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Runs with Autumn Scissors

October 17, 2015


Happy Saturday, happy Fall, happy October and happy to be back! If Penny Black had a truant officer I certainly would be in trouble. Although once I explained my disappearance (as in where have I been) I am sure my absence would be marked “excused”. They say a picture is worth a thousand words so I will let these photos tell you why I wasn’t here lately:


Gulf Shores, Alabama is a six hour drive from our home in Huntsville. Sadly, it has taken us ten years to get there. I don’t think there will be another ten year gap between visits. This photo was taken from the balcony of our lovely rented condo. The heron visited our section of the beach on the first day we were there. We had perfect weather, a perfect condo and a perfectly wonderful vacation. I did learn something about sand, however. Mainly, it has no manners and invites itself into parts of your body that should remain yours and yours alone.

While I was gone I was able to enjoy the incredible Product Spotlight week with Birgit and the amazing Tag Time posts by the Penny Black designers, thanks to WiFi and my tablet. I have especially enjoyed this past week featuring Autumn–themed cards. While I enjoy the bright floral and sunshine tones of summer, once the weather turns cooler I am ready for the golden and earth tones of fall. Once I have made the first meat loaf dinner of the season, I know it is time to think of Halloween and Thanksgiving as well as fall birthdays.


This little witch is too sweet to be scary! This is a slapstick stamp titled Little Witchy and comes with the Happy Halloween sentiment along with the sentiment “Sorry I’ve been a little witchy”.   For sure, this set will NOT be stored away with the Halloween stamps. I will keep it on hand in case of a bad mood emergency.


A sure cure for feeling “witchy” is focusing on gratitude. I’ve used four different dies and the woodblock stamp Letter Background to put this card together. I found the sparkly gold organza ribbon among my stash and instead of hoarding it any longer, I used the entire piece for a very generous bow. This card with a different sentiment would be a great masculine birthday card.


Penny Black has included some amazing nature-themed stamps in the new release. Here I’ve used the slapstick stamp Tall Timbers to provide a background for the deer and leaves. Again, a great Thanksgiving card that could easily be changed to a masculine birthday card.

Last month when I was sharing stories of “how I spent my summer vacation” I mentioned an adventure involving a “crying driveway” and a “big bad bulldozer”. Well, the driveway that cried is attached to my home and the bulldozer eventually came to visit.


One early Sunday morning as we left for church, I noticed there was a little water leaking from the seam between sections of our concrete driveway. Mr. RWS and I talked about it briefly but went on our way and by the time we returned home there was no more leaking water and so we thought no more problem.

Interestingly, the water began showing up each morning by 7:00 am and drying up by 11:00 am. After a couple of weeks of this, I became concerned enough to call the Utility company and request someone to check it out. It was almost like our leak had “high tides” and “low tides”.

The technician came out rather quickly and just as quickly asserted that “it’s your problem, not ours. The water main is across the street.” All I could think of was a very expensive repair of a leaking pipe that could only be reached by digging up our driveway!   However, before he left he took a sample of the water with him for testing.

Surprisingly, the tests showed that the water coming down our driveway was NOT treated City water, which meant we were dealing with some force of nature involving groundwater or worse and not simply a leaking pipe.

Well, since we had lived here for almost ten years with no such phenomenon, it was hard to accept that we were dealing with Mother Mature gone mad with our driveway the only one being affected. And as the weeks went by, the leak became worse and became constant, causing a little rivulet of water to run all along the curb. There were several more visits by the water technicians who would get out of their truck, observe the flowing water, shake their heads, mutter something like, “sure doesn’t look good” and then leave.

By now, we were feeling a little panicky. Friends would not drive their car onto our driveway; I zoomed out of the garage in order to get to the street before the driveway collapsed; and I worried we were living above a sink hole. We talked about the impossibility of ever selling our house with the now very obvious “crying driveway”.

Well, a happy coincidence brought the episode to a conclusion. While Mr. RWS was walking Cooper one morning, a neighbor happened to be out for his morning walk and he just so happened to be a manager at the Water Department. He had been observing our situation for a while and had meant to discuss it with us earlier. Mr. RWS related the history and the diagnosis that it was not city water. Well, Mr. Water Department Manager said he would look into the matter and get back to us.

Within hours there was a different technician at our home who retested the water then and there and declared that it, indeed, was City water. Furthermore, it was not going through our water meter which meant it was the City’s problem and not ours.

