Welcome to my coffee shop in the cyber neighborhood!

The Chronicles of Nani On Video

I am overcoming my inability to type with my ability to talk (and talk and talk and talk) I'll be posting a video every week on my YouTube channel. I'll be posting those videos here too along with an occasional regular blog in the mix. (As long as my hands are up to doing the extra typing.)

You'll be able to watch the videos here, but I encourage you to stop by my channel at YouTube once I'm up and running to follow me and get my numbers started!

Welcome to my coffee shop in Cyber Space
Try the latte with a slice of black forest cake!

Contact Nani at

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Journal Camp Week 4

Week 4 – Journal With Feeling!
Download this post as a pdf
Last week's winners at the end
Actually this week, we’re going to talk about to related topics: You and Your emotions!

I hear so many people say things like, “I’m not comfortable writing about me,” or “I don’t like doing layouts about myself.” When I hosted the I Wanna Talk About Me challenge at Scrap Bird, I heard lots of reasons why people don’t do layouts with themselves in them. It’s one of the hardest things for most people to do, scrap about themselves. But while you’re scrapping your family’s history for the future to read, if you’re not scrapping you, who is?

Let me ask, why do you scrapbook? There are many different answers, but it all comes down to having something to pass on, keeping the memories of the family unforgotten. I know I scrapbook to hold on to my own memories and to share those memories with the people who were part of them, but also to pass on those memories. Why is that important? Why even bother saving the details about the people who are dear to me?

Simple answer. Because they are part of and important to ME!

Your parents, your spouse, your children, your friends, all reasons and subjects for scrapping and the one thing they all have in common is YOU! If you are scrapping the important people and events in your life, you already scrap about yourself. When thinking about the next generations, isn’t it kinda selfish not to share the author on a page once in a while too?

Journaling in the first person and about yourself is not really any different than any other type of journaling. You’re using helper journaling, simple and embellished captions, lists and blocks of journaling combining those ideas, just the subject is one you know very well.
Letter to a Friend

You can journal in the first person in a form of helper journaling. “Letter to a Friend,” is done by creating journaling that is styled like a letter, or like a diary entry. You can write a letter to an anonymous person, as in diaries, or to the person for whom you’re doing your scrapbooks. I said it’s a form of helper. You still have to write it, but those styles are tools that make journaling easier.

Here is a page about Journal Camp! It’s in “Letter to a Friend” style, laid out as an advice column response.

Credits: Wild Wild West by Scrappy Cocoa
Journaling Style: Letter to a Friend
Camera Shy?

My biggest challenge was not including myself in my photo albums. Would you believe I was a blonde for two years? Really, I was, a frizzy, peroxide blonde when I was 18-19. Here, I’ll show you a pict… No I won’t.

It’s not that I don’t want to share. I can’t. I used to never want my picture taken. I had the camera and took all the photos and I wasn’t in many of them. Tori and I were talking about hair and I told her I had been blonde, she couldn’t believe it. But the only photo I have of me with blonde hair was taken just before I got it done again. My roots were showing like mad! It’s a photo booth picture on my 19th birthday, running into the mall with a friend, no makeup. That’s my entire recorded history as a blonde. I was in my 30s when we had that conversation and already I was disappointing the next generation with things I couldn’t show them.

So I end up with this for my layout about my hair:

Credits: – A Happy Day by Shelly Marie Scraps,
template by Kate Duvall
Journal Styles: Embellished captions on a story board
and a list made into a journal block.

First question – WHY? To try something new.

My storyboard sketch includes the pictures in my mind of me buying the spray-in hair bleach, looking at my frizzy, teased blonde hair in the mirror, me wearing the pretty purple tiger stripe blouse I made unbuttoned with a black camisole, ala Madonna(ish)

My list:
Looking back at being blonde…
My eyebrows made it look really bad
It was still the nerdy guys hitting on me
One guy thought I was a prostitute!
Even John and Scotty told me they were glad it was only for a couple years
Blonde was really not such a great choice for me.

And finally the answer to WHAT do I think now? It was part of really growing up and finding my own style.

I was actually a nerd in trendy clothing. I’m married to what I’d have called a nerdy-guy then!
Lesson to self learned well. I started turning the camera over often in my 20s. Too late for blonde Nani, but in time for a couple shades of red! When I gather with friends and family I always ask for a couple pictures with me in them. Now I’m part of the memories I record! There will be people to whom it really does matter what I was like back when and I’ve quit being disappointing!

Journaling is important to “save” those points in your own history for which you were camera shy. But it’s still not quite the same as having a good photo to go with it. The best way to have a good photo is to have many taken and pick the best one! Don’t turn away when someone points the camera at you! In fact, make sure you have some of you on your camera to scrap. We have to get past the vanity. Remember, we have cropping if you really think you need to change your appearance, but future generations will never get a chance to see us in this moment again!
Do it with feeling!

