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!