Your Craft & Soul Events

Which Paperwork To Focus On – Deal With It Folder

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

Good morning! I’m going to start the day off today with something I am terrible at, because it’s boring… sorting out paperwork! Tell me I’m not the only one who leaves it building up into a big tottering pile?

Well, now I’ve made myself a pretty folder to hold the important paperwork that must be dealt with…

Which Paperwork To Focus On - Deal With It at Jennifer Grace Creates

My problem was that when I did sort paperwork, I’d just make it into new piles. So there would be a pile of stuff that needed dealing with, but then more new paperwork would get put on top of that pile, and the stuff to be dealt with would sink and sink, until 2 months down the line when we’d get an overdue notice for a bill we hadn’t paid…

Pile Of Paperwork To Be Dealt With at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m hoping that by putting the papers that need attention into this pretty folder it will remind me which ones to focus on, and help de-clutter our house a bit too!

I started with this blue card folder. It was a little bashed at the edges but I didn’t want to go and buy one when I already had this:

Which Paperwork To Focus On at Jennifer Grace Creates

I drew around the flap onto the back of two pieces of patterned paper (one wasn’t big enough on it’s own), making sure I gave them some overlap in the middle. I didn’t want any blue poking through at the join:

Which Paperwork To Focus On at Jennifer Grace Creates

After cutting the patterned paper out I adhered them to the flap. I also added a strip of glitter tape along the ridge at the bottom of the folder. Now it doesn’t look so bashed any more:

Which Paperwork To Focus On at Jennifer Grace Creates

I could have stopped there, but I decided I needed an encouraging statement and a few pretty things, so that I would be really happy to leave it out on display:

Which Paperwork To Focus On - Deal With It at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut the corner out of a chipboard frame so that it sits nicely with the alphas. I also added a speech bubble as I realised the little point on it acts like another arrow, pointing at the word ‘deal’:

Which Paperwork To Focus On - Deal With It at Jennifer Grace Creates

With the words ‘Deal With It’ shouting at me from this jazzy folder I think I’ll get better at sorting my paperwork!

Be Inspired:

Alter a folder, binder, or other office item

Cut the corner off a frame

Use the point of a speech bubble like an arrow to point at something important

Do you have piles of paperwork like mine in your house? Tell me I’m not the only one!

I’ll see you again at 11am!

Jennifer x

Your Craft & Soul Events

Enjoy The Little Things In Life – Photo Overlay & Binder

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

For this hour I decided to concentrate on appreciating the little things in life. This was one of the aims when I made ‘Focus’ my word for the year (original layout HERE), so this quote was a perfect one to keep reminding me what’s really important in life.

'Enjoy The Little Things' Quote as Photo Overlay in PicMonkey and Decorating A Binder

The quote reads:

‘Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you will look back and realise they were the big things’

It’s by Robert Brault (you can read about him and how this quote is often wrongly attributed to someone else HERE).

I took a photo where my kids looked cute but the background was a bit messy and uninspiring, and I turned it into something so much prettier! The ‘before’ is on the left, and the ‘after’ is on the right:

Before and After adding overlays in PicMonkey

And then I printed the photo out (just onto copy paper using my laser printer) and used it to decorate a binder:

Enjoy The Little Things Binder at Jennifer Grace Creates

If you’d like to see my process, including editing out the background of the photo and adding the overlays in PicMonkey, and how I decorated the binder, then watch this video (you can also watch it on YouTube HERE):

 

The binder is where I keep my blog planner. Now when I’m stressing out over blog issues I can shut the binder and remind myself to go and spend some quality time with the children.

Are you good at focusing on the little things in life? Had you heard of this quote before, or do you know of another that I might like?

Be Inspired:

Find a ‘focus’ related quote and use it on your next project

Make a photo border with washi tape, glitter tape, or ribbon (or all three!)

Add some text & picture overlays to a photo, digitally or physically

Bye for now, I’ll see you again in an hour!

Jennifer x

Home Decor Craft Projects

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs

Here’s another Easter project for you – this time it’s some painted decorative eggs:

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’ve often oohed-and-aahed over pretty eggs that appear in my Pinterest feed at this time of year. But it was when I saw THIS PIN with an egg by Landeelu that I decided to give it a try. Landee used a silhoutte machine to cut vinyl images for her eggs and I realised it would work great on my Cricut Explore! Read on for how made mine…

DISCLOSURE: Cricut have provided me with a Cricut Explore Machine, some materials including vinyls, 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.

