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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Some Fun Halloweenie Cheer

Is the title of my blog post an oxymoron? 

Inspired by Benzi Stampz, Barb Harmon, Terry Weigand, and Scrapy Land this year I made some Halloween cards to send to friends. It's the first time I've done this, and it sure was fun! The cards are all single-postage-stamp mailable (I did it! I did it!).

Above are 5" x 7" cards with Impression Obsession's image and Taylored Expressions Mini Leaves.  I used a Spellbinders oval to cut the orange layer, and cut it unevenly (and vertically) to create a layered pumpkin look behind the Spellbinders scallop oval.

Prima Flowers in Olive complement the green in the stamped image.

 (I love these 2 challenge blogs!)
We are encouraged to use black and orange and to use some sort of stashed away Halloween stuff!

  • I finally used my Martha Stewart Jack O Lantern border punch after purchasing it 2 years ago at a Michael's clearance. 
  • The Stampa Rosa (now Stampington) spider web stamp was purchased at a used stamp sale over 6 years ago for 75 cents! It has never been used and was feeling neglected. 

Do you have old stuff that has still not been used?

A Martha Stewart spider web punch has only been used once before (also purchased at a clearance years ago).

The Papertrey Ink "Superstition Stamp Set" (cute sentiments, hat and black cat) are courtesy of friend Terry Weigand.

The insides are just as fun and colorful!

Products used:

Scrapy Land Spellbinders Decagons
Scrapy Land Taylored Expressions Mini Leaves

Scrapy Land Dee's Distinctively IME-117 Flourish Set 4
Spellbinders Grand Labels
Spellbinders Grand Scalloped Ovals
Martha Stewart Jack O Lantern border
Martha Stewart Spider Web PAP
Impression Obsession Stamp
Papertrey Ink "Superstition Stamp Set"
Computer Generated Sentiments
Stampa Rosa (now Stampington) spider web stamp

Challenges submitted to:

  1. A Gem of a Challenge - #131 Trick or Treat (Halloween) 11/6
  2. Artistic Inspirations Challenge - #114 Halloween 11/7
  3. Crafts 4 Eternity - #199 Halloween 10/30
  4. Creative Corner Challenges - (Oct 24) Halloween 10/31
  5. Creative Moments - #54 Anything Goes/Halloween 11/3
  6. Dream Valley - #93 Halloween 11/2
  7. Clear it Out Challenge - (Oct 21) Halloween 10/27 (please see blurb highlighted in blog post)
  8. Fantasy Stampers Challenge Blog - #22 Something Spooky 11/7
  9. Shopping our Stash Challenges - #174 Halloween 10/27  (please see blurb highlighted in blog post)
  10. Jo's Scrap Shack - FFC #63 Haunted Wishes - 10/31

Thanks for visiting today!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Blogger and Translation Feature - blogging tip to make life easier for your visitors

Welcome, Dear Blogging Friends, and to new Google Members Jeanette, kfranciola, and Shirley Wilkie.

I have a new blogger tip for you today.

Because the built-in TRANSLATE FEATURE at the top of blogs does not always work, Google has created a TRANSLATE WIDGET for Blogger. It is easy to install, and is user friendly for your visitors.

The Browser’s header claims that the translation has been performed. But we can see that has not happened:

The top bar often looks like this. But the translation does not work:

There is an Option at the top right of the bar next to your google ID:

But that still does not fix the problem:

So add the feature to your blogger account by choosing:


Be sure to save your changes. It is preferable to leave the TRANSLATE BUTTON toward the top of your blog or at the top of one of your side panels. (Remember to move the TRANSLATE BUTTON to the top each time a new widget is added).

Now the front of your Blogger Blog will show this widget:

It looks like this when a visitor clicks on it:

Our blogging community includes very talented people from many continents. According to the Blogger Stats, most of my visitors are from the USA. But the second largest segment of visitors are from RUSSIA. It is humbling to know that people from all over the world visit our blogs. Having the TRANSLATE BUTTON makes life easier for them.

