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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Begging For Help Please

Daily Updates are shown in the tab above called "Jerry's Updates".

Jerry passed away on Monday, June 13, 2016, at 4:30PM.

Thank you to all who made his final days more bearable. He felt loved and cared for, and appreciated your artwork very much. Helen also appreciates each and every card. She treasures them and is planning on keeping them and looking through them many times in coming days.

We cannot thank you enough for your kindness. I will continue posting your cards in the tab above as Helen provides your names and will try to reciprocate with cards as time permits.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

House Mouse and Butterflies Accordion Tag Card

Hi, sweet friends!
Today's project is a result of the current House Mouse Challenge + Use My STUFF!

As much as coloring brings relaxing delight, there are many stickers in my stash screaming for attention! Hence today's project.

Because the HM challenge is "butterflies" there are lots of little butterflies keeping these mice company.

All of the products on these cards are years old (and in some cases DECADES!) 
hanging head in shame...

So, out came the old, old, OLD accordion tag, the REALLY old papers, and I got down to business.
Each panel is 3.25 inches wide, and there are 6 panels in the accordion tag. Each packet contained 5 accordion tag sets. I bought these from Paper Cut at least 8 years ago, but probably longer than that. The price said $5.00 LOL

K and Company and Stampin' Up papers were used in the layers. The Martha Stewart punches worked out well with this size panel.

Here it is closed up. The ribbon holding it closed is about 15" long because it is only behind the first panel's layer, and wrapped around the closed accordion:

Love the encouraging sentiment by Washington Irving:

“There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”

I have even put little stickers on some of the butterfly wings.

The extra large (gigantic brads) were a chore putting into place! Yikes!
They have been distressed with Sparkle N Sprinkle Silver Pearl embossing powder.
Just pick the brad up with tweezers, heat it up, and dip into the EP jar. Watch the magic happen as the EP melts without any help:

Thanks for visiting today. May you each enjoy a little special surprise in your week-end!


  • HM Stickers
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle: Silver Pearl EP391 to distress the 3 giant eyelets
  • Ink: Pearl Lavender Brilliance
  • Embossing Folders: Cuttlebug, and Constellations by Couture Creations
  • Dies: IO Mini Butterflies 255, Spellbinders Classic Oval and Scallop Oval
  • Punches: EKS Corner, MS Daisy Edge, MS Laurel Leaf
  • Lace, Ribbon, Pearls, Large Eyelets, Miscellaneous
  • Paper: KandCompany designer, SU lavender, frosted vellum
  • Stamps: Wordsworth and SU
  • Spritzes and Distress inks for some of the lace

Challenges I'm playing in:

  1. Crafting with Dragonflies Challenges - #59 Card with Dragonflies or Butterflies as the main focus 6/24 (sep post 2 wks out)
  2. House Mouse and Friends Challenge - #221 Butterflies! 6/19
  3. Crafty Girls Creations #21 Just For Fun - anything goes - 6/29
  4. Crafting with an Attitude  #16 Anything Goes 6/26
  5. One Stitch at a Time #264 Layer It Up 6/28

sweet hugs,

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Beautiful Vintage Summer Day {Dies R Us}

Yayyyyyy!! You're here!
(Waving hello quite happily!)

I'm glad you could stop by for a little Dies R Us Inspiration!

And there is a little freebie for you at the end of the post.

Today's technique is once again a simple design idea, 
but saves on card bulkiness to help with postage rates. 

Combining Layers and Die Cut Inlays

My cards use the following Dies R Us Products:

Spellbinders Grand Stately Cirles, and Grand Circles
Spellbinders Classic Circles
Spellbinders Decagon Nestabilities
First, determine which dies and colors you would like to use.
Decide if there are any areas where dies can be "nestled in" for an inlaid design.

The green card needed a bit of white behind the tan round accent. A white inlay was die cut using Sue Wilson's Ornate Pierced Squares, featuring the pierced dots around the edge for visual interest:

The image has also been die cut using the same circle as the frame.
Below, dark green is inlaid below the decorative circles. 
I wish the photography was better for darker colors so you could see the piercing.

I preferred the decagon shape instead of the round shape:

A close up to view the layers and inlaid portions:

The interior is also framed, using the external portion of the Ornate Pierced Squares.
There are pierced details in every section of the "left overs".

You might prefer Sue Wilson's French Collection - Borders, Corners, Tags which are lovely and ornate:

Thoroughly enjoyed coloring the image with Copic Markers and Prismacolor pencils.
A beautiful free image from Digital Tuesday.
I also delighted in using a VIRGIN Stampin' Up! sentiment that fit the image quite well!

