Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Journal Ideas

By Christina VanGinkel

Creating a journal from your scrapbook supplies is a great way to extend their use for projects other than layouts. Journals make great gifts for others and are some of the most useful things you can make yourself. Too often, we sit down with the idea to make a journal though, and are immediately at odds with the prospect, simply because we do not know what type of journal to make. We are a theme hungry set of crafters, those of us who scrapbook, and we like order to the projects we do. Themes provide us with that order. Coming up with a few journal themes or ideas before you begin is a great way to make sure that the project not only gets started, but completed.

To begin, ask yourself a few questions about the person the journal is going to be for, whether that person is yourself or someone else. What hobbies do they enjoy? Do they work, and if so, what type of job are they employed at? Do they have children, spouses, or are they a member of the PTA? Do they belong to any organizations or clubs? By asking and answering these questions you will be able to build a list of ideas that might provide you with a focus for the journal. If nothing strikes you as a focus for a journal, dig deeper. Consider each answer and the not so obvious ideas for a journal that each answer might provoke. Do they have a passion for something, or are they the sort to complain about a problem or issue that a journal might help resolve?

For example, consider the following scenario. Say you would love to make your sister a journal, to share with her your love of paper crafting and because you would like to give her a gift that you actually made yourself, but she is not the journaling type, then ask yourself what she does enjoy. My sister is a member of an online book club that she is always raving about. The group's members discuss books they have read and recommend books to read to other members. On a recent shopping trip, she was trying to tell me about a book that a member of this group had been raving about. She had meant to write the name down, but had not and now could not remember the title. I decided to make her a journal of Books to Read in 2007. I made it small enough to slip inside of her purse, but with enough pages that she could write down titles of books she wanted to read, and those she had read. By listening to her complaint, I was able to come up with an idea for a journal that I think she will in fact use.

Sometimes though, no matter how much you try to decipher what theme to go with, nothing seems to jump out at you. Therefore, for those times, I have come up with a few general ideas for journals that you can use to jumpstart your own journal creations:

A Weight Loss Journal for a friend who is on the track to lose weight, A Journal of Things to Do for the person in your life who is forever procrastinating, a Journal of Important Dates Past and Present, or a Wedding Journal for someone with a wedding in his or her future. If you know someone who loves to create their own recipes or sample new wines, create them a Journal of Recipes Tried, or a Wine Journal. If you have a youngster on your list of people you would like to make a journal for, how about a Journal of things to do When I become President, or a Journal of Where I would like to be in Ten Years, or how about a Journal of Bugs I Have Spied. Some additional titles that I have used through the years include a Prayer Journal, Quotes Journal (which I included a few of my favorites to jumpstart the contents), a Wish Journal, and a Travel Journal. If all seems just not right, and yet a journal is what you would like to make, then give it the title of Journal, and let the recipient make use of it however they wish.

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