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

Sunday, October 17, 2010

SNS Birthday Blog Hop!

The more visitors we have, the more prizes will be awarded, so tell your friends! To become eligible for a prize just leave a comment at each designer's blog about her card AND who you think has the Hidden Birthday Prizes. If you've only just arrived, please check the GAMES page at the SNS website, or the link above. Feel free to return to the SNS Home Blog if there is another comment you'd like to leave there. In the meantime, we hope you have enjoyed the hop and obtained some great technique ideas in the process.

My Fall Inspiration is a bit different over traditional Autumn Ideas. We live in Central West Florida. The colors are taken from an indigenous tree called the"Turkey Oak".  The vibrant colors only last a brief 3 or 4 days. Displaying a single stamp from the SNS "Frames and Borders Set #219" and two colors embossing powders, this project portrays a unique grasp on Autumn - the metallics reminiscent of icy-sparkly frost on the pumpkin, with golden leaves still waxy and dazzling in the Florida sunshine.
To show how much embossing powders can change the appearance of cardstock -- all the embossed images are stamped on the same color cardstock! What a difference the EP colors make! Cordial Red EP is very clear. Spiced Cider, one of the newest Essentials colors, creates the metallic look blended with glitter. Unfortunately, glitters and EPs don't show up well in photographs, but are amazing in person.

On a more traditional note, SNS Designer Barbara Bruder sent a surprise package containing blank die cuts just itching to be colored and used! One was a large pumpkin. I painted the pumpkin with regular acrylic paint, shaded with Createx translucent paint, and chalked in a reddish orange. Frosted with glitter, it appears to have frost on the pumpkin. 

The entire background has been coated in Black Ice Glitter. The vine and stalk have been coated with 3 colors of EP. The coats are thicker on the stalk to create dimension. VersaVine Onyx Black stamped "Wish" from our Fairy Dust set.

So... who do you think has the hidden birthday prize(s) on her blog? I'm interested in seeing what you say in the comments below. :-D The names of our winners will be placed on the SNS Home Blog October 20.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck! 

Sparkle N Sprinkle images:

Flowers in the Square 0470-219V
Mirror Gold Cardstock 99570
Cordial Red Embossing Powder EP352
Spiced Cider Embossing Powder EP407
Brushable Glue #540
Dimensional Adhesive Dots
Cardstock: Red, Yellow Gold, Ivory, Gold Mirror
1/4” Tear-ific Tape SAT01
Grand Calibur
Spellbinders Standard Circle Sm S4 116
Spellbinders Petite Scallop Circle S4 117
Spellbinders In Spades Pendants S4 208
Corner punch
Plain Tape

a) embossing powders can change the appearance of cardstock -- all the embossed images are stamped on the same color cardstock.

b) the base of this A8 card is actually the yellow gold CS (the background was for photographing)

1. With Yellow Gold CS, create A8 size card base. Corner punch red panel and adhere to card base. Set aside.

2. With VersaMark Ink, Stamp image twice on Ivory CS. Emboss one image with Cordial Red EP, and the other with Spiced Cider EP. Fussy cut image in manner pleasing for layering. Slip the two outer frames together to form an interlocking effect. Tape backs together so they don’t slip apart.

3. Cut dies for layering, adhering some with Tear-ific Tape, and others with Dimensionals, depending on the look you wish to achieve. Cut some of the dies in half, and piece together from the back side with plain tape.

4. When layers have been constructed to your liking, adhere to card base on the red panel. 

Pumpkin card:

Stamp Credits Sparkle N Sprinkle:
Wish 3131-394AA

Other Supplies:
Bullfrog EP404 
Bronze Rose EP335 
Butterscotch EP115 
Orange Crush Glitter G1092 
Black Ice Glitter G1020 
Brushable Glue 540 
VersaMark Ink 99702
VersaMarker 99561
1/4” Tear-ific Tape SAT01
cardstock (orange, black)
die cuts
optional border punch
heat tool
black ribbon

1. Paint die cuts (pumpkin, vine) with paints, inks, pencils or chalks. Apply a thick layer of VersaMark Ink (either with refill or VersaMarker on pumpkin stalk and vine. Sprinkle with the 3 colors of EP, as desired. Thicker application gives added texture and depth. Set vine aside.

