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

Monday, February 20, 2023

It's Not Always Black and White AND a boo-boo - Jan's Digi Stamps

 Hello, friends! I hope this finds you well, and enjoying some crafting time.

Today's card is for Febuary's mid-month reminder at the Anything Goes Challenge at Jan's Digi Stamps!  If you use a JDS image in your card, please mention it. There is a 2nd draw specifically for those who use one of Jan's fun images.

Jan's newest sets are 25% off, and this month's Easter Sale, including all 12 sets, are also 25% off.

To create my cards, two sets were used (just click on them to enlarge):

Wild Flower Blossom $5

Peony Bloom **NEW** $4 on sale this month for $3

Inspired by design teamie Karen C's elegant Christmas Card back in November, but ignorant as to how to use a dropper, I enlisted help from friend Anne Temple who uses Photoshop, in order to create this out-of-my-comfort-zone, black and white card:

The background is not black with white poke-a-dots. It is black glitter paper. I've also used white glitter paper and silver glitter paper - hanging head in shame for using cheater glitter cardstock rather than loose glitter (smile)

None of the flowers is at the same angle, and many are flipped horizontally, then tilted. Black "shapes" and "frames" were used behind and around the flower columns. Anne, thank you for making the black flower with white lines so I could experiment without having to learn how to manipulate the app on my computer!

The sentiment is a separate "band" that floats across the front of the card and adheres on the back of the printed panel. The leaves of the middle white flower have been cut with a craft knife for more dimension:

Donna Walls of Duncan Street Designs and I were discussing colors recently, and decided to challenge each other by using hues we would not normally use. The first challenge color we discussed is ORANGE

Do you use ORANGE shades very often in your crafting?

Can you see my boo-boos?

I dropped the dark orange marker and needed to use a stencil to help cover it up:

Dimensional tape was applied to the backs of the two flowers:

Looking forward to seeing your creation in the Anything Goes Challenge at Jan's Digi Stamps!

Products: Jan's Digi Images: Peony Bloom 4055J, Wild Flower Blossoms 3310J (orange sentiment),    Inks: Black Soot Oxide, Pearlescent Orange Brilliance, Paper: X-Press It White (even for the printed black and white card), (I cheated and used black, silver and white glitter papers in the background) MS curved scallop border punch.

I'd like to play in the following fine challenges please:

  1. Worldwide Crafters and Colorists Challenge #2 AG 3/12
  2. A Perfect Time to Craft Open Challenge #2 AG 3/1
  3. Classic Design Challenge #2 AG 3/1
  4. CD Sunday PLUS #104 AG Downloaded 3/5 (1) (in this case, I arranged three individual digital flowers around the downloaded sentiment. The sentiment was given an oval frame. I also digitally applied two lines on the left & bottom for more design.(two digital sets were used to create this card)
  5. Crafty Catz Weekly Challenges (Feb 17) AG 2/23 (leave comment on entry before mine)
  6. The Corrosive Challenge #2 (Feb 11) Anything goes 3/6
  7. The Paper Shelter #541 Lace and/or Flowers 2/21
  8. The Paper Funday Challenges #50 AG with with lots of layers (my black card contains 6 layers) 2/27
  9. We Love Stamping  (Feb 5) AG with stamp and stencil 2/28 (I used a swirly "ocean waves" stencil to bring about a "swirling" sunshine, as though the wind is bringing out the wind's beauty)
  10. Inspiration Station #46 Inspiration Photo 2/28 The orange and golden hues of Nature's sunset bring out the peaceful scene of flowers that mimmic the same fantastic hues found in the sky:

Stamping Hugs,

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Inspiration Time at Beautiful Blossoms Challenge

Welcome, Blogging Friends! I'm so happy you are here! It was ALMOST more fun WRITING today's post, than it was to make the card - but I really laughed a lot through the makings of this project, and I hope you will laugh through the post.  YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHY MY BLOG IS CALLED CREATIVE SMILES.
First things first: let me tell you about our new challenge blog:

 Last month we kicked off a Brand New Challenge called Beautiful Blossoms . 

It is a fun "mood-board-inspired" monthly challenge which features Flowers as the main focus. 

The Mood Board is a starting point, and your artwork is where your imagination takes you! You do not have to follow the theme of the Mood Board, but you do need to use it as inspiration.

Details are on the blog. Hope to see you there! 

I was inspired by the petals, pinks, and blue background in this mood board.

Have you ever had one of those projects where not one single thing works out as anticipated, yet STILL, you plug along, expecting the next step to cover up the problem, but then THE NEXT STEP becomes a problem, too? Until your whole project is one blunder after another?

