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

***UPDATE*** - With the 2020 Blogger format, is your Blogger blog loading very slowly? Mostly in the sidebar? If so, THIS INFORMATION may be helpful.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Looky What Arrived Today! and blog candy

quick note: 
last chance for my March blog candy, click here for details - deadline is March 31. 
April's blog candy question is revealed at the bottom of this post.

My eBosser arrived today! Knowing I can only crank my beloved Grand Calibur and Big Kick 2 or 3 times at most before symptoms are triggered, my girl friend Linda suggested the eBosser. I am delighted! It arrived today and is already my best friend. (thank you, Linda!)

It actually uses less space than the grand calibur because there is no handle! It accepts 8.5 inch wide paper/fabric/etc AND up to 12" long.

Mine came with several perks, including 3 8.5"x11" embossing folders with card ideas and special folds, a magnetic shim, the embossing mat (for dies like Spellbinders) and recicpe book for all the different  brands of dies! AND it takes the old style "Bigz" dies!

The Big Kick and Grand Calibur will now have to sit on the shelf. eBosser comes with a one year guarantee, but I warranteed it through Square Trade for 3 years for $20.

Have I used it? Only to emboss two 8.5 x 11 pieces of card stock. EASY. No more cranking!

Now I can make more layers and use my dies whenever I desire. Am I happy?

Oh yes! This will be a big help to me! (and Jack because he won't have to come in at my beck and call to crank the older machines!)

Linda also helped me find a wonderful deal. For the same price at Amazon, HSN also included 3 awesome embossing folders, the magnetic and embossing mats, and a big smile! LOL

So, that brings us to the blog candy for April: 
a Papertrey Ink stamp set! 

Probably this eBosser is a female, because females exemplify efficient multitasking and caring helpfulness. But you never know... What should "its" name be? Please leave your recommendation for a good name in the comments section (or e-mail me privately) and your name will be placed in the basket for a drawing on April 30 (sorry, I still have not taken the time to learn how to do the random.org thingy). Just as with my January, February, and March blog candies, you do NOT have to become a follower (though I love it if you are LOL), and I will do my best to advise you if you are the winner. Either make your e-mail address available through blogger, or in your comment, or e-mail me.

I'm looking forward to seeing what names you all come up with!

happiness hugs,



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's The Christmas Fairy introducing a new Design Team!



My Blog Candy ends on March 31 - click here and scroll down for details.



Exciting news!

I now have the pleasure of designing for:

The One,
.... The ONLY,
Scrapbook Stamp Society
home of the most adorable digi images, rubber stamps, and a fabulous array of products and crafting goodies.

This month at Scrapbook Stamp Society, we are featuring images by Artists Mitzi Sato Wiuff and Morgan Fitzsimmons.

With March's crazy weather, it is only natural for Mitzi's sweet little Christmas Fairy to be confused. 

After all... is it Spring or is it Christmasy cold?

I haven't figured it out myself even down here in warm, snuggly Florida, where we have had two nights of freezing temperatures! (What's with that?)

Still, she is so adorable, even in her confused state of mind, and could easily be adapted for any time of year.

Mitzi has 40 other wonderfully imaginative images which may be used in a number of ways. Just click here to see more of her amazing artwork.

Check it out (in the above photo)! Her little fur trim is accentuated with sparkly white flocking, and glitter followers her wherever she goes.

I think her name needs to be changed from Christmas Fairy to Joyful Song. What a sweetie she is.

I really had fun coloring this whimsical little creature, especially with the natural shading in her wings.  (thanks for all your pointers left in a previous post regarding Copic Markers).

The snowflakes are frosty with the sparkly flocking, too. The sparkly flocking is from Sparkle N Sprinkle.

(thank you for your well wishes. I am slowly recovering and am just about caught up visiting everyone's blogs).