One very important question to ask when you journal is, “How does it make you feel?” Scrapbooking is all about capturing memories and celebrating the everyday. Think about it. We make scrapbook pages, works of personal art, for a child playing with a toy, a cat sleeping, friends at a football game or eating fried chicken at a picnic table at the park. We are celebrating the special events and the simple events that make life special. It always enhances your journaling if you put even just a couple of words telling how you feel about the subject!

Talking about emotions is a little bit easier than talking about yourself, because you can direct and project your emotions to someone else! We’ve all heard or said “He’s either happy, or it’s gas” about a smiling baby. When you are scrapping the photo, YOU make that decision and you declare it with your journaling. When you talk about a “happy kitten” or a “playful puppy,” those are your ideas, not theirs. When you journal about what the baby thinks or what the pets think, you use projected emotions. We don’t really ask our pets what they’re thinking. That’s the easiest place to journal using projected emotions, your own emotions without taking ownership of them. The layout from the Speed Scrap at Designs in Digital a few weeks ago, the one that got this whole Journal Camp idea started, is a great example of me bragging and telling what’s going on with ME emotionally without using the phrase, “I’m a good person!”

Credits: Coffee and Chocolate by Mrs. JayBob Designs
Journaling Style – Projected Feelings

The journaling reads:

We don’t have all the details about Carla’s life before she came to live with us. We know she was a pregnant kitten on the streets. She was brought to Paws and Whiskers after giving birth. Life as a kitten on the streets was hard on her and her kittens didn’t survive.

In 2009, she was homeless, pregnant, lived in a cage then adjusted to a new home and a brother and sister that didn’t want her there. By February 2010, her new brother and sister have accepted her and even play with her, she’s been spayed and given a clean bill of health and has free roam of a home with plenty of warm blankets and places to relax. She watches the snow fall, but seems to have no desire to be anyplace else but home.

Of course, I have no way of knowing that Carla is thinking she’s glad she has a home or that she doesn’t want to be anyplace but her nice warm home watching it snow from a distance, but it sure makes David and me seem like great people for making her so happy, doesn’t it? I was thinking to myself, as I watched her watching the snow, how happy it made me that she was with us and how much I liked the fact that we are good cat parents. There would be nothing wrong with journaling exactly that, but by giving that emotional quality to the cat, it made the whole layout cozier, and maybe a little sappier.
Sometimes we use different artistic ideas to journal. We write letters, or direct our journaling to the subject of the photos, like many people do when scrapping kids, the future they are preserving the past for. When I’m writing in my regular scrapbooks, I usually write in first person, but I’m writing for my nieces, who will someday inherit my scrapbooks.

In Love at 40, I’m telling a little about my mindset just before and at 40 years old in relation to relationships. That was 28 years before Rina and Tori will turn 40. When they turn 40, they’ll be able to remember what the aunt they have always looked so much like looked like on her 40th birthday and compare the mindsets at 40 too.

Credits: One Step at a Time by Digitalegacies Designs
Journaling Style - Storyboard

I still followed the concept of creating a storyboard with embellished captions, but I made them warmly embellished captions. My Storyboard for this layout included the picture in my mind of me in January 2005 making that decision to find a date for my 40th birthday, embellished with “I have a year and a half.” The picture of the sign David drew with crayons on the paper tablecloth with the “Who’s have thought…” part. The pictures of me in my 40 tiara could be the captions “I want to have this date when I turn 50.” That last picture, “David was my best present.”
......... ...... ...
Exercise 4
This is going to be one of those pages so many people say they don’t like doing, but I hope you’re starting to feel the importance of including yourself in your journaling and your scrapping. This week will feature the record keeper, the one who is documenting the family history, your child’s life, the book you’re creating for your Mother’s 60th birthday or your friend’s anniversary. If they mean enough to you to create pages for them, you mean enough to them to have you in the book too!

Create a page about you. Your page needs to have at least one photo of you and a minimum of six sentences in your journaling. You can add as many other photos as you like, but you need to be in at least one of them. The journaling can be a note to the person for whom you’re scrapping, or a “letter to the future’ done in Letter To a Friend style or build your journaling as a storyboard or from a list. Talk about why you’re scrapping the family or why the people you scrap are important to you or just why you enjoy scrapping, why you think it’s important. Mention some of those emotional thoughts, what do you feel for the people in the book or the events you scrap. Make sure that your journaling is in first person, use words like I and me. You’re journaling about you and your feelings.

To get you started, a couple of freebies!

Click previews for downloads
Password is historian

Here is mine:

Credits: kit – All About Me by Jaya Prem’s Hangout
Template – Me Template by Digitalegacies Designs
Journaling Style – Letter To A Friend

When you’ve finished your layout, post it in a scrapbook gallery or on your blog and leave a link to it in comments. Make sure you leave email contact info either with your comment or if you’d prefer to keep your contact information private, send me an email at chroniclesofnani@gmail.com with the title of your layout.

Everyone who leaves a link to their layout by May 31 will receive Stardust by Digitalegacies Designs.

One layout will be chosen by random generator to win a prize from our week 4 sponsor, Scrappy Cocoa! That winner will get a $6 gift certificate for Scrappy Cocoa’s store at Ginger Scraps.

