Together We Have It All

This.

Like all mothers out there, I am proud of my family and all their accomplishments. What I admire most is their ability to be positive and focused, regardless of what life presents. Core to our relationship is an understanding that one of the most important aspects is our strong connection. We are here for each other through thick and thin, for better for worse. Our strong relationship makes us rich in so many ways. This foundation is what matters most to us. When life throws us a monkey wrench, we carry on together.

This summer, I felt like one of the luckiest women in the world. After many months of separation due to COVID, my family reunited in August! Sean and Tanis travelled from Edmonton to join us at the cottage. It has been six long years since Sean had the opportunity to spend time there, and the first time Tanis was able to travel east during the summer. Honestly, having everyone together at our happy place was a dream come true!

As I began designing a layout concept to document this event, I came up with the title but was unable to source it out. I turned to Marie Hurst, owner of Peartree Cutfiles, and asked for her help. Not only did she agree to design the cut file Together we Have it All, but she also exceeded all my expectations! I’m simply in love with the result! Thank you, Marie, I’m so deeply grateful!

I utilized two Cocoa Vanilla Studio collections in this layout, Daydream and These Days. I love how the collections work well together and allow for the mixing and matching of embellishments. All papers in this layout came from the Daydream collection. The background paper is Sweet Serenity, and those used in the title are Garden Variety (backside), All Aflutter and Daisy Days, respectfully. To create the completed title, I offset the letters slightly and then adhered them on top of the base title using Taylored Expressions Foam Sticky Strips. I filled the two cut out hearts with puffy hearts from both the Daydream and These Days collections. They were a perfect fit and complement to finish off the title.

A selection of embellishments from the These Days Die Cut Ephemera package completed the layout. To create the dimension on the butterflies, I placed score lines on either side of the butterfly’s bodies and then gently folded the wings up. Scor-Tape was then applied in the thin centre channel to adhere the butterflies to the page.

The best thing we have in life is to hold on to one another. No matter where we go, what life throws our way, together, we truly have it all. Thank you, Marie, for helping me document a very special time this summer!

Until next time, stay safe, stay well and Happy Scrapping!

Remember

Every year, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, we stand together to honour those who fought and fell to protect our freedom. Their sacrifices were far-reaching and continue to impact many families today. A simple thank you one day a year is inadequate to the men and women who’ve made such a sacrifice. I will be forever grateful every day of my life.

Today I also recognize all our military members, past and current, who continue to put our safety before themselves. While we go about our day to day lives, they continue to focus on serving others. They make sacrifices most of us would never consider – including deployments and continual training in the field that keeps them away from their family and friends for months at a time, every single year. My son Sean has just passed his tenth anniversary in the military. I stand in awe of his commitment and passion for his career. One of Sean’s arms bears the tattoo DUTY BEFORE SELF. He embodies this motto every single day. A mother couldn’t ask for more than seeing her children follow their passion. Thank you, Sean, for following yours. Thank you for your service.

Anett Gelencsér of AnettsDesigns created this stunning Poppies cut file. It is the focal point of this layout in honouring past and current military members. After cutting the file from black cardstock, I backed it with red and green papers from the Rainbow Inks paper pad purchased at Michaels. I also used one of these papers for the background. These watercolour papers provided the soft, warm feel I was looking for in this layout.

I returned to the Peartree Cutfiles Always Remember This cut file for the title of the layout. As you can see, it has the versatility to be used in so many ways. I used the red watercolour papers from the Rainbow Inks collection pad to back the title as well.

I dug into my scrapbook stash to find the clear stickers that complete the layout. They come from Karen Foster Design and belong to the Heritage Quotes sticker sheet. While this sticker sheet is at least fifteen years old, the quote is timeless and perfect for this layout.

Thanks for joining me today. Let’s join together in remembering those who gave so much. “To the loved ones we have lost. You are forever in our hearts and minds. Your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Lest we forget……

Boo to You Too!

With Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to get your Boo on! Last Halloween, Benjamin was only two, and he wasn’t much impressed with Halloween – until the candy came out! We did our best to coax a smile out of this sweet boy, but he wasn’t having any of it. He was the saddest Marshall from Paw Patrol you ever did see. Whether happy or sad, it’s still important to document these moments in our lives. I know Ben will find this moment amusing when he’s a bit older.

The Boo to You Too! cut file from Marcy Milly SVG was an excellent fit for documenting this story. 

