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Bible Journaling with Penny Ward

May 17, 2019

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 celebrate another EXTRA fun Friday with our fabulous friend.

This month Penny Ward has featured the sweet pups from our miniature transparent stamp set, 30-566 Friendship, on her beautiful and sweet Bible journaling page.

Her soft scene allows for the text of her Bible page to show through while also visually conveying her reflections on the selected verses.

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30-566 Friendship

Keep it Simple… and WILD!

May 16, 2019

Today we’re bringing you roar-ing inspiration from two talented cardmakers, Patti Kehl and Milla.

They’ve both been getting inky with these wild and whimsical (and oh-so-popular) stamps from our newest collection, Full Bloom.

30-583 Be Happy, 30-585 Go Wild, 30-581 Full Bloom

So go wild and keep scrolling for heaps of fun and inspiration!

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30-585 Go Wild
25-007 Dotlets

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30-583 Be Happy
51-424 Wonky Squares

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30-583 Be Happy
30-585 Go Wild

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30-583 Be Happy
30-524 Happy Hugs

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30-583 Be Happy
30-556 Love and Cuddles
51-542 Love and Cuddles Cut Out

originally posted here

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30-583 Be Happy
51-535 Stitched Nested Frames
30-555 Family Sentiments

originally posted here

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30-583 Be Happy
51-535 Stitched Nested Frames
30-553 It’s Your Day
51-046 Fresh Breeze

Learning Through Inspiration with Joan Bardee

May 15, 2019

Very excited to be back sharing more of my Learning Through Inspiration series here on the Penny Black blog. That series is all about improving my cardmaking through studying other designers’ cards. Today I’m finalizing my study of the super talented artist Heather Telford.



* Imagine opening an envelope containing this beauty. The deep purple flower, from Dreams of Love (why don’t I have this stamp?), is a gorgeous focal point. Heather managed to keep the detail of each flower, while creating a “painterly” look. LOVE.

*Heather added a lot of subtle details to this card without making the card seem overloaded. I really struggle with that and usually end up with super plain cards. It’s that aspect of her card that I am focusing on today.

*See those beautiful stems and leaves surrounding the flower? Heather added most of them from another stamp set and did it in a way that makes it look like they were part of the stamp. Just flawless (trust me, I tried — it’s difficult to pull that off.)

*Heather cut the main panel with a die that has a small design around the edge. It adds interest, without fighting the delicate, but bold, flower.

*Check out the bottom layer of her card – Heather stamped and embossed the words in weathered white. That touch makes the card more interesting without distracting from the main image.

*The font, size, and location of the sentiment are perfect for this card. Sometimes I make a lovely card and then have no clue where to put the sentiment. Heather’s choice is spot on.



*Turns out that I can add some details under the main image, add a few layers, and still stay true to my own style! Who knew! Maybe I’ll use up some of my colored cardstock!

First Card

* Chose Radiant, a gorgeous flower from the last Penny Black release that I hadn’t yet had time to use. It’s a snap to color – just scribbled some markers on it, added a tiny bit of water and done.

*Since I couldn’t figure out a way to add any vines and leaves the way Heather did, I substituted some patterned vellum from my stash on which I stamped a portion of Trees in Bud in a pale green. It’s very hard to see, but the richness is there.

*Used Penny Black’s new Stitched Nested Frames. Love the subtle design that these dies add to the card. The purple mat on my card is the largest size, which is slightly less than an A2 card. I love that it’s a bit smaller because I can get 4 mats out of one sheet of cardstock. ($hop $mart!)

*Tucked the sentiment under the flower in the same way that Heather did.

Second and Third Cards

*I just HAD to use the bird from Peaceful Time for this blog post! It’s perfect for so many occasions. I kept the water coloring simple – just brushed color over the embossed image and didn’t even attempt shading. Not Heather’s coloring style, but I thought it worked fine for these cards.

*Stamped a pattern underneath each bird. In the second card, the pattern is very pale gray foliage and in the 3rd card, the sentiments make the pattern. If I had to do it over again, I’d use a darker gray under the blue and purple bird.

