Home/Raquel Bowman

About Raquel Bowman

Raquel is an Australian mummy to Charlotte and Jack, wife to Clint and an ‘obsessed with all things scrapbooking’ kind of girl! She is trained as a primary school teacher, but currently she's a Mummy by day and a scrapbooker by night! She loves spending time with her family, drinking coffee with friends, having creative time, a glass of wine at the end of a tough day and all things social media! Raquel is a lover of layers and clusters and enjoys adding little details to her pages while still maintaining white space, balance and a cleanliness to her layouts. She is lucky to design for online publication 'Jot Magazine' and was one of ten 'Scrapbooking Memories Magazine' Masters in Australia in 2014. 

#Fun Times | You Rock Layout | Raquel Bowman

By | 2017-05-19T01:53:01+00:00 May 19th, 2017|Design Team, Inspiration, You ROCK|

Hey everyone, it is Raquel here with you today sharing another layout as part of the ‘For the Boys’ week here on the Cocoa Vanilla blog.  Of course to create a layout for this theme I just had to use the latest CVS collection You Rock and scrapbook my spunky little man.

For this layout I am documenting the real times in our life with Mr Jack; the tears and the tantrums feature on this particular layout. This photo and story just had to be told, don’t you think?

Here is the layout I created:

If you are wanting to see the process for how this layout came together you can check out the process video below:

 For the overall layout, I stuck to a somewhat vertical design with patterned paper strips bordering either edge. For me those edge strips serve a purpose of drawing your eyes inwards towards the photo.

I printed my photo in 4×6″ size as I wanted it to really stand out. To accompany the photo I used a cut file which I downloaded for free from Paper Issues to create the title ‘#fun’ and added the word ‘times’ from the Made of Awesome collections letter stickers. I enlarged the file so that it spread across the width of the photo and backed it with a combination of patterned papers in the collection. I just adore how this really pops off the page. Of course I had to add some extra dimension to it by adhering it to the page with foam adhesive.

I used my typewriter to document the story I wanted to tell and adhered this to the page in strip form. The rubber charm ‘that’s my boy’ was perfect for this story too!

As I mentioned in the process video, I love working in clusters on my layouts, mainly three in total forming a visual triangle. My first embellishment cluster is on the top right of the page and is comprised of a label from the cut apart sheet, stickers, ephemera and rubber charms. Those charms were the perfect addition to that space on the top of the photo. I have found a liquid adhesive works best when adhering these down.

I created a small cluster to the left of the title which only has a flair button and smaller embellishments; the star, swiss cross and an enamel dot. It’s a simple cluster but due to the statement impact of the title, it really is all that is needed.

I hope you enjoyed the process video and my take on the ‘For the Boys’ theme for this week. In a market that is oversaturated with more girly collections I must say I am just loving documenting my little man so easily. The layouts I have created so far have just fallen together which is purely since this collection is so amazing.

Thanks for stopping by,

Raquel x

A is for Awesome | You Rock Layout | Raquel Bowman

By | 2017-05-04T15:31:32+00:00 May 5th, 2017|Design Team, Inspiration, You ROCK|

Hey everyone, Raquel here today sharing with you my first layout using the latest Cocoa Vanilla collection You Rock. Boy! Now this collection is truly amazing and perfect for scrapping those masculine layouts. I don’t know about you, but I am always on the hunt for funky and modern masculine collections and this one is utter perfection!

Here is the layout I created:

It is no secret that I love ephemera and this was the main embellishments from the collection that I chose to use on this page. A little tip I have is to use some kind of tray or bowl to store the pack in whilst you are creating. It makes it so much easier to see what pieces you have to work with. I think this star tray was around $2 at christmas time from kmart.

My page design has three main clusters of embellishments with the majority of them flowing in a diagonal direction. Let’s start at the top cluster. I wanted the ephemera pieces to look like they were flowing from one corner of the page to the other. To do this I adhered the frame ephemera piece over the edge. I then built my layers of embellishments, focusing on mixing the colours of embellishments used and also the shapes. I stayed consistent with using circular type embellishments and stars, this helps maintain the flow of the diagonal design.

The cluster below was the third embellishment cluster I created and this was added to give the page balance. When I create a cluster like this I aim to add a majority of the colours that can be seen on the rest of the page. I used this area to add the date that the photo was taken. I also added a touch of stitching for a fun detail and texture.

For the final cluster, which is also the largest I used quite a number of pieces from the ephemera pack. If I haven’t mentioned already, did I say how much I love ephemera packs?!? Again I used a lot of circular pieces and stars to help with the flow of the design. You can see in the image below I added a mixture of zig zag and straight stitching for texture.

