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Welcome back, Judy!

September 19, 2015


I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaack!! And where have I been? What have I been doing? How did I spend my summer vacation? Did I get lost? Was I kidnapped? Did I get hit on the head by falling craft items and suffer from amnesia? Did I get on the bus and travel West? Did I get locked in at the Penny Black studio? Did I spend all my money at the craft store and have no way to get home?

It’s been two months since I have invaded visited the Penny Black studio and to say I’ve missed my visits is a huge understatement. I sorely missed having a place to share my excitement and enthusiasm for Penny Black stamps and dies. Equally, I have missed having a place to tell my stories and the opportunity to spend time with other Penny Black fans. I was pleased to see in your comments that some of you were missing me, too.

Thankfully, I have not been absent due to illness or injury this summer. Our family did experience a string of surgeries this past spring, some pretty serious, but all with happy endings.

I was very excited to see that Micheline “Mimi” Jourdain has joined the Penny Black family as a designer. She creates amazing art with the Penny Black stamps and has demonstrated a new level of what can be achieved with stamps, inks, and watercolors. Mimi’s talent and Penny Black stamps are a perfect combination! (Don’t you love it that Penny Black now has a REAL LIVE Mimi!)

Time to share a few cards I’ve made using stamps and dies from earlier releases. That’s what I get for staying home instead of trekking to the Penny Black studio for access to the new release! Actually, I’ve enjoyed using these favorites again and they were happy to spend some time out of the closet where I’d packed them away.


That large intricate die Stellar is a favorite of mine for adding texture and serving as a background. Here I’ve cut it from the same silver paper as the card base and added a double layer of the Flights of Fancy bird. I’ve placed the sentiment on vellum, allowing it to be noticed more easily.


Many of the Penny Black “nature” stamps make perfect Christmas stamps when used as the background for Christmas sentiments and images. I originally stamped the Etched Branches stamp on my silver paper, but while it looked lovely in person, the photos were a bit drab. So I redid it, using white cardstock for the base and adding a silvery snowflake. Once again, the vellum allowed the placing of a sentiment among the branches.


Here I mixed the elegant Stellar die with the cute mouse image from the Jolly Friends transparent set. The red, white and touch of green color combination just says “Christmas”! I love mixing up the different styles of Penny Black stamps and dies. The large variety of options suits my Gemini personality (translated sometimes as easily distracted or bored, prone to leaving projects unfinished).

So how did I spend my “summer vacation”?

I traveled to Milwaukee to spend time caring for grandson Jack who at the age of 7 months underwent some pretty serious surgery. He came through it like a little champ and amazed the medical folks with his recuperative powers and lack of negative side effects. However, he needed time at home to heal before returning to daycare. Mom and Dad invited me to care for Jack for his last week of recuperation at home. What an incredible baby he is! He had every right to be grumpy, whiny, angry and way off his normal schedule. Not baby Jack! We had an amazing time together during the day and added big sister Evelyn to the fun when she came home from daycare in the evening.

Traveling means airports. I have had to accept that financial rules are suspended once you enter an airport. From the $50 fee to fly a suitcase round trip to the prices for snacks and beverages, airports have their own economy, which is thriving. I have been known in the past to carry a ham sandwich or two with me when I travel, but my kids were so embarrassed to learn their mother did such a thing, that I have changed my ways and put myself at the mercy of the food vendors. (My kids must think I wear a signboard at all times listing their names and their relationship to me).

During my Charlotte, SC layover, I ordered lunch from a vendor featuring Southern cuisine, meaning sweet potatoes, collard greens, mac and cheese and fried chicken. For $8.95 I could have two pieces of chicken along with two side dishes. I turned down the side dishes and asked for the two pieces of chicken only. “That will be $9.95” the server said. I questioned why I would pay more when I was turning down the sides. Well, she explained, individual pieces of chicken were $5.00 each. Seeing my dismay, she offered me an alternative: their price for three pieces of chicken with no sides was $7.95. Truly, this proved to me that financial rules are suspended in an airport.


