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.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Milk and Coffee" is at Fashionista this Month!

June's blog candy is here.



This month at Fashionista Challenges we are celebrating birthdays and weddings with sponsor Milk and Coffee! For a chance to win some wonderful images, pop on over with your birthday or wedding related card and play with us!


And I also have a very special tip - 


Just for you! 


Sponsored by fumble fingers herself!





This darling little image of Charlotte with her friendly butterfly is available from Milk and Coffee images here.

In my card, the image has been flipped, and a second butterfly added.

TIP: To add the second butterfly, open your image, do a "SAVE AS" and rename this image to "butterfly only". Crop as needed and place your butterfly into the image, or print separately to fussy cut and layer on top.


Here is my special tip:

Make your pretty "button medallions" with delicate mulberry paper (it really is pretty). But then, let your fumble fingers drop the finished Medallion. Be sure you roll over it with your chair and smash it while looking on the floor for it. Then try to fix it suitably for the card. It looks especially endearing all smashed up. 


Here is how it is supposed to look:


And here it is all smashed after being rolled over (not once, but twice):


Quite an interesting look, wouldn't you say? hahaha
(I love sharing my boo-boos with you!)



Lots of glitter and glitter-fied embossing powders were used, of course!

The Happy Little Flying Bird is from the Spellbinders Presto Punch Template "Bird" Set.
Both "By The Lake" EP and "Waterfall" glitter were used on the bird
(links shown below in product grocery list)


The "wish" sentiment on the top panel is tied with tiny satin ribbon, bedecked with a heart charm, and glitter-fied on the edges using a Quickie Glue Pen.


The bottom sentiment is by Great Impressions:

The same tiny ribbon has been laced in and out of the lace edging, and finally tied in a bow. The vellum Fantastic Flourish has been "cut in half" and placed on each side of the panel. The bottom turquoise panel is also covered with VersaMark and heat set with "Sparkle" EP for a very glittery effect.


Have you checked out the Path of Positivity Challenge yet? This month's theme is Strength - increasing our personal strength of character. The Birthday sentiment on my card is how I usually derive Strength -

"I wish you time for joy and laughter,
peace and reflection...
but most of all, I wish you Love."

In times of hardship I require moments of peaceful reflection - regardless of where I am, what is happening, the circumstances which present themselves to me, it is remembering/reflecting that true Love will bring Peace to my soul. And my Soul flies to that Love. Strength allows me to "rise" higher than the pain and limitations of my body. Strength allows me to see the good in all people, regardless of what they may say or do. Little fears can become big fears, unless I reflect, allow Peace to pervade, and Love to bloom. For me, Love is not so much an "emotion" or something I "feel", but rather, a

State of Being

Once we realize our Strength is directly related to the Love and Peace saturating our very being, we can:

  •  care deeply about all things without becoming embroiled in them; 
  •  we can overcome hurdles by taking those "baby steps" rather than noticeably giant leaps; 
  •  and we can grow stronger and stronger by recognizing that Strength is not always something which Shouts Itself Known, but rather, something of Beauty, which is of recognized in the quietness of soul after reflecting on what is truly within our control, and that which is not.

Check out the wonderful submissions to the Path of Positivity Challenge for a little inspiration in your day. A lovely person, blog owner Lisa shares from her heart, and has created a "space" where we can share something from our own hearts as well.


NOW...

Let's hear it for the beautiful SMASHED mulberry medallion - 
big grin 
(I am SO proud!) hahaha




Products used:

Images:
   Milk and Coffee Charlotte and Butterfly

   Stampin' Up! "Wish" image
   Great Impressions "Birthday" image

Punches and Die Cuts:
  Life Style Nesting Hearts
  Life Style Nesting Lace Hearts
  Martha Stewart Vintage Floral Punch Around the Page
  Cheery Lynn Tropical Flourish
  Cuttlebug Dotted Swiss embossing folder
  Spellbinders Curved Rectangles
  Spellbinders Shapeabilities Die D-Lites S2-010 Fantastic Flourish One
  Spellbinders BIRDS P5-006
  Stampin' Up! Oval and Scallop Oval punches
Glitters and Embossing Powders:
   Sparkle N Sprinkle "Sparkle" embossing powder
   Sparkle N Sprinkle "By the Lake" Cosmic embossing powder
   Sparkle N Sprinkle "Waterfall" G1071 Glitter
Lace, Recollections bling
Ribbons, Pearls (from my late mom' stash -smile)
Inks:
  Tumbled Glass dye ink
  Cloudy Blue dye ink
  Old Paper dye ink
  VersaMarker, VersaMark Ink
  Versafine Pigment Deep Lagoon
Copic Markers
Adhesives: Alleen's Quick Dry Tacky Glue, Sakura Quickie Glue Pen, Dimensionals
Cardstock: White, Turquoise, Coral-Pink, aqua mulberry paper, vellum

This sweet card is entered in the following fun challenges! 
(thank you, Challenge Hosts)!


  1. Path of Positivity #3 - Strength (M) - please see my paragraph just above the bottom photo.
  2. Die Cuttin' Divas - #121 Birthday (W) with 3 Embellishments (6 dies are listed in products used) (embellies are ribbons, Pearls, Lace, bling, charm
  3. Addicted to Stamps - #59 - Gorgeous Lace (trimmed around heart and base sentiment, and also paper lace with the punch around the page.)
  4. Country View Challenges - #4 - June Die Cuts (M) - (6 dies are listed in products used)
  5. Really Reasonable Ribbons - #74 Seeing Dots and Ribbon - (2WP15) - tiny Satin ribbon for the charm on top panel, and woven ribbon around base - dotted swiss embossed background, dotted ink spots around image)
  6. Craft Your Passion - #168 - In the Garden (image and card design are garden)
  7. IncyWincy Designs - Tic Tac Toe (frame it-emboss it-2 or more stamps)
  8. Shabby Tea Room - #172 Summer Breeze - (colors, nature, clean outdoors)
  9. Great Impressions - "A Little Sparkle" (M)(glitter everywhere! even under the sentiment)
  10. Totally Gorjuss Challenges - #189 (Happy Birthday!) sentiment is birthday wish


Always loving hugs,



Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lovely Dahlias

June's blog candy is here.
For complete directions to recreate this card, please click here.



Good Morning, blogging friends - and to all my sweet new followers, and Janie, Tammy and Tracy.

I am so excited to share a beautiful new Dahlia stamp set
because 
it was a special request from Yours Truly 

to the fabulous Sparkle N Sprinkle Staff

and  AND and  and -- the set is  GORGEOUS!


I just had to create a dimensional card - even each flower has layers on top. Can you see them?


Are you a flower lover? I am especially fond of Dahlias. Their amazing, large blooms are mesmerizing with fabulously intense color hues, and beautifully heady blooms. Unfortunately, they will not grow here in central Florida. That is why I asked the Staff at Sparkle N Sprinkle if they would please create a life-like Dahlia set. This gorgeous set is the result.



Isn't it a beautiful set?



And talk about EASY and FUN to use! Coloring dahlias is fun because you can't go wrong in choosing a color - they are available in just about every color of the rainbow!

Surprise! No chalks, watercolors or copics! My shaped easel card is in "bumble bee" colors. The flowers are colored with regular old Prisma Color Pencils - no gamsol. To provide shading for the flowers, leaves and butterflies total of 10 colors were used, including the aqua "halo".

NOTE: I put together a mini tutorial of how to shade with Prismacolor pencils. Just click here.

Of course, I could not let resist adding some glitzy-glittery embossing powders -

and yes--

Even the leaves are shaded by applying the EPs with the darker colors in the shadows!

Have you tried that yet? It is an enjoyable technique because there is no worrying about staying in any lines.

I hope you can see the difference in each of the die cut leaves - there are 3 colors of EP coating them. Just click on the photo for a larger picture if that will help.

How is EP coloring, or EP shading accomplished?

There are a couple ways of achieving shading with EPs.

(For all the products used on this card, please see the grocery list at the bottom of this post.)

