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Runs with Scissors

February 18, 2017


Happy Runs with Scissors Day! Valentine’s Day is behind us and now it is up to us to make it through February the best we can. So I invented a new holiday just for us.

The Bliss release is now available in the Penny Black shop so we can make our own spring. What an amazing variety of stamps and dies: there are flowers, butterflies, birds, fish, planes, trains, automobiles, fences, fairies, ballerinas, dog, cats, mice, fashionistas, steam punk …. What? Penny Black? Steam Punk? I just double checked, and yes, there is steam punk. All together now, can we say, “Something for everyone”?

Here is what happened the first time I played with the Bliss release:


Holy Neon, Batman! These are the fish from the Fancy Fish die set. For the top layer of each fish, I blended various Luxe inks on white cardstock.. Each fish has an under layer cut from neon cardstock. I layered them a bit offset so just a peek of the neon is showing. Clear sequins form the bubbles, a few leaves from the Leaves set and their watery home is finished. I just cut the top off of a circle to create the fish bowl look.


I’ve used two of my favorite dies from the Bliss release on this card: the Dragonfly Frame and the It’s a Bird’s Life border. I blended some Luxe and Brilliance inks for this card and sadly, the shimmer doesn’t show in the photo. There is a layer of vellum between the dragonfly and the card base which, in real life, gives it a bit of a stained glass window effect. Did you notice the tiny hearts in the dragonfly wings? Love the details.


If you love to color, this Potted Flowers set is perfect for you. I liked blending Copic colors for the various shades of terra cotta. I thought I added just the right colors for the blue and grey pots. And then I saw this card by Jill. Why didn’t I think of stamping those Faith Snippets on the pots? No matter; I just love having a die to personalize cards for our siblings.

Love Story (continued)

Last week’s installment ended with my sending off a response to a Personal ad “Male Seeking Female”. Mostly I responded to prove to my friend and neighbor Marsha that although her sister had found a husband this way, it would not work for me.

I always was very much a mom first. I had no interest in being fashionable, glamorous or trendy. I wasn’t in particularly good shape, I had never found the hairdo that suited me or flattered my very ordinary looks. From the few times I had ventured with friends to a singles event I learned I could not compete. And, honestly, I was doing a pretty good job of raising my family and managing my responsibilities on my own. Yes, I sometimes thought about how good it would be to do “non mother” things once in a while; maybe dinner and a movie, or just some good adult conversation. It had been a long time since I had dated and the idea was terrifying.

I remember that it was a Wednesday evening when the phone call came. It was a pleasant, almost professional, Male Voice, asking if I was Judy. Dear Reader, my heart almost stopped. I did not expect to receive a reply, especially in less than a week.

The Voice and I chatted for a while, clarifying what he meant by enjoying art and music. We discovered he DID both and I was a mere appreciator of both. He was physically fit, into running and a formal exercise program. I was none of those things. While I enjoyed the conversation, I was mentally trying to find some way to end the phone call while still preserving my dignity. Imagine my surprise when the Voice asked if I would like to meet the following Sunday and go for a walk. I reminded him I lived 45 minutes away from his home in Madison and he assured me that was not a problem. Somehow I stammered an agreement to meet him at my house on Sunday.

Naive? Oh, yes. Now he has my address and knows I am single. I think the fact that he didn’t ask to meet at a bar for a drink trumped my concerns about giving out my address.

The first call I made was to my single friend Nancy who, unlike me, was very up on fashion and beauty. I told her about my upcoming “date” and the first thing she said was, “You need to go shopping.”

And so I did. No Mom jeans for this occasion. I went to the trendy lady’s clothing store in our small town and purchased some fashionable jeans and a sweater along with a winter jacket suitable for hiking in March in Wisconsin. I had not spent that much money on clothes for myself in years, and I felt a little guilty.

That Sunday, both my teen boys were off with their friends while I paced nervously in front of our large bay window, watching to see when or even if the Voice would arrive. Finally, a great big Pontiac with a dented right fender parked in front of my house, and out stepped a fairly tall man, winter jacket and cap on, making it hard to tell any details.

My last thought before I opened the door was, “What have I done?”

