Hi Creative Friends,

Gwen with you on the 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,



“Be a Super Hero” mini album | Boys Rule collection | Sue Plumb

Hi everyone! It’s Sue Plumb here to share my latest design team project with you and it’s one that is pretty special to me.

Today is World Prematurity Day – a globally recognised day that is aimed at increasing awareness of preterm births, as well as highlighting some of the challenges that are often faced by these babies and their families. Each year approximately 1 in 10 babies are born prematurely, including all three of my children. My post today is for all those babies born too soon.

For my project I decided to create the first in a series of mini albums for my children to document the time following their births. (It has taken me over 7 years to get around to tackling the photos of my boys and all the memories that come with them, so please bear with me for the long post today.)

I began my mini album with the fabulous ‘Boys Rule’ collection and a small 6 ring planner that I purchased from Kmart. (These make perfect mini album covers once everything is removed from the inside.) After choosing the patterned papers I was going to work with, I cut them into a variety of sizes to form the pages of my album.

I used an adjustable 6 hole punch (purchased via eBay) to punch holes on each of the pages, and then used white hole reinforcement stickers (from my local newsagency) to help protect the holes from becoming damaged through handling.

On some of the pages I added extra interest by using border punches to create decorative edges. This, combined with the variety of different page sizes, placements and patterns throughout, is what gives the album so much character.

 If you are planning on giving something like this a go, be sure to mix things up as much as you can! Don’t feel like all your pages have to run vertically – a horizontal page thrown in here and there not only adds extra interest but makes the album more interactive as it is turned to be read.

Depending on the theme of your album, you will find that some pages require no more than a photo and some simple embellishments; whilst others may have lots of journaling and very little room for embellishments.

For the sake of continuity across my album, I printed most of my photos in black and white with a few colour feature shots added in. I printed them in a variety of sizes and orientations as well.

Don’t be afraid to add embellishments such as stickers or journaling directly over part of your photos, or to include pages that have no photo at all and are simply decorative. You can even punch directly through photos and use them as a page in your album.

Throughout my album I used a combination of items from the Die Cut Ephemera; Accessory Stickers; Clear Stickers and die cuts from the Miscellany pack to embellish my pages.

One of the other benefits of making your pages different sizes is being able to get a “sneak peek” at what is coming on the next page. This adds to to the anticipation as you leaf through the album.

To further enhance the cohesion across the album, I typed all my journaling on my computer. When putting each page together I began with photo/s and journaling placement first before deciding on embellishments.

For an extra bit of fun, add some interactive elements such as tip-ins, pockets, or pull out tags. You can see how I used one of the small cards from the Die Cut Ephemera pack with a couple of pieces of washi tape to form a tip-in (fold out flap) to include my journaling underneath.

One of my tips for putting together each page in an album is that whilst I approach each page individually, I am also mindful of what is on the facing page. You can see how I carried across the same colours in the spread below. (Working with the same collection throughout the album helps enormously.)

The only other embellishment I included in my album were a few stickers from the ‘Love Always’ Accessory Sticker sheet, as it had a few more love-filled and generic phrases that suited some of my photos.

Another way to mix things up with your photos is to create a collage or include a series of shots taken close together. (And let’s face it, who doesn’t take 20 shots when you are trying to get the perfect one?!)

I know I have included a LOT of photos in this post, but sometimes the best way to explain things is to show them, right?

My final tip if you are going to create something similar in a planner cover or album, is to not forget about the extra pockets that are built into the cover. I made some small tags to tuck into the front of my album and added some extra photos, and in the larger pocket I included a letter to my son with some of the details about his birth story.

If you are interested in seeing a few more details of my album I have filmed a flip through of the entire thing so you can see how it all looks together:

Thanks so much for sticking with me through my long post today. I do hope I have inspired you to try creating something like this yourself. It could make an ideal Christmas gift for a loved one, or just something for yourself to treasure.

Until next time, happy scrapping!

Lovely | Bohemian Dream | Anita Bownds

Hi there crafty friends,
Anita here with you today sharing a layout using the fabulous bohemian dream collection
For my layout today I decided on this fabulous Unicorn cut file from Paige Evans as the main feature of my layout full of vibrant colour and layered clusters of flowers..


