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, 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:


"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,


Desire Fourie said...

Donna this is such an endearing post and thank you for sharing your amazing story on the turn around in your life. I am totally with you, some times we got to take care of ourselves before we can be there for others. Like they say, charity starts at home. Your card is stunning and I love it that our little snowman will be back one day being what he wants be and not how others perceive him.
Hugs Desíre {Doing Life}

Dr Sonia S V said...

Donna loved reading your post-- so inspiring and I loved your card Especially the sparkle and the glitter
Dr Sonia
Cards Crafts Kids Projects

brenda said...

Hi Donna,

Literally just back from hols with blogland withdrawal symptoms so quickly popping round my fav blogs to say hello.

Love circle cards and all the sparkle makes this one really special.

B x

Benzi said...

Your post is beautiful, Donna. You have the best attitude in the world. It is so uplifting. And, your snowman card is just a beauty. I LOVE snowmen and I love all your sparkle. Blob??? When I saw where your snowflake was, I thought it was the cutest place...that's before I found out you were hiding something. :-)

Have a beautiful day and week ahead.

Sue said...

Lovely card.

True friends would definitely want happiness for you. Those that only want you for them, aren't true friends.

KarinsArtScrap said...

what a sweet and gorgeous christmas card Donna, love the bling and the design.
Gr Karin

Sarah said...

Love your twinkly circle easel card Donna. What a lovely snowman!! xx

Donna Maligno said...

OMG, my sweet friend! This little guy is totally adorable and so glittery! Your bow is adorable and I'm sure the CrFt-Dee BowZ tool helped tremendously with your self-proclaimed "fumble fingers". I have soooo many women drop by my booth ay shows to tell me they LOVE their Craft-Dee BowZ tool because of their arthritis. And you did puck what I call "unfriendly ribbon - grosgrain". But you did an excellent job. Love it! Hugs, OO

cotnob said...

Such a wonderful post Donna, thank you for sharing your story with us.
Such a gorgeous card, I love your adorable snowman and beautiful card shape and colours - fabulous details as always.

Verna Angerhofer said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story. And, it just goes to show that the little glitches in life sort of shape us in different ways at different stages of life. I feel your story will be an uplifting one for many to employ. You still are a giver but sometimes in life we have to learn to say that "No" word when we feel we have to slow down a tad. I think I have had to learn that as well.

And, my dear, that cute snowman card is awesome and so adorable. I love it as an easel card.

pam said...

Hi Donna, thank you for sharing this wonderful story, makes us all think we should do want we want, not what others expect of us..
love your beautiful snowman card, lovely image, glitters and design.
pam x

Anonymous said...

I just had to respond to your story and your card. I loved the snowman; he is so cute. Your workmanship is so detailed and gorgeous. I have always liked your cards. Also, I have a new computer, and this one isn't shutting down my computer after trying to send you a comment. At some time in our lives, we all have difficult changes, and we must make a choice to save our own sanity. Change is so difficult, and we do need others to support us through those changes. Your struggle should not embarrass you. Shame on those who left you because you could not provide for all of their wants. Kudos to you for accepting and embracing the changes that you needed to make. It is so sad that some people will not accept those changes in you and not love you enough to walk with during the hard times. I had to embrace a new family also because my family couldn't understand the way I had to live to recover. I am thrilled that you used this time to grow closer to your husband, That is a tremendous reward all by itself. I will pray for you, and I hope you find the peace and joy you deserve. Let the extended family go; there are lots of people out there who will love and respect you for who you are and not for what you provide.

Sue said...

Thank you for sharing your story with us Donna. I can really relate to what you have to say.
Your card is stunning. I love the cute snowman, gorgeous shades of blue, beautiful detailing and wonderful sparkle too.
Thank you, also for taking part in A Gem of a Challenge.
Take care, sending hugs
Sue xx

Sharon said...

