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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Monday, September 05, 2022

Autumn Leaves - Jan's Digi Stamps

 Autumn Leaves are Falling - something we don't see here in central Florida! 

Hello, my friends! Hoping you are doing well, and that Mother Nature is treating you nicely with her weather and delights. Today I'm GUEST DESIGNING for Jan's Digi Stamps ! It is the kick-off for the Anything Goes Challenge at Jan's Digi Stamps! If you use a JDS image in your card, please mention it in your upload. There is a 2nd draw for those who use one of Jan's fun images.

Today's card features two of Jan's beautifully pre-colored images (with some gray/brown Copic Marker highlights  on my end).

The Autumn Leaves #4010 digi set is brand new, and works hand-in-hand with Jan's other sets, like the Pumpkin Blessings #3455J below. IT IS ALSO ON SALE RIGHT NOW 25% OFF. The digital image was increased in size and only two-thirds of the image was used, with an "off the card" style technique - both the digi stamp and die cuts were used in this manner. 

I arranged the flowers from Pumpkin Blessings #3455J at the base of the basket, next to the popped up sentiment, distressed with Aged Mahogany DI. The background is a pretty basket weave embossing folder, highlighted with Aged Mahogany. The wrap-around grosgrain ribbon is a nice addition for the lucky recipient. It's like unwrapping a present, especially with the interior decorated with items from both sets:

 This month's sale has 17 Fall themed specials UP TO 50% OFF including new sets Autumn Leaves 4010 ($3), Mrs. Teddy Bear 3595 ($3) and From the Farm 3555 ($3.75)

Products: Images from Jan's Digi Stamps: Autumn Leaves #4010JPumpkin Blessings #3455J, Craft Essential Basket Weave Embossing Folder EFOB0010, Tonic Twisting Veranda Diet Set, Sue Wilson Double Pierced Circles CED5517die set, Mahogany Distress Ink, Grey Tones Copics, Grosgrain Ribbon

I'd like to play in the following Challenges please:

  1. World Wide Open Design Team Challenge #8 AG DT 9/15
  2. Pammie's Inkie Pinkies #2236 AG 9/5
  3. A Perfect Time to Craft Open Challenge #9 AG 10/1
  4. Classic Design Challenge #9 AG 10/1
  5. Dies R Us Challenges #200 AG DRU dies 9/15 (congratulations on 200th challenge. I will miss you!) {Tonic Twisting Veranda Diet Set, Sue Wilson Double Pierced Circles CED5517die set}
  6. Moving Along With the Times #146 Trees and/or Leaves 10/1
  7. Get Creative Challenges #115 Fall/Autumn 10/3 (top 3)
  8. The Four Seasons Challenge (Sept 1) inspiration board shown below 9/25

Wishing you good health and joy in the small things!

stamping hugs,

Friday, August 12, 2022

Good Morning Magnolias

Good Morning, my friends! It's taken over a month, but I have completed a card to share! (I did have four lumbar injections last month which have taken care of a good 50% of pain, and I am beginning to be able to walk in the house again. The resulting "flares" from my other diseases from the trauma of the procedure are also beginning to abate. FINGERS CROSSED!)

I hope this finds you doing well, and not being too adversely affected by the recent flooding and heat wave. You, my blogging friends, are always in my thoughts with deep gratitude.

Today's card is the result of an image stamped eons ago at a friend's house. It's from my "unfinished box" of stash, and is colored with Copic Markers. The pretty rectangular lace die was much too long, so I snipped a portion out of it and taped it together in a shorter version:

The sentiments are from a virginal Penny Black set that is at least 5 years old. I'm so happy to finally ink it with Forest Green Versafine Clair and heat set with clear detail EP! A little of my Great Aunt Agnes' pink lace shows (from the 1940s), and an inked Die'sire EF called Regency Swirls adorns the side:

The right side of the pearl green card base has been stripe embossed with a bone folder, but the photos don't reflect the deep grooves very well with the shine from the cardstock finish:

This card is for a dear friend who has the most amazingly generous spirit of kindness. Through no fault of her own, she has found herself victim to Florida's double-digit inflation, and skyrocketing home costs. It's no where near as pretty as her creations, but with my current situation of just being able to do things a little at time, she will treasure the card.

Products: Dies: Spellbinders S5-357 Chantilly Paper Lace, Grands (Ovals, and Scalloped Ovals); Stamps: Stampin' Up Good Morning Magnolias, Penny Black Heartfelt Clear Set 30-286, MISC: Great Aunt Agnes' Antique Lace, Copic Markers, Distress Inks, Versafine Clair Forest Green, Clear EP

Please scroll on down for some personal photos.

