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Runs with (FOURTEEN Pairs) of Scissors

January 23, 2016


Greetings, Penny Black friends. I have stopped the cleaning and organizing madness for a bit and snuck into the Penny Black studio once again. One can only be so creative with a mop and bucket and paper boxes: the muse was beckoning.

Finally it is late enough in January to justify my cold-blooded killing of the three poinsettia plants that we enjoyed for the holidays. I’m never sure how to handle poinsettias after the holidays. Some years they take care of the problem themselves by just dying slowly over a two week period and then throwing them away is easy.

Some years they are so healthy they remain beautiful long past the holidays. That is when the murder becomes pre-meditated. This year I stopped watering them after Christmas and I tried to avoid looking at them as their leaves curled and the flower petals dropped off. When I found poinsettia leaves on the living room carpet it became self defense. Out they went! I admit I did not look at them directly as I put them in the trash bag. Just quickly tied it and dumped it.

Perhaps someone would like to start a poinsettia rescue to take in unwanted poinsettias and find people willing to watch them grow gangly, sparse and flowerless well into the summer months and perhaps into the next holiday season. Thankfully, I buy inexpensive plants just to add color and there is no great financial loss. One year, however, one of the sons sent a huge, floor-plant-sized poinsettia bush that occupied the entire fireplace hearth. It was a thing of beauty and we enjoyed it so! I do believe that arrangement was allowed to stay through Valentine’s Day but its privileged (expensive) status did not exempt it from the ultimate fate of poinsettias in my home.

Not so sure that story is a good lead in for featuring the new release Love Always, but here goes:


The All Abloom transparent set is all about flowers and a gorgeous heart. For this card I’ve again used the embossed resist technique with Distress inks in soft shades. This would be a great way to use this very detailed stamp that does not involve a lot of coloring. I’m thinking it would be gorgeous stamped and embossed in red on white. Why didn’t I think of that earlier?


Once again, I’ve used the All Abloom transparent set for the heart and flowers. This time I’ve layered and fussy cut and colored with Copics. The sentiment comes in that set, too, and is perfect for any occasion you wish to send love. I think the pair of lovebirds is the perfect touch for this image.


This rose is the other large image in the All Abloom set. Doesn’t it make a great Mother’s Day card?   I watercolored the rose and then with a very wet brush pulled some of the paint from the flower to make an irregular background. I do love the look. Next time I will use my Prismacolor pencils to add detail to the flowers and leaves a la Jill Foster’s latest PB&J video. What a great way to add more detail to your watercolored images.

Speaking of love (and weren’t we?) Smart Phones have become the object of affection of most people nowadays. I have one, but it is not very smart. I’m sure that’s my fault, as I have not downloaded any apps. I was a happy flip phone user until grandbaby Evelyn was about to be born and I wanted to receive the text message announcing her arrival along with photos taken immediately.

I’ve had the phone for two and one half years now and at $10 a month, it is finally paid for. It still just makes and receives phone calls. I have taken a few photos with it when I visited the grandchildren but have no idea how to transfer them from the phone to my computer so I use my digital camera for photos. And since I have become semi-literate about Instagram, I take photos with my IPad and share them on Flickr and Facebook. We only use the phone when we travel, so my monthly payment is really a gift to T-Mobile.

Recently, however, a friend wanted to send me some photos to my cell phone and I asked her to wait while I looked for it. (I know, dear reader, this is unheard of). I turned it on (while in charging mode) and noticed a little message on the screen. “No service”. I assumed once I had it in charge mode the little message would disappear. No, it does not work that way. “No service” means no service.

I waited for several hours and then finally called my local T-Mobile store. Our payment is automatically charged to our credit card, so I knew it was not a payment issue. Naively I assumed the technician could check our account and see what the problem was. No, he was not able to do anything over the phone, I would have to come in and show identification (has the TSA diversified its operations?). However, he did suggest that the easiest way for me to be helped was to use my cell phone to call 611.

Dear Reader, I gently reminded him that my cell phone was currently “out of service”.

