About Me, Uncategorized

Belles of the ball

On Saturday we drove all the way to Margate for a Masonic Provincial Summer Ball. My Grandad, Step-Dad, and now my brother, are all masons, so these kind of events happen quite often, but me and my hubby rarely have enough time or money to attend! This year my Step-Dad is Chairman of the Board of Stewards though, so he wanted to get along as many family members as possible. It was great as I got to spend the evening partying with a lot of my family that I don’t get to see very often, as they all live in Kent / Essex. Here’s me with my little sister, my mum, and my gran:

There was lots of entertainment, but my favourite was the swing band with music to dance to. Me and my sister were dancing barefoot by the end of the night as our high heels were making our feet sore!
Little one was left at home with my friend Rosie and her fiancee Dave, I think she had lots of fun playing at the beach with them and generally wearing them out. Thank you Rosie for looking after her!
On another note, I have discovered a blog today called Paper Craftorium, a site showcases papercrafters and bloggers. They have a blog hop post on Tuesdays, so I thought I’d join in, you can see the details of the hop here.
I’ve also just spent a couple of hours trying to work out how to crochet a flower. I’ll post the pics of my achievements soon (don’t have the camera handy right now!). I’m off to attempt another one now I’ve worked it out! x
About Me, Uncategorized

Time for the truth…

Okay, I’m going to let you in on which were the ‘true’ facts about me from my ‘creative writer award’ post here.

1. My Teddy Bear once spoke to me. TRUE. Or at least, I believe she did. I’m a believe in dragons, believe in Father Christmas, believe that your toys come alive when you’re not looking kind of girl. This might make me a little strange to some of you, but hey-ho, that’s who I am! One day I’ll tell you about the time I saw a fairy!

2. I own a ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ first edition hardback book. FALSE. Unfortunately! I love the books, and wish I could have gone to Hogwarts. This probably doesn’t suprise you after reading the above!

3. I’m a synesthete. FALSE. I don’t have this condition – sorry Sian! I find it very intriguing though, as I teach a lot about using the senses in creative writing. Often our students find it hard to fit in descriptions other than what they can see, so it’s interesting to get them to push their boundaries and include other senses in their stories and poems. I found out about Synesthesia from this book:

which I bought for my daughter. It’s about a little boy who has a trumpet that plays colours and smells as well as music, and it has a bit about synesthesia in the back. I’d been reading the book to my daughter when thinking of my creative facts, so that’s what gave me the idea.
4. I’m learning to speak Chinese (Mandarin). FALSE. I’d love to learn a language, as I don’t speak anything but English and that makes me feel like an ignorant English person sometimes! I do always try and learn at least a few words of the language when visiting a foreign country, and when I visited Venice I really loved speaking Italian, so that would be great to learn more of. But learning Italian would take up valuable scrapbooking time so maybe not!
5. I am a cover girl. TRUE. I do grace the covers, front and back, of this book (I’m the one in the middle):
I wandered around Bath in regency costume a lot that year – it was lots of fun! I have a little chuckle sometimes, thinking about how many people’s holiday snaps I must be in around the world!
So that’s that! Hope you found it interesting!
Giveaways / Winners

It’s my birthday – GIVEAWAY!!!

Today I’m turning 28 years old. And to celebrate I’m offering a fabulous giveaway to one lucky reader:

Whopping, isn’t it?! In this prize you’d receive a whole, brand new, shiny pack of DCWV Taj Mahal 8×8 cardstock. Here’s a glimpse of what the patterns / colours are like (I photographed my own set of the papers – the pack in the giveaway is still sealed):
There’s 14 sheets of 12×12 cardstock, in a mix of colours, from PMA, Bazzill Basics, and DCWV metallic stack (you can see them in the main giveaway photo).
It also includes 3 sheets of scalloped 8×8 PMA textured cardstock, and 4 sheets of glitter card from the 6.5″ x 4.5″ DCWV glitter stack:
two sets of alphabet stickers:
ten lengths of ribbon-type things, all at least 12″ long except the blue ric-rac sticky ribbon which is about 7″:
a sealed pack of gems, a sealed pack of flowers (both PMA Hampstead), and an off-cut of a cotton doiley:
and last but not least a bunch of co-ordinating embellishments pulled from my stash, including some postage stamps and a bunch of buttons:
Good eh? To be in with a chance to win this lot of lovely stuff, you can do any or all of the things listed below, each will get you one entry into the draw:
  • Become a follower of this blog. (current followers will be automatically given an entry – I like to reward my loyal readers too!)
  • Blog about this giveaway. (You can take the main photo at the top of this post by right clicking on it and saving it to your computer. Then blog about the giveaway, include the giveaway photo and a link to this post, and then come back and tell me you’ve done so or I won’t know to give you an entry!)
  • Leave a comment on this post, telling me which of my posts during June you enjoyed the most. (There’s card-making, scrapbooking, altered art and other various bits and bobs, so there should be something for everyone!) 
You have until the 24th of July to enter, and I’ll post the winner on the 26th of July. I’ll do the draw by putting the names in a hat and letting my little girl pull a name out, unless I have tons and tons of entries, in which case I’ll use a random number generator!
I AM willing to post internationally, so anyone can enter! If you have any problems commenting please email me at jennifergrace at hotmail dot co dot uk.
Have fun and good luck!
Home Decor Craft Projects, Uncategorized

fly free

I have been thinking about attempting some altered art projects for a while, and the recent purchase of a glue gun has helped give me the push. The blog ‘Alter It Monthly’ has the theme of ‘birds of a feather’ this month (see here), so I’ve been mulling over what I could create.

