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

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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,


KarinsArtScrap said...

beautiful cards Donna
Gr Karin

cuilliesocks said...

Hi Donna, lovely to see you again even though it might be a short visit. Your cards are just lovely, super silhouette image and gorgeous colours. That's a really beautiful die that frames the image. Thanks for the lovely sentiment, you'er very generous.
Thanks to for the information about your illness, so debilitating, and it sounds like you've had it a long long time. I hope you manage to stay sounds like you do, but it must be difficult.
Wishing you everything that's good, hugs Kate x x

brenda said...

I so understand every element of what you have said and why you are leaving the Lavinia team. Something I know you will not have done without great thought and consideration as indeed I did last year when I thinned down my DT commitments.

Some of these conditions are cruel and again I can totally identify how taking medications to help one problem so often exacerbates or even creates other.

The main thing is that you feel happy and content with what you are doing and can still carry on crafting as and when you feel the desire to do so.

As always your display of artwork is beautifully executed and presented. I'm sure the Lavinia team will miss you talent, but I'm certain those beautiful stamps will not lie totally idle. By sheer coincidence I have been playing Lavinia this morning.

B x

Lori m said...

Gorgeous cards, love the detail on the images and beautiful die cut frames. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful sentiment. Hugs, Lori m

Jackie T said...

Hi Donna your cards are gorgeous. I love the images and the die cuts you have used. I am so sorry that your health is causing you to leave. You must do what is right for you. I will miss seeing you around. Take care. Hugs Jackie

Chris said...

It was a lovely surprise to see this post pop up on my feed today Donna! It's a treat to see your beautiful cards and receive your useful tips and the beautiful sentiment. Sorry you are having to leave this fabulous challenge and team, I have enjoyed and been inspired by your creations since the beginning of the challenges, I know I'm not the only one who will them! Your health must come first though Donna, take care and be happy!

Nonnie's Cards and Gifts said...

Donna- these are just lovely and the die is perfect for this stamp. I'm going to miss your inspiration in the team, but hope to stay in touch. All the best you. Vicki

Grandma Bonnie said...

I need to learn more about your illness. Meanwhile, my heart is so sad. I admire you even more knowing what you must go through daily and yet always, always bring light and happiness in your words of encouragement. I sigh because i will miss you. Thank you for being the light. Hugs.

Alina Florea said...

First of all, sooo sad not having you on the team anymore, but I do understand that one”s health is of vital importance. You are a wonderful and talented person, you will definitely be missed but I do hope to keep in touch. Your cards are perfect as always, such a wonderful idea for mass creating gorgeous Christmas cards. Wish you all the health and all the best, stay strong and be blessed! Hugs, Alina

*Vicki* said...

Donna, your set of Christmas designs here are so elegant and beautiful with all of your layers of die cuts and pretty shimmery embossing! Great way to use that oval die too! I know that you will be missed on the team and as you are dealing with issues, I know we'll be missing you here as well my friend! I hope that you'll stay in touch from time to time. Please take care sweet lady! HUGS

Linda Simpson said...

These are fabulous, love the shimmer from the embossing and gorgeous frames.
Linda xxx

Steph Ackerman said...

Stunning cards Donna. It has been great working with you and I will miss your inspiration. Take care of yourself.

Sarah said...

What wonderful cards Donna and you really are going to be ahead of the game when December comes around!! You will be missed by your team mates, for sure, but health always comes first xx

Donna said...

Gorgeous cards as always Donna! I knew you had health issues but did not know this what you had, thank you for the education. I look forward to your posts when you do craft dear friend, will continue to send positive thoughts and prayers your way. Hugs, Donna

cotnob said...

It's lovely to see you Donna, even if it is a rather sad post for you.
Your cards are fabulous, you always make the most of your dies and this is no exception. I love both of the colour combinations and your super image.
I totally understand your comments regarding medication, I have had to stop taking some of my RA medication because my recent blood tests indicated that my liver is not functioning properly - it's a bit of a nightmare.
Take care.
Pauline - Crafting with Cotnob

Karenladd said...

Thank you for the detailed tutorial on how these gorgeous cards came together. The combination of heat embossed images and intricate dies make them just spectacular.
I'm so sorry to hear of your worsening health condition but understand completely that you need to step down from design teams. I find that the stress of meeting deadlines is enough to throw my system into a tizzy.
I hope that you are still able to craft for yourself, as I find it to be a comforting and almost meditative activity. Take care and be well.

Debra Davison said...

You had me at Christmas card !!! A favorite theme of mine and your cards are simple elegant !! Amazing attention to detail !! And thank you for the digi -- I will use it on my cards this year !! I can tell you are a much loved member of this team and I wish you well. I am thrilled to be a part of it as a Guest Designer..

Patti J said...

Donna, your cards are just gorgeous! I love how you made the same card in multiple clever! I am so sorry to hear that your health is worsening. I hope and pray that you will still be able to creat for yourself, as I know how much you love it. I will continue to pray for you, sweet friend. Stay safe out there. Big hugs...

