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New Release and a GIVEAWAY

May 22, 2017

One definition of ‘poetic’ is as follows: having an imaginative or sensitively emotional style of expression. That description is perfect for the stamps and dies which are part of our brand new collection, Poetic!

With this new release of elegant stamps and dies, we aren’t even going to tease you… you can view the complete catalog TODAY! Just click HERE to take a peek at the poetic pages.

Once you’ve made your wishlist, you can head on over to our online store and shop.
All new products are NOW AVAILABLE!

Anxious to see more? We’re pleased as punch to announce that our designers will be with us, beginning tomorrow, with tutorials featuring these new goodies. But until then, we invite you to join our designer, Jill Foster, as she shares what she’s created with this new collection.

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

And wait, the good news continues… we want YOU to share in the excitement of all things elegant and poetic, so how about a giveaway? We have for you THREE WAYS TO WIN… pick which works best for you, or enter on all three social media platforms! THREE happy stampers will win a $25 shopping spree to our online store. Here’s how to enter:

1: “Like” our Facebook page and leave us a comment there.
2: Leave a comment here on the blog during this week of poetic posts.
3: Follow us on Instagram and leave us a comment there.

Note: You don’t need to do all three to qualify, please pick whatever works best for you, although we’d certainly love to connect with you in all three places. We will be choosing one winner from the Facebook entries, one from the blog entries, and one from the Instagram entries so the more ways you enter, the greater your chances of winning. Giveaway closes Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 11:59 PM PST.

alexandra’s Sunday scrapbooking – Cute Postcards w. a Photo

May 21, 2017
Hello dear Friends! Welcome to another edition of scrapbooking with Penny Black inc. products. Today, I thought I would combine three things I really like: stamping, postcards, photos and make cute postcards to send to family or friends over the summer. The Creative dies and Slapstick/Stamps used are: Frame and Pattern Cheerful Critters Especially Micey and Posted with Love. I hope you’ll join me over @ art scrap & more. Thank You!

Runs with Scissors

May 20, 2017

Hello, Dear Reader! I am happy you could stop by. I am still being inspired by the Celebrate release so here are more cards using those stamps and dies. As I review the work I’ve done this morning, I notice I made only one “cute” themed card, usually my favorite: proof that we just go where the muse takes us.

Today it is about flowers, sentiments, a graduate and teddy bears.

I thought this casual sketchy flower from the Flower Medley set was just right for some casual Copic coloring. The colors on the designer paper from the Summertime paper pad were the perfect match. Our cards don’t have to be elaborate or tricky; sometimes clean and simple is best. The Flower Medley set is perfect for making quick and easy cards that you can be proud to send.

Once again, I am using Therese Calvird’s technique by lightly stamping and coloring the Grad! image and then overstamping a bold and beautiful sentiment. The key seems to be keeping the image fairly light and the sentiment very dark. Using the MISTI is very helpful to ensure that sentiment is dark enough. I think this message is just the right advice for any graduate. Love pairing up an image with just the right sentiment.

And here is Aunt Helen, enjoying her simple pleasure of feeding the birds in the park. I was wondering if there was a limit to the type of image that would work for this overstamping technique, and was happy to see even this amusing scene lends itself well. The secret is to stamp the image in a lighter ink and color it in using light pastels. This is a great technique to use with those oversized sentiments that might not otherwise fit on your card after you’ve stamped the main image.

Righteous Indignation

Our “new” car is now two years old and lately I noticed that the cloth front seats were a bit dingy with a few unwelcome spots. I mentioned to Mr. RWS that the seats needed shampooing. A side note: It has been long established that the maintenance and cleaning of the car was Mr. RWS’s responsibility. I did not want to interfere with that good policy. I suggested he take the car to have the interior “detailed”.

Mr. RWS was not eager to spend the money involved and declared he would use the attachment that came with our carpet shampooer and clean the upholstery himself. Well, as a lot of DIY projects go, this one did not start well. Our carpet shampooer is at least 17 years old. It has been a good and faithful servant for handling emergency carpet issues.

Mr. RWS’s first need was the owner’s manual for the shampooer so he could figure out how to attach the upholstery gadget. We have a portable file, a left over from the RV’ing days, where I file owners’ manuals for the appliances we purchase. I flipped through the impressive stack and found manuals for the pressure washer, the generator, the hot water heater, the alarm system, the griddle, the washer and dryer, microwave and range hood, the coffee pot … well, you get the idea. No owner’s manual for the shampooer.

I certainly could have Googled my carpet shampooer and perhaps found the correct manual, but a glance at the kitchen countertop convinced me that it was time to call in the pro’s.

Mr. RWS had added the cleaning liquid to the water in the shampooer’s tank. I was stunned to see that he had used the hardwood floor cleaner instead of the carpet and upholstery shampoo. He explained that he couldn’t find the right cleaner and didn’t believe it would make a difference to use the floor cleaner instead of upholstery cleaner.

