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Runs with Spooktacular Scissors

October 31, 2015


Boo! Or hello! Pardon me while I brush the cobwebs from my hair. It is pretty spooky here at the Penny Black studio. Awesomely spooktacular decorating has been done this year. I am delighted, too, that the bowls of candy are all set for the Trick or Treaters’ arrival. I’m sure the little ghosts and goblins won’t miss a candy bar or two. It seems I am more creative when munching.


The slapstick stamp Twilight makes a perfect background for many fall-themed cards.   Here I’ve stamped it in black and added the little mice from the Bewitched transparent set and the sentiment from Little Witchy to create a spooky Halloween card. This Especially for You release contains several of the nature-themed stamps that Penny Black does so perfectly. I really appreciate that they can be used year around.

.Did you ever show up for an exam in school and after reviewing the questions wonder where you had been while everyone else was in class? Early on in my education I learned the hard way that “suggested reading” means “this will be on the exam”.

Well, it’s happened to me today, right now. Just as I was preparing to reveal the cards I made today I decided to check the memo telling me what the theme is this week. Hmmm, looks like everyone else is doing snowflakes! “Projects are to feature snow or snowflakes within the design”, says the memo.

Quick check: not a snowflake in sight! Sorry, Penny Black … But I promise to pay better attention next time.


Somehow when the woodblock stamp Letter Background was released five years ago, I missed it. I am happy to say I have taken care of that mistake and have used it for the background on this card. I stamped it using VersaMark ink and silver embossing powder and added the sentiment from Wonder and Joy and those great branches from Into the Woods.


This card makes me smile. I’ve used the Polaroid frame to surround the little mouse from Deck the Halls and Ms. Rudolph-Wannabe from Twinkle and Wish. The candy striped paper is from the Wintertime designer paper pack.


I wish I had incorporated a few snowflakes on this card, but polar bears and stars will have to do. The Artic Antics transparent set includes four adorable polar bear images suitable for holiday cards as well as winter birthdays. For this holiday card I used the creative die set Celebrations for the sentiment.

I’m so glad I have occasions to travel, especially by plane. There’s always a story or two to share once I return home.

Earlier this month I spent a week visiting Evelyn and Jack, the youngest grandchildren. When I know I have to book a flight, I always make my decision based on lowest cost. Lately I’ve learned I need to take a few other variables into consideration, such as length of layover, size of plane, and previous experiences with a particular airline.

I returned home from Wisconsin on a small airplane. How small was it? Well, too small to allow the Jetway to fit against the plane so we loaded and unloaded out on the tarmac. This included waiting for our carry-on bags to be unloaded from the hold as the overhead compartments were way too small to fit carry-ons.

But my story involves the inside of the plane this time. My seatmate and I were absorbed with our reading material, pretending in spite of the cramped space that we were unaware of each other (airplane etiquette, I guess, which is similar to elevator etiquette) when a loud sound and a flash of motion caught our attention. We realized that a four or five foot piece of trim had come loose from most of its screws and was hanging at an angle from the top of the window. My seatmate tried to wrest the piece from its last screw, with no luck.

The flight attendant was nearby serving beverages and noticed the problem. She put her cart away and asked us both to vacate our seats while she repaired the trim. Of course, there isn’t much going on during a flight and this was a welcomed distraction for all the passengers, especially those who had heard the noise but couldn’t see what had happened. And the next thing they knew, two passengers were asked to leave their seats. I did my best to look dignified as well as innocent while standing in the aisle.

My seatmate and I had a clear view of the flight attendant’s trip down the aisle to access the in-flight toolbox. We watched as she struggled a bit to unpack the contents searching for what we thought would be the perfect wrench or screw driver or drill to make the repair. Imagine our surprise and shock when she stood up with a SUPER sized roll of duct tape! Yep, the kind my kids used to mend their socks and that we have all used for repairs in an emergency. And everyone around us noticed it too. There was one large round of chuckles as she marched up the aisle, duct tape to the rescue. And a round of applause when she had finished her repair job.

The best part of this story is this all occurred on the first leg of my flight home and I had to leave that plane and wait in the airport for my connecting flight. Well, not unusually, shortly before boarding time there was an announcement that the next flight would be experiencing a short delay due to the need for “minor repairs”. As I boarded the plane, I looked up and there was the same flight attendant, greeting us as we boarded. I realized that we were flying home on the same plane we had just vacated. As I approached the flight attendant I only had to give her a quizzical look and she nodded. The minor repair, indeed, had been to reinstall the trim. I think I will skip this airline next time and opt for one with a real tool box.


No stamping here at all. I made the background using Distress Inks and mounted the Sending Joy diecut as well as the sentiment from Wonder and Joy. This die is so versatile: to color or not to color the bird on the branch. And no need to put this die away after the holidays. Enjoy it for holiday cards, but also use it year around for many occasions, using varied techniques.


