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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pretty Staggered Backgrounds {Dies R Us}

Hello, Sweet Crafty Friends!
Welcome to my blog for a little Dies R Us Inspiration!

Today's post is about jazzing up die cut backgrounds!
Team Member Ann Greenspan and I challenged each other to stack our backgrounds.
Ann's comprehensive post containing gorgeous artwork is here.

It was such fun creating this Beauty (as well as the pink one below)!

Same colors of die cuts,
Same background dies,

one is a PINK base,
one is a BLUE base

they yield very different effects!


My card duo today features the following 
Dies R Us Products:

Make Some Fun Staggered Backgrounds!

First, plan ahead by choosing glitters or embossing powders to texturize some of the layers:

Second, move the layers around around:


When you have several layers and elements on your card, move them around until you have hidden all the mistakes and blunders, so that the best parts show up on top! (giggle)
Here I moved the flowers around until the shapes were cohesive, and the boo-boos were hidden:

The backgrounds are staggered so that the back mirror cardstock panel is positioned half-way behind the glittered panel. I left the glittered panel uncut.
The ornament is heat embossed with White Detail EP via Anna Griffin sentiment.

The glittered frame is a nice contrast to the flower centers, ornament and back panel, all cut from the same purply mirror cardstock. The pine branch die cuts have been embossed with another color of glittery embossing powder to provide a touch of variation in the silvers.

Some of the flower layers are heat embossed with Shimmer EP - it contains just a touch of silver glittery happiness!

The interior has been distressed around the edges of the die cut, and also halo'ed around the card base to which the layer was adhered:

To make this card:

Step by Step Directions:

Assemble on 6" x 6" white card stock:

The mirror card stock sleigh and scene are halo'ed with white cardstock.
The scene actually uses 3 glitters for texture.

The pink glitter provides a touch of shading.

The medley of clear, green and pink is in the skyline.

The white moon is with velvet glitter.

It would have been easier to simply use the same color of glitter on all three areas, and then shade them with watercolors or Copic markers, but I do like the differences in textures. Plus, I always seem to make things more difficult than they need to be - laughing because it is OH SO TRUE.

The bow and sparkly trim had to be adhered with Crystal Lacquer because the underlying cardstock was too "plastic-ky" for ordinary glue and tape. I used clothes pins to hold the pieces in place while it dried.

The Merry Christmas stamp was only partly used to fit the tag. The tag is distressed with Brilliance Silver Ink and Pink Bubblegum glitter.

To give the eye a place to rest, a banner of pearl pale blue was utilized. It picks up the colors in the diagonal trim.

The sleigh and banners are adhered with dimensional tape.

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

click below for:

Other Products:
  • Judikins embossing ink applicator (comes in a bottle)
  • Brilliance Pearl Lavender (on embossed white poinsettia)
  • Aleene's Quick Dry Tacky Glue (everything is adhered with this adhesive)
  • Cardstock: Gray, Navy Stardream, Purply-Slate Mirror, White
  • Recollections Amethyst Rhinestones
  1. Sassy Silver Ultrafine Glitter G1050 (on the grate), 
  2. Shimmer EP137 (for the contrast behind the ornament and on the white poinsettia leaf layers, 
  3. Silver Lightning EP262 Detail EP for the ever green branches (this EP formula contains a little glitter to help transform plain silver to a marvelous holographic silver).
  4. White Detail EP for the sentiment (blue card)
  5. (hand blend of clear, green and pink for the background around the moon)
  6. Bubble Gum Ultrafine Glitter G1088 (around village and santa slight near the moon)
  7. Cloud Nine Velvet Glitter GM2000 (in the moon for a different sparkly texture)
  8. Sakura Quickie Glue Pen (for added glitter around the Snowy Breeze Border mistake)
  9. Sticker Paper and 1/2" Tear-ific Tape
Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. 12 Months of Christmas Link Up - #17 Christmas Optional Theme - Non Traditional Christmas Colors - two cards on a single link up - 6/1 (sep post may be 1 month off)
  2. ABC Christmas Challenge "J is for Jewels" (I have used several rhinestones in my design) 5/25 sep post
  3. Aud Sentiments Challenge #155 "Anything Goes + Sentiment" 5/24 (sep post)
  4. Crafting For All Seasons #125 Add Some Embossing (I have heat embossed the poinsettia petals, all the silver pine needles, and white behind the ornament, the white sentiment on the ornament. There is also dry embossing in the big poinsettia flower) 5/25
  5. Christmas Card Challenges #23 - did not use the optional challenge - Christmas cards - 5/25
  6. Crafty Hazel Nut's Christmas Challenge #280 Vintage or Anything Goes Christmas 5/13
  7. Crafty Hazel Nut's Extra Christmas Challenge - May - Anything Goes - 6/1
  8. Crimbo Crackers Christmas Challenges #106 Anything Christmas Goes 5/17 (sep post may be weeks later)
  9. Scrapy Land #41 Anything Goes using dies SL sells (please see the listing of dies used under my collage near the top of my post) 5/15
  10. Sisterhood of Crafters (May 11) "No Designer Paper" no pre-printed paper. I created backgrounds with my die cuts. 5/22 (sep post)
  11. Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenges May - Anything Goes with loose EP, Glitter - please see list of Products used above. 6/1

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, May 06, 2016

HTTPS Redirect in Blogger

Update July 8, shown at bottom: 
(original post was May 8, 2016)

Hi, Crafting Friends! 

