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I follow a number of blogs and today, Lain Ehmann’s caught my eye with this:

“When I saw this blog post from Internet marketer and author extraordinaire Seth Godin today, it reminded me of a saying I quote to my journaling students again and again:
IF YOU CAN TALK, YOU CAN WRITE.

Basically, it’s impossible to have journaler’s block if you think of your journaling as a conversation rather than as A Piece of Writing.”

So have you HAD talker’s block? No? I know that anyone who’s ever asked me what I think of a layout hears back “you need to journal on there so people know” then says “I don’t know what to say.” And *UNBELIEVABLY* and invariably, they go on to tell me all about the photos and what they remember and how they felt. So, why can’t they put it down?

I recommend that you read both Lain’s and Seth’s blogs. Then tell me: what is it you are afraid of? As Seth very succinctly puts it “The second best thing to zero is something better than bad.” So even if you think what you are writing is “bad” it still beats zero.

Do it today. Write down those thoughts and why you’ve scrapbooked the story you did.

I bet you can.

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You know me, I’m the one who keeps bugging everyone to put some journaling on the page – even if it is “who, what, when & where.” and here is the WHY. I read “Where Old Photos Go to Die” at Scrappers Workshop and it hit me. THIS is why I scrapbook. THIS is why I keep asking people to tell me MORE about the layouts they do.

We all think of our pictures as “current stuff.” That “WE” know who it is and when and why we snapped that picture. But you know what? in 50 years, you might not be able to tell someone anything about that picture. You might not be able to tell them the joy in that photo. Heck, you might not be able to do that tomorrow even.

Think to the box of photos you inherited from your parents or grandparents. What do you know about those pictures? What do you wish you knew about them? Even if your parents or grandparents are still alive, can they tell you about them?

Sadly, we all eventually will never be able to tell anyone why we snapped a picture or who that is in it. This is why many of us scrapbook – to leave a legacy. While some of us do it for ourselves, at some point, someone else is going to sit down and sift thru them (unless you destroy them before then LOL). Those people who see them later will make a decision as to whether they are “worth” keeping for themselves or doing whatever with them. I believe that if the legacy they are is meaningful, they will want to keep them.

Read the article at Scrappers Workshop. If you don’t do anything on the front of the page – at least put it all on the back for someone to see later.

While working on a digital keepsake book, I was looking for the “right” font to put the sentiment in the book. While it needed to be sentimental in appearance, it couldn’t be too casual as the book needed to have a look of having come straight from the printer in a very professional manner. So, I did what nearly anyone else would do, Google fonts, or more specifically “typeface and design.” In the process, I landed at one of my favorite sites, Smashing Magazine, with an older article “60 Brilliant Typefaces for Corporate Design.”

What I was looking for so much wasn’t a FONT but the right typeface. I needed the right look. While, the article is more for corporate design, the same principals apply to any design. And scrapbooking, is design, whether we think it is or not.

Design is more than just moving the visual from left to right, top to bottom, but allowing your viewer to feel the emotion in the pages too. Typeface helps to convey that emotion.

For my project, I needed to make sure that I wasn’t conveying too casual an emotion, yet not too formal. The balance had to be just right. I already knew that my title had to convey a sense of the ice and cold for hockey (the unusual “PlAGuEdEaTH” font for this) is my primary subject. But it also has to be “readable.” There are thousands of really fun fonts that you can download. But ultimately, whatever font you use, you have to be able to read it without difficulty. You really can’t pick one just because of “cuteness.”

I knew I wanted to use a serif font because my title was a serif font. Mixing fonts can make the page lack cohesiveness. Although I already knew that the “signature” from each sentiment would be in a handwritten font (I chose “JohnLennon” for this one), I didn’t want to throw a third font out there that lacked cohesiveness.

And then, I found a fresh article also at Smashing Magazine, “What Font Should I Use?” I really could have used this when I was working on the project.  But on the other hand, I really enjoyed this article. I found that for someone who is really a little lost on choosing fonts, it is a must read. The rules, the lack of rules and describing fonts as putting on “your favorite pair of jeans,” yep, that’s about it. I do still gravitate to that one font, all the time…

So, for anyone still a little confused about fonts and how they work together, I really recommend both articles!

I’m sure I’ll have more of these why Twitters, so I’m not numbering this one. It really isn’t reason #1 either, but a jumble of reasons.

No one says you have to “participate” by tweeting, but you can get a lot of ideas and resources from Twitter without doing that! I’ve passed tweets along to my friends who tell me that they are cool ideas, but they “just don’t have time for Twitter.” I just remind them that they don’t need to tweet, just read. These will be my gems then!

