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!

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

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:

51U3KadgDxL._SL1200_

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

Industry News & Reviews

Fun at CHA UK Creative Exchanges 2015

It’s been quite a long time since I went to the CHA UK Creative Exchanges event, way back on the 18th – 20th of April. But I never wrote about it on here – when I got back from the weekend I was straight into preparing for my Focus Your Craft & Soul blog event, and since then everything’s just been so busy.

So here’s a little run-down of how my weekend went… I warn you this is a long post!

Fun at CHA UK Creative Exchanges 2015

I arrived at the hotel (The Coventry Holiday Inn – Academy) with time to spare, so I had a cup of tea in my room and perused the timetable:

A cup of tea at CHA UK Creative Exchanges 2015

When I headed down towards the conference suite I stepped out of the lift, and straight away I spotted some ladies who I thought I recognised from the FB group we had been chatting on in the run up to the event. Claire Newcombe, Clare Brown, and Jaine Drake all knew each other, online at least, as they are all on Sarah Hurley’s Design Team. But they were all lovely and let me join them for the evening. I am so grateful to them for letting me tag along! Here’s a photo of me with Claire (the tall one on the left) and Clare (on the right):

Making new friends at CHA UK Creative Exchanges

Over the course of the weekend I got on particularly well with Claire. We seemed to have a similar family / craft life balance, the same nerves about the weekend, and the same drive to make our crafting become our work life too. It was great to be able to talk to people who ‘get’ what you are talking about!

The Saturday evening was fun and relaxed (there were no talks to go to). We had an introduction/welcome talk, dinner, a decopatch crafting challenge, networking, and sponsor demos. Here’s our messy table when the decopatch activity was in full swing:

Decopatch Challenge at CHA UK Creative Exchanges

We were all decorating cupcake-shaped boxes!

I also went to a demo for Indigo Blu, led by the fabulous Sara Naumann. We were each given a FlitterGlu starter kit and taught to make a couple of cards using the kit plus a few extra items (like stamps and paint):

Indigo Blu FlitterGlu Starter Kit

I loved the blue & gold card – bold and bright! You can see another card I made with the kit HERE.

There was also a raffle table with lots of prizes which got drawn throughout the weekend. I was happily surprised to be the first winner of a big prize – I won this Grand Calibur by Spellbinders!

Winning a Grand Calibur at CHA UK Creative Exchanges

Thank you so much to Personal Impressions for sponsoring the prize! I was so excited to win this. I’d just been saying about a week beforehand that I wanted to get a manual die-cutter as I’d seen some dies and embossing folders I liked. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to play with it much, nor money to spend on the dies I wanted. But I will definitely get round to using it and sharing some projects with it on here!

We spent the rest of the evening chatting all things craft. My ‘Mummy’ gene kicked in and I tried to help tidy up too, but Craig wouldn’t let me… I’m glad he didn’t really as it was nice to just sit and chat!

The next day we were up bright and early for breakfast. I’d arranged to meet the lovely Sue from Stamping Sue Style and we had a nice meal and gossip. After a morning welcome talk it was straight into the schedule of informative talks.

I’m not going to write about every single talk I went to, because there was 8 of them and that would take ages. Here’s a list of what I went to:

 Social Media – How to manage your online marketing
Pitching To Craft Manufacturers
An Introduction To Licensing
How To Get Published in Magazines
Intellectual Property Q & A
Design Teams, What You Should Know
Legal Tips for Setting Up A Business
Your Creative CV

I’ll tell you about my favourite two talks.

The first was ‘An Introduction To Licensing’ with Helz Cuppleditch. I was gutted that I missed the beginning of this talk – I had a pounding headache after the first 2 talks of the day, and I thought that there was a time slot when I wasn’t worried about any of the talks, so I went to my room to have a lie down. But when I got there I suddenly realised I had the time slots confused and I was actually really looking forward to this talk, so I had to run back downstairs. I’d missed the first ten minutes or so. But what I did hear was so interesting – it was all about how she designs artwork for companies like Trimcraft. She talked about how to make a repeat pattern and other design tips. As I’ve been designing my own things over the last year or so, and want to do more, this talk was perfect for me.

