Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Hi Creative friends!

Back on the blog today with another project using the DIVINE new Bohemian Dream collection for Cocoa Vanilla Studios.  I'm sticking with my theme this month of documenting the first 10 years of my daughter's life, this time creating a page for her album.

I had already spent a long time sorting photos and getting them into a consistent format for my mini tag album so I thought why not use that effort and also create a 12 x 12 layout.  I knew the layout would be a bit of a challenge because I had eleven photos I wanted to add and I knew they were all in different formats, but I'm super glad I gave it a whirl and love the end result.  The best way I find to include lots of photos on a page is to print them small.  I began by creating a Photo collage using this feature at my local print shop, there are lots of formats to choose from so I went about creating a couple.  I mixed and matched the photos on each so that I would have a few choices of the sizes each of the photos would be printed in.

I then went about working on the position of the photos, I just shuffled them until I was happy.  For my background, I've used the "Wild and Free" paper.  I was also restricted by the fact that I wanted to keep them in timeline order, so their order and position really did dictate the design of the page.  Once I had them looking good I went about matting each one twice.  I used a combination of papers from the 6x6 paper pad.  I love using the paper pads for small photo mounts like this, as the designs are printed smaller than the 12x12 so you see more of them.  Proportionally the designs are a better fit with the photos.

At this point, all of my photos were locked into position, it was now time to add the title.  I really love the colours in the chipboard word "HAPPY" from the Chipboard Stickers sheet so I teamed that with the words from the Chipboard Titles sheet to make my title "This Happy Life".  Of course, you can leave these plain, but I really wanted the pop of colour so I've added some shimmery watercolors from my stash, just using a paintbrush.  These Chipboard pieces are so versatile, you could add mists and inks or embossing powders etc, so many ways to make them uniquely fit your layout.  I was going for a 'not so perfect' look here, I didn't want to cover the entire piece of chipboard, I wanted variation in the colouring.

Next, I just could not help but use some of the vellum accents, the florals in this pack are my favourite!!  I positioned one of the larger vellum pieces over a similar style die cut from the Die Cut Ephemera pack for a layered flower effect.  I placed two others around my page, simply securing with a small amount of liquid glue in the center.

I also added leaves from the Die Cut Ephemera pack to my main floral element under the title and some vellum butterflies... oh so pretty!  I also added foam to one of the sentiments in this pack and added that.  I really just kept the design simple so it wasn't competing with all those photos!

Lastly, I've added a couple of words from the Accessory Stickers sheet and some Enamel Shapes and that was the layout finished.  How cute are those hearts? Aren't they the perfect finishing touch.  Thanks for popping by today and keep sharing those beautiful creations of yours on the Cocoa Vanilla Studios Facebook group, we love seeing them!

Until next time,

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"Shine Bright" for Colour Blast

Hi, Creative friends!!

I hope you are all well!  I have a layout to share with you today featuring more beautiful Colour Blast products in my "clean mixed media" style.  I got a  bit "painty" with this one!

For this project, I started with this black and white photo of Miss 10 proudly showing off an award she received at school that day for "Outstanding Work Ethic".  It inspired me to document a reminder that she should always "Shine Bright" and that she could become anything she really wanted to be if she worked hard enough.  I then had the idea to use a butterfly motif to represent the "growing into something beautiful" theme of the page.  So I went about cutting out a large butterfly design on my Silhouette in white cardstock.

Next, I went to my stash of Cocoa Vanilla products and pulled out some of the butterflies from the Wild At Heat collection, I knew they would pull the page together nicely.  I then also knew what colours I wanted to use in my mixed media background.  I went with Rose Petal and Lovely Lilac in Shimmer sprays and Colour Shimmer cubes as they were the perfect match.

Having an idea of the design for the page I wanted to build, I went about working on my background.  (I did apply a thin layer of clear gesso)  I began by "smooching" the cardstock using the plastic packaging technique with both of the mists.  I found the Lovely Lilac is very soft and Rose Petal is considerably darker which is a really nice contrast.

I then dried this off fully before adding more layers in the same technique.  I find this is the best way for me to build colour, slowly, layer by layer.  I've also added some splatters, using the sprayer from the Colour Shimmer Spray bottle.  I simply keep layering and adding (always drying in between each step) until I am happy.

