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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Journal Camp - Pre-Camp Meeting

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I hope you’re excited about Journal Camp! I know I am! I remember on my first day of trade school back in 1990, Specs Howard, THE Specs Howard, founder and the man for whom the broadcast school was named, came in to meet our class, as he did all new classes on the first day. He told us that we’d all be standing up and introducing ourselves to the class and telling us why we’re here. You could hear the audible gasps. Standing up and doing public speaking? On the first day??

Specs smiled and asked everyone to think about the feeling in their stomachs the moment he said we’d be addressing the class. Then he said to think about the feeling in your stomach as you are nearing the top of the first hill on a rollercoaster. It’s the same feeling, just the choice of whether it’s negative or positive. You don’t really know if you were nervous or excited until you know how it turned out.

That was the infamous day that I stood up in front of the classmates I hadn’t really met yet and the founder of the school and said, “I’m here because this is an 8-month course and plumbing school is 9.” I got a good laugh and made some good companions for the next 8 months that day. I guess I’d have to say I was excited, not nervous.

Ever since that time, I remember that story when I think I might be nervous and remember that I probably just don’t realize I’m excited. So, for the next 5 weeks, I’m going to play the expert and give tips on journaling in the hopes that I can help people journal better, more naturally. I really hope I’ll find out later that I was excited. For now I’ll maintain that I am!

Attending Journal Camp

Good journaling is important for paper or digital Scrapbooking and I hope that you won’t be scared away by an internet blog written by someone who does digital scrapbooking if you paper-scrap. I was a paper scrapper before I went digital too! Which type of Scrapbooking is better is a personal choice. My biggest personal reason for preferring digital is that I love to journal and my husband will proofread my typing. He can’t even read my handwriting or printing. I’ve never had exemplary penmanship, even when I did calligraphy it looked very good for a fifth grader, but I was in college! So these tips and exercises are for journaling, regardless of the medium you use to scrap. The text and freebies are done off a flash drive traveling between my Windows and Mac computers too. I really am trying to welcome everyone!

There are two ways to attend Journal Camp. You can come here to the Chronicles of Nani and read the lessons at Journal Camp every Tuesday or whenever you have time during the week or you can have “home delivery.” Home delivery means that you can send me an email at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com and the pdf file of each week’s class will be emailed to you on Tuesday. That pdf file will be downloadable at The Chronicles if you want a copy to keep for reference too. Regardless of how you prefer to get your information, you’ll still need to stop by to leave a link to your layouts to get the participation bonuses and be eligible for the weekly drawings. For paper scrappers, you can upload a scan or photo of your layout to a photo sharing site like photo bucket or flickr and leave a link in the comments to your file there. The freebies are digital products, but you can use them for hybrid projects or print them and use them in your paper layouts too.

There will be two freebies every week to help with your weekly pages. There will also be a participation bonus for everyone who leaves a comment with their layout link and the random generator will choose a couple of comments each week to win a gift certificate from one of our fabulous sponsor designers!

You don’t have to formally sign up or post links for the exercises. You don’t even have to let me know who you are or that you’re reading along. I hope you will though. That makes it more fun!

Why is journaling important?

People like to know the details, maybe that’s the gossip syndrome, maybe it’s a desire to be part of something, to have an “in,” to really know what’s going on. Journaling on your layouts fills in the holes. Let me share a fun story about filling in the holes!

I have a wonderful treasure. My Grandma told me that when she passed, I could have and read the love letters she and my Grandfather traded when he was in the Pacific in World War 2. She said I couldn’t read them until she was gone because they were very personal. They were private and special to her. I understood that completely. There are things, dreamy things, in my personal journal that I don’t want to share, not now, but will be my heirs’ to read at a later time.

So, I have Grandma’s letters and I’ve started to read some of them. Grandma did some editing! One letter from my Grandfather said, “I hope you wear…I like it when you wear that.” Grandma had used scissors and cut out the “…” There are words or whole paragraphs cut out of other letters too. She didn’t tell me there were pieces missing. Now I wonder, when did she do the cutting? When she got them? After my Mother was able to read? After she told me I could one day have them? Grandma and I were close and I looked up and with an impish grin said, “Okay Grandma, very funny. From now on when there is something cut out, I’ll just fill it in with “red leather corset!”

See why you don’t want to leave holes? I don’t know if my Grandmother ever had a red leather corset, but whatever it was, it was scandalous enough to want it never to be known!

