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 22, 2024

LOST AND FOUND - "Unfinished Stuff" from my Oldie Stash

 Hello, Blogging Friends! I hope you are staying warm. Even here in central Florida, we've been in the mid 30s - and that's very cold for us WIMPY Floridians!

Taken from my "unfinished stuff stash", combining left-overs with new goodies, these 3 images were from an older company no longer in business called Just For Fun. The owners have coordinated Stampfest Florida Conventions for as long as I can remember. Back in the day... there would be more than 100 vendors with tons of free make 'n takes, lots of samples, and at least one technique demonstration at every booth. I remember those days fondly (giggle). I put together these 3 stamped pieces after coloring them with Copic Markers. The die cut heart was dry embossed and distressed with brown inks. 


Has anyone else discovered that the reinkers for Tim Holtz AGED MAHOGANY ink ruin the consistency of the pad? I complained to Ranger WAY BACK WHEN (circa 2004?) that the reinker ink would separate and good images and distress-techniques were impossible to achieve. They acknowledged that there were issues with that color, and that they were working on it. I threw the pad and reinker away, and purchased a new pad 4 years ago more than 15 years after the first pad's formulation. The consistency of the new pad's ink formulation is also different from all my other Distress Inks. What is your experience with this color? Thanks for your feedback.

Products: Images (I think these are stamps from a defunct company called "Just For Fun". Back then (2004?), I did not keep very good records for unmounted stamps. These images were already stamped with black ink). Sentiment is from SU "Sweet Little Sentiments" (set of 8 at least 10 years old) Dies: Spellbinders Classic Hearts. Embossing Folders: Cuttlebug Swiss Dots, Apple Blossom Basket Weave & Roses, Inks: DI Aged Mahogany, Rusty Hinge, Worn Lipstick, Nocturne VersaFine Clair, Colored with Copic Markers as shown above.

May I please play in the following challenges?

  1. Crafty Gals Corner #252 Feb 14  (SECOND ENTRY) Add a Heart  3/13 (sep post) 
  2. Dragonfly Dreams Challenges Feb 4 - (SECOND ENTRY) Hearts  3/3 (check 3/10)
  3. Moving Along With the Times #163 Feb 1 (SECOND ENTRY) - Love/Hearts 3/1 (scroll down in post)
  4. Sparkles Forum Challenge #173 Hearts and Flowers (roses in the square images) 3/14
  5. Creations in Pink #67 AG Mostly Pink - must have more pink than any other colors - 3/13 (sep post)

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Non-Traditionally Colored Valentine for my Sweetie

Happy Valentine's Day, friends! My bestie is also the love of my life, so it was fun making a card for him.

 Actually, my time creating the card felt like I was in Leslie Miller's craft room. We both enjoy Bugaboo's fun, quirky images (so sad Jodie is no longer on-line). We both are married to wonderful guys who love the outdoors (Leslie with Rich, I with Jack) and who prefer comical to mushy. 

Will share my major boo-boo at the bottom of this post.

Valentine Bird is colored with Copic Markers, and distressed with the inks shown at left.

The brads were also colored with Copic Markers.

Being inspired by many of my dear crafting friends, I attempt to use "old stuff" from my stash on each card. Here three yellow star brads were utilized - each was altered with a different color yellow alcohol marker for visual interest.  OLD OLD OLD burlap is a "break" between two designer papers, which are also at least 7 years old.

At the very end of assembling this card, I picked up a "love" stamp, inked it up and promptly dropped its wet, inky self onto the image, picked the stamp up again and dropped it again, so TWO "love" images ruined the main element. Then I pondered stamping "love" multiple times, thinking it might look intentional. THAT DID NOT WORK. So here is the boo-boo scene:

Fortunately, a quickie home-made sentiment die cut with a tag, covered up most of the mess.

Because the message was exceedingly corny, and personal, I blurred out the bottom message in Photos, but thought you might enjoy seeing the finished product:

Who could possibly resist this love-struck little birdie full of happiness?

Products: Image: Bugaboo Valentine Bird #2,  Dies: La-La Land - Flag Banner,  Surprise Creations Double Stitched Tags, LifeStyle Quickutz Nesting Hearts,   Papers: Studio G designer & SU "turquoise", Colored with Copics, Inks: DI Speckled Egg, D Oxide Stormy Sky and Iced Spruce, Other: Star Brads, Burlap

Thanks for stopping by!

Challenges I would like to play in please:

  1. Try It On Tuesday - Feb 6 - Hearts and/or Flowers (heart balloon, die cuts, heart eyes, little flowers) 2/20 (check 2/27)
  2. Dragonfly Dreams Challenges Feb 4 - Hearts (heart balloon, heart die cuts, heart eyes) 3/3 (check 3/10)
  3. Allsorts Challenges #767  Feb 10 Hearts- (heart balloon, heart die cuts, heart eyes) 2/16
  4. Inkspirational Challenge #309 Feb 10 Hearts (heart balloon, heart die cuts, heart eyes) 2/20 (sep post)
  5. Cut it Up Challenge #297 Feb 9 - Have a Heart (LifeStyle Quickutz nesting heart dies) 2/21
  6. Pearly Sparkles Challenges Feb 1 #92 - Love/Have a Heart 2/28 (check 3/1)
  7. Moving Along With the Times #163 Feb 1 - Love/Hearts 3/1 (scroll down in post)
  8. Crafty Gals Corner #252 Feb 14  Add a Heart (heart balloon, heart die cuts, heart eyes) 3/13 (sep post) 
  9. Critter Crazy Challenge #83 Feb 1 - AG with a Featured Critter (bird here) 3/1 (sep post)

Sending Friendship your way,

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Turner Syndrome Auction and a Freebie

Good Morning, blogging friends! It's that time for Turner Syndrome Awareness and a wonderful card auction containing over 600 cards! 

