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, October 31, 2018

Aurora Fairy

Greetings, Blogging Friends!
It's time for a brand new Back to Basics and Beyond Challenge!

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

In place of the "white square", I've used this darling heart die cut with embossed hearts.

The English Lace paper was stark white, so I rubbed Brilliance Lime Green Pearlescent ink over it, and distressed with hand-blended glitter embossing powder (combination of Bullfrog EP404 and Green Nugget Ultrafine glitter). (the heart die cut has also been distressed in the same way).

The fairy was heat embossed with an unexpectedly delicate color Pink Lady EP337. She was stamped on watercolor paper with VersaFine Clair Charming Pink, heat embossed, saturated with water, and colored with Zig and Tombow markers. A fine layer of pearlescent coloring was also added to the green dress.
A fine layer of pearlescent coloring was also added to the green dress:

Finished card:

Products Used:

Playing in the:
ScrapyLand100th Challenge 11/4 (used Tonic Heart Die, Tonic Fairy Die, Poppy Tag Die, Tutti Hearts Die set)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Beautiful Stencils - Back to the Basics and Beyond

So glad you could visit today, Blogging Friends!
Hope you and your family are well.

and now...

It's time for a brand new Back to Basics and Beyond Challenge!

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

Here is what I used. The black tray has water in it:

After die cutting the paper, I angled the stencil on the pieces and taped the edges to keep the panel clean:

This is what the glimmer paste looks like while it is still a little wet. It took about 5 minutes to do all 4 pieces, including the taping process. The glimmer paste was completely dry within 15 minutes, even in our extremely humid weather:

The dried glimmer paste is the sparkliest product I've ever seen!

This is what the card would look like in a CAS format:

After dry embossing the background with Tonic Layered Leaves I smooshed Brilliance Gold Galaxy ink on top.

I die cut two smaller tags, running one through a wavy crimper, and embellishing with Gold Galaxy. The 2nd tag was dry embossed, smooshed with mustard Staz-on ink, then Forest Moss ink - heat set, and covered with more Gold Galaxy.

The Merry Christmas die was cut with two different papers - one ivory for the background, and the other in gold glossy paper.

Gold Tinsel embossing powder was applied to the edges of the crimped large panel in the background. Finished monochromatic creation:

Thanks for dropping by today! Hoping you are inspired to try products in your stash and enter the challenge!


  • Embossing Folders: Tonic Layered Leaves (background - this EF has a beautiful parallel frame on it), Craft Concepts Secret Garden (tag)
  • Dies: Tonic Grand Gala Bunting Set (large tag layers), Tonic Merry Christmas 1772e, Taylored Expressions Banner Stacklets #1
  • Embossing Powder: Gold Tinsel (distressed edge)
  • Glimmer Paste:  Golden Crystal - so aptly named! (all the fabulously glitter-ific Glimmer Paste colors are here.)
  • Inks: Brilliance Gold Galaxy, Staz-on Mustard, Distress Forest Moss
  • Wavy Crimper, EK Success edge punch (for the white edge on the tag)
  • Cardstock: Thyme, Pale Kraft, Ivory, White, Gold Glossy, White Vellum

Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Mix It Up Challenge #18 AG + Monochrome 11/5 (sep post)
  2. Holly & Ivy Christmas Challenge #38 AG Christmas 10/20     C15
  3. The Merry Christmas Challenge (Oct 15-Nov 14) AG Christmas
  4. ScrapyLand Challenges #100 AG w/dies SL sells (2 Tonic sets, TE set)
  5. Christmas at Sweet Stampin' AG Christmas 11/10 (sep post)
  6. Classic DT Open Challenge  #10 AG DT 11/1 (sep post)

non-stamping hugs,

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Aged To Perfection - A Masculine Card

A note to my panhandle friends - please stay safe from Hurricane Michael. I hope you do not suffer loss or too much discomfort.
Hurricane Michael passed to our west today - monster storm that even effected our weather - keeping the temperatures lower, but the humidity higher than usual, making the "feel like" temperatures pretty icky. We only suffered gusty winds and a tad of rain, thank goodness.

Hoping everyone else is doing well - and that you are enjoying a happy crafting week!