We had a baby blue tit in our garden the other day, and its mother was flying down to feed it – me and my little girl were watching. I decided I wanted to make something to reflect how my feelings are probably similiar to the blue tit mother’s, so I thought it would have the words ‘fly free little one’ on the project somewhere.

I started with a wooden birdie purchased from Hobbycraft in the sale:

And I ended up with this wall / door hanger:

You can see I ended up just using the words ‘fly free’, as I decided I wanted it to apply to myself and others that I know and love as well as my daughter.

I began by painting two coats of white acrylic paint onto the bird, sanded the edges to reveal a bit of the blue underneath, re-painted the eye, and punched two holes with my big bite for the ribbon to go through:

Then I arranged the chain for underneath, by taking a few charms off a bracelet, and adding a couple of old earing bits and extra beads. I used glitter glue in the bottom of one of the earing bits, where it was missing a gem, and then I attached the chain to the bird by hot glue-gunning the head pins to the back.
I finished off with the word plaque at the top, edging a piece of corrugated card with white acrylic paint, and then layering on a piece of paper, an old postage stamp, and my pink stamped words, which had all been edged with a blue ink pad. I added a white metal rose which I’d cut off an earing, then punched holes and tied the pink polkadot ribbon to the top.
Now I’ve just got to decide where I’m going to hang it! I think it would be good on daughter’s door, but as we live in a rented house I’m not sure if landlord would be happy with me sticking a hook or nail it!
For those of you that are curious about the creative facts about myself which I posted yesterday, you’ll have to wait a few more days for the answers – I’ll post them at the weekend. To keep you happy in the meantime, I will be posting a giveaway tomorrow so check back then for a chance to enter!
About Me, Uncategorized

Once upon a time…

…there was a young girl who devoured books. She read them one handed whilst eating dinner, she splashed them with water when reading them in the bath, and she hid under the covers at night with a torch for the last few pages of a story, so her mum wouldn’t see a light on and tell her to go to sleep.

Then that girl grew up … but not very much changed. Books still occasionally have spaghetti bolognese or bath water speckled on them. Except these days she can stay up as late as she likes, reading by a proper lamp. Now she likes writing stories of her own, and tutoring new book-loving children to write their own too. And, of course, she’s hoping her daughter will find the same joy in reading, reading, reading:

(picture taken 17.09.2008, little girl is 6 months old at the time)

Reading and writing are a huge part of my life; I studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Uni, and with my friend Rosie I run creative writing workshops for children. So I was delighted to be given this award by Sian:

I certainly wouldn’t call myself a liar, but I probably embellish the truth here and there when telling a story, the same way I embellish photos on a scrapbook page to make it look pretty and interesting! To accept this award I need to tell you a few creative facts about myself, and let you decide which you think are the real deal. You can see Sian’s post with her intruiging tales here.

I’ll follow the same pattern as Sian, by giving you 5 facts which may, or may not, be true. Leave a comment guessing which of them you think are fact instead of fiction!

1. My Teddy Bear once spoke to me. I was about 5 years old, and her name was Funshine Bear (one of the Care Bears). It was really late at night and I couldn’t sleep, when suddenly I heard my teddy say ‘Hello’. She never said anything else, so I can only assume she was talking to my dolly and had a bit of a shock when I sat up and tried to speak to her. I’ll never know for sure, and you don’t have to believe it really happened, you just have to believe that I believe it did.

2. I own a ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ first edition hardback book. Luckily it escaped being splattered with dinner or bath water, so is still in relatively good, though slightly thumbed, condition. It is now kept carefully out of reach of sunlight or toddler fingers! One day I might have to sell it, but for now it’s mine all mine.

3. I’m a synesthete. I’ve got a condition called lexical → gustatory synesthesia,which means that certain words bring an involuntary taste to my mouth, even though they may be nothing to do with the food or drink that I taste. For example if I hear or read words ending in ‘th’ like ‘bath’ or ‘faith’ it makes the taste of sherbet appear on my tongue. It’s kind of fun most of the time, and I’ve always had it so it doesn’t feel wierd to me!

4. I’m learning to speak Chinese (Mandarin). I spent 5 months travelling around SE Asia a few years ago, and met other travellers that had been to China and told me what an bustling, beautiful place it was. Next time I go travelling, on my way to New Zealand, I want to stop for a few months in China. It might be a few years before I get to go, but that’s okay as it turns out Chinese isn’t that easy to learn. Bu Hao.

5. I am a cover girl. Okay, not of a glossy magazine, that would be too far fetched! But if you find yourself wandering into the Jane Austen Centre in Bath you can spot me on the cover of a book called ‘Jane Austen TV and film locations guide’. And a photo inside the book too. So I grace the same pages as Kate Beckinsdale, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Winslet. Good enough for me.

Hope you had fun reading these, please let me know which you think may be true, it will be interesting to see how good I am a lying. If I’m really good I can start planning devious things like robbing a bank. Or maybe just telling my hubby I’m doing the housework when actually I’m blogging!

(P.S. Rosie – you can’t play, I know you know the answers!)