Tell the Story

There are a number of physical items I hold dear … my wedding ring, my photos and scrapbook albums, my childhood teddy bear Benjamin, my hiking boots and my backpack, etc. Beyond all these materials items however, the most dear to my heart are the hand written cards or letters from family.

Our hand writing means a lot to the people we love. I can tear up reading a card from my Grandma from 10 years ago largely because of her handwriting, the way she puts that extra loop on the B in my name is so familiar, so memory filled, so Grandma. My father’s writing is all caps lock printed and I love it. He is emphasizing that HAPPY BIRTHDAY or maybe MISS YOU GUYS with joy and a smile. Those caps letters translate direct to the level of love I feel when reading something he wrote to me in his hand, from his heart.

Our hand writing tells as much of the story as the actual words we use. The letters and loops and sentences showcase our mood about that memory. I have more exclamation points per page in my Disney albums than I do in my day to day scrapbook memory albums. I use pretty and diligent cursive on the pages documenting my wedding day. I switch between caps and lower case printing when telling a story about my nephews. This all means something – the words and the way I put the words to paper.

Beyond how it is written down, the goal is that it is written down. I put actual pen to paper and think everyone should try if anything for the gift your own writing is to your family. Try it, just once in a while. Even if (like me) you have to do a couple of drafts before actually touching a pen to that finished scrapbook layout. I do understand that some people really hate their writing (funny it is usually those people who have a writing style I envy!). Type and print is absolutely awesome and great and fun too. There is a massive typewriter and label making journal trend underway for a reason – it looks so awesome on the page, on your desk and who doesn’t love the sound of a typewriter!

Tell the story, that is truly the point. In pictures, and embellies and words – tell the story. It is the story that counts first and foremost. Your hand writing is the icing on the storyteller’s cake but the cake is the actual point! If you use a type and print solution, get yourself some great fonts that help express the feeling of the memory (Gothic for that appendectomy memory and Comic Sans for Disneyland stories). Let your personality come through in fonts if not through a fountain pen. Have fun with it!

While I am a huge advocate for telling the story, I have to admit, that sometimes I struggle to do it too.

Do any of these thoughts sounds familiar? I will remember this forever I don’t need to write it down; the written story might mess with the sketch or vision I had for the layout; journalling might unbalance the page; my writing might take away from the look; I am sure to make ugly spelling mistakes; people don’t really care for my rendition if they were also there; I dont know all the details just the feelings; who can read my writing anyway; my pen sucks, etc.

Well me too! When these thoughts come to mind and I cant get over them – my solution is to create a journal card as a flip flap! Also because I like saying flip flap. Try it, go ahead, it sounds quite fun. See!

I have a large stash of Close to My Heart, Memory Protector Flip Flaps and Simple Stories SNAP Photo Flip Pockets. They come in every size from 4*6 or 8*12 to 6*6 to name a few and are a clear plastic page protector of sorts that have an adhesive strip you can stick to another page protector.

As I am creating a layout I determine if my story is going to be on the page or on a journal card adhered to the page. If I decide its going on a journal card, I create the layout and the journal card (in the size that I think will best fit my story) at the same time – using the same products and papers so they coordinate.

Here are a couple of examples of layouts I created with coordinating journal cards aka flip flap. (Please note: I have blended out the actual journalling on each as they are full of heart and feeling and my poor family might not appreciate just how much I put up on social media about everything.) 





The pool journal card above is a 4 x 12 flip flap, and the water sliding a 6 x 12 flip flap.

You can see some additional examples using the adhere-able flip flaps in these other posts on our blog:

Oh and you can use these adhesive page protectors to add additional photos or memorabilia to a layout too. I tend to photo one side (flip), and journal the other (flap). I will use them to put in a report cards, certificate, movie tickets, etc. I also tend to put my journalling on the inside of the flap so what I think is my ugly (but important) handwriting isn’t the first thing you see.

Close to My Heart, Noreen Petty did this great Flip Flap video in 2013 with ideas on just how much you can do with these adhesive flaps. Check it out here.

Also, Shar here at Scrapstorian has taken this another leap further! She has used all kinds of different flapping and tucking and sneak peek techniques to add journalling, extra pictures, and dimension to her Scotland 2013 Travel Album. The album is like one of those childhood books where you can open a door to see a bear peeking out or a flip a flap to find the mouse in his home. Check out her Travel Journal Flip Through video.

Now off you go to tell a story!


One comment

  1. I love this post and it honestly has changed the way I scrap book my sons annual book! I have a 4X6 journal card prepared for almost every page and it as relieved such pressure of spelling mistakes or ugly hand writing or punctuation or grammar on my page… I have become better at telling the story not just putting together the page and I am conscious of journaling as I start my Lay outs now which is a league ahead were I was last year- journaling was just an after thought I neatly tucked around my pic.. date, time place, who. Now I have why , what I learned what is not said in the picture all that crap! 😉 thanks B for being inspiring with journaling as CA was with titling!

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