Echo Park’s Halloween Party patterned paper collection and stickers provided the foundation for this layout. The background page is the orange/black sheet, and three patterned papers – Gleaming Gourds, October 31st, and Candy Corn Craze, were used to back-fill the words in the title cut file. Once the title was complete, it was centred and adhered to the orange background. Some space was left free to slide the pictures underneath. Before securing the pictures, the entire page was sprinkled with black Liquidex Heavy Body Acrylic paint. The small black paint splotches help fill in some of the empty spaces and enhance the Halloween mood.

I love the bat in this cut file and like how there are cut-outs in the wings to give it the effect of flying. To emphasize this on the layout, I cut the bat six times. The next step was to create three bats from the six cut files. To create this look, adhere two of the bats together with a strong, permanent adhesive at the centre of the body only. Be careful to leave the wings free of glue. To produce the illusion of flapping wings, place small black 3D foam squares by Scrapbook Adhesives between the wings of each bat.

To complete the layout, I added a couple of stickers from the coordinating sticker sheet found in the patterned paper collection. The final touch was to add personalized journaling in the bottom right-hand corner.

Ben’s all ready for Halloween this year and looking forward to being a penguin! I’m hopeful I’ll manage some pictures with him smiling in his costume this year. But if not, you can be sure, I’ll be scrapbooking it anyways! I hope you have a safe and fun Halloween with those you love.

Until next time, stay safe, stay well, and Happy Scrapping!

Summer

Cottage season is over, and crafting season is back on! While I love summer and the cottage, I am always happy to get back into my craft room. It seemed fitting to share a summer layout with you as I get back into my crafting groove.

This summer, my son Sean, and his fiancé Tanis traveled from out west to our cottage in Muskoka. It was Sean’s first trip back in six years and his first trip to bring Tanis. We had a wonderful week with them and loved introducing Tanis to everything we love to do in the summer at the cottage. Tanis had a go at tubing and enjoyed a fun-filled, action-packed ride with Maddie and Owen! This picture represents the fun they all had!

To document this moment I used the FREE SUMMER SVG cut file from Marcy Milly SVG.

I selected a photo of our dock to backfill the cut file. You can accomplish this effect in two different ways. You can trace the outline of the cut file onto your photo and then fussy cut, or you can open the photo in Silhouette software and then open the SVG cut file over the top. This positioning allows you to move the cut file exactly where you want it cut. To achieve this, release the compound path of the cut file and remove the outline of the cut file and any extra inside pieces. This isolates the six letters that spell SUMMER. Then create a slight offset of the individual letters (0.05 works well) and delete the original (internal letters) before you cut. The result gives you a slightly larger backing to securely adhere the letters to the back of the cut file. The following pictures provide some close-ups of the title.

This layout was designed using Cocoa Vanilla Studio’s Boys Rule collection. The specific paper was called Entitled, and I used stickers, word phrases and chipboard embellishments from the collection to complete the layout.

Thickers Happy Life foam letter stickers were used to add the subtitle Tubing with Auntie Tanis and the date.

We had such a lovely summer this year and made exceptional memories that I look forward to documenting this winter. I hope you all have wonderful summer memories to get you through the long cold winter ahead. Thanks for visiting, and until next time, stay safe, stay well and Happy Scrapping!

Party!

I’m long overdue in posting this two-page layout for Ben’s 2nd Birthday! There’s nothing better than a summer birthday when the air is hot, the water refreshing and the birthday cake is ice cream! We are so lucky to have the opportunity to celebrate this sweet boy’s Birthday at the cottage.

The gorgeous ink base pages for this double page layout came from a craft smart paper pad called Rainbow Inks purchased at Michael’s. This paper pad is an excellent alternative for someone like me who is slightly intimidated to create the backdrop myself. I was attracted to the turquoise page with the internal square offset and rotated the second page to balance the double page layout.

I love the Star Cake cut file from Peartree Cutfiles. It was perfect for documenting Ben’s big day. The file was cut from black cardstock and then the interior pieces were offset with coordinating patterned papers from Doodlebug Design’s Party Time paper pack. Lawn fawn’s “holographic 2.0” paper was used to back the stars in this cut file. The number 2 was added to the cake using a chipboard piece from Basic Grey called dark chocolate chip.

