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, May 18, 2014

Happiness Is A Full Mailbox {Sparkle N Sprinkle}

A special welcome to new followers Artesania and Gertrude.

Welcome to Sparkle N Sprinkle's May 1 Reveal.
The SNS website was not playing nicely, so we are a bit late showing off our May projects with the new images.

This month Sparkle N Sprinkle is introducing EIGHT new rubber stamp sets and 5 new digital sets. Through May 21, the rubber stamp sets are 20% off their regular price.

The beautiful Nesting Bird set is available:
 on Cling Mounted Rubber
as a digital image
and is also included in Jazzy Jill's Technique Video for the month.

FREE shipping any size order. When checking out in the on-line store, please use a credit card (not PayPal) and write VIDEO KIT CUSTOMER in the COMMENTS section. Your account will be manually adjusted.
Video Kit Customers using PayPal, please phone the office to receive free shipping.
Offer expires May 21, 2014.

On May 21 EIGHT winners will be selected from the comments left on the designers' blogs listed below. Each winner will receive a new stamp set, and the choice of one embossing powder and glitter to go with their new set.

The new stamp sets are:
Travel Mixed Media #607
Floral Flourish #634
Leafy Flourish #641
Nesting Bird #602   (digital available)
Church Sympathy #604   (digital available)
Across the Miles #603   (digital available)
Spunky with Flowers #605 (digital available)
Garden Silhouette #600 (digital available)

The blog hop winners will be announced on May 21 on Facebook, the SNS blog, and on our blogs:

Anita Scroggins
Steff Munnings
Donna Ellis

Today I am sharing Across the Miles Stamp and Travel Mixed Media Stamp Set.

Earth Tone Copic Markers worked really well with this sweet little 1950's image. 
The denim blue tones work well that rich NAVY Glitter.

The corner embellishments were created using Desire Fourie's flower tutorial. They add dimension and visual interest.

Old Paper Distress Ink helped define the edges of both the Across the Miles Stamp and the Travel Mixed Media Stamp. 

To make a card like this, please click here for full step-by-step directions.

If you are new to blending colors with Copic Markers, Sparkle N Sprinkle has some Basic Copic Marker tips on the Tips and Techniques Page. There are technique tutorials for all the fine SNS products.

The following flat card uses the Sparkle N Sprinkle Watercoloring on Velvet Glitter technique. I wish the sparkle on this card would show up on the photograph!

Again, the corners were created using Desire Fourie's flower tutorial. They have been painted with Brushable Glue and Cloud Nine Velvet (microfine) Glitter to provide dimension without increasing postage expenses.

The Spot Light technique was used on this card. Both the plain image, and the round panel contain the Cloud Nine Velvet (microfine) Glitter
I pulled the color off Lyra Watercolor Crayons with a Dove Blender Pen, and painted directly on the glitter.

To make a card like this, please click here for full step-by-step directions.
Thanks for stopping by today! I hope you win a prize! 

Products Used:

Sparkle N Sprinkle Across the Miles Stamp Set #603
Sparkle N Sprinkle Travel Mixed Media Stamp Set #607
Sparkle N Sprinkle Brushable Glue #540
Sparkle N Sprinkle NAVY Glitter G1079
Sparkle N Sprinkle Cloud Nine Velvet (microfine) Glitter GM2000 (card two)
Sparkle N Sprinkle Super Adhesive Sheets (card two)
Paris Dusk Memento Ink 712353256088 (stamp image and distressing) card one
Rhubarb Stalk Memento Ink 712353253018 (stamp sentiments and distressing)
UltraMarine Staz-On (card two)
Old Paper Distress Ink
Copic Markers (card one)
Lyra Watercolor Crayons and Dove Blender (card two)
Spellbinders Shapes - Abstract S4-001 (card one)
Spellbinders Wonky Rectangles S4-306 (card one and two)
Spellbinders Large Deckled Rectangles S4-202 (card two)
Spellbinders Standard Circle Small S4-116 (card two)
Martha Stewart Lace Heart Edger (for tiny hearts)
EKS Whale Punch 1.5" Circle (for medallions)
Cheery Lynn Fanciful Flourish Die Cut (card one)
Cardstock: Neenah Solar White, Authentique DPs, Concord Crush, Cajun Craze, Lavender
   for corner folds: Desire Fourie
   Sparkle N Sprinkle Basic Copic Marker tips  (card one)
   Sparkle N Sprinkle Watercoloring on Velvet Glitter.  (card two)
   Sparkle N Sprinkle Spot Light technique

