About Me, Giveaways / Winners

Our Florida Holiday & A Crafty Giveaway – Edited To Add Winner

Hello. Today I want to tell you about the vacation we took to Florida during August, and I also have a crafty giveaway of some items I purchased in Target, Michaels, & Jo-Ann’s while I was there!

Our Florida Holiday & A Crafty Giveaway!

We are so lucky that my lovely in-laws asked us to go to Florida with them. They have visited the Summer Bay Resort many times and this year they asked us along to enjoy Orlando and the theme parks!

It wasn’t mine or hubby’s first times out there, as we’d both been before. But it was the kid’s first time. They had been to Disney Land in Paris, but Cheeky Boy was only 1 at the time so he doesn’t remember Paris at all. Little Miss had a couple of memories, like being scared on Big Thunder Mountain, but she was only 4 so again she couldn’t remember much.

They were both super excited about the holiday, and it certainly matched their expectations, and more! We had a wonderful time. And though it was baking hot – I mean really super hot for us English fragile beings (100 degrees F / 37.7 degrees C on some days) – we manage to stay cool a lot of the time by picking the right times to watch shows or sit in queues. Plus it rained on a few days, which cleared the air but didn’t last so long that it spoiled the day.

Here we all are on our way into the Animal Kingdom:

Our Florida Holiday & A Crafty Giveaway!

The kids loved the Safari ride here, which we went on twice and saw different animals both times. I enjoyed the Expedition Everest ride which was new for me, and hubby just about stomached it (he doesn’t like roller coasters that much).

One of the best things about Disneyworld is the little extras that kids can do for free – at Animal Kingdom it’s collecting stickers to become ‘Wilderness Explorers’ (you do a variety of things like play music, find out animal facts, and learn about other cultures), at Epcot it’s collecting stamps from each country on a Barney Bear picture (which you can also colour in on your way around), and at the Magic Kingdom there’s both the ‘Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Challenge’ (using picture cards to cast spells at magic portals throughout the park), and the ‘Pirates Adventure – Treasure of The Seven Seas’ (using a treasure map to find marked spots in Adventure land, where things come to life and the clues lead you to treasure at the end – you keep the map and the treasure card). These were all fun and we could have done lots more if we’d had longer – there were more Sorcery Cards and more Treasure Maps which we didn’t have time for. These extras are not advertised very much so make sure to look out for them if you go there.

My favourite place to go was Harry Potter World at Universal Studios. I have been dying to go here since it opened. My friend Rosie and I actually planned out our own Harry Potter World on a long bus journey once when we were at Uni together, then when the park opened years later we wondered if some Universal Studios bigwig must have been sitting behind us on the bus?!

Our Florida Holiday & A Crafty Giveaway!

I’d made shirts for us four to wear to Harry Potter World using my Cricut Explore and iron-on-vinyl. They say:

Mine – ‘I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts letter’

Hubby’s – ‘If you can read this my invisibility cloak isn’t working’

Little Miss’s – It’s leviOsa, not leviosA’

Cheeky Boy’s – ‘You must be a boggart because you look Riddikulus’

These were so fun to wear, all the cast members kept reading our shirts and laughing! The kids loved showing them off. I wished I’d made Disney ones too!

Harry Potter World lived up to my expectations, I loved the Hogwarts Express, the Escape from Gringotts, and the interactive wands especially. The ride in Hogwarts itself made me feel a bit sick though! I will do a post on Harry Potter World another day as I could say so much about it!

All in all, we had an amazing time. The kids will have so many fabulous memories…

Our Florida Holiday & A Crafty Giveaway!

And if they ever forget they can watch the movies I made. Thanks to Blogtacular and Xanthe Berkeley’s Video Workshop, I had learned the tricks to be able to record and edit daily videos using my iPhone and the Adobe Clip app. I saved videos that were 1 minute long, which I shared on Instagram and Facebook, and some that were longer (approx 5-8 minutes per day) which I am keeping for family memories. If you missed me sharing them on social media, you can watch the 1 minute long videos stitched together as one video (less than 15 minutes long) here:

Or click HERE to view in YouTube.I also enjoyed visits to Target, Michael’s, and Jo-Ann’s for buying some crafty supplies. I bought lots of bits and pieces, including a Marquee Love letter J, a D-Ring 12×12 album, some paper, material, paints, and more! I was in heaven.I wanted to spread the joy, so I bought some items for a giveaway for you!Here’s the items you could win:

Our Florida Holiday & A Crafty Giveaway!

Including some pencils, washi tape, twine, enamel dots, a ‘be creative’ wood plaque, and a cute little notebook – here’s a peek at the pages inside:

Our Florida Holiday & A Crafty Giveaway!

Aren’t they fun?!

To enter to win this giveaway just leave a comment at least 8 words long on this post. For additional entries you can also comment on either of last week’s posts – ‘Minc Reactive Paint & Toner Pen’ or ‘Kickstarter Campaign For Jennifer Grace Creates’. So you can earn up to 3 entries.

Minc Reactive Paint and Toner Pen Test               Jennifer Grace Creates Mugs Kickstarter Campaign

This giveaway is open internationally and it will close for entries on Thursday the 20th of October at 10pm GMT. The winner will be drawn from all entries using random.org, and I’ll post the winner on a blog post at some point that weekend (21st – 24th Oct).

The Giveaway is now closed – the winner was KT Fit Kitty! Thank you to all who entered!

If you have any questions or are having problems commenting please contact me at jennifergrace(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

Thanks for stopping by!

Jennifer x

About Me

Kickstarter Campaign For Jennifer Grace Creates Mugs!