  1. Smoosh VersaMark on piece, dredge with a single color of EP, heat set, and then use a Pen Boss or VersaMarker and "color" certain places on the leaf, applying a different color EP, and heat set again, and so forth.
  2. Smoosh Versamark on piece, and with a tiny spoon or other applicator, carefully apply EP to part of the leaf. Tap off excess. Then dredge the remaining exposed VersaMark with your other color(s) of EP and heat set all at once (this is my favorite method).
  3. Finally, follow the directions in #2 and then use the VersaMarker or Pen Boss to apply your third color of EP, and heat set.
Note: If you don't have a VersaMarker or Penboss, apply tiny, thin amounts of generic white glue (must be thinly applied), and then apply your EP.

Card closed:


Opened Card laying flat before placing in easel card "stance":





It was my first attempt at using the "out of the bounds nesties" technique. Honestly, I recommend using fewer images with this technique if you are a first time tryer-outer.   (all the flowers and cleaves shown on the white top panel were "cut out" using the technique. The flowers on the bottom white panel were fussy cut and added.



Another technique utilized was masking - lots and lots of masking!


A close up of the sentiment in its pretty font, fitting in the smallest of punches or die cuts:


Thanks for sharing my enjoyment of this new stamp set!
And thanks to Miss Stampin' Maggie and the Staff at SNS for creating it!

This card is submitted to the following fabulous challenges:

  1. ABC All Beautiful Cards - #33 "Summer"
  2. Bunny Zoe's Crafts - June Challenge Wings (M) - (5 stamped and colored butterflies)
  3. Created With Love - #46 "Favorite Things" (flowers and butterflies - love 'em!)
  4. Lady Annes Challenges - #3 The Great Outdoors (M) - (a fantasy garden)
  5. Tammy's Scraping' Corner - #67 Anything with Wings - (5 stamped and colored butterflies)
  6. Nana Vic's Challenge - "Anything Goes" (M) - (fond farewell wahhhhhhh!)
  7. Pin-Spirational Challenges - #62 (pinspiring picture) - yellow, floral
  8. Animal Friends Challenge - #3 - Butterflies or Beetles (P1/15) (5 stamped and colored butterflies)
  9. Heck of a Challenge - June Bingo (P1) center row - yellow, die cuts, green


Sparkle N Sprinkle Products:
"Dahlia" Rubber Stamp Set #500
Nature's Butterfly Stamp #3661-467A
    or set 467 "Nature"
Tuxedo Black Memento Ink (#712353259003)
VersaMark Ink (#712353310018)
Embossing Powders:

Other Products:

  • Prismacolor Pencils (not watercolor)
  • Cardstock: White, Black, Daffodil Delight, Green
  • Spellbinders: Labels One Grands, Grand Decorative Labels One, Foliage S4-328, Labels Nineteen
  • Adhesives: Aileen's Quick Dry, Dimensionals
  • Ink: Aqua Dye Base
Always Warm Flowery Hugs,

Tiny Prismacolor Tutorial

I'm not professional at all, but Prismacolor Pencils are a wonderful, inexpensive, forgiving tool to color images with. Their main drawback is that the wax in the pencil "lead" slightly decreases the color value of the inked image. They are easy to travel with, and great for shading.

This tutorial is to show how the Dahlia flowers were shaded on this card.

Select an image which has been inked with a dye base ink, so the ink will not smear (I don't care for pigment inks, hybrid inks or embossing powders (unless a very, very sharp pencil will be used to color near the raised areas of the EP).

Choose your colors by scribbling on a piece of the same color paper as your image. There should to be a significant difference in the colors so that the shading is effective.

For the dahlias below, three colors were used:

  • lightest shade - Lemon Yellow (Jaune Citron) PC915
  • medium shade - Sand (Sable) PC940
  • darkest shade - Sunburst Yellow (Orange Solell) PC917

NOTE: I begin at the "6 o'clock position"for each layer when coloring detailed images, so I won't forget where I started. This is helpful if coloring in a room which is not well lit.


Color with the medium shade in all the areas where a shadow might be cast. Exaggerate the shadow so that it is bigger than desired.


Using the lightest shade, begin covering the image at the "6 o'clock position" of the flower, including the area previously colored with the medium shade. Color lightly and with compete coverage.



Next, beginning at the "6 o'clock position", apply the color of the darkest color in the shaded areas and even some of the tips of the flower petals. You may press harder to achieve stronger color if desired.



