PRT 024 – I Did It But Hid It

How do you get beyond the typical obvious description and journal a more compelling and revealing story that will mean more to people over time?

This is the subject of this week’s Paperclipping Roundtable!

You can use this audio player to listen to the show:

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this video.

If you want, you can also right click this link to save the show to your computer manually.

The Panel

Picks of the Week

(Affiliate links wherever possible.)


This show is sponsored by Big Picture Scrapbooking. Click here for the promo code to save 10% on any class at BPS!

More Links

How to subscribe…

Did you know that when you subscribe in iTunes (which is free), you’re helping support Paperclipping Roundtable? It’s true. iTunes measures every subscription, so it’s like casting a “vote” for the show. It helps us move up the ranks and helps us grow the audience.

iTunes is free. Subscribing is free, so why not use it to download the show? Subscribe in iTunes (iTunes link) right now so your computer will automatically download each new episode as they become available. (If you don’t know how to do that, you can watch a video here that shows you how.)

  • Pingback: Around the net « confessions of a chocoholic()

  • Pingback: Paperclipping Roundtable #24: I Did It But I Hid It()

  • CarolineDavis

    I've used hidden journaling a bunch of times, but not usually for the reasons mentioned on the show. Yes, a couple of times have been for purely aesthetics, but mostly because either I'm not ready for everyone to know my truth, or more commonly, the people who most want to know that truth aren't ready yet.

    Huh what?

    I'm divorced, and I think sometimes that process can bring on a perspective change. Sometimes I appreciate things more, some things are harder, some things feel less just. I want to tell my story, and I don't want to sugar coat it, but I also recognize that my view of things may be hard for some. Mainly, and most importantly, my children. At 19, 16, 12 and 10 they (A) deserve to have the best opinion of both their mother and father and (B) aren't mature enough to deal with some of the complexities of adult relationships. I want them to know me. And I want to write my story now, before I forget it. But I don't want them reading it right now. So sometimes that means I hide journaling. And maybe they won't ever find it. But I doubt that.

    Great show, as always! Thanks for keeping me company today.

  • Sue

    Wow – that was a whole journaling class packed into one podcast! Sure I'll be listening to it again…and again.

  • Sue

    Wow – that was a whole journaling class packed into one podcast! Sure I'll be listening to it again…and again.

  • Sue

    Wow – that was a whole journaling class packed into one podcast! Sure I'll be listening to it again…and again.

  • May Flaum

    I think it's AWESOME AND AMAZING that you're getting your 'non-sugar-coated' story down in this way!!! I know some people tend to do more art or regular journals for this kind of thing (vs traditional scrapbook) but I'm sure you're not alone. What a gift you're giving with your time and truth.

  • I know I am a couple days late listening to this episode but the pool was calling! I am sitting here working on my 2008 vacation album and listening to the group talk about journaling and I have to chime in, there are 2 was that I journal while on vacation:

    1. I pre-make a travel notebook with notebook paper and page protectors together (the cinch works great for this) and I use the notebook paper to journal my days thoughts before going to bed and I use the page protectors to place all of the stuff that I have collect all day in each days pouch. That way when I get home everything is in one spot and already organized for scrappin.

    2. My favorite way to journal when not at home is to buy postcards. I write the days memories on the back and mail them home to myself. It is fun getting the postcards in the mail once I am home and I have a blast getting them into the album also.

    On a side note: As of 0300 this morning I am now using I was listening while working this morning and you just kept bugging me so bad that I had to stop scrappin and just get it done! Thank you so much for nagging me to death.

    Jennifer Perry
    Visit my blog at

  • Jennifer

    It was almost a throwaway comment during the show, but I had to chime in. Noell mentioned an idea for a tutorial about converting cassettes to digital media, and I am begging for you to pursue it.

