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, August 31, 2017

Getting Krafty - Cardz4Galz and House Mouse Challenge

Welcome, Blogging Friends!
It would be great to know you are feeling well and enjoying yourselves.
Today I am featuring two whimsical creations, using the krafty color scheme just in time for

The new challenge at Cardz 4 Galz Challenges today!

Badges are awarded for the Spotlight Winner and Top Picks.

Challenge #55 is chosen by guest designer Julie - and the theme is:


show us your Paper Crafting projects using any technique and medium, 
Challenge ends on SEPTEMBER 13th.

My cards are inspired by the House Mouse and Friends Challenge which is pearls and lace.

So glad STAMPENDOUS is still making HOUSE MOUSE images!
This is one of my few HM Christmas images, so I colored it 4 times last month in different schemes. The first one is in candy red colors here.
Today's share includes two sepia tone images with different muted colors (one chocolatey and one reddish) in order to meet the C4G Krafty Challenge. 

Pure Chocolate:
Colored with Copic Markers and embossed with Craftwell's Delicate Dots, I inked with 2 Distress Oxides. To heighten the kraft cardstock in the pretty Sue Wilson Gemini border dies, I inked them with Champagne Sparkle VersaMark Dazzle ink. (Long neglected for YEARS in my stash).

The bell is actually bright yellow with a touch of brassiness. Instead of removing the pearly flourishes from their adhesive backing, I cut around the acetate. Green glitter was rubbed into the exposed adhesive to add a touch of color resembling greenery. The simple layered flower is all made from kraft cardstock. The top layer is inked with Distress Oxide and a little Mousse. The middle layer has nothing. The bottom layer is solid mousse.

My Great-Aunt Agnes's Lace, Spellbinders dies, and old MS punches help make a frame.


Next is the reddish version with lots of coral and deep red tones added and a genuinely brassy bell. Yikes! My little mice look sunburned. Likely they have eaten too much red frosting. (giggle)

To make the pretty frame and card:

The Snowflake border die has been inked with VersaMark Champagne Dazzle. There is a slight sparkle to it in real life, but the watermark effect darkens the kraft cardstock enough to show against the kraft base. The little gingerbread man die cut on the flower is decked out with Antique Rose NUVO Crystal Drops. It looks just like icing!

It's always a pleasure using the laces and trims from my Great Aunt Agnes. She was born in 1902 and was a registered nurse at a hospital in New York until she was in her 40s. How happy she would be knowing her goodies are still enjoyed today.

Rose Gold Microfine Velvet Glitter was burnished into the frame, and also in the pearl flourish so the adhesive would not be as shiny-noticeable.
We would love seeing your kraft-colored projects at the

Cardz 4 Galz Challenge!

On a Personal Note:

One reason why I enjoyed coloring this House Mouse image is the brass bell.
In the 1800's our family had a dairy farm in Wisconsin. This bell is from that farm. Decades and generations passed. My Grandpa fought on the Western Front in World War I and was "gassed" with what was called Mustard Gas. Fortunately, he survived, but he could no longer tolerate the Wisconsin Winters. So the family sold the farm and moved to Southern California where they created a profitable Plant Nursery. Grandpa hybridized many plant varieties, including African Violets, Camellias and lilies. Grandpa's heart and lungs were weakened by the gas, and he periodically suffered relapses. During those "bedridden" days, the bell was at the side table for him to ring. My Grandma would hear the clanging bell, and know Grandpa needed something. Today the bell lives on a bookcase in our home, with fond memories of my grandparents, their amazing property, their beautiful aviary, and of course, the gorgeously hybridized flowers. Oh! And one more memory - for all those who fought in the First World War.


Does anyone know the name of the insect that laid these eggs? Though not clearly visible, the eggs actually resemble clam shells, because they have 2 halves, sliced horizontally through the eggs. Aren't they beautifully arranged so perfectly along the underside of the waxy ligustrum leaf?