Thank you for the beautiful words Donna. We realise along the way who our true friends are. I had a friend whom I was always there for. I would phone and visit regularly and enjoyed our get togethers - I even put her up in our home for a while when one of her relationships broke down. The last time I saw her I told my dad was extremely poorly and not once did I get a call from her asking how things were. I decided to wait and see how long it would take her to get in contact with me and guess what, two years have passed now. I figured that I wasn't important to her and I now live my life spending time with friends who value our friendship. I agree with you Donna, sometimes there are things you have to let go of and treasure what or whom are worth fighting for.

Your card is gorgeous. I love the snowman and such a fabulous design.
Have a lovely week.
Hugs Sharon. x

Stampsnob. said...

As much as I don't want to think winter I have to say I found myself deep in your post . You know I understand and have been there myself.Salvation card and paper making I love your snowman card and all it dancing glitter even if it does represent frost.............Lis

McCrafty's Cards said...

Hi Donna, thank you for sharing your life story with us, its not an easy thing to do,You are a tender kind heart person and you have very many friends that love you even if they have never meet you. Your card is stunning lovely and frosty looking the snowman is gorgeous I like the shape and all the sparkle
Kevin xx

creativearts said...

Love your snowman! It is a good time to start making winter cards and get them out of the way because I don't like winter and you are stuck In the house too much. I'm starting fall cards now to be followed by winter. I hope you are feeling better and I love the cards your hands and fingers are producing! Take care.

Charlene Mitchell said...

What a beautiful share Donna! And Kudos to you for the strength you found within yourself. Friends and people who can't accept us for the beautiful beings that we are are meant to move on in their own way. Thanks for sharing.

Your card is gorgeous! I love the shades of blue and your circle-shaped card is fabulous!

Marsha Reed said...

I totally love your snowman, Donna, and I love the blues you used on your card. Thanks for joining us at Sunday Christmas Card Challenges.

Jean Bullock said...

Card gorgeous AS USUAL! The story is moving AS USUAL. It seems to me that you did exactly what should have been done. You weeded your garden. Better for the gardner and better for the "flowers" that deserved to be in your garden. I love your uplifting stories and comments. They are so inspiring.

Abfabdesigns said...

OMG this card is amazing and don't you just live the Snownam .
Keep well my friend
Live always xxxx

crafty-stamper said...

Thank you for sharing your inspiring story-and your beautiful easel card love the sentiment and fabulous image
Carol x

Silvis Kreativstube said...

Hallo liebe Donna,

ich bin sehr berührt von deiner Geschichte und ich erkenne vieles, was auch in meinem Leben passiert ist. Ich habe mich viele, viele Jahre selbst vergessen. Ich war für jeden der Sorgen und Nöte hat da und habe zugehört. Bis ich selbst krank geworden bin. Erst da erkannte ich was ich mit mir selbst getan habe. Sich selbst keine Beachtung schenken schadet der Gesundheit. Was aber hilft, sind die vielen positiven Dinge die passiert sind, seit ich erkannt habe auf mich zu achten. Das auszusprechen, ist der schwerste Schritt, aber man gewinnt neue Freunde und hat wieder Spaß am Leben. Vielen Dank das du mich wieder daran erinnert hast, wie wichtig es ist sich selbst nicht zu vergessen.

Deine Karte ist wunderschön und ich bin von der Gestaltung wieder begeistert.

Ich wünsche dir von ganzem Herzen alles Gute. Viel Gesundheit und Zufriedenheit. Ganz liebe Knuddelgrüße Hugs Silvi

Jane Savage said...

Another thought-provoking and inspirational post Donna! You write so beautifully and unashamedly which truly is a gift!
Your card is stunning, and I had to look at it again in light of your post and saw it with new eyes and a big smile on my face! Gorgeous! Hugs xx

Leslie Miller said...

First of all, I want to say you've given us a good example of "when one door closes another one opens". Also, the words "be true to yourself" ring clearer than ever. "Yourself" is a kind and thoughtful person, but with recognized limitations, and your true friends accept that and draw the circle closer. Lovely thoughts, and I appreciate that you shared.

