Runs with Scissors
It’s me again! I’ve been sitting here thinking about the first time I accidentally found myself on the Penny Black blog on December 31, 2013 followed by several weeks of my sneaking in. What a relief it was when Headquarters decided if I was going to keep showing up it was better to give me a key. It was decided Saturday was the best time for me to take over the Penny Black studio so I could have the place to myself. I think there was some concern about safety as they noticed my habit of running with scissors.
I wish you could see how magical this place is. Cabinets, drawers, boxes and shelves filled with stamps, dies and paper pads. And this week is even more exciting than usual: a new release called “Artistic Endeavors” is available and I am lucky enough to be able to play with the stamps and dies while no one else is here.
Penny Black’s stamps have always provided a wide range of images, from elegant to cute to gorgeous florals and geometrics. Add to that assortment the wide range of dies and now designer paper. I thought Penny Black had something for everyone. But, no, not quite: not until this release, Artistic Endeavors, did Penny Black truly have something for everyone. Now we can all be artists, bringing to life and using these new images in various multi media projects. I was nervous when I first saw some of the large cling stamps thinking I would not be able to do them justice. Well, there is nothing like being pushed out of your comfort zone into a new challenge.
The Artistic Endeavors release has some happy surprises. And this very large slapstick stamp Cottage Treehouse is one of them. This card is 5”x7”. I could have trimmed the picture to standard A2 size, but I didn’t want to lose any part of this image. I used Copic markers to color and found myself going into a zone, enjoying the process as much as the result. And there are fun tiny images here and there that you discover as you color. This may be the most fun of all the Penny Black stamps (so far).
I am hoping you have seen Angela Kennedy’s amazing art on social media. This is one of her “ladies” and this time we can express ourselves by transforming a line drawing into a piece of art. Before I began coloring Ms. Muse, I stamped part of the Flowerets image onto her dress, just to add detail. I created a background for this 5”x7” card by gluing six diecuts of the bird-less Layered Scene die onto tinted vellum paper. After I colored her using Copic markers, I layered the flowers from the Shall We Dance die set over the image. I was trying for a mixed media look using only paper and markers.
Sweet Perfume is another of the larger cling stamps in this release. Since I had met my first two challenges with the Tree Cottage and Muse stamps, I decoded to soldier on and bring out the watercolors for the Sweet Perfume stamp. While I did not use neon colored watercolors, the flowers do pop against that black background. I embossed the sentiment onto a strip of vellum and added some bright yellow dots.
And what is this, you ask? This is a photo of the hard copies of my Runs with Scissors blog posts. As you can see, that’s a pretty big stack of words!
And why am I posting a photo of the Runs with Scissors print outs?
Because today I found myself sitting in front of my blank computer screen with absolutely no idea what I would write about. My routine when I am stuck is to start tidying and rearranging things in the craft room. Today during this process I began filing older blog posts stranded on my desk. It was then I noticed that the accumulation has become quite sizeable.
The stack consists of 82 blog posts which equals about 300 pages of typed text. I noticed that the early blog posts, which began in February of 2014, are dated with only the month and day, no year. I had no idea that Runs with Scissors would become a multiple year project. And who knew that Cooper would gain his own fan club.
Each week the most challenging part of doing Runs with Scissors is coming up with a story idea. Sometimes it is easier because funny or ridiculous things happen during the week. Sometimes I share memories, holiday traditions, life achievements, grandchildren and children stories and recently a travelogue. You have also heard about the pitfalls of full time RV’ing and my journey to finish college.
I know anyone that writes for a living or has a weekly obligation to produce a quota of written words has had times when they sit in front of their blank computer screen (or pad of paper) and wonder if they will ever again have an idea for a story. Well, that’s what happened to me today after I had finished my fun projects using the new Artistic Endeavors release.
Since I have been fortunate enough to travel to 13 countries and 47 of the United States, I could just bore you for a very long time with travel stories. Unless I served yummy snacks or a full meal with those posts, I know I would lose my audience quickly. And it seems lately the news has become heavy and I am not finding much humor in everyday events.
By now you must have realized I am possibly Penny Black’s biggest fan. I truly have a dream opportunity to use their stamps, dies and papers to make cards and share them on their blog. I learn so much from the Penny Black designers and the Penny Black family is the best!
Hopefully I will soon experience a burst of brilliance and a great story idea will pop into my brain in time for the next edition of Runs with Scissors. I am open to suggestions, within limits. Until then, with my apologies, I will just get on with posting the rest of the cards I made with this amazing new release.
This is actually the last card I made for this post. I spent so many hours on the first three that I realized I needed one quick and easy card. I know there are times when quick and easy is the preferred technique. The bright pink background is from a sheet of designer paper from the Golden Moment paper pad. I cut the gorgeously intricate Bird Flower Doily from silver paper and just attached it to the card base. I put a pink enamel dot in the center and called it finished. That beautiful die does not need much else to make a statement, but can be a stunner if you dress it up or use it for a multi media art project.
Oh, how I love this bathing beauty! This is the sweetie from the Life’s a Beach mini transparent set. I paper pieced the image using paper found in the Golden Moment paper pad. I think I love her sunglasses the most! And the Happy Snippets sentiment set has just the right sentiment. Again.
I should not admit how much fun I had making this card using the slapstick stamp The Lookout. After I had colored the image with Copic markers, my brain just kept prodding me to do more with what I thought was a finished card. I had the idea this window should have a “home” attached. So, I fussy cut the image and mounted it on wood grained paper. There, I thought, finished. But Brain was not done with me. Making the kitty three dimensional would be fun, it said. So I colored another kitty and used dimensional tape to pop it up. Again, I thought I was done. But Brain said it would be a great idea to add Four more layers of flowers and leaves to the already dimensional flower pot. Here’s a side view. Thankfully I was able to resist anymore nudging from Brain. This is one of my favorite projects ever.
Dear, dear Cooper! This little guy has been at my feet for most of the hours it took to type those 300 pages of Runs with Scissors. He is faithful, loyal, and eager to please. It was hard to scold him the other day when he snuck his toothbrush out of the basket next to my chair. I found the handle and the detached bristles on the floor and called him into the room. He knew by the tone of my voice that what he had done was wrong. Cooper is really good at apologizing. He immediately snuggled up against my leg, kissed my fingers and looked up at me with sorrowful eyes. He must have wanted that toothbrush badly (he loves his poultry flavored toothpaste) to break his record of never bothering things that don’t belong to him. Well, as a friend reminded me, it is his toothbrush.
And here we are at the end of another Runs with Scissors. I may be the only person ever to write a story about not being able to write a story! My apologies for the lack of an interesting plot and tension between the characters.
I have stowed the scissors, cleaned up my messes and put everything back where it belongs. Remember, after a week of awesome sneak peeks, the fabulous Artistic Endeavors release is now available in the Penny Black store. I am off to view the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to admire your work. Thank you for your comments where I often learn we share similar experiences.
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:
- Card No. 1: 40-477 Cottage Treehouse
- Card No. 2: 40-472 Muse, 40-468 Flowerets, 51-232 Layered Scene, 51-242 Shall We Dance
- Card No. 3: 40-464 Sweet Perfume, 30-286 Heartfelt
- Card No. 4: 51-240 Bird Flower Doily, 80-015 Golden Moment
- Card No. 5: 30-369 Beach Baby, 30-358 Happy Snippets, 80-015 Golden Moment
- Card No. 6: 40-461 The Lookout, 51-025 Love Expressions