Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter, Giveaways / Winners, Industry News & Reviews

My Crafty Christmas Wish List 2015 – And A Giveaway! {NOW CLOSED}

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

As we’re getting close to the end of the event (tomorrow’s the last day), I thought we’d have one last giveaway {NOW CLOSED}. Today I’m going to share what I’ve got on my crafty Christmas wish list this year, and I’m giving away a £10 GBP Amazon Gift Voucher (or nearest equivalent in your local currency) to one winner, so they can put it towards something they’d like! If the winner doesn’t have Amazon in their country we’ll think of an alternative prize, but I think most of my readers do!

My husband asked me to make a wish list for him to choose something from for my Christmas present. I love it when he asks me to do that, as then I can browse and ‘window-shop’ lots of things I’d like, but it’s still a surprise as to which item he’ll choose to buy.

Here’s my Crafty Christmas Wish List 2015. The links go to Amazon UK but they are not affiliate links, I don’t have any connection with them, I just thought you might like to see more about the products. Amazon also have full release on anything to do with the giveaway – they are not involved at all.

1. ‘I Just Like To Make Things’ book by Lilla Rogers – I’ve been wanting to take Lilla Rogers Make Art That Sells Classes, about designing illustrations and patterns for scrapbooking, clothing and more. But they cost hundreds of pounds so are out of our price range right now. This book looks like it would be a nice taster of what the courses are about:

My Crafty Christmas Wish List at Jennifer Grace Creates

2. Cricut Faux Leather in Walnut – Cricut have recently added some more materials to their line-up, and this one excites me the most – faux leather in walnut woodgrain. It looks like a nice warm colour which I can imagine cutting embellishments and jewellery from using my Cricut Explore. You can see some items made with faux leather on the Cricut US blog HERE. I can’t wait to get my hands on some:

My Crafty Christmas Wish List at Jennifer Grace Creates

3. ‘Doodle Stitching, The Motif Collection’ book by Aimee Ray – As you can probably tell from the Little Dorrit Embroidery Patterns Giveaway, and my Embroidered Tags, I have been enjoying embroidery lately. This collection of ideas looks like it would be fun inspiration for a host of projects:

My Crafty Christmas Wish List at Jennifer Grace Creates

4. Pink Paislee Memorandum Gold Phrase Stickers – I want a lot of Pink Paislee’s Memorandum and Cedar Lane collections, but this is one of the bits I want the most. So shiny and fun, these would make any scrapbook page special:

My Crafty Christmas Wish List at Jennifer Grace Creates

5. ’20 Ways To Draw A Jellyfish (And 44 Other Amazing Sea Creatures’ book by Trina Daziel – As I’ve been wanting to practice my drawing for illustrating scrapbook items or for clothing design etc, the ’20 Ways To Draw’ books caught my eye – they have a variety of titles. This one is the one I want the most, because I live by the sea and love the beach:

My Crafty Christmas Wish List at Jennifer Grace Creates

6. DIY Wooden Clock Kit (19cm) – We need a new clock for our kitchen. We have needed one for years, but I’m fussy and can never find one I like. Then I had a brainwave moment when I was scrolling through more clocks online that I didn’t like the other day – why not just make our own? This kit looks good because it comes with the numbers pre-drawn, which would save a lot of ‘time’ with measuring it out:

My Crafty Christmas Wish List at Jennifer Grace Creates

7. Becky Higgins Blush 12×12 D Ring Album – Well really I just need more 12 x 12 albums in general, as I have too many pages to store. This one is particularly gorgeous, and on trend for 2016, when this blush-pink colour is supposed to be really popular according to trend forecasts. But I’ll settle for most 12 x 12 d-ring albums:

My Crafty Christmas Wish List at Jennifer Grace Creates

8. ‘Creative Lettering & Beyond’ book – Since writing my first post on brush lettering I  have discovered Dawn Nicole, a fabulous designer, who has a blog, and wrote a post recommending hand lettering books HERE. She also has a free facebook group with lessons and tips on hand lettering which you can join HERE. This is the book she recommends the most, and I have to agree it looks very helpful:

My Crafty Christmas Wish List at Jennifer Grace Creates

9. A T-Square – This is simply to make it faster for me to draw straight lines for my brush lettering:

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10. A Minc Toner Pen – At the start of the year I bought a Minc Machine to do some foiling (see my original post about it HERE), but I haven’t used it nearly enough. Mostly because I don’t like being limited to the Heidi Swapp designed items, and I’ve found it difficult to get my printed items to look good – which I think is a problem with our laser printer rather than the Minc. When I saw they’d brought out a Minc pen I got quite excited – I would love to try this out:

My Crafty Christmas Wish List at Jennifer Grace Creates

My husband is spoilt for choice on what to get me, huh? I do have some non-crafty items on my wish list too, including a mini food processor so I can make hummus, and the game Rummikub which I could remember playing with my grandparents, but only recently discovered what it’s called!

Now for the giveaway:

My Crafty Christmas Wish List at Jennifer Grace Creates

One person will win a £10 GBP Amazon Gift Voucher, or closest equivalent in their local currency. If the winner doesn’t have Amazon in their country we’ll work out an alternative prize.

To enter to win: Just leave a comment telling me a crafty item or two that’s on your wish list this Christmas! What are you hoping Santa will bring you this year?

The giveaway {NOW CLOSED} closes at 10pm GMT on Sunday the 6th of December 2015. It is open internationally. The winner will be announced here on Thursday the 10th of December, so make sure you check back to see if you won.

I’ll be back tomorrow for the final Frosty Festivities post. See you then!

Jennifer x

DIY Gifts, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

Watercolour And Brush Lettering Plate And Mug

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

On Monday I showed you my explorations in brush lettering, and today I’m back with a watercolour and brush lettering plate and mug:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Fun huh? I have been wanting to try out a watercolour effect on plates after seeing THIS POST and THIS POST. Then I saw some Porcelain Brush Pens on sale in TK Maxx, and I after the fun I’d been having with brush lettering I had to get them too!

The brush pens are by Edding, the porcelain paints I used are by Pebeo, my plate was from Ikea, and my mug was from The Range. Please be aware the paints and pens say they haven’t been tested for food use so should be used for decorative purposes only:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I wanted to write on the mug first, so I went straight on with the word ‘warm’ in purple:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I didn’t like how it looked as I wanted it to be big and bold. Luckily you can wipe the pen off with a baby wipe or damp paper towel if it hasn’t dried yet. Then dry the spot with a dry paper towel and you can write on it again:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I continued the writing underneath the word ‘warm’ first, rather than going above it, so I didn’t smudge it. I wrote ‘drink on a cold night’, mixing bold and script font styles:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then once these words were dry enough not to smudge them I wrote ‘nothing better than a’ at the top:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I prepped my paints – stirring them with a lolly stick:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then tipping them into some plastic bowls (which are ones I already use for painting), and mixing in some paint thinner. The bowl on the left hasn’t got the thinner mixed in yet, the bowl on the right does. I ended up having to add even more thinner. I’d say a good ratio for a watercolour effect is 9 parts thinner to one part paint! I used way too much paint and thinner:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I stippled the mug around the words with a layer of blue paint, trying to stop it looking too drippy. I should probably have used paint without thinner but I wanted it to be a bit translucent, plus I’d already mixed the paint and didn’t want to waste it:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I stippled it with gold paint over the top before leaving it to dry for 24 hours, then baking it in an oven according to the instructions:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

On the plate I wrote the words ‘baby it’s cold outside’:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I tried dripping some paint down from the edges:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

And used a cocktail stick to spread it out a bit:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

But I didn’t like it! Luckily the paint can also be cleaned off while wet!

After cleaning the paint I tipped a pool of blue paint onto the plate:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I added a bit more thinner and started tipping the plate about to spread it out:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I decided it was covering too much of the plate, so I wiped some off:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Tipped it about again:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

Added some splashes of gold:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I kept splattering and tipping until I was happy with the effect:

Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

So I again left it to dry for 24 hours before baking in an oven according to the instructions:

 Watercolour & Brush Letter Plate & Mug at Jennifer Grace Creates

I definitely want to experiment with these techniques a bit more, and try out some more colours of paint too!

