Home Decor Craft Projects

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #ThouShaltCraft

I love Shakespeare. That dude was clever. I prefer the more comedic plays (the ones with less blood and tragedy) but that’s my general preference for entertainment in general – I like things to have a happy ending as much as possible (if a program or book that I’ve loved so far kills off a beloved character, I have been known to boycott it forever more. And maybe throw some popcorn at the TV or throw the book across the room).

So it’s no surprise that my favourite of his plays is ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. As well as it being a humorous and happy-ending play, it might also be my favourite because my birthday is the 24th of June – the 23rd of June is traditionally Midsummer Night here in England, with Midsummer Day being my birthday (see HERE for more on that tradition). So I feel especially connected to it somehow, and when Viking (stationery and desktop supplies) asked me to join in with their #thoushaltcraft challenge to commemorate 400 years since Shakespeare’s death, I knew I’d have to use a quote from this play for my project:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

I thought this would be a nice canvas to display in our bedroom… it can reassure me when I wake up from a strange dream!

For anyone who doesn’t know, A Midsummer Night’s Dream is about 3 main things – a love triangle between four Athenians, the quarrel between Titania and Oberon the Queen and King of the fairies, and the comeuppance of Bottom, the pompous weaver who has his head turned into a donkey’s head for some of the play. It has mistaken identities, and magic, and love. I tried out some of the quotes I like the best to see which one I should include on my canvas:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

I know that a lot of people find Shakespeare hard to understand, but somehow I could always get the gist of what was going on, even if I didn’t understand all the words and phrases from the time the plays were written. Then I studied a Shakespeare module at university and I understood it more! But when you pull out particular quotes like these, they show how universal and timeless his writing was, you might not even guess at them all being Shakespeare if you didn’t know – for example ‘the course of true love never did run smooth’ could be a song lyric!

My 8 year old daughter has some homework to create a piece of art about ‘Midsummer Dreams’ so I was trying to work out how I could introduce the play to her – then I found out the kid’s channel cBeebies had put it on as a play! We watched it a couple of days ago and she loved it – the fairies especially of course, but she was also amused by the love triangle – she kept laughing and saying ‘oh my gosh’ when Puck mixed up the Athenians. Even my son (aged 4 and a half) enjoyed bits of it, though he wandered off now and then!

Here’s what Viking sent me to use for my project:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

After trying out the different quotes, I decided on the ‘slumber’d’ one, because it would be good to display on my bedside table, and because it comes at the end of the play, so the words always stuck in my mind. Puck (the mischievous fairy who mixes people up) says it to reassure the audience – if anything in the play has upset them, they should just pretend it was all a dream.

I sketched out my idea for the canvas on a scrap of paper and then drew the outlines on the canvas:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

I then coloured around the outlines so the shapes were a negative space, using the Uni Gold Paint Marker:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

When I’d covered the whole thing I noticed a couple of white dots where I’d missed spots, so I tried just dotting more ink on these:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

But these spots didn’t fade – the marker pen doesn’t blend in if the first bit has already dried:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

So I went over the whole thing again to blend it all in, then I set it aside to dry. While I was waiting for that to dry, I painted the easel white:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

And when the paint was dry I used the Chisel Tip W10 Sharpie to draw some black lines on top:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

When the gold marker had dried on the canvas I erased the pencil lines, and I added my quote using the Fine Point Sharpie Pen. I drew it all with thin lines first:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then I went over it again, thickening up just the ‘downward strokes’ of the script writing so it looked more like calligraphy. I also used Glossy Accents to adhere a couple of black star sequins:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Though the sequins didn’t actually start as black – I used the Fine Point Sharpie Pen to colour some gold sequins, which worked a treat:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I just propped my canvas on the easel, ready to be displayed:

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

What do you think? Do you like Shakespeare? Or do you like any of the quotes from his plays, even if you don’t read or watch the plays themselves?