A little BLOGGER help for you:

I have tried to use "lay man" words below to help you make a decision regarding Blogger's SSL Option.

Hope it helps, and I hope I'm accurate enough.

First, if you want to see the changed dashboard options please visit Chuck's blog here.

Second, To see Blogger's Official view of the new option, please visit Blogger's blog here.

Now - the (hopefully) easy explanation:

What is a Proxy Server?  Most of us do not use proxies from our homes.

It appears the primary change MAY affect our followers who access our blogs strictly through a proxy server.

That means their device accesses the internet through another service, (rather than the way our homes offer internet service to us privately).  Those users possibly use a "work around" to access the internet outside their employer's knowledge, or perhaps use a "free" service at a public location.

For those of us with direct connections from our homes to the internet, nothing should change.

But if someone does all their accessing from a location that has limitations on what they (the user) can view, then THEY possibly may no longer be able to visit our blogs because of the new SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) address and encrypted protocol (system or set of rules).

My understanding is that for a proxy server to access a SSL location (aka a HTTPS location), the owner (of the server) pays a higher premium that would allow all their users to use SSL. They may or may not wish to pay for it, thus limiting access to secure websites.

According to Chuck Croll of The Real Blogger Status, forcing SSL on our blogs will not make our blog readers more secure. But it may cause some other problems for our followers, and possibly for those who have their own servers.

Hackers? Worms?

According to Exware Support Site, most of us are not endangered by NON SSL sites. They say:

Most attacks on websites are actually done in one of the following ways:
  1. The server is attacked directly.  SSL does not protect you from this.  Rather, you need to have a good IT security policy to protect your server.
  2. The user is attacked directly, either by infecting their PC with malware, or by using "phishing" to steal their passwords.  SSL does not protect you from this, either.  To protect your own PC from this, you need to use a good anti-virus program, and use lots of common sense and a small amount of paranoia when on the Internet.  However, it is unrealistic to expect that all the PCs of all of your website visitors will be adequately protected.
In other words, SSL does very little to prevent the website from being hacked.  It only prevents 3rd parties from listening to communications between the user and the website.


One error followers and readers might receive is found here.

If you have a domain name - more info here.

If I have used any words or phrases incorrectly, please let me know - I am mostly trying to convey to my non-techie blogging buddies what this might mean to us.

I do not plan on implementing the new SSL option, mostly because I know there are followers using proxy servers.

UPDATE July 8, 2016

It appears more and more problems are arising from implementing the SSL option - unforeseen consequences for crafters such as ourselves. Among them are a loss of past URL links, a loss of some features, inability to use custom domain, error messages when people try to access our profiles when trying to return-leave a comment.

Computer Hugs,

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Tingling Slime! (Dies R Us}{Tiddly Inks}

Greetings, Crafty Friends!
Welcome to my blog for a little Dies R Us Inspiration!
Yikes! This morning we had a fierce thunderstorm bringing an unusually strong amount of lightning and thunder and LOTS OF HAIL! It beat the vegetable garden down pretty badly, but other than that, all is well.

In the Ellis Household, we are celebrating our 40th Wedding Anniversary,
so today I'm showing a humorous card for my husband,
who prefers Simple and Silly.

(Noooo, I'm pretty sure that is NOT why he married me, giggle)

That being said...

          Have you ever tried combining... 

                    elegant, ornate elements... 


                                        silly, humorous pieces?

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

click below for:


My card uses the following Dies R Us Products:

Sue Wilson Spanish Collection Seville CED1203
Darice Dies - hearts (plain and scallop) nesting dies

We live on a mini-farm, and my husband is constantly battling the buggies and ickies around the place here in central, rural Florida. Hence, the characters of my card. 
Wouldn't this card would be so sweet even without the easel effect?

But I liked the sentiment so much, that an easel card was the only option.

How my multi-dies are held together:

(this is what my work area REALLY looked like before cropping the above photo): LOL

Will those buggies NEVER stop?

How to make the border for the "stop":

Use the same border to create cohesiveness on the top panel.
Be sure to distress-ink the border for interest!

I discovered the slug on a freebie site! It's eyes are just perfect for the theme. The clip art site is called Clipart Panda by Ron Leishman

The silly, love-smitten slug has been paired with the cutest ever snail digi set called 

Snails Galore by Christy Croll at her store called Tiddly Inks. Would you believe her fantastic 9-piece set is only $1? 

I used some of Christy's "slime" behind and round the clipart slug. 

Christy, thanks for such a fun image!

