Day Three | Keep It Simple Scrapbooking Week

Good Morning and welcome to day three of  Keep It Simple Scrapbooking Week (KISS Week). Today we are welcoming Kasha Gage and Tazhiana Gordon, both Ali Edwards Design Inc creative team members,  as they share their favorite tips to help document their stories. And since this week is all about getting back to basics, we've decided to put our entire physical basics collection on sale! From now till March 31, get 15% off the basics collection using the code BACKTOBASICS15. Enjoy!  *Digital products are excluded from this sale.

Kasha Gage // Prompt-based Storytelling

Happy Wednesday my friends! I’m super excited to share my favorite storytelling technique with those of who are just getting started or are returning to scrapbooking; and that is prompt based storytelling. 

First off, what is a storytelling prompt? Here’s a definition I liked from Dr. Ruth B. Walkup that explains this further:

“Storytelling prompts are designed to help storytellers to get over being stuck on ‘What should I tell about?’ A prompt is an idea to jiggle loose a memory, a spark to ignite a story idea, or a key to a locked door behind which a story may be waiting. Prompts are not used to get people to tell a fully-formed story – they are designed to help people get started, to do a ‘rough draft’ of a story.” 

I wholeheartedly agree! My approach to memory keeping sometimes begins with a photo and other times it's the story that starts the process. I tell both long & short stories, stories of the past, present and my hopes for the future. I write about the good things and also include the hard, because it helps me process and make sense of my life. But regardless of the path I choose on any given day, the process is the same – directed storytelling. 

Now I know that many people struggle with a blank page (whether it’s choosing what story to tell, selecting a photo or designing a layout). For me I’ve found that using prompts (from products or everyday life) as my story lens, provides me the opportunity to not only tell more intentional stories, but also seek stories (and take photos) from my life. Here’s a closer look at what that looks:

I document Project Life in a 9x12 ‘monthly’ format and my last spread of the month is always the largest. My initial jumping off point for these pages was the UPS + DOWNS journal card & the “Around Here” prompt.

My thought process for pairing the snow-covered trees photo (Top L) next to the Highs + Lows journal card is that the trees formed an arch (around here – get it?), and it was also -5ºF. On the right side, I specifically chose photos representing “ups + downs,” then added a quote card that spoke to me & what was happening in our life.

(Supplies: Ups and Downs Collection, Storytelling Basics Stories by the Year Digital Kit, Storytelling Basics Ali Alpha Stamp)

This mini-accordion album was inspired by the Seasons StoryKit. Lyrics from the old James Taylor song “You’ve Got a Friend,” kept popping up into my head as I’d findmyself singing + asking aloud “spring, summer, winter, fall…why not include them all?” Here it was the word seasons that prompted me to remember (okay screw up) the lyrics to the song, then inspired me document a year of seasons.

Here’s a Lessons Learned tag mini album, that currently holds 5 life lessons. Using the “I have learned” prompt for my journaling made it easy to get my stories down on paper. I love that I will be able to come back and add to this through the years with new lessons learned.

For this story, I wanted to emphasize our first snowfall – it just feels so cozy. I also included a photo of the morning sunrise and one of me & my husband snuggling. All of the photos “respond” to prompts (cozy, the quote card and the around here + snuggle journal cards). And that right there for me is a prompt-based story. Using a word, quote, sentiment or an idea to direct my storytelling and photography. 

Remember, prompts are simply a starting place for telling your story. The stories you tell (or don’t) and the direction you decide to take that story is up to you. I hope this helps inspire you, and I can’t wait to read & see the next story you create!

Tazhiana Gordon // Color! 

Hi friends! It’s Tazhi here and welcome to KISS week. Today, we’re talling all about playing with color which is one of my favorite parts of scrapbooking. I like to use color in a variety of ways in my storytelling but it all boils down to three foolproof strategies for jazzing up your layouts and adding colorful elements. Knowing how to play with color is an invaluable tool in our arsenal because it helps up to play with contrast and make dynamic layouts as well as tone elements down if that suits the story we’re telling. 

The first strategy I use is also the easiest - when in doubt, I print a large photo in black and white and then I don’t have to worry about matching elements to my photo because it’s a neutral canvas! 

This is a foolproof way to add punchy pops of color because with a neutral canvas, anything matches. Rainbow journal cards and embellishments? Check. A super interesting color scheme of contrasting colors? Still works. With a neutral canvas, the only limit is your imagination when it comes to what tones and hues you use to help you tell the story. Printing a photo in black and white is also a great tool to reach for when your photo is not of the highest quality as it hides a multitude of issues. 

My next strategy for playing with color is to let your photo dictate your color scheme and create your own embellishments and patterned papers around it. This is a great way to use up stamps, stencils and inks as you’re taking the colors already in your photo and matching it to different mediums in your stash. 

This is a great way to get into mixed media if you are hesitant about giving it a try. One of my favorite ways to create my own embellishments is with ink blending, as I did in the two projects referenced above – one on a die cut title I cut with my Silhouette and then inked over and one through a stencil to match the colors in my photo. The other way I enjoy doing it is with repeat stamping to create a piece of patterned paper, as I did in the pink and green project. By picking colors that matched the hues in my photo, I was able to make a statement piece that still matched and created a cohesive project. This is also a way of stretching your supplies as you’re not using physical cards and embellishments, just stamps, ink and stencils. It requires a bit of an investment but once you’ve made it, your supplies will last a long time. 

Finally, my last strategy for playing with color is to use physical products like patterned paper, cards and embellishments and let that dictate your color scheme for your project. This might require starting with product and then finding a photo that matches and also helps you tell the story. 

In both of these examples, I started with the physical product and then rifled through my photo library for a photo that would both match the color palette of the products I was using as well as tell a particular story and in both examples, I got lucky and found the perfect photograph for these projects. This is the strategy I reach for the least as it does require a bit of luck and a wide variety of photos to choose from. I’m much more likely to print my photo in black and white or ink blend a background so that I can play with whatever colors I choose but it is an idea to have in the arsenal when it comes to picking the color scheme for a particular project. 

As a quick aside, thankfully, most of us are hybrid storytellers which allows us to recolor elements that we use on our spreads. This is something I rarely do – rather, I choose to use the products in the color palette they were designed in and make it work in the context of my story telling, but it is an option we have and can keep in the back of our minds. 

And that’s all I have for you today! I hope I gave you some tips, tricks and ideas for ways to approach adding color to your own storytelling. Happy KISS Week!

We hope you enjoyed Kasha and Tazhi's tips. Find more inspiration from them both on instagram! Kasha can be found at @kashagage and look for Tazhi at @preciselytazhi. Make sure to check back tomorrow for some great advice from Laura Wonsik and Linda Jordan!!

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3 thoughts

  1. totteacher says…

    So many ideas here - thank you! Can’t wait to get started!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. carrieW says…

    I am loving this series!

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. justlisa says…

    Loving all of these ideas!!

    Reply 0 Replies