Skip to content

Fun Friday with a Fabulous Friend

July 21, 2017

This Friday just got EXTRA fun as we welcome our FABULOUS friend, Milagros Rivera, here on our blog.

Milagros has transformed our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-549 Isabelle, giving her three ah-mazing makeovers!

By incorporating other stamps (40-543 First Blush, 30-433 Be…, 30-418 Stitched Flowers) along with her artistic and personal style, Milagros demonstrates the versatility and fun that can be had with our newest portrait stamps.

And what’s better than a trio of beautiful inspiration?
Being able to watch Milagros’ creations come to life…

Watch directly on YouTube here.

Thanks so much to Milagros from joining us here today!

One more thing… TGIF!

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

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-549 Isabelle
40-543 First Blush
30-418 Stitched Flowers
30-433 Be…
40-465 Glee

Fun, Fresh Colors for Christmas

July 20, 2017

Throughout the month of July, we’ve invited some fabulous guest designers to visit here on our blog. They are sure to inspire us all to get a jumpstart on our Christmas creations. Join us over the next three weeks as these wonderful guests feature our classic Christmas stamps and dies. And just when your Christmas crafting mojo is kicking in, we will be here in August to share with you all of our NEW Christmas products!

Before we share Heather Hoffman’s next amazing pair of cards, we want to take a moment to extend a BIG thanks to Heather for all of the fabulous and festive inspiration this week!

And without further ado, check out this delicate and snowy design. The soft pink is so peaceful.

Notes from Heather: This die is stunning! I didn’t want to cover it up too much, so a sentiment white embossed on vellum is the perfect way to add a sentiment but still allow that beautiful die to show through. And the ribbon threaded through the holes at the top is another great way to attach vellum without adhesive showing

And how fun is this card featuring our transparent set, 30-322 Joy to All?!

Notes from Heather: Sometimes simple is best – and using a fun color combo is a great way to still make a card unique and fun without a lot of fuss!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card One: 51-250 No Two Are Alike, 30-383 Holy Night

Card Two: 30-322 Joy to All


A beautiful bear and a festive fox…

July 19, 2017

Throughout the month of July, we’ve invited some fabulous guest designers to visit here on our blog. They are sure to inspire us all to get a jumpstart on our Christmas creations. Join us over the next three weeks as these wonderful guests feature our classic Christmas stamps and dies. And just when your Christmas crafting mojo is kicking in, we will be here in August to share with you all of our NEW Christmas products!

Our guest designer, Heather Hoffman, is back today. Yay! Let’s get started with this beary special card.

Notes from Heather: I love to add a shadow under die cut images – such a little touch, but adds so much more realism to the card. Warm Gray Copics are my favorite for this – and as you can see, they work on kraft as well as white cardstock.

And the furry fun doesn’t end there. Heather’s next card is pure holiday happiness.

Notes from Heather: This image (30-388 Snow Much Fun) is SOOO incredibly darling! Watercolors, plaid, and some texture with jute twine – what else do you need?

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card One: 51-173 In the Winter, 30-384 Rejoice with Joy, 30-378 Cuddly Joy, 51-282 Cuddly Winter

Card Two: 30-388 Snow Much Fun, 30-387 Festive Snippets


Berries and Woodland Wonders

July 18, 2017

Throughout the month of July, we’ve invited some fabulous guest designers to visit here on our blog. They are sure to inspire us all to get a jumpstart on our Christmas creations. Join us over the next three weeks as these wonderful guests feature our classic Christmas stamps and dies. And just when your Christmas crafting mojo is kicking in, we will be here in August to share with you all of our NEW Christmas products!

So what does our guest designer, Heather Hoffman, have for us today? Let’s start with this pair of modern, clean and simple creations. We love the unique look she’s given our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-492 Berry Kissed.

Notes from Heather: I wanted to stretch this beautiful stamp set to a slightly different use than most of the samples I had seen. I love the simple elegance of it stamped in black – it really lets the intricate details show!

