Reindeer Games

Is there anything more magical than watching a child anticipate the arrival of Santa? Remember those days of dreaming and wishing that Santa would bring you something special? The days leading up to Christmas seem endless to a child. It’s so much fun to watch children anticipate this holiday.

This Christmas was tough for all of us – as adults, we knew we were entering a lockdown on Boxing Day. We were discouraged from having big family Christmas gatherings. Holidays are the epicenter of family gatherings worldwide, but we all understood the importance of staying safe to curb the spread of this nasty virus. Therefore, Christmas – with all it’s usual fanfare and celebration – was quiet this year.

We did our best, however, to make sure Christmas was as magical for the children/grandchildren as possible amidst a pandemic. Maintaining as many special traditions as possible, was the priority of our few days together. Each Christmas Eve, our three grandchildren magically receive “Magic Reindeer Food”, from Cocoa – their Elf on the Shelf. It has been fun watching them spread this magic reindeer food and listening to them talk about how Santa and his reindeer will see the food and come down to their home. A few years back, Owen’s teacher – Ms Jacobson – gave the children in her Kindergarden class Reindeer Whistles. Owen loves to blow this whistle on Christmas Eve, and this practice has become part of his Christmas Eve tradition. With Owen about to turn 8 in a couple of months, I wanted to be sure I captured this magic moment while I still had the opportunity!

The background to this page was created with the “HO HO HO” patterned paper from the Photoplay “Christmas Cheer” collection. I used “Walnut Cream” cardstock from Bazzill on the top portion of the layout to provide a clean backdrop for the title. I cut the tile using the “Blossom” font from an old QuicKutz collection in my scrapbook stash. I used the same red glitter paper to cut the page title and the reindeer’s nose. I wasn’t happy with the bland background under the title, so I splattered white paint for snow, and cut small snowflakes from vellum to help fill in the area. My hopes were to mimic what I saw in the patterned paper below, and I feel it pulled these two sections together nicely.

The Reindeer element was not a specific cut file, but a drawing I found on Pinterest. I simply traced and cut it in Silhouette software to my liking. The list of reindeers, on the far lower right, came from the Cardstock Ephemera package from the Christmas Cheer collection. Once the photos were added, the final touch was to add some journalling to help tell the story.

Watching Owen blow on that whistle, and look to the sky, will be a memory I’ll hold onto for years to come. I’m glad I’ve documented it to share with him in the coming years. May you all stay safe and well and never lose the magic!

Happy Scrapping!

#We’re All in This Together

Goodbye 2020 and welcome 2021! It’s been some time since I’ve been in my scrap room and I’m excited to get back into a creative mode! This is a layout I’ve had peculating in my mind for quite a while now. COVID has certainly impacted all of us, and the Stay Home cut file by AnettsDesigns fit perfectly for the feel I was looking to achieve. While each of us have our own stories to tell about this pandemic, I love how this cut file symbolizes that we’re not alone. We are a street – a city – a province – a country – we are a WORLD experiencing the same challenges, and thankfully – we are not alone.

Our first Lockdown started on March 17, 2020. Little did we know then, that it would last a little over 2 months, and that we wouldn’t be out of the woods when it was over. It was a stressful, scary time when we retreated to our homes to stay safe. I’m a lucky Nana, who lives right across the street from her three beautiful grandchildren. But all the sudden, I was no longer able to go over to play, or read bedtime stories. We communicated daily through video calls. Not as good as being there in person, but certainly a second best, and I cherished those calls daily. Ben, the youngest of the grandchildren, was only 19 months when the Lockdown was called. Far too young to comprehend the enormity of the situation, he was just confused as to why he could not longer play with Nana and Bampa.

My loving daughter, Lindsay, took this photo later in March. My husband and I would go for daily walks, and I would always stop by daughter’s house to see if they were near and could see us outside. Ben caught on quickly and looked forward to “seeing” us through the bay window in their front room. When this is the closest connection you can make, you treasure every second!

For those interested in the scrapping process, I started with Vicki Boutin’s white foundations mixed media art paper. I applied a thin coat of Gesso and let it dry. While the Gesso dried, I sized and cut Anett’s file on my Silhouette using white cardstock. (You can find Anett’s cut file here:

Stay Home cut file SVG PNG PDF Dxf Silhouette Cameo image 0

Prior to cutting the colourful backing, I used the “Fill” function in the Silhouette software to help map out the look I was trying to achieve. Once the cut file was fully backed, I decided where I wanted the cut file to lay on the page, and very lightly traced around it. The pencil outline helped guide the inking process. Three colours of Tim Holtz Distress Ink were used to create the background (Broken China, Chipped Sapphire, Mowed Lawn). When the ink was dry (I let it sit overnight), I stamped and heat embossed some random stars using white embossing powder. The stars came from My Favourite Things “Unicorns & Glitter” stamp set.

