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22 January 2016

January–Snowbound With Strong Opinions


I have been listening to myself “talk”, and I’m sounding a bit opinionated lately,  Cases in point:

On blogging:  I was commenting to Ruth:
I don't know why everyone thinks blogging is supposed to be a regularly scheduled event - like the evening newscasts.  I like to think of it more like news flashes - you don't always know when they are coming, but you are all the more interested to see them when they pop up. I suspect many bloggers who are doing it for personal and not professional reasons experience ebbs and flows.  Let's all just embrace that - and keep the news flashes coming if and when you want to issue them.  We'll be reading.
News flash!!!!  I myself sometimes get in a mood to write a blog post just to let you know what I am thinking.  My blogging friends always keep me thinking. I am feeling chatty.  There is no one around. And so I type.

On titles:  I answered Sian’s question: Does every scrapbook page need a title?
Let's start with an answer: yes, every layout needs a title. Otherwise you are opening the book to a page and you don't know what book it is. Have you ever noticed that most books have the title of the book at the top of every other page. It is there for a reason. It is a road marker - it lets you where you are in case you just arrived and need to find your bearings. Make sense to the librarian and the traveler in you? I find any layout without a title incomplete and unfinished. So even though you are not absolutely positively definitive on the need, I appreciate all the helpful advice and suggestions on how to do titles. Long live layout titles.
Can you tell I think this is practically a creative commandment?  One reason I was particularly adamant about the title issue because I had just read a post in a Facebook group about a gal who was lamenting the lack of titles and journaling on most of her older layouts.  I truly felt bad for her.  I would be hard pressed to know which is the bigger oversight.  She was obviously overwhelmed by the thought of going back and adding to those pages.  She received lots of suggestions.

Mine:  If it were me, I'd add titles to most, if not, all of them, it would help a lot with the finished look. If you can add a small label or tag or journal box with the specifics you can remember easily, I'd do that. And then maybe make a list or leave post-it notes on the ones where you really want to tell a longer story. Go back and tackle those 1 - 2 a week, and you will be glad you did. Don't feel like every page needs a long story.
I went on to agree with others that adding stories to the back of the layout is always an option.  Have you noticed that digital scrappers seem to be less convinced of the need for titles than paper scrappers – any theories as to why that is?

Oh, and by the way, I never did convince Sian, either, although I take solace in the fact that she usually puts titles on her pages.

On journaling:  I posed my own question in the Scrap Gals Facebook group
Question for the group: When was the last time you journalled more than 3 sentences on a layout, or do you do it all the time?

It occurred to me recently that 3 sentences may not be enough to tell the whole story, but it may be enough to spark the memory of someone who already knows the story. I think I had fallen into this habit.

So which should we be doing? Should we assume that those looking at our layouts only need a refresher? Isn't the richness of the story determined by the detail included? And have the examples of design work for manufacturers where the product and the photo are emphasized lulled us into complacency in this regard? (I'm not being critical there, just trying to be analytical.)

It is not an easy thing to make a layout with great design, great photo and a well-told story, is it?
The answers came back half and half.  I was pleased and surprised to see how many wrote longer stories.  I wonder if those who didn’t were hesitant to say.  I know myself I have evolved very very slowly over time (10 years).  There was barely more than a date, place and names on my first layouts. Lately, I’ve been typing longer stories on the background paper.  The more I write the more I enjoy writing.  In fact, if I had to give up scrapbooking, I would still want to post pictures and tell stories on my blog.  How about you?

That’s enough from me today.  I’m chatted out and someone around here needs to do something productive around here before someone else get home from his Mom’s house tomorrow.  The snow is softly falling, and the driveway that he cleared is now covered over. I heard the neighbor’s husband shoveling a little over there, trying to keep ahead of it, when I snapped these pictures from the porches and garage.


There on the pavers on the back patio, you can see the 3 inches from early in the week, with about an inch of new snow.  Hmmm . . . might just be scrapbooking weather instead.


  1. How stunning is your winter wonderland. I struggle with cold weather and as much as I would love to experience snow in real life, I don't think I will be able to survive weeks on end with it. I always put titles to my layouts...and sometimes I tell the story. My blog mojo also ebbs and flows and I am fine with it.

  2. Interesting post :) I agree I always try to put some kind of title on my layouts and I usually write more than 3 lines :) As for blogging it comes and goes depending on how my week is going and how much I'm creating that needs posted for challenges :) Enjoy the snow hopefully we won't see any this weekend :)

  3. Enjoyed reading your post and thought orovoking! I mostly put titles on my layouts! Don't always journal much, but if it is an interesting story I do! And I don't feel obligated to blog every day! Love your snowy photos! Hope you're not too snow bound this weekend!

  4. Personally, I think scrapbook pages need titles to draw the reader in---make them interested to find out what the story is. Since I'm a story-based scrapbooker, to me, the story is what it's all about. I tell long stories and short stories. My motivation is not for the readers that already know the stories---but for years down the road to those family members and even strangers who might stumble across my books. I'm hoping that they will find it interesting to know what we did, how we lived and what was important to us in this day and age. Heck, by then, just the mere fact that we've taken the time to tell our stories might just be interesting enough! How I would love to have stories from past and ancient relatives.

  5. I struggle with the journaling ... sometimes my photos are just everyday things (or people) ... so as long as I get the people's names and date on my page, I am ok :) But I always have a title :) Loving all your snow pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. You? Strong opinions? I had no idea......Okay, sarcasm aside, I am feeling a little left out in the weather category. No snow here. But I bet our turn is coming.

  7. I think my most popular posts are those that I feel most compelled to write, rather than my regularly scheduled ones (right now I'm trying to blog 3-4 times a week).

  8. Oh my, it looks very COLD there! I agree that blogging is more fun when it's not always scheduled, however I don't need a title on every layout (although I include one most of the time). I'm ok with a little journaling on some layouts and longer stories on others - thinking it all balances out.

  9. Lovely view and what a perfect day to scrapbook with a hot drink! Blog as you please! I'm all about doing whatever floats my boat or at least, what works at the time. Titles and journaling for me depend on what the goal of the layout is. If it's just for fun/artistic expression, then it really doesn't matter. But my eyes always seen to want to find a title. Same for journaling. Sometimes the title/embellishment/photo says it all, sometimes it's a good way to remember a story or explain what's happening in the photo. Stay warm ;)

  10. I like that we can blog and scrap as we please. I waver between no title or a one word to long complicated ones, same with the journalling. I've been known to add more on the back or in an envelope if needed.

    But I do enjoy the structure of not needing to wonder what I should blog about when, and then adding in others as I am inspired.