Well, THAT is this card. NOTHING happened the way it was supposed to, AND that was after throwing away two-partially-colored and/or cut out items for this card! SIGH - and yet, I really did have fun making a  mess and playing with just about everything in my craft room. (What a mess to clean up afterward!)

I couldn't even take photos as I went along because it was one boo-boo after another, including:

  1.  throwing away two backgrounds
  2.  ruining the embossing powder, 
  3.  refilling the Copic marker with the incorrect color reinker
  4. restarting from scratch, 
  5. NOT ruining the EP the 2nd time, 
  6. NOT using Copics the 2nd time, 
  7. dropping the markers repeatedly on the card front
  8. warping my cardstock by spilling water on it (the SAME water I was using for cleaning my brush, so it WASN'T EVEN CLEAN WATER), 
  9. dropping the card several times and TWICE rolling over the card front with my chair, 
  10. having the super-duper adhesive stick my card front to the guillotine cutter because I had forgotten that I die cut a small hole in the back..
  11. and WHY would I do that? Because I had run out of pink cardstock for the sentiment.
  12. Picking a brad that would cover a mistake. Using a Copic on said brad to change the color, only to have my hand spasm and the color ended up on the sentiment. Went to look for a larger brad, and found one - it gaudies up my sentiment satisfactorily. LOL
Speaking of boo-boo's:

OKAY, OKAY -- Those are a few of my boo-boo's. I figured, at this point, no matter what I tried to do, blunders were GOING to occur, so I pressed on... 

Jack came in and asked, "Is there anything I can do?" All I could do was laugh at that point, because he could see all the little piles in my room where I had each small boo-boo isolated to fix the mistakes. 

At the VERY END, I almost glued the completed topper onto the card UPSIDE DOWN.




After ALL THAT, 

wanna see what I made?  (giggle)

Products used: Beccy's Place Cherry Blossoms clear stamp set, Sue Wilson Lattice Arched Adornment die, Tutti-680 Stitched Rectangles, Spellbinders Decorative Labels Eight, assorted distress inks, Zig markers, Tombow markers, pink EP.

Challenges I would like to play in please:

  1. Ally's Angels #67 AG 3/9 (1 of 3)
  2. Beccy's Challenges (February) Beccy, I hope I followed your directions - please forgive me if I misunderstood. 3/1
  3. Creations in Pink #54 AG in Mainly Pink
  4. Colorful Options (Feb 2) Celebrate Pink 2/28 (sep post)
  5. A Perfect Time to Craft Open Challenge #2 AG 3/1 (winners on 3-28)
  6. Worldwide Crafters and Colorists Challenge #2 AG 3/12 (1 of 3)
  7. Pammie's Inky Pinkies #2306 AG 2/20
  8. The Paper Funday Challenge #50 AG with lots of layers 3/1
Thanks for popping by today!

Monday, February 06, 2023

Oh To Fly A Kite! {Jan's Digi Stamps}

Welcome, friends, to my little bloggie home! Thank you for all your kind words of comfort to Jack and me for our recent loss.

Today's kite-flying card is the kickoff at  February's Anything Goes Challenge at Jan's Digi Stamps!  If you use a JDS image in your card, please mention it. There is a 2nd draw specifically for those who use one of Jan's fun images.

Jan's newest sets and this month's Easter Sale are 25% off.

To create my card, two sets were used (just click on them to enlarge):

Let's Go Fly A Kite 4065J (15 images) on sale for $3.75

Basket of Hope 866J

New (for me) Technique - Double Twisted Ribbon 

My friend Connie is also showcasing this technique today with her lovely card here.

Terri Gaines has a great youtube video for the technique. I thought it complemented my little girl's kite tails (do they still call them tails? or are they now streamers? anyone know?)

Easel cards fold flat for mailing:

Copic Markers and Distress Inks were used to color this cute image using monochromatic coloring. 

Besides, one can be a tomboy and still wear girly colors!

Looking down:

Because this card was originally meant to be 5x7, an inch and a half was cut off the morphed square card. The 1.5 inches was placed on the bottom to give the illusion of a waterfall or sidewalk:;

You can probably see that the tremors in my hands and arms are returning, like the circles on the kite. I have another appointment at the end of February with a specialist to discuss a more permanent way of assisting my spinal issues:

Thanks for stopping by and please check out my teamies' pretty projects in the Anything Goes Challenge at Jan's Digi Stamps!

