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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Monday, April 25, 2016

To My Friends

The Big Risk

Dearest Blogging Friends,

A number of factors caused me to "hide" my true self, and try to be as low key and wordless as possible.

Among friends, family, and on-line, I used to enjoy sharing a bit about my "little life" 
("little", because I am home-bound). 
Unfortunately I regressed due to continued hostilities you know nothing about. 

I was made to think my Real Self was Ugly and Unacceptable.

Among the "things" and events which have helped free me,

is a healthy dose of you, 

my sweet internet friends.


Like a hibernating turtle, I am re-emerging from my shell,
and discovering that maybe I am not so unworthy that I have to hide in order to protect others from myself.

Some events especially this month have afforded even more liberty to my soul.

A BIG



for allowing me to be "me", 

and for helping me see that it is acceptable to be my real self, 
and to no longer hide.

You are the right combination of Encouragement, Friendship, and Support -
and the right combination of dear personalities come together.
Your artwork also is a healing balm - because it is who you are.

I am blessed...

and so...

You never know how your words and actions will affect another life.
You certainly have affected mine positively.


Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Some names in particular have helped, and your names are listed below.

love,


I probably have left some names out inadvertently,
but please know how much you have influenced me, and helped me over this terrible hurdle.
My life is different because of you.

Ann
Anne
Autumn
Barbara
Becky
Brenda
Carol
Cathy
Cheryl
Cliff
Connie
Darlene
Diane
Donna
Eddie
Eleanor
Jack
Jackie
Janice
Janis
John
Karen
Karin
Kevin
Kim
Leslie
Linda
Lisa
Lori
Lorraine
Margaret
Maria
Marie
Maryvonne
Monica
Pam
Pamellia
Pat
Paula
Pauline
Petra
Pia
Pooja
Sandy
Shirl
Shona
Sharon
Silvi
Sonia
Sue
Verna
Vicki

Friday, April 22, 2016

Early Morning Share + Freebie

Hello sweet blogging friends!

Sharing an early Spring Morning here in Central Rural Florida.
Shaky Hands = Shaky Photography
but hopefully you can enjoy the beauty.

The Sun - Welcoming the Morning:


Our oldest fur child watching his Daddy at work in the garden, apparently not wanting to have his photo taken so early in the morning, and running to voice his greeting LOL


The Common Name of the below spindly bush is "Dogwood Bush".
I love how the petals cradle the pollen.
Does anyone know it by another name?



A different shot of the cool morning and Dogwood Bush:


The sky is already glorious in her blue dress, despite the early hour,
and the caladiums are coming up already!
The pollen-laden "squigglies" on the oaks are finally depleted, and the leaves now emerge.


Missy keeping me company:


More emerging caladiums:




Thanks for strolling with me this morning.
And now for some freebies.

INSPIRED BY YOU ALL - THE FLOWERS IN MY GARDEN

(not sure who originally said this)

These are for personal use. They may not be used by companies or for profit:

It is the same sentiment - two styles (one centered, one uncentered)
They are available in png and jpg.
To download, click on the sentiment first to enlarge it, then download to your hard-drive.

Hope you enjoy!

jpg:
png:

jpg:



png:


Enjoy!

Thanks for sharing my Spring Morning,
hugs,







Thursday, April 14, 2016

BD and AD - {Dies R Us} {Out of the Box technique} {Spotlight technique}

Hello, sweet crafting friends! 
Thanks for dropping by for a little
Dies R Us Inspiration!


Today's project is all about BD and AD!

that is...

BEFORE die cuts and AFTER die cuts!

It also features the Spotlight technique with dies - 
using the same colors
and
the same stamp image
to see how differently the same spotlighted images can look 
by simply changing the die cuts.


click below for:
STORE

PINTEREST BOARD
CHALLENGE BLOG
FACEBOOK
INSPIRATION BLOG
My cards use the following DRU Products:

                                                       each card has the following for the two "spotlight" elements.
Sue Wilson - Canadian Collection - Montreal (for dainty oval)

Card One (butterfly in corner):

Card Two (brown tones):
Spellbinders - Card Creator 5x7 Elegant Labels Four
Sue Wilson - Canadian Collection - Montreal (for dainty oval)

Card Three (dark background):
Spellbinders - Card Creator 5x7 Detailed Scallops
Spellbinders - Mega Nestabilities Curved Rectangles (to create smooth turq panel for stamp)

Card Four:
A2 Card is the BD (before dies):
none!


The Out-of-the-Box die cut technique was developed for images that might be larger than dies.
"Spotlighting" is an old, old stamping technique.  

Here are links for the Out of the Box Video and step-by-step pictorial tutorial.
For another of my unusual out of the box cards, please click here

For some gorgeous Spotlighting ideas, please visit this Pinterest Board.
Psst! If you are new to Pinterest, please know you don't have to sign up or have a Pinterest account in order to enjoy all the lovely Pin-spiration you'll find there.

