Kids Crafts

Art Party! Little Miss Turns 8

It was my daughter’s 8th birthday on the 19th of March and she wanted an Art party. Like mother like daughter, eh?! I of course happily obliged, using pinterest and my own ideas to come up with some projects for her and her friends to make!

Art Party For An 8 Year Old

I had a minor meltdown on Monday this week when I came to write this post and thought I’d accidentally deleted all the photos from her birthday. I was searching everywhere, and for 24 hours I thought they were gone completely. I even ran several recovery programs trying to find them. On Tuesday I’d given up hope, then when I was working on a new cover photo for my Etsy shop I randomly discovered the photos inside a folder for my Etsy shop pictures. I don’t know how they ended up there but I’m extremely glad I found them!

I didn’t take too many photos because I was very busy helping them all to craft. But of course the photos I do have are precious!

Four of Little Miss’ friends came round so there were five girls all together (Cheeky Boy had a friend round to play with him in his room too!). We started by using lots of Happy Scatter stencils and some Martha Stewart Satin Paint, decorating the party bags that we’d be filling with their makes at the end of the party:

Stencilled Gift Bags Party Activity

They added a bit of glitter too! I love how bold and bright the colours are.

Next we made Fimo trinket bowls, following THIS TUTORIAL at A Beautiful Mess. I got the girls who finished their bags first to start squishing the Fimo to make it softer. They twisted sausages of colours together, then they all rolled out their bowls using some ‘rolling pins’ which was actually a long wooden pole we’d picked up at B&Q and cut down into sections.

We put them inside some oven proof bowls to bake them. In future I’d spray the bowls with some spray oil or something first, as they were a little tricky to get out!

Making Fimo Bowls at Jennifer Grace Creates

They looked great though, both the girls and their parents were impressed. I would add the gold rim as a finishing touch like the original tutorial if we had more time!

I liked how different they all looked. Some of them gave their bowls wavy edges which I thought was a nice touch:

Making Fimo Bowls at Jennifer Grace Creates

While the bowls were baking in the oven to set they played pass-the parcel, and then we moved onto the next project – drawing on some mugs using my Edding Porcelain Paint Pens. I’d shown them the mug on THIS POST at Design Sponge to give them an idea of what they could do, but told them they could draw what ever they wanted:

Drawing On Mugs Art Party at Jennifer Grace Creates

They were having great fun giggling over what the others were drawing and offering suggestions – both helpful and silly ones! Most of them drew pets they either owned or would like to own:

Drawing On Mugs Art Party at Jennifer Grace Creates

A couple of them had left the party before I remembered to photograph the mugs, but here’s a few of them after they’d been baked to set the pen. Little Miss’ is the one on the left, which is an Easter mug apparently:

Drawing On Mugs Art Party at Jennifer Grace Creates

After the mugs we moved on to edible art as Little Miss wanted to make something to eat. I melted some chocolate, butter, and golden syrup together following THIS RECIPE, and mixed in some broken biscuits. I did all this while they were drawing on their mugs. Then I poured it into some silicone cake cases, and they decorated the tops with a variety of sprinkles (including salted caramel, popping candy, and strawberry flavours), and marshmallows!

Edible Art Chocolate Cases

I stuck these in the fridge and they ran off to play upstairs for a bit.

While they were upstairs me and hubby prepared the party feast, which was a tea party. Though they had smoothie in their tea cups instead of tea!

Girls Tea Party

They thought it was very fancy and were all trying to drink with their little fingers sticking out!

Then we sang Happy Birthday and Little Miss blew out her candles. I had planned to bake a cake but I ran out of time so Little Miss had chosen this very pretty one instead:

Happy Birthday Little Miss

Then it was time to go. We put all their crafty makes into the bags they had decorated (the choc cakes were put into a sandwich bag first), along with a couple of other crafty gifts like a tube of glitter, a mini notebook, and a small paint-by-numbers set, as well as a slice of cake and a few sweets of course!

It was a fun party. I would have done a few more preparations if I’d had time. I wanted to make some decorations like THIS watercolour number poster. Instead I just used some paper chains and octahedron bunting which I’d made previously for other events. And I would have made a cake – I’d planned to make one with smarties hidden in the middle. But never mind, we can never fit it all in, and I’m sure that Little Miss enjoyed her day, so that’s the main thing!