Notes from Heather: I also thought it was fun to get two cards for nearly the same effort as one, by stamping it a second time without re-inking for a softer effect that allowed me to stamp the sentiment directly over the top.

Next, Heather highlights our Creative Die set, 51-265 Woodland Scene. Her card design captures the majesty of winter in a style that can easily be mass produced.

Notes from Heather: This die cut set is SO fun and intricate! It really makes cards easy – it stands so well on it’s own with not much else needed but a simple sentiment!

And speaking of clean and simple Christmas cards…

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card One: 40-492 Berry Kissed, 30-381 Festive Cheer, 30-387 Festive Snippets

Card Two: 51-265 Woodland Scene, 30-383 Holy Night


Welcome Heather Hoffman!

July 17, 2017

Throughout the month of July, we’ve invited some fabulous guest designers to visit here on our blog. They are sure to inspire us all to get a jumpstart on our Christmas creations. Join us over the next three weeks as these wonderful guests feature our classic Christmas stamps and dies. And just when your Christmas crafting mojo is kicking in, we will be here in August to share with you all of our NEW Christmas products!

This week we’re thrilled to be jingling all the way with the amazing Heather Hoffman!

Hello – my name is Heather Hoffman and I blog at Houses Built of Cards. I am a wife to my hardworking husband Michael, mother to two BEAUTIFUL daughters that I also homeschool, and am blessed with lots of family and friends that I love and adore. I absolutely love playing with ink, paper, and stamps – and all the other things that go along with that! The crafty world is such a wonderful community of people, and I am so thrilled to be able to do what I do every single day. I had great fun playing with Penny Black stamps and dies for this week – my poor family may have gotten tired of me singing Christmas songs in June, but I couldn’t help it! I love trying to find creative ways to use stamps and dies – and hope some of my ideas inspire you this week! Thanks Penny Black for inviting me to guest design this week!

Heather begins our week with holiday love in the shape of our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-482 Heart Wreath. Her unique color choice of rich, royal purple has us swooning

Notes from Heather: This card uses one of my favorite techniques – double embossing. Basically you stamp an image, then a sentiment over the top in a black pigment ink, then sprinkle embossing powder over the entire thing. When you apply distress ink (or watercolors) you end up with a layered and embossed image.

And speaking of unique colors and designs… Heather has for us a second card! Her starlit sky looks beautiful above our Creative Die, 51-169 Metropolitan.

Notes from Heather: Machine stitching is a great way to attach vellum – no need to worry about adhesive showing!

Well, Heather has certainly made Monday beautiful, fun, and inspirational. We can’t wait to see what she has for us tomorrow.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card One: 40-482 Heart Wreath, 30-381 Festive Cheer, 40-489 Elaborate

Card Two: 51-169 Metropolitan, 30-383 Holy Night


alexandra’s Sunday scrapbooking – Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité

July 15, 2017
Hello dear Friends! Welcome to another edition of scrapbooking with Penny Black inc. products. This year, Bastille Day is a little bit different. We celebrate the Franco-American friendship and that’s wonderful but we also remember the innocents victims of Nice. When I saw Penny Black inc’s Angelette #40-550, I was drawn by her beautiful melancholic face and knew she would translate my mood so perfectly… I hope you’ll join me over @ art scrap & more. Thank You!

Runs with Scissors

July 15, 2017

Hello, hello, hello! I am back from where I’ve been. Thank you to Cooper for letting everyone know I wouldn’t be here for a couple of Saturdays. He is such a good boy. I missed all of you and I missed being in the Penny Black studio.

And, you might ask, where have I been? I wish I could tell you I’ve been to some exotic vacation destination, but the boring truth is I have been home dealing (not too perfectly) with life.

More about all that later; for now, I am happy to share the results of finally making time to do what I love best: playing with Penny Black stamps and dies.

