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

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Lavinia World Challenge Blog Premier!

Hello, dear blogging friends!
Like many of you, we are experiencing a heat wave with temperatures ranging from 93 - 96 (34C-36C). Be safe in this heat, and keep hydrated!

This is my premier Challenge Post for Lavinia World! While Lavinia World is located in the US and ships worldwide, these delightfully sweet images from the UK are extremely detailed and reasonably priced. Even better, buy $25 and get free shipping! Lavinia World carries other brand coordinating products for your convenience.

Details of our Challenge:
Every second Thursday a new Anything-Goes challenge will be posted. Use a clear or rubber stamp - no digitals. If your project features Lavinia World stamps, your chances to win a $15 gift certificate to the store are doubled. 

I stamped with Paradise Blue VersaFine Clair, and heat set with clear detail EP. A heart was die cut from 2" wide Post-it Note "tape". After being inked with a masking technique, clear glitter was adhered to the heart shape, wings, and parts of the flower stem:

The sentiment was stamped using the same color ink as the masked background after being stamped off one time:

It's definitely not a conventional creation using silhouette images, but was lots of fun using tropical, oceanic colors:

Products Used:
Dies: Spellbinders Borderabilities, QuicKutz Nesting Hearts, Sue Wilson Double Stitch Octagons, Tonic Autumnal Oak
Other: Flowers, Blue EP and Blue Glitter, Clear Detail EP, Citrus, Sail Boat Blue and Spun Sugar inks

I'd like to play in the following challenges please!
  1. A Bit More Time To Craft #92 AG 6/2
  2. Creative Crafters Challenge #16 AG 6/15
  3. Creative Cottage Challenges #118 "Use Ink" (inked background, inked image and heat embossed) 6/7
  4. Penny's Paper Craft Challenge #431 AG 5/30
  5. Scrapyland Challenges #114 AG SL dies (see dies listed above) 6/5
  6. Crafty Creations Challenges #391 AG 6/5
  7. Classic DT Open Challenge #4 May - AG DT 6/1
  8. World Wide Open DT Challenge #5 AG DT 6/16
Stamping hugs,

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Just a Little Sharing "Over the Fence"

Summer arrived early this year in central rural Florida, so I'm sharing a few photos to answer questions.

Bunny wanted me to show her before and after photos of the Chinese Fringe Bush. First is the photo taken on March 24. Notice that the blooms are high above the top of the pool cage:

In mid-April, I drastically pruned the bush 6-8 feet so the sun could get to the interior of the bush and clean out any infestations or heal branches. I said the foliage would grow back in a burgundy color. So, Bunny, here is what it looked like on May 10 after it had begun growing back. All the new growth looks pink-burgundy. They grow quickly and make a great privacy hedge (for perspective, one of the last 2 photos also shows the plant proportionately with the screen enclosure):

Lisa asked about the blooms on my angel wing begonias. These are not the same as the dragon wing begonias, which have smaller blooms. Right now, the new growth is popping up, and the "left over blossoms" are looking a bit straggly. This is what I mean about the Smile - The angel wing begonias have a giant smile. This is a small smile with a bloom that is several months old:

In a few months, it will be laden with 10-15 smiles per plant. Usually each smile consists of 18-36 individual blooms. I took the photo below yesterday. These are blooms left over from winter, so they are bedraggled, but it gives you an idea of how prolifically they bloom:

Here is one that has been severely pruned in Mid April and is just beginning to "smile" again. I have had some plants grown to 4 feet tall:

Hindu Rope Hoya Plant - we trimmed some damaged ends off this plant. The roots had grown into the clay of its pot. After trimming around the edge with a knife, I replanted it into a ten inch "azalea" pot. These are the "squattier, fatter" pots in comparison to traditional clay pots. The plant immediately began blooming, so I knew it had gone into shock. Standing on a 3 foot ladder, looking downward, I captured these 4 blooms trailing down one vine:

The leaves have lost their shiny, waxy luster, but we're hopeful it will recover without requiring a severe pruning. Looking upward at the same strand to show you how the "closed" waxy flowers look before they burst forth with their velvety elegance and fragrant scent (the 10" azalea pot is inside the wire basket):

Hoja's velvety stars:

The tiniest of baby blooms emerging (center below). You can also see the discolored leaves. Gone is the lustrous, deep green from the shock of being transplanted:

Have you seen a Swiss Cheese Philodendron? This plant belongs to the Monstera family because the leaves will become gigantic the taller it grows. This is from a little cutting made 3 years ago:

this is why they named it Swiss Cheese:

Finally, our tomato experiment - the plants are damaged from being tossed around in the outskirts of the tornado, but we have propped them up and are hoping they will produce. Each day, more green tomatoes drop off from broken branches like these, but some cling and are beginning to turn red:

Remaining bushes and herbals on top (Chinese Fringe in background):

and yes - in the background that is next winter's fire wood, freshly chopped and split, from a downed tree last November:

We're going to continue experimenting with tomatoes like this throughout the summer. Our squash has finished making - the worms are here with a vengeance because of the warm winter. Our cucumbers and green beans have also finished. We have done 4 harvests of black-eye peas (these are normally grown in the summer because of their heat tolerance).

Thanks for asking about our little life here!


Thursday, May 09, 2019

BLACK AND WHITE at Moving Along With The Times Challenge

Wow! Two posts from me in the same week!
I'm using one of my "own" newest stamp sets - partly from the digital set, and partly from the rubber set. These cards are inspired by my friend Paula D and by my MAWTT Teamie Debbie who chose BLACK AND WHITE ONLY theme.