Click on the photos to enlarge:

UPDATE: Thanks, Shona! 
They are indeed Katydid eggs, when I looked up that name and saw all the photos, I recognized the culprit immediately - it is definitely not something we need in this area full of citrus trees and other ornamentals. Thank you!

Products Used:

Card One:

  • Image: Frosting Gingerboy House Mouse
  • Inks: Memento Black, Distress Oxides, VersaMark Champagne Dazzle
  • Copic Markers
  • Papers: Neenah Solar White, Kraft, Chocolate Brown
  • Embossing Folder: Delicate Dots by Craftwell
  • MS Punch: Daisy Edge
  • Spellbinders: Labels Four, Elegant Labels Four
  • Sue Wilson Mini Gemini Dies - ARA (border on sides)
  • Vintage Lace, Ivory Pearls, Tonic Green Meadow Glitter (in the pearls)

Card Two:


  1. International Art and Soul #15 "Layer it Up!" 9/10 (card base plus lace, frame, several layers of die cuts
  2. Christmas with the Cuties #9 "Cute Couples" 9/25
  3. Christmas at Sweet Stampin' "Anything Goes Christmas" 9/13
  4. Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas #348 Anything Goes Christmas with Something Old (stamp images, Punch, Emb Folder, Vintage Lace, Pearls, VersaMark Dazzle ink, SW, SP, MB & PS dies)
  5. House Mouse and Friends #248 Pearls and Lace 9/4 (sep post)
  6. My Time to Craft Challenge Blog #353 "Krafty" 9/10
  7. The Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #13 Anything Christmas  9/4 (C15)
  8. ScrapyLand Challenges #72 "Anything Goes with Dies SL Sells" (listed above - SW, MB, PS) 9/5
  9. The Merry Christmas Challenge #32 Anything Goes Christmas 9/4
  10. World Wide Open DT Challenge #25 "Anything DT Goes" 9/15

Thanks for visiting! As always, I cherish your thoughts and comments.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty! {Cardz 4 Galz}

Greetings to the best blogging buddies EVER! (smile)
and welcome to my little corner of Blog Land.

Today's projects are all about GREEN KITTIES!
(no they are not from Outer Space, and they are not "little green alien kitties").
'Just doing something a little different.
Instead of a "horse of a different color", it is "Kitties of a Different Color".

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

Badges are awarded for the Spotlight Winner and Top Picks.
Challenge #54 is chosen by guest designer Jan - and the theme is:


show us your Kitty Paper Crafting projects using any technique and medium!
Challenge ends on August 30th.

Onward to my cards depicting "Kitties of a Different Color".

Had SO MUCH FUN making these cards.

Used a virginal stamp by Starving Artistamps. According to the internet, they are still in business, but I don't think the same artist owns the company because the styles are completely different than the few stamps in my stash. This one is copyrighted 2003 and I got it NEW in the same year AND IT HAS NEVER SEEN INK! eeek! or should I say MEOW! Hanging head in shame.

Stamped with VersaFine Olympia Green, and colored with Copic markers, my kitty is delighted to be placed on VIRGINAL papers by DCWV Latte Stack copyrighted 2009 LOL OLD AND NEGLECTED! Vintage "Great Aunt Agnes Lace" shares the limelight with black die cuts from friend KT Fit Kitty. They have been embossed with my own hand-blended green embossing powder mixed with a little greenish mica powder and some goldish glitter.


Kitty eyes have been CLEAR EMBOSSED with detail EP. It enriches the blue color, however, the photos show up a bit red (the traditional camera red eye) because of the EP. See the difference between the two images? One without EP, one with:

Heated and then dipped into the same custom-blended EP twice, are these OLD, OLD JUMBO BRADS. Why did I purchase so many brads?

I love this kitty stamp!

Another "wonky frames" card, I used the external "negative" left overs of the Tonic English Picnic Layering Die Set and coated it with Old Navy Embellishment Mousse to contrast against the detailed frame distressed with Memento Paris Dusk. It is difficult to NOT use Embellishment Mousse because it is SO PRETTY and easy to use. FAST drying.

