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Running with scissors and spilling the pom poms!

November 7, 2015


Here we are again! It is officially “Christmas Music in the Stores” season. I am exhausted from last weekend … turning back all the clocks and ripping a sheet off the calendar, all in one day! Each year I am certain that I’ve remembered all the clocks and each year I find one days later that is still one hour off. I’ve been known to adapt by mentally subtracting an hour until the next season of Daylight Savings Time. That’s how we who run with scissors cope with some of life’s smaller details.

Our Halloween was mostly rained out. There were just a few intrepid moms wielding huge umbrellas. Trick or Treating is so different for this generation of kids. When I was growing up and when my kids were growing up, everyone left the house after supper with their pillowcase and didn’t come back for several hours. Now the children have to be escorted or driven. I do believe the next generation will do their trick or treating on line.

Well, live and learn they say: this time I checked the memo and followed the plan. It’s all about “favorite Christmas color combo”. Only one? Not possible. So I’ve made my cards this week using more than one favorite Christmas color combo.


Pink and silver say “delicate” and it seems to be an appropriate color combination for this sweet Puppy Guardian angel. I’ve used the Stellar die as a background and added a snowflake made from the Snow Time die set. That pink strip of color down the right side was inspired by Elizabeth Allan’s series on adding a strip of designer paper to our cards.  I appreciate the assortment of image sizes among the Penny Black stamps. Sometimes it’s fun to work with a larger image. This angel could be the focal point with very little embellishing.


Christmas color combination number two is the very traditional red and green. I’ve stamped the wreath image from the Deck the Halls transparent set onto white finely textured paper (I thought if I stamped on textured paper I could become the next Birgit) and trimmed the wreath with various green pearls. That red sentiment in the center of the wreath, a touch of ribbon and a few leaf stick pins and the traditional card is complete. This wreath image makes creating classic Christmas cards easy peasy.


Kraft paper and soft blue make a very pleasing color combination for a more masculine card. I colored the image from the slapstick stamp Pretty Perch with Copic markers. Some of my markers need refilling and the coloring was a bit streaky. Rather than take the time to refill my markers and go over my work, I dampened a Kleenex with rubbing alcohol and patted the damp tissue all over the colored image. The lines smoothed out but subtle shading was left. I decided I like the effect. And this stamp will be a great one to use all year long.

Something interesting and a little scary happened at our house last week. While I was out running errands, Mr. RWS answered the phone and a voice on the phone said, “Hi, Grandpa. This is your oldest grandson. I need help.” Then a man came on the line and told Mr. RWS that he was calling from the Mexican Embassy to let us know that our grandson was arrested for driving while intoxicated. He told a convoluted story about lawyer’s fees, and the grandson’s paying $300, too. In order to keep him out of jail we needed to send a MoneyGram for $1,300 or he would be serving a two week sentence. Oh, and we were not to tell anyone that we were sending the money, as he was doing us a favor and could get in trouble.

Mr. RWS, a trusting soul, told the man he had to wait for his wife to come home with the car before we could get to a place to send a MoneyGram. As I walked in the door the phone was ringing and Mr. RWS was repeating to Mr. Mexican Embassy that we would be sending the money at two o’clock.

Well, when I heard the story bells started ringing and red flags were waving. I had read in the AARP magazine about such a scam. Grandparents are targeted as they are a softer touch than parents and might believe their grandchild was away from home. I was 99% certain we had become a target for this scam.

Just to be sure, I called our oldest grandson and was pleased to learn he was safely in Wisconsin and had never been to Mexico.

Well, when the embassy man called at 2:05 pm to ask why the money had not yet arrived, I told him I had good news. I would be sending him a check instead of a MoneyGram and the amount was large enough that he could not only bail out my grandson, but he could also choose two young people of his choice to release.   Here is a photo of the check I sent:


Moral of the story: Don’t mess with this Grandma!


The transparent set Snow Fairies makes my heart happy! There are four snow fairy images and two sentiments in the set. I watched Jill’s video demonstrating her incredible watercolor backgrounds, and then I watched it again and even again. She so clearly demonstrates her technique which works so beautifully on the video. I made a few backgrounds that were not ready for prime time before I made this one that I liked. The color combination of purples and blues has been quite popular in recent years for Christmas décor. I just followed Jill’s instructions for creating the “snow” at the bottom of the card and added the sweet snow fairy that I colored and fussy cut. I totally copied Jill’s use of the silver cord and snowflake for the embellishment.


