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

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

No-Color House Mouse Challenge! {Scrapy Land}

Greetings, blogging friends! SO HAPPY you are here!


I have some fun news to share!

Ta-Daaaaa! Today is my first card share using dies from Scrapyland where I have joined several talented artists in the all new DESIGN TEAM!


We will be featuring a "new and improved" Challenge Blog on the first and third Wednesdays with prizes and awards! Challenge Rules are here. It all begins on September 3! Hope to see you there!



More sharing...

Do you ever make promises to yourself, and then put everyone else (and every "thing" else) in front of the promises? It's a bad habit of mine.

Every month, I promise myself to participate in certain challenges, and the time always gets away from me.

This month I decided NO MATTER WHAT, I would play in the HM challenge. 
And then the photography would not cooperate! BAH! 
Four days and nearly 100 photos, later, I am still dissatisfied. 

This card glistens and sparkles beautifully, but the camera refused to capture it. I'm so sorry for the shoddy photography, because the card is really pretty. I promise it does not look slightly "icky" wherever the distressed glitter appears. (giggle)

The first challenge: House Mouse and Friends Challenge (absolutely NO COLOR on the HM image!)


The card uses this week's MOJO Monday sketch:

Do you like the machine stitching for A Gem of a Challenge and ALBC Challenge?
My shoulders spasmed and made the left side go crazy LOL 
(that is why my card designs are results of covering up mistakes and blunders)

One of my favorite dies is the Spellbinders Blossoms (the roses shown in my card), available at a discount at Scrapyland. 


This is the only photo which even remotely captures the amazing glitteriness. The Chunky Diamond Dust and Luau Green Microfine glitters are both from Sparkle N Sprinkle. See the Diamond Dust in the tear drops of the circle, too? As well as the holes in the MS border punch?


Thanks for sharing my happy news today!

Products:
Scrapyland Spellbinders Blossoms (the roses shown in my card)
Scrapyland Spellbinders Circles and Teardrop Circles
House Mouse Daisy Throwing stamp
House Mouse You Make Me Smile stamp
Sparkle N Sprinkle  Chunky Diamond Dust and Luau Green Microfine glitter
The rest is old stuff from my stash

Fun Challenges I'm playing in:

  1. House Mouse and Friends Challenge - #176 Leave the image uncolored - with thinking of you 8/25
  2. MOJO MONDAY Challenges - #359 Sketch - 8/25
  3. A Gem of a Challenge - #126 Stitching - 8/28
  4. STAMPlorations Challenges - August - Use Stamp(s) and Die Cut(s) 8/31
  5. ALBC - August - "Sew What?" Stitching from Sewing Machine 8/31
  6. Crafts Galore - August - Anything Goes 8/31
  7. Sparkle N Sprinkle - August - Anything Goes (2 colors of glitter shown) 8/25
  8. Natalie and Amy challenges - #23 Die cuts and Flowers 8/30
  9. Mema's Challenges - August - Anything Goes 8/30
  10. Crafty Girl Challenges - #25 Anything Goes 9/4
  11. We Do Doobadoo Challenges - #13 Add Textures (layers, glitters of different sizes, ribbons, stitching) 9/13
  12. Suzy Bee's Bloomin' Challenge  - #43 Anything Goes 8/29
hugs,

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mid Month Reminder - "Possibilities" {Path of Positivity Challenge #17}


Note: for Edith updates, please click here.

Greetings to everyone, and to new followers Lisa, Hippieaud, Lady E and America. Thank you for dropping by. 


This month I am "guest designing" for the Path of Positivity Challenge which lasts from August 4 until August 31, when voting takes place. 

The sponsors and prizes for this challenge are:
  • Two images (or three if you use a TSB image on your creation) from The Stamping Boutique, our guest sponsors this month, for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
  • Three digital images from Ike's Art for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
  • One digital image from Creative Bug Digital Stamps for each person chosen as a DT Delight.
There will also  be:
  • One digital designer paper (made to order in a few different ways) from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
  • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge.

Today's card share uses the darling TWIGS THE SNOWMAN digital image from Creative Bug Designs:

Possibilities

"Twigs" reminds me that there are seasons in our lives -- each one bringing precious possibilities.


