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

Monday, May 27, 2013

Dreaming On Aquamarine Tides

As a little girl, I enjoyed a father who would take me down the cliffs into tide pools as the Southern California tides receded.

So many magical things to touch and see. Tiny fish nibbled at my toes, anemones tried to catch my inquiring fingers, starfish clung stubbornly to rocks, crabs scurried into crevices.

Pure delight!

Sometimes I can close my eyes, inhale and still feel the salty, wet sea breeze kiss my little face as I played in those tidal pools.

Scrapbook Stamp Society offers a variety of image styles. Dreaming On Aquamarine Tides by Mitzi Sato Wiuff is in my card share today.

Dreaming On Aquamarine Tides  Digi StampHer image speaks to me - the calling of the sea with delicate and amazing creatures called Sea Dragons. Did you know they are real? (cousins to the sea horse).

Mitzi's image also inspired the Sentiment which reflects how I feel about my you, my blogging friends - a special love which goes soul to soul, because that is what we see in each other on-line - we see the Soul of our friends.

You can also view Mitzi's fabulous diamond studded colored image, in her gallery here.

Being rather new to digital images, I don't quite know how to create a scene. In this instance, Mitzi has a wonderful scene. However, I wanted a larger "garden setting".

To accomplish this:

I vertically cropped part of the image in the bottom left, and pasted it 3 more times in the plant life to the left of the dreaming maiden. Next I cropped the very top part of the magical bubbles-plant life-hair and pasted it sideways in front of the other vegetation at the bottom left, to create a larger garden setting. So it is all the artist's drawing, but slightly expanded to accommodate the shape of the canvas, and make a special place for the greeting.

To the left is the open card laying flat after being taken out of a regular A7 envelope.

A few more photos:

The photo below shows the:

 chunky glitter, 
pure gold flakes, 
glass beads, 
sea shells
 and flowers. 

I love the sea dragons - so gently floating by.

The clear glass beads are lovely, and contrast beautifully with the chunky glitter and gold pieces.

What is especially different for me is the choice of colors - definitely out of my norm. But the coral red is reminiscent of star fish, sea shells, corals, sea anemones, and other dear oceanic creatures.

Finally, a little photo from my back yard to set the stage :-)

Gratefully submitted to the following fabulous Challenges:

  1. Scrapbook Stamp Society - use a Die Cut, Punch or Cut file (3 different SB dies, an unknown vine die cut, Martha Stewart branch punch)
  2. Lady Anne's Challenge - #2 Easel Card (shaped easel card)
  3. Ooh-la-la-Creations Challenge - "Inspired by Nature" (ocean and ocean life)
  4. Songbird Challenges - #21 "All Creatures Great and Small" (sea dragons, cousins of sea horses)
  5. Avenue 613 - #21 Anything Goes
  6. Scrappy Frogs Challenge - "Free Choice"
  7. That Craft Place - "Dies and Punches" (Spellbinders and Martha Stewart)
  8. Totally Gorjuss - #184 Water - (under the sea)
  9. Digi Makeover - #90 Anything Goes (referred by Eret!)
  10. Path of Positivity Challenge - #2 Love and Interconnectedness 

Products used:
  • Scrapbook Stamp Society's Dreaming On Aquamarine Tides by Mitzi Sato Wiuff
  • Computer-Generated Sentiments
  • Spellbinders: Grand Labels Four
  • Martha Stewart Twig/branch punch
  • Copic Markers
  • Paper: Textured Deep Turquoise, Coral Red, Neenah White
  • Inks: Mountain Rose Dye Base, Copic Markers
  • Adhesives: PPA, Quick Dry Tacky
  • Embellies from my stash: tiny sea shells, flowers, beads, glitters, eye-lash yarn, shell fragments
  • Pure Gold Flake Medium by USArt Quest

Thanks for stopping by today!
"Soul to Soul" hugs,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Somethin' Fishy for ABC Challenges

Greetings to one and all, and a warm welcome to my newest followers. Thank you for taking time to visit my little blog.

From what I see on your blogs, it seems most of you are just beginning to thaw out from Winter's Icy Grip. But here in central Florida, we have been in the 90s! Yikes!

The geraniums are already wilting from the heat :-(

About today's card share 
(I LOVE the image!):

I **TRIED** to make a more simple card - HONEST I DID - but something in me has trouble doing that. 

Maybe I am "broke". 

--- smile --- 

Do you have trouble making more simple cards? I am convinced it is a skill I must work on.