If you’ve recently seen my Facebook or Instagram feed you’ve probably already seen this, but if not here you go! I am currently running a Kickstarter campaign, to try and raise funds to buy a mug press and sublimation printer, so I can produce mugs with my designs to sell in my Jennifer Grace Creates Etsy Shop

Jennifer Grace Creates Mugs Kickstarter Campaign

I ordered a few mugs with my designs on a while back, but when they arrived a lot of them had problems – chips in the mugs or errors in the printing. This got me thinking that if I wanted to make more mugs I’d like to be able to do it myself, as I’m a perfectionist and would like to have complete control over the item from start to finish! I could try other companies that produce mugs, but most of the time you have to order lots of one design, and I want to produce lots of designs. I also want to be able to make personalised mugs, so if someone wants their name on a mug, for example, I’ll be able to make it straight away!

Here’s the mug I’d most like to be able to make for myself:

I Like To Sniff Pretty Paper Mug - Jennifer Grace Creates

I love coming up with quirky designs, and having my own mug press would make it easy to produce mugs that work for all kinds of people (or mermaids):

Steampunk Mermaid Mug - Jennifer Grace Creates

I’d like to make some funny ones too…

Careful I'm Secretly An Evil Genius Mug - Jennifer Grace Creates

I designed this one recently because I live by the ‘Jurassic Coast’ in England, so dinosaurs are a regular topic around here:

I'm A Tea Rex Mug - Jennifer Grace Creates

There’s lots more designs which you can see over on my Kickstarter Campaign. If you could take a look and consider pledging I’d be most grateful! If you aren’t aware of Kickstarter then I should say that most pledges are like you are pre-ordering an item. You pledge for which item you’d like, e.g. one mug, then if the campaign is successfully funded I will send out a survey afterwards asking which design or designs you wanted. Then I’ll buy the mug press and printer, along with lots of blank mugs, and if all goes well you’ll receive your chosen pledge sometime in December 2016. So it’s not like you are donating money for nothing (unless you choose to pledge only £1). Free UK shipping is included in the pledge amounts too.

If you have any questions about it do let me know! If you are unable to pledge at the moment but do like the look of my mugs I’d love to hear in the comments below which of the mugs you like or what designs you’d like to see in the future. I will definitely do a mug giveaway at Christmas too, as long as I’ve been able to buy the tools and supplies.

I will be back tomorrow with a giveaway of items I bought in Florida!

Jennifer x

About Me

Blogging Goals For 2016

I’m calling this post blogging goals for 2016 even though the goals aren’t just for blogging, and even though we’re already 2 and a half months into 2016. You’re okay with that right?!

Blogging Goals For 2016 at Jennifer Grace Creates

I did a post last year for my blogging goals in 2015, and though I didn’t achieve everything on the list, it certainly helped to get me focused. And I like putting my plans out there for you all to see, so you know what I’m up to behind the scenes, and what I have planned for the months ahead!

So, here’s the things I’d like to achieve in 2016…

Goal One: Make My Blog More Snazzy

Okay, I’m totally cheating with this one, as I’ve already pretty much completed this. But it was a blogging goal for 2016, I just happened to finish it before I wrote this post. I’ve been working super hard on it all weekend. If you are reading this post in an email or reader where you can’t see the whole blog, please pop by and take a look!

Here’s what the landing page looks like now:

 Jennifer Grace Creates New Blog Look

There were so many things I wanted to achieve, and I think I’ve managed most of them! I wanted: a logo I’d made entirely myself (drawing the text by hand rather than using a font), a home page with some welcome images / info on (rather than you just landing on the blog), a drop-down menu so that you can easily choose which project types or seasons you are interested in viewing, the menu to stay at the top of the page when you scroll down so it’s always accessible, a full width instagram widget in the footer, a sticky sidebar so when you are scrolling down a long post the sidebar doesn’t suddenly go empty, and just a slightly cleaner look – but without losing too much colour.

What do you think? Here’s a screenshot of the old home page for comparison:

 Jennifer Grace Creates - Screen Shot Of The Old Blog Look

If anyone is interested I used the Cabin Theme by Select Themes on Envato to help me build my new look.

Obviously I will keep playing around with things a bit but I’m pretty happy with the overall effect. Do let me know if you have any problems with navigation or page load times or anything though!

Goal Two: Work On My Etsy Shops

Yes, you did read that right – it’s plural. I now have 2 Etsy Shops. Because, you know, life wasn’t busy enough!

You already know about my Happy Scatter Etsy Shop, selling stencils and embellishments that I’ve designed and mostly made myself. I’ve been planning some more bits and pieces to add to that, including 8 mini-stencils that are 3″ square, but I’m just waiting for some more mylar to arrive before I can cut them and list them.

Mini Stencils at Happy Scatter

But what you probably don’t know about Happy Scatter is that I’ve recently created a Happy Scatter Instagram Account, and a Happy Scatter Blog!

The blog can be found at happyscatter.com and it looks a little like this at the moment:

Happy Scatter Blog

There’s a few posts on there which I wrote just to get it started, including a tutorial for this card using the Wood Slice Stencil:

Congratulations Card Using The Happy Scatter Wood Slice Stencil

At the moment I’ll just be posting my own projects using Happy Scatter items on there, but in the coming months I hope to get a design team going and start a monthly blog challenge, etc, so make sure you add it to your blog reader!

I created that blog using blogger and the Felicity Template by BlogShopbyGeorgiaLou on Etsy, in case you are wondering!