Finally, beginning at the "6 o'clock position", apply the color of the lightest color on top of the previous layers. Burnish with this layer, covering with a thick coat of color on each of the flower petals. At this point it is important to press the pencil going in the direction of the petal (the length of the petal). This last application is just as if you were using the "blender pencil". It blends the bottom layers with the top coat, giving a nice waxy finish, and wonderful shading.




Try using assorted colors, like blues, reds and purples in the veins of green leaves.

One more TIP:
Colored pencils are a unique medium. They should not be confused with markers. Therefore, your final result will not appears as if water colors, solvent inks, or other mediums were used. Expect colored pencil results - not results from other types of mediums. They really are a gorgeous coloring medium, and I enjoy them very much. I also enjoy applying chalk over them on occasion for even more intense shading.

Hope you enjoyed this tiny tutorial - I am no expert, that is for sure!

(please click on any of the photos to enlarge, and see more detail)

stamping hugs,


Sunday, June 16, 2013

June Blog Candy and Six Weeks Later

Welcome to my newest followers, Tammy and Jennifer, and a hearty hello to all my favorite blogland friends.

On May 1, I shared some photos of blooming plants. It has been 6 weeks, and maybe you will enjoy seeing what Mother Nature does in such a short period of time here in central Florida. We have gone from "mild and enjoyable" to "hot and humid" in a short period of time.


No new card share because still not sitting up for long periods, but I do have June's Blog Candy and a few before-and-after photos to share!

(below is the "before" photo, taken May 1)

The caladiums were just beginning to pop up. We do not dig our caladiums up during the winter. It's so fun watching the ground come to life with these colorfully leafy plants. It's the closest thing Florida can offer to crocuses and tulips.


Notice (above) the Chinese Fringe Flower bush to the far left is no longer blooming, but the leaves are turning a bright burgundy. They will stay that way all summer, and bloom periodically, too.

Here is the before photo just 6 weeks ago:


The geraniums are already in disstress from the heat and sun. The large caladium leaves provide a little shade during the summer. When Autumn comes, the geraniums will be happy again, and the caladiums will be gone.

Here's my WHINE (do you have any cheese to go with my whine?) Still not able to sit up much, and definitely finding it difficult to make cards, but that won't stop me from June's Blog Candy share. Thank you for sharing the lanai portion of my back yard.



These "after photos" were taken at noon - the sun was brilliant in a clear blue sky.


Awwww, you have been so patient. My June blog candy is intended for friends and visitors who truly share themselves on my blog. I cannot thank you enough for your dear friendship. Welcome to any new visitors if this is your first visit. You don't have to be a follower to qualify for my blog candy, and as long as I can find your e-mail address in blogger, or if you e-mail it to me, I can notify you if my husband pulls your name out of the basket. The blog candy is just for fun to share with others. If you are reading this from an e-mail, just click on the title at the top of your e-mail and it will bring you to my blog post.

The Candy this month is a brand new - never used - watercolor floral Stampin' Up! hostess set of 7 stamps called "Two Step Stampin' Botanical Blooms", with the sentiment:

"to thine own self be kind"

To qualify for the set, please leave a comment about the sentiment. It is all about inner strength. Has there been a time in your life when you were not particularly kind to yourself? Or have you always done what is in your best interests, regardless of the cost. Share anything that comes to mind regarding the quote. It will be so inspiring reading your comments. Thank you in advance for caring enough to share that part of your heart with me, and all my other blog visitors. The drawing will be on July 1.

My self-unkindness is that I often strive to do too much, or I might allow others to take advantage of me or inflict guilt upon me when I should not allow it. So the word "no" is coming into play more often. Also I am being as honest as possible with people in the most gracious manner possible, by choosing my words carefully and not taking things personally, remembering that if my actions displease others, it may not have anything to do with me, but it simply is not what others want from me for whatever reason. Carefully, I try not to assume that I understand what others are going through, or what they are thinking. That is liberating. And finally, I do my best, and my best may vary from hour to hour. These are the kindnesses to myself (and others) that I am working on daily and makes for a strong soul.

