Why I journal, Tips & Ideas - part one...

I have been scrapbooking for a long time now and I can't finish a page without journaling on it.  It seems that no matter how much space I have to journal, its never enough.
I am always asked the same question, over and over again... How do you get your journaling so good?
Its funny because I never really think about journaling other than I can't do a page without it.

I was wondering how to explain my passion about journaling and then I remembered a talk I had to give about 8 years ago.  I was doing a course at Uni and as part of one of the units I was taking you had to give a talk in front of the class.  It could be about anything but it had to be something you were passionate about.  Your introduction had to be powerful/different/fun/and set the scene.

My talk went something like this...
I stood at the front of the class and introduced myself.
I asked them to all stand up, bunch together and I took a photo of them.
I then told that we had traveled forward in time, a 100 years to be exact.
I then pulled out a shoe box and told them that they just found this in Aunt Betty's attic who had sadly just passed away and she had left it to them.
I pulled out a photo of a group of people (we pretended it was the photo I took earlier)
I passed it around and asked them to tell me about the photo.
They couldn't really tell me anything because there was no writing, no story or information attached to the photo.
I pulled out a scrapbook page with the same photo on it, all very pretty with embellishments etc and then asked them to tell me about the photo.
They looked at me blankly and said, "well nothing, it looks pretty but there is still  no information about the photo".
I then pulled out another scrapbook page with the same photo on it, all very pretty with embellishments on it but this time I had added a name and a date.
Again I asked them to tell me about the photo.  Obviously they could tell me the name and the date but that was all.
Then I pulled out another scrapbook page with the same photo on it, all very pretty with embellishments on it plus the name and date.  But I also added journaling with information about the photo.
They could now tell me lots.
I then said "My name is Tracey and I'm a scrapbooker, very passionate about recording my family history".
and went on to explain what scrapbooking was...

I got a great mark and glowing compliments which was the whole purpose but its the story I always go back to when people ask me about journaling.  You need to ask yourself the question, why do you scrapbook?
I know for me its about telling our story, all of it, the good and the bad.  Of course I like the creative side of scrapbooking but its more about the story.  Because as I said earlier, its no good people finding your scrapbooks in years to come with no stories.

Now you know why I journal.  Hopefully over the next few weeks I can give you some hints and ideas on how to add journalling to your pages.

My first hint and probably the most important is to just write.  Dont' get all caught up in the spelling and grammar, just get your story down. 
(I actually have at least one spelling error on every page I have ever completed.  Its sort of my signature on a page if you like.  If there's no spelling errors then its not mine LOL) 
 I can hear you already... I hate my handwriting!!  
This is usually everyones first comment about journaling, it was also mine so type it out. 
(just to give you a heads up, we will be adding handwriting in upcoming posts) 

We had a family get together recently but I didn't get my camera out.  They all usually complain about me taking photos so I chose not to bring it out.  The next day I was thinking about the night and how much fun we had had.  All the laughing, the chatting, the stories and yes the odd argument or two.
So I sat at my computer and just typed out everything I wanted to remember about the evening.  I just kept typing, not worrying about spelling etc, just getting the story down.

Once I had finished I then went and made a cuppa, took a break then came back to my journaling.
I corrected any errors like spelling and grammar etc.
I then moved my words around to make it look appealing and then I added embellishments.

and when I was done I had a scrapbook page full of memories from a wonderful night with my family.
No I don't have a photo but I have an amazing story that can be passed on for many years to come...  and really I don't think the photo would have allowed me to journal so much.

As I was looking at the page I couldn't help but remember how wonderful the night was.
The stories that we told each other.  
The laughs that we shared.  
But most of all I have a written record of this moment.

It was just an ordinary family get together until I wrote it down.

I hope this helps get you journaling on your pages.  If you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.  Pretty pages are great but if there's no story, all they are is just pretty pages.

Happy journaling
love me :-)

Note:  stamps and embellishments are story stamp & story kit from Ali Edwards.


  1. What an amazing tips. I wish I could sit down and write a whole page of journalling like that. With your ideas I definitely will give it a go and take more note of what's being said rather than what people are doing.

  2. One of the best posts I've read in a long, long while and you know why because it is your 'story' about journalling. I love the exercise you did at Uni -- speaks strongly to pictures ALONE do not tell the story. I am a scrapbooker and get so caught up in the 'look' of a LO that I often don't leave enough room to tell the story. Absolutely love your story page and am going to do this. Thank you for this!!!

    1. Thankyou so much for visiting my blog and for your lovely words. I am very passionate about journaling as you can probably tell. Please give me a shout out when you do your page I would love to see.

  3. Love this so much Tracey!! I feel the same way about my scrapping and it's the STORY that gets me every time. I love telling the story and reading other peoples stories. I love that my kids will know so much of their stories if I'm not here or even with me here, they can show their kids. I think of that often and hope my grandkids will think it's neat to read about their parents.
    I am journaling more this year too and really wish I had done so last year, now I have these memories sometimes forgotten too soon in this busy world already done on paper and written about.
    I will start doing more of these kinds too, sometimes just the words really all you need.
    Thanks so much for sharing this!!

  4. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and applauding your great ideas for your talk :). Journalling is the most important part for me too. I read a post somewhere recently, where the scrapbooker explained she rarely journalled because she felt she had nothing to say, and my first thought was 'I NEVER have enough space!' So I admire hugely your page above and love your typography too, and it has set all kinds of things a a-buzzing in my head, so thank-you! Looking forward very much to the rest of your posts in this series.

  5. you're my journaling hero! *hugs*!


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