Before adhering the matted photo and cut file to the page, the cut file was backed with double sided foam (1 mm thickness). This took quite a bit of time as I really wanted the vellum windows to remain clear, allowing you to see through to the original page. I’m a lover of textures and layers and creating this slightly raised ‘street’ added another layer to the layout. American Crafts Thickers were used for the title and I hand wrote my message to Ben below it. The final element was adding the “this is hard” sticker from Pinkfresh’s “Let’s Stay Home’ collection to the bottom left of the cut file.

Well, here we are in Lockdown number two. We know the drill, we’re more prepared, and a vaccine is on the way! Here’s hoping we’ll all be able to be out and about safely soon. Until then, stay safe and happy scrapping!

I Just Love Your Funny Faces

Get your silly on for this one!

It’s an understatement to say that Covid-19 has changed our lives. Our entire globe has been impacted, and everyday things we took for granted are no longer quite so simple. Amidst all the stress and changes, it’s important we strive to retain or reshape our normal routines. Before Covid arrived, when my grandchildren physically went to school, I provided daily jokes for their lunch boxes. With the massive quarantine, I looked at a new way of delivering this daily ritual. Thus, the video lunch time joke session was born!

It quickly became a hit with all 3 grandchildren, and it didn’t take long for Maddy and Owen to put their own twist to it! Being far more tech savvy than their Nana, they quickly found the filters in Messenger to add another dimension of fun to our daily ritual. I saved many of their new personas and documented them in layout above. I hope you can feel the fun we were having – making new memories every single day!

I used Paige Evan’s “Speech Bubble Background” cutfile as the foundation for this layout. You will find the file in the Silhouette Design Store and her Etsy Shop. I then resized many of our funny photos to back most of the speech bubbles. The layout was completed with a few Thickers for the title and some miscellaneous embellishments from my stash.

Go get your silly on and be sure to document it for your scrapbooks!

Our Hero

What a year this has been! Our son Sean deployed to Latvia in early January as part of the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group. This Battle Group is comprised of 9 nations whose role it is to deter any possible aggression, should the need arise, and to promote peace and security. The Battle Group in Latvia is one of four Battle Groups currently in the Baltic region. The Canadian contingent is the largest of the 9 in Latvia. We couldn’t be prouder of our son and his commitment to serve and protect, but it sure was tough waiting out his safe return in a year where all we knew was turned on it’s head!

With very limited communication with our son, I took to creating a scrapbook page to express how deeply proud I was of his commitment and sacrifice to serve his country. Now that Sean’s home safe and sound, I am thrilled to share it with my scrapbooking community!

Sean is stationed out west and returned to his Fiance Tanis just two weeks ago. His quarantine is officially over today – and he is now able to walk past his front door. I can only imagine how great that must feel!

Deployments mean big sacrifices for both the military member and the loved ones they leave behind. If separation wasn’t stressful enough, COVID pushed it to a level none of us could ever have imagined. As I worked on this layout, I tried to highlight some of the words that came to mind when I thought of the sacrifice Sean was making. I could have gone on much longer than space provided.

The foundation for this page was a patterned paper called Rain Storm from the Serendipitous collection from 49 Market (I’ve had it in my paper stash for some time). I used a free cut file from Paper Issues called “Right on Target”. However, I choose to use the negative space in the cut file, and cut each circular section from coordinating cardstock papers, providing a great space to journal. The circular Canadian flag came from the O Canada, embellishment collection by Photoplay. The metal accents are a combination of Tim Holtz’s “sprocket gears” and Finnabair’s Mechanicals “Steampunk Blades”. Before adding the title, I splattered the layout with black paint to create a weathered look that would match feel of the photo. I created the title by combining the large words from a Cocoa Vanilla collection with black Thickers.

I am so grateful to all our military members and their families. They make sacrifices every day that many of us never think of. We are so lucky to live in a country where we are free, safe and protected. My heartfelt thanks to our military members, past and present – your sacrifices are deeply appreciated!

Born to be an Adventurer

I had a lot of fun making the second folio project that was offered free by Younique Scrapbooking Store in May. I decided to focus this project on some of the beautiful camping adventures Sean and Tanis have had over the past few years.