I enjoy making my grandchildren shirts for their Birthday and found the perfect design for a two-year-old in the Silhouette Design Store. The Two Nado Birthday Phrase was designed by Sarah Bailey (Design ID#315079). I used black and turquoise Heat Transfer Vinyl to create Ben’s t-shirt. I replicated this design for the second page of this layout. 

The rest of the layout came together quickly using several “odds & ends” from Doodlebug Design’s Dragon Tails ephemera package. The PARTY title, coordinating birthday presents and stars on both pages all belong to this package. The green Happy Birthday stickers are also a Doodlebug Design product and belong to a multicolour cardstock sticker sheet. You can stretch your scrapbook stash when companies coordinate the colours between different paper collections and releases! The finishing touch was to add the date using white Thickers Happy Life foam letter stickers. 

We sure had fun celebrating Ben’s 2nd Birthday, and I’m excited to add these pages to his personal scrapbook. I hope you’ve found some inspiration to scrapbook a special birthday in your family. Until next time, stay safe, stay well and Happy Scrapping!

The Girls!

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to share a highlight from summer 2020. We’ve just come out of a very long lockdown and I can’t wait to make some fun memories this summer with my family and friends! This photo is one of my favourites from last summer as it captures 3 generations. We get so busy having fun together that we often forget to pause for a minute to take some pictures. This picture includes me, my daughter and granddaughter on a beautiful summer day at the cottage – our favourite place to be in the warm weather! I’m so thrilled that Marcy Milly SVG designed thegirls! cut file. It was exactly what I was looking for! This title lends itself to so many possibilities – sisters, reunions, weddings, sororities, girls night out, and many more – so many options!

I decided to use the Vicki Boutin Color Study paper, ephemera, and stickers for this layout. The bright bold colours remind me of beautiful summer days. I cut the title in Fushia cardstock and then offset the title 2 separate times to layer it in coordinating (orange and teal) cardstock. This also helps draw more attention to the title cut file. Once my picture was printed and matted I added fun foam to the back of the cut file to pop it up further and to create some dimension on the layout.

The rest of the layout came together quite quickly. Several embellishments came from the Vicki Boutin Color Study Journal Ephemera and Icon Ephemera packages. I also utilized a sticker (This is the Stuff That Matters) and the gold foil dots came from the 6 x 12 Sticker sheets that belong to the same collection. The date was added using teal glitter foam letter stickers from Thickers called Sunny.

As we start to see daylight in this pandemic, I hope the summer of 2021 is one of love and laughter for you. I can’t wait to hug so many important people in my life!! And don’t forget to grab pictures of your reunions and events that bring us back together. This is going to be a summer to celebrate!

Until next time, stay safe, stay well, and Happy Scrapping!

Everyday Moments

Even though we’ve been living through a pandemic for well over fifteen months now, it’s still easy to find joy in everyday moments. My daughter is so good at sending me random pictures of our grandchildren, and she knows every picture brings a huge smile to my face. Back in May 2019, she sent me this picture of herself and her youngest, Ben. I was overjoyed to see her beautiful face in this photo. Her two oldest children were in online school at the time, and nothing special was going on. It was just a perfect moment to capture Mom and baby in a photo for prosperity. This picture just fills me with love and joy!

I used Carta Bella’s Flora No 3 collection pack for all of the patterned papers in this layout. I love the soft feel of this paper line and it coordinated beautifully with the shirts Ben and Lindsay were wearing. The background paper is the reverse side of Elegant Stems patterned paper. The layout frame and matching cutouts for the title and floral cluster came from the Elegant Large Floral patterned paper. The photo was matted using the backside of two coordinating patterned papers from the collection called Elegant Small Floral and Elegant Journaling Cards.

I chose two cut files from Peartree Cutfiles for this layout. The title cut file Everyday Moments was cut from white cardstock first. It’s such a versatile cut file and was one of the free weekly cut files from the Peartree Cutfiles Facebook Group. Usually, I offset the cutout letters and back fill the title, but for this layout, I decided to keep them the same size as the original title. First, they were cut from coordinating patterned paper and then they were backed with Taylored Expressions Foam Sticky Strips to provide the texture and dimension.

I altered the second cut file called Floral Bunny Ears to suit my needs for this layout. By using the knife tool in Silhouette Studio Design Software, I was able to separate the bunny ears from the gorgeous floral cluster. This technique is also a great way to stretch some of your cut files. Once the floral cluster was sized properly, it was also cut from white cardstock. I used the Silhouette Studio software and the Fill Pattern function to plan out which coordinating patterned papers would be cut to back the cut file. I use this function often when backing an intricate cut file.

