Thursday, August 29, 2013

We are giving away a Cricut Expression!

I am so delighted to announce that Cricket Vinyl Supplies is sponsoring the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog the week of Sept. 9th and, if we get 100 challenge entries, will giveaway a...

Cricut Expression!

On top of that, the entire Design Team will participate in a FCCB Cricut Crawl (our version of a blog hop), and each and every stop will have blog candy! The theme and challenge for the week is Vinyl. 

We are calling this week of excitment Vinyl University and there will be tutorials, project how to's, videos, tips, tricks and inspiration! 

If you would like a chance to win a Cricut Expression submit any type of project using vinyl. If you would like a chance at winning some fabulous blog candy, visit all 21 Design Team blogs and enter their drawings. Winners will be selected by so your project doesn't have to be an extravagant masterpiece to qualify to win!  You just need to use vinyl and one Cricut cut.

Don't wait to the last minute! Get a head start and order your vinyl now!

Cricket Vinyl Supplies is offering a 15% discount to their already low prices.  Use the code: fantabulous.

Monday, August 26, 2013

FCCB Heat Wave Challenge using Summer Celebrations Cricut Cartridge

This week's challenge at Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog is "Heat Wave," which left me with a lot of wiggle room to create a project.  I decided to do something from the Summer Celebrations Cricut cartridge since I had not had an opportunity to use it yet. 

After a lot of page flipping, I decided to do the Pool Party card but instead of doing the single color silhouette layer presented with the card, I elected to use the full primary images from pages 33 and 34 and adhere them on top of the the card cutouts.

I used Design Studio to size the boy and girl images to fit perfectly on the card silhouettes.  Since their sizes were customized to fit on the card, I was unable to use the "relative" feature.  This meant that I had to I re-size each of the layers so that the clothes and other elements fit perfectly on the boy and girl base images. This was a little tedious but necessary to make everything line up perfectly.

I had a lot of fun building the color palette for the two figures.  I wanted to give the two characters some personality so I dug deep into my scraps and brought out a few of those 6 x 6" pads that I can't seem to use because they are too pretty. After some hunting, I got the look I was after.  In several cases I cut the same layer multiple times with different paper so I could introduce additional color into the design. 

For example, the little girl's skirt, bathing suit top and glasses came from one layer which I cut twice with both pink and pink polka dotted paper.  This gave her outfit a little variety.

The boy's towel and a portion of his ball were also a single layer which I cut twice with both yellow and blue cardstock.

I don't know why I chose that color for the card - I guess it just spoke to me - but once I had the card cut out I thought "wow, that is a lot of green" so I cut the card + shift in white to offset it a little.  Then, once I had the primary images of both the girl and boy assembled, I adhered them on top of the white trim so that a tiny part of the white was visible. I was still uncomfortable with the amount of green and considered re-cutting the card in a different color altogether, but then I added the sun from the Pack Your Bags Cricut cartridge and it all came together.

So there you have it.  I just love the interest created by the shadows in these images.  The designers did a great job with the Summer celebrations cartridge.

Now I need to find some time and money for a trip to Paris so I can use the Arc de Triomphe de l'√Čtoile image on page 31.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Cricut Cartridge: Create a Friend

I am back from vacation and feeling so refreshed.  I was so excited to learn about Cricut's new cartridge "Create a Friend" this morning!  I never buy cartridge's at full price.  I always wait for the big sale or buy them on ebay, but when I saw this cutie, I was REALLY tempted to put it in my shopping cart!!

I don't usually create scrapbooking pages with people die cuts but I am so inspired with these darling images! I also love the shadow design for the images and phrases.  I probably wouldn't use gray as my background; I would probably use white. Either way, the effect is so clean and professional looking.  If you would like a closer look at this gem of a cartridge, click below to tour the handbook:

Monday, August 19, 2013

Finally, Family Time and Relaxation

We are in Angels Camp for a few days after a CRAZY busy week. It was hot and muggy today so we spent most of the afternoon at the pool and in the rec center. 