Products Used:

Christmas Fairy (by Scrapbook Stamp Society)
Spellbinders Regular and Dec Labels Eight dies
SB Grand and Regular Labels twenty-three
Martha Stewart Himalayan Snowflake Large
Memory Box Elegant Scrollwork die
Heartfelt Creations Layered Scalloped Posy and Arch
Sparkle N Sprinkle Waterscape Glitter G1108
Sparkle N Sprinkle Sparkling Clouds Flocking SS107
Sparkle N Sprinkle Dimensional Glue
Alleen's Quick Dry Tacky Glue, Regular tape, Sakura Glue Pen
Ribbon, brad, cheese cloth, feathers
Cardstock: Pink, Lavender, DP from SU, Vellum, White
Copic Markers

This card is submitted to the following wonderful challenges:

52 Christmas Card Throwdown - March Embellishment Challenge - Use Ribbon
ABC Christmas Challenge - F is for Fabric (cheese cloth and ribbon)
Sweet Stampin' Christmas - #4 No Red or Green
Christmas Cards All Year Round - March - Sparkle and Bling (glitter and sparkly flocking)
Crafty Hazel Nuts Christmas #117 - 3 of something (3 snowflakes)
Emerald Faerie #41 - Bling (glitter and sparkly flocking)
Digital Tuesday - #203 Spring Colours (pastel lavender, pink, white with a touch of blue, yellow)
Everybody-Art Challenge - #229 Fairy - (Christmas Fairy by Mitzi)
Ladybug Crafts Ink - Anything Goes
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
Crafty Hazel Nuts Christmas Challenge 2 - For March Anything Goes


Stamping hugs always,


Here Come The Boys Challenge

Blog Candy Offer Deadline March 31 - three Sparkle N Sprinkle Sets - click here for details.





A quick A2-size card to say hello to my dad. He likes things without any embellishments - do you find that difficult?

It is also difficult for me to make A2 size cards.

I'm trying to get into the CAS mode. Hope it happens soon. LOL

It's a card within a card, so the front opens with a little "classic message" and the inside, too, for a little note.

In my stash of Miscellaneous Things (which I'm trying to use up) were these older postage stamps.

Do these only count as SEMI-embellishments? They are sorta classic, too.

Just like my dad, who will be 86 shortly.

This is for the "Here Come The Boys Challenge" using their picture inspiration.



Products used:
Spellbinders Labels Eight for the mini card
Spellbinders Labels One for the layering
Cardstock: SU DP, navy, white, blue
Ink: Cloud blue dye base, navy dye base
Stamps: Just for Fun

Thanks for taking a peek.
hugs,



Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Quickie

NOTE: reminder for my blog candy on my blog post here. Ends March 31.

Hi! A simple card share for you today, but first, a word from our sponsors.

I miss visiting your dear blogs this week. I have a condition known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome aka Myalgic Encephalitis. Some doctors label it as Chronic EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) or chronic Mononucleosis. Or maybe those last two are just the "sometimes results" of CFS/ME. Or maybe possible precursors - or who knows? Researchers certainly don't, as there is no cure.

Whatever it is, it has hit rather hard, with the usual aching, feverish ickiness, and the amount of discomfort and fatigue is too overwhelming to even sit here for long. I've never shared this on-line, and seldom with friends, so I'm kind of embarrassed because I don't want to come off as a whiner.

But the real whining is that I'm just too tired to visit blogs and type a comment in response to your beautiful artwork which always reflects a portion of your heart to my feasting eyes.

Back to our regularly scheduled program:

It took a while to create this little card, and several days to write the post because of the fatigue. (smile). Actually, I wanted to do the resist technique, and none of my attempts came out right, so I probably was not thinking clearly enough to do it LOL

When you are not feeling yourself, do you also have trouble doing the simplest of things?

The easiest technique is what I ultimately opted for, when all else fails:

stamping the silhouette on Cloud Nine Velvet Glitter from Sparkle N Sprinkle.

The partial image is also from an amazing new Nature set at Sparkle N Sprinkle simply labeled "Silhouettes".

It is on sale until the end of the month - $11.89 for the entire set of 4 images and and 5 versatile, dear sentiments.

The card was made for a recent swap in the Florida Stampers Yahoo Group. My swap partner this month is Lis, a professional maker of beautiful hand-made papers.

Products used:


Cloud Nine Velvet Glitter from Sparkle N Sprinkle
"Silhouettes" stamp set from Sparkle N Sprinkle
Copic Markers from SNS (they also have a club to purchase a few monthly and receive a free storage container)
Swan Wing Tinsel Glitter from SNS
Sparkle Embossing Powder from SNS
Spellbinders Decorative Labels 8 and regular Labels 8, and Fancy Tags Two
SU scallop oval
Brad, hand cut flower from dryer sheet
Ink: Pink Sherbet, Cloudy Blue, Staz-on Ultramarine
Cardstock: White, Navy, Pink

Thanks for stopping by - I look forward to trying to make the rounds as soon as I can.

sleepy hugs,


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Overheated? Low on Gas?