The other was ‘How To Get Published In Magazines’ with Lara Watson, the editor of Mollie Makes. I had a little bit of a fan-girl moment for this talk, as I used to read Lara’s old blog when she was part of the Scrapbook Inspirations team, and had felt so pleased for her when she’d announced on social media about her becoming the editor for Mollie Makes. So I was excited to meet her! There were only a few people listening to the talk (she ran it again later in the weekend so I think more people went to that one), so we all sat round and had a friendly talk about things. Her presentation was spot on and I made lots of notes. She was so lovely and friendly and made me feel like I COULD approach magazines, with the right plan in place. Thanks Lara!

We also had a couple of keynote talks for all attendees. The first was with Leonie Pujol, who was funny and also made you think. I liked how she said that our industry will keep us young – it keeps your brain ticking over as there’s always more to learn!

The other keynote was with Zoe Arch about Pinterest. This was really interesting as she had loads of good tips on using Pinterest, for example that specific board names are better than vague ones – eg. a board called ‘boots’ is more likely to come up in searches than one called ‘shoes’. The main tip was to think about what you might type in when you are searching for something, and then making sure you are using those phrases in your board names and pin descriptions. She was another lovely person to meet:

Meeting Zoe Arch - Pinterest Ambassador at CHA UK Creative Exchanges

Sarah Hurley also talked about the Designer Accreditation program that CHA UK are starting, and how it is important to CHA UK to focus on designers and bloggers as well as suppliers and shops, hence why they want to run weekends like this one. I wrote down this quote from Sarah:

“Even if you love what you do, you should still get paid”

Which I keep remembering every time I read a tweet from an artist that’s been asked to work for free. It would be good if there were more opportunities to earn from creativity!

Here I am with Sarah Hurley, and Craig De Souza from CHA UK. I’ve been following Sarah’s career for years, and I’d been talking to both these lovely people on FB in the run up to the weekend, so it was great to meet them both. They were both so brilliant at making sure everyone was happy all weekend and that things ran smoothly (along with Sara Naumann who was organising things too, I just didn’t catch her for a photo):

Meeting Sarah Hurley and CHA Craig at CHA UK Creative Exchanges

Aside from the talks we had a few other fun activities too. There was a onesie party on Sunday night – we all had bunny rabbit onesies on! We were decorating them with fabric paints too, which turned out a bit messy as they took so long to dry. The better option was getting your name put on your onesie using the Cricut Explores that Suzie Candlin had brought along and set up on behalf of Cricut. I helped people use them when Suzie wasn’t around! Most people had their name in glitter vinyl on their onesie. Here’s a photo taken by Laura Strutt at @madepeachy:

Onesie Party at CHA UK Creative Exchanges

I had a lot of fun with Jenniffer Taylor from the Great British Sewing Bee that night, just generally being silly!

Meeting Jenniffer Taylor from The Great British Sewing Bee at CHA UK Creative Exchanges

I think she was going for a zombie-bunny look to her outfit!

A bunch of us stayed up late drinking wine and chatting some more too:

Onesie Party at CHA UK Creative Exchanges

Overall the weekend was fabulous. It was informative and enjoyable. There were a few things I didn’t like about some of the talks – eg. a couple of the speakers kept going off on tangents which were not as interesting and made me confused, and I definitely preferred the talks with powerpoint presentations to those that didn’t have them – partly because I’m a visual learner and found it easier to absorb info that way, and partly because it helped the speakers stay on topic.

The venue had both positives and negatives. The food was really good and all the staff I encountered were helpful. The conference suite was well set out with good space to move around and mingle. But there was very little natural light (hence why most of my photos are blurry), in fact some of the rooms the talks were in had no windows at all, which made me feel a bit claustraphobic. Which is probably why I had a pounding headache on day one. I don’t think there’s much that can be done about this though, I’m sure most hotel conference suites would have similar problems. Plus if you had more natural light it would make it harder to read a powerpoint screen! So I just need to take more headache tablets next time.

There were so many wonderful opportunities to meet new people, to try out and maybe win some crafty goodies, and to learn lots and lots and lots about the crafting industry and how to turn crafting into a business. Plus we all got an amazing goody bag too:

Goody Bags at CHA UK Creative Exchanges

Weren’t we lucky?!

There are so many other people I met that I haven’t mentioned yet, like Katie Skilton, Dorothy Wood, Linda Simpson, and the lovely ladies from Bella Crafts. If I’ve forgotten anyone else I’m sorry! It was great to meet everyone.

If you want to go to the next Creative Exchanges event then you can contact CHA UK. It was announced HERE that the dates for next year are the 23rd – 25th April 2016. I will hopefully be going again, I certainly want to!