The Etsy shop which I haven’t mentioned on here yet is the one I just opened a couple of weeks ago. For a while I’ve been wanting to have another shop so that I could sell jewellery and gifts that I’ve made myself. I ordered tests for the wooden necklaces and pendants back in May last year, but then I started my part time librarian job in June, and then became the chair of the PTA at my kids school in September, and my plans got forgotten for a while. Then Etsy had a course called Etsy Resolution at the beginning of the year and it got me fired up again!

Here’s what the Jennifer Grace Creates Etsy Shop looks like:

Jennifer Grace Creates Etsy Shop

At the moment it just has a few designs of necklaces, earrings, and badges in it, but I plan to add more designs of these and also some other gifty bits.

One of the fun things about them is that you can choose the colours of the jewellery from a selection of paints, and I can add any names or phrases to the items, like on this Bunny Rabbit Necklace, perfect for Easter:

Custom Bunny Name Necklace at Jennifer Grace Creates

I won’t be blogging about that shop too often on here, but I will occasionally share if I’ve added a lot of new things or something. I will be sharing pics of items in it on my social media, but it’s not going to take over – my usual crafty projects and family photos will still be the bulk of it!

So my goal with my Etsy shops is just to keep working on them – keep adding new items and finding other ways to promote them. I love making items for them and I just want to do more, more, more!

Goal Three: Keep Networking

 Last year networking was one of my goals and I attended the CHA UK Creative Exchanges event in April, which was amazing fun (I wrote about it HERE). I believe CHA UK are doing Creative Exchanges again, but I’m not sure if I’m going this time as I think it’s in June, and in June I am already booked to go to Blogtacular!


I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. I have wanted to go for the last couple of years, and have been joining in the #blogtacular twitter chats on Wednesday nights at 9pm as much as I can. But I’ve never had the money for the ticket at the right time. So last summer I convinced hubby to buy me an early bird ticket for my birthday present – this means I’ve been excited for months now! It’s less than 100 days to go, and I’ve booked my accommodation for the Friday night so I can attend the Friday night party, so I can officially start jumping around with anticipation!

I also want to continue networking online, in particular I’d love to get better at reading more blogs and writing comments again. I used to be much better at this, at least I would catch up with blogs I loved once in a while, but now when I do read blogs it tends to be on my phone or tablet and I don’t take the time to leave a comment. Which is naughty, because I know how much I love comments!

I enjoyed watching Julie Kirk’s challenge to herself to Write 300 Comments In 30 Days, and the Things She Leaned From It, and whilst I think that’s too high a number for me to attempt, I’m sure I could manage more than I do. I might print off some kind of tally chart to keep by my computer and just see how much I  manage each month. I’ll see how it goes!

Goal Four: Keep Making Stuff

I thought this was an important one to include! Last year I wanted to try and write 5 posts a week, and right now that’s laughably impossible. But I do want to keep making and sharing projects on here as much as I can. I’m not going to promise a certain number or a particular schedule, and I’m still not sure if I’m going to host any kind of blog event this year. But I will promise to keep making stuff, and to keep posting it on here!

It’s going to continue with a mix of layouts, cards, DIY gifts, kids crafts, and more, because I love making lots of different things. But hopefully now that the top menu can help you filter out particular projects you will still enjoy stopping by to see the latest ones you are interested in, if it’s not all of them!

Mix Of Projects at Jennifer Grace Creates

Thank you so much for continuing to support Jennifer Grace Creates with your visits! Do you have any blogging or crafting goals for this year? Let me know. Maybe we can keep each other on track!

I hope you have a great day,

Jennifer x

About Me

Where I’ve Been – Summer 2015 Recap

Hello! If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been the last few months then this post is for you!

Sorry I’ve been absent. I haven’t been doing anything dramatic or incredibly exciting. Life just became super-duper busy for a little while.

The first thing was that I started a new job in June, as a school librarian for a primary school. It’s only 9 hours a week, 3 hours each across 3 days, but those 3 days were my son’s days at nursery (pre-school), so I had less time to get things done. Also I was working a little outside of my 9 hours – because it was a new job and I wanted to make a good impression (my first job in 7 years!), but also because I found it really interesting!

Here’s where I now spend my working hours:

Jennifer Grace Creates

One of my tasks is to make it more colourful – I get to decorate! I will show you how it looks in a few months. I only work during term time so I didn’t have much time to make changes before the summer holidays… my first activity was to sort it out as everything was a bit jumbled up – they hadn’t had a librarian for a while.

On the 5th of June I attended the Dorset Team’s Etsy Craft Party in Poole, which you can see a video of below. I made the octahedron (diamond-like) garland which is hanging over the mirror behind me in the video – I used my Cricut Explore to make it but it still took ages! I will try to write up a tutorial for it at some point, as it did look bright and pretty!


I celebrated my 33rd birthday on the 24th of June, some of my friends came to join me for a picnic in the park, we played boules and sipped peach bellinis while the kids ran round the playpark:

Jennifer Grace Creates

On another day we grabbed some after-school sunshine by taking a picnic tea to the beach:

Jennifer Grace Creates

We drove up to Bedford one weekend to visit some University friends. My kids fell in love with their dog. We are now working on Daddy to convince him we need a dog. Maybe in a few years we might talk him round!

DSC_0703 (2)

I’m a member of the PTA for my daughter’s school, so one thing keeping me busy in June was preparing for our school summer fete on the first weekend in July. It’s an epic day with traditional games and rides during the day, then live music, a hog roast, and a drinks tent in the evening. I can’t show a photo of the whole field as we aren’t allowed to share photos of the school kids online, but here’s my daughter hurtling down the hill on the trolley ride. It cost 50p for 3 goes, so she had about 12 goes! It was her favourite!

