My blog is called "Creative Smiles" because my designs are the result of incorporating mistakes. With fumble fingers that drop whatever they are holding - repeatedly, it takes a lot of giggles, smiles and creative patience during my crafting process. xx

Monday, June 10, 2024

LOST AND FOUND - MORE "unfinished stuff" from my old stash - freebie

I've been plugging away in my craft room, a little at a time and using more "stuff" discovered in my "unfinished projects" box. I love using my old stamps and papers from long ago. Do you?  Today, I am using previously cut out triangles of papers in the backgrounds of these cards.

I especially enjoy this Fred She Said stamp because it works for people from our past or present - still present in our lives, and/or having moved away until we next talk. I love hearing the stories about my friends' relatives and family stories. Those kinds of memories come alive when retold, and give us inspiration to live in a way that inspires others, too. On this occasion, the card was sent to a friend's husband who has been chronically ill, and fighting a terminal illness, for decades. His strength and influence have encouraged me. In the card, I shared that he and I are "aged to a perfection" only the two of us can appreciate (giggle).

Aged to Perfection - Fred She Said Old Trucks

Using the backgrounds from my unfinished box, with a little help from Fred She Said Old Trucks, I utilized an ancient (dare I say "vintage") technique. Some call it "Cracked Glass" and others call it "Cracked Ice". 

Using Sepia tones to further the vintage look, I die cut the images, inked them up, coated with several layers of clear EP, and put them in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Then the images were "cracked" before the EP could thaw:

I liberally smooshed Black Soot DI on top of the images, so the ink could get into the crevices. The rest comes off easily with paper towel. These cracked really well -- kinda like me! (giggle)

I tried to capture more detail in the photograph by removing the overhead light on my desk:

Products: Stamps: Fred She Said Old Trucks, Freebie Digital Sentiment below Dies: Surprise Creations Pierced Decorative Ovals, Sue Wilson Double Pierced Ovals, Sue Wilson Pierced Flags, Inks: Distress Oxides Vintage Photo & Brushed Corduroy, Distress inks Black Soot, Old Paper, VersaMark, Clear EP, other: Charcoal colored Vellum, FREEZER TECHNIQUE


My gift to you - Arrangements of the same sentiment for use on the inside or outside of your projects. Please do not sell these Sentiments. Use on any of your projects, including projects involving any design teams you might be on.

Click on the image to bring it to full size. Because of the changes Google Made with Blogger (June 2020), your image will appear to be solid black. Don’t panic. Right click and do a SAVE AS PNG. Once it is saved on your hard drive, you can open it and it will have a transparent background. I create PNGs instead of JPGs so they can be placed anywhere on a scene or project, and so backgrounds can be made using them. Please let me know if you have any problems. I hope they serve you well!


Playing in the following challenges please:

  1. Perfect Time to Craft (June 1) #6 AG 7/1
  2. Classic Design Challenge #5 AG with masculine 6/15
  3. Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #231 AG 6/16
  4. The Alphabet Challenge (May 31) E is for Embossing 6/13 (one of the background triangles is dry embossed with dots - the main image has several coats of Clear Embossing Powder - wet embossing - was placed in the freezer, then cracked and distressed as mentioned above)
  5. Aloha Friday #11 Masculine 7/3
Stamping Hugs,

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

House Mouse Reminder to watch where we're going! (smiles)

Hello, sweet friends!

One of my friends severely broke her foot in March. She has not been able to put any weight on it since the surgery, and is finally able to go to physical therapy for strengthening. She will be so happy when once again the she's behind the steering wheel and able to get out and about. Done in her favorite color purple, "New Proverb" seemed perfect at this stage of her recovery. The House Mouse image was colored with Copics and Distress Inks:

I noticed House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge is sponsoring a fancy fold card challenge this time, so I decided on an easel card:

The oldie stuff is the image, dies and those old old OLD flowers from long ago (before Postal Regulations were altered regarding dimensional cards)

Always brimming with jam-packed stories and sweetness, House Mouse images bring out the happiness factor for any occasion.  Full photo:

Products Used: House Mouse "New Proverb", Computer Generated sentiment, Dies: Sizzix TH Garden Greens, Spellbinders Labels 25, Labels 25 Majestic Elements, Copic Markers, Distress Wilted Violet ink, old flowers from a decade ago (giggle)

Challenges I would like to play in please:

  1. House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge #416 AG with Fancy Fold 6-8.
  2. Critter Crazy Challenge #87 AG with critters (bird and mouse) 6-28 (7-1)
  3. Triple B Challenges (June) AG with birds and blooms 7-1
  4. Passion for Markers #742 Add a Sentiment (used Copic Markers 13 Copic Markers, a few Prismacolor Markers, one Copic on white glitter cardstock for the leaves) 06-11
  5. Make My Monday Challenges #227 "B is for BROKEN, BIRD, BLOOMS" 6-16
  6. Crafty Animals #84 AG with animals (bird and mouse)  6-26

On A Personal Note:

Thank you for your kind messages and cards. The procedures on my spine and legs last year have helped tremendously, and I am able to walk about the house and do minimal chores. SO GRATEFUL to my cardiologist and neurologist. The not so good news is I have been moved from "moderate-to-severe" to "severe" in my ME/CFS diagnosis. The other diseases are affected by the ME, but they are manageable. Thank you for being such understanding friends. My diminishing abilities is why I've been unable to leave many comments on your blogs.

