Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Today we're welcoming Sylvia Tomala as our Featured S:CY Designer!
S:CY Designer Sylvia Tomala 
When Sylvia Tomala heard that one of her LOs was chosen for publication by Scrapbook News and Review Magazine she emailed me in an absolutely thrilled state to let me know and said "I cannot contain my excitement!" This was followed by a row of  5 chubby smiling happy face icons.

Sylvia told me that "The layout is entitled 'Happy Claire.' My youngest daughter is featured and the 5X7" picture was taken when she was 10 months old, in January 1999. I used Crate and Creative Imaginations patterned papers." Some of the embellies that Sylvia chose to incorporate were items from All My Memories, American Crafts, Basic Grey and Prima.

Congrats Sylvia! The layout has been published, so be sure to check it out... it made it's debut on Sunday, June 12th, Volume # 4, Issue # 6.

Sylvia joined the S:CY Design Team in April, 2011. Her style is just plain HAPPY, easily making you want to smile (if you aren't already!) Sylvia's pages reveal a stylistic bent that can be described as "cheery and chipper."
Sylvia describes it as "bright, bold, clean, eclectic." Below is a LO that fits this description to perfection!

"Xmas Socks"  by Sylvia Tomala
[Notes:  This pic was taken in 2008 - My 3 teens! American Crafts "Junior" line, felt thickers, Bazzill cardstock, doodling, Glitz mini letters, Scenic Route arrow.]

An organizational routine that has helped Sylvia in her scrappin’ is "using ice cube trays to display small embellishments when working on a particular layout."  She recommends this as it helps her to prevent embellies from getting lost on her scrapbooking table, which she describes as "chaotic."

Scrappin' ruts happen to us all. When Sylvia encounters one of these dreaded spells in her artwork,  she  says she will "procrastinate, LOL, walk away....  (or) draw inspiration from online scrapbooking blogs of friends, or galleries, sketch sites."

Sylvia is a Mom, and her favourite subjects to scrap about are her family: three teens, Alyssa (16), Stefan (14) and Claire (13). In addition, Sylvia  has a step-grand-daughter, Zoe, who is 14 months old and is now often the subject of her layouts. Here is a LO of her daughter, Claire, from 2006.

"Natural Best  buds" by Sylvia Tomala
[Notes: This is Claire holding two crabs, P.E.I., summer 2006. No patterned paper used just decorative cardstock and attention to details. Items used: Bling, buttons, chipboard, felt, flowers, ribbon, rub-ons, tag, tokens]
Sylvia enjoys the process of mixing patterns from different manufacturers as she creates pages. Anything "Echo Park" really strikes her fancy! She has a collection of Ranger's Stickles and admits that "I must have a rainbow of colours!" Like many of us, Sylvia has a preferred style of scrapbook album: the  American Crafts 3 ring albums.  She scraps 12x12" layouts and says that she has about 15 of these albums in her collection to house her pages in.

"Stuck" by Sylvia Tomala
 [Notes: My son, Stefan let go of his Dad's balloons commerating the first
Father's Day without him - June 2010.
I love American Crafts everything!! I chose the big brads to mimic the colours of the balloons and I had balloon chipboard embellishments and ric rac to add detail to a simple picture. You may have noticed that I love colour!]
Syvia  told me some interesting biographical facts about her life.  As a child, she had the opportunity to live abroad. "I followed my parents to Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa where I grew up. She also says that the experience was a life lesson in itself: "I was fortunate enough to travel and see how people who live in poverty manage to smile and sing."

"A Spider" by Sylvia Tomala
[ Notes: I'm terrified of spiders!!!!! This photograph was taken of a spider on the Hawaiin island of Kauai, May 2008. I thought the patterned papers were perfect! Items used: Bazzill edger, Chatterbox buttons, Little Davis negative chipboard letters, Little Yellow Bicycle papers, ribbon.]
Sylvia points to garage sales as a definite fun spot for her. When I first asked her about whether she liked them, she grinned & said "Did you say "garage sales?" One of my weaknesses for certain. I have a bin at home with treasures collecting dust hoping to be touched by moi, ha, ha, ha!!!"

Aside from her penchant for combing garage sales, Sylvia loves to "bake, collect antique glassware, & entertain that special someone with wine pairings."

Intrigued about her baking, I asked Sylvia for more info. She laughingly replied: "You name it, I'll bake it!"

So... I asked for a couple of her fave recipes! Here's the first, with comments from the cook!! 

"Below is the best chocolate cake for flavour and moistness that I have ever tasted; sorry am biased! I'm always asked for the recipe!"


1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup hot strong coffee
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 12 cup bundt pan. Dust with flour. Invert and shake out excess.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, white sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt. Add buttermilk, brown sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Whisk in hot coffee until completely incorporated. The batter will be quite thin.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar and enjoy!

The second recipe is posted on our FACEBOOK page. (YUM!!) Go check it out!!Sylvia also likes to create cards in her papercraft work. Here is a favourite:

"Let it Snow" Christmas card by Sylvia Tomala
[Notes: chipboard flourish here is adorned with stickles]

Thank You, Sylvia for sharing so much of yourself and your memory-keeping with us here at S:CY  today. It's been wonderful getting to  know you better!
Here is Sylvia's wonderful Blog, called Sylvia's Paper Passion. Enjoy!



  1. Thanks Sylvia, for sharing so much of your life and art with us. LOVE your bright bold colours and uncluttered style. TY for being here! :) ~ Ali

  2. Congrats Sylvia,on your well deserved publication in Scrapbook News & Reviews magazine.I love your vibrant colors you use,as they allow your personalty to show through in your designs.
    Thanks for sharing your delicious sounding recipes with us. I may have to give them a whirl.
    It's great having you on the SCY design team.
    Enjoy your spotlight position.
    Heather Getson

  3. So great to get to know you better Sylvia!!!
    Congrats on the Scrapbook News and Reviews, and also congrats on being guest designer at S:CY!! WTG!!

  4. You sure made me smile this morning, with your vibrant personality and joy, that just spreads like wild fire. Wonderful interview and very nice to "meet" you!!!

  5. What a great spotlight! I love bright colors too and Sylvia's work always makes me smile!