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Runs with Scissors

July 16, 2016

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Here I am again! A bit splattered and ink smeared but in the best possible way. I have posted only one of my attempts at having an Artistic Endeavor, but believe me, it is the best of the bunch! Apparently I have taken the advice to “just have fun” too seriously because my “having fun” did not yield many useable pieces of art.

I hope you are working with the Artistic Endeavor release and having fun while you create. There are so many ways to add visual and textural interest to your art. So far I’ve been moderately successful only when I am more conservative. I believe the fact that so many people will see my results holds me back a bit. There is only so much humiliation one can bear. However, I have never enjoyed a process or technique more!

Since it is way too hot and humid to be outdoors lately I did, however, enjoy playing with all the stamps and dies in this release. I love that there are so many options.

1

This image is very aptly named Portrait. Literalist that I am, I used the stamp “as is” and added a few die cut embellishments. I have had time enough to view different interpretations and uses of this stamp, so next time I will venture out. I noticed that the butterflies add so much to an art journal page. Why didn’t I think of that? I’ve water colored this lovely lady and embellished the image with Shall we Dance and Whimsical Tree. It is time for me to be less conservative with these art journaling stamps and I promise to “let loose” next time.

2

We all appreciate stamps that are versatile enough to use in many ways. While the Hydrangea stamp is a good way to embellish art journal pages, it is also a good size to be the focal point of a card. Here I’ve used it as a background for a shaker card and added a butterfly from the Butterfly Trio set. I colored the flower using the emboss resist method and my Memento Luxe inks.

3

Last week it was gold and a Golden Wedding anniversary card. This week I’ve used the Bird Flower Doily die to make a Silver Wedding anniversary card. That die makes a dramatic statement! I’ve used the Doily die set to create the background for the number 25, cut from the Numbers die set. I added a little tag from the Flower Tags die and stamped it with a sentiment from the Happy Snippets stamp set.

Story continued: Booze in Busia’s Basement

Last week’s chapter ended with my grandmother mentioning several ways to supplement the family income including how to benefit from Prohibition. She mentioned that the children were the helpers.

My grandmother continues telling her story to her youngest daughter who most likely was a toddler and not involved with the bootleg still.

One job your brother had was to skim off the hot water from the condensing chamber and replace it with cold; then place a fresh bottle at the mouth of the tube when full. Another job was that of a look-out; watch for strangers or policemen on their routes and hope the odor of mash wouldn’t direct them to our door.

A newsboy in the family became the number one helper. His canvas newspaper bag was a perfect camouflage for the procurement of large supplies of sugar purchased at the back door of the grocery store, the grocer himself a profitable moonshiner.

That bag also was used to make personal deliveries. Anyone seeing a young boy, aged 10 or 11, out late in the evening with a canvas bag over his shoulder would only assume he was a diligent and ambitious newsboy. A harmonious relationship with the neighbors was most important. Without their cooperation our clandestine operation could get us into trouble. If the product was of a good quality, a long stream of customers found their way to your door. For safety sake, the little children were told they were all uncles come to call.   ( I have to stop and take a deep breath here, dear readers). The customers’ flasks were cleverly hidden in lunch boxes, grocery baskets, wash baskets; some flasks were strapped to their legs; others had small straps sewn in their floppy visored caps to hold the flask firmly in the cap.

I am wondering if this is when the saying “Necessity is the mother of invention” came about.

Well, now that the illegal portion of my family’s history is behind us, let us move on to my aunt’s next question of my grandmother:

It seems to me that your life in this “golden land” was pretty much all struggles. Can you say you were happy here in America?

The first twenty years spent in this country were very lonely for me. I literally cried my way through those years. I missed my family so much. Letters from them were so infrequent. Because of an inability to write, they had to hire a letter writer and then it was done only in extreme emergencies. Money for stamps was not available. When a letter from Poland did come, you could not express joy at receipt of it for it was usually edged in black. And so over the years, my family became smaller. I turned to my church for solace. Every holy day was our holiday. Over the years we added American traditions to our own holiday and church customs and that mixture made the holiday doubly meaningful.

Was the inability to speak English a handicap?

Not a serious one. In all the shopping areas we traded there were clerks especially hired who spoke a foreign language, either German or Polish. Evening classes were offered in the schools, but my work as a charwoman at this time made it impossible for me to attend. I tried to learn to write with each child’s entrance into the second grade and all seven of you children surpassed me. Your father had more opportunity to grasp a smattering of the English language from dealing with men at work. As the children grew older the responsibility of doing the necessary shopping or dealing with people fell on them. The difficulty is more so now with fewer people conversant in a foreign language.

I am almost to the end of Busia’s interview and will end her story next week. I will share with you what it meant to me to visit Poland back in the 90’s and stay in Posnan, near my grandmother’s village.

4

This is my grandmother celebrating her 90th birthday with a family reunion. She went on to live to be 102 years old. She outlived several of her children which was yet another hardship she endured during her long life. Her courage has so far resulted in five generations of her descendants enjoying and appreciating life in the United States.

5

The adorable stamp set Love Me includes five darling doggie images. Happily, there is a set of dies titled Dog Days to go with the stamped images. Here I’ve combined the little doggie diecuts with a tree from the Trio of Trees die set. Love it when there is a die that eliminates the fussy cutting.

6

For this card, I have channeled my inner Birgit. I’ve used the Whimsical Tree die along with the Tweets die. It’s a simple combination of elements with a great deal of white space. One never knows what will happen when working with Penny Black stamps and dies.

7

And here is Mimi, one of the images included in the Adventures transparent set, at the beach, flying her kite in the ocean breezes. It looks like she is being very careful not to risk too much exposure to the sun. The sweet images in the Adventures set are fun to color and will bring a smile to anyone.

9

Mr. RWS has been out of town this past week and Cooper spent every day all day gazing out the front door, hoping to see the car appear with his best buddy. There are so many times I wish that Cooper could understand language, but never more so than when Mr. RWS disappears for more than a few hours. Cooper has no idea if Mr. RWS’s absence is forever, or if it is for just a few more minutes. Either way, Cooper will be there to provide an ecstatic greeting.   I, too, will be at the door, happy to have our little family unit whole again.

Once more, it is time for me to pack up, pick up and get up from the Penny Black blog. I love spending time here and it is a treat to be playing with all the Penny Black supplies. I’ve stowed the scissors and thankfully I put them in the same place each week, something I wish I would do more often with my personal belongings. I believe I spend half my life looking for things I’ve misplaced. I can only imagine my mother’s sigh of relief when I left home to go to school. At last, her scissors were always found in the drawer where they belonged.

I send to all of you a great big thank you for your lovely and encouraging and often very fun comments. Cooper loves it when I read them out loud to him. My next stop is the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery where I can return the favor and leave a comment on your work.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

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22 Comments leave one →
  1. dawnnz permalink
    July 16, 2016 2:57 am

    As usual Judy, you have produced an awesome post today. Your cards are amazingly beautiful and it is awesome that you are sharing your family history with us. Your grandmother was an amazing lady. It must have been so hard for her.

  2. mjmarmo permalink
    July 16, 2016 4:07 am

    Such beautiful cards! I love hearing the family history. How difficult it must have been.

  3. Diane Tignor permalink
    July 16, 2016 5:33 am

    Your Grandmother’s story could have been my grandmother’s too. Mary Daniel came to the US from Poland at about the same time. She married and raised eleven children while her husband worked in the coal mines in Pennsylvania. I only recently found out details of her Polish family from a second cousin in Poland who has done a genealogy search. I do not speak Polish and lived some distance from my grandmother so I was not particularly close to her so I was fascinated to hear the details of your grandmother’s story. I suspect there were many similarities. Thank you for sharing.

  4. creatingincolors permalink
    July 16, 2016 5:40 am

    It’s wonderful that your grandmother’s story was documented. Every story I hear of ancestors demonstrates their hardships and how hard they worked to earn every little thing they achieved.

  5. knurse22 permalink
    July 16, 2016 6:54 am

    Wonderful card inspiration, Judy, and it pushes me to try more to use my PB stamps! And your ongoing story of your grandmother’s roots here in the US are a true tribute to her. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Virginia L. permalink
    July 16, 2016 7:47 am

    I love the creations from the Artistic Endeavor collection and you did a splendid job in featuring them. Thanks for sharing the story about your Grandma. It’s so wonderful to hear how an immigrant like your beloved Grandma who endured hardship and sacrificed for the benefit of the future generation. Beautiful American story.

  7. Harriet permalink
    July 16, 2016 7:56 am

    I can’t decide if it’s your creations or your stories; however, probably not since I was a child have I looked forward to Saturdays. Thank you for sharing your grandmother’s life with us. We all have an immigrant ancestor but few of us have a story to share. Cooper, what a sweetheart. You wrote so well that Cooper has no idea of time yet waits patiently for his people. So true of dogs. Thank you, Judy, for making Saturday a special day again.

    • Judy Jung permalink
      July 16, 2016 8:14 am

      Harriet, your kind words have touched my heart. Thank you for reading Runs with Scissors and leaving such a lovely comment. Hugs, Judy

  8. L Haff permalink
    July 16, 2016 8:42 am

    Hi Judy, your grandmother was a very brave lady. I love reading the history of your family. Thanks for sharing this story. Your cards are gorgeous. I love the shaker card using the hydrangea stamp, what a clever idea!

  9. Sandra Andersen permalink
    July 16, 2016 9:00 am

    A beautiful family story to go along with your beautiful cards!

  10. Sue permalink
    July 16, 2016 9:28 am

    You favor your Grandmother. It’s always interesting to me to be able to see family resemblances. What an awesome person she was – and you are. Enjoy your cards and stories.

  11. DebbieP permalink
    July 16, 2016 10:16 am

    Thanks for sharing your art and your grandmother. My Saturdays are always better when they start with reading your post and getting inspired to do something in my craft room. Even if it’s just straightening up! I am enjoying the story of your grandma and will be here next week to read more. I think my dog Chloe has an internal clock, as she usually starts sitting by the front door about 30 minutes before my husband normally gets home. And routine dictates that she carry his lunch box from the car to the front door. Once he is in the house, she has to give him a kiss. For the next hour or so, she will follow him wherever he goes. I don’t know how she would react if he were gone for a few days. Hang in there Cooper!

  12. July 16, 2016 10:46 am

    Wonderful stamps as always!

  13. July 16, 2016 4:30 pm

    Love hearing more of your grandmother’s story, Judy–such an inspiration! I really love how you used the hydrangea, the doggies & sweet Mimi! Beautiful work–don’t be so hard on yourself! Cooper is adorable as always & hopefully happy by now to have Mr RWS home!

  14. July 16, 2016 9:06 pm

    We really do have it easy….our ancestors not so much! Your grandmother was amazing!!!!
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan

  15. Patricia Gasko permalink
    July 17, 2016 1:17 am

    Judy I love reading your stories. I can hardly wait for your email since it always contains so many goodies. Your cards inspire, how Sweet Adorable Cooper came to be and all the events in his life make me smile and we must not forget Mr RWS so glad to hear tidbits about him too. Your Grandmother’s story reminded me of so many of my Polish friends and their Grandmothers. I haven’t seen or heard the word “Busia” in a long time. My mother’s family were Croatian and my father Italian but we lived in a mainly Polish area in Detroit, MI. I attended an all Polish Catholic school. I learned to sing and pray in Polish, we learned and lived Polish/Croatian customs and holidays. . . “when in Rome do as the Romans do”,My Busia lived with us for 18 wonderful yrs and I met many people from all ethnic backgrounds while growing up. They really helped make America and not the easy way either. They set good values in us, showed us to appreciate what we had from birth and taught us how you got somewhere through hard work. In my busy schedule I always take time out to read Runs with Scissors and admire your art work. And often tell myself to find the uninterrupted time to let you know how much I enjoy hearing from you. It finally happened. Bailey (our 5 lb Yorkie) can relate to Cooper and at times is on my lap while I’m reading your Post. Sending good wishes until next Saturday.

    • Judy Jung permalink
      July 17, 2016 11:30 am

      Patricia, I so appreciate your carving out time to leave such a lovey comment. I think if we all shared more stories, the world would be a kinder place We have so much in common.. What a blessing to live so closely with your grandmother! And, indeed, the generations before me were role models for working hard. Thank you for sharing your story.

  16. maureenchandler permalink
    July 17, 2016 5:31 pm

    Thank you so much for your lovely cards – and your stories too! I remember my Dad talking about helping his grandmother make beer in her basement when he was a kid – very interesting to think about what people did to get by!

  17. alexandra s.m. permalink
    July 18, 2016 9:17 am

    Thank You for yet another beautiful blogpost Judy!
    I find your Grandmother story both interesting and inspiring.
    I was particularly interested in reading about the language aspect…

    Your cards are absolutely gorgeous!!
    Hugs~

  18. Laura Capote permalink
    July 18, 2016 3:15 pm

    As an immigrant myself, your grandma’s story is extra special for me to read. I remember crying and missing everything about my homeland the first years. I love America and I am most grateful to this wonderful country. Time helps you appreciate and get used to new things here. Thank you so much for sharing your family history with all of us.
    Laura

  19. July 21, 2016 9:21 pm

    Hi Judy : )

    I’m a little slow!! I didn’t realize you were THE Judy from Runs with Scissors when I read your comment on my Penny Black Guest Designer post the first day : ) Thank you so very much for your kind and sweet comments!!

    Jill Foster also e-mailed me a “blurb” from your e-mail to her! again, I can’t thank you enough for your kind comments. I have been totally overwhelmed with the amazing encouraging feedback I’ve gotten. And by the way… it’s unanimous! YES we can be friends : ) heeheehee I agree I am well blessed to live so near to Jill. I hope to pop in on her tomorrow to bring her some fresh peaches!

    Ok, your cards are wonderful! and your writing is a delight!! I loved reading about your Grandma. I can’t wait to go find the previous posts to hear the story from the beginning : )

    I’ll be back! and I would love to see you pop in to my blog from time to time as well when you have time.

    BIG (((Hugs))) friend!

    Patti

  20. Di F permalink
    July 21, 2016 11:41 pm

    Your grandmother’s story bought back memories of my own gran who was born in 1896 in London. After the first world war she landed a job as a governess with a family travelling to South Africa. This is where she met her husband and made her home. I used to love listening to all her stories and I am now a relatively new immigrant myself living in the UK. I can understand what it means to move to another country but have to admit that it is so much easier today.

    Thanks for sharing your great stories.

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