This cluster also has a variety of dimension within each of the layers. Some of the pieces are also cut from the patterned papers. To add the variety of dimension I used foam adhesive, some of the embellishments even have two layers of the foam adhesive.

The journaling was typed on my typewriter. I kept it short and sweet as I think the picture I used of my little man speaks 1000 words.

The title of this page is ‘a is for awesome’ which was taken from one of the ephemera pieces. I loved this piece so I was glad to be able to make a bit of a feature of it on my page. I also backed the photo of my little man in a soft grey patterned paper. I adore the softer patterns of the b-sides.

I love adding smaller embellishments to clusters. For this page I have added some black splatters, they add a real pop to the page, and also a couple of the enamel shapes from the collection. 

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today, I hope you were inspired by my page. If you are keen to get your hands on the You Rock collection you can find it in some stores now, check out the stockists page for places you can find CVS goodies.

So Thankful | Wild at Heart Layout | Raquel Bowman

By | 2017-04-18T22:05:05+00:00 April 19th, 2017|Cut Files, Design Team, Inspiration, Wild at Heart|

Hey everyone, it’s Raquel here with you today sharing my latest layout using the Wild at Heart collection. This week on the blog is Scraplift week – where the design team is to choose another team member to scrap lift. For my layout today I decided to choose a team member whose style is very different to mine, so I chose mixed media queen Missy and decided to have some messy play!

Here is the layout I created:


And here is Missy’s amazing layout:

I decided to follow the main layout design and used the one photo and vertical design of the ‘xo’ cut files from the Colour me Happy cut file set available in store.

I printed my photo in black and white slightly smaller than 4×6 in size and created three main clusters. For the first cluster I added a doily, some of the stickers and ephemera pieces. I also added one of Missy’s go to techniques of adding some messy thread underneath a flair button.

I also added a cluster to the right of the page, near the largest ‘xo’ cut files. This time as well as the stickers and ephemera, I also added the chipboard ‘wild at heart circle’ to repeat the circular element from the previous cluster.

The subjects of this layout is my hubby and son. I wanted to add some simple journaling just documenting my love for them. As always, I added typewritten journaling in strip form.

The final main cluster is at the bottom left of the page. I kept this one a lot more simple than the previous two. I also added some of the tiny word stickers to the page and like Missy’s sample, I added some machine stitching detail to them.

The background itself was created by first adding a thin coat of clear Gesso. This helps when applying liquid and inks as the colour will not just seep in. Once the gesso dried I applied the distress ink to clear packaging and some water, and smushed it over the background. This technique is known as the ‘packaging technique’,  a tried and well tested technique used a lot by Missy.

I chose a blue/grey distress ink colour as I wanted a more soft watercolour background look. To add further detail to the ‘xo’ pieces I added some machine stitching. Foam tape added some extra dimension to the main ‘xo’ pieces to help them stand out off the page even more. I also backed the largest cut files from the page on a floral patterned paper. 

I hope you have enjoyed my contribution to the Scraplift week here on the blog. Thanks for stopping by!

Raquel xxx

Bunny Love | Make a Wish Layout | by Raquel Bowman

By | 2017-04-12T08:28:17+00:00 April 12th, 2017|Design Team, Inspiration, Make A Wish|

Hey everyone, its Raquel here today sharing a new layout as a part of Easter/Spring week here on the Cocoa Vanilla Studio blog.  For todays layout I couldn’t go past the Make a Wish collection. The florals, and colour palette along with the theme of celebration truly scream Easter to me! It was the perfect collection to document these two photos of my kiddies.

Here is the layout I created.

The design of this layout was actually inspired by another layout that I created recently of my son using banners running across a page. I loved the depth and dimension to it and how it really stood off the page. I decided to use that idea for todays layout and incorporate lots of fun patterns and colours into the page design.

The photos I am documenting are ones I took of my two kiddies last year at Easter time when I was trying to get a photo of them together wearing their easter bonnets/bunny ears. What a challenge getting a photo of them was (and still is!), I certainly wasn’t going to be able to get a picture of them both looking at the camera. But for me photos like these, the real kinds of photos, are the ones I feel that I should be documenting anyways as they are our most authentic story.

As well as the banners running across the page, I also added embellishments in clusters to add extra detail to that design. I sifted through the ephemera back and looked for any pieces that would work with the theme of my page and the papers which I had chosen to use. I added foam under certain parts of the ephemera to help them pop off the page even more.

Title choice can stump me at times and this was one of those pages where it took me a while to come up with one that was appropriate. I found the letter stickers in the collection were able to spell out bunny in the pink and blue colours and the ‘time’ was cut from one of the tiny word stickers labelled ‘party time’.

