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Journal Challenge


21. Be emotional

Sometimes I find that my best layouts are when I am in that sentimental, sappy mode! Journaling can be good therapy too.

Your goal for this challenge is to look for a photo (or photos) that you have strong emotions about and to journal an emotional layout.

While preparing for the St. Louis Digi-Gathering, I actually wrote two presentations with the theme of emotions. I was only able to share one of them at the gathering.

I am copying the second presentation below.


Emotions are our connection to life.

Emotions bring life to our scrapbook layouts.

Emotions in layouts preserve life for future generations.


The key to conveying emotions in a layout is capturing those emotions in the photos.

 Capturing emotions is often about being at the right place at the right time with camera on and pointing in the right direction. Learn to anticipate emotions and be prepared.

 Impromptu, spontaneous, non-posed photos generate the most emotion. Learn to blend in with the crowd.

 Zoom in on the face – that’s where most emotions are captured.

 A series of facial shots can tell a story and make for a great layout. How fast is your camera speed?

 Ask someone to tell a story and then be ready to snap the emotions that come forth.

 Say something funny and then point the camera! We have all seen professional photographers do this in studios.

 If you missed that great facial shot, look for a shot of the surroundings that might capture the mood.


Without facial expressions during speech, it is important to capture emotions and feelings in journaling.

On the internet, this lack of facial expression is sometimes overcome by the use of a “smiley.” A smiley is also known as an “emoticon” because it conveys emotions. Here are some common emotions conveyed in smiley:

Smile, giggle, grin, yeah, idea, duh, clap, cry, whoo hoo, sleepy, rotfl, ugggg, hug, frown, scream, uh oh, surprise, angry

Of course, we most likely would not use emoticons in our layouts! However, what if you missed that emotion in a photo? What techniques can be used to convey that emotion in journaling?

Emotions are how you feel or how someone else feels. Remember that you can convey both in a layout. Sometimes you may want to convey how you feel and sometimes you may want to convey how the person in the photo feels. Sharing how you feel is one of the best types of journaling you can leave behind.


Consider design elements that invoke emotion.

Every paper and element on the page plays a role in scrapbooking emotions.

Convey emotions through color.

No elements would convey calmness; many elements would convey excitement.

Use shapes to convey emotions.

Use fonts to convey emotions.

Doodles are great for a fun, happy layout! They do not work as well for a serious, sentimental layout.


Does your scrapping style seem to follow your general personality?

Are you a vibrant person with vibrant layouts? Not everything we scrap invokes fun and laughter.

Are you a calm person with calm layouts? Not everything we scrap invokes peace and contentment.

Try breaking out of your comfort zone and scrapping the emotions felt while photographing rather than your usual self.


Music moves one’s emotions. Find a song which conveys the emotion and be inspired by the lyrics. Play the song while you scrap to pull your own emotions out of you and onto the layout.

Scrapping can be good therapy! If you are feeling sad, scrap a layout to share your emotions. Allow yourself to escape away by delving into a layout. If you are feeling sentimental and sappy, then this is the best moment to create a page! If you are feeling stressed, your emotions are vulnerable. If you are experiencing lack of sleep, push yourself to do a layout and your weak state will come forth as artistic.

What makes you emotional? Seek for it. Is it how much you love someone? Is it how much you miss someone? Is it how you feel insecure? Is it what you worry about? Is it a connection to your heritage and who you are? Is it a smell? Is it a childhood place that holds a corner of your heart? What photos bring emotions?

Learn to tap into your emotions for it is at that moment that you may find yourself making your favorite layout. 


We can be emotional about something without it being such a deep emotion.

I mostly get emotional when I get into that sappy, sentimental mommy thing over how much I love my boys.
I have a deeper emotional side when I think on my Dad or Grandparents who have passed away.
I tend to get emotional when I am down about whether or not I'm accepted by others.
I tend to get emotional when I am stressed, so scrapping about things in daily life that stress me might provoke an emotional layout.
I get emotional about the connections I feel about heritage and how I am who I am because of who they were.
I get emotional when I think about those childhood places that hold a corner of my heart.
Sometimes certain scents bring back memories and make me emotional.
Sometimes certain foods bring back memories of people that make me emotional.

Sometimes lack of sleep makes me emotional and if I just push through and make myself scrap at such a weak state, I make great layouts.

What songs make you emotional? Sometimes lyrics and music hit me just right and while listening to them, it sparks great layouts.

Here's a few songs I found:



Here are your digital scrapbooking layouts!



Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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