Front of Folio

This entire project was completed using black cardstock, 3 sets of magnets, the paper pack collection of Echo Park’s “Little Lumber JACK” patterned paper, stickers and chipboard accents, ribbon, and a tree from a chipboard collection by Scrapaholics, called “Snowy Trees”. The title “Born to be an Adventurer” was completed using American Crafts “Comfort” thickers. Two sets of magnets hold the right flap firming in place to close the folio.

Opened Folio

When the folio opens, it reveals lots of hidden treasures. On the left is an accordion style picture gallery that can hold up to 9 photos. It is held closed with ribbon of your choice. The main body of the folio is also held closed by a flap with a magnet (bottom centre).

Accordion Fold Out – Side A – Holds up to 5 Photos
Accordion Fold Out – Side A – Continued
Accordion Fold Out – Side B – Holds Up to 4 Photos

When the main flap of the inside folio is opened, it reveals a waterfall of pictures, with plenty more opportunity to add more photos, notes or memorabilia. This little folio just keeps giving and giving!

Waterfall Reveal
Waterfall 2
Waterfall 3
Waterfall 4
Waterfall 5
Waterfall 6
Waterfall 7

There are so many ways to use this special portfolio, and I’m sure there will be another one in my future. I’m very excited to send this special project out west to my son and his fiance! I hope they enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it for them.

You can find the videos to make this project on the Younique Scrapbook Store Facebook page. There are two video’s to watch to complete the project. Wishing you fun in the creative journey!

Life Unscripted

Life Unscripted

As we begin to enter our third month of lock down at home, it almost seems possible to use this title for any layout I make during these days of the pandemic. Nothing seems the same, and our past “normal” will likely be altered irrevocably. But rather than stress over what was, I’m choosing to look at the what is, and how very lucky we are that our current crisis is nothing compared to the stresses and horrors that our ancestors, and many immigrants have faced during times of war. All we have to do is stay home, stay safe, and stay patient – for months – not years. We can do this.

The picture in this layout represents many things to me. A big sister, looking after her younger brother – children looking out into a world of opportunity – and unconditional love and a willingness to voluntarily help each other. Simple, unprompted behaviour that speaks volumes – life unscripted.  I hope you find joy in the simple moments of every day. These are the treasures that will see us through to brighter days.

The patterned papers, embellishments and stickers in this layout came from Cocoa Vanilla Studio’s “Unforgettable” collection. They were a perfect match for the Ready-to-Use Mixed Media Paper from Vicki Boutin’s “Let’s Wander” collection. These ready to use backgrounds are stunning – and can help you build a quick page with a mixed media effect, but none of the mess! I did trim the page down to provide the spacing for the outside border.  The date was added using Pinkfresh Studio’s “joyful day” mini puffy alpha stickers. They were the perfect hues to compliment all the papers.

The cut file is called “Floral Butterfly and can be found on the JustNick website here: Another fantastic and talented artist – be sure to check out her whole collection!Floral Butterfly

Wishing you all joy in the simple pleasures of unscripted daily life!


Happy Mother’s Day 2020

Folio Cover

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mom’s out there! We’ve never had a Mother’s Day quite like this one. I’m very fortunate – my daughter Lindsay lives right across the street, but COVID restrictions mean we have not been able to get close or hug each other in two months now. So near, yet so far! I’m counting my blessings, I’m very lucky that I can see her in person and her beautiful family, I just have to keep my distance.

On Friday night, I participated in a FREE online class offered by Heather, owner of Younique Scrapbook Store. She walked us through the construction of the beautiful portfolio seen above. As I started putting it together, I decided it would make a beautiful Mother’s Day gift for Lindsay. She had recently sent me about 30 pictures of the kids covering the first month of our lock down.

You can find Heather’s video here: Be sure to watch the last two video’s posted as there’s info on each one for this project.


When you open up the folio, it contains multiple flip sections to add lots of pictures, personal notes or embellishments. The video will also show how to add a small pocket to the inside flap (bottom flap in the picture), but I chose to forgo this to write a note to my daughter. I used papers and stickers from Carta Bella’s Spring Market collection to make this project. I do recommend you utilize stickers or embellishments within the folio that are flat to the page. This will be important if you want your folio to close up properly when completed.

Here’s a close up on the cover where I added my title using the “Comfort” line of thickers. I also added 3 delicate butterflies from Prima Flowers “Wild + Free” collection. In the video you will see two options for closing your folio. I chose to use magnets to hold the cover pieces together.

Cover Closeup

Here’s a tour of the remaining pages within this folio. I can guarantee I will be making more of these – the possibilities are endless – birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, thank you gifts…. I wonder what my next one will be? Thanks again Heather, this was a great idea. Thanks so much for sharing with all of us!

