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, November 30, 2016

Ewe're So Wonderful

Greetings, my friends!

Hope this finds you well, and enjoying the holiday preparations in your special corner of the planet.

Today I have the pleasure of guest designing for Sparkle N Sprinkle during their December Reveal!
If you arrived here from Diane's fabulous blog, then you are in the right place!

Sparkle N Sprinkle has six new stamp sets to share with you today.  I am using:

These new sets are 20% off until the 3rd of the month; so once you finish the blog hop, head on over to the store and start shopping!  Five of the new sets are available on cling-mounted rubber and digitally. One of the new offerings is available digitally only.  

The sets are:

Build A Flower Set #811  (digi version DIGI811)
  Will Ewe Be Mine Set #813  (digi version DIGI813)
   Light Up My Life Set #814  (digi version DIGI814)
Rustic Flowers-Snapdragons Set #816  (digi version DIGI816)
Spring Bunny Set #819  (digi version DIGI819)
Build A Wreath (Digi Only)  DIGI3128B
On Dec 3rd, ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be selected from one of the comments left on ALL the Designers' blogs listed below. So leave a comment with each Designer in order to be eligible for the Grand Prize. The Winner, who will be announced on the SNS Facebook page and on the SNS Blog, will receive ALL of the new stamp sets released this month (or the digi versions, if preferred).

My super talented teamies have some wonderful ideas waiting 
JUST FOR YOU on their blogs! 
The Blog Hop order this month is:
Donna (that's me!)

(*Tip: if you have difficulty with a particular link, 
try clicking on the Designer's blog title to send you to their Home page.)

We hope you enjoy the stamp sets as much as we do.  Thanks for joining us and remember to comment on each of the Designers' blogs to be eligible for the Grand Prize. Wonder who the Mystery Host will be this month?

BEGINNING TODAY: The easy-peasy Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenge

There are lots of prizes and recognition badges.  We would love for you to be a SNS Featured Artist as well.  The theme is always Anything Goes using Loose Glitter, Embossing Powder, and/or Flock.

It's Demo Donna on the SNS YouTube Channel!

Subscribe today to REVEL IN all the latest Demo Donna tips and techniques! But even more - PREPARE TO BE ENTERTAINED! I usually giggle and laugh at Donna's comments throughout her demonstrations - 
She is...

     The Informative, 
          The Talented,
               The Fully Entertaining...


Now, let's get down to business (giggling)

Today's cards use:

      the same image, 

          the same border punch and
                    the same Sue Wilson oval die. 

However, they look completely different!

I love the cute, silly images from Bugaboo. Jodie (the artist) captures emotions so beautifully in her delightful drawings. I can't help but smile at these three crazy ewes!


On both cards, the sentiments have been cut apart to mix and match the words:

If you are thinking they look a little "fuzzy" in the photo, you would be correct! Each ewe has been hand painted with Brushable Glue. Around the outer edges Swanky Gray Sparkle N Soft was applied.  It contains a little glitter. The interior portions are covered with Snow White Flocking.

My ewes LONG to show off their soft wool, hoping someone will simply pet them!
It makes for a fun card!

Here's a close-up of their cuddly softness:

This set comes with lots of sentiments. I cut them up to mix and match the words from "a Wonderful day" and "Wishing ewe".
It's cute to say "Wonderful ewe".


I've also used a little Nuvo Mother Of Pearl Embellishment Mousse on the embossed back panel to bring out the flowers from the embossing folder:


This was my first application of the Embellishment Mousse. It's wonderful to work with.
AND GUESS WHAT? You can distress with ink on top of the mousse! BUT BUT BUT,
if you do use dye-base inks for distressing on top of the mousse, clean off the applicator because some of the creamy mousse ends up on the applicator, making the ink rather smooshie and dark the next time you use the applicator (see the blue coloring around the sentiment? It's suppose to be like the distressed blue in the ewe panel).

Just sayin'...
The grass began as a piece of Sticker Paper. Peeling off the protective layer, I burnished Parisian Mist Ultrafine Glitter G1037 into it. Then cut the blades of grass. Finally, with the help of Brushable Glue, I added more grassy detail to highlight the greens with Spirited Green Ultrafine Glitter G1070.

