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

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Merry Christmas Challenge #41 Anna Griffin

Hello, sweet blogging friends!
It's getting to be that time of year!
Do you have your holiday cards made?

I'm happy to say this is my first post as a Designer for the Merry Christmas Challenge Group! This ought to help me keep on schedule for making Christmas cards in 2018.

The theme is always ANYTHING CHRISTMAS GOES. This can include any type of crafting at all, so work on those decorations, tags, wreaths, sweaters, cards -- Anything Christmas Goes! Every fortnight begins a new challenge.

Some years ago I purchased an Anna Griffin Christmas Card kit for making 40 cards. I was a little disappointed and set it aside. But today, I've decided to start using some of the goodies in the box and mix it up a little with die cuts and other papers.

Products Used:
Dies: Sue Wilson Pierced Nobel Dies, Pierced Flags, SB Christmas Tree, Anna Griffin Santa Clause Face, Memory Box Holly Flourish

Papers: Anna Griffin Christmas, KandCcompany

Challenges I'd like to play in please:
  1. Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - Nov 1 Anything Christmas 12/1 (sep post)
  2. Kerst/Christmas - Dec #12 - Anything Christmas 12/1
  3. Delicious Doodles Challenges (Nov) Christmas - Traditional Colors or Image (I used both) 12/1

Stamping Hugs,

Sparkle N Sprinkle with Two Crafty Critter Crazies

Hello, Critter Loving Friends!
Hoping you are doing well and enjoying Life.

May I ask a blogger question please? Has anyone else been experiencing the dreaded and repeated error message when trying to write and SAVE their posts?

A new 2 Crafty Critter Crazies Challenge begins today!


We have a design team call happening!
for information, please visit 

2 Crafty Critter Crazies

Sparkle N Sprinkle is sponsoring November's challenge, which ends November 30. A random winner is selected, and a guest designer for the upcoming month is chosen.

My card features this fun "Birdhouse Friends" Digital Set (also available in rubber here).

I colored this image with Copic Markers, and this colored version is also available in the SNS Digital Shop with the background and without the background, for your crafting convenience.

Sentiment stamped in red to match the red borders:

The sentiment is repeated on the inside in a larger size to stress the point:

Such a fun card to make!

Don't forget! Any project featuring any creature is eligible at the 

2 Crafty Critter Crazies Challenge!

Products Used:
  • ImagesBirdhouse Friends Digital Set (also available in rubber here)
  • Dies: Spellbinders Bow Elegance, Mega Curved Rectangles, Tonic Mixed Edge Diamond Layering Basics, Tutti Birdies Tio, Impression Obsession "Grass"
  • Paper: Express-it Copic White, Dark Teal, Green, Red, Indigo Bleu "Pinkpaislee"pattern papers, 
  • MISC: Copic Markers, Distress Inks, Crimson Versafine, MS heart lace punch, Tonic Deluxe Adhesive, 

Challenges I'd like to play in please:
  1. Bugaboo Crafty Challenge #10 Anything Bugaboo Goes! 11/15
  2. World Wide Open DT Challenge #27 Anything DT Goes 11/15
  3. Crafts Galore Encore #46 Anything Goes 12/1 (tab)
  4. Crafty Animals #8 Anything with an animal Goes 12/1 (sep post)
  5. Crafty Girls Creations #41 Anything Goes 12/1
  6. Love to Craft #16 Anything Goes 12/1 (sep post)
  7. Love to Scrap #103 Anything Goes 12/1 (sep post)
  8. Creative Ladybirds Creations (#31) Anything Goes 12/1
  9. Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper (Nov) Anything Goes with PP 12/1 (sep post)
  10. Color Throwdown CTD467 Color Inspiration 11/7 (sep post)

Why Do Animals Like Capybaras So Much?
(courtesy of Linda's Peaceful Place)


Lots of Critter-Style Hugs,

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Cardz 4 Galz - Your Favorite Flower and Why

Hello, Friends! Here in Florida we are delighted that our typical Autumn weather has arrived yesterday FINALLY! Lower humidity, cooler nights, and even cooler in the daytime! Even the weather man said, "It's been years since we have experienced our typical Fall in the Tampa Bay Area".
SIGH - Happiness is Autumn in Florida.

There's a new challenge at Cardz 4 Galz Challenges today!

Badges are awarded for the Spotlight Winner and Top Picks.

Challenge #59 is chosen by designer INA G - and the theme is:

  Your Favorite Flower and Why  

show us your Paper Crafting projects using any technique and medium, 
Challenge ends on NOVEMBER 8th.

Because Roses do not grow in Florida, I treasure them with their velvety petals and soft scents. They are available in so many colors, so today's card honors the pale orange roses available in other parts of the country.

The wood mount stamps in my craft room are enjoying themselves these days because I am paying attention and using them. It's been fun because I can stamp the images repeatedly and have a great final image by using my trusty OLD, OLD, OLD Stamp-o-Graph. Have you ever heard of it? It's a hinged platform like the Tonic Stamp Platform, with 2 open-ended sides. This image was repeatedly stamped 3 times to achieve a vibrant color:

In fact, everything on this card is at least several years old with the exception of the distressing done with Burnished Bronze Embellishment Mousse.