The thing is, if you don’t answer questions in your scrapbook pages, someone will fill in the blanks, right or wrong. That’s human nature. Putting a picture of someone without identifying who they are, why they are there or what they’re doing, leaves the reader to make up something to fit them into the book they are looking at. You can be sitting in the next room and they might still make something up rather than ask.

The great thing about a scrapbook is that someone can look at it and share your memories when you aren’t there. They don’t have to look at something longer than they want to and can stay on a page they really like. It’s also your opportunity to tell your story. You put a lot of effort into your scrapbooks, paper or digital. Pass the whole picture of your world down and make your memories memorable!

Class Supplies

This list is a list of things you might find useful to have for Journal Camp. Participation is up to you. You can stop by every week and participate in the exercises, you can post a link to your layouts, but you don’t have to, or you can read along and snag the freebies to study the tips at your leisure. Heck, if you are totally comfortable with your journaling and don’t want or feel the need to read the tips, you can just snag the freebies too.

For Journal Camp, it’s a good idea to have:
  • A purse or briefcase-size notebook and pen or pencil
  • Photos to scrap
  • One story or event you want to remember that you don’t have photos for
  • Supplies to make your pages, either paper or digital (A scanner or digital camera if you’re paper-scrapping and want to share!)

Your notebook can be any size and can be plain or very YOU. Everyone knows whose book The Chocolate Journal is!

The notebook is not something you have to have as part of Journal Camp, but it is something that I personally find key in my journaling. I don’t leave home without my notebook. Correct that. I managed to somehow forget it last Christmas when we went to Connecticut and I ended up buying a, very expensive, steno pad at a truck stop! Yes, maybe I’m a little dependent on my notebook. In my notebook, I jot down notes about my trips, dinner or lunch with family, even just things that strike my mind while running errands. These are all notes for journaling. I may not use all of them, sometimes I write actual full journal entries in my book, other times I keep track of state license plates David and I see on trips and the license plate game can turn into some scrapping and journaling ideas! On our recent trip to Florida, we saw plates from 44 of the United States, 5 Canadian provinces, the Bahamas and Virgin Islands. That will probably be a note on one of the pages from the trip. You know, I haven’t scrapped our honeymoon yet, but I have pages of notes for when I do. I jotted down the names of towns I took photos in, songs on the radio, every now and then a quote, something funny one of us said. A whole day was sometimes a half page of one-liners, things that six months later, I don’t remember until I read the notes. That will add so much to the pages!

Your notebook is just for you. No one ever has to see it, so go with the size and type you’re comfortable carrying around. You’ll be amazed by how much you can remember later by just a few words you jot down “in the moment.’

Here’s a layout that started as one sentence on my notebook, “Google frogs in Willimantic CT.”

Credits: Lily Pond by The Studio Designers

The journaling is done report-style. I just re-told the story about the frogs that I read online after we got home. Without that line in the notebook, I might have had a photo of frog statues that I would have put in a collage of neat stuff in February. I might not have even remembered the name of the town we passed through. Instead, I get a neat story, got to use a kit I really liked and a fun page for my scrapbook!

Photos to scrap

Sometimes there are photos that speak for themselves. We’re not looking for those ones! You’ll want to have some photos that need a few to a lot of words to add to the layout. Our journaling journey will lead us from borrowed words, helper journaling, captioning adding a little more each week to the final project – writing one of those pages where the journaling is the focus. Don’t get excited about that! Hopefully by the end of camp, that will at least be easier, if not totally comfortable! That’s where the one good story comes in. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a no photos story, but it should be a story that you want to add to the photos. My best example for this is my first Christmas with David. I have no photos of Christmas with his family. I was nervous about meeting everyone for the first time and felt truly awkward taking photos. It was a wonderful day and I loved meeting his people. It was a pretty major part of the holiday season that year for me. I couldn’t leave my scrapbook like it never happened. (After all, I ended up marrying the guy!) So, I made a pretty Christmas page with a big ole’ block for journaling and made sure I got all the details I could remember in it. No, I didn’t write them in my notebook at dinner, but I did jot my thoughts and feelings down in the car after!

Scrap Stuff

This is the easy part! The weekly “exercises” will be to create layouts that use the journaling style for the week. Each week we’ll journal a little more on the layouts. That way, even if you never journal, you’ll get a chance to wade a little deeper into the word pool each time until you’re swimming in things to say on your pages! So, you might want to select kits that have nice journal mats, or collect some elements for your layouts that you can journal on.