Hope this was helpful!

blogging hugs,

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Halloween Flowers {Scrapy Land}

Welcome, dear Blogging Friends, 

It is time for the mid month Scrapy Land Challenge
The Challenge is open until October 28. 
The theme is HALLOWEEN using any die manufacturer which Scrapy Land sells (electronic die cuts do not qualify)Scrapy Land sells over 40 brands of dies, including overseas products, and most are at a great discount plus free shipping over $75!

My card uses the following die cuts:

Scrapy Land Spellbinders Decagons

The Spellbinders Decagons layers create a geometric, spooky full-moon for the black cat!  

This card uses the October Sketch from Cheerful Sketches Challenges. Instead of the square for the image, I used Spellbinders Gold Labels 4.

I lightened up the black a bit so you can see the velvet glittered black leaves in contrast:

TIP: Do your fingers fumble like mine? 
If so, you might enjoy my Tutorial for making tiny rose buds:

After rolling your "piece", a bud is formed:

Happy Crafting!

Products Used:

Scrapy Land Spellbinders Gold Labels 4
Scrapy Land Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms
Scrapy Land Spellbinders Decagons
Scrapy Land Spellbinders Long Classic Rectangles
Scrapy Land Memory Box Small Alder Tree
Scrapy Land Die-Versions Sweet Petites Fall Festival HALLOWEEN
Scrapy Land Dee's Distinctively IME-117 Flourish Set 4
Impression Obsession Halloween Stamp, Computer-Generated sentiment
Glitter by Mark Inc and SNS
Ranger and Tsukineko dye base inks


  1. Cheerful Sketches Challenges - #17 Sketch shown in blog post - 10/21
  2. Sweet Pea Challenges - Oct 9 Halloween - 10/22
  3. Lady Bug Crafts - Oct Halloween 10/31
  4. One Crazy Stamper - Oct Halloween or Christmas (used IO stamp with Memento Cocoa ink) 10/31
  5. A*Muse Studio Challenges - Halloween (used IO stamp with Memento Cocoa ink) 10/19
  6. Robyn's Fetish Challenges - #233 Halloween 10/18
  7. Little Scrap Pieces - Oct 11 Show It Off Halloween Party - 10/18
  8. The Pink Elephant - #272 Black, Orange and one color (brown) 10/19
  9. Penny's Challenges - #199 Anything Goes 10/20
  10. Lia Stampz - #75 Spooky Cute 10/31 (suggested to play by DT Cely)


Monday, October 13, 2014

A Share, A Question, and a Sneak Peek

Hello, dear blogging friends.
I need to share a little change in my life to prevent possible misunderstandings.

So my "SHARE" is:

Fortunately, I do not have Alzheimers or traditional Dementia.
But the not so good news is that my symptoms and abilities are unexpectedly worsening rather quickly.

Some of the decreases in ability are not being able to follow directions, poor logic, hand-eye coordination, speech, and incorrect visual interpretations.

Blessedly, Jack is wonderfully patient. I need to accept this “new plateau”.

My concern: that my friends might think I’m uncaring or unfriendly by not commenting on blogs as often as I like.

So this "sharing" is not for pity or sympathy, but just an explanation because you deserve to know why I'm not commenting as often as I used to.

Thanks for listening.

NOW, my "QUESTION" is:

Remember in the olden days when we used to put a piece of unboiled pasta into salt shakers and spices to prevent caking from humidity? Or sometimes, uncooked rice was put into the salt and pepper shakers for the same reason. 
Do you think that might work with embossing powders and glitters?

And my SNEAK PEEK, of course, is at the left (giggle) for Wednesday's Scrapy Land's Challenge post.

Thanks for being there, dear ones.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Aqua and Brown Trio {Scrapy Land}

Hello, everyone! A special welcome to new google follower Lynn McAuley.

It is time for a new Scrapy Land Challenge, and I have 3 cards to share! The Challenge is open until October 12. The theme is ANYTHING GOES using any die manufacturer which Scrapy Land sellsScrapy Land sells over 40 manufacturers of dies, including overseas products, and most are at a great discount!

