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Runs with Scissors

June 3, 2017

Hi, everyone! I just have to say it, “June is busting out all over”! I try so hard to hang onto April and May but eventually June nudges them out and takes over. I am now one year older than I was the last time we got together and pretty soon Mr. RWS and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary followed by Father’s Day! I’m sure there are special days coming up for many of you, too. June gives us many opportunities to make and send cards to family and friends celebrating the special times in their lives.

The Poetic release by Penny Black includes more beautiful floral brush stroke stamps along with beautiful dies to complement the images in this release as well as the large sentiment and message stamps from previous releases. How awesome.

I was so happy to discover the new stamps and dies waiting for me here at the Penny Black studio. Those designers “play well with others” and share nicely.

I still get excited the first time I use a new die. This Butterfly Border die upped that excitement level. It is just the right size, just the right variety of butterflies, and just the right die to use in combination with the big, bold and beautiful messages from the various transparent sentiment sets. Butterflies are rich in symbolism and are the perfect image to exemplify “everything beautiful” that He has made.

The Pop Up Floral Corner die also works beautifully with the inspirational messages from the Happy Wishes transparent set. I’m not sure that detailed border really needed more embellishment, but I love finding a space to add those little Finches. Did you see it?

I have a friend who has asked why we do so few masculine cards. She has a valid point, so here is a card using the Thank You Squares hexagon die, cut twice adjacent on the cardstock. For this card I used the brother sentiment from the Brother/Sister die set. I used two shades of brown from the Distress Oxide inks for a background and the result reminds me of suede. I don’t think any male will object to the touches of blue. This design would work for Father’s Day, birthday, or any occasion celebrated by a guy.

Itchy Feet

Recently I experienced a bout of “itchy feet”. No, not a fungus or allergic reaction; just a time when I felt restless and bored with the status quo.

Mr. RWS and I have lived longer in this house than any home we’ve owned. In the earlier years of our marriage, we seemed to have developed a pattern of buying a house, updating and upgrading it and then moving on to the next. After doing this four times in seventeen years, we then moved to an apartment to prepare for our full time RV’ing adventure which lasted almost five years and included owning a little home in Arizona. So twelve years in this home seems like several lifetimes some days.

I remember vividly the day we moved into this 1800 square foot brick ranch. Not only was I amazed at all the square footage (after life in a 35 ft. trailer) I was excited about all the space in the attached garage. So much empty space; so much room to move around without bumping into anyone or anything.

Mr. RWS and I painted each room a vivid color, including a shade called “Copper Penny” for the bathroom. We had sold our little house in Arizona along with much of the furniture so we had the fun, and stress, of buying new furniture for this home.

As I look around now, I realize we have replaced all the light fixtures, added ceiling fans, installed new carpeting and some hardwood floors. We replaced the window coverings, the windows and the roof. Over the years, each room has been repainted more than once. Of course, over the past year or so many of the appliances and mechanicals have been replaced. Mr. RWS designed and planted landscaping for the totally blank back yard that came with the house. The trees he planted from little pots are now full grown. We have also filled up the empty spaces in the garage.

While it might sound like a lot of work and expense, we enjoy doing those things (mostly) and it makes life interesting to have a change in surroundings now and then.

Old habits die hard, they say, and now that there isn’t much more to do with this house, it seems to me like we should be moving on.   Mr. RWS is not feeling those itchy feet, however.

When Vicki and Dave, the couple who cared for Cooper when we traveled, sold their beautiful lake view home and followed their dream to an island off the Carolina coast, I felt sadness that they were leaving, but also some jealousy that they had the courage to make such a big change in order to follow their dream of a beach style life.

I could be talked into an island off the Carolina coast, or a home near a beach in Florida. I sometimes think about returning to Wisconsin, until I remember the fierce winters.

Some days I even find myself yearning for a free standing condo in one of the communities not too far from where we are now. The idea of a club house and a calendar of events is appealing and being free of yard maintenance even more so.

