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

Saturday, November 14, 2020

White on White Christmas with a freebie

Happiness is having sweet, crafty girl friends such as you. 

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

These 5x7 cards are UTTERLY DELIGHTED with themselves, sporting white-on-white Christmasy themes with easy textures for dimension, inky happiness (because the inks have not been used in forever!), and virginal dies and embossing folders from my stash! 

The gray highlights on the right are actually silver metallic. 


Dies - Sue Wilson Wellington Set CED8205, SB Decorative Labels Eight; Embossing Folders - Spellbinders Reversible M-Bossabilities EL-013 Winter Wonders - and Anna Griffin Feathered Illusions; Anna Griffin sentiment stamp Expressions with Silver Detail EP;  Inks - Clearsnap metallic silver pigment, Memento Gray Flannel, VersaFine Clair Morning Mist

And now, if you enjoy digital images, I have a little gift for you to use on the inside or outside of your cards. It is generic enough to be used for Autumn Festivities, Winter Celebrations, or Springtime Occasions.

My gift to you - for use on the inside or outside of your projects. Please do not sell the sentiment. Use it on any of your projects, including projects involving any design teams you might be on.

Click on the image to bring it to full size. Because of the changes Google Made with Blogger in June 2020, your image will appear to be solid black. Don’t panic. Right click and do a SAVE. Once it is saved on your hard drive, you can open it and it will have a transparent background. I could make JPG instead, but I prefer PNGs so they can be placed anywhere on a scene or project, and so backgrounds can be made using them. Please let me know if you have any problems. Enjoy!

Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Krafty Chicks #533 Christmas 11/19
  2. Craft Rocket #76 Christmas 12/1
  3. Christmas Kickstart Challenge Christmas EF + Christmas Image - (The Spellbinders M-Bossabilities "Winter Wonders" is reversible, both with Christmas themes on left card. The sentiment is from Anna Griffin's old Christmas Expressions rubber set) 11/23 E8 (sep post)
  4. The Holly and the Ivy #83 Christmas 11/22 (sep post week aft)
  5. Crafty Hazel Nut's Christmas #516 Christmas Use Glitter (Sue Wilson Die is glittered) 11/21
  6. Merry Little Christmas #28 Christmas (sep post 12/5)
  7. Sparkles Christmas Challenges #118 Gold-Silver-Glitter Christmas (Silver ink and White Glitter) 11/1

Hugs and Kisses,

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

How'd THAT happen?

 I'm in "whacky" mode today with a silly card for the

  Monday House Mouse and Friends Challenge.

How'd THAT happen?

  • Did they drink too much Colloidal Silver? 
  • Were they feeling Blue and "blue" just happened? 
  • Did they try and try until they turned blue in the face, and ultimately, had an accident?
  • Were they transformed during a Blue Moon event?
  • Is it a Halloween costume effect gone awry?
Amanda is trying her best to help her chipmunk buddy. Something tells me both of them were lucky that things did not become even MORE serious. Giggling. What do YOU think they were up to? 

Are there clues in the list of recovery rules?

Pigmented with Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Color Pencils and Gamsol these mischievous friends were fun to color (although my friends were shaking their heads in disbelief - I can see their point).

Thanks for brightening my day with your visit!

Products: Dies- Cheery Lynn Dutch Doily Rectangle Frame; Stamps- 292 The Quick Fix (Amanda) from 1999. Punches - MS Doily Lace Trim Deep Edge, MS Scalloped Scallops edger. Color Wash Jewels Blue Topaz, goldenrod burlap, misty blue glitter

Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. House Mouse and Friends Monday Challenge #326 - 10/25
  2. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2042  10/25
  3. Classic Design Challenge #10 11/1
  4. Outlawz Color Challenge Oct 20-Nov 2
Special Hugs to you,

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Turner Syndrome Awareness Set

 Hello, my friends! Hope this finds you well. 


Google re-instated the ability to click on photos and drag them into your draft post! YIPPEE! So much easier!

Artist Jan Mahew has created a sweet digital release for the 2021 Turner Syndrome Awareness blog hop and challenge, supporting Lori's goal of reaching out to women and girls globally. 

This darling set features 22 versatile images and sentiments for a mere $3.00

One Hundred Percent of the moneys goes to Lori's TSA chapter.

Such sweetness with this little cherub of a fairy blowing magical wishes of encouragement, I couldn't help but use the gorgeously precolored image done by Jan herself, and just add a few more coloring details.

