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

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

A Little Christmas -

 Hello, my friends! I can't believe I've actually finished a card (5 months in the making) and that I'm posting it as well. 

Many thanks for all your cards of encouragement. Once Jack and I learned that I am at my Maximum Medical Improvement (meaning a continued "down hill" trend), and that symptoms will continue worsening, it became easier to accept. We have left "no stone unturned". With each layer of loss, I need to accept the new level. This is a neuro-immune disease that begins in the brain, filtering into all the body's functions and organs, thus causing one event after another. About 1/2 of a percent of the world's population contends with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Some have it mildly, others have it severely. I've dealt with this since early childhood, and have gratefully lived longer than anticipated. 

YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT in the form of Love, Support and Acceptance is the best of all gifts! Life is much easier to enjoy when friends are by your side, so that the sick person doesn't have to constantly fake that they are "better" or that they will get better. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART for your precious gift. 

Today I'm presenting a sweet snowman image stamped and snail-mailed to me by friend Brenda Smalle. (Thanks, Brenda!) Brenda and I used to work together at Sparkle N Sprinkle, and I learned so much from her!


After coloring with Copics, I stenciled the background clouds with MFT stencil and masking a few "ski slopes" surrounding Mr. Snowman. The dark green layer was die cut then embossed with a dotted EF, and inked with Pink Pearlescent inks and Black Soot DI. It was fun playing with a wee bit of glitter, too - all done in non-traditional Christmas colors because pink is THIS snowman's color of preference.

Products: Cute Snowman Image from friend, sentiment from Heartfelt Creations, Copic Markers, Craftwell Delicate Dots EF, Marianne Creatables, Tonic & Spellbinders die cuts, INKS: Orchid Pearlescent, Spun Sugar DI, Salvaged Patina DI., Worn Lipstick DI, MFT stencils, silver and clear glitters, MS border punch.

Playing in the following challenges:

  1. Classic Design Challenge #11 (11/15 - 12/15) AG 12/15
  2. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2345 AG 11/21
Thanksgiving Hugs to you!

Friday, June 30, 2023

Heart and Home (Christmas Bingo Challenges)

Hello, dear blogging friends! A New Freebie Sentiment for you - just scroll to the bottom of my post!

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Our second challenge at Christmas BINGO Challenges, is for Christmas lovers all year long! 


A new bingo card is available for each challenge. But this bingo game is a bit different. Only columns may be used (not rows or diagonal choices). Each column includes a FREE SPACE, which you may also use. Please utilize three or more squares in the column of your choice. (more details on blog)

In this case, I have selected the letter "N" and included Pearls, Pink, Teal, and FREE (yes, you may include the FREE space as one of your three items in a row.

This darling little Besties Winder Dreams has long been printed in my "to be colored" drawer, awaiting some medium application, so she has been turned into a cute Christmas card.

What's not to like about pink and teal with all the variations? 

After assembling this card, some white flocking with a little clear glitter was added to the fuzzy tassel on the little bird's hat, and on the little girl's ear muffs, furry cuff and furry skirt trim.

I was a little heavy handed with the pinks, but hey, can you REALLY have too much pink?


Products: My Besties Winder Dreams #380, SU! Cardinal Christmas (sentiment), Copic Markers, Spellbinders 5x7 Elegant Labels 4, Spellbinders Labels 4 (to make the teal frame), Classic Ovals Large (sentiment), INKS: VersaFine Clair Charming Pink, Oxides in Pine Needles, Kitsch Flamingo, Vintage Photo, Picked Raspberry, Spun Sugar, X-Press It Blending Cardstock, Pink Pearls, White Flocking with Glitter, Bazzill Pink and Teal Cardstock


The interior of my card uses the following sentiment, which I share with you: 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. Please let me know if you have any problems. I hope they serve you well! Enjoy!

Playing in these fine challenges:
  1. Worldwide Crafters and Colorists Challenge #6 AG (entry x of 3) 7/12 (2nd entry)
  2. Ally's Angels #71 Anything Goes 7/10 (2nd entry)
Wishing you and yours a fabulous summer of fun activities and healthy times,

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

PSX Botanical Iris {Beautiful Blossoms Challenges} and freebies

 Hello, blogging friends! Thanks so much for visiting! I have an invitation for you -- to join us at the Beautiful Blossoms Challenge beginning today!

We are a
fun "mood-board-inspired" monthly challenge which features Flowers as the main focus.  

 The Mood Board is a starting point, and your artwork is where your imagination takes you! 

 I was inspired by: 

  1. The colors purple, pink and green.
  2. The Iris flower.
  3. The vintage feel of the Bouquet in a Vase.

Both cards feature the same colors with the exception of the shading around the frame, and the shadows around the image. Just that little bit of refinement changes the appearance of both cards!

I'll start off with the backs of the cards. The sentiment below is also being offered to you as a freebie gift in three versions. Just scroll down for it.

I have only made one other Z-fold card. But seeing so many Double-Z Fold fun fold cards recently, I felt inspired to make these simple creations. They are 5x7 size. Here is the front of the dark purple:

It was colored in Copic Markers after being stamped in VersaFine Clair Monarch Purple and heat set in Clear Detail embossing powder. This version is highlighted in the jade colors. On the left side of the card are three torn strips from Coordinations cardstock, which have been dry embossed, sanded and distressed. The image basically hides the details, unfortunately.