My journaling is not long on this page, but long enough to be able to portray what I wanted to say. I love to add my journaling by using a typewriter. I am not a fan of my handwriting and to me what is important is me getting these thoughts and stories down, not whether I handwrite it or not.

The cute little bunny was cut from the cut apart sheet. However, most of the embellishments in this top cluster comprise of die cut ephemera pieces. I just love how much variety you get within one little pack.

To add extra dimension to the bottom of the banners I added some foam tape and bent them upwards. This creates a shadow and allows them to look dimensional.

Thanks so much for popping by the CVS blog today.

Have a Happy Easter xxx



Happy & Proud | Wild at Heart Layout & QR Code Mini Tutorial | Raquel Bowman

By | 2017-03-18T10:01:44+00:00 March 19th, 2017|Design Team, Inspiration, Wild at Heart|

Hey everyone, its Raquel here today and I decided to create a page about my little man using the new Wild at Heart collection. I thought this may have been quite difficult given that you may perceive this new collection to be more feminine orientated, however it all fell together easily once I had chosen my colour palette.

The moment I am documenting is a pretty big one in my little mans life. On the morning that this photo was taken he had slept the full night without the security of his dummy/pacifier. In this household and for him, as a two year old, I thought that weaning him off it would be a lot more tricky than it was. The night before he couldn’t find his dummy and exclaimed that the ‘tooth fairy took it’, so we decided to go with it and yep, that was it!

Here is the layout that I created: Happy and Proud. 

Here is the process video for how the layout came together:

For the background I used a free cut file that I downloaded over on the Citrus Twist blog by Jen Chapin. When I create a masculine page, one of my go to techniques is to ‘go geometric’. I will choose a shape of some kind and base by design around it. It is always a great starting point for me when I am thinking of layout designs. In this case the free cut file was a triangular design, so that was a perfect foundation. I used mainly the Mariposa patterned paper to back the triangle designs. I chose this one as the colour has a watercolour look and changes from a green/blue to a royal blue colour, it is so gorgeous. I also added a few woodgrain triangles from the Artisan patterned paper in three places, forming a visual triangle.

The photo itself has multiple layers of papers and embellishments behind it. I used a grey patterned paper from the Love Always collection, a layer of the Wild at Heart vellum, and lots of beautiful tags and ephemera pieces, including one of the cute rubber charms!

On this particular day, along with my photo I recorded a segment of my sons reaction to sleeping the whole night in this bed without a dummy. I decided to turn this video into a QR code which can be scanned to watch it and see more of the story.

To create your own QR code of a video from your phone you can do the following:

  1. Upload your video to ‘YouTube’, I do this quickly via the ‘Capture’ app and set it to unlisted (this means those with a link can view the video).
  2. Copy the video link.
  3. Download a program such as Qrafter, which allows you to read and create your own QR codes.
  4. Click the ‘create’ option and create your own QR code by pasting in your video link.
  5. The program will then create your QR code which you can edit by changing the colours and then save to your camera phone ready to print to add to your layout or project.

I added three main clusters of embellishments on this page, forming a visual triangle. In the cluster below I actually delved back into my CVS stash and used a flair and veneer from the Made of Awesome collection, a camera I fussy cut from the Life is Beautiful collection and finished with some labels from the Colour me Happy snippets.

I felt like the journaling needed something to help balance it all out so I also added some further embellishing below it. I chose also to use the Colour Me Happy cool enamel dots on this one as they coordinated beautifully.

For this title of this page I have used a combination of embellishments. The word happy is from the Wild at Hear veneer pack. I just love the font and how it pops off the page. I also added the text ‘& Proud’ using the Life is Beautiful alpha stickers. I added those to this page as they were in that navy blue colour and suited it perfectly. I added the date to this page a little differently to usual. I found a cute little tag in the Love Always Bits and Pieces pack. I decided to stamp the date on it with archival ink and adhere it to the page by wrapping it around the veneer and securing it with some foam adhesive. I love how it turned out. Of course I added my journaling using my typewriter, in strip form. 

Thanks so much for stopping by the CVS blog today. I hope this layout has shown you how you can use this collection for masculine pages and also given you some tips and tricks to using QR codes on your pages.

Raquel x

Love You | Wild at Heart Layout | Raquel Bowman

By | 2017-03-04T19:47:12+00:00 March 5th, 2017|Design Team, Inspiration, Wild at Heart|

Hey everyone, it’s Raquel here with you today sharing a new layout featuring the gorgeous Wild at Heart collection. Today I will focus a little more on the papers and ephemera pack in the collection and how to showcase them.

Here is the layout I created:

And here is the process video:

For this layout I decided to document this recent photo of hubby and myself taken at my cousins wedding. I thought the colours in the photo would work with the Wild at Heart collection perfectly.

