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

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Beautiful Pear by Beccy Muir

Waving HELLO to all my friends
and grateful you can stop by today.

I was inspired by Beccy's Coloring Tutorial paired with her March freebie Beautiful Pear to create my fruity cards. Both pear clusters are colored similarly with Copic Markers and Prismacolor Markers, but different techniques were employed:


  1. I downloaded Beccy's Beautiful Pear image in black and white, converting it to  PNG with transparent background.
  2. I placed three pears on my word processor and arranged to my liking before printing.
  3. The pears were then colored with Copic and PC markers.

Here are the results:

For texture, a burlap strip was added with partial black die cut on the left. The sentiment was stamped with Nocturne VF Clair and heat set with a black detail EP that contains glitter, so the sentiment sparkles and shines:

Also colored with Copic and PC markers, my next card, partially embraces the pointillism technique found here:

The sentiment (from my new floral rubber stamp set which will debut on April 1) has been heat set with white detail embossing powder. The crinkled ribbon is seam binding with different color inks:

Some Products:

  • Stamps: Beccy's Beautiful Pear digital image, SNS Sentiment from my personal stamp set #938 Botanical Ruffled Peony, Hero Arts Sentiment Clear Stamps CL582, Dies: SB Grommet Tags, Spellbinders Grand Ovals, SB Floral Ovals, Sue Wilson Indian Ocean Tag Duo, SB Grand Decorative Labels One, Surprise Creations Double Stitched die set,  Ribbons: Lace and hand-dyed ribbon from my stash, and from Really Reasonable Ribbon Leaves (green) and loose-weave burlap (looks like it's retired)

    Challenges I'd like to play in, please:
    1. Beccy's Challenges (new blog location) AG using a Beccy Muir image 4/1
    2. Crafting with Friends #1 Anything Goes 3/30
    3. Aud Sentiments #223 Any Sentiment except HB 4/4 (sep post)
    4. Scrapy Land Challenges #110 AG SL dies (SB Grommet Tags, Spellbinders Grand Ovals, SB Floral Ovals, Sue Wilson Indian Ocean Tag Duo, SB Grand Decorative Labels One) 4/2 (sep post)
    5. A Bit More Time to Craft #88 Anything Goes 4/1 (sep post)
    6. Crafty Friends Challenge #106 "Spring Colors" 4/6

    On a Personal Note - 
    Last week our Chinese Fringe Plants were blooming. This one is on the side in the back. They will stop blooming in a week, and I'll drastically prune it. The new foliage will come out a pretty burgundy color for the next 6 months.

    Exterior View
    Interior View
    Close up - taken from a nursery


    Thursday, March 14, 2019

    Those Bugs! Moving Along With The Times Challenge

    Hello, dear blogging friends!

    Today I'm sharing a project made with a stamp purchased in 2000

    !! gulp !!

    It has never seen ink before.
    (hanging head in shame)

    And now... 

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

    Challenge #93's theme is BUGS - for the next 2 weeks upload your creations that feature Bugs in some way!

    Does anyone remember the fun movie called "Mothra" in 1961?
    Here is the 2 minute trailer (giggling).

    OK - hopefully my moth looks better than the original Mothra, but this stamp is virginal, like Mothra, from long ago (I bought it in 2000). Just like Mothra it is BIG (at 5" x 4.5"). (more giggling) 

    My card is 6" x 7.5".

    Two sides have a dainty white scallop. I like altering the look of my punches:

    I inked the image with Memento Tuxedo Black, using a stamp positioner. After coloring with Copic and Prismacolor Markers on 140lb Neenah, the image was placed back into the stamp positioner. With VersaMark ink, I stamped the image one more time so that the VM ink was on top of the black ink. Then I dredged and heat set with Sparkle embossing powder to give a little glittery sparkle to the image. It did not photograph very well.
    I cut it out with a craft knife. Orchid Pearlescent Brilliance ink was applied to the inside of the embossing folder and then the negative image from the butterfly was run through the machine. The Brilliance ink creates a satiny shine in the debossed areas.