*Following Heather’s lead, I used more than one layer of white cardstock, and that was both a challenge and fun. I think the gray strip on the second card helps offset the bird nicely, and the black and gold on the 3rd card is a bit unexpected (at least for me..).

*Finally, I had to die cut with the Stitched Nested Frames again – used them to cut the gold glitter paper in the third card.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Success! I learned a lot. Tried a few things that didn’t work, but eventually I made 3 cards that I don’t think I would have made before I studied Heather’s cards. And that’s a win! Plus, I’ve got one more Christmas card done for this year. That makes two!

Thanks again to Jill Foster and Penny Black for providing me with some gorgeous stamps and dies, and the opportunity to share here on the Penny Black blog. And more thanks to Heather for her inspiration all year long.

for the products featured on Joan’s cards above

Card One Supplies: Penny Black Radiant 40-669; Radiant Cut Out 51-523; Sympathy Sentiments 30-582; Trees in Bud, 40-663; Stitched Nested Frames, 51-535 ; patterned vellum; white, black, and purple cardstocks; Wow Opaque Bright White Superfine Embossing Powder; Tombow Dual Brush Pens 555, 665, 126, 177; foam tape; Versamark; StazOn Black ink.

Card Two Supplies: Peaceful Time 30-571; Peaceful Time Cut Out 51-532; Flower Fantasy 30-565; white linen and gray cardstocks; Versafine Onyx ink; clear embossing powder; pale gray ink, clear jewels; Tombow Dual Brush Pens 555, 685, N89,

Card Three Supplies: Peaceful Time 30-571; Peaceful Time Cut Out 51-532; Christmas Sentiments 30-504; white, gold glitter, black, and gold cardstocks; Versamark; clear and gold embossing powders, Versafine Onyx ink; Stitched Nested Frames, 51-535; Tombow Dual Brush Pens 856, 177, 126, 969, 942.

Disclaimer: From time-to-time we have guest bloggers post on our site. The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Penny Black Inc. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.

Sketch Inspiration VIDEOS!

May 14, 2019

Today we welcome Jill Foster as she explores the creative possibilities of our Full Bloom collection along with card sketches to get your creative mojo flowing.

Are you ready for not one, but TWO, videos?

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

for the products featured on the cards above

30-583 Be Happy
30-581 Full Bloom
51-535 Stitched Nested Frames
51-540 Friendship Cut Out
51-002 Leaves
51-308 Bold Branch

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

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51-422 Stitched Square and Circles
30-536 Blushing
51-536 Blushing Cut Out
30-571 Peaceful Time
51-532 Peaceful Time Cut Out
30-562 Golden Dance
51-533 Golden Dance Cut Out
51-002 Leaves
30-542 Critter Celebration
30-547 Grateful Sentiments

And before you go, don’t miss this…

Click HERE for the full reveal.

Simply Cute & Tiny Critters

May 13, 2019

Today Patti Kehl is keeping things simple and cute as she creates with our newest collection, Full Bloom.

To amp up the cuteness factor, Patti has designed cards where the focus is on the tiny critters from our transparent stamp set, 30-553 It’s Your Day, and 51-537 …Your Day Cut Out.

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30-553 It’s Your Day
51-537 …Your Day Cut Out

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30-553 It’s Your Day
51-537 …Your Day Cut Out

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30-553 It’s Your Day
51-537 …Your Day Cut Out
51-509 Stitched Sentiment
51-440 Elegant Stitching
25-007 Dotlets

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30-553 It’s Your Day
51-537 …Your Day Cut Out
30-555 Family Sentiments

Runs with Scissors

May 11, 2019

As Robin might say to Batman, “Holy month of May, Batman!” – as in “faster than a speeding bullet”. May is almost half gone – the days whizzing by like no January day ever whizzes. Everyone loves dear May; the month of flowers, sunshine and new growth. May is a time for graduations, weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions. The weather is perfect for outdoor celebrations and family gatherings.

