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Runs with THANKFUL Scissors

November 21, 2015


Hello, and happy holiday season. How can it be five days before Thanksgiving? Weren’t we just celebrating Halloween? After Thanksgiving, it’s a mere four weeks until Christmas Eve. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time to panic and finish up my Christmas cards. The Penny Black studio is the perfect place for inspiration and putting ink to paper.

Before I move on to Christmas, here’s a card I made to celebrate Thanksgiving. Poor Thanksgiving can get lost in the shuffle if you let it. However, it is my favorite holiday; family, food, friends and gratitude. We are looking forward to being in Atlanta to share the holiday with our now teenaged grandchildren and their parents.


I’ve used the Snowy Grove slapstick stamp for the background of this Thanksgiving card. It is a perfect setting for the silhouette deer and tree from the Nature’s Beauty die set. The silhouette images from Penny Black can be used in so many ways, for so many occasions. I am most successful creating colorful backgrounds using the emboss resist technique as I’ve done here. I’m sure these deer are thankful that the main course for Thanksgiving dinner is turkey and not venison.


The Penny Black designers have been sharing their amazing scenes involving snow and I’ve been inspired to create a snowy sky as a background for the Metropolitan die. I had great fun flicking my paintbrush loaded with Irresistible Pico Embellisher onto my distressed background to create the snow. Ooops, I should have watched where I was flicking; there is now snow where snow should not be.


Jill Foster’s creative use of the Postcard woodblock stamp was the inspiration for this card. I distressed white cardstock with neutral shades of Distress ink, lightly stamped the Letter Background and then stamped the Holly Tweet image and colored it with Copics. Did you notice the tiny Christmas message? I must admit, the red and green color combination says “classic Christmas” to me.

Mr. RWS and I have much to be thankful for. Kids and grandkids, a home that is not on wheels, good health, and a dog named Cooper. Yes, Cooper is on our Gratitude List. And from the comments that have been left on my RWS posts, he has quite the fan club, too.

Four years ago I was watching television when a commercial popped up for the website “”. Mr. RWS had been talking for several years about wanting to add a dog to our family. He especially wanted a Bichon Frisse, so that’s what I searched for when I checked out the website.

Lo and behold, there was a photo of a little white Bichon/poodle mix, named Omelette, located at a rescue just south of Nashville, a two hour drive from our home.

In order to receive any information about Omelette it was necessary to fill out an adoption application which started our journey to add Cooper to our family. I might add that the application process was at least as rigorous as the process to adopt my son many years ago.

Weeks passed with no word and we assumed Omelette had found his forever home. Imagine my surprise when one Saturday morning we received an email letting us know the decision had been made to place Omelette in a quiet home such as ours due to his being frightened of too much commotion and the excitement of little kids wanting to play with him during his “meet and greets”. The director offered us an opportunity to meet Cooper and then make a decision. I told her our decision had been made when we filled out the paperwork and that when we drove up to see him we planned to take him home with us; which is what we did.

As predicted, because of his first two years spent as a breeder with little social interaction, he was terrified of the ride home and of being in a strange place. It must have been instinct that told him where safety was and he immediately ran and hid under our bed. It took days before he would come to either of us. We quickly learned that the offer of food was the only thing stronger than his fear.

I look back on the weeks, months and yes, years of sharing the real world with him. He was frightened of cement sidewalks, passing cars, loud noises, little kids playing, and even my ironing board (a fear I totally understood). Eventually we won his trust and he has rewarded us with his unconditional love and loyalty. He chewed on a shoe once; he peed on the rug once; and chewed a Kleenex once. It took only one “no” to any of these occurrences and that was the end. It has been a joy to watch him blossom and learn to trust his world.

While my original intent was to adopt a dog for Mr. RWS, he has also stolen my heart. Mr. RWS is his alpha dog, but he comes to me for food, cuddling and play. His happiest times are sitting between the two of us, on the couch that he does not go on unless invited. We call these times of sharing “family meetings”.

Cooper is the definition of unconditional love. He brings out the softer nurturing side of Mr. RWS and I can become teary just thinking about how much he has added to the love, fun and joy in our lives.

Why am I sharing so much about Cooper today? Because we had a scary time with him recently that reminded us how much he means to us and how empty our lives would be without him.

