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Runs with Scissors

March 25, 2017

Well, here I am … gratefully reunited with my computer. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t inexpensive!  I missed you all last week, almost as much as I missed my computer. It was touch and go there for a while, but Ms. HP Puter is home where she belongs. We have had a touch of winter weather lately as Mother Nature reminds us she is still in charge, but cold temperatures did not get in the way of pure Bliss this week.

One stamp plus one die equals one birthday card! The mouse on the bike image is from the transparent set Time to Celebrate and he has managed to pedal his way across the Happy Birthday die cut. I’ve added some gingham, some stitching and a bit of glitter to add to the party on the card.

These Fab Friends ladies know how to enjoy life! This fashionista image is from the Worth It cling set.  I colored her using Copics. For my base card background, I distressed a sheet of designer paper from the Painted Blooms 6×6 paper pack to add a touch of purple. These images are so fun to share with our own fab friends and encourage us to live life to the fullest.

I love playing with the Penny Black Sweet Home houses. I think it reminds me of the paper doll fun I used to have as a child. Here I’ve used an assortment of hoarded paper from my stash to build the house and make the clouds. I created the sky with various blended inks and was inspired by Jill Foster’s work to tuck the Leaves behind the house. The little tag is a direct copy of one Jill used; I knew it was perfect when I first saw it.

Computer Woes

My apologies, Dear Readers, for being absent last week. No, the dog did not eat my homework, but some computer viruses sure tried.

My dear desktop computer, Harriet Phyllis (HP for short), has faithfully shown up for work every day for almost four years. She began as a Windows 8 and finally found her true self when she morphed into a Windows 10. She endured my clumsy and ignorant attempts to learn her new operating system, understanding it wasn’t prejudice, just ignorance.

HP did not work a mere eight hour day. She was switched on early in the morning and not switched off until bedtime every night. Yes, she had breaks and was even allowed to snooze at times, but she was always there when I needed her.

But then one day I received emails from friends asking why I hadn’t responded to their emails and the questions therein. I realized I HAD answered those emails; obviously they were stuck somewhere and none of my emails were being sent.

Because HP has such a sweet disposition and had never balked at her workload before, I realized something must be wrong. I had been getting an error message for a few days saying there were emails waiting to be sent, would I like to send them? “Yes,” I clicked each time, thinking that solved the issue. But apparently it hadn’t, those messages were now clogging HP’s system.

Sometimes home remedies don’t work and my calls to the internet provider were lengthy but not helpful. I realized it was time to call in the professionals. Sadly, professionals don’t make house calls anymore and I had to take HP to see the Geeks at the Big Box computer hospital. HP is not much for car travel and really wasn’t feeling well.

As always in a medical emergency, the first step is diagnostic testing. And unlike medical diagnostics in a human hospital, this first test, a scan for viruses, was free of charge. And it was done while I waited, right next to HP to calm her nerves and assure her help was on the way.

And then the results: no wonder HP wasn’t functioning well. She was infected with 1,156 viruses and staging errors. No amount of aspirin or cod liver oil would have made her well. Sadly, this diagnosis required further intervention in the form of a virus removal process that required admittance to the computer hospital, hopefully for 24 hours or less. Joshua, the Geek on duty, assured me he was hopeful that removing the viruses would resolve the email problems. HP was not a happy camper.

“Not so fast,” said a very loud voice over my shoulder. That very loud voice belonged to a very BIG man, dressed in the management uniform of the Big Box store. “Removing the viruses is no guarantee that HP’s email system will work.” Evidently the BIG MAN does not want to build any false hopes, or any hope at all. HP became even unhappier.

Well, Dear Reader, I will spare you the tiring details. Just know that I visited HP at the Big Box hospital daily. I dealt with all the Geeks who were trying to resolve her email problems. There was Joshua, of course, and then Andy and then Alyssa – the entire Geek staff. Every time a new Geek became involved it meant repeating symptoms, what had been tried and failed, and most importantly emphasizing that I had a deadline to meet and time was of the essence.

The 24 hour estimate turned into 48 hours and then 72 hours and was quickly approaching 96 hours when I surrendered to the reality of the situation and asked Penny Black to stick the Post It Note on the blog to let you know I wouldn’t be there Saturday.

Being the helpful kind of person that I am, I even took my Office software discs to the Big Box Hospital for the Geeks to reinstall my email program. Obviously, the Geeks must have been overwhelmed with sick computers needing healing because they never had the time to call as promised which required multiple trips to the Big Box store to advocate for HP and receive answers to my questions. It was on the fifth day that I made my last trip to the Big Box store to check on HP who by this time was exhausted from the testing and virus cleansing and poking and prodding. She looked at me with those pleading ports and I knew she could take no more.

