How to become a better storyteller in your scrapbook albums


Let’s take a walk down memory lane

  • What was the first scrapbook album you worked on?
  • How did you feel putting it together?
  • When you look back at that album what emotions does it stir for you?
  • Have you shared that album with others?
  • What was their reaction?

It’s interesting that when I’ve asked these questions of other scrapbookers no-one has ever answered with,

“Page 3 had the cutest piece of paper on it!” or

“The way I shaped and layered the border embellishments on page 16 was just awesome!!” or

“I am sooooo pleased I spent 2 hours deciding on the shade of blue to use on page 27 – It’s perfect”

Instead, album makers talked about remembering and connecting with the experiences. The memories were the most important part of the album. That’s not to say the creative journey isn’t a valuable one.  I LOVE trying new creative techniques on my own album pages, it keeps me interested and motivated to work on my albums but I know that bit is only for me – and possibly my scrappy friends.  I know the value placed on my albums by others is in the stories told and the memories captured in the photos.  Would you agree?

Are you a great storyteller?

Blending photos and words to capture the essence of the stories that mean the most to you can be a challenge. 

  • Do you think others reading your albums will have a good understanding of the stories you are sharing?
  • How do you feel about story telling in your albums?
  • What messages are you trying to convey when you choose photos and write about them?
  • What is holding you back from writing more or writing on a deeper level?

In my experience, most scrapbookers find journalling the most difficult part of the process – you can’t think of the words to use, you’re not sure where to write, how much to write.  For most of us, it’s an afterthought – the photos have priority and then there is no room to tell a long story.   Often, the design of the page takes so long; you are weary by the time you get to the writing. The story becomes the traditional Where, What, When, Why sort.  There’s no reflection; no linking the experience to family traditions or to past experiences; it’s a list of facts, not a story. 

In most case, the meaningful story comes out only when you are standing beside the reader and telling him or her about the experience.  What happens if you are not there?

Future Project

Let’s think about an album project you would like to complete.  Imagine a perfect world, one where you have time to devote to a special album, you have awesome storytelling skills and can write a meaningful and heartfelt story for every page, your design elements are on point and everyone just LOVES looking at your album over and over.  What would that album be?

What is holding you back from starting that album?

  • Need to organise resources
  • Need to find the time
  • Need help to write the stories

How long do you think it will be until everything is organised and planned, ready for you to start?  For most of us, we’ve had projects on this list for years and we are no closer to getting started.

Start now

  • What if I told you, you can begin it right now? With no perfect plan.  With missing information. Without choosing the paper pack.
  • What if you became an ‘anti-chronolgist’?  Working with photos that are not in date order!
  • What if I told you to start with a story and find the photos to go with it?
  • Would you be willing to try?

Chances are, you’ve already begun without knowing it.

Close To My Heart offer a 4 step programme to help you see that you are not ‘behind’ in your album making; that you have exactly enough time to tell the stories you love the most and that the way we’ve been organising photos and making albums in the past is only one way of many. 

The program is called Story by Stacy.  It includes kits for 4 projects.  Each kit teaches you a different journalling technique and way to display your photos.  The first 3 kits are small albums; the last one shows how to apply what you’ve learnt to a 12” x 12” format.

Story by Stacy – 4 parts to the series. 

