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Runs with Scissors and… LIQUIDS!

February 6, 2016


Oh, I hope I haven’t been ignoring you. When I am stamping, coloring, cutting and pasting here at Penny Black’s I get lost in a world of my own. No cares or worries are allowed in this stamping paradise. Welcome, so glad you could visit.

Now that it is February, the Valentine decorations are up and there are dishes of those little candy hearts set about. They make a great “munchie” while making Valentines from the Love Always release. Hmmm, let me read one of those hearts before I share the cards I’ve made: “Get to Work”. Wow! When did those sweet love notes turn crabby?

As fantastic as this release is for making Valentines, I love that it is also versatile enough for making cards for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, thinking of you, and sending love notes to kids and grandkids.


I’ve used my favorite emboss resist technique blending Teal Zeal and Sweet Plum Tsukineko’s Memento Luxe inks (they blend like creamy butter!) over my stamped and white embossed beautiful heart image from the Love and Hugs transparent set. I wanted to make the card less of a Valentine and more of a “just because” card so I added the white butterfly diecut from the Flicker and Flutter die set. The combination of hearts and butterflies made me happy.


I know I have talked a lot about the versatility of this release, but this card is 100% pure Valentine! The Valentine Wish die produces that bold sentiment and I added a border made from the Love Always die. And because I run with scissors, it’s ok to put a butterfly on my Valentine. I stacked a white butterfly on top of a red one just to calm down all that red. The Love Always border will also be at home on spring- and summer- themed cards when cut from happy-colored cardstock.


I eliminated the hearts hovering above the heads of these sweet mice from the Critter Love transparent set and used the image for a “just because” card. Who wouldn’t love to receive a hug in the mail from a friend (or a Mom or Grandma). Simple Copic coloring and some heavy duty pop dots make the mice in the moon seem to float high in the heavens.

“How we Followed our Dream and Nearly Lost our Way.”

 Chapter 2: Trouble with Liquids

When I left the story last week, Mr. RWS and I had bid good-bye to friends and family and were leaving the apartment after spending the previous two weeks sleeping on a mattress on the floor.

We had planned ahead and disposed of the used mattress that came with our used RV, believing it would be like sleeping in our own bed if we could put our mattress from home on the bed in the RV.

Note: A bed (like many other things) in an RV functions differently than your bed at home. The base of the bed is a queen-sized box with a cover that opens upward with the help of hydraulic lifts so that one can access the storage space created by that box. Little did we know that an RV mattress weighs weigh significantly less than a regular mattress. Are you following me? Once we put our mattress on the RV platform we learned the hydraulic lifts were no longer able to assist with lifting the now-too-heavy mattress.

This became important to me because the space under the bed was where I stored my stamping supplies. (Yes, dear reader, all my supplies fit under the bed). From that day forward, accessing my stamps was a lesson in brute strength and imaginative body contortions to hold up the mattress with one hand and reach for things with the other!

Not to let such a minor inconvenience deter us, we hitched the RV to the truck and off we went to our first destination on this lifelong journey. Keep in mind that my husband’s only experience driving a truck towing a 35 ft. trailer was in the parking lot of the building where we worked. A friend with over-the-road trucking experience set up a course with empty milk bottles and after an hour or so of tutoring declared Mr. RWS capable of being the captain of our RV (and our lives!).

Our maiden voyage was to a campground an hour’s drive via the Interstate from Madison to, ironically, Watertown, Wisconsin. The plan was to wait there until we could meet up with Mr. RWS’s brother (R) and his wife (S) who would journey with us in their own RV to New England. This first stop gave us a chance to try everything out, learn the lessons we needed to learn, and then have smooth travels thereafter. You need to know I held my breath that entire hour’s trip, not so sure the trailer would stay attached.

The route we drove took us past the building where I worked and because I let them know we were on our way my former co-workers all gathered around the floor to ceiling windows to wave us on our way. It’s the closest I will ever experience a ticker tape parade.

We had a lovely campsite on the river shore, the only drawback being we were not hooked to a sewer line so we needed to be aware of the limits of our water holding tanks.

Note: an RV has two distinctly separate water storage tanks. One is for “grey water”, the water that’s been used for showers and dish washing and the second tank is for “black water” which is the waste from the toilet. RV parks and campgrounds have very strict rules about using only a dumping station to empty those tanks.