There are days that I imagine moving next door to any of the stamping friends I’ve made along the way. It wouldn’t take much coaxing on those days for me to start packing.

And then reality arrives, as it must. Our home is a perfect retirement home. The major expenses are behind us. We are still able to do the maintenance and repairs. I still enjoy walking from the back of the house to rediscover with joy the front rooms as we furnished and decorated them. The fact that we have lived here this long without even rearranging the living room furniture tells me we got it right the first time.

I have to accept that our days of buying and selling homes are behind us. We probably have one more move left, and that will be to the place we spend the last chapter of our lives. While I am not sure where that will be, I do know that if we don’t make that decision, others may have to make it for us.

So, for now, I will put my itchy feet into my new running shoes and let them get so tired on the treadmill that there will be no more restlessness. I must convert that feeling of discontent into an attitude of gratitude. So for now, dear friends and family, there is no need to worry that I might show up as your new neighbor. For now, I will be grateful for my brick ranch that has no wheels that we lovingly changed from a house to our home.

Good things come in three’s and here are three Thank You’s from the Thank You Squares die set, cut in a row down the middle of my cardstock. I backed the cutouts with a cheery floral sheet from the Summertime paper pack. That Thank You Squares die set will soon be indispensable for making quick and impressive thank you notes.

Penny Black’s brushstroke stamps are the most beautiful floral images in the stamping world. If you, like me, are unsure how to bring these images to life, there are several Penny Black videos done by Jill Foster and Micheline Jourdain demonstrating various techniques. For this card, I used Micheline’s method of simply patting color directly from Distress ink pads onto the stamp, while it is in a MISTI stamp positioner. I stamped the image several times, adding some highlights with various inks. Since this card is a replacement for the first card I did which somehow landed on top of an open ink pad, I was reluctant to do any more with it than you see here. You can be sure I will be spending time practicing alternate ways to use these gorgeous images.

Once again I added several shades of Distress inks directly to my MISTI-mounted stamp. This time, after stamping the Flower Lanterns image several times, I used a watercolor brush and water to smooth out the color a bit. Again, I was overly cautious and quit before I could cause damage with my uncertain watercolor abilities. I am happy with my CAS look and have more brush stroke stamps to practice with. Hopefully I will find the courage to add a watercolor wash background to future brushstroke images. Thankfully, there are videos to help me along. Jill Foster did a series of short videos when the Poetic release was announced. You can find them here.

Finally, and at last, Cooper kept his appointment with Christina last week. Mr. RWS drove Cooper to his 7:30 a.m. appointment and unknown to me, left instructions to go even shorter with his coat and shorten his floppy ears. Like I said last week about my haircut, it will grow back.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-409 Faith, 51-306 Butterfly Border

Card No. 2: 30-419 Happy Wishes, 51-345 Finches, 51-351 Pop Up Floral corner

Card No. 3: 40-473 Butterfly Trio, 51-336 Brother/Sister, 51-346 Thank You Squares

Card No. 4: 51-346 Thank You Squares, 80-016 Summertime

Card No. 5: 40-546 Dancing Daisies, 30-406 All Great Things

Card No. 6: 30-423 Banner Sentiments, 51-352 Birds and Banners, 40-547 Flower Lanterns


18 Comments leave one →
  1. Marliese permalink
    June 3, 2017 3:19 am

    The thoughts: Love your cards as always. Happy to see that Cooper is ready for a hot summer. Would love to have you as my stamping neighbor.

  2. Teresamnj permalink
    June 3, 2017 5:20 am

    Beautifully written post! I love your card creations!

  3. Trish Gutuskey permalink
    June 3, 2017 5:24 am

    Love your cards, and really enjoy your littlenstories. Thanks for sharing

  4. mjmarmo permalink
    June 3, 2017 5:47 am

    Such beautiful cards!

  5. jane harrah permalink
    June 3, 2017 6:56 am

    I know the need for living near the shore. We are in the process of moving to our final home, in Lewes Delaware, near the ocean. It is a decision we left till late in life which makes it more difficult but we are getting through it. We will love our new home and I am excited. I hope you enjoy your choices! Love the new cards and listening to your life. Thought I would share a taste of mine. I will miss my stamping buddies in Maryland but need the ocean, like life itself!

  6. DebbieP permalink
    June 3, 2017 8:42 am

    Happy Birthday! And thank you for another enjoyable read on Saturday morning. I really look forward to your beautiful cards and life stories. I know what you mean about the need to move. My husband and I were in the Air Force for 20 years and moved every few years. My husband retired and we have been in the same place for 20 years now and I have itchy feet too! He will retire from the Post Office soon and we will spend extended time each year on the mainland traveling in our home-built RV so I hope that will put an end to the itchy feet.

  7. barbara lassiter permalink
    June 3, 2017 9:22 am

    Love Penny Black brushstroke stamps(none better) and your beautiful cards. Cooper looks cuter than ever with his new do!

  8. June 3, 2017 10:17 am

    Well Judy…as usual your cards are splendid! Have to tell you – since you have also followed my story – that Jim is now in his heavenly home, and I in a one bedroom apartment in Capital Manor, a non-profit continuing care retirement community. After living in a 1600 sq. ft. home on 5 1/2 wooded acres, it is a BIG change, but a welcome one! The bottom line is – I love it! So much to do and so many amenities that it is difficult to decide what to do…and of course, there is still my studio which is working well for me against one wall in the living room…couldn’t be better! When you make your last move in retirement, consider it…would love to have you as a neighbor here in Salem, OR!!!!
    Paper Hugs,

    • Judy Jung permalink
      June 3, 2017 11:56 am

      So happy to hear such good news, Jan!! There are so many ways to live a life and I am so happy your choice is just what you needed to do. The Pacific Northwest is beautiful country! I will add it to our list!! Hugs.

      • June 3, 2017 4:32 pm

        Yes…and be sure to contact me if you even come this way!!!!

  9. June 3, 2017 7:08 pm

    I liked the Pop Up Corner Floral at first sight; that little bird you added is just too cute!

  10. Dawn T permalink
    June 3, 2017 7:33 pm

    Such elegant cards and love the story. As a child I moved around a lot and since I’ve been married we’ve had 6 houses…been in the last one for 25 years. Can’t imagine moving again.

  11. Jill Groom permalink
    June 3, 2017 9:58 pm

    Simply beautiful cards – thank you for inspiring us with your ideas. My finches dies are winging their way from the US to Australia .. can’t wait until they get here!

  12. June 4, 2017 6:48 pm

    Oh I had to laugh–had the same thing happen when hubby took Fritz to the groomer one time! Beautiful, creative cards, Judy–really love how you cut the thank you die 3 times down the middle!

  13. donna mikasa permalink
    June 4, 2017 7:42 pm

    Beautiful cards, wonderful story, and a very handsome haircut!

  14. Diane F permalink
    June 6, 2017 7:52 am

    What a wonderful set of cards this week – so elegant. Thanks for all the inspiration.

    I get where you are coming from with itchy feet. Moving 15 times in 33 years of marriage – different cities and countries – I am still trying to get my head around our purchase of a forever home. What this home has given us is peace of mind for when we get old and when there is only one of us left. We wanted rural but in a community in South West England and that is exactly what we got. We are happy to be making friends who will, hopefully, be with us a long time. When we get itchy feet we go off and explore this amazing country with such a rich history. It’s cheaper than moving again !!

    Cooper is looking very smart with his new haircut. It does suit him.

  15. Kathy H permalink
    June 8, 2017 8:38 pm

    Cooper’s little quips just crack me up! Thank you for that!

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