Friday, 24 October 2008

Journaling basics

If you know anything about me, you know that I think journaling is what differentiates scrapbooking from photo albums. It’s not the pretty papers or the title or even the embellishments: it’s the journaling that tells others why these photos are special or how they make you feel.

Journaling is what takes your place when you can’t be around and tell the story in person.

I’m glad to see that so many manufacturers are bringing out more and more products that should make journaling easier (I particularly like those little labels that you can journal on and then simply stick onto a layout) but sometimes it seems that journaling is taking a further step back in scrapbookers’ minds.

Wherever I look, I find layouts that have absolutely no journaling on them at all. Sure, they look very nice but I am none the wiser as to who is in the photo, why, what they are doing, anything at all! I also think this is more of a British thing as people from this side of the world find it harder to share their feelings… but not ALL journaling is about emotion either. Sometimes it’s just about the main questions: Who, when, where, what, why.

A lot of the journaling in magazines (mainly those from the USA) have journaling that is more about emotions and while that is great, I think it sometimes puts off the more restrained Brits and, because they think that this is what journaling is about, it makes them uncomfortable and just don’t do it at all.

Maybe it’s time we went back to basics: there is nothing wrong with recording the main facts about an event or a photo and recording those! Sometimes even just having the date on a layout would be enough and a lot of people don’t even do that.

Like much else in the world of scrapbooking (and the world in general), people aspire to the glossy images on pages of magazines and then feel inadequate if their layout doesn’t look as perfect as those do, with carefully crafted words worthy of an expensive copywriter and with photos just like the ones the professionals take. So much perfectionism can put people off, which is really sad.

So let’s not forget the basics – and get those journaling pens out!


Rachael B said...

Totally agree. I hate looking at layouts and thinking "I wonder who that is and where they are". Surely if I'm thinking this then family members in years to come will be thinking the same.

I also think that journalling should be handwritten not typed as it's so much more personal. I love to find handwriting from long ago relatives on the back of photos. It really makes you think about the person that took the time to sit and write it. It also makes you think that 50/60/70 years ago a relative of mine, whom I may never have met, touched the page I'm touching and it's like a little piece of them is still around.

Diana said...

Great blog!

If you want more inspiration, you might want to check out my blog,

Keep writing!

Lauren said...

I am a journaling slacker - hehe! Thanks for the motivation Claudia.

Jane said...

I agree, too. Every scrapbook LO should tell a story... through the pictures, through the journaling, and through the design. If not, it's just making a page pretty but there's no meaning, no memories to be captured. Seriously!


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