I am ashamed to admit this stamp is well over 20 years old and has never been inked. The interior has room for a handwritten message in a frame I doodled:

Next is the same image, colored in the same theme colors, but a lighter card stock, and purples around the edges rather than the jade greens. It completely changes the look of the colored image:

The horizontal green lines are ribbons. The "Double" part of the card has been dry embossed, as has the front left:

These were really fun to color and assemble, AND I learned a lot about coloring, embossing, and testing adhesives prior to using "unused" stash! (giggle)


When you color an image with any medium, or make a background, or add color to any project...  

do you often wait for several hours or even overnight to see how the colors set? I do that to determine if a strong enough tint was achieved (not that I'm a colorist), or if a few additional touches are needed. But then, I am a very slow crafter, and also have to correct boo-boos the next day (giggle), so I tend to start out too light, and progress to darker hues or tones after. What about you?

Thanks for stopping by. Hoping to see your amazing floral creations in the challenge!

Products: both cards use: PSX K-3131 Botanical Iris Stamp, VersaFine Clair Monarch Purple, Clear Detail embossing powder, Copic Markers, EKSuccess Dragonfly Punch, Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Rectangles S4-317 (one of my first ever SB dies!)       Dark Purple card - Cracked Pistachio Distress ink, Craft Concepts Secret Garden EF, Coordinations Dark Purple "Sandable" cardstock, Dies: Impression Obsession Grass DIE038-J,     Lavender & Green card - Seedless Preserves Oxide, Tattered Lace Victorian Rose EF, Ocean Mist Really Reasonable Ribbon

Freebies - A little late for Spring this year:

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!


I would love to paraphrase this to say: Spring Flowers are Winter's Dreams revealed. Do you think that is acceptable, or do you prefer Khalil Gibran's exact and more beautifully poetic words?

this one is for a vertical setup:

Playing in the following fine challenges please!

  1. Worldwide Crafters and Colorists Challenge #6 AG (entry 1 of 3) 7/12
  2. A Perfect Time to Craft #6 AG (check 8/1)

  3. Classic Design Challenge #6 AG 7/1

  4. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2323 AG 7/19

  5. Craft Rocket Challenges #104 Use Dies 7/1 (Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Rectangles S4-317, Impression Obsession Grass DIE038-J multiple times)

  6. Creative Creases
    #59 Anything Goes with a Fun Fold 6/22
  7. Dragonfly Dreams Challenges (June 4 "June") Fancy Folds Challenge 7/1 (both cards are double Z fold cards)
  8. Ally's Angels #71 Anything Goes 7/10
  9. Bastel-Traum Challenges #124 Flowers-Plants 7/15
  10. Craft Rocket Challenges #104 Use Dies (Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Rectangles S4-317 - one of my first ever SB dies! - Impression Obsession Grass DIE038-J)  6/29


Monday, May 15, 2023

Flower Cart - Jan's Digi Stamps

 Hello! I'm so glad to see you!

Reminder Time for the Anything Goes Challenge at Jan's Digi Stamps!  If you use a JDS image in your card, please mention it. There is a 2nd draw specifically for those who use one of Jan's fun images.

Jan's Digi's now has a freebie section. Freebies will be left up for a short time, and new ones will be added periodically. Jan's newest sets are 25% off and this month's Father's Day sale, includes 10 sets.

I admit it! These were in my "to be finished" box, and it was fun to finish them up and send them to people who will love them. Each card uses: Flower Cart 798Showers of Tulips 923, clear glitter and Copic Markers:

Flower Cart 798 10 images

Showers of Tulips 923

Like lots of bloggers, I am trying to use as many of my favorite (or unused) older products as possible in my creations. There is something happy and satisfying in doing that (at least for me!) 

Cherry & Ivory Colored Card:  Dies- Spellbinders Cascading Grace 5x7, Marianne Design Creatables Anja's Large Ovals LR0236, EK Success corner punch, SU Scallop Punch, Distress Inks (Scattered Straw, Worn Lipstick, Spun Sugar), Ivory Neenah Cardstock, DLArt Ivory Ribbon, My Favorite Things cloud stencil, green and blue colored pencils, Freebie interior sentiments here.

Green & Ivory Card:  Dies: Grand Labels Four Nestabilities, SB 5x7 Elegant Labels Four, SB Fancy Tags One S4-235, Ivory Neenah Cardstock, Peeled Paint Distress Ink

I find using pale gray and/or pale ivory as a card base is difficult to photograph without appearing rather dingy and dark. But like other supplies in my stash, crying out to be used, so is my Neenah Ivory for Copics asking to be used!

But I DID allow myself to color one with traditional white Express-It:

Pink & Green Card: Dies: LifeStyle Nesting Lace Ovals, Embossalicious Rose Vine embossing folder by Die'sire, EK Success Oval Punch, Distress Inks (Bundled Sage, Kitsch Flamingo, Spun Sugar) DLArt Pink Ribbon,

The interior is a freebie gift from me. You can download it here (scroll to the bottom of the post)

Don't forget to head on over and share your pretty projects with us at Jan's Digi Stamps!

Challenges I would like to play in please:
  1. Crafting Happiness Challenges # 142 Flowers 6/1
  2. Classic Design Challenge #5 AG 6/1
  3. A Perfect Time to Craft #5 AG (check 7/1)

Stamping Hugs,