Have you ever had an art party? Do you think you’ll be trying any of these ideas out?

Thanks so much for stopping my,

Jennifer x

Industry News & Reviews

A Review Of The Handmade Fair (Our Mummy And Daughter Date)

On Saturday the 19th of September my daughter and I drove to London to experience Kirstie Allsopp’s ‘The Handmade Fair’ at Hampton Court Palace. We had a lovely day, but also came away with a few niggles & tips, so I thought I’d do a review of The Handmade Fair to tell you all about it!

For anyone who doesn’t know, The Handmade Fair is a 3 day event with talks, workshops, and ‘grand makes’, as well as stalls selling handmade supplies and finished items – with lots of stalls doing demos too. We won the tickets from Hester’s Handmade Home on Instagram, though I did see quite a few people running giveaways for the tickets in the run up to the event!

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

They were entry-only tickets, which meant I’d have to pay extra to go to any of the talks, workshops, or grand makes. I didn’t bother upgrading our tickets as my daughter couldn’t join in with the crafting – children under 12 couldn’t participate in workshops due to ‘health and safety’ reasons. It seems a shame that they don’t have at least one child-friendly workshop a day, as my daughter is a super keen crafter, and it’s good to nourish the next generation of creative minds!

We didn’t make it to the fair until 11.30am, as we got stuck in a ridiculous amount of traffic – the last little bit of the journey from the M3 to Hampton Court should have taken 15mins and actually took 1 hour and 45 minutes! The last 30minutes was driving from the full-up green car park to the further away blue car park. I may have cried a little bit when they said the green car park was full. I know the Handmade Fair organisers can’t help the traffic (there was extra traffic because of rugby and other events), but you would think they could find a venue with a bigger car park for all the attendees. It wasn’t like they were using the grandeur of Hampton Court Palace at all, as the Fair was over the road from that, on ‘the green’ which, let’s face it, is basically a field. A new, more accessible venue next year please?!

Anyway, rant over. We made it to the fair eventually, and wandered around to start with, checking out the lay of the land. This was made easy due to the colourful and iconic signposts:

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

We spotted that a couple of tents were doing free workshops, but it wasn’t the right time to start one, so we went for a look around the shopping tents. We found lots of lovely stalls – here’s a few of them:

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

Top left = Cool Crafting (where we got some cute wooden buttons / pendants), top right = The English Stamp Company (where I bought a stag stamp), bottom left = Ruby And The Crow (where we bought some gorgeous ribbons), and bottom right = Peach Blossom (where we didn’t buy anything though I was seriously tempted as it was all so pretty!).

We popped by a couple of the stalls doing free workshops – Craft Asylum and Janome, but their next workshops were full. So we continued our wander and stopped by the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint tent, where you could paint the furniture pictures on the wall. Little Miss really enjoyed this. Someone had already painted a bit of blue on this side-table, but she painted the rest green and orange, then I added white polka-dots to the blue bit. We were there for a while!

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

(Speaking of Annie Sloan paints, I just saw THIS BLOG POST by Kat at Housewife Confidential, re-doing a piano stool with pink and yellow paint, and it looks awesome!)

After that we headed to the Press Tent, where Louise from the BLoved Blog was running an Instagram #InstaPrettyParty workshop for bloggers and other interested people to attend. Louise was lovely and inspiring, and she’d set out a very pretty worktop to kick-start our ideas for flat lay photography:

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

Little Miss was very well behaved – while I listened to the workshop she was doodling in my notebook, looking very pretty against the tent backdrop:

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

Though her floral dress didn’t match the wall paper quite as well as Louise’s:

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

I wrote a post (HERE) back in May about how I was interested in using photo props and experimenting, so I really loved this workshop. Louise also gave great tips about scheduling your instagram photos and what times to post them, etc. It was fun to be in a room of other excited bloggers too! The BLoved Instagram account is HERE if you want to see some of their photos.

After this we visited the Mollie Makes tent, where Little Miss did a bit of colouring, and I browsed the books and picked up a free banner-making kit. It was also somewhere that you could get a cup of tea and a bit of cake, though when we were there they had run out of teacups!

