Runs with scissors… and away from cockroaches!
Greetings! I am happy to be back; from Atlanta and to the Penny Black blog. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday for our family. Mr. RWS, Cooper and I traveled to the Atlanta area to join son John and his family and daughter Kathy who flew in from Minneapolis. Son John and daughter-in-law Sue are superb cooks and the Thanksgiving dinner was outstanding. We so enjoyed the company of our teen grandchildren, Lauren and Andrew. We were joined by two other families, reminding me of the days our entire family could be together on holidays.
With Thanksgiving behind us, it is now onward toward Christmas. Once again I’ve been making good use of the amazing assortment of Penny Black dies, stamps and papers here at the studio.
There is a beautiful assortment of sentiments in the transparent set Season’s Gifts and I wanted very much to feature some of them on my cards. This card also enabled me to use some Penny Black designer paper from the Holiday Trimmings paper pack. The red and white color scheme reminds me of yummy candy canes.
Oh, how I have admired and been inspired by the beautiful watercolor backgrounds created by Jill Foster and the Penny Black designers. I was determined to keep trying and this is a background that I made using Jill’s technique of placing water on the paper and adding color from the brush, letting the color find its own way. This reminds me of a bright and sunny winter day, snow falling hard where snow has fallen previously. The die In the Winter was used for the trees. Again, this die is one that can be used year around. A tree theme for a card works for so many occasions.
It all began with stamping the Letter Background onto my card base and building from there. I embossed the tree from the Joy to All transparent set, decorated it with stockings from the Twinkle and Wish set along with golden birds from The Gathering. I’m not sure you can have too much gold on a Christmas card, but this may be close.
When I was taking out my watercolors to create backgrounds, I realized that watercoloring had become a fear for me. Perhaps it’s all about fear of failure. I finally realized that a watercolor background is allowed and encouraged to be what happens for you when you take brush and paint to water.
While on the subject of fear, I will share with you that “these are a few of my fearfullest things” (with apologies to Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music):
I will begin with a creature I’d never heard of before that mainly hangs out in the southern part of the United States. It goes by several names: wood roach, palmetto bug or tree roach. It is a cockroach on steroids!
See what I mean? It is at least two inches long with antennae as long as its body. My first encounter with this horror was when taking a towel out of my linen closet and one dropped onto the floor. We later encountered them behind the toaster and marching boldly down the hall to the bedrooms. After learning they are not the type to infest but only seek warmth for short periods, we put borax powder around the border of the house and in places where we had spotted them. They were gone within a week and thankfully, haven’t been seen since.
As I was Googling “photos of wood roach”, Mr. RWS happened by and inquired what I was doing. I told him I was looking for a cute photo of a wood roach so I wouldn’t upset everyone with a regular photo. After much searching I realized there is no such thing as a cute photo of any form of cockroach.
This is why we left Wisconsin. My fear of snowy roads had become a bit irrational and was preventing me from driving to work on snowy days. When I found myself staying home if snow was even in the forecast, I sought help from a therapist who used hypnosis to enable me to drive in snow again.
Every trip to visit the family in Atlanta starts with anxiety over driving in Atlanta traffic. Most of our route is by way of lovely scenic roads passing through a few small communities. The closer we get to Atlanta the worse the traffic and the higher the anxiety level. We must travel at least 20 miles on the crowded interstate in order to avoid at least ten miles of stop and go traffic on city streets. We always time our coming and going to occur during very early morning hours or Sundays. We left our home at 4:00 am on Thanksgiving day and had very little traffic.
Perhaps it’s because of experiences as a child, but I dread a visit to the dentist. Sadly, I postpone preventative procedures and then pay the consequences when I finally work up the courage to go.
I don’t know if any of these fears is worse than any other, but I will say this: I would rather drive all the way to Atlanta on the snowy interstate with a toothache than meet up with those wood roaches in my linen closet again!
From gold to silver; one of the reasons Christmas cards are so fun to make. This Regal Reindeer is even more regal when using a monochromatic silver theme. Easy enough to do in quantity for everyone on your list, as it is simple embossing.
Here I have used the same transparent set Regal Reindeer but added a mat of designer paper from the Holiday Trimmings paper pad. Again, this would be easily produced in quantity. I plan on keeping this set handy all year around for winter or masculine cards for birthdays, thinking of you, get well and others.
Once I had the paints out and the watercolor paper, I created another background, this time for the Berry Branches diecuts. The design gave me another opportunity to feature another of the lovely sentiments in the Season’s Gifts transparent set.
Our grandson Jack Lincoln celebrated his first birthday recently. How quickly that year has passed. If there is such a thing as a perfect baby, Jack qualifies.
And two and a half year old Evelyn made her first visit to the dentist and thought it was a great place to be. She is an amazing big sister to Jack.
Cooper is not a good traveler. He suffers from car sickness and we usually board him when we travel to Atlanta. This time there was “no room at the inn” for Cooper and he made the trip. This is Cooper with Spencer, the Atlanta family’s dog. When I calculated what relationship Cooper was to Spencer, I decided he was Spencer’s uncle. When John and Sue and the kids were choosing a name for Spencer, Cooper was one of the alternate names they considered. We liked it so much we chose it for our dog.
Another fear I have is of wearing out my welcome at the Penny Black blog. It’s time for me to pack up the stamps, dies and papers; wash out the paint brushes; clean up the scraps that find their way to the floor and of course, to stow the scissors. I hope you have forgiven me for that ugly cockroach photo, but you know what they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. As always, I look forward to seeing your Penny Black creations in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery.
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:
- Stamps: 30-313 Twinkles and Wish, 30-322 Joy to All, 1999L Letter Background, 30-312 Regal Reindeer, 30-316 Season’s Gifts
- Dies: 51-177 Snow Time, 51-060 Exultations, 51-175 The Gathering, 51-173 In the Winter, 51-178 Berry Branches
- Designer Paper: Holiday Trimmings
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