When we picked Cooper up from his last grooming appointment, the groomer pointed out a growth under the skin of Cooper’s rear left thigh. It felt very much like an embedded wooden nickel. She reminded us that it had grown quite a bit since she last saw him and we agreed. We went right to the vet clinic and asked to have him seen.

I was hoping for a quick dismissal and on with our lives. After all, we had just dodged the ACL surgery and were still feeling quite smug about that. Instead, surgery was scheduled within a few days for removal and biopsy of that growth and a little one on a right front paw.

Again, how I hated to leave him there. And oh how anxious I was about the biopsy results. Poor little guy was sent home groggy, frightened and wearing the dreaded “cone of shame”. Within minutes of being in the house he bumped into a doorway and from then on would not move if we put the cone on.


We had been told the cone could come off if we were right there with him. It was imperative he not lick or bother his surgical wounds. So, I just spent the next few days close to him and we didn’t leave him home alone. He wore that cone for a very short time. A few sharp “no’s” if he started licking and he then left his wounds alone, such a good little dog as always.

The best the vet would say about the odds of benign vs. malignant was 50/50. The six days of waiting for biopsy results seemed like six years. We were already bracing ourselves for bad news and discussing the “what if’s”.

When the phone rang that Monday morning my heart fell to my stomach when I realized it was the doctor on the line. In my experience, the good news is always relayed by a nurse or technician; the bad news is delivered by the doctor.

I have no words to describe the relief when she told me the news was all good. Cooper had some kind of hair follicle tumors that were benign.

When I started writing about Cooper, we had not received the biopsy reports so I had no idea how this story would end. Whatever the results, I knew I would be sharing them with you. We, indeed, have one more reason to be grateful this Thanksgiving.


Elizabeth Allen’s choice of orange, teal and pool for a Christmas color combination was my inspiration for this card. Copic coloring, fussy cutting, some dimensional elements along with designer paper from the Holiday Trimmings paper pad is the recipe for this card. Who knew that orange could work so well for a Christmas card? Love all the images in the transparent set Arctic Antics.


Can you tell I’ve indulged my love for cute a bit? The lamppost die from the set The Gathering made my heart beat a bit faster when I first saw it. Here I’ve cut three lampposts and stacked them, adding a bit of yellow paper behind the lantern. I made use of my stack of silver paper again for the lamppost and the “street”. That brick background is perfect for my urban Christmas shopper.


Silver and pool create a gentle color combination for this Christmas card. No electronic game or battery operated toy can cuddle or be cuddled like an old fashioned teddy bear. This is Copic coloring with some metallic hearts and a silver bow. Old fashioned is just what we need sometimes and I’m glad the Penny Black collection includes so many sweet images.

Oh, my! Time for clean up and pack up. Thank you for sharing this time with me. For those who read Run with Scissors for humor and giggles, I apologize. It was just a very serious time at our house and no funny stories came to mind.


Mr. RWS, Cooper and I wish all of you in the United States a Thanksgiving Day that includes whatever makes your heart happy. I’ve packed the scissors safely away until next time. And I will be visiting the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to see the beautiful work you’ve done with the amazing and varied Penny Black stamps and dies.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

43 Comments leave one →
  1. November 21, 2015 2:10 am

    Dear Judy,
    Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you for sharing Cooper’s story and your creative cards. I always enjoy reading your blogs. We have a special little boy too!

  2. November 21, 2015 2:22 am

    I love cute cards, they bring joy to everyone and the world needs more joy! So don’t apologize for indulging in cute. Thanks for sharing your story about Cooper. We have our rescued “child”, a Maine Coon cat who has filled our lives with unconditional love too. Aren’t we blessed to have four footed friends and the ability to create beauty with ink and paper?

  3. Michelle Shackleton permalink
    November 21, 2015 3:03 am

    So very happy to hear that Cooper is OK. My 12 year old girl (Tilly – also a Bichon) doesn’t like the vet either, particularly as she ages. It’s awful to know something is wrong, but have no definitive answer. I adore your stories about Cooper and love to see his photos. Thank you for sharing :))

  4. Micheline Jourdain permalink
    November 21, 2015 3:07 am

    Wow Judy, I am wow with the first one! Beautiful Thankful card!!! Love all but the first is my favorite. Have a very great Thanksgiving day
    to you and your family! I know how much it is a great Holiday for American peoples! We share with you because we are near of you.