The first day of vacation is always transitional... it takes some effort to let go of multi-tasking and over-stimulation.  Oddly enough, my challenge hasn't been unwinding and enjoying the quiet; I've been stressed about everyone else's fun. 

Between my mom's expectations for bonding and spending time together, my kid's obsession with playing video games and checking out in front of the TV and my husband need for activity, I am feeling uncomfortable with my ability to disengage with the world. I slept in, floated on my air mattress, worked out at the gym and soaked in the jacuzzi tub for 45 minutes.  All the while watching my husband's restlessness, hearing my kid's claims of boredom and feeling my mom's frustrated vibe because the kids want to turn the TV on whenever they get the chance.

These are the nuances of life that I find baffling but they are luxury problems that do not warrant the energy I give them.  Tomorrow is another day and I, for one, plan to enjoy it.  Hopefully everyone else will do the same, but if not, I'm gonna try not to fuss with them.  After all, I am on vacation.

Monday, August 12, 2013

FCCB Challenge with CRI-Kits pens!

This week's challenge over at the Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog is to make a project featuring "Cool Treats." Our sponsor for this week is CRI-Kits and they are providing a Pen Kit and Holder for this weeks winner!  That is a pretty amazing prize -I know this from personal experience.  I used the Regular and Neon Pen Kit to make my project this week and it was super easy and a lot of fun!
I used the Cricut Imagine cartridge, Better Together for this layout. I combined graphics from page 18 and 22 and used a small hole punch to make the scoops of ice cream.  The talk bubbles came from Graphically Speaking. 

The photos were modified in Instagram using the "Rise" filter. I wanted to capture the feelings I had about summer when I was a kid.  We used to pile into my dad's station wagon and drive down to Thrifty to get their cylinder shaped ice cream scoops on a sugar cone.  As I recall, a single was $.75, a double was a $1.15 and a triple was $1.50.  Maybe even less, but definitely not more.  I thought the "Rise" filter made the photos look like the pictures my mom took with her old Kodak when I was little.  It was the kind of camera that you wound in between each picture.

I loved using the CRI-Kit pens to write the dialogue for this layout.  They were easy to install and I didn't have any trouble with smears and smudges. 

The rule of thumb is always do your cutting first and writing second.  Also, when switching out your blade for a pen and vice versa, always slip a piece of scratch paper under the carriage so you don't accidentally draw on your project.  Give them a try - they make a really nice addition to your Cricut arsenal!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

RGB Codes for Hair and Skin

I can't believe how often I have to look up hair and skin tone RBG codes these days.  Last week I had to find the code for blonde hair for an image I was modifying with my Cricut Imagine and today I was editing some photos and wanted the right shade of brown to repair red eye in a photo. (Don't you hate it when the automated "red eye removal" feature makes the eyes even worse?) So I thought I would post some great reference information just in case you find yourself looking for RBG color charts of hair and skin tone



There are a gazillion RGB charts out there to help you find that perfect color.  Below are a a few of their links:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Have you met Maggie?

I know I have mentioned her, but I am not sure I have introduced you to Maggie Donoso.  She is one of my dearest friends in the whole world but also works for my scrapbooking/ photo archiving business, Jilliene Designs.

Because my scrapbooking and photo archiving projects were so massive, I depended on Maggie to double check all of the work, help research faces and locations for the databases, coordinate the various phases in processing the photos and overseeing a bulk of the administrative responsibilities.  She has truly been my right arm for more than 4 years.

Additionally, when I transformed the art program I had been teaching into the Create and Innovate program back in 2009, Maggie was right there helping me lead the classes.  She is amazingly gifted with children and has a vast amount of experience with hands-on, creative learning.  Let me put it this way- her house is the house on the block that all the kids congregate to.  She has 2 boys, 18 and 10, but regardless of ages or genders, the neighborhood children flock to the Donoso house to look for bugs in the backyard, set up a lemonade stand on the sidewalk, play football in the front yard, or do some crafting with Maggie on the patio. 

