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, July 27, 2017

Cards For Little Hearts - Card Drive for Children's Hospital

We are nearly four weeks into the CARDS FOR LITTLE HEARTS card drive.
Thanks to everyone who has been making cards, and sending them to Christina Hor.

In a few days, the CARDS FOR LITTLE HEARTS blog hop kicks off!
There are prizes from generous sponsors for winners of those who hop along with us.

If you're not able to do the blog hop, but still want to contribute to the cause,
all the details are found here for card guidelines and fabulous prizes.


Not only will your cards cheer the heart of a hospitalized pediatric cardiac patient (ages 0 thru 19),

but you'll have chances at winning several great prizes donated by a number of sponsors.

I will be having candy here on my blog as well,
kindly donated by Bugaboo Designs accompanied by fun, new sentiments, 
during our blog hop beginning August 1! The Blog Hop Winner will be announced on August 8.
The card drive lasts from July 1st thru August 25th so get ready to make those cards.
Card Drive winners will be announced on September 1.

Please be sure to read all the guidelines before sweetly creating for little children!

To purchase this adorable set, please visit Bugaboo's

My blog candy will be this darling Snowman Set by Bugaboo Designs:

(My blog hop prize has one extra sentiment with the snowflake on it.)

Below are two cards I'll be sending, just to give you an idea of how simple these thoughtful gestures can be. Precolored snowman with additional shading and coloring with pastel chalks.
Happiness is a heartfelt hug and time spent with your best friend:

Since we are using A2 size cards (that was my biggest challenge) with very little embellishing, I found it a perfect time to use paper scraps in my layering. In the frame below, I die cut from glitter cardstock because the glitter will not rub off into little eyes:

Thanks for doing what you can, and remember, even if you cannot send a card, I hope you will still hop with us on August 1 and become eligible for prizes.

Here are some freebies for your cards. Just click on the Heart(s) you want, then right click to save to your computer. Resize on your word processor to whatever size you like. These are PNGs and are transparent outside of the heart area. Ink them up and play! Please, no commercial use, and no reproduction for selling.


Challenges I'd like to play in please:
  1. Kerst Christmas "July" Christmas Always 8/1
  2. Christmas at Sweet Stampin' July "Anything Christmas 8/7 (sep post)
  3. Crafting by Designs (July 26) Anything Christmas 8/1
  4. Christmas Cards All Year Long (July) Anything Christmas 8/1 
  5. The Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #11 Anything Christmas Goes 8/6 (sep post)
  6. the Unicorn Challenge #23 Christmas in July 7/27 (sep post)
  7. Winter Wonderland (July 21) "Use A Digi" 7/5 (sep post)

Snowman Hugs,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

It's Christmas! Cardz 4 Galz -Fred She Said

Welcome, friends and visitors! It's great to see you this morning, and I hope you are doing well.

Time for a new challenge at Cardz 4 Galz Challenges today!

Badges are awarded for the Spotlight Winner and Top Picks.
Challenge #52 is chosen by teamie ME! (GIGGLE) -and the theme is:


So get started on your Holiday Cards now, 
show us your Christmas-Winter projects using any technique and medium!

All paper-crafting projects are welcome.
Challenge ends on August 3rd.

My project today is FLAT for mailing, 

uses the beautiful new Fred She Said Winter Greetings rubber stamp set found at Sparkle N Sprinkle.

My Tombow Markers began hurling insults every time I walked into the craft room because I've been neglecting them. Sad but true...

Do your products hurl insults at you when they have been neglected?

But they forgave me as I delightedly colored this wonderful new stamp set. If you enjoy coloring, this set has lots of fun opportunities. I wanted to color it some fantasy color - like blue or lavender, but Nature won, so traditional red and green happily won the tug of war.

You can imagine how many colors of embossing powders I've collected from SNS over the years. My favorites remain the same, however - The Cosmic Collection and the STARS Collection.
Fortunately (for me), SNS keeps expanding the Cosmic collection, and creates new colors similar to the STARS Collection.

Christmas Green Cosmic embossing powder works as a detail embossing powder. When the light shines on it, it's a creamy, luminous, pearlescent feature. When seen in less light, it shines forth its beautiful green, as shown below:

Sometimes it is difficult deciding how much color to put on an image.
Crafters know that mistakes are impossible to make -
less is more...
more is more...
and medium is more...
it all looks great no matter what we choose to do!

Add an unexpected shade to projects for artistic value. With greenery, I enjoy adding blue tones or purple hues. Here I've used turquoise in the leaves:


In the end, I applied the turquoise to some of the berries as well.

TIP: Although I'm not an artist, my rule is to add orange, yellow or chartreuse type shades for blending purposes, as those colors using bring out the beauty in all the other colors. I wish my photography better captured the lovely colors with the embossing powder:

Hoping this close up shows off at least a portion of the glistening pearlescent EP, and the golden threads of the fabric behind the image. (I left the image quite large, so if you click on it, you should be able to see the details) - sorry email followers, you need to visit the blog to enlarge the photos by clicking on them:

It really was difficult for me to not leave the image in a very pale style, but I can do that next time since two images were embossed!

