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, November 28, 2017

The Merry Christmas Challenge

Good Morning, dear blogging friends!
Whew! Just one month before the end of 2017. Is it possible? We are again enjoying the typical Florida "Autumn" weather, that many of my northeastern friends in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine would consider to be summer.

I'm happy to share:
Today begins a challenge #45 at the Merry Christmas Challenge Group!

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

I'm somewhat discouraged with the newer cameras - they capture every flaw and little particles of light that the human eye cannot see. So these photos were taken in two places.
One has artificial light (where the camera captures no sparkle), and the other is bright and sparkly, but the colors look darker than they are in real life.

Here is what I made:

White and chocolate brown cardstocks were used:

Check out the "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" frame:

Apply Tonic Nuvo Mother of Pearl Embellishment Mousse (on white cardstock):

Makes a big difference transforming the card stock:

Stamp on top of the moussed cardstock. My VIRGINAL stamp was purchased at a convention in 2011 - and is happy now that she has been stamped:

Me and Carrie Lou "Poinsettia" was stamped with Versafine Sepia Brown ink, and heat embossed with SNS Log Cabin Cosmic Embossing Powder (it's a combination of elements to create a "detail" EP but still sparkle with glitter). This luscious EP is both creamy and sparkly.


to color the leaves:

Spritz a little water in the Embellishment Mousse to keep it moist AND use a water color brush on top of porous and NON porous surfaces:

The first layer of poinsettias was stamped and heat embossed on a large section of cardstock pre-embellished with Nuvo Mother of Pearl Embellishment Mousse.
Then only one delicate section of the die set was used to frame it.

On another scrap piece of paper, also prepared with Nuvo Mother of Pearl Embellishment Mousse, the poinsettia was stamped and embossed again, then fussy cut some of the petals out:

While the next step could be done with white cardstock, I used brown, just in case I missed any sections. SNS Copper Dreams Detail EP was massively dredged on a precut square that was liberally inked with VersaMark (This EP is extremely Sparkly but great on details, and coordinates well with Log Cabin Cosmic Embossing Powder).

I die cut the Tonic Poinsettia Wreath Die, smooshed VersaMark on it, and heat set with SNS Copper Dreams Detail EP so it would match the background. The die cut was cut up into pieces, with one adhered to the moussed background, and another popped up on the bow.

It really is shiny, shimmery, and sparkly all over!
The color values are truer in the photo below, but it just does not show off the shimmer of the mousse, or the sparkle of the embossing powders:

Ribbon is from DLArt "Coffee House Bundle Two".

Now for the inside:

All the white cardstock was again prepared with Nuvo Mother of Pearl Embellishment Mousse, and the brown was prepared with Copper Dreams Detail EP:

The inside is just as pretty as the outside.

Here it is with the shimmer and sparkle showing:

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to play in our Christmas Challenge!

Sparkle N Sprinkle Products Used:
Other Products Used:
  • Images: Me and Carrie Lou "Poinsettia" H180, Heartfelt Creations HCPC3552 "Bright Christmas"
  • Ribbon: DLArt "Coffee House Bundle Two"
  • Martha Stewart "Cherish" Punch (edge inside)
  • Memory Box Pinpoint Scallop Circles (inside)
  • Pearl Brad

Challenges I would like to support by playing in them:

  1. Crafting with Dragonflies #94 Christmas Card in non-traditional Colors 12/2 (sep post)
  2. Christmas at Sweet Stampin Challenge Nov 8 Anything Christmas Goes 12/14 (sep post)
  3. Kerst-Christmas FB Challenge #11 November Anything Christmas 12/2
  4. Monochrome Magic #7 Monochrome 12/15
  5. Retro Rubber #76 Anything Goes 12/6 (my VIRGINAL stamp is from a convention purchased in 2011)
  6. Scrapy Land Challenge #78 Anything Goes with A Die SL Sells 12/6
  7. The Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #20 Anything Christmas Goes 12/12
  8. Use Your Stuff #290 Heat Embossing 12/3 (sep post)
  9. World Wide Open DT Challenge "Anything DT Goes" 12/15 (sep post)

Warm and Cozy Christmas Hugs,

Monday, November 27, 2017

House Mouse Challenge Anything Goes with BIRTHDAY IN DECEMBER theme

Greetings friends!
I'm continuing the Guest Design gig with House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge today!

Challenge #255 Anything Goes OR Theme Option "Birthday in December"
November 27 - December 9th

So much fun coloring this over-partied mousie setting with Copic Markers in the cool colors of December, yet livening it up a bit with K and Company's Elegant Christmas Papers (from how many Christmas's ago? 10 at least!)