What generally happens to me is that I find some very cool people with great ideas to follow. Like my trail from @lainehmann today to @kristenrutten. Kristen has the Log Your Memory website. Lain tweeted about the “Layouts that Are So You” at Kristen’s site. The layout made me investigate Kristen’s site a little more.

I *LOVE* the concept of logging memories. How many times do you sit down to scrap a page only to realize that the photo was maybe a year ago and the memory itself is not fresh in your mind. I’m exploring this site more as Kristen is releasing new products now for logging memories, including her 2011 Memory Logbook. I’ve tried using a calendar system to keep my memories, but as I also use my iPhone for keeping track of things, I’m not a big fan of carrying a paper calendar either. However, I do like the prompts and other advantages with her logbook.

There must be an app for this!

Angie Lucas brought up a very cool idea in PRT042 (which I can already envision on some of my next titles since they are all beginning to look the same): do your journalling first, then pull some words out of that and you have your title. Think about collaging those words into a title… I can see it now…. the words overlap in various sizes, fonts, and colors… maybe some of them in clear “ghost” letters….

I think I’m done here. Off to try it out!

Everyone knows that it’s so easy to scrap the fun things, the events, the laughter and joy. But scrapping something that is less than that? Well, more often, it goes left undone and unsaid.

Jennifer S. Wilson, at her Simple Scrapper site, posted today about scrapping infertility. Infertility and loss are definitely difficult things to scrap. Jennifer has some links to wonderful digital kits that can help to work through the emotions and record these life events too. (Side note: digital kits can be used for paper scrappers too so don’t discount using them!)

Why scrap this? Because our lives really aren’t just happy thoughts and butterflies even if that’s what we want them to be. There are tough things we all go through. From accidents that may be life changing to the difficulties of trying to bring a child into your life.

Two years ago, we lost a grandchild to stillbirth. The anticipation of a grandchild was wonderful! But as the 20th week approached, our daughter learned that the baby had some issues that would make life difficult if he survived. Ultimately, he was stillborn. As difficult as that was, we did document his birth. After several months, I put a small book together for her and found myself crying often as I was doing it. The process for me was very therapeutic. Hopefully, the book became therapeutic for her too.

When I created the mini book for my daughter, I left places within the book for her to record some of her thoughts as well as some “hidden” places, envelopes for her to write notes to the son she would never know.

note the envelope attached with the binding for hidden notes

Now, I need to do a page for myself, one for grandma to save and put away. I haven’t been able to bring myself to do that yet. Doing the mini book was “easy” for some reason. But scrapping a page for some reason is going to be more difficult for me.

Ultimately, I encourage, no CHALLENGE everyone to scrap the difficult stuff in life. Because life isn’t a bed of roses and by looking at what you have lived through that was difficult, you learn to appreciate the simple, fun and easy stuff of life. In 50 years, when someone looks back through your books, you want them to know, it wasn’t all Christmas, days at the beach and birthday parties.

If you have not yet visited Debbie Hodge’s “Get It Scrapped” site, you are definitely missing out. This site has it all: classes (including the new Masterful Design Series), a gallery, sketches and a forum. I’m currently taking the Building Pages class, which is a self-paced class.

Why another design class? Because honestly, every instructor teaches things differently. I like my pages to be something I want to look at and especially want others to look too. I want to feel the emotion and joy and memory in every page. And if I’m just putting it down randomly and feel there isn’t something “right” with it, I know something isn’t right with the design. So isn’t it better to work on the design up front and make sure it is something I really like first?

While it is great to just scrap the way you want to, taking a class can bring a realization as to what is a GREAT looking page from just keeping the memory. A great looking page makes you want to look at it over and over and keeps the memory like it was yesterday. Bringing the emotion into the page from the memory only adds to it.

Then there are sketches. The most recent sketch is related to Halloween and includes a printable PDF for those of us who are paper scrappers and those of us who are digital scrappers get a JPG bundle. There’s also a link to the fonts used (LOVE Bleeding Cowboy!). I love to pull up the sketches when I am totally drawing a blank. While there are books of sketches out there, this is always being added to so you can always find something new.

And, hint hint, you can go over to the Paperclipping Roundtable, who Get It Scrapped is a sponsor for, and get a coupon code if you’d like for a class! How cool is that?

There are so many places on the web you can go to and find scrapbooking information and resources. I hope that you will find that I am accumulating the most USEFUL of these resources!

Over the last few years, I have answered many questions for others about scrapbooking and sent links and information to them to help answer questions about everything from design, to color to journaling and ideas for when they are creatively blocked. I hope to be able to pull all of these sources together and provide for everyone.

Hopefully, you will find some a-ha moments and nuggets in these resources to make your scrapbooking more fun and more productive!

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