There are seasons of Joy, Family Gatherings, Friendly Get Togethers, Good Times...

But there are also seasons of hard work, self-discipline, poor health, sadness, and even tragedy.

I've learned that the Best of Times and the Worst of Times are equally ripe with Possibilities, depending how we look at the circumstances. I'm going to share one of my Worst of Times with you. This actually happened 20 years ago, and sharing it will be embarrassing, because I don't want anyone to think badly of me. (Do you ever fear that, too?)

My friends had always told me that I'm a very sweet, tenderly kind-hearted person. Probably I was, but the events that led to the New Possibilities, made me realize that something was amiss.

Through a series of "unrelated and unpleasant circumstances", I found myself open to becoming more  aware of the "hidden" blessings we all take for granted. As I reevaluated "myself" and the values of every relationship and situation, what I might or might not do to improve upon them, and so forth, I realized that I could no longer try to be available for everyone all the time. I recognized that I was no longer strong enough (emotionally or physically) to "be there" for everyone else in the way they seemed to want.

The possibility occurred to me that perhaps I was never intended to "be there" for everyone else. We all must travel our own journey, and learn what we can in this dear life. Finding true Happiness and learning to discover Peace is something we must do for ourselves - we simply cannot "give it" to others.

In the journey, I embraced Possibilities that previously I had not considered. My mother died. My health failed. My job became more demanding. Family members and friends did not like the emerging "new me" because I was no longer being the person they thought I should be. 

But my husband responded during the ensuing year of grappling with Possibilities, and our love and respect for one another deepened. Eventually we both changed in good ways, as a result of my embracing the Possibilities. The new Possibilities caused extended family members and friends to avoid me, because I would no longer give what they demanded. I had to quit my job due to failing health. But gradually, without even trying, new friends unexpectedly came into my life. These were friends who liked me for "me", and not for all the things I did for them.

Although I lost my job, my health, my friends, and my extended family, by embracing Gratitude for what remained, New Possibilities flooded my life with a richness beyond what I ever could have hoped for. I am different. I found myself in the process. I learned that sometimes, when certain situations need to change, that it requires we change, too.

It involved a lot of risk-taking, prayer, sacrifice, and over-coming many fears. But now I am true -- all because I was willing to see what the Possibilities were during a catastrophic season.


My card "TWIGS THE SNOWMAN" reminds me of this period in my life. He was built by other hands, and fashioned into an appearance of what others wanted him to be. He found a way to be content in his surroundings, even when he was all alone. He found himself. Like Frosty The Snowman, a song grew in Twig's heart, and even when his snowy self melted away, he found a way to prove that he would rise again, as a new snowman, on another day.


I hope it was ok to share this shrink-wrapped version of my Journey for Possibilities without going into the specifics, and that it will encourage someone else who might be facing problems in some areas of their life.

My wish for all of us:
  • To find gratitude for seemingly small things during our hardships.
  • To be grateful for being our true selves, despite how others might possibly perceive us, or make us feel.
  • To be humble, yet proud, for looking at previously unlooked-for possibilities during the unpleasant events in our lives (or even during Joyous events!).
  • To be patient as others journey similarly, knowing we cannot understand what people may be experiencing as they interact with us.


TWIGS THE SNOWMAN is colored with copic markers.
This is a 6.25" x 6.25" card (approx 16cm)

The largest scallop on top is coated with Sparkle N Sprinkle: Diamond Dust Glitter, Jasper Blue Microfine Glitter, By The Lake Embossing Powder, and some white mica flakes.

The large white circular matt is covered with Diamond Dust Glitter.



The sentiments are computer generated. I covered up a huge ink blob next to the word "of" with that white snowflake - not the best alternative, but that's what was on hand (smile).

The "song" and frame on the card base are coated first with Diamond Dust Glitter and then with Jasper Blue Microfine Glitter to fill in the spaces from the larger glitter. The snowflakes are covered with the same combination.


TWIGS THE SNOWMAN digital image was REALLY fun to use, especially putting the hat and twig arm into the sentiment.

