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Runs with Scissors

September 23, 2017

Can you feel that breeze? That’s September speeding by. I wish we could find a way to make these beautiful fall months stay around longer. There would be more days to enjoy the changing colors and the cooler temperatures. I remember the beautiful Wisconsin autumns and how hard it was for me to enjoy them while dreading the coming Wisconsin winters.

There is nothing, however, preventing me from enjoying the Be Merry release as I continue to make Christmas cards here in the Penny Black studio. I am so happy that everything I need is here for me to enjoy. Once I reunited with my scissors, there was no stopping me.

There are twenty-four different patterns included in the Festive and Frosty designer paper pad that is part of the Be Merry release. I’ve combined this sweet bird pattern with the Peace and Holly die as well as the Edger die. I like using designer paper for backgrounds not only to save time, but to enhance my holiday cards.

For this card, I masked off the right portion of the Santa’s Visit stamp, inked the remaining portion, removed the tape and then stamped with black Versafine ink onto my cardstock. I decided not to add any color, but just enjoy the calm snow scene as it appears here. The sentiment is from the Holiday Snippets clear set and I think ties in well with the Santa and reindeer flying by.

I had so much fun experimenting with downsizing the Santa’s Visit image that I made it even smaller and this is the result. I can visualize this image gracing the front of note cards or being used for masculine cards. Keeping this image in its black and white state reminds me of an artistic etching. My next experiment with this stamp will be to use only the right portion of the image, which will eliminate the Santa image and make the stamp even more versatile.

Gratitude 2

Hot shower. I don’t know when I started saying a prayer of gratitude every time I turned on the hot water in my shower. I know it must have been a long time ago because it seems like I’ve done that forever. It’s like a little gift every time I turn that shiny knob to “on”. I never forget to say “thank you”.

It doesn’t matter how difficult or frustrating my morning has been, when I finally make the decision to hit the “pause” button of life and take my shower everything else fades and gratitude for my hot running water takes over.

Sometimes I make the decision to start my days with housework or laundry and postpone the shower until later in the day. That never ends up being a good decision. All it takes to ruin my morning is a glimpse in a mirror as I pass by and see my “bed head” hair, sticking up at crazy angles. My unwashed, no makeup face must belong to someone else, I think. And, horrors, what if someone comes to the door?

That blessed hot water is like an eraser that smoothes down the shaggy edges of both my hair and my mood. The pleasant aroma of the body wash and shampoo soothes my nerves and reminds me that we need beauty in our lives.

I’ve written before about my husband’s mission trip to Ethiopia to install water pumps in wells for communities where the women walk at least ten miles to collect water. But first they must have a supply of firewood on hand, which they also collect on foot, traveling many miles.

This is a photo my husband took while in Ethiopia of a woman bearing the bundle of wood that she will be taking to her home. Most will be used for cooking fires: and some will heat the precious water for bathing.

It didn’t take this photo or the mission trip to make me appreciate hot running water as much as I do, however. Hot water has always been a means of comforting achy bones and muscles. I’ve always believed any ache or pain should first be treated with hot water soaking or showering. If it persists after that, further measures can be taken.

We have the luxury where we live of an abundance of water. This is very different from living in Arizona or traveling in our RV full time. I am grateful that my showers can last longer than the few minutes we used to allow ourselves for showering when water was in short supply.

The technology of hot water showers hasn’t changed too much; a large vessel to heat the water and a system of pipes to allow the water to exit through the shower head. Shower stalls can be fancy or plain. Bathrooms have become design projects with an incredible array of possibilities. Marble, tile and river rock installed in varying patterns along with techy features that allow for regulating temperature, pressure and angle may add to the experience but it is that liquid sunshine – hot water- that is the star of the showering experience.

I am grateful for hot showers.

A simple, easy peasy card, using the Jingle Bells die set and designer paper from the Holiday Trimmings paper pack. I love those jingle bells with the delicate bow! I think that bow may find itself on future cards, Christmas or not! So much potential with this die set by varying the background paper and color scheme.

Who doesn’t love a red, white and silver color combination for Christmas? And when you add an adorable hedgy stamped from the Hedgy Joy stamp and die set, there is even more to love. This time I’ve cut the Jingle Bells from silver cardstock and topped them with the delicate bow in red. That wonderfully appropriate sentiment is from the Sweetest Moments clear set, which has an assortment of holiday sentiments.

The Be Merry release contains several clear sets of holiday sentiments and I wanted to make a card with the sentiment as the focus. This large message written in a beautiful script is from the Joyful Wishes set, which I have balanced with the cardinal from the Festive Season clear set. Both images were heat embossed so that I could create the vintage looking background with blended Distress inks. The Antique Frame die added the beautiful edges. Next time I would plan my design so the bow from the Jingle Bells set could be included.

