#FridayFun: Posca Make Today Christmas Pack!

Posca Make Today Christmas pack
Posca Make Today Christmas pack, picture: Cliqq Photography

I have to share this bit of #Fridayfun with you as I’m really so excited. I’m delighted to show off The Posca Make Today Christmas Pack, a product I developed with the marvellous marketing and design team at the Mitsubishi Pencil Company.

Posca Make Today Christmas pack
Posca Make Today Christmas pack, picture: Cliqq Photography

This pack is filled with goodies that will be great for Christmas crafting. Open the box and you’ll find eight specially selected  POSCA pens in different sizes and classic festive colours. The craft kit also includes 10 card blanks plus five sheets of easy draw templates featuring 50+ of my seasonal illustrations to trace and transfer. You’ll also find  24-page booklet that I wrote. It talks you through 16 unique greeting designs to make today, plus five bonus festive makes to create with your pens.

Here’s little peek at some of the designs featured…

Posca Make Today Christmas pack, picture: Cliqq Photography
Posca Make Today Christmas pack, picture: Cliqq Photography
Posca Make it Today Christmas Pack
Posca Make Today Christmas pack, picture: Cliqq Photography
Posca Make Today Christmas Pack
Posca Make Today Christmas pack, picture: Cliqq Photography

You can make your own Christmas cards using the pack but you don’t have to stop there. I’ve also developed 13 extra projects that you can create with the pens – you can see eight of these on the Make Today Website along with loads of extra drawing tips and tricks.

We’ve also made some really simple how-to videos to follow, have a look at this one below…

I’m incredibly proud of our achievement – the pack is a complete solution in a box for the Christmas crafter. I’m so pleased to see my illustrations used commercially and in a format that people can access and use.

You can buy the pack at the Easichalk website...

Posca Make Today Christmas pack
Posca Make Today Christmas pack, picture: Cliqq Photography

Christmas gift wrap ideas part 4: Christmas tree tags

trees_1_white My final Christmas gifting idea can also double up as decorations! I just decorated these mdf Christmas trees with posca pens I had left over from my autumn shows.
trees_1_blackI’m very fond of sticking to a simple set of colours, so as well as using black and white designs I’ve also done some black, silver and gold trees. It’s about as bling as I get. Both of these would go with black wrap or metallic gold and silver papers.
trees_2_whiteAs you can see I’ve used my laurel stem design (how to here), and simple star, snowflake, heart and tinsel motifs.
trees_2_black Another of my go-to motifs is my simple flower design. Like my other Scandi-style shapes it’s really easy to recreate as you’ll see by my how-to below. trees_3_white trees_4_black
demo_flower_4 Simple flower how to step 1:  Make a three curved marks one at the top and two at the bottom. demo_flower_3Simple flower how to step 2:  Add two lines between the triangular shape so the shape resembles a dancing man.
demo_flower_2 Simple flower how to step 3: Draw curves around the lines to make petals and add a dot in the middle.  demo_flower_1 Simple flower how to step 4: Colour in the petals and make little dots around the shape.

Christmas wrap ideas part 3: Super simple black and white

bw_wrapping_3 I’ve deliberately kept it simple for part three of my Christmas wrap ideas with these easy black and white designs.
bw_wrapping_2I’ve opted for a lovely iridescent white paper and teamed it with simple black tags and co-ordinating ribbon. The gestural stem designs are based on my laurel stem illustration, see the step by step here. The Christmas tree and garland are really simple; I used a white Posca pen to create tiered jagged shapes for the tree, waited for the paint to dry and overlaid it with gold dots. For the garland I drew some simple thin lines with a silver Posca pen then added white and gold dots.
bw_wrapping_1

Christmas gift wrap ideas part 2: Scandi-style black and white

wb_wrapping_3 It’s day two of my week of Christmas wrap ideas. This time I’ve gone for a stylish, yet playful Scandi-style as seen in my Scandi Lodge trend ideas with illustrated mdf bauble shaped tags.
wb_wrapping_2 Using my Scandi-style Christmas moodboard and my pinterest pins as inspiration I painted the shapes with white acrylic paint and used black Posca pens to apply the designs.
wb_wrapping_6wb_wrapping_1 I kept the drawings fairly simple with basic star/snowflake shapes, squiggles, hearts, dots and scallops. Because the illustrated baubles create such an impact I kept the wrap itself very simple using shiny black paper with black or white 5mm and 10mm satin ribbon. wb_wrapping_4 wb_wrapping_5One of the easiest Scandi-style motifs I like to create is my simple laurel stem illustration that you can see above on the heart and the Christmas tree designs. It’s very, very easy to recreate as these step by steps show.
demo_laurel_4 Step 1: Draw a simple line, it can be curved or straight, although I prefer mine to be a little jaunty.demo_laurel_3Step 2: Make little semi-circle shapes along the line as shown.demo_laurel_2Step 3: Join the tops of the semi-circle to the central line to create leaves.demo_laurel_1Step 4: Colour in the leaves. 

