Extend-a-Story Challenge from Stacy Julian

Extend a Story Challenge #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #extendedstory #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking

As you likely know, I’m in LOVE with the idea of stacking memory protectors to create the room you need to incorporate MORE photos and MORE story into (on top of really) a foundation 12″ x 12″ layout. This approach is something I call Extended Story and the Close To My Heart Storyteller products make it so EASY!

But, did you know you don’t have to start from scratch with all these layers every time?

Using an already completed layout from one of your albums, you can simply add to it! That is precisely what I’m challenging you to do today!

Extend a Story Challenge #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #extendedstory #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking

The Extend-a-Story Challenge

I created this layout many moons ago to document everyday fun with my little boys. I adore the simplicity of a grid design and the colorful stickers still make me happy, but there is no journaling and so much more to say!

Extend a Story Challenge #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #extendedstory #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking

As I flipped through my albums, I chose this page as my foundation. In the midst of this crazy pandemic, I am realizing how important it is to create FUN at home with the people you love most. I will now be able to add a fun sister to this mix of brothers and bring this story up to date!

And, I’m excited to write from my current perspective—I even have an EXTRA FUN element that I want to add to my story AND share with you. A page about FUN should be FUN to discover—right?

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Select a 12″ x 12″ page or layout from the past. Look for a topic or theme that you can build on with more experiences and detail from your current perspective.

2. Locate and print additional photos that add to your original story. I like to start by adding photos to the 3″ x 4″ and 4″ x 6″ pocket pages that come in the Memory Protectors Combo Pack.  I also love to incorporate insert cards from the Storytelling Pack and the Story FYI stamp set.

3. Select pattern papers that coordinate with colors on your original layout—and remember, close is good enough! NOTE: I am particularly proud that I was able to use the new Happiest Place papers on this layout that is not about an amusement park, but FUN at home!

4. Think about an aspect of your topic that is different today (or one that is still the same) and design a new 8½” x 11″ or 6″  x 6″ page to highlight it. I like to ask myself questions like: When did we start doing this thing? or Who else is important to this topic? What are some specific examples or details that someone outside our family would not know? What has changed about how we do this thing today?

5. You now have plenty of room to journal, so if you didn’t have journaling—or not enough journaling—on your original page, you can add it now! Decide where and how to include these extra words.

6. Imagine how you want someone to experience this story—how do you want to introduce it? Pretend you’re building an open-face story sandwich—where the original 12″ x 12″ layout is the bread. Now, how will you stack the lunch meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato?

How My New Updated Extended Story Stacks Up!

First layer, 6″ x 6″ (front & back):

 

Second layer, 8½” x 11″ (front & back):

 

Third layer, 3″ x 4″ pockets (front & back): 

 

Fourth layer, 4″ x 6″ pockets (front & back):

 

Final layer or foundation, 12″ x 12″ (original) + 12″ x 12″ (bonus)

 

All these layers create a very cool and FUN extended story!

In my process video above you saw how I incorporated FUN emoji journaling in two places of my story. Feel free to borrow this emoji alphabet and the key to cracking it for your own using!

If you would like to add a secret emoji code to a page, or card, click here to download a printable PDF. If you download this PDF, you’ll be able to either screen shot the code breaker, or print the PDF and cut it out to tuck behind a photo to be discovered and used later!

IF you made it this far, you deserve a FUN 🎟🌈🍪🍓🎟 (that’s written in secret code of course!). May I suggest some FUN Storyteller products from Close To My Heart?! 😀

This is my daughter, Addie, cracking the secret emoji code.

Extend a Story Challenge #ctmh #closetomyheart #storybystacy #stacyjulian #extendedstory #storytelling #memorykeeping #scrapbooking

As I was typing my journaling, I used the insert feature in my word processor and then scrolled down to Emojis &  Symbols menu. From here you can select or search for the emoji you need and insert it into your document.

Be sure to print a copy of the  emoji code breaker to tuck behind a photo or somewhere else in your pages. This creates a FUN and interactive way to send a special message and have more FUN!

I can’t wait to SEE what you do with this challenge. Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #storybystacy ❤️

Love,
Stacy

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