Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

August 28, 2009

Weekend Creative : Write Something By Hand


When was the last time you incorporated your own handwriting into a project?

Do you wish you had a piece of paper with your grandmother’s or grandfather’s handwriting scrawled across? It’s totally possible they weren’t fans of their own handwriting either. Just a piece of paper with messy penmanship can be a powerful connection to the past.

Do it today. Write out a favorite quote or poem. Send it to someone. Paste it on a layout. Stuff it in an envelope and put it somewhere you keep special things. It is special.


  • 1.
    Wendy Treseder said…

    Off to grab a pen. :)

  • 2.
    Barb said…

    I hand write things in my art journal all the time but I will make a concerted effort to just write this weekend without putting so much thought into it this time.
    Peace & Love,

  • 3.
    Tassy said…

    I would like to write beautifully like you.My handwriting can be pretty messy at times.Once my student told me: Miss, can you write properly as I really do not understand what you are writing! I felt really bad and decided to improve.So this project is a big motivation for me.Thanks:)

  • 4.
    Deb said…

    So totally true! Trust me, your children and those who love you do not care how “messy” your handwriting is, if it slants or isn’t straight. Some handwritten recipe cards and hand-penned letters from my parents (both prematurely deceased) are among my most treasured keepsakes.

  • 5.
    Cheyne said…

    I, too have the handwriting struggle. Thankyou for the motivation, it is too true.

  • 6.
    Angie in Japan said…

    My grandmother keeps a jar of canned strawberries that was labeled by my Dad about 25 years ago. He wrote, “strawberries 1983″ on a piece of masking tape and stuck it to the top of the jar. She keeps it in the cabinet in her kitchen and will take it out and look at when she feels the need.

  • 7.
    Lourdes Quintero said…

    The other day I was looking for a something to write on and found a pad in the kitchen drawer. The top page had a note written by my mother when she was staying with me a few months ago. It was obvious that she was watching something on TV and jotting down some notes but it made me emotional to see Mom’s handwriting. It just threw we way back into memory land. My mom lives in another country but looking at her handwriting made me feel connected to her.

  • 8.
    Charmaine T said…

    Yes, something as plain as a strip of paper with a few scribbles on, can have so much emotional meaning. My Gran died 2 years ago and she was like my mother to me as my own mom worked everyday. I inherited her Bible and have her memories with me everytime that I open that Bible….
    I love your blog and have learned sooo much about journaling and just creating from your heart…. Thank you.

  • 9.
    Shelly Kettell said…

    True true true! Handwriting connects you to the person in a unique way. I will not throw away anything with my dear Grandma’s handwriting on it. I do incorporate my handwriting…but it doesn’t look as good as yours! I remember the day we could download Ali’s font!!

  • 10.
    shana said…

    I don’t have bad handwriting by any mean and lots of people really like it, but your handwriting, my dear . . . it is beautiful! I love it! It makes me smile! Have a great weekend.
    Shana in MN

  • 11.
    Molly Irwin said…

    Great reminder!

  • 12.
    Michelle said…

    Thanks for the reminder—I am trying to get used to my tablet! This thing takes practice….I love how you have mastered it. How many “tries” did the title for today take? I am just curious because I had to try numerous times just to get a good signature on a LO. ;-)

  • 13.
    Christine said…

    I so agree with you. I almost always hand write my journaling. Mostly because I live on a computer 50+ hours a week for work. It really isn’t fun for me to do my hobby on a computer. I found some old recipes written by my grandmother. I pulled out other recipes written by my mother. It was amazing how much alike they were. Another great idea is to get your kids to write on some of the pages about them. It is so cool to see how their hand writing changes over time.

  • 14.

    Check out my blog post today…you would have thought we had talked about our posts prior to posting them…great minds think alike…
    LOVE you and your wisdom…your friendship and that super cute family of yours!!!!

  • 15.
    Jessi said…

    I handwrite on most of my layouts, if not all! I think it is so important. My grandmother that I never met always kissed the back of photos with lipstick on, and left her mark on the photos of those she loved. I don’t have anything with her handwriting, but that is something special to me:)

  • 16.
    Rachel said…

    I implore my clients all the time to include their handwriting in their books. Whether I create the books for them or they do them themselves. I tell them you may not like your writing but your kids will run their hands over it, stroke it, touch it to be close to you. The will LOVE it.
    Great reminder. :)

  • 17.
    Nicky from Canada said…

    We have a treasure of letters that my husbands grandfather wrote to his wife (hubbys grandma) after she passed away a few years ago. He travelled a lot for work and always wrote her – she saved every letter. It gives me goosebumps to read them. They are amazing.
    And a good reminder to all of us.
    Thanks Ali – hope you have a great weekend.