It was Joshua’s turn to be on duty and this time he greeted me from behind the counter of the computer hospital and without offering me a chair or sedative announced that in spite of all the time and effort the email system was, unhappily, still not working. He advised a referral to Microsoft or my email provider for further investigation. Joshua invited me behind the counter where HP was hooked up so that he could demonstrate that the error message still popped up when trying to send an email. Just then the very BIG MAN came behind the counter to observe poor HP’s email troubles for himself; at least he walked away without saying, “I told you so”.

I paid my bill which was $160.00 for the virus cleansing and $180 for two years of the Big Box’s very own Virus Shield Plus which provides protection and recovery from viruses and malware for two years. I was saddened that I had spent quite a bit of money over the four years I owned HP on virus protection software that the Big Box folks had recommended at the time I purchased HP.

Well, Dear Reader, it is not all doom and gloom. Because I am here this week there must be a happy ending to this story.

HP clung to me as we left the store. Poor thing, all that testing and tweaking and she still was not feeling well. I took her home, blinking back tears as I left the store, settling her into her dent in the carpeting next to my desk.   I assured HP that I had accepted I would have to switch from the email program that I loved and knew so well to my less favorite Yahoo account, which worked, but with a stutter. Yahoo could not keep up with my speed typing and would always be a word or two behind as I typed; frustrating but functional. HP seemed relieved that we could continue working together.

Mr. RWS had hooked HP back up to her cords and plugs and I shared the prognosis with him and because I wanted him to have a clear picture of what I was talking about, I sent a test email so that the error message would pop up and Mr. RWS could see it.

Well, maybe HP was just so happy to be home and so afraid she might have to go back to the Big Box computer hospital that there was NO ERROR MESSAGE. The email went through. Just. Like. That. The email program continues to work as if there never was a problem. I have no explanation, but I am hoping this is not a miracle. If I am ever to get a miracle, I have other priorities. But it is a very welcomed happy ending, for me and Harriet Phyllis.

Finally, I found a place for the bicycle from the Away we Go die set. And, not just one bicycle, but a row of them for a border. The Bliss release contains so many versatile and awesome sentiments using a beautiful variety of fonts. Here the sentiment from the Happy Thoughts transparent set is the star, but the little bicycles seem to complement the thought perfectly.

I love combining images from various sets onto one card. Here I have a sweet fairy from the Fairy Flutters transparent set (there are six adorable fairies included) flying over some blooms from the Stitched Flowers set as well as the perfect sentiment from the Happy Thoughts transparent set.   Except for the matting, this is a one layer card, easily sent in the mail.

I was so excited to see Penny Ward’s amazing Bible journaling featured this past week on the blog. Perhaps I can venture further into this art and away from my flowers plus sentiment technique! Until then, here is what I did in my Bible today:

I prepared this page by first applying a layer of clear Gesso and letting it dry. After stamping the Awaken image, I colored it with Copics. Interestingly, I learned Copic ink “floats” on the surface of the Gesso, making blending impossible, but creating an interesting look. I decided to just love the result anyway, after adding some white dots with my trusty Signo pen.

The two transparent sets Faith and All Great Things combined with any nature image make it easy to create lovely pages in your Bible. I also stamped the butterfly from the Garden Charmers set with gold ink several times across the text.  Last week in Sunday School the lady next to me declared my Bible the prettiest! I am hoping that makes up for my poor answers to the study questions!

Cooper does napping well. Every morning he gets up with Mr. RWS and they have their breakfast in the kitchen and then take their first walk of the day. It isn’t easy living in a house with two VERY early risers, so most mornings I stay in bed a little longer. Cooper joins me on the bed after his walk and this day he discovered the joy of sleeping with a pillow. It only took five years, but he is making up for the lost time.

I am grateful Penny Black excused my absence. I am grateful that the Bliss collection from Penny Black has no moving parts or programs to break down. I am grateful that you joined me this week. The scissors are stowed, the mess is put away and I am off to the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to check out your work. I will be here next week even if I have to rely on the Pony Express!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-414 Time to Celebrate, 51-338 Birthday

Card No. 2: 40-529 Worth It, 51-339 You Enjoy!, 80-009 Painted Blooms

Card No. 3: 30-170 Sweet Home, 51-002 Leaves, 51-033 Silver Linings, 51-191 Gift Card, 51-303 Build a House

Card No. 4: 30-416 Happy Thoughts, 51-312 Away We Go

Card No. 5: 30-416 Happy Thoughts, 30-418 Stitched Flowers, 30-408 Fairy Flutters

Bible Page 1: 40-507 Awaken

Bible Page 2: 30-409 Faith, 30-406 All Great Things, 30-415 Garden Charmers

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. Deb L permalink
    March 25, 2017 5:57 am

    You are so funny and very kind. I think I might have had a melt down if my computer was on the fritz. Have a great week. Cooper is soooooo cute.

  2. knurse22 permalink
    March 25, 2017 6:58 am

    So happy to have you and Ms. HP back! Computers are wonderful, but those of us who rely on them can be devastated by their loss. You were very lucky in the end. I lost years of photos and documents with my computer fry!
    Love the cards you made for today, especially the birthday bike and its bright red pizzazz, and the fairy flutters with that very uplifting sentiment.
    Welcome back!