To blow out your eggs you will need:

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

* eggs * big bowl * washi tape * needle or pin * cocktail stick * short piece of straw *

How to blow out the eggs…

Step 1: Put a piece of washi tape at the top and bottom of your egg. Use a clean needle or pin to pierce a hole at the top and bottom (clean the needle between each egg). Don’t push the needle in too far or you’ll contaminate the egg with washi adhesive – if you are careful you’ll be able to eat these eggs for lunch!

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

If you struggle to push the pin or needle in you could use a thimble or bottle-top to help you:

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Peel off the washi tape and make the holes a bit bigger using a clean cocktail stick (use a new stick for each egg):

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Hold the short piece of straw at the top of the egg, hold the egg over the big bowl, and blow into the straw so the egg comes out of the hole at the bottom. The bigger the hole at the bottom the easier this is, so if you are struggling you can make your hole a bit bigger. If any bits of shell break make sure they don’t get into your lunch though!

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once the egg is all blown out, rinse under a tap, shake out the water, and then bake the empty shells to dry them out, in a preheated oven at 150 degrees C for 10 minutes. This helps to make them a bit harder too.

Scramble your eggs and eat them for lunch! I made scrambled eggs for the first time ever and I’m stupidly happy about it. I don’t like scrambled eggs but my kids do and I’ve been meaning to learn how to make them. The kids gobbled them up so I guess it was a success!

When your eggs are all dry you need to pick some paint colours. I used Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paints:

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

If you are wondering why there’s only 3 eggs when I started with four, it’s because my daughter wanted to paint one so I’ve set it aside for her!

Start painting your eggs. Landee mentions in her post that she props hers on wooden skewers, but my holes were too small for this, so I just alternated painting the tops of the eggs then the bottoms, leaving them propped in a pen-pot while they were drying:

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

This did take a while as they needed about 3 coats to make the paint look smooth. To stop your paint drying out in between, you can use damp kitchen paper to squeeze your paint onto when you start, and then lay another piece of damp kitchen paper on top when you are waiting for the eggs to dry between layers. Keep washing your brush out though or it will get clogged up!

While you are waiting for your layers to dry you can start designing and cutting your vinyl shapes. I used images #M4366F, #M4578C, and #M2E427:

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s how they look cut out and weeded. I put the weeding tool in the photo, to give a bit of an idea how small these designs are:

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

You’ve finished painting your eggs once they look pretty smooth (no brush marks) and you can’t see the shell colour:

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

When the paint is totally dry you can stick the vinyls on. I stuck the stars on by hand but used transfer tape to help with the bunny and the floral circle:

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

The circle wouldn’t sit flat because of the curve of the egg, so I snipped it in four places around the edge, these bits then overlapped and sat flat:

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I didn’t bother covering my holes at the top and bottom of the eggs, as they were quite small so you can barely see them. Some people cover the holes with a piece of tissue paper stuck on with PVA or Mod-Podge so that’s an option if your holes are bigger.

Now you have pretty eggs!

Painted Decorative Eggs With Vinyl Designs Cut On The Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I like that the vinyls can be peeled off, so if these eggs make it until next Easter I can always give them a new look with a new vinyl design!

Do you ever decorate Easter eggs? If you like the look of pretty eggs but you’d rather be scrapbooking then check back tomorrow, there’s a layout coming that’s inspired by the different ways you can paint & decorate eggs!

See you then,

Jennifer x

DISCLOSURE: Cricut have provided me with a Cricut Explore Machine, some materials including vinyls, 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.

DIY Gifts

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids

Looking for an alternative to chocolate eggs to gift to kids this Easter? Put together an Easter crafting kit for them instead!

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

I’ve been pinning to my Easter DIY Crafts and Recipes Board, and while searching for Easter crafts I found a few altered egg-box ideas, including THIS ONE turned into a sewing kit, THIS ONE with sweet treats inside, and THIS ONE with toy animals. As I wanted to make one for my daughter, and she is greatly into crafting (I wonder where she gets that from?) I decided to turn mine into an Easter crafting kit.

To make one of your own…

Step 1: Start with an egg-box:

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Paint the inside with craft paint (I used Martha Stewart’s Beach Glass Satin Paint):

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Then paint the outside (you can do this while the inside is still drying):

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: On any areas where there was printed detail on the egg-box, paint another coat or two of paint until it’s no longer visible.