You can see the lighter color green glitter atop the darker color below:

Happiness is... WONDERFUL EWE!


Create the illusion that there are more layers on your card by carefully using glitter or unheated embossing powder. Apply double-sided Tear-ific Tape around the back side of your punched or die cut shape. Leave the protective coating in place on the backside. Turn the panel face up, so your tape is sticky-side up. Burnish the glitter (Misty Blue Ultrafine Glitter) into the small openings as shown in the frame below:

My next card:

(Wahhhhh! my dry embossed hearts don't show on the bottom part!)


Make a single layer look like two:

The new background paper gives a little glitter pizzazz to the lacy front.
The glitter trick from the first card was used again; and burnished Misty Blue Ultrafine Glitter is around the interior edges of the lacy frame:

Burgundy Glitz Ultrafine Glitter G1047 was burnished into a piece of Sticker Paper, and then die cut using the SW Oval die, and the SB wavy border die. Before adhering the silly ewes panel, I die cut the SW leaves from the glittered section. There are a few punched hearts as well from the left over areas of the glittered shape. Again, the sentiment has been cut apart to mix and match:

Lots of sparkle in the custom background panel, the lacy edge, the middle panels, the extra tiny hearts and the leaves:


Thanks for dropping by today, and for hopping in SNS's December Release!
Be sure to check back to see who won the grand prize!

Sparkle N Sprinkle Products:
Other Products:
  • Dies: SB A2 Curved Borders One, SB Mega Scallop Long Rectangles, SB Petite Scallop Ovals, SW Double Pierced Ovals, SW Faux Quilled Leaves
  • Punches: MS Lacy Heart Border (for the glittered hearts), and the Vintage Floral PATP, EKSuccess Rounded Scallop Corners
  • Embossing Folders: We R Memory Keepers Dotted 2 hearts, Embossalicious Crafter's Comp Floral Wonder
  • assorted inks, papers
Challenges I'd like to support:
  1. 613 Avenue Create #191 ANYTHING GOES! 12/4
  2. Aud Sentiments Challenges #169 ANYTHING GOES + A SENTIMENT 12/5 (both cards contain sentiments where the rubber has been cut apart and pieced together)
  3. Craft Your Passion #340 Anything Goes 12/5
  4. Crafting by Designs (11-30) Anything Goes 12/7 
  5. Crafting from the Heart #138 Anything Goes 12/5
  6. Crafty Gals Corner #100 Anything Goes 12/7
  7. Creative Fingers Challenge Blog #121 12/9
  8. Creative Moments Challenges #107 Anything Goes 12/7
  9. Die Cuttin' Divas #294 Make It Sparkle (the EP has glitter in it for background, the layers around the frame are glitter, the leaves are glitter, the gray flocking has sparkle and glitter, hearts are glittered, the grass is die cut with scallop rectangle and glittered, the embossing has shiny embellishment mousse) 12/4
  10. Get Creative Challenges #53 Birthday (my easel card) 12/12
  11. Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #46 ANYTHING GOES! 12/4
  12. World Wide Open Design Team Challenge #16 ANYTHING GOES! 12/15

December hugs,

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Greetings, Blogger Friends! Now that I have played a few days with the new Google Blogger format... I'd like to enlist your assistance. (It's an easy read LOL)

If you regularly comment on blogs that have COMMENT MODERATION ENABLED, or if you administrate more than one Google (Blogger) Blog, you might be interested in the following.

Recently Google made changes to their Blogger offering. While commendable that only a brief interruption of service was felt throughout the world, and only some modifications are left to be corrected in the Template Section, some of their changes left blog administrators a bit perplexed and disappointed.

If administrating only one blog - there is no real problem, other than becoming accustomed to the new look. However, things become convoluted and time-consuming if you administrate more than one blog.

The changes to the entire dashboard prompted Brenda (nickname B x) to write an excellent request on the Blogger Forum. If you are disagreeable about all the changes, please let your voice be heard. Her blog post is here. Her Blogger Forum request is here.