First,  I flipped the image and created a scene by adding the "butterfly wishes" surrounding the fairy. With a Copic Multi Liner, the butterfly bodies were enhanced.  I colored her wings  to match those cute hi-top sneakers. A Sue Wilson die from her Frames & Tags Collection (Daisy Circles CED4238) was cut in half and placed behind the scalloped circle. Then it was framed with SB Decorative Labels Eight die set.

The card is 4.5" x 6"

Happiness is a green and pink creation. The Card is 5" x 7" with the Anna Griffin Flower Bramble background die. I dry embossed it and colored the die cut while it was still in the die itself. 

Her wings were also colored to match those cute hi-tops. The card was cut to the shape of the Flower Bramble background.


Products: Dies: SB Grand Scalloped Ovals, Anna Griffin Flower Bramble, SB Decorative Labels Eight, SB Scallop Circles, SW Daisy Circle set - Images Jan's Digi's Turner Foundation Awareness Fairy. Other coloring done with Copic Markers, Distress Inks and colored pencils with gamsol.

Challenges I'd like to support:

  1. A Bit More Time to Craft #126 Anything Goes 11/1
  2. QKR Stampede Challenge #406 Anything Goes 11/1
  3. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2041 Anything Goes 10/19
  4. Incy Wincy Designs (10/5-17) Anything Magical Fairytales 10/19
  5. Path of Positivity #84 (10/5 - 11/1) Anything Positive Opt GIRL POWER 11/1
  6. All Fun Challenges #17 Anything Goes 10/24


In the beginning of the Covid Misadventure, Jacky decided to 1) build a green house 2) raise traditionally grown veggies in "growth bags", 3) grow others hydroponically in a vertical manner. I will publish these endeavors in a tab in the future.

Unfortunately, I have experienced a faster progression of the Fascia issues, and the disease is now fully attacking my organs. So while I am passionate about gardening of any kind, I'm limited in what I can enjoy. so it's fun seeing photos from my blogging friends.

We also began raising Milkweed for Monarchs, and learned quickly a completely different type of "eco-system" develops from that adventure. It was fun!

These imposters, I believe, are called QUEEN BUTTERFLIES. Hundreds of Oleander Aphids attach themselves to the new growth, but they don't spread to other plants. The caterpillars munch down the new growth so quickly, that the aphids cannot live very long:

So I am constantly pruning the stalks down to 2 or 3 inches high, and the plants replenish their leaves to a height of about 3-4 feet in just a few weeks. These 2 photos were taken on overcast days. Below is a bush with two visible Queen Butterflies (as opposed to Monarchs) and two visible Queen Caterpillars. Did you know there were "imposter monarchs"?:

Wishing you all the best,

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Name This Flower Stamp - PLEASE?

Greetings, dear Blogging Friends!
I hope you are doing well. Summer is in full swing here, bringing with it that "lovely humidity" Florida is known for, but with it, beautiful skies that change depending on the clouds and time of day. 

I wish I could send some of our rain and moisture out West where the wild fires are causing so much damage - my heart is with you all.

I love flowers (gardening is my true passion) - and of course butterflies - who mob me as I water and care for my garden).

Help! Please? Name this stamp!

UPDATE: Thank you Aimes for identifying this stamps as an Impression Obsession stamp which can be purchased here.

Several years ago (5 or 6?) a friend brought this stamp to my home, and I stamped off six images in a variety of Memento inks. It's a large, red rubber image that measures approximately 5" x 4". I asked her for the name and manufacturer to put in my post, but she said she cannot find the stamp now. Do you know who made it?

Leslie Miller and Connie Griffin have inspired me to dig into my gigantic UNFINISHED box and get a grip on the important things in life (giggle). Each card was stamped with Memento Ink and in monochromatic style, colored with Copics and Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 Color Pencils and Gamsol.

I even had time to stamp the card interior and envelopes!
The cards measure 5" x 7".

The "out of the box" die cutting technique was used on the oval creations:

This antique lace from Great-Aunt Agnes's stash (1940s?) was darkened with Distress ink.