Be Inspired:

Get some porcelain or glass paints and decorate some tableware

Use one of the phrases I used as inspiration for your project

Add some gold or blue stipples or splatters to you card, layout, etc

What would you write on your mug or plate?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll be back tomorrow morning with the next Frosty Festivities 2015 post – there aren’t many left now!

I hope you have a great day,

Jennifer x

DIY Gifts, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

DIY Decorated Gift Box

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

Hello! Today I’m back with some more pretty packaging – this DIY Decorated Gift Box:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m a TRUE crafter. Do you know how I know? Because I collect everything and anything that looks like it might be good for a craft one day. Spot a button on the path? Pick it up and add it to my button stash. Cutting the annoying shoulder ribbons out of clothes? Keep them to use on a card one day. And today’s useful bit of collecting – pretty leaves, fake berries, and ribbons adorning your Christmas crackers? Don’t you dare throw them away! I think my family all decided I was mad when I collected all these bits off some Christmas crackers. Except my Mum, she gets it. In fact she’s probably the one who taught me to do it!

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

Along with my collection of cracker adornments, I gathered up a box to decorate, plus some useful tools including a hot glue gun and some embossing powder. I did end up using some other bits too, which you’ll see as we go along!

The first job was to paint the kraft box with white satin craft paint. It only took one coat for my box, but it will depend on the darkness of your box and the quality of your paint:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

Next (once the paint was dry) I used some Versa Mark ink to stamp teeny snowflakes around the bottom of the box and covered them with gold embossing powder. I stamped 2 at a time, tipped powder on, then moved onto the next 2, so the ink didn’t dry before tipping the powder on:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

After heat embossing the snowflakes I filled in the pattern with some stars using the same technique:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

To prepare the items for the lid I cut a couple of wires shorter with some wire cutters, and folded them back on themselves, so the cut end of the wire would be hidden under the leaves. Then I tied one of the ribbons in a pretty bow around one of the loops of wire. The bells were tied together with a bit of twine:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then I tied the twine to another loop of wire on some fake berries, leaving a bit of twine between the wire and the bells so they could still shake and jingle:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

I used hot glue to adhere everything to the lid. A bit of hot glue was showing more than I wanted it to, so I used some Mod Podge to blob on top of it:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then sprinkled on a bit of glitter to make it sparkly:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

It’s the perfect way to package up a small pressie like jewellery to make it extra special:

DIY Decorated Gift Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

I might put some of my Snowman Earrings or a Snow Scene In A Bottle Necklace in it for a gift!

Be Inspired:

Recycle something pretty like a button, ribbon, or Christmas decorations to add to a project

Use holly and berries on a layout, card, etc

Create some gold snowflakes for a bit of shine

Do you collect odds and ends in case they are useful for crafting one day?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll be back tomorrow morning (8am GMT) with the next Frosty Festivities 2015 post!

I hope you have a great day,

Jennifer x

Scrapbook Layouts

Build A Snowman Layout – Working with Dark Photos

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

I have another layout to share with you today. I have had these dark photos sitting in a drawer for over 5 years, but couldn’t work out how to use them because they were so black…

Build a Snowman Layout - Working With Dark Photos at Jennifer Grace Creates

I think I pulled it off okay in the end! I took some photos of my process, so you can see how I figured out a way to use the photos.

First I pulled a bunch of stuff from my Christmas stash. I looked for things with a hint of black to start with – I didn’t want things that were all black because the whole page would be too dark, but I wanted a hint so the photos didn’t look too lost or contrast too much with the rest of the page. Once I’d found a few things with a bit of black I noticed my scarf was blue in the photo, so I looked for items of that hue. Then as I was rummaging I came across the My Mind’s Eye Christmas On Market Street gold ephemera and gold glitter sticker pieces, and decided that would make the page feel more special. Kraft and wood went quite well to match the gold too.