If you have any questions let me know. Have you been to any blogger meet ups or events? Did you enjoy them? Would you like to go to Creative Exchanges?

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:

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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:

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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:

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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

Industry News & Reviews

Amy Tangerine’s Creative Handbook Review – Part 2

A few weeks ago I posted my Amy Tangerine’s Creative Handbook Review Part 1, and here I am with Part 2 – the rest of my pages are completed!

Amy Tangerine's Creative Handbook Review Part 2 at Jennifer Grace Creates

If you haven’t already got it then you can  check out the handbook here: Amy Tangerine’s FREE Creative Handbook. Just head over to Amy’s blog, fill in your email address in a box in the sidebar (in the sidebar of her blog, or at the top of her website homepage), and you’ll receive a link to download the handbook. It was designed by Amy and her friend Jamie Waters to get us creating more!

Practice 3:

At the end of my last review I had completed one of these ‘practice 3’ sheets already, but I enjoyed it so much I couldn’t resist doing another one:

Amy Tangerine's Creative Handbook Review Part 2 at Jennifer Grace Creates

I went through my Pinterest boards again to print some inspiration for the top half of the sheet (see the globe HERE, the necklaces HERE, and the layout HERE):

Amy Tangerine's Creative Handbook Review Part 2 at Jennifer Grace Creates

And I chose a Roald Dahl quote (‘if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely’) for the bottom half of my sheet:

Amy Tangerine's Creative Handbook Review Part 2 at Jennifer Grace Creates

I painted this using watercolours – something I’ve seen Amy Tangerine do and I wanted to try it out, as I don’t usually to paint words, just pictures.

Practice 4:

Check out Amy and Jamie’s video for practice 4 HERE. It’s about not ‘feeding the bad wolf’ ie. your negative thoughts. You have to write your negative thoughts at the top left and the positive thoughts you should be thinking at the bottom right. I chose to write about blogging-related worries as I am trying a lot of new stuff this year (see my 2015 Blogging Goals HERE) and I’ve been bouncing back and forth between thinking I can achieve things or thinking they are impossible!

Amy Tangerine's Creative Handbook Review Part 2 at Jennifer Grace Creates Amy Tangerine's Creative Handbook Review Part 2 at Jennifer Grace Creates

I realise I need to be brave and just take it one step at a time.

Practice 5:

This is the last practice (see Amy and Jamie’s practice 5 video HERE), and it’s about how we usually start crafting with a blank canvas, but for this one you work in reverse, starting with a page filled with text and blocking most of it out:

Amy Tangerine's Creative Handbook Review Part 2 at Jennifer Grace Creates

My text was an interview with Judi Dench from the Christmas edition of The Radio Times.

I got a bit over excited (it was fun using my gold sharpie!) and kept blocking out words I meant to leave open, so I copied out what it was supposed to say into the middle. My poem reads:

Amused,
I realise how good that gift
I always want to improve
Is.
In a wonderful way
You have a Family Pattern.
I laugh through my tears!

Amy Tangerine's Creative Handbook Review Part 2 at Jennifer Grace Creates

I quite like it. I think I might use it as journaling on a scrapbook layout – maybe with a collage of photos of everyday life. I might take off the last line about laughing through tears though.

Extra Page:

There’s one last page in the handbook – an ABC list which you can use how you choose. I decided to quickly fill it out with the first words that came into my head when I thought about blogging and creating:

Amy Tangerine's Creative Handbook Review Part 2 at Jennifer Grace Creates

Conclusion:

I have really enjoyed using this handbook. I liked some pages better than others. I definitely think I will be printing the Practice 3 page again and again as I can keep changing it up and sticking it up on my wall! Considering this is FREE and Amy and Jamie created videos to help inspire us too I think it’s awesome! If you haven’t got it already I suggest you get it now. You can download it and then just print off the sheets you think you will use, or you can push yourself to complete the whole thing as a creative exercise!

You can also see what other people have been creating with the handbook by checking out the hashtag #amytangerinehandbook on Instagram!

In the meantime, you should watch Amy and Jamie’s new series called ‘Design On Time’. They are challenged to use three embellishments / techniques and then have 15 minutes to create a layout using those. The videos are sped up, so they are quick and fun to watch! You can see them on YouTube HERE.

I hope you are having a great week!

Jennifer x