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!

 

 

Happy Easter!

This certainly is not the Easter any of us would have expected. The COVID-19 Pandemic has forced us all to be away from our families, friends and celebrations. I’ve found this time of slowing down, settling down and being limited in our movements has brought a greater awareness of the smaller things we so often take for granted.

Crafting has always been a type of therapy for me. It forces me to think and work completely differently than how I go about my work and home life. I love how it pushes away the stresses of work and life in favour of finding a creative space. I’m a planner and an organizer by nature. I’m always pleasantly surprised to find that the “plan” I had in my mind for a layout or project never materializes as envisioned. That’s the beauty of creativity – it’s so unpredictable, liberating and inspiring.

I am fortunate to have 3 grandchildren that live right across the street. But social distancing means no more hugs, no more family dinners, no more cuddles and bedtime stories – for now. I wanted to try and make Easter as special as always for these beauties, and a new t-shirt and warm breezes just seem to beckon spring to come our way. I knew I could supply the new t-shirt part of the deal! To round out their gifts, I also baked some chocolate cupcakes and printed out some Easter mazes, word search and hidden puzzles from Pinterest. This year, gifts were delivered and left on the front step.

The two oldest, Maddy and Owen each received a new t-shirt using the Easter Bunnies Couple cut file by Anett Gelencsér. You can find Anett’s cut files on Etsy, her shop is called AnettsDesigns (https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/AnettsDesigns?ref=pr2018). Her designs are simply gorgeous, and as you can see, so adaptable to paper crafting,  wearable art and just about anything you can think of!

Easter Bunnies Couple

I used the male and female bunnies for each of the kids t-shirts and coordinated cards. I can’t wait to receive some pictures of Maddy and Owen in their new t-shirts, and then I’ll use the file to scrapbook a page for each of their scrapbooks. I’m thrilled with how they both turned out. Here’s Owen’s t-shirt and card.

Owen Easter

I took time to back fill the bunnies on the cards to help them stand out a bit from the background. The Silhouette is so handy for this type of work. I used a heavy vellum for the body of the bunnies.

The female bunny was a bit more intricate and took more time to back fill for the card. It was worth the effort, and I’m really happy with the result.

Maddy Easter 2

Ben’s t-shirt and card was made with the Bunny Trail cut file by Virginia Walker of COAPA (Confessions of a Paper Addict).Bunny TrailVirginia’s shop is also found on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/COAPACutfiles?ref=pr2018). She has also created a Facebook Fan page where you can learn about upcoming releases and be inspired by others who love her cut files. Virginia also gives away free cut files via the Facebook platform – so be sure to join the group and start collecting some amazing cut files for free!

Ben Easter

This is such a perfect cut file for the young ones. I wanted the bunnies in the card to look like they were sitting on the grass. I achieved this by using the Grassy Fields die from My Favorite Things (MFT). The Hoppy Easter stamp used in each of theses cards is by We R Memory Keepers, and I’ve had it in my stamp stash for years.  Last, but not least, all the patterned paper backgrounds on the front of each card comes from Lawn Fawn’s “speckles” 6×6 inch petite paper pack. The papers look exactly like dyed Easter eggs, making them the perfect compliment to the design.

Well, there you have it. My Easter gifts to my grandchildren in 2020. A year we’re not soon to forget. I hope you all stay safe and well in the coming weeks and months. And remember, crafting can be a wonderful, relaxing and fulfilling hobby. To me, it’s the perfect elixir in these stressful days.

 

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 (https://cocoavanilla.com.au/). While they are not easy to find in Canada yet, I purchase mine through Scrapbook Your Joy (https://scrapbookyourjoy.com/).  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 (https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/handipaper?ref=shop_sugg).

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 (https://www.etsy.com/ca/search?q=coapa%20cutfiles&ref=auto-1&as_prefix=coapa). 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!

This is Us – ScrapFest – April 2020

I’m very excited to return to ScrapFest in Kitchener! Spring’s not that far away, so it’s time to start planning your visit to ScrapFest at the Kitchener Aud on April 17th & 18th.

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Join me on Saturday, April 18th for a fun layout class that puts the spotlight on celebrating our unique personalities. These layouts will equally suit highlighting formal or simply silly moments in our lives. Show off your personality, tell your story, and celebrate life!

The delightful FANCY FREE collection, designed by Paige Evans, forms the foundation to these layouts. Participants will complete 1 double and 2 single scrapbook layouts, and will have plenty of paper left over to develop further layouts. Your kit will also include multiple die cuts, DMC floss and embellishments to complement your pages.

Fancy Free Paper Pad

Techniques used in this class will help you create dimension and texture to add layers and interest to your work. Try your hand at a little stitching to create a fun title; develop attention with angles and embellishments; direct focus and interest with subtle layering; and utilize large die cuts and journaling to create balance.

Here are some sneak peeks of the layouts in this class:

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This class is generously sponsored by ScrapFest!

Registration opens on Tuesday, February 11th at 8:00pm. Make a date to come and have some fun with me at ScrapFest this Spring!

http://www.scrapfest.ca

 

Beginner’s Essentials – ScrapFest April 2020!

Are you new to scrapbooking or looking to begin this creative hobby? Do you love the thought of creating your own pages, but feel a bit overwhelmed at where to start, what tools to purchase, how much product to buy, or how to design a page? If you answered yes, to any of the previous questions, this course is for you!

Join me at ScrapFest on April 17th and learn the essentials of scrapbooking. This beginner’s class with help you sort through the basics, including the jargon, essential tools, standard products and design principles to kick start your creative journey.

Me and My Big Ideas Paper Pad

Participants will create 4 single page layouts as they build their confidence with tools, technique and design. Paced for the beginner, this class will show you how to use basic supplies, embellishments and design principles to showcase your memories. Each participant will receive a Me & My BIG Ideas, MAMBI QUOTED 12″ x 12″ paper pad with 48 papers, a coordinating washi tape set (7 washi tapes included), a box of wooden heart die cuts, paper flowers, white doily, and pearl bead embellishments.

Here’s a preview of the layouts participants will complete during the class.

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I’m looking forward to making some new friends who are eager to jump into this exciting paper crafting journey! Come join me for some fun and watch your creativity soar!

This class is generously sponsored by ScrapFest. Registration for this class opens on Tuesday, February 11th at 8:00pm.

http://www.scrapfest.ca

 

ScrapFest – Kitchener 2020!

Who’s planning on attending ScrapFest in Kitchener?! April 17th and 18th are going to be two fun filled days of crafting!  Looking for inspiration, motivation and creativity? Look no further – this event has it all –  an incredible selection of vendors, the newest products, the BIGGEST crop area, and many classes offering a range of techniques and projects for the beginner to advanced paper crafter.

Stay tuned for some “sneak peaks’ on two classes I’ll be teaching at ScrapFest. One is designed specifically for the beginner, called “Beginner’s Essentials” and the second class is a layout class called “This is Us”. Hope you’re making your plans to join us – I’d love to see you there! Registration opens up Tuesday, February 11th at 8pm! http://www.scrapfest.ca

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