Color Scheme: Gentle Aqua Blue and Chocolate Brown

NOTICE: My cards are flat for mailing! 
No beautiful roses even tho I made them for the cards. (giggle)
(quite a hurdle for me)

My three coordinating cards are inspired by Friend Sandy Lee and artist Beccy Muir who lives Down Under -- Partly because those who live Down Under are leaving the brown-grayness of Winter and moving into Spring, and partly because it is her beautiful Blossom Image used on the cards.

The same colors, sentiments and main die cuts have been used, with slight variations. I hope you like them!

Easel Card

Dimensions are 5.5" x 7.5" (A7 card)

TIP: Use a border punch on the top of the base, so when it is opened, it still looks pretty!

Below the easel card is closed flat. LOVE the Spellbinders Elegant Labels 4 Die Set.

TIP: How to create dimension without increasing postage costs:

Horizontal Card with Pop Up on the inside:

Girl Friend Sandy Lee gave me an interior pop-up die cut on this pretty chocolate and blue paper. The word "hello" did not show up very well, so it has been covered with Sparkle N Sprinkle Jasper Blue Micro Fine Glitter. The sides have been embossed with SNS Brown Fizz embossing powder.

Beccy's Flowers have been adorned with prill-filled centers and die cut leaves (from gray vellum and designer paper to match the background).

Boo-Boo time! Vertical A7 Card:

I love showing off my boo-boos. In the card below, I ran out of the Chocolate Brown Cardstock! YIKES! So the first photo seems like the dark aqua is the "base of the card".

 But actually, the dark aqua is the folded portion of the card. It is sitting on the remnant piece 5.5" x 7.5" brown cardstock. Who says the base has to be the part that opens? It can just be a frame for your pretty card as shown below:

Above, the card appears to have a brown card base. But below, when it is open, we can see that only the back side of the card is framed in brown. Definitely a great tip when using expensive paper, or if we happen to run out of a needed color.

Products Used:

Scrapy Land Spellbinders Elegant Labels 4
Scrapy Land Taylored Expressions "Mini Leaves"
Scrapy Land Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms
Scrapy Land Cheery Lynn Olive Branches
Scrapy Land Spellbinders Gold Labels 4
Scrapy Land Spellbinders Decagons
Spellbinders Labels Four
Beccy Muir Blossom Image
PSX "gentle" image (retired)
Stampin' Up! Elegant Cheer (Just a Note)
Stampin' Up! Warmest Regards (thinking of you)
Impression Obsession "Perhaps they are not" (sentiment)
Paper: Aqua, Dark Aqua, Chocolate Brown, Grey and White Vellum, White, Neenah Solar White
Ink: Salmon, Pumice, Cocoa, Walnut and Shell Pink dye inks, Deep Lagoon VersaFine, VersaMarker
Copic Markers (browns, blues, blue-greens)
SNS Skylight Cosmic Semi-Transparent Embossing Powder (so creamy!)
SNS Jasper Blue Velvet Glitter
SNS Brown Fizz Embossing Powder
USArt Quest Prills - "A Penny Saved" (flower centers)
SU Ribbon

Challenges Entered:

  1. Die Cuttin' Divas #185 Anything Goes with Die Cuts 10/6
  2. Paper Minutes - #341 Easel Card (the top card is an easel card) 10/5
  3. {PIN}spirational Challenges - #125 - Anything Goes "Anything Could Happen" 10/14
  4. Sweet Stamps #189 Use Dies 10/6
  5. Crafting from the Heart - #38 Anything Goes 10/5
  6. The Pink Elephant - #270 Anything Goes 10/6
  7. One Stitch At a Time - #220 Anything Goes with a Flower 10/13
  8. Through the Craft Room Door - Sept 29-Oct 6 Anything Goes 10/6
  9. Beccy's Place Challenges - Oct - Anything Using a Beccy Muir image 10/31

Thanks for stopping by today!

Warm Stamping Hugs,