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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

A Mini Picnic Basket – Wicker Upcycle!

Good day to you!

I’m here to share a summery project – a bright yellow mini picnic basket. Perfect for kids to use, or just to pack a small afternoon tea in…

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Isn’t it cute? Plus the photoshoot meant an excuse for cake. Win-win!

I made this project as an entry into the Hillarys Craft Competition which you can see the details of HERE. There were four new fabrics from their blind and curtains collections to choose from, and Hillarys would send out a meter square of the one I liked so I could make it into something fun.

I chose the Daisy Pistachio fabric as I loved the bold pattern, and the shimmery grey background:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I went and bought a wicker basket from Hobbycraft. Of course you could upcycle an older basket, but I wanted to use one you could go and buy (if you are UK based) in case this project inspires you! This one cost £10 (HERE) but they did a couple of other sizes too:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I took the front buckles off as they came off easily, and I covered the hinges at the back with masking tape:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Next I spray painted the basket with Plastikote Gloss Multi-Surface ‘New Yellow’ paint. I did this on an old sheet, spread out in my garden – make sure you are in a well ventilated space if you do this. First I sprayed the inside of the basket and lid, plus most of the sides, then flipped it over and sprayed underneath the basket, and any of the sides which I hadn’t been able to reach before. It took 2 coats to get it looking a nice, bold yellow:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Here’s how it looked once dry:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Next it was time to make the liner for the basket. I don’t sew a whole lot so I went searching for inspiration online and came across THIS TUTORIAL at Home Life, and I based my liner on that. First I measured my basket and drew myself a little plan of what pieces I needed to cut, allowing for 2.5cm seams :

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I cut them all out using pinking scissors:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Stitched the sides of the bag together first:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Made a rolled hem at the top of the bag:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Then added the base of the bag. It was a little tricky going around the corners, but I got there in the end! I also just added ribbons as the ties on the corners, as this material is on the thicker side, and my basket doesn’t have big gaps, so I figured ribbon would slide through the holes easier. It was easy to tie in, and I love that I’ll be able to take it out and wash it:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I cut a bunch of flowers out from the material:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

And used my finger to rub some Mod Podge around the edges of the flowers to stop them fraying:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

I used more Mod Podge to glue these around the top and sides of my basket to make it extra pretty:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Finally I wanted to make some place mats. I was running out of time so I just stitched two quick ones for now. My rectangles of material were cut at 37 x 24 cm, and I just folded & pressed over about 1 cm, stitching the two shorter edges down first, and then the two longer edges. They are going to fray too much for long term use so I will definitely be making some more when I have a bit more time:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Of course I needed to take some photos so that was the perfect excuse to fill the basket with some cake (passionfruit and coconut cake from Co-Op) and some milk:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

And we headed to the play park for our pudding after dinner on a gorgeously warm evening:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

It made two little people very happy:

A Mini Picnic Basket Wicker Upcycle at Jennifer Grace Creates for the Hillarys Craft Challenge

Thank you so much Hillarys for the fabric and the excuse to go and eat cake at the play park, it was awesome!

Do you like to go on summer picnics? We often go to the beach with them, but then there’s the problem of sandy sandwiches!

Have a great weekend,

Jennifer x

Disclosure: This post is an entry into the Hillarys Craft Competition 2015. Hillarys supplied a meter square of material, and the competition has a prize of £1000 for one entrant. All the photos and opinions in this post are my own.

Scrapbook Layouts

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout + Free Printable

It’s June! Hooray, summer is on it’s way in the UK – At least I hope we get some summer weather here… it doesn’t always happen!

To celebrate the start of the summer months I’ve got a summer watercolour wreath layout for you today (plus a free printable for the wreath if you aren’t a painter):

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout Free Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

She’s a ‘Weed Sprite’ instead of a flower fairy! My daughter doesn’t discriminate on which flowers she thinks are pretty. She particularly likes dandelions because of how they change into ‘wish flowers’ – I just found a time lapse video of the change HERE which I’m going to have to show her!

This layout is inspired by several things. First I enjoyed making my Focus Canvas HERE and when I was making it I thought a messy circle would be a great place to have a title inside for a layout… then K did just that in her ‘Cosy’ layout on THIS POST, and Claire at Creative Makings also used a messy circle to house a sentiment on a card – both inspired by my canvas. I also liked making the wreath tag on my ‘Art In Miniature’ post HERE, as I thought the wreath looked nice and summery and reminded me of flower crowns like THIS ONE which I’ve been dying to try out. So I had all these many things in my mind when I decided to make a summer watercolour wreath layout!

When I first began the page I picked a 12×12 piece of white textured cardstock, and painted circles on it:

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout Free Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

Which did look kind of pretty, but I realised it was too spread out to look like a wreath, and it filled up too much of the page, as I wanted the title to be inside the wreath but the journaling and other embellishments to be outside it.

So I started again with a piece of smooth white A4 card. I used a bowl to paint my first circle around:

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout Free Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I took the bowl off and painted some messier circles. I painted a couple more green lines first, then blue, then yellow, then green leaves – allowing the paint to dry between each layer so that I could overlap them without the paint colours blending into each other:

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout Free Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

I added a couple more layers to the leaves so that you couldn’t see the lines below through them too much:

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout Free Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

And then I was ready to cut it out and use it on my page (but I scanned it in first so I could turn it into a printable for you – keep reading for that!). Here it is cut out and stuck to my background – I stuck the circle part of the wreath down flat with tape, but popped the leaves up with foam dots for extra dimension:

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout Free Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

Then I just embellished to my heart’s content!

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout Free Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

I dug through my stash for a selection of flowers and pretty things in a variety of textures, and tried them all out around the wreath before sticking them all on – mostly using my hot glue gun:

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout Free Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

For the journaling I asked my daughter why she likes weeds as well as flowers, and wrote down what she said – ‘Each weed is special to me. A dandelion turns into a wish flower’:

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout Free Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

Do you like this look but you aren’t a painter? I created a download for the wreath, which you can get HERE (it will prompt you to download). Printed at A4 this will print a little smaller than my wreath, but you are welcome to crop the image and resize if you are able to. You could even make it a lot smaller and use it on a card or PL pocket. Personal use only please (not for items you might sell):

Summer Watercolour Wreath Layout Free Printable at Jennifer Grace Creates

Make sure you print it on card if you want to pop up the leaves for some dimension!

What do you think of my summer wreath? Is it summer where you live? If not you could always add different colours of flowers to make it a spring or winter wreath… maybe not autumn though, that would need some brown and orange leaves!

Have a great day,

Jennifer x