After this layout, treat yourself to some chocolate or your favorite vice and take a breather to get ready. Next week is the final week and the biggie – Journaling without a net – NO PHOTOS! Start thinking about a story you want to make sure is told and saved.

Journal Camp Sponsor Prize winners from last week
Shelly Marie Scraps gift certificate
#2 - Karen
Amberpony Creates gift certificate
#8 - Taztang68

Congratualtions!!. ...........

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Me Time

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Dove Ice Cream. All opinions are 100% mine.

Dove Ice Cream Mini Bars, the perfect treat! Three different flavors of chocolate, ice cream and, hello? 70 calories!

Dove did a survey of 400 mothers and found that 70 percent of them made a point of taking a little “me time” in their days. Most of us know that time is after the kids are asleep and the house tidied up and yes, often that time includes a treat. That would be the time to try the Dove Minis if you haven’t – they are wonderful!

After you try the Mini Ice Cream bars, checkout Dove’s "My Mini Moment" contest. They are asking women to send a photo and write a short essay describing your favorite mini moment of escape. There are three great mini-prizes: a mini getaway to Napa Valley, Spa services for a year or a mini home makeover.

So, take your break and have your relaxing time, your alone time. Try one of those fabulous mini bars in the classic café collection, which includes Java Chip and Cappuccino. And start writing up tha6 essay about your special time for just you. What’s it gonna be? Wine tasting, “pimp my room” or just treat me like the queen I am?

Grab a box of those heavenly ice cream treats and dare to dream away!

Visit my sponsor: “My Mini Moment” contest

Journal Camp Week 3

Download this post in .pdf
Prize winners from last week at the bottom of the post
Telling a short story
Have you ever done something that you were so involved in that you brought your camera, but just didn’t tae that many pictures? What about something for which you have enough good photos to make a 2-page layout but the pictures, although good, just really don’t tell the whole story of why you were there or why it was a photo-worthy time? Those scrapbook pages will be “pretty,” but pretty confusing too without a little bit of an explanation, a short story.

Now don’t get panicky! A story doesn’t mean three page of journaling with tiny pictures! A short story is built on the skills you learned last week! Journaling a short story is a series of very detailed embellished captions. You can choose to group a few captions all together in a journal block, or separate them out in a few smaller blocks on your page.

Take for instance, Paws at 2 Paces

Credits: kit – Printems Classique by Digitalegacies Designs
Journaling style - Storyboard

I got some really good catfight shots on the first open-window day of 2008! The journal block tells the tale of how it is our feline kids came to swiping paws at each other fighting over the “good seat” in front of the open window. Looking at the photos you can see the progression of them jockeying for that carpeted cat seat, but it warranted a little explanation about why they were fighting.

The beginning of the journal block is just what happened right before I took the first picture. Then it’s really just embellished captions put together with a last line telling what happened right after the pictures stopped. Think about it. When you read a story in the newspaper or a good book, it really is a series of embellished captions to go with the pictures in the writers mind. That’s how they translate into pictures in your mind!

Storyboard Journaling

A storyboard is used in television, movies and advertising to get an idea off the ground. It’s rough sketches of the “scenes” and a little bit of a caption about what’s going on. You can scribble a rough sketch of those pictures in your mind and write why they are an important part of the story too and add that into your journaling between the simple or embellished captions for the photos you do have. Whether it’s brief or longer, story-telling really is creating the missing pictures in your mind and captioning them with embellished captions.

A story board is just rough sketches of the pictures in your mind with captions.

As you can see, a storyboard for journaling doesn’t have to be a work of art in itself. It doesn’t even have to be anything someone else truly understands! My stick figures and scribbles give me just enough of an idea of the photo in my mind to write some captions.

Here are those captions :
  • I discovered Mahi-Mahi in Florida
  • I thought about cooking it at home
  • They had mahi-mahi at Kroger today!
  • I got a recipe for blackened mahi-mahi online
  • I made the spice rub
  • I cooked it up!

I’ll embellish a couple of those captions to read “I thought this should be easy to cook at home,” and I decided I’d try to do mahi-mahi at home tonight if they had it at Kroger. They did!” Then I’ll add an embellished caption for the photo, “The house smelled so good from the spices and our dinner tasted almost as good as Florida!”

Here we go!

Credits: Corn Maze by Let Me Scrapbook
Template Little Story by Digitalegacies Designs
Journaling Style - Storyboard

**Tip –
Don’t type or write your journaling directly onto your layout. Open a word processor program and type your journaling in plain text first, then be sure to spell check before you cut and paste into your layout. You can tweak the font, color and size after you’ve written the journaling concentrating only on your choice of words while writing it. If you’re paper scrapping, write out your journaling on a separate scratch paper to get the words right and give yourself a fair idea of how big you need to write to fill the space you want on your layout. It’s also a good idea to ask someone else to read your journaling before you write or paste it in to make sure you don't have any spelling or grammatical errors and that it sounds good and reads well. You will always read what you know you meant to put, even if you typed or wrote something else. A second set of eyes s always a good idea!