Here’s my pile of supplies:

Build a Snowman Layout - Working With Dark Photos at Jennifer Grace Creates

I pulled out the ‘Ready, Set, Snow’ stamp set at the last minute, because I realised none of the supplies had any snowmen on them!

The first thing I did was to cut down the photos to lose some of the black and make it easier to fit them all on one page.

Next I chose which piece to use for my background. I tried it on a plain mint blue piece, but that was too boring. Then I tried it on a Pinkfresh Studio paper with mountains and houses on, but I figured I’d be covering most of the paper up so it seemed a shame to waste it, and the paper was too white – it made the snowman appear yellow! The final piece, again from Christmas On Market Street, was just right – the base colour was off-white and the black trees helped to echo the colours in the photos without being too overwhelming:

Build a Snowman Layout - Working With Dark Photos at Jennifer Grace Creates

I really wanted to use this old Crate Paper journal card on the layout, as the words fitted so well. But it would take up most of the page:

Build a Snowman Layout - Working With Dark Photos at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I noticed the words that were important to me – ‘Build A Snowman’ and ‘Bundle Up’ – were at the top, so I could just use those at the top of the page:

Build a Snowman Layout - Working With Dark Photos at Jennifer Grace Creates

It was all pretty easy from there. I planned out where the larger elements of the page were going to go:

Build a Snowman Layout - Working With Dark Photos at Jennifer Grace Creates

At this point I knew I wouldn’t bother trying to squeeze on a title – the journal card and the word ‘joy’ were enough for me!

I got them all stuck down, flat on the background:

Build a Snowman Layout - Working With Dark Photos at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I just needed to finish it off with my usual scattering of pretty bits and pieces, including buttons, little wood hearts, and enamel dots:

Build a Snowman Layout - Working With Dark Photos at Jennifer Grace Creates

I added one of the Happy Scatter ‘Watercolour Words’ flair badges above the big photo:

Build a Snowman Layout - Working With Dark Photos at Jennifer Grace Creates

And I managed to add a stamped snowman next to my journaling:

Build a Snowman Layout - Working With Dark Photos at Jennifer Grace Creates

The journaling says:

‘I am blessed with a sister as childlike as me! Of course we had to bundle up and build a snowman. The biggest I’ve ever built. We were so excited!! 09/01/2010’

Be Inspired:

Cluster everything in the middle of your page or project

Use a word sticker or alpha stickers so they overlap a photo or image

Use a black, mint, teal, and gold colour scheme

Do you have any photos sitting around in a drawer that you’re scared to use because of the colours in them?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll see you again tomorrow!

Jennifer x

Cardmaking, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

Let The Stickers Be The Stars – Clean And Simple Christmas Cards

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

I’ve got quite a quick post for you today, about these ‘Let The Stickers Be The Stars’ Clean and Simple Christmas Cards:

Let The Stickers Be The Stars - Clean And Simple Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

I decided to use up some Christmas stickers by planning my cards around them and letting them be the stars of the show!

First I found a pile of Christmas stickers, plus some enamel and metallic dots, some 6×6 patterned paper and scraps, and 3 card blanks:

Let The Stickers Be The Stars - Clean And Simple Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

I chose a few of the stickers in different colour tones, and pick a couple of sheets of paper each to match. The left-hand stickers were bright red & green, the middle stickers were pale blue and red, and the right-hand stickers were a more dull, vintage style red and green:

Let The Stickers Be The Stars - Clean And Simple Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

I layered the two patterned papers for each card on top of each other, with a rectangle of white card on top too. All the edges were inked with a gold ink pad. The white rectangle was a slightly different size on each card, depending on how much I wanted the patterns below to be showing:

Let The Stickers Be The Stars - Clean And Simple Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then all I had to do was arrange my stickers in a pleasing manner! I even used stickers for the sentiments. A couple of the sentiments were stuck on with foam dots to stop it all looking too flat:

Let The Stickers Be The Stars - Clean And Simple Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

I also added glitter tape to the left-hand card to give the reindeer something to stand on!