Jennifer Grace Creates

Then it was cheeky boy’s 4th birthday. He got lots of Octonauts and Lego presents. Then for his party my Mum, who is a professional party clown, came and did a show:

Jennifer Grace Creates

We had a lot of Octonauts themed things – I made ‘kelp’ cakes – fairy cakes with blue icing and green sprinkles, I found some fish biscuits, and there was an Octonauts playzone of all his toys spread out on a blue blanket which we taped in one corner of the room. He was also suitably impressed with a watermelon shark, which Daddy made after Mummy found the photo on Pinterest:

Jennifer Grace Creates

The same day as his party it was also the Summer Carnival procession in our town. I am the local Rainbows leader (another thing that keeps me busy with planning and running the meetings, but also doing the admin and accounts!) – it’s a girl guiding unit for girls aged 5 – 7. So after the party I went off with my daughter to join our Rainbows unit, all of us dressed as pilgrims! The theme for the procession was ‘The Wild West’ but we decided our twist would be ‘American Settlers’. I have cropped out the background of the photo because there were lots of people behind us:

Jennifer Grace Creates

We won 1st place out of the youth groups, which isn’t a major deal as there were not that many youth groups in it, but we were very proud none-the-less! Especially as it was cold and rainy so we were pleased we’d all made it to the end!

I took part in the Summertime Surprise Project – a box swap organised by the fabulous Capture By Lucy. Except I forgot to join in with the whole sharing-it-on-instagram thing, I’ve only just shared it today. I posted my box out a few days late too, but that was because I was waiting for a handmade item to dry! It all happened around the 26th of July… if you want to check out what boxes people received you can see them on the #summertimesurpriseproject hashtag on Instagram HERE. Apparently the Autumn swap sign-ups open tomorrow, I will come back and link it when it’s live!

Here’s the fun box I received from Louise at JunkShopVenus. Check out here instagram HERE. It looks like she’s on an American adventure at the moment, lots of cool photos on her feed right now! We had to mention a few things we liked, for example I said the colour aqua, little items to stick on my cards / layouts, and the flavour lime – here’s what I received:Jennifer Grace Creates

Isn’t it awesome! I’m totally loving the box, the washi tape, and the acrylic birds in particular, but it’s all good. I was so happy when I opened it up!

Here’s the box I sent out to Louise. She’d said she liked Wonder Woman, Princess Leia, Blackbirds, Mermaids, Bags, Stationery, and Caravans. NOT florals! I couldn’t find much in the shops to match these things, so I sent her lots of handmade bits and pieces. I was particularly pleased with my wooden dolls of Wonder Woman and Princess Leia (which is what took ages to dry as I had to paint lots of layers):

Jennifer Grace Creates

At the beginning of August me and the kids went to stay with My Mum, Step-Dad, and sister. My brother and his wife & kids live in the same town too. So we spent some lovely days playing in the sunshine and going out lots – to the beach, the zoo, an outdoor swimming pool, and more! Here’s my kids with their cousins:

Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s me and my sister being silly in Chiquitos:


In mid-August we went away camping for four nights with this crazy bunch:

Jennifer Grace Creates

It rained on a couple of the days, it was so cold at night we couldn’t sleep, the kids got all their clothes wet and muddy, and I ate too much. But boy was it fun. Their was a swimming pool at the campsite so we could go indoors and swim when it rained, the children mostly amused themselves (we only had to break up a few fights for toys), we all chilled out in a gazebo we put up in the middle of our tents – drinking wine in the evening and playing cards, and I ate a lot of good food! I hope we get to do it every year!

We were camping in Charmouth, which is a good fossil hunting beach. I didn’t find any fossils, but I did find this rock with crystals inside. I don’t know what kind of crystal it is, but it’s so sparkly (it looks better in real life), and I’ve never found anything like that on a beach before, so I was chuffed:

Jennifer Grace Creates

We had some friends down from Essex for a night, so we took them to Corfe Castle – it drizzled with rain but we still enjoyed ourselves:

DSC_0871 (2)

Last week we took our annual day trip to the Weymouth Sealife Centre, which is a great day out! This time they had a Lego Deep Sea Adventure for the kids to complete challenges on the way round:


Saturday was our last adventure for the summer holidays – we went back to Weymouth to go up the Jurassic Skyline tower and play Pirates Mini Golf. It drizzled again (typical English summer holidays weather) but we still had a good time:

Jennifer Grace Creates

I haven’t done hardly any crafting at all. But my In-Laws did bring me back a set of watercolours from Michaels when they went to America in July (I asked for this set after seeing Amy Tangerine use it in her You Tube videos like THIS ONE). So I’ve been experimenting with brush script and painting some more flairs and other designs…

Jennifer Grace Creates

You’ll see more of them when they are a bit more finished!

I also went to my friend Sarah’s house for a day of scrapbooking last weekend, with Lisa-Jane joining us too, and it was the first time I had scrapbooked in 3 months! It took me a while to get back into the swing of it, but once I had it felt so therapeutic to be crafting again. I shall be back tomorrow to show you my layouts I made that day. It was also lovely to catch up with my friends. We crafted from 10am – 10pm!

So that’s it, everything that’s been keeping me away from blogging since June. This week Little Miss goes back at school, and Cheeky Boy starts school full time too! I will also be back at work, but still just for 3 days, so I will have 2 days without the kids to help me get things done. I hope to get back into regular blogging. And releasing some more things in my Happy Scatter Etsy shop. I’ve also already started planning Frosty Festivities 2015!

