I’m Connie, a mom, wife, reader, teacher and scrapbooker of it all. I’ve been crafting most of my life. I learned crochet from my grandmother and cross stitch from my mom as a child. When I entered the realm of paper crafting eight years ago I felt as if the light went on. I started scrapbooking as a way to get a girls' night out of the house. I have gained wonderful friendships and so much more. I have learned a great deal about design principles and color theory and even more about myself. I love to tell stories on my pages. These stories allow me to retell and remember with my family and just as importantly, to reflect and renew for myself. I enjoy making layouts, off the page projects and an occasional card. I also enjoy creating handmade gifts for those I love.
At the heart of my scrapbooking, I am a storyteller. For me the products and techniques are wonderful, but they are a vehicle. I love to play with them, but they are not my goal. My stories are. This is not to say that all of my layouts include lots of very serious, very dense journaling. I love telling the funny stories as well as the touching ones; I record the difficult moments as well as the happy ones. Sometimes my stories are paragraphs long, sometimes just a few bullet points. I hope that my scrapbooks - my stories - capture a bit of the rhythms of my life.
Often my process of creating a layout takes place over the course of many days. I start with the topic of the layout (usually based on the photos) and then ponder the story I’m going to tell. Do I want to recount events? Describe emotions? Give some backstory? Connect to a previous experience? I think about these things while I’m driving, walking, in the shower, you name it. After I find the story, I feel ready to begin the hands on parts of the layout.
It took me a number of days to create this list of “what I know for sure.” Many of the stories that I capture are about me. The process of choosing a story and then retelling it helps to center me. Creating and revisiting a layout like this one can help me remember what is most important in my life.
The stories are my entry point, but I do love the products and techniques. I especially love it when I am challenged to try something new. I will take almost any challenge - I’m a bit competitive. Trying something new sometimes makes me nervous, but I usually love the results.
This layout was inspired by a challenge on National Scrapbooking Day. I have never created a frame around just a portion of a photo before. I wanted to tell a story about my husband, but he isn’t really a fan of having his picture taken. Creating this frame allowed me to draw attention to him in the photo so that the story on the page makes sense. I don’t know if I’ve ever used so many brads on one layout before, but this challenge was fun and it helped me to tell the story - always my first goal.
Creating a layout about a topic - the process and layout itself - often help me to see the story in a new way or sometimes remember a story that I had forgotten.
The photos in this layout are of our first trip of the season to our favorite ice cream shop. I was able to tell a larger story though, when I thought about what ice cream means in my family and what it reminds me of. I don’t know if my kids will remember how much their grandpa and great-grandpa loved ice cream, but I know that they will see it in this story.
So that’s my story. What’s yours? What stories are you telling? I’d love to hear them!
Connie's pages are filled with love for her family that you can feel in her writing and topic choices. We think she provides a wonderful example of putting yourself in your scrapbooks, too! Be sure to check out her blog for helpful tutorials as well. She is kind enough to take the time to show step by step instructions on techniques she incorporates into her pages. And while you are there, read through more of her journaling to see how adeptly she captures moments and emotions.