I had planned a special afternoon of hiking which involved a five mile drive from our town to a scenic spot called “Ferry Bluff”. I lived in a beautiful part of Wisconsin, close to many opportunities for hiking and enjoying the outdoors. We had a sunny day, mild temperatures for March in Wisconsin and I knew even if he was disappointed in me, he would be pleased with the incredible view of the Wisconsin River from atop Ferry Bluff.

Dear Reader, we parked the car and began the climb the upward. The temperatures had been above freezing for a few days so the leaf covered ground had become soggy and slippery. The Voice had real hiking boots while I was making do with my tenies. (That is my story and I am sticking to it). While I was struggling to make upward progress, grabbing any piece of brush or branch I could to help, the Voice was getting pretty far ahead of me. I finally had to call upward and ask for some help.

The climb was worth it. The view was amazing and to make it even more special, as we were sitting on the rock outcropping several eagles flew overhead. I could not have arranged a more beautiful experience.


By now, I knew this was a really nice guy who was looking for and deserved someone more physically fit and really into this kind of adventure. But I found myself wanting to show off our lovely area and make him feel the drive was worth his time, so I suggested we drive from there to the Blackhawk Ridge ski lodge for a hot beverage and some conversation. I’m not sure the climb down the bluff was any easier, but at least I knew the hiking part of the day was over.

The huge stone fireplace with a roaring fire was impressive and we settled into the couch in front of it, sipping hot chocolate and conversing like two old friends. I learned that he had left his federal government job in Nevada and had recently moved to Madison to be closer to his two little girls. He thought that the Personals column was a good way to meet women as he was interested in a serious relationship. I discovered that I was four years older than he and even while chatting, I was thinking about which of the single women who worked at the hospital with me would be a good match for him. He was too good to let escape, and I assumed he had already realized I wasn’t the match for him.

Eventually we headed back to my house and in spite of my friend Nancy’s instructions “not to feed him”, we enjoyed the cake I had made and ended our date by driving to the downhill ski resort together to give one of my sons a ride home.

After the Voice left I checked in with Nancy and Marsha and told them both he was a great guy, and I probably wouldn’t be hearing from him again but I would really like to introduce him to one of the nurses at the hospital.

Mr. RWS was very organized about finding just the right person among the ten responses to his ad. He kept notes on all the dates he had been on and I still have the page concerning me.  Here’s a quote: “Easy to talk to and be with. While our interests differ, she seems game to adventure. Needs conditioning – she did her homework” (I assumed that meant the well planned day and the cake).

To be continued.


It must have been a neon kind of a day today. I love the brushstroke stamps. They give a watercolor look even when you don’t use watercolors. This is the First Waltz cling stamp, and I colored directly onto the stamp with Tombow markers. The MISTI makes this technique foolproof. You just keep adding color until you like the way it looks. I added the Bunny Rabbit cut from neon cardstock. Nothing says spring quite like tulips and rabbits, I say. There are several beautiful brushstroke stamps in this release. I am just getting started.


There are six adorable fairy images in the Fairy Flutters transparent set. They are so cute they make my heart hurt. I colored this flying cutie in light pastel Copic colors. I love how the sentiment from the Happy Thoughts set goes so perfectly with the flying fairy images. The sequins were on the desk, so why not?


When I saw Jill’s sample of Bible Journaling in the sneak peaks, something happened in my brain and I said, “I must do that!” I’ve seen Bible journaling demonstrated before, but as always, Jill’s work is so inspirational it is hard to resist. Several things were holding me back on previous occasions. First, my Bible and I have a spiritual connection. We’ve been through good and bad times together. It is filled with notes from Bible studies and personal reflection. It is the second Bible of my adult life, the first one having literally fallen apart. Secondly, there is very little blank space as it is filled with footnotes and references. I did try coloring an entire page once, and it was an epic fail. So I solved both issues by purchasing a Bible specifically designed for journaling. I have no emotional or spiritual attachment to it at this point, but who knows? After I fill it with colorful images and lovely sentiments, it may become my life Bible number three.

Notice I’ve only done simple stamping and coloring. I’ve not pretreated the paper with Gesso. These pages were all done quickly in a burst of excitement to get started. Yes, the colors show through on the other side, but since it is all margin space I am ok with that. I love the beautiful paper, so silky smooth and not tissue thin. However, I’ve learned to keep washing my inky hands; this paper attracts smudges.