The Woodland Wonder stamp embossed in white on silver paper creates a perfect background for the little deer from the Together die set.  This is a card that could easily be made assembly line fashion if you prefer to send everyone the same Christmas card. (As a Gemini, I don’t do that) I noticed at one point in my card making for this post that I had made six cards using that silver paper. The paper was a recent purchase and I didn’t realize how enthusiastic I was about it until I noticed so many cards in a row were based on silver cardstock. As I mentioned earlier, I redid one of them onto white cardstock. I then set aside a few for another time.


I was happy to take down and dust off the container of embossing folders to use on this card. At one point in my crafting journey I deemed it necessary to purchase every new embossing folder that came onto the market. They don’t get used very much anymore, but I did find a spider web folder and added texture to the green cardstock with it. The little spider web and sentiment stamps are from the transparent set Spooky Spheres and the little witch mouse is from Halloween Critters.


Inspired by Mimi to do more watercoloring, I used my Koi watercolors to paint this image from the cling stamp Pumpkins. I added a bit of diecut fence, a black sentiment and black dots for more details. Oh how I wanted to do a full scale, all out watercolored background a la Mimi. But I was pleased with what I had done and knew my skills with watercoloring backgrounds need serious improvement. It was better to quit while I was still ahead.

Evelyn and baby Jack had adventures with Mom and Dad this summer, one of them being a trip to the Wisconsin State Fair.


The highlight of a visit to the fair is enjoying the incredible, enormous, mouth watering cream puffs. In this photo, Evelyn is displaying her approval of this Wisconsin treat.


Cooper loved sharing in the Christmas fun on the Penny Black blog this summer. I think he has dreams of a modeling career. How he got onto the blog without me, I will never know. Oh, and that giveaway he conducted … will come right out of his allowance.

Other than being featured on the Penny Black blog, Cooper’s summer has not been much fun. Along with the humans in our family enduring unpleasant diagnoses and surgery, Cooper was diagnosed with a partial tear in his ACL (CCL really in dogs). Finally diagnosing the reason why Cooper was walking on only three legs took several trips to the veterinarian’s office (and the bank), including one visit involving sedation, x-rays and leg manipulation. For a partial tear in a smaller dog there is a choice between surgery or a several month period of medication and severely decreased activity. Due to commitments previously on our calendar and the vets’, surgery had been delayed until October. In the meantime, Cooper has been on very limited activity. He goes outside only on a leash to potty; no playing with toys, no tug of war with his blanket. We have seen enough improvement in his leg to cancel the surgery and have chosen to continue with limited activity and the anti inflammatory meds for another month or so. We know he is no longer in pain as his cheerful disposition has returned. That is, until he goes to where his toy basket used to be and looks at us every so sadly. The downside to the inactivity is that weight loss is almost impossible, another component to his total healing.

Oh, my … time is up for this visit! And I haven’t even told you about the can of Spam and the TSA or the crying driveway and the visit from the big bad bulldozer. Not to mention that I learned I don’t always play well with others! That will all have to wait until next time.

I’ve stowed the scissors, cleaned up my mess and put the silver paper away where hopefully I will forget about it for awhile.

Needless to say, I am glad to be back! My life is happier when I am running with scissors. I love it when you share your work in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. I will be looking there for your Fall and Holiday cards.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

45 Comments leave one →
  1. Debra permalink
    September 19, 2015 12:16 am

    So glad to see you back! Hope you had a great summer. Sounds like you were busy for sure. Sorry to hear about Cooper the wonder dog but I hope recovery is swift!
    Yes, airports unfortunately go by their own rules, as do hospitals. Glad you didn’t have to spend time there and partake of their silliness ..
    Hope to hear from you again soon Judy and I always enjoy your visits!

