When you think “Story Lives Here” what do you think of?
Do your thoughts land on events? On people and relationships? On moments? On everyday happenings?
I confess this is my usual tendency and it’s why most of my scrapbook pages are filled with photos and stories of my daughter, husband and the moments we share together. I have deep love for scrapping moments. And personality and character. You know, People Things.
This month’s Putting Pen to Paper prompts ask us to consider the Story from a different perspective as we consider The Things, The Stuff that we interact with, depend upon, enjoy, and otherwise make use of in our days. This Stuff…These Things…they are “artifacts” of our story. They often reveal a lot about who we are at any moment and what we care about or how we spend our time. And scrapping the story of our artifacts can provide a fun and fresh glimpse into our lives and relationships with our loved ones.
So as we approach these prompts about our nouns, our stuff…keep your eyes open in a fresh way and pay attention to what surrounds you as you walk through your day. Sometimes these artifacts are symbols of something you value, or symbols of the nature of a relationship or season in your life. Sometimes scrapping The Stuff can simply be fun and easy going, even silly. But together with our other stories and pages it weaves a beautiful portrait of our lives.
So let’s have a little fun considering our Artifacts and get started with the first prompt for this month (which is Day Eleven in the Putting Pen to Paper series). Here is today’s prompt:
There are so many avenues you could take with this prompt.
You could take photos of the things “left behind” at the end of the day. A kind of “Kids Were Here” documentation wherein you are capturing the *evidence* of what happened in your day without actually photographing it as it happens. Think: shoes or puzzle pieces strewn on the ground, chalk left on the sidewalk, flour on the counter, notes on your desk…any Things that reveal what happened in your day — the evidence.
When I was writing this prompt I was having fun taking photos with my phone and preserving them in Instagram as part of my Time Capsule project. And on this day I had decided to snap photos of various “things” in my life that day. I called it Day Described in Nouns. It was a fun exercise for documenting the everyday and it inspired my thinking of all the ways Things appear in our Daily Stories. You could take this approach. It’s like a Photo Walk as you walk through your day.
You could document the Things that define a loved one’s personality. Or a current favorite. Or a pet peeve. Or something you cherish. Or, or, or…let your creativity guide you as you explore the possibilities of revealing and sharing your story through the documentation of The Stuff.
And let yourself be inspired by these amazing prompt plays from the Storytellers:
Aaron, a school teacher, scrapped a simple something that seems to be filling his days more and more: the copier. Which of course, on its face, reveals a bit about his work life but it also reveals more..that his focus in work recently has been more focused on preparing his students for testing. That this is a Story of his Now reveals what he is caring about at this moment and how some of his time is filled. I love how he cohesively echoed the theme with his schooly element choices.
Every weekday morning we have the same routine. Breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, out the door. You two add into this bickering, bothering and bantering. I end up prodding, reminding, yelling. It’s a frustrating and vicious cycle.
Stephanie fabulously used color choice and played with word art (adding “not” to the “happy” pennant) to reveal the story of a Thing that dominates her morning routine…and often in a really frustrating way. I love her use of a brief and simple list of morning tasks coupled with action verbs that define the tone of that can emerge in this time sensitive before school morning (bickering, bothering and bantering, prodding, reminding, yelling) in her journaling. Both work together to subtley convey that ever present *tick.tick.tick* of the clock and the time-focused hecticness of a morning routine.
Food is pretty important in our house, it doesn’t necessarily have to be really flashy, but the day is never entirely satisfactory unless there’s been at least one yummy meal. We mostly cook from scratch, so we don’t mind spending time in the kitchen but we do prefer things that aren’t too complicated! We have an extensive range of cookbooks and they’ve all got nice, authenticly splattered pages to show they get used. Our favourite recipes are usually the really interestingly flavoured ones. I love to have Mexican food as a treat, Enchiladas are my absolute favourite, but I adore Thai and other east asian cuisines as well as Indian, Mediterreanean and lots of others.
Luckily, the girls share our tastes. They’ll try pretty much anything, and mostly like anything too (unless it’s hotter than can be fixed with a big glass of water) so it’s ok for us to be adventurous when we’re cooking.
I really love how Jude chose to document a Thing that at once reflects family traditions and likes and shared time together. This is the kind of portrait of the little things that I would have loved to see in my grandparent’s scrapbook and in my own. The little things that are SO regular for us that we may not even think to document them, but they will be so wonderful to have remembered. Jude also chose elements to underscore her journaling and that creates such a fabulous cohesiveness and colorfulness to the page.
Putting Pen to Paper is a story-centric scrapbooking and journaling series. I hope it will inspire you to document your stories in a meaningful way that helps you live life more meaningfully too. Please remember anyone is welcome to join in and follow along at any time. Looking forward to sharing a fresh prompt next Wednesday!