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Runs with Scissors

December 10, 2016

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Is it me or is December really galloping by? There is a mere two weeks before Christmas Eve and if you haven’t panicked by now, you might want to consider it.

Have you enjoyed Jill Foster’s recent week of Fantastic Folds videos as much as I have? This week I am making my cards using the special folds she demonstrated. Well, it wasn’t just the folds, it was all about some amazing art work, too. If you somehow missed the videos I’ve included a link with each card.

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In her first video, Jill made six fantastic tags, using color as only Jill can.  The Fantastic Fold came in when she demonstrated how to attach a second tag to the back, score it and fold it so the tag can stand up. I made only one tag inspired by Jill’s tag video, but it was so much fun I would have loved to make more. I created the background by blending several colors of Memento Luxe inks. Jill used a diecut tree on her tags; I chose to stamp the tree from the Joy to All set. I just kept adding elements until I liked the look and at the very last, tried my hand at splattering snow. While that was a lot of fun I realized I’m not very good at aiming where that white Copic ink needed to land! The desk was snowier than my tag.

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Speaking of fun, the easel card Jill demonstrated in this video is easy to make and will be fun for the recipient. I used my MISTI and colored directly onto the Tranquil stamp with Tombow markers, adding layers of color. I then stamped the image using VersaMark ink and heat embossed with clear. Next step, using my Luxe inks to create the sky, having masked off a circle for my moon. This stamp colors beautifully and when you add the easel, makes an impressive card.

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This is probably my favorite Fantastic Fold as shown in Jill’s video HERE. I confess to struggling with “spatial relations” and having to watch the video several times to get the folded cut out part right. I used different stamps and dies than Jill used, but followed her instructions for the fold. My favorite part is the addition of some polka dots which give the background more dimension. I am happy to have a card design that features the beautiful sentiment from the Holy Night set.

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Dear Readers, this photo may not seem special to you at first glance. As a matter of fact, you may be wondering why it is part of Runs with Scissors for today. This is no ordinary photo of an ordinary apron. This is my hard won official Kitchen Angels apron, awarded to me last month at the start of our Thanksgiving lunch preparations. The Kitchen Angels is a group of about 15 women and two men who prepare a lovely luncheon meal once a month for our church’s senior citizens, called Free Spirits. We usually serve at least 60 guests. I have been a volunteer member of the Kitchen Angels crew for a year. My duties up until November were mainly chopping, scrubbing pots prep dishes, sweeping, setting and clearing tables and drying and putting away the plates and silverware used in the table settings.

Oh, how hard I worked. The Kitchen Angels do not believe in food chopping gadgets or convenience foods. I remember at the planning meeting last summer suggesting that the church invest in a Cuisinart in order to eliminate all that hand chopping. A hush fell over the table. Someone finally let me know that sometimes those food chopping machines smash things instead of chopping. Who knew?

Well, after a year of being a helper I was finally assigned to the “team” of angels that rotate being in charge of a luncheon and our first meal was the Thanksgiving lunch.

The luncheon is always on a Thursday. The team meets early in the month to plan the menu. On Monday of the luncheon week, the team shops for groceries. The head angel has previously calculated the quantities needed of each item in the various recipes. The recipes are selected from the Kitchen Angels “Bible”, a huge notebook filled with all the recipes ever used for the Free Spirits lunches. Many of the recipes have critical information penciled in. Sadly, some of the recipes no longer have those critical tips due to one overly zealous angel who “cleaned up” the recipes a few years ago.

I was blessed to be on the team with the very top angel who has been involved in this ministry since its beginning decades ago. I look around at the people working in the kitchen to prepare the meal and I realize we all qualify as senior citizens and could be guests at the meal. Some are even older than the guests we cook for.

Anyway, after being minimally involved in the planning (the Thanksgiving luncheon is pretty much the same each year) and very much in the grocery shopping, when I showed up for the prep day on Wednesday the head angel surprised me with my very own official Kitchen Angel apron. It had been lovingly washed and ironed by its former owner who has retired from kitchen duty. Seriously, it was a special moment. I quickly took off and tossed aside the blue denim apron that had been unofficially “mine” and with great pride replaced it with the apron you see in the photo. I value it as much as any award I’ve received over the years.

It has, indeed, been a learning experience. I have learned there are many ways to chop nuts, celery, onions, peppers, mushrooms, apples and anything choppable. But there is only one right way! The processes are all well honed after so many years and there is no room for ad libbing. While this may seem harsh, it does ensure that each dish is successfully prepared and is visually pleasing.

One of my earliest lessons learned was to follow instructions exactly.   If one is told to put two rings of onion to top off a salad, that does mean TWO rings.   And do not try to make up for a small ring by adding a third one; two means two. Perhaps it would help if I explained that most of these women have been married to their engineer husbands for a very long time! It must be contagious. This also explains why I express my creativity at home in my craft room and not in the kitchen with the Kitchen Angels.

This week we will be preparing the traditional Christmas feast, enjoying the Christmas music of our guest musicians and delighting in the happiness we bring to our luncheon guests. We all agree it is well worth the time and effort to make Christmas happen for our senior guests.

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This card has no special fold, but is totally inspired by the card Jill made using the Gatefold and the Snowman Joy die. This is my version of Jill’s darling and amazing card. When I compare my card to Jill’s I realize the magic is found in the details. Next time I will distress more edges and add more shading. I always learn something from Jill’s videos.

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Since it is this close to Christmas, I just had to make another card using the Manger die. This time I created a background using my Luxe inks, and added a layer of cardstock with the shape cut out. A little silver twine, and the Peace sentiment and I was happy with the clean and simple look.

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Jill’s first video demonstrated the Gate Fold and I’ve used it here for my last card, the fifteenth Snowy. Instead of blending ink for backgrounds I’ve used patterned paper. Those evergreens in the background are from the Spread Cheer set and easily create a background for Snowy. I think the mix of polka dots and stripes adds a festive look. Snowy has kept his cheerful mood throughout this Christmas season and still makes me smile every time I spend time with him.

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Look how grown up the Atlanta grandchildren have become! Lauren is a sophomore in high school, Andrew is a freshman. The occasion was Lauren’s Confirmation which we were privileged to attend. Seriously, how do these years go by so quickly? Lauren and Andrew are delightful and accomplished young people and we could not be more proud.

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Cooper’s last stay at his home away from home included playing with another guest, Daisy. Daisy is a border collie mix and has the sweetest disposition. Cooper quickly counted her among his best doggie friends. We are so fortunate to have such an amazing place to leave Cooper when we travel. It’s a win-win situation for Cooper and for us.

Thank you, everyone, for taking time from your busy holiday preparations to visit Runs with Scissors on the Penny Black blog. I am feeling a bit sentimental about putting away the Christmas stamps and dies for this year. I know there are some that can be used for non-Christmas cards and those will stay within arm’s reach.

My feeling sentimental is spilling over into more than stamps and dies. I became so nostalgic at the store this week that I actually purchased a bundle of six cookie cutters. It’s been a few years since I baked Christmas cookies, after many years of baking multiple batches of each type for our large family. It was hard to say no to the kids who wanted to eat the cookies fresh out of the oven instead of waiting for Christmas so I had to keep baking just to keep up. So many of my Christmas memories involve Christmas cookies. I didn’t realize it at the time, but we were making more than cookies.

Now that the scissors are safely put away, the mess is cleaned up, and the place is tidy, I am off to find that easy sugar cookie recipe I used to follow. Don’t forget to post your Penny Black art in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery and be sure to visit the Gallery for inspiration, too.

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Fun Friday: Anything but a Card

December 9, 2016

The sky is the limit when it comes creating with stamps and dies. For today’s Fun Friday feature, we are sharing “anything but a card.”

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The talented Birgit Edblom has used our Creative Die, 51-068 Glorious, to create holiday cutlery holders.

