Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

I'm going to take a little break over this next week to spend quality time with my family & friends as we stop, remember and celebrate the beautiful Gift that God gave us in the form of His Son, Jesus, who is our Redemption and Hope.

God bless each of you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Future Projects...Let me hear from you!

Hello Bloggers!

I tell ya, it has been a scorcher of a few days with very little relief. Temperatures in the late 30's C - 40's. Monday was 41 I think. How does that translate into F? Lets see....Monday was 105.8 F and yesterday 98.6. I haven't checked what today was. It's just hot! That is all I know. And I don't have air conditioning! Thank God for Ceiling fans and shopping centers with working A/C! lol

I haven't created anything these past few days...partly due to the heat, but also because I've had Christmas shopping and really after the Christmas Carols, I am a little crafted out! haha. I have a few projects brewing actually so keep an eye out! These include the fabulous KaiserCraft Storage Cupboard, which is simply divine!

I also have the Twiddleybitz Steampunk Clock.How super cool is this clock!?!? I am so excited!

I am still new at Blogging, as you may tell, and I am wanting to be more purposeful with my posts. I was ahead and had things planned out and then Life got in the way! Surprise! haha I plan of having a routine to my daily posts with particular topics being discussed on particular days. So if you have any ideas, do let me know in the comments. I am here to provide you a service. What techniques do you want to learn? Shall we discuss colours and colour pallets? Focus on certain designers and how to use their products for basic, intermediate and advanced creations?

Have a think and let me know. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Carols Spectacular!

Could it really be over already!? Well yes, for another year the Toowoomba Community Baptist Church's Christmas Carols are over.
I was honoured to be asked to head the decorations for this year's Carols. I immediately began to think big but with 2 weeks to show time - well I had to bring it down a bit!
I am really proud of all of those who were involved in putting on this enormous event. Mr White Knight and I laboured every night for a week to have the last of the props in place.

Yesterday was an immensely hot day but it didn't deter our tiny team - or Mr White Knight who stood atop a 12 foot ladder (or was it bigger?) to attach 4 sets of baubles to the ceiling.

We even had our Pastor and Mr White Knight climbing on top of the church roof, covering all the windows with black plastic. The effect was amazing.

Inside, the church auditorium was darkened to a night time darkness. Fairy lights hung on all of the walls and the stage was alight with icicle type lights, giving off such a peaceful yet spectacular glow.

To the right sat our masterpiece....well I think it is pretty cool! lol

The lights around the stable had such a wonderful affect. However because there were a lot of people about who were knowingly and unknowingly caught on film, I am unable to show the pictures. Privacy reasons. Joseph here measured to over 5 feet high. This is a big stable.

And how can I forget our angel!?

Isn't he cool! Standing over 7 feet high is our very own angel! I would have made his wing twice as big, but I couldn't get the wood.

And here is me standing with my creation. And YES there are 2 cheeky boys who just couldn't resist getting their photo taken with me! All they had to do was ask! hahahaha
I am not one to have my photo taken and it is an even rarer occasion to have me post here you go. This is me :-)

A wonderful night was had by all. I am not sure how many were in attendance but it was certainly a few hundred! And of course the night was not and is not about the decorations or how pretty things looked. It is about people getting together to celebrate the birth of the Boy who became King. And what a birthday party it was!


Saturday, December 15, 2012


Crime Scene Investigation?

No :-)

Colour. Stories. Inspiration.

The Team at CSI currently have their 50th Case File up! Congratulations ladies!
I was there for their very first Case File and I gotta tell ya, it is a lot of fun!

I am really glad that I had an attempt at a Case File because it forced me to think out of the box and taught me how to create to a form of instructions. The freedom I discovered in my ability to create was revolutionary. Here is the page I entered. I am rather proud of it :-)

I remember that the Case File was inspired by Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter and the directions was that particular images had to be used as well as an invite I think. Gosh I am trying to remember! I journalled how my beautiful boys love to break into imitating the March Hare at any and every opportunity and look at their spoon -whether real or imaginary - and proclaim ~ SPOON!

So I urge you to have a go! At least go to the CSI page and have a look at the Gallery. You will be amazed at the beautiful creations that are submitted. Simply amazing and inspiring.

Here is a look at the 50th Case File! Enjoy!