At this point, I really wanted to lock in the position of my cut file butterfly, so once it was in a position I was happy with, I traced around it with a pencil.  This then gave me really clear guidelines as to what parts of my background were going to show and which bits wouldn't.

Using a paintbrush and the Colour Shimmer Sprays, I went about painting in between the gaps of the cut file, that is, the sections I knew would show through once the cut file was in place.  I used a watercolour style, focusing on keeping the edge outlines soft.  While I had my paintbrush out, I also coloured my title word "Bright" at this point I had already decided that there would be too much black and white on the page and painting the letters would brighten things up and balance the page out a little.

That was all of the mixed media components completed, it was now time to build the page.  I started by mounting my photo with a couple of pattern papers also from the Wild At Heart collection by Cocoa Vanilla Studios.  I then attached the large die cut butterfly and hand stitched around the edge.  Next, came fussy cutting.  The black and white flowers are all from the same pattern paper.  I just kept shuffling them around the page until I was happy with their position.  I kept the space between the bottom of the butterfly and my photo for the title.  Lastly came the remaining smaller die cut butterflies and pretty sparkle enamel dots.

You can see below the pretty effect water colouring with both the Colour Shimmer Cubes and Shimmer sprays achieved.

I give this project a "mess level" of Low
 ( I've just used plastic packaging, a paint brush and the nozzle from the Shimmer sprays to apply my mixed media, no overspray and no muddy colours so this clean scrapper is very happy)

Thanks for popping by

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Hi Creative friends!

Back on the blog today with a very special share... Special for a couple of reasons, firstly, it is my very first project using the DIVINE new Bohemian Dream collection for Cocoa Vanilla Studios, and more importantly, it's special because it's a project 10 years in the making!

I am a huge fan of tag mini albums and I have always wanted to do one featuring my little Miss and all of her birthday celebrations.  I wanted to create one project that would show just how much she has grown up over the years and of course, birthday photos are a great way to see that!  It took a little bit of work to sort through 10 years of photos but so worth it!  As you can imagine, there was quite a bit of inconsistency in the photos due to them being taken over such a long period of time over many different cameras. I thought the best way to work with that would be to print them all in black and white and edit with the same filter.  I'm really happy with the consistent feel they now have.

I then went about putting the photos in order from birth to 10, this gave me a really good starting point for the design of the album and dictated the layout for all of the pages.  Some of the photos were not that great quality wise so they had to be printed smaller, others were the square format and some were 6x4.  I really love the mix of sizes and I think it really adds an eclectic feel to the album. 

Now that the photos were sorted, it was time for the fun stuff!  I ADORE this new collection especially the mix of pink and purple and the floral in the "Abundant" paper is to die for!  I thought it best to stick with a small selection of papers, "Abundant", "Dreamer", "Wild and Free" and "Bo Ho Bits" and teamed these with a piece of bright green cardstock from my stash.  I was going for bright and fun just like my Miss 10!

I have used a set of pocket page plastic sheets as pockets for my photos and went about inserting these and adding my pattern papers to the back.  I created tabs for the photos to attach to the ring at the top out of rectangles cut from the "Bo Ho Bits" pattern paper.  I simply fussy cut them out, folded in half and punched a hole in them.  I have also used quite a few of the elements from this cut apart sheet for my embellishments.  The number of each birthday came from my stash, it was good to finally get a use for those!

The bones of the project were coming together at this point so now was the time to go page by page adding lots of elements.  I started with the tag from the Sticker sheet that says "You Brighten my World" and added that to a scrap of pattern paper, next came a tag that was die cut and then I've added the word "lovely" from the chipboard accessories sheet.  For the next sheet, I've added a sticker tab to the right of my photo and a flair button.  I really wanted to use lots of bits from all of the parts of the collection, they go so well together and I just love the dimension they all bring.

This part of the creation process was so fun, I simply went page by page adding bits until I was happy.  Above you can see chipboard, fussy cut pieces of pattern paper and die cuts to create this cluster, finishing it off with some enamel shapes.  It was so nice to be able to just pick pieces and add them, there are just so many choices and with everything being so new and so well co-ordinated it really was hard not to add everything... I did use quite a bit though and I love that!

