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

Tuesday, April 20, 2021


FOLLOW UP POST - As mentioned in my April 14, 2021, Blog Post, Google is doing away with the "Follow by Email" option for Blogger blogs.  

This means anyone using the FOLLOW BY EMAIL gadget on your Blogger Blog (or for those who use Feedburner), they will no longer automatically receive email notifications every time you publish a blog post. 

It also means that if YOU follow other people using Feedburner's FOLLOW BY EMAIL option on THEIR blogs, you will no longer receive email notifications when they publish their blogs.

I currently follow many of you via email notification, and am in the process of removing myself from your lists, and following you via different means. Regarding blogging friends who do not offer that option on their blogs, I have followed for years through the BlogLovin' option. I am in the process of transferring all my FOLLOW BY EMAIL buddies to two other options: Feedly and BlogLovin'.  And hope to determine which is preferential.




I found this webpage that offers a preview of the 6 best free email marketing services. Or click here:

Keep in mind, when it says you can send up to 300 or 500 emails per day, it means one email per address. So if you have 1,500 email followers, that means 1,500 emails per day.

Someone in my previous post mentioned Mail Chimp. They allow up to 2,000 subscribers (that equals 2,000 emails every time you publish). You are allowed up to 10,000 email notifications per month. So if you post 3 times per week, and have 150 subscribers, that would be 1,800 email notifications per month. If you have 300 subscribers, that would be 3,600 email notifications per month, well within the allotment. 



At BlogLovin' you may choose to receive email notifications Frequently, or Daily on a single digest post. Or you may visit the BlogLovin'site periodically, or obtain their app for tablets and phones and follow directly that way. As Connie Crafter pointed out in a comment on April 14, Google acquired BlogLovin' in 2018. This acquisition may be why the free Follow-by-Email option is being eliminated by Goggle on Blogger blogs. Because Google owns BlogLovin', we don't know what the future holds in store for us there. Still, it is a nice option. AND, if you "follow yourself" on Bloglovin, you have a very nice picture of every one of your posts going back years.

That being said, it appears that BlogLovin' has eliminated their convenient organization tool where blogs could be put into categories. They have a tag option which does not appear to have the same usefulness. This is a change in the last few years.

To use BlogLovin', create an account and get started by "searching" for the blogs you wish to follow.

  1. TIP: it is easiest to copy and paste the blog address into BlogLovin's search option.) 
  2. If you don't already have a BlogLovin' account, you may actually have followers without realizing it. 
  3. BEFORE creating your account, search for your own blog address and then CLAIM IT to create your account. 
  4. When you click on CLAIM IT, BlogLovin' will suggest you copy and paste an HTML code onto your Blogger Blog POST. This step is not always necessary. But I found that putting that HTML code into a side bar or the bottom bar of my blog was sufficient. Bloglovin' recognizes its own HTML code on your Blogger blog, for automatic updates. (look at the very bottom of my blog to see where I placed the HTML code unobtrusively) as an ADD A GADGET HTML. 



FEEDLY - is another platform, similar to BlogLovin', but it allows you to organize the blogs you wish to follow. To use Feedly, create a free account. As a new blogger in 2012, I used their platform, but discontinued later for other options. Now I find myself returning to them. Follow the steps below (thanks to Leslie Miller for helping me through the process). (if you are reading from my blog, click on the photos to enlarge)

1. On the left sidebar, click the PLUS symbol:

2.  Copy-and-Paste the blog address you want to follow:

3. Select the option under the word SOURCES (it highlights in grey shown below):

4.  A little pop up box appears. Select the FOLLOW button:

5. Another little pop up window appears so you can either select an existing NewsFeed Category, or create a new feed category. The free option only allows you three Categories:

6.  Add to your Category:

7. You are now AUTOMATICALLY following any blog or website that updates its feeds:

You can also change the "follow options" for each blog, or each category, to suit your needs. 


Hopefully, one of these options will assist you in determining what is best for you in the way of following your favorite bloggers.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Help? Email Subscription Services?

Hi, Blogging Friends. Google is making a huge change to those of us who have a FOLLOW BY EMAIL option via blogger gadgets. They are DISCONTINUING the option in a few months. Here is the letter I received: 

FeedBurner has been a part of Google for almost 14 years, and we're making several upcoming changes to support the product's next chapter. Here’s what you can expect to change and what you can do now to ensure you’re prepared.

Starting in July, we are transitioning FeedBurner onto a more stable, modern infrastructure. This will keep the product up and running for all users, but it also means that we will be turning down most non-core feed management features, including email subscriptions, at that time.

For those who use FeedBurner email subscriptions, we recommend downloading your email subscribers so that you can migrate to a new email subscription service.

For many users, no action is required. All existing feeds will continue to serve uninterrupted, and you can continue to create new accounts and burn new feeds. Core feed management functionality will continue to be supported, such as the ability to change the URL, source feed, title, and podcast metadata of your feed, along with basic analytics.

My questions are: 

Do you use an email subscription service presently?

If so how much is it and do you like it?

Thank you!

Monday, April 05, 2021

Lilacs celebrating new Inspiration Station Challenge!

 Yippee! It's time for a new Inspiration Station Challenge! Because my fumble fingers have not been cooperative, I am playing with more of the Nitwit digital products I've purchased... these cards are made with Lilac Blossoms Digital Set. Having been an avid rubber stamper for 30 years, it feels like I'm cheating by using such great digital sets.

The inspiration board this time: PSST! Remember! It's entirely YOUR take as to what inspires you - it could be emotional, thematic, color, texture. What inspires you today?

Parts of these are digitally layered, and other parts are traditionally put together.

First, the composition was digitally arranged to my liking. Certain components were copy-and-pasted separately, so they could be fussy cut and popped up for dimension. That way, a "map" will show me exactly where to pop up the individual pieces:

Buttons were actually sewn in place on top of the digital button. 

The dark green button has been heat embossed with matching EP:

Distressed edges are heat embossed with a powder that contains fine mica:

I like the little purple dots in the card base:

A pale green Copic Marker was used on the Mother-of-Pearl button to give it a bit of a green tint. Because Copics are transparent, the Mother-of-Pearl still shows through the coloring:

Hope you will drop by and play in the Inspiration Station Challenge

Products Used:

Dies: SB Grand Scallop Squares and SB Scallop Squares (small border)

Digitals by Nitwit Designs Lilac Blossoms Digital Set.

I'm playing in the following fun challenge:

Incy Wincy Designs Challenges (thru April 18) Borders and/or Bright colors 4/19

Spring Time Hugs,