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Our Happy Place

Our Happy Place

This layout fell together quite quickly. The papers and embellishments came from the “Home Again” line by Carta Bella. Aptly named to use with this fun cut file by Paige Evans called “Home”.

I started by cutting the cut file from black cardstock and then measured the areas I would back fill with pictures. Once the pictures were resized and printed, I ungrouped the cut file to remove and offset the pieces I needed to back the remaining shapes of the home. I used several patterned papers from the line to complete the house. Once the home was filled, I used stickers and embellishments from the Chipboard Phrases that complement the line.

To finish the layout off, I decided to journal around the perimeter of the house to utilize more space to tell the story. This is one very happy home, and they weather any storm that comes their way, including a world pandemic. I’m so lucky to call them my family!

iNSD 2020 – Scrapbooking is my Super Power

Scrapbooking is My Super Power

International Scrapbooking Day is a pretty big event to scrapbookers around the globe! With COVID derailing all our Spring events this year, I decided I’d pay homage to ScrapFest 2019 in Kitchener and spent iNSD working on this layout. This picture with Lisa Sales Furtney (owner of ScrapFest) and Vicki Boutin (artist extraordinaire!) is extra special to me. All three of us share a passion for paper crafting and our relationship goes back to the very beginning of ScrapFest.

My first inspiration for this page came by way of a free cut file from Cut to You. Gwen Wruck is the owner/design from Australia, and her cut files are lovely! You can find the Cut to You shop here, but be sure to check out her blog and sign up for her newsletter. She generously gives away additional free cut files through the newsletter. I decided to make this cut file a large focus of the page, so I cut it out twice, once in black for the border and contrast, and once again from Paige Evans’ Bloom Street collection of patterned papers (paper #17). Cut File

Once I knew the cut file and picture I was going to use, I decided the best way to honour this special photo, was to try a mixed media layout – something that is not within my comfort zone! I started with a sheet of Vicki Boutin’s White Foundations Mixed Media Art Paper. I then painted a thin layer of white gesso onto the paper to prep it for the next stage. Using the Framework stencil from My Favorite Things, I applied a layer of Iridescent Glaze – CREATIVEFX (also from the Vicki Boutin line of mixed media products) on 3 areas of the page. Once it was dry, I began playing with some powdered pigments (Vicki’s line) to add the colour to the background. I chose colours that specifically coordinated with the Bloom Street patterned paper (Blueberry Pie & Blue Hawaiian). To add the colour, I simply used a paintbrush to wet my background, and then sprinkled the powdered pigment onto the layout. It blends in very easily, and you can also vary the intensity by adding in more powder as you go.

When my foundation page was dry, I adhered the black cut file and picture. I used the negative pieces from the cut file from the Bloom Street paper to fill in the larger openings in the title. Each of these letters were adhered with 2 sided foam tape to add dimension.

I’m really pleased I pushed my comfort level to try something new this iNSD. I’m really pleased with the end product and think Vicki would approve as well! Keep well, and stay safe my friends. I look forward to seeing you at a ScrapFest event in the future!



You Go Girl!

Here’s a smile to make your day brighter! My beautiful granddaughter Madison is the star of today’s page. The girls clothing store Justice, hosted a Dance Party on March 7, 2020. Our store in London, it HUGE – it would be any girl’s dream to shop there! Madison received an invite to this fun event with her birthday gift – also from Justice. She was so excited, and eagerly awaited the big day.

You Go Girl

All the girls that attended the Dance Party, were invited to pick out their favourite clothes and accessories in the store. The employees then took off the price tags and let the kids put on the clothes, shoes and accessories for a giant fashion show and dance party. What an amazing idea! Way to go Justice – you are building the self confidence of these girls as they grow and develop into the women of the future. AMAZING! Maddy had an incredible afternoon, and I love that this picture really shows her unique style!

The cut file featured in this layout comes from The Cut Shoppe (, and is called “You Go Girl”. I cut the file in white cardstock and then used the offset tool in Silhouette to back fill the title with patterned papers. The whole title was then backed with double sided foam to add dimension to the page.

I used Paige Evans’ Bloom Street collection of patterned papers and ephemera to make this page. I purchased the full paper pad and ephemera from Two Scrapbook Friends in Waterloo – great selection, awesome service and quick delivery! ( I did a little paint splattering on the background for added depth and added some pearl dots in pink and orange to complement the ephemera pieces throughout the layout. I completed the layout by using Doodlebug Design’s, Tiny Type lettering around the picture and to add the date.

Many thanks again to Justice, for hosting this wonderful event and letting our young ladies of today, build strong self images that will help them blossom into the women of tomorrow!