2. With Brushable Glue, lightly “paint” a shaded area at the top of the pumpkin to resemble due or frost and sprinkle on Orange Crush Glitter.

3. Paint black background entirely with an even coat of Brushable Glue. Adhere pumpkin and sprinkle Black Ice glitter on the rest of the black cardstock. Allow 15 minutes to dry. Border punch if desired.

4. Adhere glitter black panel to an orange piece of cardstock. Attach embossed vine. Tape on the black bow.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Thank You Booklet

Some gifts deserve a unique "Thank You" card.

Made for a dear friend who always knows just what to say and do, this booklet is bound to bring a smile to her heart.

The cover is dry embossed with a Cuttlebug folder. The dies are Wizard's Spellbinders Butterflies Two and Floral Accent Shapeabilities.

The raised embossed areas are glittered with Sparkle N Sprinkle Glitter, adhered by a Sakura Quickie Glue Pen.

Made of chipboard, the booklet appears plain when untied, but then accordions to accommodate photos, messages, stamped images or die cuts.

My Thank You is filled with sweet sayings from Sparkle N Sprinkle - all but one from the Solid Butterfly Set #391. On alternating panels, Sizzix and Cuttlebug embossing folders have been utilized and glittered. Antiquing was done with VersaColor cubes, and glitter adhered with a Sakura Quickie Glue Pen. All words were heat embossed with Plum Wine Embossing Powder (one of the "cosmics"). 
One of the great things about cling rubber is the ability to cut the stamps apart and use them however you wish! This panel is actually a combination of stamps. "You" is cut from one stamp, and placed on the acrylic mount above "Fill Life With Happiness". The simple curved loops framing the Nesties die cut are the antenna from the butterfly in the same set. 

Many thanks to my Angel friend for inspiring me yet again!

Thanks for visiting. Hope your day is beautiful!

Directions for booklet:

Stamp Credits: all Sparkle N Sprinkle

Friendship 3091-391B
Friend 3090-391B
Happiness 3096-391B
Kindness 3094-391A
Friendships-Blooming 0848-265E
Floral Butterfly 3088-391B

Other Supplies:

Bubblegum Glitter G1088
Interference Green Glitter G1099
Mystical Mauve Glitter G1072
Lemonade Glitter G1091
Bridal Glitter G1029
Plum Vine Embossing Powder EP376
Orchid VersaColor Cube 99703-034
Lilac VersaColor Cube 99703-035
Narcissus VersaColor Cube 99703-131
VersaMark Watermark Pad 99702
1/4” Tear-ific tape SAT01
Sakura Glue Pen 99202
Brushable Glue 540
Heat Tool
Old Paper dye ink
Paper trimmer
Printed paper to coordinate cardstock
Die Cuts, punches or decorative scissors
12-15” of Ribbon
Embossing folders
Chip Board or Cardboard
Choice of embellishments

These instructions will build an accordion booklet 3.25” x 3.25” x .5” when it is closed. Opened up, it will be about 27” long, depending on the length of the accordion.
Note: after experimenting with fabric, mulberry paper, cardstock and printed craft paper, I recommend not using card stock for the cover. Because it had more strength and “give”, the best option was the fabric.

1. Cut chipboard into two 3.25” squares. Cut a spine 3/8” x 3.25”. Set aside.

2. Using fabric or printed paper, cut two pieces: one, 3” x 6.5”, the other 8.5” x 4.5”.

3. Score the larger piece 5/8” down both the long sides and .75” across the top and bottom.

4. Brush the glue onto one side of the 3 chipboard pieces, and carefully center them inside the score lines of the longer piece of printed card stock, leaving about 1/8” between the three pieces. (This is so the booklet will fold easily. If creating a thicker accordion, the spine piece needs to be cut wider than 3/8” and the measurements for the printed paper should be adjusted slightly.) The 3 pieces should be in a straight line. Cut corners only on the diagonal, leaving just a little more than needed to cover the chip board.