Challenges these cards are entered in:

  1. Glitter n Sparkle Challenge #85 "Cards for Men or Male Colors" (boy in denim blue)  5/23
  2. A Creative Romance - #24 May 9 "One for the Boys" - 5/22

Sweet Hugs to You,

Saturday, May 17, 2014

How To manage the blogs you are following through Blogger’s Friend Connect when the specific blog no longer shows the FRIEND CONNECT gadget.

Kitty asked:
Hi, Donna! Thank you! Hope you are having a good day, my friend! It's always a good day for me when you are blogging and posting these handy blogging tips! Since you are my blogging expert, here's one for you... how do you unfollow a blog when the blog no longer displays the GFC followers button? Before I got into blogging, I followed some blogs that I'm no longer interested in (since they have nothing to do with crafts). There are at least 2 that have no GFC button. Am I stuck following them forever? It's not a big deal but just a curiosity! I've Googled it but came up empty.

To manage the blogs you are following through Blogger’s Friend Connect:

Beneath all the blogs you contribute to, on the left side, is an orange square with a white rectangle “arrow” in it. It says “READING LIST” and then ALL BLOGS.

Beneath that is an ADD button, and all the blogs you follow. If the Reading List of blogs does not show up immediately, it may be because you are following several, and it is taking a few minutes for the list to load. But if it still does not show the list, click on the words READING LIST.  If that does not open your list, click on the square button next to the words READING LIST and that should trigger the listing to appear.

To the far right is a “gear” button. (not the top gear button, but the gear button directly opposite the words READING LIST/ALL BLOGS).

This gear’s function is to MANAGE YOUR READING LIST. Click on it. Again, it may take a few minutes for the next window to pop up with all the blogs listed, depending how many blogs you are following. 

From that page you may discontinue "following" with these steps:

Scroll to the blog (or use COMMAND F for Apple products or CONTROL F for Windows, and type in the name you are looking for).

To the right of the blog is a “learn more” column with the word SETTINGS. Click on SETTINGS. That creates a pop up window for managing how that particular blog is followed. 

Click on STOP FOLLOWING THIS SITE (to the right side) if that is the desired option. 

In the little dialog box, click on the STOP FOLLOWING button.

It will take a few moments for the READING LIST to be adjusted, so be patient. 

Hope this helps!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Swingin' Besties

Clear It Out Challenge - 12-2014

And a special hello to you, my blogging friends and to new followers DarcyOlga and KristyLee

I fall in love all over again -- so glad to "be a girl" - every time I play with
My Besties designs.
This particular Sweetie depicts
me thinking of you.

Isn't she so sweet? Love the little swing with flowers growing on the rope handle.
Did you know hundreds of My Besties images are now available as stamps?

Sherri Baldy's Swingin' Besties IMG103 (digital image)
Her little swing needed something to hang from... so...

I visited Beccy Muir's FREEBIES at Beccy's Place and chose this pretty Blossom Branch.
After placing the two branches with Sherri Baldy's Swingin' Bestie, I cropped some of the blossoms and copy-and-pasted them so that they were falling around the image, and along the grass.

used with Beccy Muir's free Blossom Branch (digital image)
To see my tutorial for step-by-step directions in how to "digitally mask" and "cut-and-paste" images, please click here.

Aren't those delicate little flowers just perfect for this Swingin' Besties image?

Here is a close-up of Beccy's beautiful Blossom Branch

The SNS Green Iris Ultrafine Glitter is actually clear (colorless) with a tiny amount of green blended in, but for some reason, the digital camera picked up all the green which apparently reflected off the colorless. In real life, it looks much less "blue" so that the olive cardstock beneath shows through. The leaves are also coated with the same color glitter, but with a lighter color green cardstock beneath it.

Thanks for stopping by! It is such a pleasure crafting and being back at my computer again!

