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Runs with Scissors… on campus!

April 16, 2016


Hello, hello, hello. Oops, it looks like I got started saying hello and couldn’t stop. I do hope your corner of the world is warming up and looking more like spring than winter. The youngest RWS grandchildren enjoyed the Milwaukee Zoo last week all bundled up in their snowsuits against the 30 degree weather. The little ones enjoyed it and Mom and Dad didn’t have to fight the crowds.

Have you enjoyed the week of Bookmark beauties? Something amazing happens when you have the Bookmark die in your hands. The urge to make something pretty won’t be denied. Keep it one layered if you like or indulge in the layered look. I usually struggle to combine elements for the layered look, but the Bookmark set makes it easy.


The Bookmark die set includes three smaller dies that help you decorate the beautiful base bookmark to your heart’s content. I used the “swirl” and added a butterfly from the Perfect Pairing stamp set. I did something fun after I created the colorful background by blending Memento Luxe inks (again). I sprinkled just a little gold embossing powder onto the inks before they dried and then heat set the inks and embossing powders. Love the touch of sparkle.


The Playful II die in combination with the Playful stamp allows you to create a two layer flower, using any pair of colors, or even the same color for the stamped flower and diecut outline. Here I’ve created a look of heavy embossing by outlining the Playful flower with a white diecut. The texture adds so much.


The Geometric Border anchors the Soar image perfectly. The set includes three different borders, each one ready to add a touch of elegance to any design. The bird cage and butterfly image perfectly complements the beautiful sentiment. This set would be perfect for graduation cards and includes other sentiments and an image that make it just right for sympathy, thinking of you and encouragement. It’s like having a box of greeting cards in one stamp package.

Back to School Part Two
(see Part One HERE)

 How I loved learning! When on campus, I forgot that I wasn’t still in my twenties. My requirements included taking one Physical Education class. To show how out of touch with reality I was about my age vs. the age of the traditional student, I signed up for a running class. In a moment of blessed clarity, I realized what I had done before the semester started. Quickly, I switched to bowling. And that could be an entire story, too.

But there was no more unkindly reminders of the age difference than the day I was brought back to harsh reality by a classmate saying to me, “Oh, how I wish my mom would go back to school”.

There were benefits to being an older more experienced adult student, too. I may be the only University of Wisconsin student who talked her Teaching Assistant into changing a grade. I took a theater class (counted as a Literature requirement) which involved attending live theater productions and writing a review afterwards. I received an A on the first paper I wrote, but a B on the second which had been critical of the director’s talents. And the director was the professor in charge of the class.

The second paper was head and shoulders better written and my assertions were well backed up by examples. I was certain my criticism of the professor was responsible for the lower grade. The Teaching Assistant agreed with the points I made and also agreed the second paper was the better of the two. But she kept insisting she never changed grades.

Perhaps an 18 year old freshman would have accepted her answer, but I had no tolerance for the philosophy of “it’s never been done before”. Before I left her cubbyhole office, my grade had been changed from a B to an A.

I took a music class that consisted of attending a live musical performance every Friday afternoon. For years the class was graded based only on attendance.   No tests, no exams, no pop quizzes. It was pure Friday afternoon enjoyment. I had been told by my daughter that the students had nicknamed the class “Clap for Credit”.

Oh, and as fate would have it, that was the first semester that a final exam was added to the course.

One of the joys of my University experience was sharing study time with my daughter who lived on campus. We would meet in the large study hall at the top of the School of Education building. I’m sure we were one of very few mother-daughter teams attending the UW at the time. One day a young man from one of my classes came up to me and asked me for my notes from a class he had missed. I cheerfully handed them to him for copying and heard a gasp from my daughter. Kathy was enrolled in the School of Business, a very competitive major requiring a high grade point to maintain enrollment. The first two years were planned to “weed out” lower performing students. Kathy explained to me that no one in the business school would share notes with someone who missed a class. That person might be the one to take your place due to a higher grade point average. Luckily, the School of Education was not so competitive.

The University calendar was set up so the semester would finish before Christmas break. That meant the weeks leading to Christmas were filled with study and then final exams. I was not able to do the usual preparations for the family’s Christmas.

Driving the hour’s drive from campus to home the day of my last final, I was feeling weary from the stress and missed sleep due to studying. I was feeling guilty that there wasn’t enough time before Christmas to bake any of the traditional cookies that the kids looked forward to when they came home for Christmas.

It was a dark winter evening by the time I pulled into the driveway, and the yellow lights from the kitchen window reminded me how glad I was to be home.

As soon as I got out of the car I noticed an amazing smell. And it was coming from my kitchen. The door opened directly into the kitchen and there, before my very eyes, was the kitchen table filled with containers and trays of Christmas cookies, nine varieties in all, baked by Mr. RWS himself. He had taken the day off from work to bake cookies because he knew how much it meant to me.

It was a very Merry Christmas that year. I had returned to school at last, I had earned 19 credits that semester in addition to the three from summer school, we had Christmas cookies and I had a month before classes resumed. Little did I know that the next semester would start without me.



I am thinking I overindulged in the cute and sweet theme here. Perhaps I should include sunglasses when sending this card. A little duckie from the Buddy and Duck transparent set and sweet red checked gingham is almost as good as chicken soup to make you feel better. The variety of fonts used in the Penny Black sentiment die sets offers something for everyone and every style. I like the casual look of this font.


The goal of stamping the Va Voom! image on kraft paper was to keep things simple. I kept coloring to a minimum and added the clouds from the Silver Linings die set (a must have) to add some feeling of motion. I think with the addition of these Fab Friends ladies from the So Special release Penny Black has created a new category: EXUBERANCE! These ladies know how to have fun and live life.


After seeing a few cards using black as a background in social media lately, I had to give that design idea a try. I kept the colors bold and bright when coloring this cutie from the Sweet Smiles transparent set so that they would pop against the black background. I kept the black area small in order to keep the card cheerful. See what I mean about the variety of fonts used in the sentiment dies? That font is perfect for Yay and helps make the card itself a celebration.


Cooper and I each manage about four weeks between haircuts. For me, the first week I am unhappy with my hair because it has been cut too short. The second week I start to like it and that lasts into the third week when I begin to look pretty shaggy. After four weeks I am entitled to use the emergency entrance into the beauty shop.   I am thinking Cooper’s haircuts follow the same time table. Here he is, a few days before his grooming appointment. He gives new meaning to the phrase “shabby chic”: more shabby than chic I believe. You will notice there are no photos of me at this stage of the haircut cycle.

Oh my goodness. Speaking of time cycles, I just noticed it is time to clean up, put away, and close up shop here at Penny Black’s blog. It’s been another fun visit for me and what’s even better is that I can go to the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to enjoy your work with Penny Black stamps and dies. I am delighted you enjoy my stories (the kids are tired of hearing them) and leave such lovely comments.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Marliese Zimmerman permalink
    April 16, 2016 3:59 am

    Love your “cliffhanger>” Can’t wait for the next installment. Another batch of incredible cards. Thanks for sharing.

  2. April 16, 2016 4:03 am

    I agree Mrs. RWS…everyone needs the Bookmark die…so versatile! Gorgeous cards today. Really liking the Lime Green on Kraft paper…unique! Can’t wait to hear what happened in the supposed next semester of college. And to solve your haircut dilemma…Snowy and I both get beauty shop treatments on the same day. 🙂 hugs my friend…great column today!

  3. creatingincolors permalink
    April 16, 2016 5:21 am

    Thats another beautiful collection of cards, each one with its unique design. Yes, we readers enjoy your stories. And I must say Mr. RWS is a keeper – taking the day off to surprise you with nine varieties of freshly baked Christmas cookies. What a guy!

  4. mjmarmo permalink
    April 16, 2016 5:57 am

    Such wonderful cards and I love your stories!

  5. knurse22 permalink
    April 16, 2016 6:46 am

    Another Saturday starts out with me smiling! Love your stories, Judy! And today’s cards totally rock….and now, darn it, I want every single one of these stamps and dies. My DH is NOT going to like you today! LOL…….
    And Mr. RWS is definitely a keeper—any man who bakes cookies in his wife’s time of need is amazing!

  6. Harriet permalink
    April 16, 2016 7:31 am

    I sure look forward to reading you each Saturday. You, Cooper and I have the same hair cut time table…so funny. Love your cards. And please give Mr. RWS a big hug for making Christmas cookies.

  7. Debra permalink
    April 16, 2016 8:53 am

    Mr RWS is going to be very popular after the first part of that story! You’ve articulated his thoughtfulness and charm very well! I totally enjoyed your cards today too. It’s always a treat to wake up Saturday morning and find you in my mailbox!

  8. April 16, 2016 9:00 am

    Such entertaining memories of your college days…looking forward to the next episode (kind of like a soap opera) – LOL! Liking all your cards, especially the Book ark – it is on my wish list! Thank you for sharing your life and inspiration with us!!!!
    Paper Hugs,

  9. April 16, 2016 9:58 am

    Lovely cards and another lovely story! I’d love to craft with you at the studio–would be a fun time!

  10. DebbieP permalink
    April 16, 2016 10:47 am

    Judy, I don’t know how you come up with so many great cards each week. I really enjoy your creations and your wonderful stories. Thanks for getting my Saturday mornings to such a nice start.

  11. April 16, 2016 11:01 am

    Can’t tell how much I admire you for returning for your degree even though it puts a wrench into normal activities, i.e., Christmas baking. Mr. RWS is an absolute gem to do that for you. Not sure mine knows where we keep the flour. Then we get to see these beautiful and, in some cases, adorable cards. Love this new “Exuberance” collection. That bookmark is stunning.
    As for hair, recently got mine cut after several years of letting it grow. Now I see why my hairdresser wanted to do it…even though I do like it, it’s falling out of my head like growing grass.

  12. April 16, 2016 11:05 am

    Everytime I read a new installment of your stories, it makes my day. Thanks there just isn’t enough humor in our world today.

  13. karenajo permalink
    April 16, 2016 5:43 pm

    Love your cards today – great inspiration and a nice variety ! Glad you were able to return to school and it is obvious Mr. RWS knew how much it meant to you. He deserves an award for making all those cookies for you – how very special ! Cooper is so cute, even at this ‘shabby’ stage – thanks for sharing !!!

  14. cmt permalink
    April 16, 2016 7:06 pm

    I love your life stories, and particularly love that first layered bookmark card. I’m not keeping up with the trends, so the black background is new to me but I find it surprisingly appealing. Tuck that idea away for later.

  15. April 16, 2016 7:17 pm

    I always love visiting with you on Saturdays, Judy, and learning more about your life through your amazing storytelling! Love hearing about how much Mr. RWS loves you – nine kinds of cookies! I don’t even bake that many! Your “va-voom” card is spectacular – love the white pencil with a pop of color, I’ll be borrowing that idea for sure! Cooper looks adorable with all his fluff! Furry pats to him!

  16. Cheryl Robertson permalink
    April 16, 2016 9:04 pm

    As always, your cards are wonderful and I’m enjoying your Back to School story. I do have a question though. What medium(s) do you use to color your images?

  17. April 16, 2016 10:15 pm

    Oh wow–bet you can guess which sentiment stamp I “need”–love & a dog is so true! All your cards are wonderful, but I keep staring at the first 2! Love the continuing story of your college experience! He took the day off & made the cookies?!–that is one good man! Enjoy your week, Judy, & give Cooper a pat on the head for me! I actually like the scruffy look–he’s a cutie no matter what!

  18. Debbie G. permalink
    April 16, 2016 10:16 pm

    I loved your going back to college writing; I truly admire you for going back. I often wish I had. And I truly loved your bookmark card; just beautifully done!

  19. dawnnz permalink
    April 16, 2016 11:24 pm

    Fabulous post Judy with beautiful cards and an amazing story of your adventures on campus.

  20. Virginia Crawford permalink
    May 15, 2016 12:57 pm

    Love, love, love your blog! It’s my fav! I name you Wonder Woman with all you do! Also, love, Cooper! He is bursting with personality. So many card ideas I can’t keep up but so fun to dream vicariously through your blog.

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