An "olden days" style Spotlight card without dies to fancy it up:

To accomplish the Spotlight technique using dies, it is easiest to deliberately choose crooked shapes, or shapes like circles that can be easily rotated on the image. Because the Out-of-the-Box technique on this card uses level dies (as opposed to round), I needed to be sure that the pop up portion would not be crooked when adhered. I'm not always good at "eye-balling", so this is how I solved that issue:


CARD ONE:


How to create the first card's shaped base and frame:



CARD TWO:


Putting the frame and card together:


Using the "negative left overs" on the interior:

CARD THREE:
Changing it up by using a dark background and white embossing powder, but all the same colors:


To create the frame:


Interior using the left over pieces:


Our BEFORE and AFTERS:


Other Products:

  • Image: Joy! Crafts Clear Stamp "Floral Flourishes"
  • SU White cardstock, Recollections glitter paper
  • Tombow Markers
  • StazOn Azure Blue, Mermaid Lagoon and Stormy Sky Distress dye inks
  • Craft Essentials EFOB0010 Basket Weave embossing folder (Card 3)
  • SNS - Detail White EP, Meadow Spark Ultrafine Glitter,
  • Inks: Moonlight White Brilliance (distress 3rd card), VersaMark, Mermaid Lagoon, Old Paper, Tea Dye,
  • Prima Flowers,
  • Paper: SU, Recollections Glitter, Vellum
Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Craft Your Passion #307 - Anything Goes 4/19
  2. Crafting from the Heart #107 - Anything Goes 4/19
  3. Crafty Gals Corner #67 Use Die Cuts or Punches 4/19
  4. Dream Valley #129 Anything Goes 4/25
  5. Inspiration Destination Challenges "#81 Anything Goes" 4/19
  6. Tuesday Throwdown #289 - Use Your Die Cuts 4/19


Stamping Hugs Always,

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Nesting Bird {Dies R Us} {Sparkle N Sprinkle} {Digital Tutorial}

Greetings, Crafty Friends!
Welcome to my first post as a new Dies R Us Inspiration Design Team Member!

Have you ever... ?

Have you ever planned a design in your head, and then made one boo-boo after another so that your project ends up completely different?
 THAT'S what happened with this card.

LOTS of boo-boos (giggle)

Dies R Us  is an on-line store carrying a huge assortment of amazing dies by several manufacturers.
I hope you enjoy today's oh-so-ugly project (giggle)...


click below for:
STORE
CHALLENGE BLOG
FACEBOOK
INSPIRATION BLOG

My card uses the following Dies R Us Products:



TIP:

Change the appearance of die cut "frames" by adding borders to them:



TIP:

It is not necessary to use the dies within a die set to create pretty frames. Change it up by using other dies (like circles, ovals or shapes) rather than what the manufacturer has put together.
This gives you the ability to create frames to suit your project needs:


TIP:

Mark frequently used dies to help expedite your crafting:


The Poppy Stamps Grassland Border does not have a cut edge on the bottom, making it ideal for wide borders of grassy layers, or turned upside down for icicles. It's a long die, but can be cut apart to use in patches (shown in the base of the card). It can also be fussy cut in a shape, shown in the sample below:

TIP:

How to customize the sizes of your panels while keeping the details of the dies (like the piercings on the Sue Wilson set):


Boo Boo Time!

While the stencil for the Fleur de Elegance die is beautifully detailed, I was displeased with the way the ink looked around the decorative portion of the die cut. It was too dark. To fix that, I resorted to glitter. Probably opaque white embossing powder would have been easier:
AFTER:
I used a very large transparent chunky glitter and SNS Waterfall Ultrafine Glitter to "distress" the problem area and hide the ink:

I slightly altered the SNS digital image to place greenery around the sentiment, and add greenery around the bird as well. View my TUTORIAL for altering and masking digital images, including using Apple products.


Other Products:
  • Copic Markers: Y15, Y32, E00, E19, E43, E50, E35, E11, B0000, B00, B02, G0000, G00, YG03, YG11
  • Images: Sparkle N Sprinkle Nesting Birds (digital set), Nesting Birds (rubber stamp set)
  • Chunky Glitter, SNS ultrafine Waterfall glitter
  • Embossalicious Regency Swirls by Die'Sire embossing folder
  • Ribbons, Brad, Dye-base inks
Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Animal Friends Challenge #37 "Birds" 5/1
  2. Card Mania Challenge #79 "Spring" 5/1
  3. Craft Your Passion #306 Anything Goes 4/10
  4. Crafting for all Seasons - #123 Use Die Cuts/Punches 4/13
  5. Crafty Boots Challenges (Mar 28) "Spring is in the Air" 4/10
  6. Creative Card Crew #110 Die Cut (list of dies shown above) 4/18
  7. Critters and Creatures Linky Party - Ellibelle's Creative Moments (April) "Critters and Creatures 5/2
  8. Dies R Us Challenges #46 "Use Scallops" (scallop border at the top and bottom of the top card portion) 4/14
  9. Doodle Pantry Challenge #16 Anything Goes 5/1
  10. Love to Scrap #75 "The Big Bow Theory" 4/17
  11. Ooh La La Creations Challenge #201 "Feathered Friends 4/10
  12. Outlawz Twisted Thursday Challenge "Anything Goes With Wings" 4/13
  13. Sisters of Craft (April) Anything Goes 5/1
  14. Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenges (April) "Anything Goes" 5/1
  15. Where the Heart Is Challenge #8 "Sparkle and Bling" (Used lots of chunky and ultrafine glitter on the frame) 5/2
  16. Word Art Wednesday #224-225 Anything Goes with an Uplifting Sentiment 4/13
  17. The Ribbon Girls Anything Goes as Long as it is a Card 4/17



Thanks for stopping by today, my sweet friends.
hugs,