Industry News & Reviews

CHA 2016 Product Picks!

Hello!

I feel it’s time to ease myself back into blogging after taking a long winter break! Did you all have a great Christmas and New Year? Ours was lovely though very busy. Things are just about getting back to routine now – it’s no less busy, but it’s more structured!

Today I’m going to share my product picks from the latest CHA Mega Show releases. In case you don’t know, the CHA Mega Show is when the Craft & Hobby Association USA have a big trade event with hundreds of craft manufacturers displaying their new lines, so that stores and kit clubs etc can choose what to order. The manufacturers tend to also share their new items on their blogs and social media in the run up to and during the show.

There is, as usual, lots that I want to buy. I won’t be able to get it all. But here are my CHA 2016 Product Picks…

Pink Paislee – C’est La Vie & Fancy Free

Pink Paislee C'est La Vie and Fancy Free

Pink Paislee have blown me away with their new lines! Fancy Free is designed by the lovely Paige Evans whose style I’ve always admired so it’s no surprise I like her collection too.

My favourite item from the C’est La Vie collection is without a doubt these mirror stickers – so shiny:

Pink Paislee C'est La Vie Mirror Stickers

And whilst I love everything in the Fancy Free collection (the colours are so perfect) my must have item from it is this string-art template:

Pink Paislee Fancy Free String Art Template

Which will be great to design a page background but also some wall art, don’t you think?!

My Mind’s Eye By The Sea & On Trend 2:

My Mind's Eye By The Sea & On Trend 2

I usually do like a good sea-themed collection, thanks to us living near some beautiful beaches. By The Sea has some great animal icons including a narwhal. So fun! I’m loving the chipboard elements:

My Mind's Eye By The Sea Chipboard Elements

On Trend 2 is another beautiful collection from designer Jen Allyson. It includes golf foil touches, with flamingos and cacti! I think the item I want the most is this sheet of paper to cut apart (called ‘Little Things’):

My Mind's Eye On Trend 2 Little Things Foiled Paper

Heidi Swapp Minc Mediums:

Heidi Swapp Minc Reactive Mist

I purchased the Minc last year (some of your will remember my unboxing video and layout process video using the machine) but I haven’t used it too often. The main reason is that while I love Heidi’s style I really wanted to be able to foil my own designs, which I thought I’d be able to do because we have a laser printer here. However my own printed designs never come out that well – I don’t think out printer is ‘juicy’ enough, and there’s no way to adjust the ink output. So I had the Minc toner ink pen on my xmas wishlist, but I didn’t get it and now it’s sold out everywhere.

So of course I am excited to see there’s some reactive mist, paint, and art screen ink which are all coming out soon!

You can see the mist in the photo above, you can click HERE to see a photo by Amy Tangerine of a tag she’s made with the paint, or you can click HERE to see a video by Scrapbook.com showing all the new Minc supplies.  I can’t wait to get my hands on them!

Simple Stories – Robin’s Egg Binder & Basics Woodgrain Paper Pack:

Simple Stories Robin's Egg Binder & 12 x 12 Basics Paper Pack

The colour of that binder is amazing, I have to have it! I don’t know what I’m going to use it for yet but I will be buying it for sure! And I can never have enough woodgrain and ledger papers, as they work great for photographing projects as well as actually using on projects. Every time I use one on a project I feel a bit sad that I’m not going to be able to use it as a photography background anymore!

Crate Paper Bloom Mini Tassels and Bow Stamps:

Crate Paper Mini Tassels and Bloom Stamps

The Bloom collection designed by Maggie Holmes is cute but I probably won’t buy all of it as I can’t afford to buy everything I want! I do, however, think I’ll get the mini tassels and the bow stamps if I can manage to. They are just plain adorable.

Jillibean Soup Mushroom Medley Pea Pod Parts:

Jillibean Soup Mushroom Medley Pea Pod Parts

Something else that’s adorable is this Mushroom Medley collection by Jillibean Soup. I like the papers but they aren’t calling to me as much as the Pea Pod Parts shown above – I think it’s brilliant that there’s so many little pieces which I can scatter about on my projects! I also want the stamps!

Queen & Co Donuts:

Queen & Co Donuts

I felt like I needed to finish with something sparkly, and these ‘Donuts’ from Queen & Co look sparkly and fun. There’s something irresistible about them!

That’s my product picks for the season! Has anything caught your eye?