Once we had parked the RV, set up the dish for the TV and put up our awning, Mr. RWS set out for the golf course, leaving me to occupy myself with my stamps. (Oh, dear Reader! I have no words that could adequately share with you how important my stamping hobby was to me during the years we traveled. It was something familiar when nothing else was familiar; a comfort during worrisome and lonesome times; and a reason for being excited to arrive at the next destination with a stamp store.) But I digress.

I was happily sitting on the floor of the RV, (I was younger) doing my stamping thing when I noticed some wet paper on the floor. Looking up toward the “kitchen” sink I saw that I had left the faucet running and the sink was overflowing. Wait a minute! If the sink was overflowing, then the faucet had been running for quite a while and the grey water tank was full.

Note: Water pressure in an RV is lower than at home and running water is very quiet.

This was a problem larger than forgetting to turn off the faucet and wiping up the floor. Properly emptying the tank at the dump station meant having to rehitch the trailer onto the truck. This also meant having to pack up everything we had just unpacked. I knew Mr. RWS would not be a happy camper. Thankfully a security employee stopped by to welcome us and I tearfully explained what I had done, how new we were at this RV stuff, and how upset my husband would be. And like we say in Alabama, “Bless his Heart”. Knowing it was all clean water and would do no harm, he bent the rules and opened the valve that let the water flow onto the ground. I do believe he saved our marriage.

Little did I know this was just the first of our “troubles with liquids”, and that some sage advice from that security employee would profoundly affect the next few years of our life.



Once I discovered how beautifully those Memento Luxe inks blended, I had to do another emboss resist card. This time I used more traditional Valentine or love-themed colors, Dandelion, Rose Bud and Rhubarb Stalk. This could be an “un-Valentine or a card for the young women in your life. I love that designer paper from the Penny Black 6×6 paper pad Painted Blooms. I used my distressing tool with the same ink and gently went around the edges to give the paper a more vintage look. That sweet little stamp set is going to be used throughout the coming spring and summer.


I think this card is my own “Secret Garden”. The bright pink blossoms from the Love Always die are bursting from the brick wall that surrounds their garden home. I stamped the Brick Wall background using smoky grey ink after having wiped off the ink in the center of the stamp. I used dimensional tape to set the oval frame up a bit so the flowers appear to be coming through the wall. The Brick Wall stamp is one I’ve used often when I need a hand-stamped background. It works well with so many of Penny Black’s focal images.


And last, but in no way least, is this sweet miss from the mini set XOXO. I went all out with the red and white theme this time so she could be “Little Miss Valentine”. If you changed the color scheme, she can be “Happy Birthday”, “Thinking of You” or “Just Because”. She is fun to color and just the right size to be the star of the show.


Mother Nature treated us to balmy 67 degree day on the last day of January. Cooper was so happy to spend time in his favorite chair on the patio. Cooper hopes you are enjoying balmy weather, too.

It is time to put away the stamps and dies along with the RV memories for now. I plan to spend a few more weeks sharing some of the more significant events of our years on the road. If there were mistakes to be made you can be certain we made them. One problem I had to solve was how to mail the defective aluminum wheels back to the RV company when we discovered they were the cause of our multiple flat tires. And why did the closet pole keep collapsing; and why were the cupboard doors coming off. Ahh, yes; there is more to come.

Before I go home I am going to stop by the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to admire your beautiful work. So happy you stopped by today.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

34 Comments leave one →
  1. Pat Gasko permalink
    February 6, 2016 3:22 am

    Wonderful cards and as always enjoy your stories. You’ve got me sitting on the edge of my chair waiting anxiously for your next post.

  2. February 6, 2016 4:02 am

    Oh, oh, oh…how did I miss the cute mice that are hugging?!? Your cards today are superb!!! Can’t wait for the next installment of your RV travels. You are a brave woman to have endured a life on the road. Thanks for always making my start to the weekend fun! hugs, 🙂

  3. Diane J permalink
    February 6, 2016 4:28 am

    I can’t wait til next week. We are also campers, but ours is parked in northern Wisconsin! I like your ideas today and the fact that they can be used for something other than Valentines Day. See you next week.

  4. Mary W permalink
    February 6, 2016 5:25 am

    The suspense is killing me!