At any rate, my card share today is inspired by a Florida Stampers swap. We were to use Alcohol Inks or products made with solvents in the inks. I used Tria Inks and Copic Markers.

ABC (All Beautiful Cards) has a challenge this week to create a card using Stamped Backgrounds.

This background was created using white glossy cardstock and Tria Inks (old, old no longer produced). Those were made in the days before Alcohol Inks became available.

After the Tria inks dried, I stamped Hero Arts Petal Etchings flowers in Galaxy Gold, Pearlescent Blue and Pearlescent Lime Brilliance inks all over the background.

It really is pretty, as the paper is glossy naturally, then the pretty Tria ink colors, and finally the pearly and metallic inks stamped atop. Lovely muted background with shimmer and gloss.

Totally Gorjuss Cards has a Water Theme challenge this week - perfect for this incredible angel fish by Rubber Stampede which has been stamped in Graphite Black Brilliance Ink and heat set. A few Copics were used to enhance the color in the image.

For visual interest and texture, glitter is absolutely necessary, right? 

and it needs to be shiny, right?

SNS Laser Blue Glitter did the trick and was applied with Sakura Quickie Glue Pen. (If you do not have one of these pens, you ***NEED*** one. (smile)

TIP: Sakura's Quickie Glue Pen is great for embossing powder, glitter and flocking. It is also useful if tiny amounts of adhesive are needed on fine die cuts or corners. It even dries on non-porous surfaces, like glossy cardstock and photos.

Texture Texture TEXTURE - Shine, metalics, glitz, fibers, and a highly distressed sea horse charm. The charm was lightly inked with VersaMarker - two colors of EP applied (see below), and then a quick, light dip into my all time favorite embossing powder - SPARKLE - the charm now looks like something which came from the bottom of the sea.

Also for visual interest, the MS punch around the page was only used on two sides of the mat layer. Two colors of yarn fibers were laced through the openings. The new Spellbinders Curved Borders created an interesting black card base, where even more glitter has been applied.

Products Used:

  • Embossing powders by Sparkle N Sprinkle to distress brass seahorse charm: Pear EP420SparkleMediterranean EP417
  • Glitter courtesy of Sparkle N Sprinkle: Laser Blue G1074
  • Adhesives: Aileen's Quick Dry, Sarkura Quickie Glue Pen
  • Stamps: Rubber Stampede Angel Fish 15218 (old old), Echinacea Leaf (unknown, old as dirt)
  • Martha Stewart Flourish Lace PAP
  • Spellbinders A2 Curved Borders One
  • Cardstock: Glossy white, Black, Chartreuse, Turquoise
  • Inks: Tria Inks (before alcohol inks became available), Brilliance Inks (Galaxy Gold, Graphite Black, Pearlescent Blue, Pearlescent Lime), VersaMarker (for charm), Copics were used for shading.
  • Yarn fibers, seahorse charm

Submitted to the following much beloved Challenges:

  1. ABC All Beautiful Cards - #29 Stamped Backgrounds (echinacea leaf stamped in 3 colors all over the background of the fish)
  2. Make It Monday - #141 Anything Goes Challenge
  3. Melonheadz Friends - "Sparkle and Shine" Challenge - (shiny glossy cardstock and glitter embellishment and metallic, embossed charm)
  4. Scrappy Frogs - "Free choice Challenge"
  5. One Stop Craft Challenge - #229 Anything Goes
  6. Totally Gorjuss - #184 Water

Thank you for stopping by today!
always stamping hugs,

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Kind Heart Trio...

Note: My May Blog Candy is at the bottom of the Beach post.

Warm Greetings to everyone, and a special welcome to my newest followers.

But first...

Before sharing my card, I'd like to share a VERY HAPPY experience with an outstanding manufacturer. Spellbinders Grand Calibur has been my favored die cutting machine from the very beginning, when they first came out. My dear machine broke last week.

There is a happy ending, though.

Spellbinders offers a one year warranty on its machine, but mine is nearly 4 years old. I phoned their home office and spoke to Miss Fabulous Customer Service Karen Haas. After asking if I could purchase the parts so my husband could repair the GC, Karen kindly asked me to e-mail photos so she could determine if the correct parts were available. Three days later the parts were in our mailbox - mailed at no charge - in fact, the parts were completely at no charge. Spellbinders could not have given me a better gift than to back their product long after the warranty had expired. FABULOUS CUSTOMER SERVICE, SPELLBINDERS.

Today's card shares feature the birds on K and Company's pretty designer papers by Brenda Walton.