Love the DLArt Crinkle Ribbon which always provides wonderful texture!

The papers have been distressed with Tumbled Glass DI and Memento Paris Dusk with a touch of Lemon Sorbet Embellishment Mousse. Was able to partially capture a little shine below:

5.5" x 7.5"
Not sure why I added the brads. Guess I thought "more is more" giggle.

6" x 6"

Are you GREEN WITH ENVY over my little GREEN KITTIES?
not everyone can have green kitties, after all...
(more giggling)

Products Used:
  • Tonic English Picnic Layering Die Set (rectangular card)
  • Tonic Embellishment Mousse (Powder Blue, Lemon Sorbet, Old Navy) Distressing
  • SB Scallop Labels Twenty-two, cats from KT (square card)
  • SB Rolled Roses, Cottage Cutz Greenery, Cats from KT (rectangle card)
  • INKs: VersaFine Olympia Green (stamped images), Memento Paris Dusk, Tumbled Glass, Forest Moss Bundled Sage, Several Green Copic Markers.
  • Hand blended green-mica-glitter EP, vintage lace, brads
  • DLArt crinkle ribbon (green)
  • Papers: Express-it White, DCWV Latte Pack, Green, Blue-Gray, Green Vellum, Pale Blue

Cards are entered in the following wonderful challenges:
  1. A Bit More Time to Create #50 Anything Goes 9/1
  2. Show Us Your Pussies - Cats #21 Furrything Goes 9/4?
  3. Dragonfly Dreams (Aug 6) Animals 9/3
  4. Making Memories Crafting #8 Anything Goes 9/1
  5. Retro Rubber Challenges #69 Sketch with Old Rubber (as mentioned above, the rubber stamp is at least 10 years old but I think I purchased it when it first came out in 2003 - thanks for the fabulous sketch!) 8/27  sep post
  6. As You Like It Challenge "What's Your Favorite Embellishment and Why" (my two favorite all-time embellishments are (1) the gorgeous rolled flowers -- my favorite of those is the SB rolled roses - I enjoy making them, embellishing them, customizing them, and adorning projects with them. The sad day of my life was when the U.S. Postal Service changed regulations to 1/4" thickness for the mail, making it costly to mail projects using the roses. (2) embossing powder - I love altering papers, embellishments, die cuts, anything that can stand heat - with embossing powder - it's inexpensive and transforming -- like my cat die cuts here, and the brads! 8/25 sep post
  7. Craft Rocket Challenges #40 Animal Kingdom #40 9/4 (sep post b4 new chal)
  8. DLArt August Linky Challenge Anything Goes 9/1 (used DLArt crinkle ribbon)
  9. Crafty Animals #5 Anything Animals 9/1
  10. Country View Challenges (Aug 2017) Blues and Greens 9/1 (sep post)
Thanks for stopping by, my friends!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sparkle N Sprinkle August Stamps

Hello, Blogging Friends!
(this post was edited on August 3, 2018 to remove old info)

Welcome to the Sparkle N Sprinkle "August Release" Blog Hop featuring new stamp sets and papers!

Blog Hop Order this month is:

Donna (that's me!)

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


August Sparkle N Sprinkle Stamps:

August's sets are:

    My card features Michelle Perkett's sweet Christmas Spirit Fairy:

    I have colored her with Copic Markers. With this digital set, you will receive the black and white images, plus this Copic-colored image. Additionally, the bundle includes another beautiful colored rendition by colorist Anne Temple, and the blue background without the fairy's dress being colored in. Lots of options with this set.

    There are white snowflakes in the background, and a white snowflake border punch on the right side, with a single white snowflake on the left, embellished with a holly sprig:

    The black and red panels are dry embossed and distressed Tonic's Powder Blue Embellish Mousse. The designer paper in the background has been distressed with Tumbled Glass and Memento Paris Dusk inks, then covered with Pacific Teal Embellish Mousse for an interesting effect. 