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful few months. I’m going to try and catch up with a bit of blog reading too, so if you’ve blogged anything you’d like me to check out please leave me a link and I shall swing by!

Bye for now,

Jennifer x

About Me

My Life: May 2015 In Pictures

I’ve been missing sharing my family photos on here, so I thought I’d try to do more of that again. On the last Sunday of every month I will post pictures from that month, not loads of them, but a few of my favourites!

Here’s my May 2015 In Pictures:

My Life - May In Pictures at Jennifer Grace Creates

On the 2nd of May my brother and his wife renewed their wedding vows, which I already mentioned on my ‘Teal, Gold, & White Colour Combo’ post HERE – that post also includes a photo of my kids as best man / page boy and bridesmaid. But I wanted to share the photo of the happy couple (above) and a couple of others…

This one shows my hubby and my dad, being silly wearing the best man / page boy hats that belonged to my son and nephew:

My Life - May In Pictures at Jennifer Grace Creates

Very dapper!

This picture below is of me, my mum, my brother, and my sister – the hats and fascinators were all made by my mum who is a very talented hat maker (you can see more of her hats HERE). This was the first time I’d seen my sister in 9 months as she’s been away traveling so it was great to catch up with her:

My Life - May In Pictures at Jennifer Grace Creates

Did you spot that I’m also wearing my Seahorse Earrings!

On May the 4th we went to Corfe Castle, because they had a viking event on and my daughter is studying the vikings at school. Cheeky boy was incredibly excited about the viking ship, but disappointed that he wasn’t allowed to play on it:

Viking Ship at Corfe Castle - May 2015 In Pictures at Jennifer Grace Creates

I had won a £10 National Trust voucher when I took part in a Twitter Chat (THIS ONE with @mum_themadhouse and @munchbunchdairy) so I let the kids buy a wooden sword each from the National Trust shop, which they have begged me for before and I’ve always said they were too expensive!

My Life - May In Pictures at Jennifer Grace Creates

On the 16th of May, while my blog event was going on, I popped out to Durlston Country Park with some of the girls and families from my Rainbows unit (Girlguiding unit for girls aged 5-7 – I’m the leader-in-training). We went to sit on the hill and sketch the lighthouse as part of a badge we are working towards, and we were so lucky with the glorious sunny weather:

My Life - May In Pictures at Jennifer Grace Creates

On May 20th my daughter had a dress-up day at school, she was supposed to go as her favourite animal (to raise money for the local animal shelter). She wanted to be a snow tiger because of her favourite soft toy, a snow tiger called Salad (which I scrapped a layout about HERE).

I sat up late into the night stitching some ears and a tail, and drawing stripes onto them and an old t-shirt with a sharpie pen. Then in the morning we just added some facepaint:

My Life - May In Pictures at Jennifer Grace Creates

Finally last Friday (the 29th May) we wanted to have a day out, but it was pouring with rain in the morning. Plus we needed to get another cabinet for our kitchen (which we’ve been doing up since June last year), so we went to Ikea which the kids were happy about as they love the play area!

Then on the way back it turned really sunny, so we thought we’d pop into Bournemouth to check out the Wheels festival. By the time we got there it was 6.30pm and most things were packed up for the day. We did watch a brief bit of a skateboard / bike / rollerblade show, but the kids were not that interested. So instead we just let them play on the beach for a bit:

My Life - May In Pictures at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then they had a go on one of the rides… Cheeky Boy was excited at first but not so sure once it started going round the track:

My Life - May In Pictures at Jennifer Grace Creates

It was nice to be out for the day anyway!

What did you get up to in May? Do you like seeing my family pictures like this on my blog as well as craft projects?

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

About Me

My First Weekly Vlog (Video Blog)!

Hello! Here is the start of something new… I’m trying out a vlog (a video blog)!

Jennifer Grace Creates Weekly Vlog #1

I’ve been party inspired by Jennifer Gallacher who posts ‘Diary Of A Memory Keeper’ on YouTube HERE which is like a vlog, and Amy Tangerine’s videos with Jamie Waters, both the Creative Handbook videos (first one HERE) and their new Design On Time series (first one HERE) which aren’t like vlogs at all, but they do show that they aren’t scared to be on camera!

I decided to show myself on camera more so you can all see what I look like. Be kind though, I’m certainly not used to being on camera. It took a few takes for me to stop saying ‘errrm’ a lot! Here it is…

Jennifer Grace Creates Weekly Vlog #1

This can also be viewed on YouTube HERE.

Here’s a couple of links to things I mention in the video:

The CHA-UK Creative Exchanges Event

Sarah Hurley’s Announcement of CE Speakers

The Blogtacular Website

These links can also be found beneath the video in YouTube.

What do you think? Good idea or disaster?!

I don’t think I will post on my blog every time I post a vlog on YouTube, so make sure you Subscribe to my YouTube Channel if you don’t want to miss any. I just thought I should tell you about the first one here because it’s a new thing for me!

Let me know your thoughts. Do you have any crafty people that you like to watch on YouTube? Let me know so I can follow them too!

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

About Me

Blogging Goals for 2015

I’ve got so many ideas bubbling through my head all the time, and in an effort to be more ‘focused’ (see my word-of-the-year post HERE) I thought I’d list some of my blogging goals here. That way I will have something to refer back to when I start to get distracted, and knowing that you all know my plans will help me to stay on track!

Blogging Goals for 2015

2015 Blog Goals at Jennifer Grace Creates

So here we go, these are the things I’d like to achieve here on the blog in 2015…

Goal One: Plan ahead more.