I worked for a communications training firm when I was in college. The first thing we did when we had a public speaking class was to videotape the professionals in for training giving their introductions at the beginning of the class. Then the students would go into a private room with the speaking coach and talk about their presentation. We’d record each short talk to the class after learning a new speaking skill, that’s what the Journal Camp exercises are designed to do for you. By the end of the one or two day communications workshops, the improvement was remarkable! I hope you feel a great sense of improvement in your journaling at the end of Journal Camp too!

Here are some pre-camp freebies. A few good journal mats might come in handy for camp and the template can be used to make a benchmark for yourself. If you’re putting together a layout on a template with fours spaces for “something,” do you use any of those spaces for journaling or are they all pictures or other elements?

Click previews to go to download
password for both is benchmark

Here is the layout I did with the template:

Credits; kit - Cross My Heart by Skrapper Digitals,
template – Something by Digitalegacies Designs,
Journaling styles – Helper journal;(personal) quote, caption

Benchmark Comments

For your benchmark this week, you can leave a link to a layout you did with the template, a link to a layout you wish you’d put more journaling on or just a comment telling what you really want to learn or improve about your journaling. This week you don’t have to link to a layout, to be eligible for the random drawing, but for the five regular weeks of Journal Camp, your comment will have to have a link to a layout be eligible for prizes.

This week, everyone who leaves a benchmark comment will receive “The Look of Love Quick Page Set” by Digitalegacies Designs.

Two comments that are left by May 3 will be selected by the random generator for bonus prizes from our Journal Camp sponsors!

One comment will win a $6 gift certificate to Ambowife Designs’ store at Digital Scrapbooking Studio.

Another comment will win the full kit, Tomboy, from Miss Edna at Magickal Scraps.

If you would prefer not to put your email address in your comments, please send an email to chroniclesofnani@gmail.com and let me know what your name/ID is in the comments so I can get your bonus to you.

It’s going to be a fun month at Journal Camp! I hope you’ll all join us!

Thank you for joining me at Journal Camp!



I want to join, I would like to follow along on your blog, but I would also like to have the lesson emailed also. Thanks Nani!!!



Edna B said...

Thank you for the mats and journalers. I'm looking forward to a very interesting time here. Now I'm off to see that I have everything ready, and to get working on that layout.

I am very guilty of making scrap layouts with absolutely no journaling to tell the story behind the photos. My bad!!

Hopefully, that is going to get better starting now. Thank you so much for this opportunity.

You have a fantastic day now. Hugs, Edna B.

Sarah said...

I'm *really* excited about doing this. I feel like my pages are all or nothing when it comes to journaling; either I journal like crazy, or I don't journal at all. (blush) I'm looking forward to improving on that score.

I'd love to have the lessons mailed to me, if you don't mind. I like keeping things like that on hand. :) My email is mawkinberd at yahoo dot com. :)

Again, thanks so much for this!

knittinjen said...

I LOVE journaling, so this will just be all fun for me! I look at the few old pix we have of my grands & great-grands, and wonder, wonder, wonder. Just like you said, I kinda make stuff up. I have decided for sure which of my great-great-aunts I'd've liked best based on the big family pic (they were all wearing black, except Agnes, who wore white - a rebel so obviously my fave, right?)! But how do I know? So I tell stories, anecdotes, etc. HOWEVER, I am always up for learning more. So umm, I'm going to be leaving 2 comments, cuz first this one, then a link to my layout with the template. And if you don't mind, I would like to win one of those kits, please? ahahah! Umm, it's me knittinjen, but my email is jenmcjen@gmail.com k!

Char- The Mad Shopper said...

I need to learn how to write about more than just the facts.
Thanks for hosting this jc.
one_who_crops at hotmail dot com

fl_connie said...

Well - sometimes I journal, sometimes I don't. I think this class will be loads of fun and am very excited about it! Thanks so much for doing it.

I'll follow along here - I think I read that I can dl a pdf from here? If not, I'll ask you to email them for me.

connie dot bates at gmail you know the rest. :)

Christine said...

I found a link to this from the Nibbles Skribbles blog. It looks like a lot of fun. I enjoy journalling on my pages, but too often what I write seems trite when I read it again later. I want to learn to journal in such a way that when it is read back later, it can connect the reader to the event.

Cherie said...

The hardest part of scrapbooking is the journaling for me! Always has been! Can't wait to learn how to do better!!!

Noelle said...

I'm emailing you the link for my First layout! :)

Barb said...