Step 5: Once the paint is all dry, stick some glue-dots over the top and sides of the lid:

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Shake some glitter over the glue-dots, pressing it down to make sure it gets good and stuck, then tip off the excess (I used American Crafts ‘Tangerine’ Fine Glitter):

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Fix any broken areas of the egg-box – the tip of the latch on mine had broken off:

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

So I covered it up by sticking a flower-shaped button on with Glossy Accents:

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

The outside of the box is now looking very cute:

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Gather the contents you are gifting in your box. I bought some ribbon, coloured chicks, stickers, and wooden egg decorations from Hobbycraft:

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Download and print off the ‘Your Easter Crafting Kit’ free printable HERE (it prints the image in two different colours, tangerine and aqua). Stick it into the inside of the egg-box lid, then fill the box with the crafty goodies:

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

If you are using stickers inside you’ll need to cut them out so they fit in the carton – make sure you round the edges as you cut rather than leaving sharp corners:

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: Once you’ve filled the box, place some tissue paper on top of the contents (so they don’t shake and get all mixed up), then tie a piece of ribbon around the box to finish it off:

Painted Egg-Box DIY Easter Gift For Kids - No Chocolate! At Jennifer Grace Creates

Gift it to a crafty kid this Easter! Now I just need to make one for my son too, I need to find some cars or something to put inside!

I’ve been busy with lots of Easter crafting, so I’ll show you some more soon.

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

P.S. I’m linking this up to the Tatertots & Jello Palooza and Diana Rambles Pin Me Linky Parties.

DIY Gifts

MME Miss Caroline Trinket Box

Hello hello!

Just a quick one, as I have an awful lot of housework to do this evening. I hate housework. I guess I don’t know anyone who does like it, except maybe my Mother In Law – she has no fingerprints left on her right hand because she’s used bleach so much over her lifetime. They almost wouldn’t let her into the USA when they randomly checked her for fingerprints!

I just wanted to pop by and show you my latest project which went live today on the SJ Crafts blog. It’s a trinket box altered using MME Miss Caroline supplies, and would be a perfect Mother’s Day Gift – I may even give this one to my fingerprintless MIL:

My Mind's Eye Miss Caroline Trinket Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

I love the Miss Caroline ‘Day Worn’ paper with the wood grain and doilies effect, and wanted to use it to make something special. I began by painting the inside rims of the box, as I knew I wouldn’t want to cover these with paper:

My Mind's Eye Miss Caroline Trinket Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

Once that was dry, I measured the box lid and sides, cut the ‘Day Worn’ paper to match (also cutting notches into the back pieces for the hinges), and adhering them on with matt Mod-Podge. I put a layer of Mod-Podge onto both the box and the back of the paper, so that there was a nice layer to make sure the glue went into any cracks on the box surface. You can use watered down PVA glue instead of Mod-Podge, but be aware that PVA may yellow over time.

Once this first layer was dry, I then painted another coat of Mod-Podge over the whole box – working it into any joins to make sure they were sealed, and to give protection to the paper. I repeated this process to line the box with the ‘Day Butterflies’ paper, which is a nice surprise when you open the box:

My Mind's Eye Miss Caroline Trinket Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

To decorate the lid, I used Mod-Podge again to attach some lace, and then stamped the line of flowers from the Miss Caorline stamps, using Staz-On ink. I used some mini alpha stickers on a MME label sticker to spell the word ‘trinkets’, and adhered this to the box using foam tape. I cut a flower from a scrap of ‘living blooms’ paper and placed a brad in the centre, then glued this on with a hot glue gun.

I also used wire cutters to cut the backs off a couple more brads from the set, and adhered these with hot glue too. Finally I used thick foam dots to attach the butterfly which comes with the Miss Caroline brads, and also stuck on a couple of yellow pearls:

My Mind's Eye Miss Caroline Trinket Box at Jennifer Grace Creates

Now the box is all ready to store some lovely items!

Pop over to the SJ Crafts Blog Here to see the original post!

Thanks for looking,

Jennifer x

Giftwrapping

Alter It Monthly – Sealed with Magic

October’s theme at Alter It Monthly (a challenge blog no longer running) is etheral/magical/supernatural. I was thinking of doing something including a fairy image, as I haven’t done any fairy art for ages, but then I was inspired by both the DT and the other entrants items, to go for something a bit darkly magical. Here’s my altered box:

It started as a plain papermache box from Hobbycraft:

I painted it with red-brown acrylic paint, crackle glaze, and black paint (except for the middle of the lid which I left red-brown):

I painted the inside black too (after failing miserably at trying to glue some fabric in – any tips?):

The top was decorated with various items, including some lace trim which I coloured with Tattered Angels gold Glimmer Mist, an old watch key which I linked onto a bit of bracelet chain, and the words ‘sealed with magic’. I also used blood red sealing wax to attach some items to the lid, and to gloop around the edge of the lid so the box looks sealed. If I was actually giving it to someone with a gift in I’d seal it up properly!

It would be good for a halloween gift, or for storing gemstones with magical properties. I’m not sure if I’m going to keep it for myself or not yet!
We went chestnut collecting today, I’ll be back tomorrow to talk all about it! xx