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Runs with Scissors

November 19, 2016


Oh my, oh my! Here in the United States it is the weekend before Thanksgiving! I am delighted you are taking time out from the grocery shopping and holiday preparations to spend some time with me on the Penny Black blog.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that we have much for which to be grateful. It’s not always the big stuff; sometimes it’s a letter from a friend, a phone call from a loved one, or even good news from the doctor’s office. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; much less stressful than preparing for Christmas. It’s about being with family and friends, sharing a special meal and reflecting on all that is good in our lives.

I did take time today to make “Gratitude” cards. I love working with the fall colors and the theme of being thankful.


The Nature’s Silhouette transparent set includes these awesome birch tree trunks and the pretty branches with leaves. I stamped the branches twice and colored the leaves with Distress markers. I love the watercolor look the markers create and it is so easy to blend the colors. And since I have an enormous supply of glittery paper I happily added the bird from Bird Amidst Holly die. I love it that our holiday dies can add to our cards all year long.


Speaking of versatile stamps and dies: the transparent set Birds and Blooms is not all about Christmas. This wonderful branch of maple leaves is included. Here I stamped the image twice and once again had fun coloring with my Distress markers. Don’t ask me how I remembered that there was a tiny bird die included in the Berry Branches die set. Sometimes I just amaze myself. I thought he was the perfect finishing touch for that gold bow. It is all in the details!


Time to ‘fess up’ … I misplaced this lantern stamp from the Cones and Berries cling set the first time I played with it. As soon as I realized it was missing, I went through the wastebasket several times, certain it must be there because it wasn’t anywhere else. I have misplaced stamps before but usually they are the almost invisible transparent stamps that manage to stick themselves where they don’t belong and show up pretty quickly. This lantern set a record for being MIA. Imagine my surprise when I opened the container of some seldom used watercolors and there it was! Well, watercoloring didn’t work very well so I blocked off the candle part and just stamped and heat embossed the lantern, adding color to the candle and flame with my Tombow markers. Thank you, MISTI for your help. The background is designer paper from the Wintertime collection, with a layer of vellum to soften the color.

Snowy’s Story or There is no Business like Snowbusiness


2521K Snowy

 As you know, we learned recently that our beloved Snowy is not the bachelor we all assumed he was. This shocking discovery was the result of a portrait of “Snowy’s Family” done by Birgit Edblom of the Penny Black family and recently posted on Facebook.

Of course I had to follow up with Birgit who was happy to share Snowy’s story with me. How did she come upon Snowy’s family? Do they live in Sweden? How come Snowy is part of the Penny Black family? Oh, my .. so many questions.

Well, dear Reader, I learned Snowy’s family is originally from Birgit’s hometown, Ornskoldsvik, Sweden. (There should be dots over some of the letters). Birgit knew Snowy’s parents years ago as Ornskoldsvik is a community of a little less than 30,000 people and Snowy’s family was quite well known. Birgit arranged to do the portrait of Snowy’s family when they were in Ornskoldsvik recently for a visit. It is a surprise gift for Snowy’s Christmas.

How did our Snowy end up connected to Penny Black here in the United States from his home town in Sweden more than 5,000 miles away? Why did he leave Sweden (that’s easier to spell than Ornskoldsvik) in the first place?


First, let me tell you a bit about Snowy and Birgit’s home town. Ornskoldsvik is a busy industrial city which also includes a harbor. There are not a lot of passenger ships that dock in Ornskoldsvik, but there is shipping traffic. The people in Ornskoldsvik enjoy their cold and snowy winters. There is cross country skiing, Alpine skiing and ski jumping, much of which takes place in the city’s downtown! The favorite spectator sport is hockey and Ornskoldsvik has contributed many professional hockey players to the world of sports.

Due to the cold temperatures and huge amounts of snow, Snowy’s parents were able to find employment in their city as lawn decorations and hockey team mascots. They lived in a small neighborhood with other snowpeople and their families. Snowy grew from his early days as a cute little snowball into a fine young snowman. He often helped his parents with their snowbusiness duties and in every way was a son they could be proud of.