Mama Miss Blog Planner 2015

I’m usually pretty good about planning ahead for my blog events, but I’m terrible about planning my blogging for the rest of the year! Posts go live sporadically and on random topics that I feel like creating and blogging about at the time. This has got to change!

I downloaded the above planner HERE at Mama Miss. I bought the all-inclusive package for $10. There are free blog planners out there if you search for them, but after some debate I decided this one was worth the $10 because I loved the design (and therefore wouldn’t get bored of looking at it by the end of the year) and there was so many different kinds of useful pages. One section I was interested in was the holidays/occasions for each month – they are VERY American as that’s where Mama Miss lives, but I think I can just cross-out and add in where neccessary. I find it useful to know when the USA are celebrating anyway as I have some fabulous readers from all around the world (Hi there!).

As you can see my planner isn’t bound together yet, nor have I written in it at all. But I’ve printed it off, so that’s a start, right? I need to put it together and start filling it out this week.

Goal Two: Blog 5 times a week.

Archive Blog Posts at Jennifer Grace Creates

The above shows a screenshot of my archive of blog posts (which you can find in the sidebar). I didn’t expand the November archive as that’s a gigantic list thanks to Frosty Festivities! You can see that my posts are a bit random. Only two posts for August, only three in December. A few more in September and October.

I don’t like it looking like this! I want to try and post 5 times a week, probably Monday – Friday. I almost wrote ‘post more regularly’ as the goal, but I realised that wasn’t specific enough. I usually aim in my head to post 2-3 times a week, and as we can see that means I only blog once or twice a week, if that. So maybe if I aim for 5 times a week I’ll end up with at least 3 posts a week on average!

I will continue to mix up various crafts, but as the year goes on I hope to make it so that certain days will be certain things eg, Mondays – Scrapbooking, Tuesdays – Cards, Wednesdays – Industry/Blog News, Thursday – Home Decor, Friday – Kids Craft. Or something like that. We’ll see how it goes. For now, more posts with great content is the main goal!

Goal Three: Earn money from blogging / designing / Etsy shop.

Earning Money at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m going to be perfectly honest here. My son starts school in Sepetember. If I’m not earning at least a little bit of money from blogging / designing / my Happy Scatter Etsy Shop by then, I will have to get a job instead. This isn’t the end of the world or anything, I know plenty of people work hard and still manage to create amazing blogs. But I know it will seriously decrease my enthusiasm for blogging. I certainly won’t have time for my bi-annual blog events, even if I had more guest designers the amount of time it would take to organise and co-ordinate that would be beyond me. I don’t do all my blogging during the school day at the moment or anything, but I do get a little done here and there – more imporantly I get the housework done during the day. If I’m at work while the kids are at school, so I need to do the housework in the evening, that means I loose my evening blogging time.

Anyway, I’m not trying to get any sympathy or handouts or anything like that! I’m just putting this here as it is a goal of mine, and I want to explain why you might start seeing more adverts / affiliate links, etc on here. I’m not going to let them take-over, and nothing will happen that I don’t feel is in-keeping with my blog theme and design. Mostly you’ll be able to ignore them if you choose. Perhaps if you enjoy a blog post here you’ll click through an advert or buy from an affiliate link as a way of saying thanks, but that’s totally up to you, no pressure.

Regarding Happy Scatter I also don’t want that to take over this blog. I’ve set up a Happy Scatter Facebook Page so I can share more stuff on there, and in a few months I might set up a Happy Scatter blog. In the meantime there will only be one or two Happy Scatter posts a month here, as I don’t want you to feel like I’m overselling the shop. I seriously don’t want to offend / upset any of my regular readers – you can always contact me at jennifergrace@hotmail.co.uk if you want to discuss any changes on my blog!

Goal Four: Network and learn more in the industry.

CHA UK Creative Exchanges

One of the best things I did last year was going to the Cricut Explore Launch which I was invited to in London. Not only was I given an Explore machine and lots of materials since (which I’m still loving using) but I also met some other bloggers from the UK and the US, and some industry professionals like Ashish Arora (the CEO of Cricut). Getting out of my little home down in deepest Dorset and meeting other people who are as passionate about the crafting industry as I am was inspiring.

I’m lucky that I do have a crafty friend (Sarah) who lives near enough for me to pop and scrap with occasionally. She’s also set up a Facebook group for UK scrapbookers to chat on: For The Love Of Pretty Paper (UK Based Scrapbooking Group). And I did get to go on a lovely scrappy retreat in November too. While these are fabulous and relaxing and therapeutic, in 2015 I’d love to meet even more bloggers and industry professionals, to keep my drive going and to teach me more about where I can take my blog and my crafting.

So I’ve signed up to become a member of CHA UK, and I am going to their Creative Exchanges Weekend on the 18th – 20th April! I am super excited about this. I was excited anyway, because the list of education topics sounds so interesting, and then during a chat with Sarah Hurley (who is involved with CHA UK) she mentioned there would be a onesie party and film night too, which sounds like fun, and when I said I wanted to learn more about using Pinterest to drive blog traffic she mentioned that actual Pinterest would be coming to talk about Pinterest. I can’t wait now!

I’ll be sure to tell you all about it when I get back!

Goal Five: Making tweaks.

New Blog Header 2015 Jennifer Grace Creates

Because I think 5 goals is quite enough to be going on with, I’m squeezing a few small goals into this one, as ‘making tweaks’, mainly to the blog layout / design.