  2. September 19, 2015 12:16 am

    Welcome back Judy!!!!!! So enjoy your posts!!!!
    Paper Hugs,

  3. September 19, 2015 1:05 am

    So great to have you back – you have been missed here! Glad to hear everyone seems to be on the mend too. Cooper will hopefully be back to limited toy time soon. We had aromatherapy for our Goldie after cruciate surgery as it left her so depressed – thankfully a few massages with a good oil mix did the trick. Lovely cards today – making me want Stellar again – so far I have resisted.

  4. September 19, 2015 1:44 am

    It’s lovely to have you back Judy – not just to see your beautiful cards (wonderful inspiration, thank you!! I love those silver paper effects!!) But also of course to hear about your adventures all told in fabulous Judy style. What’s not to love?
    Hope your family and handsome Cooper are all well on their roads to recovery, Rx

  5. knurse22 permalink
    September 19, 2015 3:56 am

    So so happy to see you back, Judy! I’m sorry you had a stressful summer, but it looks like things are turning around now. Sending a prayer that brings sunshine to your family and fall!
    Love those cards—simple yet elegant, and I too like that silver paper. I always like to see ‘older’ product in use.
    Get well, beautiful Cooper, and stay well, cutie pie Jack!

  6. linda Baker permalink
    September 19, 2015 5:00 am

    Glad you are back!

  7. Sharon Brand permalink
    September 19, 2015 5:04 am

    Welcome back! Love your post today.

  8. Sue C permalink
    September 19, 2015 5:35 am

    Happy you are back. It just wasn’t Saturday without a chuckle from your posts.

  9. Marliese permalink
    September 19, 2015 5:43 am

    Welcome back! Happy to hear that your family are all well again and that Cooper is on the road to recovery. As always loved your post and cards. Incidentally we share a lot of Gemini quirks. Looking forward to more of your Running With Scissors posts.

  10. dlweldon permalink
    September 19, 2015 6:08 am

    Yay!!! You’re back! Happy to see you back on the blog. I missed reading your blog entrys while I look at all the beautiful cards you make. I enjoy your family stories and can relate to some of them. I’m very happy that Jack is is better too.

  11. Deb L permalink
    September 19, 2015 6:14 am

    So glad your back. I enjoy your posts and cards. i am glad your family, including Cooper, are on the mend. Deb

  12. September 19, 2015 6:44 am

    Yay…you are back! We have missed you!!! I am sure you enjoyed your break, but promise to never leave us that long again. While you were away this summer, Penny Black came out with the prettiest holiday stamps. Go run into their studio and borrow a few (I am sure they won’t mind).
    So happy that Jack is doing great and Cooper is on the mend. Your life is just so relate-able!
    Your cards today (silver and otherwise) were just Stellar! Cute, elegant, gorgeous, fun… all in one post!
    Love it!!!!

  13. Kay Miller permalink
    September 19, 2015 7:00 am

    So glad to see you back Judy! I have missed your humorous and entertaining posts! Your cards are all so fun and amazing! Always love the holiday stuff! Too funny about the price of the chicken! Glad you enjoyed time with the grandchildren and that the little guy is doing so well! Glad Cooper is recuperating nicely too!

  14. September 19, 2015 7:16 am

    Glad you are back Judy. I love your posts. Always so fun. I know what you mean about getting stuck on one kind of paper. This summer I had a WHOLE lot of purple cards. It just seemed everything I did needed purple!
    There’s no explaining the way vendors/restaurants price their food. Doesn’t just happen in airports. Just. Doesn’t. Make. Sense!
    Your deer card has given me an idea for my Grandson’s 7th birthday card. I made him one last year with a camping scene. He said” This is really cool Grandma, but for next year can you make one with hunting on it?” And, so, since he was born in a snowstorm, it will be a deer in a snowstorm 🙂
    Glad your grandson and Cooper are feeling better, such cute little guys.

  15. Deb V permalink
    September 19, 2015 7:21 am

    Welcome back, Judy!
    Oh, how I have missed you and the RWS blogspot.
    Looking forward to more cheerful Saturday’s 🙂

  16. Donna Whitten permalink
    September 19, 2015 7:27 am

    Welcome back, missed you, even though Cooper did a stand-up job in your absence. Loved your cards and comments!

