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Runs with Scissors

October 22, 2016


Hello, my Penny Black friends. I am happy to see you all, but I ask that you don’t get too close. I have a cold, complete with a nose that won’t stop dripping. While I am willing to share everything I own, I am not so willing to pass this cold along.

In spite of having one hand busy tending to the drippy nose, I have succeeded in making an assortment of cards using the new release Festive Wishes. Actually, I believe anyone can make cards one-handed with these beautiful stamps and dies.


I hope Penny Black will forgive me for turning this beautiful On the Lake landscape into a spooky Halloween card. I love the idea that there are scary little critters hanging out in the trees and bushes. I created the background using alcohol inks and once I saw how the colors combined, I decided it looked more spooky than lovely.


The Skyward cling stamp is tall enough to make larger cards, but for this card I used only the upper branches. I blended Luxe inks for the background and then stamped and embossed the tree and birds images. Skyward will be a great stamp to use for winter cards, also.


Penny Black has released several amazing holiday sentiment sets and I wanted to feature some of them this week. The dove that is the Peaceful Wishes die is perfect for adding dimension to this classic Christmas quote from the Holy Night transparent set. I chose navy blue and gold for this card, but the color combinations are almost endless. I stacked three dove diecuts for dimension.

At long last, autumn is finding her way to northern Alabama. Our city is nestled in a “bowl”, surrounded by tree covered mountains. Well, in a lot of places they might be called “hills” but here they are called mountains. The highest in our city is Monte Sano at 1,600 ft. which can be enough elevation to make the difference between clear roads and icy roads. Our mountains are the foothills of the Appalachians, although the Appalachian Trail begins in Georgia, our neighbor.

Many of our citizens travel “over the mountain” daily getting to and from work. During this time of the year, the view is spectacular as Mother Nature displays her beautiful tapestry of glowing autumn colors. When the sun is shining brightly on this awesome array, there are hardly words to describe it. Drivers often pull over to the lookouts in order to spend time taking it all in.

Mr. RWS and I had an autumn ritual during the years we lived in Wisconsin. I would put on a pot of vegetable beef soup on low simmer, put a few apples in our jacket pockets and head to the Horicon Marsh, a fifty mile drive. We would join visitors from all over the country to hike the boardwalk trail through the marsh and experience the arrival of tens of thousands Canadian Geese who stop over on their journey to southern Illinois where they winter. If you marvel at the sound of one goose honking, try to imagine thousands of them flying noisily overhead. We happily munched our apples and experienced the flora and fauna of the marsh. With rosy cheeks and toes nipped by the cold, we were happy after our long hike to turn up the heat in our car and head home. Vegetable soup and a good thick slice of French bread never tasted so good.


Autumn in Wisconsin was not all happy news. The coming of October and early November always reminded me that the fierce Wisconsin winter was not far away. I wasn’t always able to enjoy all the beauty of autumn due to my dreading of winter. It was the same feeling one has while on vacation; yes, each vacation day is wonderful, but each day means you are one day closer to it being over.

Autumn in Alabama is not all about beauty, either. The cooler days mean there is no longer a good excuse to avoid household chores. Mr. RWS and I had good intentions last spring of purging and cleaning the garage and attic. The plan was to purge as if we would be moving and would be charged by the pound for whatever we took with us. In my mind, that meant 50% or more of what we stored in the garage and attic had to be thrown out or donated.

Somehow we let those beautiful spring days go by without tackling the great purge. Not this time, though. On the morning of the first cool day, we dressed in our best garage cleaning finery, brought the big mean green trash container into the garage and began.

Dear Reader, it did not go well.

If you are not really moving in a week or two, the penalty of paying per pound for what you keep is not real. Sentiment rushes in where good decisions should reside. Almost everything was “too good” to get rid of. And, “we might need that someday” cropped up often. I did manage to pry the cardboard box of miscellaneous cables and cords from Mr. RWS’ grip and convince him that if we ever did need a cable or cord, we would not know which of this tangled mess was what we needed. The oscillating table fan that has stood sentry over the garage from its top shelf for at least nine years was declared a necessity in case Mr. RWS decided to work on his stained glass hobby in the garage during the hot summer. Never, ever has happened; never ever will happen. But there it remains.

We did fill up the mean green trash can and one big black garbage bag. Did not get to the wall of shelves that hold the charcoal grill we never use, the croquet set that hasn’t been out of its zipper bag in at least nine years and the blanket the movers left behind eleven years ago when we moved into this house. And since we didn’t know which Saturday is the one to take the old paint cans to the hazardous waste site, they are still perched under the work bench.

Some memories and traditions of autumn are better than others, I say. I do know we have moved many times in our marriage and when the time comes, we do purge furiously. All I have to do is remind myself that we managed a move from our 3,000 square foot home into our 400 square foot RV. For now, I will be content that we tidied up the garage, even finding a home for the golf caps and the umbrellas. The battery assortment is enjoying its own cubby and the attic contents have heaved a sigh of relief.


Snowman Joy is the perfect name for this delightful die. With his big smile and upward thrust arms, his joy is unmistakable. I’ve paired him with the Snowy Layered Tree and a cold winter sun. I will be making more snowman cards with this happy fellow, for sure.


After seeing Jill Foster’s use of pink in this lovely card I was inspired to use pink myself. This is another of the beautiful sentiments from the Yuletide Wishes transparent set. The wonder of a child at Christmas is indeed part of the miracle.


Ta-Da! Here is Snowy #9 in the Snowy Challenge. This time he is wearing his tan plaid vest with complementary brown scarf and hat. He is enjoying his time in the woods but enjoys being near the Mini Community in the background. We are halfway through the challenge … only 9 more Snowy’s ‘til Christmas.


Mr. RWS decided this morning that he and Cooper would take a LONG walk. Long, as in I almost got in the car, drippy nose and all, to go look for them. Cooper hasn’t been the same since they got back. For one, he is really annoyed and it looks like he is trying to let me know. Right after the photo, he went to lie down on the cool ceramic tiled floor in the bathroom. He wanted nothing more to do with the humans who manage his life.

And there we have it. One box of tissues later we have arrived at the end of another Runs with Scissors post. I have sanitized the dies and stamps I played with and stashed the scissors until next time. I am hoping Mr. RWS has hot tea and cinnamon toast waiting for me at home, just like my mother used to do for me when I sick in bed as a child.

Thank you for leaving such lovely comments. They really do brighten my day and keep me motivated. I am planning to visit the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to see your lovely art … right after my nap.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies



38 Comments leave one →
  1. BeverlyBL permalink
    October 22, 2016 3:57 am

    Cooper does look a bit peeved. Not a bit like his usual happy self. Such an expressive pup. I always love your tales, and Snowy does look dapper in his checkered vest. Thanks for the good start to my Saturday. I need to clean my craft room like I was moving and paying by the pound. 😀

  2. Diane permalink
    October 22, 2016 4:20 am

    Love your cards especially the spooky scene. The Lake stamp looks very versital.
    Hope you feel better soon.😊

  3. October 22, 2016 4:48 am

    First, I hope you will feel better soon. Drippy nose colds are awful. My favorite card this time is the dove card. Just lovely. But I must say that Frosty has done a great job of reinventing himself each time. I sympathize with the need to purge. Why is it so hard to turn loose of stuff even though we never use it? At times I wish I was a minimalist…especially when I look at my garage and my craft room. But then I become Scarlett O’Hara and say “Oh, fiddle de de, I’ll think about that tomorrow”. Hugs to Cooper.

  4. October 22, 2016 5:48 am

    Love your art work Judy, as always! Cooper is a hoot and indeed does look ticked off. What an expressive dog! I hear you about throwing out things…I struggle with that a lot and need to get my place emptied of unused :stuff”. Feel better soon.

  5. creatingincolors permalink
    October 22, 2016 6:06 am

    OMG you described me perfectly! I know “stuff” needs to be purged. Every now and then I fill a few donate boxes and a trash can, but there is so much more to be done. Like you, I probably won’t feel the urgency until it comes time to move. Love your cards as usual, and by now I hope Cooper is a little happier than he looks in that photo!

  6. quilterlin permalink
    October 22, 2016 6:45 am

    Fun post today, Judy; I enjoyed all your cards, but especially the top one with all the googly eyes! And that gorgeous blue and gold “Glory” one! Purging is a dirty word in my husband’s ears, we will always have a use down the road for everything! And I’m just as bad; nostalgia is my reasoning most times……I congratulate you for at least giving it a try!

  7. October 22, 2016 6:51 am

    Ugh… you’re killing me. The Glory to God card is amazing. Now I need that dove in my craft room. Just beautiful!!! I so love your column each week. You have inspired me to buy a die and clean my garage. But that purge business…are sure Mr. RWS and my husband aren’t one and the same? “I might need that someone day” sounds so familiar.
    Poor Cooper…better stay clear of him today as he looks very annoyed.
    Thanks for getting my Saturday started. Hugs my friend, P

  8. karenajo permalink
    October 22, 2016 7:06 am

    Great cards today – love the eerie eyes in the trees. Snowman Joy is so ‘cool’ – great card! Snowy is also great – he looks very dapper today. Every place has its beauty and the marsh picture is no exception. Can’t imagine that many geese at once though. Great idea for paying by the pound for what you keep, but I always think as sure as I get rid of something, I will need it! Cooper indeed looks annoyed – so much expression ! Hope you got your hot tea and cinnamon toast and are feeling much better !

  9. mjmarmo permalink
    October 22, 2016 7:16 am

    Lovely cards! We should do some purging around here. I have many boxes of memories from the kids that I keep holding on to. Cooper does look annoyed.

  10. susanbri permalink
    October 22, 2016 7:31 am

    You captured Cooper’s annoyed expression perfectly – it made me smile! And I love your story of trying to clear stuff out of the garage – clearing stuff out of my attic was a goal for my first year of retirement, but guess what, I’ve been retired for seven years and it still hasn’t happened.

    Love all your cards, especially the snowman against that great dotted dp! Fabulous colour combination!

  11. Donna Whitten permalink
    October 22, 2016 8:12 am

    Loved your cards, especially the spooky woods! Just had to laugh! Enjoyed your post as always. Hope you get better soon. Hope Cooper isn’t catching it!

  12. October 22, 2016 8:40 am

    Sorry you have a cold….but that did not stop you from a wonderful post!!! Take care of yourself!!!!
    Paper Hugs,

  13. Cheryl Robertson permalink
    October 22, 2016 9:08 am

    Sorry you have a cold. I’ve been surrounded by family with colds but so far I have escaped from getting one. Thank goodness!
    Thank you for the Snowy cards each week. I bought the stamp and dies to use for my Christmas cards this year and have been using your cards for inspiration.
    Feel better soon!

  14. October 22, 2016 9:35 am

    Hope you feel better soon! Gorgeous cards as always–poor Cooper! I am hoping to have more success with the cleaning and purging–plan to work on my craft room for the next several days! Have to re-organize–living in a mess and apparently ants like glue and paint as they have entered my space where no food lives!

  15. barbara lassiter permalink
    October 22, 2016 10:01 am

    I love all your cards… that said, the dove card is first, the googly-eyed Halloween card, Mr. Snowy in his cute vest are next and so on down the line. Great inspiration. Maybe, Cooper is disgruntled because you’re not feeling well. I hope you feel better soon.

  16. October 22, 2016 10:37 am

    Beautiful cards and love your creative Snowy card! I have finally received my very own Snowy stamp! Waiting on my work area for some serious card making…need to get busy with that!
    I can see it in Cooper’s eyes, how annoyed he is! Maybe a treat will make everything all better again! It does it for me! LOL Take care Judy and have a lovely week-end! Hugs!

  17. DebbieP permalink
    October 22, 2016 10:39 am

    I hope you feel better very soon. The hot tea should definitely help. Maybe poor Cooper needs a treat too…he clearly shows his contempt for being duped into a much longer walk than he was expecting. All of today’s cards are great, but Snowy has won the match yet again – something about a man in a vest! As for purging? I have spent my Sundays for the last 4 months cleaning out my cousin’s house. He passed away in May and was an avid “collector”. He left a mess! But it has made us realize that we don’t want to do this to anyone, and that we need to get our house in order. By the way, a will is pretty much worthless, please set up a trust if you really want your last wishes to be followed.

  18. Harriet permalink
    October 22, 2016 11:01 am

    Hope your cold is better or gone. Poor Cooper — he does look a tad angry. Your cards are great. Halloween–excellent spooky card, Thankful is simply lovely, and your Christmas card…my that snowman is full of joy. Thank you.

  19. Linda S in NE permalink
    October 22, 2016 11:06 am

    Goodness, the little girl stamp that is paired with that beautiful sentiment stamp both appear to be must have’s for this holiday season. I enjoyed your clean out the garage because we are experiencing perfect weather story. I can relate, but I must add the excuse of “This will sell very well at my garage sale. You know, the one I will be having next Spring” excuse as to why items end up back on the shelf, or stacked against the wall. Oh well, at least the dead bugs got swept up!! I hope Cooper recovers quickly. I don’t think I have ever seen such a disgruntled look on his cute little face.

  20. cmt permalink
    October 22, 2016 11:08 am

    Your blue and gold Christmas card is my pick for favorite card of the week. So lovely. Also love that gold leaf card, and I never tire of the snowman cards. Plaid is a great idea! As for cleaning, oh how I feel for you. I’m clearing out my mother’s house (nearly 50 years of accumulation) and trying to clean out my own in anticipation of acquiring many items from my mother’s house. Both tasks are nearly beyond my ability to fight off what is obviously an inherited hoarding instinct. I know just what you’re talking about. I kinda figure, until the day comes when you do move, may as well keep it “just in case you need it.” That is, procrastinate on the tough decisions. And I’ll be paying for storage space till I figure out what to do with it all. Cooper looks the way I felt when on a recent long weekend in Chicago with DH. He revels in long walks more than I do. Take care.

  21. hobbitnoll permalink
    October 22, 2016 11:48 am

    Oh WOW!! Your cards are so beautiful!!!

  22. MaryAnnDFW permalink
    October 22, 2016 11:49 am

    So nice to “meet” a former Wisconsinite–I’m in Northern Texas now and miss those incredibly beautiful autumn days. Horicon Marsh is an amazing place and I hope to get back there one day to visit.
    Love the Skyward card–I love the pattern that bare tree branches make against the sky
    and your use of colors in the background add to the feel of autumn. Beautiful.
    Hope you’re feeling better and that Cooper has forgiven his humans.

  23. dawnnz permalink
    October 22, 2016 12:34 pm

    Stunning cards Judy. Hope the cold is better. I got a bad bout of a Springs cold a few weeks back. No fun at all. Am enjoying Snowy and his series of cards

  24. KathleenB permalink
    October 22, 2016 12:43 pm

    Gosh…you can even stamp well with one hand! I sure hope you feel better soon.

  25. Cynthia Cole permalink
    October 22, 2016 1:49 pm

    Your cards are wonderful as always. And I laughed so hard about the purge and Coopers photo, I almost had an accident. Thanks for sharing!

  26. ncbev permalink
    October 22, 2016 2:23 pm

    I love your posts. I look forward to seeing your beautiful cards. I love Cooper and his human like expressions. I feel like I’m sitting beside you and talking as I read you post. I’m learning so much. Just hope this old mind can remember at least half of it. I look forward to your next post and seeing Cooper again!

  27. Carole Centers permalink
    October 22, 2016 2:36 pm

    I always love your blogs- the cards as well as the photos and ‘stories.’ I have that Snowy stamp and every time I purge stamps, I have to keep it! I sure can relate to your purging. My husband is always happy to give my things away but he needs everything he has (bent nails, old cords must be a guy thing) and so on. Feel better soon. I must say you do better one handed than I do with two! Hugs.

  28. Sandy Morningstar permalink
    October 22, 2016 4:18 pm

    I love your post! And look forward to them always! You do a fantastic job giving me both inspiration & humor! I hope you feel better soon!

  29. Kathy permalink
    October 22, 2016 6:43 pm

    Poor Cooper! That is some stink eye he’s giving you. He is definitely unhappy in that photo! I get harassed by one of my pups into taking long walks…I prefer shorter ones. But shorter ones only result in more walks…Geena is very verbal about her walks!
    Love, love , love the snowman cards! They are so cute! I so look forward to your posts every Saturday. Thanks so much for sharing your art and your life!

  30. Jill LANCETT permalink
    October 22, 2016 9:54 pm

    Hi Judy, I love reading your posts!! I’m in Australia and sometimes it’s tricky converting your weather to ours, it being spring coming into summer here!!! But I still enjoy hearing your stories. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  31. alexandra s.m. permalink
    October 22, 2016 10:18 pm

    Feel better soon dear Judy!
    You manage to create gorgeous and inspiring cards despite feeling poorly!
    You’re a Champ’

  32. Diane permalink
    October 23, 2016 6:15 am

    Beautiful cards once again. Wish we could get the Snowy die here in the UK. The stamp is available but the die is just too popular !
    I cannot stop laughing at Cooper’s face – if looks could kill ! The expression in his eyes is classic. Do hope you feel better soon.

  33. October 23, 2016 11:16 am

    Oh what a great shot of Cooper–he really does look annoyed! Love your story & your cards, my friend! The light blue with kraft is a wonderful combo!

  34. jane harrah permalink
    October 23, 2016 5:17 pm

    I love your cards and love your stories! They always make smile and poor Cooper You need the protect him from Long Walks! Love your snowman cards. They are so adorable!

  35. October 23, 2016 7:45 pm

    I love what you did with the first card. So clever! I also love your cleanings story- so

  36. October 24, 2016 4:58 am

    I love all your cards today! My favorite is the snowman in the sun! It’s very interesting, but my hubbie and I are both from Wisconsin and we have moved here to Alabama about 8 years ago, and I loved every word of your post! Sometimes on my blog I too, talk about the hot Alabama autumns. I used to love hiking in the woods in Wisconsin in the fall. If you ever need more inspiration to clean and purge, watch an episode of Horders and I promise you, you will be more than happy to start hauling away the excess! Have a great, warm, Autumn!

  37. Patricia Gasko permalink
    October 24, 2016 6:52 am

    Judy, I love your cards and Snowy looks wonderful in his latest finery. A few months ago I have included my hubby in your stories. We share the home office (which is 90%+ craft room) so he looks forward to me reading while he does whatever he does at his desk. Usually paying bills but he stops to hear the latest from Mr & Mrs RWS and Cooper of course. Our Bailey sits on the little foot stool under my desk. I know if she could type she’d send her love to Cooper. My Hubby thought your idea of pretending to be moving to clean out the garage and attic was a terrific one. Until the end and then both of us had a good laugh. His comment, “sounds normal”. Hope your cold is gone and our southern winter is very mild although i’m surprised our NC temps seem a bit cooler than usual. I too dread winters even though I’m not in Michigan any more. Take care and stay well, happy and healthy.

  38. Marisela Delgado permalink
    October 25, 2016 2:49 pm

    I hope you feel better. I’m in San Antonio, Texas so we don’t really get winter, but I still dislike cooler weather. I love my shorts and “chanclas”. That’s Spanish for flip-flops. ha-ha Cooper is so cute and he does look annoyed. No offense, but he’s my favorite part of your blog. I could give him the biggest hug. Get well soon………..

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