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Runs with CUTE AND ELEGANT Scissors

April 2, 2016


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:


37 Comments leave one →
  1. Holly Saveur permalink
    April 2, 2016 12:10 am

    Gorgeous cards!
    I am a;ways grateful for water..which comes out of the tap……but not always when it comes out of heaven…it rains here a lot in the Netherlands….

  2. dawnnz permalink
    April 2, 2016 1:51 am

    stunning array of cards Judy. I had issues with a flooded laundry on Monday but your post reminded me that I should be grateful to have water at all. Cooper certainly looks comfortable

  3. Roxanne Wall permalink
    April 2, 2016 1:51 am

    Wonderful cards! Such an inspiring story. Good to be reminded how lucky we are! Thank You>

  4. Marliese Zimmerman permalink
    April 2, 2016 3:13 am

    Great cards as usual, but I especially like the “Friend” card. I echo Roxanne,s comment> Good to be reminded how lucky we are.

  5. Cynthia Daugherty permalink
    April 2, 2016 4:41 am

    Yes, thank the Lord for water in that little village and the people who helped put it there.

  6. Nan permalink
    April 2, 2016 5:03 am

    Your blog posts are always so interesting! We love to hear you chat away. Cards are lovely as always.

  7. April 2, 2016 6:00 am

    Well done again friend on all fronts–beautiful cards and beautiful, uplifting words. Thanks so much for sharing an inspirational story. Bless you.

  8. Michelle Sissom permalink
    April 2, 2016 6:33 am

    I can hardly wait to see your work and to hear your stories. You should write a book, I’m sure you have been told by others that you remind them of Erma Bombeck. God has truly gifted you. Thanks for giving us a peek into the RWS’s home, I think Cooper is adorable. We have 3 dogs, 2 horses, 3 ducks and 1 cat and I love making cards. The miracle is that my hands are pretty damaged from Rheumatoud Arthritis but everyone says my cards are beautiful. Gives me a chance to share how good God has been to me. Oh yes and more importantly, I have 5 grandchildren and a wonderful husband of 49 years, and 2 amazing children; our son is a worship pastor and our daughter is a teacher

  9. Deanna Morgan permalink
    April 2, 2016 6:33 am

    I could “read” your chat EVERY DAY and not get bored. I love your creative cards and admire your talent. I look forward to your day on the PB blog. Thank you for the fabulous story about the water experience. What a wonderful ministry Mr. RWS and the others have done. I love your poignant comments about “our complaints” and I’m sure God is going to remind me of your godly-wisdom when I complain!

  10. creatingincolors permalink
    April 2, 2016 6:55 am

    I enjoy each and ever post you write. Your cards are beautiful and I wouldn’t miss your written stories. Today’s story did bring tears to my eyes. It is inspiring and such a good reminder to be thankful for all have. Blessings to those who took that arduous but rewarding trip to help those in need, and to Mr. RWS for leaving clothing and shoes that surely meant so much to those who received them.

  11. mjmarmo permalink
    April 2, 2016 7:39 am

    What a wonderful water story. I think I tend to take such a commodity for granted. I love your cards. Enjoyed this chat and look forward to the next!

  12. Ginger permalink
    April 2, 2016 7:49 am

    I so enjoy your visits to my home. You bring your inspiring cards and even more inspiring messages. Mr. RWS will ever be changed by his experience and the sacrifices he made and saw. He brought the gift of water ,but left The Living Water .

  13. Carolyn L permalink
    April 2, 2016 8:06 am

    “Erma”, it goes without saying that your cards are always wonderful and your Chat is eagerly read by all of us.
    This week your (rightful) pride in Mr. RWS came shining through. Thank you for gifting us with this peek into your life which is inspiring on so many different levels. God bless.

  14. Sandra permalink
    April 2, 2016 8:15 am

    I am grateful for the abundant supply of clean healthy water in my home, and I’m grateful to Mr RWS for providing the same for others. And to you for sharing and reminding me to give thanks.

  15. Harriet permalink
    April 2, 2016 8:16 am

    I always enjoy your chatting, today in particular because you reminded me how very fortunate we are in this country. Thank you to Mr. RWS for his generous sharing to that village and it’s people. And thank you to you for sharing your lovely cards.

  16. April 2, 2016 8:45 am

    I was feeling sorry for myself & then I read your post today & got tears in my eyes. Thank you for the wonderful story, Judy–we have so much to be grateful for. I love your cards, as always! The first one tells me again I “need” that gorgeous border die & to use my PB florals! Happy weekend!

    PS–Penny Black–Judy’s Blog address isn’t included in her posts & shouldn’t it be?

    • judka permalink
      April 2, 2016 8:50 am

      Greta, thank you for the lovely comment. I haven’t posted on my personal blog for a long time since I am running with scissors most of the week! And you will always be glad you have that border die! I have a hard time not using it on every card. Big hugs!

  17. Sandy Andersen permalink
    April 2, 2016 9:21 am

    That is the most lovely and lovingly of all water stories. Thanks so much for sharing.

  18. April 2, 2016 9:21 am

    Kudos to both you and your hubby and his brother…..that village will be grateful for the water forever! Thank you for the reminder for us to be grateful for our blessings too – we should count them one by one! Your running with scissors is both elegant and cute, so I want to thank you for sharing such inspiration in verse and with paper!
    Paper Hugs,

  19. April 2, 2016 9:37 am

    Lovely reminder to be grateful for the luxuries (running water) we have and the sense to preserve it (at least here in drought ridden California). Lovely cards to go along with the narrative. Incidentally, your kids are wrong, you do not talk too much. I have a couple of those commandeered blankets and throws in my house, relinquished only under protest.

  20. barbara lassiter permalink
    April 2, 2016 9:56 am

    Your story just illustrates that we have so much to be grateful for in this country! We need to stop and say thank you for the things we take for granted…running water, electricity, clothing, shoes, etc. Thanks for sharing a wonderful story and for sharing your creativity with beautiful cards for us to sigh over. 🙂

  21. rdhhall permalink
    April 2, 2016 10:01 am

    What a wonderful heart touching story you shared today! Thank you for sharing it. I just know that my whole day will be better for reading it. I will feel more blessed in my own life and happy to know there is more goodness in this world where we often hear of only the evil.

  22. DebbieP permalink
    April 2, 2016 10:07 am

    Thanks for to Mr. RWS for his giving, and for your lovely cards and inspiring words today. I would remind us all that our precious water is not an unlimited resource. Sorry, but this is a big pet peeve for me! There are so many ways we can and should be using this resource more wisely. Okay, back to your beautiful cards and Cooper – there is your elegant and cute right there.

  23. Marilyn Valadez permalink
    April 2, 2016 10:41 am

    What a wonderful thing your husband and his brother did for those people in that village. They did their sister proud and what a good cause to be a part of. Hard to believe there are people in other parts of the world that don’t even have safe water to drink. This is a great country we are so fortunate to live in. Thank you for such an inspiring story as we tend to forget how great America is and how lucky we are to live here. “But, for the grace of God, go I.

  24. Lynn G. permalink
    April 2, 2016 11:44 am

    Thank you for sharing this inspiring story . I am sure your sister-in-law will be honoured in that village for years to come – water truly can be a blessing . Your husband and his brother can feel proud of this accomplishment.
    Also , thank you for taking the time each week to share your talents by making those wonderful cards and sharing snippets of your life .

  25. Sheri K permalink
    April 2, 2016 11:57 am

    Such beautiful cards, a lovely water story and of course, adorable Cooper! From one “chatty” lady to another–have a wonderful weekend!

  26. Maria permalink
    April 2, 2016 1:36 pm

    What a wonderful thing to do, getting water for people who need it. Thank
    you for sharing the story and well done to your husband to help.
    Such a lovely array of cards, you do some great work with the PB stamps.
    Oh lovely Cooper, give him a big hug from me 🙂 He is adorable x

  27. karenajo permalink
    April 2, 2016 3:21 pm

    Yes, we should all be very grateful for the blessings we have and water is one of them! Always love your great cards and the variety you create – very inspiring !!! Of course, I love to see what Cooper is up too – he is so very cute !!!

  28. alexandra s.m. permalink
    April 2, 2016 4:19 pm

    Thank you for your wonderful post and cards dear Judy!

  29. knurse22 permalink
    April 2, 2016 5:19 pm

    Darling cards again, as always, Judy! And what an uplifting story! Thank you for reminding us of all the blessings we often take for granted!

  30. donna mikasa permalink
    April 2, 2016 6:35 pm

    Oh, I remember when L went to Ethiopia to help with the water wells. But I didn’t know about his clothes! He’s a good man. And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE all your cards! My favorite is the one that you tore–I thought it was a trendy, new die!

  31. Kathy B permalink
    April 2, 2016 7:40 pm

    What a beautiful way to memorialize his sister! Your blog is by far, my favorite. Please keep on chatting and give Cooper a pat on the head!

  32. April 2, 2016 9:08 pm

    Lovely cards! I love the idea your husband had to donate his clothes to the locals when he returned.

  33. Penny permalink
    April 3, 2016 7:11 am

    Your posts are always interesting and informative. A few, like this one brings a tear to my eye. Love your craftiness, your creations are so lovely. Blessings to you and Mr. RWS.

  34. April 3, 2016 11:57 am

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.

    On Sat, Apr 2, 2016 at 3:04 AM, The Penny Black Blog wrote:

    > pennyblackinc posted: ” 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 ove” >

  35. maureenchandler permalink
    April 6, 2016 7:44 pm

    Your cards are lovely and your stories are wonderful. I am so touched by the story of your husband and his sister and the water pump – how fantastic to bring water to people who had to walk 10 miles for it!!! I am quite grateful for all I have in my life and I’ll try not to complain too much when our basement floods and I have to haul out the wet vac and get to work. Thanks so much for all you share – it truly touches my life!!! XOXO

  36. April 21, 2016 10:27 pm

    I love your site/blog. I have been having problems stirring up my creativity and just one visit to your sites gives me just the boost I need. Thank you so much for all your hard work. I am looking forward to my next purchase of your products. Julie

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