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

***UPDATE*** - With the 2020 Blogger format, is your Blogger blog loading very slowly? Mostly in the sidebar? If so, THIS INFORMATION may be helpful.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tis the Season!

Waving a hearty welcome to you, lovely crafting friends!

Hoping you and your special loved ones are doing well.
Alas, this is my final post for the DRU team - I'm sad to leave my very talented teamies,
but... 

looking forward to sharing wonderful news with you next month!
(It is always difficult to sit on a secret for several months, don'tcha think?)


Let's do a little Christmas Dies R Us Inspiration today!

Several layers of the same die cut can achieve texture, richness and color.
Here's what I did:
click below for:
STORE
The following Dies R Us Products were used:

Die Versions "Snow Flurries" DWP-004 (I love these snowflakes!)

The glittery full moon has a piece of sticker paper behind (hand cut after adhering it).
The glitter is sparkly in person, but on camera, Velvet (Microfine) glitter is more like a velvety with only a little glitter showing.

TIP:

The larger the glitter grain size, the more area for the light to reflect the sparkle.
The smaller the glitter, the more "movement" of the card is needed to show the glitter.
In this instance, I wanted the reindeer details to show up clearly, and not be covered up with the sparkly glitter to which we are all accustomed. SO--
I HAVE  LEARNED--
The larger the glitter grain, the more likely to get a blurry photo, or have part of the card elements/details covered up by the grains.
Hence, SNS Cloud Nine Velvet Microfine glitter was my choice:



The square card sports a timeless white embossed Anna Griffin sentiment:

Tip:

To grace your projects with unexpected elegance and use the "left-overs" in your stash:

1. Use opulent scraps of paper in the layers.
2. Wet emboss sentiments, background panels, or layer edges.
3. Find that odd, left-over brad, eyelet (remember those?) or other metal embellishment. Heat it up, dip it into your embossing powder, and make it new for your current project:


Love the detailed stitching on the Poppy Stamps Main Street Stitched Tags:


The Pearly Vellum in gold and white lends an unexpected elegance!
Wishing the photos showed it better (sigh):


Tip:

Use tones of the same color that work well together, without clashing.
In this case, it was all about the golds:
  • The heavier pearlescent circular frame is beautifully crisp - it was made by using the round die that came with the Sue Wilson Mini Christmas Scene Background set, and a Spellbinders Classic Circle that was just a tad larger.
  • The intricate brad has been heated and dipped into Detail Gold embossing powder.
  • Non-metallic, true-gold-hue printed in the pretty in the Anna Griffin papers sets the stage for the other golds, not taking away from their textures.
  • The Gold Galaxy Brilliance Ink accentuates the dry embossed green panel, and red tag under the white.
NOTE: to answer Becky's comment question below - the EP will usually not completely melt into the container. The brad gets very hot, so use tweezers, of course. When you dip it, the EP will not completely melt. It mostly sticks to the brad head like glitter on glue. Seldom does it actually melt all the way. Most of the time, I have to use the heat tool on it again to finish the melting process. I hope that helps explain it a little better!


Hope you enjoyed today's ideas. 
If you did not notice, I have a little gift offering for my followers.
Just click on the link under the "tabs" of my blog photo for details.


Products:
My card is supporting the following challenges:

  1. A Snowflake's Promise #28 "Anything Christmas Goes" 9/21
  2. Christmas Card Challenges #40 "Anything Christmas" (hanging head in shame that I did not use the optional challenge). 9/18
  3. Christmas at Sweet Stampin' Challenges  (Sept 14) Christmas Dies 10/15
  4. Classic Design Team Open Challenge #6 (Sept) Anything from a DT 10/1
  5. Crafty Gals Corner Challenges #89 - Freestyle! 9/21
  6. Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Extra (Sept) Anything christmas 10/1
  7. Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper (Sept) Anything with PP (my background) 10/1
  8. Merry Monday Christmas Challenge #213 Inspiration Board - I was inspired by the red and white color combination, the snowflakes, the opulent setting, the magical decor for the meal) 9/19 (sep post)
  9. Paper Creators Crafts Challenges #51 Christmas 10/1
  10. ScrapyLand #49 Anything Goes with dies 9/19
  11. The Twelve Months of Christmas Link Up #21 Anything Goes with Optional Theme Nature of Christmas - I'm not sure if the icy white leaves count as flora or not LOL 10/1 (sep post later)
  12. World Wide Open Design Team Challenge Blog #14 (Sept 15th-Oct 15th) Anything from a DT
happy hugs,


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A little give-away

Hello, sweet friends. I am re-organizing my die cuts, and have found some sets that are either neglected or too difficult for my fumble fingers.

