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!


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!

Happy Kid

Happy Kid

One of the aspects I love about creating scrapbook pages, is that inspiration can come from just about anywhere. But sometimes, we only need to look as far as someone else’s creativity to get us kick started. When Cocoa Vanilla Studio released their Legendary collection, I knew it would be on my “must have” list. With two grandsons, this masculine line was perfect. The very first layout Cocoa Vanilla posted was by the very talented Tarrah McLean, and she used this paper and the DIY Quilt die cut from The Cut Shoppe. It was a jaw dropper! I knew I’d have to find a way to use her creative inspiration to add to our personal scrapbooks.

Fast forward to this week. My daughter sent me a request to print a few photos for her. This picture of Owen was one of them. Well, as you can see, the colours in this photo fit perfectly with this paper. The rest is history, as they say. The overall page came together quite simply, using Die Cut Ephemera, Titles and Flair Buttons all from the Legendary line.

Again, I’d like to give credit and a shout out to Scrapbook Your Joy ( for bringing in the Cocoa Vanilla Studio line of papers. Yes, they may be a bit more expensive, but the quality is superior and worth every penny! I guarantee you will not be disappointed. I can’t wait to dive back into this paper pack to create some more.

I hope you’re all finding some time to be creative these days.


Just One More Chapter

Just One More Chapter

Coronavirus has forced all of us to change our lives overnight. Plans have been put on hold, work looks completely different, and everyday activities such as shopping are now done only when absolutely required. For me, the hardest part of this pandemic is the social isolation. Being forced to stay home, when our nature is to socialize and enjoy life with others around us. I don’t want to come across as complaining – I am completely grateful that my family and friends are all safe and well. I will be forever grateful to those who work the front lines for us, they truly are deserving hero’s in my books.

I am very fortunate to have my daughter and her family living directly across the street. It’s incredibly wonderful to be able to just walk across the road to see my 3 beautiful grandchildren any day of the week. I often take advantage of this opportunity and love to read with them at bedtime. But social distancing called for an immediate halt to that luxury. They are so close, yet so far now! How I yearn for those little hugs once again! We are very lucky that we aren’t separated by miles, and I’m often found at their front bay window waving and blowing kisses.

My granddaughter Madison and I have been reading Harry Potter for the last 4 years. When an illustrated version of the series came out, I jumped on it as an excellent way to engage Maddy in these wonderful adventures. She was hooked right from the start, and we’re now on the 4th book “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. I can’t say enough about these illustrated versions. The pictures are simply spectacular.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Maddy and I have always read together, side by side. In our new state of being (COVID-19), this is no longer possible. When I asked Maddy if she’d like to keep reading via a video call, she readily agreed, and we now read via video link every night. I really treasure these times together. The layout at the top of this post was my attempt to document how we’ve adapted to our surroundings and found a way to carry on.

The papers for this project came from Harry Potter lines from Moxxie and Reminisce. The book cut file is by Paige Evans and is called “Open Book”. I loved that it provided an opportunity to journal directly on the “pages”. The title cut file – Just One More Chapter – is part of a larger cut file from Cut to You called “Book Lover”. The stickers used came from 2 separate Harry Potter sticker sheets by Paper House and Scrapbook Customs.

Wishing you all continued good health and happy reading as we weather this storm together.


Unconditional Love

Let me introduce you to Tanis, she is the beautiful woman in the photograph below. She’s engaged to our son Sean – a Corporal in the Canadian Army. Sean is currently deployed. He’s been overseas since early January.  Having a partner in the military is not easy. It means a lot of time spent apart while your partner is on exercise, or training – or months apart when they’re deployed. Most of us can’t imagine what’s it’s like to say goodbye to our partner for 6 or more months at a time. Deployments are tough on all members of the family, but especially those who long to have their loved ones back in their arms each night.

Now imagine missing your partner and the Coronavirus Pandemic hits. Fears for our health is our number one concern, and yet, we can’t do anything for our loved one when they’re half a world away.  Like many of us, Tanis now works from home. Her only companions are her cat, Stella, and her dog, Lillie. She has a wonderful family close to home, but with social distancing, she’s missing the face to face family time that helps keep her going. Enter Lillie…..

Unconditional Love

They say a photo can speak a thousand words – this one really got me. Lillie loves Sean and she’s been missing him too. This week, she nuzzled up to Tanis and gave her the best hug possible, something she usually reserves for Sean. You can see it in Lillie’s face – that’s unconditional love – reaching out and unselfishly making someone else feel better. Tanis and Sean, we love you both and we are counting down the days until you two are reunited. I really should say “until you three” are reunited, because we know how much Lillie loves you both!

For those interested in how this page came together, I used another cut file from AnettsDesigns, called Spring Frame.

Spring Frame

All the patterned paper used in this layout is from Pinkfresh – the “Just a little lovely” collection. All embellishments including ephemera, phrase stickers, mini puffy alpha stickers, and enamel dots are part of the same collection. This collection was purchased from Scrapbook Your Joy. I cut the frame from white cardstock and backed the edge of the frame, flowers and leaves with selected papers from this collection. Before I added any embellishments, I added some white paint splatters for added texture.