  5. Anita permalink
    November 21, 2015 4:18 am

    Beautiful cards (especially like the postcard Christmas one!) and a beautiful Thanksgiving story about Cooper. Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Sue C permalink
    November 21, 2015 4:46 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I am so thankful that Cooper is okay. I always enjoy your cards. The postcard one is my fav this time!

  7. November 21, 2015 4:55 am

    My dog passed away before we were able to reconcile with the aim of her illness. It was one of the worst experience in my life. I am glad that Cooper’s OK. Request more such wonderful news 🙂

  8. Jan D., FL permalink
    November 21, 2015 4:56 am

    I have to admit, I teared up reading your story, but that’s okay. When we lost our little Barnie after having him as part of our family for 17 years, I didn’t think hubby and I would survive the grief. So, many out here in the blog world totally understand your love for Cooper. So glad the news was positive. Cooper is lucky to have you and Mr. RWS as you are to have Cooper. He’s so adorable.

    Great cards today, as always. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  9. Gail permalink
    November 21, 2015 5:48 am

    I am so happy that this turned out well…hugs to your sweet baby and well you too…we all need a hug from time to time…

  10. Debta permalink
    November 21, 2015 6:25 am

    So glad to hear everything is ok Cooper – wise. I have always loved dogs, but for one reason or another, didn’t have one for the last several years. Then I looked on the website for our Humane Society, and there she was. Took one look and knew she was the one. Left work early, picked up the kids, and went out to see her. About 3 weeks later we were able to bring her home. She has been a great addition to our home and there is truly nothing like loving a dog, especially when they love you back! Glad Cooper is ok and hope you have a great Thanksgiving!

  11. Linda Baker permalink
    November 21, 2015 6:43 am

    Glad Cooper is ok. Love the cards. Hugs!

  12. Sheri permalink
    November 21, 2015 6:57 am

    Rescues are the BEST! We have had many and are convinced they are grateful to be out of the conditions they left behind. Congrats on finding your Cooper, as he appears to be a perfect fit for the two of you. So glad he dodged another medical emergency! Blessings to Cooper and you and the mister…Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. mjmarmo permalink
    November 21, 2015 7:04 am

    Happy Thanksgiving. So glad Cooper is ok. Waiting is always so scary! We have a 15 year old Golden retriever so we know about unconditional love.

  14. Sharon permalink
    November 21, 2015 7:44 am

    Couldn’t be a happier post. Thank you for sharing.

  15. barbara lassiter permalink
    November 21, 2015 8:28 am

    Lovely, lovely cards and I’m so glad that Cooper is doing well. I know it will make for a Happy Thanksgiving for you and your family. I send my happy wishes, too!

  16. Deb L permalink
    November 21, 2015 9:27 am

    I love your posts and cards. I am so very happy for Cooper’s new found health. Happy Holidays.

  17. November 21, 2015 9:33 am

    So glad you’re still making Thanksgiving cards…I am, too, although , you’s looks infinitely better. I love your gorgeous skyline card. The background is stunning. The 3 colored cards are as cute as Cooper. Speaking of which, sorry you, Mr. RSW and he had to go through another scare so soon after the ACL problem. I empathize completely. We, too, a rescue who’s an angel and that we adore. He’s also enriched our lives immeasurably and I don’t know what we’d do without him. So happy that the prognosis was positive, for you all. Happy Thanksgiving, you have a lot to be thankful for.

  18. Cathy P in AZ permalink
    November 21, 2015 9:34 am

    Beautiful cards – and beautiful thought provoking words as well in Judy’s post! I look forward to them every Saturday morning! So happy to hear about fur baby Cooper and so thankful for blessings all around! Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for sharing, Judy!!!