The other evening, Mr. RWS was at church practicing with his music group. Cooper really misses his buddy when he is gone. Usually, I have the wooden front door open so Cooper can watch through the glass storm door. For some reason, I had shut the door, not thinking about Cooper’s need to keep watch. Cooper solved that problem by somehow getting himself onto the bed in the extra bedroom where he could see out the window. I have decided that Cooper believes his intense watching and waiting is what brings Mr. RWS home again.

And right after Cooper’s photo is when I clean up my mess and stow the scissors until next time. It amazes me how quickly I am able to restore order from the chaos I manage to create. The secret is Penny Black has a place for everything, and those places are all labeled. That’s a system I should put in place at home, instead of the “wonder” system I use now: as in “I wonder where I put that?” But the one place I never lose track of is the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. I love browsing the Penny Black creations I find there.

Note: I will not be running with my scissors next Saturday, the 30th. I am off to visit Evelyn and Jack in Milwaukee to collect hugs and make pancakes. The love I have for them does not amaze me as much as the love they have for me.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 51-367 Peace and Holly, 51-209 Edger, 80-017 Festive and Frosty

Card No. 2: 30-307 Holiday Snippets, 40-561 Santa’s Visit

Card No. 3: 40-561 Santa’s Visit

Card No. 4: 51-365 Jingle Bells, 80-013 Holiday Trimmings

Card No. 5: 30-436 Sweetest Moments, 30-447 Hedgy Joy, 51-376 Snowflake Stitch Frame, 51-389 Hedgy Joy Cut Out

Card No. 6: 30-434 Joyful Wishes, 30-442 Festive Season, 51-397 Antique Frame



Penny and Penny: Bible Journaling

September 22, 2017

Let’s celebrate Fun Friday with a Fabulous Friend!

Once a month, Penny Ward joins us with her inspiring and gorgeous Bible journaling pages featuring our products! You can read more about Penny and her Bible journaling tips HERE. We love her approach to Bible journaling: “I journal in a Bible to show my love of God and particular scripture most of the time. God gave me the crafty gene and I am showing him what He gave me. I am sure He loves it in His book no less. I also have a second Bible for reading.” So whether you are new to Bible journaling or a card-maker looking for stamping ideas and techniques, we welcome both you and Penny as we kick off this EXTRA fun Friday with our fabulous friend.

With a red and green Christmas color scheme, Penny has featured our transparent stamp set, 30-435 Three Kings, along with masked and inked birthday balloons for Jesus.

And here’s a great TIP from Penny: I used a stamp positioning tool (MISTI) and have found that books/magazines placed under the lid so the tool is the same height on both sides will keep your page from moving when stamping in a Bible.

One more thing… TGIF!

“Like” our page on Facebook for exclusive inspiration by Birgit Edblom!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-435 Three Kings

Moonlit Season’s Greetings

September 21, 2017

Peaceful snowfall and scenic stamping… Heather Telford brings us the best of winter’s elegance on her cards this week as she features products from our newest collection, Be Merry. Have you grabbed your mittens, ahem, we mean stamps? Why not share YOUR holiday creations in our current challenge for a chance to win a $100 shopping spree to our online store? Get all of the challenge details HERE.

With a loose, flowing watercolor stamping technique, Heather has expertly combined two of our stamps on today’s moonlit card: 30-442 A Festive Season and 40-560 Berry Speckled.

We love the look of the branch in the foreground and the sentiment and trees below.
Truly wintry. Truly elegant.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-560 Berry Speckled
30-442 A Festive Season


Snowy Tweet Conversation

September 20, 2017

Peaceful snowfall and scenic stamping… Heather Telford brings us the best of winter’s elegance on her cards this week as she features products from our newest collection, Be Merry. Have you grabbed your mittens, ahem, we mean stamps? Why not share YOUR holiday creations in our current challenge for a chance to win a $100 shopping spree to our online store? Get all of the challenge details HERE.

If you love to try different techniques for creating backgrounds, our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-564 Tweet Conversation, is all you need to finish your card.

Heather created her card by first playing with watercolors (complete technique description linked below), tipping her panel and allowing the paint to run and blend as it moved. How fun! And by simply changing the sentiment, this layout could easily be used for winter birthday, thank you, and masculine card designs.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-564 Tweet Conversation
30-434 Joyful Wishes


Vintage Style Scene

September 19, 2017

Peaceful snowfall and scenic stamping… Heather Telford brings us the best of winter’s elegance on her cards this week as she features products from our newest collection, Be Merry. Have you grabbed your mittens, ahem, we mean stamps? Why not share YOUR holiday creations in our current challenge for a chance to win a $100 shopping spree to our online store? Get all of the challenge details HERE.


