She runs with scissors and her degree, too!
I love having a key to the Penny Black Blog and an invitation to visit often. I am so glad you all feel free to drop by, too. I love sharing the Penny Black stamps and dies from the So Special release with all of you. It’s another week of “cute to elegant” for the Penny Black designers and because I am one who runs with scissors, I will be doing “elegant to cute”. For me, it’s like serving dessert after dinner where it belongs.
The big and bold daisies from the Sunbursts cling stamp make a statement alone or can be part of a large bouquet. For this card I first created a Memento Luxe ink background and then stamped the flowers with Versamark ink and heat embossed with white. The other half of the card features a sentiment from the Friendship transparent set, decorated with tiny flowers from the Tweet Things die set. This is a design I will use often when I want the sentiment to be featured. Penny Black sentiment sets offer a huge variety in sentiments and fonts which can take you from elegant to cute just like their stamps.
The motto here is “if you find a technique that works for you, repeat”. I did the floral panel the same but differently using the iris from the Love Art transparent set. I did some masking for the floral panel and added die cut flowers from the Flower Bunch die set. It is a temptation to use that Edger die on every card as it adds so much.
If you are thinking this looks like Jill Foster’s art, you are right. I made this card using Penny Black’s Stickeroos set Gentle Blossoms. Stickeroos are beautiful full color stickers of some of the gorgeous art created by Penny Black designers. They can be used as is, or altered and embellished to make them your own. A helpful hint is to stick them to cardstock and trim around in order to make them easier to handle. Another great idea is to buy duplicate sheets of Stickeroos so you can create some dimension by fussy cutting the second image and layering it with dimensionals on top of the original image. I’ve also added real twine and an enamel dot to bring to life the stamped twine bow. The butterfly is from the Touched by Love sheet of Stickeroos and I added it in order to showcase another sample of the stickers available. I say, “Hooray for Stickeroos”!
Well, this photo is neither cute nor elegant. But it is precious. I am the one in the cap and gown holding, at long last, my BA degree in Business Management. You are right; I am not anywhere near the traditional college graduation age. I am certain I was the oldest person, at the age of 57, in my graduating class. The other women are co-workers and members of our “lunch bunch” at work.
I really did try to take the traditional route after high school graduation: attend college for four years, earn degree, begin career. It just didn’t work out that way for me. My original goal was to be a high school English teacher. Math and Science made my brain hurt, I was too geographically challenged to go into Earth Sciences, and the idea of a career in Home Economics caused me to break out in hives.
I completed one year as a traditional college student and along the way met a man who, as a pharmacist, told me he had enough education for both of us and so I dropped out of school, worked for a year and then married. However, I never thought that my dropping out of college was quitting; I always felt my plans were “suspended”, not ended.
Raising a family became my life’s vocation and returning to college became a dream, not a plan. It wasn’t until my five children were out of the home and Mr. RWS and I were married that it became a possibility. Because I had talked so much about my desire to finish my education, shortly after we were married he encouraged me to apply for admission to the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a full time student. We had my two teen-aged boys at home and his two little girls yet to raise, but we took a leap of faith and started to make the dream come true.
I left my job, bought a few pairs of blue jeans and some dangling earrings and a backpack and off I went. My plan was to pursue a degree in elementary education, having decided that I was no longer a match for high school students. I started with a three credit summer school class entitled Music for Elementary Teachers. One day while discussing various genres of music, the Professor played a recording of the funeral dirge played during President John F. Kennedy’s funeral procession. He was asking the class to identify what made that piece of music so well known. Finally, he looked at me and remarked that we were the only ones in the room who were old enough to remember JFK’s funeral. That was not the worst part of taking that class. A large part of the final grade was based on a SOLO singing performance for the professor.
I begged to be exempted. I tried to tell him how useless it was to try to make a singer out of me. I was told to pick something not too difficult and practice.
We owned an autoharp which I learned to strum a bit and chose the little ditty that begins “My wife and I live all alone in a little grass shack that we call home”. I reserved a practice room at the Music School and resolved to get this behind me the best I could. How mortified was I to enter the Music School building and hear glorious opera, magnificent piano playing, and all sorts of woodwind and brass generated music leaking from the practice rooms. And there I sat, in lonely misery strumming our little autoharp while tapping my toe to the rhythm of that silly little song.
The day of my solo performance, thankfully done in private with the professor, I begged again to be excused. I warned him it wouldn’t be pretty. I told him I would rather give birth than sing for him but sing I must.
At the end of my pitiful attempt at singing, he kindly suggested I focus on other ways to engage my future students and if I sang, to sing softly. Thankfully he still gave me an “A” in the class.
What an amazing experience that next semester was when I became a full time student! I owe much of my success handling a class load of 19 credits to the fact that I had been working for many years while raising my family and had long since learned to multi-task and prioritize. I wasn’t worrying about having a social life or coming to class hungover after a big weekend. Perhaps my largest concern was navigating Bascom Hill, the heart of the UW campus. Those twenty-something students had an advantage over the forty-something me.
My daughter also contributed to my success in many ways. The first item of business was Registration. I had to plan which classes to take and, using the University’s timetable, choose at what time to take them. Rule number one: you can’t be in two places at once.
This all took place in the days before computers and registration for classes was done by standing in line with all the other students hoping to take the class you are signing up for. In my euphoria about being on campus again, I was enthusiastically chatting with the young people in line and if my daughter had not literally grabbed my arm and pulled me from registration table to registration table I would still be standing there chatting. As it was, she ended up taking a class called Japanese Literature because the other lit classes were all full by the time she was able to free herself from her mother responsibilities and take care of her own class registration.
One of the requirements for my major in elementary education was a class called Elementary Math. By the time I reached the head of that registration line, all Elementary Math classes were full. Except, the young man told me with a wink, the remedial Elementary Math class. Oh, I said, sign me up for that. Well, he said, you have to take a test to prove that you need the remedial class. As a matter of fact, he said, you have to fail that test. Oh, said I, I can do that. And I did.
And the good Lord had been watching over me. During the first few weeks of Elementary Math, the professor noticed I was having no difficulty at all, and as a matter of fact was doing very well. Thankfully, he did not evict me from his class because as the weeks went by and the simple math turned into word problems it was only because Mr. RWS (a former math major) tutored me that I made it through that class. Identifying “x” was always a challenge; and when did you invert the fraction? Was it to multiply? Or to divide?
TO BE CONTINUED
I have mounted the gift card holder I made using the Gift Card Pocket die set onto a card base. I’ve decorated the card holder with the coffee cup from the Love Cup die set. What a perfect design to hold a Starbucks gift card. The Gift Card Pocket die set contains many embellishment dies so there is no limit to the design possibilities. So happy to see the “You Rock” sentiment in the Well Done die set. It’s perfect for the teens in our lives.
Looks like our fab friends have taken to their tandem bike for transportation. This image is from the Love Life cling set and was great fun to color with Copics. I do believe the lady in the rear seat has kicked off her shoes, a necessity if you plan to love life. Penny Black not only goes from elegant to cute, they have included a bit of “exuberant” in the So Special release.
“Three little ducks that I once knew …” That song entered my head when I saw the cute duckie images in the Buddy and Duck transparent set. I thought the duckies with the umbrellas were fitting for April’s showers. I just stamped and paper pieced the same little duck three times, added some Dew Drops for rain drops and gave each duckie his very own cloud. I always reward myself by working on cute after doing a few elegants.
Cooper and I were really surprised to discover our Knock Out rose bushes were already blooming. We’ve been watching the leaves unfurl and the grass turn green right before our eyes.
Instead of my usual wrap up and closing, I will leave you with an Easter photo of the two youngest Wisconsin grandchildren, Evelyn Rose and Jack Lincoln. I am off to visit the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery where you kindly share your work.
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:
- Stamps: 30-160 Friendship, 40-460 Sunbursts, 30-342 Love Art, 40-434 Love Life, 30-336 Buddy and Duck
- Dies: 51-050 Tweet Things, 51-209 Edger, 51-199 Flower Bunch, 51-191 Gift Card Pocket, 51-192 Love Cup, 51-223 Well Done, 51-041 Friends Frame, 51-033 Silver Linings
- Stickeroos: 10-230 Gentle Blossoms, 10-231 Touched by Love