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alexandra’s Sunday scrapbooking – Poinsettia Postcards

October 21, 2017
Hello dear Friends! Welcome to another edition of scrapbooking with Penny Black inc. products. For today’s cards, I’m combining two things I really like: postcards and watercolor. I’ve used: Red DelightSeason’s Gifts Antique Frame. I hope you’ll join me over @ art scrap & more. Thank you!



Runs with Scissors

October 21, 2017

Oh, my goodness! It looks like October is starting to pack her bags and I am worried. I think she has forgotten to do her autumn adjustments in the southern part of our country. The hum of air conditioners still fills the air here and there is nary a naked tree. Jack Frost and his paint brush are nowhere to be found. Poor November may have to do Ms. October’s work when she arrives.

Fortunately, the autumn sun is shining brightly through the Penny Black studio windows and the Peaceful Winter release provided much inspiration for this week’s cards. The Be Merry release still inspires me and is represented here, too.

I felt badly that there was no one nearby when I first ran the Christmas Elegance die through my die cutting machine. I wanted to turn to someone and say, “Oh, look!” I wasn’t sure how that die worked until I saw it firsthand. This is an awesome die to use for making multiples. I’ve added a few gems and of course my die cut sentiment from the World of Wishes die set, but the card is still flat enough to be sent in the mail. I’ve used a red and gold color scheme, but green and gold was lovely, too, as were silver and navy. I like the finished look that the Cut Out Border provides.

Only after I had colored the Feathers and Twigs image and stamped the sentiment where I did, did I notice that the samples show the bird oriented sideways, not up and down! I guess I thought he was looking up from his stash of nesting twigs. I claim artistic license. No matter which way you turn this image, it is versatile enough to use all year around.

The Be Merry release is the source for these Snowflake Trees and the mouse from the To All … transparent set. I am always delighted when I see Jill Foster combine stamps and dies to make scenes. You never know when or where a cute mouse or kitty or puppy is going to show up. And so I placed the little mouse and his present near the Christmas trees.


Gratitude 5

Pioneer Women: My gratitude this week is for something I never had to be: a pioneer woman. I am grateful the new world had been discovered and explored long before I was born.

This is what I mean. A sod hut in the middle of a Kansas prairie was the reward for these women after enduring the long and miserable trek West in a covered wagon. These ladies look traumatized, and with good reason. They also seem shocked to find themselves dressed in their finery after months of bone jarring travel across the country. It is a tribute to the human spirit, especially the female spirit, that they still cared enough to put on their crinolines and long dresses. Most likely something special is happening: maybe a wedding? I wonder where there was room in a covered wagon for such bulky dresses?

These pioneer women are probably living in a space smaller than my living room with at least one other adult, several children and the family livestock. The only “double oven” they own is the combination of their wood burning stove and the large fireplace. Running water meant someone had to run to the creek with a bucket to bring water home. Refrigeration was available only in winter when the howling winds brought snow. There was only light after sundown if these intrepid women had made enough candles.

I have never had to live without running hot water and indoor plumbing. As a married woman, I’ve always had at least two bathrooms in my home while these poor pioneers’ idea of luxury was an outhouse with two seats.

No school bus stopped in front of this hut to take the children to school and out of Mom’s hair for the day. Teaching the children was most likely one more thing on a pioneer mom’s “To Do” list. That is, if there was time left after boiling water for laundry; sewing the family clothing; quilting the family bedding; and preparing the wild game for meals. No one shortened the list of things to do just because you might be pregnant in addition to caring for a toddler or two. Most likely the only help you had during childbirth was your husband. That probably worked as long as delivering a baby wasn’t too different from delivering a calf or foal.

Imagine being confined to such a small space for a long prairie winter with other humans who couldn’t bathe for an entire season. The family pediatrician’s office was not on speed dial and the only medications available were the herbs you collected and managed to stash in a corner of the wagon.

How do you deal with the unbearable sadness of burying your babies somewhere along the trail? Time for grieving was a luxury not available to pioneer women. There were living mouths to feed, both human and animal. Wagon trains did not pause for funerals or medical emergencies.

I am sure the phrase “Women’s work is never done” originated somewhere along a wagon trail to describe the pioneer women’s never ending obligations after a long day of travel. Day after day it was a seemingly never ending cycle of: awake at sunup, feed the family or the entire group; round up the livestock; calm the cranky children; encourage the discouraged; rise above your fear; and keep on keeping on.

Imagine how it felt when after months of hardship and anticipation of a better life for your family, your husband one day announces, “Here we are” and you are staring at open prairie. It is acres and acres of nothing as far as your eyes can see. If you were really blessed, there would be a creek or river nearby for laundry and bathing.

The real work began when the wagon finally stopped. The only building material was the grass that surrounded you, and so you built your home with grass and mud. Land had to be cleared for farming; game had to be hunted and stored for the winter; and children had to be added, preferably sons, in order to have future help.

Dear Reader, I would not have survived. First of all, the other families in the wagon train would have held secret meetings concerning “what to do about that Judith. She is always whining and complaining. The meals she cooks for the group are pretty much inedible; she is always trying to get out of her chores; she is useless with a rifle; and without her daily shower her hair is so scary she makes the babies cry.” In my defense, about the hair: mousse hadn’t been invented yet.

Somewhere along that trail, the group would have found a way to send me back East. I’m sure I wouldn’t have minded … I preferred to wait until the railroad was built anyway.

I am grateful that I live in the age I do. Bless electricity, plumbing, retail shopping, doctors’ offices, schools, appliances and grocery stores. My idea of roughing it is discovering my fast food restaurant of choice is closed on Sundays.

Thank you, Pioneer Women, for blazing the trail.