Products Used: Jan's Digi Images: Let's Go Fly A Kite 4065J, Basket of Hope 866J, Gelly Roll White Pens, Copic Markers, Stencils (for kite, grass and sky); Pumice stone, Walnut Stain, Kitsch Flamingo Distress Inks, Picked Raspberry Oxide (distressed "ribbon"), EK Success border punch, EK Success Rounder Punch, Cuttlebug 5x7 embossing folder, Spellbinders Classic Ovals Large S4-110 and Grand Ovals die sets, Light, Medium & Dark Kraft colored cardstock.

On A Personal Note:

Remember Florida on Christmas Eve just one month ago? Perhaps this will remind you:

The day before this freeze occurred, I pruned some coleus and angel wing begonias to root indoors for Spring, only to discover a hitchhiker Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar:

So I went back outside and cut some fresh milkweed for the little guy, thinking he would need food. As I cut the milkweed, I discovered another dozen of this little caterpillar's brothers and sisters. So I cut a lot of milkweed, brought the family indoors and covered with a home-made tulle netting. I placed the box in the garage, which stays about 60 even on cold nights.

In the meantime, the original caterpillar disappeared! The next morning we found this just beneath the crown molding:

So we made plans for it to "hatch" indoors by making a loose netting, giving it plenty of room to stretch its pretty wings on its eclosion:

Imagine what our exterminator thought when he came through! (giggle)

But alas, weeks went by. We saw wing development occurring inside, but a dreaded thing happened. A tiny white "filament" appeared out the bottom of the chrysalis. If you click on the photo below, you can see the semi-developed butterfly and the tiny filament:

That filament was an indication of a parasite (fly or wasp) chomping away on the dormant Monarch. The thread meant that the Monarch was dead. Sigh. How disappointing. The other caterpillars died as well. Next time, I'll leave them outside instead, and let them find a way of protecting themselves. No good deed.... right?

Back to our regularly scheduled program... 

I'd like to play in the following fine challenges please:

  1. World Wide Open Design Team Challenge #1 AG DT 2/12
  2. As You Like It Challenge (Jan 26) Favorite (mostly color) and (why) 2/9 I'm mostly a pink girly girl when it comes to colors because it is a sweet color (to my eye), comforting, and with so many shades it is kind of a neutral that goes with most other hues, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, is frequently found in nature. Thanks for the fun challenge!
  3. Let's Create and Craft #192 AG + "say what?" - have a sentiment on your card. 3/1
  4. Morgan's Artworld #2 AG 3/1 (1/3)
  5. Crafts Galore Encore #108 AG 3/1 (1/3)
  6. A Perfect Time to Craft Open Challenge #2 AG 3/1
  7. Girlz Creative Crafts #33 More Than One Fold 2/14
  8. Classic Design Challenge #2 AG 3/1
  9. The Paper Funday Challenge #50 AG with lots of layers 3/1
  10. CD Sunday + #103 AG from a download (I placed the sun behind the kite and then stenciled the background and the kite, with some hand drawn dots and circles on the kite and the little girl's shirt. The sentiment is from another digital set) 2/19
  11. Colorful Options (Feb 2023) Celebrate Pink 2/28
  12. Just Us Girls #665 Color Week 2/11 (shown below)

Stamping Hugs,

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

Turner Syndrome Awareness Card Auction for February 2023

 Hello, Blogging Friends!

Beginning February 1 at 9AM Eastern Time, the annual Turner Syndrome Awareness Card Auction begins on Lori's Instagram Page. It will end on February 28 at midnight.

Cards are handmade by Designers from the world over.  These cards, made with love, are donated to help raise funds for the Turner Syndrome Foundation in New Jersey, a very small non-profit organization that does big things! The TSA Foundation of NJ produces webinars for the medical field to learn more about TS, helps educate families dealing with TS, and educates others who have perhaps never heard of TS before.  The TS Foundation relies solely on donations, has two paid employees, and the balance of help comes from many dedicated volunteers. Please consider helping by buying a card or making a donation.

 If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to email Lori at

What is Turner Syndrome? Please see below.

I am supporting this cause with two of my cards:

This fun, square birthday card can be bid on here.

More details for how this card was created here.

"Once Upon a Dream" card can be bid on here.

Details to see more about how this was was made here.

Turner Syndrome is a genetic disorder where a female is born missing part or all of her second X chromosome leaving her with life-long medical issues and learning disabilities.  This condition occurs one in every 2,000 female births worldwide, but is more common among pregnancies that do not survive to full term.  That is why Turner Syndrome Females are considered miracles!

Thanks for supporting women with this genetic condition.