DIY Gifts, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

Wood Slice Ornaments & Gifts

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

These wood slice ornaments and gifts are so fun. I want to buy a bunch more slices so I can keep these all for myself, and make more for gifts! My favourite is the penguin keyring, which I’ve added to my bunch of keys already – no-one else is getting that!

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

Those are Little Miss’ hands in the photo above. The slices are about 5 – 6cm tall.

I don’t have a tutorial as such for these… because they were so easy there’s not much instruction needed!

The slices I used were Amy Tangerine’s Finder’s Keepers Wood Slices. When these arrived I was a bit disappointed with them. They were a bit thicker than I thought they’d be (about 5mm deep – not that deep but a bit thicker than I’d like for scrapbook pages). They also just looked messy – mainly because a lot of bark had fallen off. But they were greatly improved when I decided to scrape off the remaining bark with a craft knife, so the edges looked clean.

In the below photo you can see 4 slices on the left which I had already removed the bark from before realising I should take a photo. The slice on the top right still has the bark attached but it hasn’t been well sliced – the surface is very uneven. On the bottom right you can see a piece of bark which came off in one neat ring, that’s how loose it was:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

I decided that 2 of the slices would have magnets stuck on the back, and 2 would have holes through the top so they could be hung for display. So I set about trying to make a hole. Unfortunately hubby had taken his drill to work and I was too impatient to wait for him to get home. So I tried to make the hole with a nail and hammer:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

As you can see this didn’t go too well, as I split the wood. At first it was just a tiny crack but when I tried to make the hole bigger (thinking I could cover up the crack later) it completely broke apart. But that did mean I had a piece to experiment with, and after trying to use a screw and a screwdriver (did not work at all) I discovered that I could make a good hole with an old paper piercer! It’s important that I say OLD paper piercer, you wouldn’t want to do this with your only one as it will blunt it. I have 2 paper piercers as I blunted one years ago, so I keep that for tougher materials like this. If you have a drill that will work best!

Once I’d figured out how to make the holes I just needed to decorate the slices. This was super easy.

For the first one that would be a magnet I used the Hero Arts Lia Griffith ‘Deck The Halls’ stamp set to stamp a deer in black in the middle (with chalk ink), and two leaf garlands in gold around the deer. I did heat emboss all these, but I don’t think it made any difference so I wouldn’t bother next time! I also dotted some Mod Podge on so I could add some fine red glitter dots too:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

For the next magnet slice I stamped a circular sentiment in the center (from Avery Elle ‘Joy To The World’, using Avery Elle’s ‘Cherry’ Pigment Ink), then added a thick layer of Mod Podge to the outer edge, tipping glitter on to it as I went:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

For my two slices with holes I painted the centers – one white and one black, both with Martha Stewart Satin Craft Paint. Then I stuck a gold sticker (from My Mind’s Eye Christmas On Market Street) on the white slice, and painted a penguin face with white, orange, and more black paint on the black slice.

I chose to paint the majority of these slices because they had more imperfections in the wood, which is fine as I know wood is a natural element so it can’t be perfect, but I still didn’t want those showing on my finished items:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

Here’s what they looked like all decorated. I did spray them with a layer of matt spray varnish as well – I’d certainly recommend varnishing one if it’s going to be a keyring:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

Once the varnish was dry I tied twine through the one which would be a hanging decoration (I had to use a darning needle to get the twine through the hole), then I had a flash of inspiration and added a keyring to the penguin, and I glued magnets onto the back of the slices with no holes using superglue:

Wood Slice Ornaments And Gifts

Then they were all done, ready to gift to someone for Christmas, or in my case, keep them all to myself!

Be Inspired:

Paint a penguin face on something round, or use a penguin embellishment or picture

Add stamping, glitter, or paint to something wooden (eg a wood box, frame, slice, or wood veneer shape)

Use the phrase ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ on your next project

I hope that’s given you a few ideas! Which wood slice do you like the most?

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 at 8am GMT tomorrow with the first sponsored giveaway!

Jennifer x

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter, Scrapbook Layouts

Snow Day Layout – With Background Textures

Today I’ve got a snowy layout to share with you, with a few different textures added to the background.

