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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.

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.

Today, while trying to bring the inspiration spirits into my creative space, I decided it was time to visit the Basic Grey BG TV videos and see what they had to offer today to get me inspired. Just taking a glance through Basic Inspiration level 1, not watching the whole video, I was reminded of several things that I haven’t done in a while. I haven’t used a pen to draw, much less draw dotted lines or around a photo or journaling box. I haven’t used paper in smaller pieces as part of the layouts. Sometimes, it takes looking at manufacturer websites to draw inspiration.

This weekend, I started a layout, still in process, using paint which I haven’t used in a long time. We forget what we have in our stashes and generally use our “go to” products. For me, that’s normally a couple of ink pads, paper and some American Crafts Thickers. I do cut letters & shapes to add things too. But we need to throw some playtime into our creative mix every now and then.

So have you checked out some of your favorite manufacturer’s website lately? They have design teams to give creative ideas with their products so take advantage of it!

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!

I consider myself a hybrid scrapper. While I do from time to time digi scrap, I’m usually doing it for a class or to do a project (like that family heritage scrapbook needing 8 copies or some ridiculous number like that). Mostly, I do it when I am “on the go” and it’s easier to take my laptop rather than all my paper supplies (think laptop bag vs. truck o’ stuff). It takes me just as long to do one or the other – making up my mind on supplies always is an issue.

However, I do accumulate digital supplies on my hard drive and I do use them in my paper scrapping too. And what I do find very useful is the information on digital sites to use in my paper scrapping.

Templates are one of the most awesome finds on digital sites. These little gems are great for fast digital scrapping and they are easily used for traditional scrapbook sketches. Designer Digitals brings the point of multiple uses of templates to the forefront with their post on turning a template, using Pattie Knox’s Speed Byte No. 021.

Turning a sketch, or any layout you love, to create a new layout is always a great idea. If you loved it once, why wouldn’t you love it again?

Inspiration is where you look. And while you are checking out the post at Designer Digitals, get involved in their template challenge! I’m going to need to head back over there for that template…

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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