    A fun, wonky circle frame was created and heat embossed with Sparkle EP:

    Here are the layers (1) stamp, (2) wonky frame, (3) dry embossed panel, (4) taupe, (5) white scallops, (6) mauve - the negative portion under the moth can be seen:

    The IO sentiment was stamped with VersaFine Clair Acorn Brown and heat set with Glitzy Gold EP (a rich brown with golden highlights)

    The wings have been manipulated and popped up with 1/4" deep adhesive. Even the body has been popped up with 1/8" adhesive, but it does not show very well. I hope you can see the negative area of brown under the wings:

    Some Products Used:
    Inks: Memento Tuxedo Black, Orchid Pearlescent Brilliance, VersaFine Clair Acorn Brown, Worn Lipstick Red Distress, VersaMark - Colored with Copic and PrismaColor markers - Embossing Folder: Tonic Layered Leaves - Stamps: IO C13039 "She has Wings", Holly Berry House 1651K (moth mosaic) - Dies: SB Grand Labels 23, SB Grand Circles - Embossing PowdersGlitzy Gold EPSparkle EP

    Challenges I'd like to play in please:

    1. ScrapyLand #109 AG dies SL sells (Dies: SB Grand Labels 23, SB Grand Circles) 3/18 (sep post)
    2. Classic DT Challenge 3/1 AG DT  4/1 (sep post)
    3. Sparkle N Sprinkle Creative Challenges 3/1 used Sparkle EP on top of the black stamped image using stamp positioner, and used more Sparkle EP on top of the wonky circle die cut, Glitzy Gold EP on the sentiment) 4/1
    4. A Perfect Time to Craft #3 AG 4/1 (sep post) 4/1 Sep post
    5. Creativ Fusion Arts and Crafts Blog #10 "Spring" - last column BUTTERFLY-GREEN-GLITTER (glitter in both types of EP which is on image, wonky circle and sentiment) 4/1 (sep post)
    6. Addicted to Stamps #172 "Spring" 4/10 (sep post in mid-month reminder)
    7. Creative Inspirations Challenge (Mar 6) "Spring Greens" 4/3 (sep post)
    8. Sweet Stampers Challenge Blog #30 Easter or Spring 4/10 (sep post)

    On a Personal Note:

    Our Azaleas finally decided it was time to bloom. They have been frustratedly attempting to bloom since November because of our unseasonably warm weather this winter. In mid February after this photo was taken, all the azaleas on the property opened up so we had pretty pink colors everywhere we looked! 

    This is a view from the top of the hill, where the Monstera Pothos Philodendrons grow up the Oak Trees. Most people have them as small-leaf house plants - green leaves that have yellow spots. The philodendrons have acclimated to our winters and can withstand a certain amount of freezing temperatures. They come back year after year, even if all the leaves fall off (see the pile of the brown leaves toward the middle of the photo?) The dark magenta azaleas in the distance are about 8 - 9 feet tall. (Jack's garden has been freshly tilled on the right corner) (he was preparing to plant his bell peppers in the tray on top of the rolled fencing). The fencing will be unrolled and stretched across that open space to keep bunnies out. Facing northeast:

    2 weeks later looking up the hill over the top west acre where the deep magenta, bright pink, and white azaleas are blooming:

    An early morning capture of the east side of the property:

    Butterfly Hugs,

    Wednesday, March 13, 2019

    Christmas at Sweet Stampin' PSX tags

    It's me! I'm back! (giggle)
    Welcome to my little blog - And some Christmas tags! Every year I intend to make "to-from" tags, and I never do! So here are three, and if no other tags are made, at least I finally did three (chuckle).

    Today begins a new challenge at
    Christmas at Sweet Stampin'!

    My marvelously brilliant teammates have fantastic samples to share! We hope to see your imaginative artwork each month in our "Anything Goes Christmas" Challenges. The challenge is for ANY Christmas theme craft project. March's Challenge is open until April 9.

