Runs with Scissors… and Spam!
Hello. I am so happy to be with you again on the Penny Black blog. It is such a beautiful autumn day today that I decided the best way to get here was to walk. While on the way I saw the month of September whiz by! October is waiting in the wings. The windows are open here at the Penny Black blog and there is a wonderful breeze blowing the curtains, scattering glitter and paper scraps everywhere. I love this time of the year. It is that short period in Alabama between turning off the air conditioning and turning on the heat pump. Here on the blog it is the time to work on holiday-themed cards.
Holly Concert is a woodblock stamp, my favorite kind of stamp because they feel so permanent and collectible. These birds on a holly branch are fun to color, but this time I embossed with silver embossing powder, adding a touch of lavender to the berries. In my mind’s eye, I can also see silver birds with red holly berries, mounted on red and silver cardstock. It’s a bonus when one card gives you a good idea for the next one.
These cutie hedgies from the transparent set Best Day Ever are having a great time jingling all the way. I just colored them with Copics and fussy cut them so they could each have a square of their own. I am a big fan of the large Christmas sentiment dies; they add so much to a card. And hedgies make me smile.
A kraft and black color combination always catches my eye. Here I’ve created a textured background using the Frame and Pattern die set. I die cut two of the Branching Out trees, in gold and black card stock. I offset them just a bit when I layered them to create some depth. That tree die can be the focal point on cards for so many occasions.
When last we met I was waxing eloquently about the financial hazards of spending time (and money) in an airport. Well, there is more to airport challenges than money. The first major hurdle is clearance by the people and machines that make up the TSA and security checkpoints.
How, you say, can a woman of my age get in trouble going through Security? How could I be a threat to this great nation? Or the plane, or the passengers, or the airline staff?
I have traveled enough that I don’t even slow down the line when going through Security. I place my IPad in a separate plastic bin; take off my shoes and jacket and put them in a bin with my purse. I remember to put my makeup in a clear plastic bag and toss it onto the pile. I then send my carry on bag through.
I know to walk through the scanner, feet apart, hands held over my head (someday this will become impossible, I’m sure) and wait politely for the TSA person to beckon me on my way. Well, on my last trip as I stood at the conveyor waiting for my carry on to come rolling back to me, I noticed it was being pulled back for another scan. I was hoping that the TSA personnel now hovering over the x-ray screen were just discussing how cute my zebra striped bag was. But, no … I was asked to step aside please to the little table where I was reunited with my carry on.
I knew immediately what the problem was. I told the blue-gloved lady that I could explain what they were seeing. She was having none of that and had to see for herself. She unzipped my bag which consisted of several compartments inside. As quietly as I could I explained to her that the object they were worried about was a can of Spam. Well, I think she would have believed plastic explosives more readily! She looked at me quite oddly and proceeded to check the compartments. There is a strict rule about not being allowed to touch your bag while they search (ok, so one time I had some paper punches in my carry on which those non crafty TSA people didn’t recognize as benign).
So I verbally guided her to the offending container. There it was, visible as soon as you removed the Ritz crackers covering it. I’m sure the TSA lady has never profaned her lips with Spam. She looked at it as if it was a nest of cockroaches hiding under the crackers. Bravely, she picked the can up with her blue hand and held it above her head and in a not-so-quiet voice said, “I would starve before I would eat this stuff.”
It is embarrassing enough to have your baggage singled out for searching without having it announced to the entire population of the airport that I was guilty of transporting Spam. She asked me what I was going to do with it. By that time I was so mortified I could not think of a good comeback (but I’m sure there are a few) and confessed I would be having Spam and crackers for lunches while staying at my son and his wife’s home. I was going to be watching baby Jack for a week and wanted quick and easy lunches. She didn’t seem interested in my telling her the crackers were the peppery ones and combined with the Spam reminded one of the Spam rolls I bake at Christmas. Thankfully, she returned the Spam to its nesting place in my bag and I was allowed to go on my way.
Well, almost as embarrassing as the experience in the Security line, was the telling of the story to my adult kids. They think carrying my own ham sandwiches when traveling is an embarrassment, so imagine their reaction to my bringing Spam for lunches at their house. I didn’t mention the sandwich board I wear while traveling with all their names and their relationship to me. Hmmm, maybe I should add their photos. Serve them right.
The Gothic Gate die is a great way to add interest to your Christmas cards. Opened or closed, it draws attention to your main image. Love this cutie pup from the Jolly Critters set who is admiring his Christmas stocking and guarding his Tiffany-wrapped package. Just like Cooper, this fellow enjoys Christmas, especially if there are treats in his stocking.
Who doesn’t love penguins? The snowman-making, tuxedo-wearing penguins from the transparent set Mimi’s Christmas have had a fun day playing in the snow. I’ve framed the image with more of my silver paper, adding a diecut sentiment and a few black dots just for fun. If I hadn’t been so enamored with my new silver paper, I might have considered other colors for the theme of this card, too: red or green come to mind.
I felt like Frankenstein when I altered this image from the slapstick set Victorian Homes. The house image was taller than I wanted for my design, so I separated the roof from the house and trimmed things up a bit. I also trimmed some steps and sidewalk from the bottom. I masked off a circle before I created the background with Distress inks. Those black bats flying by are, to my amazement, hand drawn. I was delighted to use the Victorian Homes stamp again; in its altered state it is a great Halloween image.
The idea of using the Holly Concert stamp with a red, white and silver theme just wouldn’t leave my head. So I’ve added it here, proving that any traditional or non traditional Christmas color will work with this stamp. There, I feel much better.
Here is Cooper, fresh from the groomers and reunited with his toys which we had put away for many weeks. Cooper needed to be inactive for awhile and he does not cuddle or sleep with his toys. He is all boy and wants to play fetch and tug of war with them.
Cooper has suffered a torn ligament in his back right leg (ACL in humans, CCL in dogs). For almost two months we have managed his condition with severe reduction in activity, medications and an attempt at weight loss. After a couple of weeks of this routine he was again walking on all four legs. We were so hopeful that the leg had healed and were even thinking of canceling his scheduled surgery. Sadly, we came home on a recent Sunday to find him once again holding the injured leg up and in obvious pain. This convinced us that surgery was indeed called for. It has been scheduled for October 13 and involves an overnight at the vet hospital and then weeks being crated almost 24/7 to allow for healing. It is breaking my heart to even talk about it. Cooper, Mr. RWS, and I will appreciate your good thoughts and encouragement.
That autumn wind has stirred up things a bit here at Penny Black. I’ve run the vacuum, wiped down the countertops and put away the stamps and inks. The scissors are locked up until next time. I will be checking the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery for your holiday and seasonal creations. Your work always amazes me.
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black Supplies:
- Stamps: 4337K Holly Concert, 30-059 Best Day Ever, 30-261 Nature’s Friends, 30-061 Mimi’s Christmas, 30-264 Jolly Critters, 40-091 Victorian Homes
- Dies: 51-067 World of Wishes, 51-065 Frame and Pattern, 51-081 Branching Out, 51-128 Doodles, 51-021 Love and Joy, 51-058 Joyous Wishes, 51-146 Gothic Gate
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