  5. February 6, 2016 5:29 am

    Wonderful cards! I love reading your story too! Can’t wait till next week! xxx

  6. Dianne Crowe permalink
    February 6, 2016 5:40 am

    Love the little mice sitting on the moon!!! Cooper looks so proud of himself sitting in the sun. Will check in next week to see how you made out in you travels.

  7. knurse22 permalink
    February 6, 2016 6:07 am

    Nothing better than starting a Sat. morning laughing out loud and enjoying your sweet cards at the same time! Already I’m glad we didn’t follow our dreams like you did! And can’t wait for the next installment. I really like how you used some of this release for non-Valentine cards, too. Your brick wall and little miss are two of npmy most faves!
    And I still want Cooper!

  8. February 6, 2016 6:19 am

    I get a kick out of reading stories that bring me back to the days we lived in a 5th wheel. Everyone has ‘fun’ stories to tell! : ) It never ceases to amaze me how you consistently crank out oodles of fab looking cards each week… always a pleasure to read your posts!

  9. Jan D., FL permalink
    February 6, 2016 6:19 am

    OMG…you are too funny and I needed a laugh this morning since I somehow fell last week and am walking with a cane this morning…not fun getting old. At least I didn’t break anything.

    Your stories have brought back memories of the years we were boat owners….have you ever tried to back a boat trailer down a launching ramp in the pouring rain with lightning with 50 other people trying to do the same thing at the same time???…yep, we got caught in a bad storm off shore and guess who had to back the SUV with trailer down the ramp while hubby kept the boat in the water, all the while avoiding hitting other boats…my two choices to (1) stay with the boat with no chance of getting up next to the dock or (2) back the trailer down were neither appealing to me…I had never had to do either. Usually hubby would pull up to the dock, tie the boat off, hubby goes for the SUV while I sit and watch. LOL

    Anyway, I digress….loved chapter 2 and cannot wait for the next chapter. And Cooper always brings a smile, too…so adorable.

    Great cards today….I’ve been making lots of Valentine’s Day cards and hope to mail them by Monday…I’ve had such fun making them this year.

    Until next week….hugs….

    • judka permalink
      February 6, 2016 6:31 am

      Oh, Jan! It seems there are many ways for things to go wrong. I never thought about the perils of boating, but remember being grateful that Mr. RWS wasn’t enamored with cross country motorcycling! Thanks for sharing your story. Glad it had a happy ending.

  10. Jody V permalink
    February 6, 2016 7:01 am

    Nice cards. Love the RV stories. Thanks.

  11. Virginia L. permalink
    February 6, 2016 7:23 am

    Oh….you are a GEM, Judy! Your cards today are stellar and your RV living Chapter 2 makes me chuckle and smile. And….bless your heart for sharing with us!

  12. Sue CD permalink
    February 6, 2016 7:35 am

    Love your cards. Love your stories. My only adventure with an RV will be my last one. My husband and I rented an RV and along with our Great Dane and cat we set off from Ohio to St. Louis. We got an hour away from home and the RV caught fire. Fortunately some truck drivers stopped their trucks, pulled out fire extinguishers and put out the fire and we were all okay. We had to call my parents to bring their two cars to get us, luggage and pets back home. A trip that I will never forget!

  13. quilterlin permalink
    February 6, 2016 9:05 am

    Oh, dear Judy, you have me hooked nearly as much as Downton Abbey, with your saga! I cannot wait to hear what happens next! That was quite a leap of faith, to do what you did; I don’t think I could have done it……moving is one thing, but moving to such a small place is quite another!! I love my “stuff”! I’m learning to let go, but the way you did it amazes me! It shows your love for Mr. RWS!!

    LOVE the colors and blending on your first card!!

  14. Sandy Andersen permalink
    February 6, 2016 9:21 am

    I always look forward to your posts, your cards, photos of Cooper and your witty stories. You are the best!

  15. Sheri K permalink
    February 6, 2016 9:42 am

    Lovely Valentines and I am enjoying your tale of the RV, especially since DH will be retiring in this coming year, date to be determined. Thankfully DH does NOT want to RV for the rest of our life and we are keeping our lovely home, complete with my “art studio”.