Be Inspired:

Make a project where you plan it around a sticker or two

Create a set of 3 clean and simple Christmas cards or tags

Add dots and stars close to an icon for a sprinkling of magic

Which card is your favourite?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll see you again tomorrow!

Jennifer x

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template)

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

Here’s another Christmas Ornament to freshen up your festive decorations – a Winter Scene Triangle Ornament:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

I want to make lots of these and fill them all with different scenes!

I have a PDF A4 Template which you can download HERE if you’d like to make your own (you will be prompted to download it, it doesn’t start automatically).

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s how to make your ornament. You may notice that the step-by-step photos show me using some woodgrain patterned paper as the ornament. That was my plan, until I made a mistake when it was nearly finished and ripped it – arrgghh! I will talk about that when I get to it. It turns out I actually prefer the blue card I ended up using, so it was okay!

Step 1: Print off your template and find some card or stiff patterned paper to use:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Cut out the template and then the card just along the outer edges:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Score along the fold lines – I just laid the template on top of the card and scored both sheets together, but you could draw the lines onto the card before scoring if you prefer:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

You don’t need to put the template on top to score the tabs, just follow the edge:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Use a sharp craft knife to cut out the window, again I just cut through both layers at once (using a metal ruler to keep my lines straight):

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Pierce holes for your twine or thread to go through using a paper piercer or darning needle:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: If you don’t like the pattern on the back of your patterned paper you can cut triangles from another pattern to stick inside – but don’t stick them both down yet:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

You need to adhere one of the flaps together first:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then stick the patterned triangle on top to hide the tab:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Cut the ‘snow’ from white card and fold the edges in at an angle. Now here’s where things started to go wrong. I used tape to stick my ‘snow’ into the ornament, but I should have used hot glue:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

The next steps are to stick on a tiny tree or any other images or stickers which you want in your scene, then close the ornament by taping down the other tabs (tape worked fine – a bit too well – for my tabs on the woodgrain paper, but not so well on the blue card – I ended up using glue on one tab as well as tape).

I did those steps, but then my snow fell out. I tried to stick the snow back in by pushing it back through the window, and then I ripped the edges of the window. Then I tried to undo the tape and ripped it some more… disaster! I gave up and swapped to some blue card, following all the steps above, but sticking the snow in with hot glue!

I did also cut a larger window, as I decided you couldn’t see enough of the scene. The template has been adjusted accordingly, so you will have the larger window on your ornament:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Back to scheduled programming – stick your snow in using hot glue or another really strong glue at the sides:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Stick a bit of cotton wool at the bottom to hide the gap and give more depth to the scene:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: Add your tree and a character sticker or chipboard piece by hot gluing them to the front of the card snow:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 11: Tape or glue the other tabs down so the ornament is closed, then use a darning needle to add some thread or twine to the top for hanging the ornament:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 12: Glue any additions you want on the outside of the ornament. This is also when I added a bit of glue to the bottom tab as the tape kept coming undone:

A Winter Scene Triangle Ornament (With Template) at Jennifer Grace Creates

That’s it! Now you can hang your ornament. I’m thinking these would also look cool with a child’s drawing of a Christmas character inside instead of a sticker. I shall get Little Miss to design some!

Be Inspired:

Make a triangular Christmas ornament

Add some cotton wool snow to a project

Create a winter scene on a layout or card with snowy hills and tiny trees

What Christmas or winter character would you add to your snowy scene?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll see you again tomorrow!

Jennifer x

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

Exploring Brush Lettering – and some Free Christmas Printables!

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

Today I want to show you some experimenting I’ve been doing with brush lettering, plus I have some free Christmas printables for you!

Exploring Brush Lettering and Some Free Christmas Printables at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’ve been wanting to have a proper go at brush lettering for a while. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen THIS PHOTO which I took a couple of months ago, trying to be a beta tester for a Molly Jacques Workshop on calligraphy and lettering. I wasn’t lucky enough to get chosen – no wonder as there was stiff competition! But that didn’t curb my interest. I have been devouring You Tube videos on brush lettering, like THIS ONE by Amy Tangerine, and THIS ONE by Kristina Werner, and I’ve been dreaming about taking THIS CLASS with Jen Schow, which I’m sure I will once I have more time!

