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.


coldwaters2 said...

Hi Donna I really enjoyed reading your story about your Grandfather, I have also enjoyed looking at your beautifully designed cards the images are fun the design and colour of the cards are brilliant they look to have a vintage look to them, super festive makes
lorraine x

aussie aNNie said...

Fabulous reading today De, you always have a lovely story to tell.
LOVE your HM creation and as always you rock the colouring and fabulous use of the dies. Most creative indeed. Love brass bells too. I have one on our front porch...a tiny one but it's lovely too.


Shirley said...

Love the step by step Donna and also the colour scheme of your cards. Those house mouse are just stonkingly cute. Beautiful and amazing colouring in as usual.

The bell is such a family heirloom and so glad you still have it. The story about your granpa is sad but also uplifting because he survived and was able to come home to his family.

Warm crafty hugs from Shirl x x x

Silvis Kreativstube said...

Hallo liebe Donna,
zwei wundervolle Karten hast du gestaltet. Ich bin ganz begeistert von den Details.
Die Gechichte von deinem Großvater berührt mein Herz. Es waren sehr schlimme Zeiten. Tausende Menschen verloren ihr Leben oder sie mussten, wie dein Großvater, mit den Folgen leben. Die Glocke wird dich immer an ihn erinnern.
Was das für Eier sind weiß ich leider auch nicht. So etwas habe ich bisher noch nicht gesehen. Ich habe Google befragt und vielleicht hilft dir der Link weiter
Es scheint eine Wespenart zu sein die diese Eier legt. Meist wohl an Eichenblättern.
Ich wünsche dir alles Liebe und einen schönen Tag. Hugs Silvi

Paper Creations by Shirley said...

Hi Donna, your two house mouse cards are very beautiful with your trademark gorgeous layers, lace and pearls. Beautiful colouring as well. The story and bell about your grandfather is very interesting, he was a hero. And finally those eggs are very interesting in their beauty, but I sure don't know what laid them, must be something more tropical than what you would find up here. Take care, hugs, Shirleyxx

Beebeebabs said...

Wow such a nice card as always - the mice look so real - I am so scare of those little tiny creature why I don't know lol but anyway your card is so cute thanks for sharing my friend!!!

KarinsArtScrap said...

Donna these are gorgeous great colours.
Gr Karin


Thank you for playing with us at House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge.
Goodluck and hope we see you again.

Gr Karin DT Member

KraftyKoolKat said...

Your two cards are so very beautiful sweetie and are always very intricate what ever image you choose to put with your gorgeous work. The story of your Grandfather is lovely and I am so glad you still have the bell to look fondle back on. Sorry I am no gardener so cant help on your question.

Linda said...

Great story about your grandfather, Donna! I love the cards, and the little mice are adorable!

Shona Erlenborn said...

These are gorgeous. Such fun images and then your card designs are fabulous. Those little mice sure are busy! Love all the sparkle and dimension! Thanks for sharing the story of the bell and lace! Such sweet stories. I think a Katydid might be your egg layer!

Sue said...

Be still my heart! These two House Mouse cards are gorgeous! WOW, love the coloring on both, look like old photos. And Donna's beautiful dies, sparkle and details are always candy to the eye! Stunning as always! Love that the little image evoked a memory so precious of your GrandDad too. And those eggs, they look like seeds, whatever insect it is, is meticulous about how they are laid on the leaf, thanks for sharing the picture, it is awesome. And thanks for sharing your cards with the House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge, they are beautiful!


Linda Simpson said...

WOW these are gorgeous, love the colour combination and gorgeous mice.
Linda xxx

Lori Kobular said...

Oh Donna!! I love your Krafty House Mouse masterpieces! You are so very creative and talented! I love reading your posts! They are always so interesting and fun! That is amazing about your grandfather and his planting expertise ~ you must get your wonderful green thumb from him!! What a wonderful gift! I have not one clue what kind of bug laid those eggs, but they are very interesting, such precision! I have to tell you that I think you should have been a writer! Whenever I read any of your comments on my blog or others blogs I am always struck by how beautifully you express yourself with your words. Your comments always bring a big smile to my face!! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Lori Kobular said...