CHA 2016 Product Picks at Jennifer Grace Creates

I hope you are having a great week. I’ll be back again soon, I promise!

Jennifer x

Industry News & Reviews

My Product Picks – Summer Releases 2015!

Have you been watching all the scrapbook companies release their latest products over the last couple of months? I was too busy to keep an eye on it, especially as they all spread their releases out now that there’s no big summer CHA show.

However, I did sit down a couple of weeks ago to use the links from Scrapbook Update HERE, and Scrappy Jedi HERE, as well as scrolling back on manufacturer blogs, so that I could see all the new goodies!

My Product Picks Summer 2015 at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s my product picks of all the latest things I’d like to buy when they hit the shops. The titles and the photos are linked to the full reveals. I’m going to start with the everyday-themed items then move on to the Christmas collections & stamps…

Non-Christmas

Pink Paislee Cedar Lane:

 Pink Paislee Cedar Lane

Autumn is my favourite season, though we don’t get as many golden colours here in Dorset as we used to in Essex where I grew up. But that’s okay as I can console myself with this collection – full of fall hues and heart-warming phrases.

I especially like the ephemera, with the leafy wreath and the ‘snuggle up’ golden words:

Pink Paislee Cedar Lane Ephemera

American Crafts – Amy Tangerine Finders Keepers:

Amy Tangerine Finders Keepers

I have become a big fan of Amy Tangerine and Her YouTube videos lately. This colourful collection is perfectly her style – colourful, quirky, fun!

I am drooling over the wood slices and the wooden stamp set. I don’t know how much I’d use the pineapple stamps but I want them anyway:

Amy Tangerine Finders Keepers

Crate Paper Wonder:

 Crate Paper Wonder

This is such a cute childhood collection. It’s filled with whimsical characters and pretty icons. I really like the puffy stickers which features houses and the little animal faces.

But the item I want most of all is the wood veneer framework in the shape of a house:

Crate Paper Wonder Frame

I can totally imagine me filling this with pretty things!

Jillibean Soup Mix The Media – Wood:

There’s a few different wood plank shapes on the reveal, but the one I really want is this star. It would be great for any time of year:

Jillibean Soup Mix The Media Wood Star

Christmas

My Mind’s Eye Christmas On Market Street:

 My Mind's Eye Christmas On Market Street

This collection is just so gorgeous. I want to wrap my house up in it at Christmas time! I love the mix of teal, red and gold, and the swirly writing, and all the decorated antlers.

The glittery puffy stickers are the bit I love the most. This product photo below doesn’t do them justice, see THIS PHOTO that MME posted on Instagram where you can see a snippet of how sparkly they are. I must have them:

My Mind's Eye Christmas On Market Street Stickers

Pinkfresh Studio Christmas Wishes:

 Pinkfresh Studio Christmas Wishes

The character in this winter collection are just so full of personality! It’s the most unique Christmas collection I came across – I feel like it’s something I’ve never seen before and it would make my projects feel super special.

I really love the stamp set and the puffy stickers:

Pinkfresh Studio Christmas Wishes Puffy Stickers

Cocoa Vanilla Tis The Season:

 Cocoa Vanilla Tis The Season

This collection is pretty! The soft minty blue is stunning!

These stars look so shiny. And they’d look good on projects all year round:

Cocoa Vanilla Tis The Season

Lawn Fawn Christmas Stamps:

These two stamp sets from Lawn Fawn have totally stolen my heart. You can expect to see some projects using them during Frosty Festivities 2015. Isn’t the snowglobe totally perfect?!:

Lawn Fawn Christmas Stamps

Hero Arts – Kelly Purkey Stamps:

I also really like these smaller (3×4″) stamp sets, designed by Kelly Purkey for Hero Arts. The ‘joy’ brush-writing sentiment is gorgeous and I love the patterns on the trees. These sets would be good for layouts as well as cards & tags:

Hero Arts Kelly Purkey Stamps

I want to stamp some little trees, cut them out, then tie them around a candle jar!

So those are the items I’d like to buy. I won’t be able to afford them all but I’m sure some of them will slide into my online baskets! Especially the Christmas stuff – I can’t run Frosty Festivities without them, can I?!

What have you spotted recently that you’d like to get your hands on? Anything from my list?

Have a great day,

Jennifer x

Industry News & Reviews

CHA 2015 Product Picks!

I would love to go to the big CHA show in America one year. For now though I have to make do with stalking the manufacturer blogs and drooling over new goodies from afar!