Wendy L said...

Your cards look fab Donna.
A great explanation of illness that is affecting you. It must be awful, best wishes my friend, xxxx

Sue said...

Hi Donna, Fantastic cards as usual.

A shame you have left the design team, but you do have to think of your health. I have Fibromyalgia, so totally sympathise with the various symptoms, especially the fatigue. Sending you heaps of positive thoughts.


Donna Phelan said...

What a beautiful and glorious collection of Christmas cards! They're perfect! So happy to see a post from you! I hope you can craft on the side without too much trouble. I wish you well, my friend! Be safe! xoxo

Conniecrafter said...

So sorry to hear you have to leave the team but I hope that at times you feel well enough to create, and that you will share with all of us.
You sure did go out with a bang, these are gorgeous, the framing with these two dies is outstanding and I do love the embossing of the wise men.
So sweet of you to share the sentiment, when I clicked on it to enlarge my whole screen was black, I could see a thin line of white where the words are, I will have to ask hubby, maybe it is a setting in my computer.
You take care and I pray that they can come up with something to ease your symptoms.

Anne Temple said...

Your Christmas cards are absolutely stunning and you are so creative in the way you mix and match dies. You will be greatly missed on the team and you know you are welcome back at any time!! Take care of yourself first and foremost. I'll be talking to you soon :-)

Shona Erlenborn said...

Oh Donna, you are such an inspiration to all of us. Your mastery with dies is unmatched. Thank you also for the beautiful sentiment gift - your kindness is never-ending! I am so sorry that you are stepping down from the Lavinia design team, I have so enjoyed your "magical creations". However, you must do what is best for you and it seems you know full well what that is. I hope you get some solutions - and thanks for the information on the ME/CFS. I had no idea that what you were experience was acquired through a viral infection and so many years ago! You are a fighter, dear friend. I wish you painfree days ahead and hope to see you back really soon. Gentle hugs! 💕

Mac Mable said...

Firstly it was with joy that I opened up my blogger list and saw you posting x.
Thank you, as always for your fabulous inspiration and tips. I learnt so much from your post and what fabulous and wonderful cards you've created......Thank you x.
I am so sorry aobut your delibitating health condition and I am sending love, hugs and positive thoughts x.....Thinking about you x.

pam said...

Dear Donna, sorry to read of your worsening health condition.. your work is stunning, hope you`ll continue to create and blog my dear friend.
sending you love and hugs Pam x

Leslie Miller said...

I didn't know about PEM. Thank you for the explanation. We have talked, so I'm not surprised to hear you're leaving the team, but I'm sorry you have to. You know I'm thinking about you and sending love. About your card... I love how you mix and match and layer your dies. It's one of my favorite things to do, as well, seeing how different things work together. Good idea to cut the center oval while still in the die. It's the little things that make a difference, such as making sure all those little holes have white showing through. Four more for Christmas -- yay!

Leslie Miller said...

ps: Forgot to say thank you for the sentiments! It will be nice to print up a bunch of these and have them ready for the insides. Woohoo!

Lena said...

Oh my sweet friend, I'm so sad your are leaving our team. I can't tell you how much I'm going to miss you and your wonderful words of encouragement. I will include you in my daily prayers and look forward to future projects you'll create. Your cards, as always, Donna, are stunning. Your use of dies together with your fairy stamps have always inspired me. Take care my friend and I will do all I can to stay in touch. Big hugs, Lena xx

KraftyKoolKat said...

It is so lovely to see you sweetie. I am so sorry for all the pain you are going through. I wish I could take the pain away from you or there was something the doctors could do to help you. You are such a lovely sweet & caring lady. I am so sorry your talent is not being able to be used without causing you pain.

Your creations are so gorgeous De.

Thank you so much for the lovely free sentiments.


NanaConnie said...

Those cards are magnificent! Great die cutting and I adore the heat embossing. I'm so sorry that you've had to leave all your teams now. I was hoping and praying that there would be improvement for you. I'll continue to keep you in my prayers, my friend. Hugs.

Margarets designer cards said...

Wonderful set of cards,
Yes one thing from the virus is that they may start to look into the side effects of the virus and find a cure of those who already have these illness, I myself have an incurable illness of fibromalgia. It just take pain killers but they dont always work.
I hope that your health will slightly improve and you may be able to continue crafting in a small way. Hopefully they might even come up with a cure one day, but I am not holding my breath.
take care and stay safe

Wendy said...

Hi Donna, just had to let you know how beautiful the wise men cards are; SO BEAUTIFUL! Thank you for taking the time to explain how to get good results :) I'm sorry to hear that your health is an issue. I am personally adding you to my prayer list so if you feel a little squeeze in the evenings it might just be me sending a big hug!!

I hope your Summer is unexpectedly WoNdErFuL!!

Hazel (Didos) said...