Now... your snowman card is utterly adorable! I'm always amazed at the wealth of detail you give your cards without it ever looking like too much. All the snowflakes are perfectly placed, including the one in the sentiment. I just love every layer, every bit of sparkle, his friendly face, and the pretty bird. Wonderful!!!

Amelia Breytenbach said...

Your card is beautiful Donna! The snowman is so cute and what a lovely shaped easel card to showcase the little fella. Thank you for sharing your story.
Amelia x

Shirley said...

Hi Donna your blog always makes me smile when I land here because of your singing cat. He looks absolutely adorable and soooooo happy.

This time Mr Snowman made me smile as well, another happy looking person. Love your make it looks really cold and frosty.

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x

Shirley said...

Forgot to say ... good on yeh girl that's the way to go. "Be true to yourself always".

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x

Shona Erlenborn said...

You really should be a writer,Donna. You're the master when it comes to putting your thoughts to paper! An inspiration to us all for sure. .... and as for Twigs, you brought that set of twig arms and a hat to life for sure,with plenty of snowy sparkle. Love the easel fold and all the gorgeous little details you've included (even the snowflake cover-up!)Another gorgeous creation!

sallysbitz2 said...

Your life changing story is heart felt x
A strong reason for your card too, which is brilliant.
Love the shape and the detail x

hugs sally x

Paula said...

very inspiring post Donna. I love the cool feel of your snowman card. As far as the "blob" of ink goes, there are no mistakes in stamping, only opportunities to embellish. hugs

aussie aNNie said...

Sheer delightful card De, love the snowman and your gorgeous easel creation...your sentiment inside is gorgeous and it all almost looks like 'icing on a cake'.xxxThe Journey is the Start

Anne Temple said...

Very inspiring story. True friends never leave when someone/something changes. You have lots of true friends. Love your easel card and you've colored the snowman perfectly .

craftieodmae said...

WOW!!!! Beyond gorgeous, love the shape and glitter!!!

Shirley said...

Love what you did with every detail!! The colors are so fantastic and perfect for your beautifully done snowy images! I just had another request for Edith's address too!!

Karen Petitt said...

Absolutely stunning work De! All of the details on this one are beautiful, a really really beautiful card - love it all!
Now this is a story I know well and I do not think less of you huni - it takes a lot of bravery to stand up for yourself and look after yourself and your spouse first. This has happened to me and my DH and because of sickness and not being able to attend or do things we lost a lot of peeps from our lifes. Although you and are an ocean apart you are one of my wonderful friends huni and I think you are brave, true and loving Karen xx

Lisa said...

I don't know which is more beautiful, your card or your post!! The card is stunning!! I love all of the amazing details, the sparkle, everything!! And your post is fabulous!! It takes courage to be the person YOU want to be!! Have a great evening :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

nwilliams6 said...

Donna! Your card is just stunning - full of glitter, shimmer, fun, super layers, a wonderful image, and great sentiment. Really, really wonderful! One of my favorite snowmen cards I have seen in a long time!

Your story was refreshing too. I think many of us have been along this journey in some shape. My story is very similar. It is so hard to face health issues and the loss of loved ones - it changes us and causes us to adjust in ways we don't always like but have no choice but to embrace if we want any chance at future happiness. Glad you found yourself and deepened your bond with your husband - that is inspiring! Wonderful post! Hugz!

Donna B. said...

Gorgeous card! Love the coloring! Thanks for joining us at Christmas Card Challenges this week.

Rachel said...

I love your beautiful card, the sparkle and detail is fabulous.

Thank you for sharing with us at Sweet Stampin this week, Wedgie xxx

Cass said...

Super sparkly Christmas card.Thanks for joining us at Sweet Stampin'
Cass xx

mixamatoasties said...

Fabulous card!

Thanks for sharing at Sweet Stampin'


Dortesjs said...

aww gorgeous card it is so christmas and so season

Mayras Designs said...