Snow Day:

Snow Day Layout at Jennifer Grace Creates

I knew I wanted to use this sheet of ‘Oh Deer’ paper from the Pinkfresh Studio Christmas Wishes collection. It was perfectly white for my page, but I’m not used to using such a white background, so to keep things interesting I wanted to add some extra texture without adding too much colour!

I added some glittery dots, using an eraser on the end of a pencil to pick up some glue off a glue-stick and stamp it onto the paper, before tipping glitter on top:

Snow Day Layout at Jennifer Grace Creates

 Make sure you put plenty of glue on if you try this, a few of my circles were only half-glittered and I had to re-do them!

Once my dots were dry and all shook off I decided I needed a bit of colour around the edge of the page. I did want it mostly white but it was too white for me! I used a Tim Holtz Ink applicator Tool and some Avery Elle ‘Aquamarine’ Ink to blend onto the edges of the paper. I also went over it again with a Brilliance White Ink Pad in a few places where it was darker than I liked:

Snow Day Layout at Jennifer Grace Creates

Whilst I was blending the ink I realised some glitter was coming off my dots, so I blobbed some Glossy Accents on top of them, using an old paintbrush to dab it down so it wasn’t too domed:

Snow Day Layout at Jennifer Grace Creates

I also sprinked a tiny bit more glitter on top of the Glossy Accents to make sure it stayed sparkly! I left that to dry for a couple of hours before moving on with the layout.

My last texture on the background was to add some squiggly pieces of white cotton. They are hard to see in the photos but in real life they remind me of snowdrifts. Two were stuck down with double-sided tape, in a place that I knew would be hidden by the photos. The third bit was stuck down with a Christmas Wishes puffy sticker:

Snow Day Layout at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I just had to finish the layout! The letters have a touch of gold, and there are sequins, a couple of tiny wood veneer shapes, and enamel dots for even more contrast of texture:

Snow Day Layout at Jennifer Grace Creates

I popped the polaroid-style photo up on foam dots, as it’s the photo of us – the other photo is of the friends we met up with that day:

Snow Day Layout at Jennifer Grace Creates

I love how the white in the photo is surrounded by the white of the background – it really did feel like a world of white that day so the layout really reminds me of the setting:

Snow Day Layout at Jennifer Grace Creates

If you don’t have snow where you live then don’t despair – there are some ideas below for how to use this page to inspire your own scrapbooking!

Be Inspired:

Use at least 3 different kinds of texture on your next project (eg. wood, glitter, thread, something shiny)

Find a photo with a dominant colour and use a piece of paper with the same dominant colour for the background of your layout

Blend ink onto the edges of a layout, card, tag, etc

Do you usually try to add lots of different kinds of texture on your pages? It’s something I don’t always think about, but I often use wood veneer shapes and shiny dots so I guess that’s 2 textures straight away!

Have a great day, I’ll be back tomorrow at 8am GMT with the next Frosty Festivities project!

Jennifer x


A Black & Hot Pink Card for Cardabilities #130

Today I’m sharing a black & hot pink card which I made for my Mother-In-Law for her birthday. She loves these high contrasting bold colours… and adding a bit of sparkle doesn’t hurt either!

A Black & Hot Pink Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

I based the card on this sketch from Cardabilities #130:

Cardabilities Sketch #130

I liked the circle to ground some elements and the slightly-splattered looking background!

I pulled some bits and pieces together:

A Black & Hot Pink Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

Including a glittery hot-pink card base, and some zebra-patterned gems, both of which my in-laws bought for me on a trip to America. It feels a little cheeky using something she bought me on my MIL’s card, but I know she’ll like to see it being used!

To start with I decided a splattered-background wouldn’t suit my MIL – she’s too neat. But she does own a few birds so I added some feathers floating down the background instead. I used an old Glitz Designs roller stamp, a VersaMark ink pad, and tome white embossing powder:

A Black & Hot Pink Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

I didn’t bother heat embossing in between each row… I just made a mess instead! I did scrape off the little lines of powder which you can see between the rows of feathers before I heated it though.