Don'tcha just love using beloved goodies that have been neglected far too long?

Thanks for popping by today!

click below for:

Lis of Paper Maker Creations blog asked if I would please make some sentiments. 
Today we both share them with you:

These are for personal use only.

It is the same sentiment - four styles available in jpg.
To download, click on the sentiment first to enlarge it, then download to your hard-drive.

Hope you enjoy!

Products Used:
Spellbinders Grand Stately Cirles, and Grand Circles
Spellbinders Classic Circles
Spellbinders Decagon Nestabilities
Sue Wilson Ornate Pierced Squares
Sue Wilson French Collection - Borders, Corners, Tags
images: freebie Digital Tuesday Grist Mill, SU "Oval All" sentiment
Oval Punches by SU
Copic Markers
Prismacolor Pencils
Inks: Antique Linen, Walnut (Distress), Olympia Green (Versafine),
Crafters Companion Dry Stone Wall embossing folder
Papers: Bazzill cardstock, white Express-it for Copics

Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Artistic Inspirations #158 "Just for Fun-Anything Goes" 6/21
  2. Color Throwdown #397 6/21 (sep post) 
  3. Craft Your Passion #316 Anything Goes 6/20
  4. Crafting from the Heart #116 Anything Goes 6/20
  5. Crafty Creations Challenges #317 Tic Tac Toe (middle row straight down) 6/21
  6. Crop Stop Linky Party #17 (used 4 Spellbinders die sets, Aleene's Glue, Bazzill CS) 2nd Wed Monthly
  7. Dream Valley Challenges #133 "Vintage" (my image and theme is vintage landscape) 6/18
  8. Inspiration Destination Challenge #90 Anything Goes 6/22
  9. One Stitch at a Time #264 Layer It Up 6/28
  10. Scrapy Land #44 Masculine (submitting 2 brown tone cards) using dies (brands shown above) 7/3 (7/7)

Stamping hugs,

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Patriotic Inspiration + Freebie {Dies R Us}

Hello Sweet Blogging Friends!

I'm glad you could stop by for a little Dies R Us Inspiration!
Hopefully summer is settling in at your home, 
and that you are thawing out from the recent crazy winter and spring.

Today's cards utilize simple layering techniques to draw special attention to a focal image. 

My cards use the following Dies R Us Products:
Spellbinders - Grand Rectangles
Spellbinders - Matting Basics A and B 5x7
Sizzix - Branch with Leaves
Sue Wilson - Pierced Flags

The rectangles are different sizes in order to produce a little intrigue, while keeping the over-all design simple.

The first image was stamped in Memento Flannel Gray Ink. 
I chose turquoise and orange Prismacolor pencils to highlight the vivid colors in Old Glory.
After selecting several reds ranging from orange to burgundy, I chose
blues including navy, bold-true, and turquoise:

As the star section was completed, I pressed the turquoise pencil harder over the area, using it as a blender pencil, rather than a traditional Prismacolor Blending Pencil:

In the same manner, the orange pencil was used as the blending tool for the red stripes.
The white stripes were deepened using both grays and blues:

This beautiful Rubber Monger stamp has been in my stash for over 10 years and had never been used! In fact, the stamp woke me up one night, crying out for me to come color it, so I accommodated, getting up at 2AM and giving it my attention.

Do your stamps ever wake you up?

Finishing touches include Vellum and Vellum Cardstock. The Sue Wilson Pierced Flags set was used to feature the sentiment. Spellbinders Grands and Card Creator Matting Basics A and B (5x7) were used in creating layers.

In the next card, the image is stamped in Memento Cocoa on ivory for a sepia effect. Darker pencils were used in coloring. Tan, gold, and brown tones were used in shading, with a black layered panel. The Pierced banner is placed on the side:

Another Sepia tone card on ivory, this time layered with red and navy, and a touch of green for our beautiful country. Even though this was colored with a lot more browns, the blue matting highlights the cooler colors. Using different sizes of rectangles makes a pretty mat:

Lastly, a vintage rendition done in Gray Ink and gray-and-blue tones of pencils to create yet another flavor. This one is simply adorned with navy cardstock, and green branches:

In each case, a slight variation in the matting sizes and colors, 
and in the blending colors, 
has created a different effect.

click below for:
Products Used:
A few personal shares:
I've been gratefully enjoying a bit of a remission these past few months, and am now leaving the remission period. Therefore, it's a bit difficult making the blog rounds, and keeping up with my normal daily obligations. I only explain so you will understand why my comments may not be quite as descriptive as ordinarily.
In the meantime, I have some freebies for you!