Christmas wrap ideas part 1: Totes trad red and green

whitewrapping_2 Over the next four days I got some top easy gift wrap ideas for giving your Christmas pressies that extra pizzazz.
whitewrapping_3Idea number one is inspired by the totes trad red and white festive theme as outlined in this Christmas trends post. As I might of mentioned, this red, white and green colour scheme is one very much favoured by Dr B. So I always do something every year that’s a little concession to his yuletide preferences (although in fairness he’d have penguins and robins and Santas everywhere if it were up to him).

whitewrapping_4This is my concession to tradition. I have loads of gift tags and Posca pens left over from the craft shows I did this autumn so I thought I’d get busy with some quick and easy wrap revamps.  I used two different nib sizes (5M and 1MR) to create different sized dots on the wrapping paper and some of the tags. I then finished it off with a trad twine bow.  I also completed some of the gifts with a bespoke wreath tag. It’s dead easy to do, so much so I’ve got a little step by step for you below for you to try.
whitewrapping_1 You don’t have to be a fantastic drawer to create this wreath, I’ve shown loads of people how to do it; if you can make a mark you can make this wreath. You’ll need a circular tag and Posca pens in dark and light green, gold (or silver), red and blue.
Ella Johnston Christmas Wreath gift tag tutorial Step 1: Make a dark green circle using a rough layered zig-zags.
Ella Johnston Christmas Wreath gift tag tutorial Step 2: Overlay the dark green with a lighter shade.
Ella Johnston Christmas Wreath gift tag tutorial Step 3: Once your wreath is dry (the pens are paint based so you can use them as such) use the gold pen to draw lines around the ring as above, like it is wrapped around the wreath. Once you have covered the wreath with gold lines draw circles along the lines to make a string of beads.
Ella Johnston Christmas Wreath gift tag tutorial Step 4: Add coloured baubles in-between the gold bead garland.
Ella Johnston Christmas Wreath gift tag tutorial
Step 5: Write a little festive phrase in the middle.

Moodboard: Scandi-style Christmas

Scandi Christmas MoodboardMy posts have been sporadic of late because I have been having the busiest time sending out Christmas orders and selling my ways in various Christmas markets. It’s been fun but boy has it been full-on.

Anyway, my festive mood, and indeed this Monday Moodboard,  is in total full flow now working on a set of Scandi-style designs and illustrations for Christmas demos for Posca pens and for my Christmas wrapping. I’ll reveal more of this later in the week but in the mean time enjoy some of the patterns and imagery that has been inspiring me.

It’s time… Get set for Christmas!

From George Home
Decorations From George Home

It’s mid November so I feel it’s a respectable time to start getting set for Christmas. I thought I’d just do a really image-led post featuring some key festive looks that I like for home, gifting and decoration.

Retro shimmer

Decorations from Dunelm
Decorations from Dunelm

This look brings out the little girl in me. I would imagine the six year old me would have loved a shimmery, glittery tree in pinks, golds, turquoises, silvers and purples. When I was that age, the shinier the better and, while I try to be a grown up, this look still shouts “Christmas” to me.

From Next
From Next

Kiddie Christmas

From Sainsbury's
From Sainsbury’s

Now it if was up to Dr B, this is what Christmas would look like at our place.

When it comes to wrapping, I  go classy with kraft paper and twine or black/white iridescent wrap with contrasting ribbon and tags, Dr B goes all out with robins, trees, snowmen, santas and Christmas puds. His go-to colours are red, green and white because it is “proper”. He likes the fun of this look, the playfulness and, like my retro shimmer look, it reminds him of childhood. I like it too but I’m not sure if it would suit my gaff.

Totes trad

From Marks & Spencer
From Marks & Spencer

Love this. The sumptuous textures teamed with the plaid, plus the traditional motifs and colour ways combined with twinkly lights and little finishes such as berry and fir wreaths and centre pieces create a warm, cosy feel that immediately references this time of year.

From Dunelm
From Dunelm

The totes trad look feels both festive and grown up. You kinda feel Christmassy as soon as you see it and just looking at these pictures makes me want to reach for the hot chocolate and my slippers.

From Sainsbury's
From Sainsbury’s

Light luxe

From George Home
From George Home

This metallic style is a kind of grown up version of the retro shimmer look.

From Marks & Spencer
From Marks & Spencer

I like the way you can be playful with this look – you can do glitter, you can adorn gifts and decorations with baubles and frosting – but the overall effect is quite chic. I love the art deco references of this and think it really comes together through the coordinating colour way of pinks, navies, silvers and gold/bronze metallics.

From House of Fraser
From House of Fraser
HyperFocal: 0
From George Home

Frosted 

From House of Fraser
From House of Fraser

You can do two versions of the frosted Christmas – the one above (trad touches, cosy finishes etc) or the one below (minimal styling, subtle references). Whatever your style the look shares the same cool colour suite teamed with pretty metallic accents and snowflake and wreath motifs.

