Sometimes I whine.  

The laundry, cooking, cleaning, tidying, laundry….more laundry, more cooking….
I think some of you can relate 🙂
Then I was working on The Urban Scrapbook September staff challenge and decided to use a beautiful heritage photograph of my husband’s German grandmother.
Emma Klapstein


This woman lived through the entire WWII as a mother of young children, living on a farm.


Her husband died at a young age, her 2  daughters died as children, and she was left to manage EVERYTHING with 4 young boys, two of whom were taken from her to fight in the war.


One returned home…the other was killed just before WWII ended, in a tank on the front. 

Elmar Klapstein(my husband is named after him)


Elmar in centre, on the Russian front


She managed to immigrate to Canada with her remaining 3 sons, but after arriving, and living with friends and relatives, her eldest of the 3 (Ewald) died from cancer.  
L to R: Gus, Ewald, Wilhelm(my father-in-law)


Her  youngest two boys were left, Gus and Wilhelm (Bill), my husband’s dad. They were employed in trades: my father-in-law in carpentry and his brother a welder.  They built a house here in my city, where their mother resided until her death at 92.  
And there are times when I feel inconvenienced if my trimmer blade is dull!
Yep, time to stop complaining and pay tribute to this amazing woman whose strength and bravery is astonishing.
Thankfully, I was able to get to know her while my husband and I were dating and then married.  I even spent time with her to help label most of the photos in her albums before she passed away 17 years ago.  I now treasure these photos and albums, stored in my studio.
For me, this is the essence of what scrapbooking is about…preserving memories of our heritage to help us understand and appreciate how and why we are living today.
Here is what I created with the September kit from Urban, which has some yummy FabScraps and Glitz Designs papers….

The cream “doily” is cut from Bazzill card stock with my Cricut (Paper Lace cartridge)
A little lacing with this glittery copper twine
This vellum oval frame and the bling sticker are from Glitz Designs.
I painted the chipboard title with black gesso and added gold metallic paint (Adirondack) around the edges. 
FabScraps dress form and roses wreath sticker
Beautiful flowers and leaf from I am Roses

Click HERE to visit the Urban blog to see the other designers’ wonderful layouts using this kit.

We miss you, Oma, and are so grateful for everything you did to make a better life for your family here in Canada.

22 Comments on Strong and Brave

  1. Alison
    September 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm (4 years ago)

    She’s beautiful, and what a great reminder! Lovely memory to cherish

  2. Charlotte Brochu
    September 18, 2012 at 7:31 pm (4 years ago)

    What a wonderful story and it’s so great that you know so much about her and her life. Really does make you stop and think, doesn’t it? Your layout is gorgeous and a lovely tribute to this strong and brave woman.

  3. Michelle
    September 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm (4 years ago)

    Well Kelly, I guess we are all guilty of whining occassionally ….our lives are certainly easier than our forefathers { errr…foremothers}. We do still have our own challenges raising kids these days that they could never have imagined. Beautiful tribute to a beautiful woman. How fortunate that you had the opportunity to share all these memories and photos with her!

  4. Lee-Anne
    September 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm (4 years ago)

    This is beautiful Kelly! What a nice tribute to such a strong woman.

  5. Sharon Fritchey
    September 19, 2012 at 3:52 am (4 years ago)

    Such an amazing and wonderful story, Kelly! She was and is an inspiration to us all! I am so happy that you shared her legacy with us – otherwise I would never have known about her. To me, this is what scrapping is all about! Thank you, Kelly!!!!!!!

  6. Renee
    September 19, 2012 at 4:05 am (4 years ago)

    Gorgeous story and LO Kelly!! You are absolutely right. I was feeling overwhelmed too lately.. the cleaning and work just never seems to end and sometimes it gets to ya! Thanks for reminding me of how good I have it!!!!! Big hugs!