  16. Cheryl Robertson permalink
    February 6, 2016 9:47 am

    I just love when I get your posts. Your cards are so inspiring and your stories are delightful. My husband and I have been RVers for about 35 years. We started right after we got married. We are not full timers though, thank goodness. I love having my home to come home to. I can appreciate your stories though. Looking forward to more.

  17. DebbieP permalink
    February 6, 2016 9:58 am

    Beautiful cards! The little girl and the mice are my favorites. I am so enjoying your RV adventures. Perhaps there is a book you should write!?! Thankfully, our RVing days did not include any great floods, or flat tires, or bad memories. Perhaps because we had an old, used RV that previous owners had worked all the kinks out of already. Looking forward to rest of the story and the next batch of cards.

  18. Chris permalink
    February 6, 2016 10:01 am

    Love all your cards and right now I am really enjoing the RV stories….I can hardly wait for the next post.

  19. Kathy H permalink
    February 6, 2016 10:56 am

    Your stories are always entertaining! Did you live in your trailer for a while or just go out on weekends and vacations?

    • judka permalink
      February 6, 2016 12:04 pm

      Kathy, it was our only home for several years … very different than vacationing or camping. Thanks for stopping by and your comment.

  20. February 6, 2016 12:05 pm

    Firstly, the cards are all wonderful and I’m really glad they are all Valentine’s (I may be on Valentine overload). Secondly, isn’t it wonderful that there are kind, helpful people in the world…draining liquid, saving marriages, etc. Can’t even fathom RVing…not completely sure I’d even survive. So glad that you did. (Yikes, mailing giant wheel rims back to the manufacturer. Ouch.)

  21. February 6, 2016 1:14 pm

    You are simply amazing. I’ve always loved your cards, and will forever, and now am loving your long-ago travels. So glad it was in the past so we know you survived it!

  22. barbara lassiter permalink
    February 6, 2016 1:56 pm

    Your cards are all so beautiful. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing them each week. I know I could not have lived in an RV for a time, but I love hearing your stories and think it is great that you were able to pursue this dream. I hope you have the proper T-shirt…the one that says I survived RV-ing! 🙂

  23. mjmarmo permalink
    February 6, 2016 2:27 pm

    Such gorgeous cards! Loving your story of rv -ing. Again, Don’t think I could ever do that!

  24. dawnnz permalink
    February 7, 2016 12:14 am

    totally beautiful cards Judy and love your tale of your RV time. I’m not sure I could spend more than a couple of weeks living in one! Looking forward to hearing more of your tales

  25. February 7, 2016 8:18 pm

    Being RVers I could relate to your story with vivid pictures in my mind–especially holding up the bed while trying to take out stamping supplies! Emboss resist is my favorite technique & your cards are wonderful! I especially love the first one–just got that stamp!

  26. Vicky permalink
    February 7, 2016 8:56 pm

    Boy does that bring back memories of when we were campers. Always something going wrong.The cards are great.

  27. creatingincolors permalink
    February 8, 2016 8:48 am

    I just love your cards and always look forward to your posts. I also enjoy your writing. This RV series has me riveted. We used to have an RV permanently placed at a shore location, and had given thought to selling it all and hitting the road as you did. After much deliberation we decided against hitting that road, and now I can see what we missed! And yes, where I go my stamp stuff goes! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Sherry Yeager permalink
    February 8, 2016 1:20 pm

    I was drawn into your posts by Cooper. 🙂 He’s so adorable. But, after reading a couple of the posts, I’m now a regular reader. Thanks for the details on your projects along with the family stories. Love them.

  29. kemperneck permalink
    February 10, 2016 8:15 am

    First cooper is so cute. Would like some 67 degrees today as we here in West Virginia have about 4 to 5 inches of the white stuff laying everywhere. Not complaining much cuz it is gorgeous. Just sucks to drive in.
    Also if I was at the penny black station I wouldn’t be worried or thinking about any other thing either.
    Thanks for great inspiration. Emboss resist is always fun.

  30. jane middleton permalink
    February 11, 2016 1:36 am

    love the cards but it’s darling Cooper that makes my day . janex

  31. February 12, 2016 6:24 am

    These are all lovely, Judy, but I think my favorite is the first one. Fun story!!!

  32. Kathryn Makielski permalink
    February 12, 2016 4:31 pm

    Your cards are absolutely beautiful, Judy. Look forward to seeing more.

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