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, February 27, 2020

Lavinia World #21 - It's a Beautiful Day!

Greetings, blogging friends!
As soon as I saw blogging friend Donna Thielker's THTSB creation, I knew I wanted to get my Oxides out and finally experiment. There is a bit of a learning curve with them (in my opinion), but here is my first attempt. Donna, thank you for inspiring me!

It is time for a new
Lavinia World Challenge!

Details of our Lavinia World ChallengeWinner receives
a $15 gift certificate to the Lavinia World store. Submissions can be placed either on our Lavinia World Challenge blog which has an ANYTHING GOES theme using ANY brand clear or rubber stamp - no digitals. Or you may play in our friendly Facebook Group called Anything Lavinia if using ANY Lavinia Product in your creationEither way, we enjoy seeing your artwork!

Today's fairy story 

Today's Make-A-Wish Fairy reminds us that we need to occasionally take ourselves "away", allowing our dreams to bloom from deep in our hearts, and shed seeds along our Life's journey, to come to life in their own way. But first, we have to begin a quiet odyssey allowing those beginnings to come to Light.

Have you ever noticed how many of our dreams have "come true" but not in the ways we had originally anticipated?

Onward... to my little card...
I used Distress Ink foam applicators to apply my inks, which was part of my "learning curve". Next time, I'll use my brushes (which I had forgotten about LOL). After inking my 5x7 panel, I spritzed with water and added kosher salt crystals to make a little texture:

After this dried, the salt was brushed off, and a Heidi Swap stencil was lightly inked with Distress Ink in Pumice Stone. The Sparkle sentiment was also inked with Pumice Stone and added to the background. All the images were inked with VersaFine Clair Rain Forest Green and heat set with clear embossing powder.

Wink of Stella Clear and Uni-Ball Pen Signo Gel White were both used, first on the fairy's wings and then on the other stamped elements. Diamond Dust (textured glitter) was also added:

Here's a final look at the card on an angle to capture it without the glitter and shine. After trimming the original white panel, the card size is 4.25" x 6.5":

Thanks for visiting today!
My Lavinia World Products:

Products Used:

Challenges I'd like to play in please:
  1. My Time to Craft #426 No Digi's Allowed this week 3/7
  2. Creative Moments #185 AG + "for the girls" 3/5
  3. World Wide Open DT Challenge #2 AG DT 3/15
  4. *New* Classic Crafty FB Challenge (Feb)  AG 3/1
  5. Creative Knockouts Challenge #339 Die Cuts and Punches (IO Small Grass 178C, MS Geometric Frames Punch) 3/5
Stamping Hugs to you, my dear blogging friends...

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Antique Cars The Easy Way

Cardz 4 Guys has a great challenge this week to use ink and/or paint.
So out came the inks, dies and punches!

Let me take you down memory lane...

I actually made small A2 size cards, something that is very difficult for me. They are each backed with pattern paper in different ways.

It's always fun using old stash.
The image is actually a long-ago-retired image from SNS, who closed their doors last year. I enjoy playing with old dies, too. Long ago, when Spellbinders first introduced their "Wizard" machine, I immediately jumped on with this fun die set. Why did I prefer Spellbinders from the beginning? The easy way their dies emboss and ink to make that crisp white frame:

One of my favorite vintage dies proves that "fancy" works great with masculine cards. Some of the cars are semi-colored with Prismacolor pencils:

This Spellbinders Label die set sports a neat shape, but has clean lines:

Here are the same dies but with blue hues. Copic Multi Line pens were used to create a bit of linear interest on each card. I like this inking technique because it is fast, accident-free, and always pretty!

  • Dies: Spellbinders - Labels Four, Wonky Rectangles, Floral Ovals.
  • Punches - EK Success circles, tags, fancy squares
  • Images: car - SNS, Just For You - Impression Obsession

  1. Cardz 4 Guys #239 Use Ink and/or Paint 3/3 (3 brown tone inks and 3 blue tone inks plus Versafine Clair for the images)
  2. Retro Rubber #129 AG using old stamps (my car set is from 2006, and the sentiment is probably that old as well) 3/7
  3. A Place to Start (Feb 3) Masculine 2/28
  4. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2008 3/2

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, February 24, 2020


Did you know that font size and style affects who actually reads your blog posts? 