But some papers age gracefully, and never lose their timeless quality.

These colorful snowflake flowers were in the designer paper, and made the perfect accent for a BIRTHDAY IN DECEMBER!

A bit of tulle was added for texture.

A shiny button tied with jute twine finishes it all off!

Please link up with us at House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge and show us your pretties. Remember, it can be Anything Goes House Mouse or the optional theme!

Products Used:

  • Images: Stampendous Birthday Cupcake (Friend, Mudpie), Hero Arts Peg Greetings
  • Inks: Memento Tuxedo Black, Versafine Deep Lagoon, Mermaid Lagoon & Old Paper Distress Inks
  • Dies: Spellbinders Labels Twenty-three, Shapeabilities Foliage
  • Paper: Neenah Solar White, KandCompany old, old Christmas Paper, SU Sage
  • MISC: Copic Markers, MS double heart punch, Tulle, Button, Jute Twine

Challenges I'd like to Support:

  1. A Bit More Time to Craft #56 Anything Goes 12/15 sep post
  2. Always Fun Challenges #34 Anything Goes 12/4
  3. Artistic Inspirations #191 Anything Goes 12/11
  4. Come and Get It Challenge (Nov 26) Animals 12/3
  5. Crafting from the Heart #185 Anything Goes 12/3
  6. Crafty Cardmakers #201 Animal Magic 12/11  C14
  7. Crafty Catz Challenge #394 Anything Goes with Twist of Winter Colors 11/30
  8. Creative Fingers Challenge #141 Anything Goes (on #143 post) 12/7
  9. My Time to Craft Challenge Winter Birthday #359 Winter Birthday 12/1
  10. World Wide Open DT Challenge #28 Anything DT Goes 12/15 sep post
Little House Mouse Hugs,

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Cardz 4 Galz - Cupcakes

Hello, dear Blogging Friends!
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. and I am very thankful for the kind, generous Beauty you each share with the rest of us - and especially, how I've grown just by knowing you. You never know whose life you are touching with your words and artwork!

I have two questions below which I'm hopeful you can answer in your comments, but first, let's take care of "business" (giggle)

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

Badges are awarded for the Spotlight Winner and Top Picks.

Challenge #61 is chosen by designer Amy - and the theme is:


show us your Paper Crafting projects using any technique and medium, 
Challenge ends on DECEMBER 6th.

First I stamped this darling little flying lover of cupcakes with the Stamp Platform currently on sale.
I stamped 3 times until the gray ink was just dark enough:

This card is for my granddaughter, so My Copic Markers naturally gravitated to a more sophisticated color palette suitable to her age (giggle).
Isn't it amusing how we enjoy certain colors as children, outgrow those colors, and slowly gravitate back to those fun colors as we age?

Surrounded by glittery happiness,
the sentiment is left OH-SO-PLAIN, with a tad of yellow ink, and a gray Copic Marker on the edge.

The Balloons are stamped twice so that one could be colored, and dredged with Starfire Ultrafine Glitter. After the glue for the glitter dried, I fussy cut one balloon, distressed the glitter with Black Memento ink, and popped it up for some dimension.

Starfire Ultrafine Glitter is fantastic for "shading" after it has been applied - with alcohol-solvent markers, or water-based products.


In fact,
speaking of "distressing" glitter,
(isn't that an oxymoron?),
all three of the die cut balloons have been colored with Copic Markers, then dredged with Sunny Daze Ultrafine Glitter  and Sassy Silver Ultrafine Glitter, and THEN colored again with darker Copic Markers, to add a little more depth to the balloons.
You can even "change" the shade or color of many glitters (both microfine and ultrafine) by coloring with inks and markers.

I created the border by using Abby's Birthday Party digital stamp set. The tiny cupcake was cropped, and then flipped and copy and pasted a number of times to create a fun border. Later it was colored with coordinating markers. I RESISTED THE URGE to glitterfy them by sparkling up the frame instead. It's popped up with a piece of fun foam and attached using SNS Tear-ific Tape 1". They look like they are dancing:

Cute card! Now, it's your turn to create some cupcake fun for the challenge!

Do you completely change your project 3 or 4 times during the creative process before finally seeing a possibility? Sometimes, as with this card, I have an idea, which morphs into another, which then morphs into yet another, and finally ends up being completely different from what I started with!

Recently, I learned that Windows users cannot "see" the "You might like" widget that is at the bottom of each post (just above where you write a comment). I have learned people with an Apple device (iPad, MacBook, iMac, etc) can see the 5 thumbnails, but apparently Windows users cannot. Will you please advise in your comment if you can see it, and which Platform (Windows or Apple) that you are using? Thank you! I'd like to contact the widget maker.