Here you can see a side view of the album.  I've added quite a few words and tabs down the side for interest and you can also see that I have added A LOT of sewing details to keep the album together.  I have also included a few shaker pockets with sequins which are really fun.  Sewing them really helps them stay together as they are handled so much more than pages in an album.  I think this is one of the reasons I love making them so much,  I seriously could make these all day every day!

I do hope you love what I have created with this new collection, it was so fun to make!  If you haven't had a chance to see it all, be sure to pop over to the Cocoa Vanilla Facebook page, it really is such a stunning collection.  If you'd like your very own album just like this, be sure to check out the details of my upcoming class at The Stamper Hut Ashmore later on in the month.  Details on Facebook :)

Until next time,

Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Happy Moments Together" for Colour Blast

Hi, Creative friends!!

Back with you today as part of the Colour Blast team sharing with you another "clean mixed media" project.  Lots of close ups and step by steps so why not grab a cuppa and enjoy!

For this layout, I started with a black and white picture of myself and my daughter.  I love scrapping photos like this, family pics of us just being together, no special occasion, just being us.  I wanted to work with a white background and a monochromatic colour scheme, I've gone with Pink, Black and White.

To begin, I started with Bazzill Marshmallow card stock so no gesso was required.  I've started with the packaging technique using Colour Shimmer Spray in Punch and Blush.  I've mentioned before how I love using these 2 tones of pink together, they work so well for a tone on tone effect.

Next, I have added some splatters, firstly with the Shimmer Sprays, and then, once dry with the Colour Shimmer Cube in Punch.

Here is a close up... you can see the different result achieved by the packaging technique compared to the splatters.

Next, I needed some contrast, so I went with the stunning Sienna in the Colour Shimmer Spray. I have used a paint brush to add more splatters.  I use one colour at a time and allow everything to dry before using the next colour.  This helps to ensure no mixing of the colours as they dry.

With my background complete, it was now time to work on the cut file element I wanted to add.  I simply cut out a bunch of flowers using my Silhouette and while they were still on my cutting mat, I applied Shimmer Spray in Blush and Sienna to them using the packaging technique.  For this process I did allow the colours to mix a little and really love how that looks!

I was VERY careful not to add too much liquid here as the card stock I was using had not had gesso applied, and I didn't want any moisture getting onto my Silhouette cutting mat.  I then carefully removed the cut flowers from the mat and let fully dry.  You will need to work quite quickly here as the longer the moisture sits on the paper the more likely it will tear as you remove it.  I love how their edges curled up a little as they dried.

Here you can see a close up of the finished flowers.  I love how uneven the mists look, there are sections where the colour is quite saturated and other sections with very little colour applied.  I now had all of the elements ready to complete my page. 

I simply arranged the flowers onto my background adding a tiny spot of glue to the centre.  I really wanted their edges to stay curled up a little for added interest.  I love how their open design allows you to see the background through the petals.

I then placed my photo and title as these were my two largest elements.  Once their position was locked in, it was easy to add the other elements around them.

To complement my photo I've added in some other black and white elements including these chipboard hearts.  I just love the contrast they provided to the design.  I've added other die cut elements from Crate paper and Flutterby Designs and the page was done.

I give this project a "mess level" of Low
 (Thanks to the plastic packaging which I didn't even bother cleaning (throw it away people), and a paintbrush I can really control where the colour goes and still no messy hands or nails!)

Thanks for popping by

Sunday, September 24, 2017

"Create Happiness" for Dlish Scraps

Hi Creative Friends,

I hope you are all doing well!

I'm here today to share my very last layout as part of the D-lish scraps design team.  It has been an amazing year on the team, I really have loved every minute!  I have especially loved Amanda's amazing inspiration boards. She comes up with colour combos and inspiration that pushes me out of my comfort zone and enables me to push my creative boundaries and I so love that!  So what better way to finish my term than with a layout inspired by the latest inspiration board "Over the Rainbow".

This is the perfect example of a page I wouldn't normally create, I love colour but generally would not use all of the colours on one page!!  To keep it more my style, I went with a pastel version of the colours and used tone on tone for the embellishments.