Don't forget to upload your Christmas-Winter Creations to the

Products Used:

Winter Greetings Birds and Wreath Christmas rubber stamp set
The digital set includes papers and more sentiments, plus lots of color images.
Christmas Green Cosmic embossing powder
NUVO Glitter Drops - Golden Sunset
1/4" Tear-ific Tape
Tombow Markers (173, 177, 195, 243, 452, 856
Canson Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper
Craftwell Delicate Dots embossing folder
Golden Woven fabric (on top of green cardstock), 2 colors green, glossy white (for frame)

Challenges I'd like to play in:

  1. ABC Christmas Challenge July "N is for New, O is for Old" (brand new stamp set, old old TERRIBLY old fabric fibers on the card back, and old embossing powder)
  2. C.R.A.F.T #425 "Christmas" 7/28
  3. Creative Ladybird Creations #28 anything goes 8/1
  4. Creative Moments #122 Anything Goes + Christmas in July 7/25
  5. Christmas at Sweet Stampin' July Anything Christmas Goes 8/10
  6. Christmas Cards All year Long (July) Anything Christmas Goes 8/1
  7. Deep Ocean Challenges #159 Christmas in July 7/25
  8. Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #10 Anything Christmas Goes 7/26
  9. Little Red Wagon #403 Christmas in July 7/27
  10. Unicorn Challenge #23 Christmas in July 7/29
  11. Kerst Christmas "July" Christmas Always 8/1

Stamping Hugs,

Friday, July 14, 2017

Christmas in July {Sparkle N Sprinkle}

Hello, Blogging Friends!

Welcome to the Sparkle N Sprinkle "Christmas in July" Blog Hop featuring new stamp sets!

(now hopping on the 15th of each month.)

Blog Hop Order this month is:

My teamies have created some wonderful examples with these delightful, festive stamps.

We hope you will be inspired and show us your creations in the new Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenge Group.

EVERYONE CAN PLAY! EASIER AND BETTER THAN EVER the SNS Creative Challenge is back. Now on Facebook, a blog is NOT required.  Just upload photos of your cards, layouts or projects for a chance to win a $15 gift card or a Top 3 badge. (please use at least one SNS image and say what it is in the comments section of your photo)

Challenge Guidelines and FREEBIES are found here.

In addition to


this month the SNS store introduces Hampton Arts clear layering and card making stamp sets.



July's chilly video Kit Club includes NUVO Aqua Flow watercolor markers, 2 glitters, shaved ice, a new stamp set and papers for 5 cards.  

(for my email followers, here is the link video kit #17)


New Sparkle N Sprinkle Stamps


Sparkle N Sprinkle Christmas

 Winter Greetings Birds and Wreath 855  (Digital Version DIGI855FS
(I love this set and the digital portion is beyond fabulous with beautiful papers!)
Winter Greetings digi papers DIGI4005FS to match Winter Greetings Birds and Wreath.
Elf Peeker 858  (Digital Version DIGI858BG)
(delightful! It is featured on my card today)
Winter Flamingos Set 1 860    (Digital Version DIGI860SG)
Winter Flamingos Set 2 861  (Digital Version DIGI861SG)
Spirit of Christmas Poinsettia 862  (Digital Version DIGI862B - huge digi bundle)
Crystal Snowflakes 868  (Digital Version DIGI868FS)

When you purchase the digi versions of any of the SNS rubber sets, you are getting lots of extras that aren't available otherwise.  These extras include additional images not available with the rubber version, digi papers (in some cases), and now a cut file to use with your electronic cutting machines will also be included with all digi images purchased.

All the new digital and rubber stamp sets are 20% during their debut from July 15 - 20.

On July 18th, ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be selected from the comments left on the Designers' blogs listed above. Please leave a comment with each Designer in order to be eligible for the Grand Prize.  It's a Mystery as to which Designer will have the winning comment on her blog.

The Grand Prize Winner, who will be announced on the SNS Facebook page and the SNS Blog, will receive ALL of the new rubber stamp sets revealed this month.

My card features the mischievous Elf Peeker (from Bugaboo's eclectic artist).

Are you one of the organized people who chooses papers and THEN colors her images?

are you like me... 

... scrounging for papers
after coloring?

Copic Markers were used, including the background.

Later, I could not get the background to coorindate with the warmer hues needed, 
so I distressed with Bundled Sage and Scattered Straw inks, and then rubbed Moonlight White Brilliance ink over them, to smooth out the colors, and brighten them up a bit without making them too vibrant.

It gave a bit of a frosty appearance,
and slightly pearlescent as well.

Very festive!

Elf Peeker 858 is so sweet - yet a little mischievous, too!

A simple interior, using White Detail embossing powder:
Elf Sitter 859 (Digital Version DIGI859BG)  (sneak peek for August 15. Available on website if you wish to have both elf sets to play with):

Tip: Jazz up your old stash, like brads and eyelets, and any of your old embellishments using embossing powder.