Just a photo of snoozy Cooper today. He is loved so much every day that Valentine’s Day didn’t seem any different for him. Eat, sleep, play … Cooper’s story.

It might be Happy Runs with Scissors day, but even holidays come to an end. It’s hard to put away the Bliss collection, but I know it will be here next week. The scissors are safely stowed, the scraps vacuumed up and the next chapter of my love story is floating around in my head. If I don’t get too involved going through old photos searching for a wedding picture, I will be back here next week. For now, I am off to the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to enjoy the work you post there. I am so grateful when you take the time to leave a comment. Thank you.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 51-284 Filled with Love, 51-314 Fancy Fish, 51-002 Leaves Die

Card No. 2: 51-309 It’s a Bird’s Life, 51-301 Dragonfly Frame

Card No. 3: 40-518 Potted Flowers, 51-336 Brother/Sister

Card No. 4: 40-536 First Waltz, 51-343 Bunny Rabbit

Card No. 5: 30-408 Fairy Flutters, 30-416 Happy Thoughts

Bible Journaling: 30-403 Delicate Garden, 30-418 Stitched Flowers, 30-409 Faith, 30-405 This Way, 30-406 All Great Things, 40-508 Gladsome, 40-520 Stately

29 Comments leave one →
  1. val jones permalink
    February 18, 2017 2:53 am

    Hi Judy, I so look forward to your Saturday spot. I love your personal stories, your cute photos of Cooper and your beautiful cards. Thank you for making Saturday a brighter day.
    Love Val in Spain x

  2. Carol Cooney permalink
    February 18, 2017 4:15 am

    You’ve made my day again. Beautiful cards, and such interesting stories……

  3. Suzy permalink
    February 18, 2017 5:14 am

    Loved all the cards, especially the one with bunny !!!! Love Cooper too !!! Can’t wait to hear, and see, the rest of your story, “The Voice.” Have a great week 💜

  4. Kathy Neinas permalink
    February 18, 2017 5:46 am

    Happy weekend, Judy. I enjoy reading about your personal life but wish it was more than once a week! We have much in common…I also live in Wisconsin (Door County), love all paper arts, and the only “child” at home now is our Bichon, Lizzie. I recently spent a weekend in Madison visiting my daughter who moved there last summer to start her new position at a hospital. Next time I go, I need to take her on a road trip to Ferry Bluff! Thank you for sharing the gorgeous cards and your private life. Can’t wait for the next chapter…

  5. Kerry P permalink
    February 18, 2017 5:51 am

    Great love story…….I’m enjoying it very much. You write so well that I can envision every word. You need to write a book……you are that good. Can’t wait for the next installment.

  6. Linda permalink
    February 18, 2017 6:00 am

    Loved reading your story-you felt like I was there watching it all happen. 😉

  7. February 18, 2017 6:06 am

    Your cards are inspiring, thank you for sharing your talent with us. Can’t wait to hear the rest of your story.

  8. Amy permalink
    February 18, 2017 6:57 am

    Always anxious for your words and pictures to arrive …sooo enjoy both your literature and art…with the departure of Frosty, who I dearly loved, your newest accompanany “Mr. RWS” is delightful and enjoyable as I sit with my morning Java, good story, and lovely visuals… All senses well attended to especially the the imagination…..thank you…..

  9. creatingincolors permalink
    February 18, 2017 7:33 am

    What a story you tell. It sure sounds to me like it was a beautiful day. And of course, your cards are inspiring. I already placed a way-too-big order from the Bliss release and now I want those fish! “See” you next week for the next installment of your story!

  10. February 18, 2017 9:41 am

    Oh no, we have to wait yet another week…you tease! You are a fantastic storyteller Judy. Have you ever thought about a class for seniors (not high school, I mean older folks!), to write about their lives? Just picking one time like you are telling now is a fabulous way to begin putting ones life on paper. Thanks ever so much.

  11. alexandra s.m. permalink
    February 18, 2017 9:58 am

    OH i love to follow your story and I’m bummed that I have to wait a whole week for the follow-up 😉
    Gorgeous cards Judy!
    Many Thanks and big Hugs your way~

  12. mjmarmo permalink
    February 18, 2017 10:05 am

    Loving the story! BEautiful cards!