We headed to the Craft Asylum tent for the next workshop but it was full again. So we ate a bit of our packed lunch, then went back there again for the next workshop – arriving half-an-hour before it this time to be sure of our place. A queue formed behind us so it was definitely the right decision – if you want to attend a free workshop, get there at least half an hour beforehand!

The tent was decorated beautifully with paper lanterns and rosettes:

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

The lovely Katie Skilton (who I met at Creative Exchanges in April) was running the workshop to make a paper rosette. Me and Little Miss made one as a team – I did the dangerous craft knife bits, and she did the fun sticking and stamping:

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

We also bumped into Dorothy Wood and Suzie Candlin who I’d last seen at Creative exchanges too. It was really fun spotting people who I knew and introducing Little Miss to them!

By now we were beginning to feel tired, so we had an afternoon super-treat of a pancake for Little Miss, and Churros for me. Another tip – make sure you do a lap of all the eateries before you choose where to eat, as there are so many delicious things to pick from. We made good choices – wow they were yummy:

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then we wandered around the stalls some more. We thought about going back to the Sizzix or Janome tents for the free workshops, but decided we didn’t want to spend the rest of our time waiting for a spot and then doing the 45min workshops. So we just spent a bit more money instead! We’d gone to the fair with a £50 budget (hubby actually took my cards away and made me take cash, very sensible of him), but we managed to get a lot of things for our money! Some were chosen by Little Miss, and some by me:

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

The banner kit is the free one from the Mollie Makes tent, and the Reloved magazines were in a £5 goody bag with some ribbons and buttons. The Craft Asylum deal was the best in my opinion, and 4 stamp sets and / or embellishment sets for £10! We each chose a stamp set and a embellishment set from there.

When it was time to go we stopped by Hampton Court Palace for a look. Little Miss was unimpressed – unless a Queen lives there then it’s not really a palace, apparently! She did like playing in the wooden carriages outside, and we took a few selfies of course:

A Review Of The Handmade Fair at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then we walked back to the car park… which I admit didn’t seem so far away now that we weren’t in a hurry! Thankfully there was no traffic on the way home, so we got back at a reasonable time, feeling very happy with our purchases and our mummy & daughter date!

The best bit of the day? When Little Miss looked up at me (I think it was when we were in the Annie Sloan tent) and said:

“Mummy, this is just the perfect place for us to be!”

My heart just melted. There’s my girl!

We would definitely go to The Handmade Fair again. But I’d love them to include a workshop that kids can join in with. And I think a new venue with more parking would be good, but I guess they need to make sure it’s accessible by public transport too. I did consider taking the train but it cost more and would take longer (when there’s no traffic). Perhaps I might brave the train journey next year.

Did you go to the Handmade Fair? Would you like to?

I hope you have a lovely, crafty, day.

Jennifer x

DIY Gifts

Elsa-Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper!

Disclosure: The company Turtle Mat sent a plain jumper and money for materials to create this project, and this post is an entry into a contest to win a Christmas Hamper and a doormat. All the views and the tutorial are my own.

Elsa-Inspired Christmas Jumper

Hello! Today I have a jumper up-cycle project to share. I turned a plain blue jumper into a Christmas one inspired by Elsa (from Disney’s Frozen)…

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

I was trying to create something that Elsa might wear on Christmas day, what do you think? Alright, I know Elsa doesn’t feel the cold so she probably wouldn’t wear a jumper, but my little princess does so she’s very happy with the transformation!

I was sent the jumper, and money for supplies, by Turtle Mat. They were celebrating the release of their Chistmas Jumper Doormat by inviting a few bloggers to get creative.

This was the plain blue jumper they sent me:

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here are the supplies I bought to alter it (though I didn’t end up using them all – I didn’t use the ribbon at all):

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

* White Felt 2 Sheets 55p each * 1 Metre Blue Pom-Pom Trim £1.65 * 2 Metres White Ribbon 90p * Trimits Beads £1.35 *

Total = £5

The only other items I used were pins, a needle, with white or blue cotton thread, plus paper to print a template and grey-board to cut it from.

To make your own DIY Elsa Inspired Jumper…

Step 1: Download THIS DIAMOND TEMPLATE and print it at A4. The diamond should be approx 5″ tall:

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Use the template to cut a diamond from grey-board / chipboard (I used the backing board from a paper pad), then use the board diamond to help you cut 8 white felt diamonds:

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

NB: The diamonds have a shorter end and a longer end. All the shorter ends need to point into the middle.

