Runs with Scissors
Hello, Penny Black friends. Here we are, only three days left in the month of January. Poor Ms. January is going to be in serious trouble at the end of the year when Mother Nature hands out report cards. Here in Alabama Ms. January behaved like Ms. April or May for most of her days on the calendar. I don’t think one light dusting of snow makes up for the 60 and even 70 degree days that hung out in January. Mr. RWS compromised some days and wore long sleeved sweatshirts with his golf shorts. As a wife who is concerned with appearances, I did put my foot down when he attempted to visit the “store that sells everything” in one of those outfits. I live in fear that he will become the star of an unkind meme on Facebook.
This week here on the blog I decided to focus on the awesome sentiments available in the Follow Your Heart release and along the way I made some cards with a more masculine theme.
Ahhh, romance. I love this romantic, poetic sentiment from the Forever and Always set. It deserves to be the focus on a Valentine card, but would be at home on an anniversary card as well. The Line of Hearts die adds dimension and even more romance.
Here is another lovely, poetic sentiment which expresses a universal truth. This sentiment is also part of the Forever and Always set and would make a beautiful focus for a friendship or thank you card, too. The Forever and Always set contains seven beautiful sentiments, enough for thoughtful cards all year long.
Red and white and a touch of gingham: Valentine perfection. This is an easy card to make and not too girly to send to an important male in your life. This sentiment is from another transparent set called Friendship and Love, a collection of seven more versatile sentiments.
Pretty pitiful, huh? No, this photo was not taken at a Goodwill store, or a yard sale, or the city dump. This suitcase lives in our attic and was photographed before we put it away after our most recent trip.
This suitcase is one half of a matched pair. Yes, we own two of these beauties. And in their day, they were quite elegant and we called them our “good” luggage. I remember seeing them in a fancy department store one day, on sale, and resolving that we would purchase them for an upcoming overseas trip. First I had to convince Mr. RWS that our daughter would be embarrassed if we showed up at her home in Amsterdam with our old beat up mismatched luggage. Besides, these suitcases had wheels attached and a pull out handle, making carrying heavy suitcases a thing of the past. What luxury!
The year was 1991 and Kathleen had been assigned to Amsterdam by her company to assist in organizing and refining the financial system of a company newly acquired. Her assignment was drawing to an end and we realized it was “now or never” if we wanted to visit her and do some touring through Europe.
I remember each suitcase cost $50, and Mr. RWS thought maybe one would be enough: he was willing to use the old luggage. Thank goodness I insisted as these ugly green tapestry suitcases have served us well for many reasons.
First of all, I have never had to tie a ribbon of any color onto these bags. Any of their kindred luggage has long since disappeared from the baggage carousels around the world and our bags are easily spotted.
No one has ever taken our suitcases by mistake. On this last trip to Milwaukee, we made restroom stops before going to the baggage claim area and everyone else had left the area with their luggage and there was our big green suitcase going around and around on the carousel. I imagine its beat up appearance did not tempt anyone and it could have safely ridden the carousel indefinitely.
Also, the interior of these suitcases is outfitted with multiple ways to keep your dresses and suits wrinkle free while packed in their own section. There is a section for dirty laundry and space for damp items. Sturdy straps and buckles hold everything in place during their long and bumpy rides from airport to planes and back.
Best of all, their simple rectangular construction is the best for maximum capacity. We have since bought a new suitcase or two, but the more recent luggage does not have the capacity these green veterans do. The only thing limiting how much we can take with us nowadays is weight. This feature has become more important to us since airlines began charging a fee for checked baggage. For a short trip, I can fit enough clothes for both of us into one bag. If I calculate how many times I have saved a $50 round trip fee for a second bag, this luggage has more than paid for itself.
Looking back, I realize these suitcases would be covered in stickers if there were one for each place visited. The original trip for which they were purchased began in Amsterdam, and then went on to Belgium, Germany (including newly reunited East and West Berlin), Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland. Later, they went to England, Ireland, Mexico, Canada, Alaska and all across the continental United States.
Parts of the metal frame are working their way through the tapestry fabric, but the zippers have endured. Sometimes I wonder how as most often the bags are packed to their limit. They used to have cute little padlocks and we were actually encouraged to lock our bags when traveling.
Now that I think of it, we purchased these suitcases in order to avoid embarrassing our kids by showing up with our old beat up luggage. We have now gone full circle by showing up with these more than 25 year old bags which are definitely an embarrassment.
Valentines’ Day is not only for the young, but for the young at heart. I’ve used the image from the mini transparent set Kisses for my Sweet, by stamping it on a circle and left room for another poetic sentiment, this one from the Forever and Always set. I used kraft paper and a twine bow so as to make the card more masculine.
I don’t know why our masculine friends and relatives prefer darker colors over pinks and purples. But if they prefer kraft and dark crimson, I can make cards using kraft and dark crimson. The heart image is part of the All About Love transparent set and the script background is made from the Letter Background wood block stamp.
I have no idea if owls mate for life or not, but why ruin a cute idea? I stamped the owls from the Hearts Aplenty set onto kraft cardstock and colored them with Copic markers. I kept the color palette simple so as to be pleasing to our male friends and family. I enjoy the various scripts Penny Black uses for the sentiment dies. There is a great variety making it easier to match a font with an image.
The only sign of winter this entire month of January was the light snowfall that occurred where Cooper was staying while we were in Wisconsin. Cooper has been in snow before, but either forgot about it or was welcoming it back as seen in this photo. By the time we picked Cooper up, the temperatures were back into the 60’s and low 70’s.
Dear friends, I hear footsteps on the hall. Someone must have reserved the studio for the rest of the day. It’s time for me to clean up my mess, put away the scissors and get out that tiny vacuum for the itty bitty diecut scraps that have fallen to the floor. I hope you are able to find time to make Valentines for the people in your life this week. Emails are efficient, social media is quick, but nothing takes the place of receiving a handmade card in the mailbox. I have cards from friends posted in my work area and they bring me joy every day.
Speaking of joy, I am off to visit the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to see the lovely work posted there. Thank you for your visit and especially for taking the time to comment. I read and treasure them all.
Epilogue: Dear Readers, as I was trying to get a good photo of the suitcase, the irony of what I was doing occurred to me. My story is about the ugly worn out suitcase and I was working very hard to take a photo that would make the suitcase look less embarrassing. Now that I’ve shared the secret of the ugly luggage, the lean green luggage machine has been taken back to the attic where all scary things belong. And I don’t think I will be critical of what Mr. RWS wears to the “store that sells everything” anymore. I have proven I have no pride.
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