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

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Trifold with Aperture Style Cards

Welcome, friends! Hope Life is treating you well.
(as always, if you are reading directly on my blog, click on photos to enlarge)

It's time for another
Back to Basics and Beyond Challenge!

For the next two weeks, join us by uploading an "Anything-Goes" challenge as long as a an aperture is used. The team has all kinds of inspiration and a variety of aperture styles to view, so take a look! Hope to see yours there.

Having stamped for nearly 30 years, I am embarrassed to admit that this is the first "from scratch" aperture card I have made. It's a tri-fold card. Those of you who are familiar with me know I am NOT a paper engineer, and will be proud of my attempt.

Folded, it measures 6" x 4":

It's a simple design
without many layers,
and would have looked prettier with more ink and dry embossed layers for texture.

The image (a virgin stamp that is at least 12 years old) is by Impression Obsession,
stamped with VersaFine,
and colored with Tombow markers.

The front cut is larger than
the 2nd panel cut,
to offer a turquoise mat
against the glittery white frame in front.

I didn't know how to keep the card closed for photographing.

The second panel still only shows a glimpse of the image beneath, but frame it differently:

Opens all the way to finish the sweet message "you are" on the front --
"very special to me."

Hope to see your aperture creations at the challenge blog -

Products Used:
Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. My Time To Craft #377 "More Than One Fold" 8/25
  2. Pile It On #145 "New Technique and/or Oldest Stash" (NBUS stamp over 10 years old and old SB dies AND new-for-me technique in card fold) 9/2 (sep post)
  3. Cardz 4 Galz #78 "Dies and/or Punches" (have used several dies and one punch) 8/29
  4. Word Art Wednesday #348-349 Sentiment Innie and Outie "you are very special to me" 8/29
  5. ScrapyLand Challenges #96 AG with dies SL sells (Spellbinders: Labels Four, 5x7 Elegant Labels Four, Shapeabilities Foliage) 9/5
  6. World Wide Open DT Challenge #8 AG for DT 9/15
Stamping hugs,

Thursday, August 16, 2018

All Kinds of Textures at Moving Along With The Times

So glad you are here!

It's time to share a Project using TEXTURE for the new Moving Along With The Times Challenge!

We hope you can play along. Challenge #78's theme is TEXTURE - just make sure your project contains texture and share it!

My card share is a little different from anything I've done before, using a combination of High Gloss Black Mirror Cardstock Silver Chequer Handmade Paper by TonicGlitter Tinsel in Silver LeafBlack Ice Ultrafine GlitterSassy Silver Ultrafine Glitter and even Nuvo Crystal Drops in Wedgewood Blue.

First, I cut the mirror cardstock to 5.25" x 7.25". A piece of black cardstock was folded as a base at 5.5" x 7.5". I trimmed highly textured handmade paper into 1" strips. On top of the mirror cardstock, place any width of Tear-ific Tape horizontally. I used 1.5" tape. The tape could also be applied diagonally, vertically or in any wonky manner pleasing to you:

Next I pulled off the protective covering, laying the 1" strips of handmade paper in the center of the tape, carefully avoiding the exposed tape:

Using glitter, beads, ribbon or embossing powder, burnish them into the exposed tape:

It's a great way of using up strips of left over paper, or odd leftovers of glitters. Try alternating the glitter colors, or mix them together. Here I used just a single blend of Glitter Tinsel in Silver Leaf.

Here is a close-up of the combined textures with glossy silver cardstock and detail black embossing powder:

Finished card is quite sparkly in real life with marvelous shine, too:

Some products I had fun using:

Products Used:
Challenges this card has been submitted to:

  1. Craftaholics R Us #33 Anything Goes 8/23
  2. Crafty Creations Challenges #372 Anything Goes 8/20
  3. Word Art Wednesday (348-349) Anything Goes with Loving Words 8/29

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Graph it! Butterflies and Flowers

Hi, Blogging Friends!
Today I'm sharing something a bit different - creating a "graph" as a background for cards or scrapbook pages. It's fun and produces an interesting depth, and can be used with most images AND gets even BETTER with a little doodling.

Below are simple samples, and some more time-consuming illustrations as well, so this technique is suitable for any style of crafting.

