Runs with CUTE AND ELEGANT Scissors
So glad to have you all joining me here on the Penny Black blog today. I am amazed and happy that Penny Black tolerates my running around with my scissors. I am afraid to let them know how much I enjoy the time I spend here; they may decide I have over-stayed my welcome. So let’s get started while the getting is good! (From Penny Black: you are always welcome here, silly!)
The theme this week on the blog has been “cute to elegant” with Penny Black stamps. I love the assortment of styles available in this So Special release. There is something for every occasion, every technique and every style.
The Penny Black brushstroke stamps make a dramatic impact on any card. It is possible to obtain a watercolored look without using watercolors. For this card I just applied various Memento Luxe inks directly onto the Unfolding cling stamp and then stamped onto my cardstock. By using a stamp positioner or a MISTI you can add more color where needed or different colors by stamping the image multiple times.
If you are looking for an elegant background, no need to look any further than the Harmony cling stamp. I’ve stamped it here in gold Delicata ink for my background, wiping some of the ink off before I stamped. I applied Luxe inks to my Branch of Grace stamp and using my MISTI stamped in several colors. Those Circle Tags are a great way to add a sentiment without having to make room for it on your card.
I stamped the Bejeweled image with VersaMark ink and then sprinkled a mix of white and gold embossing powder onto the card, shaking off the excess into the wastebasket so as not to mix colors in my jars. It’s an interesting effect and shows up much better in real life. The background is once again made with blending Luxe inks onto white cardstock. I felt the card was a bit dark, so added a white butterfly to brighten things up. Penny Black has many butterfly images and dies, but this one from Flutters is my favorite.
Recently I’ve shared stories about problems with water. I’m thinking I owe water an apology for only showing its downside. Water is a blessing, too.
Five years ago a group from an Atlanta church came to our church to share an opportunity to accompany them on a trip to Ethiopia. The purpose of the trip was to install water pumps onto four wells previously dug by the residents of the Ethiopian villages selected to receive a pump.
The display set up in the church entry explained that a village qualified for a pump only if the villages’ source of water was at least ten miles away.
It was the job of the men to look after the herds and the women were in charge of going for water and carrying it home in 5 gallon cans, each weighing about 40 lbs. Much of the water hauled that distance was not safe for drinking. Unsafe drinking water contributed to the high death rate of the village children. The group’s goal was to install four water pumps during the ten day trip.
I briefly scanned the display and settled into “our” pew to attend the service. Mr. RWS spent more time at the display than I did and when he came to sit next to me it was with the announcement, “I’m going to Ethiopia.”
Devoted spouse that I am, my response was “How much does it cost?” Our church pew neighbors asked if I was going to go along and my response was “I think that is the week I do the ironing.”
The Ethiopian opportunity came at a good time. Mr. RWS’s sister had died the summer before and left each of her siblings a small inheritance. While Mr. RWS’s brother was unable to make the trip, he agreed that the trip and its purpose was a perfect way to honor their sister. He would pay for the pump and Mr. RWS would pay for the trip to install it. The pump would bear a small plaque with their sister’s name. Both brothers were certain their sister would approve of this use of her money.
I could write pages sharing the details of the arduous trip. It involved 10–12 hours of airplane travel to Addis Ababa followed by a grueling 12 hour ride by passenger van to reach their rural destination. The men in the group all had bruises on their arms from being jostled and tossed on the rutted roads for such a long time.
Their accommodations were at a “5 Star Hotel” which obviously had a different meaning in Ethiopia than in our country. The electricity was out for some reason, and therefore there was no running water as the pumps ran on electricity.
The highlight of the ten day trip for Mr. RWS was the joyous moment he was allowed to be the first to pump water from the new well.
When the villagers saw the amazing flow of water, not ten miles away, but right there, in their own village, the singing and dancing began. This was not water flowing from faucets in their home. This was not hot water for showering and bathing. But this was water safe to drink within their village, and it made them dance with joy.
Since seeing the photos and hearing the stories of the trip to Ethiopia I have become more grateful for the water that is piped into my home and flows from my faucets. Some of it is cold for drinking and cooking and some is heated, allowing me the luxury of a daily shower. It is difficult to be upset about the water in my life misbehaving when others in the world have no water.
The next time you feel like complaining about having to carry your groceries in from the car, think of these women whose job it is to find and haul firewood for their family. Shoes are a luxury and not everyone has them. Shoes are available in stores, and you have a choice of purchasing new shoes or used.
I don’t know who was happier to see the other when I went to the airport to pick up a very grubby, dusty, weary Mr. RWS. When we went to claim his suitcase from the carousel I remarked how weightless it was. It seems Mr. RWS came home only with the clothes on his back. He left his extra pants, shirts, jackets, socks and shoes behind with the villagers who were amazed and thankful. Mr. RWS’ spare shoes were given to the van driver to wear for his upcoming wedding.
The Perfect Pairing transparent set is a perfect mix of flowers, butterflies and a sentiment. I liked the idea of this flower stamp occupying one corner of my card and a gorgeous sentiment from the Special Thoughts set in the other corner. That was all too boring when done, so I ripped the card diagonally and placed the pieces onto patterned paper, with a butterfly to hold it together. Penny Black not only has awesome floral stamps, their assortment of fonts and sentiments also range from elegant to cute.
Finally, I have now transitioned from elegant to cute. Of all the stamps and dies in the So Special release, I was most excited to play with the adorable fox, bunny and bird dies in the Woodland Friends die set. These dies can be used to add dimension to the stamped images found in the Woodland Friends transparent set, but this time I used them as stand alone diecuts to make a cute scene. The background is again, Luxe inks applied with a blending tool. Only in my creative world can a fox and bunny share the same small space. There are many tiny pieces in this die set and I recommend having a system to keep track of them while you work! I had a little dish next to my die cutting machine.
It doesn’t get much cuter than the Tall Cake cling stamp. Ms. Adorable Chef’s dress is paper pieced, the cake colored with Copics. The image is fussy cut and mounted onto several layers of embossed and patterned paper. The silver star was on my desk and it seemed like a good idea to award it to this super chef who hasn’t dropped that cake.
Some days I believe Cooper is part cat: especially since I totally surrendered ownership of this cozy lap blanket. He saw the camera and realized he was supposed to pose (because there are treats involved) but he was just too comfy to participate.
I have to say good-bye quickly, before I take up too much of your day. I guess my kids are right when they say, “You love to chat”. Just know I look forward to my time on the Penny Black blog and will be stopping by the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to see your work. Happy spring!
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:
- Stamps: 40-450 The Unfolding, 30-160 Friendship, 40-170 Harmony, 40-451 Branch of Grace, 30-283 Snippets, 40-452 Bejeweled, 30-350 Sentiment Collection, 30-346 Perfect Pairing, 30-338 Special Thoughts, 30-334 Easter Parade, 30-340 Gentle Day, 40-455 Tall Cake
- Dies: 51-209 Edger, 51-204 Circle Tags, 51-006 Flutters, 51-050 Tweet Things, 51-033 Silver Linings, 51-193 Woodland Friends
- Paper: 80-008 Gentle Whisper