Once it was heated I stick this charcoal piece of paper to my glittery card base. I used a hot glue gun to adhere it as I wasn’t sure what else (other than stitching) would hold it onto the glitter! It means it’s a bit wobbly rather than perfectly flat but it doesn’t notice too much:

A Black & Hot Pink Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

I layered a few more bits on top, then realised the ‘birthday’ silver word which I’d picked out would no longer fit on the card. It got lost in the busy paper to the right:

A Black & Hot Pink Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

I decided I wanted to change the sentiment instead of the paper, so I found a ‘Happy Birthday’ sticker in my stash:

A Black & Hot Pink Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I just added a few more pretty things. I stamped a cake on the pinked half-circle on the right too, as my MIL loves cake!

A Black & Hot Pink Card at Jennifer Grace Creates

It was my MIL’s birthday yesterday. She said she loved the card!

I’m on the lookout for more card challenges as I have a batch to make… do you know of any good ones?! If you want to enter the Cardabilities Sketch #130 the link is HERE and the deadline for entries is the 13th of September.

Have a great weekend, I’ll be back on Monday,

Jennifer x


Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination!

Last week I needed to make a wedding card for my brother and his wife (who just renewed their vows at the weekend) so I decided to use a colour scheme to help me design it. Little Miss was a bridesmaid and I knew her dress was golden (though I hadn’t seen it) but I didn’t know anything else about the colour scheme. So I just picked one of my favourite colours of teal, and used that with white and gold – which made a gorgeous classy combo…

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

Pretty huh?

I literally just dug through my stash finding objects that matched the colour scheme in my head, including the gold flower which is one of my spray-painted embellishments:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I painted their names with watercolours on some art paper, flicking some drops of paint over the top too:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

Before putting it all together!

The heavy flower and budded stem are adhered on with hot glue to make sure they won’t fall off:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

I think it looks nice and classy:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

And I was super happy when I arrived and found out that Cheeky Boy – who was a page boy / best man – had a teal hat to wear with his outfit:

Teal, Gold & White Colour Combination at Jennifer Grace Creates

How perfect was my colour scheme?! What a good guess. And don’t the kids look cute? It took about 12 takes to get them to both smile in vaguely the right direction though!

Have you ever used a teal, gold and white colour combination? Why not try it out. Or you could try using white and gold with one of your favourite colours. Let me know if you do!

Have a great day,

Jennifer x


Ombre Glitter Stripes (Birthday Card Tutorial)

Pretty pink and girly birthday cards are something that’s often needed here, with plenty of invites for my daughter to attend her friend’s birthday parties. So I cam up with this design with Ombre Glitter Stripes:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s how to put one together…

Collect a white card blank (with a piece of patterned paper and a piece of white card to layer onto it), a birthday stamp (and ink to stamp it), glitter in a range of hues for an ombre effect (plus some double-sided tape to adhere it to the card), and embellishments (eg a flower and some gems):

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 1: Stamp your birthday sentiment onto the piece of white card, but don’t stick it onto the patterned paper or card blank yet. Make sure you use the right ink with the right kind of white card… later on you’ll see that I smudged my sentiment because the ink never dried on my coated card. But it looked good to start with:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Move the white piece of card onto a scrap of paper and stick it vertically down the left hand side of your card. Adhere too much so you have some at the edges – you will then trim the overhanging pieces off but this makes sure your glitter will go right up to the top and bottom of the white card:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Trim off the overhanging pieces of tape, peel off the tape backing, and tip your first (darkest) colour of glitter onto the tape. Use a finger to press the glitter down so it’s stuck on nicely:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Tip off the excess glitter and put it back into the pot. It should now look like this:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Repeat steps 2-4 with your other colours of glitter. Work from darkest – lightest. In the photos two of my colours look like they are almost the same, or maybe that I did a darker one after a lighter one, but I promise in real life it looks right! When all your glitter is done you can adhere the white card piece to the patterned paper and layer it on to your card blank:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

At this point I realised my sentiment had smudged. Actually I’d smudged a couple during the process already but I thought I wasn’t leaving it long enough – I left this one to dry for 3 hours and it still smudged:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

I was using Avery Elle ‘Fog’ pigment ink and I realised the white card I had used was too shiny / coated so the pigment ink would never dry properly. I stamped it onto a piece of more porous white paper – actually the back off a scrap of patterned paper. This dried almost instantly, and I was able to stick it onto the card using pop-dots:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Add your embellishments – I used a flower and some gems:

Ombre Gitter Stripes Birthday Card Tutorial at Jennifer Grace Creates

That’s it! Now you can send it to someone who appreciated the pink & sparkly things in life. You can always change the glitter colours for other occasions / recipients – I’m going to try it with rainbow colours next. What colours would you use?

