Why is journaling on your layouts important to you? I want my girls to have a unique piece of me after I’m gone. This is why I hand write my journaling. I want them to know the feelings, fears, thoughts i had. What was hard about being a mother. Amazing about being a mother. Why and how I fell in love with their daddy. What I love about each of them. These things will be invaluable one day.
Do you try to include all the details in your journaling? I always include the date (month and year). Beyond that, I make sure to talk about the emotions, thoughts, and/or feelings that the photos evoke in me. I don’t write down every single thing that was happening in that photo. I don’t write “event” type journaling.
How do you decide how much or little of the story to tell? This sounds silly, but I write from my heart. Very stream-of-consciousness type journaling. I look at the photo or photos on my layout, and then write what I’m feeling, what I want my family to know. I never pre-plan my journaling or practice it. I just write until I feel like I need to stop. Sometimes this means paragraphs of journaling, sometimes just a sentence.
Does every layout you create contain journaling? Absolutely. I completely value those who do layouts to be artistic, but that isn’t me. I do layouts to share photos and words.
Any tips or techniques you’d like to share with us? Be authentic. Don’t be scared to tell a funny, even irreverent story. Write like you speak. Imagine you are telling the story to a loved one…how would you phrase it? Don’t force yourself to write a big, long, journaling block if the photo(s) doesn’t need it. Write what you feel.
Supply List: cardstock: we R Memory Keepers; patterned paper: sassafras; punches ; EK Success (star), Martha Stewart (butterfly); journaling cards: below layout, above layout Elle’s Studio; stamps: Elle’s Studio; butterflies and stars: punched from elle’s studio packaging; ink: colorbox; pen: american crafts; doilies: martha stewart; jewels: prima
Growing up with a ridiculously artistic mother, Stephanie tried and abandoned many crafts in frustration before she finally stumbled onto scrapbooking and fell in love. She made a few scrapbooks (in the loosest sense of the term) when she was in college, but truly became obsessed when she was pregnant with her first daughter. Scrapbooking is her therapy and has gotten her through six of her husband’s overseas deployments.
Stephanie has been published in Creating Keepsakes, Simple Scrapbooks, Scrapbook and Cards Today, Scrapbooks Etc., Memory Makers and Scrapbook Trends magazines. She designs for Studio Calico and Jenni Bowlin Studio and has guest designed for a multitude of wonderful companies.
Stephanie lives in Georgia and is married to Jimmy, who is a Major in the army. She is also a stay-at-home mom to Harper Elizabeth, who is four, and Sadie Caroline, who is two. In the fall, the Howell family will welcome identical twin girs.
In her spare time, she loves antiquing, reading, and watching reality tv (her dirty little secret). She dreams of learning to sew, embroider, knit, quilt, and cook (well). But most of all, she loves just being together as a family, and she relishes those moments…as they are few and far between.
You can find Stephanie at her blog.