How often do you look back on your past layouts?

After reading an article in the latest issue of Scrapbooks, Etc. I was inspired to take a look back at my own pages and simply reflect on what I loved (and didn't) in order to guide me on the pages I am creating now. In general I am more of a do it and forget about it for now scrapper. Put it away until someone happens to want to take a look. But...

I thought this was such a great idea. Essentially, it encourages you to take a look back and focus on the things that are most important to you now. Which pages do I love most? Why? How can I make sure I am doing this in my current pages?

One of the biggest impacts for me today is that I love MORE journaling. I love to read more of the story. More words. Taking the time to really tell the story behind the page. Years from now I want my books to reflect feelings, emotions, facts, funny little tid-bits, and reality.

Lately I feel like I have been slacking in this department. Need to bring it back home again.

Here is one I reflected on from the December 2004 issue of Creating Keepsakes. Now this is what I am talking about - a complete story. In this case, my Mom wrote up the information for me (thanks Mom). It tells a good story. A story I want to be remembered. Something cool for Simon to know in the future.

The photos and the words. Enough words to really get that story down. And some nice paper and a couple embellishments. And maybe some paint. Or a stamp or two. Or a little bit of this and a little bit of that...but most of all, for me, I want the words.

28 thoughts

  1. shannon z

    2005-07-10 15:37:27 -0400

    Ali, I can't believe that I had the same thought as you at about the same time, as I was unpacking my albums into my new room yesterday I took some time to look through them, and the pages I loved were the ones where I actually told a story, I resolved to do that even more often.... This is what I think will be important in years to come to those that enjoy my work....

  2. Sharyn (Torm)

    2005-07-10 15:44:46 -0400

    Right on!

  3. kristi

    2005-07-10 15:53:27 -0400

    The words are what makes this hobby worthwhile...yes, I'll love my latest page w/ cool Basic Grey pp and ribbons and shit, but 3 years from now when I bust that page out I will love the STORY. I will undoubtedly think the supplies used are "out of date" or "could be better" but the honest heartfelt words are what I will treasure. Thank you for reminding me why we do this....

  4. Jenny L.

    2005-07-10 16:17:50 -0400

    I look through my old stuff all the time. I like looking back and seeing the progress in my pages and the growth of my family. My favorite pages are the ones that are the simplest, but the message is clear.

  5. Amy

    2005-07-10 16:45:53 -0400

    I look through my past lo's all the time. And like my e-mails to you, my lo's are wordy : ) Full of tons of journaling. My very first scrapbook page consists of two pictures and half a page of journaling. What can I say? It's all about the story.

  6. cathy

    2005-07-10 16:46:46 -0400

    More and more....all i want are the words as well.
    Words rock.

  7. Rosemary

    2005-07-10 17:13:19 -0400

    I'm so with you. Lately I could care less about else as long as I have enough room for what I want to say.

  8. tania

    2005-07-10 17:20:08 -0400

    Couldn't agree more. I think layouts w/o words/copious journaling are rockin', but usually my layouts benefit from words since most of my family and friends are non-scrappers who don't always appreciate everything that goes into a page. However, everyone "gets" words...I hope. ;)

  9. Megan

    2005-07-10 18:31:08 -0400

    LOVE this concept. I, too took a look back, but at baby albums, and almost decided to "re-do" them...Thankfully, just decided to "also do". Loved the idea of telling the story behind the story...Now the kids all have TWO baby albums, each with a unique story to tell.

  10. Lee

    2005-07-10 20:10:49 -0400

    Heyya Ali! Great post today! And I especially liked Tania's additional post above, that is such an inspired thought that EVERYONE GETS WORDS - I might have to stick that up in my room somewhere as a motto! FABULOUS!
    Cheers, Lee :)

  11. Wendy

    2005-07-10 21:44:16 -0400

    When doing a recent layout, I realised while that I have not done enough journaling and I really ought to - when my children open their albums one day, they may not know why I've done some of the layouts. Thanks for reminding me. Your layouts are always so awesome and you totally inspire me.

  12. rebecca

    2005-07-11 00:14:47 -0400

    i am so with you on that one. more words. yeah. i had a conversation with my aunt a while back and it really drove this home for me.
    i asked her why she let someone (not a close family member) take my great grandmothers old photos when she died b/c they were so close. she said, "they really didn't mean anything to me because i don't know who anyone is or anything about them." whow.
    i think of this everytime i sit down to scrapbook.
    i think (and love) pretty paper and embellishments, but what really matters now (and even more so later) is the story.