The new format doesn't really bother me - other than it is something new to get used to LOL

However, I do NOT care for the new format regarding MODERATING COMMENTS. 

THEREFORE I began a second thread at the Blogger Forum which can be read here. It offers a suggestion to make moderating comments less time-consuming. 

Why does this affect you if you're only leaving comments, and NOT moderating the comments? 
Your comments may not be approved and/or responded to in a timely manner.

Google actually gives ear to its users as long as the suggestions are concisely worded, 
so your voice DOES make a difference.

Please visit the Blogger Forum at one or both locations to make your voice heard if you so desire. (links listed both above in the paragraphs, and grocery listed at the bottom of this post)

This is what I have written as a Suggestion to Blogger:

Hi, unfortunately, when creating the new Blogger "dashboard" format, someone at Google neglected to consider administrators who moderate several blogs.


The old blogger dashboard allowed Google's users to see (in a single glance) all the blogs which a user administrated or contributed to. Previously, a red clickable link indicated how many unmoderated comments were on each blog, making it effortless to address each comment in a timely manner and respond appropriately. 

Under the new format, each blog must be selected, then "comments" must be selected, and finally, we must click on "awaiting moderation" JUST TO SEE IF there ARE comments requiring our attention. It's cumbersome and time consuming, especially for those who administrate several blogs. 

I miss being able to see this feature at a glance (ie: blogs having a waiting comment to be moderated).

Will you please consider creating some sort of dashboard that contains this information? Perhaps next to the name of each blog in the new pulldown menu? My suggestion would be a simple number in parenthesis would work. For example:


It would at least flag that there ARE comments requiring our attention. We could click on the (3) and address the 3 comments. That way, Google's users are not having to needlessly spend time searching for the possible comments needing to be moderated. The current new format is really a big step backward in this regard.

Thanks for your consideration. (I use 27" iMac, latest Sierra OS, latest Chrome browser)

Brenda's request that everything be put back the way it was:

My request to simplify moderating comments:

It is also suggested by the moderator at the Google Forum to click on the SEND FEEDBACK on the bottom right corner and contact Goggle for making changes. I had to "quit" the Chrome app and restart in order to see the SEND FEEDBACK button on my computer - you may or may not have to do the same.

Thanks for your help, blogging buddies!


Thursday, November 24, 2016


I am soooo glad to see you!

It's time for a new Cardz 4 Galz challenge!

Badges are awarded for the Spotlight Winner and Top Picks.

Challenge #36 theme is a favorite of teamie Caz - A Snowman - 

so get crafting and show us your snow people!
Challenge ends on December 7.

Products for my simply sweet card:
  1. My Besties Snowman IMG382
  2. Hero Arts "Sparkle" sentiment set
  3. Copic Markers, red grosgrain ribbon, Distress Inks, Deep Lagoon Versafine Ink
  4. Swiss Dot embossing folder, Heart die cut, SB Modern 5x7 Stationary dies
  5. Glitter Paper (glitter will not rub off), white, red, blue cardstock

My card is being used for the 

Hug a Heart Drive:

to brighten the holidays for the very young pediatric cardiac patients at Nationwide Children's Hospital. The husband of Our Blogging Buddy Christina Hor Designs is a cardiologist there.

This year, Christina and her children are creating mini 3D Christmas trees for each room in the intensive care and inpatient wings. With so many rooms, Christina has never been able to have a card for every child spends Christmas in the cardiac unit. 
This year, she is hoping to do that, but needs a little help from friends.
For more information please click here.
and a sweet thank you from me to my Sweet Friends!

On a Personal Note:

What happened? Did Old Man Winter make a mistake?
We were warned that our area MIGHT have a chance of frost Monday night.
Something unheard of for Florida in November.
Not only did we have a frost, but we were 30F degrees (-1.1C) for several hours.
So our vegetable garden and tender plants likely bit the dust. We'll know in a few days.
The front pasture was coated with a thick layer of icy frost until about 9AM this morning - VERY unusual for Florida in November! But pretty, none-the-less. (there is always a silver lining, right?)

So what caused this turn of events?

