My Scrapbook Resume

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Letter Writing as Journaling

A lot of virtual ink has been spilled over the lost art of letter writing. Even back in the day when there was no email,  I was never a prolific writer of letters, but I do remember checking the mail daily with a faint glimmer of hope that there might be something for me. And, Dave and I actually corresponded by mail (!) when we first met, because we are that old. He even typed his on a typewriter. And somewhere in a closet is a box filled with letters on actual paper that record our earliest conversations.

Well, the art of letter writing isn't completely gone. I have recently rediscovered letter writing as a quick way to add some variety and often humor (at least I find it funny) to my journaling, and I encourage you to try the same.

Write a Letter to A Friend or Family Member
This is the most obvious use of letter writing in scrapbooking: Writing a lovely, sentimental letter addressed to your subject, like this one.

The letter says:

Dear Max,
The other day, I gave you a kiss, and I can't be sure, but I think I had to stand on my tippy toes.

What I was really thinking about when I started this page, is the age old maternal feeling of , "My baby is getting so big!" But that's been said before, and I didn't want to be repetitive. Signing the letter with "love" adds some tenderness without being too sappy. I have discovered that teenage boys are not big fans of syrupy, sweet, motherly displays of affection.

And here's one more letter addressed to my darling children who are so fond of teasing me for all the little things I photograph; leaves on a tree, fruit in a bowl, my feet. Sometimes they will point to a speck of dust and say, "Oh, don't you want to take a picture of that?" Well, one day as we were walking, and I saw some leaf or flower or speck of dust that I thought looked nice, and I didn't stop, because I didn't want to make everyone wait for me, I composed this little letter in my head.

Dear Max and Sam,
I know you think I'm crazy for taking a million pictures of  "pointless" and "random" and things. But if you only knew all the things I see that I don't photograph, you'd be amazed at my self control.

And also, it's just because I see so much beauty in the world. Perhaps one day you might even see that as a good thing about your crazy, old mother.

Luckily they were not with me on the day I decided to photograph yarn on a tree. 

Write a Letter Instead of a Narrative

You know how when you start to scrapbook about an event or outing, and you want to make it sound more interesting then "We all had a fun time at..." Don't get me wrong, sometimes all you need are the stats to help you remember a wonderful day. But every once in a while, it's nice to change things up a little.

So, here I wrote a letter to imagined archaeologists from Beit Guvrin in Israel, where we probably got a little closer to the ancient ruins than we were supposed to.

The letter says:

 Dear Archaeologists of Beit Guvrin,
If you didn't want Sam to climb all over your ancient ruins or play dead in your sarcophagi, you probably shouldn't have left them lying around.
Aliza Deutsch. 

 After I finished this layout, and it was sitting on my desk, my husband and kids read it as they passed by and said, "That's funny." So, you see,  it's not just me.

And here, I wrote  my longest letter to date. It's a love letter to one of my favorite restaurants in Israel. Not only does it express my warm feelings towards platters of waffles piled with fruit, chocolate, and whipped cream, but it also tells the story of the times we ate there. 

More Love Letters to Inanimate Objects

Now, I'm sure we can all relate to our own and our children's love and obsession with their technological devices. So in this little layout here, I wrote an imagined love-letter from my son to his iPod.

So the next time you're feeling in a journaling rut, think of a person, place or thing you can write a letter to. Let me know if it works!


  1. Love it! Journaling is the most difficult thing for me to do, maybe because I do it in my second, wait, third, language. That last layout could be mine, just need to replace the picture of your son with a picture of my daughter LOL

  2. Writing letters is such a fun creative way to journal! And your letters show your personality in a way that is tough to incorporate into any journaling. Thanks for the ideas!