Industry News & Reviews

The CHA UK Creative Exchanges Scholarship Competition

Hey all. I just heard about a competition for UK crafters that I thought I’d to share with you, as it sounds exciting and is a bit different!

You may remember me mentioning in my Blogging Goals for 2015 blog post that I’m now a CHA UK member, and I will be going to the CHA UK Creative Exchanges event for designers / demonstrators / educators in the creative industry. It sounds like it’s going to be interesting and fun, and I can’t wait to go! If you thought you’d love to go too but you couldn’t afford it then read on, as one lucky person is going to win a place there…

CHA UK Creative Exchanges Scholarship Competition

CHA UK are currently holding a Creative Exchanges Scholarship Competition. All the details can be found HERE at the CHA UK Website, but here’s the important information:

One lucky winner will be awarded a fantastic career boosting bundle of prizes including a free place at the Creative Exchanges event as well as a range of craft supplies, work placements and mentoring. Two runners-up will also receive a prize of craft supplies as well as mentoring to help them boost their business for the year ahead.

The Creative Exchanges Scholarship competition is open to applicants from all creative fields including papercraft, soft crafts and cake decorating. To enter, simply send a brief overview of you, your business and your aspirations for the year ahead combined with your creative resume with a link to your blog or website and 2-3 examples of your work to creative-exchanges@cha-uk.co.uk

The closing date is the 31st of March 2015.

Because the main prize is a place at Creative Exchanges you should only enter the competition if you are available that weekend (18th – 20th April 2015) and able to travel to the venue near Coventry. If you’ve already paid for a place at the event and you win then you will be refunded. I will be entering too as I may as well give it a try! The winner will be publicly announced at Creative Exchanges, though they will have been told before that they have won so they know they need to come to the event.

If you’d like to further your crafting career and you are free that weekend then why not give it a try?!

If you are on Facebook there is a closed group where there are regular Q&A sessions, the next one is on Monday 2nd March between 12 and 1pm, and the theme is ‘the Creative Exchanges and the Scholarship Competition’. If you want to join in you can request to join the group HERE. The FB group is going to be for CHA UK members only eventually, but at the moment they are letting others join in for the Q&A’s. If you have any problems joining the group let me know.

That’s all, bye for now,

Jennifer x

Party

Our Pinterest Inspired New Years Eve Party!

I wasn’t sure whether to post about our New Year’s Eve or not. The only thing that was holding me back was the quality of my photos – they were all taken after dark on New Years Eve and I was having too much fun to worry about camera settings! But despite the blur they tell the story of the evening we had and I wanted to share them because there were some Pinspired (inspired by Pinterest) foods and party games! I want to prove that Pinterest can be a force for good and not just a distraction!

Our Pinterest Inspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

First of all, here’s how to distract two children while you are getting things ready for a New Year’s Eve party – give them a pile of scrapbook paper scraps and some punches and ask them to make confetti! Cheeky Boy couldn’t do the punches too well but he loves cutting with scissors so he just snipped lots of paper into little triangles. Little Miss was amused for a long time with punching!

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

Our party started at 6pm when people came round for a buffet dinner. It was a very small party of friends – us, another family of four, and a couple, so there were ten of us in total. We had a spread of food for at least double that amount of people:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

The ‘Pinspired’ piece of the main buffet was some Cheese & Garlic Pull-Apart Bread. My photo does not do it justice at all, so please head to the original link to make your mouth water here: Cheese and Garlic Crack Bread at Recipe Tin Eats. My loaf was a tiger baton, and I added some cheddar cheese as well as mozzarella, other than that I stuck to the recipe. It took a lot longer to prepare than I thought it would – the recipe said 10 mins of prep but it took me about 20 minutes. It didn’t look like much:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

But oh-my-goodness this was yummy! I will be cooking it again for sure. We were ripping off big chunks and coming back for more. Totally worth the effort!

After our main part of the buffet we played some party games before dessert.