Blog Candy Offer Deadline March 31 - three Sparkle N Sprinkle Sets - please click here and scroll down for details.

Happy Saturday! Today's card share is very simple. I needed a masculine 'get well' card in a hurry. (for complete directions to make this card, please click here.)
















Both stamps are part of this adorable Sparkle N Sprinkle set:





I actually made this in one day - no small feat for fumble fingers here.  

If you enjoy breaking things, or need a little therapy, the technique can be very satisfying. 



The "Cracked Glass/Ice" technique is perfect for this Get Well card - contributes to that "run down" feeling. The "cracks" seem to radiate from poor old Henry.


This fun technique also covers up mistakes made while coloring. :-)  

To the left is a close up of the cracked ice.

A shiny close up is shown below.
Video and written tutorials can be found in the SNS Tips and Techniques section. Samples of other styles of cards using this technique are available, too, at the bottom of the page.

There is also a hint of color on the little white flowers die cut. The stitching adds a bit more texture to this card.

One of my favorite new challenges: Use It Tuesday, encourages us to use our old stash. This week it is Diecuts, Punches, Cutouts. The two Abstract Shapes dies have never been used, and the two Flourish Accent dies have never been used. Both designer papers by DCWV and  SU are old, and have never been used.

The Spellbinders Abstract Shapes is so old, that the item number is S4-001 - SB's first nesting set. I had purchased it when buying the Wizard machine some (six?) years ago? AND... I have never used it until this card (hanging head in shame). 



Products Used:

Sparkle N Sprinkle - Henry (lg) 0122-251M
Sparkle N Sprinkle - Overheated? 0433-251E
     (or adorable set #251 Cars) 00-251P4
Sparkle N Sprinkle - Super Thick Clear embossing powder EP230
Inks: Tuxedo Black Memento, Cloudy Blue dye base, Tea Dye dye base, VersaMark
Cardstock: DCWV and Stampin' Up!
Spellbinders:
  Flourish Accent Shapeabilities S4-198
  Shapes - Abstract Nestabilities - S4-001
  Grand Scallop Circles LF-124
  Standard Circles - Nestabilities - S4-116

This card is entered in the following awesome challenges:

Anything Goes Challenges - #88 "Seeing Double" (2 stamped images, inside 2 identical die cuts from nestabilities, and 2 flourishes from the same die cut set, 2 layers in red panel, 2 layers behind Henry the car, 2 types of stitches).
Use It Tuesday - #52 Diecuts, Punches... (4 Spellbinders dies)
Crafty Boots - "Old, New, Borrowed OR Blue" (everything on the card is old, white die cut is "borrowed", dies, images, papers all have never been used so they are new even tho they are old, blue cardstock)
Make It Monday - #131 Always Anything Goes 
Make My Monday - Heat Embossing (clear EP in cracked ice)

Warm Hugs Always,


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just Dreamin'... (and blog candy)

Let's go sailing - with the wind in our hair, and the fresh smell of the ocean filling our lungs, I can almost feel it...

This will be our journey on a fantasy sail boat. Wanna come?

I've been cleaning out and reorganizing my craft room, including some of the older boxes stuffed way in the back that were housing... who knows what?

In cleaning out one box (novel idea, yes?) "a something" which had been die cut and covered with SuperAdhesiveSheets was discovered.

So I peeled away the protective covering to see what the image was. It was this fantasy, stained-glass sail boat from Sparkle N Sprinkle colored with Prisma Color pencils. Immediately I covered the now ultra-tacky surface with those tiny little clear beads everyone has in their stash. That took care of the exposed ultra sticky stuff.

Now what? Should I just throw the thing away?

As long as the ride is a fantasy, I experimented with a few techniques, once again allowing my distraction to keep me from finishing the task at hand -- to clean and reorganize the craft room.

Are you easily distracted, too?

(Can you see the little beads covering the sail boat image?)



Here, maybe this photo is better:



 First...