Oldies but Goodies:  the old Peddler's Pack stamp from 2002, and the pretty vellums from 2003, embellishments which are years old, and the MS daisy punch which is likely 8-10 years old.

Dry embossed and distressed, the frame is popped up. The dark brown Coordinations Paper has been dry embossed and sanded.

A few Autumn colored rhinestones adorn the card and cover a few boo-boos.

The vellum has a metallic pearlescent sheen (banners) with a computer generated sentiment "Come and meet my roses...":

Thanks for popping by today! I hope you enjoyed my Autumn colored roses!

And be sure to add your pretty flower project to the
Cardz 4 Galz Challenge.

Products Used:

  • Images: Peddler's Pack Roses (bought in 2002 and still virginal) YIKES!, computer-generated sentiment
  • Dies: Grand Nestabilities Large Labels, Sue Wilson Pierced Flags, Memory Box Chloe Stems
  • Punches: MS Daisy Edge
  • Embossing Folder: Craftwell Love Triangles, Craftwell Delicate Dots
  • Inks: Memento Cantaloupe, Tea Dye Distress Ink, Old Paper Distress Ink
  • Paper: Gold Pearl Vellum, White Pearl Vellum, Tan, Neenah Ivory, Coordinations Brown
  • MISC: Copic Markers, Burnished Bronze Embellishment Mousse, Flowers, Grosgrain Ribbon, Jewels, Leaves
Challenges I would like to play in please:

  1. Paradise of Stamps #59 Autumn 10/31
  2. Sparkles Monthly Challenges #97 Autumn Colors 11/15
  3. Sweet Stampers Challenges #12 Autumn 11/10
  4. The Rubber Buggy #4 Autumn 11/1
  5. Classic Design Team Open Challenge #17 Anything Goes for a DT 11/1
  6. Crafty Addicts #41 Anything Goes with Autumn Colors 11/1
  7. Crafty Creations #353 Anything Goes 11/7 
  8. Crafty Gals Corner #146 Anything Goes 11/1
  9. Inspiration Destination Challenge #136 Anything Goes  11/1 (sep post)
  10. Simon Says (Oct 25) Anything Goes 11/1 (sep post)

Leaving you with TWO Smiles:

Monday, October 23, 2017

Lovely Autumn Color theme at The Crazy Challenge!

Good Morning, sweet blogging friends!
I hope this finds you well and enjoying the season.

Today I am guest designing for a fun challenge blog called


(thank you for giving me this opportunity, Crazies!)

This fortnight's challenge is COLOR THEME #260.
So get your Pretty Autumn Colors out and join in the fun!

I'm playing with a masking technique, using "Post-it Tape" with this collage stamp. Manufactured by Rubber Cottage and purchased in 2005, it has only seen ink one time before. How NEGLECTFUL of me! (Isn't it a cool image?)

(click on the image below to enlarge)
Assorted inks were used (hybrid, pigment and dye base):

I embossed the background, sentiment, and around the leaves and acorn with Copper Kettle Cosmic Semi-Transparent EP. Because it is semi-transparent, the color changes depending on the colors behind it. For example, see the green leaf below, distressed with Citrus Green, Indian Gold, and Orange Blush Embellishment Mousse? The Copper EP changed to a pinker hue when touching the Orange Blush Mousse.

The versatile Autumnal Oak Die set is great because the leaves and acorn are actually two pieces, allowing for an assortment of techniques. For the acorn:

On the inside, I used the negative portion of leaves from the same die set, distressing with a little hybrid ink and Indian Gold Mousse:

Don't forget to upload your lovely Autumn creations to THE CRAZY CHALLENGE!

Products Used:

Challenges I would like to play in please:
  1. Crafty Catz Challenge #389 Anything Goes with Autumn Colors 10-26.
  2. Moving Along With the Times #56 Autumn/Fall 10/25 (sep post)
  3. The Crafty Addicts #41 Anything Goes Autumn Colors 10/31
  4. Stamping Sensations (Oct 1) Autumn Glory 11/1
  5. Dare2BArtzy (Oct 1) Fall Colors 11/1
  6. A Bit More Time To Craft "Anything Goes" #54 11/1
  7. World Wide Open DT Challenge  Anything for a DT Goes 11/15
  8. A Perfect Time to Craft #10 Anything Goes 10/31 (sep post)
  9. Crafting from the Heart #180  Anything Goes 10/31
  10. Emerald City Crafts Challenges #4 Anything Goes 10/31

Stamping Hugs,

Sunday, October 15, 2017


My heartfelt prayers and condolences to my African friends in Somalia.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Sparkle N Sprinkle October Release

Hello, Blogging Friends!