The smaller your font, 
               the more difficult it is to read, 
                             slowing down readers of all ages. 

The larger the font size, 
               the more easily visitors can read your blog
                          and the more quickly they can read it.

But more importantly,
               the larger the font size,
                          the more likely visitors are to actually read
                          what you write.

Did you know you can permanently change your blog post fonts, and still be able to manually manipulate them if you want to?


Go to the draft side of your blog...
  1. If you contribute to more than one blog, be sure the correct blog has been chosen.
  2. On the left, click on THEME.
  3. When the THEME Window pops up, you will see what your blog looks like “Live on Blog” and what it looks like on “Mobile” devices.
  4. Under LIVE ON BLOG is an orange tab that says CUSTOMIZE.
  5. Click Customize.
  6. You are now on the BLOGGER THEME DESIGNER page.
  7. On the left, choose ADVANCED.
  8. In the column immediately to the right, at the top, is the option PAGE TEXT. Select it.
  9. To the right you will see FONT choices. There are 7 universal fonts at the top, and several more decorative Web Fonts under. You may choose any of those fonts. Keep in mind that the “fancier” the font is, the more difficult it is to read for international visitors, and for people with eye problems.
  10. Choose your font by clicking one time on it to highlight it.
  11. Under those choices, you also have the options to “bold” it or “Italicize” the font.
  12. Next to the B and I is a number. Try choosing anywhere from 16 to 24. If the number you want is not available, you may manually type it in, and Blogger will automatically adjust the font to that size.
  13. If you have a blog with a colored background, You might consider changing the color of your text to WHITE or a very pale choice.
  14. Just above the gray bar where all your choices are, on the top right side, is an orange button that says APPLY TO BLOG. Click that.
  15. Then you can go back to blogger, and check out your blog. You may change your fonts, styles and sizes as often as you like.

NOTE: when typing your draft in Blogger, it will automatically appear as chosen TIMES font. Any time you want to correct a font issue in your post (especially as a result of copy-and-paste from a document), simply highlight the portion of text you are working on. Then go up to the tool line (to the right of the “COMPOSE/HTML” words. You’ll see 2 curved arrows, and then a “F” (for FONT). Click on F and select DEFAULT FONT. To the right of F is “T” for sizing. Click on that and choose NORMAL. Now your selected writing will be in your chosen font style and size. 

I hope this helps!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Speekski Designs at Do-Al(l) Kreatives AND A FREEBIE!

I won the fabulous Do-Al(l) Kreatives challenge recently, and part of the prize is guest designing this month!  Thank you for inviting me, DAK designers!
This month's sponsor is Sheepski Designs and the theme is:

Feminine + Monochromatic

My 5x7 card features Andrea Norris' pretty pensive Coffee Break digital stamp.

Colored with Blue tone Copic Markers, I die cut an enlarged image to make a close up of this lovely stamp.

More of my Great Aunt's 1930's vintage lace was used. It always makes me feel close to her using her sewing stash from long ago. How nice it was the perfect color for my card! Of course, I could not pass up adding a little glitter to the sentiment and leaves.

Card interior:

Products Used:
  • Sheepski Designs Coffee Break digital stamp
  • Papers: Mariposa Matstack, Aqua, White
  • Glitter (clear with a little aqua added)
  • Punches: MS Decco Fans edge, MS 3-in-1 Hydrangea, SU Label, SU corner rounder
  • Dies: Surprise Creation pierced scallops, SB Bitty Blossoms
  • Prills
  • Tumbled Glass Distress Ink

A little gift to you:

I have made a freebie digital sentiment for you to use on the inside or outside of your projects. NOT for commercial use, please. 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, then right click and do a SAVE.
Enjoy! One is for birthday, and the other for any day.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Challenges I would like to play in please:

  1. Sheepski Designs FB Challenge AG + Option Love 2/19
  2. World Wide Open DT Challenge   AG DT 3/15
  3. QKR Stampede Challenge #385 AG 2/20
  4. Alphabet Challenge Blog (2-14) Challenge W Anything you Wish 2/28 (birthday wishes)
  5. Digi Choosday Craft Challenge Wk 6 (Feb 11) AG 2/23
  6. Classic Crafty FB Challenge (Feb) AG 3/1 (30% off)
  7. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2006 AG 2/17
  8. The Paper Girls Challenge #193 Birthdays 2/16
  9. Allsorts Challenge Blog #559 Use Dies and/or Punches 2/22 (Punches: MS Decco Fans edge, MS 3-in-1 Hydrangea, SU Label, SU corner rounder -- Dies: Surprise Creation pierced scallops, SB Bitty Blossoms)
  10. A Bit More Time to Craft #110 AG 3/1

stamping hugs,

Thursday, February 13, 2020

It's a Beautiful Day to Embrace Love - Lavinia World #20

Welcome, friends, to my humble blog.
It is my sincerest hope that you are each doing well, and that your families are enjoying good health.

Today's post includes a project "outside" my normal creative-style box, using new-to-me techniques, so I'm going to point out my boo-boo that I did not fix. Maybe you will learn from me, so you won't do the silly thing I did.

It is time for a new
Lavinia World Challenge!

Details of our Lavinia World ChallengeWinner receives
a $15 gift certificate to the Lavinia World store. Submissions can be placed either on our Lavinia World Challenge blog which has an ANYTHING GOES theme using ANY brand clear or rubber stamp - no digitals. Or you may play in our friendly Facebook Group called Anything Lavinia if using ANY Lavinia Product in your creationEither way, we enjoy seeing your artwork!

Today's story 

It's time for all creation to re-awaken to Love's own song! 
Trinity Fairy says we are to bring the Color of Caring to all the inhabitants of our precious planet!

I started by die cutting my own masks. To do this I used NON-HEATABLE-NON-EMBOSSABLE acetate sheets. These are much easier to die cut than the more durable acetate. The detailed stencil on the right is from my stash.

Sorry, I did not take photos.

My boo-boo's.

  1. Next, I applied the circle mask to my 6.75" x 4.75" white panel and put the stencil on top, distressing here and there with Antique Linen ink, and a bit more with Scattered Straw ink.
  2. Using Fairy Spells stamp, I randomly stamped with Walnut ink. HINT: Next time, I will leave more open space by stamping the background fewer times.
  3. With Walnut ink and a finger dauber, I pulled color from the center off the round mask outward. HINT: Next time, I will make the color more intense and pull it out slightly more, for more drama.
  4. Using another finger dauber and Spun Sugar Pink ink, I brought out more color from the center of the mask, in a starburst fashion, so some areas extend further out than other areas. HINT: Next time, I will make a greater fluctuation of the colored areas.
  5. After Removing the round stencil/mask, I applied the negative stencil/mask on top. Line up the circle. I placed another mask on top of that open circle. With Spun Sugar ink, I created detail on the magical "moon" and pulled Scattered Straw color INWARD toward the center of the circle.
  6. Finally I stamped the fairy with Pinecone Versafine Clair ink. Immediately, I realized my mistake. Do you see it?


Probably many of you know better than I - because my Logic works "backwards" when it comes to figuring things out. But it seems to me that once I figured out where I wanted the moon, I should have stamped the fairy FIRST, THEN applied the moon mask and carefully pulled colors around the fairy, so the moon would not show through her hair. Our should I have simply colored her white hair a darker color than the moon? What is the correct answer for remedying this design error? Thanks for your feedback.

Close up of the boo-boo:

With Pinecone Versafine Clair ink, I stamped the sentiment on vellum, and heat set with clear embossing powder. The sentiment is already distressed around the letters. Also, please notice the little stars floating to the heavens from her horn, reaching out to the universe for anyone who will listen to the Call:

The dragonfly brad was made hot with my heat tool and then dipped into a bottle of EP to change the color from hot yellow to bronze. I especially like embossing powders that contain mica powder for this technique. A Sakura Quickie Glue Pen added glitter to her wings. The edges of the card are distressed with Golden Meadow Versafine Clair ink and heat set with a champagne colored EP that has lots of light glitter colors in it.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope you will upload at least one submission to our challenge for an opportunity to win a $15 store credit. AND IF YOU KNOW THE ANSWER TO MY QUESTION ABOVE, will you please let me know either via email or in a comment below? Thanks.