My first instinct was to hug him, but I knew that would not be appropriate. After at least two months of stress and worry the problem would be fixed.

In another happy coincidence, the most recent technician had been involved with the development of our neighborhood and knew that originally the water meter from this house had been located where the driveway is now. When the driveway was poured, the water meter was relocated by extending a pipe across the driveway. It was this pipe that was leaking.


While my driveway was not dug up to repair the pipe, our water meter and a section of the sidewalk and road across from us was. And this is the big bad bulldozer that dug up everything. Somehow the leaky pipe was snaked out and new pipe snaked in. And the driveway has not cried since (and neither have I).


The Autumn Jewel die set is indispensable for making Autumn themed cards. The diecuts are fun to color using distress inks and a blender tool. I just used a little of this and a little of that, mounted them on some patterned paper along with the Thanksgiving sentiment from the Fall Flutters slapstick set that I stitched down.


Oh, how I love this Pumpkin Patch slapstick stamp! I love the watercolor look, the large size of the stamp, and how easy it is to make a uniquely beautiful card. I inked the stamp with Luxe ink and Delicata gold ink which gives the pumpkins a lovely sparkle. Since one can never have enough gold, I added the Diamond Border diecut to balance out the sentiment. I don’t think pumpkins are limited to Thanksgiving or Halloween; they are great on a fall “just because” card, too.


Those nature-themed slapstick stamps make awesome backgrounds for the cute Penny Black Halloween images from the transparent set Bewitched. These three little mice are going to be covering a lot of ground on Halloween by flying instead of walking.


Cooper had his 6th birthday last week. It is hard to believe he’s been part of our family for four years. There is no number large enough to describe how much joy and fun he’s added to our lives. He lives to please us and is generous with his tail wags, face licks and unconditional love. Happy Birthday, Cooper! I will bring you up to date on Cooper’s surgery the next time I Run With Scissors.

And here it is again: clean up time. I love working in the Penny Black studio, using their fabulous collection of stamps and dies.  And now that I straightened things out with the Truant Officer I can count on being allowed to return.   He did caution, however, that while he has no enforcement authority over the rules for scissors, he would not hesitate to refer me to those who do. Ooops!

I can’t wait to see your fall creations posted in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. You are an amazingly talented group of people!
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

24 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2015 1:19 am

    Just to say I have had a few minutes really enjoying popping into your water problem…and joining in Coopers birthday celebrations. I just had to keep reading to see if the crying water would ever stop crying, so very glad it did! oh your cards are gorgeous too! x

  2. Dianne Crowe permalink
    October 17, 2015 4:00 am

    Very pretty cards, glad to hear you were able to fix your driveway. Happy Birthday, cutie, Cooper.

  3. Sue C permalink
    October 17, 2015 4:39 am

    Happy Birthday Cooper – he looks so cute with his party hat! I never had a dog that would wear anything or pose for pictures. They all ran when the camera came out. My experiences with local water departments have been similar – it’s not their problem until months later it is. So glad your water problem was solved and that your neighbor remembered what the details were. Loved your cards – I have been inspired to make a few of my own today.

  4. October 17, 2015 5:22 am

    Lots of great inspiration here, Judy! Glad you got your driveway to stop crying. (Loved reading your tale.) And Happy Birthday to Cooper!

  5. Cyndee permalink
    October 17, 2015 5:31 am

    very pretty cards and I enjoyed reading your story

  6. Jan D., Florida permalink
    October 17, 2015 5:52 am

    Your postings hit many emotions…laughter, intrigue, suspense, joy, etc….you should be a writer of novels….or maybe you are.

    Anyway, I grew up on Gulf Shores beaches and they are the prettiest beaches any where. It’s affectionately been called the Redneck Riviera. You made me a bit home sick. I know you must have had a terrific time there.

    Loved your cards and Cooper, as always, is adorable.

    • judka permalink
      October 17, 2015 6:29 am

      Jan, the Redneck Riviera has changed significantly in the last ten years. Hurricane damage required totally rebuilding and upgrading along the beaches. While beautiful, it isn’t the same as staying in the old “mom and pop” hotels of long ago!! And of course, they had to deal with the damage done due to the BP oil damage.

  7. October 17, 2015 6:19 am

    Glad everything worked out with the driveway and Happy Birthday Cooper, who looks absolutely adorable in his birthday hat.

