Hi Creative Friends,

I’m up on the Cocoa Vanilla Studios blog today with a new share using the beautiful ‘Unforgettable’ collection.  For this page, I’ve jumped out of my comfort zone again to scrap another picture of me, this one was taken on my birthday recently.  I’m also sharing some extra tips and tricks for working with cut files!

Many of you will already know that I just love working with cut files on my pages.  I love that they are super inexpensive and the designs really are limitless.  It will be no surprise that once I had chosen a photo to work with for this page, I went to my extensive library.  This file is from my cut file store CUT to YOU and I love that it helps me document this snapshot in time, my 43rd birthday.  I’ve done a stack of journaling on the back talking about where I’m at right now in my life.

To begin the page, I started by backing the letters in the file.  Tip #1 – If you have a limited supply of coordinating pattern papers, this is a fab way to use them up or make them stretch.  You’d be surprised just how little you need to make a bold title like this one, AND you can mix and match all of your scraps amongst the letters for a really pretty look.  Tip #2 – Pattern paper pads such as the one from this collection are perfect for backing cut files.  The smaller print designs work so well with the small spaces within the files.

While we are talking about backing the letters… Tip #3 – I find it much easier when working with a small area in a cut file to glue the pattern paper to my cut file and then use fussy cutting scissors to cut it out.  I find this way of backing the files the fastest for me, much faster than tracing each section and then cutting it out and then trying to position it back into the open space of the file.

Once my file was all backed and I was happy with it I went about backing my photo and thinking about the composition of my page.  Tip #4 – It’s a good idea to use the software from your electronic die cutting machine to help you with the size and placement of the design on your page.  I consider the layout of my page design when resizing the file so that once cut and you get to create it’s not too big or too small for your design idea.

I was now looking at the file and photo on my layout and it wasn’t quite popping off the page in a way I’d like so Tip #5 – I’ve added some foam tape to lift it off the page AND some soft watercolour behind the file to really help the white edges pop off the white background.  I use both of these techniques a lot to help give the cut file definition on a white background.

It was now time to embellish the page, this bit is super easy and fun with the larger elements in place.  For this, I’ve fussy cut out the large green butterfly element from the ‘Pretty Bits’ pattern paper and teamed it with two more smaller butterflies fussy cut from the ‘Lacewing’ pattern paper.  I’ve also added in a pink butterfly from the ‘Ephemera pack’.

To create a small cluster in the top right-hand corner of my page, I’ve combined elements from the ‘Accessory Sticker sheet’, enamel dots and a flair button.  The larger floral die cut at the bottom of my photo is from the ‘Die Cut Ephemera’ pack.  To finish the page off, I’ve added some typed sentiments from the ‘Accessory Sticker Sheet’ using more foam tape for dimension.

Thanks for popping by today to see my latest project, I hope you enjoyed the tips and tricks I’ve shared for working with cut files and that they inspire you to give working with them a go, they really are the best fun!  If you haven’t checked out the latest collection ‘Unforgettable’ yet, you really must, it is DIVINE!

Until next time,


Hi Creative Friends,

I hope you are all well!  I’m back on the Cocoa Vanilla blog today with a new share using the beautiful ‘Happiness‘ collection.  This one is a little different for me because it features 5 photos!  I usually create with only one or two photos per page so when my sister and I took this fun series of photos, I knew I had to come up with a plan to get them all on the one layout.

My initial thought for getting this many photos on my page was to print them small which I did first up.  Then, I got to thinking about a grid design and pulled out this cut file by CUT to YOU called ‘Heart Grid‘.  I had thought about placing the photos within the squares of the cut file, however I had printed them too small for that and didn’t want to waste the prints I had done… so, Plan C it was!

Unsure what to do about the photos, I put those aside and started working on the cut file. I’ve gone about backing some of the squares in the stunning blue of the ‘Good Vibes‘ paper.  Then, in the heart shapes, I backed with the pink of the ‘Meadow‘ paper.  To help the title stand out, I’ve backed that in the ‘Botanical Bliss‘ pattern paper.  I love the deep navy with the fresh white of the cut file.