Eagle-eyed readers might have already noticed the updated blog header and new profile photo. I’m going to leave the background the same this year, as I happen to quite like it! Other tweaks I want to make are:

1. To update the pages accessed from the menu bar – ‘blog events’ needs updating already, and the ‘about me’ page could do with a freshen up!

2. Optimising the blog to be viewed on mobiles / tablets. How did I only just realise that it’s hard to read my blog on a mobile phone? I read blogs on my phone all the time, but apparently not my own blog, as I hadn’t noticed. Time to sort that out!

3. Create a press/media pack page. Yeah, I don’t know much about these other than I should have one if I want to make money blogging. Something else to learn!

One final important goal: to have fun!

Jennifer Grace Profile Pic

I don’t want this blog to feel like a chore, so I will still be blogging only the things that excite me or which I enjoy doing!

Stephanie at Skyline Paperie recently published a blog post about starting a blog (you can see the post HERE). She asked a few others for hints and tips and my tip was to blog what YOU want to blog. So I’m going to stay true to my own advice and if I find I’m not enjoying any of these goals I will re-think them and let you know the new plan!

Thank you so much for reading, and for continuing to support Jennifer Grace Creates with your visits! Do you have a blog? If yes, do you have any blogging goals for this year? What do you want from your blog?

I hope you have a great day,

Jennifer x

About Me

The What I’m Working On Blog Hop!

Hello everyone!

Something slightly different for today. A couple of weeks ago the lovely Louise at Boys, Bugs and Beautiful Buttons took part in the ‘what I’m working on’ blog hop (HERE is her post), and she nominated me to take part. I was supposed to post last Monday but I was busy checking out all the entries and drawing winners from the Refresh Your Craft & Soul challenge entries, so I didn’t have time to get this finished!

I’m going to answer the four questions about what I’m working on / my creative style, then at the end I’ll nominate 3 more people to hopefully join in and post their answers next Monday!

Q1: What am I working on now?

Right now, this very morning, my table looks like this…

What I'm Working On Blog Hop

… because I spent yesterday afternoon making some birthday cards for a few friends birthdays that are coming up. I’ll show you them later this week when the recipients have opened them! I’ll spend some time today tidying away all this mess so I can work on another project… probably my layout for the August Scrap 365 Sketch – my July layout and process video went live HERE on Saturday, so now I need to work on the next one!

I’ve also been working on some more stencil designs for my Happy Scatter Etsy Shop. When I’m planning out the designs I don’t begin in a very organised way… here’s a glimpse of my initial ideas sketched out on an envelope:

What I'm Working On Blog Hop

They will look a bit more professional in the finished design!

Q2: How does my work differ from other’s of it’s kind?

Everyone has their own style that’s unique to them. I’d say you can spot my projects by something that’s colourful, playful, and sparkly – there’s always got to be some gems, sequins, or other sparkly thing scattered around my card or layout!

What I'm Working On Blog Hop

Q3: Why do I create what I do?

I’ve always wanted to keep a diary. I’ve tried several times in my life. I am useless at it! I write in in for a week or so then forget all about it. The only time I manage to keep it up is on a short holiday… but not when we went travelling for 6 months, I gave up then too. But scrapbooking works! That’s why I always have journaling on my pages, even just a couple of lines, because I want to be able to look back one day and remember how I felt or what was going on at that time in our lives. I hope as they get older my kids will like to look back on it too.

I also love it because of the creativity, which is probably why I’m able to keep up with it. I’ve been an artist / craftsperson of one kind or another all my life – my mum is a fine artist (as well as a clown!), so she taught me to experiment and make things. I call it my therapy, because crafting soothes my soul. If I haven’t crafted for a while you can tell because I get grumpy!

Here’s an acrylic painting I did years ago, before scrapbooking became my main creative outlet:

a breeze that brings promise

Q4: How does my creative process work?

That depends entirely on my mood! Sometimes I start with a sketch, sometimes with photos, sometimes with colour, sometimes with a deadline and a certain project in mind. I don’t usually plan it out to much before pulling out products, but I do tend to push things around quite a lot before sticking anything down.

I make a lot of mess for each project but always tidy it away before starting the next one – partly because it drives me crazy if I can’t find something I need to use as it’s under a big pile of stash, but also because I craft on our family dining table so I need to clear away for meals quite often. We do eat on our laps on the sofa when I’ve got a blog event approaching!

You can see some of my start-to-finish layout process videos on My You Tube Channel.

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you’ve found it interesting reading my answers!

Now it’s time for me to nominate 3 bloggers who I’d like to see answer these questions…

1. Sarah at Time To… ~ she’s the owner of SJ Crafts and also a good friend who understand my paper obsession!

2. Jacky at Scrappy Jacky ~ I’ve been reading Jacky’s blog for years, I love her layered cards and seeing photos from her life!

3. Annie at Arty Farty Annie ~ Annie’s creative flair has always inspired me to play with my supplies more!

I don’t think any of them have participated in this expanding blog hop before. We’ll see if they are able to answer the questions too!

Bye for now, have a great week!

Jennifer x

About Me

My Belated Hen Party

I’ve been meaning to show you all some photos from my belated Hen Weekend that my best friend Rosie threw for me at the end of April. I explained in this post why I was having my Hen Weekend (bachelorette party) five years after getting married!

It was awesome fun, and wonderful to spend a weekend away being pampered, and chilling out with my friends and family.

We went to Oxford for the weekend, and on Friday night me, my friends Ali and Rosie, my Mum, and my sister Katy (she’s behind the camera in the first photo) all stayed at the YHA. We went out for dinner at Giraffe, and then played some card games in the hostel’s bar.

