Runs with Scissors
Hello, Penny Black friends. Here we are, saying good-bye to another month. Hopefully March will leave quietly and politely hold the door open for April. While spring officially arrives in March, we know April is the hostess that makes her feel welcomed.
It’s been all about spring on the Penny Black blog lately. Days and days filled with springtime inspiration using the stamps and dies from the So Special release. I must have been bitten by the “color bug” this week. When I reviewed the cards I made, I realized there is nothing subtle about the colors I chose. Hooray for spring: hooray for bright colors!
We paper crafters love our poppy stamps. These gorgeous poppies were stamped with the Poppy Gems cling stamps onto watercolor paper. I used Peerless watercolors to create the deep red flowers. I layered three different red colors, blotting in spots to let the lighter color show through the darker layer. I over-stamped the entire card using the Letter Background woodblock stamp inked with Delicata gold ink.
The Tiger Lily II die is a floral jewel. I blended several colors of Memento Luxe ink onto watercolor paper, keeping in mind how I would like the colors to appear on the flower. I placed the die onto the colored paper and ran both through my machine. I elevated the centers after dipping them in gold ink. I had prepared the base of the card by stamping it with the Letter Background stamp inked with Delicata gold ink. So glad to have a Feel Better die cut sentiment in my collection.
I used the same technique of blending Luxe inks onto my paper and then placing the Butterfly Circles die onto the newly colored paper and running it all through the die cutting machine. I did the same with the Believe II die. Butterflies seem to be a symbol of hope, so perfect for the Believe sentiment and this time of year.
Well, here I am at the point in Runs with Scissors that I share a story with all of you. Sometimes it is easy because something fun or unusual or crazy or challenging has happened during the week and there is no lacking for story material.
This past week has been about some spring cleaning, shopping for Easter dinner and Facetime visits with the littlest grandchildren. All pretty routine stuff that doesn’t lend itself to a good story.
So I think I have to let the story out that has been rattling inside my head for the past ten days. My mother’s birthday was on St. Patrick’s Day and she’s been on my mind since. My mother’s parents were born in Poland and came to this country poor but determined to make a better life for themselves and their future family. We loved to tease my mom about being a Polish leprechaun due to her St. Patrick’s Day birthday.
When my dad joined the Army as a young married man with two small daughters, my mom became an Army wife. Most of my dad’s duty assignments allowed the family to accompany him, but twice his assignments took him to places dependents were not allowed. Like all military wives, my mom’s job was to take care of things at home whenever my dad was gone, either on assignment or for periods of training.
I think of the many times we moved. The military is not able to accommodate school calendars, or any personal schedules. When orders are issued life changes immediately and the focus is on preparing for the move, a job at which my mother excelled.
My mom had a system for keeping things simple and not accumulating more than necessary. Before each move she purged drawers and closets and also eliminated anything that was still in a box from the previous move. She was so organized that within 24 hours of arriving at our new home the pictures were hung, the cupboards stocked, and every box unpacked. My sister and I were always surprised how quickly the new place looked like home.
Military families make friends quickly. And those friends take the place of the families left behind. We knew we wouldn’t live at the current location permanently. We dealt with good-byes on a regular basis. If it wasn’t us saying the good-byes, it was friends and classmates who were leaving. The negative side of the good-byes was missing people that had become dear to you. The positive side was that relationship problems were temporary and solved by either your moving or the problem person moving.
My mother enjoyed the military lifestyle and the opportunities it presented. While her family of origin lived and worked in the same city until retirement and beyond, my mom and our family lived many places experiencing different cultures and seeing parts of the country and the world that her siblings were not able to.
Our family did not accumulate heirlooms to be handed down for generations. The multiple moves would have eventually damaged or destroyed most valuables. We did, however, accumulate memories and experiences. Yes, I had to move three months before 8th grade graduation and transfer to a new high school (in Italy) for my Junior and Senior years of high school. My Junior class consisted of five girls and two boys; Senior class was much larger with twelve girls and five boys. But I experienced how it feels to be a foreigner and adapt to a different culture. And how many girls are able to celebrate their 16th birthday in Rome? Or take a train for a day’s visit to Venice?
Yes, my mother’s parents left their homeland in order to provide a better life for themselves and their children. I see my parents’ decision as their own way of creating a better life for themselves and their children. And my mother’s role as an Army wife made my father’s career not only easier, but possible.
So, here’s to you, Mom. Thank you for your part in making my childhood better than yours which taught me to work towards making my children’s lives better than mine.
There was a moment or two after I finished this card that I wondered if I had lost my mind! It was only a moment or two, however. I had struggled to find a way to show the Fab Friends on their way to the big city for lunch and shopping, for that’s what fab friends enjoy. I used the Metropolitan die for the cityscape and added stars cut from the star die in the Pillow Box die set. That tiny die yields four stars per trip through the cutting machine, making a sky full of stars easy peasy. I had originally pictured this scene done totally in black and white and finally yielded to my desire for color by adding the green accents, some paper pieced and some colored with Copic markers.
What can I say? Since it’s all about color this week I invited yellow to the party. This tuba player is from the Jazzy Cats transparent set as is the sentiment. It may be bright, but it is fun enough for the men in your life, too.
No color family escaped my attention this week. I chose the teal and purple theme first and then found paper for matting. This sweetie from the Sweet Smiles transparent set was colored with Copics and then simply matted.
When given the choice between the tie and bunny ears, Cooper opted for the ears. He does not understand why anyone would want to wear big purple ears, but he knows if he poses for the camera a treat will follow. He may be wondering why his doggy mama isn’t sharing the chocolate marshmallow eggs or the yellow Peeps.
There you have it: my contribution to the spring themed inspiration this week. Flowers, butterflies, music, friendship, and tons of color all in the same place. What a tribute to the many styles of Penny Black stamps and dies. Elegant, sweet, cute, fun, pretty, serious: all available to put a song in someone’s heart.
For many of us, tomorrow is the celebration of Easter. I wish you a day of contentment, renewal and celebration of a new season. Mr. RWS and I will share a home cooked ham dinner which includes what we fondly refer to as “green stuff”, formally known as Watergate Salad. I will treat myself to some green olives, the real indicator that it is a holiday meal.
I’ve cleaned up and put away my stamps and dies and run the vacuum. I don’t want to wear out my welcome here on the Penny Black blog. I’m going to browse the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery on my way out. I can’t wait to see your cards posted there. I am thankful for your visit and love reading your comments.
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:
- Stamps: 40-447 Poppy Gems, 1999L Letter Background, 40-429 Fab Friend, 30-333 Jazzy Cats, 30-349 Sweet Smiles
- Dies: 51-221 Feel Better, 51-203 Tiger Lily II, 51-194 Believe II, 51-201 Butterfly Circles, 51-169 Metropolitan, 51-210 Pillow Box, 51-204 Circle Tags