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Runs with Scissors

February 11, 2017


Hello, everyone! Aren’t the Valentine decorations here at the studio awesome. I always say, “Go big, or go home”. Kind of reminds me of elementary school when we took down January’s snowflakes and put up February’s red hearts. I confess to sneaking some of the little candy hearts in the Penny Black candy dish and I noticed the messages have become a bit techy. “LOL”, “Text Me”, “Call Me”, “ILU”, “Cool” and “I’m Me” are several I came across. I miss the romance!

Valentine’s Day is this week and I have used stamps and dies from the Follow Your Heart release to make cards that are suitable for Valentine’s day, but also for birthdays, anniversaries and other occasions. The Follow Your Heart release is so versatile that you won’t be putting it away after this week.


The Butterfly Heart Popout die is perfect for birthday cards and suitable for male or female themed cards. Here I’ve used gray cardstock for the base and powder blue for the accent color. This large die would make a great white on white wedding card, too. It is fun enough for some occasions and elegant enough for others.


Another large die that could be used for many different occasions is the Heart Butterfly. By using a sunny yellow with a touch of black color scheme, this card could be a non-traditional Valentine as well as a birthday or an anniversary card. A friend and I went shopping recently and realized after the monotone colors of winter, we were ready for some bright and sunny colors. I went right home and pulled the yellow cardstock out of the drawer, adding the largest butterfly I had in my collection.


This card was inspired by one I saw fleetingly on Facebook. It reminded me of the time years ago when “shadow stamping” was very popular. I masked off a square space on my cardstock with Washi tape, blended some Luxe inks and after removing the Washi tape mask, over-stamped the colored square with the hedgie image from the Furry Hugs transparent set. With a different sentiment, this could easily be a Valentine, suitable for males, females, kids or adults.

Love Story

It seems appropriate for the week of Valentine’s Day that I share with you the improbable story of how Mr. RWS and I met almost 33 years ago. Pour yourself a beverage, sit back, relax, and withhold judgment while I tap into my long term memory for the story.

I had been a single mom, raising my five children while living in a 100 year old house in a small town not far from Madison, Wisconsin. I had been on my own since the kids ranged in age from 7 to 15. Between working, maintaining our home, attending kids’ activities and being mom and dad to five, I was a very busy person. The last thing on my mind, dear Reader, was dating or .. gasp … remarrying. I had other single moms for friends and our kids were included in any outing we planned. This was my life for six years and eventually, one by one, the three older kids left the nest for college.

Being the mom of only two was almost the equivalent of going off to summer camp. Cooking for three, keeping track of events at only one school, and the drastic decrease in laundry made life simpler and easier.

A year or two before the older kids left home , a young couple, parents to a toddler and a newborn purchased the house next to mine. Little did I know how much my life was about to change. Because of my busy life, I didn’t have time to be neighborly to the former owners of that house. And I didn’t plan to include the new neighbors in my life, either. But life has a way of changing our plans.

My new neighbor’s name was Marsha. She is one of those beautiful people that comes into your life at a time when you need them the most, but don’t even realize it. I cannot tell the story of how Mr. RWS and I met without including some background on Marsha.

One evening I was surprised to see my new neighbor coming up my porch steps. I had heard her baby crying earlier for quite some time and I didn’t know it then, but she needed some time out of her home almost as much as I needed a new friend.

Marsha had come to ask if I would like her husband to till a small garden for me in my backyard while he was putting in their own garden. How did they know how much I missed the large vegetable garden I used to have, but had to plant over with grass seed due to lack of time for gardening and canning? I was so overwhelmed by the kind offer that my hesitancy to make friends disappeared and I invited Marsha in for a visit.

I had just made a large pitcher of Kool-Aid (the drink of the 80’s at our house) and we sat at my dining room table and began chatting and sharing stories as women have done for ages. At one point, the Kool-Aid ran out and I went into the kitchen to make a new batch. I looked at the clock on the stove and became quite confused. I said to Marsha that something must be wrong with my clock as it had stopped at 5 o’clock. Dear Reader, the clock was just fine. Marsha and I had been visiting for almost 8 hours. It really was 5 am and I had to be up getting kids off to school and myself to work in just a couple of hours. It was just one of those friendships that was meant to be. While we laugh about that evening, you can be sure we now keep track of the time when we visit.

Marsha was a dear friend in so many ways. She was a prayerful person and let me know that she prayed for me and my family. That little garden got planted and we enjoyed the tomatoes and green beans that tasted even better because of the love that was planted with them. She encouraged me as I dealt with raising teens, money struggles, and maintaining that 100 year old house. It was her husband, Mike, who finally took care of the mouse invasion that I have written about in a previous Runs with Scissors post. Marsha was more than a prayer warrior! She was a “get it done” kind of woman. She decided at one point that what I needed was a husband.