  • 18.
    Valerie said…

    This is so true. Thirty-five years ago my father died when I was only 14 and I recently found a picture of him and my mother taken when they were first married and he had wrote on the back of it. I was so thrilled to have this little personal piece of my dad.

  • 19.
    {vicki} said…


  • 20.
    TracyBzz said…

    Handwriting is so much quicker than computer journaling…for me anyway. Only if I have a really long story to tell do I type it up.
    I hope everyone does some handwriting on some of their layouts.

  • 21.
    sheri said…

    Ali: I agree that handwriting is special. My dad passed away 3 years ago yesterday and we all (mom & my seven sisters) have his handwritten recipes. He also hated his handwriting, but believe me, to have these in my possession is very special & a link to his memory. So, let’s get past our inhibitions that we can’t write beautiful, and leave something special for our children & their children.;)

  • 22.
    Sue O said…

    Ali you are so right. I treasure a note my Grandmother wrote me when I was 17. It was right after a life threatening illness/surgery and she sent me a dollar (that was 36 years ago so a dollar was a lot!) and told me to spend it on whatever I wanted, even bubble gum. I will try and keep that in mind when I am deciding between writing and typing.

  • 23.
    hedwig said…

    SOOOO TRUE, why is it then, that i still do not like that messy, unreadable handwriting…… Even if i try very hard, i am the only one who can read it BOOOHOO.
    By the way, Anna is Adorable (you just knew it in advance: A id for Anna, A is for Adorable) ;-) )))

  • 24.
    Denise Laborde said…

    So true. I love seeing my grandmother’s shaky handwriting on my birthday and holiday cards.
    Write on Ali. Lol.

  • 25.
    Cathy A. said…

    Very true. After my father passed, I found a journal he was going to try to keep for his new grandson. He was too ill to write much in it however, on the front page he left an inked thumbprint and next to it he wrote his full name and the words “his mark”. I cherish each curve and loop of that writing.

  • 26.
    Carole Hepburn said…

    GREAT IDEA !!!

  • 27.
    Leslie said…

    Isn’t it crazy what a simple message that is? But you’re absolutely right. Handwriting is so unique to us. My mom passed away 12 years ago and I love it when I find an old birthday card or other snippet with her handwriting on it. Even if it just says “love, Mom”. Thanks for the simple reminder.

  • 28.
    Shanon said…

    Like so many others, I recently found some notes written by my Grandmother and my Mother, and I love to compare their styles with my own. Our styles directly reflect the three generations: my grandma’s handwriting is a very delicate cursive, my mother’s is a cross between cursive and printing, and mine is mostly printing. Kind of interesting. . .

  • 29.
    Erin said…

    Have been thinking a lot about this lately (something you put in my brain a long time ago when you did a mini album with notes from your mother, I think), particularly with respect to my grandmother, who passed away one year ago. She was German, and had a very distinct handwriting. I plan to find all the notes I can from her and scan them into my computer for use in layouts.

  • 30.
    Kim L. said…

    My local scrapbook store owner tells me that Kokuyo is going out of business and she can no longer get that adhesive. I got this on your recommendation and can’t think how I can live without it!! What is your second favorite roller adhesive? Thanks.
    Kim L.

  • 31.
    Deb said…

    I HATE my handwriting! I have tried to improve it, but it just doesn’t happen. The owner of my local scrapbooking store (sadly, going out of business)is a big advocate of hand journaling. She gets me to do it occasionally.

  • 32.
    Daphne said…

    I love handwriting. Handwritten notes, journaling, snail mail by friends and family, writing letters, … but, how do you write something and download it unto a picture or to your blog; etc. .. with Windows …

  • 33.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I am testing some out currently and will let you know soon. It is such a bummer!

  • 34.
    Ali Edwards said…

    I think it comes down to embracing what you have :) .

  • 35.
    Ali Edwards said…

    Hi Daphne – you can get it onto your computer by scanning it in using a scanner or you can use a tablet (such as a Bamboo from Wacom) + pen set up.