Challenges I would like to play in:

  1. Craft Rocket Challenges #95 Flowers 8/28
  2. Paper Funday Challenges #44 Friendship 9/4 (This card is for a dear friend who has the most amazingly generous spirit of kindness. Through no fault of her own, she has found herself victim to Florida's double-digit inflation, and skyrocketing home costs. It's no where near as pretty as her creations, but with my current situation of just being able to do things a little at time, she will treasure the card.)
  3. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2232 AG 8/15
  4. A Perfect Time to Craft #8 AG 9/1
  5. Classic Design Challenge #8 AG 9/1
  6. Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #187 AG 8/20
  7. Tic Tac Toe Challenge #174 Use the graph (I used diagonal right to left pink, pattern paper (in oval die cut), and 3 die cuts 8/18

May I share a few other interesting things from central rural Florida?

Just down the drive, Jack found this rattle snake. It is about 2.5 feet long. Age is determined by the number of rattles on its tail. This one has 11 rattles. Rattles are formed as the snake sheds its skin, which takes place 2-3 times a year. We have friendly black snakes in our "yard" which help keep venomous snakes away:

For those of you who enjoy the Monstera Philodendron plants, this is one commonly called "Swiss Cheese" for obvious reasons. I rooted this plant from another that is at least 35 years old. This spring it sported an unopened bloom:

Then there were three flowers! Since they are in the pool cage (lanai), I hope they can pollinate one another:

The plant is so large, I've had to severely prune it two more times, and it is still larger than this:

Wishing you a beautiful day!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Remember PSX?

Hi! Gosh - I was inspired to make these cards last summer for my friend, whose brother passed away from COVID. Apparently, I wrote a post but forgot to upload the photos and publish! Sure do wish my brain was active again! Hope you enjoy them.

I needed a few sympathy cards, and thinking of you type cards, so I looked in my "unfinished box" and found some gold embossed PSX Calla Lily botanical flowers needing to be colored. I used some very forgiving watercolor Mica paints, knowing that coloring outside the lines wouldn't really show up much.

Lapsing into the "old styles" of designing, I found myself wanting to make the shabby chic look. Lots  of my blogging
friends successfully use printed papers in their die cutting, so I tried it here on one card with the leaves. I am in love with that idea! 

THANK YOU, FRIENDS, for the fine inspiration!

It was also relaxing doing ink-distressing, and paper distressing. The sentiments and images were gold embossed:

Though these cards are hardly difficult, it did take me nearly 8 weeks to get them made, so it was a true labor of love.

The mica paints made lots of sparkle!

Included are two NBUS (never before used supplies) products (do the lily stamps count even though they were in my stash box? I had never before made a card with them), and the Anna Griffin Slim Line "Gentlemen's Study" die set (sentiments). 

Darkened photo to show sparkly-shimmery pearlessence:

Even though I could not capture the pearlessence of the watercolors, I must say they made me quite happy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Products: Stamps: PSX Calla Lily Araceae, SU! Elegant Cheer - Paper: Nitwit Paris Collection, Brown-Tan, White - Dies: SU Labels Punch, SB Chantilly Paper Lace, SB Foliage S4-328, Anna Griffin Slim Line "Gentlemen's Study" die set - Inks: VersaMark, Versafine Clair Golden Meadow, Distress Pumice Stone - Other: Gold Detail EP, Copper Dreams EP, Watercolor Mica Paints, Copic Marker Warm Gray01

I would like to play in the following challenges please:

  1. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2220 AG 5/22 (sep post)
  2. A Place to Start Challenge #052022 AG w Twist: Lillies and Lace (calla lilies and Chantilly Paper Lace die) 6/6 
  3. Creative Crafters Challenge #52 AG 6/8
  4. Inspiration Station #30 Flower Shop (What a beautiful photo of a flower shop! Flowers always brighten a person's day to let them know someone cares about them and is thinking of them) 6/6
  5. Dies R Us #193 AG dies DRU carries 5/28 (sep post) (using SB Chantilly Paper Lace, SB Foliage S4-328)
  6. A Perfect Time to Craft #5 AG Flowers 6/1
  7. Classic Design Challenge #5 AG 6/1 sep post

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Looking in all the Right Places?

Greetings! And Big Hugs to you each! It took me a month to create these cards, but slowly, if I am persistent, in one-to-five minute increments, I do manage to accomplish things around the house and in my craft room. Hopefully better days are around the corner. Thanks for your kind friendships, endearing thoughts, and for keeping in touch.

Today's cards are silly, inspired first by my husband for our 46th wedding anniversary last month. The other four are "thinking of you" and "birthday" cards. 