Products Used:

Challenges I'd like to play in:
  1. A Bit More Time to Craft #56 Anything Goes 11/29 (sep post 11/30)
  2. Allsorts Challenge Blog #442 "Glitter" 11/25
  3. Craftaholics R Us #46 "Girly" 11/28
  4. Crafting with Friends #55 Anything Goes 11/29
  5. Crafty Girls Creations #41 Anything Goes 12/1
  6. Crafty Friends Challenge #71 Add A Sentiment 12/1
  7. Cute as a Button Challenge #39 Anything Goes Cute! 12/1
  8. Retro Rubber Stamps Challenge #76 "Anything Goes" (my flying girl rubber set with sentiment are circa 2013 by SNS - I love this stamp set!) (C10) 12/1 (sep post 12/4)
  9. Simon Says Stamp Wednesday Challenge (11-22) "Food Or Drink" 11/29
  10. Sweet Stampin' (Nov 18) "It's Our 8th Birthday" 11/25 (Birthday Cards)
Thanks for dropping by today.
Sending you cupcake hugs,

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Merry Christmas Challenge #43 - My Besties Penny with Penguins

Good Morning, dear blogging friends!
Whew! Less than 2 months before the end of 2017. Is it possible?

I'm happy to share:
Today begins a new challenge at the Merry Christmas Challenge Group!

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 week begins a new challenge.

My card features My Besties "Penny With Penguins"

Penny is penguin crazy, and enjoys basking in their company, and dressing them up to match her own outfits!

The light "snow-laden" frame (popped up with dimensionals) was created with two die sets, and then passed through an embossing folder. The embossed snowfall was lightly sanded.

I couldn't let this one go by without glitter, so I've used three kinds. The microfine glitter graces the strings holding the ornaments. Ultrafine glitter was adhered to the greenery, with more glitter tinsel applied on top of that. The tinsel sparkles lots in real life!

Penny was colored with Copic Markers.
The ornament die and greenery are pieces cut from the Tattered Lace Art Deco Baubles.


  • Sherri Baldy's My Besties "Penny With Penguins"
  • MISC: Copic Markers, Stampin Up! Elegant Cheer sentiment, SU punch, MS Stars Edge Punch, 
  • Dies: SB Mega Curved Rectangles Nestabilities, SW Double Pierced Rectangles, Tattered Lace Art Deco Baubles
  • Embossing Folder: Craftwell Delicate Dots
  • Sparkle N Sprinkle: Waterfall Ultrafine Glitter, Sonic Silver Mircofine Glitter, Moonrise Glitter Tinsel, Tonic Deluxe Adhesive, Tear-ific Tape

Challenges I'm entering:
  1. Classic Design Team Open Challenge #19 Anything Goes for a DT 12/1
  2. Coloring in Scrapland "Winter is Coming" 12/1 (sep post)
  3. Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Extra - Nov 1 Anything Christmas 12/1 (sep post)
  4. Kerst/Christmas - Dec #12 - Anything Christmas 12/1
  5. My Besties Aussie Challenge #11 Layer It Up 12/1
  6. My Besties Colour It! Create It! Show it Off! (Nov) thank you or Anything Goes 12/1
  7. My Besties International Challenge (Nov 15) Anything Goes option Fall 12/1
  8. My Besties Spanish Challenge Blog (#41) Anything Goes 12/3
  9. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #1746 Anything Goes 11/19 (sep post)
  10. Scrapbook Stamp Society #129 Anything Goes 11/20 (sep post)

Lots of Hugs for you!

Sparkle N Sprinkle November Blog Hop

Greetings, Blogging Friends!
We enjoyed a brief few days of Florida Style Autumn weather, and reverted into a warm "Indian Summer" with temperatures back up in the 80s (28-30C) with way too much humidity. Other than that, all is well here, and
I hope life is good for you and yours.

Warning! Mirror Cardstock is very difficult to photograph (sigh).

Inspired by a very special friend, today's card shares are a little different for me - they show off some amazing new specialty papers in the SNS store! Therefore, there is little-to-no stamping.
That's right! In the new stamp reveal, I have almost no stamping (giggle).

First, let's get business done, and then onward to the cards! (smile)

Welcome to the 

Sparkle N Sprinkle November New Stamps Blog Hop

The Blog Hop order this month is:


We are pleased to bring you: 
3 new stamp sets
3 new video kits
and lots of new papers (sigh - I am in love!)

  • Snowman Couple rubber stamp set and digital version
  • (digital version contains two colored images which I colored with Copic Markers - one with a background and one without - and bonus sentiments not on the rubber set)
SNS digital stamps include JPG and transparent PNG images, and often have additional sentiments and papers.  All the new digital and rubber stamp sets are 20% during their debut from November 15 - 20.