WOW, your cards are stunning and its a fantastic tutorial you have done as well. Thank You for the super freebie xx Sorry to hear that you are having to step down from the DT due to your worsening health. I get PEM with my fibromyalgia and its awful at times. (initially diagnosed with Post Viral CFS). So know how hideous it can feel. Sending a Gentle Hug. Thanks for joining in with me over on Fezziwigs Festive Frolics, Love Hazelxx

Lady Joyful said...

These are lovely, Donna. So happy to have you joining in with our challenge this month. Sorry to hear about your health. Sending you good wishes and hoping for the best possible outcomes and improvement for you. Please note that to be eligible to be our winner or honourable mention you should include our challenge graphic in your blog post. Thank you for joining us at Christmas Craft Creations - Charlotte/Lady Joyful, DT

Monica C. said...

Dear Donna, so good to see your creations in my feed here, despite me being some days behind in my commenting. Thank you for the tutorial on how you created those frames. Your cards are so beautiful.
Thank you too for filling in some detail and while I do understand that you have to look after yourself and you should, I will surely miss your beautiful fairy creations.
Hugs Monica

Sue said...

These are stunning Christmas cards!(As usual for you) and love the different colors. Dies are beautiful and against the darker colors look so awesome.

I know your struggles and I admire your strength and courage, although I also know that some days are nearly impossible for you. I am sorry you have to give up something you love so much and share with all of us. Know you are in my heart and I pray that relief for you can be found.

The biggest Hug

America said...

Fabulous collection of cards. Great colors and use of these lovely Sue Wilson Dies.

Lori Kobular said...

Donna these Christmas cards are lovely! I love the sweet stamp framed by that magnificent die! I am sorry it took me so long to make my rounds! But the beginning of summer has got me tied up outside and then I am tired out at the end of the day and don't go on my computer! I have a hard time staying inside on the computer during the beautiful weather! Plus there is so much upkeep in the yard! Your Christmas cards are gorgeous though and I love that frame!

Annettes Hobby Rosettes said...

Very cool set of Christmas cards Donna. You did such a lovely job with these projects. Nice work here. Thank you for sharing with us over here at World Wide Open Design Team Challenge and best of luck with your entry.

Annette DT / Admin / Registered Owner for

Loose Stitches said...

Beautiful creations Donna! Thank you for sharing with us over at World Wide Open Design Team Challenge and best of luck with your entry.
~ Sherry DT/Admin xx

Jackie C said...

Donna, these are all so gorgeous!
This is a smashing project!
We do love to see all the entries at Classic.
Thank you for sharing in our challenge at Classic Design Challenge
We really appreciate you joining in.

Jackie DT

Beebeebabs said...

Hello my dear friend. I am so sorry about your health - when my friends hurt I hurt - we never met before but I feel I know you. I've met a lot of nice bloggers and you are definitely one of them (even though I had to pay for the kind comments lol). I bet you don't remember when I first met you a while back we talked about okra lol. BTW your cards are absolutely beautiful thanks for sharing and take care. I will continue to pray for you.

Inkyfingers said...

Firstly, I am so sad that you will be leaving blogging behind but I hope it will not be for too long, Donna. Your positivity is one of the delights of the crafting world and your presence will be missed. Health must come first though and I hope you will be able to come back in whatever form after a break to rest up. Thank you for all your inspiration and for the tips you give us in this post. I love how you combine the dies and I will look at mine with new eyes now.
Take care of yourself.
Carol x

KT Fit Kitty said...

Hi, Donna! I missed this post of yours as I haven't been blogging much lately. It's so nice to see some cards from you, and they are beautiful! The embossing is gorgeous and so are all the die-cuts! I'm glad you were able to make them but I am sad to read that you had to step down from this DT as well. I know how much you love making cards but I also know how much you have been suffering. I wish there was something that could be done for all who are unwell. It is interesting to read your note about COVID and ME/CFS; thank you for this update. And thank you for the wonderful sentiment! You are awesome, Donna, and I will continue praying for you.

Pia S said...

It’s always inspiring to see and read your posts, I’m learning new to me tricks for dies and glitters. Using these dies are a great way to showcase a smaller image. They’re beautiful.

creationsnz said...

Super set of cards Donna, glad to see you up and at 'em. CarolG

Sue said...

What beautiful cards Donna, so elegant! I'm so sorry to hear about your health problems, ME was something that a relative suffered with for many years, and we didn't know the half of the problems. Take care and look after yourself, Sue xx

Helen said...

Beautiful cards - love the range of colours.

Thanks for joining us at the Merry Little Christmas Challenge Blog.

Helen x

aussie aNNie said...

Re you question on my blog about tulips, no it's also too hot here to grow them but I am sure they do grow in australia somewhere....hope you are doing fine. xx

R's Rue said...

So pretty.

Karen Dunbrook said...

I totally love these fab!!
xx Karen

pinky said...

Donna I was saddened to read your post about your health issues. I wish you nothing but the best. My sister in law has ME as well but you have the addition of CFS!! My heart goes out to you. I am loving your beautiful card, and how amazing to have been part of that amazing team. Show how brilliant a crafter you are!! Thanks so much for the beautiful sentiment!