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Monochromatic and Manly

May 25, 2016

With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about masculine cards. Even if you aren’t making a card for dad, these stamps, dies, and card ideas are great for any special man in your life—grandpa, uncle, brother, friend… well you get the idea! Just change the sentiments and you will have birthday card ideas, too.


Our Slapstick/Cling stamps, 40-446 Shade Canopy and 40-246 Skyline, are perfect for a manly card.


Micheline “Mimi” combined them to create a vintage-style design. The monochromatic color scheme is perfect for a manly card.


Want to add dad right into that stamped scene? Just grab our transparent set, 30-260 On the Town. Not just for the holidays, the sillouette images from this set can be used any time of year.



Download complete supplies and instructions HERE

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Set Sail

May 24, 2016

With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about masculine cards. Even if you aren’t making a card for dad, these stamps, dies, and card ideas are great for any special man in your life—grandpa, uncle, brother, friend… well you get the idea! Just change the sentiments and you will have birthday card ideas, too.


Even if you aren’t creating something specifically for Father’s Day, Heather’s card today demonstrates the versatility of Creative Dies inspired by nature. To create her scene, Heather has used our Creative Dies 51-225 Out to Sea and 51-226 Serenity.



Heather first colored her paper with Brushos and then die cut each piece to assemble this sunny, sailboat design. (Be sure to check out the supplies and instructions below for more information on her coloring techniques.)


Download complete supplies and instructions HERE

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Dad’s Garden

May 23, 2016

With Father’s Day just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about masculine cards. Even if you aren’t making a card for dad, these stamps, dies, and card ideas are great for any special man in your life—grandpa, uncle, brother, friend… well you get the idea! Just change the sentiments and you will have birthday card ideas, too.


Do all masculine cards need to be dark colors and manly images? No! Peet’s card is personalized for her dad that loves his garden. She’s used our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-439 Good Neighbors.



Peet stamped her design on watercolor paper and painted it with watercolor pencils. The dimension is beautiful. And her dad will surely LOVE this garden-themed creation.


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alexandra’s Sunday scrapbooking – Pop It Up!

May 22, 2016
Hello dear Friends! Welcome to another edition of scrapbooking with Penny Black inc. products. Today, I’d like to share a tutorial to create a pop up card using stamps: Saying a Latte #40-456Words of Kindness #30-353Treasured Sentiments #30-356, and Creative Dies: Tagged #51-007. I hope you’ll join me at art scrap & more!

Runs with Scissors… and Omelet

May 21, 2016


Oh, my word! I have to stop to catch my breath. Running with Scissors can be pretty strenuous exercise. But I wouldn’t change a thing since I always end up at the Penny Black blog to play with the newest stamps and dies. I have been making cards as fast as I am able, but still haven’t used everything in the A Little Bit of Sunshine release. So, let’s take care of some of that right now.


What better way to begin than with a “hello” card. This gorgeous Scroll Hello die fills most of a card front and is adaptable to feminine or masculine cards. I’ve stacked three of the diecuts to add dimension but if you need an impressive card in a hurry, one diecut will do just fine. My background is once again, Luxe inks applied with a blending tool.


One of my friends asked me why I don’t make more masculine cards. Well, I have no more excuses now that the Out to Sea die is part of the A Little Bit of Sunshine release. I created the background by blending Distress inks on white cardstock and then cut it to fit the diecut. I stacked two diecuts again for dimension. No need to limit the background to blues; picture sunrise and sunset, too.


Did someone say masculine? The Swirl Squares die set is another set that adapts well to masculine. Here I was thinking anniversary, but with a different color scheme, this could make an elegant wedding card. Sometimes a girl just wants to go geometric!

Cooper’s Story

Here on the Penny Black blog I have been delighted to share photos and little snippets of information about the RWS family dog, Cooper. I love how you love him. I thought today I would share the story of how he came to be part of our family.

It all began because I was watching a program on the Animal Planet channel and a commercial popped up for I hadn’t heard of that site before and was curious to check it out.

Mr. RWS and I had years before enjoyed the love and companionship of a small 12 lb. white poodle that we rescued from an abusive family who lived to be 19 years old. When he died, we decided to wait six months before we adopted another dog. “Jobi” was much loved and in our eyes had been the perfect dog. He helped us raise the kids and we enjoyed his company after everyone left home.