Using my old stash of virginal supplies, (hanging head in shame) I broke out:

Spellbinders Grands Big Scallop Ovals, and Big Scallop Ovals Nesties
Adirondack Lights Salmon (still had the wrapping on it)
My Mind's Eye Twine (still in the wrapping)
Brass Sea Horse Charm (still in the wrapping)

Colors and Layers:



It's fun finally using goodies purchased so long ago.

(the rest of the products are listed at the bottom of this post)

BUT BUT BUT - then, here is something new!

Will you come Dream Away with me as we sail?

Wonderful dreamy sentiment including phrases which allow us to sail away into the past, present or future:
"Cherish yesterday, Live today, Dream for tomorrow"

The sentiment is on this beautiful new Spring Florals set currently on sale at SNS.

A little about creating the dimensional glitter panel for this card:

Using white cardstock (CS), cut a panel with a fantasy scalloped "port hole".

Another "ring" of scallops was die cut from yellow CS. Because the glitters are semi-transparent, the yellow panel slightly shows though.

The yellow scallop ring was glued onto the white CS to create a tad of color and lots of dimension.

With Brushable Glue paint a ray of glue across the white and yellow panels and coat with Sunny Daze glitter.

Leave a space, and paint another ray, covering it with Sunny Daze glitter, and so forth. Allow to dry thoroughly, then go back and paint rays for the Orange Crush glitter in the spaces left between.)

Tip: hold the handle of your paint brush between your teeth while applying glitter between brushing the glue stripes (LOL)

Tip: have coffee filters available to catch the excess glitter. Very easy to pour back into jar.

Once dry, apply brushable glue to inner port hole and sprinkle on the Laser Blue glitter.

Customizing the charm: Lightly paint seahorse charm with Versamarker so the brass metallic essence will still shine through. If it is completely coated with VersaMark, then the EP will also cover all the brass. Apply By The Lake embossing powder (this glittery, pearly EP is awesome). Heat set. Stamp sentiment with same EP and heat. Smoosh white CS with VersaMark ink and apply matching embossing powder. Punch out scallop circle from that swatch. Assemble card.

Here is a close up of the textures and layers:



The best part of this card is the dreamy sailing trip with you, my dear blogging friends.



So where is the blog candy? Three Sparkle N Sprinkle stamp sets to the winner whose name is pulled out of the hat (because I have not figured out random.org yet). Just leave a comment answering the question about getting distracted: When in your craft room, regardless of what you are doing, do you sometimes become distracted, putting off another project already begun? If the winner's e-mail address is available through their blogger account or left in the comment, or even e-mailed to me, I will notify them, so you do not have to become a follower. Just have fun! Deadline is March 31.

Note: winner was announced on April 1 here, it is Cammy.
Products used:


Sparkle N Sprinkle Laser Blue Glitter, Sunny Daze Glitter, Orange Crush Glitter
Sparkle N Sprinkle By The Lake embossing powder
Adhesives: SNS Brushable Glue, SNS Super Adhesive Sheets, Dimensionals
Cardstock: White, yellow, aqua
Prismacolor Pencils
Spellbinders Grands Big Scallop Ovals
Punches: EK Success 1.5" round, SU scallop round
inks: Adirondack Lights Salmon dye ink, VersaMark ink, Weathered Wood dye ink, VersaMarker
My Mind's Eye Twine, Brass Sea Horse Charm 

This card is submitted to the following awesome challenges:

Sparkle N Sparinkle - Use Glitter
Crafty Boots - "Old, New, Borrowed OR Blue" (blue - CS, glitter, embossing powder; 4 old virginal items (so they are actually new as well) new sentiments from set 490.
Critter Challenge - #155 Use Twine (twine holds charm)
Make It Monday - #131 Anything Goes
Stamptacular Sunday Challenge - #206 "To Die For" (used 5 SB Scallop Oval Dies)
Sunday Stamper - #248 "Use Something You have had for Yonks and never used" - (SB dies, ink pad, charm, twine)
Stamping with the Dragon - Anything Goes
Papertake Weekly - 1-2-3 - (one charm, two stamp images, three colors of glitter)
Use It Tuesday - #52 Dies, Punches, Cutouts - (SB large scallop reg diecuts and grand diecuts)
Vickie's Challenges - Anything Goes -


Thanks for checking in!
hugs,

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Sweet As Can Be

Happy Thursday! Today's card share is way different for me, and has a lot of "firsts".