I decided to do a little something different with the background today. I used the Colour Me Happy cut files and cut the heart into the background white card stock. Except I wanted the heart to be cut into the background and not a separate piece so I didn’t cut the outline of the heart. I actually used a pen holder and pencil on my machine and drew the outline. That then gave me a line to follow with my sewing machine, and I stitched around that heart shape outline as you can see in the image below. The woodgrain patterned paper placed behind the file gave a really nice soft detail to the page.

I created embellishment clusters to the left and right of the photo. These clusters consisted of mainly fussy cut papers and ephemera pieces which are the focus of this post. The larger floral piece is cut from one of the patterned papers. When I fussy more detailed flowers I will normally pick and choose my battles, sometimes I will cut around each and every petal perfectly but other times if time is more short I will choose only a selected few and may not cut as precise. At the end of the day though, it pretty much has the same effect don’t you think? I also added and tucked in the layers a floral piece, star, heart, and a couple of tiny word stickers from the accessory sheet.

The second cluster to the right was made up of pretty much the same elements, except I also added one of those AH-Mazing rubber charms too.

For my title I used the ‘love you’ pieces from the veneer pack plus two of the hearts. I wanted to work in a somewhat vertical design with my journaling underneath.

The sentiment ‘you’re some kind ….’ came from one of the cut apart papers in the collection. I also added the ‘I just can’t get enough’ sticker. The journaling is a quote I found recently that I absolutely loved.

As always I used a variety of adhesives, foam tape, liquid adhesive and tape runner to create lots of dimension and interest. I also added a few splatters of a gold mist to finish it off and some of the glitter enamel dots.

I hope you have enjoyed this layout today. Don’t forget to join and stop by the CVS Community over on Facebook, its always a hive of activity!

Raquel xxx

XOXO | Wild at Heart Layout | Raquel Bowman

By | 2017-02-18T20:28:39+00:00 February 19th, 2017|Cut Files, Design Team, Inspiration, Wild at Heart|

Hey everyone, it’s Raquel here with you today sharing a new layout with you all featuring the new and amazing Wild at Heart collection. Since February is the month of Love I decided to create another page on that theme, why not right?

On this page I am documenting a photo of roses that hubby brought me for valentines day this year. Hubby is not a romantic at all really, so this gesture was a lovely and unexpected and I just had to record it in my scrapbook.

Here is the layout I created below. For the layout design I was inspired by the xo cut files available in the Cocoa Vanilla Store. I decided to mimic a tic tac toe board for this layout as a feature on the page. I couldn’t go past the ‘Grow Wild’ marble design paper to cut them out on. I really wanted to be able to showcase that paper design on a page. It is too beautiful not too!

To achieve balance on the page I created three main clusters which form a visual triangle. The cluster in the image below is made up of the gorgeous die cut ephemera pieces, some accessory stickers, a wood veneer heart and finished off with the smaller embellishments, enamel dots. I always love to finish my clusters off with tiny details like smaller embellishments.  To add further detail to these pieces I machine stitched through them and bent the upwards to add further dimension.

I added the journaling to one of the ‘o’ in the grid. I kept it short and simple but clear enough to convey the message that I wanted to record. I added a few small embellishments to the left of this including a fussy cut butterfly from the ‘Mariposa’ patterned paper.

The top left corner also contained a small cluster of embellishments, as I mentioned earlier, for the purpose of balance. I included one of the chipboard hearts in this cluster also.

Fo my photo layers, I added a layer of the ‘Patchwork’ patterned paper behind the photo. As you can see on my photo I printed my photo with a white border. I do this with most of my photos – I find that it separates my photo with the next layer of paper behind it. For example, if I didn’t add the white border and my photo was really busy, I  would probably not add a busy patterned paper behind it. However when I have the white border I can add a busy pattern and it still looks pleasing to the eye.

My title is ‘bloom’ from the wood veneer pack. I also added more ephemera pieces, chipboard, one of the beautiful rubber charms and finished with some enamel dots. I love how the red in the flowers really pops and is complimented by the red in the patterned paper behind it.

To create dimension and to help the xo pieces really pop off the page I machine stitched them to the page and bent them inwards. This creates a nice shadow behind them also. To add further detail I added some hand stitching to some of them too. Just a simple cross stitch or single stitches. For the board lines I used the woodgrain design from the ‘Artisan’ paper and cut them a little thinner than 1cm. Again these were machine stitched to the page and folded inwards for dimension.

I hope this page has inspired you today. If you want to get your hands on the beautiful Wild at Heart collection check out the Stockists page to see where you may be able to find it in your area.

Raquel xxx

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