  19. Anne Lewis permalink
    November 21, 2015 9:39 am

    All. are beautiful. I really love the sentiment = together is the best gift of all. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Sheri K permalink
    November 21, 2015 9:50 am

    Beautiful cards as always–and thanks for the update on Cooper! I am glad he is good! We are “cat” people, had indoor cats for 30 years. God in His wisdom, blessed us with feral cats–we found 4 “babies” in our yard. We have since participated in the TNR program, having 15 cats neutered. We call them “God’s cat garden”, two of them we have tamed, they adore being petted and touched, one comes into the house for brief “luv” time, getting treats and pets. She freaks if we shut the door, but she purrs, meows and knows where she is allowed in the house. Animals are definitely part of our family, even if they are part of “God’s” cat garden!

  21. DebbieP permalink
    November 21, 2015 9:58 am

    Happy Thanksgiving. You truly have much to be grateful for with the clean bill of health for Cooper. To quote Mr. Spock, may he “live long and prosper”. We too have a rescue dog and know what they can bring to our lives. Similar to the joy you bring each time I read your post and enjoy your cards. Thank you!

  22. November 21, 2015 10:06 am

    Wonderful cards…thank you for the inspiration! So happy that Cooper is okay – totally understand the bonding and how these pets fill our hearts and lives….Have a blessed Thanksgiving counting your blessings – one by one!!!
    Paper Hugs,

  23. Jane permalink
    November 21, 2015 10:09 am

    I think Cooper definitely found the best forever people! I always enjoy your cards, posts, and stories. Thank you for your creativity and thoughtfulness.

  24. VICTORIA SCHMIDT permalink
    November 21, 2015 10:42 am

    That is wonderful news. A pet is really a part of the family.They are so loving. 

    I enjoy all of your post & cards.SincerelyVicky Schmidt

  25. Kary permalink
    November 21, 2015 10:50 am

    Thank you so much for posting the awesome cards – really appreciate your creative talents. We’ve gone through many a stressful vet visit with our furkid, Riley. Torn ACL, liver issues, ear infections – you name it. But having her curl up next to me while she woofs and runs in her sleep – it’s all worth it. Happy Thanksgiving!

  26. Marilyn Valadez permalink
    November 21, 2015 11:35 am

    Your cards are so lovely as always, Judy! Your little Cooper is adorable and so happy to hear he is going to be all right…a great early Christmas present for you and Mr. RWS.

    I have had 3 wonderful dogs from our local shelter and they have all been absolutely great! All were mixed breeds and were gorgeous. We have our big boy Scooby now and he was 2 years old when we adopted him 2.5 years ago. He brings us so much joy everyday and know how you feel about your sweet Cooper. By the way I love that photo of Cooper laying on the blanket…you should get that enlarged, framed and hang it. He looks just gorgeous on that blanket. You and yours have a beautiful Thanksgiving, Judy!!

  27. Linda S in NE permalink
    November 21, 2015 12:09 pm

    I can’t tell you enough how much I enjoyed this post. I’ve always sensed the “special” about your/our Cooper and your writing today just proved it. What a beautiful story of how he came to live in your hearts, and you and Mr. RWS live deeply in his. I’m so happy he was OK, and I know how stressful that scenario can be. My favorite card this week is the postcard one, but I’m sure you will understand if the cards took a backseat this week. Wishing you safe travels over the Holiday.

  28. November 21, 2015 1:52 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving Judy, Cooper & Mr. RWS! 😉 Your cards are BEAUTIFUL AS USUAL! ;)So sorry to hear of your scare with Cooper!!! I have to tell you, when we get our little Oreo home, we will feel the same way, THANKFUL! She has been hospitalized since Wednesday. We started out trying to get her slimmed down. No more table scraps & she decided to be stubborn by getting into the trash… she sneaks in, to dumpster dive when she thinks we are finally asleep. She just stopped eating after her most recent escapade! We were patient as the doctor told us. We were carrying her out to potty & diapering her & sitting with her all day to meet her needs & still, she wouldn’t eat, she could barely stand, & she was wasting away to nothing! Tests came back & we found out she is diabetic! She is still there being cared for. Oreo came to us from out of the woods behind us….as a puppy. She brought us koodies too, but we still loved her little sweet face! She has PTSD when flies get in the house, she shakes & shivers & she usually hides under the bed when she hears them buzzing about. It MUST HAVE BEEN a SCARY thing out there in the big wilderness all by herself!!! Say a little prayer for her? Our kitty- Miette (another stray we took in & Oreo’s best friend), won’t even take her daily walk with my hubby without Oreo. She misses her too. She’s only just begun eating on her own today.

