Friday, May 14, 2010

Work in Progress...

So, I'm still working on this blog. I hope that a few of you have come back a time or two. I am big time posting my LOAD layouts, but promise to be more diversified than that! I just updated my comment section (I hope!) This is my test post to see if it works. If you stop by, you can check it out for yourself!

Real Life

RealLife, originally uploaded by jashepler.

This is one of those photos that I have LOVED since the moment I shot it. Alex has the worst look on his face but what I really love is the look on my dad's face! I shared in my journaling on this page how special their relationship was from day one and that really is so true. Those two are best buds.

It seems as though I've seen the question on a couple of different message boards, as well as discussed on a recent episode of The Paperclipping Roundtable, about how you deal with scrapbooking challenging times. I've been working through this process over the last six months or so and this layout is a part of that process. I thought I'd share my take on the subject.

My dad passed away a little over six months ago. His death was a shock; completely unexpected to anyone who knew him. At the time, I couldn't imagine ever feeling right again. It was the worst feeling I've ever experienced.

But something happened as I was going through decades worth of photos in preparation for my dad's memorial service. I realized that all of these photos that have been part of my life for as long as I can remember had taken on a new meaning. I started to get a different sense of what it is we do as 'memory keepers'.

Shortly after, I stumbled across a website called Good Grief. This website was the brainchild of Amanda Probst and hosts challenges related to scrapping memories of loved ones who have passed. I honestly hadn't thought about scrapbooking anything, let alone my dad's passing, until I came across this site. So I took the plunge. I think the first challenge had to do with documenting your loved one's handwriting. It felt like a release. It didn't make me feel sad the way I thought it would; I felt more connected to my dad and realized that in preserving our stories, I could keep those small pieces of him with us always.

Now, I never shy away from scrapbooking with pictures of my dad. It doesn't soften the blow of our loss, but it is a gift to be able to share our most precious memories in a beautiful and heartfelt way.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Love My Boys

Love My Boys, originally uploaded by jashepler.
I really do just love these boys so much! Don't know how I got so lucky.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Righty or Lefty?

Righty or Lefty?, originally uploaded by jashepler.

Today's prompt for LOAD was "Holiday"; specifically to use holiday product in an untypical way. I wasn't feeling particularly inspired today, but I went through a stack of 'stories' that I had pulled prior to starting LOAD that I wanted to tell. When I came across these two photos, I knew that I would use them and I had the design pretty clear in my head. The little pieces of patterned paper were an afterthought to stick with the challenge.
Do love this page though and those cute pictures of my boy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

MothersDay, originally uploaded by jashepler.

We spent a beautiful and fun weekend down in Portland for Mother's Day. We really lucked out with the beautiful weather and totally took advantage of it. Since I had these fresh photos to use, they became my inspiration for my layout today!

While I was working on this layout, I decided to try creating a layered template as well. I've wanted to do this for a while to save some of my favorite designs so that I might use them again (hey, stick with what works, right?). Anyway, I think that I was successful and wanted to share! Here is what the template looks like:
and here is the link to download it:
Disclaimer: I've never done this before! The way I think this should work is you click the link above which will take you to a page where you can download a zipped file of the template. If it doesn't work for you, let me know! Or, if you know an easier way for me to do this, I'd love to know that as well!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A copule more catch-ups...

I've been working hard to complete a layout-a-day, even while on a little mini vacation! Here are my last couple of layouts:
This layout highlights a camping trip that Alex and I took with my parents last summer. In hindsight, I am ever so thankful that we took that trip!

These photos were taken the very next week when Mark, Alex and I had an adventure in Florence, OR. Super fun!

Think that is it. I'm all caught up for now. Eight days down, 23 to go!

Birthday Brunch

Birthday Brunch, originally uploaded by jashepler.
This layout is a direct lift from a design that I did in the Cathy Zielske class "Design Your Life" at Big Picture Scrapbooking. It's one of my most favorite photos lately of Alex. It was taken at a birthday brunch that Matthew treated us to. A super fun day I think captured in a super fun way.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gathering Wood

GatheringWood, originally uploaded by jashepler.

It's day five of LOAD. This one was a little tough for me.

Today is the six month anniversary of my dad's passing and he's been on my mind all day. It's hard to believe that it's been that long. Grief is a strange thing... it sneaks up on you when you least expect it. It could be something as simple as a t-ball game and it hits me all over again that we won't be making new memories with him. It makes me that much more thankful for these memories that we have captured.

I showed Alex this layout when I was done. He's just barely two in these photos. I asked him if he remembers cutting wood with Grandpa. He thinks about it for a moment and then lights up... "I remember that saw and that hat and gloves. I think I DO remember!"

I love that boy.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Blackmail, originally uploaded by jashepler.

Day 2 of LOAD and another featuring my son in a somewhat compromising position. Sometimes these silly pictures are just what inspires me, you know?
Anyway, the challenge of the day was to pick three adjectives that define your style. I think simple, clean and linear are three things that typically define my style. I like how this layout came together. It even got Alex's nod of approval!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Busted!, originally uploaded by jashepler.

Layout-A-Day (LOAD from here on out) is my favorite scrapbooking challenge ever. It really forces me to carve out some creative time every day and I feel super accomplished at the end of the month.

Not to mention getting memories like this one down on paper.