I hope you have a great day!

Jennifer x

Disclosure: Viking sent me the products to use for this post, but all photos, text, and opinions are my own.

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter, Home Decor Craft Projects

Concertina Christmas Trees and the Frosty Festivities 2015 Wrap-Up Post!

(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities 2015 Blog Event – see a list of all the posts HERE)

Well, it’s the last day of November, which means it’s also the last day of my Frosty Festivities 2015 event. Have you enjoyed it?! I have a few things to mention and then I have one last project to inspire you with!

There’s a list of all the Frosty Festivities 2015 posts on THIS PAGE of my blog. Make sure you check to see if there’s any posts you missed, especially all the giveaways {ALL NOW CLOSED}! Look at all the fabulous prizes you could win:

Frosty Festivities 2015 Prizes at Jennifer Grace Creates

Al the giveaways and the challenge to be inspired stay open until 10pm GMT on next Sunday the 6th of December {ALL NOW CLOSED}. Winners will be announced on Thursday the 10th of December so make sure you check back to see if you’ve won.

If you have enjoyed the event, I’d be really grateful if you can pin or share the projects you like. Whilst I do enjoy making all the projects, running the events, and reading your comments, it’s visitor numbers that convince me to run it again and convince sponsors to add a prize. So the more visitors the better!

Talking about sponsors, make sure you shop at Lettera Etc, The Paperdashery, Little Dorrit & Co, Feed Your Craft, and SVG Files Shop, when you can, to thank them for being fabulous sponsors!

If you have any questions or suggestions about how these events are run, then don’t hesitate to contact me at jennifergrace(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk!

Now for one last project, these Concertina Christmas Trees:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor using My Mind's Eye Christmas On Market Street at Jennifer Grace Creates

These were a fun way to use a bit more of my favourite Christmas collection (Christmas On Market Street by My Mind’s Eye)!

I started with a pile of items from the collection, plus some plastic cups, a score board, a hole punch, a hot glue gun, some sand, and some bamboo sticks:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

However I did end up swapping the bamboo sticks for chopsticks, as the bamboo sticks were too thick, and swapping the hole punch for a big bite hole puncher, as the normal hole punch couldn’t reach far enough:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

If you want to make some of your own…

Step 1: Cut 2 triangles from patterned paper. One of mine is 11″ tall, and the other is 7.5″ tall:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Score the trees horizontally at regular intervals – my score lines are about 3/4″ apart:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Concertina the trees by folding back and forth along the lines:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Draw a line down the center vertically on the back of your triangles. Then punch holes on each panel, along the line:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Make the holes a little larger by gently pushing the chopstick through, from the front of your triangle to the back, to widen them:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Push the trees onto the chopsticks:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Use hot glue to add some embellishments – I added a gold snowflake and a gold garland to the tops of the trees, and sentiments in the middle:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Add any other embellishments – I added a few enamel dots to each tree:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Decorate the plastic cups by hot glueing on some glitter ribbon at the top, and another die-cut card embellishment at the front:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: Fill the plastic cups with coloured sand (I had to add some coloured stones too as I didn’t have enough sand), then stick your trees in and put them on display:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor using My Mind's Eye Christmas On Market Street at Jennifer Grace Creates

Make sure you display them somewhere that they won’t get knocked over and spill sand everywhere!

These concertina trees would also look good made in miniature and added to cards and scrapbook layouts! You don’t even have to punch holes and add a stick if you’re going to be sticking them down flat.

Be Inspired:

Make some concertina Christmas trees

At glitter tape around the rim or edge of something

Use a wooden stick on a project or page

Remember to let me know what you thought about the event. Which was your favourite project?

Thanks so much for stopping by! I have enjoyed reading every single comment! Bye for now,

Jennifer x

Home Decor Craft Projects

On Target Focal Point Cushion (Cricut Explore)

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

Here’s a nice quick make – for those of you that have a digital die-cutter like a Silhouette Cameo or a Cricut Explore. This ‘on target’ focal point cushion is a great addition to any room!