For the Simiple Cards (one 5x7 and one business size), I stamped the images in Staz-On Jet Black Ink and colored with a water brush from my dye base ink pads and reinkers. The second butterfly was "colored" with a VersaMarker and coated with Clear Detail EP:

Steps for creating the graph:

for opaque mediums, use a stamp positioner or platform:
Stamp, color, and stamp again for a clear, crisp outline.

Masking is not absolutely necessary with this technique, but it helps for dimension:

Once the images are all stamped, line up the grids on opposite edges, and draw neat lines. Doodle if desired.

A few products used on some of these cards:

The 5x7 card was stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black and colored with Copic Markers. The overlapping areas were masked:

The butterfly is embellished with Galaxy Night Ultrafine Glitter:

The sentiment was heat set with Black Detail EP:

Making a Scallop Border:

To make the glittery scallop border, I die cut the scallop and then placed the die on top of the scallops, and cut again through my die cut machine again. Painting on Brushable Glue, glitters were applied. Even in humid Florida, the glue dries within 15-20 minutes:

The Watercolor Card was created using Zig Real Brush markers and Nuvo Shimmer Powder in Solar Flare. The Shimmer Powders are intensely pigmented, pearlescent colors that create a marvelous shimmer without muting the ink from the stamped image. I found applying a watered-down amount of color on top of other colors (such as brown, orange, red), that the original color remained strong, with a pearlescent covering. It's really pretty, and I want all the colors.

My Watercolor Graph-it sample with Shimmer Powder:

Lastly, the card using Embellishment Mousse in Peony Pink and Pink Flambé. Water was spritzed directly into the Mousse containers, and a water brush was used to apply the color to the images:

The leaves and butterfly were colored with Zig Brush Markers.
Lemonade Ultrafine  and Galaxy Night Ultrafine Glitters were added to the butterfly and flower for extra drama.

Sentiment is heat embossed:

Products Used:


  1. Color Crazy Challenge #32 AG with coloring (all my images are hand colored with assorted mediums) 8/26
  2. Creative Fingers Challenge Blog #151 (hand stamped and colored images with graphs drawn) 9/5 (check #153 for win)
  3. Craft Rocket Challenges #51 AG 8/27 (sep post 9/1)
  4. Crafting With An Attitude #42 AG 9/1(sep post)
  5. A Perfect Time to Craft #8  SNS DT 9/1 (sep post)
  6. Morgan's Artworld Open Challenge #8 AG (all images are hand colored) 9/1 (sep post)
  7. Love to Craft Challenges #25 AG 9/1 (sep post 9/5)
  8. Crafty Gals Corner Challenges #171 Tropical Colors 8/16
  9. Creative Moments Challenge #150 AG 8/20
  10. Not Just Cards (Aug) AG 9/11
  11. Pile It On! #145 - New Technique (graph it style) 9/1 sep post

Thanks for visiting today. Hope you enjoyed the Graph-It technique!

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Using Digitals - Back to Basics and Beyond

It's another blog post from me!
Thanks for stopping by.
Hope all is going well for you.

It's time for another
Back to Basics and Beyond Challenge!

For the next two weeks, join us by uploading an "Anything-Goes" challenge as long as a digital image is used.

In this case, I colored this Vintage Country Home Digital Set with Copic Markers - however - as a digital set, it is available done in these colors and in a more vintage color theme as well, so you have 3 options. There are also three sentiments, one is shown here.

The green sparkly frame is actually an embossing powder called Tuscany Pear Star. Love the rich color and sparkle! The leaves under the bow are glittered with Ocean Breeze Microfine Glitter.

Here it is in CAS styles:

Products Used:

Challenges I'd like to play in please:
  1. Paru's Card Making Challenge (Aug) Family 9/1
  2. Try It On Tuesday (Aug 7) "Inspired By A Song" - Country Road-Take Me Home by John Denver - (only combine with 5 challenges) 8/21 sep post
  3. Craftaholics R Us #32 Use Something Yellow (colored my image with 2 yellow Copic Markers) 8/17
  4. Sum More Fun #34 mood board - yellow green, white, black - 8/18

thanks for visiting today!