The final touches on the floral cluster were adding a few acrylic dots from various collections. The date was added to the left of the photo using rose-coloured thickers from American Crafts, called Happy Life.

I’m so pleased with the delicate feel of this layout. It helped me preserve a very precious moment in time between Mother and Son. If you’ve hesitated scrapbooking day to day moments, jump in! Our scrapbooks should be filled with memories of everyday moments, good and bad, in addition to the highlights like birthdays and vacations. What will you work on next? Until next time, stay safe, stay well, and Happy Scrapping!

Even Super Heroes Need Naps

And now for something on the funny side! Our youngest grandson Ben is 2 & 1/2 and at that stage where he’s outgrowing naps. Most days he does just fine and gets recharged at dinner time. But some days he just can’t hold on and needs to have a little nap to get through the rest of his day. Easter Sunday was a busy and exciting day for him. So it was no wonder that this was one of those days he needed a little nap to refuel for the rest of the day. Around 4 pm, my daughter and son-in-law were busy in the kitchen making dinner when they noticed it was suddenly very quiet. My son-in-law went to check on Ben and found him in this position. Ben was so tired he appeared to have simply “fallen over” onto the couch! The poor little guy didn’t even get his legs up there to properly stretch out.

Virginia Walker, the creative mind behind Confessions of a Paper Addict (COAPA Cutfiles), had the perfect cut file for this page. The Even Super Heroes Need Naps was exactly the title I needed to tell this story, and the whimsical font was also reflective of the mood I was looking for.

I chose the Super Kid – Burst patterned paper by Scrapbook Customs for the background of this layout. The Spider-man sticker in the top left-hand corner comes from the Spider Superhero Sticker sheet from the same company. I was still looking for more whimsical effects on this page and found them in two cut files in the Silhouette Design Store. The BAM! (Design ID #329165) and POW! (Design ID #329148) cut files were both designed by Sarah Bailey. Once these designs were cut and assembled, they were placed on fun foam to give them a bit of punch and dimension.

The final touch was adding the string of zzz’s in the top half of the layout to place added emphasis on the fact that this little cutie was fast asleep. Completed knocked out, as they say! They were created using Silhouette Studio software.

I hope I’ve given you a giggle today! And if you need a nap, by all means, take one. Just be sure no one is around with a camera! Until next time, stay safe, stay well, and Happy Scrapping!

Family – Stitched Together by Love

We’ve always encouraged our children to follow their passion as they grew up. It’s so rewarding to see them do it, but so tough when that passion takes them far away from home! Our son Sean followed his passion into the military and has been posted in Edmonton for several years now. And how lucky for him, and us, that he was posted out west, because this is where he met his incredible fiance, Tanis!

Late last summer we traveled out to Alberta to visit with Sean and Tanis. It was our first opportunity to meet Tanis’ family and we had an incredible trip. We were so warmly welcomed by this family from the moment we arrived. From welcome flowers and cards to multiple gatherings, game nights and wonderful meals together, this family made us feel loved and special throughout our entire stay! We can’t thank them enough for making our visit so special from beginning to end. You know when you meet people and you just know you’re going to be good friends? It’s so rare and such a gift to treasure. And the very best part of this relationship was seeing first-hand how much this family loves our son and welcomes him into their lives. The picture in this layout was taken during our last get together on that trip, and it includes Tanis’ parents, Linda and Ted. I love how it represents both sets of parents as pillars in their lives. We all know how tough this life can be and how important it is to surround ourselves with people who love and support us.

A good part of this strong connection between us all is the things we have in common. Tanis’ Grandmother Donna, definitely has a soft spot for Sean, and so did my Mother! It was so tough losing my Mom several years ago, but how lucky for Sean to now have another Grandmother in his life that cares so deeply for him. One of the most striking similarities between these two Grandmothers is that they both are/were quilters. I can’t think of a better gift to receive than a homemade quilt. Each time you wrap it around you, it’s like getting a loving hug from the woman who dedicated hours, weeks and months to stitching the quilt just for you. It is the love of these women for their families, and their passion to quilt, that inspired me to create this page. My vision was to represent two families coming together by bringing two quilts together on one page.