On Target Focal Point Cushion using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

It was super easy to make…

Step 1. Buy a cushion cover. Mine is 17″ square. If you want it to be washable often you should get a cotton one, as the iron-on vinyl will adhere much better to that. I just bought a cheap cushion cover from the £1 shop, so I won’t be able to wash mine too much:

On Target Focal Point Cushion using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Load up a target image in your die-cutting software (mine is the Cricut image #M354D5). Size it as big as you can, mine is 11.5″ square:

On Target Focal Point Cushion using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Cut it out from Gold Glitter Iron-On Vinyl (I used Cricut Vinyl), and weed out the unwanted parts of the image:

On Target Focal Point Cushion using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: You need to work quickly for this bit. Iron your cushion to warm up the surface, then fold it in half both horizontally and vertically (just pressing with your hands, not the iron), so you have a ‘guide’ for where to stick your target, and place the target on top:

On Target Focal Point Cushion using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Quickly move to the ironing board and place a piece of greaseproof paper on top of your image, before ironing it. Use as high a heat as your material can handle:

On Target Focal Point Cushion using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Once the vinyl has stuck to the material (peel back a corner of the sticky backing to check whether it has adhered properly, if not just iron it some more) then take the plastic sticky backing off. Put the greaseproof paper back on the image and iron it again. It’s also a good idea to then turn the project inside out and iron on the back of the material too. Then the image has had heat from all sides!

Once you are done just stick a cushion inside the cover and it’s ready to display:

On Target Focal Point Cushion using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Put it somewhere that needs a focal point!

Be Inspired:

Use a large target on your next project

Add some gold glitter on top of a teal background

Alter something to create a focal point in your home

What colour cushion and glitter vinyl would you have used?

I’ll see you again shortly,

Jennifer x

DISCLOSURE: Cricut have provided me with a Cricut Explore Machine, some materials including iron-on-vinyl, and access to the Image Library, to help me write this post. However ALL opinions in this post are my own and not governed or controlled by Cricut in any way.

Home Decor Craft Projects

Focus – A Bright, Bold, Mixed-Media Canvas!

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

Focus on word that means something to you, like a word-of-the-year, by painting it inside a bright, bold, messy circle!

Focus - A Bright, Bold, Mixed-Media Canvas at Jennifer Grace Creates

This mixed-media canvas certainly catches my eye each day now and reminds me to stay on track with my word for 2015!

The canvas I started with is just under 12″ square, and it’s a box canvas so that I don’t have to worry about framing it. I used Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paint, which is basically a kind of acrylic paint. Here’s the order I painted the circle in, leaving the paint to dry in between each layer…

1. Draw a pencil circle lightly on the canvas – I drew around a child’s plate.
2. Paint a wide yellow circle on top of the pencil.
3. Paint a blue circle on top of the yellow one – leaving the yellow edge showing.
4. Paint a red circle on top of the blue one – again leaving an edge showing.
5. Splatter yellow, blue, and red paint across the canvas. You don’t need to leave it to dry between colours, just do them all at once. Make sure you protect the surrounding areas as the paint may flick around the room.
6. Paint some sketchy black circles on top, making them more intense in the center and fading as the circles go outwards.

Focus - A Bright, Bold, Mixed-Media Canvas at Jennifer Grace Creates

Next you can paint the inside circle with watered down acrylic paint or gesso, to help your word stand out from the background. Blend the edges of the gesso out with a baby wipe or wet piece of kitchen paper:

Focus - A Bright, Bold, Mixed-Media Canvas at Jennifer Grace Creates

Flick some white paint or gesso across the canvas and leave it to dry. Then stamp a variety of icons around the circle using Stayz On black ink:

Focus - A Bright, Bold, Mixed-Media Canvas at Jennifer Grace Creates

It’s easier to press the stamp on if you hold the canvas from behind, or bulk it out with something, so there’s something to press onto. Otherwise the canvas will just sink as you try to press the stamp on!