  • First up is Story Starter.  This 4” x 4” album kit and it’s workbook helps you delve into your attic of memories.  Open boxes of stories you may have forgotten and find ways to tell those stories with photos and words.  You will learn a simple process to write a short story for each of 9 photos relating to one person, place or thing. 
Story Starter Albums are the perfect place to record sweet memories of a person, place or thing that means a lot to you. Order yours at
  • The second kit is called Short Story.  This 6” x 6” album project helps you build on your intuition and storytelling skills to share your memories through the process of visual storytelling.  You will take 30-40 photos relating to one person, place or event, arrange them so they capture the reader’s interest and finish off with a story written at the end.
Short Story albums allow you to include LOTS of photos and tell a summary story at the end. Order yours at
  • Stories I Love is the third kit. It is all about the photos that mean the most to you.  The workbook helps you explore the memories behind the photos and write a detailed story to capture the elements of that moment.  You follow a very simple pattern to display single photos on the left hand page and a story on the right of a 6” x 8” album
A Stories I Love album is the place for you most loved photos and their stories. Order yours at
  • The fourth kit is called Storyteller and looks at producing an extended story.  This is like a chapter in a bigger album, building on what you have learnt in Story Starter, Short Story and Stories I Love.  You may like to take it a step further where what you have experienced is compared a contrasted to another person, place or time. 
The Storyteller How To Book shows you haw to adapte the skills you've learnt in Story Starter, Short Story and Stories I love for a larger project. Order yours at

The first 3 kits help you create different styles of memory books.  You can keep these as discreet projects or meld them into your larger project. 

What do you think?  Is this something you’d like to try?

You have two ways to work on these projects:

  1. Visit my website and order your Story by Stacy kits for home delivery anywhere within Australia.  Simply follow the workbooks included in each kit to learn the 4 different storytelling models.  If you need help, private message via my Facebook page
  2. Attend a face to face class.  I am teaching each of the four projects.  If you live in Perth, Western Australia, I’d love you to join the fun.  Simply head over to my Facebook Page and send me a private message. 

If you’d like to be kept up to date on all the events I offer, sign up for my newsletter here

Happy Scrapping,


S1908 From Me To You – CTMH Stamp of the Month Australasian Blog Hop

Tell your story using From Say Cheese (B1674) Hostess Reward Stamp from Close To My Heart. Perfect for scrapbookers and card makers. Join one of my reward clubs to earn this gift.

Welcome to the Stamp of the Month Australasian Blog Hop.  This is a circular hop.  If you arrived from Crop Craft Create, you are in the right place. Simply read through this post and click on the link to the next blog at the end of it.  Keep reading and ‘hopping’ until you find yourself back where you started from.  Each blog will showcase a project featuring the From Me to You (S1908) stamp set which is August’s Stamp of the Month.

Tell your story using From Me to You (S1908) – August 2019's Stamp of the Month from Close To My Heart. Perfect for scrapbookers and card makers. Order yours from during August 2019

Fun Fonts

Don’t you just love the fonts and the fun way these sentiments are arranged?  They will look awesome on the inside or the outside of your cards.  I always like to make every Stamp of the Month work on a scrapbook layout and this set was way easier than I had anticipated.

Use From Me to You on a scrapbook Layout

This layout was part of an album kit I received as a reward for qualifying for the most recent CTMH Incentive trip to Buenos Aries.  I love the vibrant colours and decided it would actually be perfect for some photos from the previous incentive trip I earned to Tahiti in 2018.

Tell your story using From Me to You (S1908) – August 2019's Stamp of the Month from Close To My Heart. Perfect for scrapbookers and card makers. Order yours from during August 2019

The original design only had a couple of canary yellow circles.  Adding a few more highlighted some favourite photos of this snorkelling experience.  All these sentiments are from this Stamp of the Month and are ideal to use in photo albums.

The designer squiggles at the top and bottom of the journal box plus the repeated stamping on the edge of the Mint cardstock on the RH page are made from stamps in this set too – such versatility!

Tell your story using From Me to You (S1908) – August 2019's Stamp of the Month from Close To My Heart. Perfect for scrapbookers and card makers. Order yours from during August 2019

How do I display extra photos on a layout?

Tell your story using From Me to You (S1908) – August 2019's Stamp of the Month from Close To My Heart. Perfect for scrapbookers and card makers. Order yours from during August 2019
Tell your story using From Me to You (S1908) – August 2019's Stamp of the Month from Close To My Heart. Perfect for scrapbookers and card makers. Order yours from during August 2019

As usual, there were way more photos than the layout could take.  Thank heavens for Pocket Plus protectors – 7 extra snaps of gorgeous reef fish displayed in a jiffy.  The one spare slot was filled with a self made PML card.  Simply cut a 3” x 4” piece of cardstock.  Background stamp and then add the stitched circle thin cut with sentiment.  Stamps on this element came from one of Close To My Heart’s Hostess Rewards stamps, Say Cheese.  Ask your consultant how you can get this set for free.