With the elements of the cutfile backed, I’ve then placed the entire design onto some white card from my stash.  I have used foam tape in between the layers here for added dimension.  I’ve then created a border by mounting this large piece onto the ‘Expressive‘ paper.  I’ve made sure to take the centre of the pattern paper to save it for another project, this one is my favourite from this collection!

I’ve then mounted all of this onto a backing piece of the ‘Botanical Bliss‘ pattern paper.  I will often use a contrasting border on my page and find it really does finish off the edges nicely.

Next, I’ve mounted my photos with a very fine border of the ‘Expressive‘ paper and then mounted onto foam tape.  It was now a matter of playing with the design and layout to get it how I want.  After a little trial and error, I decided to go along the same line as the cut file.  You will notice the letters run from the top left the bottom right.  I’ve positioned my photos in much the same way so that your eye runs across the layout top left to bottom right.  Everything just flows across the page.

At this point, the page is nearly done but of course, I need some smaller elements to bring it all together!  I’ve fussy cut some pretty butterflies from the ‘Bright and Beautiful‘ paper (just the pink and blue ones to match my pattern papers) as well as two of the flair from the ‘flair pack‘.  I’ve also selected some stickers from the ‘Accessory Sticker Sheet‘ and a die-cut element from the ‘Die Cut Ephemera‘ pack.

I’ve added all of these elements running along the same line of my page, top left to bottom right, keeping with the flow of the photos and title of the page.  It was at this stage that I changed the title to be ‘Love You’ by adding in the die cut word ‘you’ from the ‘Die Cut Titles‘ pack and it finishes the page up perfectly.

Thanks for popping by today to see my latest project, I hope it inspires you to get creating and using some of your ‘Happiness’ stash.  If it does, I’d love to see what you make over on the Cocoa Vanilla Studio Facebook group.  There is so much inspiration over there and worth checking out!

Until next time,

“Little Reader” for Scrap the Girls November 2019

Hi Creative Friends,

The first of the month means it’s time to share another fab challenge at Scrap the Girls.  This month we are being inspired by a mood board.  There is a stack of images on this one so lots of options! Here is my page, I’ve gone with a book theme for this project.

and this is the mood board.

Ok… so, as you can see, the mood board is way more about alcohol and good times than books, but, I just didn’t really have any photos that fit with the party theme.  The perfect Saturday night for me is in my pajamas on the couch!  So, I decided to be inspired by the ‘Cycle of a book hangover’ image.

I began my page with this sweet photo of Miss C at the library from a few years back and a cut file from CUT to YOU, called ‘Book Stack‘.  I’ve cut the file out quite large to fill the background of my page.

I’ve then pulled the pink and yellow from the inspiration image knowing they would co-ordinate with my photo really well and backed the cut file.  I used a pop of dark pink as well to add highlights.

Once my cut file was backed, I’ve positioned it and my photo on my page.  I have added a small photo mat and some foam to separate it from the background and stitched around the edge.  Then it was really just a matter of adding a title and lots of pretty embellishments.

I’ve stuck with the black and white, pink and yellow colour theme for my embellishments, and really just gone through my stash auditioning things until I was happy.  I love the bold title and feel it works well with such a large cut file.  I’m also loving that kitty die cut way too much!  I have been hoarding that one for the perfect page and here it is!

Be sure to upload to the Facebook group by the end of the month for your chance to win a prize pack from this months sponsor.

This month’s sponsor: CUT to YOU digital cut file store.

Until next time,



Hi Creative Friends,

I hope you all have a creative weekend ahead planned.  I’m up on the CUT to YOU blog today with a new share, a sweet page that features my hubby and daughter.  This photo was actually taken very recently on a family lunch for my recent birthday.  Part of my birthday gift request was a quick family photoshoot so you’re sure to be seeing more of these photos in upcoming projects.