Other Products Used:
Submitted to the following fabulous challenges:
  1. Crafting a Beautiful Mess #2 Anything Goes 5/26 (last Friday M) (3rd entry)
  2. Crafting by Designs (May 4) May Anything Goes, M (1st Wed)
  3. Crafting with an Attitude #18 Anything Goes M (1st Thurs) 6/2
  4. Digital Delights by Louby Lou #9 - Anything Goes (used 2 digital image and 1 digital coloring book image) (last Thurs 5/26
  5. Ellibelle's Creative Moments Let's Color Saturday Linky Party #9 (images are colored with Copics)
  6. Fab N Funky Challenges #303 "Three Or More Layers" 5/11
  7. Inspiration Destination #84 "Anything Goes" 5/11
  8. Jade's Sparkling Butterflies (2 Crafty Girls) #18 "Add a Sentiment" 5/12
  9. Scrapy Land (#41) Anything Goes with a Die Manufacterer SL sells (listed in body of post) 5/15
Our winter herbs have flowered and are now seeding:

The lush, thick densely-green parsley, suddenly spiked upward with elongated, straight leaves, and then blossomed, barely resembling green Queen Ann's Lace:

The aromatic Basil struggled through the winter but provided lush, yummy leaves. Then it flowered a salmony-coral color, bursting open with seeds this week!

wishes that you enjoy an interesting-but-sweet week-end,
and lots of stamping hugs,

Monday, May 02, 2016

Flowers for You {Our Crafty Corner #9}{Bugaboo}

Hello Sweet Blogging Friends!

Today begins challenge #9 for Our Crafty Corner!
It continues until the end of the month.

OCC is a month-long challenge, beginning the first Monday of each month.
Every month's theme: ANYTHING GOES

This Month's Sponsor is Karleigh Sue Digitals

My card features Bugaboo Stamp's "For You From Me Flower"

A little twist for my project today...

I've used Bugaboo's Stella Says Sketch #408 on BOTH cards.
In fact, both cards are using...

          the same image,

                    the same colored pencil and distress ink hues,

                              and the same sketch.

                                        But are they EVER different!

(white card = 6"x6"    ----    green card= 7.5"x 5.5")

The first card is highlighted with darker blue tones because the flowers are shaded in Blue Print Distress Ink, and a frame around the edge which has been distressed with the same ink and glitter. The top and bottom of the card are also distressed with the same glitter mixture.


With 3 layers of hydrangeas, the white card is distinctive to have the petal layers distressed with Blue Print Distress Ink, and also inked in the centers, to match the frame surrounding the scene. The white panels of the sketch may be difficult to see even though they are distressed with Worn Lipstick Ink. I should have used dimensional adhesive for the layers. Each layer has a different embossed shape.

The butterfly has also been layered, and then glittered to match the image frame and distressed borders of the card. Prills adorn the hydrangea centers.

Inside of the card:

The second card has a dark green background, with a hint of white around the sketch panels, making them more easily seen. The hydrangea in the corner takes the place of the flower in the corner of the Sketch Pattern.

The hydrangea petals sport pink highlights with more prills.

Because there are so many layers, I die cut leaves and flowers from the layers where only an edge can be seen. This helps with bulk and postage costs.

There is glitter in the self-adhesive lace since some of that clear tape would show.
Once again, glitter comes to the rescue! 

I prefer the white highlights and bright magenta centers in the hydrangeas, compared to the bold blue look in the white card:

Thanks for stopping by today!

Now it's your turn to link up to the 
Our Crafty Corner Challenge!

Products Used:
  • Image: Bugaboo Stamp's "For You From Me Flower"
  • Dies: Spellbinders: Scallop Labels One, Classic Scallop Squares, Grand Decorative Labels One, Grand Labels One (card one), Cheery Lynn Tropical Flourish (card 2)
  • Embossing Folders: Craftwell "Quatrafoil", Counture Creations "Flamingos and Hedgehogs", Craft Essentials "Basket Weave". (card one)
  • MS Flourish Lace Punch Around the Page (card two)
  • SU printed papers (card two)
  • colored pencils, distress inks, prills, glitter mixtures, lace, ribbon

Challenges I'd like to play in please:
  1. Stella Says Sketch #408 - 5/6 (check 5/9)
  2. Crafting a Beautiful Mess #2 Anything Goes 5/26 (last Friday M)
  3. Ellibelle's Creative Moments Let's Color Saturday Linky Party #8 (both cards and images are colored with colored pencils and distress inks) 5/5
  4. Jade's Sparkling Butterflies (2 Crafty Girls )- #18 Anything Goes 5/12
Lastly, a share from our front pastureland last week. Ribbons of dew rise from the ground. Sometimes colors are reflected in the layers as the sun sheds light on flowers and its own sunrise hues. The layers are usually caused by the rapid rise of temperature in the morning, depending on the season. This time, the layers are not noticeable. The trees show off their dangling Spanish moss, and their leaves have not yet emerged:

warm hugs,