Tell your story using From Say Cheese (B1674) Hostess Reward Stamp from Close To My Heart. Perfect for scrapbookers and card makers. Join one of my reward clubs to earn this gift.

Order your Stamp of the Month

From Me to You (S1908) is only available during August, 2019.  Full retail price is $29.50 but you can have this gorgeous set for just $8.25 when accompanied by an $82.50 order. Place your order with your Close To My Heart Consultant.

Did you like this layout? I’d love you to leave a comment for me before you click on the underlined link and move on to Danielle’s Blog , Scrappy Chicks, to see the lovely project she has designed for you.

A list of the products used for this project follows.  All items are available to purchase from your Close To My Heart Consultant. If you don’t have a consultant, this link will take you to my website.

Happy Scrappin’


Products used in the Project

S1908 From Me to You Stamp Set

B1674 Say Cheese Hostess Reward Stamp Set

D3245 Design 4 Pocket Plus Protectors

Z4181 Stitched Circle Thin Cut Dies

Z4187 Stitched Ovals Thin Cut Dies

X6007 Lagoon Cardstock

X5986 Mint Cardstock

X6028 Black Cardstock

X6027 White Daisy Cardstock

X7245B Craft On Paper Pack

Z2805 Black Ink

Z4059 Loose Sequins – Crafty

Z1979 LePen Journalling Pen

Beautiful Friendship CTMH Australasian Blog Hop




Welcome to the CTMH Australasian Beautiful Friendship Blog Hop. This hop features the artwork of some talented consultants from across Australia and New Zealand. If you arrived from Doreen’s  blog you are in the right place. If this is your first time on a blog hop simply read on, enjoy my creations and maybe share what you liked about them in the comments. Then you click on the link at the end of this post and it will take you to the next blog and so on and so on. Easy and fun! Best part- you can see lots of different projects you can create with Close To My Heart’s Beautiful Friendship collection! When you land back here, you are done and it’s time to hit the craft room for some paperific fun.

Beautiful Friendship collection from Close To My Heart. Available to purchase at

The Beautiful Friendship collection is the first featured collection in our NEW Seasonal Expressions catalogue.  It is available for purchase until the end of August 2018.  It is my absolute favourite in this catalogue.

Beautiful Friendship collection from CTMH is available to purchase at until Aug, 2018
Today I am sharing a layout created from Pattern 21 in Make It From Your Heart, Vol 3.  It’s all about my husband’s surprise 60th birthday celebration.  Pink is his favourite colour to wear and he loves a good floral print shirt so this collection was perfect for the photos.

Beautiful Friendship Layout - Page 002

I had quite a bit to tell and reverted to a tried and true technique of adding journaling behind a photo in a flip flap.  Scrapbooking for me is as much about telling a story as it is about the pretty papers.

Beutiful Friendship detail - Page 011

I love creating a focal point of embellishments tied in with my journaling on a page.  Basic Numbers Thin Cuts cut in a print and a plain began the title in the top left hand corner of the page which was then continued in the lower right hand corner.  The two elements framing the photos and drawing our eyes inward.

Beautiful Friendship collection from CTMH availalbe at until Aug, 2018

I love working with the Workshop Your Way Kits, making the layouts and cards.  My aim when working on the cards is to use the basic design elements but change them up in some way so each card looks a little different.  This photo shows what the original designs look like.

Beautiful Friendship WYW Card - supplies and full instructions available at until Aug 2018

And here are two of my variations which I love!  Adding a teapot window to the first card made it more playful . The second card has an embossed front created with the Rose embossing folder.  I LOVED painting the teapot and cups with my watercolour paints.

