Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Things Are Happening

Yes you are in the right place.  
Things look different because Jilliene Designing has had a facelift. 

I came upon this tree image (above) while skimming google images and it became my muse. I just love the palette!  So what do you think?

I have also started a Jilliene Designs Facebook page and would *love* it if you popped over and "liked" me!

Some exciting things will be happening on Monday.  I will be participating in a blog hop, which has appropriately been renamed a "Cricut Crawl." The Crawl will feature the Design Team members at Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog who will be sharing 4th of July projects they have made with various Cricut cartridges. There will be tutorials and inspiration for Independence Day cards, rosettes, home decor, banners, boxes and more! In addition, many of the blogs will have blog candy (i.e.- giveaways!!) including Jilliene Designing.   I will also have an overview of the Cricut cartridge "Word Collage" which I used to make my 4th of July contribution.

So, to sum things up- Monday, July 1st:
  • Cricut Crawl
  • Giveaway
  • Cricut Cartridge "Word Collage" overview and tutorial
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Red, White, and Blue Cricut Crawl

Tie a string around your finger so you don't forget to head over to the
Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog on Monday, July 1st, to join us for our Red, White, and Blue Cricut Crawl (our version of a Blog Hop)!

There will be lots of Cricut crafting and giveaways galore including a K&Co scrapbooking kit from here!  More details to follow...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog Design Team

 I have exciting news!  Actually its a double dose of happiness!  
I have been invited to join the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog Design Team! 
Woo Hoo!! Yippee! 

If you haven't been to the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog before, you really must.  They offer weekly challenges with a giveaway for a randomly selected challenge submission which means that regardless of your experience, you have an opportunity to win. The DT also selects their top 5 submissions which are posted for bragging rights.

Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog (FCCB) is so much more than a challenge blog.  They also offer amazingly useful Quick Tips about using your Cricut, (the link takes you to a great tip about your mat and the plastic cover); super informative Cricut Tutorials (this link takes you to one about the Artiste cartridge), weekly challenge related Cartridge Inspiration and there are Spotlights on talented Cricut Crafters.

The second bit of exciting news is that (FCCB) has offered me their product representative position!  I started today.  This is a great opportunity for me to become more knowledgeable about the scrapbooking industry which will translate into my tutorials and articles.
That's how happy I am.
This week's challenge on FCCB is "Frame it" - Make a project with any type of frame. Follow the link above to find out more about submitting your work and see samples of frame projects created by last quarters design team.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cricut Imagine Cartridge Enjoy the Seasons Mini Album

Last October, I was invited to be in the April "Cricut Mini Albums" book by Northridge publishing. One of the conditions was that I needed to pull any photos of the album until after the book was released.  This was to keep the album new and fresh. Yesterday, someone asked for the instructions to make the album and I realized I hadn't re-posted the tutorial. So here we go:


Enjoy the Seasons 12” x 6” album
What you’ll need:
  • Cricut Imagine
  • Enjoy the Seasons cartridge
  • 6, 12 x 12” sheets of chipboard
  • approx. 5 sheets of light weight chipboard (like the back page of a paper pack)
  • Crop-a-Dile for punching holes
  • 12  x 12” card stock or paper
  • 3-D pop dots or foam dots
  • 1” binder rings
  • Basic scrapbooking tools, your choice of accent embellishments and adhesive
First things first:
Before you assemble your book, you should pick the images you are going to use from the Enjoy the Seasons cartridge.  I chose the following at:
January – snowflakes, page 19 – size 3”
February – hearts, page 31 – size 2”
March – birds, page 32 - size 5”
April – hot air balloon, page 12 - size 3”
May – flowers, page 6 - size 3”
June – butterflies, page 32 - size 5.5”
July – lady by the lake, page 9 - size 3.75”
August – suns, page 31 - size 6.25”
September – apple with worm, page 16 - size 3.5”
October – bats, page 33 - size 5.75”
November – turkey, page 15 - size 3.75”
December – holly, page - size 5.75

You can print and cut this artwork as a flat image or in layers to make the embellishments dimensional.  I wanted the die cuts to hang off the edges of the pages in this album so I used thin chipboard to make them sturdy.  I also opted to print and cut the images in layers. To cut thin chipboard you should set the multi-cut to 2.

