by Debbie Hodge

In celebration of Get It Scrapped’s 2nd birthday, we’re running “Scrap Your Story” free for the next 11 weeks. This is #1 in a series of 11 lessons about scrapbooking yourself. Look for a new post each Tuesday. Check back on March 9 for a lesson on scrapbooking your origins. Come on over to the Get Your Story Scrapped forum and chat. Post your layouts in the public gallery and link us up in the thread for each lesson.

yourself: who are you right now?

It’s time to make a scrapbook page that is a record of who you are right now. There are many angles from which to approach this, ranging from the light-hearted to the contemplative. The layout show here, “These things are true {today},” takes a stream-of-consciousness approach that allowed me work in bits from all of the areas I describe below. Pages like this accompanied by pages that take an in-depth look at particular areas combine to make a strong portrait.

JOURNALING: prefer work to exercise (& even to play) * the only TV I watch (for the most part) is Guiding Light and anything on MSNBC * love politics, Alice Munro stories, Merle Haggard songs * an introvert after 30 years as an extrovert * prefer yardwork to housewovrk * worry about bats * not sentimental but compassionate & tolerant * got moodier after 37 * like to be prepared for big things, but not so much the little things (i.e., dinner) * small number of friends * don’t like talking on the phone * don’t hold grudges * willing to say sorry but not so willing to change my ways * love writing, blogging, picture-taking, scrapbooking * let my youngest son fall asleep in my bed at night * creamy pasta dishes rock * chocolate is good, too * ambitious and competent * love my childhood home and drive the 350 miles there frequently * worry about Neil’s health and yet have confidence he’ll be ok because he’s so competent (and maybe because I’m hiding my head in the sand) * like being on the road with the boys * don’t like shopping, in fact go to extremes to avoid it * don’t mind being disliked anymore and willing to face conflicts * never going to walk out on anyone or anything again * rarely listen to music these last few years and prefer quiet * turning into a hermit * believe in being kind and never “hitting anyone where it hurts” * enjoy doing math homework alongside my oldest son and then comparing answers * Sudoku, too! * not as obsessed with hair as my husband says I am *

Think about these aspects of you now:

  • undisputed facts
    this includes the following and more: age, appearance, eye-color, education, family size, job, and anything else that just is.
  • a matter of opinion (yours)
    think about what you like, dislike, believe, feel, as well as odd bits of information about your behavior, and habits.
  • personality and temperament
    what are your moods? how do you behave in certain situations? are you inclined to do some things rather than others? how do others see you and how do you see yourself?
  • values and beliefs
    how do you perceive the world and your place in it? what do you value and how do you live that exemplifies this? what do you believe in strongly, whether that be about small things like keeping a tidy desk or larger questions of humanity?
  • goals
    what are your hopes, dreams,  and future goals? where are you hoping to go and how will you get there?
  • evaluation
    how do you regard yourself? what aspects of yourself are you proud of, embarrased by, content to have, or wishing to change?

priming the engine: ask yourself this

Of course, we all know we should strive to be true to ourselves and not worry about what others think, but . . . maybe what you think about what others think could be the inspiration for a scrapbook page. Check out the quote below and then answer the following questions quickly.

Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about.  And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us.  Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny.  -Eric Hoffer

  1. List 3 to 5 people in your life – try to pull them from different areas (extended family, nuclear family, work, friends, organizations).
  2. For each of these people, list one or two words that you think they’d use to describe you.
  3. Which characterization do you least agree with?
  4. Which characterization do you most agree with?
  5. Do you want to change any of these perceptions?
  6. Are there any of these characterizations you’d like to embrace and take farther?
  7. What ideas for scrapbook pages do these answers prompt?

think about it: quotations on self

While your first instinct might be to use these quotes on your page, don’t let them be a substitute for journaling.  In addition to perhaps including them on your page, as is, read them to get you thinking about what and how you might scrap your current-day self. Phrases from them might also make good titles.

  • He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened. – Lao Tzu
  • We continue to shape our personality all our life. If we knew ourselves perfectly, we should die.” – Albert Camus
  • We are bound to our bodies like an oyster is to its shell. – Plato
  • Personality is to a man what perfume is to a flower. – Charles M. Schwab
  • There is luxury in self-reproach…. When we blame ourselves we feel no one else has a right to blame us. – Oscar Wilde
  • Take the time to come home to yourself every day.  -Robin Casarjean
  • I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a wearer of new clothes. – Henry David Thoreau
  • I care not so much what I am to others as what I am to myself. I will be rich by myself, and not by borrowing. – Michel de Montaigne
  • In our play we reveal what kind of people we are. – Ovid
  • It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.  -Agnes Repplier
  • Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.  -Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson, 1894
  • The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one’s self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course.  -Michelangelo
  • I loathe the expression “What makes him tick.” A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.  -James Thurber


Pair photos of yourself from two different times and add what my son’s teacher calls “dash facts” -- notes about what was going on then.

write it: journaling starters

My favorite
time of day is _____
music is _____
dinner is _____
thing to wear is _____

The last thing that
surprised me was _____
I said was _____
I lost my temper over was _____
I bought was _____
I messed up was _____
made me laugh was _____
I lost was _____
I found was _____

I worry about _____

I have confidence that _____

I am so glad that I _____

I regret _____

I try not to think about _____

I love imagining _____

I’m really bad at _____

I’m really good at _____

For more insight from Debbie Hodge, check out her new design series Masterful Scrapbook Design.  Subscribe to this monthly seminar for just $10 and join Debbie and guest designers for an in-depth exploration of a variety of topics related to scrapbook design!