Thank you notes are an after holiday necessity and this sweet flower and vase image from the Berries Delight transparent set is a perfect size for thank you notes. I watercolored this image and then mounted it using various sizes of mats from the Antique Frame die set. This frame die set adds so much to any card design.

Maybe I was a bit ambitious, using four different die sets for this card. But the Polar Bears needed the Evergreen Tree and there was enough room for the Snowflakes and a sentiment from the Exultations die set. Seriously, the snowflakes, I stacked two of them here, are the most beautiful I’ve seen in snowflake dies. There is an assortment of three.

After further review, this scene, Winter’s Forest, could have been a Thanksgiving image. But I labeled it Winter Cheer using the Festive Snippets transparent set. I colored the trees first, using my MISTI stamp positioner, by adding layers of color with Tombow markers and Distress inks. I then stamped the entire image using VersaMark and heat embossed with clear. Then I used Distress inks and my ink blending tool to add the colored sky. Those two little bunnies just showed up when I was done.

This is Cooper enjoying time on the patio last October when the weather was more appropriate, as in cooler. As you can see, the grass is dormant which is more normal for October than the lush green grass we have this year. Cooper prefers cooler weather, so he isn’t hanging out on the patio very much this October.

Once again, Dear Reader, my battery operated clock that I can see because the electric lights are on in the studio, indicates my time for running with scissors is done. At my age, I forget many things, but somehow I always remember to stow my scissors and clean up my messes.

I hope you find stamps and dies in the Be Merry and Peaceful Winter releases that inspire you and make your holiday card making fun. Please share your work in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. It’s my next stop. Oh, before I forget, I am grateful for the lovely comments you leave.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 51-067 World of Wishes, 51-353 Cut Out Border, 51-391 Christmas Elegance

Card No. 2: 30-436 Sweetest Moments, 40-571 Feathers and Twigs, 51-397 Antique Frame

Card No. 3: 30-445 To All…, 51-365 Jingle Bells, 51-369 Snowflake Tree

Card No. 4: 30-449 Berries Delight, 80-013 Holiday Trimmings

Card No. 5: 51-060 Exultations, 51-383 Snowflakes, 51-384 Evergreen Tree, 51-393 Polar Bears

Card No. 6: 30-387 Festive Snippets, 40-581 Winter’s Forest, 51-069 Together, 51-161 Into the Woods


Penny and Penny: Bible Journaling

October 20, 2017

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.

Penny’s beautiful holiday themed Bible journaling features black and white stamping with a pop of color. She’s combined our Slapstick/Cling stamps, 40-556 Snowy Perch and 40-576 Bell & Berries.

The verbiage on Penny’s page is from our transparent set, 30-438 Peace & Love. We love the way she has positioned it along the margin.

A hand drawn blue border ties the entire design together—a great touch when you are working in your Bible or on a card.

Winners!! The fun continues today as we announce the winners of our recent Peaceful Winter GIVEAWAY!

BLOG WINNER: bcparkison
FACEBOOK WINNER: Susanne Melvin Bridges

Winners, please email us your $25 worth of selections to, with the subject line “Attn Susan: Peaceful Winter Giveaway Winner.” Don’t forget to also include your shipping information. 

One more thing… TGIF!

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

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-556 Snowy Perch
40-576 Bell & Berries
30-438 Peace & Love

VIDEO: One Layer Winter Watercolor

October 19, 2017

Thank you for joining us here on our blog. Scroll down for card ideas, supplies, and instructions with our designers and crafty friends. This week Jill Foster brings us card ideas and fun PB&J videos. You can also view our two newest collections by clicking the following links: Peaceful Winter and Be Merry.

Today Jill is combining her love of color with our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-571 Feather’s & Twigs.

And she’s recorded her process… lucky us!

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-571 Feathers & Twigs
30-453 Love & Peace
30-446 North Pole


VIDEO: One Layer Winter Watercolor

October 18, 2017

Thank you for joining us here on our blog. Scroll down for card ideas, supplies, and instructions with our designers and crafty friends. This week Jill Foster brings us card ideas and fun PB&J videos. You can also view our two newest collections by clicking the following links: Peaceful Winter and Be Merry.

Today Jill will show you how to make our transparent set, 30-450 Peaceful Winter, your own; customizing the stamped scenes with unique mountains, colors, and snowy skies.

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-450 Peaceful Winter
30-257 Joy Filled
30-380 Nature’s Silhouettes


VIDEO: Colorful Scenic Stamping

October 17, 2017

Thank you for joining us here on our blog. Scroll down for card ideas, supplies, and instructions with our designers and crafty friends. This week Jill Foster brings us card ideas and fun PB&J videos. You can also view our two newest collections by clicking the following links: Peaceful Winter and Be Merry.

Who knew winter could be so colorful?

Today Jill is sharing not one, but four cards, each featuring our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-567 Restful.

Her technique is simple and fun, just watch and see.

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

Just by changing the color scheme, Jill has given one stamp a variety of looks.

Do you have a favorite?

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

40-567 Restful


Sharing a Peaceful Winter with Jill

October 16, 2017

Over the next several weeks our designers and crafty friends will be joining us to share their winter and holiday creations featuring our two newest collections Peaceful Winter and Be Merry. So who will be decking the halls with us this week?

Jill Foster

Here’s a peek at the new stamps that have been getting inky on Jill’s art table: 40-567 Restful, 30-450 Peaceful Winter, 30-453 Love & Peace, 40-571 Feathers & Twigs.

What has she made? Today we will share with you a sneak peek of what’s to come this week. And we hope you’re in the mood for some PB&J, that is, PB&J VIDEOS

So grab YOUR stamps and dies and get ready to join Jill tomorrow for some wintery video delights!