To create this scene, Heather combined two of our Slapstick/Cling stamps: 40-583 Dressed in Snow and 40-565 Snow Covered.

By stamping and blending with shades of brown, black, and a touch of blue, Heather has given this holiday creation beautiful vintage-style.

And we can’t quite let you go yet! Don’t miss this week’s card on our SIMPLICITY site…

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-583 Dressed in Snow
40-565 Snow Covered
30-440 Joy and Happiness


Winter’s Elegance with Heather

September 18, 2017

Peaceful snowfall and scenic stamping… Heather Telford brings us the best of winter’s elegance on her cards this week as she features products from our newest collection, Be Merry. Have you grabbed your mittens, ahem, we mean stamps? Why not share YOUR holiday creations in our current challenge for a chance to win a $100 shopping spree to our online store? Get all of the challenge details HERE.

For Heather’s first card this week, she certainly has captured winter’s elegance with our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-569 Peaceful Moment. We just can’t get enough of her beautifully painted sunset.

And did you notice the frosty branches on the trees? She achieved this look by first stamping the entire image in Versamark ink on a watercolor panel using a stamp positioning tool. Next, she slightly moved the panel up and restamped using Versafine Onyx Black ink so the two impressions were slightly offset. Finally, she heat embossed the panel with clear embossing powder.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-569 Peaceful Moment
30-444 Full of Merriment


Runs with Scissors

September 16, 2017

Hello, Penny Black friends. The winds have died down here in Alabama and we continue to check on and care about friends and family in Texas and Florida. I can’t imagine the work that lays ahead for those whose property was damaged or destroyed.

It is good to know there are people helping people either with physical labor or donations. We wish everyone affected the energy and resources to recover.

If you are like me, the time spent creating is a peaceful time, free of worry and anxiety. I leave all concerns at the craft room door and allow myself time to focus on the project at hand. This has been increasingly necessary lately, with news of such disasters.

Here is what I did while mellowing out in the Penny Black studio:

Sometimes I surprise even myself with how a technique turns out! I stamped the Peaceful Moment stamp with black Versafine ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. I chose two shades of purple Distress inks and several in the orange/yellow family for my background. I loosely masked a spot in the sky that would become my moon, and then applied inks with my ink blender. The image is longer and narrower than usual, so I added the Cut Out Borders over a strip of purple to widen it and add a finished look to the edges. Penny Black’s scenic cling stamps are such fun to work with and sometimes the results are surprising!

Who doesn’t love a Chubby Witch? I would not be this pensive with a spider and its web from the Halloween Creatures die set so close, but perhaps Ms. Witch is eyeing them as ingredients for her next potion. I am in love with that Antique Frame die set. Those edges turn an ordinary image into extraordinary!

After Halloween, thoughts turn to Thanksgiving. I blended several orange toned Distress inks onto white cardstock and then used the Pumpkins and Leaves die set to make these textured pumpkins and the little leaves scattered about. I tucked part of the Picket Fence diecut behind the pumpkins and added a sentiment from the Words of Gratitude die set.


A few years ago I discovered a blogger by the name of Joan Bardee, creator of the blog Dear Paperlicious. Joan is a gifted writer and recently posted a series titled “Thirty-one Days of Gratitude” which inspired me to do something similar each week here on Runs with Scissors. I don’t plan 31 weeks of gratitude (said she remembering the 16 weeks of Snowy cards). So with thanks to Joan for the inspiration, here goes.

Grateful for the mailbox. I treasure our mailbox and I am grateful for its faithful service. There it stands, rain or shine, night or day, always available for the mail carrier to collect or deposit our daily mail.

This street version of a mailbox is one of the improvements made over the years to home mail delivery. There was a time when each home had a mailbox attached to the house, next to the front door where the homeowner could conveniently reach through the partially opened door to retrieve their mail.

Then some time study and efficiency guru realized that a mail carrier could deliver more mail more quickly if they didn’t have to zig zag back and forth and up and down on foot across all the lawns in a neighborhood. So the mailbox was placed on a post near the curb and now our mail is delivered via a jeep-like vehicle.

Other than that, the mail box hasn’t been improved upon much. It still is totally non techy. Just think: easy installation, no batteries to recharge, no bulbs to replace, and no monthly fees. The little red flag is still all I need to let the mail carrier know there is outgoing mail and would someone please send it on its way? And that little yellow dot? That lets the paper delivery person know that I am a customer so no matter who is delivering the papers that day, we don’t get skipped. This is the app for that.