I love little boy images. This little guy is a slapstick image, Pine Sprite. I created a background for him using the Tall Timbers image, another very versatile stamp. This little guy looks so pleased to be bringing home some Christmas trimmings.

Well, that brings me to the end of my fun at the Penny Black studio. Well, not quite. While you were busy reading the story of my airline woes, I quickly made a snowflake card. It’s easily done with so many Penny Black goodies around.


I’ve used the Evergreen and Snowtime dies and the little penguins are from the transparent set Spread Cheer. I am so happy there are penguins in this release.

Just like school days, I’m sure my grade on this card will be lowered due to its being tardy and the assignment really is incomplete.

Last time I was here I promised an update on Cooper’s pending surgery. On Tuesday the 13th of October Mr. RWS and I took Cooper to the vet hospital very early in the morning. I will share with you that one of us was crying pretty steadily (hint: not Mr. RWS). We went home to await the call from the doctor that surgery was over. Well, at about the time surgery was scheduled to begin, we received a call from the hospital and I was almost too frightened to answer it. The doctor had examined Cooper’s injured leg very carefully and observed him walking on leash and off and had come to the conclusion that our months of restricted activity along with his medications had healed the leg enough that surgery was no longer indicated!

We didn’t break any laws, but we didn’t waste any time going to pick Cooper up, either. It was what we had been hoping and praying for even while we were exposing him to the crate that was to have been his “home” for two months of healing after surgery.


After that super good news, I haven’t much more to say except I’ve enjoyed our visit and I love reading your comments. Don’t forget to share your cards in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery.

From Penny Black to Judy: Snowflakes or not, you make the “rules” on Saturday and we always love it. Keep on running with those scissors, girl!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black Supplies:



29 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2015 1:09 am

    So happy to hear that Cooper managed to escape having surgery. He, obviously, was so good at taking care that he healed nicely. He is one smart pooch!! Please give him an extra Halloween treat. Love the cards….even the tardy snowflake one.

  2. Dianne Crowe permalink
    October 31, 2015 4:20 am

    Way to go Cooper, it is sad to see you in that cage. So glad you will not have to spend two months in there (what pets can do to our hearts???). Oh and the cards are lovely always enjoy seeing your creations.

  3. Sue C permalink
    October 31, 2015 4:43 am

    That’s fabulous news about Cooper. Oh, loved the cards too!

  4. Michelle Sissom permalink
    October 31, 2015 5:53 am

    Judy, I love all your artwork and I really look forward to your stories. I am so happy about Cooper. I have grown to love him too just from his adventures.

  5. October 31, 2015 5:59 am

    Lovely cards and I am so happy that Cooper did not need surgery.

  6. Jan D., FL permalink
    October 31, 2015 6:02 am

    OMG…once again, I’m laughing so hard at your flight story. Having spent many, many years taking flights almost every day of the week, I find your humor particularly “right on”…. I’ve seen so many hysterical things and people in airports and on planes….and a few not so funny. Thanks so much for the laughs….you brought back some great memories.

    So glad to hear about your adorable Cooper. Whew!

    Great cards today and did I hear once (or twice) that in art “there are no rules”???? LOL

    Have a good weekend….

  7. mjmarmo permalink
    October 31, 2015 6:44 am

    Beautiful cards! So glad to hear about Cooper!

  8. Deanna Morgan permalink
    October 31, 2015 6:44 am

    Once more I have gobbled up your latest blog. It seems that anymore yours is the only blog I actually read, every time, all the way through. I love your gentle humor (AND your cards, of course). I recently took that same airline and totally understand when you say you’ll find another one next time. At least we didn’t have to pay for the luggage that was “supposedly” carry on; even if we did have to wait. But, I’m cheap and didn’t mind the waiting. It was actually faster than waiting for the wheel to deliver luggage in the terminal. I’m so glad Cooper is home sans surgery! He is so adorable. Helps me get over the loss of my cockapoo almost a year ago now.

  9. creating in colors permalink
    October 31, 2015 6:57 am

    Beautiful cards! I can’t wait to try these ideas. Love your stories too!

  10. Patti J. permalink
    October 31, 2015 7:16 am

    Your cards are beautiful, as always! I’ve been reading your blog for what seems like forever, and decided that I had to comment today…How exciting that your sweet Cooper got by so well without having surgery! I’m so happy for you all!!! We just returned from some air travel ourselves, and can relate to your fun story. We too, had to walk out onto the Tarmac to board an itty bitty puddle jumper plane. What an adventure! Take care…😉

  11. karenajo permalink
    October 31, 2015 7:39 am

    Always look forward to your posts and tales from everyday life !!
    Super cards – love all the different looks you create !!
    I am so very happy Cooper escaped the surgery by healing so well – the best news of all
    I always enjoy hearing about him in your blog !