    This month I'm playing with a virginal "used" stamp gifted to me by friend Paula. Paula and I both went into deep mourning when PSX stopped producing.
    Do you remember PSX? Do you have any of their beloved stamps in your stash?
    This stamp has been in my stash for years, and I'm guessing that Paula had it for at least 10 years previously.

    Sporting blue (for my cold northern friends):

    Pretty in Pink for my girly-girl blogging friends:

    And red-green for traditionalists:

    All the products are "golden oldies" except for the colored pencils. It was fun making these sweet tags!

    Some Products Used:
    Image: PSX F1321 Christmas Bird House - Ebay has one here.
    Dies: Darice Ornate Rectangles, Poppystamps Stitched Main Street Tags, Poppystamps Stitched Festival Tags, Spellbinders Labels 23, 
    Colored With: Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Color Pencils and various inks.

    Challenges I'd like to play in please:
    • ABC Christmas Challenge (March) E-F-G (E embellishment, F fabric, G glitz) lots of embellies, fabric ribbons/fibers, glitter & Gold glossy 4/1 (sep post)

    On A Personal Note:
    (if reading directly from blog post, click photos to enlarge)
    Are you familiar with a tropical plant called Platycerium (commonly known as a Staghorn Fern)? Most people see a "pup" in a nursery:

    We moved ours from Tampa back in the 1980s and they were already 15 years old. Because our climate has frequent freezes and frosts, we used to "cover them" with many king-size quilts and blankets for weeks at a time to keep them warm enough through the winter. But they have grown considerably, and we have grown not quite as energetic, so they are no longer covered during freezes and frosts. Apparently they have acclimated because these photos were taken last month after 2 days of freezing temperatures (and other frosty-freezing days prior to that):

    Hanging in homemade wire baskets that are about 4 feet across with long quadrupled lengths of 1 inch "mule tape", the fronds (leaves) are rather "pale" and beat up from cold northern winds at this time. The fronds are between 2-3 feet long each.

    The "shield fronds" cover the base of the plant where the lengthy fronds come out. If a knife or ice pick is used to puncture a green shield frond, more "pups" will emerge. Then the pups can be cut out later and transplated, or left to grow in place, as we have done here. They are about 8 feet across (2.5 meters) and seem quite happy with their home. We never dreamed they would survive here.

    In the following photo the bright green trees in the background are wild NON-indigenous cheery trees (no fruit) which are, SADLY, taking over the native oak habitat. Those are on someone else's property. We remove all non-indigenous trees on our property.

    We call the oak trees "Live Oaks", although there are several varieties of oaks in our hammock. There are 2 squirrel-proof bird feeders (to the extreme right a box, and left, a cylinder). The one on the left is a dream at keeping the heavier birds and squirrels out of the feed. The right feeder is 30 years old and needs to be replaced. The squirrels can "hang" from the top because of the rust (giggle).

    The azaleas in the far back right are twice the height of a person:

    At the top left (below) are some white and pale pink azaleas, again, twice the height of a person. Azaleas require shade in Florida due to the hot, sunny summers, and enjoy an acid soil:

    thanks for visiting!

    Friday, March 01, 2019

    Imagine That Stamps at 2 Crafty Critter Crazies

    Greetings, Friends! I hope you are well, and staying warm.
    Like everyone else, here in central Florida, we are experiencing strange weather patterns. But for us, it has been unseasonably warm for the most part. With the exception of a few freezes and frosty mornings, we have been experiencing May Temperatures, not winter temps!
    The farmers don't know what to do. Plant or not to plant?
    Jack planted pole beans and black eye-peas (field peas) in our garden yesterday. Black eyes are traditionally a summer crop here (June - September), so that gives you an idea of how warm we are.

    Well, enough of the weather (giggle).

    Today I have a sorta-kinda distressed, textured project to share for a new Challenge at Two Crafty Critter Crazies 
    where we love to celebrate any project with a critter on it! Critters include mythical creatures, animal toys and everything alive (except humans and flora)! Our very generous sponsor this month is:

    They have an assortment of black and white and colored stamps, plus beautiful papers and backgrounds.