Here it is in blue:

And Pink... it's always fun combining my edge punches with dies:

Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Allsorts Challenge - Their 11th birthday with a theme of "I love...". I love flowers and butterflies - my flowers bloom year round except the dead of summer when everything is a bit bedraggled. We provide a year-long habitat for Florida's pollinators including all kinds of bees, wasps, hummingbirds, butterflies and more! I also love MONOCHROMATIC cards. Happy Birthday, Allsorts! 9/18
  2. Crafty Friends #144 Anything Goes - 9/18
  3. Creative Knockouts #367 "Lots of Layers" I'm submitting the pink cards because the right card has 5 layers and the left has 6. 9/16
  4. Cute Card Thursday #651 "No Patterned Paper" - submitting the blue cards, however, of all these cards, only one pink one has PP. 9/16
  5. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2036 "Anything Goes" 9/14
  6. Classic Design Challenge #9 "Anything Goes" 10/1
If you know the name and manufacturer of this stamp, I'd love to update my blog post with it! Thanks for stopping by, and for your continued friendship.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

I Repaired My Blogger Blog!

 I probably should not have jinxed myself by the title of this post, but I finally repaired

the "takes forever to load" portion of my blog.

Maybe my fix will help you as well.

I've been using the new blogger on and off since February, providing lots of feedback to Google. But when Google finally made the changeover,

THEY BROKE MY BLOG! It took forever to load.

So I removed everything in the side bar except for my followers. All the gadgets and pictures, and goodies that made my blog "mine" were deleted. All the links, even to other blogs, were removed. Interesting, my other 3 blogs worked just fine, even WITH the gadgets I had deleted from my main blog. HOW FRUSTRATING!

Then I recalled that beneath each of my blog posts, I used to have a little blurb that said, "if you like this post, you may enjoy these", and there were 5 thumbnails of other photos from posts on my blog. If you clicked on one of those, it took you directly to the post.

Like many other platforms, with this latest change, BLOGGER will NO LONGER SUPPORT many other platforms, widgets and gadgets. The trick is to find them in the LAYOUT section of your blog.

I wish I had taken a photo of what the blog layout looked like BEFORE I deleted the offending gadget. Please click on the photo below to see it full size so you can read all the elements. Let me know if this works on your blog, too, especially if you were using a "skin" from another vendor, or added some HTML that no longer is compatible with the new blogger.

Wouldn't it have been nice if the BLOGGER folks had warned us about the possibility of other products not functioning, in order to prevent all this frustration and wasting our time?

Best Wishes,

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Lavinia World #28 - Christmas

Hello, Sweet Blogging Friends!
I hope this finds you full of good health and gratitude.
(Please accept my freebie gift at the end of this post)

Four cards

Yep! It's time for another Lavinia World Challenge!

Store -- Facebook -- Instagram
Play in our Anything Lavinia Facebook Group
and/or our Anything Goes Challenge Blog

These are simple cards, that really do look pretty!
So let me share how to extend the use of your die cut collection.

First, that pretty white Spellbinders die is a single cut. It makes the white background for the green Sue Wilson die. Ink the stamp with Shady Lane Versafine Clair ink. Cut it out with an oval die.


To change the SW ornate die into a frame, the die was left in place, then a dry-embossing sandwich was used to emboss the die cut, and finally, while the green cardstock was still in the die, a craft knife was used to cut out the oval center, creating a frame for the stamped image.

layering orate sets can make a pretty, delicate card with lots of texture.

Here you can see the same techniques used in burgundy colors. The image was stamped in Chianti Versafine Clair Ink, then heat set with a similarly colored embossing powder. If you look just above the word "Merry" you can see the overlapping "line" from the pieced together white slit. Otherwise, those circles would not have a white background. The embossed image would have shown instead.

The above card was stenciled with black ink, and a glossy silver "Merry Christmas". The card below was stenciled with Worn Lipstick Oxide ink, and has a white "Merry Christmas" which has been placed on a matching heat embossed "slab".

Maybe the differences are more clearly seen here (just click on the photos to enlarge):

Products Used:

Would you like a freebie Christmas digital sentiment?

My gift to you - for use on the inside or outside of your projects. Please do not sell the sentiment. Use it on any of your projects, including projects involving any design teams you might be on.

Click on the image to bring it to full size. Because of the changes Google Made with Blogger in June 2020, your image will appear solid black. Don’t panic. Right click and do a SAVE. Once it is saved on your hard drive, you can open it and it will have a transparent background. I could make JPG instead, but I prefer PNGs so they can be placed anywhere on a scene or project, and so backgrounds can be made using them. Please let me know if you have any problems.


On a Personal Note:

It is with great sadness that this is my final Lavinia World project as part of the really great Fantasy Team. Such a marvelous group of talented artists, and I think my favorite team ever. Each member of this team is kindly and caring in every way. I already miss the sweet camaraderie of the group. THAT BEING SAID... It will be fun cheering on these wonderful fairy friends from the side lines. I would like to thank the Lavinia World DT Coordinator Anne Temple for being patient with me and for all the encouragement offered by my team members.

