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!

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: https://justnick.myshopify.com/collections/all. 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 https://createdbygwen.com.au/shop/, 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 (https://thecutshoppe.com.co/collections/all), 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! (www.twoscrapbookfriends.ca). 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 (https://scrapbookyourjoy.com/) 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