What are all my firsts?


It is my first "Cutesy" card. I will make more. (smile)


It is my first card with a Digi Image: Have you been putting it off? It was not nearly as difficult as I made it out to be. (do you ever make things more difficult than they really are?)


Over on the Besties' Site, this adorable freebie "Tiffany and Squeek" was offered so that everyone could participate in her weekly challenge.



Squeek reminds me of the Blue Bird Of Happiness - they are so sweet together.

It is my second time for using Copic Markers in this manner. Is there a trick to staying in the lines? Or is it my fumble fingers which don't cooperate?



Another first- Sneak peek for the sentiments.



They are part of the new Sparkle N Sprinkle Spring Floral #490 set designed by Beccy Muir.


Sparkle embossing powder and Copic markers also from SNS.






The Sparkle EP is used on the dryer sheet, blue panel, and Decorative Labels Eight in order to provide depth to the distress color, and some sparkle, too, of course.


More - It is my first easel card (wonder why I waited so long?

Another first - One blogger mentioned she die cut used dryer sheets for her flowers.

I tried it with Spellbinders dies, but they would not cut through the dryer sheet.

So I stitched the dryer sheet between the lace and blue panel to add some body and fru fru.

I will use more dryer sheets in cardmaking. :-)

It is also the first time my Labels Eight and Decorative Elements Labels Eight have been used - they are beautiful dies!

Thanks for popping by to share my day of "firsts".

Products:
Besties Tiffany and Squeek
Spellbinders Labels Eight Nesties
Spellbinders Decorative Elements Labels Eight
Cheery Lynn Fanciful Flourish
MS PAP Deep Edge Floral Crochet
MS Lace Doily border punch
Copic Markers from Sparkle N Sprinkle
Sparkle embossing powder from SNS
Cardstock: White, Bazzill Pink, SU Pink, Bazzill Yellow, Blue
Inks: Shell Pink dye ink, Versafine Olympia Green pigment ink, VersaMark pigment ink, Sky Blue Brilliance pigment ink
Lace, Dryer Sheet, white flowers

This card has been submitted to the following challenges:

Besties Challenge - #8 - Lace (fabric lace, 2 lace punches)
Cuttin and Stampin - #9 - Use Flowers
Oldie But A Goodie -  Feeling Floral (Labels 8 dies are more than 6 months old)
Paper Take Weekly - Anything Goes with femininity
Party Time Tuesday's - #110 Die Cuts (badge is at top in tab)
Shopping Our Stash - #92 Border Punches (2 MS border punches)
Through the Craft Room Door - Anything Goes
ABC Challenges - Anything Goes
Artistic Inspirations - #31 Things with Wings (girl holding blue bird)
Crafty Bloggers Network - #9 Spring or Pastel

Stamping Hugs,


Friday, March 01, 2013

Blog Candy Winner!

Today is the drawing for the blog candy!

Sue of Sue's Stamping is the name which popped out of the basket. I e-mailed Sue so she can send her mailing address.

Thanks to each of you who played by answering the relevant question. Promises, too, for there to be more candy in about a month.

To win blog candy, you do not have to follow my blog (though I love it if you do LOL), and as long as your contact information is available via blogger, (or through a personal e-mail from you), then I can contact you to let you know you have won.

No card share today, but may I share our Cheesy Squash Casserole recipe instead of a card?


Jacky’s Cheesy Squash Casserole

Ingredients:
  • 8 cups cubed squash (yellow and/or zucchini)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers (or Panko Crumbs)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Method:

1. Chop Squash and boil (about 20 minutes) until tender. Place towel in colander and pour squash into towel until it cools. After squash cools, squeeze to get excess water out of it. Put into bowl.

Note: squeezing out moisture prevents a watery casserole

2. Saute onion in fry pan with butter until translucent.

3. Add onion and remaining ingredients (except Ritz crackers)  into bowl, and combine. After mixing thoroughly, place into casserole dish.

4. Top with crushed Ritz crackers or Panko Bread Crumbs. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until cheese and sour cream have heated well.


(this meal is shown with steamed asparagus and grilled chicken breast)



Thanks for stopping by today!