Dear Readers, I laughed when she said it out loud. I had been to several “singles” events in the big city when talked into it by my single women friends. Having five kids was a definite conversation killer for any man and being a wallflower at a dance once again was painful. If you looked in a dictionary for the definition of “optimist” you will find Marsha’s photo. She was not willing to wait for God to send someone; she was going to give Him a hand.

Her sister, Nola, had been a single mom for several years and had finally answered an ad in the Personals column in their local newspaper. She met the man she would marry and they were living their happy ever after. Marsha knew it would work for me. Keep in mind, there were no computers, no computer dating services, no social media to facilitate match making. It was the Personals columns or singles events.

After much resistance and refusal, I finally gave in. After all, Marsha had God on her side and I didn’t stand a chance against such a force. I told Marsha that I would reply to the next personal ad that didn’t ask for a picture and didn’t want to meet for a drink. (I had to assume “drink” did not mean Kool-Aid).

The Sunday paper was the best source for “Male Wanting to meet Female” personal ads and that next Sunday I did find one that didn’t ask for a photo. He presented himself as a single Dad, enjoys music and art, looking for someone to share his life. “Life is an adventure”, he said. I sent a reply and in my letter described myself as a single mom with two teens at home. Dear Reader, I did not use the number 5 to describe the quantity of children. Even Marsha’s optimism and God’s power would not overcome that stigma.

You can see where this is going, but I’ve run out of space and time so will have to continue this next week. You know how it all ends, but the journey to get there wasn’t easy, even if it was short.


The fun of cleaning your craft space now and then is finding things you had forgotten you owned. Recently I found some Inchie Art Squares in my paper stash and stamped the Hugs image on one of them. I used Copics to color this image, and the colors seemed to flow effortlessly and blended smoothly. Inchies are great for using watercolors but I suffer from watercolor phobia.


The base for this card is also an Inchie Art Square. Again, I stamped and colored the image with Copics. I used Washi tape to create the border. I love this image of the mouse helping out with the umbrella for the kitty from the Hearts Aplenty set. No matter how I am feeling when I sit down to color, by the time I am finished I am relaxed and smiling. When you can make something cute or sweet, the smile is inevitable.


One of my duties as a Kitchen Angel for the senior citizen monthly lunch at our church is to provide three door prizes. Because there is a $5.00 limit for the gift, I am sometimes concerned that the recipient might be disappointed, so I make sure that the gift bag is special. I am grateful for my supply of Penny Black dies that make decorating gift bags so easy. Here I’ve used five different dies including the Love sentiment from the Follow Your Heart release to decorate February’s gift bag. I hope the pretty bag makes up for the dish towel and spoon rest inside.


Cooper is an almost perfectly behaved canine, but it seems he cannot tell the difference between one of his rawhide chews and a Copic that has fallen to the floor. This photo is of him pleading for forgiveness after being scolded for chewing one of my markers. You can almost hear him say, “Please don’t be angry.”

And here I am on the last page and it is time to stow the scissors and return the stamps and dies to their proper places. Everyone else who uses the Penny Black studio is neat and tidy and I have to stifle my messy instincts and clean up after myself. Next week will bring the story of Mr. RWS’ and my first date. No Kool-Aid involved. Don’t forget to post your work in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery so I can leave a comment.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 51-291 Butterfly Heart Popout, 51-028 Celebrations

Card No. 2: 51-290 A Lot of Love, 51-297 Hearts Butterfly, 51-095 Hearts in Circle

Card No. 3: 30-283 Snippets, 30-402 Furry Hugs

Card No. 4: 30-394 Hug, 51-099 Hugs and Kisses, 80-015 Golden Moment

Card No. 5: 30-400 Hearts Aplenty

Gift Bag: 51-007 Tagged, 51-100 Tree of Love, 51-186 Love Always, 51-284 Filled with Love, 51-296 Love

28 Comments leave one →
  1. Diane F permalink
    February 11, 2017 1:13 am

    Wonderful, inspirational projects once again. I don’t know how you manage to do so many week after week. The Penny Black blog is my go to site if I need ideas and your column is always my first port of call. Thank you.

    Looking forward to the next instalment of your wonderful love story.

    Poor Cooper how could anyone be cross with that adorable face !

  2. Kathy Neinas permalink
    February 11, 2017 3:48 am

    I wait with bated breath for the rest of the ❤story. Great inspiration all around!

  3. Marliese permalink
    February 11, 2017 3:57 am

    Can’t wait for the nest installment of your story. As always, love your cards.

  4. Linda N. permalink
    February 11, 2017 5:12 am

    Enjoy your blog, can’t wait for the Mr. RWS story – you should write a book!!! Very good story!

  5. creatingincolors permalink
    February 11, 2017 5:17 am

    Another great column of beautiful cards and a beautiful story. Can’t wait for the rest of the story. And Cooper’s face in that photo is precious!

  6. Fran Gumprecht permalink
    February 11, 2017 5:35 am

    Always enjoy your beautiful creations and wonderful stories! Until next time!

  7. Nancy Shafter permalink
    February 11, 2017 5:41 am

    Your creative work is always beautiful and inspiring, but I think I love your stories the best. You have a way with words that makes your experiences sound fun and exciting. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Gina Wallace permalink
    February 11, 2017 6:18 am

    I love your cards and your stories – keep em coming

  9. February 11, 2017 8:00 am

    Beautiful cards. I don’t want to wait until next week to hear the end of the story😀

  10. jane harrah permalink
    February 11, 2017 9:48 am

    You are like reading a wonderful novel. You need to consider writing along with your wonderful crafting! Love the little animals.

  11. barbara lassiter permalink
    February 11, 2017 10:07 am

    Your cards are always great(especially love the Lots of Love card and the “hedgie” happy birthday card)! I will be “tuned” in( I guess “logged” in is the correct terminology) next week for the rest of your wonderful story. Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂

  12. knurse22 permalink
    February 11, 2017 10:45 am

    Great cards, as always, Judy, and can’t wait for part two of you and Mr. RWS!

  13. Kathy H permalink
    February 11, 2017 11:54 am

    I just love your stories and I so adore Cooper! The cat and mouse card is so cute! Thank you for posting every week. I always look forward to reading and seeing the cards you have made!

  14. Carole Centers permalink
    February 11, 2017 3:30 pm

    Your cards are always so appealing to me. I don’t care for butterflies (gasp) but I really like the two on this page. Can’t wait for part 2 of Love Story!

  15. dianemdb1985 permalink
    February 12, 2017 12:39 pm

    Great, creative cards… stories, too!

  16. DebbieP permalink
    February 12, 2017 1:51 pm

    great cards just in time for “V” day. Love the hedgehog! I hope the week goes by quickly so you can finish your story. I really enjoy your writing. How can you not forgive cute little Cooper, he was just doing what dogs do. Have a great week and Happy Valentines Day!

  17. donna mikasa permalink
    February 12, 2017 3:13 pm

    LOVE your Valentine cards and projects! And I, too, am waiting with baited breath on the continuing love story! (And is it just me, or does Cooper have a heart shaped head?)

  18. alexandra s.m. permalink
    February 12, 2017 6:12 pm

    What a great post! I want to know what happened!!
    Love your cards and your writing!
    Thank You dear Judy!

  19. February 12, 2017 6:51 pm

    Looking forward to seeing your next post about your first date…how exciting to remember all the little details! As usual, great cards Judy – you do such a good job!!!
    Paper Hugs and Happy Valentine’s Day a little early…a Hi and a hug to your Mr. from me!

  20. Kathi K permalink
    February 12, 2017 7:49 pm

    OMG, raising 5 children on your own? I am not worthy… but I am so glad you became a cardmaker! Your cards are lovely, your stories compelling, and just great fun! Happy Valentine’s Day, Judy and Mr. RWS – everyone loves a good love story!

  21. Judy permalink
    February 12, 2017 8:13 pm

    Judy, I love seeing your cards and reading your posts. Your Runs With Scissors is so sweet. I love the stories you tell about you and Mr. RWS. I’m happy for you .

  22. Virginia L. permalink
    February 12, 2017 9:04 pm

    Oh… I was so enjoying seeing the beautiful cards and reading up your happily ever story. And now I have to wait for more till next Saturday! Thanks so much for sharing your art and heart, Judy!

  23. dawnnz permalink
    February 12, 2017 10:50 pm

    Such gorgeous cards Judy…and I can’t wait for next week for the next installment of your romance!

  24. February 13, 2017 3:42 am

    Can I just say I adore you and look forward to reading your posts? I can’t wait for the next edition of your story, and by the way, how could anyone be disappointed with that adorable, festive gift with such sweet packaging? TFS Big hugs Kristina

  25. pbuandj permalink
    February 13, 2017 9:53 am

    You have me on the edge of my seat waiting for the rest of the story! And as always, your cards are wonderful!

  26. karenajo permalink
    February 13, 2017 10:32 am

    Love your cards and your stories – they always touch my heart ! Can’t wait for ‘the rest of this story’. Thanks for sharing and just love Cooper – he is a day brightener !

  27. Marisela Delgado permalink
    February 13, 2017 12:48 pm

    You have no idea what joy I feel at seeing Cooper. He is so CUTE. I wish I could cuddle his face and hug him. My beagle named Monster died almost 2 years ago. He had to be put to sleep. I still miss him terribly. He was my little boy. Give Cooper a hug for me from way over in San Antonio, Texas from Monster’s mama.

  28. February 19, 2017 9:43 am

    Started to read this post last week & so glad I finally got to it, Judy! So glad you’re sharing this story & I’m heading to today’s post now! Loving these cards–the first BD card makes me put the butterfly heart die on my wishlist & the Hugs card is adorable! Cooper is such a cutie–I know even chewing a COPIC can’t put him in the doghouse! Fritz grabs anything that is not usually on the floor, but thankfully books stored on the floor on one wall don’t get touched now that he’s past 2 yrs old–haha!

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