    My project uses "Hello Kitties" with dotted background from "Ellie's Flower Costume"

    Mini Digital Tutorial using free apps.

    1. "Hello Kitties" is a freebie, that comes with a completely transparent PNG and an opaque JPG. After re-saving the JPG as a PNG, I made the outside of the frame transparent. I also made the area under the flowers transparent. (I did this using Preview App).
    2. Using a free word processing app (I used Pages), I opened a blank page, dragged the cute gray and white dotted digital paper into it, and then dragged the newly saved Hello Kitties PNG on top of it. 
    3. That enabled the appearance of layers. It looks like the part below the flowers is either popped up, or cut out, depending how one's eyes see it.
    4. Size the background paper to suit your needs and print out the cute image.
    5. The image was then colored with Copic and Prismacolor markers, including a few little "white dots" in yellow or amber, and the inside of the oval was also lightly colored in the same colors. To give a little more dimension, black dots were colored around the frame.

    To keep the Dotted theme, I applied Memento Gray Flannel ink to the inside of my WRMK Dotted embossing folder. Carefully lining up a yellow-gold panel in the EF, I then ran it through the machine. The raised areas remained yellow, while the debossed areas turned "flannel gray". The edges were distressed with Black Soot ink:

    The gray panel was embossed with Craftwell's Delicate Dots folder, and distressed with Black Soot and Pearlescent Yellow Brilliance ink.

    Little Details: A piece of golden burlap was frayed for a fun fringe, white sides were added for contrast, sentiment was stamped with VersaFine Clair Morning Mist and heat set with Clear Detail embossing powder. Lastly, Memory Box Fanciful Flourish was smooshed with VersaMark and heat set with Spring Willow Cosmic Sparkle embossing powder.

    Some PRODUCTS USED: **ImagesImagine That Digistamps "Hello Kitties" with dotted background from "Ellie's Flower Costume", rubber stamp sentiment from SNS "Kitty Celebrates" Stamp Set 926    **Dies: SB Mega Nestabilities Curved Rectangles, Memory Box Fanciful Flourish, SU Labels Punch **Colored with Copic and Prismacolor Markers   **Inks: Gray Flannel Memento Ink, Black Soot Distress Ink, VersaFine Clair Morning Mist, VersaMark, Pearlescent Yellow Brilliance ink  **Embossing Folders: We R Memory Keepers Dotted #1, Craftwell Delicate Dots   **Embossing Powders: Spring Willow Cosmic Sparkle, Clear Detail 

    Challenges I'd like to play in please:

    1. Show Us Your Pussycats Challenges #39 Furrything Goes 3/5 (sep post)
    2. Crafty Animals #24 AG with Animals 4/1 (sep post)
    3. Crafting With Friends #81 Anything Goes 3/15
    4. QKR Stampede Challenge #337 Anything Goes 3/8
    5. Love to Scrap #119 Anything Goes Option Monochrome 4/1
    6. Sparkles Forum Challenges #113 Include an Animal 3/15
    7. Your Scrapbook Place (March) AG 4/1

    On A Personal Note:

    Kilo turned nine years old on the day I wrote this 2CCC blog post!
    What a good boy, hanging out with his daddy! (behind him is the cultivator for the tractor).

    The Tulip Tree (a type of Magnolia) was blooming on Valentine's Day. In the background you can see a Southern Magnolia, lots of "Pothos" growing and climbing trees, and a ton of Spanish Moss hanging from the trees and cross-fencing.

    The Oak Trees tower over the azaleas and tulip tree, bringing much needed shade during the summer and protection from freezes in the winter. These were taken on an overcast day with heavy frost that morning:

    Closer. The oaks are in the process of dropping their leaves. They will be bare around March 1, and pollen squigglies will appear, burst open, and coat everything in yellow. Even the squirrels will have allergies when that happens:

    In a few days, the petals will drop, and new leaves burst forth. This is the first tree we planted in 1989 when we first moved to this little "farm". Of course, the towering Oak Hammock was already here:

    wishing you all the best!