How The Challenge Works

Tune in each Friday evening (around 6:00 p.m. United States EST) for our weekly reveal to see the current Case File.
The Case File contains the following elements:
"The Scene" - This is the inspiration image from which the color palette, inspiration, and story starters are drawn.
"The Scheme" - This is the palette of five colors you must use. You may add neutrals (black, white, kraft, cream, gray, brown) to these colors. Please try to get your colors as close to this swatch as possible, but don't drive yourself crazy or not play because you don't have the exact shade of a color. If you'd like to add an additional color to accent, please restrict it to about 10% of your page.
"Evidence" - These are elements drawn from the inspiration image that you should include on your page. They may be products, techniques, or other design ideas. Choose two or more to include in your layout. If you see other elements that inspire you in this picture, feel free to add those, too!
"Testimony" - This is the journaling part. Choose one (or more) elements for your journaling. The journaling elements are also drawn from the inspiration image and may be in the form of topic ideas, journaling formats, journaling approaches, or words to inspire your stories. They are meant to spark ideas for you to tell a story on your page. You can combine them, use them as a jumping-off point, or you can always use The Scene (inspiration image) as inspiration for your journaling.
Detailed Clues - Detailed clues for the Case Files can be found at the bottom of the Case File thread, after all of the design team's layouts are displayed. The clues that are given on the Case File image are explained in more detail in this spot. Links related to the Testimony, RGB codes, and so forth are found here.
CSI Coordinates - Michele Singh, who is a member of our design team, creates customized printables that go with each Case File. CSI Coordinates consist of patterned papers, word art, journaling spots, and other images related to our Evidence that go with that week's palette. The Coordinates are PDF attachments and can be found at the bottom of the Case File Thread.
To be eligible for our sponsor's prize or to be featured as "Under Surveillance" (layouts that catch our eye and get featured on our front page), please submit your layout to the gallery by midnight EST, a week from Sunday following the reveal. This basically gives you a whole week plus an extra weekend to get your layout done. Five layouts will be chosen by the CSI Detectives each week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sharp electric cutting tools, wood and me? What could go wrong?

Well not a lot happened really! Lol but it could have gone terribly wrong because my husband thought I knew what I was doing and I clearly didn't!

What am I talking about? WELL! You will have to wait a little longer for full details. *grin*

I was hoping to have some pics up for y'all today but alas I have none. Mr White Knight broke his jigsaw whilst cutting out the thick MDF. Never fear the new jigsaw is here. I was hoping to have this project finished by tomorrow night. Here's hoping!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Bauble Decorations

Hi Bloggers!

I have been asked to decorate my Church for our Christmas Carols this year. This is such an honour. I hope to use this opportunity to bring you some interesting posts. However we all know how things can get. I will do my best.

This afternoon I took on the task of bauble decorations. Our theme this year is Light and so I figured we could use the baubles as stars. The auditorium will all be dark with fairy lights everywhere and so I am thinking these baubles will {hopefully} look great and sparkle nicely.

The idea I had was tying the baubles to various lengths of ribbon and tie them together in a bundle to be hung from the ceiling.

 To be fair this idea isn't totally mine. I saw a picture somewhere on Pinterest - now lost to me.
I gathered 10 baubles together in the bunch but I am thinking 15-20 would look much better. But hey, we work with what we've got...and 120 baubles isn't too bad!

This is the outcome. I hope you like them. Maybe you could do something similar in your own home?

 If you do, post me a pic! I'd love to see!


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Birthday Fun

I have had the most wonderful 2 days, having just celebrated my 35th birthday. My birthday is the 7th but being a weekday it was low key. And you know, that was ok. It felt good. It felt right and I was very content. But I wonder if my contentment was due to the fact that I knew my hubby was holding me a little afternoon tea party the next day? Perhaps. lol

He surprised me today with a lovely gift from my 3 boys. (My poor White Knight  went to collect my gift on Thursday, only to find that it had been sold to someone else.) This is what I was presented with:

I am truly blessed!

And then the party started! Woot! A selection of my favourite people came along - alas we can't fit everyone! It was such a nice, and relaxed time.

My dear friend Samantha made me a lovely gift and I just had to show it to y'all. With her permission of course!

Clever girl, isn't she!
Sam has decorated a KaiserCraft wishing will with Graphic 45 papers. My favourite butterfly one too from the Steampunk Debutante Collection. I'm unsure where the birds come from but they are darling.

Of course gifts are fun and lovely but are not what truly is important. A gift is nothing unless there is love behind the giving. And I tell ya, I felt truly loved and honoured. I feel like I belong and I have a very special group of friends who are indeed my family.
I thank God for you all.

Blessings Joan

Friday, December 7, 2012

Handmade Highstreet

Just giving a plug for the wonderful store, Handmade Highstreet, who sell my cards. They are having a Fair so all you locals, go check 'em out.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Tag

Christmas is rapidly approaching and some of us don't have time to make cards for our loved ones. OR! {gasp}they throw their cards away - so why bother!?

Here is a way to get your Christmas Craft on as well as tackle that Card issue : Tags. Your giving a gift, right? So why not include a personalised little Tag on the gift, ensuring the right person gets their gift as well as giving that special touch from your heart.

Here is one I made for you!

The techniques used in this tag is Distressing, Inking, Stamping and Heat Embossing. The white ink is Donna Salazar's Jasmine Mixed Media Ink.

Ok Lets get started!

I was having a bit of a brain fade on the day I was making these tags, so please forgive me if I have posted the wrong measurements! lol.
Basically we have 2 standard sizes. The light tags here are actually Tim Holtz Tags. You could simply ink his tags but I wanted to make mine out of cardstock. Incidentally the cardstock featured here is KaiserCraft.

Cut your tags out of cardstock to the size that suits your project.