In the meantime I searched around for some recommendations on pens / brushes for beginners to use, and that were not too expensive! I ended up buying Tombow Fudenosuke Pens in Hard and Soft, a Tombow Art Brush Pen in Sea Green, a Pentel Touch Brush Sign Pen, and a KUM Memory Point Paintbrush in Size 1:

Exploring Brush Lettering and Some Free Christmas Printables at Jennifer Grace Creates

My first trial was to write my blog name with each pen / brush. First I wrote it with my everyday non-joined up handwriting, then I attempted a more brush script style underneath:

Exploring Brush Lettering and Some Free Christmas Printables at Jennifer Grace Creates

I know from watching the videos mentioned above that one of the things to remember is to press down on the down-strokes, and lift up for a lighter line on the up-strokes, so I did that as best as I could. I’m sure that’s something I’ll get better at with lots more practice!

My next idea was to create a phrase, with a mix of writing styles – some of it being bold and straight, some being twirly and script-like. I wrote ‘Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle’ several times, each time improving my technique slightly – thinking about how close together the words were, and how to accentuate the two different writing styles:

Exploring Brush Lettering and Some Free Christmas Printables at Jennifer Grace Creates

It was fun to see how much my writing changed just by doing the same phrase several times!

Next I used the thin paintbrush to paint a merry poster which says ‘May your days be merry and bright, full of good cheer and all that is right’:

Exploring Brush Lettering and Some Free Christmas Printables at Jennifer Grace Creates

I was pretty happy with it as a first attempt, though I did realise afterwards that the large ampersand was in the wrong place – I should have practiced the layout on a spare piece of paper first. After I took the above photo I ended up going back and adding a smaller ampersand between the words merry and bright – I’m pretending the large one is decorative only!

I tried out a couple more phrases on the spare pieces of card which I had:

Exploring Brush Lettering and Some Free Christmas Printables at Jennifer Grace Creates

For all of these I was just writing on cheap white card which I buy from Poundland – I think you get 30 sheets for £1 and it’s pretty good quality.

That’s all the experimenting I’ve done so far, but I can’t wait to practice a bit more and hone my style.

I scanned in all the items I ended up with, so that you can use them as printables if you wish (personal use / gifts for friends only please!). Click HERE to download the PDF poster (you will be prompted to download, it doesn’t happen automatically).

May Your Days Be Merry Free Christmas Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

And the smaller phrases are below – I played around with re-colouring a couple of them in Photoshop, which is another thing I need to practice more! Click HERE to download the PDF for these!

A6 Christmas Phrase Cards Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

The white-on-red ‘tinsel in a tangle’ is my favourite!

Be Inspired:

Do some hand-lettering on your next project

Print out one of the free printables and use them on a scrapbook layout or card

Mix up some letter stickers in different styles to create a long title or message

Do you like the printables? What would you use them for?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll see you again tomorrow!

Jennifer x

Cardmaking, DIY Gifts, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel and a Festive Card

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

Hello! Yesterday I posted a giveaway from the SVG Files Shop, you can enter to win 10 SVG files HERE {NOW CLOSED}! Today I’m back to show you a couple of things I’ve made with files from the store – a tea towel and a Christmas card.

