Skip to content

Runs with Scissors and Creative Dies

November 15, 2014


Hello and welcome back. I’m so glad we can meet again at the Penny Black blog where it’s been a very intricate week.  I have to say, there’s lots of itty bitty pieces scattered all over. Those intricate dies punch out so much incredible detail and the scraps have to go somewhere. I think the itty bitty bag in the itty bitty vacuum cleaner is full.

The word intricate can mean “complicated, detailed, elaborate, complex or having many complexly entangled elements”. All of which is true when describing the more intricate creative dies from the Winter Wonderland release by Penny Black.   However, none of this is true when it comes to using them. Just make the sandwich for your die cutting machine as you would for any metal die and crank the handle or push the button. For some dies, you may have to add a “shim” of an extra sheet of cardstock just to make sure all the tiny details are cleanly cut.

The most intricate die by far in this release is Stellar. It is a full A2 size and makes creating a card easy peasy. I’ve tried many color combinations and each one has its own beauty. Today I chose to make multiple cards using Stellar, or portions of it, just to see how many variations there can be with this die.


I cut full-sized Stellar out of shimmery pale blue paper and mounted it on ivory linen cardstock. I placed a small circle in the middle as a background for the Noel sentiment. The sentiment dies certainly fall into the intricate category with their loops and flourishes.


For this card, I‘ve cut the large circle away from the full diecut. Again, there’s a little circle in the center as a base for the Joy sentiment. And because I run with scissors, I mixed cute with elegant by adding the gift bearing cat from the transparent set Winter Play.


This time I trimmed away the circular part of the diecut, leaving an “outlined” snowflake. And because I still have a “few” sequins left, I added a bit of sparkle. The gorgeous Season’s Greetings sentiment completes the classic look.

And here we are at the place where I share a story. I’ve told you how I almost ruined Christmas one year by insisting on having only handmade ornaments on our white flocked tree (Martha Stewart was my inspiration). And then there was the year when I sewed every one’s outfit (badly). How I envied my friend whose family tradition was to spend the day in their pajamas.   I’ve always wondered why Christmas can’t be more like Thanksgiving; good food, good company and fewer expectations. I am learning, though, with the help of “feedback” from the family.

I must add here that I am the WORST gift buyer on the planet. My intentions are sincere and I really think about the person I’m shopping for when I buy a gift. Or so I say …

One year when we were spending the winter in our RV in Arizona, we made a trip to a small town in Mexico. I was overwhelmed and over-stimulated by the sights and sounds of the small markets set up all up and down the streets. There were watches, purses, clothing, jewelry, trinkets and some serious yard art. All would have been well had I not become fascinated with the leather goods vendors! Having four sons, I would still have been fine had I chosen a wallet for each, but they didn’t catch my eye like the “hand tooled” belts! I was so excited to select a belt for each son (guessing at the size) making sure everyone’s belt was unique.

You could hear a pin drop when the first son opened his gift and found this very western style belt. You could see the disappointment on the faces of the other three … maybe that wasn’t disappointment so much as it was horror. My youngest son, who faces opposing counsel daily in a courtroom, was the one who courageously spoke up: “Mom, when was the last time you saw us dress up as cowboys?”

And then I had to hear about how I’ve always bought the same thing for each son, but in a different color, the youngest always receiving the ugly orange one. By the time the “feedback” ended, I was laughing so hard I was crying. Thank goodness I knew better than to buy a belt for my daughter that year. I think she received a “genuine sterling silver” necklace and my undying thanks for calming her brothers down.


I’ve removed the “outline” row from this center snowflake. The Stellar die is, indeed, intricate but it is also very delicate. I love this pastel snowflake on the tiny gingham patterned paper. And since I used only part of the Stellar die, it seemed appropriate to use only part of the “Let it Snow” sentiment.


And this lovely frame is what is left when you remove the large circle portion of Stellar. I love how the delicate frame shows off the solid Dove diecut. Any element you chose for the center would be enhanced by this frame.


One of my friends at the retreat I went to last month used a lavender and silver color combination on a Christmas card. I had to try it and I’m so happy with the result. Two Twirl Trees are better than one, I say. And I couldn’t leave the trees untrimmed.

There you have it; five ways to use one intricate die plus one bonus card. The dies in the Winter Wonderland release ensure you will be able to make lovely, unique Christmas cards to share with friends and family. (Take that, Martha Stewart).


Cooper finally made it to the groomer’s! He is on his way out of the craft room (he hangs out under the table) and into the kitchen for dinner. He loves me, but he loves his dinner more!

Oh, my! I’ve been having so much fun reminiscing about Christmases past that I didn’t notice the time. I’ve put the scissors away and swept up the bits and pieces. I’m sure Martha Stewart would find a use for all the tiny scraps, but I have decided to let Miss Martha do her thing without me.

On a personal note, Evelyn Rose’s mommy has been working on an intricate project of her own. Next week Evelyn Rose becomes a big sister when her baby brother Jack enters the world. When Ev’s daycare teachers ask her if she wants a baby brother, she shakes her head no; when they ask her if she would prefer to be an only child, she nods yes. This should be very interesting!