When piecing together card, I always look through my pads of DPs and think, "No, that needs to be for a card on its own". Then the papers are promptly forgotten until the next time I peruse for DPs.

Do you inadvertently save items for a special project, and then forget about them, so that they end up being in a stash of hoarded supplies?

This week I made 3 cards using the 3 sheets with birds in the bottom right corner. Each card is similar.

The card above is made with vellum edging from Spellbinders Fleur de Lis Squares, distressed and pieced together with stitching on the card. White flowers by Irene's Garden helped this card go together more quickly. One sentiment is popped up; the other is stamped direct to DP.

My second card is flat for regular mailing and uses 2 Spellbinders dies for the sentiments, two from Heartfelt creations. (the decorative corner is with vellum under all the tiny flowers. The flowers are embellished with Prills. And Memory Box's lovely Fuchsia Sprig die cut.

Less than 1/4" thick, the Prills still provide texture and dimension. The two images in this sentiment panel are from Impression Obsession (listed at the bottom of this post).

Interior sentiment is the same on each card, however, the edging is different on each card:

 Crafty Bloggers Network has a fabulous Tic Tac Toe Challenge going on.
The top card satisfies the row of "Flowers-Stamps-Stitching".
The second card has "vellum doily, stamps, sentiment".
The third card below has "Gems, 2 Vellum Doilies, punch/die cuts".

Over at Delightful Sketches, they, too are featuring a Bingo Card:

My first card features: Stitching, Glitter (right side beneath border bunch) and Flowers.
The second card features: Flowers, Punches/Die Cuts, Pattern Paper

The two Velvet glitters are on the inside panel; a strip each of Luau Green and Orchid Rose. They can just be seen through the Laurel Leaf border punch, but look fabulous on the inside. The Orchid Rose Velvet Glitter was also used between the jeweled flourishes for added bling.

Memory Box Tender Leaves Die Cuts were used to embellish the flowers on this card.

Gratefully Submitted to the following Lovely Challenges:

The Following Products were used in creating my cards:

Sparkle N Sprinkle Velvet Glitters: **new** Orchid Rose, Luau Green
Sparkle N Sprinkle 1/2" and 1/4" Double Sided Tear-ific Tapes
Paper: K and Company Designer Paper by Brenda Walton, SU Eggplant, Pale Plum, White, Vellum
Spellbinders: Labels Thirteen, Fleur de Lis Squares, Fancy Tags Two
Martha Stewart Laurel Leaf PATP
Heartfelt Creations: Layered Scalloped Posy die, Decorative Blossom Corner Die
Lace, Fabric Softener Sheet, Cheese cloth, skeleton leaves, flowers by Irene's Garden
Memory Box: Fuchsia Sprig, Tender Leaves
USArtQuest: Prills Lemon Chiffon, PPA
Inks: Peeled Paint, Milled Lavender, Eggplant, Pumice Stone dye base, Imperial Purple VersaFine, VersaMark
Other Adhesives: Aileen's Quick Dry, Dimensionals
Images: SU Floral Friendship, IO Thinking of You Days, IO Sm. Flourish Four

Thanks for stopping by today! I always appreciate the time you have spent here, and for leaving your sweet comments.

hugs always and always,

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Hibiscus Are Blooming!

Update: May 11 -- "At the Beach" blog hop winners are posted at the SNS blog HERE.

Note: My May Blog Candy is at the bottom of the Beach post.

I have a really fun card to share today. 

In fact, I am excited because it was made specifically with the following ten challenges in mind! All Right -- Confession Time -- Usually I create a card for a particular project or for ONE challenge, and then hope to submit it to several other challenges if the theme is suitable. 

(hanging head low in shame...)

With that in mind... 

Thank you, Challenge Hostesses, for fresh inspiration.

It was especially beneficial since I used lots of "old virginal stuff" in my stash (some which was decades old), and also brand new items which had not been used, too.

Oh yes! And even "normal" other stuff which is used all the time (smile).

I found some pretty green Rick Rack in my stash. It must be from the 1950s because it was from JC Penney and was 13¢. The wrapper said it is "color-fast and is suitable for boiling" hahaha. I don't even recall that my mom ever boiled clothing - do you?

Not sure if the Rick Rack was my Mom's or my Great Aunt Agnes'. Did you inherit "stash" from previous generations, too?

After adhering the rick rack, a little SNS Dimensional Glue was dotted helter-skelter above and below the green trim and Green Iris Glitter was applied. It's an icy transparent clear glitter which has tints of green in it.

