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Runs with Scissors

January 21, 2017


“Honey, I’m home!” is what Mr. RWS calls out as he comes into the kitchen from the garage. It is a welcome sound knowing he is safely home. Today I am calling out, “Honey I’m home” to all of you. We have returned safely from our trip to Wisconsin. Cooper is also safely home after his amazing stay with Vicki, Dave and Deuce. Thank you, Cooper, for doing Runs with Scissors last week before you left town.

I had to double check the calendar this morning to make sure this is still January. After experiencing temperatures in the single digits in Wisconsin, we returned home to temperatures approaching 70. Mr. RWS is doing yard work and I struggle with how to dress for winter when we have almost summer temperatures.


This card is the result of a New Year’s resolution to be bold with color. I connected with my inner Jill Foster to make this card. The mice are from the Furry Hugs transparent set and go perfectly with the sentiment from the Forever and Always set. After making the two blended ink backgrounds for the layers, I opted to use designer paper from the Golden Moment paper pad for the base background. Thank you, Jill, for the inspiration.


I was tempted to use the Heart Drops die for every card this week, but I limited myself to just this one. I blended several shades of my Luxe inks on my cardstock before running it through my die cutting machine and attaching it to white cardstock. The Tree Hug die combined with sweet butterflies from the Flights of Fancy die set finishes the design. Have I mentioned how indispensable the Snippets transparent set of sentiments is? This could be a Valentine, Thinking of You or Encouragement card. I am loving the Follow Your Heart release because of its versatility.


Another New Year’s resolution is to be less predictable in my card making. So this time the stripes are going horizontally and the sentiment is at an angle. It is so easy to put together a lovely card with this gorgeous giant Hearts Butterfly. The world cannot have too many butterflies, I say. I have also resolved to use my sewing machine more for extra detail. I am learning much from studying Jill Foster’s work; details matter.

Ahhhh, January. Janus, in ancient Roman religion and myth, is the god of doors, representing all beginnings with an ability to see all things past and future. Our month of January is appropriately named after him. January is a good time to take stock of the year just completed while looking forward to the year ahead.

I had some significant January moments during my visit with family recently. Spending time with some of my kids, a daughter in law and two of my grandchildren as well as my brother and his wife was not only a chance to savor being with them, but also a time to do the Janus thing – looking back on the times we spent together over the years.

I have come to realize, at my age, that my past years certainly outnumber my future years. I treasure the memories of raising my kids, seeing them reach adulthood, going on to further education and their careers. There were graduations, weddings, promotions, new babies, new homes and other achievements to celebrate.

I couldn’t help remembering how my beloved Polish grandmother, Busia, would sit on the sidelines of the large family gatherings we had when I was a child. The noise would prompt her to remove her hearing aids and that, along with her limited English, made her more observer than participant. I believe she was having those January moments also.

While physically I was participating in our family’s game playing, eating and talking during our visit, mentally and emotionally I was on the sidelines of the group, remembering how things used to be; how we all used to look; and how I used to be the host, not the guest.

I am wise enough to know that it is fine to visit the past, but one must not stay there. What counts is now. Share your feelings, give those hugs, and say those words of praise and encouragement.

Those January moments for me included looking to the future. Nowhere is the future more visible than in the sweet grandchildren, Evelyn and Jack.

I am certain I am not the only grandmother who wonders what those precious children will be and do when they are grown. If I were to guess based on what they enjoy now, I would predict Evelyn will be a strong leader, possibly a star of stage and screen. Hopefully she will find a career that encourages one hand on your hip while pointing with the other hand and giving instructions. Her love of fashion will assure she is always dressed for success.

Jack being more laid back and practical, until he begins a career in law will continue his interest in all things cleaning related. He has his own Shark hand vacuum, green broom and dustpan, regular vacuum and an assortment of “cleaning products” in their own carrier. Between cleaning projects, he will continue his love of pushing a grocery cart and filling it with all things interesting, especially things colored green and his treasured “R is for Rhino” puzzle piece .

Evelyn and Jack have a great start in preparing for their future. Besides their many educational toys, their parents provide many learning opportunities. Their child care center provides computer classes as well as athletic opportunities at the tender ages of

3 ½ and two. Both Evelyn and Jack have their own IPads and are fully independent in using them.

My life span stretches from manual typewriters to computers; seven inch TV screens to 60 inch; wringer washers to automatic; reheating dinners on the stove to the miracle of microwaves. My children’s first video game was Atari’s Pong; the calculator was an expensive modern wonder; and a minivan was a new car style, replacing their dreaded “woody wagon”.

When I contemplate my grandchildren’s future, I can’t even imagine what it will include. Certainly there will be driverless automobiles; possibly speech driven computing; and maybe the end of brick and mortar shopping centers.

There is a belief that Charles Duelle, the Commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office back in 1899, said that everything that could be invented already was. Well, my research revealed that was part of a joke published in a comedy magazine and what he actually said was, “In my opinion, all previous advances in the various lines of invention will appear totally insignificant when compared with those which the present century will witness. I almost wish that I might live my life over again to see the wonders which are at the threshold.” I wholeheartedly agree, Mr. Duelle, and I am happy my grandchildren will benefit from all the new wonders the world is preparing for them.


Grandma said, “Say ‘cheese’”, and they did! Had to catch these two as they ran circles through their conveniently arranged “race track” home! For some reason Evelyn included the colorful hangers in their playtime, despite several million dollars’ (estimated) worth of awesome toys.


Perhaps one day I will actually color this Red Blush image red. But for today, I have used the embossed resist technique to highlight the detail of the rose. I used soft pastels, suitable for making a sympathy card. The Flower Tag diecut and the Snippets sentiment are a perfect pair. It’s been a long time since I made a shape card and I like the effect. One more point scored for variety.