    I am a digi scrapper (now I have two podcasts to love!) but I dabble in video editing as well. Right now I am trying to transfer and edit old VHS home movies to preserve them for my parents and siblings. It is an ambitious project and I am having a hard time finding the right kind of help on the internet (i.e. trustworthy and informative). Obviously I want to create a quality product, but I am going to stick with consumer level equipment and software (PC).

    You guys produce some amazing tutorials, but the videos on both of your sites are outside of my lane. Since we are all headed down the memory keeping highway, have you ever considered doing any “motion scrapbooking” tutorials, as Izzy calls it? Or can you point me to some resources?

    Thanks a bunch! If you do go down that route I will be your first and perpetual customer!!!

  • Just listening to PRT and now hearing you chat about summer travel scrapping & journalling now and had to link you up to these tips over at The Daily Digi

    Travel journal project

    Scrapping Theme Parks and Fairs

  • Loved the tip about looking at your layouts and seeing what you wrote in comments of galleries or blogposts…that really does reveal a lot about the journaling and if it is enough. I definitely struggle with journaling because it just feels bizarre! I'm not creating the scrapbooks necessarily for a future audience, it's just because I like to do it…the process is fun and allows me to relive great memories.

  • Terri Torrez

    Just wanted to add a word about your sponsor. You have stressed the fact that offers lifetime access so you can do a class later if you're too busy when it's offered. That's a great feature, of course, but I wanted to emphasize the value of taking a class in “real time”.
    I know a lot of your listeners have trouble finding time and motivation to scrap and, for me, the solution is BPS. If I have a deadline and the interactive classroom to keep me motivated I get so much more done than if I work on my own time. There is a direct correlation between the years i've taken a lot of BPS workshops and the amount I have produced.

    To date I have taken 13 workshops at BPS. I've only ever been disappointed with one of them (and BPS generously compensated me for that one.) Most of the classes have far exceeded my expectations in terms of quality of instruction, materials and instructor access (seriously, May — one-on-one Skype calls?). Anyway, I can't recommend them enough and I hope that your listeners will take advantage of your discount to try it out.

    And thanks again for producing PRT and the new Digi show. I love listening on my commute.

  • Bibliotecaria

    I think there was an idea expressed, but it was kinda elliptical to the main points, so I want to reiterate it. One thing I would add about journaling, well, about scrapbooking in general, but about journaling in particular, is that not every single page is going to be inspiring or amazingly creative or an absolute masterpiece. Even Van Gogh or Beethoven didn't create an absolute masterpiece every time they created something. And if I had to look at a scrapbook where every single page attempted to be emotional or profound or … it actually makes me feel exhausted. Life is composed not just of mountaintop intensity, but also everyday journey, and so some pages just need to be about that everyday journey. So sometimes the journaling just needs to be: who, what, when, where, why. Bullet points are fine. Maybe later you can go back and write something more profound or reflective, but if you have just gotten down the details that are the triggers for memory, that is enough for now.

    That actually reminds me: maybe the lady who had the question about the same things happening every year needs to exploit that rather than avoid it. A possible solution would be a school pictures that follows the same format every year. Example: three pictures: one of the child doing homework, one doing an extracurricular activity, one the formal school picture; next, a list of the classes/topics they had and the teacher's name, the name of the school and the room number; a list of their activities, as found in the yearbook; maybe include the report card or at least some of the teacher's comments. That way you are turning the same thing every year into an advantage. And it serves the important purpose of reminding you about some of the details of that particular year that can be a trigger for remembering when you look back and maybe want to write more.

  • Craftlounge

    This is in response to Nancy's news portion about the Cricut Circle. I just got an invitation in my email and, while the 4 cartridges per year are free, the annual cost to be in the circle is $275! Also, they are only letting people in by invitation supposedly right now so maybe that got some people going. I also have a Silhouette and use it much more than my Cricut so I have no desire to join but wanted to pass along the info.

  • Craftlounge

    Oops! This comment belonged under the “Burnt Cookies” podcast and not this one.

  • Thank you so much for reading my comment on the podcast. I was driving my car when I heard it for the first time, and it really made my day. Yes, unfortunately, I checked last week and is taken by someone else. I had known for a while that there were 1 or 2 other Amanda Yoshida's out there, but it never occurred to me that I should buy up the domain name before one of them does. I guess I missed the boat on that one.

    I want to comment about Journaling. I used to do my journaling on the computer and then printed it in text box style onto vellum. I liked using vellum, because usually the pattern paper underneath still shows through. I don't do this as much anymore, but this is mainly due to trying different styles. In May Flaum's class on BPS, I started using really small journaling cards and handwriting a sentence or two on them. I find that people who look at my pages are much more likely to read that then a huge textbox of journaling. Until then, I had found it so frustrating to make pages but then no one really takes the time to read the journaling.

    If I find it necessary, I will take more time to journal, but I very rarely find a reason to hide it. I think hiding it can be a good technique though if you don't want the journaling to take away from the embellishments and vice versa. Actually, over the past year, since I have tried to get more and more into embellishing, I may try some “hidden journaling” techniques more and more. Thanks to this episode and the title, I feel inspired to give it a try.

    I am excited about Jessica Sprague's book coming out soon. I had wanted to take that class Stories in Hand, but she has not offered it since over a year ago. I guess we know why now!

  • This episode really spoke to me. I always journal on my pages, but tend to find it more difficult to make it “sound” right and not that repetitive “it was fun, we had a great time.” I love the idea of writing just to write and get into the habit of “hearing your voice on paper.” I think journaling is a big part of what we do, and the more meaningful the journaling, the better.

    That being said, I hide my journaling for a completely different reason than discussed in this week’s episode. I had never thought to hide my journaling if it didn't “fit in” with the design of my page. I tend to hide my journaling if it's too personal to have just lying out there in the open. My family tends to grab an album and just help themselves to flipping through it…without regard to whether it is my “personal” album or not. I know there will come a point when my kids are going to go through a period in their life and I will be able to show them, “See? I went through the same thing when I was your age,” and this doesn't bother me. I want these “harder” stories to be available for future generations. However, I want to be the one to share the story when it's time (and when I'm no longer around, I think it would be cool for my grandkids or great-grandkids to discover the hidden journaling).

    Thank you for the great episodes; I always learn something new!

  • SueLynn Harwig

    I love listening to PRT and the new digi show. The discussion on hidden journaling in episode 24 caught my attention. I never really liked hidden journaling, or any interactive elements, on my pages. Mostly because I didn't like the idea of people removing pages from the protectors or of cutting the protectors to allow easy access. If I'm making a mini book that doesn't use page protectors, then I enjoy being a little more playful.

    That said, I have used hidden journaling on a layout for one of my sons. He had a birth defect, and on the layout about his first surgery to repair it, I created a slide-out card at the bottom of the page with a tab that read “For Aidan”. On one side of that hidden card, I included small before and after photos; and on the other side, I wrote about why we decided to have the surgery done and our hopes for his future. These are things he needs to know when he is older but no one else really needs to know.

  • I did listen again and was inspired to put this post on my blog:

  • That is awesome, Sue! Thanks for sharing! It's such a simple thing to do:
    take an extra minute to ask WHY these photos draw you in — but it makes an
    enormous difference in how meaningful our stories are.

  • Crystalangel792001

    I like hidden journaling, alot of my pages have the journaling on the page but I tend to write alot and it is hard to get it all on a page sometimes, so hidden journaling is the perfect solution. Plus, I love the idea of having some hidden treasure throughout my scrapbook just waiting to be discovered by my son or someday grandchildren in the future, can you imagine how thrilling that would be for them to discover these inner thoughts that have been tucked away just waiting to be found. I find that most people do not read the journaling (maybe it is because I write so much, as mentioned before), but in the end all the writing I do on the layouts is not for other people, it is for me, because I want to remember every moment of this grand, ordinary life that I am living. Just like most people do not get all the symbolism I put into my design, like using distressing when my page is about going through some difficult times or how I use the butterfly to symbolize myself and my quest to transform and evolve and be who I am destined to be, but I do it anyway because I know and I love the multi layers because it makes the pages so inviting to look back on, since there is always something different for me to take in…Hopefully, when I am gone my son or his children will be able to appreciate how much of myself I have put into those layouts and if they are looking closely enough they will even find some hidden jewels.

  • I am exactly this way and agree 100%! I love symbolism and TONS of
    journaling and I'm totally cool with the fact that no one will pick up on
    the symbols, or if few to no one wants to read all that text! :)

  • Robin W.

    I loved this episode because journaling is my favorite part of scrapbooking. I believe that anyone can write; the more you practice the better you are. People don't play musical instruments well without practice, and I've never understood why they are so upset with themselves for not writing well when they haven't practiced.

    I always had my children journal on trips we took as a family. They kept journals even before they could write. At the end of each day part of their bedtime routine was writing in their journal. It could be about what they did, what they saw, what they ate, anything that they wanted to write about. For example, my daughter was quite young when we went to the Oregon coast, and she had seen a starfish that she named Todd. In our hotel room that night she drew a picture of Todd, and I wrote what she had to say about him. She is now twenty and loves the fact that she has a journal filled with her drawings of our trip. I can put not only her thoughts onto my scrapbook page, but also copy her picture of Todd.

    This is a great way to get your family's perspective “in the moment” so to speak because they are writing/drawing their memories while on the trip. As my kids have gotten old enough to go on trips without family they still kept journals because the habit was so strong, and they knew how mad I would be if they didn't :)

  • Nuut

    Hi There

    I always keep very detailed journals of major trips. And if I travel alone I send detailed e-mails home and compile all of these into a journal in the end. I do not repeat these journals on my scrapbook pages. I see it more as a two book system. You use the scrapbook to look at the pictures and the journal to read the story. I merely add captions to the scrapbook – like the Hotel in Nice, the meal in Paris etc.

  • Katie Scott

    I made a layout while listening to the “re-run” of this show about hidden journaling & journaling about difficult times. I had a very difficult time in my family yesterday, my son’s birthday, a day which should have been awesome. I’m not going to scrapbook the meltdown that my son and I had, but I did make a page about how my daughter gave me a “Princess Pep Talk” and pulled me out of an ugly crying fit (mine not my son’s).

    The following is the explanation I put with it on my blog and which I later printed out and taped to the back of the layout in my album:

    The pictures on the page and the journaling aren’t from the same day, and they don’t really explain the whole story that inspired this page, but they were close in time and related to my theme of Allison giving me a “Princess Pep Talk.” We had a major Mac & Mommy meltdown on his 9th birthday. I felt just awful about it, it was not what I had planned at all. After trying my best to handle the situation in the best way I could think of that would accomplish Love & Logic and good parenting and trying to combine a little consequences and tough love with giving him a break because it was his birthday, I was just emotionally spent and when the situation was finally diffused, I disintegrated into a full on out loud crying mess. Allison was there to give me a hug and talk me back to a happier place. Even then I was conflicted about letting her see me cry like that, she even mentioned that she had never seen me “real cry” before. I’m not sure exactly if or when I will ever scrapbook the whole meltdown story, but I did want to scrapbook and remember and highlight the incredible way that Allison was so loving and cheered me up when I really needed someone to do that. Granted, it shouldn’t be my 7 year old daughter, and I talked to Charlie about a lot of issues and about how we could find solutions to challenges together; but I am thankful to have a daughter who has always seemed to me like an old soul, she is really amazing. I love you Ally and Charlie and Mac. P.S. We saved the day later after Daddy got home and Mac declared it “The Best Birthday Ever!” So all’s well that ends well and I’m moving forward.

    Here is a link to the page: