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Runs with SPRINGTIME Scissors

March 19, 2016


Oh, how I hope spring is springing where you live! I have the windows open here at the Penny Black studio and the fresh air is dancing all around. Of course, that means the glitter is being stirred up, too. But that’s what vacuum cleaners are for.

I never dealt with glitter when raising my family, but I do remember thinking that there were two “vacuuming seasons” of life: one was Christmas when I dealt with scattered bits of tinsel until the second vacuuming season, Easter and Easter basket grass. Glitter, however, knows no season and fears no vacuum cleaner.


The Tandem cling set includes this great sentiment. If you feel a little intimidated by coloring images, do what I did here: paper piece. Just stamp and emboss the image on the different designer papers you choose and then cut and paste. Embossing makes it easier to cut out the pieces. The time I spent cutting and pasting this image was relaxing and I am especially proud of that strawberry.


When I saw the Pillow Box die set I thought, “How fun!” I liked being able to make pillow boxes to hold treats or gift cards but I was also excited to use that cute ice cream cone die. The set includes the die for the buttons, too. It is an easy peasy way to make a birthday card for any age or gender.


Easter doesn’t have to be limited to chicks and bunnies. I love this floral arrangement from the Perfect Pairing transparent set. I colored the flowers with Copic markers, but paper piecing would work well, too. The Half Circle diecut adds a lacy background, perfect for hanging a Circle Tag with the Easter greeting.


This is the time of year I bring out the Easter decorations. This large ceramic bunny has been part of my life since 1973. It is one of the few items in our home from that era that survived the selling of our possessions when we became full time RV’ers. I stored it with the Christmas ornaments and china that my brother so kindly kept for us.

This bunny may not look like much, but I would estimate it cost several hundred dollars to make. Let me explain.

In the early 1970’s I lived in a small community and I was a young mom busy raising five children. My hobby at that time was folding laundry, I’m sure, but I yearned for something more creative. And I yearned for the company of adult women – well, actually anyone more than 48 inches tall would do.

There was a local small business that sold ceramic “greenware” (unfired ceramics) and offered evening classes. I’m pretty sure I was more excited about the chance to have an evening out of the house than I was about ceramics.

Those ceramic classes were the answer to “social media” for the moms in our town. Instead of Facebook we women were face to face, our hands busy scraping, sanding and painting while we “tweeted” to each other back and forth across the table sharing the stories of our lives. There was no 140 word limit imposed on our conversations.

Like any hobby, there are start up costs involved when taking up ceramics. One needs brushes, sponges, sandpaper, scraping tools and, of course, the special paints and glazes. Then there is the cost of the weekly lessons, the use of the kiln and of course, the greenware. When those costs are spread over time and many ceramic items, the average cost per item decreases. But the original start up cost is high for the first few items.

When the teacher demonstrated the new glaze available that would resemble bunny fur when fired, I was hooked. (It was similar to seeing heat embossing for the first time!)

It took several weeks to prepare the greenware by scraping seams and sanding the surfaces until perfectly smooth. Finally, the week came when I applied the glaze and left the rabbit to be fired in the kiln. I admit to having had help from the instructor who painted the eyes. (I was never very good at ceramics).

In earlier years, the bunny sported a big pink bow which did not survive over the years. He is not the thing of beauty I used to think he was, but he is a connection to the part of my life that was spent raising my family. He always sat in the middle of the dining room table where the Easter baskets were lined up for Easter morning discovery. One by one the children left home, my five and Mr. RWS’s two, but the bunny remained. I know his future is secure for a very long time as my daughter has declared when the time comes to divide my earthly possessions, the item she covets is this bunny.


Images from nature are so versatile for card making. Here I’ve used all three trees included in the Trio of Trees die set, some raised, one flat. After the card was finished and the pearls added I felt it still needed something, so I added the white butterfly. I am so glad to add a “get well” die to my collection from the Feel Better die set.


I had to have at least one “bunny and chick” Easter card and these two plus their butterfly friend are from the Easter Parade transparent set. It’ a great Easter card but it could be a new baby card or a birthday card for a little one. I am so happy to have that Bow Set die for making sweet bows.


The Gentle Day transparent set includes this beautiful collage stamp. I turned the square image into a circular one by tucking it behind the circle cutout. I fussy cut the image to allow the leaves to hang over the edge and I pop dotted a second bird over the original to give the image some depth. This is another versatile image that will be at home on a card for many occasions and for either gender.


