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

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

A little photo of our tree, but big wishes for you this Christmas. Our Christmas wish to you is:

Wishing you all the timeless treasures of Christmas ~
The Comfort and Warmth of Home,
The Support and Love of Family,
And the Dear Company of Good Friends.
May the New Year bring Incredible Opportunities,
Serenity and Blissful Peace of Mind,
Good Health,
The Knowledge that You are 
Thought of Fondly.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In The Pink - with Impression Obsession and Lace

Here in Florida, 4 days before Christmas, all my flowers are in full bloom - mostly in pinks and purples, but also bright magenta and reds. It's only fitting that I put away my "winter stamps" like the ever green pines (which don't grow down here). With unseasonably warm weather (no complaints here), I was crying out for a break from snowflake and snowmen images.

Perfect Timing! Impression Obsession's "We are in the Pink Challenge" was just what I needed.

IO's gorgeous 3.25" Square Rose (F1343) stamp is so versatile in its uses, with wonderful detailing. This time Prisma Color pencils were used, with the Vintage Floral Punch from Martha Stewart and Walrus & Carpenter Embossing Folder by Couture Creations. I enjoyed shading the foliage with blues and pinks as well.

Wishes for a Merry Christmas to all my stamping friends. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sparkling Blues

Hi! Hope you are enjoying the holidays, and the preparations for your special times. Today I've got some new products to share, and two "virigin" stamps (you know, those images in your stash which have yet to see ink?)

 Impression Obsession creates such marvelous images and backgrounds. Originally this card was for their recent challenge to create a card without using designer papers. It didn't quite get done in a timely manner.

IO Cover-a-Card "Snowflakes" stamp was used in this background. Stamped with VersaMark Ink, it was embossed with Sparkle N Sprinkle's Americana and By the Lake embossing powders. Both have glitter in them, as well as the creamy richness of the Cosmic line.

Here is a closeup of the background image - the fine detail of the stamp shows up beautifully even without detail embossing powders!

The coverage is great with these stamps and the easy-to-use Mega Mount acrylic "block". Even hands like mine can achieve beautiful and complete coverage with only one try!

Also used was the IO Tree Collage image, stamped with Majestic Blue Versafine, and colored with the SNS's new Waterscape glitter.

Spellbinders Heritage ornament die cut the Tree Collage. The next larger die is covered with Navy ultra fine glitter from SNS.

The "Leaves and Vine" border punch is from Martha Stewart.

You know what they say... "Better late than never" with this card share!
Thanks for stopping by!

Stamping hugs,

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting It Going Again

What a pleasure it has been learning how to use many of my "new" unused tools, and relearning techniques which have long been neglected.  :-)

At this time, may I especially thank Shirley, Marie and Connie for suggesting challenges? The challenges are enjoyable, and my puzzle-loving self is having fun combining the them.

Long-time stampers may remember this PSX botanical image. I stamped it with VersaMark on dark brown cardstock, heat embossed with clear detail embossing powder and set aside to cool.

Galaxy Gold Brilliance ink was smooshed over the embossed image.

Next Cosmic Copper and Crimson Copper Brilliance inks were smooshed to highlight certain areas. Finally, Twinkling H2Os highlight the remaining areas.

The technique is fast, easy, fun, and beautiful in real life.

TIP: distressing the edges of the cardstock with Brilliance inks carries the shiny look all the way.

This card is really as blingy-shiny and brilliant as the close-ups show. The vine-leaf die cut is from gold glossy cardstock, and it isn't nearly as showy as the Brilliance inks.

More details about the card can be seen in the challenges listed below:

Party Time Tuesdays #42 - Sketch
Mark's Finest Papers - Favorite Technique (embossing)
The Pink Elephant - embossing (dry and EP)
My Time To Craft - Take Two Challenge (leaves)
Heartsong Inspirations (gold)
Hooked on Craft Challenges (die cuts)

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Bling It On, Part 2

It sure was fun making this fast and easy card. Inspired by Linda's sweet generosity, and the Sketch at Card Positioning Systems (CPS244), this quick "thank you"note lets my friend know how deeply appreciated she is. She's definitely a "sparkle person", so this card will make her heart happy :-)

Framed with a Martha Stewart Stamp-Around-The-Page border punch, this blingy cardstock by DCWV is embossed with a 5x7 Cuttlebug folder. The blingy flourishes are by Recollections.