This is a round up of the things which are exciting me the most, that I just can’t wait to get my hands on! I’m posting them here to remind me of the things I want to buy, and to show them off to you in case you missed the reveals (I cannot be held responsible if this makes you spend money when they hit the shops… if you’re on a spending freeze look away now)!

My CHA 2015 Product Picks…

My Cha 2015 Product Picks at Jennifer Grace Creates

Heidi Swapp Minc Machine

Heidi Swapp Minc Machine

Um, yeah, this is awesome. A machine for foiling and making things shiny! I’ve already ordered one from Create & Craft TV HERE, though they are sold out at the moment – I’m not surprised, even non-crafters who I’ve shown the Minc videos (like THIS ONE) too have oohed-and-aahed over it! You can use it to foil Heidi Swapp’s matching collection of tags, papers, etc, or you can make your own with a laser printer or toner copier (it doesn’t work with inkjet printers).

I haven’t always been a lover of foiled things, mainly because they are soooo hard to photograph and I put almost everything I make onto this blog. But they have been growing and growing on me, and my Gingerbread House page and my Ready for Christmas page are my favourite layouts from my the end of last year, because the gold foil is so pretty.

I also loved the idea of different coloured foils, so I’ve ordered hot pink, teal, and mint foils with my machine. I can’t wait to start playing! You can expect to see some shiny things in my Etsy shop soon too! Here’s the choices of foils:

Heidi Swapp Minc Foils

Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss

Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss Collection

Oh this just feels so refreshing to look at! It’s got perfect springtime colours but with a bit of a summery twist with the flamingoes and lemons. I like that this will extend the use of the collection.

I can see me using it for lots of projects. I especially like the puffy stickers – they are so cute and the variety of sizes is good for me:

Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss Collection

Crate Paper Journey

Crate Paper Journey Collection

Crate Paper are good at bringing out collections that I want to buy, and this one is trendy and interesting! Some of the icons are a bit too USA related, but they don’t dominate it so I can overlook that. Especially when it means you get cute camper-vans, feathers, arrows, and cork and glitter details!

I’m most looking forward to getting the ephemera set. We’re bound to go camping at some point this year, so these will come in handy for scrapbooking our adventures:

Crate Paper Journey Collection

Simple Stories I Am

Simple Stories I Am Collection

The concept of this collection appeals to me – it’s all about documenting our own stories. I could imagine making a mini-book with this about my life before kids, which I could share with them.

The ‘I am’ quote is a great page title starter for when you’re stuck for title ideas too! The thing I want most from this collection is these stickers, which include lots of ‘I AM’ quotes in different colours:

Simple Stories I Am Collection

Pinkfresh Studio Up In The Clouds

Pinkfresh Studio Collection

Pinkfresh Studio have been producing some gorgeous colourful embellishments for a while, but now they are also bringing out papers to make a whole collection release. Up In The Clouds is bright and playful which fits my style!

One of the items I love is the 3×4 cards, as they look like they were fun to design and would add so much life to my projects:

Pinkfresh Studio Collection

Chickaniddy Crafts 365

Chickaniddy Crafts 365 Collection

The 365 collection from Chickaniddy Crafts is bold and cute at the same time. It’s an everyday collection that can be used for an abundance of projects!

I really want the stamp set, the geometric shapes and little phrases are all the kinds of things I love to dot around my pages:

Chickaniddy Crafts 365 Collection

There we go, they are the things I’m most looking forward to getting my hands on. That’s quite enough don’t you think?

If you want to see if you missed anything else there’s a good list of links HERE at Paper Vine.

Have you spotted something you’d love to buy? What kinds of collections do you look forward to seeing at this time of year – spring, travel, or everyday themes, or something else?

Bye for now,

Jennifer x

Scrapbook Layouts

Focus – My Word for 2015!

Here’s my first layout for 2015!

Each year I pick a word to try and think about during the coming months. Previous years have included Progress and Cleanse. This year I’ve decided to FOCUS:

2015 Focus layout by Jennifer Grace

This was mainly brought about because I get sooooo easily distracted. When I’m supposed to be designing or blogging I’ll often wander off into Facebook or Pinterest and not get my work done. Or when I’m playing with the kids I might be thinking about what I’m going to cook for tea. When I’m watching telly I’m also partly thinking about what scrappy stuff I want to buy!