Embellishing a List

A list can be embellished into a full journal block too. This is important so your scrapbook doesn’t look like a book of top ten lists! The easiest way to embellish a list into a block of text is to answer one of those question words .

If you were doing a layout with a few pictures of your toddler son, you might make this list:

You’re cutest when you…
1. laugh
2. hug Teddy
3. dance
4. curl up next to Daddy

Ask, why is this list important? Maybe a block of journaling would start “We love you so much.” Add the list, but use commas instead of numbers, then finish with another why, why is that worth mentioning?

Your block of journaling might look like this:

We love you so much! You’re cutest
when you laugh or hug Teddy, dance
or just curl up with Daddy. You
always give us joy.

As you get more and more comfortable with creating a journal block starting with a list, you can add a few descriptive words and if you have doubts about using an emotion word or a name, by all means use it! The words and names will make your scrapbooks more personal and more meaningful. The exception to this would be whatever cautions you prefer for something you’re putting on the web. My personal rule is that I don’t publish last names or the names of children under 13. For layouts where I do use last names or kids’ names in the journaling, I save a separate journal block over top the “real” one in my pdf file so I can save a slightly different one for the web.

Another list example, here is my list with facts about our boy, Baggle

1 – is fat and furry
2 – always hungry
3 - attention-starved
4 – emits cute-prays
5 – scaredy cat with strangers
6 - very affectionate with the people he loves

Here is my layout using this list for the journal block:

Credits: Summer’s Afternoon by Flower Scraps
Journal Style – Journal block from a list

You don’t have to add a lot to the simple journaling techniques to make your journaling a little more interesting and bring out a little more emotion

Mixing It Up

With just the techniques we’ve explored so far at Journal Camp, you can use journaling to really make a layout interesting. Helper journaling can be used to make subtitles or word art, Even a simple caption can be descriptive and putting embellished captions together will make a journal block. They can all coexist on a layout for a nice effect.

Credits: Easter Weekend Egg Hunt 2008 at DSO

My husband grew up in the northeast. It’s not like snow was a new concept to him, but in over 40 years of his existence, he’d never made anything more than a snowball out of snow! When we got snowed in for Easter in 2008, the sculptor took to the new craft supplies on the front lawn!

The journaling answers the W questions with a storyboard from the photos and photos in my mind and those captions: who – David, what – made a snow rabbit, when – Easter (plus the date) where – at home, why – because he’d never done it before and he told them at work if he was home, he’d do it. The simple caption “Frosty Cottontail” adds a little whimsy the embellished caption “The Sculptor documents his achievement” rather than “David photographs the bunny,” and the quote made into word art add to the photos to tell the whole story of the Snow Bunny.

As is true with any skill, the more you do it, the better you become at it. Think about the first pages you scrapped and how much better the pages you do now are. In time, your pages will look even better than the ones you create today. The same is true with your journaling. If you are adding some new ideas about journaling to your work or really learning journaling all together at Journal Camp, practice-practice-practice! In a year, you’ll look back on right now and feel like you just might have become Shakespeare after all!

Exercise 3

This week, you’ll write a short story! Choose no more than 2 photos for this layout, but use at least 5 lines of text in your journaling! Picture what you remember about the day, the people involved, even the weather. You can create a rough sketch of the pictures in your mind or not. No one will ever see your “storyboard” to know if it was on a piece of paper or in your head. Create embellished captions for those mental pictures and put them together. OR Make a list of things you want to say about the pictures and answer some question words to create your journal block.

Remember, only 1 or 2 photos on this one and a minimum 5 lines of text! This week, we’re letting the photos support the journaling instead of the other way around. If you have more than 5 lines to say, by all means say it, but choose a photo or two that you have a little more of a story to tell to make the layout complete.

Of course, there are some freebies to help you with the layout part of the exercise!

Click on previews to download
Password is tellmemore

Here is my layout:

Credits: Kit - Something Spring by Ambowife Designs
Template – Studio April Template by Kimberkatt Scraps
Journaling Style: Storyboard

When you’ve finished your layout, post it in a scrapbook gallery or on your blog and leave a link to it in comments. Make sure you leave email contact info either with your comment or if you’d prefer to keep your contact information private, send me an email at chroniclesofnani!@gmail.com with the title of your layout. Everyone who leaves a link to their layout by May 24 will receive- Your Own Special Way by Digitalegacies Designs.

2 random comments with links to layouts will win prizes from this week’s sponsors!

One winner will receive a $4 gift certificate for Shelly Marie Scraps at Digital Scrapbooking Studio

Another random winner will get $5 to spend at Amberpony Creates’ store at Scrap it Sassy

As an extra bonus, Diana has offered a coupon for $2.50 off any purchase in the Amberpony Creates store at Scrap It Sassy! Use coupon code apc-freebie2 at checkout this month!

I hope you’re starting you feel more comfortable with the journaling techniques. As with anything new you add to your layouts, the key to doing it well is to keep doing it!