From Sainsbury's
From Sainsbury’s

Scandi Lodge

From Amara
From Amara

I know everyone has been talking about ‘hygge’ of late and I suppose this look reflects this.

From Amara
From Amara

This graphic style is perfect for me but I know that some find this look a little too austere and maybe too stark. However you can soften it up by being more playful with your decorative elements and use of pattern like the examples below…

From Dunelm
From Dunelm
From George Home
From George Home

Latin winter

From Paperchase
From Paperchase

This is my wildcard but I can’t resist showcasing this range from Paperchase. The colours are warm and vibrant while the motifs are so playful and fun. It’s a great alternative for those who aren’t keen on snowflakes.

From Paperchase
From Paperchase

Monday Moodboard: Pattern

Pattern Monday Moodboard Ella Johnston

This weeks’ Monday Moodboard is all about pattern. I’m currently working on some Christmas and textile patterns for homes projects. These little lot are just a sample of what I’ve been looking at.

I’ll trawled my pinterest boards for inspiration and although the designs above aren’t like my style they have given me loads of ideas for composition, colour-ways and motifs.

Have a little look at my Pinterest boards for more patterns and illustration ideas.

Four Fab Christmas Trends

From House of Fraser
From House of Fraser

Now it’s November I think it’s fair enough to talk about Christmas, isn’t it? Over the coming weeks I’ll be looking at festive ideas so that Ella’s place will be the coolest venue for yuletide food, drink, gifts and decoration inspiration – so watch this space.

As a journalist I’m very lucky to get an early insight into the trends for the upcoming festive season. It’s part of my job to visit trade shows and talk with my colleagues of what’s hot and what’s not for 2015. I’ve really enjoyed putting the festive issues of my magazines together and if you want some immediate crafty projects and ideas – head here and here.

If you’re stuck for what look to go for this Christmas (you’ve still got time to stock up with some yuletide updates for the big day) then this round-up of the year’s top trends should help.

Vintage trad
I love a bit of nostalgia at Christmas and the high street has really appealed to our love for yuletides past this year. This look reminds me of when my mum would get the decoration box out and my sister and I would busily get on creating the most stylishly decked-out tree. We were both very particular about the tree and the overall festive scheme. We were also as one on it: we didn’t want classy or cool, we didn’t want restrained, we wanted red, white and fir-tree greens, and we were all about santas, bells, robins, puddings, snowflakes and snowmen. This trend is perfect for this and I know me and my and sis would have been all over this lot when we were kids.

From BHS
From BHS
From Sainsbury's
From Sainsbury’s
From House of Fraser
From House of Fraser
From Homebase
From Homebase
From Tesco
From Tesco
From Jan Constantine
From Jan Constantine

Luxury lodge
If I’m being honest, this trend is really for my fantasy grown-up home. I should explain… When I was a teenager I watched a lot of TV and I always thought that when I reached a ‘certain age’ I’d be living in house with white furniture, bleached and shiny surfaces, sumptuous soft furnishings in a palette of greys and alabaster, pale flowers in the hallway and soothing classical music playing practically all time. I would also wear crisp, expensive shirts. Anyway, while Ella’s place really isn’t like that (those shirts are a pain to iron),  I do love the mix of textures this look combines and the lovely natural touches with the incorporation of foliage and woodland elements – these all work together to create a cool wintery feel without being too clinical or cold. It’s really lovely.

From Amara
From Amara
From BHS
From BHS
From Houseology
From Houseology
From Homebase
From Homebase
From Amara
From Amara
From Sainsbury's
From Sainsbury’s

Glam metallics
If there’s one key trend for winter 2015/2016 it’s copper and gold. I’ve seen these metallics teamed with navy blue, teal, deep green and almost every shade of grey. I love this look – to me it evokes a sense of old-school glamour and adds an opulent finish to those festive arrangements. It’s also super adaptable; complementing a lot of different interior styles, you can just have small touches, with baubles and little accessories, or you can go all out with lampshades, cushions and crockery for the ultimate foxy looking display that is bang on the money.

From Marks and Spencer
From Marks and Spencer
From The Contemporary Home
From The Contemporary Home
From Next
From Next
From Lime Lace
From Lime Lace
From Marquis & Dawe
From Marquis & Dawe
From House of Fraser
From House of Fraser

Elegant brights
Seeing as it’s Christmas you can indulge your playful side. That’s why it’s great to go for bright colours and quirky designs – after all it is a celebration. The collection shown below illustrates that you don’t have to go for traditional festive motifs or tacky glitz to have a bit of fun with your decorations. In fact you can put together a classy look with nods to contemporary design that will still make people smile and get into the festive spirit.

From Marks and Spencer
From Marks and Spencer
From Acorn and Will
From Acorn and Will
From Tescos
From Tesco
From The Contemporary Home
From The Contemporary Home
From Rigby and Mac
From Rigby and Mac
From Oliver Bonas
From Oliver Bonas