  13. Lisa

    2005-07-11 02:09:08 -0400

    I struggle with the story the most. When I read my journaling, it always seem so trite and dumb sounding, like I'm trying too hard to capture a moment or story. Corny, I guess. Did you ever struggle with the words?
    I always think, "I'm never going to forget what was going on in these pictures." So I blog to try to improve my writing.
    (BTW, LOVE those Technique Tuesday stamps....)

  14. Sharon

    2005-07-11 02:56:21 -0400

    I used to be like that as well. But doing Lifetime Moments' Scrapfest last summer got me to do things a bit differently.
    I was so busy scrapping that I didn't have time to reflect, didn't even have time to put the LOs away so they piled up. When things finally settled down, I put them away but not before looking and loving each layout.
    It certainly made me appreciate the work I had done but also made me realize some of those layouts were done just for the sake of points. I have become more of a simple scrapbooker now, trying to tell the story and not scrap for the sake of creating "art." For that, I make cards and other gifts.

  15. Jen

    2005-07-11 03:08:05 -0400

    I agree! For me, it's all about the photos, (and the story they tell), and the words on the page. If I cannot look back at a page a year later and know from reading it what was happening at that time, how will anyone else years from now? I'm trying to be less caught up in the embellishment de jour, and more focused on what the moment I'm trying to capture is all about
    Such a lesson, such a legacy.
    Thanks for sharing.

  16. traci

    2005-07-11 03:08:25 -0400

    Amen! The journaling always makes or breaks my layouts for me. I can tell when I made a layout just to fit a theme, with no real story to tell. Love the ones where I had a story to tell, and that story shines.

  17. Candi

    2005-07-11 03:11:31 -0400

    Me too. That is what I've always loved about your pages, too. I think sometimes in this industry, when you create pages on assignment, it is easy to get wrapped up in design and forget this stuff. I have my cute pencil art from G in my scrap room that she so nicely wrote "share your story"'s a constant reminder to keep it real...and for me that means writing the story down. This is why I started scrapbooking. I'd just have a photo album if it wasn't for the words. I believe so strongly in this. For me, it is my goal as well. So, amen sister.

  18. May

    2005-07-11 03:41:57 -0400

    This has totally become my focus over the last 2 weeks. I really need to get back to storytelling. Make my albums more BOOK like and less PHOTO ALBUM.

  19. Tina

    2005-07-11 03:53:57 -0400

    Utterly and completely, the most important part of SBing. The rest of it is wonderful, but the words, they are important. And because you took the time, they will always be there. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

  20. Care

    2005-07-11 04:23:46 -0400

    I am with you. The pages I love of mine are those with a *story*. The ones where I have shared a piece of me.

  21. Julia

    2005-07-11 04:36:07 -0400

    Ditto on that. I was putting about 100+ pages in my new Heidi Swapp albums this weekend (love those btw), and had a great time going through some old pages and reading the stories. Yes journaling - it's all about the journaling... and pictures - with a bunch of paper and glue mixed in. :)

  22. Shelley

    2005-07-11 06:35:12 -0400

    I agree. The words are what matter. And I find I like the layouts that i have done in the past with the story that goes with it. So important!

  23. Becky

    2005-07-11 07:11:46 -0400

    How funny...your bed layout was one of the first layouts I saw after I started reading SBing magazines. That LO made me realize that THIS was the kind of scrapper I wanted to who would tell our stories, from the mundane to the painful to the exquisite. I didn't know you from Adam, but I liked what you had done! So, thanks for being an inspiration!

  24. Angelique

    2005-07-11 08:58:03 -0400

    I pull out my old albums about 2 times a year. I wish i would remember to do it more. I agree with you on the journaling thing- i enjoy that more than i used to- i love to read what i had to say "back then". I often find myself thinking "i wish i would have told more". I would really like to grow in this department too!
    Have a great day!

  25. Kate

    2005-07-11 19:36:33 -0400

    I remember that page well- loved it then, love it now! I hear you on the journaling- for me that's one of the most important parts- telling the story, letting the layouts be a vehicle for my voice for future generations. Love that scrapping allows me to do this and have fun with colour etc.. at the same time- it's agreat hobby isn't it?

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