  8. Kay Miller permalink
    October 17, 2015 6:52 am

    Your post are always so enjoyable Judy! So glad you had fun at Gulf Shores. I am from Tallahassee,and grew up along the beaches of the panhandle! So pretty down there! So glad you got the driveway thing resolved! I’m sure that’s a load off your mind! Oh and last but certainly not least, your cards are each and everyone amazing! Happy birthday to Cooper too! He’s a doll!

  9. bdengler4 permalink
    October 17, 2015 7:07 am

    Happy Birthday, Cooper!!! You are looking so handsome! And Judy, I am so happy you figured out that stupid leak – what a relief for you. Your cards are all fabulous, as always! I’m glad you enjoyed your vacation, but I’m even more glad you’re back! Hugs! ♥

  10. October 17, 2015 7:44 am

    BEAUTIFUL CARDS JUDY!!!! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE your stories! LOL Happy Birthday to Cooper & GLAD you got some needed R&R after your crying driveway episode! That WOULD BE stressful!!!! 😉

  11. October 17, 2015 9:12 am

    Judy, I loved reading your blog today! Birthday wishes to Cooper too! I was surprised to hear you live in Huntsville! I started reading your blog because I recognized the photo of Gulf Shores immediately – -we were just there last month! We live just outside the city limits of Tuscaloosa! I’m always happy to come across crafters in Alabama! Beautiful cards today!
    Take care!

    • judka permalink
      October 17, 2015 9:25 am

      Michele, we were there last month, too. Who knows? We may have been stopped at the same traffic light at one time or another. Did you get tot go to the Scrapbook store in Foley?

  12. Judy Wheeler permalink
    October 17, 2015 9:31 am

    Love reading and seeing this. Where did you rent in Gulf Shores? Thanks, Judy Wheeler

    Sent from my iPhone


    • judka permalink
      October 17, 2015 10:04 am

      We rented the condo owned by a friend from church … but there are several realty companies in Gulf Shores that manage condos for rent …

  13. October 17, 2015 9:39 am

    You are just amazing, Judy! Can’t even pick a favorite from this post! Looks like a gorgeous spot for a vacation & hope things go well for darling Mr. Cooper!

  14. debbie p permalink
    October 17, 2015 9:57 am

    Yay – you’re back! I missed your post last week and had to keep checking my dates to make sure it wasn’t only Friday. Glad you were excused by the nice truant officer! Your cards are lovely as always, but I was really drawn to the Thanksgiving Wish with the golden leaves – truly perfect for this time of year, at least as I remember it. I live in Hawaii now but grew up in Michigan. Alas, Hawaii has little color change to excite me like Fall in northern Michigan. Thanks again for sharing your talents, both in crafting and story telling.

  15. VICTORIA SCHMIDT permalink
    October 17, 2015 10:07 am

    That is good that the situation on your driveway was fixed. I would have been crying too.Vicky

  16. Virginia L. permalink
    October 17, 2015 12:15 pm

    Thanks for sharing your ART and HUMOR (more fun for us…obviously, we didn’t need to deal with the crying driveway!! That would drive me bonkers!!). Love the happy ending and your continuing feature in the PB blog. I do admire the gold and earthy tones of your beautiful Fall cards!

  17. October 17, 2015 2:05 pm

    This was a bevy of lovely fall themed cards. So missed you while you were relaxing on the Gulf. I am a little envious but not of the issue of the sand. Yes, it is incredibly invasive. Hope it’s gone by now like your weeping driveway. What an ordeal…I, too, would have been concerned with sinkholes. Don’t believe they have insurance for that. Wish Cooper a Happy Birthday, please. Although he got cake and candles, he doesn’t appear to be too thrilled with his head covering. Take card and thank you for the smiles and giggles.

  18. knurse22 permalink
    October 18, 2015 5:18 am

    So happy to see your smile-inducing stories and beautiful cards back here, Judy! But I’m glad you took some R&R—to visit that part of the Gulf is on my bucket list. Cooper looks fabulous and sending up a prayer for an easy surgical adventure and speedy return to ‘new’ for him.

  19. Claire lapierre permalink
    October 21, 2015 4:02 am

    Just loved to see cooper among the card, love dogs and card making
    St-Bruno Qc

  20. Rufred permalink
    October 21, 2015 7:56 am

    LOL…he looks so impressed by it all (not). Happy birthday cute one!

  21. Donna Billingsley permalink
    October 21, 2015 9:43 am

    Absolutely love the wildlife and the simplicity of these cards. You have outdone yourselves.

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