To start the page, I have also kept the background pretty clean by adding some mist in co-ordinating colours. I have simply added each colour in a strip creating a 'rainbow' of sorts across the centre of the page.  Next, I went about punching out the hearts using paper scraps from my stash. I wanted a pastel version of the colour represented in the inspiration board.

Next, I went about stitching a line of colour along the centre of each of the rows of hearts, to keep the design clean, I wanted to block the colours and use tone on tone.  You can also see I've hand stitched around my photo, once I knew where the placement would be, I co-ordinated the stitched edge with the section of the background it would be sitting on.  Now that I've mentioned it, you will really notice it in the images above... each section around the edge of the photo has co-ordinating thread.

Next, it was time for smaller elements, I pulled out a stack of Pick n place bows, one for each of the colours represented in my 'rainbow'.  Then, I did the same for the Jewelled cabochons and Resin flowers.

I also used one of my favourites the wood beads from Pink Fresh studio here as well.  I'm loving the different textures here, the resin, the canvas and fabric bows and the wood.  I just added items here and there in co-ordinating colours to the hearts and background until I was happy.

Lastly, I added my title using Thickers and a chipboard word painted with white Gesso and... that was the layout complete.  I hope it inspires you to give the Inspiration board a go, they really are so fun to work with!

Thanks for all your support, encouraging words and love for my D-lish scraps layouts.  I have so loved being part of the team.  Looking forward to the next adventure, so lots more scrappy inspiration still to come.

Products used:

thanks for popping by today


Monday, September 18, 2017


Hi Creative Friends,

Back today for another Cocoa Vanilla Studios share, and this week on the blog the DT are focusing on Hearts and Flowers!  You will all know this was NOT a challenge at all for me as I adore working with both!  I started with this cute selfie taken by Miss 10 of herself and the cat, there is nothing quite like finding gems like these on your phone, I so adore them!

The inspiration for this page began with the cut file from Paper Issues.  As my photo was a little grainy, I knew it would have to stay quite small in size so I thought I'd go for a large cut file element to fill in the remainder of the page.  I also knew at this point I wanted to use the bright pink, green and yellow tones in the Fresh Cut paper from the Make A Wish Collection as my inspiration.

I don't actually end up using a lot of this paper, however, it really was my starting point for the page. There are so many times where I'm not sure to start and pretty products like these always get me inspired!

 I started by backing the three flowers in my cut file with this paper and the leaves as well, with the Party Dots paper.  I also used these 2 papers as the mount for my photo.  I also wanted to pull out floral elements from the die cut ephemera as well as the vellum accents pack.  Both of these packs have so many pretty floral elements, I knew they would all be a perfect fit!!  I also now took the time to fussy cut out a few of the yellow and pink flowers from the Fresh Cut paper.

Now was the time for some fun!  I simply went about adding floral elements in between and over the top of the cut file piece.  I was going for a floral explosion here!  I also found this pretty little vellum piece in the vellum accents pack and thought it would be a very sweet title, I've just hand stitched it onto a circle of white cardstock and placed it in the centre of the middle flower.

You can see here my photo mat and some of the die cut pieces.  The paper flower is part of the Hello Sunshine Collection - shop them here.

Now was the time to think about adding some hearts for the "heart" part of the challenge... I had certainly covered flowers at this point :)

I went with the Free Spirit Resin hearts and Life is Beautiful Wood Veneer hearts, I just love how all of the Cocoa Vanilla collections work so well together and they were a really nice finishing touch.   I have also added in a wood veneer butterfly from this same pack to pull together the die cut butterflies I have added.

I really loved the page at this point, but felt it was missing something... it was still very white on white and needed a little more contrast.  So I decided to add a little more stitching.  Well, a lot more stitching actually!  I had already added some for the circle title element, so it made sense to add some more around that floral piece.  Then I added more on the leaves and a few other floral elements in pink, green and yellow....  the 3 colours that started it all in the first place!

Lastly, I added a few sequins for some sparkle and the page was done!  This one did take a while with all the stitching and lots and lots of small elements, but I am super happy with how it turned out, I think it was worth it!

Thanks for popping by today
Until next time