Well the six months turned into years as we realized we weren’t home much during the day and we now had the freedom to come and go as we pleased with no obligation to hurry home to take care of the dog. And of course, we retired and took to the road in our RV. These seemed to be acceptable reasons to remain dogless.

Once we settled down and bought a home with the perfect fenced in backyard the idea of adopting a dog occurred to both of us, but there was no agreement about what kind. We knew we couldn’t replace Jobi, but another 12 lb. dog would be the right size, I thought. Mr. RWS had been talking about a Bichon Frisse for a while but I thought a little black poodle would be just right.

I was fascinated to explore the website. Imagine: so many dogs needing homes. The Internet is indeed, a marvelous thing! I entered our zip code, type of pet preferred, breed and then amazingly a photo appeared of what looked like a tiny Bichon Frisse. Mr. RWS was in the other room and I called him to the computer to see the photo. We decided we were ready to let a dog own us again and I proceeded to fill out the application, a first step to finding out more about this little dog named “Omelet”.

Omelet was in a rescue called Snooty Giggles located in Thompson Station, Tennessee which is about 30 miles south of Nashville and 100 miles from our home. Many of the rescues would not allow out of state adoptions, but Snooty Giggles did not mention that in their website, so I was hopeful.

Because I was ignorant about how rescue operations place their animals, I assumed the first people applying for a specific dog would be the ones to whom the dog was given. Once we had committed to Omelet in our hearts, we became anxious about others also applying and maybe having completed their application before we did.

Thankfully, that is not how homes are chosen for the rescued dogs. Snooty Giggles wants every adoption to be a successful adoption so applicants and dogs are very carefully matched. Because I had been through the process of adopting a baby many years before, I can say the adoption process for Cooper was almost as careful and time consuming. We had to have the name of three veterinarians who could vouch for us as well as several personal references. Usually a home study is done, but because of the distance, photos of our home and fenced in yard were acceptable.

And then we waited. And waited. All this time “Meet and Greets” were carried on between Omelet and prospective adopters. His photo and information created a lot of interest and weeks were passing by. I occasionally emailed Shawn, the head of the rescue, to make sure Omelet was still available. Meanwhile, they were busy checking our references, especially the veterinarians. Since it had been such a long time since we had a dog, it wasn’t easy tracking down the veterinarians in our life.

One Saturday afternoon I was excited and a little nervous to see an email in my inbox from Shawn. By this time I was pretty certain Omelet had been placed in his forever home and Shawn was letting us know.

What a happy surprise to read that after all these weeks Shawn had made an “executive decision” to cancel any more Meet and Greets for Omelet and place him in our quiet home.   Every encounter with families with children or other dogs left Omelet frightened and withdrawn. Families were disappointed that he didn’t warm up to the children and changed their minds, too.

It was late in the afternoon when I received that email and as much as we wanted to jump in the car and bring him home that day, we agreed to drive to Tennessee the next morning, arriving about noon. Shawn suggested we do a Meet and Greet with him, then go home and think before making our decision. In return, I wrote her that our hearts were already committed to Omelet and we could not imagine leaving without him.

We quickly went shopping for this tiny dog we believed we were bringing home. We bought a cute little bed, sweet little collar, tiny dishes for food and water and a little green frog toy. As it turned out, the only item that was the right size was the little green frog.

Shawn and her husband Patrick (yes, Shawn turned out to be a female with a male name, thanks to her dad who wanted a boy) have this lovely home attached to a barn which serves as her art studio and shelter for the dogs labeled “forever Snooties” because they are unadoptable, usually due to significant health or physical issues.

Charlie Brown’s dog Snoopy claimed the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm as his home. Here is a photo of Cooper’s home at Snooty Giggles:


Shawn creates and paints adorable furniture pieces which she sells to help fund their rescue operation. Most dogs are in foster homes so there is no one place where you go to visit all the dogs and make a selection. But Omelet had been rescued from a breeder and Shawn had begun to become attached to him enough to consider keeping him as a family pet. She already owned at least three large Newfoundlands and maybe several others that even her husband didn’t know about. She has a heart as big as the state of Texas for dogs that need rescuing. We are forever grateful she made the decisions she did that cleared the way for Omelet to become part of our family.