So, off he went in our one and only car to have the interior cleaned. He learned it would be a four hour process so he wore his hiking boots, took along a book and planned to hike to the area mall for lunch.

Later that day after he had been home a while, I went out to the car to admire the spanking clean upholstery. And it was not even close to spanking clean. Actually, it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned at all. I was indignant that after the long wait and the total inconvenience, someone had not done a good job.

After a phone call to the car wash place, we arranged to go back the next day for a “redo”. I thought it only fair that I go along to make sure the people involved realized what an inconvenience this was for us. Also, how incompetent someone had been to do such a poor job. I was not looking forward to the four hour wait, either.

Upon arrival at the Car Wash/Detail facility, we were directed to park the car next to the space where the man responsible for cleaning our car was working. Imagine my shock when we pointed out the remaining grime, that he grabbed a can of spray foam and a white cloth and proceeded to spray and rub the upholstery.

Surely, I said, they had electric shampooers! No wonder my upholstery didn’t get clean. I was getting more indignant just thinking about the time we were wasting.

And then it happened: this middle aged man, who had left the project he was working on, looked at me and smiled. Oh, no ma’am, he said. If I soaked that foam upholstery it would never dry, you would get mold and ruin it. All the while he was talking, he was vigorously rubbing the light beige, fuzzy fabric of our front seats.

We’ve had cars detailed before and the work always took place in an air conditioned dealer’s facility, behind large glass windows so you could watch. Here in Alabama, at least at this place of business, the people doing the work had a work station outside, at the mercy of the bright and hot sunshine.

As the man looked up from his work, smiling at me, I noticed the rivulets of sweat, unhindered by the bandana around his head, pouring down his deep mahogany face. He continued spraying and wiping while he complimented us on how well we kept the interior of our car. And he really liked the trim. And he was very sorry we had to come back. And then he demonstrated how the fuzzy fabric and the bright sunshine made it almost impossible to see if all the dirt was gone. Only after we had it home for a few hours, parked in the dim interior of our garage, could you see the dirt that remained.

And then, Dear Reader, I noticed his shoes. The tops were almost detached from the soles. They offered very little protection from the water pouring from the hoses he used for detailing the exterior of cars brought to him. They certainly were very little use for walking on the gravel surface that was his work station. And that’s when I felt ashamed.

I had no right being indignant. I was able to pay someone to do work that I absolutely did not want to do. The very idea of leaning over that car interior and scrubbing it made my back hurt. Yet, this man does that work all day every day. And he was treating me with courtesy I did not deserve.

I don’t know the story of any of the people working there that day. They all were outside, under the sun, washing, drying and detailing vehicles that most of them probably could not afford. Perhaps some of them were grateful for the second chance a job at a car wash gave them. And I am sure those working at the detail stations were grateful for the promotion from the car wash line.

We left our car to dry while we ventured out to find lunch. I wondered if that man would be given a lunch break or if he was obligated to have the car he was working on finished within a specific time slot, only to have to go on to the next one. Redoing our car had put him behind, I am sure.

I brought a cookie back from lunch and handed the man the cookie and a generous tip which he accepted graciously. I didn’t tell him how ashamed I was of my righteous indignation when I arrived. I did thank him for his hard work and assured him the seats would be just fine.

And they are.

The first layer of this card was made by blending Distress Oxide inks and then adding an overlay of embossed vellum. The oval diecut was decorated with the emboss resist technique using that same casual flower from the Flower Medley set. This card sat on my desk for two weeks; too much effort expended to throw it away, but not interesting because the colors in the two layers blended and the card was boring. And then I realized it needed some white to break up those layers. I used the Nature Borders for the white strips and added the Ballerina, pearls and all, to the center of the oval. Much more interesting!

Here are more flowers from the Felicity cling stamp that are perfect for covering the center of your card. I colored the flowers with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens and enjoyed just letting the colors wander on the petals and finally settle down. Once again, I’ve used the Birds and Banner set and the Banner Sentiments set for my message. The flower placement made it perfect for the banner to be placed in the middle of the card.

I am in love with these Birthday Bears. So fun and easy to color and then cut out using the Party Bears die set. Those little sign boards they are holding are perfect for the tiny words from the Word Express set. Teddy Bears and polka dots and a stitched border – cute as can be!

I am sure I’ve mentioned before that Cooper is very food-focused. Any sound generated in the kitchen brings Cooper from wherever he might have been snoozing. Here he is sitting nicely, waiting for me to let go of the treat I am tempting him with. It is almost pitiful how much he enjoys those little pieces of pretend jerky.

