If you’re a frequent reader (waving “Hi” to you if you are), then you know my blog is a place where I often share pages from my personal “Just for Me” scrapbook.
My “Just for Me” book is not organized chronologically, by topic, by special event, or even by person – in fact, it is not organized at all! In it, I can reflect back on my life over the years and relate it to what life is like now; I can write down those little stories that stick in my mind; I can make any kind of page I want about any topic that I am thinking about.
At first it was hard to break free from all the (probably unnecessary) constraints that I seem to put on my regular family scrapbooks, but once I got the ball rolling, I have found that it is so satisfying to make pages for the “Just for Me” book. I really enjoy the process of creating the pages. Then later when I look back at them, I am so glad that I did.
To start with, I pick a topic from the jumble of thoughts that run through my brain on a daily basis. Sometimes a topic will pop up while I am driving around, or waiting in line, or doing chores, or talking with family or friends. As soon as I have a chance, I jot down random brainstorming notes. (I send my “inner editor” on break so that she doesn’t interrupt my flow of thoughts.) Once I start writing (or typing), more thoughts and memories come to the surface. Often the brainstorming leads to notes for future pages, or even to changing the focus of the current page. Once I’ve accumulated a critical mass of notes, I set aside a quiet time to write the story (the “inner editor” is allowed back in the room now).
After the story is finished, then I cast about for supporting graphics. Selecting the graphics after I write the story is a switch from how I make pages for my regular scrapbooks, in which the photos almost always come first. But in the “Just for Me” book, it’s the story that leads the way.
If I’m lucky, I might have photos in hand that fit the bill. Other times, I can get photos from family members or friends, or even stage an impromptu photo shoot to create the shots I need. Sometimes, I find digital artwork that feels appropriate. (Or I buy a new kit. I bet you understand buying an entire kit just for one embellishment.) If I’m looking for something really specific, I may end up getting a piece of royalty-free artwork from a stock art site. Then comes the really fun part – playing with Artisan to create a page with just the right combination of story and graphics.
In my “Just for Me” book, I don’t follow a theme, or prompts, or any overarching principle except to write from the heart and try not to worry what others will think. That last part is that hardest, you know? Because even though I am making this mainly for myself, I do hope that it will be meaningful to my family in the future. Trusting that you all have my back, I am sharing these pages with you, partly so that you get to know me in a deeper way, and partly to inspire you to make pages (or even entire books) about topics that are relevant to you personally.
Below is a sampling of pages from my “Just for Me” scrapbook that have been published in previous blogs. You can find links to all of my blog posts (and the content lists for these pages) by hovering over the drop-down arrow next to “Blog” on the colored menu bar at the top of this page and then clicking on “Penny’s Blog”.
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