I think Shona Erlenborn's visit to Sanibel Island triggered the frost.
She flew down from New Jersey last week.
It **HAS** to be her fault, doesn't it?

In the meantime, Florida's weather is gorgeously welcome, with lower dew points for lower humidity, and highs in the high 70s to low 80s. We love it! And so would you, so head over our way and visit the fabulous theme parks in our area.

PS. The Barred Owls were serenading and laughing again last night!

I'd like to support the following Challenges please:
  1. A Snowflake's Promise #33 Anything Goes with Optional theme of Seasons 11/29 
  2. Come and Get It Challenges Nov 20 - "Get Well Soon" (as written above, this is for an inpatient pediatric cardiac patient in the Nationwide Children's Hospital) 11/26
  3. Crafting from the Heart #137 Anything Goes 11/28
  4. Crafty Creations #329 Christmas 12/7
  5. Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge #308 Anything goes CUTE! 11/26
  6. My Besties International Challenge Blog (Nov) Anything goes 11/28
  7. Scrapbook Stamp Society #105 Anything Goes 12/5

Thanks for stopping by!

Warm, Florida, Sunshiny Hugs,

Monday, November 14, 2016


Greetings, everyone!
(a special note to my friends in the U.S.)

There are many card drives during the holidays and throughout the year.
May I share about one you may have never heard of?


Our Blogging Buddy Christina Hor Designs has a very special Mission.
Her husband is a cardiologist at Ohio's Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Christina tries to give parents of terminally ill children in the cardiac unit encouragement cards during the long process of procedures and care. If the saddest moment of loss happens, she provides a heartfelt sympathy card to the parents at the loss of their sweet baby or dear child.
She also tries to provide cheerful cards to the children in the cardiac intensive care and inpatient wings throughout the year.

Especially during Christmas she strives to deliver holiday cards.

This year, Christina and her children are creating mini 3D Christmas trees for each room in the intensive care and inpatient wings.
With so many rooms, Christina has never been able to have a card for every child spends Christmas in the cardiac unit. 
This year, she is hoping to do that, but needs a little help from friends.

Would you like to create a simple, sweetly-appropriate children's Christmas card for those pediatric cardiac patients who will have to spend the holidays in the hospital?

If so, here is Christina's message

As these cards go to very young age children and of different ethnic background, I do have a few guidelines.

  • use kid's friendly images.  Kids love anything that is cute, cuddly and funny such as teddy bears, woodland creatures, reindeer, penguins as well snowman.  Just to name a few.
  • keep it clean with minimum embellishments.  However, shaker cards and pop-up cards are welcome.  So if you like making one of these cards and you know who you are, please do!   But please make sure to use strong adhesive to ensure that none of the shaker/embellishment pieces fall out.  
  • consider keeping your theme more of a: winter scene, "thinking of you" as well just a general "holiday" theme since not all of them celebrate Christmas.  Some celebrate Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Pancha Ganapati and some just don't celebrate the holiday at all.  So avoid using sentiment like "Merry Christmas" on your card.  
           Here are some sentiments i like to use: Let It Snow; Warm Winter Wishes; Thinking of you this holiday season; Sending you lots of hugs and wishing you a happy holiday.

If you are able to help, please have your card mail to me by December 10th to the address below.  If you know of any crafty friends who would like to help, please forward the message to them or share on your blog post.  It is safe to include the address in the blog post as it is my PO Box address and not my home address.  

Christina Hor 
P.O. Box 517
Dublin, OH 43017

Thank you SO MUCH in advance for your help!


Christina suggested greetings to read something like:

"Sending you hugs and thinking of you this holiday season. From Ms. Christina of Ohio"

(only use your own name, of course LOL)

She will be delivering the cards and trees on Dec 15. 
She is requesting cards by December 10.





and a sweet thank you from me to my Sweet Friends!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Contemporary Christmas

YAYYYY! You're here! And just in time!
(I hope you're enjoying a week that is holding promise and anticipation.)

Double YAYYYY! Autumn has finally arrived to our neck of the woods!

Pssst! I'd like to remind you not to forget to sign up on my blog for my blog candy! 
It is for my regular bloggy visitors such as yourself.