I’m linking this up to the Seize The Birthday Challenge, I’m not sure if the stripes count as ‘tall & skinny’ optional toppings but I’m entering anyway!

Seize The Birthday Challenge

Thanks so much for stopping by, I hope you are having a sparkly day!

Jennifer x


A Transparent Birthday Card (using some recycled items!)

My hubby’s birthday is coming up on Monday, and I found a couple of challenges to help me with inspiration for his card!

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

The first challenge I’m linking up to is the Make The Day Special Stamp Store January challenge to Recycle. You have to use at least one item that they have in the store, and use something you would be throwing away / recycling as part of your project (or as part of the technique when making it).

Make The Day Special Stamp Store January Challenge

The second challenge is the Mixed Media Card Challenge #7 to use the word ‘New’ either as a word on your card or by using a new technique, etc, with the optional extra to use tissue.

 Card Challenge january2015challenge

Here’s how to make this card…

Step 1: Find some plastic / a transparency for the clear parts of the card. I found the plastic front off a box headed for the recycling. It was packaging from a doll my daughter received at Christmas:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

I cut a clear rectangle out of it, but then I realised I wanted the back of the card to be transparent too, so I found another box, this time from a car seat cover:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

You should end up with two pieces of transparent plastic, each measuring 5 x 5.5″:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 2: Take a 6×6″ kraft card blank and use a pencil to mark a large rectangle on the inside of each side, measuring 4⅝ x 3⅝”- you are leaving enough space around the edges to stick the plastic to:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 3: Cut these two large rectangles out with a craft knife, and erase the pencil marks inside your card:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 4: Use StazOn Black Ink to stamp your sentiment onto the top right corner of one of the clear plastic pieces. I used a sentiment from the Avery Elle Cake & Candles set:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Stick this inside your card, on the rectangle which will be the front of your card, using double-sided sticky tape. Stick the other plain piece of plastic to the back rectangle of the card.

Step 5: Find some stubby bits of candle that are too short to use on a cake. Mine are just under 1″ tall:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 6: Stick these to the front of your card, using hot glue underneath the candles, and some double-sided sticky tape over the front of the candles. Also find a piece of silver card, mine’s from a packet of Christmas-crackers:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 7: Cut the silver piece down to a rectangle measuring 2⅛ x 1⅜”, round the top corners, and stick some glitter tape across the middle. Stick a piece of patterned paper (measuring 1⅛ x 6″) at the bottom of the front of your card. Adhere the silver rectangle on top of the candles on the front of your card, using the double-sided tape that’s already on the candles, plus some 3D foam pop-dots at the bottom of the cake – you’ll need to layer up the pop-dots a few deep depending on how thick your candles are:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 8: The back of the candles might look a little messy from the hot glue:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 9: So you could use some glossy accents and glitter on the other side of the plastic to cover it up:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 10: Use washi tape to hide the double-sided tape at the edges of the transparencies:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 11: Stick a plain piece of card at the bottom of the inner-back of your card, so you have a place to write on. You could also stamp a few swirls at the top of the plastic, and some little stars on the piece of plain card (my stars are from the Joy To The World Stamp Set):

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 12: Find a piece of yellow tissue paper, or colour a white piece of tissue paper with yellow ink:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 13: Scrunch up little bits of the tissue paper as flames, and use a tiny dab of hot glue at the top of each candle wick to stick them on:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Step 14: Finish off the card with a few more stamped stars on the front corners, and add a few star stickers and gems:

A Transparent Birthday Card (with some recycled items) at

Give it to someone to make their birthday special! This card is pretty thick because of the candles, so it’s best for hand deliveries or cards going into a parcel!