Ahhh, but as so often happens to either humans or snow people, life became complicated. Snowy had grown into a handsome young snowman with an abundance of cuteness which did not go unnoticed among the lovely young snowwomen in Ornskoldsvik.

But Snowy only had eyes for the snowgirl next door, lovely Alma. True love does not always run smoothly and poor Snowy soon found this out. It seems Alma’s father had hopes and dreams for Alma’s future, and they did not include a snowguy who made his living by being cute. Alma’s dad was hoping for a snowdoctor or snowlawyer to woo his daughter and claim her hand. Alma, in the meantime, was studying at Blizzard U. for a degree in Climatology. She was torn between following her heart by acknowledging her love for Snowy or pleasing her father. Unwilling to ask Alma to disappoint her father or give up her studies, Snowy made plans to leave Ornskoldsvik to make his way in the world. He would not return to claim Alma’s hand until he had become successful in his own right.

Knowing saying good-bye would be difficult and salty tears would be damaging, Snowy quietly left his home one moonlit night and made his way to the harbor. His hope was to find work on a freighter headed to the United States, where he had heard from a cousin that there were opportunities for a snowman with a dream who was willing to work hard.

To Be Continued


I have many Penny Black favorites, and this Rose die is among them.  I am missing flowers and decided I needed to create a Christmas rose. This was also an opportunity to display another awesome sentiment from the Penny Black collection of awesome sentiments. This one came from the Winter Joy transparent set.


Good things come in three’s they say. So how about three Snowman Joys in a row, with two little bunnies keeping watch. The background is more designer paper from the Wintertime collection. I love the tiny tag die that comes with the Gift Card set. Actually, there are a total of 16 dies in that set, probably a record of some sort. The little dies create an endless variety of embellishments for not only a gift card holder, but on any card you make. The snippet sets of sentiments are perfect for stamping on the mini tags.


Well, it’s Snowy card number 13 and this time it looks like snowdad is in charge of the two snowkids while snowmom is busy shopping for Thanksgiving groceries.   I like to see dads of any kind being involved in raising the offspring. This time the scarves are all about polka dots. Once again I’ve used designer paper for matting. This card would not be the same without the rim of snowflake paper from the Holiday Trimmings pack.


Cooper has just returned home from his appointment at the groomer’s. The softspun fur doesn’t last very long. The curls take over in a day or two. My plan was to have Cooper work with me in some sort of pose, possibly at the table with his plate and silverware in anticipation of the Thanksgiving meal. But I did not have the heart to disturb him when I came upon him as he was soaking up the sunshine in his favorite spot by the front door, waiting for Mr. RWS to return from golfing. He is thankful for sunshine and Mr. RWS.

We are thankful for the fun and love he brings to our home.

And now it’s time to put away the scissors and bring our visit to a close. While you are reading this blog post, Mr. RWS and I will once again be with our Atlanta son and his family to attend our granddaughter Lauren’s Confirmation.   The Minnesota daughter, Kathy, will fly in for the weekend, too. We will have a lovely dinner together, thanks to the magnificent cooking talents of John and Sue, and call it Thanksgiving. The gathering fits all the criteria of a perfect Thanksgiving: family, food, and lots of love. Since it’s not my home and I will not be in charge, I don’t think I can ask that we go around the table and each mention what we are most thankful for. I believe one of the benefits of becoming an adult is that you don’t have to do things anymore just because your mother says so.

I wish for all of you a Thanksgiving spent doing what makes your heart happy. I do know that the time I spend with all of you and reading your lovely comments is on the list of what makes me thankful. I will be stopping by the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery on my way home. I hope to see your wonderful Penny Black work there.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies




35 Comments leave one →
  1. Darlene D. permalink
    November 19, 2016 2:34 am

    I have been following your Saturday blog for awhile now….and all I can say about you is that “your talented at card making, your a fantastic story teller, your a great mom” and I thoroughly enjoy reading your weekly blog….thank you…you make me smile!

