The Journal Jar

When I first started scrapbooking I used to keep a journal jar. It was one of the first ideas I employed following a beginner’s workshop I enrolled in at my local scrapbook shop. Back then, I didn’t have a clue about scrapbook journaling and how the concept can add depth and clarity to a layout.

At the workshop, we were taught that journal jars were excellent ways to keep the ideas flowing, especially if we were pressed for time. Since expressing one’s emotions on paper doesn’t come easy to most folks, the journal jar helps alleviate anxiety related to writing.

To create a journal jar all you need is an empty container, a pen and a few scraps of paper. The idea is to jot down journaling topics, anecdotes or other shards of brilliance as you think of them. Instead of making a mental file of your thoughts, feelings and ideas, you simply jot them down on pieces of paper and deposit them into the journal jar. Then, when it’s time to scrapbook, you can empty out the jar and expand on the ideas you wrote down on paper. Simply put, a journal jar can is designed to take the stress out of scrapbook journaling by providing prompts that can be used to create future layouts.

Most people use journaling to provide context for photos. With this in mind, you can also use your journal jar to jot down names of people in a specific photo, plus the date the picture was taken. You might also include a line or two describing the photo’s subject matter. For example, if you plan to add a photo of your nephew with his hand in a piece of cake at a picnic, jot down that fact that no one remembered to bring along utensils. While the jar is designed to record thoughts and feelings, there’s no reason you can’t use it to also jot down other facts that you want to add to potential layouts.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.