Red, white and a touch of black: be still my heart. I used the Tree Heart stamp upside down and right side up to help create a background, adding the clouds from the With Affection set to create a scene. Who can resist red gingham bunnies with fluffy tails and heart balloons? I don’t think I will ever put away the Bunny Love dies. Could they be my new Snowy?


The Follow Your Heart release is following my heart into spring. How irresistible is this birdies and bird house image from the With Affection transparent set? I did some masking, colored with Copics and added some flowers using the Flower Bunch die set. As I mentioned above: details matter. I am enjoying the primary colors and clean graphics of this card. Wouldn’t this work well for an anniversary?


Just before we left to take Cooper to his “home away from home”, I received an email from Vicki reminding me to pack a sweater for Cooper as the temperatures were predicted to fall into the thirties. Sweater? Was I supposed to be putting a sweater on Cooper when it got cold? Mr. RWS and I quickly ventured to the nearby “sells everything” store and I ran in to purchase a doggie sweater. Remembering how Cooper hated the Christmas collar I wasn’t too hopeful. As you can see from the photo, Cooper happily wore his new sweater and looked awesome in blue. Seriously, he would do anything to please Vicki!

And so again it is time to put the scissors away, clean up the spattered ink and glue, and restore order to the stamps and dies.   Because the Penny Black studio is always clean and tidy when I arrive, I do my best to leave it that way when I leave. Perhaps you have been having some January moments of your own. Thank you for letting me share so much of my looking backward, and sometimes forward, with all of you.

I am on my way to visit the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to catch up on what’s happened since I’ve been gone. Thanks for stopping by and saying nice things. I shared last week’s comments with Cooper that suggested he write more blog posts. He sends a great big tail wag to all of you but he is not certain he wants to commit to such things as editing and deadlines. I’m concerned if Cooper frees up my time by taking over the blog posts, I will have too much time for housework.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies


Card No. 1: 30-401 Forever and Always, 30-402 Furry Hugs, 51-053 A Pocketful, 80-015 Golden Moments

Card No. 2: 51-295 Tree Hug, 51-132 Flights of Fancy, 51-298 Heart Drops, 30-283 Snippets

Card No. 3: 51-297 Hearts Butterfly, 51-296 Love

Card No. 4: 30-283 Snippets, 40-506 Red Blush, 51-124 Flower Tags

Card No. 5: 30-392 With Affection, 40-505 True Heart, 51-289 Bunny Love

Card No. 6: 30-392 With Affection, 51-199 Flower Bunch

Fun Friday with Links we Love

January 20, 2017


We’re back this Friday with links and eye candy featuring the work of more of our talented Simplicity Sisters: Vanessa Menhorn, Mayline Jung, Patti Kehl, Isha Gupta, and Francine Vuilléme! Just click on the links below for supply lists, Penny Black product details, and step-by-step instructions.


Details for card above available HERE.


Details for card above available HERE.


Details for card above available HERE.


Details for card above available HERE.


Details for card above available HERE.

And if you’re loving the clean and simple style featured today, don’t forget to check special our clean and simple site, Simplicity At Its Best, every Tuesday and Thursday for fresh, NEW card ideas.


One more thing… TGIF!


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



January 19, 2017

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


And now scroll down for more inspiration with Heather.


Love is certainly in the air this week as Heather Telford features the stamps and dies from our newest collection, Follow Your Heart!


Even though our Slapstick/Cling stamp is called 40-506 RED Blush


…it certainly looks gorgeous in GOLD!


And by incorporating our background stamp, 40-470 Script, Heather has also given this card a romantic and vintage style.



Download complete supplies and instructions HERE.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-506 Red Blush
30-401 Forever & Always
40-470 Script


Subtle Simplicity

January 18, 2017

Love is certainly in the air this week as Heather Telford features the stamps and dies from our newest collection, Follow Your Heart!


Today’s card design by Heather is all about subtle simplicity. She’s white heat embossed our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-503 Sweetheart, on her main focal point panel.



She accentuated the flowers within the heart by darkening their color. Such a sweet touch!


And you can’t forget that special sentiment… great for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or even a “just because” card for your special someone. (30-401 Forever & Always)



Download complete supplies and instructions HERE.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-503 Sweetheart
30-401 Forever & Always


Happy Couple

January 17, 2017

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


And now scroll down for more heart-filled inspiration!


Love is certainly in the air this week as Heather Telford features the stamps and dies from our newest collection, Follow Your Heart!


The happy couple from our miniature 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-393 A Rose, makes us smile each time we see their love-filled embrace.


And when you combine this pair with Heather’s beautiful watercolor style, the results are LOVEly!


To finish off her card design, Heather added her watercolor panel to a background created by repeatedly stamping her sentiment (from 30-392 With Affection) to create an all over design.



Download complete supplies and instructions HERE.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-393 A Rose
30-392 With Affection
30-207 From the Heart


Follow Your Heart with Heather

January 16, 2017

Love is certainly in the air this week as Heather Telford features the stamps and dies from our newest collection, Follow Your Heart!



Heather’s smooth watercolor blending is the perfect backdrop for our Creative Die, 51-291 Butterfly Heart Pop Out.


This unique die allows you to gently pop up the butterfly wings for easy fluttering dimension!


Download complete supplies and instructions HERE.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

51-291 Butterfly Heart Pop Out


alexandra’s Sunday scrapbooking – Use Your Stash

January 15, 2017
Hello dear Friends! Welcome to another edition of scrapbooking with Penny Black inc. products. Today’s idea is all about using your stash! I have a series of cards made with: Harmonious #51-131Sentiment Collection #30-350;Gentle Whisper #80-008. I hope you’ll join me over @art scrap & more. Thank You!