5. With the chipboard side showing, apply Tear-ific tape on the outermost edges of all four sides of paper. (If using fabric, use Brushable Glue). Carefully “close” the two spaces on either side of the spine, creating a “fold” or semi-score. Reopen the booklet so it lays flat, chipboard side up.  Peel off the protective layer of one strip of the tape, gently folding onto the chipboard. Then do the opposite side. Next adhere the top. Now fold the booklet up again, so it looks closed. Turn up the bottom piece, remove the strip, and adhere firmly. This assures that the book will close without tearing at the binding.

6. Place ribbon down the middle of the chipboard, making sure that it is centered, with equal amounts at the top and bottom. Adhere with Tear-ific tape. Finally, apply the smaller rectangle of paper to cover the chipboard and ribbon. Before adhering the very bottom, be sure to “test it” by closing the booklet, then firmly press the bottom, verifying that there is enough room for the booklet to open and close.

7. Cut coordinating card stock into 3” strips. If using 8.5” x 11” cardstock, cut the strips 3” x 9”. If using 12” cardstock, cut the strips 3” x 12”. Score strips at 3” intervals. Adhere the strips together to make an accordion the desired length, making sure there is enough room inside the booklet when it is closed.

8. With your choice of dies, punches, embossing folders or scissors, cut and decorate shapes as desired for layering.

9. Because SNS stamps are cling mounted, it’s fun to cut the stamps apart, using them in assorted ways. The sentiment “You Fill Life With Happiness” is actually two stamps, with the “You” cut off stamp 3090-391B and placed on the acrylic block with stamp 3096-391B. The design element creating the frames is actually the butterfly antenna 3088-391B. Images are stamped with VersaMark and embossed with Plum Vine EP. Antiquing is accomplished with a dauber and Versacolor cubes. Glitters are adhered via Sakura Glue Pen.

10. When glitter is completely dry, and the accordion panel is finished, anchor the end of the accordion piece to the inside over of the booklet using either Brushable Glue or several pieces of Tear-ific Tape. Finish by closing booklet and tying ribbon in a bow.

11. Adorn front of booklet as desired.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Birthday Flowers for Lis

Hi! One of the greatest of Life's pleasures is creating a special gift for a friend. It brings a Creative Smile to our hearts as we work on it, and a Creative Smile to the recipient's lips when they open it. Lis and Lisa were my inspiration in making Lis' birthday gift:

(complete directions for bag and card are at the bottom)

Lis, because she is an avid recycler, happy gardener, flower lover, and prolific paper crafter, and Lisa, because she is in love with altering silk flowers, and drawing others into her creative vortex.

The gift bag is a reclaimed, coated white gift bag spritzed with Ranger's Blending Alcohol, and then spritzed some more with 3 reinker colors. Move the colors around as needed, and allow 30 minutes to dry thoroughly. (I spritzed each side separately, allowing a side to dry before beginning the next one). When dry, Creatix Pearl Lime acrylic paint was sponged on top of the inks to pop the colors and give that pearly finish.

The silk flowers were originally part of a bush obtained from Michaels. After removing the hard rubbery plastic backing, the petals were shaded with chalk, and put back together with brads. Flowers on the bag were adhered by punching a hole through the bag, and sticking the brad post through it, flattening it open on the inside of the bag. Pretty tissue papers hide the interior brad prongs.

It's fun embellishing the brads as well, using embossing powders and a heat tool. Hold the prongs of the brad with a tong to protect your fingers. Heat the brad top and quickly dip into embossing powder. It should automatically melt. If touch up is needed, just heat a little bit, and dip again. Heat set if necessary. Multiple embossing powder colors may be used to create interesting effects. VersaMark or Embossing Ink may also be used if desired before dipping or pouring embossing powder. Then heat set.