Love The Fancy Tags Two Shapeabilities and oval Nestabilities, which were cut with my Spellbinders Grand Calibur. One of my favorite stamp sets by Hero Arts includes this happy stamp (part of a "jewel" trio). Unfortunately the sun wasn't cooperating today. It's overcast, and the photos are not real sparkly to show off the metallic and rhinestones, but I know you can imagine its bling, because your heart is sparkly, too :-)

stamping hugs,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Third Card :-)

This is the third card for the Card Gift Box and also my first on-line challenge! 

Inspired by the Sparkle N Sprinkle Sketch Challenge and the Party Time Tuesday's "Bling It On" Challenge, the third of the gift cards was especially enjoyable to make. 

And yes, glitter is everywhere! All products are from SNS

For step-by-step directions in creating this card, please click here.

The olive background is stamped with "Lotus Flower Plant" and Gold Coast embossing powder

Two Spellbinders Nestabilities Fleur De Lis Squares S4-318 were used to create a frame, made sparkly by Green Nugget glitter, then replaced like a puzzle piece. 

The flower is the middle of "Flowers in a Frame" medallion, embossed with creamy, deep Dark Night EP, and more bling with Green Iris glitter

The "Seeds of Kindness" stamp is also embossed with Dark Night EP. This was a fun card to make! "Bling it On!"

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pop Up Gift Card Holder

Welcome! Thanks for stopping by. A few friends said they would like to see the other cards which will be included in the Olive and Navy Card Gift Box so here is the 2nd of the cards. (Everyone knows how slow I am in card creating, so it will take a few days!)

In making the coordinating cards to go into the Card Gift Box, I happened to pass by the closet yet again, only to hear **more** whining and sniveling inside. Opening the door, I found an old corner punch (Trumpet Paper Shaper - remember those?) and some old organza ribbon by Sheer Creations (back in the days when sheer ribbons were used LOL).

Then some pitiful cries erupted from my beloved wood mount stamp stadium. My Leigh Hannan stamps by Impression Obsession were crying from neglect! The Victorian Rose (F2064) and Flourish Three (C2040) literally jumped into my hands and begged to be used with the Gold Coast EP. The front of the card is graced with the Rose image. The leaves are colored with olive and blue pencil pastels (aka chalk pencils). The flowers are painted lightly with Twinkling H2Os (both coloring mediums are part of my "old stuff" collection.) The panel was sprayed with Krylon Workable Fixative to keep the chalks from smearing. I am always so happy using my Leigh Hannan images. To see all her stamps at IO, please click here.

Inside the card, designer paper was enhanced by stamping with the IO Flourish image, and embossed with the same EP. They are happy little stamps now (but like most children, they are dreading their bath time). A blank panel was added to the inside so a stamped or hand-written message could be added.

This card was inspired by Kim, who showed me how to make an A2 size pop up gift card holder. My Victorian Rose card is size A7 to coordinate with other cards which will fit inside the Gift Card Holder.

The Pop Up Gift Card Holder may be found at SplitCoastStampers Pop Up Gift Card Tutorial.

The pretty bow on the front of the card was made with Craft-Dee BowZ, an easy way to create bows, even for those of us bow-challenged folks!

A Martha Stewart border punch and 3 Spellbinders dies were used on the inside of the card, leaving a blank spot for the gifter to write a note.

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, November 09, 2011

"It's A Cultural Thing" Blog Hop with Prizes!

Welcome to the Sparkle N Sprinkle "It's A Cultural Thing" Blog Hop! If you hopped here by way of artsy Dawn Thomas, then you're in the right place! If you're just beginning here, you might enjoy starting at the SNS Home Blog, to become eligible for a grand prize and three "mystery" prizes! This is my last blog hop as a Sparkle Staff Member - so thanks for stopping by. SNS has such a diverse selection of images, we decided to combine many of the stamps featuring themes which create American culture. 