Oh, and how handy is that post? It provides a spot for our address that is visible from either direction of our street. The mailbox is like a mouse trap: its simple design and function are hard to improve upon.

I especially appreciate and am thankful to have a mailbox in front of my home because for almost five years we didn’t have the luxury of daily mail delivery. For the first five years of our retirement we lived full time in a fifth wheel RV and roamed the entire United States. In order to receive mail at all we became legal residents of Texas, with a Texas mailing address, and joined a Texas mail service for travelers like us.

We arranged for the service to save and forward only our first class mail. Then, once we had our next destination and address, we notified the mail service and they forwarded our mail, which would be waiting for us upon arrival.

It seemed on average we picked up mail every ten days. No military personnel stationed far from home looked forward to mail call more than I did. We did not have the sophisticated email capabilities that we have now and cell phone service was often spotty at best. I could hardly stand those last minutes waiting for Mr. RWS to return from the RV park office with our bundle of mail. It was a terrible disappointment if, for some reason, the package hadn’t arrived.

Everything else was set aside while we opened envelopes and read our mail. It was precious contact with people and places from our former, non-nomadic life. It was a reminder that we did have connections to the real world, even though we had traveled so far.

Because we chose the money-saving option to receive only first class mail, there were no catalogs, no sweepstakes entries, no magazines, no coupon offers, no free address labels, and no free samples: in other words, no “junk mail”.

For the past twelve years I have had the luxury and convenience of having mail delivered six days a week to the box that is located at the end of my driveway. We have gone from having the same mail person for more than six years who knew us by name and for whom I left bottles of cold water during the summer and a gift at Christmas, to now being served by a litany of mail carriers who don’t even come at the same time each day.

But our mailbox has never changed. A few years ago it received a new coat of paint, but that is pretty low maintenance for something that has served us so well for so long.

It may sound odd, but I enjoy “junk mail”. I am free to open it and read it or just as free to toss it unopened into the recycle bin. Cooper and I enjoy the daily ritual of going to the mailbox, sometimes to put cards and letters for the postal carrier to pick up and sometimes to retrieve our mail. When I say the word “mailbox”, Cooper comes running, eager to check the mail box post for the “messages” left for him by the neighborhood dogs. One more function of the mailbox post! Thank you, Mailbox, for your faithful service. I am grateful.

I am in danger of falling seriously in love with this contemporary Santa from the North Pole Treasures. It may be “move over Snowy” time! Again, I’ve used the Antique Frame die to add the right finishing touch to this mostly one layer card.

Maybe someone should take my black paper pad away from me! This time I stamped the Tree of Holly image with Versafine ink onto black cardstock and heat embossed with silver. It was pretty, but needed some color. So, I added red Nuvo Crystal Drops to all the berries. That worked out well, so why not color the leaves the same way? I dressed up the card with a touch of red and green plaid ribbon and the itty bitty tag from the Gift Card Pocket set, stamped with a sentiment from the Holiday Snippets set.

No matter that the ground and trees are icy. This sweet Gingerbread Cottage cut from white cardstock, backed with silver paper will welcome visitors with its cheery red door. The Beneath the Birches die set provides a touch of forest background.

We’ve been able to spend more time on the patio lately. Cooper loves it when we share his outdoor space. But when it is meal time, he is ready to head for the kitchen!

Dear Reader, it goes without saying or writing that I am grateful for all of you that spend time with me each Saturday while I run with my scissors. I plan to write about the smaller things in my life that may not be instantly found on a gratitude list, but that make my life easier or better or more convenient, even more blessed. And if there is some such thing in your own life, feel free to share in the comments.

Now that the scissors are stowed until next week, I am off to the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. The lovely work I find there brightens my day.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 40-569 Peaceful Moment, 51-353 Cut Out Borders

Card No. 2: 40-555 Chubby Witch, 51-245 Halloween Creatures

Card No. 3: 51-327 Picket Fence, 51-360 Pumpkin and Leaves, 51-071 Words of Gratitude, 51-375 Snowflake Stitch Frame, 80-017 Festive and Frosty

Card No. 4: 30-437 North Pole Treasures, 30-434 Joyful Wishes, 51-387 Antique Frame

Card No. 5: 30-307 Holiday Snippets, 40-570 Tree of Holly, 51-191 Gift Card Pocket

Card No. 6: 30-436 Sweetest Moments, 51-270 Beneath the Birches, 51-371 Gingerbread Cottage