Runs with Scissors
And here she is, Ms. February. If you live in a part of the world where winter is fierce and lasts forever, February is a little treat provided by Mother Nature. With her three less days, it is easier to be February’s friend.
Here are some thoughts others have had about February:
“Without Valentine’s Day, February would be …. Well, January”. (Jim Gaffigan)
“(February) is the very 3:00 am of the calendar”. (Jos. W. Krutch)
“February is merely as long as needed to pass the time until March”. (Dr. J. R. Stockton)
Enough February foolishness and on to what makes February (and all the other months) a delight; playing with Penny Black stamps and dies. This week I’ve done things in pairs: two delicate feminine cards, two cute cards, and two masculine cards. As I mentioned before, while I have made Valentines from the Follow Your Heart release today, each of these cards could be used for other occasions with a change in color theme or sentiments.
I’ve brought out the beautifully delicate Medallion die to use as the background on this Valentine and to provide the “love” sentiment. All I needed to finish my card was the plain heart from the Heartlets die set and the lovely designer paper from the Golden Moment paper pack. I think that makes this a 1,2,3 Valentine!
I stamped and heat embossed with white the Blooming Hearts image. I then applied various shades of my Memento Luxe inks to create a soft and delicate background. The Be Mine sentiment is included in the With Affection transparent set. This release includes so many sentiments in various fonts, both stamps and dies.
Where do you go for inspiration when you need an idea for a particular stamp or die? My first stop is usually the Penny Black catalog. I love the little buildings that make up the Neighborhood Love die set, but had no ideas for their use. Off I went to check out the catalog and there on page 6, I found Jill Foster’s adorable card using the little buildings and a pair of hedgies, along with the balloon from the Bunny Love die set. (View Jill’s card HERE.) This is my version of her card, using happy colors and the bunny from the Bunny Love set instead of hedgies. And why not add gingham clouds?
And this is where I interrupt the card sharing to share a story. Last week I told you all about our ugly luggage. This week you were in danger of hearing all about my electric toothbrush, due to my lack of ideas for a story.
I’m sure I am no different than any writer who has an obligation and a deadline to produce a story on a regular schedule. Sometimes my mind goes blank and I cannot think of one aspect of my life that anyone else would be interested in. As you know, I’ve even shared some of those; laundry folding, cockroaches, mice, and a crying driveway.
I was mulling the idea of sharing some of my favorite things, a la Oprah, and realized the fun in that for the audience was receiving each of the items she mentioned. Even if I could present each of you with some of my favorite things, you would not be very excited.
Something I really enjoy and have since I was a small child, is reading. I don’t remember learning to read, but I do remember in first grade the teacher sent me to the school library to pick out a book to read because I was well beyond reading at the first grade level. I still remember how amazed I was to see so many books in one place and I got to pick one out for me. I loved reading so much as a child that I would take a flashlight to bed and read under the covers. At mealtime I always had a book to read while eating. If no book, I would read the cereal boxes or whatever was around with words on it.
Throughout my adult life I always had at least one book in progress, and most often two or more. There was a time when I had a book open on the counter next to me when I was preparing dinner or doing dishes. If I took a break from the weekend cleaning, it was to sit with a book for a little while, reluctantly setting it aside to continue finishing the chores.
When ebooks came into being, I was as cynical about ebooks as I was about bottled water. “It will never catch on”, I said. There is just something special about opening the cover of a book, noticing the smell of paper and ink, scanning the blurb and finally beginning with the first page of the first chapter. Often, it was settling down to spend time with a favorite author. Sometimes it was the anticipation of discovering a new author, hopeful that it was the beginning of a new relationship.
My taste in reading is varied. I read fiction mostly, some non-fiction if the topic is something or someone I am curious about. I do not read romance novels or mystery novels; the main reason being … and I know this will come as a shock … I always read the last chapter of a book very soon after I read the first chapter or two. And there is no point in reading a romance novel or mystery novel if you know how it ends. Dear Reader, it is true, I always know how the book I am reading is going to end. I have been known to abandon a book if the ending is a disappointment.
If I have to explain it, I think it is because I want to make sure investing time in these characters and their story is worthwhile. And often, at my age, by the time I reach the last chapter of the book I have forgotten what I read and the ending is a surprise anyway.
Since the kids provided me with an IPad a few Christmases ago, I read fewer books. I have allocated some of my free time to following social media and keeping up with the news. I am now equally at home reading a book on the Kindle app of my IPad as I am a book from the library.
Mr. RWS has been married to me long enough he knows the kind of books I read (think Oprah’s Book Club for a start) and my favorite authors. He visits the library at least once a week to feed his reading habit and brings home books for me that he has either ordered or spotted on the shelf. Why don’t I go to the library and get my own books, you say? The answer in two words: my hair.
When my oldest grandson was a little boy, he told me one morning that I have “scary hair”. He is so right. I wake up in the morning with hair twisted and scrambled, sticking out at all angles and downright scary. Only a shower, blow dry and curling iron tame the beast. So when Mr. RWS announces he is going to the library (he does all things early in the morning) I am never ready to leave the house. I almost appreciate his bringing me books from the library more than chocolates or flowers.
There you have it. One of my favorite things is reading; another is the gift of the library where you take home a stack of books using your library card instead of your credit card.
This card began with the linear embossed white cardstock that was sitting on my desk. I was fortunate to have found a small scoring tool in the clearance bin of my local craft store. I have a large one that requires my leaving my chair and walking across the room, but how handy to have one at arm’s reach. Just to make sure all the lines worked, I scored the entire surface of this piece of cardstock. From there, punched out a circle, added the little mouse with gift from the Hearts Aplenty set and the altered sentiment is the Just for You die. And to set the record straight, those little hearts are mousie footprints in spite of what else you may be thinking.
Valentine’s Day especially requires that we make a few masculine themed cards and this is the first of the pair I made today. I used my wood grain embossing folder on a circle diecut for my base. I stamped the LOVE image from the All About Love set with Brilliance Rocket Red ink and fussy cut the letters. The little cupid image is from the same set and has been stamped and fussy cut. This one transparent set has so much potential for making bold and masculine cards.
Speaking of bold, how about a fun card full of kisses? These gorgeous lips are also from the All About Love transparent set and certainly make a statement. I thought I would brighten up things with the Love diecut in white. I can’t imagine any male not loving this card.
The golf course is closed for upkeep and maintenance this winter and Mr. RWS has been working a lot of jigsaw puzzles instead of golfing. Cooper decided the only way to get Mr. RWS to take him for a walk was to help finish the jigsaw puzzle. Smart boy!
And just like January, I am finished. It is time to stow the scissors, put away the stamps and dies and clean up my mess. Like every week, I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent with you and sharing the work I’ve done with Penny Black stamps and dies. If I were to make that list of my favorite things, Runs with Scissors would be near the top along with the time I spend making cards with the Penny Black products. Another favorite thing? Browsing the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to see the work you’ve done. And now, it’s home again to my book (Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things) and my ebook (Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove). I hope your week includes time for doing some of your favorite things, too.
Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies
Card No. 5: 30-391 All About Love