  17. Micheline Jourdain permalink
    September 19, 2015 7:34 am

    Welcome back Judy! I am so happy to see your new cards! Beautiful as always!

  18. Micheline Jourdain permalink
    September 19, 2015 7:37 am

    Oups… I forgot to thank to you for your so great comments about me!!! So appreciated it ! I am with Penny Black’s family and so honnored! Thank you so much again for all your great and kind comments with me!

  19. Linda Page permalink
    September 19, 2015 7:50 am

    Judy, welcome back. You have been greatly missed. It is wonderful that you were able to take care of Baby Jack. Jack and Evelyn are just adorable…….just like their Grandmother!! It is wonderful to hear that Cooper is progressing and surgery is out of the picture. Just think how happy he will be once he is well enough to get his toys back!! Your cards are lovely as always. I love starting my Saturday’s with your post.

  20. barbara lassiter permalink
    September 19, 2015 8:26 am

    Missed your great cards and your “chatter”. I’m happy for you that all is well with Jack and Cooper. I’ve been struggling with a card background (too good to discard) and I think a deer and a Noel might do the trick. Thanks for the inspiration.

  21. debbie p permalink
    September 19, 2015 8:47 am

    Welcome back. Rest assured, Cooper did a bang up job while you were off tending to what sounds like a lot of stressful family stuff. From your post, it seems everything is getting back to normal and you’ll are back to RWS again. I very much enjoy your Saturday posts to see what lovely cards you have created, with this week being no exception (even if you only used silver paper it would be okay!). Thanks for sharing your many talents with us, you are a blessing!

  22. rosemarie c permalink
    September 19, 2015 9:30 am

    So very happy to see you in my inbox this morning. You have been missed! ! Glad to hear all is relatively calm again in your world. Love the cards! May your family stay well.

  23. Cheryl Robertson permalink
    September 19, 2015 9:43 am

    So glad you are back – I missed your posts. Hope life calms down a bit for you.

  24. Virginia P FL permalink
    September 19, 2015 9:53 am

    Welcome back! I do enjoy your posts and of course your PB cards. Am looking forward to the posts about the crying driveway (?) but I guess it will wait till another time. Anyway, glad that all is well with you and your family…Hi to Cooper

  25. bdengler4 permalink
    September 19, 2015 10:42 am

    YAY!!!! Welcome back, Judy! You were definitely missed! Loved reading this post! Evelyn and baby Jack are so adorable and I am very happy to hear Cooper’s leg is getting better! Your cards are all fabulous! Sending hugs! ♥

  26. Marilyn Valadez permalink
    September 19, 2015 10:42 am

    So glad to see you are back from your travels, Judy! Happy to hear your grandson is on the mend and that Cooper is on the road to recovery also. Your cards are a joy to see, and really missed your lovely wit in your delightful commentary. It was something I looked forward to on Sat. mornings…to sit down at the computer with coffee and enjoy your beautiful fun stories. Can’t wait until you share some more of those fun stories you were teasing us with! Take care Judy and see you next Sat.with coffee in hand! Hugs!:))

  27. donna mikasa permalink
    September 19, 2015 11:16 am

    She’s baaaaaaack! Yay! Missed seeing your cards and reading your “Judy-isms”! Your cards are as wonderful as ever, and I’m glad you enjoyed your family visits. And so happy to hear Cooper is getting stronger, too. You are back. LIfe is good.

  28. Harriet permalink
    September 19, 2015 11:27 am

    Welcome back……….lovely post full of good news for you and yours. I laughed at the airport pricing—does make one wonder. Love the branch card–right up my alley.

  29. jan metcalf permalink
    September 19, 2015 12:16 pm

    Love the deer on silver!!

  30. September 19, 2015 1:16 pm

    So delighted that you’ve returned. Especially, since Baby Jack’s surgery and recuperation went so well. Honestly, don’t know how you managed without having a little creative outlet. I’d go mad. But, you got to spend some very special time with your kidlets. Wonderful cards, by the way, You most definitely DID NOT lose your skills, at all. Hope Cooper’s recovery continues. He such a little sweetheart.

