Home Decor Craft Projects

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.

DIY Gifts

Mermaid Pattern Bowl DIY

I’ve always wanted to be a mermaid. You know, just for a few days, to swim with the whales and discover the depths of the sea. We just watched Disney’s The Little Mermaid again last night and I was signing along merrily. My kids told me to ssssh. I ignored them.

This mermaid pattern bowl won’t magically turn me into a mermaid, but it makes me happy to look at it while I eat my cereals:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

Here’s how to make your own…

Step 1: Begin with a plain white bowl and Edding’s Porcelain Brush Pens:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

Step 2: I ended up doing this step wrong and having to start it again. You’ll see a couple of reasons why!

Draw a pattern of fish-scales by drawing connected semi-circles around the base of the bowl:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

See how the filled-in semi-circle on the left doesn’t look as smooth as the one on the right? You need to use broad sweeping strokes when colouring in with these pens, as they don’t bleed together too well if you try a more scribbled approach like I’d used on the left.

Don’t try to correct it by drawing over it again either – if the ink had already started to dry then you’ll just make scratches in it:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

It’s best to wipe off the offending section with a damp cloth, then dry with a dry piece of cloth (I used kitchen paper for both) before starting again:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

However it still wasn’t quite right, as when I went to do the next layer I realised the semi-circles would have to be huge in order to connect with the first layer in a mermaid-scales pattern. Too big – it looked more like flower petals:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

So I wiped it all off and drew the first layer again with smaller semi-circles:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

Step 3: Now draw and fill in the next layer with a new colour. The semi-circles should be offset with the first layer, so that the dips of the 2nd layer meet with the middles of the semi-circles on the first layer:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

Step 4: Repeat 3 more times with new colours each time, for three more layers:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

Step 5: Your mermaid scales are done but it needs a little ‘something’ to make it look finished:

Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

So draw a scalloped line around the top edge with a contrasting colour, to give it a ‘frill’ and make it look more mermaid-like!

Bake according to instructions and your bowl is finished and ready to use:

 Mermaid Pattern Bowl at jennifergracecreates.com

The perfect gift for someone who wants to be a mermaid.

On my belated hen-party I was allowed to give out stickers to my hens for ‘good work’ eg. if they said something funny or re-filled my wine etc. One of my friend’s said I looked like a mermaid when I was swimming so I gave her a few extra stickers!

Have you ever wanted to be a magical creature or to have super powers? I hope most people have crazy dreams like that!

Bye for now,

Jennifer x

Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter, Home Decor Craft Projects

Concertina Christmas Trees and the Frosty Festivities 2015 Wrap-Up Post!

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

Well, it’s the last day of November, which means it’s also the last day of my Frosty Festivities 2015 event. Have you enjoyed it?! I have a few things to mention and then I have one last project to inspire you with!

There’s a list of all the Frosty Festivities 2015 posts on THIS PAGE of my blog. Make sure you check to see if there’s any posts you missed, especially all the giveaways {ALL NOW CLOSED}! Look at all the fabulous prizes you could win:

Frosty Festivities 2015 Prizes at Jennifer Grace Creates

Al the giveaways and the challenge to be inspired stay open until 10pm GMT on next Sunday the 6th of December {ALL NOW CLOSED}. Winners will be announced on Thursday the 10th of December so make sure you check back to see if you’ve won.

If you have enjoyed the event, I’d be really grateful if you can pin or share the projects you like. Whilst I do enjoy making all the projects, running the events, and reading your comments, it’s visitor numbers that convince me to run it again and convince sponsors to add a prize. So the more visitors the better!

Talking about sponsors, make sure you shop at Lettera Etc, The Paperdashery, Little Dorrit & Co, Feed Your Craft, and SVG Files Shop, when you can, to thank them for being fabulous sponsors!

If you have any questions or suggestions about how these events are run, then don’t hesitate to contact me at jennifergrace(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk!

Now for one last project, these Concertina Christmas Trees:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor using My Mind's Eye Christmas On Market Street at Jennifer Grace Creates

These were a fun way to use a bit more of my favourite Christmas collection (Christmas On Market Street by My Mind’s Eye)!

I started with a pile of items from the collection, plus some plastic cups, a score board, a hole punch, a hot glue gun, some sand, and some bamboo sticks:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

However I did end up swapping the bamboo sticks for chopsticks, as the bamboo sticks were too thick, and swapping the hole punch for a big bite hole puncher, as the normal hole punch couldn’t reach far enough:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

If you want to make some of your own…

Step 1: Cut 2 triangles from patterned paper. One of mine is 11″ tall, and the other is 7.5″ tall:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Score the trees horizontally at regular intervals – my score lines are about 3/4″ apart:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Concertina the trees by folding back and forth along the lines:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Draw a line down the center vertically on the back of your triangles. Then punch holes on each panel, along the line:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Make the holes a little larger by gently pushing the chopstick through, from the front of your triangle to the back, to widen them:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Push the trees onto the chopsticks:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Use hot glue to add some embellishments – I added a gold snowflake and a gold garland to the tops of the trees, and sentiments in the middle:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Add any other embellishments – I added a few enamel dots to each tree:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 9: Decorate the plastic cups by hot glueing on some glitter ribbon at the top, and another die-cut card embellishment at the front:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 10: Fill the plastic cups with coloured sand (I had to add some coloured stones too as I didn’t have enough sand), then stick your trees in and put them on display:

Concertina Christmas Trees Home Decor using My Mind's Eye Christmas On Market Street at Jennifer Grace Creates

Make sure you display them somewhere that they won’t get knocked over and spill sand everywhere!

These concertina trees would also look good made in miniature and added to cards and scrapbook layouts! You don’t even have to punch holes and add a stick if you’re going to be sticking them down flat.

Be Inspired:

Make some concertina Christmas trees

At glitter tape around the rim or edge of something

Use a wooden stick on a project or page

Remember to let me know what you thought about the event. Which was your favourite project?

Thanks so much for stopping by! I have enjoyed reading every single comment! Bye for now,

Jennifer x