The next morning we moved our cars over to the hotel we’d be staying in on Saturday night, and then wandered into town – our first important stop was breakfast at this lovely cafe:

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Where we had some incredibly yummy sausage sandwiches!

Then we ambled around Oxford. I’d been to Oxford a couple of times briefly before, when Rosie used to live near the city, so I knew I wanted to just soak up some of the atmosphere from the grand old buildings:

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I had some challenges I had to complete too, one was to find things related to the book The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, because C.S. Lewis lived here when he wrote it. It’s said this lamppost was the inspiration for the lamppost in Narnia:

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In the afternoon a few more of my friends, Tor, Wendy, and Lucy, arrived. We’d hired a private boat to go on a trip down the river, but when I first got on the boat I was a bit surprised…

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Because everyone was wearing masks with my husband’s face on!

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It was very funny and really strange to be surrounded by all those Alex’s!

The rest of the boat trip was delightful, we sipped Schloer, ate grapes, crisps and cakes, and I had another challenge to complete – everyone had to write sentences or words about what was going on, and then I had to put them all together as a poem:

Jennifer’s Adventures in Oxfordland:
Giggly girlies.
Sunshine warms our numb fingers,
relaxing Schloer and grapes,
ripples and riffles,
rainbow paperchains bouncing in the breeze.
Calming reflections,
laughter, twinkly sunshine,
slate grey dappled water,
blossoms and fun.

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After the boat ride we went back to the hotel – The Oxford Spires Four Pillars Hotel. It’s a gorgeous hotel that felt like a bit of luxury, and we spent some time lazing about in the pool and jacuzzi, before getting all dressed up for our night out.

Hen Parties often have some kind of costume theme, but because mine was a belated celebration I didn’t want to go all-out costume. I decided it should be a masquerade theme, as I had a mask I bought in Venice years ago on a trip with Rosie, and I loved it and don’t get to wear it much. Plus then everyone could wear outfits they liked, and just add a mask to go with them.

I chose a maxi-dress to wear. Me, Rosie and Ali had been to a vintage warehouse the weekend before to choose outfits, and this maxi-dress was actually something Rosie had tried on and was debating buying. As she couldn’t make up her mind I asked if I could try it on, and I loved it so she let me get it instead – isn’t she nice?!

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Here we are at the restaraunt, a tapas bar called Kazbar. The service here was very slow, and they spilled food and drink on several of us – one of my friends got the treatment twice – ugh. But the food and cocktails were delicious, and I managed to avoid all the spillages!

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At one point I visited the ladies room and returned to the table to another surprise, this time my friends were all wearing Nathan Fillion masks. I have a bit of a crush on this actor, especially from when he played Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly:

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They made me laugh so much!

We went dancing at a club for a while too, but my feet were hurting a lot and we were all getting tired, so we went back to the hotel. We had a short pyjama party and then went to sleep so we’d have energy for another swim in the morning!

After a swim, breakfast, and checking out the next morning, we went to The Story Museum, where we’d hired a room to do scrapbooking:

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I took along lots of my supplies, and Rosie bought some extra paper, glue, and gems, so we had tons to play with. Everyone made a page about a part of the weekend. I haven’t stuck all the photos onto the pages yet as I printed them out later, so I won’t show them today. It was really fun to make a papery mess with my friends though, and I think they all enjoyed it even if they aren’t all usually crafty.

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That’s it. After scrapbooking a few friends had to leave straight away, and then the original five of us had lunch at a pub before heading home.

It was all very wonderful and I’m so grateful to Rosie for organising it all, she worked very hard for me to have an awesome time and I really appreciate it. I’m thankful to everyone else who came and shared the weekend too. Plus they had all made something for me as prizes for my challenges – I can’t find them all right now so I shall show you them another day when I show you the scrapbook pages. They are brilliant though!

Ah, looking back at all this makes me want to go again – are you allowed to have a second belated Hen Party?!

Bye for now, Jennifer x

About Me

Crafty Bloggers Unite!

On Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd March I went away for a crafty crop – my first crop ever! The room was filled with the nicest bunch of ladies you could hope to meet… in no particular order they were Lizzie, Alexa, K, Missus Wookie, Julie, Sandie, Jill, Jemma, Louise, Jacky, Fay, Kirsty, Alison, Ruth, Mel, and Me!
We’d hired out a Youth Hostel all to ourselves for the weekend, so we could make a nice mess of the long table… you can see a plate of homemade biscuits I took with me to share:

Our evening meals were cooked by the YHA staff, but we’d all taken food towards lunch and breakfasts… and we had tons! Here’s just a small amount of it:
There was plenty left for a midnight snack with a glass of red wine, while I played with a Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm Stamp and some embossing powders that K lent to me:

One of my favourite items I made that weekend was a long-stitch handmade book. Lizzie taught a workshop on how to make one and I used some vintage fabric lined with scrapbook cardstock for my cover, and sketch paper for the pages:
I also managed a few layouts, a couple of cards, a fabric yo-yo, and 3 mini-books! They weren’t all finished by the end of the weekend, but I’ve been finishing up since I got home. You already saw one of them – my Counterfeit Kit layout for challenge 2. The rest will appear here over the next week-or-so!
Thanks very much to all the lovely ladies that I spent the weekend with. It was wonderful to meet so many people whose blogs I have read for a while, and cool to meet Louise and Jemma that I’m on Design Teams with! Special thanks to Fay, Lizzie, and Mel, who were sitting nearest to me when I arrived rather late on the Friday night (I got stuck in horrible traffic on the way there) – they chatted to me lots, making feel at home straight away!
I can’t wait to see everyone again at the next one! x