I’d like to try and ficus my mind a bit. I know I won’t be able to change this part of my personality completely, but I should be able to alter it a bit, right?! My first plans are:

1. To make sure that when I turn the computer on to blog or design then I don’t check FB for at least an hour. And then I’ll set a time limit of 20 mins for how long I’m allowed to be distracted for.

2. When I’m planning to play with the kids I’ll write a little note-to-self first about what my next chore is, and then leave that note, and my phone, in a separate room to where we are playing.

They are small steps but I hope they will start to make a difference in my life. Otherwise I feel like I’m never tryuly enjoying the moment because my mind isn’t focused!

2015 Focus layout by Jennifer Grace

As a side-note to the word ‘focus’ I do also want to learn more about taking photos and playing with camera focus too!

2015 Focus layout by Jennifer Grace

Mostly I’m just trying to be happy, and bright, and me! I love this quote card from the Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine collection. The yellow background paper is from the same collection (the sheet is called ‘Rain Boots’) I cut it into four smaller squares, and then placed them on the background in the right configuration but with a little bit of gap between them so the yellow wan’t so overpowering. I’m not sure I like the black pen doodling I did at the end to finish the page off, but at least it’s something a bit different for me!

Well I feel pleased to have finished my first page for 2015, here’s to many more! Have you been scrapping / crafting much yet? Do you have a ‘word for the year’?

I’m also excited because this weekend is the big CHA show in Annaheim USA. I wish I could go to it, but that’s a far-off-dream, so instead I’ve been watching as lots of manufacturers show off new products on their blogs. I love seeing all the new things come out! Scrapbook Update has links to most of them HERE if you want to check them out. I’ll have a CHA product picks post up sometime next week to share my favourite things!

That’s all for now, have a great weekend,

Jennifer x

Giftwrapping

Tiny Raindrops Gift Tag

(This post is part of my Refresh Your Craft & Soul Blog Event – see the beginning HERE!)

Sorry I’m running a bit behind finishing the posts off, I’ll try to catch up!

Now I’ve got a gift tag with little raindrops to show you…

Tiny Raindrops Gift Tag by Jennifer Grace

A nice fresh way to wrap a present!

Here’s how to make your own…

Step 1: Wrap your gift with brown paper (this one is a DVD):

Tiny Raindrops Gift Tag by Jennifer Grace

Step 2: Find or cut out a small tag, this one is from an old Crate Paper tag sheet:

Tiny Raindrops Gift Tag by Jennifer Grace

Step 3: Add some raindrops, a sentiment, and a shape to your tag, mine are from the Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine collection:

Tiny Raindrops Gift Tag by Jennifer Grace

Step 4: Find or make six raindrops that can be stuck back-to-back as three pairs. Stick them onto the end of a few short bits of twine, using a glue stick to adhere them together with the twine pressed between:

Tiny Raindrops Gift Tag by Jennifer Grace

Step 5: Lay the tops of the twine pieces onto the sticky back of some glitter tape:

Tiny Raindrops Gift Tag by Jennifer Grace

Step 6: Press the base of the back of the tag onto the glitter tape, to press the twine into place:

Tiny Raindrops Gift Tag by Jennifer Grace

Step 7: Tie onto the gift with sunny yellow ribbon:

Tiny Raindrops Gift Tag by Jennifer Grace

And gift it to someone to brighten their day!

Be Inspired:

Add some little raindrops to the end of some twine

Use some sunny yellow ribbon

Use glitter tape to hold two things together

Remember that commenting on this post, and any other over this weekend, will count as another entry into the Grand Giveaway, but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that prize right HERE! {NOW CLOSED}

I’ll see you again shortly!

Jennifer x

Cardmaking, Scrapbook Layouts

Summery Colour Combinations and Rainy Layouts!

Hello all,

Today I’m here to tell you about a couple of posts over at the SJ Crafts Blog!

First up, it’s time for the June Challenge, and this time it’s a Colour Palette:

June Challenge Colour Challenge at SJ Crafts

The colours you must use are: 
Hot Pink * Tangerine * Cream * Gold *
The “Cream” can be a neutral of your choice!! So you could use Beige, Grey, White etc.

Ooh, it’s so summery it makes me want to go lay on a baking hot beach somewhere!

I used the colours to make a birthday card…

Here Comes The Sun:

Here Comes The Sun card by Jennifer Grace

I’m trying to encourage the weather to warm up a bit! I used the Amy Tangerine’s Plus One 6×6 Pad and a Die-Cut Tag (stitched with gold embroidery thread), plus some Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine Ephemera, some Studio Calico Essentials Gold Stars, and some sequins.