This first one is not directly inspired by Pinterest. When searching for party games I discovered some Minute-To-Win-It party games on Pinterest (like this link HERE at The Chaos And The Clutter), which I thought sounded fun. But I realised the two young boys wouldn’t really be able to understand or do most of them (they are only 2 and 3), so I thought about what games we usually have at their parties – pass-the-parcel is always a winner.

I adapted pass-the-parcel a bit so it was fun for all of us to open. Every-other layer had a small pack of Haribo sweets with a cracker-joke. The in-between layers had silly toys that could be fun for grown-ups or kids – whoopee cushions, noisy clackers, foam darts etc. The middle prize was a glow stick.

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

By far the most successful prize was the whoopee cushions, they were making the kids laugh so much that the grown-ups were laughing at the kids laughing, if you know what I mean! It was also a good game because it meant we were all sitting down for a while to let our dinner go down! P.S. Well done hubby for wrapping up the pass-the-parcel (using our discarded xmas wrapping paper) while I was cooking! We’ll remember the Minute-To-Win-It games for when the boys are a bit bigger.

The next game was straight from Pinterest. They are Mini-Marshmallow Poppers at Real Simple. You basically cut the bottom off a paper or plastic cup, cut the top off a deflated balloon and add the knotted end of the balloon to the base of the cup. Then put a mini-marshmallow in the cup, pull the knot back, and ping the marshmallow into the air. I ended up taping the ballons to the cups too as the kids kept pulling them off.

We were trying to aim the marshmallows into a big bowl in the middle of the room. The idea was if you got the marshmallow into the bowl you could eat it, if you missed then you couldn’t.

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

The kids played for a while and then we gave them some marshmallows each in a little bowl for them to eat, and the grown-ups had a go, but instead of aiming for a big bowl we went straight to the main target and aimed for each other’s mouths. Hilarity ensued! We were finding mini marshmallows everywhere – I found 2 more at the back of the bookcase yesterday. Worth it for the giggles though!

Next we moved onto desserts. I’ve had these chocolate-dipped cherries pinned for ages, but the original pin didn’t have the link to the recipe, I’ve just found it here: Cherries Dipped In White Chocolate at Simple Provisions. I used gold sugar pearls and snowflake sprinkles, as that’s what I had in the cupboard:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

Now, I’m not sure what went wrong, but the cherries with gold pearls were a FAIL. The chocolate didn’t soften up the pearls like icing would, so they were as hard as little tiny rocks. Not pleasant to try and eat! I’m guessing either the pearls were too big (they look a lot bigger than the silver pearls used at Simple Provisions) or they just weren’t the right kind. Also I think my cherries were still a little damp when I dipped them, as some of the white chocolate was sliding off. I want to try these again with just white chocolate, no decoration!

Another dessert was another thing not directly inspired by Pintertest. While searching for New Year’s Eve party activities I saw a lot of photo-booth ideas, including these: New Year’s Eve Photo Booth Props at The Crafted Sparrow, which were made on the Cricut Explore. I thought about powering up the Explore to make some, then I remembered these Vinterkul Pastry Cutters at Ikea which I bought recently, but hadn’t used yet.

The morning before the party I made a basic biscuit recipe (with some lemon zest added to the dough for a bit of zing), and Cheeky Boy, Little Miss, and I had fun cutting, baking, and decorating:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

The bows were a big hit with the girls:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

While the boys favoured stars and moustaches:

Our Pinspired New Year's Eve at Jennifer Grace Creates

They were fun and tasty too! I need to make more moustaches next time, as the grown ups wanted them too!

After dessert the kids went upstairs to play in their rooms and the grown-ups played a board game (the Logo Game which was harder than I thought it would be). Then at 11pm when the kids were flagging (and I was too, I had a migraine emerging by this point), we did a fake countdown. Hubby found a video of last years’s Big Ben countdown and fireworks and we played it on the tv so the kids thought it was really midnight, and then ran around shouting ‘Happy New Year’ about 50 times over! We had party poppers and threw the confetti the kids had made.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of that because my head was hurting too much to think about it! After the countdown everyone went home and I went to bed, poor hubby had to ring in the Real New Year on his own, I was fast asleep!

It was a really fun evening until my headache though. I shall certainly be searching Pinterest again for our next party! One thing I had pinned but never got round to doing was a New Year’s Eve Bingo at Thirty Handmade Days (there are some more NYE printables on that post too), so I’ll be keeping that in mind for next year!

Do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? Do you use Pinterest for inspiration when you have a party / gathering coming up? Let me know your Pinterest username if so!

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Giftwrapping, Your Craft & Soul Events

The Refresh Your Craft & Soul Welcome & Grand Giveaway!

Hello and welcome to the start of my FREE blog event! It’s time to Refresh Your Craft & Soul!

Refresh Your Craft & Soul Online Event at Jennifer Grace Creates

If you haven’t heard about this event before, then here are the details: This weekend (6th – 8th June 2014) from 4pm – 10pm Friday and 10am – 10pm Saturday and Sunday (BST) there will be posts going live EVERY HOUR! There will be lots of crafts, tutorials, challenges, tips, a blog hop, and of course some lovely giveaways  {Giveaways NOW CLOSED – challenges still open}!

The theme for the event is loosely based on my word for the year ‘Cleanse’. However, ‘Refresh Your Craft & Soul’ will expand to include a variety of ideas, including water themes (rain, sea, rivers, drinks, watercolour paints, water activities), fresh air and outdoors, trying new things, simplifying clutter, clean and simple projects, being healthy, letting go of worries, etc!

The giveaways will close on Monday the 9th of June at 10.59pm BST, but the challenges will have prizes too, and those will stay open for entries until the following Sunday (15th June) so there’s time to play along with those even if you’re not about for the actual event!

Let’s kick things off with The Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED} :

Refresh Your Craft and Soul Giveaway at Jennifer Grace Creates

One lucky person will receive this prize package which includes:

6 Sheets of Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine Paper

Hello Sunshine Puffy Stickers, Label Stickers, and half a pack of Pocket Cards

6 Sheets of Elle’s Studio Everyday Moments Paper

Everyday Moments Bits & Pieces

My Mind’s Eye Just Splendid 6×6 Pad, 8×10 Word Art Pack, Wood Dots, and a sampler of the Decorative Tape

Plus a few sequins for a bit of shimmer!

So how do you get the chance to win these goodies? By commenting! You could just leave a comment on this post – that will give you one entry into the draw. But every comment on any post that goes live this weekend will count as another entry into the draw!

You will only be entered into the Grand Giveaway if you have commented on this welcome post. That way if you don’t want to win the prize – maybe you already own all these goodies (?!) – then don’t comment here, but you can still comment on all the other posts this weekend (including all the other giveaways) without being entered.

To tempt you to enter, and show you what can be done with some of the items in the prize pack, here’s a tag I made using the same supplies:

Big Smiles Tag by Jennifer Grace

I layered up a Hello Sunshine Pocket Card and puffy stickers, with a couple of tags from the Everyday Moments Bits & Pieces, and some Just Splendid Decorative Tape. Plus a few gems of course!

You could leave it just like this to use on a scrapbook page or pocket album, but if you are going to put it on a gift to brighten someone’s day you can punch a hole in one corner and add some twine:

Big Smiles Tag by Jennifer Grace

I added one lot of twine to attach it to the gift, then tied a twine bow on top too!

Be Inspired:

Use a pocket card as the base for a tag

Combine two happy phrases to brighten someone’s day

Finish off with a twine bow

Don’t forget to comment here to be entered into the Grand Giveaway  {NOW CLOSED}! The giveaway is open internationally, and it will close at 10.59pm (BST) on Monday the 9th of June.

I see you again at 5pm! Are you excited that the event has started?!

Jennifer x

P.S. Remember there were some free ‘Refresh’ files to download in my previous post HERE if you want them!