Once you’re happy with your stamps you can paint your word into the centre (or use alpha stickers if you are worried about painting letters):

Focus - A Bright, Bold, Mixed-Media Canvas at Jennifer Grace Creates

I also added some enamel dots and gems – using Glossy Accents to stick them on as I didn’t think the adhesive that came on them would last very long on a canvas.

Be Inspired:

Make a home decor piece featuring a special word

Use a large circle on your background for your next project

Create colourful paint layers with black lines on top

What word would you put in the middle of this bright circle?

I’ll see you again in an hour!

Jennifer x

Home Decor Craft Projects

Make An Inspiration Wall!

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

For the last post of today I have another way to gather inspiration (like my Pot Of Inspiration last night). This one is making an inspiration wall:

Make An Inspiration Wall at Jennifer Grace Creates

This was so much fun – and it brightens up my craft space as well as giving me a place to visit for inspiration!

I didn’t think I’d have anywhere I could make an inspiration wall in my craft space. I say ‘my craft space’ but it’s actually our dining room really… it’s just a dining room full of crafty stuff! Two walls are taken up by big patio doors and windows, which is why I love to craft in there – it’s so light:

My Craft Space at Jennifer Grace Creates

Another wall is mostly taken up by my Expedit unit and glitter shelves:

My Craft Space at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I realised I could use the back of a door to add my inspiration pieces to! I chose to use this door, as it opens inwards, so when the door is open it will be hidden:

My Craft Space at Jennifer Grace Creates

I gathered a variety of bits of inspiration, including THIS PRINT, some postcards, a wool-wrap piece I made at college, a piece of 12×12 paper, some empty frames, washi tape and ribbon, a photo, some Amy Tangerine Creative Handbook pages, and the latest Mollie Makes magazine for the ‘Geo Origami’ page to make some 3D triangles:

Make An Inspiration Wall at Jennifer Grace Creates

Plus some trusty Blu Tack to stick some items up with!

Then I just kept adding to the door until I was happy. You can watch me putting it together in this video if you like (there’s no voiceover, just music):

 

You can also watch it on YouTube HERE.

I love how the very different pieces all came together!

Make An Inspiration Wall at Jennifer Grace Creates

One thing to point out is that I stuck a little piece of Blu Tack at the bottom of each frame to hole it to the door – when it was just hanging with ribbon it would have swung about all over the place, so the Blu Tack keeps it where it should be!

Be Inspired:

Make some 3D origami triangles or other shape

Stick things to your next project using washi tape to hold it on

Hang a frame with ribbon – in your home or on a scrapbook page

Have you got somewhere that you could make an inspiration wall in your house?

Thanks for joining me today, I’ll see you again at 10pm tomorrow!

Jennifer x

Home Decor Craft Projects

Frame Filled Tea Towel – Stamping On Fabric

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

When I got hold of the Lawn Fawn Flirty Frames Stamp Set, I knew I wanted to fill at least one project up with lots and lots of frames!

Frame Filled Tea Towel - Stamping On Fabric at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s how to make a frame filled tea towel – once you’ve started stamping on fabric you won’t want to stop!

Step 1: Gather your supplies – a tea towel (I bought an ombre one in a set at Primark), the Flirty Frames stamp set, a clear acrylic block, and two colours of VersaCraft Ink Pads (I used Cool Grey and Emerald):

Frame Filled Tea Towel - Stamping On Fabric at Jennifer Grace Creates

The VersaCraft inks are especially made for stamping on fabric, but you could experiment with other ink pads. Just be aware that other inks may fade when washed or the solvent in them may deteriorate the fabric fibers over a course of time.