Lots of Love,


Thursday, February 22, 2024

LOST AND FOUND - "Unfinished Stuff" from my Oldie Stash

 Hello, Blogging Friends! I hope you are staying warm. Even here in central Florida, we've been in the mid 30s - and that's very cold for us WIMPY Floridians!

Taken from my "unfinished stuff stash", combining left-overs with new goodies, these 3 images were from an older company no longer in business called Just For Fun. The owners have coordinated Stampfest Florida Conventions for as long as I can remember. Back in the day... there would be more than 100 vendors with tons of free make 'n takes, lots of samples, and at least one technique demonstration at every booth. I remember those days fondly (giggle). I put together these 3 stamped pieces after coloring them with Copic Markers. The die cut heart was dry embossed and distressed with brown inks. 


Has anyone else discovered that the reinkers for Tim Holtz AGED MAHOGANY ink ruin the consistency of the pad? I complained to Ranger WAY BACK WHEN (circa 2004?) that the reinker ink would separate and good images and distress-techniques were impossible to achieve. They acknowledged that there were issues with that color, and that they were working on it. I threw the pad and reinker away, and purchased a new pad 4 years ago more than 15 years after the first pad's formulation. The consistency of the new pad's ink formulation is also different from all my other Distress Inks. What is your experience with this color? Thanks for your feedback.

Products: Images (I think these are stamps from a defunct company called "Just For Fun". Back then (2004?), I did not keep very good records for unmounted stamps. These images were already stamped with black ink). Sentiment is from SU "Sweet Little Sentiments" (set of 8 at least 10 years old) Dies: Spellbinders Classic Hearts. Embossing Folders: Cuttlebug Swiss Dots, Apple Blossom Basket Weave & Roses, Inks: DI Aged Mahogany, Rusty Hinge, Worn Lipstick, Nocturne VersaFine Clair, Colored with Copic Markers as shown above.

May I please play in the following challenges?

  1. Crafty Gals Corner #252 Feb 14  (SECOND ENTRY) Add a Heart  3/13 (sep post) 
  2. Dragonfly Dreams Challenges Feb 4 - (SECOND ENTRY) Hearts  3/3 (check 3/10)
  3. Moving Along With the Times #163 Feb 1 (SECOND ENTRY) - Love/Hearts 3/1 (scroll down in post)
  4. Sparkles Forum Challenge #173 Hearts and Flowers (roses in the square images) 3/14
  5. Creations in Pink #67 AG Mostly Pink - must have more pink than any other colors - 3/13 (sep post)

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Non-Traditionally Colored Valentine for my Sweetie

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! My bestie is also the love of my life, so it was fun making a card for him.

 Actually, my time creating the card felt like I was in Leslie Miller's craft room. We both enjoy Bugaboo's fun, quirky images (so sad Jodie is no longer on-line). We both are married to wonderful guys who love the outdoors (Leslie with Rich, I with Jack) and who prefer comical to mushy. 

Will share my major boo-boo at the bottom of this post.

Valentine Bird is colored with Copic Markers, and distressed with the inks shown at left.

The brads were also colored with Copic Markers.

Being inspired by many of my dear crafting friends, I attempt to use "old stuff" from my stash on each card. Here three yellow star brads were utilized - each was altered with a different color yellow alcohol marker for visual interest.  OLD OLD OLD burlap is a "break" between two designer papers, which are also at least 7 years old.

At the very end of assembling this card, I picked up a "love" stamp, inked it up and promptly dropped its wet, inky self onto the image, picked the stamp up again and dropped it again, so TWO "love" images ruined the main element. Then I pondered stamping "love" multiple times, thinking it might look intentional. THAT DID NOT WORK. So here is the boo-boo scene:

Fortunately, a quickie home-made sentiment die cut with a tag, covered up most of the mess.

Because the message was exceedingly corny, and personal, I blurred out the bottom message in Photos, but thought you might enjoy seeing the finished product:

Who could possibly resist this love-struck little birdie full of happiness?

Products: Image: Bugaboo Valentine Bird #2,  Dies: La-La Land - Flag Banner,  Surprise Creations Double Stitched Tags, LifeStyle Quickutz Nesting Hearts,   Papers: Studio G designer & SU "turquoise", Colored with Copics, Inks: DI Speckled Egg, D Oxide Stormy Sky and Iced Spruce, Other: Star Brads, Burlap

Thanks for stopping by!

Challenges I would like to play in please:

  1. Try It On Tuesday - Feb 6 - Hearts and/or Flowers (heart balloon, die cuts, heart eyes, little flowers) 2/20 (check 2/27)
  2. Dragonfly Dreams Challenges Feb 4 - Hearts (heart balloon, heart die cuts, heart eyes) 3/3 (check 3/10)
  3. Allsorts Challenges #767  Feb 10 Hearts- (heart balloon, heart die cuts, heart eyes) 2/16
  4. Inkspirational Challenge #309 Feb 10 Hearts (heart balloon, heart die cuts, heart eyes) 2/20 (sep post)
  5. Cut it Up Challenge #297 Feb 9 - Have a Heart (LifeStyle Quickutz nesting heart dies) 2/21
  6. Pearly Sparkles Challenges Feb 1 #92 - Love/Have a Heart 2/28 (check 3/1)
  7. Moving Along With the Times #163 Feb 1 - Love/Hearts 3/1 (scroll down in post)
  8. Crafty Gals Corner #252 Feb 14  Add a Heart (heart balloon, heart die cuts, heart eyes) 3/13 (sep post) 
  9. Critter Crazy Challenge #83 Feb 1 - AG with a Featured Critter (bird here) 3/1 (sep post)

Sending Friendship your way,