Here’s the newly groomed Cooper checking to see if there are still jelly beans in the bunny dish. They don’t hold his attention for very long; he prefers meaty treats to jelly beans.

For those you who celebrate Easter, I hope you are able to enjoy the preparations. I’m sure those of you who fill Easter baskets have more options to surprise the little ones than we used to. It was pretty standard fare at our house: jelly beans, Peeps, and chocolate marshmallow eggs. And magically, the eggs we dyed the day before showed up in just the right kids’ basket. Oh, the fun we had dying eggs: the females striving for beauty, the boys having a contest to determine who created the “grodiest” egg. One year someone actually created a plaid egg, a feat never again equaled.

Thank you for stopping by today. I know it’s not possible for us to sit around a table sharing our stories while we share our stamping hobby. But sharing with all of you on the Penny Black blog is the next best thing. I hope you will share your work in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery so we can all be delighted and amazed.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

26 Comments leave one →
  1. dawnnz permalink
    March 19, 2016 12:19 am

    Gorgeous cards this week Judy. Love them all. Loved your story of your foray into Ceramics. I remember it being very popular. I never got into it myself. Your bunny certainly will be a heirloom Happy Easter!

  2. Holly Saveur permalink
    March 19, 2016 12:54 am

    Such a sweet story about the Bunny!
    I made ceramics too and loved it….
    Gorgeous cards…
    Have a great weekend!

  3. Marliese Zimmerman permalink
    March 19, 2016 4:41 am

    Great cards made with the beautiful Penny Black stamps. As always, I enjoyed your accompanying commentary.
    Happy Easter!

  4. knurse22 permalink
    March 19, 2016 4:54 am

    Great cards again today, Judy! I especially love that cute rabbit with bow. Wonderful color and texture!
    I, too, spent tons of $$$ on ceramics back in the 70s. Along with a dear friend and neighbor, I created many holiday pieces, many of which I still display today. I think it was a cheaper therapy than my scrapbooking/paper crafting!
    Happy Easter to you all, too. We are expecting some measurable snow here in PA tomorrow, so we are still looking forward to spring!

  5. Diane permalink
    March 19, 2016 5:20 am

    Love your stories and beautiful cards. You are so creative. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Jackie Whitmarsh permalink
    March 19, 2016 6:26 am

    Oh, Judy, I went through the same thing with ceramics in the early-mid 70’s. I made a lot of ‘stuff’, but the only ceramic that survives is a 10″ tall chubby snowman holding a lantern. When our ceramic shop closed, I went through a phase with plaster crafts – one was a bunny similar to yours-it was a bank. I think my daughter still has the pieces (it’s been glued together mannnnnny times:) and has gone through many moves with her. Fun times to remember-I so prefer the face to face interaction to the tech times today. I belong to a craft group that meets every Thursday evening, and it keeps me grounded. And I agree with knurse22-was much cheaper than my papercrafting!
    Your cards are always so beautiful-love your style. (enjoyed the RVing story, too.)

  7. Jody V permalink
    March 19, 2016 6:56 am

    Thanks for the story and card ideas. Ceramics classes were fun back in the day. Thanks.

  8. mjmarmo permalink
    March 19, 2016 7:08 am

    BEautiful cards and I love the bunny story! We have cherished items like that too that I hope will get passed down.

  9. Harriet permalink
    March 19, 2016 7:43 am

    Wonderful cards and thank you for wonderful memories of olden days: diapers, laundry, ironing etc. mostly getting a night out with other housebound friends where, like you, we tweeted across tables.

  10. March 19, 2016 7:58 am

    Love your ceramic story, Judy! Gotta say, it makes me a little sad–just not the same as face to face, but I am grateful for my internet friends including you! I treasure the ceramic nativity set made by my mom–the only crafty thing she ever did. A very good friend had a ceramic studio. Love your cards, especially the one with the half circle die cut & oh that white bow is beautiful! 2 more things for my wishlist! Happy Easter to you & Mr RWS & handsome Cooper! PS–no mention of water, so I’m hoping no more issues at your house!

  11. alexandra s.m. permalink
    March 19, 2016 8:04 am

    Great post Judy!
    I cannot believe you paper-pieced the whole image! I had thought about doing the umbrella that way but not the whole bit!
    Your cards are absolutely beautiful and inspiring and I too, enjoyed your text 😉
    Thank you~

  12. Cheryl Robertson permalink
    March 19, 2016 8:43 am

    As usual, very nice cards. I get so much inspiration from you. Wow, you raised seven children! That’s amazing. I raised two and at times thought I was going to go crazy. You must have tremendous patience.

    Have a wonderful Easter!

    • judka permalink
      March 19, 2016 11:39 am

      Cheryl, none of my children would allow me to claim being patient! It was more like hanging on for dear life and doing the best I could.

  13. DebbieP permalink
    March 19, 2016 9:45 am

    Wow! I can’t believe that first card is paper piecing – amazing. For the three tree card, is there a matching stamp set? After seeing all your beautiful cards this week, there are too many items on my wish list, so I may have to take a part-time job to pay for it. Not unlike ceramics, paper crafting is an expensive hobby – all the tools and stacks of paper we are “required” to have on hand. Yes, dear husband, I MUST have this NEW digital paper cutting machine, and 4 expensive manual paper cutters, and reams of spare paper…..And I’m taking over the spare bedroom because I need more space!!! Maybe therapy is cheaper.

    • judka permalink
      March 19, 2016 11:38 am

      Debbie, there is no stamp set to go along with the Trio of Trees die set. But if you added some of your own shading you could make the trees appear to be stamped. And I have taken over the “spare” bedroom with my craft supplies. We faced reality several years ago and removed the bed. Who were we kidding??

  14. barbara lassiter permalink
    March 19, 2016 10:38 am

    Love your cards(especially the For You card) and Penny Black and your fun stories. My college roomie just called a little earlier today…we love to catch up by hearing one another’s voices. It’s more satisfying than facebook or twitter, though they have their place. Or it might be because we’re the older generation, but we don’t think of it in that way! 🙂

  15. Sheri K permalink
    March 19, 2016 11:42 am

    Lovely cards as usual and I love your ceramic bunny story!

  16. cmt permalink
    March 19, 2016 6:30 pm

    Fun collection of cards. I particularly like the Gentle Day bird card, and the paper piecing idea in the first card is a great idea. A wonderful effect. Touching story about the bunny. I’m glad you saved it, and that your daughter will adopt him eventually. I never tried ceramics, but an elderly neighbor got into with her sister. I coveted a rooster lamp she had in her living room–it was striking. I wonder who got it in the end….

  17. March 19, 2016 7:19 pm

    Great cards Judy! Guess you like the white in your pets….Cooper and bunny – good choice!
    Paper Hugs,

  18. Renee Cassidy permalink
    March 20, 2016 10:00 am

    Really like the paper piercing idea to do the cards….I want to learn to watercolor, but haven’t done so yet. Love the bunny story, my mom did ceramics. It can also be applied to cards making as I see all of these lovely ideas and I need the stamp, etc. so I send very expensive cards, but it’s worth it!

  19. donna mikasa permalink
    March 20, 2016 9:22 pm

    Oh your cards are all so charming, Judy! And I would covet that bunny, too! Happy Easter to you and Mr RWS and Cooper!

  20. Kathy H permalink
    March 21, 2016 5:03 am

    I so love your stories Judy. Happy Easter!

  21. Marilyn Valadez permalink
    March 23, 2016 10:46 am

    Great cards Judy…love them all! Particularly love those two little mice out for a bicycle ride! Wonderful design with the paper piecing and the dotty umbrella. Love your pretty ceramic bunny…I know the work you put into making this work of art. My sister was into ceramics for a while and I used to watch her sand and get a piece ready for firing and painting/glazing. Lots of work! I never had the patience for that. I also couldn’t stand the feel of the dust on my fingers and hands and the muddy silk that goes with the making of a beautiful ceramic piece :))

  22. March 30, 2016 6:23 am

    I can so relate to the ceramics story, Judy. My instructor let us use her paints and brushes so we only had to pay for greenware and firing. I’m not sure I have anything left of that time spent with friends.

  23. Scott Schmidlkofer permalink
    April 10, 2016 5:10 pm

    The Bunny! I got dibs on that, man we were never allowed near that thing. Love you mom.

  24. Beth Speakman permalink
    April 18, 2016 12:04 pm

    I just love your stamps!!

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