The top quilt in this layout is a free cut file designed by the talented Paige Evans. It is called Patchwork and is found on the Scrapbook and Cards Today (SCT) website under Bonus Files – Spring 2021. SCT offers multiple free cut files with each new edition, so be sure to check them out! I cut this file from white cardstock and backed it with coordinating papers from Cocoa Vanilla Studio’s Happiness collection. The colours in this collection were a great fit for the colours in our family picture (and it was just luck that we coordinated so well that day!).

I also wanted another background that represented quilting and the Stitched Diamonds cut file from Confessions of a Paper Addict (COAPA) was just want I was looking for. I used 8 coordinating colours of DMC floss to stitch this foundation page (DMC #500, 502, 820, 825, 991, 992, 3844, 3846). As most of the bottom page would be covered by the top quilt, I only stitched the first 3 sections from the outside in.

Before securing the top quilt to the bottom foundation page, fun foam was adhered to the backside to provide further dimension and texture to the layout. I find this product ensures a smooth and secure look for years to come. Something you can’t achieve by using foam dots.

The title was created using cut file #154615 from Silhouette Design Store entitled family saying – flea market.studio by Doodlebug Design. I created and printed the add on – Stitched together by love – using Microsoft Office Word.

Our love for our children has brought us together and we are all so excited to see them begin to build a life together. While we can’t have Sean close to home, we are certainly blessed that he has a family out west that loves him as much as we do! We left that vacation with the feeling that our family had just doubled in size. We can’t wait to make another trip out west to spend time with this loving and caring family.

Wishing you all a Happy Victoria Day! Until next time, stay safe, stay well, and Happy Scrapping!

Master Gardener

Let me introduce you to my Grandpa, Harold Russell. He was a gifted carpenter by trade, but a master gardener in his retirement. My grandparents lived in Mississauga in a house he built. They lived at the end of a dead-end street with a huge lot to the left of the house that Grandpa turned into a massive vegetable garden. I often spent a couple of weeks with my grandparents during the summer months when I was young. My memories of these times included lots of time in the garden with Grandpa and watching my Nana cooking, canning and freezing all the bounty that resulted from his hard labour. Grandpa built a large cold cellar in the house and it was always fun to get inside to see all the filled jars from Nana’s canning efforts.

My favourite memories of Grandpa’s garden were visits in June when we were allowed to pick fresh strawberries ourselves, and later in the season when we picked fresh carrots. There’s nothing quite like a freshly picked carrot washed under the garden hose! It was one of my favourite treats from his garden! I also remember baskets of fruit and vegetables begin loaded into our car before we returned to London after a visit. Grandpa was a kind and patient man, and he treated his treasured vegetable garden with as much love and tenderness that he afforded his grandchildren. You can see how proud he was of his produce in these pictures. That squash! I wish I knew how many pounds it weighed, but you can see the delight on his face with the result. Grandpa introduced us to many new vegetables that we have never experienced before. Spaghetti squash was our favourite of all.

Marcy and Milly SVG‘s #freebiefriday cut file called Garden Words Background was the perfect file to document this story. You can find all the free cut files on the Marcy Milly SVG Facebook page. Once the file was sized to my liking for the layout, I created an offset of the cut file using Silhouette Studio software. The small sections that made up the centres cutouts of all of the letters were removed to provide a solid base. Then both sections of the cut file were cut on respective green and black cardstock. I chose not to centre the cut file on the offset background, and offset it slightly to the right to provide a more dramatic effect.

Simple Stories recent Simple Vintage Farmhouse Garden collection worked beautifully to help tell this story. Not only did I love the colour graphics in The Sweet Life patterned paper, but I loved the subtle pictures of garden vegetables in the rest of the paper. I used various pieces to embellish this layout from the coordinating Bits and Pieces and Garden Bits ephemera packs. The From the Garden sticker, seen in the photo with the large squash, came from the Cardstock Stickers found in the 12×12 Collection Kit. The title – Master Gardener – was added using doodlebug designs inc my type cardstock stickers.

I had a great time working on this layout and going down memory lane! So pleased to have a cut file that fit my Grandpa’s passion perfectly! Be sure to follow the Marcy Milly SVG page on Facebook to grab this #freebiefriday cut file and many more! Also, look for the post announcing a new monthly newsletter to keep informed on new monthly cut files. Sign up is via email. For all my gardening friends out there, I wish you the best growing season yet! Until next time, stay safe, stay well and Happy Scrapping!