I look forward to seeing your layouts!
Week 2 Prize Winners are...
SKrapper Digitals Gift Certificate:
#9 Barb
My Lucky Star by Jaya Prem's Hangout:
#10 6grand

Monday, May 17, 2010

First Place!


That looks so good to see in print. It sounds so good to hear out loud. It FEELS so good to say!!

Yeah, I know, at the start of yesterday they were in second and it’s only May and blah, blah, blah. Let me have my moment for now…and I hope my season for 2010! Yanno, in 1975 they didn’t start out so hot and then well, if you’re a baseball fan, you know the story of the Big Red Machine!

The era of The Machine was when I became a Reds fan. I was 9 years old when they won the World Series for the first time in my life. From about 7 years old, I was supplementing my Catholic school education in reading and math with the sports section of the newspaper following Pete Rose and The Reds. Pete was the only player at the time whose cards shared space in my jewelry box with Al Kaline. Everyone else was in the shoebox, but Rose and Kaline were the jewels of summer to me!

Now, well I call my laptop Joey, after Joey Votto. He and Brandon Phillips are my favorite Reds. If there is a Reds-Tigers World Series, hard to tell where my allegiance would fall. In 1995, I struggled on the fence in the NLCS. My newer team for my adopted future hometown was playing my beloved Reds. I really thought that it would be easy to cheer for the Braves; they were my favorite team, right? Yet I screeched in anguish, in a hotel no less, at the TV when Eddie Taubensee allowed a passed ball. I just couldn’t NOT cheer for the Reds. Before they were on Fox Sports Ohio, I did watch the Interleague Play games when they played the Tigers because opportunities to watch the Reds were so scarce. I had a hard time sitting on the fence then too. It could be because I like National League ball better, but it could also be because I remember the love form Mom when the Tigers won in 1968. I remember the magic when the Reds won in 1975.

David got me the book, "The Machine," for Christmas and now that I’ve had some time without school, I’ve been reading it. Reliving that magic as an adult is making my inner child, and outer adult, want that magic again. It’s been 35 years since that magical first Big Red Machine championship, 20 years since the last time the Reds won it all. It starts with that first rise to the top. Is this the year again?? I hope so!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Just Checking In

Okay, I guess I‘ve been a little Journal Camp obsessed. Journal Camp and a few fairly major things going on in my non-cyber life have kept me very busy for the past couple of weeks. I even double booked myself, which is realty not common. Now I have to reorganize lunch with my big brother or the impossible-to-get appointment with my dentist for a cleaning. I’d really rather keep my lunch date with Scotty, but if it’s going to be 6 weeks before they can schedule me in for a cleaning... I’ll call them later.

The Journal Camp layouts have been coming in a little slower this week. I hope everyone who is participating is doing well with the lesson for the week. Really, the captions and lists from week one are important base skills for the next three weeks! The layouts that are coming in look great! The lessons and pdfs will remain on this blog after Journal Camp is over, so I hope they’ll continue to be helpful to people visiting!

Today is a David’s working day, a scrap day for me. I’ve been pretty much scrapping for Camp lately, which are still layouts for my scrapbooks, but funny for me, I HAVE to journal in them! I’m going to do some just arty pages today I think. We’ll see how that works for me. I’m somewhat of a journaling addict and there are some new journaling challenges out there in Scrapland too!

For just now, my rumbling tummy is telling me that I’ve been up since 6:30 and haven’t had breakfast yet. I haven’t decided if the granola or a muffin is calling me yet…the coffee is much louder! I’ll check back in later!

Field Trips For All

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Lunchables. All opinions are 100% mine.

Remember Field Trips when you were in school? When we were kids they were a day away from school, time for fun with your friends disguised as a school day. Of course now I realize they were a fortified school day disguised as a fun day with y friends, but they are fond memories note the less. Whether it was an elementary school trip to a farm or a trip to the art museum with high school Humanities class, I still remember the lessons I learned o those days more clearly than the every-day stuff in class. Te hands on, the adventure of field trips enhance the learning, they make the lessons more real.

It’s been proven that children learn better adding the tangible experiences on field trips, they engage them in ways that they are not n the classroom. Yet, it’s expected that by the end of this school year the number of schools dropping field trips from their budgets will increase 56%, over 30,000 schools. That’s a staggering figure of kids who will lose that part of their education.

Lunchables’ Project Potential has launched a new initiative called Field Trips For Allthat will give away 50 field 0trips to 1st to 8th grade classes nationwide. Anyone over age 6 can nominate a deserving classroom to win one of the fieldtrips from Lunchables.

Who would you nominate? Maybe your children’s school has already been hit with cuts or maybe the district you live in. It’s a hard choice to select a school to nominate for a prize that used to be a part of learning, but my hat is off to Lunchables for being awesome corporate citizens and doing this. Spread the word about this awesome contest and get your nominations in today!