Give your tag a wipe with an anti-static pillow. Try not to handle the tag too much so that the oils from your fingers aren't all over it.

Select a stamp of your choice and stamp the image on to your cardstock. Make sure you use an ink that is a Pigment Ink. All inks are not the same my friends! A pigment ink is thicker and takes longer to dry, thus allowing the powder to stick to the wet ink.
 I will ensure I will do a post on this topic and explain inks for you. The ink I used here is a clear ink - Versamark. I find it excellent for Heat Embossing.

Cover your tag generously with your chosen colour of embossing power. Here I chose a powder that turns clear when heated.
*Now BEFORE you start getting messing with powder ensure you have a scrap piece of paper under your project! A4 is a good size. Fold the paper in half and then lay it fully opened under your project. The reason for this is to enable you to return your unused powder back into the container. The crease in your page will help the direction of the flow and hopefully prevent unwanted mess.

Once you have poured the powder on your tag, you can immediately lift and pour off the excess onto your paper.
Be sure to not touch the image with your fingers because it is still wet and will smudge. Give the tag the gentlest of taps on the table to allow lose powder to fall off.

With your heat gun, heat the tag. I have two examples here with the left made with white embossing powder and the right with clear. You are limited only by your imagination my friends!

 And so here is the tag I made for you, stamped with 2 stamps by Stampin' Up and embossed with white embossing powder.

I like to ink the edges of my creations before I take to it with my distress tool. Gently and quickly swipe the edges of your tag with your ink. Here I used Donna Salazar's Jasmine Mixed Media Ink. Then grab a distressing tool or even a sharp pair of scissors and scrape along the edges of your tag to roughen up the edges. If you are using scissors, and you haven't tried this before, practice on a piece of cardstock first. Remember though that this technique can blunted your scissors faster than normal cutting.
If you prefer not to distress the edges, simply leave them untouched.

I re-inked the edges again after distressing the paper. As you can see, this ink is rather messy and I haven't yet figured out how to stay relatively clean with this one. But there are no mistakes! I added a couple of extra smudges to heighten the 'grunge' look and give an image of 'snow'.

With a craft knife, cut a slit in your card for your ribbon. It helps to have a sharp piercing tool to prompt the ribbon through the small hole. Mine is from Stampin' Up. Fold your ribbon in half and guide the middle through the slit.
Be careful to not pierce your ribbon but guide it.

The ribbon should form a loop on the back of the card.

Place the ribbon tails through the loop and pull gently, bringing the loop down to seize the ribbon into place.
For extra bling, place a Brad in the hole in which the ribbon is placed.

Add a bit of bling! Why not?!
Now if you are unsure of the placement of your bling, if it is really necessary, then cut it out and place it on your project, with the clear plastic still attached.

Here, you can see I decided I didn't need all of the diamantes. Leaving the plastic on whilst I experimented prevented me from having to try and unstick the little gems without tearing the paper.

At the very end, in an act of after thought of inspiration, I inked the edges again to ensure a white look and not a smudged light blue and covered the edges of the tag in white embossing power and heated it. So now the tag has solid white on the edges that give foundation to the distressed ink.

 Your tag get a bit messy on the back? Mine sure did! No mistakes remember!

 Ink up a piece of cardstock and stick it on the back. This provides a place for your to write your message as well as cover any unsightly spots.

Well I hope you have enjoyed the first of my little tutorials! I have had fun making it. We sure covered a number of techniques here too! I'd sure like to see your tags. Be sure to comment below with a pic!


Embossing Folders and Jewelry?

I was visiting a favourite blog and came across an amazing post that has me all inspired! Handmade jewelry made with embossing folders! How cool is that!

Go visit the lovely and talented Trisha Green-Ladouceur!


Hello Bloggers!

I am so glad that you have dropped by. This blog is the beginning of a new start for me and a means in finding my way and place within the Art/Craft world. The purpose of Ebony Grace Designs is to provide a relaxed environment for Crafters to learn and/or improve on their techniques. I will show you what I am making (and this blog will help me be more constructive with my days!) and along the way I will provide tutorials and pieces of information on how to achieve the look. Snippets of information will also be available - the little things that I didn't know because no one told me and I found out the hard way. Hopefully I can help you not find out the hard way!!! Do let me know what you would like to learn, see or discuss. If I don't know the answer I will seek it out. I am on this journey along with you and I expect that I will learn a lot from you too!
I will have blog hops to my favourite Crafters and Designers to check in and share what they are up to as well. Nothing like added inspiration!

Before I get on to business I want to put a shout out and a thank you to my dear friend Tonya who is The Crafty Mummy.

Tonya has been a wonderful source of support as well as immense practical help on Ebony Grace Designs. Without her, Ebony Grace Designs wouldn't be here. The Crafty Mummy has had over 50,000 hits this month! How cool is that! So pop on over and check out what all of the fuss is about! There is inspiration and tutorials galore! You will have a lot of fun!

I look forward to introducing you to some more of my Crafty friends in the future. Who are some of your favourites?