The wrapper was FINALLY taken off many years' old Cranberry Crisp Grosgrain ribbon to trim the panel on the base.

This card was also the first use for the Spellbinders Adorning Squares and IO lace border dies.

Below are listed five of the challenge photos:

Sparkle N Sprinkle's May Color Challenge:

Each of those colors was utilized!

Have you tried USArtquest's Prills yet? Those are relatively new to my stash, and I used them as the stamen in the hibiscus blooms. Jack liked that particular adorno (that's what he calls embellishments).

At Beccy's Place - the May challenge is an "Anything Goes" as long as you use a Beccy Image. With over 40 fabulous freebies available, that was easy! I chose her gorgeous hibiscus flower branch. It has been printed whole, and then partially four more times to fussy cut flowers for the base of the easel card.

Beccy's hibiscus is available uncolored, and also in two beautifully shaded color motifs. To grab all 3 versions of this freebie click here: Beccy Muir digital image Hibiscus

For All Beautiful Cards 'tic tac toe', 

I played diagonally with:

Designer Paper

And a "grid" by Crafty Bloggers Network -

In more than one direction:

  • Die Cut, Flowers, Ribbon; 
  • AND Ribbon, Stamps, Gems-Bling; 
  • AND Flowers, Stamps, Stitching

Cupcake Craft Challenges' interesting Sketcharific.

My card is 5.5" square, and is an easel card using their awesome sketch.

There are more fabulous, inspiring challenges I was inspired by grocery listed at the bottom of my blog post.

And now... 
A Fumble Fingers Moment brought to you fondly by...


A fumble fingers moment: After dropping both the Antique Linen AND Willow ink pads (at different times, mind you) on the base sentiment, I decided to texturize to cover up the messes. Since this is a common occurrence, I am a pro at fixing these types of boo boos, by smooshing a little VersaMark on the affected area and then embossing with Sparkle embossing powder to cover the blunder. Can you see the booboo? The same EP is used around the edges of both images. 

It's a great way of "distressing" with bling 
(is that contradictory? to distress with bling?)

 Here is the closed card:

Close up using the Mango Prills and "Sparkle" Distressing:

Products Used:

  • Sparkle N Sprinkle "Sparkle" embossing powder
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle Green Iris Glitter G1068
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle Rosy Red Glitter G1036
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle Dimensional Glue
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle 3/4" Double Sided Tear-ific Tape
Beccy Muir digital image Hibiscus


  • Spellbinders Adorning Squares S4-389
  • Spellbinders Labels Thirteen
  • Impression Obsession Lace Border DIE018V
  • Memory Box Tender Leaves


  • Recollections Ivory trim on clearance 
  • 1950s Green Rick Rack from JC Penneys for 13¢ (LOL from my mom or great aunt), 
  • SU Cranberry Crisp Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon
  • EK Tear Drop Jewel-Gem Brads
  • USArtquest Prills Mango

Additional Adhesives: Aileen's Quick Dry Tacky Glue, Dimensionals, Xyron, USArtquest PPA
Cardstock: KandCompany Classic K Margo, Ivory, White, Cherry Cobbler
For Color Swatch "Seeds" Copics: R35, RV32, RV29 (flowers), E00, YG03, YG06 (leaves)
Ink: Salmon, Willow, Antique Linen Dye Base, VersaMark
Computer-generated sentiments

Fabulous Challenges this card is submitted to:

ABC - #27 Tic Tac Toe (DPs by K&Company, Flowers by Beccy Muir, Glitter by SNS)
Cupcake Craft Challenges - #241 Sketcharific
Sparkle N Sprinkle - May Color Challenge (used all the colors)
Lady Anne's Challenge - May - Easel Card Challenge (5.5" square)
Marker Pop Challenge - #22 May Flowers (all flowers were colored with Copic Markers)
Beccy's Place - May Challenge - Anything Goes (Beccy's Hibiscus flowers)
Created with Love Challenges - #40 Mothers Day (feminine card per Chris at CWLC)
Clear It Out Challenges - Use Two designer papers (3 were used)
Mema's Crafts - May Flowers
Crafty Bloggers Network - #11 Tic Tac Toe In more than one direction:

  • Die Cut, Flowers, Ribbon; 
  • AND Ribbon, Stamps, Gems-Bling; 
  • AND Flowers, Stamps, Stitching

Thanks for stopping by today! Your visits and comments are always appreciated.
Hugs Always,