Runs with Scissors
Happy World Cardmaking Day! We can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with the talented Judy Jung! And if you’re running with scissors and making cards today, too, we’d love to see your Penny Black creations– simply upload them to our Penny Circle Flickr Gallery and/or our Facebook page. Now take it away, Judy…
Hello and welcome! It seems unbelievable, but I just turned the page from September to October. Here in Alabama the weather fairies don’t seem to have a calendar. We are still hot and humid and need rain. If you are in a part of the world that is enjoying the change of seasons and the beautiful fall foliage, I confess to a bit of envy. It won’t be long, however, before Mother Nature turns the green mountains that surround us into a gorgeous tapestry that is worth waiting for.
All is right with my world. The new washing machine arrived and quickly caught up with the backlog. I am getting used to the different sounds my high efficiency washer makes as it scrubs my clothes clean and saves water at the same time. I am all for multi-tasking.
Speaking of multi-tasking, I was able to wash clothes and have fun on the Penny Black blog at the same time. Here’s what happened when I got to playing with the goodies here in the studio:
There are so many ways to use the assortment of stamps in the Spooky Fun transparent set. I love mixing the elements up. This time it’s a black cat and black bats and a blackboard.
In my futile quest to be more like Birgit, I recently bought some linen textured cardstock. I used it as the base for the Perfect Pear image. The pear and leaves were colored using Distress pens directly on the stamp. By using my MISTI, I was able to stamp and restamp the image until I obtained the result I liked. This pear image is not just for Christmas anymore. Oh, and I realized Birgit has nothing to worry about from me!
The Festive slapstick stamp is a great help in making one layer cards for Christmas. Here I’ve stamped the image with VersaMark ink and then heat embossed with silver embossing powder. I added dimension to the dots with some silver enamel and a bit of silver ribbon with a bow. When using embossing powder on a dark background, be sure to prep your cardstock with an anti-static pad. And don’t ask me why I know this.
Another Happy Ending
Last week I wrote about my grand nephew Michael being married this weekend. I commented on how much I love happy endings, and certainly Michael and his bride are writing the happy ending to their story.
In a previous Runs with Scissors I wrote about my issues with the insurance company that provides our homeowner’s insurance coverage. The issue was that they raised my premium by 78%, but proudly announced that I now have hurricane coverage.
For those of you who are wondering how my efforts to have our policy reviewed and the premium lowered I am very happy to announce my very own happy ending.
As you may recall, my first phone calls to Customer Service were unproductive, resulting only in what sounded like a prepared speech given to any caller whose rates were increased. Even the supervisor’s response to my concerns was the same speech, perhaps spoken with a little more authority.
Finally a letter to the Vice President of Client Service resulted in a phone call about a week later from Clare from the office of Client Service. Clare was probably more cheerful than my other contacts, but still offering only the standard speech.
I am nothing if not stubborn. I viewed Clare as the obstacle standing in the way of what I needed to have happen. I met her sweetness with my stubbornness and stubbornness won. She finally agreed to have our policy reviewed and recalculated “by hand” and would get back to me.
Ten days later I called Clare to check on the progress of the recalculation as the date for paying the premium was rapidly approaching. She assured me the policy was still under review and she would call me in about a week or ten days when she expected the work to be completed. Evidently live human beings calculating a premium work at a slower pace than the computer normally assigned that task.
Imagine my surprise when at 7:45 last Wednesday evening my phone rang and Clare was on the line. The first thing I said after “hello” was “I hope you have some good news for me.” She hesitated, but finally said she had mostly good news, it was not pure good news. Our premium did go up but only slightly.
The really good news was that they lowered our premium by almost $500. Honestly, Clare spoke so rapidly and my heart was pounding in my ears so hard that I missed a lot of what she was saying. I do know there was no apology, just gratitude that I had brought this matter to their attention. Had they realized it later, she said, it would have caused them more work to straighten things out. (Insert eye roll here) It seems that somehow someone mistakenly determined that our address was located on the Gulf coast, thus the huge increase in premium. (Dear Reader, I did try to tell the very first person I spoke with that this is probably what happened).
I tried to respond to Clare in a calm and reasonable manner. But in reality, I had jumped from my chair in the den and raced madly signaling to Mr. RWS that the news was good from our insurance company. Mr. RWS is not very good at deciphering flapping hands waving wildly in the air, especially while in the middle of watching his favorite TV show. So I was eager to end the conversation with Clare so I could share the good news and do a happy dance in the living room.
I ask you, how often does David the customer win against Goliath the insurance company?
There is a lesson here, dear Reader. It is easy to Google any company and find someone’s name that appears on their letterhead or is on the Board of Directors. They may not be the one that handles your issue, but they will assign it to someone and they will make sure the issue is dealt with. Poor Clare thought she could just check off my name on her to do list by explaining to me, once again, how all Alabama residents experienced a rate hike. She had no idea I had my slingshot armed with the smoothest, roundest stone I could find. Because she called my home with my good news long after normal business hours, I have to believe poor Clare was overwhelmed with customer complaints about rate hikes; probably most of them from residents of Alabama.
I love bird images. The transparent set Winter Joy includes this bird on a branch as well as the holly leaves. I blended Luxe inks on white cardstock and then stamped the bird and holly stamps onto the appropriate colors with fussy cutting following. I really appreciate that the stamp designer included a “left” and “right” set of holly leaves so that it is possible to encircle or frame an image with the holly. Thanks, Penny Black for thinking of that! This set also includes a gorgeous poinsettia and corner frame of holly, as well as a beautiful sentiment. I will be using this set again!
The large slapstick stamp Rendezvous is a gorgeous stamp, filling up an entire card front. However, there are so many gorgeous sentiments and fonts in the Penny Black sentiment sets that I wanted to incorporate the tree and a sentiment onto a card. The solution: half of the tree. Again, embossing in white on a dark background … I think sometimes the embossing powder is just floating in the air and lands on the dark cardstock when you are not looking. I have no other explanation for having to redo this card several times due to stray embossing powder.
I have a long way to go to complete my challenge of using the Snowy stamp every week until Christmas. I believe this is Snowy number seven out of a total of eighteen. I have less than a dozen more to go. This time I used a tree from the Woodland Beauty transparent set along with a snow bank from the Prancers set. I love how easy it is to cut Snowy out using the die from the Frosty’s Snow set. Snowy and I are still friends. We will see what happens twelve cards from now.
Cooper is relieved to see the empty space in the laundry closet once again occupied by a washing machine. However, he is a little puzzled because this washer does not have an agitator up the middle. He does like the window in the lid, though.
I have learned that after the picture of Cooper, it is time to say good bye until next time. I do want to thank all of you for the good wishes for Michael and Kaley as they begin their married life. I will be seeing them later today at the wedding and will pass those kind thoughts and comments along. In the meantime, I am savoring my victory and basking in the thought that I have hurricane coverage on my entirely land locked home surrounded by mountains. Please share your Penny Black art with all of us in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery.
- Card No. 1: 30-371 Spooky Fun
- Card No. 2: 40-493 Perfect Pear, 40-335 Fall Flutters
- Card No. 3: 40-486 Festive
- Card No. 4: 30-374 Winter Joy, 51-248 Merry Christmas
- Card No. 5: 40-496 Rendezvous, 30-382 Yuletide Wishes
- Card No. 6: 30-379 Woodland Beauty, 30-258 Prancers, 51-266 Frosty/Snow Mates