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

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Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Black and White and one other color

Happy New Year to my dear blogging buddies! I hope 2022 is especially good to each and every one of you, and your families, too. Allsorts Challenge  has a theme of Black and White and one other color theme this time. From my unfinished box, I've finally completed two partially-made items  - both using Red Tones as the 3rd color.

Both cards contain designer papers adhered on red cardstock in a triangle format, given by a friend during a stamping get together (years ago). Two unique images were selected - both utilize heat embossing on all images. It was fun using old border punches and old dies - neglected but loved all the same. Because I have trouble making traditional A2 cards, I used the A2 backings, and embellished with shapes and borders.

The Paula's Best Dress is an old, old, old, never-before-been-used (at least 15 years?) stamp, embossed in white detail powder, and enhanced a bit with a quickie glue pen and sparkling red glitter:

One of my all time favorite stamps, and one I never tire of using, is the Inkadinkadoo carousel horse:

Stamped with Nocturne Versafine Clair (my favorite stamping ink), and heat embossed with clear detail EP, the horse was colored with distress inks and colored pencils blended with gamsol.

Thanks for visiting! And thanks to Allsorts Challenge  for the inspiration!

Products: Black-White-Red Carousel Horse Copics, SB Labels 5, SW Double Pierced Bkgrnd Rectangle, MS Star Edge Punch, Inkadinkadoo Greetings & Horse,  Black-White-RedArt Deco Dress Paula's Best Dress, Beccy Muir sentiment (Doris & Daphne), SB Labels Ten, LifeStyle-Quickutz Nesting Lace Ovals, MS Chevron edge punch

Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Allsorts Challenge #657 Black and White and One Color 1/8
  2. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2201 AG 1/8
  3. Critter Crazy Challenges #58 AG with Carousel Horse 1/31
  4. Classic Design Challenge #1 AG 1/31
  5. Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #173 AG 1/16

Stamping Hugs, 

Friday, October 01, 2021

Happy Holidays with Jan's Digi Stamps

I am excited to share that Jan's Digi Stamps Challenge will resume on November 1! To get ready, how about reacquainting yourself with the Challenge Rules and become inspired by seeing the newest work of her design team!

Jan is one of those easy-going spirits who enjoys sharing her memories through a vintage, yet contemporary, style. Not only are her PNGs (and JPGs) easy to use individually, they are fun when making a scene, involving several images.

Today's share is a fast-and-easy Christmas card, using a single element from Jan's new "Santa's Jalopy" set which is currently 25% off. 

Still not able to hold a pen for long, I opted for the pre-colored image, and made a slight shadow with colored pencils and gamsol.

It felt great using glitter again!

Hoping you will visit her shop today!

Using one of the little "now drifts" in the set, I placed it behind the pole for some extra dimension.

Products Used:

Stamps: Jan's Digi Stamps "Santa's Jalopy", Jan's Digi Stamps "Reindeer" (sentiment), Dies: Anna Griffin Slimline Concentric AG-1239H, Pierced Shape, MS Snowflake Punch, Other: Clear Glitter, Cloud Blue Prismacolor pencil.

Facebook - Shopping - Pinterest - Challenges

I would like to play in the following Challenges, please:

  1. World Wide Open DT Challenge #9 "AG DT" 10/15
  2. Classic Design Challenge #10 "AG" 11/1
  3. Love to Craft Challenges #63 AG (11-10 sep post)
  4. AI Art Impressions Challenge #313 Slim Line Cards (toward bottom of post) 10/15
  5. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2139 10/5
  6. Sweet Stampin Challenge (Sept 25) Christmas in September 10/9 (sep post)
  7. Merry Little Christmas Challenges #39 Anything Christmas 10/30 (sep post)
  8. The Holly and the Ivy Challenges #102 Anything Christmas 10/10 (sep post)

Stamping Hugs,

Monday, September 13, 2021

Perhaps they are not stars (and freebies)

Waving "hello" to you all, my dear friends! 


Today's card is for a sweet friend whose husband passed away a few months ago. Instead of saying "sympathy", I'm using a different salutation. This card was months in the making.

I had an idea for masking to try, but I probably went about it illogically, doing things the hard way (giggle).

First, I created masks. The "negative" mask was used for inking. The larger positive mask was used for stamping. The card is 5x7, so I cut the negative mask to fit a 5x7 panel, and centered the die cut:

After inking the background, my VIRGINAL SU Francais background script was inked, face up, and the panel was pressed atop. Several VIRGINAL stamps were used in making the custom background paper. Then the VIRGINAL Penny Black Sunflower stamp was inked with VFC Shady Lane, and colored with Zig watercolor markers:

Here is the masked panel, and a three layer frame (for dimension):

The white card stock is also virginal, SU Sparkle White. Can you see the sparkle show through the colors:

The sentiment was heat embossed, and some grass was added:


Products Used: Stamps: Penny Black Hello Sunshine Flowers 3874K, Stampin' Up En Francais background script, SU Elegant Cheer sentiment, SU Petite Patterns background, Impression Obsession C2041 Sm Flourish Four (background), IO B2010 Sm Paisley Two (background), Dies: IO Grass DIE038-J, SB Labels Four & Grand Labels Four, Inks: DI Forest Moss, Shabby Shutters, Sq Lemonade, Scattered Straw, Tea Die, Versafine Clair Shady Lane, OTHER: Freebie Digital images, Clear Detail EP, Zig Watercolor Markers (I do not recommend), Paper: SU Sparkle White, Mossy Meadow, Celery

Challenges I would like to play in, please:

  1. Cut it Up Challenges #234 Fall is in the Air 09/22 (sep post)
  2. NBUS #30 (most of the stamps have never been used before) 10/1
  3. Creative Inspirations Challenge (Sept 2) Fabulous Fall or Happy Halloween 11/1
  4. Paper Funday Challenges #33 AG with optional twist Autumn/Fall 10/2
  5. Crafty Gals Corner #223 Hello Fall 10/3
  6. Crafting Happiness #113 AG 9/20
  7. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2137 AG 9/20
  8. Dies R Us #176 AG dies they carry (SB & IO) 9/15 (sep post)
  9. Penny Black Friends Saturday Challenge (Sept) AG or Flowers 9/30
  10. Tic Tac Toe Challenge #130 (bottom row) 9/16 (sep post)

My gift to you - Sentiments for use on the inside or outside of your projects. Please do not sell the 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 in 2020, your image will appear to be solid black. Don’t panic. Right click and do a SAVE. 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!


The first sentiment can be used for wedding, friendship, thank you, sympathy - it's pretty versatile!

ON A PERSONAL NOTE (please don't let this happen to you or a loved one):

I have been severely ill the past several months, relegated to the bed and wheelchair. Some different tests were finally run, with results showing some inflammatory factors higher than my doctor ever remembers seeing. So far, they have determined I have an autoimmune disease called PMR Polymyalgia Rheumatica. The good news is that it is treatable and normally takes 12-18 months to go into remission. Unfortunately, I am having extreme reactions to the medication. Those reactions are disabling in themselves, but I have no choice. I'm grateful for some badly-needed pain relief. It is important for all of us who already have certain diseases/conditions to not allow ourselves to be "pigeon-holed" into thinking "oh, this is probably just such-and-such". Looking back, we believe this has probably been a gradual issue for me for nearly 3 years or so, but we blamed it on my other diseases - so be aware of that for yourselves and your loved ones, to keep an open mind that it could be something different happening, even when the symptoms are similar to what you already deal with, and regardless of what doctors may say.

Leaving you with hugs and friendship,

Monday, September 06, 2021

Horsing Around in Nature - Inspiration Station Challenge

With a big smile, waving "Hello" to everyone! I hope you are doing well. 

It's time for a new challenge at:

Inspiration Station

This wonderful OLD Horse Image was stomping the shelves, begging to be used. It's at least 20 years old and never before used! This Magenta wood mount stamp is 4.25" by 5.5" so I placed it rubber side up, inked it thoroughly, and applied the card stock gently on top, rubbing it thoroughly with my fingers to create a complete image. Magenta's wood blocks are unusually thick, and I've found this is the best way to achieve a great inking the first time around.

The current inspiration board is:

I immediately accepted Mother Nature's invitation to ESCAPE into herself, and all that she has to offer. The path to embracing Nature (and all Creation) is to love all  her creatures and wilderness offerings. 

What does the photo inspire YOU to do?

After stamping with rich Acorn VFC ink, these horses were heat embossed with clear detail EP. Assorted DI inks (listed below) colored the image, with a few highlights done in watercolor pencils.

The edges were "distressed" with Versafine ink and heat set with a pretty, semi-transparent sage-mica powder. Up close, the edges are quite iridescent. 

Today's cameras are great, in that they capture the smallest of details, but they are also unforgiving because they can see colors, shades and intensities that our human eyes don't see in real life.

Copper Mirror CS was used in the frame with a strip of green vellum behind.

Thanks for popping by today!

Products: Stamps: Magenta 13116S horses, Hero Arts CL342 Just a Note, Papers: Pine, Green Vellum, Copper Mirror, River Rock, White, Inks: Distress in Old Paper, Rustic Wilderness, Crushed Olive, Stormy sky; Sentiment in Pinecone Brown VFC, Edges in Versamark for Sage Mica EP; image in Acorn Brown VersaFine Clair for detail clear EP; Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils; Memento Desert Sand Ink, Dies: SB Grand Labels Twenty-Three, IO Small Grass 178C

Challenges I would like to play in please!

  1. 2 Crafty Critter Crazies #54 AG with Animals 09/25 (sep post)
  2. NBUS #30 Anything never before used 10/1 (RW)

  3. World Wide Open DT Challenge #8 AG DT 09/15 (sep post)

  4. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2135 AG 09/13 (sep post)

  5. Simon Says Stamp It (9/6) Must ink stamp 9/13 (sep post)


Stamping hugs,