PS ~ I forgot to say that I love all the details you have on both of your cards and how beautiful the colors all go together!!

Chris said...

Such beautiful Christmas creations featuring the delightful HM stamp! Fabulous colouring as always, lovely design and colour choice, so perfect with the kraft. The glittered die cut frame is gorgeous, thanks for the 'how to' guide, will remember this clever tip.
A fascinating glimpse into the life of your grandparents Donna, lovely you have the bell to remember them by!
Those eggs on the leaf...amazing, such a perfect pattern!
I've really enjoyed reading you post today, thanks :)

Sue said...

Donna, Fabby card.

Got this from looking at Google Images: Those are Katydid Eggs. Katydids are large, usually green insects that are related to and which resemble Grasshoppers, but with much longer antennae. Like Crickets, Katydids make audible sounds that contribute to the orchestra of sound produced by insects. Though they feed on leaves, Katydids are solitary feeders who do litter harm to garden plants.


Lisa said...

What a beautiful story of the bell, Donna!! I truly enjoyed reading it!! And my gosh, those eggs are amazing!! I've never seen anything like it!! Your cards are both sweet and stunning!! I love the layers and dies you used!! The images could not be more adorable!! You colored them perfectly!! The sparkle adds beautiful shimmer!! I love, love these, my friend!! Truly gorgeous cards!! And to answer your question on my card, I used small drops of hot glue to adhere the pearl trim in my cards. I have a glue gun that has a long, narrow nozzle, making it perfect to add tiny drops :) Have a great day, my sweet friend!! Big hugs :)

A Mermaid's Crafts

SewPaperPaint said...

I just love your coloring and gorgeous layers here! Those border dies just set this sweet image off! A lovely set. Hugs, Autumn

Tammy said...

Both cards are stunning Donna!! Such a sweet image and I love the rich colors, your coloring is absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful story about your Grandfather too.
Hugs, Tammy

Bunny said...

It was lovely to look at the different ways you made your cards. I love the story of the bell. I also liked the color change of the bell on the cards. Thank you for joining us at House Mouse and Friends Monday challenge. {Bunny} Designer for House Mouse and Friends

cotnob said...

Gorgeous cards Donna, such an adorable image and two fabulous designs. I love the muted colours you have chosen and of course all of the fabulous details.
A wonderful story about your Grandfather and I'm glad you managed to solve the mystery about the insect eggs - I certainly didn't have a clue.
Thank you for all of the encouraging comments you leave on my blog, they are very much appreciated.
Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob

Verna Angerhofer said...

Such darling house mouse images and you colored them so perfectly and showcased them with all those dies to make the whole card so outstandingly beautiful. I love the story of your Grandfather and the bell. I am glad he was able to survive that gas. I heard it was terrible stuff. And, I am also glad you found the answer to your pretty eggs all laid in a row. Reminds me of cake decorating. I had no idea at all what insect laid them.

Ann Greenspan's Crafts said...

Beautiful cards with so much personal meaning to you, Donna. I don't think I could give them away knowing they have your Aunt's lace on them, but then again, you donate a lot of your cards to children's charities so I know they will be cherished. I had to look back at your previous mouse cards in red and boy what a difference it makes in the colors you used between the two cards. The stamp looks totally different. I love both, and your coloring is as amazing as always.

Now we know where you got your green thumb from....your Grandfather. I wish I had something of my grandparent's to hold onto and cherish like your bell. Love the frames on the cards and all the layering and tiny extras you always think about adding. Lots of time and love went into those cards and it shows.

pam said...

Two wonderful creations Donna, your great Aunt would love to see her lace used to such perfection! wonderful image and love your layout De.
What a wonderful story you have shared with us.
Hugs Pam x

Annettes Hobby Rosettes said...