I used this Nordic-Style snowflake / star as it’s like the one featured on the Christmas Jumper Doormat, and it’s such an iconic symbol for winter and Christmas!

Step 3: Pin the felt diamonds onto your jumper:

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Hand-stitch them into place with white thread. Warning – this takes a while… I recommend listening to some Christmas music while you sew! You could machine-stitch them, but I was worried about the jumper stretching out of shape while running it through the machine –  I didn’t want to end up with wonky diamonds! They aren’t perfectly positioned as it is, but the shape looks good enough to me:

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 5: Sew some beads down the centre line of each diamond. I alternated sparkly and pearly beads:

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Sew pom-pom trim along the FRONT of the neckline. Don’t attach it all the way around, as then the neckline might not stretch enough to fit over the recipient’s head!:

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 7: Sew beads in between each pom-pom to make it look more icy and queen-like:

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 8: Sew pom-pom trim around the cuffs of the jumper too. If you add it in a place which doesn’t need to stretch then you can sew this all the way around, that’s why mine is not right at the edge of the cuffs. Then try the jumper out:

Elsa Inspired DIY Christmas Jumper at Jennifer Grace Creates

When I showed the finish result to my daughter she gasped and said ‘I don’t like it… I LOVE it!’ so I guess it was a success!

I didn’t end up using the white ribbon at all, I only used one sheet of white felt, and less that a quarter of the beads. So I’ve got some items for another project.

Thank you Turtle Mat for a fun challenge!

What do you think? Will you be up-cycling any jumpers to make them more Christmassy this year?

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Scrapbook Layouts

Scrap Retreat and Some Girly Layouts!

On the 14th – 17th November I was very lucky – I got to spend the weekend away at a scrap retreat with a few friends (a couple of long time friends – Sarah and Lisa-Jane – and lots of new ones)!

There were ten of us scrapping away in part of this beautiful barn:

Scrap Retreat

There was a swimming pool and a hot tub, beautiful views, and even a few friendly cows at the farm nearby:

20141115_123430 (2)

I didn’t take many photos. I didn’t take any process photos of the pages I made at all … because after the business of preparing for FF2014, I was just enjoying just scrapping and chatting for fun, and not worrying about anything too much!

I can share the finished pages with you though. Today I’m going to show you a few girly pages, then I’ll be back tomorrow with the more general pages!

Crafting Cousins:

Crafting Cousins Layout by Jennifer Grace

This page shows photos of my daughter and my niece getting crafty! They made Olympic torches and beaded bracelets together at a craft fair in 2012. It was so cute watching them concentrating together!

I’ve been saving the diagonal striped paper on the background to use with these photos, as the colours were so perfect:

Crafting Cousins Layout by Jennifer Grace

This ‘we are so good together’ journal card seemed fitting, and the sparkly bow added a lovely bit of girly glamour:

Crafting Cousins Layout by Jennifer Grace

I’ve been trying to think of more interesting ways to place my titles, instead of just straight every time, so I followed the diagonal pattern for this one:

Crafting Cousins Layout by Jennifer Grace

Reaching New Heights:

Reaching New Heights Layout by Jennifer Grace

This photo is of my daughter and a couple of friends, who climbed up a tall ‘treehouse’ in the woods one day, then they couldn’t get down. I had to lift them down, which was really hard as they were up above my head height!

I found an apt ‘up up and away’ stamp, a ‘fly’ wood veneer, and a piece of patterned paper with a tightrope walker, to enhance the theme:

Reaching New Heights Layout by Jennifer Grace

The page design was largely inspired by a Stamping Up hexagon punch that someone had brought to the retreat, which I really wanted to try out! I punched lots of hexagons from floral and geometric papers, and put together a pattern, sticking most of them on flat, but some with foam dots to keep it interesting:

Reaching New Heights Layout by Jennifer Grace

Wow Amazingly Adorable:

Wow Amazingly Adorable Layout by Jennifer Grace

This photo is of the same niece that’s in the first layout, but obviously she was a bit younger here! This picture was taken at mine & hubby’s wedding in 2008, when she was a bridesmaid for us. She had a fairy dress as her bridesmaid’s dress, and it had little lights on the front… we waited until she was all dressed up before showing her the lights for the first time. This was her face when she saw them twinkling!