I feel so blessed to have Maggie as my new business partner for Create and Innovate.  Officially sharing this growing enterprise with her makes it even more remarkable.  You will be hearing more about her as time goes on so I thought I should formally introduce you.  Everyone, this is Maggie... Maggie, this is everyone.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

August Art with the Tiny Humans

I was really surprised to see that it has been a week since I last put up a post.  August arrived with a thump.  "Hello Jill, I'm here and have I a lot in store for you."

The last couple of days I have been preparing the Create and Innovate 2013-14 school year schedule and last weekend we spent 2 days stocking up on our project supplies from RAFT.

Maggie is now my Create and Innovate business partner which is so exciting!  The last few years Maggie has been a huge part of the Create and Innovate program and since it continues to grow, it was a natural step that we work together as a team.  She is the Ying to my Yang but we also share a brain.  We were working on program details today and I realized the point to my statement after I had already started talking so my words were a scattering of nonsense, but she knew just what I meant.  A bonus to our new partnership will be sharing all of the behind the scenes work which will allow me time to also focus on my blog and my work as the Product Rep and as a DT member for Fantabulous Cricut Challenge Blog.

This week we did a lot of fun projects at camp- I can't believe there is only one week left!  For our first activity, I used one of the projects from my last blog post.

It was an incredible undertaking but a ton of fun!

To start, I had the kids cover the bottom of their balloons with tissue paper and Modge Podge so that the interior of the bowl would be protected.

Then we put out a tub of watered down Modge Podge, several boxes of confetti and dollar store cookie sheets.  
The kids held their balloon over the tub while I scooped Modge Podge all over the bottom of their balloon.  They let the excess drip off and then set their balloon on the cookie sheet.  

Then they showered their balloons with confetti, gently patting the coat so that it soaked into adhesive solution.  

They brought their balloons back to me for a second coat of Modge Podge and they repeated the confetti process.  


When we were done with the project Jessica (a fabulous camp councilor) and I were practically tarred and feathered!

Then we hung the balloons out to dry.  We had one clothes line collapse from the weight because surprisingly, they became quite heavy after they were coated.

I can't wait to see what they look like when they are dry!

We also made treasure jars to put out in the garden.  These jars are so beautiful to look at and the best part is that you can put treasures inside of them. 

We used mason jars and the glass pebbles you can get at the dollar store or Michael's. 

The only adhesive that seems to work for this project is E5000 so you really need to do the project outside because of the fumes. 

The best way to apply the stones so that they stay put rather than slipping down the glass is to apply a coat of glue to an area, wait 90 seconds, then place the stones. Repeat the process until the entire side is complete.  If you wait 10 minutes before you turn your jar to work on the next side, the stones should stay in place. 

The kids took their time and enjoyed one another's company which was so sweet.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

I'll Be Making These Before Summer's End

Sometimes when I am on Pinterest I get overwhelmed with all of the projects that I want to do.  I could spend months just redecorating my home with pallets.  So I have taken to picking a 5 or 6 projects that are actually plausible and applying a time table to their completion.  This gets me started and then it keeps me going.  Here are the latest projects I've committed to do, in this case, by summer's end.

A Confetti Bowl
Let's face it - anything involving confetti is destined to be fun.

Paint Chip Punch Outs
A simple project yet so beautiful.  I'm going to make a set of Thank You cards.

Homemade Paper
I've always wanted to make paper.  Now I'm gonna.

Tin Can Wind Chimes
Ahhh... brilliant! I'll decorate each can differently- Voila' wind chimes AND garden art

Homemade Vitamin Water
Yummy and good for you!

Watermelon Cake
I don't know if this will turn out refreshingly delicious or frighteningly gross but I like the concept so I'll give it a try! 
You can find all of these projects on my Pinterest Boards under Craft Ideas and Yum Yums