There is only time for a very quick good-bye. I do tend to “talk” a lot. Off I go to the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. Hope I see your work there.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-421 Flower Medley, 30-431 Hope Shines, 80-016 Summertime

Card No. 2: 30-419 Happy Wishes, 30-428 Grad

Card No. 3: 30-419 Happy Wishes, 40-525 Aunt Helen

Card No. 4: 30-421 Flower Medley, 51-313 Ballerina, 51-331 Nature Borders

Card No. 5: 30-423 Banner Sentiments, 40-517 Felicity, 51-352 Birds and Banners

Card No. 6: 30-106 Word Express, 30-427 Birthday Bears, 51-355 Party Bears, 51-353 Cut Out Borders

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Fun Friday: Links we Love

May 19, 2017

Before we begin our Fun Friday feature, we’re popping in to let you know we have a NEW RELEASE coming next week! And just in case you haven’t been following us on Instagram and Facebook, where we’ve been sharing some exciting sneak peeks, we’ve gathered them all together just for you, our fabulous blog buddies. Spot any new favorites?

See you Monday for the full reveal!
And now be sure to scroll down for our Fun Friday feature.

In continuing with this week’s clean and simple card-making by Francine, we couldn’t help but share with you some ‘links we love’ to other clean and simple cards featuring our stamps and dies. Get ready to click, click, click your way to loads of inspiration with our Penny Black Simplicity Sisters!

Jean Manis has a special way of creating colorful yet simple cards featuring our Creative Dies. Don’t miss all four of these creations… they are certainly “to die for!” Full reveal of each card available at the links below:

Upper Left
Upper Right
Lower Left
Lower Right

Marion Vagg posted a trio of oh-so-elegant cards featuring our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-508 Gladsome.
Click HERE for the full reveal.

Springtime comes to life on this one layer design by Mayline Jung. And how lucky are we? She recorded her process, too! Click HERE for the full reveal and VIDEO.

Cuteness, personalization, and easy to create all in one card? Yes, please! Don’t miss this sweet design by Patti Kehl.
Click HERE for the full reveal.

Therese Schaffer makes a bold (and gorgeous!) statement with just one bright and happy flower. Click HERE for the full reveal.

And Vanessa Menhorn’s coloring technique of colored pencils on dark cardstock couldn’t be prettier. Click HERE for the full reveal.

Oh, and one more thing… TGIF!

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

Over the Hill

May 18, 2017

This week we are thrilled to spotlight clean and simple card-making with the talented Francine Vuillème. Francine’s cards feature uncluttered style, one main focal point, white space, and minimal layers. And they are also filled with inspiration and certainly a lot of charm!

This adorable pair from our transparent set, 30-407 Cat Days, are happily heading over the hill together on Francine’s next card. An inked circle, simply cut in half, makes for a charming hill which grounds Francine’s critter scene and gives it a special look.

For Francine’s instructions for this card, please visit her blog HERE.

And if you are looking for even more clean and simple inspiration featuring Penny Black products, don’t forget to check out our SIMPLICITY site! New clean and simple designs are posted every Tuesday and Thursday.

Special thanks to Francine for this week of SIMPLICITY and inspiration. And never fear, the clean and simple inspiration continues tomorrow… see you then!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-407 Cat Days
30-358 Happy Snippets
30-283 Snippets

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Simply Awaken

May 17, 2017

This week we are thrilled to spotlight clean and simple card-making with the talented Francine Vuillème. Francine’s cards feature uncluttered style, one main focal point, white space, and minimal layers. And they are also filled with inspiration and certainly a lot of charm!

This clean and simple card layout by Francine could be used with so many of our floral stamps. Today she’s featured just one of the blooms from our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-507 Awaken. By isolating only one bloom, she gives the stamp a completely new look. What a great way to get even more from your stamps!

For Francine’s instructions for this card, please visit her blog HERE.

And if you are looking for even more clean and simple inspiration featuring Penny Black products, don’t forget to check out our SIMPLICITY site! New clean and simple designs are posted every Tuesday and Thursday.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-507 Awaken
30-283 Snippets

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Birthday Bees

May 16, 2017

This week we are thrilled to spotlight clean and simple card-making with the talented Francine Vuillème. Francine’s cards feature uncluttered style, one main focal point, white space, and minimal layers. And they are also filled with inspiration and certainly a lot of charm!

How fun is this sweet card by Francine? She’s used our Creative Die, 51-338 …Birthday, for her happy sentiment.

And where did those cute bees come from? The same place as the adorable pup— our transparent set, 30-414 Time to Celebrate. Francine simply cut apart the bees from the present so she could make it look as if they are holding up the birthday banner. Genius.

For Francine’s instructions for this card, please visit her blog HERE.

And if you are looking for even more clean and simple inspiration featuring Penny Black products, don’t forget to check out our SIMPLICITY site! New clean and simple designs are posted every Tuesday and Thursday.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

51-338 …Birthday
30-414 Time to Celebrate

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