I was a bit uncertain once we learned Omelet was ours but felt I needed to be truthful so I let Shawn know we would be changing Omelet’s name. Shawn laughed and told me she expected that. Evidently’s rule is that each dog listed must have a unique name and she found it easier to just pick a word from the dictionary when placing a dog on Petfinder.

Finally it was Sunday morning and we were on our way to Thompson Station, Tennessee to bring home the little guy who has brought us such joy and changed our lives for the better.


And this is the moment we realized we weren’t adopting a tiny dog!

To be continued


I haven’t used the Bow Set die often enough. I placed the bow portion onto the corner of this thank you card that features a flower from the Elegance in Motion transparent set. I colored the flowers with my Zig brush pens. I realized after I made the card that my eye travels nicely from upper left to lower right because of the three elements that make up the card. Well done, Mrs. RWS. It is good to pay attention in design class.


This Flower Pop Outs die partially cuts the petals and leaves which allows you to pop them up for texture. I used a tag from the Circle Tags die set to add the “love” sentiment. If you left the sentiment off this would make a great note card set in varying color combinations.


And last, but not at all least, here are Andrea and Raul from the mini transparent set Andrea and Raul (clever, yes?) I’ve placed them on the walkway of the Terraced Lane image. Looks like they are having a fun day in the park. The Terraced Lane stamp makes a great background as well as a main image for a card.


Since today’s story is all about Cooper, I thought I would share this photo of Mr. RWS who has caught the coloring bug! That’s what happens when you take your spouse with you to The Craft Store.

And suddenly I have arrived at the bottom of the page. It’s time to stow the scissors, put away the stamps and dies and vacuum the itty bitty scraps with the teeny tiny vacuum. I enjoyed our visit and can’t wait to stop by the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to see your beautiful work.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black Supplies:

Card No. 1:  51-228 Scroll Hello, 51-132 Flights of Fancy

Card No. 2:  51-225 Out to Sea, 30-283 Snippets

Card No. 3:  51-235 Swirl Squares, 51-181 Love is Growing, 51-187 Triple Love

Card No. 4:  51-212 Bow Set, 30-350 Sentiment Collection, 40-440 Elegance in Motion

Card No. 5:  51-204 Circle Tags, 51-230 Flower Pop Outs

Card No. 6:  40-448 Terraced Lane, 30-362 Andrea and Raul

Fabulous Friend, Fabulous Videos

May 20, 2016

Time for Friday. Time for Fun. Time for a Fabulous Friend.


Today we welcome back our Fabulous Friend, Therese Calvird.


Therese continually inspires us with her straightforward and modern stamping style. And how else does she inspire us? With her awesome VIDEOS! We’ve collected three favorites to share with you today. Thanks, Therese, for all of the stamping fun.



Watch directly on YouTube here.


Watch directly on YouTube here.


Watch directly on YouTube here.


You’ll also find plenty more inspiration on our Facebook page


“Like” our page on Facebook so you don’t miss out on any future inspiration from Birgit!


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

Golden Glow

May 19, 2016

Click HERE to to see what’s happening on our SIMPLICITY site.


And now scroll down for more sunny stamping.


Why wait for for special events, birthdays, and holidays? We can send sunshine anytime with a little piece of handcrafted happy mail for friends and family. Our new collection, A Little Bit of Sunshine, is full of new stamps and dies that are perfect for creating that special card that will surely brighten someone’s day.


Micheline “Mimi’s” card has the golden glow of the sun… a fantastic way to put that sunshine in the mail on its way to someone special.


By stamping the flowers from our transparent set, 30-354 Botanical Garden, in water soluable ink (Distress Stains), Mimi was able to add water to blend and easily achieve a dreamy watercolor effect.



Download complete supplies and instructions HERE.


Are you sending sunshine, too? We’d love to see your Penny Black stamped and die cut creations. Share your sunshine with us by posting your card to our Facebook page or in our Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. We can’t wait to see what you create!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:


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