Memorial Day: Scrapbooking a Homecoming Story

Hello CK friends! My name is Joscie (rhymes with “bossy”) Cutchens, and I’m a longtime reader of Creating Keepsakes magazine. Here in the United States, we observe Memorial Day on the last Monday in May.  We honor and remember those who died while so bravely serving our country in the military. As a Navy wife and sister, daughter, cousin, or friend to so many military members current and past,  I am honored to have this opportunity to share a layout with you today.  I created this layout to commemorate my stepbrother Kam’s homecoming from Iraq last summer.

Welcome Home by Joscie Cutchens. Digital supplies: Celebrate by Polka Dot Pixels and Discovery Alpha by Dianne Rigdon.
PinExt Memorial Day: Scrapbooking a Homecoming Story

For this layout, as with most of my layouts, I was mainly concerned with two aspects of telling the homecoming story: journaling and photos.


When I first started scrapbooking, I used to skip the journaling. I would leave a space on my pages for the journaling, but never actually fill it in.  When sharing my scrapbook pages, I would say, “Oh, yeah, that’s where the journaling will go…”

Eventually, I figured out that the Journaling Fairy was never going to show up to do it, and I decided to do it myself. When I create scrapbook pages now, I like to tell a story. This story was about Kam’s homecoming.  I included in the journaling bits I’d like to remember when I look back on this day.

Here’s the journaling for this page:

Uncle Kam just got home from Iraq yesterday! We’ve been sending him cards and goodie boxes over the last year and praying every night for his safe return and yesterday we celebrated. This was our first Army homecoming event, we even had to get navigation directions online before heading out.  We picked up leis in the morning down in Chinatown. Tuberose, carnation, hala, cigar leis. We arrived at the homecoming location and entered to see the hangar set up with bleachers and chairs. A net hung down the middle bedecked with signs and a big screen that showed the soldiers as they walked in to process and leave their “sensitive” items on the other side of the screen. When they marched in, they sang a few songs and then said GO and everyone rushed in. We were happy to have him home.

Creating meaningful journaling is not hard (just ask the Journaling Fairy!). Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • What is important / interesting / funny about this story?
  • What is the background? How long have they been gone? Where were they?
  • What did you do to prepare for this event?
  • Describe the scene of the event.
  • What happened at the actual event?
  • Did someone say something profound / funny?


As for photos…well, I took a lot of pictures. A lot. But when I narrowed them down, I chose only the pictures that added to the story. My husband is in the Navy and we have shared lots of Navy homecomings, but this was our first Army homecoming.

PinExt Memorial Day: Scrapbooking a Homecoming Story

Use photos to effectively tell a story:

  • Choose photos that set the scene. I selected pictures of the American flag and a wide -angle view of the hangar with all the signs and the crowd. I lined these up with their edges touching.
  • Put emphasis on the main photos. I used frames only on focal photos. I also tilted my main photos a few degrees while keeping the other photos straight. Don’t be afraid to tuck some pictures under other page elements or let them hang off the page.
  • Add visual interest by adding a few embellishments around your main photos. By keeping the embellishments to a minimum, the focus stays on the photos.
  • Add the title near your focal photos. I used simple white letters for my title;it is easy to read and does not compete with the pictures for attention.

I hope these tips help you in documenting and telling your stories.  Thanks to CK for letting me share here today!

Love love and blog you later,

Joscie, rhymes with bossy : )

Joscie Cutchens

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5 Responses to Memorial Day: Scrapbooking a Homecoming Story

  1. Love it, Joscie! The colors are beautiful, love the pictures, and the journaling is great! Makes me wish I took pictures or took up one of my friend’s offers to take pictures of our home comings. I was always way too emotional and frazzled though.

  2. i love the layout joscie!!
    i am thankful for your tips as far as journaling goes. i think that someday the journaling fairy might hit up a few of my layouts, and now i know better. ;)

  3. Joscie – What a beautiful layout and journaling! This brought back so many wonderful memories of just a few months ago when we welcomed my husband back from Afghanistan! I still haven’t scrapbooked my photos since my pictures came out a little fuzzy and I never got one of my husband and I at the homecoming! :( However, you have inspired me! I’m going to journal all my feelings about that time and find a way around the photos I have. It’s the memories that are important! :) Thank you for sharing!

  4. Lisa R says:

    What a beautiful layout and tribute to your stepbrother. I am looking forward to making a layout exactly like this when my husband returns. Wish you could take pictures of us when the time comes ;) I love your wide angle photos! Thanks for sharing your process with us.

  5. Pingback: Pay tribute to loved ones through scrapbooking | Creating Keepsakes Blog

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