Step 2: Stamp your tea towel! I got a rythm going with this and really enjoyed myself, it was quite therapeutic! Start with one frame and stamp it in one colour in random places on your tea towel. Then repeat with another frame in a different colour. Once you’ve done all the larger frames in one colour stamp them again but switching which colour you use for which stamp. Then use the smaller frame to go back and fill in all the gaps:

Frame Filled Tea Towel - Stamping On Fabric at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: When the frames are all finished, stamp some hearts inside a few frames, and some stars in a few of the gaps:

Frame Filled Tea Towel - Stamping On Fabric at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Then heat-set the stamping with an iron on a high setting. Apparently you should put another cloth between your project and the iron, I didn’t do this so then green smudged a little in a couple of places, but it’s barely noticeable!

Frame Filled Tea Towel - Stamping On Fabric at Jennifer Grace Creates

That’s it! Your tea towel is ready to wash and use as normal! I have washed mine once on a 40 degree wash and the frames still look good:

Frame Filled Tea Towel - Stamping On Fabric at Jennifer Grace Creates

This would make a unique gift or fun statement piece in your kitchen!

Be Inspired:

Fill a project up with frames or other outline shape

Stamp onto a surface other than paper

Make a simple pattern on top of an ombre background

Would you use this tea towel or just hang it somewhere to look pretty? I am going to buy more VersaCraft Ink Pads to stamp on other things now!

I’ll see you again in an hour!

Jennifer x

Home Decor Craft Projects

A Diamond Pattern Pot Of Inspiration

(This post is part of my Focus Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the list of all the posts HERE!)

For the last project of the day I’ve got another way you can focus your crafting – by gathering some inspirational items and putting them into a pretty box or pot, to be opened whenever your mojo is low!

A Diamond Pattern Pot Of Inspiration at Jennifer Grace Creates

Who wouldn’t want a diamond pattern pot of inspiration?!

I could have just stuck some bits and pieces in an old shoe box or something, but it’s much more fun, and much less likely to get lost, when the items are in such a lovely container!

Here’s how to make your own…

Step 1: Find a pot or box to keep your items in:

A Diamond Pattern Pot Of Inspiration at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Paint with grey paint (I used Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paints). Once it’s dry repeat with another coat if necessary (mine only needed one coat but it depends on your surface, and paint type):

A Diamond Pattern Pot Of Inspiration at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Use washi tape to mark off your triangles and diamonds, by criss-crossing it all around the pot. They don’t need to all be the same size, just go with the flow:

A Diamond Pattern Pot Of Inspiration at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Paint the triangles and diamonds with various colours of paint – I used mint, white, and coral-pink. I added a couple of triangles to the lid too – if you’re clever you can make sure they match up with the sides but I didn’t think to do that!:

A Diamond Pattern Pot Of Inspiration at Jennifer Grace Creates

I painted the handle on the top of the pot too.

Step 5: Wait for the paint to dry thoroughly, then peel off the washi tape:

A Diamond Pattern Pot Of Inspiration at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Use a gold pen to draw borders around the painted shapes (I used a Cricut Explore metallic pen):

A Diamond Pattern Pot Of Inspiration at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Add a few triangle stickers (Crate Paper Journey Puffy Stickers) to the lid, and fill the pot with inspirational things!

A Diamond Pattern Pot Of Inspiration at Jennifer Grace Creates

In mine I’ve got: a small photo, an old rubber stamp I should use again, some washi tape, a gold flower, a glass nugget, a fossil, a wooden cotton reel, a postage stamp with a wizard on, a badge with a penguin and a panda bear on, and a few sequins. Next time my mojo is low I will pull out an item or two to help focus my crafting!

What would you put in yours?

Be Inspired:

Alter a box or pot and fill in with inspiring things

Use triangles and/or diamonds outlined with gold

Use washi tape to create a mask for mist, paint, or ink

That’s it for tonight, I’ll see you again in the morning at 10am!

Goodnight,

Jennifer x