Color Box Sunflower Yellow pigment ink was used as direct-to-paper for the dry embossed background.

Lastly, the flower stamp was inked with Sunflower Yellow pigment ink and embossed with Sparkle N Sprinkle Dandy Dandelion EP around the edges of the card.

How lovely being inspired by friends in creating the gift and its wrapping.
Thanks for stopping by!

Gift Bag and Birthday Card

Stamp Credits:
Happy Birthday To You 1237-234A
Primrose 1242-234B
Wild Geranium 1241-234E
Other Supplies:
Gold Coast Embossing Powder EP364
Dandy Dandelion Embossing Powder EP178
Brushable Glue 540
Pink Chalk
Labels Five Nestabilities
Labels Eleven Nestabilities
ColorBox Sunflower Yellow pigment ink
Cardstock: White, Ivory, Black and Yellow
Coated White Gift Bag
Silk Flowers
3 reinker colors (Magenta, Cyan, Yellow were used) placed in spritzers
Pearlized Chartreuse Createx Paint
Embossing Folder
Corner Punch
Dimensional Tape
Gold Krylon Pen


Flowers and Brads:

1.    Take apart silk flowers, removing the plastic stems which hold them together. Using chalks or pastels, enhance colors of flowers. The entire flower may be utilized, or just a few layers – whichever best meets your needs.
2.    Choose desired shape of brad. Holding the prongs of the brad with tongs, heat the head of the brad with embossing tool. Heat well and immediately dip into Dandy Dandelion EP. Allow to melt on brad. If it doesn’t melt all the way, heat set it. If more EP is desired, repeat steps of heating and dipping until desired effect is reached. Set aside to cool.
3.    Brads will ultimately be placed through the flower layers, and then onto bag or card.


1.    In well-ventilated room (or wear a mask), spritz Ranger’s Alcohol Blending Solution onto one side of bag. Immediately spritz yellow reinker, then cyan and finally blue. Allow colors to blend and pool for a moment, then move some of the colors around with a sponge, or absorb excess color. Set aside to dry. Continue around each side of the bag until all 4 sides are complete.
2.    Pour a little Createx Paint onto sponge and smoosh across one side of bag. Set aside to dry. Continue around each side of the bag until all 4 sides are complete.
3.    Punch hole into bag. Insert decorated brad through flower layers and bag. Open prongs on inside so they are flat. Flower will stay in place.


1.    Fold ivory cardstock into size desired for card.
2.    Cut black cardstock 5/8” smaller than card front. Trim with corner punch if desired. Set aside.
3.    Cut white cardstock ¼” smaller than black layer. Run through dry emboss folder and antique with Sunny Yellow pigment ink. Set aside for ink to dry.
4.    Around edges of card base, randomly stamp Wild Geranium images with Sunny Yellow pigment ink, and heat emboss with Dandy Dandelion EP.
5.    With Labels 11 die, cut & emboss white cardstock. Ink “Happy Birthday to You” in Sunny Yellow Pigment ink and heat emboss with Gold Coast Cosmic EP. Using Primrose image, randomly stamp around edges of die cut with same ink, heat emboss with Dandy Dandelion EP. Edge with Gold Krylon Pen and set aside to dry.
6.    Cut yellow cardstock with Labels 5 die. Edge with Gold Krylon Pen and set aside to dry.
7.    Chalk flowers on label piece to match silk flower. With dimensional adhesive, layer it onto yellow die cut.
8.    With Brushable Glue adhere white dry embossed layer to black layer, corner punching if desired. Punch hole through both layers and insert flower via brad prongs. Flatten the prongs securely on the back.
9.    Tilt the layer and adhere to ivory card base with Brushable Glue.
10.  Attach sentiment layers with dimensional tape.