Welcoming other voices into your stories

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking60 Comments

While cleaning over the past weekend, I picked up a dusty frame containing this old photo:


I see this photo every time I walk through the dining/scrap room. It was taken by a good friend of ours by the name of Kurt Kueffner back in 1996. Kurt is a pioneer in the hair styling industry and a local Minneapolis hair legend. A bit of a renaissance man, he also pursued his passion for photography, and this photo was definitely a cherished gift to our family.

I recently resurrected a design from Clean&Simple 2, a layout called "Blink." Those of you familiar with it will recall it looked a bit like this:


The idea is simple. Pair an older photo of your subject, with a shot from present day, then start writing.

Seeing the people in our lives and the passage of time right there in front of us on the scrapbook page is a powerful thing, evoking immediate and often very emotional responses. This can make for very uninhibited journaling, as well.

As I was dusting off the frame with the shot of Aidan and Dan, I thought, "What a great shot to pair with the shot of them from a few weeks back." Old and new, then write.

Using my newly updated template from Designer Digitals, I dropped in the photos and set out to begin writing, when I realized that my voice, while it would work just fine on this page might not actually be the best voice to capture the story.

So I asked Dan if he would do the honors. Lucky for me (and Aidan) he said, "Absolutely."

(Click on the layout to see it larger in a new window to read the journaling.)


SUPPLIES: Layered Template No. 47 β€’ Olan Solids Cardstock β€’ Just Linens No. 1 β€’ Archer font

Now I realize any man capable of making this is obviously not going to say 'no' when given a challenge to write about his daughter, and maybe some of you are thinking, "Yeah, right… have you MET my sigificant other? He's about as poetic as a rock."

Still, I realized what a gift it is to bring another voice into the mix. If not a willing spouse or partner, maybe it's a grandmother, or grandfather. Maybe aunts, or uncles. Or maybe just asking a few questions to siblings about each other.

I believe that other voices make the story tapestry so much more vibrant in the grand scrapbooking scheme of things.

Whose voice can you invite into your personal documentation?

Food for thought on this fine first day of March.

Cathy ZielskeWelcoming other voices into your stories

60 Comments on “Welcoming other voices into your stories”

  1. #1

    I like this idea. Might dig out some old photos and see what we can come up with for it! If I asked my husband-to-be he would probably write something like “this was a very nice day on the beach, we had fun and i love you and i like the seashells”. πŸ™‚ Maybe I should test this theory and ask him what he would say….

  2. #4

    Good Morning Cathy- I can only assume that Dan is now interviewing anyone who decides that he might like your beautiful daughter! Thanks for the tear jerker this morning- what a great idea. I’ll have to go trolling for photos today. πŸ™‚

  3. #6

    WOW, what an awesome gift. Aidan is a very lucky young lady to have a dad that can articulate how he feels!

    It is so obvious from both photos that they share a special bond.

  4. #14
    Sue O

    Wow! What a great way to begin a Monday morning. This is such a great gift for Aidan. She is one lucky girl.

  5. #15

    beautiful layout. . . way to go Dan! Two writers in the family is simply terrific.
    We have adult children so we have had that milestone of stepping out of the way but are now enjoying “friendship” with our daughters.

    Your children will cherish the words you and Dan have written to them.

  6. #16

    OMGoodness Cathy that journaling made me tear up (especially the part about maybe time to get out of the way). Great reminder to let others voices into our scrapbooks.

  7. #17
    patti quagliarini

    I thought I was all done crying now that the Olympics are over but this did bring a tear to my eye! Great idea…I am totally going to use this for my husband and two boys. Now if I can get him to write it would be perfect. Thanks for the great ideas and all the ones before this. Love your site and your humour!

  8. #19

    Awesome. I have asked both my husband and my son for journaling on pages at one point or another. With my daughter I have only been able to do an interview type of question and answer as she doesn’t write or dictate just yet.

  9. #20
    Deb J

    What a great layout. Dan did such a good job with the journaling too. How special for Aiden. I wish I had things like that from my dad who is now deceased. I never did know much about what he thought about me. I also have only a few pictures of us together, just the two of us.

  10. #21
    Nancy Hyland

    what a wonderful gift to Aidan! Dan’s journaling just made me a bit weepy. my hubby doesn’t do stuff like that, but he is good about telling my daughter often how special she is. But I loved the idea of having others do it as well. My brother and his girlfriend were just here on a visit and I have some great shots of them all together, how great would it be if they could do the journaling for some of those shots!! Thanks for the idea!!

  11. #25

    One of my blocks to actually getting pages done is because our kids are in their 20’s. Now seeing this gives me new inspiration to use some of their youthful photos and get some new ones now. Just a wonderful, inspirational post. Thanks. Off to DD to get the template.

  12. #26

    Wow! This was a really great post. That’s a brilliant idea to have your hubby do the journaling. And he did really good! Thank you for sharing your LO, it was very touching.

  13. #27

    OMG! Way to step up Dan, that was awesome. I would cherish thoughts from my Dad or even a piece of his handwriting, neither of which do I have. What a gift you just gave, Aidan.