May is also the perfect time to use the Full Bloom release by Penny Black to make cards for all the special occasions that May brings. The cards I made this week almost made themselves: so many ideas – so little time.

Seriously, my heart rate went up a bit when I saw the Be Happy transparent set. It is a unique, contemporary collection of plant and animal images that can be used in countless ways. Of course, the zebra appealed to my love of black and white and keeping it simple. The Square Frames die keeps the zebra confined to his space and complements his black and white stripes. I think he really is “Super Magical”.

Like all Penny Black releases, the Full Bloom release includes enough styles to please everyone. I’ve masked the edges of my card and created a small outdoor background for this sweet fairy from the Beautiful Day mini set. I added a fluffy cloud from the Silver Linings die set to create a perfect summer day. I love coloring the sweet feminine fairy images in this release.

Forgive me, but I had to color one more animal image from the Be Happy transparent set. This time it’s a turtle and to keep him from walking off the card, I added the Square Frames border again. That turtle may move slowly, but eventually that Big Hug will reach its intended friend.


May in the South is the month for graduations. Students begin classes here in August and finish the school year in May. This May our Atlanta granddaughter, Lauren, is finishing her high school career and graduates on May 18th . I have found it hard to believe our Lauren is old enough to graduate, but we received the invitation and her Mom sent photos so it must be true.

How quickly the years have gone. I’m not sure I’ve fully processed the fact her Dad, my number 4 child, graduated high school, then college, then an advanced degree! Actually, I think I am still processing my own high school graduation, which took place many years ago.

I have shared with you that my father was in the Army and we were stationed in Vicenza, Italy for the last two years of my high school career. For my Junior year, our school was located in Verona, Italy in a converted shoe factory and we traveled by train back and forth every day. While this may seem exciting or even exotic, it quickly became our routine and the time spent traveling was just more time hanging out with friends.

Our Junior high school class was made up of five of us and our Senior class grew to 17 the next year. The converted shoe factory in Verona (scene of Romeo and Juliet) was replaced by a brand new American school in Vicenza. We did the best with the few students we had to schedule a Home Coming, a Junior and Senior Prom and a Year Book committee. We couldn’t manage a football team, but we played basketball and soccer with enthusiasm.

The invited speaker for our graduation was Clare Boothe Luce, the United States Ambassador to Italy and wife of the publisher of Time Magazine. Up until a few months before graduation I was the Valedictorian of our small class; that is, until a sweet, loveable and very smart girl named Lila became a part of our class and had a higher grade point average than I did. I couldn’t even feel badly about it as she was so kind and fun and humble and truly deserved the honor. And ranking second still qualified me for a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin.

I can close my eyes and picture the auditorium, the chairs filled with friends and family with a section reserved for our school band. The notes of Pomp and Circumstances bounced off those auditorium walls and raised goose bumps under our blue caps and gowns.

“Army Brats” are used to farewells. Parents were transferred frequently and sometimes the good-byes were not so far from the hellos. But this time, the good-byes were different; we wouldn’t be leaving Italy with our parents. Most of us would be traveling on our own back to the United States and the college of our choice. As it turned out, a few of us would either remain in contact or find each other on Facebook many years later.

I remember being very shocked when I saw photos of former classmates that included grey hair, beards or balding heads. I am sure they were just as shocked to see my photos, too. I was not exempt from the aging process! We were never able to put together a reunion as the military would not share contact information or permanent addresses of our classmates’ parents. I like to believe that we all went off into the future and made good lives for ourselves. After all, it’s my daydream and I choose a “happy ever after” for all of us.

Lauren’s high school has a tradition of asking friends and family to write each graduate a letter, not only of congratulations, but sharing wisdom and offering encouragement. It was a joy to write a letter to our beautiful granddaughter. There wasn’t much I could add to the wonderful upbringing she experienced. She has great friends, has been a member of an athletic cheer team for years, has traveled, has learned responsibility and compassion and kindness. Those attributes mean more than a grade point, although she succeeded in that area, too.