    • judka permalink
      November 21, 2015 3:19 pm

      Oh, I hope your dear Oreo is soon healthy again! We have been working hard to get weight off Cooper, too. Now that Oreo has been diagnosed things should get easier. Big hugs!

  29. November 21, 2015 2:20 pm

    I’m glad Cooper is fine and I love each and every one of your cards!

  30. kellybooth permalink
    November 21, 2015 4:09 pm

    I’m soooooooo glad Cooper is good and my you have been busy with some Anazing cards too! Xoxox

  31. November 21, 2015 4:12 pm

    So thankful Cooper is okay

  32. Kristi curtis permalink
    November 21, 2015 4:32 pm

    So glad to hear the wonderful news on your fun baby. My heart sank as I started reading your posts. So glad you have a happy ending.

  33. dawnnz permalink
    November 21, 2015 4:40 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving. so glad Cooper is okay. Stressful to have to go through this, but happy it’s a good outcome. Love all your cards today Judy. As usual, you have showcased Penny Black stamps and dies to perfection.

  34. November 21, 2015 5:54 pm

    So glad Cooper had a good report! We’ve been down this road (with cats)—we lost 3 in less than a year and a half—so when the feral kitten showed up, moved in and promptly started vomiting—a lot—which led to ultrasound and surgery—I too, was holding my breath and on my knees a lot! As typical with our cats—what it actually was stumped our vet, the ultrasound vet, the pathologist and Immunologist! (We are the cases in the medical journals!) –but it wasn’t cancer! She is fine-no more vomiting-and eats everything in sight! So we, too, are counting our blessings! Thanks for sharing!

  35. Shari permalink
    November 21, 2015 8:55 pm

    Beautiful cards. I’m very happy everything is ok with Cooper. I hope he has a speedy recovery. God bless. ♥

  36. Donna permalink
    November 22, 2015 7:23 am

    Hi Judy. I always scan quickly to find Cooper’s latest adventures. Then I go back and look at the beautiful, creative cards on display! LOL Thank you for keeping RWS fans updated as I, for one, have grown very fond of Cooper through your wonderful stories. The cards are beautiful, as always, but it’s Cooper who always leaves me with a smile. I’m so happy you got positive results after his surgery!

  37. Jani Howe permalink
    November 22, 2015 10:44 am

    Thank you for giving me so many good ideas over these months, I do appreciate your talent! And I’m so grateful dear little Cooper came out of his surgery and is fine. He is such a sweet little guy, always enjoy hearing about his antics. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  38. November 22, 2015 1:26 pm

    Dear Judy, Mr. RWS, and Cooper,
    You are so, so special in every way, and I was deeply touched by Cooper’s story. He is probably the cutest guy I’ve ever seen (my Scottie comes in second), and I’m thankful for all of you that he ended up with you. Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas to all of you!

  39. Kathy H permalink
    November 22, 2015 8:08 pm

    I’m so glad that Cooper is doing well. God bless Cooper and God bless you!

  40. November 23, 2015 2:01 am

    Judy, what a wonderful collection of cards, so much beauty all gathered together. Love them all but of course I love the Mo’s image cuddling her teddy the most.
    Thank you for sharing your story about Cooper, this is alll so much part of friendships across the miles. We have a companion dog, Jake who is part Bission and he came to live with us about four years ago as my daughter Elysha has Down syndrome and is Hearing Impaired. Jake was specially trained by the Guide Dog assoc and is Elyshas best friend. He has taken over our house and we could not imagine life without him. Im so glad to hear that Cooper is okay.

  41. November 23, 2015 3:54 pm

    Guess it’s the holidays–seem to cry more easily than usual & I’ve got tears in my eyes as I write this. That last card really touches my heart–always a little harder at the holidays not to have family close. As you know, I so relate to what you went through with Cooper & am so, so relieved the lumps were benign! Thanks for sharing how you got him as I hadn’t heard the story before. Amazing how comfortable he’s become with his world since sharing it with you guys. Fritz is so much better even though he startles he clearly isn’t terrified any longer. Wishing you a safe trip & wonderful time with your family for the holiday. Hugs, Greta

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