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Running with MASCULINE scissors!

April 18, 2015


Hello there! There’s fierce concentration going on today in the Penny Black studio. After a week of inspiration from the Penny Black designers, I decided to work on masculine cards, too. I’ve used a mix of stamps and dies from the new releases Bring on the Happy and Time to Celebrate, along with some classic stamps from previous releases.   You will notice that today’s cards are great for Father’s Day, but could easily be used for birthdays, too.

When it comes to making masculine cards, I think it is necessary to focus, move out of our comfort zone, and lighten up on the glitter and embellishments. When making masculine cards I choose more neutral colors along with simpler, more graphic designs. Also, I think the guys like humor and a touch of cute, too. (Or is that me?)


The Slapstick/Cling stamp Heathers provides a great background for the graphic sentiment “DAD”. Those fine lines add so much detail and stamp perfectly every time. I’ve used ink in a neutral sepia tone this time, but the possibilities for other colors are endless.   The little wooden hearts make it clear the message is love.


Images from nature easily create a masculine theme without being boring. I’ve used the transparent set Sprigs for the flowers and branches and added a little butterfly for interest. The stark black and white theme was brightened up with Distress inks applied with a distressing tool. I added white enamel dots to the flowers to mimic the white dots on the designer paper. This makes a great Father’s Day card, but also suitable for dad’s birthday or just a thank you – maybe for the time he helped with a fix-it project gone awry, or the latest tuition check.


I combined the slapstick image of Oscar with the puppies and sentiment from Man’s Best Friend to make this belated birthday card. The butterflies fill in a bit of the blank space, but in the interest of “full disclosure” they also hide a tiny smudge.

It doesn’t matter how careful I am while using black ink, there is more than a 50/50 chance a smudge will show up. Thank goodness for butterflies!

I’ve mentioned before that my dad was an Army man. He enlisted when I was about five years old and I have a vivid memory of my mom waking my sister and I when it was still dark out to say good-bye to him as he left for basic training. It would be months before we saw him again. This was the start of my mom’s career as an Army wife, holding down the fort and taking care of things while my dad fulfilled his military duties. What began as a decision to complete his obligation and be done, turned into a thirty year career as he realized and took advantage of the opportunities available to him.

While I don’t remember my dad specifically establishing rules and consequences, somehow we knew what was expected of us and rarely tested the boundaries. He provided our moral compass as we learned to live a life without prejudices, and with a strong work ethic.

The decision my dad made to stay and progress in the military provided a life of opportunity for me and my siblings. We experienced living in different parts of the United States as well as Europe. My high school graduation took place in Vicenza, Italy with the U.S. Ambassador to Italy as our commencement speaker.

I may have missed out on some traditional American activities while living abroad, but it is an experience I would not trade for a more typical upbringing. Thanks, Dad!


A flower can be a masculine image when embossed with white on black cardstock. I balanced the soft feminine lines of the flower from the Come Rain or Come Shine set with the masculine stripes of the background and black photo corners. The little Flower Tags Creative Die is the perfect place to stamp the sentiment and add that tiny red heart to relieve the starkness and convey a message.


This card is mostly diecuts and not a hint of black ink. I’ve created a background with the slapstick background stamp Circle & Lines stamped in sepia ink and heat embossed. The Geometrics and Happy News diecuts are cut from glossy copper cardstock and backed with white circles. The softer lines of the bird on a branch diecut provides a nice break from the linear graphic design of the rest of the card. I love the touch of elegance.


What Dad wouldn’t love a truckload of love? While this Loads of Love image makes a great Valentine’s Day card, why put it away? Everything has been colored with Copics and I’ve added Glossy Accents and created a road using Washi tape. I like the clean lines and the use of happy red hearts to offset the darker colors.

Father’s Day is especially a day for me to celebrate the kind of fathers my sons have become. Unlike my dad, they are very involved in the raising of their children. I don’t believe either one strives for an even 50/50 sharing of household chores or child rearing. They just see what needs to be done and they do it. They are just as able to take kids for doctor visits, shop for their underwear and clothes, and cook and clean up as their wives. I think this is more typical for their generation than it was for mine, when the dads worked and the women took care of the house and children. The sight of a man being tender with his child can bring tears to my eyes.


If you ask Cooper who is “daddy” is, it’s Mr. RWS who continues his role as a parent with Cooper. If you look closely, I think you can see they are joined at the hip.

There are a lot of guys in my life: two brothers, four sons, four grandsons, two sons-in-law and one husband and one male dog. There is no way I can avoid making masculine cards. Penny Black’s amazing assortment of stamps and dies ensures no shortage of images to be used on guy cards!