If it is not offensive, I'd like to offer these beloved, gently used sets periodically to my regular blogging friends as a gift / blog candy.

If interested, please:

1) leave a comment below. (if blogger is set at "no reply" please be sure to leave your email address.)

or

2) email me directly

or

3) if you follow via email, please click REPLY and it should show a valid email address. Please write me, and I will include your name in the drawing.

Let's see... today is September 13. I will draw a name on October 1! 

Up for grabs are two coordinating Spellbinders Sets:



S4-376 Labels 27


and
S4-380 Decorative Labels 27
They are stored on magnetic adhesive on stiff cardboard.

Looking forward to sending these to a loving home.

hugs,


Thursday, September 08, 2016

Important: Is Your Blog Mobile Friendly?

Hi! BloggerStop.Net recently posted excellent advice about preparing our blogs and websites to be mobile friendly (regardless of format Blogger, Typepad, Wordpress, etc).

The Google Test Site tests all pages and all Blogs.

Click here, or go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ to test your blog or webpage. 

Visit this BloggerSpot.Net message to read more about our changing global marketplace, how our blogs and websites are being viewed and catalogued by search engines. Test yours easily and for free!


Sometimes the older version templates on blogs (especially some of the "cute" sites), cause lengthy delays or jumping around while they adapt to the tablets and phones being used to view them. So it may be time to change the template on our blogs in some cases.

I have noticed a few of my friends' blogs bring up a non-mobile ready website with tiny words on it when viewing from my tablet or phone. This makes reading and leaving comments difficult.

By using the highlighted link above, you'll know if your blog passes the test. I found using the highlighted link was all I needed to do - so probably that will be sufficient for all my blogging buddies as well!

blogging hugs from your cracked egg buddy,



Autumn Butterflies

Welcome, sweet crafting friends!
So glad you could make it for a little Dies R Us Inspiration today!

Those of us in hot, steamy Florida are longing for Autumn weather.
Autumn in Florida means decreased temperatures and BLESSEDLY decreased humidity!
That won't happen until the end of October. (wry laughing)
So in the meantime, I will 

Dream of Autumn on Butterfly Wings!

Hoping you will enjoy a few hidden tricks I've shared below...


click below for:
STORE
The following Dies R Us Products are being used:

Memory Box Delia Butterfly #98353
Memory Box Finn Butterfly #98351
Spellbinders Classic Scallop Rectangles lg
Cheery Lynn Tropical Flourish B127

Both cards are "U.S. Business Size" cards.
The first card uses Memory Box Delia Butterfly #98353 and Finn Butterfly #98351.





How to make your butterfly "self-fluffing".












Finished Butterfly on card (it automatically "fluffs" itself up):




Inside of the cards:

This idea would be beautifully done using any dies!





Tip: 

Use unheated embossing powder. 
The Sparkle N Sprinkle Brown Fizz has a blend of brown tones and a dash of autumn colored glitter in it. It is heat set on the filagree portion of the butterfly. 

However...

Because I don't care for the reflection of the double-stick adhesive behind the rhinestones, I sprinkled the same EP atop the rhinestone stickers. The EP around the rhinestones is not heat set. It affords a matching shadow for cohesiveness with rest of the card, and it gets rid of that pesky "shine" from the clear adhesive. Depending which EP you elect to use, the effect will change the appearance of your card! Here is a close up:


My designer paper is old, old, OLD. My mother-in-law and I purchased it back in 2003 at a quaint little stamp store in South Tampa. Being a butterfly enthusiast, she would love the cards!

Fun second card using the Cheery Lynn Large Lace Faerie Queen DL160 die set. It is a 2-piece set (the white background is cut with the 2nd, solid die). Beautifully frilly and delicate!


I die cut the golden pearlescent vellum first, then the brown layer. The brown layer is thick cardstock because I only wanted the tops of the wings to cut out. The rest is "embossed" or taped back into place (see view below) in order to show off the beautiful filagree of the gold vellum layer:


The Cheery Lynn Tropical Flourish B127 is coated with beautiful SNS Florida Beach glitter!



Hope you enjoyed today's ideas.

QUESTION PLEASE!

What is your favorite brand of White Pigment ink?
When embossing with white detail EP, I prefer using white pigment ink to VersaMark.
I used SU white on one card, and VersaMark on the other card. There is a big difference.
But I'm disappointed that my seldom-used SU pad is so concave! It is difficult to get a clean inking with it. So am in the market for another. What do you use?
Thanks for your input!