Each card has been lovingly handmade especially for the benefit of Turner Syndrome Foundation. All proceeds from the card auction go directly to the TSA Foundation to further education and support for families and doctors dealing with TS. Lori and Julie Kobular present informative help for this genetic condition that affects only women. 

Crafters world-wide have sent their beautiful cards for the auction, beginning February 1, 2024, with the FLY HIGH BUTTERFLY auction and fund raising event!

In honor of the auction, I am providing a freebie sentiment we can all use in our card making. 

Please do not sell the Sentiment. Use 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 (June 2020), your image will appear to be solid black. Don’t panic. Right click and do a SAVE AS PNG. Once it is saved on your hard drive, you can open it and it will have a transparent background. I create PNGs instead of JPGs 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. I hope they serve you well!



Please tell your friends about the auction, and why they might consider purchasing a beautifully hand-made card in support of this cause, rather than giving money to a BigBox store. One of my cards is in the auction:

Wishing you all the best as February greets you!

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Butterflies and Snowflakes and a freebie

 Hello, blogging friends! It's the beginning of a new year, and I sincerely hope 2024 is good to you.

My cards today were inspired by a card from the very talented by Shwu-Miin Tang

She created a lovely gatefold card with monochrome leanings, borders and beautiful butterflies! Having been awarded this card at the recent TSA auction, organized by Lori Kobular, I showed it to some friends in November. Gasping at the beauty, they declared they most certainly could not make anything that pretty. But they did, when they came over in December, and I did a surprise class using die cuts. Apologies that the photos are not very clear.

The cards are 5"x7". We started out with plain white-on-white (monochrome will hide any mistakes). The card base is cut 7" x 10" and scored at 2.5" and 7.5". Each card then required 2 white pieces 6.75" x 5". We used Martha Stewart punch-around-the-page punches after dry embossing them, but any appropriately sized die or punch would work. One whole embossed piece is adhered on the interior and the other cut vertically for the 2 sides in front. 

Using white glitter card stock, solid butterflies were die cut. With white card stock, the filagree butterflies were attached in the centers of the glitter pieces. Butterfly "bodies" were also die cut with glitter card stock, and adhered. 

Recycling the tin seal from the inside of Whey Protein Powder, lots of delicate snowflakes were cut. Using a Japanese Screw Punch two snowflakes were hole punched. Then the butterflies' center of the 3 layers was punched. A brad was looped into the snowflake center, and then through the butterfly center. One butterfly was adhered to each side of the gate fold.

Pale Pink Copic Markers (any alcohol markers will do) changed the white glitter to pale pink.

While it is easier to open and close the cards where the butterflies were adhered "straight", we found it more forgiving and whimsical to place the butterflies on angles. Some of the cards were inked around the edges, while others only slightly tinted the butterflies. Here are a few color options:

Lavender and Pink (inked around the edges):

Blue and Pale Gray without any other ink:

The interior has a heat set stamped sentiment embossed in silver to coordinate with the snowflakes. I made up another sentiment we printed on vellum, which is now available to you as my gift at the bottom of this post:

I am deeply, humbly, gratefully blessed by dear friends such as yourselves. Your cards, IMs and phone calls helped me through a very difficult 2023; though the sentiment seems "sappy or corny", it is the truth, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you, Shwu-Miin Tang, for the inspiration. And many thanks to dear friends such as yourselves for lifting my spirits on many a difficult day.

These are going to a few friends. Wish I could send at least 50!

My gift to you - 

For use on the inside or outside of your projects: Please do not sell these Sentiments. Use 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 (June 2020), your image will appear to be solid black. Don’t panic. Right click and do a SAVE AS PNG. Once it is saved on your hard drive, you can open it and it will have a transparent background. I create PNGs instead of JPGs 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. I hope you enjoy! 

Products: Dies (Die-Versions Wee Petites WP-004 Snowflakes, Memory Box Lydia Butterfly, MB Sorona Butterfly, MB Delia Butterfly, Spellbinders Labels 23-for the decorated interior-- Martha Stewart Punch-Around-the-Page Lace Flowers), Coloring (Copic Markers atop glitter cardstock, Oxide ink, Distress ink), Papers (110lb white, clear and silver glitter, recycled silver metal foil from Whey Protein Powder, white and pearl vellums, ) Embossing Folder: Couture Creations "Flamingos & Hedgehogs"

I would like to play in the following challenges please:

  1. Crafty Animals AG with Animals or Insects  2/1 
  2. Triple B Challenge with Mood Board 2/2  (see the pretty frosty mood board below)
  3. Craft Rocket Challenges  #10 Use Embossing (background is an embossing folder and interior background is an EF. The die cut butterflies are also dry embossed. On the interior, the top sentiment is heat embossed. 1/28  2/1
  4. Pammie's Inky Pinkies Anything Goes 1/18
  5. Creative Inspirations #9 Anything Goes 1/25 (2-1)

Stamping Hugs,