Well, my military dad would not be happy with the mess I’ve made today! It’s time to put things back where they belong. Which reminds me of the time I took the shoelaces from my dad’s combat boots to replace the ones in a pair of rented ski boots. Ordinarily, I would have had time to take the ski trip with the rest of my class and put the laces back into my dad’s seldom worn boots without their loss having been noticed. Wouldn’t you know that was the weekend my dad’s company was ordered to be on alert in full combat dress!   Where he found replacement laces on short notice was never explained to me, but rules about borrowing without asking permission were.

The scissors are stowed for now. I can’t wait to see your masculine themed cards in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. Thanks so much for your visit and your comments.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Marliese permalink
    April 18, 2015 3:58 am

    As always loved your cards and accompanying commentary, especially the shoelace story. I’ve always had a problem creating masculine cards, but today I got some great ideas. I must take a look at my “valentine” stamps. I might find something suitable for Dad there!

  2. Karen N. permalink
    April 18, 2015 4:25 am

    Hi Judy,
    I read what you said about your sons being great fathers and I would like to say to you that you must have been a great mother who led by example.
    I love your contribution to the Penny Black blog.

  3. Dianne Crowe permalink
    April 18, 2015 5:55 am

    Thanks for your lovely cards today. We have a puppy that is the same way with my retired husband, but we each have a different special place in her heart. She is not happy when one of us is missing.

  4. Kay Miller permalink
    April 18, 2015 7:07 am

    Your cards are amazing! I struggle with masculine cards, as I think a lot of us do, but you showed how they can be fun and cute too! Love that! Always love reading your wonderful stories!

  5. karenajo permalink
    April 18, 2015 8:29 am

    I always enjoy your blogs so very much, and love how you incorporate life stories into them. Your cards today are spectacular – thanks for the inspiration. Of course, I look forward to seeing how Cooper is integrated into the messages and his cute photos !!!!!

  6. Donna Whitten permalink
    April 18, 2015 8:35 am

    As always, I love your cards and stories! Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. April 18, 2015 10:17 am

    What a fun blog; so entertaining. Loved the personal anecdotes; loved the photo of Mr. RWS. These cards are so lovable, and yes, they could be birthday cards as well (reminded that my husband’s birthday is coming up).

  8. April 18, 2015 10:57 am

    Another lovely RWS essay and card share with lots of great ideas Cannot tell you how much I look forward to Saturdays because of you. Very grateful you’re there.

  9. Linda S. in NE permalink
    April 18, 2015 12:43 pm

    That is a classic, save it forever in your heart, picture of Cooper and Mr. RWS. It is easy to see “who loves who”!! Thanks for sharing your talents with masculine cards, no matter what the occasion. We must be close in age, as I share some of your upbringing and life values. I say it was not a bad time to be raised.

    • judka permalink
      April 18, 2015 1:07 pm

      Linda, I’m not sure I am close to anyone else’s age, but I am happy to know others have experienced life as I did and have. Thanks so much for following RWS! I love sharing with others.

  10. alexandra s.m. permalink
    April 18, 2015 4:38 pm

    Beautiful post dear Judy!
    and beautiful masculine cards as well!
    Many thanks~

  11. Betty Welton permalink
    April 18, 2015 6:13 pm

    Love your cards. But most Copper with his daddy. So sweet.

  12. April 18, 2015 6:28 pm

    BEAUTIFUL CARDS!!! AND I LOOOOOVE your stories!! 😉

  13. donna mikasa permalink
    April 18, 2015 10:28 pm

    Such a handsome array of masculine cards, Judy! And that photo of Cooper with Mr. RWS is priceless–warms my heart!

  14. April 18, 2015 11:17 pm

    Always love your posts, Judy & this selection of cards is absolutely wonderful! You’ve inspired me to use my Circle & Line stamp & to use a black flower on a guy’s card! Thank you so much for sharing that picture of Cooper & Daddy–a treasure!

  15. dawnnz permalink
    April 19, 2015 12:48 am

    great cards Judy. Masculine cards are often difficult but you’ve made them look easy. Also love your photo of Mr RWS and Cooper.

  16. Lynne Phelps permalink
    April 19, 2015 12:52 pm

    Omg, I was a Vicenza Cougar for three years, one of the Dormies! Did you graduate in the Teatro Olympico? Such a small world! I actually switched and graduated from Livorno my senior year as they arranged a way for us to live at home and travel 50km each way to school at Camp Darby. I much preferred Vicenza!

    • judka permalink
      April 19, 2015 1:58 pm

      Oh, I hope I can contact you, Lynne. You will realize what an antique I am when I tell you I was a member of the very first graduating class in the brand new Vicenza American High School. My junior year we travelled from Vicenza to Verona daily for school .. our graduation was held in the school gym!! I traveled with my class a couple of times to Livorno for school events; my year book is one half Cougar and one half Panther!! Small world, indeed.

  17. April 20, 2015 1:40 am

    Your cards are wonderful Judy, I can often struggle making masculine designs and it’s always nice to have some inspiration to call upon!

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