  31. alexandra s.m. permalink
    September 19, 2015 2:19 pm

    you have truly been missed dear Judy!
    Thank You for the fun update and all your wonderful creations.
    PB blog is so much better with you on Saturdays!
    and I’m so glad your Grandson is doing better!!
    Thank You~

  32. Denise Sullivan permalink
    September 19, 2015 2:35 pm

    Glad to see you back. Im also really glad Cooper is getting better. Please thank him for me I was the winner of his giveaway! I hope the fall finds all your family on the mend. Have a great weekend!

    • judka permalink
      September 19, 2015 6:03 pm

      Congratulations, Denise! Cooper was happy to spend his allowance on the giveaway; enjoy!!

  33. lindagrady permalink
    September 19, 2015 3:02 pm

    Missed your storytelling and seeing more of Cooper. So glad he is getting better; and baby Jack, too.

  34. Ruth G permalink
    September 19, 2015 3:22 pm

    Judy, you were sorely missed. I’m glad you are back and that all is turning out well.

  35. Sheila Lile permalink
    September 19, 2015 6:33 pm

    I missed you and Cooper but was glad he made some visits when you couldn’t.
    I look forward to your post every Saturday. Welcome back!!!

  36. September 19, 2015 8:25 pm

    Oh my–36 comments ahead of me! You certainly were missed, dear Judy! Loved seeing Cooper & so sorry about his injury! You better take that give-away out of his allowance as he didn’t pick me–LOL! No need to put away the silver paper–it’s gorgeous! I didn’t think I could emboss on gold or silver, but now I’m going to try it! Love the white branches on the silver & vellum for sentiments is one of my favorite elements! Great post, but now I want to hear those other stories!

  37. mjmarmo permalink
    September 19, 2015 8:30 pm

    Welcome back! Sounds like one buys summer. Glad Jack and COoper are doing well.

  38. dawnnz permalink
    September 20, 2015 2:15 am

    So happy to see you back Judy. Glad your boys are doing well now – both Cooper and Jack. All your cards are so lovely – nice to see some older stamps being used.

  39. Peggy Lee permalink
    September 20, 2015 5:54 am

    Welcome back Judy!
    Glad to hear both Cooper and Jack are doing well.
    Your cards are lovely!

    I hope you enjoyed Milwaukee and the Wisconsin State Fair. I have never missed a year, I love our fair. Glad you were able to experience it and hope the kids enjoyed it too!

  40. Maria permalink
    September 20, 2015 8:08 am

    Wonderful to see you back, I / we missed you a lot. Hope all goes the right way now for Cooper and baby Jack! Both children are sooo cute.
    Love seeing your cards again and all your different techniques, Don’t be gone for long
    this time. Huge hug to Cooper!
    Maria xx

  41. Diane J permalink
    September 20, 2015 5:03 pm

    Welcome back. Missed your stories. Love your new stories. Glad to see you made to Wisconsin. It’s a Great state. Mmmmm wonder where I live? Hopefully all is well with you and your family.

  42. Linda F permalink
    September 23, 2015 3:47 am

    Welcome back. Glad little Jack is doing well. Love the airport chicken story – totally birdbrained pricing. Sorry to hear about Cooper’s ACL injury. One of our dogs had the surgery for one leg and the vet told us that she was likely to tear the other within 18 months and she did. So she now has two very expensive legs, but her days of bounding onto tables over lounge chairs, down flights of stairs are over though. Glad to here Cooper should get away without surgery.

  43. Mary Tilman permalink
    September 24, 2015 7:28 am

    Glad you’re back. Pretty sure that fantasy land airport is in Charlotte, North Carolina. I am embarrassed to say I live there and apologize for both the prices and the cuisine. I always took a sandwich on the plane…

  44. September 24, 2015 1:32 pm

    Great pumpkin Judy. and SO many other lovely cards!! you are on the roll!

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