First up is the DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel:

DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel at Jennifer Grace Creates

I used THIS Christmas Holidays file to cut some red iron-on-vinyl using my Cricut Explore, and ironed it on to a plain white tea towel. There are a couple of things I want to point out about the process…

When I uploaded the SVG into Cricut Design Space there was a plain white background around the image. This would be useful if I wanted to flatten and print the image, but I wanted to cut it, so I had to click the eye icon next to the white background on the layers panel – I’ve added a red arrow to the image below so you can see which one:

DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once the white background was gone there were still lots of different layers on the SVG, but I wanted it to all cut as one. So I clicked on the image, then clicked the ‘attach’ option from the top menu of the layers panel (again I’ve added a red arrow so you can see where to click):

DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel at Jennifer Grace Creates

This leaves the image looking like this, and you are ready to click ‘go’ – and make sure you click the ‘mirror image for iron-on’ option if you are cutting from iron-on vinyl:

DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut my image at just under 11.5″ wide. I’m not sure I’d want to cut this image any smaller than this, as some of the pieces were TINY, even when cutting it so large. I had to weed it very carefully and some of the little bits wouldn’t come out at all (like the details on the snowflakes):

DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel at Jennifer Grace Creates

I ironed it on to the tea towel (putting a piece of greaseproof paper on top of course):

DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s what it looked like after ironing. The ornaments look like they are floating in space because the dots between them and the twirls above were too small to come out at all:

DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel at Jennifer Grace Creates

So I just cut a couple of slivers of iron-on vinyl from the left over scraps, and used these to ‘hang’ the ornaments:

DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel at Jennifer Grace Creates

I think it looks super stylish and was worth the effort! If you are gifting it to someone make sure you tell them it can be machine washed but on a low heat setting (I was at 40 degrees) and to only iron on the reverse!

DIY Christmas Gift Tea Towel at Jennifer Grace Creates

Next I used THIS Happy Holiday SVG file to make a Christmas Card:

Happy Holiday Christmas Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

Again the pieces were tiny, but I had cut the image quite small – 5.25″ tall. I was quite impressed that the Explore managed to cut it without ripping it to shreds, though I did manage to break a couple of bits off the wreath while I was taking it off the mat:

Happy Holiday Christmas Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

I stuck them on the card by turning the pieces upside down on a piece of scrap paper, and running my Herma repositionable tape runner over the top, before adhering them to the card:

Happy Holiday Christmas Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

The card really didn’t need much else, apart from matting it onto some pretty patterned paper and adding a few tiny gems on top:

Happy Holiday Christmas Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

A very delicate card for someone special!

Be Inspired:

Use iron-on-vinyl, fabric paint, or fabric ink-pads and stamps to decorate a tea towel

Make a monotone project eg. just red and white

Put a wreath around the edge of a project with a sentiment in the center

Do you think all these fiddly details make the projects look extra special?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll be back again tomorrow with another Frosty Festivities project!

Jennifer x

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

A Giveaway! Sponsored by SVG Files Shop! {NOW CLOSED}

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

Here’s another fabulous giveaway {NOW CLOSED} for you from an exciting Etsy shop…

A Giveaway! Sponsored by SVG Files Shop!

SVG Files Shop is a recent discovery of mine. It has almost 300 wonderful images which you can use with a digital die-cutting machine. Trish is so talented to design all these – I wanted to buy so many files! And they are very reasonably priced. A great way to build up your SVG collection!

Read on for the chance to win YOUR CHOICE of 10 FILES from the SVG Files Shop!

A Giveaway! Sponsored by SVG Files Shop!

Here’s a few of the SVG Files which go well with the Frosty Festivities theme…

1. Christmas, Holidays, Merry – I am in love with how the ‘Merry Christmas’ on this is spelled out with candy cane letters. So much fun! This would make a great window or wall decoration:

A Giveaway! Sponsored by SVG Files Shop!

2. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year – The way this is arranged around a Christmas ornament is genius! I love the reindeer leaping and the twirly bits above the sentiment which end with ornaments hanging from them. The attention to detail is so impressive:

A Giveaway! Sponsored by SVG Files Shop!

3. Happy Holiday – The wreath on this is so pretty, I’m sure I can use it on lots of projects all year round. The bow at the bottom is just lovely:

A Giveaway! Sponsored by SVG Files Shop!

Now for the giveaway…

A Giveaway! Sponsored by SVG Files Shop!

One person will win 10 files of their choice from the SVG Files Shop! Yep, you get to choose which ones you want to win, how awesome is that?!