Donna , you are such a beautiful, sweet and amazing person !!! It has truly been a blessing to have met you and have you in my life !!! You always inspire and say the right words !!!

Your card is truly a testament of the beautiful person that you are . In each and every one of your beautiful creations ,we are able to see the beauty, the thought , the love that goes into each one !!! Thank you Donna !!


Inkyfingers said...

What an inspiring post Donna and I was very moved by it. Change can be very scary for others to accept but true loved ones want us to tread our own path and be who we need to be.

Love your gorgeous snowman card. So much gorgeous detail and a circle card always pleases me somehow.
Thanks for sharing.
Carol x

Gerlinde said...

What a beautiful card made by such a beautiful person! Love your story! Thank you for being you!

Unknown said...

Beautiful card , thank you for joining us at The Squirrel & the Fox with our anything goes challenge. Hugs Tania (DT)xx

verybellemakes said...

Love all the fabulous layers and sparkles! Thank you for joining the Sentimental Sundays challenge, hope to see you again very soon!

Victoria DT

wendipooh13 said...

stunning card, just gorgeous!!!! Thanks for joining us at Sunday Christmas Card Challenges.

Planetsusie said...

Hi there De - I loved reading your post and oddly enough I went through a similar experience myself - you are definitely my crafting sister! I think you are an absolute star!

As for your card - this is absolutely gorgeous but I did smile at your comment over on Sparkles Christmas challenge - I am now wondering what is under the snowflake - huh??

Lots of love and hugs to you

Sue Pxxx

Petra Swart said...

Donna, what a fantastic post, my friend!!! Thank you so much for sharing this touching story - you have touched my heart and how wonderful it is to know that we just have be ME and not the other person everybody else wants us to be!!! Thank you and have a blessed day!!!
PS. Thank you for keeping us up to date on how Edith is doing.

Petra Swart said...

Hi, Donna, I have just left you a comment on this fantastic post, but I'm not sure if it has reached you - hope it did not get lost somewhere - some of my comments don't reach it's destination for some unknown reason - hope you got my comment!!!

MaryH said...

Love Twiggs and your superlative coloring made him just glow with an icy blue. (You already know I'm loving his redbird friend too). Love that it is a shaped card, and TFS your boo-boo. That always encourages me when I read that somebody else goofs up (hope that doesn't sound dreadful!) It's helpful to know how the mess up was saved. Your card is just wonderful in all aspects. I enjoyed even more your backstory of a part of your Life's journey. Your friends who didn't stay 'with you' because you realized you had to change, are a small loss. They are missing out more than you are. There comes a time when you have to concentrate on YOU, not being selfish or anything, but just because you can't exhaust yourself in giving to everyone BUT yourself. First must come spiritual and then physical you, in order to be able to give anything of you. We all go through times when we feel like happiness has just gone away, but if we remember we are not walking alone (for many reasons), then we can remind ourselves, there is a light at the end of this. God doesn't leave us during these times. If we are blessed, then we have a life partner walking along too, and sometimes this struggle brings more blessings in ways we never dreamed. I'm proud that you recognized what you had to do, and sorry for those who didn't applaud your courage in taking steps to do what was right for you. I'm glad & blessed that I've gotten to know you! Hoping so much we can meet one of these happy days! Hugs & TFS. It was a beautiful post.

susiestacey said...

Beautiful card, love the snowman image and the whole layout. I have enjoyed reading your post - thank you for sharing.
Thank you for sharing with Winter Wonderlands 'Anything Goes' challenge and good luck x Susan x

Jo said...

Loved reading your post Donna, I could definitely relate to it.....thanks for sharing! Gorgeous card too, love that snowman & those gorgeous blues! Thanks for joining us over at Sparkles Christmas this month & good luck!
hugs Jo x

TRACEY O said...

Gorgeous card, thanks for sharing with us this month at CCAYR.

XxJULESxX said...

Hi Donna thanks for sharing your story truly inspiring! and the card is gorgeous love the snowman!!!