As many of you already know about my health, I am leaving due to worsening health conditions. There are no cures for any of my illnesses. While there are a few medications to help some individuals muster through the symptoms, I am unable to tolerate them without further detriment to my body. 

One positive outcome about COVID-19 is that proper attention is FINALLY being called upon by the scientific, medical and political communities for ME/CFS. It is a debilitating syndrome that quashes one's quality of life. I contracted ME/CFS as a result of the Flu Pandemic of 1957. I'm sure many of you recall that pandemic because of the horrible symptoms and world wide deaths. Unfortunately, many people who contracted COVID-19 now are finding themselves suffering from ME/CFS symptoms (generally acquired through a viral infection). You may have heard scientists refer to a "COVID-related symptom "PEM" Post Exertional Malaise". This is where the body loses its ability to create "energy" from food and normal cellular activity. Instead, the body creates cellular waste. Here is the official lay definition for PEM: Post-exertional malaise (PEM) refers to a worsening of ME/CFS symptoms after minimal physical or mental exertion, which can be delayed 24-72 hours or more. PEM is considered to be the hallmark symptom of ME/CFS.
More information can be found here:

A Big Thanks to the designers who make these Challenges Available:

  1. The Holly and Ivy Christmas Challenge #73 Anything Christmas 6/14 (sep post)
  2. World Wide Open DT Challenge #5 AG DT (MY FINAL DT CARD wahhhhh!) 😞 6/15 (sep post)
  3. Merry Little Christmas Challenge #23 (June) AG Christmas 7/6 (sep post)
  4. Classic Design Challenge #6 (June) AG 7/1 (sep post)
  5. A Bit More Time to Craft #117 AG 6/15 (sep post)
  6. Fezziwigs Festive Frolics (June 3) Anything that shares the Christmas Story 6/15 (sep post)
  7. Christmas Craft Creations (May 27) Christmas Using a Die Cut 6/10 (sep post)

Leaving you all with Fairy Love,

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

to my blogging friends

Thanks to all my followers - this is especially for my friends who follow.

After a good 9 months of continued exacerbations which, unfortunately, barely remit before another exacerbation hits, I've been forced with a decision. I need to take a blog break to figure out exactly what my new limitations and abilities are. Some things my fumble fingers were capable of, have declined considerably, and my hand-eye coordination is basically non-existent right now.

I'm only sharing because in the past, I was accused of being "snobbish", or individuals have asked if I was angry with them. Neither is the case - I'm just overwhelmed, trying to do the smallest of things such as brushing my teeth, doing e-mail, loading the dishwasher or even showering. After discussing this with hubby and good friend Anne Temple, I'm going to take a blog break - hopefully only a month or so - as Jack and I figure out where my new plateau is, and which abilities are comfortable abilities, as opposed to no-longer-my-abilities-but-I-am-in-denial-because-I-still-want-them-to-be-abilities.

Thanks for understanding - and I hope you will bear with me til you see my re-emergence!

hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Sweet Purple Bunnies for Spring

Waving Hello!
I hope you are doing well.

Today I have some bunny cards to share from an old, old, virginal Inkadinkadoo image, stamped with Monarch VersaFine Clair and colored with Tombow #133 marker. The leaves are very sparkly with glitter. I've used a different glue to adhere the glitter, so hope to hear back from recipients if it did not work well.

A great feat! They are A2 size.

Thanks to my friend Ana for helping 

to choose colors on these cards before our quarantine!

Clear glitter was applied to the greenery.

Shaded Lilac Distress ink highlights the background.

  • Image: Inkadinkadoo Bunny Retreat (this is the stamp)
  • Dies: Assorted Sue Wilson and Spellbinders dies
  • MS border punch
  • assorted embossing folders
  • assorted Brilliance inks, VersaFine Clair, Distress

Challenges I would like to play in please:

  1. Crafty Friends #133 AG 4/25
  2. Crafty Cardmakers #254 Easter 4/19
  3. Shopping our Stash #418 Happy Spring 4/28
  4. Unicorn Challenge #53 Furry Friends 4/30
  5. Use your Stuff #395 Easter 4/18
  6. All Fun Challenges #6 AG Easter 4/25 (Mon aft)
  7. Classic Design Challenge HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY! #4 AG 5/1
  8. Sparkles Challenge #127 Spring is in the Air 5/15
Wishing you love and wellness,