How I met the Make The Day Special Stamp Store ‘Recycling’ Challenge: Using plastic packaging, silver card packaging, stubby candles, and a scrap of tissue paper.

How I met the Mixed Media Card ‘New’ Challenge: I’ve never made a transparent card before, and I’ve never used candles on a card! I also used the optional extra – tissue.

Make sure you check out the challenges to see more inspiration!

Have you ever made a transparent card before? Do you ever use recycled items on your projects?

Bye for now, Jennifer x

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

Snow Ride – A Winter Scene Layout

(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities 2014 Blog Event – see the beginning HERE!)

Hello. It’s time to share a frosty-feeling layout with you…

Snow Ride:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

My daughter was lucky enough to be invited to a friend’s birthday party where they had pony rides… and they didn’t let the snow put them off. It looked so magical with them crunching down the white garden. I was a bit jealous but I don’t think that little pony could take my weight!

I wanted to create a winter wonderland style page to match the scene. First I chose the papers (the background piece is Webster’s Pages Gingerbread Village, and the front pieces are from Pink Paislee Merry & Bright, and Fancy Pants Oh Deer):

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

The little tab at top right is a journaling card from a Jillibean Soup cut-apart sheet. To make a ‘pocket’ for it to go into, I checked where it would fit and then stuck double-sided tape around it on the paper above, before pressing that sheet onto my page:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

Once my papers were stuck down, I applied some texture/modelling paste. I swiped a thick layer of it all along the bottom of the page, to look like snowdrifts, and I used a Heidi Swapp confetti stencil to create some snowy dots near the top of the 6×6 papers:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

While the paste was still wet I shook some white and silver fine glitters over the ‘snow’ to make it glisten:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut some triangles of silver glitter ribbon to make some sparkly trees:

Cutting triangles from glitter ribbon:  Jennifer Grace Creates

And pressed them into the embossing paste snowdrift:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

I left it to dry overnight. Once it was dry I shook off the excess glitter, and was left with a very wavy-edged piece of paper:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

So I stuck it onto a piece of white cardstock, applying my tape runner liberally over the back of the wavy area, and pressed it under some scrapbooks for a couple of hours. After that it was much flatter:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

I stitched some grey & white bakers twine through an Amy Tangerine feather tag, and layered this, plus a Webster’s Pages cut-apart card and my photo, onto my page. I used 3D foam dots to stick all of them down:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I just had to add embellishments! I decided the page was looking a bit monochromatic, which wasn’t a terribly bad thing, but I wanted another colour to make it feel more cheerful. I chose pink, because the white glitter has a pink gleam too it, and there a little bit of pink on my daughter’s hat. I didn’t choose it because of my daughter, as she doesn’t like the colour pink that much… I think she’d agree that this flower is pretty though:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

And the pink mittens to emphasize the chilly theme:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

The last thing I did was write the journaling, and staple a little bit of the silver glitter ribbon to the top of the journaling card as a pull-out tab:

Snow Ride - A Winter Layout by Jennifer Grace Creates

I think it’s a suitably magical feeling page to remember the moment!

Be Inspired:

Create ‘snow drifts’ with some white paste or paint

Cut glittery ribbon into triangles

Make a monochromatic project, and at the last stage add a pop of colour

Do you have any fond memories of a magical wintry day?

See you again in one hour!

Jennifer x

Cricut Explore

Discovering the Cricut Explore!

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to go to London, to meet with the Cricut team and find out all about the new Explore machine…

Discovering the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

I was so excited to go, the invite was a tantalising glimpse of what the machine can achieve:

Cricut Explore Event Invite

The picture on here wasn’t a Criut cartridge, it was an image of London which was uploaded to the Explore Design Space, cleaned up, then cut!

So I set off last Thursday early in the morning, and caught the train to London. I arrived at Waterloo Station, which meant I was close enough to walk to the event, and I could stroll past the London Eye, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament, which made the day feel like an adventure already.

london blog

The event was on the 26th floor of the Millbank Tower, which had amazing views over London. But I was more interested by what was in the room…

flowers and room

Including this tall cone of paper and card flowers, which I stood near on arrival while I sipped a glass of orange juice and mingled with other bloggers.