Visit my sponsor: Field Trips For All

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Journal Camp Week 2

Download this post in .pdf
(Updated with the correct pdf 5/11/10 3pm Thanks Edna!)
Prize winners from last week at the bottom of the post


Think about the days before you scrapbooked. I know I had photo albums that had about 6 pictures to a page. Still, friends would look through the album and just leaf through most of the pages. Two reasons – there weren’t pictures of them on those pages and they didn’t know what was going on and didn’t want to ask and get me started on the long version of the story. I started captioning my photos in my mid-20s. You’d go through the pages of photos and you’d see slips of paper telling who was in the photo, where it was taken and when and what we were doing or why the picture was taken.

That’s my Dad! It was taken at the Michigan Renaissance Festival in the early 90s. He was there with Mom and me. He always loved going. It’s his kind of humor and his kind of food! Now before you say you thought it was patients’ day out at Happy Acres, it’s MY hat!

In 1994, my brother brought into our family bouncing twin baby girls! Oh, the captioning became so very important then!

That’s Tori on the left and Rina on the right. Don’t worry, there won’t be a test later, but it sure drives home why captioning became so very important to me!

Not long after the girls were born, my photo albums started to morph into scrapbooks, adding frames, other elements, mats for captions and more captions. Often I’d type the captions to add color and different fonts to my pages. I found that people who looked at them spent more time looking, even the pages they weren’t on. They were reading the captions and sometimes, even asking questions about the events and memories. I was starting to realize that extra few words made a picture speak louder!

When you put a page together ask yourself the same things someone reading will ask. Ask all those Ws; who, what, where, when and why? Some of those questions you’ll answer with the title or subtitle. It’s a good idea to give details that go with all the pictures on the page in the there, so you aren’t repeating the when or what in every caption if all of the photos are from the same day or event. What or where are often answered in the title, who or when in the subtitle. On the pages in my regular scrapbooks, I put the dates on events. Sometimes I add the year, but since my regular scrapbooks are printed as yearbook volumes, I don’t feel obligated to keep repeating what year it is. I’ll occasionally do an “extra” or flash back page. For those I make sure to put the year too. So, if my title or subtitle says something like, “Nana and Niecii Day, A Long lunch at Cracker Barrel between the holidays,” (Niecii has long been a loving nickname for the plural of niece) I’ve given the what, where, when and who. Now I get to caption the why, the rest of the details!

A caption can be as simple as “Rina and Nana at lunch.” That’s a fact caption. It simply tells you what you see on the photo, giving a short simple answer to a W question or two. Your caption can also tell a little more, an embellished caption. “Tori took this picture of Rina and Nana at lunch three times before no one was making a funny face.” That would be an embellished caption. It tells a little bit of a story, a quick one-line tale. I could write, “Tori was holding back the same laughs Rina and Nana were, taking this lunch picture” or “Tori told us, ‘pretend you like each other,’ like I always do when I take a picture of Rina and her!” Notice most of the embellished captions are basically the fact caption with a couple more words, a little bling or flourish with words that add to the page’s story! It’s really the difference between “See Dick run” and “See Dick run quickly to the swings to play with his friends.” An embellished caption tells a little more and is just more interesting to read.

Here is the layout I did for that picture Tori took of Rina and me.:

Credits: My Lucky Star by Jay Prem’s Hangout
Journaling style: embellished captions

Exercise 2

This week, let’s do a page with some captions for the photos.

Choose three photos to scrap together. They can be this year’s school photos of your three kids, three pictures from your last trip, baby pictures from three generations of your family or the pictures of three storefronts in your town, just three photos to put on one page.

The layout part is up to you, just be sure to leave room for a line of text to go with each photo under, next to or on the photo. If you’re paper scrapping, you’ll want to be sure to use a pen that contrasts or make a paper strip for your caption, in digi, use a contrasting color font or use a box or rounded corner box tool and place over the photo.

Remember, ease of reading is the key. A caption is usually not done is a huge font, so changing the colors of the text half way through becomes harder to read, so if there is a lot of color in the picture, a spot for the journaling on the picture is a good idea. Be sure to leave some space for a title too.

For the journaling on this week’s challenge, put a fact caption on no more than one of your photos and use an embellished caption on the other two. If you want, you can embellish caption all three!

I have a couple of freebies to help you out with your layouts. You don’t have to use them, but they are here if you want to. Of course, they are a gift and you’re welcome to download them whether or not you use them for the exercise!

Click the previews for the download pages
Password is caption

Here is my embellished captions layout:

Credits: A Stitch in Thyme by Ambowife Designs
Template: Captions Three by Digitalegacies Designs
Journaling style: simple and embellished captions

My first caption is a fact caption, what’s on TV, I embellished the second one with a little joke about the “blimp.” Fawn Ridge is a street, so the picture taken from upstairs was taken by the person who lives on Fawn Ridge. The last caption, instead of just saying the guys fell asleep, it tells that they were pretty bored by the Lions game!

After you finish exercise two, upload it to a gallery or your blog and leave a comment with a link to your page. Either leave an email address with your comment, or send me an email with the title of your layout to chroniclesofnani@gmail.com. Everyone who leaves a link to their layout will receive the page kit, Homemade Love by Digitalegacies Designs.