It was one of those moments I will remember forever, and I’ve kept the photo for a long time as I wanted to make a layout which would do it justice!

I used lots of butterflies around the page as they echoed the wings on her fairy dress:

Wow Amazingly Adorable Layout by Jennifer Grace

This vellum journal spot was delicate and fluttery:

Wow Amazingly Adorable Layout by Jennifer Grace

I stamped a piece of pink paper with a circular stamp and green ink, then layered some embossing paste stars on top, to add to the background:

Wow Amazingly Adorable Layout by Jennifer Grace

This page also uses my secret santa gift I got at the retreat – we all wrapped up a £10 scrappy gift to give to someone else. I received flowers, the corrugated alphas, a MME 6×6 pad, and some gems! All were put to good use!

What do you think? All suitably girly? The pages I have to share tomorrow have barely any pink on them!

Bye for now,

Jennifer x

Kids Crafts

School Homework – Making a Candlestick Telephone

Last week was a half-term holiday, and my 6 year old daughter had one piece of homework… to make a model of a Victorian invention. I googled a list of inventions and she chose to make a telephone…

School Homework Kids Craft - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

We went for the ‘candlestick’ style telephone, as the earlier telephones were a bit box-like, and the candlestick style was introduced in Victorian times too, so that was okay. Plus it could be made from a pile of junk – this is what we started with though I added a few bits during the project:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

You can also see here a sheet of images which I printed, just pictures I found on google to help us visualise the project!

First she drew around the cardboard tube (from inside a kitchen roll) onto the top of a plastic bowl (which was turned upside down):

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut the hole for the tube to go through, as the plastic was a bit sharp-edged when cut.

Then Little Miss drew a mark of the tube at the height she thought the cradle for the earpiece should go, and I cut a slit in it with a craft knife:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

She pushed the cardboard tube inside the bowl, and taped it into place. Then she blu-tacked a plastic lid to the top of the cardboard tube:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

I suggested we moved the lid down a bit so we could angle it a bit more, like the telephones in the pictures. So she did that and taped it into place. I did end up tucking a bit of kitchen paper scrunched into a ball underneath the blu-tack as well, as the plastic lid kept tipping down, but I don’t have a photo of that bit:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

She cut the end off a paper cup to make it shorter, and then added some tape so we could attach it to the plastic lid at the top of the cardboard tube:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

I made the cradle for the earpiece to sit on, by cutting an old hanger with wire cutters (be careful if you do this, protect your eyes and do it away from children in case sharp bits of wire ping off), and taping it to two shortened bits of kebab stick, one stick above and one stick below the hanger piece – for strength:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m not sure it was the best way to make the cradle but I couldn’t think of anything else!

We then pushed the kebab sticks through the slit in the cardboard tube, and added a big blob of plasticine to the ends of the sticks inside the tube. This acts as a weight so when the earpiece is lifted the cradle tips up – which would attract the attention of the telephone operator when you wanted to make a call! When the earpiece is put back it goes down again:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

We took another paper cup for the earpiece, and Little Miss pierced a hole in the base with a pencil:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

And we attached string as the cable between the earpiece and the phone (I pierced the hole in the bowl). I scrunched up some kitchen paper and Little Miss taped it to the top of the ‘earpiece’ – so that it wouldn’t slide straight through the cradle:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

Now it was on to the fun part – decorating! I ripped up lots and lots and lots of tissue paper, and she used PVA glue to stick it over most of the telephone. I explained about overlapping the tissue paper and adding PVA glue to the top layer too so it looked smooth:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

She did most of this but I did finish off at the end, doing a couple of the harder to reach corners and smoothing it over a bit more:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

We’d left the paper cups because we figured we could paint them, but if I did this again I’d tissue paper all of it. The paper cups had a slight satiny effect which meant the paint didn’t stay on that well so we had to do a few layers:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

When the decorating was nearly done I added a lump of plasticine at the bottom of the cardboard tube, towards the back of the phone, to stop it tipping forwards:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then for good measure and to make it feel more realistic and heavy, I made a base for the phone, by getting Little Miss to tape some pebbles onto a circle of card the same size as the bowl, leaving a space for the tube in the centre, and space round the edge for the rim of the bowl:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

This was then taped to the underneath of the phone, and we tissue-papered over the tape. Our phone was now nice and sturdy:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

But it was too boringly black, so my daughter used a sponge dipped in gold paint to rub all over the phone, to give it a more brass / antique look:

School Homework - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

I showed her how it was better to only add the gold paint in a thin layer, so the black still showed through, and she got the hang of that quickly. I did finish off the hard to reach places again though!