Then there was a presentation to all the bloggers and some press, all about the new Cricut Explore Machine. It was cool to see all the American faces including Ashish Arora the CEO of Cricut, and a couple of US bloggers Mandi Gubler from Vintage Revivals and Kim Stoegbauer from The TomKat Studio.

Ashish was very inspiring during his talk, telling us all how he joined the company 2 years ago and didn’t know anything about crafting. Then he learnt all about it from bloggers all around the world, now he calls himself a bloggers BFF because he finds bloggers so amazing. He talked about how much effort has gone into this machine to get it just right – how many metals they tried out to make the perfect blade, how many technology tweaks there were to work out the tiny differences in pressure the blade needs for different materials. Cricut have spent 2 years working on the machine so when it reaches us it seems as simple and effortless as possible!

Selfie with Ashish Arora

I had to take a selfie with Ashish as he was so approachable and enthusiastic!

Mandi and Kim talked about how they are loving the machine, for Mandi it’s especially good for home decor details, and Kim loves it for fun party items.

Then Kristie from Cricut unboxed an Explore so we could see exactly what came in the box. At one point I let out a ‘yay’ and got so excited I dropped my pencil – because the machine comes with a tote bag! I don’t expect I’d carry it around a whole lot, but I know I’ll want to take it some places and it will be so much easier with a tote. Kristy said that she’d been walking around with the tote at home before the release to check the comfort of the handle etc!

Then came the really fun bit, heading to our assigned machines to try them out! I was a star:

corner blog

I sat down with a group of bloggers, and Mandi was our guide to help us out. She asked

“What does everyone want to do, would you like me to do a demonstration, would you like to make something?”

I was the first to bounce up and down in my seat saying

‘I want to MAKE something!!!”

So I got first try!

Now here come what I LOVE the most about the Explore… the Design Space. Now, I will say if your internet connection isn’t good then this machine is NOT for you. There’s no way to use it offline. During the event there were a couple of times when it slowed down a bit because there were so many people using the internet all at once. But I’m okay with that as I’m online all the time anyway! Plus the Design Space is awesome enough for me to overlook that.

Here’s the landing page for the Design Space:

make it now

Where you can create a project from scratch, or you can choose one of the previously designed projects and ‘make it now’. You can choose to customise the project if you want to adjust the sizes a bit or change the text etc, or you can literally ‘make it now’ and go straight to cutting if you are happy with it as it is!

I was drawn to this t-shirt with elephants on, and now you can see the cool thing about Design Space, that you can actually design on a ‘canvas’ like your project:


You can choose from so many different canvases when you start a new project, from bags to clothing to book covers. And then if you choose a t-shirt you can then choose if it’s for a man, woman or child, whether it’s small, medium or large, what kind of neckline it has, you can also change the colour to help you imagine your project better:


I think it’s so cool to be able to work like that rather than having to measure everything to work out the size, and trying to picture in your mind what it will look like! You can change the colour of the image (ie the elephants here) to the right colour of vinyl or material you are using too.

I cut the elephants just as they were because I wanted to see how fast I could create something with ‘make it now’. I had to load my glitter iron-on-vinyl onto a mat, and change the dial on the machine:


This dial is so cool as before with my Cricut Mini you had to change the pressure and speed to certain numbers for different materials, but this dial does it for you!

Once the dial was set it tells you when to load and when to ‘go’! It cut out quickly and quietly. The only thing was the baby elephants leg got torn when we were taking the excess vinyl off after cutting. Later we realised that this was because the dial needs to be set to one notch past iron-on when you are using the glitter iron-on vinyl rather than iron-on-lite.

I wasn’t going to use the baby because of this, then someone suggested I try it anyway and I’m glad she did as he looks fine once ironed on to my bag:

Cricut Iron-On Glitter Vinyl bag by Jennifer Grace

From choosing the elephants to ironing them on my bag took about 10 minutes, how fast is that? And that included finding a plug-point for the iron! The ‘Mummy love’ and hearts took a bit longer, as I started a project from scratch, wrote the two words with different fonts, found a heart and welded them together before cutting. The words were fiddly to take the excess vinyl away from but they didn’t tear as we knew to use the higher setting by then!