I started with backing the unicorn cut file first with abstract and abundant and then I used kaleidoscope b side paper and matted it on dreamer pattern paper as my base for my layout and before I machine stitched around the border I folded up 2 corners and cut a 2 inch square in half to tuck underneath the corners to change the colours. I matted my photo on abundant and beautiful mess
Then using modeling paste ,stencil and paint I added some mixed media to the background to add extra colour.
Then I adhered the backed unicorn and Photo down at the same time. Then I wanted add my title using the chipboard titles but I wanted a pink title so I used some acrylic paint to change the colour and next the die cut ephemera tucking in tags, Tabs and flowers around my photo


Then I added more clusters of flowers around the unicorn and a few butterflies to finish of the page.



I hope you have a enjoyed my inspiration today
Happy crafty friends..xx

Shine Bright | Unforgettable | Mandy Melville

Hey everyone!

Mandy here today to share my take on the ‘white out’ theme, using the gorgeous Unforgettable collection. I use white cardstock A LOT for my backgrounds, so I really enjoyed the challenge to use a patterned paper instead. I documented a photo of my two girls, taken at Eleanor’s 5th birthday party last weekend. They were both dressed up for the party, as Eleanor chose to have a ‘magical’ theme, and the colours in their outfits matched perfectly to the gorgeous peach and purple tones in the Unforgettable collection! (Not intentional, but definitely a happy coincidence!)


I decided on using the reverse side of the Lacewing patterned paper as my background. I love the beautiful peachy colour of that paper, and the tone on tone sketchy flowers! I then added an 8 inch strip of the Story Teller patterned paper (reverse side) across the middle section of the background. I’m not sure if that was cheating just a little bit, because it’s still white, but it really helped all of the elements on the page to stand out, and it also gives the viewer’s eye a place to rest amongst all of that colour. Plus it’s still a patterned paper, so technically I didn’t cheat right?! I also trimmed down a piece from the Pretty Bits paper to tuck under the top and bottom edges of the white patterned paper.

Next I fussy cut a few floral clusters out of the Glorious patterned paper and then layered them across the layout to create one long cluster. How gorgeous are the florals in this collection?! I also tucked a few extra die cut leaves into the cluster where I felt like it needed a little something more to help it feel balanced. When I adhered the floral clusters and die cuts, I added glue only to the middle, so that the leaves would lift off the page, giving it some nice dimension.

For my title, I used the words ‘Shine Bright’ from the Foam Title Stickers pack. I love the contrast that the black title adds to the page, and I think it’s a perfect sentiment for my girls!

I matted my photo with the reverse side of the Unscripted patterned paper, and then tucked it in above the floral cluster. I also added a couple of die cut butterflies around the layout, as well as a larger one that I cut out of the Pretty Bits patterned paper. To finish the layout off, I scattered some enamel dots around the page.

Thanks so much for joining me here today! I hope that you’ve been inspired by my layout!

Mandy x

You make me happy | Happiness Layout | Anna Komenda

Hello CVS friends! It’s Anna here with my project created with no white background. It is a theme for this week – “White-out”. Each Cocoa Vanilla collection has plenty of amazing pattern papers to choose from so it was a real pleasure to play with them. I was going through my paper stack thinking of what line I should use this time and I was drawned to pretty colors of “Happiness”. You all know that I love colorful designs and ugly fall outside need some proper, colorful medicine to be scared away.

I started with cutting out my title using electronic diecutting machine. I did it twice in the same size using two different papers: “Good vibes” and “Botanical bliss“. I layered them creating kind of a shadow. I also added white false stitches around the top one using white pen. Pretty paper with navy hearts is perfect as a background paper. I added a thin layer of white acrylic paint to help my title pop a little bit more.

I placed my photo on one of the empty spots between the letters and embellished it with tickets and flowers from ephemera pack. I can never have enough of those amazing flowers added to this line. Pretty shape and watercolor look, combined with juicy colors are the perfect match.

Between the paper flowers I also mixed in some flowers from clear sticker sheet. Their colors are more intense and they look amazing on light background. Butterflies cut out from “Bright and beautiful” paper are great embellishment too. Fussy cutting is one of my favourite techniques. I finished embellishing by adding one of the flair buttons on top of the title. I needed some darker accent in this spot.

After I finished working with paper, I decided to add some more colors to the background. I know that usually we work in opposite order but I felt that this project is unfinished. I gently added some watercolor stains here and there with pink and green paint. It made my layout looking more cheerful and complete.

That is all for today. I love working with pattern paper as a base of my page as much as I like using white backgrounds. It’s a double joy 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and see you in two weeks my friends.

XO Anna

The Sweet Life | Unforgettable | Amanda Baldwin

Hi Cocoa Vanilla Studio Friends!

