Runs with Christmas Traditions… and Scissors!
Ahhhhh … yummy smells here at the Penny Black blog! Finally, the baking is underway! I understand it’s a tradition here at Penny Black to have an extraordinary variety of cookies and candies on hand for the holidays.
Speaking of traditions, our family has a few traditions, too. Some of them were very short-lived as in the white flocked tree with a color wheel and the festival of lights bus tour.
As you might expect from a family where one of the members runs with scissors, some of our traditions are pretty non-traditional. For example, cookies have been replaced by a delicacy we call “Spam rolls”. Yes, warm yeast dinner rolls stuffed with a mixture of diced Spam, onions and black pepper. Even Santa gives these a thumbs up!
A Polish cookie called kruscyyki (kroo-she-kee) was part of my childhood Christmases. My grandmother came to America from Poland as a young woman for her arranged marriage. I’m sure making and eating these cookies reminded her of the home and family she never saw again.
They are time consuming to make as the dough must be rolled out, cut in strips, each strip slit in the middle and the ends pulled through, forming a bow tie or angel wings. They are deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar making them crunchy, light and delicate. Just like potato chips “no one can eat just one”. Even more fun, the powdered sugar falls like snow, dusting anything and anyone nearby.
Now on to a tradition we all share: the Christmas card. The real beginning of the Christmas card tradition was 1840 in England with the birth of the “penny post”. At that time, there was only ONE Christmas card design. Imagine!!
Since this bird stamp is titled Ode to Christmas, I felt a background of musical notes from Footnotes was appropriate. The kraft and black theme needed a burst of color, so I added the leaves and Noel in deep red.
I wanted to try the same bird in black and white on some linen finish paper and this is the result. This would be an especially easy design to use for multiple cards. Love it that the bird is an image that doesn’t always need further coloring after stamping.
It seems my Christmas cards have gone to the birds!! I love this bird-in-a-Santa-hat from Jolly Critters waiting with his Christmas stocking. Again I’ve used the musical notes background, along with three different diecuts from the Pocket Treasures release. The sentiment is from the Joyous Wishes creative die set. Looks like there might be a snowball fight later on!
I’ve previously shared about my military family and how our Christmases were seldom spent in the same place. The one constant was the beautifully decorated tree that was my mother’s pride and joy. After help with testing the lights and getting them on the tree, she alone completed the masterpiece.
The main attraction was the tinsel and the cotton “snow” she placed on the branches. In those days, the tinsel contained lead and each strand was heavy enough to hang ramrod straight. There was no tossing tinsel on my mother’s tree!! She placed the strands one by one, branch by branch and then cut out the “snow” from rolls of Red Cross cotton.
When the holiday was over, the tinsel would be carefully removed, “carded”, and wrapped carefully for storage. Each year a few more of the ten cent boxes of tinsel would be added to the collection.
Love this Caroling Tree image! It can be used in so many ways as the focal point of the Christmas card! Here I’ve stamped and embossed and used distress inks for the background. I used glossy red and metallic gold papers for the layers. Love the frame diecut from the Frame and Pattern Creative Die set.
What would Christmas be without a snowman? Love this little guy and his doggie buddy from the transparent set Winter Play. I’ve colored them with Copics and added “Let it Snow” from the creative die set Joyous Wishes, and a snowflake from Crystal Trio.
These little penguins from the Let’s Chill set are having a great afternoon watching their Jolly Critters mouse buddy ice skate! And isn’t he a clever little mouse to skate the word “jolly” into the ice! Looks like the snowballs are at the ready for a little snowball fight when the skating is done. Love how that diecut background looks like snow!
Cooper is feeling a bit better about Christmas this week and agreed to a Christmas photo. He may be thinking about those yummy Penny Black cookies!
My scissors and I have had a great time using Penny Black stamps and dies to make Christmas cards this week. I love that each card is in itself a little gift. I always include a hand written note as well as a printed Christmas letter in each of my cards. No, mine is not one of “those” letters; all bragging and no admission of the things that didn’t go as planned. I remember a Christmas at a time in my life when I was celebrating the little victory that my kids finally got the hang of replacing the empty toilet tissue roll with a new one. It was that same Christmas my college roommate sent her Christmas letter that included a photo of her two early-teens sons on the roof of the mountain retreat they were building: the boys were installing the roof. Obviously, I had set my goals too low.
By the way, if anyone is wondering what the little sign says in the photo of the Spam rolls: “I only have a kitchen because it came with the house.”
Time to pick up and pack up! (including some cookies!) The scissors are stowed away; the clutter has been conquered and neat and tidy reigns once more! I hope you will check out the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery for more inspiration. I also hope you include Penny Black stamps and dies as one of your holiday traditions!
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black Supplies:
- Stamps: 4396J Ode to Christmas, 30-264 Jolly Critters, 30-238 Footnotes, 4398L Caroling Tree, 30-265 Winter Play, 40-353 Let’s Chill
- Creative Dies: 51-002 Leaves, 51-060 Exultations, 51-041 Friends Frame, 51-053 A Pocketful, 51-055 Shades, 51-065 Frame and Pattern, 51-058 Joyous Wishes, 51-065 Crystal Trio
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