Products Used:


Playing in the Following Challenges please:
  1. 613 Avenue Create #189 Anything Goes with Optional Twist -  Colors of Fall (check weekly, 10/2)
  2. Craft Your Passion Challenges #328 Anything Goes 9/12
  3. Die Cut Divas September challenge "Fall Theme" 10/1 (sep post 10/2)
  4. Dragonfly Dreams (Sept 4) Monochrome 10/2
  5. Dragonfly Journeys #73 Social Butterfly 9/11
  6. Dream Valley Challenges #139 Monochrome 9/10
  7. Eclectic Ellapu Purple Challenge (Sept) "New Beginnings" 10/2 (the cards' interiors have a story about creating yourself - it is something new happening all the time - and a butterfly makes itself new) 10/1
  8. Inspiration Destination #102 Anything Goes 9/14
  9. Love to Craft Challenge Blog #2 Anything Goes 10/1
  10. Scrapy Land Challenges (Sept #49) Anything Goes with Dies 9/21(listed above)
  11. Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenges (Sept) Use EP or Loose Glitter) both cards use white EP in the sentiment, One card uses EP in the butterfly body and frill layer, one butterfly flourish uses glitter, the card interiors use glitter on the die cuts) 10/1
  12. The Corrosive Challenge (Sept #9) Anything Goes 10/2
  13. World Wide Open DT Challenge (Sept) 9/15
Stamping hugs, and best wishes for good health to everyone -

Thursday, September 01, 2016

We're All A Little Different {Beccy Muir}

Greetings, sweet friends!
Hoping you and your families are doing well, and enjoying Life.

It is still quite hot here, with next-to-unbearable humidity.
The only thing growing in the garden is Okra, which I cut up and roast in the oven, making it crispy without the "gooey sliminess". LOL 

This past week has given us humidity in the mid ninety percentile, making us EXTRA grateful for air conditioning. We have also had an extremely active lightning season, but fortunately no tornadoes.

Well, enough about that. (laughing)



It's time for another Crafts Galore Encore Challenge



Our theme this month is: Anything Goes. Cards, tags, anything at all!

This month's sponsor is...
     The fabulous...
          The famous...
               The fantastically talented...

My projects feature an OH-SO-FUN stamp set called "Milton the Giraffe".


We're all a little different, and it is that "difference" that makes each one of us so special!
My cards reflect that specialness, too!

Milton's sister Melissa is joining us for a 

breast cancer support card. 

(sounds like the narration for a fashion show) giggle.

Colored in Copic Markers, Melissa is standing tall in her battle against breast cancer. 

The background panels are heat embossed with Princess Rose Cosmic EP387:


HOWEVER:

While the same EP was used on the entire background, the underlying colors are different:


You can barely see the difference - the words are darker than the hearts and ribbons:


This technique would be wonderful with Sparkle EP or some other semi-transparent EP, especially if it has glitter in it.

TIP FOR SENTIMENT ON TAG:

The sentiment on the tag was stamped using MISTI because I did not have the right color of EP or ink. To achieve the desired color,  the sentiment is inked and stamped using dye-base Wild Plum.

The stamp is cleaned in place, and inked with VersaMark. Stamp perfectly atop the Wild Plum image. Fnally, Strawberry Sherbet Cosmic semi-transparent EP248 was sprinkled on the wet sentiment and heat set achieving a coordinating color which is slightly darker. 

(NOTE: you could also ink your stamp with VersaMark and then color the inked image with a marker, huff on the image, and stamp. Immediately apply the EP and heat set.)


A little Mauvelous Glitter sparkles up the pink layer of the sentiment AND the scallops:

To Achieve the Pink Sparkly Scallops:


Use one sided or double-sided tape, sticky part down. Turn panel over, burnish glitter into the stick-y-fied scallops, brush off excess, and flip back over. If using regular tape, glue will be needed to adhere the panel to your card. If using double-sided tape,  remove the protective cover and adhere panel.

"Melissa" could not be happier with her achievements. (smile)


Meanwhile, Brother Milton is Catching Snowflakes:


Beccy creates the sweetest images, and they are always fun to color.
Brother Milton is colored with Copic Markers.

The shiny edges of the tag are created with chunky Diamond Dust Glitter
The larger the glitter-chunk surface, the more light is reflected and shimmered. (that was your trivia question answered for the day, even though you technically did not ask it) giggle.