Two (2) people who leave a comment and link by May 17 will be chosen by the random generator for a prize from one of the Journal Camp sponsors!

One prize winner will get a gift certificate for $5 at SKrapper Digitals store at Digital Scrapbooking Studio.

The other comment chosen by the random generator will receive My Lucky Star by Jaya Prem’s Hangout at Scrappity Doo-Dah!

As a special bonus for Journal Campers, Jaya has offered you 30% off any purchase over $5 in her store! Click on the preview for My Lucky Star to visit Jaya Prem’s Hangout at Scrappity Doo-Dah and enter the code jph30journalcamp between now and May 31, 2010!

I’m looking forward to seeing your captioned layouts!
Week 1 Prize Winners are…
Nibbles Skribbles Gift Certificate
#11 Michelle
JW DigiScraps Gift Certificate
#5 Noelle
Posting Bonus and Prizes will be emailed Wednesday

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Journal Camp - Week 1

Download this post in .pdf
Prize winners from last week at the bottom of the post!

Helper Journaling & Lists

We’ll get things started this week with the easiest types of journaling. Each week at Journal Camp, we’ll add a little more to your journaling skills, or refine a little more of them, until you have a full set of tools to journal on any page, any way you want.

Helper Journaling

Helper Journaling is simply journaling someone else writes. Sometimes somebody else has already said just what you mean in better words that are coming to you at that exact moment you need them. It’s totally okay to say, “help a sister (or brother) out,” and use lyrics from a song, a poem or a quote from someone else. This is also a great use of that purse or pocket notebook!

A quote from someone at an event can do the same thing as a passage from a song or book. I’m using a quote I wrote down from Tori for the page from our Christmas dinner meeting after we got iced out of traveling for family dinner last year, “Wow, Christmas in a truck stop.” That’s gong to be pretty much all I need to say. I’ll have already said why we’re at home on Christmas Eve in the previous pages. There will be warm, happy pictures and Christmas papers. That quote will be the ironic smile about the situation. Nothing else is necessary.

I used a Norman Vincent Peale quote as my journaling on this Christmas in New York City layout I did from 2006.

Credits: Christmas Around the World 2008 by Digitalegacies Designs
Journaling Style: Helper Journaling - Quote

A little tag line with the city and date and the quote says what needs to be said, including helping to hide a couple of fuzzy, but beautifully colored photos in there.

Sometimes something someone says, song lyrics or a poem just strike a chord with you. Maybe a passage from a book, a bible verse or a song on the radio will inspire you, give
you an idea for scrapping an old photo or even a piece of ephemera.

Nani confession time!

I had never even heard the word ephemera before I started digital scrapbooking. It’s true. Now if I’ve been told that I journal well and I didn’t even know what a fairly common word used in our hobby is, it proves that you don’t have to have a deluxe dictionary of big words spilling out of your hands onto the paper! In fact, you really don’t want to use fifty-dollar college words in your journaling. Always use your normal words, express your journaling like you would tell a story when you talk. After all, that’s what you’re doing. You’re not writing a term paper or a news story, you’re writing about the people, things and emotions in your world. Write casual and comfortable. Be you!

By the way, ephemera is defined at dictionary.com as items designed to be useful or important for only a short time, esp. pamphlets, notices, tickets, etc.

Now if you don’t want to, you don’t have to admit you’re just as dumb as Nani!

Here is an example of ephemera and a song lyric:

Credits: A Matter of Time by Tirza for Major Scrapola Designs
Journaling style: Helper Journaling - lyrics

Okay, I used a coffee mug too. Genesis in 2007 was the first concert that David and I went to together. We were already living together at the time, but it still felt like a date. It was pretty nice! No cameras at The Palace meant no photos of the evening. It was a pretty sweet night and I wanted to give it a page in my scrapbook. So, a photo of the mug David got me, the ticket stub and a piece of Genesis song lyrics with a simple title and subtitle captured my mood and a little emotion towards David too. I didn’t need to write a novel about the evening, Genesis had already written what I wanted to say!

By the way, the power of words, even someone else’s, on your scrapbook pages is very real! When David saw this page, he went “awwwww” and gave a hug. Those aren’t my words, but they came from the heart and they were felt too!

Make a list!

This is another type of simple journaling that doesn’t require you to write like Shakespeare. List what you want to say!

Your list can be sincere, funny, mushy, it’s up to you and the feel you want your page to have. A photo of a child doing homework can include a “top five reasons it’s important to get your homework done,” starting with to get into a good college and ending with “avoiding getting grounded.” The same photo could have a list of “things she does that make me proud” or “the top excuses for putting off homework he gave us this week.”

Your list doesn’t have to be detailed either. It can be single descriptive words or emotional words. Here’s one with some cute kitten pictures listing a few simple things that made Kaline our sweet baby and tell a little bit about her at that time. I finished it with her name.