Heat the metal portion and dip immediately into your embossing powder. If needed, heat again, and dip again, until the surface is to the desired consistency, as shown with these old, old, VERY OLD snowflake brads. (see the plain left compared to the 2 on the right?):

The sentiments have been embossed with Firecracker Red Detail Embossing Powder.

Because the EP contains glitter, the sentiments are sparkly, as well as dimensional.

Notice how fine the EP is on the word "nice". It is an open-outline font with fine lines.

It was such great fun making this card - flat for mailing, and cute as can be!

Sparkle N Sprinkle Products used:

Challenges I'd like to support:

  1. Cheerful Sketches (July) Sketch (I have flipped the sketch horizontally since my character faces that direction) 8/1
  2. ABC Christmas Challenge (July 5) "N is for New and O is for Old" (stamp is brand new, but papers, punches and brads are all years old) 8/1
  3. Always Fun Challenges #14 "Anything Goes" 7/17 
  4. Aud Sentiments #184 Christmas in July Plus a Sentiment 7/24
  5. Craft Rocket Challenges #39 July - Anything Goes 8/1
  6. Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #10 Anything Christmas Goes 7/24
  7. The Crafty Addicts Challenge #38 Anything Goes with Something Humorous (sentiments in card) 8/1
  8. Merry Monday Christmas Challenge #July 3 - Anything Christmas - COMMENTED ON 36, 41, 45 - 8/31
  9. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #1728 "Anything Goes 7/16
  10. Unicorn Challenge (July) Christmas in July 8/1 sep post

Spirit of Christmas Hugs,

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Butterfly Challenge {Fred She Said} {Cardz 4 Galz}

Welcome, friends and visitors! It's great to see you this morning, and I hope you are doing well.

Time for a new challenge at Cardz 4 Galz Challenges today!

Badges are awarded for the Spotlight Winner and Top Picks.
Challenge #51 is chosen by teamie Babs -and the theme is:


Show us your projects using any technique and medium!
All paper-crafting projects are welcome.
Challenge ends on July 19.

My cards today feature Fred She Said's fabulous new Butterfly and Background sets.
The colors are so brilliantly happy, that I chose the artist's amazing precolored images, and simply could not limit myself to one card - but tried using the same images in different ways, with the same color schemes. Not too much glitter, though, so that the artist's pretty coloring shows through.

Buy Now

Each card is a 5"x7" design. The sentiments are also available at the FSS store (Fred She Said "Butterfly Dreams" Sentiment Set).

While the same color butterfly is used on each card, 
the backgrounds are an assortment from the many being offered at Fred She Said's collection.

First, an oval with blue and green, using one of the pretty watercolor backgrounds:

Next, a pretty blue garden with a less detailed background. The backgrounds are also available preformatted in an oval and look fantastic cut in an A2 rectangle shape:

I added a touch of orange to the pretty precolored images. this sentiment comes in solid black as well as blue highlights. The butterfly also is available in a magical rainbow color scheme!

A simple green card with some gems. flowers have been added to the background. The flowers are available in a number of colors, and can be used with or without the backgrounds! (click on the image below for a better view):

And LASTLY, a fun pocket card - using glossy card stock on the pocket.
A belly band accompanies pocket card "just because":

Click on the image below for the dimensions to make a pocket 5" x 7":

Tag is inside, and the belly band adorns the outside:

Back side of the tag:

Front side of the tag uses the pretty very detailed distressed watercolor sketch background with added flowers. The butterfly, bottom left leafy twig, and the right flower are all popped up for dimension::

Don't forget to upload your Butterfly Creations to the
Cardz 4 Galz Challenge.

Products Used:


The weeds are abundant during our hot and steamy summer weather in Florida - mulching helps, but certain tiny seeds have a way of making big plants everywhere!

I suppose it is like that in our lives, too. We try to keep unwanted "weeds" from taking root, but they are always finding new ways to sneak in.
On the plus side, that gives us lots of opportunities for personal growth, right?
Your encouragment helps me pull those "weeds" out and plant beautiful "flowers".
Hopefully, I do the same for you (smile).

Our pool area, with caladiums (they are our summer color in the humid heat).
Jack's barn and workshop is in the background:

Part of the old cow corral (we have retired from the cow business LOL). All the cross fencing is gone, too:

The hummingbirds, butterflies, and all sorts of bees and wasps cherish the blooms from the lowly coleus - again, one of the few colorful plants that grow in the humid heat. In the background is our front yard, front pasture. To the far left is our driveway:

The front grew crazily with the colorful caladiums and coleus. A few volunteer pentas and periwinkles help feed the hummers, but it quickly became an overgrown jungle:

Challenges I'd like to Support:

  • Crafty Card Makers #192 Tic Tac Toe (SHOWN BELOW) 7/16 (diagonally gems-digital stamps-die cuts)