I am so excited about this. Both of my parents are gone. Now that I have children of my own, I often wonder if I did the same thing when I was a child. I want my children (4 and 6) to have something to look back on when I'm gone to remember how much I love them. I journal now, but I want it to flow better. Since I still have alot of scrapping to do, both to catch up on the first couple years and all the years ahead, I would like to have the lessons emailed to me. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you - for your time and putting this together.

Jeanine said...

i love the look of pages with lots of great journalling. i'm hoping to learn how to do this myself. at the moment i'm not very good at coming up with long paragraphs of interesting text that way. ultimately i'd like to create a family photo book, and use journalling to enhance to photos.

6grand said...

Thank you very much for this opportunity to improve my scrapbook pages. I love telling stories as I show my pages but never seem to write it down quite the same way! I'm hoping to learn a few tricks form you:) Thank you for sharing your talents and giving so geneously of your time to help us through this process.
I'd love to receive your weekly updates.

Christelle said...

I have a few layouts in my stash that now, when I look back on them, I realize that I should have put a couple of lines of journaling. To me it all looks very explanatory but I don't always think of other people who will look at my pages. I'm really looking forward to journaling camp! Now I'm going to have to find a journal, which I'm sure I have somewhere in my bedroom, and use it!

Snowraven aka Silke said...

I always like a good challenge,lol - this certainly sounds like fun to me, so I'm in as well.
Thanks for the template -Hugs Snowy

Tracy said...

Off to a fabulous start Nani
Well done hun and what a great thing to do for everyone, we all need to improve our journalling with a complete stranger in mind as the reader :) even if those strangers are people related to us that we may never meet.

April said...

This sounds like a lot of fun! I'm very new to scrapping, so I need all the help I can get. This is also very funny/coincidental because... my oldest is 3 and he says the silliest and cutest things. The other day I thought 'I need to carry around something to write these things down!' I am a total 'list' person - I have lists for everything - so I know what you mean about being able to look at a one liner and remember more details. Looking forward to it! I'll also follow along here if I can download the pdfs from here as well. thanks!

alj24551 at yahoo dot com

knittinjen said...

Okay, I have links to two layouts actually. One is using the template, but since I used song lyrics, not journaling, the other is to a layout with journaling.



taztang68 said...

Hi, I would like to join as well. Can you email me the pdf"s? That way I have them to keep with my journal. Part of me is like you, I have a notepad for "stuff to scrap" and layouts I think of for a particular event, and at the same time I have tons of pages with just pictures, because the event was such that I remember the details when looking at the pictures...... Until last year that wasn't a problem but while going thru Chemo-therapy, I lost a lot of my memory... They say it will come back, but I would like to keep the memories consistently with the pictures from now on :-) and with the help of what I learn from you, maybe update the ones that are already "done".

my email is pauli dot kelley1 at gmail dot com

thank you very much for donating your time like this!

Michele said...

Oh my goodness do I need help with journaling. I hate it. But I know that someday my son will look at these and say, "Why did mom take a picture of that?"
Thanks for having this to help those of us with journalphobia.


suruha said...

Hi, there,

Miss Edna told me about this wonderful opportunity to learn something about journaling. I've never been one short on words. That is the problem. I need to be able to condense and highlight certain features with the appropriate words.

I would love it if you could e-mail the lessons to me. I would also follow along the blog to see what the others are doing. I will send my e-mail addy by e-mail.

Thank you for this opportunity. I need some structure, right now. LOL


K said...

I'm really excited that you're doing this! I will definitely be following along, and I'm hoping that I can learn how to get creative with my journaling!

Amberpony Creates said...

Thanks For Letting me a Part of your Journal Camp!
Here is my Memory Page for this week.
Sorry about the messy link I forgot the formula for making a link LOL must be NSD Fever LOL

Scrapnewbie said...

Good morning, I discovered your site while blog hopping. I'm new to scrapbooking and I seem to fill my pages with photos and have no room left for journaling. Language arts has always been my weakest subject but now that I scrapbook I realize that without the journaling I might as well just stick the photos in the albums like I used to. I realize the value of scrapbooking and journaling now because I lost my favorite Aunt and no one knows whos in the pictures or where they even are. I now have three children and I am trying to teach them the lesson I learned and that we are never too old to learn something. So thank you for taking the time to help us all improve our skills. I'm looking forward to seeing the improvment in my journalling.

brandi said...

i so love visiting your place LOL .. tks for the pretty things and all the reading

Karen said...

What a great idea! I always love the story behind the photos. I always wonder if I ramble too much or don't get the story across in a good way that explains the photos to not only me but anyone else who reads it. Thanks for putting all this work into the Jounal Camp.