On November 17th, ONE GRAND PRIZE WINNER will win all the rubber or digital images (winner's choice). 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. 

Would you like to win a $15 gift card to the SNS store? Just create a project using any SNS image and join the fun in our monthly ANYTHING GOES Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenge group on Facebook. The challenge runs from the 1st through the 25th. 

Here is a darker photo of the cards - it doe snot show the shine of the mirror cardstock, but it shows the textures of the handmade papers pretty well:

Tonic's Swirling Frame Layering Die Set 1462E is currently 50% off in the store. Both cards were made using this set.

Step One:

To bring a little dimension to the frames, I die cut matching "fun foam" pieces. Because I knew the pieces would be slightly off (size wise), the edges were darkened so the white would not show up from beneath the layers. Tear-ific Tape was used to adhere the papers to the foam, and the foam to the card base.
(TIP: as shown in the first layer, I tried Staz-on Timber Brown ink, but it was much easier tracing the edges with a dark brown Copic Marker)"

Check out the "fire" in the High Gloss-Polished Gold Mirror Cardstock. It comes in a packet of five 8.5" x 11" pieces for $2.99. At 60 cents per LARGE sheet, this is a great value! There are several gorgeous colors of mirror cardstock available:

The Tonic handmade papers are very thin, yet surprisingly strong. They die cut beautifully without fraying or ripping, and adhered brilliantly on top of the fun foam with Tear-ific Tape. The papers also "distress" with inks and mousse if you want a greater depth of contrasting colors or texture, but I absolutely could not bring myself to do that, choosing to experiment on left over scraps. The Specialty Handmade Embossed metallic Copper Feathers shown here is a deep, rich brown with blackish debossed areas and golden highlights in the embossed areas. A Packet contains five 8.25" x 11.75" pieces for $6.99, making it about $1.40 per sheeet.  There are several unique Specialty Handmade Embossed Metallic and Pearlized papers. Each one is completely different.

SPECIALTY PAPERS WILL ALSO BE 20% off November 15 - 20.

Gorgeous papers aside, I did use one stamp from the new Botanical Orchid Flowers Rubber Stamp Set. It embossed beautifully with Peanut Butter Cosmic EP292. All of our Cosmic embossing powders contain a secret ingredient making them suitable for detailed images and sentiments:

The Tonic Mixed Edge Diamond Layering Die Set cut right through the heat embossed scrap that had Cappuccino STAR embossing powder. On it. One of the detailed dragonflies was also cut from the paper - I embossed the paper prior to die cutting since the dies were either tiny, or very detailed. Isn't the embossing powder sparkly? And look at the luminous shine contrasting with the embossed handmade papers:

The dragonfly that was cut from the prepared scrap with Cappuccino STAR embossing powder is shadowed by a plain piece of black cardstock. It complements the black debossed areas of the paper. I promise this is a clear shot - the brilliance of the mirror cardstock on the dragonfly makes it look a bit fuzzy.
(this is an oversized card at 6" x 7.5"). My dear friend will treasure it.

It's difficult to make an "icky" card with Tonic's Dragonfly Brooch die. So lovely!

How about a second option that is smaller at just under 5x7"?
I used the left over pieces from the large card above. This was a VERY EASY CARD to make, and quick, too! The dragonfly is actually a gold glossy, not mirror, in order to obtain a bit more texture:

The center is embossed with Craftwell Honeycomb Embossing Folder, causing the mirror cardstock to reflect even more light. Tonic's Thinking of You mini die set makes this an all occasion card, suitable for just about any need.

Another peek at the glossy fire in contrast to "mere" glossy cardstock:

I enjoyed a great time making these projects, and hope to have inspired you to try special papers in your creations if you haven't already. After all, every crafter NEEDS more paper! (laughing)

Products Used:

Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Crafts Galore Encore Challenge #46 Anything Goes 12/1 (tab)
  2. Dragonfly Journeys #105 "Glamorous Gold" 11/28 (gold mirror cardstock and highlights)
  3. Glitter N Sparkle Challenge #265 Anything Goes 11/19
  4. International Art and Soul #21 Autumn Colors 11/28 (sep post aft 3 wks)
  5. Monochrome Magic Challenge #7 Anything Monchrome 11/13
  6. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #1746 Anything Goes 11/19 (sep post) 
  7. Pile It On Challenges #136 "Large Sentiments" (second card) 12/11
  8. World Wide DT Open Challenge #28 Anything Goes for a DT 12/15

Thank you for popping by today!
Wishing you Loveliness always...