After calling the 800 number that he finally divulged, my software was updated and I was good to go. My personal opinion is that the software just got up and left after being neglected for so long. Maybe it is a “use it or lose it” kind of thing.


Sometimes I forget how much I love black on kraft. And then when I decided to add the bright pink heart I smiled big. I think the kraft makes this a more masculine Valentine (if there is such a thing!). This heart is from the Love and Hugs transparent set and honestly, the options are endless with this set.


The Love Always release contains so many awesome dies that you could set aside your stamps and inks for a bit and just combine diecuts. Again, I’ve used the kraft background and added mostly white diecuts with just a touch of the bright pink. I read somewhere that all good design includes a touch of black, so I added black gems. I love how you can cut the word “love” in several different font styles from the Triple Love die. I knew it was snippable.


The Love Always release isn’t just for Valentines. This time I’ve used the Flower Heart and Love is Growing dies to make a Golden Wedding anniversary card. It’s a shame that the gold foil paper doesn’t show up as lovely as it is in real life. If you don’t know anyone having a golden anniversary, perhaps someone is turning fifty or is having their golden birthday. Have I mentioned how versatile this Love Always release is?


While purging and organizing in the craft room, it became obvious I have more than several pairs of scissors: fourteen to be exact. And to think I just bought another pair a week ago. Fourteen pairs of scissors seems excessive even if you are prone to running with them. Perhaps one’s speed increases incrementally with each pair you own.


When it’s too cold to play outside or golf, Cooper and Mr. RWS like to assemble jigsaw puzzles. Sometimes Mr. RWS gets bored but Cooper never gives up. I have to confess, Cooper needs Mr. RWS to do the straight edge pieces for the border first. It’s fun to watch them when there are only a few pieces left; each tries to be the one to place the final piece. Sometimes I have to referee and remind them to take turns being the one to finish the puzzle.

Once again it’s time to clean up. There are lots of itty bitty scraps from the die cutting today but the itty bitty vacuum takes care of that quickly. I love coming here and playing with the Penny Black stamps and dies. Everyone here shares well with others.   The studio is well organized with just the right amount of everything. No purging needed.

Oh, and for those of you struggling with the poinsettia issue at your house, you have my permission to declare them no longer relevant and dispose of them as you see fit.

Thank you for spending time with me. I hope you will share your Penny Black creations in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. I am amazed at the beauty that gathers there.

I know Penny Black herself has been known to browse through the gallery.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:


27 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2016 2:41 am

    Beautiful cards.
    On the scissors front I’m too scared to count mine 🙂 !

  2. January 23, 2016 4:18 am

    Judy, Judy, Judy…stop buying scissors! They have this tool that you can just sharpen them with when they get dull. 🙂 On to the Poinsettias. Mine are in a planter on the front porch still blooming…from Christmas 2014. It started blooming in October (must be the weird Florida weather). Too pretty to come to such an awful end like you describe, so it is staying!!!! And how about your gorgeous cards today? I like how you made cards that weren’t for Valentines, yet you used that holidays stamps. You are just so crafty!!! As always Cooper is so cute. He is so small and adorable you would think that Mr. RWS would give the pup a break and let him finish the puzzle. Love you friend, hugs!!!

  3. January 23, 2016 5:49 am

    Oh, my, Judy! Did you know that you can sharpen scissors by cutting into aluminum foil? As far as poinsettias, I give them a burial, too, BUT they can be planted outdoors and can grow into huge, gorgeous bushes!! I never tire of your wonderful stories and your creations are always masterpieces…I love watching Cooper and would love to actually see him and Mr. RWS scrambling to place that last puzzle piece…:D! Hugs and keep warm!