Amanda here, joining you today with some super pretty UNFORGETTABLE inspiration! This week the Design Team have been asked to create scrapbook pages that feature pattern paper as the background – so no white cardstock! We’re aptly calling it ‘white out’ week! Here’s what I came up with…..

“The Sweet Life” 

Sweet indeed! What a delightful page!

You’ll spy that I used the beautiful woodgrain paper, CV-UF008 NATURAL BEAUTY as my background paper. However, once I started looking at all those pretty papers I just couldn’t stop at one – so.much.gorgeousness! Naturally, there are lots of pretty pattern papers featured on my layout today! Let’s take a better look….

Isn’t this just gorgeous?!! And truly, life couldn’t be any sweeter with my two darlings!

To the top of my layout, I added a one inch strip of that divine floral, CV-UF001 GLORIOUS. This paper makes me swoon every single time I lay eyes on it! Such a stunning floral design! And speaking of florals, I used that coordinating floral swag DIE CUT EPHEMERA piece to embellish the GLORIOUS trim, and act as an anchor for my title and overall design.

My large title is a digital cut file courtesy of Cut To You, and I have backed it with a few of the 6 x 8 PAPER PAD papers. ‘The Sweet Life’  papers happen to be the smaller variation of the B-side designs to CV-UF003 GARLAND and CV-UF005 LACEWING. Love!!! The 6 x 8 PAPER PAD is the perfect choice for backing cut files with!

I embellished my larger title with a few carefully selected pieces, the first of which was my photo cluster. I tucked my photo just beneath the edge of my title and attached them together with the ‘treasured’ ACCESSORY STICKER. I used another sticker beneath my photo, as well as a DIE CUT EPHEMERA tab to support my photograph. Here’s a closer look for you…

The Cocoa Vanilla Studio FLAIR BUTTONS are always amazing, and I added that sweet camera one to complete the look.

To balance my black & white photo on such a colourful page, and create that second point of interest to the title, I foam mounted that sweet DIE CUT EPHEMERA camera embellishment. Subtle, simple but so effective!

In keeping with the rule of three, and the sweet camera embellishments, I also featured the pretty black camera ACCESSORY STICKER. So cute!

The final adornment to that big title is the fussy cut the florals from pattern paper, CV-UF003 GARLAND. I foam mounted them just below the title, and ensured that they reflected the swag at the top of the page too. This really added that wow factor to my overall design.

The CV-UF008 NATURAL BEAUTY paper is so stunning that I had to use both sides of it. The pretty B-side (that striking black & white foliage print) trims the base of my layout. I ensured that the GARLAND floral arrangement overlapped this trim & in turn, created a more cohesive design. For a polished look I added the ‘best things in life…’ sentiment ACCESSORY STICKER and a good sprinkle of ENAMEL DOTS.

And there you have it! Beautiful, classic creating that highlights our gorgeous UNFORGETTABLE pattern papers!

I hope I have inspired you to use more pattern papers in your projects this week!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!

Happy Arty Days,

Amanda xo 



Love your snapshots | Unforgettable Collection | Michelle Stokes

Hello Hello its Michelle back here today with a new layout to share with you all. I’ve used the stunning Unforgettable collection again for this creation to tie in with our current ‘white out’ challenge. What a challenge it was for this lover of white cardstock to create something using pattern papers as my background paper. I think I did ok?

I chose a super cute selfie of my little niece as I felt it was time to scrap something other than another photo of Leila. This sweet little lady LOVES a selfie, and this photo is one of many in my camera roll that needed to be documented.

I started the layout by creating the photo stack using multiple pattern papers layered together with a fun messy cut file from CUT to YOU. I added pieces of foam between the layers to create more dimension.

Next I played around with multiple pattern papers for the background, and I mean multiple as there is so many wonderful patterns within this wonderful collection its hard to decide on just the one. I finally settled on 2 B side pattern papers – the black on white text paper “PRETTY BITS” and the grey squiggly chevron pattern “GLORIOUS“. I turned the chevron paper on its side and cut a triangular shape to adhere to the left side of the background

Next up I adhered the photo stack to the background papers using more foam tape for even more dimension. Cant help it, must add the dimension lol

I tucked loads of florals from the ephemera pack into all the layers for extra pops of colour before creating a title using the foam title stickers and an accessory word sticker

I chopped the R off the word ‘our’ from the pack to create the word ‘your’. The black hearts can also be found in the title stickers pack

Lastly a little hint of florals and black along the bottom right corner to balance all the elements of the layout. I added a sprinkling of gold ink and some enamel dots and called it done.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing my take on our White Out challenge just as much as I enjoyed creating it. Be sure to share all your crafty goodness with us in the CVS Community group on facebook, and don’t forget to tag all your shares on Instagram using the hashtag #cocoavanillastudio

Thats all from me today, thanks so much for stopping by.