To cut the basic book:
Cut all 6 pages of the 12 x 12” chipboard sheets in half so you have 12, 12 x 6” pages. Set 2 of the 12 x 6” pages aside.  They will be the last 2 pages of the book. 
Next, cut the remaining 10, 12 x 6” pages as follows:
         2, 10 x 6” and 2, 2 x 6”
         2, 8 x 6” and 2, 4 x 6”
         4, 6 x 6” (you will only need 2 – you can discard the other 2)

Assembling the pages
This will leave you with 12 pages (24 if you count the front and back) which means you will need to select 24 paper/ cardstock patterns or colors.  You will need to cover your album pages before punching holes for the binder rings.  I selected paper that coordinated with the images I chose to use from the “Enjoy the Seasons” cartridge.
Make your paper selections and cover your chipboard pages and ink the edges.  Now you are ready to punch the holes.
You will punch 8 holes in the 12 x 6” pages,  6 holes in the 10 x 6” pages,  5 holes in the 8 x 6” pages, 4 holes in the 6 x 6” pages, 3 holes in the 4 x 6” pages and 2 holes in the 2 x 6” pages.
You need to punch 2 holes in the 2 x 6” pages and 8 holes, (instead of 7 hole), in the 12 x 6” pages to stabilize the spine of the book.  The best way to make sure that the holes line up straight for assembly is to make a template.  I used a 12 x 6” piece of chipboard for my template so it was nice and sturdy.

Measure .25” in from the (inner) vertical edge and draw a margin line from top to bottom.  You will use this line to make sure your holes line up.  You will punch holes at .25”, 1.70”, 3.50”, 5.25”, 6.75”, 8.50”, 10.25” and 11.75”

Stack the pages on top of one another and insert binder rings in each group of holes.  For a final touch, tie ribbon through the binder rings.

Viola- your book is assembled and your die cut embellishments are ready to be adhered.  The rest of the design is up to you and your photos. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Enamel Paints and Crafting with Kids

We dropped our son off at camp on Sunday. Every summer he goes to Mt. Cross for a week of boy, boy, boy. They build forts, learn archery, swim, have cookouts under the stars and commune with nature. We arrived a little early this year, so we stopped at the park to let the kids play.  Since it was Father's Day, we let Dad have some fun too!

I used to get a little weepy after we dropped Aidan off, but this time was a lot easier. Grandma came with us and I bragged how the next week was going to be "easy-peesy-mac-n-cheesey... that I could manage one kid standing on my head." I hadn't realized that my daughter was at an age where she gets bored easily and wants constant attention.

It is Tuesday and I am already worn out. I don't mean that in a negative way. Eva is a joy and we will have a great week. I just needed to adjust my expectations yesterday. It was 10 AM and we had watched TV, colored, played cards and looked at books. She was bouncing off the walls with summer vacation energy and already bored, so I decided to set up a painting project.
I have been wanting to play with enamel paint for a while now. After I saw this post (below) on Pinterest, I bought some enamel paints at Michaels but had not used them yet. Now would be the perfect time to feel them out and determine if this would be a good activity to teach at summer camp.
The link and owner info for this great project doesn't work
A little background - Every year for the last 7 years I have taught art programs at summer camps. The first few years were actual workshops that came with prepared class kits and high-end supplies. This program was quite lucrative but it seemed silly to be sending my kids to one summer camp and then driving across town to teach at a different one. In the end, the money I made went to paying the tuition for the other.

Three years ago, upon completing my fellowship at the Institute for Innovation, I presented this program to St. Timothy's and I have been teaching there ever since. I only teach three hours, twice a week and in exchange, both kids get to go to camp all summer long, 5 days a week for free! It is a win-win-win because St. Timothy's summer camp is able to add a unique class to their camp description, the kids get two months of fun (and structure), and I am able to play with my kids and their friends without worrying about the carpet.
It is from my summer camp program that Create and Innovate was born, but that is another story.

Once I had the table set up and some slick rocks for us to paint on, Eva declared that "this is the best day ever!" and we began painting.  She had a little trouble at first because of the curves and small pits on the surface of the rock.

When you are used to painting on flat paper, it takes a little while to adjust to unexpected dips, even if they are very slight. 

Eventually she got the hang of it but it was an excellent bit of information for me to consider before teaching something like this to 6-12 year old kids.  

I found the enamel easy to work with but I did need to pull out my nice brushes.  Kid paint brushes did not work at all.  Maybe I wouldn't teach this at camp.  

Still, I wanted to explore the layering and texture capabilities of this medium.  I cannot imagine how the artist from the Pinterest photo made those perfectly round dots in consistent sizes.  I tried to carefully lay down the paint with some pretty fancy round brushes but I couldn't duplicate her work.  I know the tricks for larger polka dots but could not apply these techniques to small ones.  The only solution I could come up with was to use the Cricut to create the design, lay it over the rock, and use it as a stencil.  This way you would have both the consistency in size and the precise spacing.
When we were finished we put our rocks in the sun and Eva went on to build a fort.
Since she was occupied. I thought I'd paint a garden stone that my husband had poured but was suddenly distracted, leaving it to dry without a mosaic design.

