it seems to repeat itself endless in my head every year. (I don’t need the vinyl, I’ve got the earworm permanently installed!)

The lyrics work as the journaling for the title page of the Christmas album that I sporadically add to when the mood arises.

Christmas Is ||

Merry Christmas everybody! May all you wishes come true!

Keep Calm and Jingle On!

Keep Calm and Jingle On!

Have you heard of Scrapbook Campus? It’s a website about using Paintshop Pro for scrapbooking, run by my friend Cassel, and she’s got some fun freebies for you this month.

For the first twelve days of the month, she’s got templates for twelve card and envelope sets. You can use them with your digital supplies, or let them inspire you to create with your paper stash. You just need to sign up on her website, and you’ll get a link to each template in your mailbox each morning. If you sign up today, tomorrow will be your first email, but Cassel will have a link to all twelve card and envelope templates available at the end of the series.

This is the template I worked with:


Isn’t that a lovely base to work with? The four-square is one of my favorite base designs to build pages.

Now, the next question was how did I want to use this? To create cards for mailing? As a starting point for the design of a scrapbook page? How about as a spot for hidden journaling?

Yep, that’s it! Journaling card it is! My next debate–make the envelope to hold the card or not? That decision was taken out of my hands when my printer died on me. As in it will no longer turn on for me. So no printing envelopes for me! I was able to get the card printed however.

jingle card front ||

To make the card, I started by choosing four papers from a couple Christmas digi kits. I probably got them from Jessica Sprague’s website, one set was by Echo Park, and the other was by Pink Paisley. Both of them are older and may not be available any longer.

I assigned one paper to each square, and then added text to one, and a reindeer to another.

Then it was time to print it and trim it.

jingle card ||

And yes, I did decide to add a paper on the back at the last minute. That was a collage paper that seemed to tie the two sets together.

After cutting it out, I folded it, and added my journaling, and then started to put my page together.

a decorated life ||

Since the journaling was all about decorating the house for the holidays, it made sense to use a bunch of holiday embellishments. I even stamped and fussy cut a reindeer to help carry design elements throughout the page.

jingle on details ||

One last little idea for you: since I wanted to be able to pull out the card and read it, I added a leftover borderstrip to use as a line to slip the card over. It’s anchored by the brads on the poinsettias and holly leaves. Yes, those brads are functional as well as decorative! My favorite kind of embellishment!

Thanks for visiting! If you like what you’ve seen, make sure you join my mailing list up at the top of the page! there are always some fun ideas floating around here!

Short and Sweet

Short and Sweet

Somewhere along the way from learning there is this amazing hobby called scrapbooking, to actually calling yourself a scrapbooker, a lot of people pick up the idea that they must journal, and it must be deep and profound.

While pages with that type of journaling are a great way to provide context and emotion to your scrapbooks, not every page needs that kind of thought and energy.

Another implied rule that scrapbookers pick up along the way is that they must use their handwriting (and it must be beautiful) or they must have gorgeously designed computer generated journaling.

Again, while those things are nice, they are not must-haves in order to create wonderful scrapbook pages.

What do you need to have a scrapbook page?

Just words and pictures.

In other words, keep it simple!

Case in point: this little album I created about myself as a 10-year-old, at 10 ||

To start off, I looked through the photos I had, and jotted down any memory the photos triggered. These were not deep, meaningful thoughts, but simple “what’s in the photos and why should anyone care” recollections.

pg 2 me at 10 ||

I used a font that appealed to me at the time, and created little blocks of text. Oh, and in case you were wondering about my opinion regarding “good” fonts, if you want to use comic sans, or papyrus, or ariel, or any other font that you love but that font geeks love to hate, use it! The only time you should worry about whether the font you are using is cool and hip is if you are doing graphic design. You’re making a scrapbook! Make it to please yourself, not the arbitrators of fashion. The only caveat? Make sure the font you choose is easy to read.

pg 3 me at 10 ||

Don’t feel like you have to tell every story inspired by your photos, but do share things that make you laugh, or smile, or sigh. Include details about things that have changed, and things that have stayed the same.

pg 14 me at 10 ||

Journaling doesn’t have to be hard. Keep it short and sweet, and you’ll have a scrapbook to cherish.

If you want to see the full album, you can find it in my Flickr gallery here.