Make sure you check out the other DT members projects, and enter the challenge to try and win a prize, right HERE!

I also had a couple of layouts go live on the SJ Crafts blog today, and these are all about using raindrops on your pages… the post is called Rain Rain, Stay and Play! Now, this doesn’t mean I want it to keep raining for real, as you can see from my card I really want some sunshine right now. But I’m quite happy for raindrop themed products to stick around for a while, as they are so fun to scatter around, and you don’t just have to use them on rainy pages…

Our Rainbow:

Our Rainbow layout by Jennifer Grace using Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine

Though of course you can use it for rainy pages if you want to…

Puddles Without Wellies:

Puddles Without Wellies layout by Jennifer Grace using Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine

I used the Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine collection in abundance on these pages, including lots of the Ephemera Pack, which I’m totally in love with, as it has so many pretty bits and pieces! The Puffy Stickers are super cute too!

You can see lots more photos of these layouts at the SJ Crafts blog right HERE, with more information about how I put them together too!

Thank you for reading my weather-filled post! Is it sunny or rainy where you are? Do you prefer products with sunshine or raindrops?

Have a great day!

Jennifer x

P.S. Don’t forget my free Refresh Your Craft & Soul event is fast approaching!

Disclosure: I am on the SJ Crafts Design Team, so I was sent the Hello Sunshine Products to use for the two layouts in this post, and I receive a discount off other items purchased in the store.

Cardmaking, Frosty Festivities Christmas & Winter

Using Circles on Christmas Cards

(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities Blog Event)

When I’m making Christmas cards, or any other batches of cards, I prefer to make each one differently, purely because I get really bored doing the same thing over and over again! The only trouble is that it can take a lot longer, because I have to do so much thinking before the next card. Usually I’ll make some cards that are similar, for friends – these cards might just have a different colour or sentiment but the sketch and supplies will be the same.

For close friends and family I’ll take the time to think. But to make it a little easier I’ll choose a theme for myself to follow. For this trio of cards the theme was circles:

Using Circles On Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

It was easy to find a selection of circles in my Christmas stash. There’s something about circles that fits so well with Christmas – it’s the shape of wreaths, and baubles, and snowballs. I’ve followed a different technique on each card to place the circles, and they’re techniques that you could come back to again and again.

Technique 1: Scatter them:

Using Circles On Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

To regular readers it’s no surprise that I like the scattered circles look, I usually achieve it with gems on my layouts and cards. Here I’ve used ephemera and chipboard pieces, of varying sizes. Using a variety of sizes really helps to achieve the scattered look, if the pieces were all the same size your eyes would be trying to find the pattern and make them match.

It also helps to place some alike colours near each other, and some separate – if you separated all the like colours then it would look too deliberate, putting some close together makes it seem more accidentally scattered:

Using Circles On Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

Technique 2: Line them up:

 Using Circles On Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

Putting circles in a line is satisfying somehow. It is both linear and curvy, so it appeals to the part of me that likes things ordered, but also the part of me that likes to rebel!

The theme of lined-up circles is repeated on both the background papers too, which unifies the card all together. And then it was a little too ‘lined-up’ for me, so I had to rebel further with a random misting of dots at the top of the card:

Using Circles On Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

Technique 3: Cluster them:

Using Circles On Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

You don’t have to cluster circles in the middle of a card or project, it would look equally good at a corner or edge of something. And you don’t have to cluster as many circles together either – a cluster of 3 or four looks great too.

To cluster some circles you need to place them as close together as possible, to make a feature of it. My centre circle is actually overlapping the brad and buttons circles, which helps to draw the eye in, as it’s like something is secret and hidden, so you eye looks a little closer. Again I’ve used a variety of sizes to stop things looking too organised or linear:

Using Circles On Christmas Cards at Jennifer Grace Creates

Be Inspired:

Chose the techniques of scattering, lining-up, or clustering to place some shapes on your next project

Make a series of something eg. cards or tags, keeping a ‘design theme’ in mind (not an occasion theme), but making each item in the series a bit different

Try placing some elements together, in a line or scattered, but varying the size of them

Don’t forget that a comment on this post, or on any of my posts from this weekend, will count as an entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED} but only if you’ve registered your interest in winning that here!

See you again in 60 minutes!