  12. Harriet permalink
    October 31, 2015 8:12 am

    Love reading your posts. Good for Cooper and the walking parents who enabled him to heal without surgery. I love the bird die. Penny Black has the best stamps ever. I own several and admire many, many more.

  13. debbie p permalink
    October 31, 2015 8:53 am

    As always, I so enjoy reading your posts. This week was no exception. Your cards are lovely and I’m glad the folks at Penny Black can easily overlook your lack of snowflakes. As for Cooper, I would say please be sure to keep that vet. Having worked for vets for some years, not all of them would have cancelled the surgery and lost the $$. Just saying!!

    • judka permalink
      October 31, 2015 9:00 am

      Debbie, we also very much appreciated that the vet canceled the surgery .. and know that perhaps not all vets would have.

  14. barbara lassiter permalink
    October 31, 2015 9:28 am

    Loved your cards, it’s early in the season yet and your snowflake card was not late! 🙂 Great news about Cooper and I will say that I would have to think twice about flying on a plane that is duck taped together, whether inside or out! LOL!

  15. Kathy H permalink
    October 31, 2015 10:41 am

    I always enjoy your newsletter so much! My life seems very dull by comparison. I’m so glad that Cooper is doing well and did not need surgery. I loved your story and cards. Oh and the “Joy” card has the “feel” of snowfall because of the white scripted background.

  16. Marilyn Valadez permalink
    October 31, 2015 11:23 am

    Great airplane story Judy…love it! Thank goodness that was all she had to duct tape together!

    Your cards are a bright spot this morning…adore all of them! So very happy to hear that your cutie pie Cooper doesn’t have to endure surgery on his leg! I know what that is like waiting to hear if all has gone well and then for your Vet. to call and tell you to come pick him up and you can finally breathe easy again! You and yours enjoy the weekend, Judy! :))

  17. Linda S in NE permalink
    October 31, 2015 12:10 pm

    I was beyond happy to learn that Cooper can skip his surgery. Way to go, Dr. So glad he is safely at home.

  18. October 31, 2015 12:33 pm

    It appears you have been forgiven for the lack of snowflakes. Yes, the one you did is lovely…those penquins amuse me a lot. But all your other cards were so terrific, I’m sure Penny Black will be pleased. Especially love that sprite.
    After your harrowing flght home, considering the plane was falling apart, I’m not surprised you will not be booking on that airline again. I’m not sure I would have stayed on the connector home.
    Cannot tell you how thrilled beyond belief that Cooper will not have to undergo surgery. He’s such a precious darling and he apparently heals well. You go, Cooper!!!

  19. donna mikasa permalink
    October 31, 2015 1:38 pm

    Oh, I think the moral of your airline story is always carry duct tape in your handbag! So glad you landed safely–you could have been on the evening news! And I’m so happy Cooper avoided the knife. He’ll get lots of TLC and be up and running in no time! Oh, and your cards are fabulous as always! Happy Halloween, Jungs!

  20. Cheryl Robertson permalink
    October 31, 2015 4:21 pm

    Nice cards, great story. But I have a question: what is a slapstick image or stamp?

    • judka permalink
      October 31, 2015 6:31 pm

      Cheryl, thanks for commenting. A slapstick stamp is an unmounted rubber stamp. Some companies call them “cling”. You use them with an acrylic block. They usually are sold separately or maybe with a sentiment. Penny Black also has transparent stamps that are sets and include multiple images. I guess a simpler answer would be that “slapstick” is the name Penny Black calls their unmounted “clilng” stamps..

  21. Nora permalink
    October 31, 2015 4:58 pm

    Wow!! What a great story!! I don’t think I would be flying on that airline too soon either!! LOVE your beautiful cards that you created. Every one is a work of art!!

  22. October 31, 2015 7:09 pm

    Beautiful cards! Lots of good inspiration! Wonderful, funny and happy stories!

  23. October 31, 2015 7:14 pm

    Hurrah!! I’ve been thinking about Cooper & am so, so glad he’s recovered without surgery!! What a great doc not to just go ahead & do it! Love your cards, Judy–every single one! I really need the tree die & stamp!

  24. November 1, 2015 2:44 pm

    Great cards, great story and good news on Cooper.

  25. November 2, 2015 5:21 am

    Happy Monday…so I am late to the party. Beyond beautiful cards, even with no snowflakes!!! The one that caught my eye was the frame with the small mouse (too cute) and the PLAID button. I need that button!!!! You have given is great inspiration to start off the week…thank you! Love your stories and so happy that Mr. RWS Cooper is doing so much better…without surgery! You must have done a great job Mom! hugs my friend, 🙂

  26. November 2, 2015 7:28 am

    I love your cards Judy:) I am also happy to hear that Cooper is doing much better:)

  27. alexandra s.m. permalink
    November 6, 2015 8:07 pm

    Hello dear Judy!
    Sorry I’m so late in the game but just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your posts (art and prose;) even if it takes me nearly a week to delve into it!

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