Runs with Scissors
Hello, Penny Black friends. Be careful; don’t slip on the puddles left by my snowy boots. The roads were too slippery for driving today so I bundled up and trudged through the snow and ice to the Penny Black blog. Thankfully, the blog thermostat was set on high and it is cozy warm here.
January has always seemed to me to be the longest month of the year, and at last it is almost over. I’ve always looked forward to February, a month with fewer winter days. Why oh why, when the calendar people had a day to add in leap year did they choose to add it to February? Wouldn’t we all rather have an extra day in beautiful June?
February does bring us Valentine’s Day, an occasion for letting the people in our lives know we love and care about them. This year we have an extra “leap” day to use Penny Black’s Love Always release to make and send handmade cards.
Some images just demand being stamped in red on white cardstock. Love and Hugs is a transparent set with several images suitable for stamping and embossing as I’ve done here. And one can never go wrong with polka dots for background paper. I added a diecut heart from the Sweet Heart die set, popped up for dimension. With a set like this you can keep it clean and simple as I have done, or add layers of embellishments a la the Lovely Layers Ladies who have recently joined the Penny Black family.
I don’t know how to pronounce XOXO, but I love the sweet image. I have popped the darling little girl on top of four layers of cardstock and patterned paper. Her dress, shoes and stockings are paper pieced, a favorite technique of mine for little girl images. I used one of my fourteen pairs of scissors to fussy cut this cutie. I added the Love Always diecut border just to make sure there was enough love in this sweet Valentine.
This time I’ve cut the Fancy Heart from the same mini polka dotted patterned paper used for matting. It seems I am having trouble breaking away from the traditional red and white Valentine theme. By simply using different colors this beautiful heart could be the focal point of any love-themed card. Sending love is not limited to the month of February.
I have used most of the dies in the new Love Always release in the cards I am sharing today. I am amazed at how intricate many of them are. I have no problems achieving a perfect cut every time. With the more intricate dies I sometimes use a shim of some sort; an extra layer of cardstock or sometimes a thin metal shim.
This is the point in my post that I usually pause from card making to share a story or two from my life. Today I am going to venture forth into the years we spent as full time RV’ers. It is a slippery slope, I’m afraid. There are so many stories, so little time.
Let me first explain:
- Our original retirement plan was to build a little house in central Florida.
- We had not ever even talked about RV’ing as a retirement option.
Imagine my astonishment when one day at work a colleague approached my desk with the news that he had heard Mr. RWS mention at lunch that he planned to become a full time RV’er upon retirement. The colleague was not sure if Mr. RWS mentioned he’d be taking me along.
After our very interesting conversation that evening, I realized this was Mr. RWS’s dream and I could not say no. Also, I firmly believed at the time that due to past health issues, we each had a reasonable life expectancy of five years. I thought RV’ing was as good a way to spend those five years as any.
We were living in a 3,000 square foot home at the time and were now planning to move into a fifth wheel trailer with about 350 square feet. This would be our only home. We could only take with us what fit into that space.
It seemed impossible for me to go from the large home to the RV, so we did it in stages. We sold everything except enough to furnish an apartment to which we moved for six months. What we sold at that time included the “easier” things to part with. I still had my beloved teak living, dining room and bedroom furniture and my china and most of my wardrobe. It was actually quite freeing to live in an apartment and be done with the yard work and home maintenance chores.
When we actually retired and our lease was up on the apartment, we put an ad in the newspaper (remember those?) selling our teak furniture and the excess linens, shower curtains, home décor items, etc. We thought the whole process would take several weeks but to our surprise, everything sold the first day of the sale. We lived for several weeks in an empty apartment with just a mattress on the floor.
We then sold both cars and purchased a shiny new pick up truck with a diesel engine and Alison transmission. My stipulation was that we buy the best truck possible and it didn’t matter to me about the fifth wheel trailer. I wanted to feel safe.
My younger brother graciously allowed us to store several boxes in his basement that included our Christmas tree ornaments, the “good” china, our art work and my beloved down coat that had seen me through the fierce Wisconsin winters.
We drove from Madison to Milwaukee one weekend to gather with our kids for a farewell/retirement cook out. It was all excitement and laughter until it came time to leave. I had this huge lump in my throat as I said good-bye and tearfully asked them all to take care of each other.
I didn’t learn until years later that family and friends made bets about how long we would last sharing such a small place day and night. Most optimistic estimate: six months.
(TO BE CONTINUED)
The Together transparent set will not be put away when Valentine’s Day is over. The sweet Mimi images will be suitable through spring and summer, including this heart themed sunflower. I can imagine the hearts in sunny yellow surrounding a brown frame. And don’t you love the little lady bug?
Here I’ve used the negative version of the Love is Growing diecut. I’ve popped it up for dimension and added the sentiment snipped from the diecut Triple Love. How easy it would be to make multiples of this card. Perhaps in a red on khaki color scheme it would please the men in your life. Bright spring colors would be suitable for months to come.
Ahhh, I’ve gone full circle and here I am back to red on white. This is the Flower Heart diecut on wood grained paper with an added heart from the All My Hearts die set. You don’t have to add much to these gorgeous diecuts in order to make a statement.
Cooper was a reluctant participant in the snow fun. Being a native southern canine, snow is a novelty and is too closely related to rain to suit him. Eventually he decided to check the situation out and once in the snow, sniffing every inch, it was difficult to bring him back inside.
I have enjoyed spending time on this almost last day of January with all of you. There is no better place to be on a wintry day than the Penny Black blog with all the stamps, dies, paper and inspiration. There is still time to finish your Valentine projects and share them in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. You never know who might notice your work.
Thank you for visiting and thank you for the comments you leave each week. You have a way of making this stamper smile.
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:
- Stamps: 30-324 Love and Hugs, 30-330 XOXO, 30-325 All Abloom, 30-323 Together
- Creative Dies: 51-184 Sweet Heart, 51-186 Love Always, 51-182 Fancy Heart, 51-033 Silver Linings, 51-181 Love is Growing, 51-187 Triple Love, 51-180 All my Hearts, 51-188 Flower Heart
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