Products Used:

Creative Bug Designs (scroll down to see "Twigs the Snowman"
Computer Generated Sentiment
Copic Markers, Pool Dye Base Ink, VersaMarker
Paper: Neenah Solar White, Stampin' Up! and Bazzill blues
Adhesives: SNS Brushable Glue, Aileen's Quick Dry Tacky, Dimensionals Spellbinders: Grand Stately Circles LF-019, Grand Scallop Circles LF-249
Punches: Martha Stewart Snowflake Trim, Himalayan Snowflake, SU Oval and Scallop Oval
MISC: Ribbon, cardinal button, white mica flakes
Sparkle N Sprinkle: Diamond Dust Glitter, Jasper Blue Microfine Glitter, By The Lake Embossing Powder

Fun Challenges I'm playing in:
  1. Craft-dee BowZ - August "Anything Goes" 8/30 (bow made with CDB tool)
  2. Christmas Cards All Year Long - August - "Sparkles" - (glitter, more glitter, and mica flakes) 8/30
  3. Sparkles Christmas Challenge - #43 "Snowflakes" - embellies are "doubled" snowflake punches and a brad. 8/30
  4. Winter Wonderland Challenge - August - "Anything Goes Christmas" 8/30
  5. Sweet Stampin' Challenge - August - ?Anything Christmas" 8/30
  6. A Gem of a Challenge - #126 Stitching (I used a sewing machine around the top image panel) 8/28
  7. 613 Avenue Creation Challenge - #85 Anything Goes - 8/25
  8. Christmas Card Challenges - #38 Embossing 8/25 (By The Lake Embossing Powder around the outside scallop edge of the top of my card. It is mixed with glitter and mica flakes as well. I hand blended these three items to adhere with the wet EP.
  9. Sentimental Sundays Challenge - #220 Monochromatic Theme - blue tones 8/25
  10. The Squirrel and the Fox Challenge - #75 Anything Goes 8/21
Thank you for dropping by!
always stamping hugs for you,

Monday, August 04, 2014

Possibilities {Path of Positivity Challenge #17}

Note: for Edith updates, please click here.

Greetings to my SWEET followers, and to Sue (Graceful Greyhounds) and Lynn (my newest google followers!) Thank you for dropping by. 
This month I am "guest designing" for the Path of Positivity Challenge which lasts from August 4 until August 31, when voting will take place. 

The POSSIBILITIES theme is Perfect Timing for me! These past 2 months I have made several lifestyle changes and some difficult decisions to allow new possibilities into my life.

The sponsors and prizes for this challenge are:
  • Two images (or three if you use a TSB image on your creation) from The Stamping Boutique, our guest sponsors this month, for the post or project that the DT deems most inspiring of the bunch.
  • Three digital images from Ike's Art for a person chosen in a random draw based on all entrants.
  • One digital image from Creative Bug Digital Stamps for each person chosen as a DT Delight.
There will also  be:
  • One digital designer paper (made to order in a few different ways) from Décosse's Dynamite Doodles for one lucky voter who leaves a comment.
  • One digital sentiment for every single person who enters the challenge.


Today I have two card shares using the same image:


This month's PoP sponsor is The Stamping Boutique. They designed this wonderful "Escape the Tower" image (from their Enchantment Line) to remind us that --
we all need to escape the towers of our existence from time to time
* and *
to renew our appreciation of what is right in our own backyards. 
The past two months I've been doing just that, 
and falling in love all over again with the beauty of my "little existence".


Possibilities

What are they? They all mean something different to each of us, and depending on our outlook, we might view them as cumbersome. I try to view Possibilities (and/or challenges) as something which might make me a better individual.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming - so many opportunities and possibilities - which one is the right one?

At the end of a recent Twilight Zone program a man responded to his accusing and angry son, "I don't have the words, but it doesn't mean I don't have the feelings".

Possibilities - when it comes to relationships, we sometimes take things too personally and become defensive or harbor unhealthy feelings. But the truth is - the Real Possibility is - that the person we are most concerned about is dealing with some harsh issues in their own way. Of course, the same is true for ourselves. We can only do our best, and not allow old and negative feelings, or reinforced past behavior patterns, to dictate what we should or should not do.