  4. Jan D., FL permalink
    January 23, 2016 5:53 am

    Okay…once again you have given me my Saturday morning burst of laughter…I can relate to the poinsettias, the number of scissors and the cell phone issue….had to go online one time to do a live chat when my phone was acting us and the live chat customer service person, after I told her my phone wasn’t working, kept insisting on calling me to correct the problems!!! News flash….I’m doing live chat because my phone isn’t working. Where do they get these people???? LOL Finally figured out that I have to periodically turn it off, wait a few minutes and then power it back up so it can reboot. Okay. Anyway…I’m working on Valentine’s Day cards now and I love yours. So pretty, as always. Cooper is so cute working the puzzle…I love jigsaw puzzles, too. Thanks for sharing your cards and humor….always fun.

  5. quilterlin permalink
    January 23, 2016 6:29 am

    Good morning, my friend! Just had to stop to tell you how much I adore that yellow rose card! Swoonable!

  6. Bethann d permalink
    January 23, 2016 6:35 am

    Well I am a pointessia rescuer, I have my Mother’s from her house after she passed away in March. It bloomed this Christmas which I like to think is a smile from her. So this will w me until whenever. The cards were all gorge

  7. mjmarmo permalink
    January 23, 2016 7:06 am

    I love your post! Last year we managed to keep a poinsettia alive until summer. We planted it outside where it bloomed and thrived! Just as my husband was thinking we should dig it up and bring it back in, we got an unexpected frost that killed it. That was the ifrst time we had ever kept one almost all year. Love all the scissors! And Cooper helping with the puzzle.

  8. Virginia L. permalink
    January 23, 2016 7:55 am

    I am totally amused by your art and humor!! Brilliant post, Judy!

    • Virginia L. permalink
      January 23, 2016 8:00 am

      BTW I am still waiting for my two poinsettias from previous years to go to heaven. I think I need to adapt and use your approach.

  9. Judy B. permalink
    January 23, 2016 8:01 am

    Your story about poinsettias was funny! I have a large one that I rescued from church, probably four years ago. It sits in my sunroom and grows. I do occasionally give it a “haircut” in early spring. It’s just now starting to get red leaves, so it’s a little late.
    Keep the stories coming. Love your artwork, too, and Cooper is just too cute!

  10. barbara lassiter permalink
    January 23, 2016 8:54 am

    My poinsettias still look great from Christmas and I grouped them all together for more impact. I’m glad I still have them today…there’s a raging blizzard outside with white-out and so the touch of color is good. It is a problem to know when to let them go…I agree. 🙂 As for the scissors…a few years back I discovered my husband cutting wiring for the stereo with my good Gingher shears. He really could not understand my outrage, but I did get another pair and all’s well that ends well. Your cards are all absolutely beautiful and I appreciate the inspiration. Now I need to go and count all my scissors!

  11. Chris R. permalink
    January 23, 2016 9:01 am

    I love your sense of humor and your beautiful cards!!

  12. Cathy M T permalink
    January 23, 2016 9:24 am

    A fun post for a snowy day. I feel the same way you do about poinsettias. Love the brilliant red during Advent, but the day after Christmas (unlike my other decorations), I want them gone. It is possible to get the leaves to turn red again the following year, but it takes a lot of fussing and I don’t have the patience or room. We need to think of them the way we do about a bouquet of cut flowers, or the wreath on the door– temporary decorations. They’re rather boring once the red leaves disappear, so they’re not even worth holding onto as a green houseplant.
    Love all the cards!!! Some great ideas in each one, and wonderful inspiration for Valentine’s Day. So glad you put that mop down. I cringed when I read Commenter Barbara’s story. I hide my better scissors and make sure there are cheap scissors in plain sight for the wire cutting and whatnot. I even have labeled them with a Sharpie as to what they can be used for. You can never have too many scissors, for there will always be things, different types of things, that need cutting.
    And I still use a “burner” flip phone, for emergencies. Of course I have to pay for it each month, plus a landline. Oh well. In the end a smartphone would cost a lot too.

  13. lolyborda43 permalink
    January 23, 2016 10:11 am

    I love your post Judy! You always make my Saturdays brighter, all your cards are beautiful! I especially love the last one. I smiled at the fact that you have so many pairs of scissors, I always buy them when I find a good deal ‘just in case” LOL. Big hugs and stay warm!