Oh yes! It's time for a new Cardz 4 Galz challenge!

Badges are awarded for the Spotlight Winner and Top Picks.

so get crafting and show us your modern take on Christmas!

There are many traditional elements incorporated into my modern take of Christmas, 
including snow, presents, a tree, snowflakes and ribbon!

It's been years since I played with acetate, so I stamped some modern presents with VersaMark and heat set with some SNS white detail EP. Painting the back side of the embossed presents with SNS Brushable Glue, I then applied some SNS microfine glitters:  Jasper Blue Velvet GM2012, Orchid Rose Velvet GM2016.


Front side:

Little dancing present popped up on card:

A little Mediterranean Star EP to pretty-up my round frame:


I love sharing my BOO-BOOs with you!

I VersaMarked my "modern" IO Swirly Christmas tree, and stamped onto some inexpensive watercolor paper. Because I wanted a sparkly tree, SNS Sparkle EP was heated. It is a semi-transparent powder with semi-transparent glitters. 
It worked pretty well
a white EP with glitters would have worked better...
or perhaps a clear EP with white mica powder and glitter.
A white pigment ink UNDER the Sparkle EP instead of VersaMark.


Because a tiny bit of the color seeped UNDER the heated EP. Since the EP is not opaque, some of the color bled through the paper under the image, dulling the embossed image.

I've only used my Color Burst Powder colors one other time.

I forgot about them LOL

See how dull the white image appears?
Brilliance Sky Blue ink was used on the dry embossed white area and the sky around the tree:

Here is my clean-and-simple version.
Is this considered CAS?

See the difference in the bright white embossing powder for the sentiment compared to the semi-transparent powder used for the tree?

Thanks for stopping by today!

On a Personal Note:

We gratefully receive the Gentleness of Autumn here in central, rural Florida.
Our mornings have dipped into the 50s - 60s (15-20C), while our afternoons glide into the low 80s (27C).
Before the sun rises, I open the sliding glass doors to the screened lanai, breathing in the dewey freshness.
All is quiet, undisturbed - SILENT.  Our Barred Owl community has apparently retired for the day.
Barely hearing the highway traffic a few miles away, I hear
ripened acorns drop from the oak trees, on the barn's metal roof, for some hungry squirrel to discover and hide as their winter reserve.
But then, a single Barred Owl tentatively shares his greeting, erupting into bold cackling, making me giggle at heart. If you have ever heard the guffaws of these incredible birds, you know what I mean.

During the evening, he and his mate have been quite vocal with their neighbors.
There are several owls in the area. Frequently they are right outside the house.
Their conversations are incredibly lively, from softly muffled background singing, to something that resembles outright laughter! I wish this sound bit picked up how lively they become! (wait about 15 seconds into the sound bite)

Everything smells fresh as the dew sets, and a neighbor's rooster begins to rouse the neighborhood.

Slowly, one by one, other birds awaken.

Some resent the intrusion on their last hour of sleep,

others quickly awaken to get an early start.

Before long, it sounds like an orchestra deafeningly tuning all their instruments simultaneously!

And now, the Sun finally animatedly reveals her multi-color glory.

This is Autumn in my Florida.

Products Used:
  • Images: Great Impressions G245 Presents, Impression Obsession Swirl Tree J2004 Leigh Hannan, Hero Arts Christmas C1722
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle: Embossing Powders (White Detail EP298, Sparkle EP107, Mediterranean Star EP429), Embossable Acetate, Brushable Glue, Microfine Velvet Glitter (Jasper Blue GM2012, Orchid Rose GM2016), VersaMark Ink
  • Die Cuts: Spellbinders Grand Stately Circles, Spellbinders Grand Circles
  • Inks: VersaMark (for embossing powder, Brilliance Sky Blue (for falling snow), 
  • Embossing Folders: Crafter's Comp Elegant Snowfall, Regency Swirls by Die'sire, Craftwell Delicate Dots
  • Watercolor: Color Burst Powder Watercolors