The design of the page for this one started with the cut file – this one is called ‘Floral Bouquet Set‘.  This was released recently and being the floral lover than I am, I just had to use it!  I’ve cut it out quite large as I had planned for it to be the main element of my page and then went about backing it.  I’ve gone with quite plain pattern papers and blocked the colour on the leaves and petals.

With that done, I then just went about positioning the cut file and my photos on the page.  I was really keen to get both photos on this one, something I don’t do a lot and would like to do more!  I love how they both tell the story of their sweet relationship.  I just kept shuffling things around until I was happy with the position of everything.

I’ve positioned the bottom cut file (the largest one) flat on to my background and then raised on foam the second cut file piece.  I love how I now have beautiful layers in my cut file and lots of details on my page.

I’ve also raised the photos up with some foam for added dimension.

Next, I’ve added in my title.  I wanted to pull a pop of black from the photos into my embellishment features and found this chipboard word ‘sweet’ in black that was perfect.  I also found a bold white and black word ‘love’ so my title has become ‘Sweet Love’.    This is one of the things I really love about working with cut files, you can pull older embellishments from your stash that are not quite enough to make a page and stretch them into a full layout.  The cut file pulls the few extra elements together.

I’ve also pulled from my stash some sweet puffy hearts, some photo corners, and a soft pink bow.  I’ve also used some Epoxy Flairs from Scrappin Happy Studio and I just love how they finish off the page. I love this sweet page and it actually came together pretty fast, so I hope it inspires you in some way and as always, I really do love seeing what you make so please keep sharing your projects with me!

Thanks for popping by today,

Until next time,


Hi Creative Friends,

I hope you are all well! I’m back on the Cocoa Vanilla Studios blog today with a new share using the stunning ‘Unforgettable’ collection.  This is the fourth page I’ve made with this collection and the more I use it, the more I just love it!  My page features a photo of my daughter the day before heading off to her first school camp.  We were both super nervous about the adventure ahead and I had been speaking with her about enjoying the little moments at camp and remembering that these are moments she will look back on and truly treasure, even though right now it didn’t seem that way.

I started the page with the idea of creating a central paper stack for my photo and working outward from there.  For this, I’ve used the butterfly quad element from the ‘Pretty Bits’ pattern paper.  I’ve teamed this with the ‘Sprightly’ paper which I’ve used as an edge for my layout as well as a double mat for my photo.  **TIP –  If you want a double mat for your photo and aren’t sure which two papers to use, go with an A and B side of the same paper, they were made for each other 🙂

With my photo mat sorted, I positioned it overlapping the butterfly quad element (making sure to fussy cut out the two butterflies that were not showing for later) and centered everything onto a plain white card stock background.  Now, I could go through all of the pretty elements of the collection to fill out my page.

I find it is always best to work with larger elements first and then move onto the smaller ones, so started with the pretty floral die cut from the ‘Die Cut Ephemera’ pack.  I’ve used one of the largest pieces here and then added smaller pieces on top using foam tape for a layered effect.

Next, I’ve added in the Orange fussy cut butterfly that I had saved and a smaller one from the ‘Die Cut Ephemera pack’.  There is still another Grey butterfly that I had fussy cut, that one will be added to a new project.  I’ve also added in here a large sticker from the ‘Accessory Sticker Sheet’ and a medium-sized die-cut Camera.  I’ve grabbed a flair button and added that here as well.

I was really happy with the ‘bones’ of my page now so it was time to move onto smaller embellishments.  I’ve pulled out several stickers from the ‘Accessory Sticker Sheet’ and positioned them on my page.  There were quite a few that really suited the sentiment for this layout and I loved how the colours matched perfectly.  Lastly, I went about adding a cute bow from the ‘Tassles and Bows’ pack as well as some Enamel dots and the page was complete.

Thanks for popping by today to see my latest project, I hope it inspires you to get creating with this beautiful collection.

Until next time,