To all of you missing your families and friends during this worldwide crisis, I send you love and hope that better days are just around the corner. To Sean and Tanis – keep holding on, you are both incredibly strong, beautiful and loving. Each day brings you closer to being reunited. And what a celebration that’s going to be!



Please, Let’s Stay Home

Coronavirus arrived with speed and caught many of us unprepared for the changes we would need to immediately make. Our lives turned upside down overnight. Amid all this uncertainty and unknown, we must find strength. Strength to endure, strength to support others, and strength to find joy, everyday.

I am eternally grateful for everyone on the front lines of this virus. They too have family and friends they worry about every single day. Yet they bravely step up and out for us day after day to provide the services and support we need.  There will never be enough ways to say thank you.

So what can you and I do? Listen. Trust in our leaders and experts who are guiding us. It isn’t hard – wash your hands – stay home – respect social distancing. Staying apart today, means more tomorrows together. Stay well my friends. We’ll have much to celebrate when we can get together!

Let's Stay Home

Hits and Highlights – Scrapbook Layouts

Just popping in to share some of my favourite layouts. These first two were designed to document my practice of giving my two oldest grandchildren jokes for their lunch boxes. They absolutely love opening these jokes each day,  sharing them with their classmates during lunch, and bringing them home to test their parent’s skill at the end of the day.

When I was young, my Mom would occasionally send a love note with lunch as well – often by way of writing on a banana! Any kind of love note, is a nice way to let your loved ones know you are thinking of them throughout the day. With the We R Memories Keepers Envelope Punch Board, a new way to carry on the tradition was born! I find the jokes on Pinterest and simply print them off to insert into the envelopes each week.

Daily Lunch Box Laughs

This layout was completed using Cocoa Vanilla Studio’s Happiness collection. If you are not familiar with Cocoa Vanilla, they are an Australian company and they make AMAZING papers ( While they are not easy to find in Canada yet, I purchase mine through Scrapbook Your Joy (  Great prices on these premium papers, and excellent customer service! The beautiful papers and embellishments just seemed to fit so well with Madison’s dress. The cut file (Valentine’s Day Love Letter) comes from Handipaper (Inna Moreva). Stunning cut files for all your projects! You can find Inna’s shop on Etsy (

I do like to journal on my layouts in interesting ways. In this layout, my journalling wrapped around the envelope – another way of sending a hug to my granddaughter. The title was completed using American Crafts “Happy Life” thickers. I love these smaller sized alphas and often stock up on a few packs whenever I find them.

Lunch Box Laughs

In this second layout focused on the daily lunchbox jokes, I made multiple envelopes using the We R Memories Keepers Envelope Punch Board. Most envelopes were the same size, but I did make a couple of them slightly bigger to house my journalling and picture of Owen. Owen’s favourite colour is orange, so the Let Your Heart Decide collection from Pinkfresh Studio was perfect for this layout. All embellishments and alphas came from this same collection, making it quick and easy to pull the whole page together.

The Best

My last layout for this post features my youngest grandson Ben. He is such a cutie and adored by all of us! My daughter Lindsay gets credit for this lovely photo. The onsie Ben is wearing was my first attempt at putting vinyl on fabric. I was so pleased with how it turned out. The onsie was purchased through Loblaws on sale, so all in all, it was a pretty cost effective project!

Once again, I utilized papers and emphera from Cocoa Vanilla Studio. This is the Boys Rule collection.  The cut file comes courtesy of Confessions of a Paper Addict (COAPA). Virgina Walker owns this company and is very gifted at creating beautiful cut files for every occassion. You can find her etsy shop here ( I resized the Star Streak 2 cut file to fill the page and then backed the stars with coordinating papers from this collection. I finished off the stars by layering a couple of the chipboard stars found in the Boys Rule emphera pack. The chipboard title came from the Happiness die cut titles pack. I love using the “teensy type” alphas and numbers from doodlebug designs inc to add dates to my projects.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these layouts. Be sure to check out these great companies for your projects!

The BIG One!


Reminisce has released a line of fishing papers that are just gorgeous. Lucky for me, I just happened to have the “perfect” fishing photo from this summer to scrapbook! Dennis is an AVID fisherman. He spends  many weekends and much of his free time during the summer fishing. And, he is very, very good at it!

In August, Dennis was fishing close to our cottage. He dropped by to say hello, and we just had to see his catch. This picture shows the HUGE bass he caught that day – 4lbs, 4ozs! My Dad would be very impressed!

I knew when Heather posted this paper line on Facebook, I would just have to get it. I really wanted to document this moment and the “Fishing Paradise” paper was the perfect backdrop. Check out all the papers in this line – they truly are beautiful papers and stickers to scrapbook your fishing memories! You can find them all at the Younique Scrapbook Store in Mount Forest!