Products Used:

Challenges I would like to support please:

  1. Addicted to Stamps and More #376 Anything Goes 2/19
  2. Wednesday's Creative Inspirations Challenge (Feb 5) Anything Goes 3/4
  3. Unicorn Challenge #51 Anything Goes 2/28
  4. Classic Design Challenge #2 Anything Goes 3/1
  5. Love to Craft Challenge #43 Anything Goes 3/1
  6. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2006 AG 2/16

Fairy Kisses,

Friday, February 07, 2020

Turner Syndrome Awareness Blog Hop Winner

Thank you to the 94 visitors who left comments for the
"It's a Girl Thing"
blog hop

My give away prize is 

And my random winner is:


Thank you for participating in our awareness blog hop!

Please email me so I can order your Amazon gift card.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

2020 Turner Syndrome Awareness Blog Hop

Hello Blogging Friends! It's good to see you. I invite you to follow me if you are not already too busy on the computer. (smile)

Turner Syndrome is a genetic disorder leaving a girl baby with only one X chromosome, instead of two. These children (and adults) contend with life-long medical issues and learning disabilities. Occurring once in every 2,500 female births worldwide, it is more common for pregnancies to not survive full term. That is why TS live births are considered MIRACLES.

Thirty-six caring Sponsors and nine DT Members are offering prizes to commenters to bring Turner Syndrome Awareness to the Public. For details on how you might win any of these fabulous prizes, please see Lori's TS home page. Thanks for learning About Turner Syndrome

Prize Winners will be announced February 15, 2020, on the TSA blog. The winner of my personal prize will be announced on my blog after February 8.

My Personal Prize:

My TS related projects are inspired by the TSA official color board:

To achieve that rich black, glossy cardstock was used.
Wink of Stella was applied to the butterfly and birthday word.

A flower on the butterfly's body adds a feminine touch:

Living with Turner Syndrome: Linda Hunt

I am an appreciative fan of movie star
Linda Hunt
whose roles are always character-rich.
My favorite programs Linda has starred in:

NCIS Los Angeles
Kindergarten Cop

Linda was born with Turner Syndrome.

One thing I have learned regarding Turner Syndrome is that there are many chromosomal deviations that cause humans to be born with "interesting outcomes".

Here is the genetic graph for girls and boys born with KNOWN abnormal chromosomes.
 Next time we see a person who doesn't seem to fit a "normal" male or female pattern, we need to keep in mind that genetics plays a huge part in ALL OF OUR biological "development", which has nothing to do with a person's lifestyle choices:

After reading the above sentiments regarding acceptance and kindness, you will understand why the word KINDNESS was superimposed on the butterfly:

Remember to visit the "It's A Girl Thing" Turner Syndrome Awareness Blog Hop 2020  page to become eligible for prizes.
Thanks for joining us in the blog hop!

Products Used:
  • Dies: MB Delia Butterfly 98353, MB Finn Butterfly #98351, SW Butterfly Frame CED7105, SW Seville CED1203, SW Cordoba CED1206, MB Kindness Cursive Script #94391, Poppy Stamps #1113 Jumbled Birthday
  • Paper: Black Glossy, White, Pale Pink, Orchid, White on White Vellum, Checkered Pink DP, 
  • Misc: Clear Wink of Stella, Old Paper DI, Bright Purple dye ink, Craftwell Honeycomb EF, 

Challenges I would like to support please:

  1. World Wide Open DT Challenge #1 AG DT 2/15
  2. Creative Knockouts #335 Birthday Wishes 2/5
  3. Seize the Birthday #182 All Creatures Great and Small (C5) (sep post) 2/11
  4. Scrapyland Challenge #130 AG with dies SL sells 2/4
  5. Crafty Calendar (Feb) Use Die Cuts or Punches 3/1

Butterfly hugs and kisses,