Products Used:

  • Sherri Baldy's Swingin' Besties IMG103 (digital image)
  • Beccy Muir's free Blossom Branch (digital image)
  • Copics: R00, R20, RV21, G43, G20, YG93, YG11, YG0000, E50, E43, E04, YG06, B24, YG03, YG91, YG63, G21
  • Ink: Peeled Paint Distress Dye, Pearlescent Orchid Brilliance pigment.
  • Embossing Folder: Couture Creations "Walrus and Carpenter"
  • CardStock: Neenah Solar White, Pink, Celery, Olive
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle Green Iris Ultrafine Glitter
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle Brushable Glue
  • Spellbinders: Labels 25 (S5-077), Grand Labels 23 (LF-347), Grand Scallop Ovals (LF251)

Submitted to the following fun challenges!

  1. My Besties Challenges - #May 12 "Something Old, Something New" (New Besties IMG103, old Beccy Muir image and old ribbons and glitter color from my stash) 5/24
  2. Beccy Muir Challenges - #May "Use a Beccy Muir Image" (Blossom Branch duplicated, and flowers from the branch fallling) 5/31
  3. Scrapbook Stamp Society Challenges - #41 Anything Goes with Spring Theme - 5/25
  4. Glitter n' Sparkle Challenge - #84 "Female" 5/17
  5. Besties Germany Challenge - #3 Spring 6/15
  6. A little bit crafty ALBC Challenge - #May "Flower Power" - 6/1

Stamping (and swinging) hugs,

Digital Masking Tutorial including Apple Users

Hi! A friend recently asked how I accomplish the digitally masking seen below and on several of the My Besties creations.

There are many digital tutorials out there, but not many for digital MASKING.

The ICONS and MENU ITEMS should be similar whether they are in WINDOWS, MAC or LINUX. Few tutorials are specifically for Apple Products.

However, even if you do not have an Apple product, I hope this MASKING TUTORIAL will be of benefit to you.

Digital Masking with Apple’s iMac
(using free apps from Apple)

1. Create a folder for your digital image and file it where you would file the digital image on your hard drive. 

2. Place the original image and the watermark image in your folder.

3. Duplicate your original image and save in your folder. If you will use more than one part of the digital image, create several duplicates of the original.
4. Create a word processing document that contains information about your digital image, like the URL for where it can be purchased, the full name of the digital image, and any other information you might need about it in the future and in writing your blog post. File it in your folder.

5. Open one of the duplicate images. Click on the EDIT option.  See steps 5a-5g. (Saving as .PNG allows for a transparent background).

5a: Click to open the image, then click on the little "edit" icon (here it shows a crayon on a pad of paper)


5d: Use your mouse.

5f: Save and Change the name of your newly cropped image.

6. Open Word Processor. In WINDOWS use any program. In Mac, use Word, OpenOffice, Pages, etc. Here I’ve used the Apple app "Pages" from iWork. Drag your digital image into the document and size as you normally would. 

6b: Then drag your .PNG creation and drop it on top of the image. Let go of it.


6d: Resize and Relocate.

6e: Copy and Paste.

6f: Drag, copy and paste for sentiment or other accessory pieces.

More samples of digital masking to enhance the image and coordinate the sentiment:

  1. Streamers on My Besties Swinging St. Patrick's Day Party
  2. Hearts on My Besties (ground and sentiment)
  3. Additional Flora and Fauna on Aquamarine Tides image.
  4. Final appearance of SNS Nesting Bird card.
  5. My Besties Swinging on Beccy Muir's Pretty Blossom Branch. (branch repositioned and flowers cropped out and pasted all over image)

Note1: Creating .PNG files with OSX: Apple uses PREVIEW to open items in jpg. Open your jpg using PREVIEW then click on FILE. It has a SAVE option. Click on OPTION (next to the COMMAND KEY) and FILE at the same time and a different pull down menu appears with a SAVE AS option showing up. click on the pull down menu and choose PNG.

Note2: Creating transparent PNG files with OSX: (basically shown in the steps above) Another way is to duplicate your jpg. Then open the DUPLICATED FILE. PREVIEW opens it. across the top of the document are icons. Go all the way to the right (next to the search field). There is a crayon. Click on it and a menu appears in a new gray bar under it. All the way to the left is a square with dots around it. click there and choose the lasso. Carefully crop the section you want. When it is done, it will actually suggest saving it as a PNG and you will type OK.

Sparkle N Sprinkle Nesting Bird Image is available:

in rubber here.
digitally here.

Digital Stamping Hugs,