I was very fortunate to have been raised on the West Coast, then in New England, and finally to the Gulf Coast of Florida. My parents were very open to interesting ideas. Growing up my siblings and I always enjoyed the influences of Asian, European and Latin customs - in our meals, celebrations and home decor. My fondest memories include those earliest childhood years which were in southern California. Horticulturally and architecturally, we thrived with Asian influence. So my projects today are reminiscent of Asian filigree and an Asian garden.

Today I'm showing a "card gift box" which will hold an assortment of coordinating and beautiful cards. These will become a Christmas Gift for a dear person (no names - don't want to give anything away LOL). This idea came from a wonderful mother and daughter team on The Craftiblog.

8.5" x 11" card stock was used.

The gift box is actually a repurposed cake mix box, top cut off, carefully opened flat, spray paint on the printed side, and reassembled with the kraft side out. Just click on the photos below to see how to create the gift box or visit my Gallery at the SNS site (one last time) here.

A Martha Stewart border punch cut gold glossy card stock to provide additional stability and to show off  the lace, which has been attached with 1/2 Tear-ific Tape, and then burnished with one of my favorite glitter colors -  Fantasy Gold, also on special this month!

The card stock was randomly stamped with the Lotus Flower Plant image from the Oriental set 181, embossed with rich Gold Coast Cosmic embossing powder, and highlighted with more Fantasy Gold glitter.

The medallion flower was created with Flowers in the Square image, fussy cut, and combined with purple, navy, and gold glossy layers created from Spellbinders Rose and Carnation Creations sets, cut on their Grand Calibur.

The gold glossy leaves are cut from a Sizzix Sizzlet die.

The box is the perfect size for 5x7 (A7) size cards.

The coordinating A7 card below uses the same background creation, Spellbinders "In Spades" borderabilities die, Butterflies Two shapeabilities die, and the Flowers in the Square image cut from navy and olive, embossed with Gold Coast and Dark Night Cosmic embossing powders. (Cosmics are my favorite EPs - so rich and creamy). The butterfly is embossed with Gold Tinsel EP. The recipe for my card is available on the SNS Art Gallery.

Thanks for stopping by!

Your final destination is the SNS Blog! To become eligible for the Grand Prize and three mystery prizes, please leave a comment on my blog below and return to the SNS blog and answer one or both of the following questions. There are no right or wrong answers LOL
What is your favorite tradition which was “brought over” by another culture? Does your family celebrate this? If that’s too ambiguous, how about what special thing do you especially enjoy about American Culture? Answering these questions back on the SNS Home Blog makes you eligible for the Grand Prize and 3 other secondary prizes! Good Luck!

Stamping Hugs,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's that time of year!

This was my first year for making Halloweenie cards, and I've enjoyed coming up with enjoyable backgrounds, and easy images, just for fun.

Here are a few in addition to the Autumn Inspirations blog hop on 8/25. This card used Black Lightning Brilliance ink on the Chartreuse and Black embossed panels. Same ink, but it takes on a different color appearance.

This was easy peasy using Spellbinders Grand Calibur, Grand Labels One, an embossing folder, Black Lightning ink and a sticker LOL (lazy)

In fact, I was so Lazy (with a capital L) that I made several of these easy cards.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Vellum-Embossed Leaves

The Florida Stampers are leafing it this month - we created cards using leaves. The leaves could be anywhere on the card, and used in any manner (stamped, stickers, designer paper, die cuts, etc). Hence my Clean and Simple card.

The Vellum has dry embossed leaves on it (that's why the leaf veins appear white). Under the vellum is a white piece of cardstock with randomly smooshed chalk (pastels). The chalk was applied with a highly technical device called a cotton ball. :-)

The inside image is stamped with another oldie crying out to be used: Memories solvent based dye ink pad Barn Red color. Then image is entirely colored with chalks (one of my favorite coloring mediums). I prefer the softer look of watercolors when applying the chalks. That's why the color is deliberately outside of the lines.

This swap card has been mailed to temporarily transplanted Florida Stampers member Rita Held who is residing in Kansas, much to our chagrin. The sentiments were embossed with a platinum embossing powder which contains chunky glitter.

Thanks for stopping by to see creations done with more "old stuff" stashed in the crafting closet and whining to be used!