  7. Sandi Smith
    September 19, 2012 at 4:45 am (4 years ago)

    Wow…love the photos and that you are able to tell the story! Beautiful layout of this amazing woman!

  8. linda
    September 19, 2012 at 6:48 am (4 years ago)

    Beautiful tribute and layout. Wonderful story to go with – it reminds us that is what scrapbooking is all about. Thank you!

  9. Lynn
    September 19, 2012 at 7:11 am (4 years ago)

    What a beautiful reminder that when life gets us stressed we can remember her story. I can’t imagine all the trials she went through in her life. To lose your children and to keep on going, that is one brave woman. I’m in awe of her life. You showcased her photo brilliantly with all your beautiful details, yet kept the focus on her photo. Thank you for sharing her beautiful story and your layout with us.

  10. Roxanne
    September 19, 2012 at 7:59 am (4 years ago)

    LOVE this layout!!! What an incredible story. I’m so glad you got to know her and get those little stories that go along with old photos. Sometimes it is those little stories that get forgotten to be retold.

  11. carlies
    September 19, 2012 at 9:41 am (4 years ago)

    what a amazing story and beautiful the old pictures and you have made a beyond beauty

  12. Miae
    September 19, 2012 at 10:03 am (4 years ago)

    Oh my goodness, history is amazing and yes, I agree with how scrapbooking really lets us preserve that history! Amazing page Kelly, and what a fantabulous tribute to your grandmother-in-law!!

  13. Shona
    September 19, 2012 at 11:31 am (4 years ago)

    wow that is quite the story and wonderful tricute sweetie 🙂 gorgeous

  14. Cindy Gay
    September 19, 2012 at 3:12 pm (4 years ago)

    Oh such a wonderful heritage layout very fitting for the woman she was!

  15. misty
    September 21, 2012 at 8:48 am (4 years ago)

    This is beautiful and its such an incredible story! She must have been an amazing woman!

  16. Nancy Hanttula
    September 22, 2012 at 9:54 am (4 years ago)

    thanks for sharing this Kelly! You are so right….as a mother, sometimes we get a little frustrated with all the roles we have to do…but we have it so easy really. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all about your husband’s amazing grand-mother….and what a treasure of heritage photos you have! LOVE the work you did on such a beautiful tribute page to “Oma”!

  17. Juliana
    September 24, 2012 at 6:25 am (4 years ago)

    WOW! THis is gorgeous in more ways than one Kelly! I love the story you shared about her and I hope you will be sharing more of those photos on layouts soon!

  18. Sherry
    September 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm (4 years ago)

    Amazing life story. To have such loss in her life, her heart must of been ripped apart. You honoured her beautifully!! The layout is gorgeous as all your work. Your xmas cards you have in your gallery are absolutely stunning!! What a special gift in receiving one of your beautiful works of art, that delivery christmas cheer.
    I didn’t even realize you have been teaching at The Urban scrapbook, I’m surprised I haven’t run into more often!… I’ll have to check out the list of your classes next time I’m in. Great to finally meet you. Maybe we’ll run into each other again someday.
    Take care. And thanks for sharing this amazing life story.
    Sherry P

  19. nkaigle
    September 29, 2012 at 8:09 am (4 years ago)

    Kelly, such a poignant and heartwarming, heartwrenching story you have told here! I haven’t seen you for a while at so I decided to check out your blog because I miss you!! I will be a follower! The blog stuff is kind of new to me, and I have been toying with the idea of starting one. Anyway, I love the work you did with your heritage page, and the earlier autumnal post is fabulous too! I hope you get this message, being late and all posting this. Thanks for sharing your wonderful work!!


  20. madscrappertoo
    September 30, 2012 at 8:16 am (4 years ago)

    Wow Kelly gorgeous lo and what a story Incredible lady.. Loove!!

  21. Izzy Anderson
    October 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm (4 years ago)

    Everything about this is wonderful. GREAT story and precious memories. A perfect heritage page.


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