(from the United States' Declaration of Independence)

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

It is the same sentiment - four styles available in jpg.
To download, click on the sentiment first to enlarge it, then download to your hard-drive.
Not sure why the original version looks great compared to Google's reduced size below.
Once this is published, I'll try downloading to be assured of the quality.

Hope you enjoy!





Challenges I'd like to play in please:

Great Impressions (June) RWB Anything Goes 7/3
Simply Create Too #110 Red White Blue 6/21

Dream Valley Challenges #133 "Vintage"  6/18


Monday, June 06, 2016

It's a Snowman's Life {Our Crafty Corner #10}

Hello, Lovely Crafty Friends!

Today begins challenge #10 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

My card features Two Turtle Doves Snowman
offered by this month's sponsor The Stamping Boutique

Such a darling image! I'll be using it again in the future!

The metallic snowflakes are from the sealed lid of my Whey Protein container LOL
Challenge Up Your Life #42 Repurpose Household Item:

The Snow Writer was used across the card top, and on the snowman's furry cap and coat, then sprinkled with Sparkle N Sprinkle's glitter. (Quite surprising how quickly this product dries even in humid Florida!)

Zig Zag stitching, ribbon, lace, glitter, and
snowy happiness (Snow Writer) surround the snowman and his friends. 
He is colored with Copic Markers:

Now it's your turn to link up to the 

A few weeks ago, my craft room saw daylight! I cleaned up!
I've been trying to clean it up every week-end for the next week's mess.
LOL - after watching this, you will know - I am a slow talker and forget words easily.

Challenges I'm Submitted to:

  1. A Beautiful Mess Challenges #3 Anything Goes (last Friday of Month) 6/24
  2. A Gem of a Challenge (May 28) "The Weather" (choose any season) I chose WINTER 6/10
  3. Catch The Bug (June 4) June Anything Goes 6/11
  4. Challenge Up Your Life #42 Repurpose Household Item (can lid shown above in photo) 6/8 (sep post)
  5. Crafty Cardmakers #165 - Monochrome (C15) 6/13
  6. Crafty Friends Challenge #33 Based On A Book (FROSTY THE SNOWMAN) 6/17
  7. Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #284 Vintage or Anything Goes Christmas 6/11
  8. Christmas Card Challenge #27 #27 6/12 (Tues 14th)
  9. Ellibelle's Let's Color Linky Party #10 Anything Goes with a Colored Image 6/30
  10. Jingle Belles (June 3) Frosty The Snowman 6/19
  11. Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #35 Anything Goes 6/19 (posted one week later)
  12. One Stitch At A Time #263 Anything Goes with STITCHING-faux or real. (I used my sewing machine's zigzag stitch all the way around the designer paper panel). 6/12 (posted one week later)
  13. PDE Linky Party #126 Anything Goes 6/10
  14. Scrappers Delights Challenge Blog #56 Anything Goes 6/30
  15. Winter Wonderland (June 3) Snowflakes 6/10

crafty hugs,

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Flying Free {Dies R Us}

Good Morning, Sweet Crafty Friends!
So glad you could stop by for a little feathery Dies R Us Inspiration!

Today's card utilizes simple layering techniques yet is FLAT for mailing! 

(so we can use our papers and dies without adding bulk and thickness)

click below for:


My card uses the following Dies R Us Products:

Memory Box Contempo Birds #30017
Spellbinders - Grand Scallop Squares
Spellbinders - Curved Rectangles (interior)
Sizzix - Branch with Leaves

The bird cage is slightly off-set with white to create a shadow.
By the way, this Impression Obsession Bird Cage cuts like butter!

The little Contempo Birds are in three pieces, and face both directions.
The layers have been "distressed" with Mowed Lawn Distress Ink to give each tiny piece a little depth.

The Sizzix Branch with Leaves is layered with Olive vellum and River Rock cardstock.
This allows the vellum to be invisibly adhered to the cardstock behind it.

(the feathers have been glued on the card base, and the white layer is glued directly on top of the feathers and base of card - no dimensionals were used anywhere.

The letters were stamped in VersaMark, and a different color EP was used on each letter before fussy cutting.

The flat layering continues on the inside:

Thanks for stopping by today!

Other Products:

  • Sparkle N Sprinkle: Madagascar Green Cosmic EP, Ice Rink EP, Bullfrog EP (letters FLY)
  • Paper: KandCompany, Rust, Tan, Olive Vellum, White, River Rock
  • Stamps: Hero Arts Alphabet Upper Case Letters
  • Feathers
  • Inks: Mowed Lawn and Crushed Olive Dye, VersaMark Pigment