  • 36.
    ann said…

    I completely agree! I started adding more handwritten thing to my projects a little over a year ago. I just had one of the project published in Somerset Holidays – a Thanksgiving pumpkin. I had all my family members write out what they were thankful for. I had to remind them NO TYPING!!! Because some of them didn’t want to ’cause they thought their handwriting was too sloppy. But that’s what I wanted. I’m also working on a cookbook scrapbook including some of my grandmothers’ handwritten recipes! They are VERY special.

  • 37.
    Rani said…

    I love this reminder! Thanks!!
    I have such illegible handwriting, but ever since middle school, this is what I was known for…if it was illegible, it was mine!!! LOL!
    But I’m ok with that! and so are the people that mean the most to me, my friends and family! They love my handwriting and the fact that I need to decipher it for them!!!

  • 38.
    lizgleason said…

    i’m trying to think of something to write down. i think i’ll just do a “today we…” note and stash it away in their keepsake totes. today my 3 children and i (ages 7,5.5 and 3) have played hide&seek in the house, watched movies and shared peanut butter and apples. one of the better days cooped up inside! thank you for reminding us to cherish our writing. my dad has one page from a tablet of my mom’s signature (which she practiced extensively) on his fridge. its been 6 years since she passed.

  • 39.

    Hi Ali,
    I have not very solid handwriting,but i still use it and I think it is the best special touch.
    Thanks Ali

  • 40.
    Megan P said…

    i just wanted to say that thanks to you i have come to love my own handwriting and i now use it on almost all my layouts, you taught me that simple is better and the fact that the story is documented is all that matters, and because of this i just do my pages as fast as i can and move on which means using my own writing almost all the time!
    Thanks you are a great inspiration to me!

  • 41.
    Kristy said…

    i simply can not stand my writing. printing or handwriting, yuck. but i read a blog yesterday with an inspiring story, and then reading yours today, i will for sure make a list of my most favorite things: foods, colors, movies, stores, etc. for my girls. i will tuck it away for them to read someday.
    thank you for the inspiration.

  • 42.
    Ali Edwards said…

    That’s a perfect idea.

  • 43.
    Diane C said…

    I hate my handwriting. It’s a mess. But my dad died a few years ago and I was going through some of his things and I found old tax forms of all things and I saw his handwriting and started crying. It was messy and bad just like mine but it brought him back in a rush. I put my messy bad handwriting on layouts all the time now. Who I am is on every page.

  • 44.
    Tanya W said…

    this is so true, when gran passed away 3 years ago i was thankful for the recipe books she had given me years earlier with her hand writting in the front of them, i have quite a few layouts and altered books with my hand writing and even though i hate it and i know its messy its part of me and it will be part of my history won’t it…but some layouts are to nice to ruin with my hand writting hehe…..

  • 45.
    ~lisa w~ said…

    You are soooo right about an individual’s handwriting being special. . .I’d consider it priceless.
    When my Mom died 6 years ago, my sister and I had the task of going through her things. Out of all her personal belongings, two items stood out as ‘treasures’ to me.
    1. Her recipe box, filled with all of her ‘handwritten’ favorites.
    2. A questionaire, that I had given to her years before. I had asked every question anyone would ever want to know. . .favorites, memories, childhood. . .etc. . .and she ‘hand wrote’ each answer out. I had never before seen her answers. She had tucked it away to be found when the time was right.
    There is something truly comforting about seeing her handwriting. . .and ‘No’. . .she didn’t like it. : )
    Thank you for encouraging your readers to put something special down in their own writing. . .others will honestly appreciate their efforts later.

  • 46.
    Alana M said…

    If I don’t have much to say or am lazy – do it by hand. If I have a lot to say and know I’ll screw up somewhere – by computer. In the end – about 50/50.

  • 47.
    Ali Edwards said…

    That’s about the same as me Alana – much easier to type when you have a lot to say :) .

  • 48.
    Nicky Hurt said…

    Amen, sister!! I love my handwriting, but now I do almost all digital pages, so I pull out my Wacom and add my handwriting that way. :)

  • 49.
    Danni said…

    This is why I always journal my pages by hand. There is nothing like your own writing right at that moment!!

  • 50.
    Martha said…

    I have forced myself to do handwritten journaling…but I really don’t like my handwritting…at least its down on paper and saved for others to read later.

Post a comment