Magnolia Rhapsody is one of the brushstroke stamps from the Poetic release that I hadn’t worked with much. Because I mistakenly put plain cardstock in my MISTI instead of watercolor paper, I decided to try coloring directly onto the stamp with Copic markers, using a spritz of blending solution if necessary to remoisten the alcohol ink. Well, this is what happened. By only coloring very small spaces of the stamp at a time and immediately stamping onto the paper, there was no need to remoisten the Copic ink. At one point, the paper moved a bit, and I liked the result. I love when happy accidents turn into happy endings.

Here I have used two favorite die sets: Thank You Squares and Butterfly Trio, along with the “love” sentiment from the Heartfelt die set. The butterflies are a real deep and dusty purple which is showing up more brown in the photo. There is something about a group of three that pleases my eye.

The Dancing Daisies cling stamp has proven its versatility by its appearances in different colors, different arrangements, solo or in groups, alone or combined with other stamps. Here I’ve colored the stamp by directly applying Distress ink. I used bright yellow for the first layer and then overstamped with deeper shades. This is such a fun technique because you can not predict the result. Someone once said, “Just keep going until you like the result.” (That sounds like Jill Foster!)

Sibling Reunion

There was a time, before I retired, that I held down a responsible full-time job, kept up with the housework and laundry, made an evening meal every weekday, and kept us fed all weekend long, too. In other words, I was good at multi-tasking. For most of my working years, I had at least one child at home, and as many as five. I planted flowers every spring, helped with the raking of leaves that fell from the giant oak trees that filled our yard, and fulfilled my responsibility of power washing and staining the over sized and multi level deck every other year.

I hosted holiday dinners for up to twenty-five family members and the office white elephant Christmas party was always at our home. Mr. RWS was not resting on his laurels while I was buzzing about; he had his own set of chores that kept him busy.

So what does this have to do with anything?

I am easing my way into confessing that I needed a couple of weeks to focus on preparations for not quite three days of out of town company; namely, my brothers and their wives. What I used to do in addition to a full time job now requires my full attention for weeks.

No, there are not a dozen or more brothers! Just two and their lovely wives. Now that I am retired, I needed weeks, not days, to prepare for four out of town visitors, only two of whom were staying at our house. My sister lives nearby and hosted the other couple in her spare bedroom. My sister and I had agreed that during their stay she would make her world famous and much loved Chicken Kiev for one dinner. I would be responsible for one evening meal and two breakfasts for all of us. Well, then there was the snacking and beverages. The last night of their visit, we would go out to dinner.

However, there was the cleaning, the shopping, the menu planning and general freshening and tidying that needed doing here at the RWS household. I did go a bit overboard by adding painting projects to the list.

It all started out with a baseboard in the hallway that had gotten scruffed up by a carpet shampooer. Well, that looked so nice and the color was so perfect, I then scrubbed all the kitchen cabinets and painted over the worn spots and nicks, rejoicing in the miracle of perfectly matching paint.

The driveway needed power washing; the guest room needed a fresh coat of paint; the yard needed some flowers; the garage needed purging; meals needed to be cooked ahead. And the one remaining appliance that had not been replaced this year quit working – the extra refrigerator in the garage. So there was that disaster to clean up after and a new fridge to shop for.

I was running with a vacuum, paint brush, trowel, mop and broom and scrub bucket. And the grocery shopping!! I blessed at least three grocery stores with at least six different trips to stock up on provisions for their three day stay. At one point I had to stop, slow down and realize that I was being a bit ridiculous. Most of my married life I prepared meals for seven every day, several times a day. Why was I in such a panic over once again cooking for seven?

This visit was very important to me and I have to assume to my brothers and their wives who drove twelve hours from Wisconsin to spend time with my sister and me. Who knew when we would all be together again? I wanted everything to be perfect.

And it was. If you don’t count the very hard cooked eggs I served for one breakfast in spite of carefully asking everyone how they would like their eggs cooked. And how did I know my brothers don’t care for cheesecake and prefer a dish of ice cream for dessert?