The "Possibility" exists that other people are having a bad day, or perhaps they don't know how to properly communicate, or maybe they only know how to lash out, rather than think before they speak. Perhaps my "hurt feelings" are nothing more than the result of another person's not being able to interact and behave in a healthy manner. THESE POSSIBILITIES open new doors, and allow us to make choices on how to go forward.

Like the man from the Twilight Zone quote above... the son felt that his father did not love him, did not approve of him, did not care about him, because the father never spoke his feelings aloud. However, the father was always there for his son, helping to pick up pieces, helping his son make good choices... but the son took the lack of verbally-skilled communications to mean that his father did not care, and did not love him. Hence the father's response:  "I don't have the words, but it doesn't mean I don't have the feelings".

So my wish for all of us is:
  • to embrace the Possibilities in our lives
  • try always to do our best in Recognizing the Possibilities
  • to realize that others may or may not encourage us in our adventure. 
  • to journey in Life, seeing all the Possibilities we can
  • to recognize that we are not "locked in a tower" (as my cards show). Those Towers are largely of our own making.
Do you have any Towers you can Escape in order to better see The Wondrous Possibilities in your Life?

Here my easel card is closed (The fairy loves the light coming from the window of the tower as well as the moon!)

Now the card is open, to view just the sentiment. 
To see my tutorial for how to use parts of an artist's image (digital masking) to create a cohesively themed card, please click here.


The dolphins are a retired Spellbinders die, (popped up) and covered with SNS embossing powder.
The clouds and moon were printed a second time, cut out, and popped up to create the "stop" for the easel. The frolicking dolphins are "flipped" in the bottom panel to create visual interest (notice the moon also faces a different direction). To see how to use the artist's images to create a theme, please visit my tutorial here.
(see? possibilities even reveal themselves in our card art) (giggle) 


A Close Up:


 Fully Opened:


Same image, but colored with more green tones in the ocean and layered on an apricot colored background:


The sand-textured tower is created with Mudd Puddles (it's the first time I used this product and it really is VERY user friendly). The "netting ribbon" was applied by hand stitching through the yellow layer. Shells are adhered with 3D Crystal Lacquer. (I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly this dried in our oh-so-humid environment!)

Size A8 card with identical sentiment:


Products:

  • The Stamping Boutique "Escape the Tower" image (from their Enchantment Line)
  • Computer-generated sentiment
  • Embossing Folder (Cuttlebug 5x7)
  • Spellbinders: Grand Decorative Labels One LF-018, Scalloped Labels One S4-375, Grand Labels One LF-161, Labels One S4-161, Labels Twenty-Five S5-077, Dolphin (retired)
  • Copic Markers
  • Brilliance Inks
  • Adirondack Inks
  • SNS Silver Lighting EP, SNS Mediterranean Star EP
  • Ribbon(fiber?), Shells,
  • Adhesives: Mudd Puddles, 3D Crystal Lacquer, Aileen's Quick Dry, Dimensionals, Stitching

Delightful Challenges I am playing in:

  1. Scribbles Designs Challenges - #19  Sea-Sand-Surf (both cards are sea related) 8/20
  2. Sister Act Card Challenges - #68 Anything Goes 8/6
  3. Fussy and Fancy Friday Challenge - #119   Words (use words as part of your card front) 8/7+
  4. Fairy Tale Challenges - #97 Summer-Beach-Sea 8/7? 14?
  5. Creative Corner - #Aug 1 - Something Summer (Beachy theme) 8/7
  6. Craft for the Craic - #7 A Craft Item I Have Never Used Before (Mudd Puddles, the fibrous ribbon which is stitched in place, and 3D Crystal Lacquer) 9/1
  7. A Gem Of A Challenge - #125 Embossing (Yellow card has Mediterranean Star EP, and has yellow dry embossing with two different folders - one on the large panel, and another on the smaller layer behind the image)(Easel card has wet embossed dolphins with Silver Lightning EP). 8/14
  8. Crafting at the Weekend - #4 Anything Goes 8/30
  9. Inkspirational Challenges - #62 Use Markers or Pencils (Copic Markers used in all images on  both cards, and around both sentiments) 8/14
  10. Artistic Inspirations Challenges - #103 Anything Goes 8/10

Thanks for stopping by today!
hugs,