Shop for today’s Penny Black Supplies:


21 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2014 2:22 am

    A wonderful array of cards showing how versatile the fab die is! Your belt story made me smile! xxx

  2. November 15, 2014 2:54 am

    I can relate to being a bad gift buyer. My son will attest to my bad gift selections for him. I was so happy when gift cards were invented and became an acceptable gift. I love all of your cards. So many variations with just one die. Now that’s a good buy! Cooper looks very dashing with his new haircut.

  3. Scott schmidlkofer permalink
    November 15, 2014 5:00 am


    Somebody had to say something, i just couldn’t take it. The cards are beautiful and i am happy to say your gift buying for Evelyn has been amazing!

    Much love,

    Your son

  4. Dianne Crowe permalink
    November 15, 2014 5:25 am

    Love your beautiful cards as always. Cooper looks ready for Christmas. Evelyn Rose will love her little brother as soon as she gets to meet him I am sure. I bought my young son a little pouch for the front of his bike. When he opened it, it dropped to the floor and all he said was a purse. I don’t remember if it was every used. Jack watch out what Grandma buys boys for Christmas!!!!

  5. November 15, 2014 5:25 am

    I run to the computer each Saturday morning for RWS! Your art inspires me and your stories crack me up! The only other day of the week I am this excited is Monday night when I can watch the Walking Dead on demand!

  6. November 15, 2014 6:05 am

    Mrs. RWS…well who knew you could take a die and use it so many ways. You are just toooo creative! Great cards today! Great picture of Cooper! Great stories from your life….so glad you were able to laugh over the “belt” situation. Lastly…yay on becoming a grandma again! woohoo!!!!!

  7. quilterlin permalink
    November 15, 2014 7:23 am

    You’ve definitely shown us how to get the most out of these big intricate dies, Judy! Well done, with all your beautiful variations! And I enjoyed your Christmas memory once again! I’m with you – it’s HARD to buy gifts for your kids! (especially when they’re grown and have everything they want!)

  8. November 15, 2014 8:21 am

    Reblogged this on Spreading Sunshine with Paper & Ink and commented:
    What beautifully intricate dies! Perfect cards made with these!

  9. bdengler4 permalink
    November 15, 2014 8:30 am

    Judy, thank you for sharing so many different ways to use PB’s intricate dies. All of your cards are so beautiful! Love the belt story – you crack me up! Good luck choosing gifts this year! ♥

  10. November 15, 2014 8:36 am

    Amazing what you’ve done with one die. Really gorgeous. As for Christmas gifts, who hasn’t bought a few clunkers…just ask my girls. Well. I’m sure Martha never has.

  11. alexandra s.m. permalink
    November 15, 2014 10:23 am

    Love what you’ve created Judy!
    Especially using Stellar as a frame
    Thank You for this great post!

  12. November 15, 2014 10:24 am

    I love that die & you’ve used it in such amazing ways, Judy! Congrats on your new grandson about to be born!

  13. jeanmanis permalink
    November 15, 2014 10:47 am

    You’ve nicely showcased this die with fantastic cards! And congrats!

  14. Jean Bullock permalink
    November 15, 2014 12:04 pm

    Fabulous cards. Loved seeing how versatile this die is.

  15. Dawn Turley permalink
    November 15, 2014 1:17 pm

    Awesome and inspiring use if the one die Judy. Love your Christmas story too. Doesn’t Cooper look handsome after his grooming. Besr wishes and welcome to your new grand child. Looking forward to the photos.9

  16. Kathy b permalink
    November 15, 2014 1:54 pm

    Love your stories and your cards. However, how on earth do you glue, mount, etc. This intricate diecut?????

    • judka permalink
      November 15, 2014 2:08 pm

      Kathy b, thank you for your kind comment. I use a Zig glue pen; it has a fine point, like a ball point pen, and I just put dots of glue around the edges, on the corners and random spots in the middle. Afte applying glue I lay the diecut where I want it on the card base andI put a clean sheet of paper over it and smooth things with my hands. This prevents smudges and takes care of any excess seeping glue.

  17. Linda F permalink
    November 15, 2014 6:10 pm

    Judy thank you once again for sharing your wonderful creativity and fascinating stories. Congratulations on your new grandson about to come into the world. I’m sure miss “I want to be an only child” will love him

  18. Susan permalink
    November 15, 2014 9:10 pm

    What beautiful cards usig the Stellar die, as well as those gorgeous trees! Loved the Christmas story about the belts, and seeing your dog all ready for the holiday season. Congratulations on the upcoming birth of a new grandchild.

  19. donna mikasa permalink
    November 16, 2014 1:02 am

    Die-licious projects, Judy! Love those intricate dies! I’m sure Evelyn Rose will change her mind once she sees her new brother, and she’ll be a great big sister!

  20. maureenchandler permalink
    August 22, 2015 11:26 am

    Hi Judy, love your blog and cards — and your stories of your boys. I, too, have four boys and gifts for them are always a challenge. I’ll have a year where I want to make them all something, or give them all books, mobiles, etc. They have seemed fairly happy with what I pick out but you never know do you? I feel lucky to have a couple of wonderful daughters-in-law too and can make them things that they really love and appreciate! Thanks for all you share!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: