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Runs with Scissors

May 28, 2016


Well, I noticed as I was heading for the Penny Black blog this week that the merry month of May is packing its bags and making room for June to bust out all over. Maybe it’s because I run with scissors a lot, but the months don’t seem to be hanging around very long. Here on the blog, however, it’s all about A Little Bit of Sunshine, no matter the month.


Emboss resist is my friend. I stamped and embossed the Sunbursts stamp on white cardstock and then used my blending tool to blend my Memento Luxe inks. I made the card front more interesting by cutting an inch off the embossed image and stitching the yellow dotted paper to the card front. You will love this classic and happy Sunburst floral image, so right for so many occasions. Here I’ve made a birthday card, but that patterned paper panel would accommodate any sentiment.


How fun it is to color this summer garden image called Good Neighbors. Here I’ve used my Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens and painted quickly for a very casual watercolor look. The image includes flowers, birds and birdhouses and I’ve added butterflies and a garden fence. There’s more than a little bit of sunshine in this garden scene and add any sentiment you like, from Happy Birthday to encouragement to thank you.


Coloring the Scented Beauty rose is made easier by the “built in” shading. For this sympathy card I wanted to feature the sentiment more than the flower, so I placed a layer of vellum over the image and layered the sentiment on the vellum. That sweet square is from the Gift Card Pocket die set and is the perfect size for the Happy Snippets sentiment. The variety of fonts and the number of sentiments in the Happy Snippets set is amazing.

Part Two: Cooper Comes Home (Part One HERE)

I wouldn’t call it a successful Meet and Greet. It’s a wonder Shawn let us take Cooper home! When she handed him to us, we turned into babbling idiots, repeating over and over “He’s so big!” And finally, “He’s so beautiful!” We were still trying to figure out how a Poodle/Bichon mix dog turned out to be so much larger than we imagined.

Cooper mostly ignored us while we tried to connect. Any attempts to pet him or get close were not successful. I believe Shawn finally realized any placement for Cooper was going to be difficult for him and at least we were providing a quiet home. So finally we got into our car and Shawn put Cooper on my lap and off we went for the two hour drive home.

Poor Cooper! He was very unhappy on my lap so we put him on the middle seat of our mini van from which he promptly jumped down onto the floor and curled himself up as small as he could. We later learned he had no experience in car travel. He looked absolutely miserable and terrified and car sick.

I realized how frightened he had been when we let him off his leash upon arriving inside the house and he took off like a flash and instinctively found a hiding place under our bed. There went our visions of one big happy family.


He really seemed lost and confused.


When outside, he kept checking to make sure we were still around.


Cooper had been owned by a breeder, not socialized to being part of a family or attached to a human. He was a few days short of being two years old when we adopted him so he had missed out on learning many things as a puppy. He had been confined indoors with limited exposure to people or the world.

Cars terrified him, either being in one or having one pass us by as we walked. It was heartbreaking to watch him cringe and cower and try to escape as a car drove by. He was frightened of people out for a walk, anyone on a bicycle, and worst of all a pickup truck pulling a trailer.

Cooper lived for feeding time. Food was the way to his heart, for sure. Cooper’s begging for food and gulping it ravenously concerned me enough that I contacted Shawn for more information about his life before being rescued. While Cooper had been fed and wasn’t starved, he was fed the minimum possible in order for the breeder to profit.

Like many rescue dogs, what Cooper needed was time to develop trust. We were encouraged to just push Cooper through the things that frightened him. Eventually he learned how the world worked. I think we suffered right along with him as he coped with new experiences. I admit to courting his favor with the use of Cheetos.

It was not all without humor, though. One day I dug through the coat closet to bring forth my ironing board. I must have been doing some hemming or emergency pressing that did not respond to “throw it into the dryer for a few minutes”. Cooper was in the room where I was setting up the board and went into full attack mode: barking fiercely, feet firmly planted, ready to pounce on this scary invader. It was hysterical and I assured Cooper I felt the same way about ironing boards!

Cooper has a love/hate relationship with the vacuum cleaner. I think he is fascinated by the headlight, but leery of the noise. He hasn’t tired of following me around when I vacuum and it’s been almost five years. He loves it when I take up the area rugs to wash floors. He plants himself firmly in the middle of the rug and takes a “magic carpet” ride as I drag it out of the room.

We delight in all the learning that has occurred in his five years with us. He chewed a shoe only once. He lost his housebroken manners only once. He does not bother anything that is not his, unless it is a Copic marker that has fallen from the desk. There is something about that plastic!

The violent car sickness has ended. He has made a friend and delights in playing with the resident dog where we board him when we travel. He is eager and quick to learn and most of all, he lives to please us. It is heart wrenching to watch him apologize after he’s been scolded (mostly for running after moving objects when unleashed for a quick trip with Mr. RWS to the curbside mailbox).

It’s been a joy sharing the story of how Cooper became a part of the RWS family. Mr. RWS and I don’t think in terms of our having rescued Cooper; we know he has rescued us from our predictable, sometimes boring retirement life. We see life through his eyes. He has made it necessary for us to go walking several times a day. We laugh as we attempt to brush his teeth and he eats the toothpaste. He makes us smile when he brings his blanket for a tug of war or his “froggy” for a game of Keep Away.   I say “shoes on” (meaning I have to put my shoes on) and he is leaping for joy because he knows we are going to the park. He watches with a worried look on his face when he sees me curling my hair and putting on makeup; he knows I’m going somewhere. He hides under the bed when we turn the shower on; this time it might be a bath for him.

Cooper, like all dogs, lives for and enjoys each day and provides us with unconditional love. Mr. RWS and I both wish we were worthy of Cooper’s adoration and loyalty. We remain forever thankful that Snooty Giggles’ director, Shawn, made the executive decision to place Cooper with us. Oh, and how did a Bichon Frisse/Poodle mix turn out to be bigger than we imagined? The Poodle part is Standard Poodle!


Who doesn’t love a pun? The Animal Wisdom set has four images and six sentiments which give great options. My grey and black color combination with a touch of red makes this card just right to send to a guy who needs a bit of encouragement. The other images will all adapt well to masculine cards, too, without leaving the ladies out of the fun.


If you are looking for unbridled enthusiasm (pun intended) look no further than Bronco Becky and her trusty rocking horse. Who could hold back a smile if they found this happy card in their mailbox? I love the adorable little tot images in the eight mini transparent sets included in this release.


No stamping at all on this Bon Voyage card. I’ve used the houses and autos from the Mini Community die set and the sentiment and airplane are from the Love to Travel die set. There is something about items in miniature that are so appealing. The Mini Community die set can be used to make great backgrounds for larger images as well as to become part of a scene using the awesome landscape stamps. Those little autos remind me of the old Plymouth that our family traveled in from Alabama to Texas when my Army Dad was transferred. It’s a wonder that car made the trip.


Cooper is used to living a very quiet, calm life. He isn’t crazy about car rides and he definitely dreads baths and grooming appointments. Recently I was unable to get an appointment with his long time groomer and in desperation took him to a Big Box pet store to be groomed.

The resulting haircut was so bad that Mr. RWS took Cooper back two days later to correct some of the worst spots and I think the stress was too much for him. This is the next day, when I was finally able to coax him out of the corner where he was hiding behind a chair. After a lot of cuddling and many apologies he fell asleep. It may have been the stress of it all, or he may have caught a glimpse of his awful haircut in the hall mirror. Thankfully, the next day he was back to normal: the haircut, however, will take some time to grow out.

Time to go! As soon as I find where I left my scissors I will stow them away. I am forever misplacing my possessions and would be worried about the condition of my brain except it’s a situation that has plagued me since childhood. For sure, I do know how to find my way to the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery and can’t wait to see the beautiful work you’ve posted there.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

Card No. 1: 40-460 Sunbursts, 51-028 Celebration

Card No. 2: 40-439 Good Neighbors, 51-033 Silver Linings, 51-178 Berry Branches

Card No. 3: 40-428 Scented Beauty, 30-358 Happy Snippets, 51-191 Gift Card Pocket

Card No. 4: 30-352 Animal Wisdom, 51-050 Tweet Things

Card No. 5: 30-364 Bronco Becky, 51-038 Hooray

Card No. 6: 51-229 Mini Community, 51-224 Love to Travel

30 Comments leave one →
  1. MaryAnn Pletcher permalink
    May 28, 2016 1:16 am

    I loved you story about Cooper. I have two little dogs and we walk each day. They have their own personalities and quirks which makes them very dear to me. Thanks for sharing.

  2. May 28, 2016 3:14 am

    Wonderful cards today, so much inspiration, thank you! Absolutely loved reading about how Cooper came to have a loving home with you (I hopped back and read part one). That was an inspirational story too. xxx

  3. mjmarmo permalink
    May 28, 2016 3:24 am

    Cooper is lucky to have you! Gorgeous cards!

  4. Deb L permalink
    May 28, 2016 5:40 am

    I love your story and the fact you had the patience with Cooper. Beautiful cards as always especially the Sunburst Happy Birthday one.

  5. Priscilla L permalink
    May 28, 2016 6:25 am

    Gorgeous cards and I love your stories and pics of Cooper. He is a lucky dog.

  6. carole permalink
    May 28, 2016 7:18 am

    Your talent for card-making is matched by your talent for writing.
    I envy you both!

  7. May 28, 2016 8:10 am

    Wonderfully creative cards, Judy! I really love the garden scene & the last one! Cooper & Fritz have a lot in common, although we got Fritz at 9 months old so he wasn’t deprived of knowing the world for so long. He’s come a long way–still puts on his brakes when he sees something new, but he no longer cowers & often will slowly go up to it himself without me having to show him it’s safe. Cooper is such a cutie pie–bad haircut or not! I’ve been through that, too, & it does grow out even though it seems like forever. Can’t imagine life without a furbaby! Wishing all 3 of you a lovely weekend! Hugs, Greta

  8. Teddi permalink
    May 28, 2016 8:19 am

    Awww! Poor Cooper. I rescued a 5lb maltese just about 4 yrs ago. That was a challenge as she was kept as a puppy mill breeder – until she was no longer useful that is. (despise puppy mills) She had to wear her leash inside for weeks so I could catch her. She has really learned alot since those first few weeks where I thought she would never learn to trust humans. But she did! and continues to relax and trust. It will come. It just takes time. I would do it all again in a heartbeat! Good luck to you and xxoo to Cooper!

  9. barbara lassiter permalink
    May 28, 2016 8:51 am

    What a wonderful story of how you rescued Cooper. You are lucky and so is he! 🙂 PS: Liked your cards, too!

  10. Lynn Darcy permalink
    May 28, 2016 9:12 am

    I’m not sure what I enjoy more – your beautiful cards or your stories. Both are inspiring and enjoyable. Please continue to share your creativity and your stories.

  11. May 28, 2016 9:24 am

    I can relate, in so many ways, to you, Mr. RWS and Cooper’s orientation to eachother. Though our furbaby was found abandoned on the street, the getting used to his new situation was as disconcerting for him. Now that he’s been with us for 7 years, he knows he is in charge and owns us. The joy he brings to our lives is almost tangible. Somehow, rescued animals always seem more grateful to me…which is probably just in my head. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us…I SOOOO look forward to Saturdays when I know you’re up on the PB blog.
    Loved all your cards today, especially the first one and the punny sheep.

  12. Cheryl Robertson permalink
    May 28, 2016 9:48 am

    Judy, we too adopted a rescue dog from a no kill shelter. She was 4 months old when we got her and is really afraid of men in uniform. She is 7 now and the queen of the house! My husband is the one that takes her to the vet and every time he does she runs to me and hides her face in my lap when she gets home. She won’t have anything to do with my husband for a couple of days!
    Love your posts and cards and really miss you when you are gone!

  13. Dianne Crowe permalink
    May 28, 2016 10:24 am

    Thanks ever so much for your little stories. I was glad to see you had a spot for me to go back and read the first chapter of “Cooper”, somehow I missed it (too busy this spring). We too have a little house dog (many larger dogs over the years). Not a rescue dog this one but a gift, a puggle who has taken over the running of the house and her family. What a joy they are. You have a wonderful gift with making your cards, thanks for sharing them with us.

  14. May 28, 2016 10:30 am

    I have loved these last two entries about Cooper. Is there a third installment, perhaps explainining how he went from Omelet to Cooper? We have a Bichon/SMALL poodle/Cocker mix and he is the delight of our post-children life. Benito is the small white dictator in our household. Thank you for your continued literary and creative inspiration!

  15. knurse22 permalink
    May 28, 2016 12:41 pm

    It’s okay to misplace your possessions, Judy—as long as it’s not sweet Cooper! And he doesn’t look that big!
    Love your cards today, especially the embossed starburst. Thanks for sharing a great technique!
    I think you are blessed with Cooper, as he is with you two! I am still laughing out loud over the Snooty Giggles name!!

  16. Patt H. permalink
    May 28, 2016 3:18 pm

    Love your beautiful cards & your awesome stories! Thanks for sharing.

  17. May 28, 2016 4:07 pm

    Cute, cute cards…thanks for sharing them. And, for how you acquired Cooper and his first days with his forever family! We totally understand – could write a book – LOL!
    Paper Hugs,

  18. Connie Schulz permalink
    May 28, 2016 5:30 pm

    I love your cards and look forward to your weekly stories. They are enjoyable to read.

  19. Sheila Lile permalink
    May 28, 2016 6:46 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your story about Cooper. I tune in every Saturday just to see Cooper (and your beautiful cards) I had the experience of being given my boss’s dog (15# poodle) and still taking him to work everyday. It was soooooooooo difficult for me and him. He would always run to him and want to go with him. But over time…it’s been 8 years now and he finally realized he had a new home. We are lucky to have our fur babies.

  20. karenajo permalink
    May 28, 2016 7:48 pm

    Love your cards Judy – you always leave me with wonderful ideas for my next cards ! So glad Cooper found his way to such a loving home. Thank you for such a touching story and I think Cooper is right where he belongs !!!

  21. alexandra s.m. permalink
    May 28, 2016 8:11 pm

    I agree with Jean! Cooper is indeed so lucky to have the two of you!!
    What a fabulous post Judy!
    Love your cards and getting to know more about you and Cooper 😉

  22. dawnnz permalink
    May 29, 2016 2:24 am

    Gorgeous cards. Love them all. And was happy to read the rest of Cooper’s story. He was very luck to have been rescued by you and Mr RWS

  23. donna mikasa permalink
    May 29, 2016 9:52 am

    Love all your wonderful cards and I’m constantly amazed with your fussy cutting!
    It’s so heartwarming to learn how Cooper came into the family–the right family–and I’m sure he knows how lucky he is to be there!

  24. Kathy b permalink
    May 29, 2016 8:23 pm

    I love your tales about Cooper! Rescues are truly a gift (we currently have two) though it takes a lot of patience to work through the issues they come with (ours were 3 when we got them, a year apart-they are 9 and 10 now). I lost my 2 card making buddies a couple of years ago, and I really miss the company! I’m glad Cooper is there for “creative support”. I love your cards!

  25. Kristina Song permalink
    May 30, 2016 2:35 am

    Fabulous to get to know Cooper’s story. Our Biscuit and Bandito are our biggest joys too. TFS Hugs, Kristina

  26. Di F permalink
    May 30, 2016 5:37 am

    Wonderful to read the second part of Cooper’s story. He is indeed a lucky boy to have you both in his life. Great cards.

  27. May 30, 2016 9:13 am

    Hi Judy,
    Love, love, love your blog and your Cooper stories–it was a long wait between Part 1 and 2. The suspense was almost more than I could bare. Seriously though, your blog is the best! Love all the creative cards and stamps. Love the tutorials and videos. Cooper is very blessed to have such dedicated owners. We are also retired but do not have any pet responsibilities. I have secretly adopted Cooper. He is so adorable.

  28. Kathy H permalink
    May 31, 2016 9:04 am

    I am so happy that Cooper was able to find parents who truly love him and are patient enough to help him feel secure and happy.

  29. Sandy Andersen permalink
    May 31, 2016 10:33 am

    Your cards are always so inspirational and I love your Cooper stories. Now I know why. Our dog, Zoe, is a Poodle/Bichon mix also. She is the product of a black Poodle father and a Bichon mother, black all over except for a little white on her tummy and on the tips her toes. She is the smartest dog we’ve ever had, but has a bug phobia. She can spot a spider on the ceiling and if there is a fly in the room, she goes to hide in her kennel or under the bed until I tell her the fly is dead.

  30. May 31, 2016 4:49 pm

    Your cards are so beautiful, but I must say, you had me enthralled with your story about Cooper. His face looks exactly like our Dawson. He was 14 yrs old when we lost him to cancer exactly 2 years ago and I miss him every day. He followed me by my side all the time. Cooper is a very fortunate “little” guy to have a loving family like you all to take him in and love him. Bless you! Thank you for sharing his story with us. May all the heartless breeders out there, well, I am not going to say it. Not sure if my link is going to show up, but here is a card that I colored with Prismacolor Pencils for our Dawson dog, aka Binky!!!

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