  14. January 23, 2016 10:28 am

    Ha ha ha with the poinsettia’s and the scissors! Guilty on both counts. All of your cards are just stunning and you sweet doggie!

  15. DebbieP permalink
    January 23, 2016 10:37 am

    I love starting my Saturday with your column. It always makes me laugh and the inspiration from your beautiful artwork reminds me to get off my but and do some crafting. Sometimes I am successful and other times I have to remind myself that failure is part of the process. Think of Edison. As for the poinsettia, I buy the fake ones and they just go in the closet with the other decorations, after Christmas. Some of them are very real looking. My husband caught me watering the first one he brought home for me!!! Anywhoooo, I see the weatherman has sent some nasty weather to the south and east of our great country – stay warm and safe.

  16. January 23, 2016 11:30 am

    So enjoy your posts. Love the humor and the gorgeous cards.

  17. Bonnie Kasper permalink
    January 23, 2016 11:55 am

    Thanks to you, I tossed my pointsettia today after I found it on the front doorstep upside down with dirt, etc. all over. Heavy winds last nite. It was time. No guilt! Love all your work and narratives!

  18. knurse22 permalink
    January 23, 2016 3:07 pm

    LOL….I have been known to have poinsettias alongside my Easter lilies!!! And I know I have way too many scissors, but that’s the only way I can find a pair when I need them!
    Love those cards today—your cards are always stunning!

  19. Elaine Moore permalink
    January 23, 2016 4:12 pm

    The cards are all incredible … but I’ll never look at a poinsettia the same again … sob … giggle

  20. Shari permalink
    January 23, 2016 5:43 pm

    Such beautiful cards! 💖💖💖

  21. dawnnz permalink
    January 23, 2016 10:27 pm

    LOVE this post Judy. It is awesome. All the cards are so pretty and beautifully designed. And as all ways your stories are incredible.

  22. Rosie permalink
    January 24, 2016 12:23 am

    I really enjoy your PB inspirational ideas and cards. Furthermore, this post is so readable, funny and easy to relate to, from mobile (cell) phone to poinsettias to jigsaw puzzles. Thanks, Judy! You brightened up my day.

  23. January 24, 2016 8:47 am

    Gotta admit–this may be my all-time favorite PB release & you’ve shown why with your beautiful cards, Judy! I don’t know if I’ve ever used black on kraft, but I will now! That card is my favorite & that image is my favorite! Cooper is a doll, as always–give him a pat on the head from Fritz & me! I actually did the save a poinsettia for next year thing once–as if I need something else stored! This year we did without, but I’m surprised you can’t have them year round outdoors like Calif. Thank goodness I’m not the only one who doesn’t live by their phone! Gotta admit, I did figure out how to e-mail pictures to myself so I could get them on the computer. That it wouldn’t work without a download floors me, though! Guess mine is at least turned on enough to keep it working. You’ve made me smile, as always!

  24. January 24, 2016 8:48 am

    Forgot to say–wish your blog address was included on the Penny Black Blog!

  25. Sharon Russell permalink
    January 24, 2016 9:44 am

    Always look forward to your projects and posts! After years of dealing with other cellular companies-I switched to US Cellular. Recently had a billing question so I called. The agent immediately had my account up and saw the same issue I did. Could I please hold? Yes. In just a feemminutesmshe was back with me-had accounting working on it, apologized because one, I had an issue, and two, because I had to hold while they straightened it out and for my inconvenience, they gave me.a $ 25 credit! Our local store employees are rude and inconsiderate-however the store an hour away has helped me numerous time with new purchases and couldn’t be more helpful—as have all the agents been when I call. Coverage area has been great even though it says it could be spotty in my area (a friend who used another carrier could only get reception if she ran down her driveway! I cannot say enough good things about US Celluar!

  26. donna mikasa permalink
    January 24, 2016 6:17 pm

    Even with all those 14 pairs of scissors, aren’t there times when you can’t even find one? No? Well, it’s just me, then. Mine have feet and they must walk away and hide from me. Lovely cards and that pic of Cooper is the cutest!

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