Submitted to the following inspiring challenge blog:
Path of Positivity - #3 Strength (last paragraph of my post)

Grateful hugs for you,

Friday, June 07, 2013

Tilda is at Fashionista this month! (blog candy awarded)

Hi! Welcome to my newest followers (Dorothy, Elena, Charlotte, Barbara, Cindy, Betty, Divinity) - and I have so much to share with you all, dear blog friends.



First, thank you for your prayers and good wishes. I can sit up for brief periods of time now, and hope to craft a little and to resume visiting more blogs each day.

Fashionista DTSecond, before this "icky stuff" attacked my body, I had the good fortune of joining the incredible artists on the Fashionista Design Team! 

This is my first card for Fashionista, and also my first card ever using a Magnolia stamp! (hanging head in shame as everyone clicks their tongues in disbelief) smile...

The Challenge at Fashionista this month is titled "Terrific Tilda - Anything Goes!"

Because Florida rains have arrived early, this little Drip Drop Tilda image seemed perfect - and who wants to use an umbrella when the weather is as Gorgeous as Florida's?

 Besides, I LOVE running through the rain! (though these days it may not be called "running" haha)

Besides, it is perfect for this month's Path of Positivity Challenge which is about Strength and Courage.

The motivational quote is, "You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have." by Cayla Mills

Shown in my card - After the Storm come Sunshine, Flowers and Butterflies. Those three hopeful things represent a number of Wonders which contribute to our lives each day. To me, Strength and Courage include:
  • Having the courage and strength to forge and enjoy life under any circumstances
  • Finding the Beauty in Life during those "difficult times"
  • Possessing a Loving Heart despite what appears to be happening around us
  • Doing what is right because we know it to be right
It is these things which perhaps prove our strength of character, and we need prove that only to ourselves, right?

That Special Inner Courage and Strength also guides us to constantly strive to higher "planes" than we otherwise would have explored.

Little "Drip Drop Tilda" is enjoying the rain, and egging Mr. Sun to appear so that her friends in the garden of life can enjoy themselves more fully. She is colored with Copic Markers (via very shaky hands), and mostly adorned with die cuts and layers.


The tulle was dyed with Memento Summer Sky and Danube Blue inks and woven through the Martha Stewart punch around the page.

The glitter is applied around the rhinestones where otherwise that clear adhesive would show. Instead of using clear, Electric Blue Glitter was used for a wee bit of drama.

May Blog Candy Winner

Finally, I want to award the May Blog Candy. Thank you for being so patient. Jack has pulled the winner's name out of the basket, and it is.... KAREN LADD - Congratulations, Karen! (As promised, Karen has been notified via e-mail). Karen has her choice of three Sparkle N Sprinkle Flocking Colors.


Submitted to these wonderful challenges:


  1. Path of Positivity Challenge - #3 - Strength and Courage (featured above in 4 paragraphs)
  2. You Me and Magnolia - #14 Anything Goes (unable to upload)
  3. Created With Love - #44 Anything Goes
  4. Tammy's Scrapin Corner - #65 Add Extra Texture (woven tulle, embellishments, fabric rick rack, folded sun)
  5. Inky Chicks - #5 - Use a Magnolia stamp (Drip Drop Tilda)


Products used:
  • Magnolia's "Drip Drop Tilda" (darling little rainy-day image) [if interested in this special edition image, please click here, and then enter "drip drop" in the search engine. It is currently only available for export from Europe]
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle Blue Lightning Glitter G1008
  • Spellbinders S4-117 Petite Scallop Circles
  • Spellbinders A2 Curved Borders One
  • Spellbinders Butterflies and Dragonflies shapeabilities - retired
  • Spellbinders Carnation Creations
  • Cottage Cutz Button Flower
  • Memory Box Elegant Scrollwork
  • Martha Stewart Scalloped Teardrop PAP
  • Cheery Lynn Tropical Flourish
  • Cheery Lynn Fanciful Flourish
  • Recollections flowers and rhinestone flourish
  • Tulle (white dyed with blue Memento), yellow rick rack
  • Papers: SU blues and yellows, DCWV old old pad blues and yellows,
  • Copics, Memento Summer Sky and Danube Blue
  • Adhesives: Aileen's Quick Dry Tacky Glue, Dimensionals

As always, the warmest of hugs to you,