  3. creatingincolors permalink
    March 25, 2017 7:04 am

    I feel your frustration. Sometimes there is just no answer when it comes to computers. So glad you are back! Love your cards and Bible journaling. And Cooper – well just adorable as usual.

  4. DebbieP permalink
    March 25, 2017 7:38 am

    Glad you and Ms. HP are back up and running! What a week it must have been. It’s never fun when our electronics are on the fritz! Lovely cards today – I especially like the birthday mouse with the gingham. Dogs and pillows – so cute. Our border collie learned a long time ago about pillows. I have to take a second glance to see if it is her or some other small human sleeping in the middle of the day! Enjoy your week…

  5. Ginger permalink
    March 25, 2017 7:38 am

    You were missed. So glad to see you back and that Harriet Phyllis in good health.

  6. Sue CD permalink
    March 25, 2017 8:01 am

    Oh boy, computer problems. Always frustrating, never fun, fortunately for HP and you she is working. I bet the Big Box hoped your frustration would lead to the sale of a new computer. Love your cards, especially the birthday one. Cooper, as always, puts a smile on my face. Glad you were here today, Judy.

  7. March 25, 2017 8:28 am

    Computer issues are such a pain! I recently made some stupid decisions & didn’t immediately go to the Big Box store, so wasted a lot of money–live & learn! Fortunately, mine wasn’t as bad as yours & now I run full virus scans weekly as well as the clean up program they sold me. We also now know to take the computers in every 3 months (could do it by phone, but the store is close to us) so they can run their professional grade virus removals knowing viruses will always get through. This time only 6, no big problems, 24 hr turn around & it’s free under our contract. So happy you’re back, Judy–wonderful cards as always! I especially love the bicycle one! Cooper is behind on pillows–Fritz figured that out very quickly & even makes his own sometimes with his blanket in his bed. Now his new thing is laying on daddy’s lap while he’s in the recliner–so cute! Speaking of cute–that is a darling picture of Cooper! Have a great week!

  8. Judy permalink
    March 25, 2017 8:33 am

    Sorry to hear of your problems, and yes, they can be frustrating. I have a friend with windows 10 and she can’t send or receive e-mails from me anymore, which is sad. Hate to tell you, but you could get your anti-virus programs free on the internet. My computer guy installed both Spybot and Malwarebytes for free for me, plus I added CCleaner so my computer doesn’t run so slow. Check it out. Cards are beautiful, as usual, and of course, Cooper, as always, is so cute!

  9. kathy b permalink
    March 25, 2017 8:51 am

    Fortunately for me, I am married to MR. IT. Well, sometimes it’s not so fortunate…I get called a low-level end user. You see, when I met Mr. IT, I was the IT person, writing programs for my students and doing all things computer. However, that changed when Mr. IT changed professions from airline maintenance to IT. Now he knows everything and I know nothing. Actually, I am happy to have changed places! There is just too much to know these days! Glad you are back! Cooper looks so comfy!!!

  10. March 25, 2017 10:30 am

    So happy you have a relationship with HP for a bit longer…but, I do see a new computer on the horizon for you – HP will probably be happy to RETIRE and rest a bit….just like sweet little Cooper – he certainly does look comfortable!!!
    Your bible journaling is lovely and I am sure a pleasure to view as you open your bible. I just bought one like that but have not had any time to play – still unpacking boxes!!! 4 more to go!!!
    Paper Hugs,
    Jan

    • judka permalink
      March 25, 2017 12:38 pm

      So glad the unpacking is almost over. Time for relaxing and stamping.

  11. March 25, 2017 11:30 am

    So glad you are backi up & RUNNING!

  12. jane harrah permalink
    March 25, 2017 11:43 am

    HP is well and all is well so thanks for sharing the fun and fear that poor HP went through! Sounds like she had a rough time and just maybe needed a bit of a jiggle! Cheers to HP!
    Oh, and your cards are lovely! As Always!!

  13. karenajo permalink
    March 25, 2017 2:14 pm

    It is not fun when these electronic things go on the blitz! Sad when it takes several people several days and then still not guarantee that things will work ! Glad HP is working again and yes, maybe she just needed the comfort of home to get back up to speed ! Great cards today- especially love the mouse on the bike! Thanks again for another sweet picture of Cooper – he looks very comfy !

  14. mjmarmo permalink
    March 25, 2017 4:20 pm

    Glad that HP is back and feeling better. Such lovely cards.

  15. dawnnz permalink
    March 25, 2017 4:29 pm

    Grateful cards Judy. I totally relate to your computer story.. I think at some time we all have one of those. Cooper looks very comfy. I’m with you, staying in bed a bit longer in the mornings. I’m the first up during the week but love my lie in on the weekends.

  16. March 26, 2017 7:04 am

    Oh me…Mr. Dell and I have had several rounds lately.Give Cooper a big hug.

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