Colored simply with Copic Markers and Distress Inks, each card was stamped in a different color VersaFine Clair ink and heat embossed with clear detail EP. All the cards contain the same elements, except the sentiments differ:

Purple Lovers "Thinking of You" (inside "Enough about me - thinking of you and wondering what you have been up to." The front sentiment always makes me laugh:

The Penny Black border actually only cuts on one side. The stitched side needed to be hand cut:

Blue & Tan Birthday card for Color Hues Color Challenge:

Jacky's Anniversary card - he's been such a marvelous person, friend, hubby, lover and caregiver over the decades. Yes, the inside is mushy (giggle):

Green Thinking of You with a different front sentiment. Each card was dry embossed with the same striped folder. This card and the purple one were also inked:

Lastly, the pink birthday card:

Thank you for not giving up on me, and for visiting today! I miss you all!

Products: Images: Bear in Trash Stamps by Judith, Dot Peg Stamps by Judith, Digital Sentiment, 2 fun sentiments by Custer's Last Stamp, Dies: SW Double Pierced Squares CED5509, SW Pierced Flags CED4304, IO Small Grass Die178-C, IO Grass DIE038-J, Penny Black Border Edgers 51-231, Taylored Expressions Banner Stacklets, SU punch, Other: Copic Markers, Distress Inks, VersaFine Clair Inks, Clear Detail EP, Embossing Folder by Tonic "Simple Stripes".

Fine Challenges I'm playing in:

  1. DRU Challenge #192 AG with metal die they carry 5/13 (Dies: SW Double Pierced Squares CED5509, SW Pierced Flags CED4304, IO Small Grass Die178-C,  IO Grass DIE038-J, Penny Black Border Edgers 51-231, Taylored Expressions Banner Stacklets) 05/15 (sep post)
  2. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2219 AG 05/16 (sep post)
  3. Critter Crazy Challenges #62 AG with a critter 06/01 (sep post)
  4. Color Hues Color Challenge #40 Blue and Tan 05/15 (blue and tan card shown)
  5. Crafty Animals #61 Anything with an Animal 05/27
  6. A Perfect Time to Craft #5 AG 06-01
  7. Classic Design Challenge #5 AG 06-01 (2 thinking of you, 2 birthday, 1 anniversary)
  8. Crafty Friends #155 Animals 06/01 (scroll down)
  9. The Paper FunDay Challenges #41 06/01 (anniversary card for hubby)

Stamping Hugs,

Friday, February 04, 2022

Turner Syndrome Card Auction!

 Lori has posted her Turner Syndrome Card Auction! It opened at 9AM this morning. Check out the beautiful cards (for all occasions) that your fellow crafters have donated for this worthy cause.

TS Card Auction

if for any reason you are unable to place a bid on the Instagram Site, please send it with all your relevant info to Lori at

Enjoy being inspired by all the wonderful cards, and supporting a worthy cause as well!

For more information about Lori's journey and the card auction, please click here.



Tuesday, January 04, 2022

Black and White and one other color

Happy New Year to my dear blogging buddies! I hope 2022 is especially good to each and every one of you, and your families, too. Allsorts Challenge  has a theme of Black and White and one other color theme this time. From my unfinished box, I've finally completed two partially-made items  - both using Red Tones as the 3rd color.

Both cards contain designer papers adhered on red cardstock in a triangle format, given by a friend during a stamping get together (years ago). Two unique images were selected - both utilize heat embossing on all images. It was fun using old border punches and old dies - neglected but loved all the same. Because I have trouble making traditional A2 cards, I used the A2 backings, and embellished with shapes and borders.

The Paula's Best Dress is an old, old, old, never-before-been-used (at least 15 years?) stamp, embossed in white detail powder, and enhanced a bit with a quickie glue pen and sparkling red glitter:

One of my all time favorite stamps, and one I never tire of using, is the Inkadinkadoo carousel horse:

Stamped with Nocturne Versafine Clair (my favorite stamping ink), and heat embossed with clear detail EP, the horse was colored with distress inks and colored pencils blended with gamsol.

Thanks for visiting! And thanks to Allsorts Challenge  for the inspiration!

Products: Black-White-Red Carousel Horse Copics, SB Labels 5, SW Double Pierced Bkgrnd Rectangle, MS Star Edge Punch, Inkadinkadoo Greetings & Horse,  Black-White-RedArt Deco Dress Paula's Best Dress, Beccy Muir sentiment (Doris & Daphne), SB Labels Ten, LifeStyle-Quickutz Nesting Lace Ovals, MS Chevron edge punch

Challenges I'd like to play in please:

  1. Allsorts Challenge #657 Black and White and One Color 1/8
  2. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2201 AG 1/8
  3. Critter Crazy Challenges #58 AG with Carousel Horse 1/31
  4. Classic Design Challenge #1 AG 1/31
  5. Lil Patch of Crafty Friends #173 AG 1/16

Stamping Hugs,