First I wiped it clean, then covered it with a top coat of gesso, the let it dry for 30 minutes. Next I used masking tape to divide the shape into nine rectangles.  I thought creating a mosaic of painted "squares" would go well with the other mosaic garden stones.

Next I painted each "square" (I am calling them squares even though they a variety of shapes) with a different colored background.  I tried to mix colors like red and yellow to make orange and blue and red to make purple.  I found that these color combinations were flat and dirty.  The yellow and green did make a nice lime however.

Once the squares dried, I painted simple patterns over the top thus creating the first layer.

Then I removed the tape to reveal relatively clean edges around each square. I would clean up the wonky edges later in the project.
Above, you can see the orange (lower right), the pink and purple (middle left) and the lime green (middle right).
You will notice that when I pulled up the tape, some of the gesso came off (below the upper left square) which tells me that A) I should have let the gesso dry much longer, and B) I will need to investigate concrete specific primers for future concrete projects.

I just loved the look of the tape after I took it off and decided to hold onto it to use in a mixed media project.
Isn't it groovy?
Next, I painted frames around each of the squares to shrink the large white lines and to embellish the existing squares.  I also added additional details inside of each square.  I wanted to spread the color around as much as possible in following the the mosaic motif. This was layer 2.

I decided that the flat colors were not working so I walked down to Michaels, (Yes, just 1 block from my house - a blessing and a curse) and picked up an assortment of enamel mini pots for $2.89 regular price.  Once everything had dried, I started laying down a third layer on top of the existing designs.  I used all the colors I had to work with except the purple, pink and orange I had made earlier. I loaded my small pointed round brush with a good amount of paint, trying to duplicate the texture of the Pinterest rock. I still had trouble controlling the distribution of the paint but perhaps that is a personal problem.

After three more layers (totaling 6 in all) I put the paint brush down and declared myself finished.
If I wanted this design to last a little while, I was going to have to seal it.  There are a lot of sealing products out there. Many websites suggest using a concrete sealer that is made specifically to seal porous materials but these products are highly toxic, the fumes are overpowering and they only sell them in larger sizes for $25 + which would be fine as an investment except that the shelf life is only a year.  I did some research and decided to go with Krylon UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating which prevents against UV light rays and is moisture resistant.  It probably won't protect the paint for a century, but it is bound to last a season.  I'll keep you posted on how it holds up.

The projects were entertaining and informative.  Eva had a lot of fun painting with mommy, she was very proud of her rocks and the project seemed to transition her to play independently for a long period of time. I decided not to paint rocks with enamel paint at camp. I do, however, want to paint more of the garden stones.  It will make a great family activity and I think both kids will enjoy creating their own designs in layers now that I am better equipped to instruct them.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


Congratulations Gracie and Lynn!!  Gracie you are the winner of the bonus prize - please send me your email !  Thank you to the participants. I wish I could give something to each of you. Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Tutorial: Gorgeous Flower and Bead Wire Wrap Ring

This is a fun and simple project using wire, beads and a faux or real flower.  I made these for a tea party as favors and for a jewelry trunk show as gifts with each purchase. They were such a hit that people have asked if they could pay me to make them for a baby shower and as Christmas gift toppers!  This is also a fun craft to do with your kids! 


12 gauge floral wire
26 gauge craft wire
Assorted beads
Small faux or fresh flowers
Wire cutters

  • Cut 5" - 6" of the 12g wire (depending on your ring size) and wrap around a ring mandrel or a large marker.  The wire is very pliable so once you have the form, you can size accordingly.
  • Next you cut off approximately 16" of the 26g wire, wrap it around the ring band several times, then twist it so that the thin wire is secure.
  • Now create several whimsical loops from the band outward.

  • Add a bead and twist the wire to secure the bead in place
  • Then continue creating fluid, decorative loops and twists with the remaining portion of the wire so that the bead sits near the band and the twists flow around it.  
  • Repeat these steps for the other end of the wire. 
  • String the flower through the center and position it next to the beads.

NOTE: Sometimes the wire loops begin to look kinky or the beads and flower won't position correctly on the band.  I untwist the wires and use a flat nose pliers to straighten out the kinks. When I start again, I try to be extra patient, move slowly and be thoughtful in my looping so that the wire doesn't become kinky again. 

When using fresh flowers, select flowers that are flat, with sturdy centers. Hydrangeas and Wax Hoyas work well.  You can also skip the flowers and use a larger bead.