Credits: PS I Love You by Nibbles Skribbles
Journaling style: simple list

Lists are easy to add onto your layout and can tell as much as you want them to about what’s happening in the picture or what’s happening in your mind when you see the picture. Single words make an easy-to-read, simple list that you can make bold and eye catching.

Add a few more words to the list and make it a little more detailed to say a little more.

Here is an example of a detailed list:

Credits: Brave Patient by Nibbles Skribbles
Journaling Style: Detailed List

Exercise 1

Let’s try a layout with one of the types of simple journaling.

The exercises at Journal Camp concentrate on the journaling, so you have the freedom to choose the photos, subjects and kits. Some of the exercises will give you a number or type of photos to accommodate the journaling lesson, but you retain pretty much creative freedom while developing more ease and finesse in your journaling.

For this week, scrap a photo or two of someone special to you. For the journaling, use one of the types of simple journals we’ve discussed; helper journaling - lyrics, poem, book/holy book passage, quote or make a list. Choose a helper or make a simple list that tells how that person is special to you.

To help you get started, I have a couple of freebies! You don’t have to use them on your layout, but you are welcome to. Use them or not, they are my gift to you this week!

Click previews to go to downloads
Password for both is easy-peasy

Here is my layout:

Credits: Life’s Adventure by JW Digiscraps,
Template – Help Me by Digitalegacies Designs
Journaling Style – Detailed List

When you’ve finished your layout, post it in a gallery or on your blog and leave a link to it in comments. Make sure you leave email contact info either with your comment or if you’d prefer to keep your contact information private, send me an email at mailto:chroniclesofnani@gmail.com.com with the title of your layout and your name or ID. Everyone who leaves a link to their layout will receive One Step at a Time by Digitalegacies Designs.

2 comments with links to layouts posted by May 10 will receive prizes from this week’s sponsors!

One winner will receive a Gift Certificate for $5 at Nibbles Skribbles’ store at Digital Scrapbooking Ink.

Manda has also offered a special coupon for 25% off her products at her DSI store for this week! Just use the coupon code, NS_JournalCamp25 when you check out by May 10 and get your 25% off Nibbles Skribbles products!

Nibbles Skribbles
25% off
Coupon code
Expires May 10, 2010

The other random winner will receive a $5 gift certificate for JW DigiScraps’ store at Enchanted Studio Scraps!

Janice is also offering a discount this week!

Use code NaniJournaling for 35% off your JW Digi-Scraps purchase at Enchanted Studio Scraps or Divine Digital until May 31, 2010.

Make sure you get your layout links posted by May 10 to be in the drawing for these great prizes! Remember that if you miss the prize deadline, you can still post the link for your layout to be eligible for the 3-kit bonus from Digitalegacies Designs for completing all the exercises.
I’m anxious to see your “helper” choices and lists!
Pre-camp prize winners are….
Ambowife Designs
#16 – April (check your email for your prize!)
Tom Boy by Miss Edna:
#7 – Christine (Christine, I need your email so I can send your prize!)
Now everyone get going on those layouts for this week’s prizes! :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

(The Best of) Monday Mug Shot

Originally posted on Blogger, 4/14/08

Indianapolis Speedway
Indianapolis, Indiana

The story that goes with this mug is not an over-involved one. Mom and I were in Indianapolis on our way to St. Louis in 1996. Scotty is a huge racing fan and was absolutely appalled at my reaction to having been to the Indianapolis Speedway, where I got this mug.

When we get back, I showed Scotty the mug.

“You went to the Indianapolis Speedway??”

“yes,” I said and Mom nodded.

“So was it cool?”

“I wasn’t impressed. You’ve seen one Speedway, you’ve seen them all. It wasn’t so special. I don’t know what the big deal is about the Indianapolis Speedway.”

Scotty’s eyes got big and his jaw dropped. “How can you mean that? It’s the INDIANAPOLIS SPEEDWAY!”

“It just wasn’t a big deal, Scotty. I wouldn’t even urge you to go.”

Mom agreed that it wasn’t anything special. “”Just like any other Speedway in the country.”

Scotty was speechless. His lil’sis isn’t a race fan, but she is a sports fan, after all.

I told him we stayed at the hotel right across the street from the Speedway and we saw no racing going on, maybe a car or two driving 29 MPH, but nothing even worth the blink of an officer's eye.

All that he seemed to get out of that part of the explanation was that we stayed in a hotel right across the street. Still amazed he inquired about the size of the Speedway. I told him is wasn’t special, just the average Speedway size.

Scotty was becoming dumbfounded and frustrated with me.

I finally, looked at him and smiled, “They don’t even have any special flavors of cappuccino, just the regular stuff they all have.”


“But they did have the chocolate creme filled, which is the only Krispy Kreme doughnut I like. I prefer Dunkin’ Donuts.”

“What are you talking about?”

“The Speedway in Indianapolis.”

His eyes flashed with the loving glow of the stopping clue bus dropping a passenger off. “You got the mug at the gas station.”

And that’s the story of the Indianapolis Speedway mug!