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Her simple stitched pocket design will add an elegant, handmade flair to any place setting.

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This versatile design could be adapted for any holiday… just change the die cut and sentiment (30-387 Festive Snippets) to suit the event.

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Have you been following the sneak peek excitement on our Facebook and Instagram pages this week? In case you missed any of the fun, here’s a recap of what we’ve shared.

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Spot any new favorites?
Stay tuned… you’ll find the full reveal, details, and a giveaway right here on our blog next week.

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And finally, it’s Friday and that also means…

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

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Silver Festivities

December 8, 2016

Don’t miss the new creation on our Simplicity Site today… click HERE to check it out!

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And now scroll down for more inspiration with Vicky.

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If you haven’t yet made your holiday cards, never fear! This week we welcome the talented Vicky Papaioannou as she shares with us holiday card ideas featuring stamps and dies from our Magic of the Season collection.

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The details of our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-486 Festive, look lovely when stamped and embossed in silver.

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Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

We just can’t get over all of Vicky’s silvery creativity!

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We’d like to offer a special thanks to Vicky for all of the wonderful videos and cards this week. We certainly had fun and got inspired!

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Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-486 Festive
51-174 Greetings

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Hang Your Stocking

December 7, 2016

If you haven’t yet made your holiday cards, never fear! This week we welcome the talented Vicky Papaioannou as she shares with us holiday card ideas featuring stamps and dies from our Magic of the Season collection.

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It’s time to hang your stocking… at least your Creative Die stocking, that is! (51-252 Christmas Stockings)

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Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

You just can’t beat this classic design and color combo by Vicky… and of course that holiday sparkle!

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Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

51-252 Christmas Stockings
30-375 Merry Jingle

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Starring Sentiments

December 6, 2016

Don’t miss the new creation on our Simplicity Site today… click HERE to check it out!

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And now scroll down for more video fun with Vicky!

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If you haven’t yet made your holiday cards, never fear! This week we welcome the talented Vicky Papaioannou as she shares with us holiday card ideas featuring stamps and dies from our Magic of the Season collection.

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Vicky’s beautiful card today features our sentiment set, 30-382 Yuletide Wishes, as the star of the show.

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Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

Vicky expertly embellished her sentiment with the ornaments from our transparent set, 30-375 Merry Jingle.

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This card design is simply elegant and a great layout for any large greeting.

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Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-375 Merry Jingle
30-382 Yuletide Wishes

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Sneak Peek Excitement and a Video from Vicky

December 5, 2016

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We’re so excited about our next new release, we are thrilled to be sharing some sneak peeks this week! Where can YOU join in on the sneak peek excitement and be the FIRST to see what’s new?

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We will be sharing exclusive peeks on our Instagram page! (Yes, we’re on Instagram! YAY!) Follow us on our official page HERE.

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We will also be more sharing peeks on our Facebook page, too. “Like” us HERE.

And if you are not an Instagram or Facebook user, we don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun… we will share a recap of ALL of the sneak peeks here on our blog on Friday.

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Besides today’s happy sneak peek news, we are also honored to announce this week’s blog feature…

This week we welcome the talented Vicky Papaioannou as she shares with us holiday card ideas featuring stamps and dies from our Magic of the Season collection.

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Vicky’s first card has a gorgeous vintage look and features the poinsettia from our transparent stamp set, 30-374 Winter Joy.

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Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

Don’t you just love the subtle text stamping Vicky used on her background? (40-470 Script)

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And the dimension on her poinsettia is incredible!

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Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-374 Winter Joy
51-174 Greetings
40-470 Script

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alexandra’s Sunday scrapbooking – Clean & Simple Christmas’Wishes

December 4, 2016
Hello dear Friends! Welcome to another edition of scrapbooking with Penny Black inc. products. Today, I’m going back to the basics to make a one-layer Holiday card. The idea is simple enough: choose a Penny Black stamp with few lines, stamp it in black on heavy white cardstock and add a touch of color with your favorite color pencils. If you’d like to see more, please click on art scrap & more. Thank You!