Challenges I'm supporting with these cards:
  1. Christmas at Sweet Stampin Challenge (Wed Nov 9) "Anything Goes Christmas" 12/7
  2. Crafty Gals Corner Challenges #97 "Use a Sentiment" (my 2nd card) 11/16
  3. Inspiration Destination #111 "Anything Goes" 11/16
  4. The Crafty Addicts #28 "Anything Goes with the Winter Blues"11/23
  5. A Snowflakes Promise #32 "Seasons" (Christmas) 11/14
  6. Cardz4Guyz #145 "Oh Christmas Tree!" 11/14
  7. Holly Jolly Christmas Challenge #84 "Trees or Christmas Trees" 11/13  (10)
  8. Craft-Dee BowZ (Nov) Anything Goes with a hand-made bow 12/1 
  9. Crimbo Crackers #119 Shaped Christmas Cards 11/17 (sep post end of month? several challenges announced at once)
  10. Sweet Stampers Challenge #1 "Christmas" 12/10

Happy Hugs,

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Nikki Burnette Mermaid Symphoni

I'm so happy you could drop by!
Hello, and welcome to today's project!

Today's project uses the same image in two different ways.

and have you guessed yet?

It's time for another Crafts Galore Encore Challenge! 

We always enjoy seeing the wide array of art uploaded to the challenge,
and hope to see many more of your projects this month!

Our theme this month is: 
Use a digi or a stamp on your project - which can be:
Cards, Tags, Cookies, Cupcakes, Scrapbooking -- 
anything at all!

Our Prize Sponsor this month is Nikki Burnette

Click Below For:

I am featuring Nikki's beautiful Symphoni Beach Mermaid!

Today's Z-fold card is inspired by blogging friend Linda's card at Linda Viche Creates.
Although not as intricately folded as Linda's card, my inspiration came from her layers, fold and dramatic colors!

Three colors of sparkling glitter were used around the image. I surely wish the photos showed how glittery it is:

Ribbon is from D. L. Art.
(She has a free shipping special until November 5.)
The ribbon is adhered until the image, around the back and to the front so that the card can be tied like a present:

Mudd Puddles Sand was used in the corners of my card. It's been applied quite thickly for dimension. (not a flat card anymore). 

Here is a tutorial for a more flat application:

A black gel pen outlined the starfish and shell details on the die cuts, then I coated with a VersaMarker and "Hit the Beach" embossing powder. The EP and Sand Mudd Puddlesare color  coordinated, but offer different textures. The black lines barely show through:

I'm embarrassed to admit that the Mudd Puddles are at least 6 or 7 years old LOL.
The good news is, they still applied perfectly!

My second card is an A7 size flat for mailing:

I used the same embossing folder and the same designer paper, however the designer paper is stamped with an old rubber stamp, and antiqued with green to coordinate with my mermaid:

The retired Spellbinders dolphin has been wet embossed with sparkly EP.
Instead of having the currents in water flowing merely behind the mermaid, I have masked in front, and allowed the watery depths to flow in front of the image for dimension:

Card Interior:

The set:

Looking forward to seeing your projects at:

 Crafts Galore Encore Challenge! 

Products Used:

  • Image: Symphoni Beach Mermaid
  • Stamped side panel on flat card Fred B. Mullett #126 (15+ years old?)
  • Embossalcious Regency Swirls by Die'sire (embossing folder)
  • Stardream Pearly Cardstock orange and aqua (z-fold)
  • Spellbinders Grand Labels dies, Grommet Tag dies (z-fold card), 5x7 Modern Stationary (flat card)
  • IO Dies: (shells) DIE077-W and DIEO176-E
  • Dee's Distinctively Dies Flourish Set 4
  • DL Art "pink hue tail" ribbon
  • Malibu Beach Mudd Puddles (the sand in front)
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle: Aqua Marine, Waterscape, and Waterfall ultrafine glitters, Brushable Glue, Hit the Beach and Mediterranean Star embossing powders, VersaMarker
Challenges I'd like to support please:
The Alphabet Challenge "R" is for Recipe Ribbon/ Digi Stamp/ Dies/Punches) 11/4
     (z-fold card uses ribbon, a digi, several dies (across)
     (z-fold card uses sentiment, digi, Embossing (EP and EF)

warm hugs,