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Runs with Scissors

May 20, 2017

Hello, Dear Reader! I am happy you could stop by. I am still being inspired by the Celebrate release so here are more cards using those stamps and dies. As I review the work I’ve done this morning, I notice I made only one “cute” themed card, usually my favorite: proof that we just go where the muse takes us.

Today it is about flowers, sentiments, a graduate and teddy bears.

I thought this casual sketchy flower from the Flower Medley set was just right for some casual Copic coloring. The colors on the designer paper from the Summertime paper pad were the perfect match. Our cards don’t have to be elaborate or tricky; sometimes clean and simple is best. The Flower Medley set is perfect for making quick and easy cards that you can be proud to send.

Once again, I am using Therese Calvird’s technique by lightly stamping and coloring the Grad! image and then overstamping a bold and beautiful sentiment. The key seems to be keeping the image fairly light and the sentiment very dark. Using the MISTI is very helpful to ensure that sentiment is dark enough. I think this message is just the right advice for any graduate. Love pairing up an image with just the right sentiment.

And here is Aunt Helen, enjoying her simple pleasure of feeding the birds in the park. I was wondering if there was a limit to the type of image that would work for this overstamping technique, and was happy to see even this amusing scene lends itself well. The secret is to stamp the image in a lighter ink and color it in using light pastels. This is a great technique to use with those oversized sentiments that might not otherwise fit on your card after you’ve stamped the main image.

Righteous Indignation

Our “new” car is now two years old and lately I noticed that the cloth front seats were a bit dingy with a few unwelcome spots. I mentioned to Mr. RWS that the seats needed shampooing. A side note: It has been long established that the maintenance and cleaning of the car was Mr. RWS’s responsibility. I did not want to interfere with that good policy. I suggested he take the car to have the interior “detailed”.

Mr. RWS was not eager to spend the money involved and declared he would use the attachment that came with our carpet shampooer and clean the upholstery himself. Well, as a lot of DIY projects go, this one did not start well. Our carpet shampooer is at least 17 years old. It has been a good and faithful servant for handling emergency carpet issues.

Mr. RWS’s first need was the owner’s manual for the shampooer so he could figure out how to attach the upholstery gadget. We have a portable file, a left over from the RV’ing days, where I file owners’ manuals for the appliances we purchase. I flipped through the impressive stack and found manuals for the pressure washer, the generator, the hot water heater, the alarm system, the griddle, the washer and dryer, microwave and range hood, the coffee pot … well, you get the idea. No owner’s manual for the shampooer.

I certainly could have Googled my carpet shampooer and perhaps found the correct manual, but a glance at the kitchen countertop convinced me that it was time to call in the pro’s.

Mr. RWS had added the cleaning liquid to the water in the shampooer’s tank. I was stunned to see that he had used the hardwood floor cleaner instead of the carpet and upholstery shampoo. He explained that he couldn’t find the right cleaner and didn’t believe it would make a difference to use the floor cleaner instead of upholstery cleaner.

So, off he went in our one and only car to have the interior cleaned. He learned it would be a four hour process so he wore his hiking boots, took along a book and planned to hike to the area mall for lunch.

Later that day after he had been home a while, I went out to the car to admire the spanking clean upholstery. And it was not even close to spanking clean. Actually, it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned at all. I was indignant that after the long wait and the total inconvenience, someone had not done a good job.

After a phone call to the car wash place, we arranged to go back the next day for a “redo”. I thought it only fair that I go along to make sure the people involved realized what an inconvenience this was for us. Also, how incompetent someone had been to do such a poor job. I was not looking forward to the four hour wait, either.

Upon arrival at the Car Wash/Detail facility, we were directed to park the car next to the space where the man responsible for cleaning our car was working. Imagine my shock when we pointed out the remaining grime, that he grabbed a can of spray foam and a white cloth and proceeded to spray and rub the upholstery.

Surely, I said, they had electric shampooers! No wonder my upholstery didn’t get clean. I was getting more indignant just thinking about the time we were wasting.

And then it happened: this middle aged man, who had left the project he was working on, looked at me and smiled. Oh, no ma’am, he said. If I soaked that foam upholstery it would never dry, you would get mold and ruin it. All the while he was talking, he was vigorously rubbing the light beige, fuzzy fabric of our front seats.

We’ve had cars detailed before and the work always took place in an air conditioned dealer’s facility, behind large glass windows so you could watch. Here in Alabama, at least at this place of business, the people doing the work had a work station outside, at the mercy of the bright and hot sunshine.

As the man looked up from his work, smiling at me, I noticed the rivulets of sweat, unhindered by the bandana around his head, pouring down his deep mahogany face. He continued spraying and wiping while he complimented us on how well we kept the interior of our car. And he really liked the trim. And he was very sorry we had to come back. And then he demonstrated how the fuzzy fabric and the bright sunshine made it almost impossible to see if all the dirt was gone. Only after we had it home for a few hours, parked in the dim interior of our garage, could you see the dirt that remained.

And then, Dear Reader, I noticed his shoes. The tops were almost detached from the soles. They offered very little protection from the water pouring from the hoses he used for detailing the exterior of cars brought to him. They certainly were very little use for walking on the gravel surface that was his work station. And that’s when I felt ashamed.

I had no right being indignant. I was able to pay someone to do work that I absolutely did not want to do. The very idea of leaning over that car interior and scrubbing it made my back hurt. Yet, this man does that work all day every day. And he was treating me with courtesy I did not deserve.

I don’t know the story of any of the people working there that day. They all were outside, under the sun, washing, drying and detailing vehicles that most of them probably could not afford. Perhaps some of them were grateful for the second chance a job at a car wash gave them. And I am sure those working at the detail stations were grateful for the promotion from the car wash line.

We left our car to dry while we ventured out to find lunch. I wondered if that man would be given a lunch break or if he was obligated to have the car he was working on finished within a specific time slot, only to have to go on to the next one. Redoing our car had put him behind, I am sure.

I brought a cookie back from lunch and handed the man the cookie and a generous tip which he accepted graciously. I didn’t tell him how ashamed I was of my righteous indignation when I arrived. I did thank him for his hard work and assured him the seats would be just fine.

And they are.

The first layer of this card was made by blending Distress Oxide inks and then adding an overlay of embossed vellum. The oval diecut was decorated with the emboss resist technique using that same casual flower from the Flower Medley set. This card sat on my desk for two weeks; too much effort expended to throw it away, but not interesting because the colors in the two layers blended and the card was boring. And then I realized it needed some white to break up those layers. I used the Nature Borders for the white strips and added the Ballerina, pearls and all, to the center of the oval. Much more interesting!

Here are more flowers from the Felicity cling stamp that are perfect for covering the center of your card. I colored the flowers with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens and enjoyed just letting the colors wander on the petals and finally settle down. Once again, I’ve used the Birds and Banner set and the Banner Sentiments set for my message. The flower placement made it perfect for the banner to be placed in the middle of the card.

I am in love with these Birthday Bears. So fun and easy to color and then cut out using the Party Bears die set. Those little sign boards they are holding are perfect for the tiny words from the Word Express set. Teddy Bears and polka dots and a stitched border – cute as can be!

I am sure I’ve mentioned before that Cooper is very food-focused. Any sound generated in the kitchen brings Cooper from wherever he might have been snoozing. Here he is sitting nicely, waiting for me to let go of the treat I am tempting him with. It is almost pitiful how much he enjoys those little pieces of pretend jerky.

There is only time for a very quick good-bye. I do tend to “talk” a lot. Off I go to the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. Hope I see your work there.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-421 Flower Medley, 30-431 Hope Shines, 80-016 Summertime

Card No. 2: 30-419 Happy Wishes, 30-428 Grad

Card No. 3: 30-419 Happy Wishes, 40-525 Aunt Helen

Card No. 4: 30-421 Flower Medley, 51-313 Ballerina, 51-331 Nature Borders

Card No. 5: 30-423 Banner Sentiments, 40-517 Felicity, 51-352 Birds and Banners

Card No. 6: 30-106 Word Express, 30-427 Birthday Bears, 51-355 Party Bears, 51-353 Cut Out Borders


23 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2017 12:20 am

    Beautiful cards. Look forward every week to reading your stories xXx

  2. May 20, 2017 12:24 am

    Your cards are all totally amazing Judy, loving the upholstery tale too… I finally talked my hubby into getting the (high) hedge trimmed ‘professionally’ but only after a wrist fracture which cost pain and inconvenience to him. It’s all sorted now lol.

  3. dawnnz permalink
    May 20, 2017 2:36 am

    Fabulous cards Judy. As usual I throughly enjoyed your story.

  4. Marliese permalink
    May 20, 2017 4:21 am

    I particularly like the ballerina, but then again, the flower cards are beautiful, so it’s hard to choose my favorite. I guess I;ll need all the stamps and dies. Always enjoy your upholstery tale.