I just reminded Lauren to remember her roots as she tests her wings; to know that she has a family that loves her greatly; and to always say “please” and “thank you”.   Oh, yes, and now that she has committed to attending the University of Alabama, she must be prepared to “Roll Tide”!

If you are in the mood for a romantic card, begin with the Golden Dance image, add pink and some hearts from the Lovely Border die set along with the dome from the Lovely Birthday cut out die set. I’m sure these flowers are lovely done in gold tones, but the pink works for me this time.

This time my heart slowly melted when I saw the adorable Mama elephant and her baby from the Love and Cuddles transparent set. What a perfect image for a Mother’s Day card, new baby card or a little one’s birthday card. The elephants are great fun to color and I’ve ordered refills for my grey toned Copics just to make sure I don’t run out of elephant colors!

Obviously, I am still thinking polka dots! The middle layer of this card has been stamped using the Dotlets stencil in order to add some fun to this Berry Fairy. I struggled with coloring the fairy’s wings until I realized I could emboss them in gold. It’s been a good week: black and white zebra card and a red and white polka dot fairy card! Have I mentioned this release has something for everyone?

bushes are bursting with blossoms. Cooper doesn’t waste time on worry or regrets. He lives in the now, waking up each morning surprised and excited that he has an entire new day ahead. In his food focused brain, that means three meals and a couple of treats to enjoy. Cooper is a creature of routine. He may not wear a Smart Watch, but he really doesn’t need one. He knows when That Woman should be in the kitchen cooking, when the supper is to take place and when it is finished. After our evening meal, we gather around the television so Mr. RWS and I can watch Jeopardy and Cooper can enjoy his play and cuddling time. Cooper loves to have his hair combed, his teeth brushed (something to do with the chicken flavored toothpaste) and a brief session of Tug O’ War with his favorite toys. He and I snuggle until Jeopardy is over and he then asks to go outside for one more time, laps up a generous amount of water and then puts himself to bed. If we have left out any part of his routine, he will not settle down for his nightly snooze.

Mr. RWS and I will be off to Atlanta next week for granddaughter Lauren’s high school graduation. Atlanta traffic is the stuff to make nightmares, but it would take more than that to keep us away. Like all grandparents, we are proud of our graduate and proud of her parents who did such a great job of parenting. When Lauren goes off to the University of Alabama this fall, her brother Andrew will be entering his senior year of high school and will be the “only child” in residence.

I’ve stowed the scissors, packed up the stamps and dies and cleaned my craft space. I want to leave things tidy in case Joan Bardee returns with another of her “Inspired By” posts. Joan has an amazing eye for details and is brave enough to step out of her comfort zone to emulate the Penny Black designers. She inspires me to do better and to analyze my own work for ways to improve.

Until I see you again, be sure to share your work in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery where it can inspire us all.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-544 Sentiments, 30-583 Be Happy, 51-517 Square Frames

Card No. 2: 30-576 Beautiful Day, 51-033 Silver Linings

Card No. 3: 30-574 Special Sentiments, 30-583 Be Happy, 51-517 Square Frames

Card No. 4: 30-562 Golden Dance, 51-484 Lovely Border, 51-519 Lovely Birthday Cutout, 51-533 Golden Dance Cut Out

Card No. 5: 30-556 Love and Cuddles, 30-557 Lovely Birthday, 51-495 Stars and Circles

Card No. 6: 30-567 Berry Fairy, 51-416 Stitched Stackers, 25-007 Dotlets

VIDEO! Gimme 5 with Therese Calvird

May 10, 2019

We’re excited to welcome back Therese Calvird today as she explores all of the creative possibilities of our Special Friends stamp and die set.

30-561 Special Friends and 51-526 Special Friends Cut Out

Are you as impressed and as inspired as us? Just wait until you watch the video…

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

for the products featured on the cards above

30-561 Special Friends
51-526 Special Friends Cut Out
40-679 Rose Garden
30-532 Love Sentiments
30-455 Smitten
30-283 Snippets
51-517 Square Frames
51-484 Lovely Border
51-470 Cut Out Wreath