Until next time, happy Scrapping!
Michelle xx

The Best Things in Life Are Free | Unforgettable Collection | Guest Designer – Laura Alberts

Hey y’all! Guest Designer Laura Alberts back with a 9×12 layout using a patterned paper background!

I love this sweet cut file from my friend, Miranda Webber, and backed it with papers from the 6×8 paper pack. I tucked in tons of tiny flowers, clear heart stickers, and butterflies in a gentle cascade from top to bottom.

I wanted to keep the title small on this one so that it didn’t stand out too much on this already busy background, so I just focused on one phrase, “The best things in life are free,” which is certainly true and very applicable to this photo of my daughter enjoying her perch on our back patio. I loved her dreamy expression and decided to make this layout just as dreamy to match!

I hope you enjoy this layout and find inspiration! If you would like to see how I created this layout, you can watch my process video on YouTube here:

Thank you, Cocoa Vanilla Studio for the amazing opportunity to design for you!

Laura Alberts

Bloom Memorydex Cards | Midnight Collection | Kylie Kingham.

Hello lovely friends! It’s Kylie back with you all today with a fun new project I have been working on. Have you been captured by the new ‘Memorydex’ card craze?? I certainly have. Memorydex cards are a great fun way to produce some mini scrapbook pages or to create cards with positive sentiments.It’s also a nice way to display your ‘mini layouts’ all together either in a Memorydex storage box or on a Memorydex spinner. Thanks to their size they are also a great way of using up any left over supplies you may have on hand. I’ve been creating quite a few cards lately which I will share some of today. For this trio I have worked with the beautiful Midnight collection.

To create my cards I was lucky enough to find a die from my local scrapbooking store but you can also find free templates online too. Once I have my card cut to size I can begin embellishing. My photos have been printed quite small- around 3cm x 3cm so that they fit nice and snug into my card amongst all the gorgeous die cuts.

So that my cards had some lovely texture and dimension I have added my embellishments with foam adhesive. This is so they sit up from the card background. For colour contrast I also used a leaf punch from my stash to create some darker leaves as well.These have been tucked in and around my flowers. I love using flowers and the Cocoa Vanilla die cut packs are always so generous in the quantity you receive.

I created a Memorydex card with a masculine theme for a photo of my son. This collection is very versatile and allows you to be able to do that. I have layered several foliage die cuts amongst a frame and my favourite embellishment of this entire collection….A mason jar! To finish my card I also added the ‘Shine Bright’ button flair.

I’ll be adding these to my Memorydex spinner once I have completed more but for now I can enjoy them in their storage box.

Thanks so much for stopping by the blog today to see my latest project. I hope it gives you some inspiration for your own creating.

Until next time,

Kylie xo

Hello | Unforgettable Collection | Tarrah McLean

Hi Cocoa Vanilla friends!

It’s Tarrah back with you and today I am sharing a new layout featuring the gorgeous Unforgettable collection!

The colours in the Unforgettable collection are beautiful so I decided to showcase them all on this layout! I pulled out the 6′ x 8′ paper pad and starting using the papers to back a heart cut file available in The Cut Shoppe.  Once the heart design was backed, I added craft foam underneath and adhered it to the black and white spot paper also from the Unforgettable collection. I decided to trim down the black and white spot paper so that I could add the grey chevron paper is a border right around the page. I trimmed this paper down slightly also so that I could add a black cardstock border also.I added my photo of my 2 beautiful nieces slightly to the right of the heart and added a couple pf layers underneath including a paper doily and some more of the 6′ x 8′ papers from the paper pad. I also added one of the tags from the die-cut pack to the left of the photo and I popped up the photo and paper layers to give even more dimension. I pulled out the ‘Hello’ foam title and added it to the bottom of my photo and added a flair button and a phrase die-cut on the left of the photo.The butterflies in this collection are beautiful, quite a few of those made it onto my page also. To further embellish, I added 2 of the black foam hearts, some die-cut hearts and florals, some enamel dots and some of the stickers from the accessory sheet.

Thank you so much for stopping by the Cocoa Vanilla blog today! I hope you are inspired to pull out your Unforgettable collection and create with it!

Happy creating!

Tarrah x