Beautiful Friendship WYW Cards - supplies and instructions available at until end of Aug 2018


Are you ready to have a beautiful friendship with this gorgeous collection?  Place an order with your consultant.  If you don’t have a CTMH consultant, you can head over to my website to place an order for delivery within Australia.

I’d love you to leave a comment for me before you go. Then click on the underlined link and move on to Vandra’s Blog , Vandra’s Virtual Craftroom , to see the gorgeous project she has designed for you.

Happy Scrapping,

Products used in these projects

G1153 Beautiful Friendship Workshop Your Way

Z4180 Beautiful Friendship Cardmaking Stamps & Thin Cuts

Z3386 Block Alphabet Thin Cuts

Z4159 Block Numbers Thin Cuts

Z3314 Black & White Dots

Watercolour Paints

Z3188 Paintbrush Set

Z899 Memento Ink

Sangria – The back story to a photo


As always with old photos, there is a back story not immediately obvious on first viewing of the photo.  When I found the photo on the left hand page I just thought it was a happy family snap of mum’s relatives and then I realised the significance of it.  This was the last photo taken before mum embarked on a full day’s journey to join dad in New Guinea.  She must have been filled with mixed emotions leaving Melbourne for the first time to go to some wild place!

She really was the adventurous one in her family and often lived the addage, “Face your fear and do it anyway”.

Sept 2 pages - Page 009

This layout was made using the Sangria Workshop on the Go (G1097).  The stamp set that comes in this kit is pretty gorgeous.  Almost every stamp on the sheet gets used in this layout!  Full cutting guides and instructions are included in the kit.

Here’s the card I made with the scraps.

Sept cards - Page 008The Sangria Workshop on the Go is just $44 and is valued at $63.50.  You receive full colour instructions for 2 layouts and there is enough paper in the pack to make 4-8 pages PLUS 4-8 cards from the scraps AND you get to keep the stamp set forever.  It is great value for money.

Sangria is our featured collection throughout October.  That means we will be created with it in my workshops. You can also see lots of layouts, cards and paper crafting on social media.  I’ll feature several projects here throughout the month and you can view lots of great ideas on the official Close To My Heart Blog, Facebook page and Instagram, @ctmhofficial . Search Pinterest and Instagram using ‘ctmhsangria’

Happy Scappin’


A Splash of Mum and a Dash of Dad


Today’s pages come out of the vault.  They were made 9 years ago but the words hold true today.  Yesterday being Mother’s Day, my daughter posted a link on Facebook about how she will become like me as she grows older.  It got me thinking how similar we are and how like her grandmother she is too.  Then I remembered these pages.

These are 2 more pages from my Book of Me album.  I want future generations to know the character traits that run in our family.

If you are having trouble getting started just ask your family for suggestions of how you are like your parents.

If you are having trouble getting started just ask your family for suggestions of how you are like your parents.

You may just write a list or use dot points.  One thing’s for sure, once you start there won’t be much room for photos on theses pages!

Mum and Dad - Page 002

What do you think?  Is this something you could do in one of your albums?  Give it a go and let me know.

Happy Scrappin’


This Face, These Hands


It’s Father’s Day in Australia on Sunday.  My darling Dad passed away 8 years ago but I wanted to honour him here today.  This is a layout from the vault, made just a few days after his death.  Scrapbooking really is my therapy and making pages of this gorgeous man helped me get through those first hard weeks without him.

My darling dad

I don’t have anything clever to teach you in terms of stamps, embellishments or whizz bang tools. My offering here is what I believe to be the foundation of any scrapbook page – the story behind the image.

This is the face

Keep the tissues handy as you work – you’ll need them.  See the smudge on the photo above?  I’d printed it at home and then cried on it!!!  Ah well, keeps it real 🙂

Fathers - Page 010

Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads making their little girls (and big girls) feel loved,



 Travel Bug Challenge 2