  5. tonilea permalink
    May 20, 2017 5:39 am

    I always look forward to your writings. Actually, the cards, though lovely, are secondary! I must say, though that Aunt Helen is simply going to have to find a home in my craft room. She reminds me of the song in Mary Poppins, “Feed the Birds” . If you ever write a book, be sure to let us know! I am sure there are others who enjoy your take on everyday adventures. I loved the one that Cooper wrote too. He is also a good writer.

  6. creatingincolors permalink
    May 20, 2017 5:39 am

    Once again, inspiration from your cards. I need to try that overstamping technique. And once again, I love your stories, and I could picture in my mind Cooper scampering to the kitchen for his treat. Your story of the car detailing sure makes one stop and think; thanks for that.

  7. DebbieP permalink
    May 20, 2017 7:37 am

    Happy Saturday Judy! Loved the cards today, especially Aunt Helen. I am a bird feeding woman too so it is natural for me to relate to her. And I enjoyed your car wash tale. Say hi to Cooper for me…

  8. Scott Schmidlkofer permalink
    May 20, 2017 8:20 am

    I am more than happy to purchase you a new automobile tha includes leather seats, no Mother of mine should be riding around in cloth seats. What are we? animals? Love you Mom.

  9. Loyce permalink
    May 20, 2017 8:37 am

    Dear Judy, Reading your blog has become a Saturday morning ritual for me. Your work and wisdom is always an inspiration. Thank you for the reminder that kindness counts for more than clean.

  10. May 20, 2017 9:36 am

    Your cards are all so beautiful…and of course, I knew they would be. But what really got me was your touching story and the reminder that we have so much to be thankful for. And, bless you for your kindness too!

  11. mjmarmo permalink
    May 20, 2017 9:54 am

    BEautiful card! Wonderful story. A lesson we can all learn.

  12. May 20, 2017 10:21 am

    Wonderful cards Judy!!!! Thanks too for reminding us all that we need to always be polite and consider the other person’s situation in life…never know what they are going through.
    Thanks so much for your insight and inspiration every week!!!
    Paper Hugs,

  13. barbara lassiter permalink
    May 20, 2017 10:56 am

    It’s good to remember that we do not know what others are facing and that our kindness might be all they see in a day! Great story and great cards! Thanks!

  14. canadiancaroline permalink
    May 20, 2017 2:22 pm

    Judy, I think the wider world should be reading your homilies…
    You’ve reminded me of the importance of recognizing and practicing small acts of kindness daily, and of taking a relatively minor stress and thinking of ways to reappraise it positively. Hope you’ve had a lovely day, greetings from Canada

  15. May 20, 2017 3:24 pm

    Oh that Cooper is such a cutie & you captured him perfectly with this shot, Judy! Loving your cards, especially with the bold sentiments over an image–gotta try that! Isn’t it true that we have so much to be grateful for & so many around us do not. Not always easy to see those lessons, but you did!

  16. Harriet permalink
    May 20, 2017 6:17 pm

    Judy, thank you for this post because it will remind each of us to “walk in another’s shoes”….a little humility, patience, kindness goes a long way in our crazy world!

  17. May 21, 2017 2:29 pm

    Great read and so humbling. Glad you got there in the end X Cooper is so cute and his writing is coming along really well. Fabulous cards and inspiration, thank you x

  18. alexandra s.m. permalink
    May 21, 2017 7:28 pm

    Precious, precious, precious in every way dear Judy!
    Thank you for sharing your gorgeous cards with us!
    That soft stamping with the perfect sentiment on top is simply GENIUS and thank you for that beautiful tale. I know, I for one, should think more like you. I often tell our children “we have no idea how fortunate we are”


  19. blueyedscrapper permalink
    May 22, 2017 5:12 am

    Your cards are absolutely gorgeous!!
    Thank you for your words—definitely thought provoking, and makes one realize how lucky we are.

  20. Diane Fortin permalink
    May 22, 2017 5:59 am

    I owned several Penny Black stamps which I discover thru Pinterest and so many georgeous ideas. Thank You. Diane.

  21. Kathy Barker permalink
    May 22, 2017 6:34 am

    Beautiful cards and a sweet a entertaining story–a double header!

  22. elaine wood permalink
    May 22, 2017 1:39 pm

    such beautiful cards i have quite alot of your product cant wait to buy some more

  23. donna mikasa permalink
    May 25, 2017 3:50 pm

    Oh, Judy, you are a kind soul. Love your cards, love your kind heart 🙂

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