  13. Kathy B permalink
    February 18, 2017 11:24 am

    Oh my, you have me hooked! I can’t wait to hear more…I was disappointed when the story ended for today! I also met my husband through a dating service ad, at the behest of a single friend of mine who had dated some nice guys. We met 27 years ago next month, and married 7 months later. Look forward to the pix of Cooper each week. We have 2 schnauzers. Of course, your cards are always great, but it’s your personal touch of your stories that bring me back each week. I will say that Penny Black is now my favorite company.

  14. karenajo permalink
    February 18, 2017 12:12 pm

    Love all the ‘neon’ in your post today – beautiful cards and inspiration. Your stories are great – look forward to reading the rest of this one ! Always love seeing what Cooper is up to – he is such a cute guy ! Thanks for brightening my day !

  15. Lynn D permalink
    February 18, 2017 12:18 pm

    Your bright cheerful cards are beautiful and I am very impressed with your bible journaling. I have been wanting to try it but the confidence isn’t there to make me willing to ruin a bible…I am assuming we know the end to your personal ad story but can’t wait to hear the rest of it. A great cliff hanger! Looking forward to next week’s segment. Thanks.

  16. dawnnz permalink
    February 19, 2017 12:05 am

    Totally awesome cards Judy. I am looking forward to the next installment…knowing it has a happy ending is good

  17. Lindi permalink
    February 19, 2017 2:04 am

    I have been interested in the Bible Journalling for a little, but a little hesitant with my bible as I am 3rd generation to have it, I suppose my question is are there actual journaling Bibles you can buy, as most I have seen online have wider pages sides, Have enquired at several Christian shops here, they say never heard of them and several disapproving looks, maybe it isn’t as big here in Australia.. Thanks

  18. knurse22 permalink
    February 19, 2017 5:55 am

    Such a sweet story, and can’t wait for the next installment. I want to hear more about this ‘conditioning’!!! LOL….
    Thanks for the ongoing inspiration, and another perk at Cooper!

  19. February 19, 2017 9:54 am

    PLEASE come back next week, Judy! Your love story should be a movie!! How incredibly wonderful to have MR RWS’s note page & the view from that plateau is indeed stunning! Great to have a holiday that’s more than once a year–thanks to you! LOVE the bunny & tulips card & of course, darling Cooper!

  20. DebbieP permalink
    February 19, 2017 11:09 am

    Happy Runs with Scissors Day! Love it. And the neon fish. Great to hear how you and Mr. RWS met. I am looking forward to hearing more. Have a great week.

  21. L Haff permalink
    February 19, 2017 4:40 pm

    Judy, I just love your stories , you writing reminds me of Erma Bombeck. Thanks for another enjoyable read on a Saturday. Your cards are really cute and clever too!

  22. February 19, 2017 8:49 pm

    Fun story! I love your cards and I want to be Cooper!

  23. February 20, 2017 3:35 am

    I’m in love with you and your love story. TFS Big hugs, Kristina

  24. Diane F permalink
    February 20, 2017 10:02 am

    Looking forward to the next instalment of your love story ! Great projects.

    Special hugs for Cooper – he is a lucky boy to be so loved.

  25. February 20, 2017 9:55 pm

    Beautiful cards Judy…you always do such a wonderful job!!! Can’t wait to hear your ‘to be continued’ story – much better in my opinion that the TV dramas!!!
    Paper Hugs,

  26. jane harrah permalink
    February 21, 2017 4:17 pm

    Okay, you left me breathless! I need the rest of the story! Love the cards All of them. Love Penny Black and truly think (still) that they are blowing away the competition!

  27. Jan permalink
    February 21, 2017 4:38 pm

    Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story and keep the pictures of Cooper coming.

  28. Cathy P in AZ permalink
    February 22, 2017 10:47 am

    Judy – your stories are always amazing! I look forward to your posts every Saturday! Love your colorful cards and creations too!

  29. donna mikasa permalink
    February 25, 2017 9:21 pm

    I’m glad I came back to Part 2–I almost jumped ahead and realized that I skipped it! By now I’m more interested in your “love story”. I’ll come back to get a better look at your cards! And Cooper!

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