Navy blue and silver for Christmas has always been a combination that pleased my eye. I’ve used the Gothic Gate die opening up to reveal the animals from the Joy to All transparent set that I stamped and embossed. I find that image a gentle reminder of the Nativity and love the way the gate invites us into the scene.


Those snow fairy images are too cute to just make one card. And one of these little guys wasn’t enough cute to satisfy me so I made three of them. They almost look like “see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil”. I am thinking they are just so happy to have real pom poms on their caps that they can’t help but giggle.   The Penny Black designer papers are a great way to choose color combinations for your cards. You can stay with the traditional reds and greens if you choose, but as you can see from this card, less traditional color combinations are fun, too.


Cooper is having a hard time adjusting to the time change. All he knows is that this “thing” had something to do with his meals being served later than he would like. I don’t think he realizes he is going to bed an hour earlier, too.

I hope I am checking with a clock that has been adjusted for the time change because it seems to be clean up time. I have to get out the tiny little vacuum as I just noticed I spilled the bag with the tiny little pom poms. That bag holds a lifetime supply of those fluffy things, and they have certainly enjoyed being released from their tiny cellophane bag. I’ve enjoyed my time in the Penny Black studio and feel confident that this time I’ve completed my Penny Black assignment correctly. I hope you noticed I did add a snowflake or two to today’s cards to make up for last week.

Your comments mean so much to me. I read and savor each one. I hope you are posting your beautiful cards to the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. I enjoy seeing what you are making with your Penny Black stamps and dies.   And I know Penny Black herself enjoys them, too.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black Products:


25 Comments leave one →
  1. Carol permalink
    November 7, 2015 4:45 am

    I love your cards. Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Carolyn Gargus permalink
    November 7, 2015 4:52 am

    I always love your cards, and reading about your life with Cooper and Mr RWS. Starts my day off with inspiration and a smile! Thanks, Judy!

  3. November 7, 2015 4:57 am

    Judy, I so look forward to your beautiful cards and I love your stories, especially about Cooper

  4. linda Baker permalink
    November 7, 2015 5:03 am

    Always look forward to your post!

  5. Kathy H permalink
    November 7, 2015 5:47 am

    Ha, ha! You are SO entertaining!

  6. Donna Whitten permalink
    November 7, 2015 6:18 am

    I really enjoy your cards and your post! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sue C permalink
    November 7, 2015 6:20 am

    Love the color combinations. I chuckled about Cooper not adjusting to the time change. My cat doesn’t either and now gets me up at 3:45 am for his breakfast. By the time I get this stopped it will be time to change again. Ooy!

  8. Susan Roberts permalink
    November 7, 2015 6:24 am

    Wonderful cards!

  9. Carolyn L permalink
    November 7, 2015 6:59 am

    Absolutely love your blog! The cards are stellar all round, but then, you have Penny Black to work with. Win, win, big win.
    Your post “asides” are priceless. Today’s favorite was the difference in how we used to go trick or treating and the prediction that soon, that will be electronic too. Nothing beats dumping your candy filled pillowcase on your bed and trading with your siblings for favorite candy bars (Big Bars, not Bitesy Bars). Thanks for the (great) memory.
    Keep it coming!

  10. mjmarmo permalink
    November 7, 2015 7:29 am

    I am sitting here chuckling! I love your approach to the scammer! Yes, that has been frequently documented so I am glad you were well aware! Love your cards! I hope Cooper adjusts to the time!

  11. Dianne Crowe permalink
    November 7, 2015 8:21 am

    Yes I noticed the snow flakes on you lovely cards. Very glad you were able to spoil the scammers fun and didn’t send a real check. Cooper will adjust to the time change just in time for spring….. LOL He does look quite happy though.

  12. DebbieP permalink
    November 7, 2015 9:06 am

    For me, Saturday morning is Judy and Penny Black time. I love your column. There is satire, intrigue (will the PB cops get you for truancy, breaking the rules, etc.), love (Cooper and Mr. RWS), hate (those scammers!!!), craftiness (all the terrific cards), and just good fun!