This is just jaw dropping, amazing and incredible work. It is an absolute pleasure to visit your blog and view your wonderful talent. Beautifully illustrated photos on your blog too. Great work.
Thank you for sharing with us here today at World Wide Open Design Team Challenge and best of luck with your entry.

Annette DT Registered Owners/Admin for World Wide Open Design Team Challenge

Conniecrafter said...

Oh my goodness Donna, these cards are just Stunning!! Wow the colors are just wonderful, and the way you did the layering of the dies and punches behind is Awesome!! Excellent coloring and love your touches of sparkle on them too, very clever idea to add it around your pearls!

Love that you have something special to remember your grandpa. Sorry that he had to go through that in the war, glad they were able to make a life somewhere that was better on his health!

Thanks for sharing the eggs, I didn't know that was eggs, good to know if I see them :)

Janice said...

Your cards are just beautiful as always. Such cute images and I love the kraft card designs.
Such pretty lace and a lovely story about your grandfather.....thank you!
Janice x

NanaConnie said...

On, my, Donna, what incredible cards! I adore House Mousies but mostly I'm inlove with the die cuts you used. That square, glittered frame you made is marvelous and the die cut poinsettia really sets off the image. Love the tiny gingerbread man. Thanks for sharing the wonderful story about your grandparents. Now we know where you get your "green thumb." Love your new masthead. I sthat your own back yard? Lovely!

Leslie Miller said...

Two beautifully designed cards! Bedazzled, be-laced, and be-cuted! Great use of the wide tape which I must remember to do sometime. Kraft never looked so gorgeous, I think! I enjoyed your story, and it makes this image all the more precious. I've never seen Katydid eggs before, but isn't it marvelous how precisely they're laid out. I'm sure there's a reason for that.

Stampsnob. said...

Can't read all the comments but in the case you didn't get an answer the eggs were laid by a katydid ................Lis

Unknown said...

Very pretty cards!
Thank you for sharing with us over at The Merry Christmas Challenge... and best of luck with your entry.

Mary DT Member for The Merry Christmas Challenge...

International Art & Soul said...

Oh Donna, this is a work of art, simply stunning. I just love everything about this creation from you colour choices to you wonderful layering - real eye candy :) :) :) Thank you for joining us at International Art & Soul this fortnight and good luck. Hugs Jane xx

Ina G said...

You certainly have put in a LOT of work on these HM cards Donna. I love reading all the details on how they emerge - always beautiful. I think I like the mono colouring on the first one a little more. But then the 2nd one is so very Christmasy and I love that one too especially the little gingerbread man.Your attention to detail is to be commended. Love your work. Hugs

Ina G said...

PS I forgot to say how I enjoyed your heartwarming story of that treasured bell. Your Grandfather was something special!

Donna Phelan said...

Oh my these are the cutest and sweetest cards! I love the images! Your layers are always so perfect and I have always been a big fan of Kraft! Love your brass bell, so fantastic to have it! We have one on our shed that was my Husband's Grandfather' may have signaled lunchtime for the workers, not sure.....I'll dig deeper. And I have no idea what those clam shell eggs we just have clam shells lol FUN post!!!

Lorraine A said...

Gorgeous cards Donna :-) the image is adorable and I love the fancy frame with the glitter, very clever technique! I am going to have to give this a try, this is absolutely stunning! Gorgeous colouring and details too :-)

Thanks for joining us on the House Mouse and Friends Challenge 🐰
Lols x x x

Julie B said...

Love the glitter inlay technique, not tried that before. The die cuts frames are fab too!. :)

Sian said...

This is such a cute image, and beautifully coloured.

Nonnie's Cards and Gifts said...

Love the house mouse images. Vicki DT for

Jo said...

Oh my.. These two cards are Stunning!!
Love the tutorial as well.
Thanks for playing along at MTTC