Wednesday, February 14, 2007

February's Creative Team Guest Member Gives 5 Tips for Heartful Journaling

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Congrats to our Special Contributor Becky Adams: Miss February
Digital Scrapbooking Tutorial

by Becky Adams,
February Creative Team Guest MemberLayout created with sponsor Angela Sharrow's Dreamscrape Kit
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Sharing Your Heart - Journaling Help

You finally got it…the perfect photo! Congratulations! Looking at this photo, your heart is stirred with all sorts of beautiful emotions. You want to tell the world how you feel, but don’t think you could write well enough for anyone to understand what you’re trying to convey. Don’t sell yourself short! You’d be amazed by the wonderful writer that has been hiding inside you!

When scrapbooking, we’re conveying emotions. We use bright colors to convey happy feelings, dark colors to convey solitude, etc. We use stitching to give a warm, homey feeling and gelly embellishments to give a lighthearted, fun feeling. Journaling is exactly the same way. We’re simply sharing our emotions. Here are a few tips to help you along:

1. Think about how the photo makes you feel. Does it make you angry? Does it make you laugh? Does it make you fall in love all over again? Focus on the emotion that the photo evokes. This is the basis of all journaling. We’re not just sharing who, what, when, where. We also sharing our hearts.

2.Use descriptive words. Embellish your journaling just like you would a layout. Rather than simply saying “I stood there” you could say, “I stood in the lush green grass, swaying softly with the gentle breeze.” This gives more than just basic information. This provides the reader with an emotion, a way to see how it felt to stand where you stood.

3. Be careful of which fonts you use.
You don’t want too many fonts on a single page. Too many fonts make your page more difficult to read and less pleasing to the eye. Instead, choose one or two fonts for your journaling. While title fonts are often very elaborate, journaling fonts should be kept fairly simple and easy to read. Comic Sans is one of my favorites for journaling. Those tried and true fonts have been around for so long for a reason…they’re easy to read and pleasing to the eye. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Go with what you already know works well.

4. Don’t be afraid of lengthy journaling. It’s okay for your journaling to be a major part of your design. In the page below, I wanted to really focus on the journaling. Most of the page is covered in words. This is an easy indicator to the person viewing my page that I had something to share. They will take more interest in reading my heartfelt journaling if they see that it is the prominent design feature on my page.

5. Be authentic. You don’t have to be fake to be compelling. If you have something to say but aren’t sure where to begin, just talk it out. Say it out loud as though there were someone there with you. In talking it out, you’ll be better able to organize your thoughts before committing them to a page.

6. Be expressive. When journaling about your best friend, rather than simply saying “I love you,” try saying WHY you love them. Do you love their quirky sense of humor, their outrageous taste in music, the way that just being around them makes you happy? Tell them that. Tell them what they mean to you. Never pass up an opportunity to make someone feel extra special. Tell them what exactly it is that you love about them.

7. We often want to end our journaling with a poignant phrase that will stick with the reader. One effective way to do this is to use a quote. I love using quotes and find that they often speak what my heart could not say. Another way to end journaling is to restate your title. An example of this is seen in my layout below. Simply include the title in the last sentence of your journaling.

I hope these tips help you to share more of your heart on your pages. And remember, the most important thing that you’re sharing is yourself. Your journaling is the gift of yourself. Embrace that gift! Enjoy the process.

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Lynn Anne said...

What a great piece on journaling! Instead of sounding like 'composition 101' I love the way you journaling with the visual art, including embellishment...instead of sounding like composition 101 ;) Super blog!

Maggie said...

Great job on the tips, very succint.

Kat said...

Thank you Becky, some great advice! And I already used it today, to make a fun layout I was doing even better, by making the journalling from the heart, reflecting on how the pictures made me feel. Thanks!

angi b said...

sometimes I skip journaling because I'm in such a hurry to get the page done! Great tips, Becky. I'll be sure to keep these in mind.