  2. creatingincolors permalink
    November 19, 2016 3:56 am

    What an amazing storyteller you are! I can only imagine your story times with your children and grandchildren! Once again I enjoyed your writing and your cards. I have now had my Saturday morning coffee with your blog and I can start my day. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  3. Carla vdM permalink
    November 19, 2016 3:56 am

    I recently bought Snowy’s family and are planning to make my XMas cards with them this year, so I just LUV the story of Snowy and his family, it was fun to read .
    Thank you for sharing.
    And you made some lovely cards tooooo

  4. mjmarmo permalink
    November 19, 2016 4:01 am

    WOnderful cards and a wonderful story!! Enjoy your weekend with the family! I bet they would love to tell what they are thankful for. I am thankful for a daughter in law who is a chef and who will be hosting our dinner Thursday.

  5. Marliese permalink
    November 19, 2016 4:43 am

    Love your Snowy story. It would make a great children’s book with your wonderful stamped illustrations. Thank you for sharing. You never disappoint!

  6. Fran Gumprecht permalink
    November 19, 2016 5:23 am

    Thanks for another fun filled Saturday morning along with your beautiful creations! Loved the Snowy story! Enjoy your family and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  7. knurse22 permalink
    November 19, 2016 5:33 am

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Judy! I am thankful that you start my every Saturday morning (well, except for that one a few weeks ago when you went AWOL!), with card inspiration, wonderful stories, and tales of sweet Cooper! And I hope Snowy can continue through the winter!

  8. Diane permalink
    November 19, 2016 6:00 am

    Also enjoy your posts! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Blessings.

  9. November 19, 2016 6:18 am

    Judy, you are a creative nut. I loved your Swedish snowman origins story. If you ever get bored with stamping I think there is a career out there in fantasy fiction…
    Enjoy your Thanksgiving celebration!
    Caroline in Canada

  10. Deanna Morgan permalink
    November 19, 2016 7:03 am

    Oh, you crazy-wonderful storyteller, you. I think yours is the only blog I read all the way through each week just to keep up on the fun things you have to say, in addition to seeing all your creative cards. Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Donna Whitten permalink
    November 19, 2016 7:18 am

    As usual, I really enjoyed your blog! Thanks for the lowdown on Snowy, I was curious about him. Can’t wait to hear the rest of his story! Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. DebbieP permalink
    November 19, 2016 7:24 am

    You crack me up! I love the Snowy story, especially the part where salty tears can be damaging – LOL. And I always find inspiration in your cards, as they are always lovely. I hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

  13. Harriet permalink
    November 19, 2016 7:50 am

    Love the story, love the snowman. However, your card of three joyous snowmen….wow, what a smile maker. Thank you for posting.

  14. jane harrah permalink
    November 19, 2016 7:56 am

    Can’t wait to hear more about Alma. Where did you ever come up with that name? It was my mother’s name and is also my name, although I go by Jane. I do need Snowy’s family and hope there is a die in the offing for them? If not, put a bug in the ear of the God’s of dies to make sure they know it is needed. Everyone was going crazy at my last card swap because I told them Snowy had a die cut! I am sure you will see a spike in sales of that soon. May your thanksgiving be filled with the fun that you share with us.

  15. Charlotte W permalink
    November 19, 2016 8:13 am

    I always look forward to your posts and to see the creativity that you have come up with. Truly an inspiration to my card making. And I love your stories, of your family, Cooper, and now Snowy. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

  16. Jan Castle permalink
    November 19, 2016 8:37 am

    Thank you Judy for all you do…bringing smiles, peace, and inspiration to our hearts!
    Paper Hugs,

  17. Patricia Olson permalink
    November 19, 2016 9:52 am

    I love starting out my day reading your wonderful blog. Not only do I get inspiration for my stamps and dies, but your story-telling is so engaging. I particularly like the tale of Snowy’s origins, and having been lucky enough t ovisit Sweden myself, I can envision his journey even better. I can’t wait to see what happens when he arrives in the United States! I am grateful for your blog posts and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

  18. barbara lassiter permalink
    November 19, 2016 10:30 am

    Happy Thanksgiving and I am thankful for you and your fun stories, your serious stories and your creative talent, that is graciously shared with us.