Welcome to the 

Sparkle N Sprinkle October Stamps Blog Hop

This month SNS is featuring five new specialty stamp sets suitable for:

* the men in your life, 
* the country-lovers and farmers you know, 
* those who enjoy fishing (great sentiments!) 
* and workers who wear scrubs or work in the Navy Nurse Corps.
* There is also a beautiful Autumn Nature set.


Lovely as a LeafRubber Stamp Set and Digital Set
Fish Whisperer - Rubber Stamp Set and Digital Set (extra sentiment)
Farm Fresh #1 - Tractors - Rubber Stamp Set and Digital Set
Farm Fresh #2 - Cows - Rubber Stamp Set and Digital Set
Navy Nurse Corps - Digital Stamp Set
(sentiments may be suitable for any of your scrub-wearing friends!)

SNS digital stamps include JPG and PNG images, and often have additional sentiments and papers.

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




Just use the code STAMPING20 at checkout to receive your discount.

On October 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.

Gus the Fish Whisperer inspired my easel card:

I colored Gus with Copic Markers. This rendition of Gus is available as a colored image with the Digital Set. The digital set also comes with a black-and-white image, and two colored versions - one with the blue background and one without, plus an extra sentiment.

First I crimped some tan and blue cardstock, and die cut the grass. I also added additional weeds and grass around Gus's feet with Copic G07 and Copic Multi Marker in Olive.

To coordinate the card, I also cropped the cat tails and the fish hanging from Gus's line. After copying and pasting the fish several times, two panels were cut and distressed as "matching" designer paper. Placing the cropped images on my word processor allowed me to flip the cat tails horizontally and frame the PNG sentiment. The tiny fish was copy and pasted repeatedly to make the "printed papers" for the top and bottom of the easel card:

Even the sentiment alone makes for a great card:

Ivory colored cardstock was used to frame the layered panels and as the base of the easel:

Receive the Lovely as a Leaf stamp set, and create a gorgeous glitter bow with cording.

These products are included in your kit:

Please join us in our monthly Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenge group on Facebook. The challenges run from the 1st of the month through the 25th. Please use one or more SNS images (rubber or digital) - and if you don't already have SNS stamps in your stash, SNS offers a few freebies here. No blog is necessary. A Winner and Top Three are posted on the last day of each month. The winner receives a $15 Gift Certificate to the on-line store. Come join the fun! We love seeing what you do with SNS products.

Blog Hop Order this month is:


Products Used:
Challenges I'd like to play in please:
  1. 613 Avenue Create #202 Anything Goes with Masculine Card 11/5
  2. Aud Sentiments #190 "Use A Die Cut and A Sentiment 10/15 (sep post)
  4. Sunny Day Crafting #56 "O is for Oval" 10/16
  5. Always Fun Challenges #27 Lots of Layers (each ivory frame is also a layer) 10/16
  6. Artistic Inspiration Challenges #187 Anything Goes Plus Use Cool Colors (I have used a lot of cool blue tones in this card) 10/16
  7. Classic Design Team Open Challenge Anything for a DT Card Goes 11/1

Stamping Hugs,

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Consequences of Eating Too Much Candy - A House Mouse Halloween Tale

Hi! I have a just for fun card this afternoon.

It's about The Consequences of Eating Too Much Candy - A House Mouse Halloween Tale

The image is quite large - I was surprised at 4"x5".
I colored with Coppic Markers, Prismacolor Pencils, and distressed with inks.

The Pea Nut Gallery portion of my stamp room began rumbling and grumbling again due to neglect! So out came the House Mouse box to discover which of the images was crying the most for neglect.

It was this virginal Mud Pie Tale rubber stamp I've owned for 2 years? 3 years? 4 years? I cannot recall when it was purchased, but last summer, as I colored it, and thought it could be either BACK TO SCHOOL or HALLOWEEN - trying to educate the wee mice on the consequences of eating too many sweets.

I want to play in Retro Rubber's  "Boo!" Challenge.

But I'm not positive how old the stamp is - poor memory. It is well over a year old however.
Too Cute! It's actually versatile image.
(Psst! My favorite part is at the far left - all you can see is a curled tale of someone sneaking candy, more than likely!)


Challenges I'd like to Play in please:
  1. House Mouse and Friends Challenge Blog #251 Anything Halloween Goes! 10/14 (sep post)
  2. Retro Rubber #73 "Boo!" 10/20 (sep post)
  3. Love to Scrap Challenge Blog #102 "Frightfully Fun" (sep post) 10/31
  4. Make My Monday #56 Animal Antics 10/15
  5. Crafty Animals Anything Goes with an Animal 10/31
  6. Crea Chicky's Challenge Blog #13 "Halloween" 10/26 (colored with Copic Markers and Distress Ink)
  7. Alphabet Challenge "P is for Pumpkin" 10/27 (5 Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins)
  8. Path of Positivity Challenge #52 Surround Yourself with Literature 11/5
  9. Animal Friends Challenge #55 Halloween - Autumn 10/31 (sep post) C10
  10. Victorine Stamps #13 Mood Board 10/27

Halloweenie Hugs,