Blue Jewel Glitter highlights some of the other snowflakes:


It's difficult capturing that glitter-i-ness on each element at the same time.
But the card itself is lots of sparkly fun:

The pretty papers are from K and Company - probably 10 years old if a day.
(hanging head in shame):


The blue card was quick and easy - simply color, layer, some die cuts, add glitter:


Quick on the inside using more sentiments and leftovers:


Thanks for stopping by today! We enjoy being inspired by your creations on the



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Pink Card:
Products Used:
Pink Card Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Aud Sentiments Challenge #163 Anything Goes + a Sentiment 9/12
  2. Classic DT Open Challenge #6 (Sept) CGE DT Cards 10/1
  3. C.R.A.F.T. Challenge #379 Embossing (please see the tutorials-tips above regarding embossing powders on the pink sentiment and embossing powders on the background) 9/7
  4. Craft Your Passion Challenges #327 - Anything Goes 9/5
  5. Crafting By Designs (Sept) "Anything Goes 9/25
  6. Crafting from the Heart Challenges #125 Anything Goes 9/5
  7. Crafty Awesomeness Challenge (Sept) Hand Colored Images 10/1 (48 hours)
  8. Crafty Gals Corner #87 Anything Goes 9/5
  9. Cutie Pie Challenge Blog #102 Anything Cute at work rest of play (mine are playing) 9/12
  10. Die Cutting Divas Challenge #281 Anything Goes 9/4
  11. Digi Choosday Crafting Challenges #38 Anything Goes 9/4
  12. Inspiration Destination Challenge #101 Anything Goes 9/7
  13. Love to Craft Challenge Blog #2 Anything Goes 10/1
  14. Paper Minutes Challenges #450 Pennants (pink card has "wish" pennant at bottom, and vellum white pennant on top left) 9/5
  15. Shopping Our Stash #SOS267 - Learn Something New - using my MISTI, I documented above how to stamp twice (once with VersaMark pigment ink, and then once with marker or die base ink) in order to change the color of an embossing powder on a single image.) 9/6
  16. Simon Says Wednesday Challenge (Aug 31) Anything Goes 9/6
  17. Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenges "Anything Goes with Glitter or EP" 10/1
  18. Sunny Day Crafting #12 Anything Goes 9/6
  19. Through the Craft Room Door (Aug 30-Sept 5) Anything Goes 9/6
  20. World Wide Open DT Challenge (Sept) 9/15
  21. Just Keep on Creating (Sept) Anything goes 10/1
PLEASE NOTE: FOR SOME REASON, BLOGGER PUBLISHED THIS POST TWICE. I DID NOT WANT TO DELETE THE COMMENTS OR POSSIBLE LINKY PROBLEMS. IF THE CHALLENGE IS NOT APPEARING HERE, WILL YOU PLEASE CLICK HERE AND SEE IT LISTED? THANK YOU.


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Blue Card:
Products Used:

Blue Card Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Aud Sentiments Challenge #163 Anything Goes + a Sentiment 9/12
  2. Christmas Card Challenges #38 "Anything Goes Christmas" 9/4
  3. Classic DT Open Challenge #6 (Sept) CGE DT Cards 10/1
  4. Craft and Smash (Sept 1) Use Light Blue 10/1 (left in comment)
  5. Craft Your Passion Challenges #327 - Anything Goes 9/5
  6. Crafting By Designs (Sept) "Anything Goes 9/25
  7. Crafting from the Heart Challenges #125 Anything Goes 9/5
  8. Crafty Awesomeness Challenge (Sept) Hand Colored Images 10/1 (48 hours)
  9. Cutie Pie Challenge Blog #102 Anything Cute at work rest of play (mine are playing) 9/12
  10. Die Cutting Divas Challenge #281 Anything Goes 9/4
  11. Digi Choosday Crafting Challenges #38 Anything Goes 9/4
  12. Holly Jolly Christmas Challenges #79 Non-Traditional Colors 9/4
  13. Inspiration Destination Challenge #101 Anything Goes 9/7
  14. Love to Craft Challenge Blog #2 Anything Goes 10/1
  15. Paper Creator Craft Challenges (Sept) Christmas 10/1
  16. Simon Says Wednesday Challenge (Aug 31) Anything Goes 9/6
  17. Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenges (Sept) "Anything Goes with Glitter or EP" 10/1
  18. Sunny Day Crafting #12 Anything Goes 9/6
  19. Through the Craft Room Door (Aug 30-Sept 5) Anything Goes 9/6
  20. World Wide Open DT Challenge (Sept) 9/15
  21. Just Keep on Creating (Sept) Anything goes 10/1
PLEASE NOTE: FOR SOME REASON, BLOGGER PUBLISHED THIS POST TWICE. I DID NOT WANT TO DELETE THE COMMENTS OR POSSIBLE LINKY PROBLEMS. IF THE CHALLENGE IS NOT APPEARING HERE, WILL YOU PLEASE CLICK HERE AND SEE IT LISTED? THANK YOU.

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On a Personal Note:

Please forgive my inability to leave as many comments as I was once able to do.
The cognitive and physical portions of my abilities has decreased substantially this year,
and I'm just not able to do as much as I once did.
Thanks for understanding, sweet friends.
It certainly is not because I don't care, because I do - just not able.


Stamping Hugs,
(this is me, wearing my giraffe colors)