My brothers are fun and funny, and like the rest of our family, loud. And when they are together the noise and laughter and silliness escalates until the dog hides under the bed and Mr. RWS wishes he could follow. Their wives are saints to put up with all of us when we are together. The games of dominoes and dice and cards were just a means to keep us sitting around the dining room table, munching and sipping and sharing stories and memories.

My brothers skipped one of the breakfasts and chose instead to head to a favorite Southern hamburger shop where burgers are skimpy on meat but you can have a whole bunch of them for $5.00. On their way home they stopped at a store to pick up some candy favorites, just in case the food ran out at my house. When they emptied the contents of their bag onto the table, I was amazed to see that their favorites were my favorites, too. Can the love of Good and Plenty’s, Gummy Bears and Charleston Chews be genetic? We are a family of snackers, a trait handed down from our mother.

The time flew by. Mike and Deb along with Bob and Charlene left our house early in the morning of the fourth of July, to go back to their homes and jobs and responsibilities. Once again, I stood in my very quiet house and wiped the tears and swallowed the lump in my throat. How I hate good-byes! The only way to deal with the sadness is to keep busy, and that I did as I checked the clock all day, calculating where they were at that time and how much longer before their twelve hour trip would be done.

The email that arrived late that evening announcing their safe arrival home was most welcome. Our sibling reunion was officially a memory.

And then it was time for some “cute”: as in a hedgie on a flower, on a doily, on a background made with Distress oxide inks. I think the tiny butterfly adds the Smile factor. The hedgie is from the Just for You mini set and was cut out using the matching Critters die set. The doily is from the Doily Trio die set. So fun being spoiled with matching stamps and dies.

Speaking of cute and not played with enough, these Fancy Cats are so fun! I added the Polaroid die cut to give them a place to hang out.   I added the little white dots to set these cats apart from all the other brown cats out there.

And here is sweet Charlotte. She is probably my favorite of the “ladies” in the Poetic release. This time I have colored her with Copic markers, added some wings from the Butterfly Trio cling stamp set, and blessed her with curly eyelashes. Her dress is paper pieced and then stamped and embossed with flowers from the Flower Medley stamp set. That embossed background paper has been part of my hoard stash for at least fifteen years. Finally, a project worthy of such pretty paper.

We love Cooper. We consider him an important part of our little family. However, I have never dressed him in human type clothes (except for the sweater he wore at Vicki and Dave’s house, that one time). However, when I was shopping for July 4th decorations for the house and yard, this bandana was among the options.   Wearing it didn’t seem to bother him and we loved the look!

Now here we are, so close to the end of this blog post that we might fall off if we are not careful. My newly sharpened scissors are stowed, my mess is put away, and I’ve left Ms. Charlotte behind to become part of the art collection at Penny Black. Speaking of collections, please take time to visit the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to see what’s been posted there. We all love sharing our art and reading kind comments.

My plan is to be back next Saturday; that is, if the build-it-yourself storage cabinet project that Mr. RWS and I are working on in the hot garage is completed by then (and we are still married). It follows naturally that all the appliances have been replaced recently so it is now the turn of “things that do not plug in” to start collapsing, literally. At least it happened the day after the company left. Sigh.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-406 All Great Things, 40-535 Magnolia Rhapsody

Card No. 2: 51-306 Butterfly Trio, 51-093 Heartfelt, 51-246 Thank You Squares

Card No. 3: 30-338 Special Thoughts, 40-546 Dancing Daisies

Card No. 4: 30-424 Just for You, 51-038 Hooray, 51-132 Flights of Fancy, 51-227 Doily Trio, 51-359 Critters

Card No. 5: 30-358 Happy Snippets, 51-037 Polaroid, 51-307 Fancy Cat, 80-016 Summertime

Card No. 5: 30-421 Flower Medley, 40-473 Butterfly Trio, 40-551 Charlotte