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Shakespeare Quote Canvas #ThouShaltCraft

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

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

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

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

Shakespeare Quote Canvas #thoushaltcraft at Jennifer Grace Creates

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

I hope you have a great day!

Jennifer x

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

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

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