  13. November 7, 2015 9:11 am

    Wow, wow, wow! You are such an amazing designer, Judy–love the huge variety in these cards & love every single color combo & layout! You’re an inspiration! Big pat on the head from me to Cooper!
    PS–Your scam story just makes me want to reach through the phone & strangle those fraudsters! So sad how many people aren’t smart & clever, like you!

  14. Jan D., FL permalink
    November 7, 2015 9:27 am

    Love your cards, love seeing your precious Cooper and I really love your stories. My, oh my…what terrible people there are in the world. Loved your answer to the scam artist. LOL I never can figure out how our phone numbers become such public information…For years we paid extra every month to have an unlisted number…didn’t stop solicitors. Of course, now we use our cells and it’s so nice to be able to block bad people. I feel a sense of empowerment. LOL Thanks for another chuckle.

    BTW, we had our first trick or treaters in 3 or 4 years….mostly retired people in our small neighborhood, but we’ve had a couple of young couples with kids move in recently. It was fun and every child said “thank you”….so refreshing to see well mannered children. Thank goodness I grabbed that extra bag of candies….otherwise would have been some tricks played on us. LOL

  15. November 7, 2015 9:48 am

    Another Saturday treat in the annals of time…& because of your diligence, the right time, too. Personally, I detest Standard Time, but that’s just me…I like it to be lighter later in the day. My furbabies are trying to adjust along with me. We’re all just being a tad stubborn about it. Love your color choices and designs for your cards. Well done. Every one is a winner. Adore that puppy angel…gets me all verklempt.
    Too bad, we have to deal with these disgusting scam artists preying on our senior hearts. This is why I keep track of my grandchildren so closely. (Not really, but it’s a good excuse to give to them.) Love the way you handled this creep…think I’ll save some of those “checks” from now on, in case there’s an opportunity to screw with a scammer’s head.
    Can’t wait for your next installment…what else would I do on a Saturday morning.

  16. barbara lassiter permalink
    November 7, 2015 10:06 am

    Love all your beautiful cards… have a great talent for creating all of them. We’ve had two “grandson” calls over the past two years and I just tell them they are not my grandson and hang-up on them, before I even hear the scam!

  17. Judy Bartnik permalink
    November 7, 2015 11:14 am

    Love your cards, but REALLY enjoy your comments each time. Poor Cooper! I know how he feels. Maybe THIS week I can catch up on some much-needed sleep! Glad you didn’t fall for that scam. Too much of that going on out there now. Take care. Us Judy’s have to stick together.

  18. Nancy Scrymgeour permalink
    November 7, 2015 12:57 pm

    I look forward to Saturday and your lovely and entertaining stories and pretty cards. Thanks for including the story of the scam that may help other people avoid losing money. Pats to Cooper–he is such a cute dog.

  19. Vicki Kahlert permalink
    November 7, 2015 1:33 pm

    Glad you’re back. Love your cards and stories about Cooper.

  20. lindagrady permalink
    November 7, 2015 6:00 pm

    I’ve heard that scam story, too, about the grandson; friend got the call and knew about the scam and that her only grandson was at home, safely.

    Cooper is so cute; my Brady is having a hard time figuring out why it’s so dark after supper, here in Michigan. We always go out after supper and sit for a bit, while he does his thing. He walks around like something is not right, why is it so dark? Poor puppy! LOL!

  21. November 7, 2015 6:06 pm

    As usual my Sunday has started with a giggle and an eyeful of wonderful Judy. Love all your cards today and doesn’t Cooper look so smart

  22. November 8, 2015 12:50 am

    Judy, what a brilliant collection of cards, love them all. You gave me a giggle recalling the story about the grandson and your husband taking the call. These scammers never disappear they just change their story all the time. We have just started daylight saving here so our Jake is ever so happy getting to eat earlier than usual or so he thinks!!!

  23. alexandra s.m. permalink
    November 8, 2015 10:38 am

    Another super duper post Judy!
    Your cards are so beautiful!!
    It angers me to hear about the various pranks but I’m glad you knew better!
    Thank You~

  24. Sheri K permalink
    November 8, 2015 1:32 pm

    Great cards, love your stories about Cooper and Mr. RWS!

  25. Virginia L. permalink
    November 8, 2015 10:03 pm

    No one can/should ever mess with you and your stamps, Judy! Gorgeous inspiration, fun thoughts and share. What more could one want? AWESOME!

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