Then it was finished and all ready to make a call! Here it is with the earpiece on and off the cradle:

School Homework Kids Craft - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

She also had to fill out a fact sheet which will be displayed with the model:

School Homework Kids Craft - Making A Candlestick Telephone at Jennifer Grace Creates

Even though this was quite a big project, as it took several day what with waiting for glue and paint to dry between layers, we both enjoyed the process. She’s learnt a few arty techniques, and I’ve found another reason for all the crafting supplies in my house! Bring on the next crafty homework… but not the maths. I don’t like maths!

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Scrapbook Layouts

A Couple Of Crop Layouts – Go Your Own Way and Ouch!

On Saturday I was very lucky to go to the local ‘Artful Angels’ scrapbooking crop with my friend Sarah (who drove me all the way to Southampton and back because she’s a star – thank you Sarah!). I don’t get many chances to go to crops as they are always on Saturdays, when hubby is busy at work (he’s a retail manager) and I don’t have anyone else to leave the kids with. But this time there was a convergence of hubby having a Saturday off and a crop being on, so I grabbed my chance!

I was also able to meet Lisa-Jane for the first time, which was really fun as we were on the SJ Crafts design team together for years and knew each other from Shimelle’s workshop forums too, so it was about time we met up! Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and I had a lovely day crafting to my hearts content.

I managed to make 3 layouts and a card on the day. I’m going to show you two of the layouts today, and the others (which I used Happy Scatter items on more) will be on my blog in a couple of days time!

Go Your Own Way:

Go Your Own Way layout by Jennifer Grace

I love these photos of my cheeky boy exploring the gardens of Kingston Lacy. He walked back and forth along these stepping stone stumps so many times!

I’ve had this Pink Paislee Hey Kid Subway Flag for a while. I really liked it, but because it’s so big I could never fit it onto my pages. This time I made sure it was the first embellishment I planned a space for:

Go Your Own Way layout by Jennifer Grace

After fitting that on I piled on a ton of other embellishments, but luckily I didn’t stick them all down straight away – because I repeated a recurring problem I have in forgetting to leave space for a title! Sarah was laughing at me because she’s seen me agonise over this many times!

I cleared off some embellishments to fit the title at the bottom right corner:

Go Your Own Way layout by Jennifer Grace

At least I had remembered to leave space for journaling:

Go Your Own Way layout by Jennifer Grace

The chipboard rosette is from an older Crate Paper collection (Acorn Avenue), I like how the colours of it match really well with the newer Crate Paper background paper (from the Boys Rule collection).

The next page is about my daughter’s broken arm…

Ouch:

Ouch layout by Jennifer Grace

She broke her arm last year, by falling off a wooden boat in her school playground. Once it was set in the cast she was quite proud of it and liked showing it off to everyone we met!

I had made page kits to take to the crop, just with a couple of possible background papers, cardstocks, and 6×6 papers for each page. When I went to scrap this photo the 6×6 papers and this background sheet came out of the bag together, and I liked them exactly how they were. I did shuffle the 6×6’s around a bit but I didn’t bother looking through for any other papers because these colours were so gorgeous together!

I did have them laid out a bit more wonky before I stuck them down, and I was encouraged by other croppers to go for it and stick them on wonky, but I ended up straightening them a bit. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I love straight lines!

Ouch layout by Jennifer Grace

The ‘oh snap’ is on here as when I was trying to think of a title ‘snap’ was suggested, as the page is about a broken bone. I went for ‘ouch’ as the title but I still liked ‘snap’ so I added that on too! Also in the above photo you can see a wood veneer heart from the Simply Life wood veneer set, which I coloured by rubbing a chalk ink pad over the top.

I didn’t bother colouring the ‘simple life’ phrase piece from the same set, as I liked it just as it was:

Ouch layout by Jennifer Grace using Happy Scatter Simply Life Wood Veneers

This journaling area is a library pocket from the Pebbles Basics collection. I jazzed it up a bit with some gems and things, and tucked a yellow punched pinked-circle behind it – I really really want this Martha Stewart punch but it’s impossible to get hold of, if anyone has one they want to sell please let me know! I borrowed it from Lisa-Jane!