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

Challenge #97's theme is BLACK AND WHITE ONLY - for the next 2 weeks upload your creations that feature your BW creations!

The digital set of my new VINTAGE PEONY stamp set has 17 colored and black and white items in it. My cards were printed with the background stamp in 3 sizes, and then stamped in rubber with Noctourne VersaFine Clair ink. The digital set comes with colored and BW versions independently, and also already masked for you so that the words cannot be seen in the flower petals and leaves.

To receive an additional 10% off, please use the code DonnaDT10 when checking out.

Each of my images has a printed background from the above digital set.

Each was stamped with VersaFine Clair Nocturne on top of the digital background. However, the digital set does offer flowers with the background already done, so that the letters don't show through the petals. I wanted the letters to show through.

First is this card with the clear glitter mat, glossy black frame, and simple image:
Second: Stamped with VF Clair Nocturne, and heat set with a black glittered EP. It has a white background, black glossy mat, and glittered interior mat:

Lastly, I stamped the flower three times, cutting petals out and popping them up. The edges are also stamped with more leaves. All the leaves have been coated with a Zig 2 Way glue pen, and clear white glitter (sorry, it photographed rather blue):

The mat is a black glitter cardstock (I cheated!):

The sentiment comes with the set, was stamped in VF Clair Nocturne and heat set with clear EP:

For me, the black-and-white ONLY challenge was difficult, not being able to shade with gray to provide depth. But it was fun! Hope to see your card uploaded to the challenge!

Challenges I'd like to play in please:
  1. Shopping Our Stash #395 "May Flowers" 5/13
  2. World Wide Open DT Challenge #4 AG DT 5/15 
  3. Corrosive Challenges #5 Anything Goes 6/3
  4. Dare2BArtzy (May 5) "May Flowers" 5/29
  5. Crafty Gals Corner #191 May Flowers 5/22
  6. Creative Moments #168 Anything Goes 5/22

Stamping Hugs,

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Snowflakes - Christmas at Sweet Stampin'

Waving hello to all my blogging friends, and wishing you all the best!
We had a tornado hop-scotch across the county. Fortunately, we only have a downed tree, but our experimental tomatoes were also tossed around.
Not sure if they will survive, or if the trauma was too much for them.
I'll let you know!

In the meantime...

I've got a CAS Christmas card today.

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

My 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. May's Challenge is open until June 8 and has an optional challenge is snowflakes.

Today's card uses a background from my stash - it's a magenta colored piece of mirror cardstock that had some imperfections in it. Pearlescent acrylic paints were smooshed on it to create interesting "crystals".

When distressing the dry embossed panel, I dropped the finger dauber twice onto the stamped sentiment, so I tried distressing the entire sentiment to cover up my blunder. That made it worse, of course, so I used a glue pen and covered with glitter. Ahhh, glitter is a girl's best friend. Or shall I say, "Glitter is a Fumble Finger's BFF." (giggle)

Finished card:

Products Used: Beccy Muir sentiment "Milton Chasing Snowflakes", Tutti Snowflake Corner, Spellbinders Curved Borders One, Monarch Purple VersaFine Clair ink, Craftwell Delicate Dots EF.

Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Merry Little Christmas Challenge #10 Anything Christmas Goes 6/1 (sep post)
  2. Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #49 Anything Christmas Goes 5/18 (sep post)
  3. World Wide Open DT Challenge #4 AG DT 5/15 
  4. Corrosive Challenges #5 Anything Goes 6/3
  5. Beccy's Challenges (May) AG with Beccy Muir image (sentiment is from "Milton Chasing Snowflakes" set) 6/1
  6. Crafty Creations #390 Anything Goes 5/21
  7. Creative Moments #168 Anything Goes 5/22
  8. Scrapy Land #113 AG SL die (Tutti, SB) 5/15
Stamping hugs,

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Chirp! for the Birds!

Hello, blogging friends! I hope you are all enjoying milder weather and things are going well for you and your loved ones.

It's May First and that means a brand 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)!

Today I'm sharing a pretty set of SEVEN cards
 BUT also hanging my head in shame.
My friend Anne B and I got together LAST AUGUST to make some cards using her "Best Birds" Stampin' Up! set. I have finally finished mine, and it's time for show and tell. First, a preview:

My newest stamp set is out and available digitally for a mere $2.50.
It's called simply "Kindness".


Bold Blue:


I wish the gold sparkle had showed up below:


Blue Tan:


Products Used:
  • Images: "Chirp" SNS Bonnet Birdie rubber stamp set (also available digitally), Hero Arts mini sentiments, SNS Kindness rubber stamp set (also available digitally), Stampendous 8x8 Decor Music background stamp
  • Stampin' Up! sets: "Best Birds", "Touches of Textures", "Bloom with Hope"
  • MS Punch laurel leaf border, Twine, Distress Inks, Tombow Markers
  • Embossing Powder: SNS Gold Tinsel EP385 (very glittery)
  • Dies: SB Grand Labels One, SB Decorative Grand Labels One, SB Detailed Scallops, SB Teardrop Circle, Sue Wilson "Melbourne", SW "Australian Background", Crafts Too Presscut die set "Love Stitching Heart" PCD101, 
Challenges Entered:

stamping hugs,