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

Challenge #82's theme is MASCULINE - for the next 2 weeks just make sure your project is suitable for a man and upload it!

Like many guys, my husband loves old trucks, old cars, old tractors - it's that guyish nostalgic thing. His birthday is next week, so he's getting a monochromatic old truck card from the I Love Old Trucks set.

The image and sentiment were heat embossed with Timber Opaque EP. It's a dark embossing powder that shows its highlights when the light hits it.

While Timber Opaque EP is a dark brown, it shows up beautifully against the darker colors (like tires) in the image:

After "watercoloring" the image with distress inks, Tombow markers and Prismacolor pencils, a VersaMarker Pen was used on the windows and headlights, and then dredged with a light coating of Clear Detail EP. This heightened the bluish-grey tone of the glass, but allowed the textured blending paper to still shown through, kind of like "old glass".

Here is the finished card (with a sappy note on the inside of course) giggle.

On a Personal Note:

Could the sun have been any more spectacular yesterday morning?
It's like Mother Nature is saying, "Have a Rainbow Kind of Day".

After pausing a few moments to look out over the pastures and talking to my ever-present feline companion, I turned to go indoors. The heat (93F-33C) and humidity (90%+) are still heavy, and well... I'm a wimp! But then, two tiny hummingbird moths greeted me, as well! My bright pink nightie likely attracted them and they continually tried to "taste me". Soon they were busy pollinating the "dregs" of this summer's coleus, pentas and periwinkle flowers. They were quite diligent and only a foot or two away! I was able to capture one quick shot (see the arrow?) click for a larger photo:

Here's a better photo from the internet. Aren't those wings incredible?
Sigh - I love mornings!

thanks for stopping by today!

Some SNS Products used on this project:

Products Used:
  • Images: I Love Old Trucks 890 (also available digitally with fabulously colored trucks!)
  • Embossing Powders: Timber Opaque EP469 (for the truck and sentiment), Clear Detail EP280 (for the windows and headlights)
  • Inks: VersaMarker Pen, VersaFire Clair Acorn, Antique Linen Distress, Black Soot Distress
  • Other Coloring Mediums: Prismacolor Pencils, Tombow Markers
  • Dies and Punches: SB Majestic Labels 25, MS "Cherish" Edge punch, SW Double Pierced Rectangles, IO Grass
  • Paper: Ivory Blender CS, True Thyme, Black
Challenges I'd like to play in please:
  1. Scrapy Land Challenges #99 AG w/dies fr SL 10/17 (SB Majestic Labels 25, MS "Cherish" Edge punch, SW Double Pierced Rectangles, IO Grass)
  2. Pammie's Pinky Pinkies #1840 AG 10/15
  3. Papercraft Challenges - must stamp - #22 Diecuts and Punches (my Spellbinders die cut frame is also edged with a Martha Stewart border punch. I also used a Sue Wilson die cut and an Impression Obsession die grass). 10/23  C5
  4. Always Happy Birthday Challenge (Oct 1) Happy Birthday - to my Husband - 11/1
stamping hugs,

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Fairy Hugs and Sprinkles of Watercolor

Hello, Blogging Friends! Hoping this finds you doing well. Please know that if you are experiencing hardship of any kind, I am thinking fondly of you, sending love and prayers toward your dear home.

and now...

It's time for a brand new Back to Basics and Beyond Challenge!

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

I am so enjoying this team - the themes help me play with lots of products in my stash and motivate me out of the usual styles I gravitate toward.

To see close ups, just click on any of the photos please.

I have used three types of watercolor techniques in this project.

  1. I started with watercolor paper and sprayed it with water, lightly saturating the paper. Then I softly "seasoned" the moist paper with Atlantis Burst Watercolor Shimmer Powder. Wish you could see this in person. If you enjoy playing with mediums, this is a must have for your stash! It's truly shimmery! After applying the powder, I spritzed a bit more, moving some of the color with my heat tool, and allowing the rest to dry on its own. 
  2. Then I inked up Stampendous 6x6 Blossom Scroll rubber stamp with Versafine Clair Pinecone ink and dredged with Gold Tinsel opaque embossing powder. I love the glittery sparkle! While you cannot see the defined outline of the stamp itself, I knew it would make a lovely mosaic of "uneven", sparkly color in the background:

Watercoloring the image:

  1. The darling fairies were stamped with VersaMark and heat set NOT with white embossing powder, but with Sparkle Semi Transparent embossing powder. Instead of being a plain white medium, the outline now has sparkle to it! 
  2. The watercolor resist technique was employed using Peacock Feathers and Mermaid Lagoon Distress inks applied as watercolor. 
  3. With Tombow Markers I scribbled a little pink and flesh colors onto an acrylic block and applied to the fairies with a water brush.  
  4. They were then die cut. I also used the silhouette as a halo on the left side (but isn't the silhouette adorable all on its own?):

This close-up shows the difference the Sparkle Semi Transparent embossing powder makes (check out the Starfire semi transparent ultrafine glitter on their little wings and skirt ruffle). 

And that Gold Tinsel opaque EP is amazing! 

Wish you could see it in real life. 

The Turquoise vellum was torn down one side and distressed with VersaMark ink before being heat set with the Gold Tinsel EP.

The brads were heat set with Melon Twist Semi Transparent. While still hot, I dipped the brads into more Starfire glitter. The glitter melted into the hot EP.

Even the sentiment is sparkly. It was stamped with Warm Breeze VersaFine Clair, dredged with Mediterranean Star opaque EP, and heat set. The Tuscany Star line's formulation is great for fine detail images, distressing, or bold image coverage. They are my favorite EPs in my stash:

I had fun using the vellum and punchinella in overlapping layers (is that a redundant statement?) giggle.
    Finished card is 6x6 at flat for mailing:

    thanks for stopping by today!

    Some SNS Products used on this project:

    Products Used:

    Challenges I'd like to play in pretty please:

    1. Scrapy Land Challenge #98 "AG Dies SL Sells" (Tonic, Cheery Lynn)
    2. Always Fun Challenges #78 "Dies and Punches" 10/8
    3. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #1839 AG 10/8
    4. International Art and Soul #43 NOT CAS, layer it up! 10/15 (sep post)
    5. Do-A1(1) Kreatives #22 Design Your Own Background (used paints, inks, shimmer paints, embossing tinsel) 11/1
    stamping hugs,

    Monday, October 01, 2018

    Butterfly Love - 2 Crafty Critter Crazies

    My thoughts and prayers are extended to friends and citizens of Indonesia.

    We are still experiencing record breaking heat here in central Florida.
    I hope wherever you live, that you're enjoying the awesomeness of Mother Nature.
    We certainly do!

    Time for a new 2 Crafty Critter Crazies Challenge! 
    In October, we are sponsored by Art of Ching-Chou Kuik, where beautiful, soulful works of art come to life! I loved playing with this image, and had to triple the fun by multiplying the hand drawn butterflies.

    Today's card features "Flutter Butterflies - Grey Scale"

    Living in Florida, we have butterflies year-round, so I do "container gardening" to keep blooming flowers available to our pollinators even during our "cold months".

    Depending on the weather, sometimes I have butterflies "mob" me as I walk out the front door with the watering can.

    It's fun. They don't SEEM to be afraid, just watchful that they don't end up as someone's dinner.

    Since pink butterflies don't frequent our home, I designed this card with bright pink fluttering critters - 

    To conserve my paper, I arranged the digital images on my paper like this:

    I colored the main image and 3 more butterflies with Copic Markers, then fussy cut the extra fluttering beauties and popped them on:

    Using one of my favorite sentiments from the Lovely Magnolia Rubber Stamp Set, I glittered some die cuts and a star brad.

    Two of the layers are distressed with Mousse in Aquamarine and Pink Flambe. The mousse provides a soft touch with shimmering appearance on the edges.

    You have until October 28 to upload your critter-laden project to 2 Crafty Critter Crazies Challenge! Hope to see you there!

    Products Used:

    Challenges this card is submitted to:

    1. The Alphabet Challenge - "N" is for Nature 10/10
    2. Creatalicious Challenges #148 AG with Texture 10/15
    3. Classic DT Open Challenge #10 AG design team 11/1
    4. Crafts Galore Encore #56 AG 11/1
    5. Sparkles Monthly Challenges #108 Punches or Dies (Tonic, SW & SP dies, EKSuccess tag punch)
    stamping hugs,