To enter to win this prize {NOW CLOSED} you just need to visit the SVG Files Shop, take a look around, and come back here to leave a comment telling me what caught your eye in the store! It doesn’t have to be Winter / Christmas related. Just find something you love and tell me about it!

You could also pop by the SVG Files Shop Facebook Page or Twitter Account and thank Trish for sponsoring, and maybe give her a follow! This isn’t compulsory though.

The giveaway closes at 10pm GMT on Sunday the 6th of December 2015. {NOW CLOSED} It is open internationally. The winner will be announced here on Thursday the 10th of December, so make sure you check back to see if you won.

Good luck! I’ll be back tomorrow to show you something I’ve made with files from the SVG Files Shop!

Jennifer x

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter, Scrapbook Layouts

What’s The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments

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

I’m sorry there was no post yesterday. My son’s ill, just a cough and a cold, but he’s been off school with it and waking up a lot during the night, so after a few exhausting days it was time for a day away from blogging! We spent yesterday recuperating and he’s doing a bit better today. So I’m back with another festive project for you, this time it’s a layout with some shrink plastic embellishments…

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

This page is about how my son didn’t really get what all the fuss was about in advance of Christmas 2013… he’s certainly excited for Xmas 2015 though!

Can you spot which ones are the shrink plastic embellishments? It’s the little line of trees on the journal card!

I made them using the Clearly Kelly ‘Noel’ stamp set. I figured they went well with my page, but I couldn’t stamp them straight onto the busy background, so I went looking for something else to stamp them onto:

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

I found a sheet of white shrink plastic (the brand I used was Shrinkles). I wanted to stamp a gold tree, but I didn’t have a good gold ink pad, so I tried colouring the image with a Metallic Gold pen from Staedtler, before stamping it onto the ROUGH side of the shrink plastic:

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

Note the green underneath the plastic – it’s a piece of felt which I used to try and give a better impression of the stamped image.

Unfortunately it didn’t come out that well the first time. But it wasn’t because the felt didn’t work – it was because the ink had dried too much on the side I’d coloured first – maybe because I had stopped to take a photo of the coloured-in stamp! Here’s what the first layer looked like:

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

I coloured the stamp just on the one side which needed more coverage, and stamped again on top of the first image:

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

It was slightly out of alignment but I decided I quite liked the effect!

I stamped the same tree again, using black StazOn ink (I didn’t end up using this tree on the layout):

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

Next I attempted to colour the stamp again, but I made a big mistake. I tried to use ProMarkers. Don’t do this! The stamped image was really faint and I stained my stamp. Lose-lose. Oh well, we live and learn:

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cleaned the stamp and used it again, with green pigment ink this time. But some of the pink ProMaker, which wouldn’t come off when I was cleaning the stamp, did come off on the stamped image:

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

Again I quite liked the accidental effect!

Finally I stamped the little tree using red pigment ink:

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut out the four colourful trees and used Staedtler pencils to add some red and blue to the black tree:

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I shrunk them in the oven according to the manufacturer instructions. Here’s how they looked when they came out – I left the colouring pencils in the photo so you can see how much they shrunk:

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

I decided the black, red, and blue one didn’t really match my page, but the others look really cute all lined up on the journal card:

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

Another thing I did on this page was to cut some stars from the background pattern to use on foam dots (I got the idea to do this from a card on the Basic Grey blog HERE):

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

When adding them back on to the layout I made sure they overlapped something on at least one edge, so they stand out as well as blending in!

What's The Fuss Layout with Shrink Plastic Embellishments at Jennifer Grace Creates

The cream enamel dots and white painted wood veneers were added as an afterthought, as I decided the page looked too dark with all that wood.

Be Inspired:

Stamp some images then cut them out to use as embellishments

Cut an image from a background sheet to use at the front of the project too

Cut a photo or patterned paper piece so that it’s tall and skinny

Have you ever used shrink plastic to make embellishments before?

Remember that commenting on this post, and any post that goes live during November 2015, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE!

I’ll be back tomorrow at 8am GMT with another sponsored giveaway!

Jennifer x