    Firecracker Red embossing powder was used on the frame and sentiment. Although it is a detail EP, it contains glitter, and still allows the detailed portions of the image to show. The same distressing techniques were used on the simple oval:


    Use various parts of a digital stamp to accessorize your cards:

    I printed a smaller version of the Christmas Spirit Fairy Digital Stamp and cut out two of the holly pieces from her skirt, and adhered them to the sentiment and snowflake on the left:

    Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to visit everyone's blog in order to be eligible for the grand prize.

    Challenges I'd like to play in please:

    1. Christmas Card Challenges #19 Blue and White with Snowflakes (white snowflakes in the background, and a white snowflake border punch on the right side, with a single white snowflake on the left)
    2. ABC Christmas Challenge P is for People, R is for Red 9/6
    3. Christmas at Sweet Stampin' (Aug 9) Anything Christmas 9/13
    4. The Merry Christmas Challenge #29 Anything Christmas Goes 9/6
    5. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #1733 Anything Goes 9/15
    6. Kerst Christmas (Aug #8) Anything Christmas (4th entry) 9/1
    7. World Wide Open DT Challenge #25 AG for a DT - 9/15

    Stamping Hugs,

    Tuesday, August 08, 2017

    Cards For Little Hearts Blog Hop Winners

    Hi, Blogging Friends!

    We are into our 6th week of the CARDS FOR LITTLE HEARTS card drive.
    Thanks to everyone who has been making cards, and sending them to Christina Hor.

    Today's post is to announce blog hop winners. OH BOY!

    Winners for the blog hop can be seen on Christina Hor's blog here.

    My blog candy was this darling Snowman Set by Bugaboo Designs:


    KraftyKoolKat (Cathy Tanner)

    but hurry as the deadline is August 25,
    and become eligible for prizes from the following kind sponsors:

    If you were 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.


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

    Below are two cards I sent, 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 a hot mug of holiday cheer:

    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.

    Thanks for doing what you can, and remember, even if you cannot send a card, I hope you have enjoyed the little snowman Winter Cards of Encouragement.

    In case you missed it on my previous posts:

    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.


    Playing in the following fun challenges:
    1. Christmas Cards All Year Round "Must Use Yellow" 9/1
    2. Die Cut Divas (Aug) Anything Goes using die cuts 9/1
    3. Kerst-Christmas Challenges (Aug) Anything Christmas 9/1

    on a personal note:
    (for my email followers, link is above)

    Heartfelt Snowman Hugs,

    Sunday, August 06, 2017

    Fields of Butterflies {Fred She Said}

    Welcome, friends and visitors! It's great to see you this morning, and I hope you are doing well.  
    In case I don't convey it often enough, thank you for your kind comments, and especially, for sharing a little something about your lives, joys and suggestions.

    Today I'm featuring some beautiful background papers and precious butterflies from
      Fred She Said Designs!

    Tracey-Lynn recently created beautifully romantic, flower-filled fields (SAY THAT THREE TIMES FAST) of Nature's Majesty, and paired them with two species of colorful butterflies in two styles - regular and distressed. Fred She Said Designs has recently come out with several new products that will bring your paper crafting to a new level. She also has a blog with great design ideas and tips - Fred She Said Blog.

    For my first card:


    Donna Phelan of Crafting By The Beach inspired me 

    to use vellum for the sentiment.

    Pink Crystal Drops were put on the butterflies.

    For the interior, I flipped the background horizontally, and added the verse.

    For the second card:


    The backgrounds are GORGEOUS, and there is a color for just about any color theme.


    I distressed the edges of this card with sparkly Hanauma Bay Glitter from Sparkle N Sprinkle (on the inside of the frame). This color was chosen because of the variety of blues and greens (the deep vibrancy of a healthy ocean). Then Dimensional Glue was used around the outside of the regular glitter, and chunky Oceanic Glass Glitter was applied for better texture. I hope you can see the 2 different kinds of glitters below, to see how they complement one another:

    A little Hanauma Bay Glitter has also been applied to the butterflies' bodies.

    Products Used:

    On A Personal Note:

    Stamping Hugs,