  19. Verna Angerhofer permalink
    November 19, 2016 10:56 am

    Not only do you make awesome cards but you can spin a great tale too! I am anticipating the next chapter in the life of Snowy. And, you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Our family will be here on the weekend as they all have to work on Friday and this way they can spend a little extra time together. That is always a precious time. So Happy Thanksgiving to you. We all seem to have so much to be thankful for and I for one count all my blogging friends as some of my best blessings too!

  20. donna mikasa permalink
    November 19, 2016 11:32 am

    I can see that everyone is mesmerized with your storytelling–especially when it comes to Snowy! I can’t wait for the continuing saga. Have a blessed Thanksgiving, Judy! So thankful for your friendship.

  21. Cheryl Robertson permalink
    November 19, 2016 3:54 pm

    Your Snowy story is delightful! Cards are beautiful as usual. Have a wonderful visit with your family and a Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. Kathy permalink
    November 19, 2016 5:30 pm

    Thanksgiving is the fave holiday at our house, too! My husband is a marvelous cook (he is from New Orleans, so we always have a feast. He’s been telling the pups about the Cajun fried turkey we are having for several weeks. Hope Cooper gets his share of turkey, too. I love you TG cards, especially the one with the glittery bird! Can’t wait to hear the rest of the Snowy and Alma story. You are a wonderful storyteller! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

  23. BeverlyBL permalink
    November 19, 2016 5:45 pm

    I am thankful for the RWS blog, your stories and your talent and also for Cooper and Snowy. Thank you soooo much.

  24. November 19, 2016 7:21 pm

    Hope the trip to Atlanta went smoothly–know how you love that drive–haha! Boy are you creative, Ms Judy–what a story! Loving the svelte Mr Cooper–Fritz agrees that laying in the sun is the best ever! Wonderful cards–really love the first one & the 3 snowman in a row–great designs! Happy Thanksgiving!

  25. Patt H. permalink
    November 19, 2016 7:34 pm

    Love your stories! I always look forward to your cards & awesome writing! You are always a bright & cheery spot to my day!!

  26. Kathy H permalink
    November 19, 2016 9:28 pm

    You make me laugh and smile. I am so grateful for your stories. Happy Thanksgiving!

  27. dawnnz permalink
    November 20, 2016 12:52 am

    gorgeous cards and what a fun story about Snowy… Can’t wait for the end of the story

  28. birgited permalink
    November 20, 2016 11:25 am

    Judy I just love this!!! I´m laughing and have to think about how this will continue!!! Hugs from Örnsköldsvik and me!!

    • judka permalink
      November 20, 2016 11:27 am

      Birgit, I hope I don’t reveal any family secrets!

  29. Patricia Gasko permalink
    November 21, 2016 12:46 am

    A blog posting filled with “Wonderful”! Your cards and your story telling all rolled up into “Wonderful”! Can hardly wait to read the rest of the story. I know my Mr. Nick, also known as St Nick will once again enjoy reading all about Snowy and his Family. Cooper being Cooper looks great with his latest “do”. Wishing you and your family a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.

  30. November 22, 2016 7:43 am

    Maybe hairspray would work on Cooper’s grooming? He looks like a sweet little boy. I am thankful that whenever you post him on your blog he puts a smile on my face!

  31. November 28, 2016 9:12 pm

    oh how I love your story telling. I read this one about Snowy practically laughing outloud!!! What fun!!! Can’t wait for the rest of the story. I love the card design part of your brain, but I am sure glad you add these stories… they are a treasure!!!

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  33. May 10, 2017 2:54 am

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  34. May 9, 2018 10:31 am

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