After this I had a wander about the room. Look at all the inspiration! The theme was #ExploreTheSeasons so there were sets for Christmas, Halloween, and Summer (Beach and Wedding themes):


halloween blog

beach blog

I love this towel with an anchor on, and I was impressed how the vinyl looked good on the fluffy material:

towel blog


How pretty is this wedding dress? I think the butterflies were cut from leather:

table wedding dress

There were also a few more casual clothes on a rack, I want this dress with gold chevrons, and the owl sweater:

dress room

There was a long string of butterflies along the ceiling, all cut from different materials, my favourites were the shimmer leather, burlap, and adhesive-backed corkboard:

butterflies blog

My head was filling with ideas! We got treated to some lunch and cupcakes:

sandwich    cupcakes

And then I decorated a notebook with normal (not iron-on) vinyl, and tried out the drawing function on a bookmark by putting a pen into the machine (it can draw and cut at the same time, you don’t have to let it stop and change things around!):

Notebook and Bookmark cut with the Cricut Explore

Sorry the bookmark is a bit scruffy, but my son loves pirate ships so as soon as he saw it he grabbed it and tried to draw on it!

I stayed until the very end of the day, they started packing up around me, because I was having so much fun! I can’t wait to get my hands on the machine and play some more. Want to know when you’ll be able to get hold of it and what the price will be?

  • The Cricut Explore will air on Create and Craft starting on the 16th of May
  • It will be available from selected Hobbycraft stores,, and other retailers from June
  • It will cost £249.99 including VAT
  • No-commitment monthly subscriptions to Cricut Design Space (25,000+ images) are available for £7.49 {EDITED TO ADD: The monthly subscription IS NOT currently available in the UK} and annual subscriptions can be purchased for £79.99
  • Individual images from Cricut Design Space also start at 79p per image
  • Digital cartridges can be purchased or existing cartridges can also be used to unlock the same artwork through Cricut Design Space.

If you want to keep an eye on the news then make sure you follow the Cricut EU Facebook page and Twitter feed!

Well, as you can see I had a fabulous day and I can’t wait to get my hands on an Explore, once I do I will write some more about the Design Space and do some tutorials!

If you have any questions about the machine let me know, if I don’t know the answer I will pester my contacts to find out for you!

Have a great day, Jennifer x

Disclaimer: Cricut paid for my travel to London for the day, and provided lunch and supplies for projects, but all the opinions here are my own.


Glitter & Glitz Birthday Card

Hello. I’m back again with another Glitz Design Challenge entry – I wasn’t going to enter more this month, but then last week’s theme was glitter! Regular readers will know I couldn’t possibly resist such a theme!

I made a card this time to change it up a bit, and because I have totally run out of Birthday cards so I need to stock up…

Glitter & Glitz Birthday Card:

Glitter & Glitz Birthday Card by Jennifer Grace

I used the new 77 collection again (like I did on my New Haircuts Layout), choosing some of the bolder coloured papers from the 6×6 pad for this card. I really liked the orange colour in the geometric pattern, so I found a similar glitter  (American Crafts ‘Carrot’ Fine Glitter).

I used a small old paintbrush to rub some PVA glue (you could also use Mod Podge) along the edges of a 77 giant rhinestone, and the ‘Happy Birthday’ sentiment which I’d stamped onto white card. Then I placed them both on an old cookie cooling rack, with a piece of paper below it, and threw on a ton of glitter:

Glitter & Glitz Birthday Card by Jennifer Grace

Then I left them to dry over night before shaking off the excess glitter (you can’t see much glitter on the piece of paper above because I had to move it to photograph it).

These were nice and sparkly, but I also added dots of Crystal Stickles around the edge of the ‘Oh Baby It’s A Wild World’ card – you can just about see them in the photos but they give a nice subtle glisten in real life. I also stitched some twinkly gold embroidery thread down the centre of the geometric pattern on the left, and added a few shiny sequins:

Glitter & Glitz Birthday Card by Jennifer Grace

What do you think, just enough glitter?

I hope you have a sparkly weekend!

Jennifer x