Ouch layout by Jennifer Grace

Can you see cheeky boy in the background of the photo? He really wanted to be in the picture so I said he could sit behind little miss as long as he smiled!

I think the cropping atmosphere definitely helped me get things done! Have you ever been to a crafty crop?

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Cricut Explore

Cute Pony Vest with the Cricut Explore and Iron-on-Vinyl!

Hello everyone!

We had a lovely half-term holiday last week, including spending a few days in Bath catching up with some friends. But before that me and Little Miss had some fun decorating a vest top for her to wear:

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

My daughter (aged 6) was very involved with the process from start to finish! She’s been getting quite interested in designing clothes lately, and now she knows what Mummy’s machine can do there will be no stopping her!

We began by talking about the design. She wanted lots of animals around a heart. I pointed out that this would mean the animals would be quite small to fit on the vest top (which we’d bought at Matalan), so she decided to just have one big animal, maybe a horse or a pony. So we tried out a couple of images in the Design Space, it took her a while to decide between the larger horse or the foal, which she insists is a pony:

Cute Pony Vest in the Explore Design Space

Eventually she decided she liked the ‘pony’ (Foal image #M37E48), and she also decided she liked the smaller heart instead of the one with wings, because then it could go on his flank and be like a ‘cutie mark’ which the My Little Ponies have!

I helped her match the colours to the iron-on-vinyls I had, then I let her resize things and place them where she wanted in the design space, I just had to help a bit with the text. She wanted it to say ‘I’m lonely’ but I said that sounded a bit sad, why is the pony lonely? She said ‘he wants to make new friends’. So we changed it to ‘be my friend?’ using the ‘Cuttin Up – Serifs’ font:

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

We could have made the vest in the Design Space a lighter colour to match her vest, but she found it easier to see the shapes on a darker background.

Once we had it all planned out I told her to click ‘go’ and showed her how to stick the vinyl onto the mat (remembering to select ‘Mirror Image for Iron-On’ in the Design Space). At this point I realised it wanted to cut a whole pony in black just to have a black eye – it would be a black base layer, with the eye as a cut out hole in the teal top layer. I didn’t want to waste my black vinyl, so I went back and hid that layer, then added a little oval for an eye to go on top instead!

When it was ready to go Little Miss was allowed to press the buttons and turn the dial, under supervision of course:

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

I helped her peel the waste vinyl off slowly, she was really concentrating:

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

Then it was time to iron it on! We placed some greaseproof paper over the design whilst ironing. I helped my daughter arrange the shapes on the vest, but she ironed it – you have to iron each layer individually:

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

Remember to make sure the iron has steam turned off! I usually just use a medium heat setting.

Now, at this point it should have been finished, but I realised I didn’t like something about the design – the pony ended up with his mane over both ears instead of just the back ear:

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

I decided to cut another ear to go on top. I cut the pony’s head from the same iron-on vinyl – I just used enough vinyl for the head but covered the rest of my mat with scrap paper so the blade wasn’t wrecking my mat (while it cut the rest of the pony out):

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

Then I used my Cricut scissors to cut out just the ear:

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

And ironed it on top of the mane:

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

All done:

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

The vinyls we used were Black and Teal Cricut Iron-On Lite, and Pink Cricut Glitter Iron-On.

It certainly made someone happy:

Cute Pony Vest by Jennifer Grace using the Cricut Explore

She wore it on the train on the way to Bath and showed it off to anyone who’d listen!

She has pointed out some more clothes she can add things too, and told me I need to decorate some of my own too, so I think my machine will be getting a good workout! If you’ve been on the lookout for an Explore, they are now available HERE at Amazon.co.uk, Create & Craft TV have it back in stock HERE, and you can pre-order it HERE at Hobbycraft – who are including a free tool kit.

Don’t forget my blog event is approaching this weekend, all the details are HERE, and the ‘Guess the Project’ contest will start soon in the Facebook Group HERE!

Bye for now, Jennifer x

DISCLOSURE: Cricut have provided me with a Cricut Explore Machine, some materials including iron-on-vinyl, 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.