  14. #29

    Thank you so much for sharing! But not for the mascara that’s about to run down my face — I’m welling up here at work!!

    Great inspiration, wonderful story and hilarious about the hair. No wonder you married him!

  15. #31
    Donna Tullis

    girl…the original was fantastic and this one is just as well…i truly love how you always get to the emotion of this life we are living and it is front and center in your scrapin…thank the heavens for cathy zielske!

  16. #32

    Wasn’t planning on tearing up so over my afternoon salad, but this was really beautiful! Thanks for sharing and for providing such great inspiration!


  17. #36
    Lynn L.

    That was so awesome! I want to get my husband more involved too. How nice for our kids to get mom AND dads thoughts! Give Dan a big high five!!

  18. #42
    Tammy M.

    This is so sweet!! I could see doing this as an album with my sons taken with their dad, grandparents, etc. and having them comment about them…so cool!

    Also wanted to tell you I caved on the Adagio Tea…got the IngenuiTEA and several different teas (some for hubby too to smooth over my purchase …LOL) should be receiving it in a few days…I’ll let you know what I think.

  19. #45

    WOW – absolutely awesome LO. I love using time lapse photos like that, and your LO is perfect with Dan’s voice. After my initial WOW response, all I could think of was Cole looks more like Dan than I ever thought possible – I’ve been seeing photos of Dan now, but the younger Dan and Cole look just alike! But you knew that already . . . .

  20. #46

    Together, these photos beautifully demonstrate the evolution of the parent-child relationship. It’s almost surreal. That Dan’s a pretty cool guy.

  21. #47

    Thanks for the great inspiration. I bought the template but didn’t think of giving it to ‘dad’ to do. He has now seen Dan’s version, been briefed and is ready to go….Keep the inspiration coming!

  22. #48

    That is such beautiful journalling from Dan…I really need to make my husband do this! Any hints on arm-twisting techniques?

  23. #49
    Stephanie Howell

    okay. **SAP ALERT**.
    i’m sitting here at 6:30 a.m. in a silent house, drinking my coffee…and tears are streaming down my face.

    you see, this is why i LOVE scrapbooking. and as a mommy to two little girls (two little girls with the best daddy in the world), this really tugs at my heart.

    i’ll be doing this soon. it won’t be as effective, considering harper is only 3 (HA!) but i’m doing it.

    i want to tell you that you are the reason i fell in love with scrapbooking. i have both of your clean and simple books (spiral bound and well-loved). i had C&S 1 in the hospital with me when i was in labor with harper. i read it through labor, and after…during her first night, as i watched her sleeping.

    and i looked at her, and jimmy, both sleeping…and read your book. and thought about scrapbooking. and how i wanted to record the moments like the one above. and i fell in love. with my new baby and with scrapbooking.

    so thank you.

    i have also just discovered what my next blog post will be about.

    love you, and thank you again. i can’t say it enough. s

  24. #50
    Corie in Indy

    Thanks for the constant reminder that simple pages are fabulous. I sometimes look at a layout of my own and think, “there’s nothing there…no flowery embellishment, no ‘bling,’ nothing ‘creative.’ Maybe it needs something.” But then I look at the page and think, “But I love it.” And it’s OK if it’s simple. It’s more than OK. It’s fantastic. It’s classic. It’s timeless. It’s focused. It’s moving. It’s wonderful. I love your blog – your simple scrapbooking style, your witty writing style and your awesome family. Thanks for sharing with us.

  25. #51

    Thanks, Cathy! After reading your post yesterday, I thought hmmm…I might try that sometime. And I did! Last night while I was working on a layout about my oldest son trying soccer, I asked him if he wanted to journal about how he felt and he agreed! I handed over my laptop to him (I’m a digital scrapbooker) and let him go to town! I love that he will have his own voice on one (and now maybe more) of his pages. Very cool!

  26. #53
    Karen Poirier-Brode

    Great idea! Love this. I’m a little scared to ask my son to tell me about the changes in his life but I’m thinking I should ask. When he first became ill he asked me “Is high school going to end up being the highlight of my life?” and I cried so hard. He’d been popular, the quarterback, etc. He is older now and I think happier with life so I should ask him – I think I’d get a meaningful page.

  27. #54
    Chatty Scrapper - Kari R'ville

    My hubby is much the same. Though it’d still be nice to have his take. And at times I know he might surprise me with more, if asked, if he’s in the right mood. Either way probably more likely now that our son is here if I explain these things are for him in a lot of ways.

  28. #56
    Chatty Scrapper - Kari R'ville

    I think having other’s point of view is great. And something we often forget about but doing your version would be nice also. And/or having a layout about your reaction to Dan’s take on this page.

  29. #59
    Beth R.

    Wow, that hubby of yours really is an amazing writer.
    So heartfelt and honest, made me wish I had a father that could express his thoughts in that way.
    I love this idea and so nice for Adian to have her dads voice on paper.
    I think he’s a keeper.

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