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Runs with Scissors

July 15, 2017

Hello, hello, hello! I am back from where I’ve been. Thank you to Cooper for letting everyone know I wouldn’t be here for a couple of Saturdays. He is such a good boy. I missed all of you and I missed being in the Penny Black studio.

And, you might ask, where have I been? I wish I could tell you I’ve been to some exotic vacation destination, but the boring truth is I have been home dealing (not too perfectly) with life.

More about all that later; for now, I am happy to share the results of finally making time to do what I love best: playing with Penny Black stamps and dies.

Magnolia Rhapsody is one of the brushstroke stamps from the Poetic release that I hadn’t worked with much. Because I mistakenly put plain cardstock in my MISTI instead of watercolor paper, I decided to try coloring directly onto the stamp with Copic markers, using a spritz of blending solution if necessary to remoisten the alcohol ink. Well, this is what happened. By only coloring very small spaces of the stamp at a time and immediately stamping onto the paper, there was no need to remoisten the Copic ink. At one point, the paper moved a bit, and I liked the result. I love when happy accidents turn into happy endings.

Here I have used two favorite die sets: Thank You Squares and Butterfly Trio, along with the “love” sentiment from the Heartfelt die set. The butterflies are a real deep and dusty purple which is showing up more brown in the photo. There is something about a group of three that pleases my eye.

The Dancing Daisies cling stamp has proven its versatility by its appearances in different colors, different arrangements, solo or in groups, alone or combined with other stamps. Here I’ve colored the stamp by directly applying Distress ink. I used bright yellow for the first layer and then overstamped with deeper shades. This is such a fun technique because you can not predict the result. Someone once said, “Just keep going until you like the result.” (That sounds like Jill Foster!)

Sibling Reunion

There was a time, before I retired, that I held down a responsible full-time job, kept up with the housework and laundry, made an evening meal every weekday, and kept us fed all weekend long, too. In other words, I was good at multi-tasking. For most of my working years, I had at least one child at home, and as many as five. I planted flowers every spring, helped with the raking of leaves that fell from the giant oak trees that filled our yard, and fulfilled my responsibility of power washing and staining the over sized and multi level deck every other year.

I hosted holiday dinners for up to twenty-five family members and the office white elephant Christmas party was always at our home. Mr. RWS was not resting on his laurels while I was buzzing about; he had his own set of chores that kept him busy.

So what does this have to do with anything?

I am easing my way into confessing that I needed a couple of weeks to focus on preparations for not quite three days of out of town company; namely, my brothers and their wives. What I used to do in addition to a full time job now requires my full attention for weeks.

No, there are not a dozen or more brothers! Just two and their lovely wives. Now that I am retired, I needed weeks, not days, to prepare for four out of town visitors, only two of whom were staying at our house. My sister lives nearby and hosted the other couple in her spare bedroom. My sister and I had agreed that during their stay she would make her world famous and much loved Chicken Kiev for one dinner. I would be responsible for one evening meal and two breakfasts for all of us. Well, then there was the snacking and beverages. The last night of their visit, we would go out to dinner.

However, there was the cleaning, the shopping, the menu planning and general freshening and tidying that needed doing here at the RWS household. I did go a bit overboard by adding painting projects to the list.

It all started out with a baseboard in the hallway that had gotten scruffed up by a carpet shampooer. Well, that looked so nice and the color was so perfect, I then scrubbed all the kitchen cabinets and painted over the worn spots and nicks, rejoicing in the miracle of perfectly matching paint.

The driveway needed power washing; the guest room needed a fresh coat of paint; the yard needed some flowers; the garage needed purging; meals needed to be cooked ahead. And the one remaining appliance that had not been replaced this year quit working – the extra refrigerator in the garage. So there was that disaster to clean up after and a new fridge to shop for.

I was running with a vacuum, paint brush, trowel, mop and broom and scrub bucket. And the grocery shopping!! I blessed at least three grocery stores with at least six different trips to stock up on provisions for their three day stay. At one point I had to stop, slow down and realize that I was being a bit ridiculous. Most of my married life I prepared meals for seven every day, several times a day. Why was I in such a panic over once again cooking for seven?

This visit was very important to me and I have to assume to my brothers and their wives who drove twelve hours from Wisconsin to spend time with my sister and me. Who knew when we would all be together again? I wanted everything to be perfect.

And it was. If you don’t count the very hard cooked eggs I served for one breakfast in spite of carefully asking everyone how they would like their eggs cooked. And how did I know my brothers don’t care for cheesecake and prefer a dish of ice cream for dessert?

My brothers are fun and funny, and like the rest of our family, loud. And when they are together the noise and laughter and silliness escalates until the dog hides under the bed and Mr. RWS wishes he could follow. Their wives are saints to put up with all of us when we are together. The games of dominoes and dice and cards were just a means to keep us sitting around the dining room table, munching and sipping and sharing stories and memories.

My brothers skipped one of the breakfasts and chose instead to head to a favorite Southern hamburger shop where burgers are skimpy on meat but you can have a whole bunch of them for $5.00. On their way home they stopped at a store to pick up some candy favorites, just in case the food ran out at my house. When they emptied the contents of their bag onto the table, I was amazed to see that their favorites were my favorites, too. Can the love of Good and Plenty’s, Gummy Bears and Charleston Chews be genetic? We are a family of snackers, a trait handed down from our mother.

The time flew by. Mike and Deb along with Bob and Charlene left our house early in the morning of the fourth of July, to go back to their homes and jobs and responsibilities. Once again, I stood in my very quiet house and wiped the tears and swallowed the lump in my throat. How I hate good-byes! The only way to deal with the sadness is to keep busy, and that I did as I checked the clock all day, calculating where they were at that time and how much longer before their twelve hour trip would be done.

The email that arrived late that evening announcing their safe arrival home was most welcome. Our sibling reunion was officially a memory.

And then it was time for some “cute”: as in a hedgie on a flower, on a doily, on a background made with Distress oxide inks. I think the tiny butterfly adds the Smile factor. The hedgie is from the Just for You mini set and was cut out using the matching Critters die set. The doily is from the Doily Trio die set. So fun being spoiled with matching stamps and dies.

Speaking of cute and not played with enough, these Fancy Cats are so fun! I added the Polaroid die cut to give them a place to hang out.   I added the little white dots to set these cats apart from all the other brown cats out there.

And here is sweet Charlotte. She is probably my favorite of the “ladies” in the Poetic release. This time I have colored her with Copic markers, added some wings from the Butterfly Trio cling stamp set, and blessed her with curly eyelashes. Her dress is paper pieced and then stamped and embossed with flowers from the Flower Medley stamp set. That embossed background paper has been part of my hoard stash for at least fifteen years. Finally, a project worthy of such pretty paper.

We love Cooper. We consider him an important part of our little family. However, I have never dressed him in human type clothes (except for the sweater he wore at Vicki and Dave’s house, that one time). However, when I was shopping for July 4th decorations for the house and yard, this bandana was among the options.   Wearing it didn’t seem to bother him and we loved the look!

Now here we are, so close to the end of this blog post that we might fall off if we are not careful. My newly sharpened scissors are stowed, my mess is put away, and I’ve left Ms. Charlotte behind to become part of the art collection at Penny Black. Speaking of collections, please take time to visit the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to see what’s been posted there. We all love sharing our art and reading kind comments.

My plan is to be back next Saturday; that is, if the build-it-yourself storage cabinet project that Mr. RWS and I are working on in the hot garage is completed by then (and we are still married). It follows naturally that all the appliances have been replaced recently so it is now the turn of “things that do not plug in” to start collapsing, literally. At least it happened the day after the company left. Sigh.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-406 All Great Things, 40-535 Magnolia Rhapsody

Card No. 2: 51-306 Butterfly Trio, 51-093 Heartfelt, 51-246 Thank You Squares

Card No. 3: 30-338 Special Thoughts, 40-546 Dancing Daisies

Card No. 4: 30-424 Just for You, 51-038 Hooray, 51-132 Flights of Fancy, 51-227 Doily Trio, 51-359 Critters

Card No. 5: 30-358 Happy Snippets, 51-037 Polaroid, 51-307 Fancy Cat, 80-016 Summertime

Card No. 5: 30-421 Flower Medley, 40-473 Butterfly Trio, 40-551 Charlotte


21 Comments leave one →
  1. dawnnz permalink
    July 15, 2017 2:33 am

    Awesome cards Judy. I had a real laugh at the time it took to “prepare” for your siblings coming to visit.

  2. donna mikasa permalink
    July 15, 2017 2:37 am

    Welcome back, Judy! I think it’s very important to spend quality time with family, and that supersedes everything else. Love seeing your cards again, and Cooper looking dapper in his patriotic bandana!

  3. July 15, 2017 3:26 am

    So glad you’re back Judy I missed your stories. How lovely having your family stay for a few days and reminiscing. Cooper looks very handsome in his bandana. Card are gorgeous xXx

  4. Trish Gutuskey permalink
    July 15, 2017 4:17 am

    Great cards, good to see you post again, but glad you had a great vacation. I too am retired and was just lamenting the other with a friend that all the things we could do in the past _ work, clean, errands, raise kids, craft etc, now one thing takes the entire day or out attention, we’ll we just chuckle and keep moving on and enjoy the experience. All we can do Right?
    Thanks for share you art, and love your personal stories.

  5. creatingincolors permalink
    July 15, 2017 5:01 am

    Missed you and your beautiful cards. Your story of preparing for your sibling reunion is funny but true life story. But the best thing is that you and your siblings made special time to be together, to laugh, and make more memories. Bless you!

  6. July 15, 2017 8:52 am

    Once again, you made me laugh & get teary, Judy. You did flowers?!–thought you gave them up–haha! Reminded me of the reunions with my brother & sister when my dad was alive. I would take my dad to my brother’s house & my sis would meet us there. We basically just sat around the house talking & laughing–so wonderful! Guess I need people coming to my house as I just can’t seem to get the needed work done around here–haha! My oven gave out, so we got the shock of seeing prices 20 years after we last looked! I didn’t know you could color on rubber with Copics–fabulous card! The cat card is one of the cutest ever & wow–that Charlotte card is art indeed! That bandana was MADE for Cooper–just darling! So glad you’re back!

  7. barbara lassiter permalink
    July 15, 2017 8:53 am

    Your cards are lovely and I really do get it and identify with your abundant preparation for your family’s visit. And you know it was worth all the time and effort for you to spend time together. But I am glad you’ll be back with us running with scissors!

  8. July 15, 2017 9:37 am

    So enjoyed reading your post. I can empathize with most it…why why why to we go over the top when friends/family visit?? But we do and we do it because we care x The most amazing and creative cards…Thank you for sharing x PS Cooper looks sooo cute x

  9. July 15, 2017 9:45 am

    Oh goodness…I am just worn out reading about all of your work getting ready for company. Looking around I can see this needs to be done here but I’m not expecting company any time soon so it will have to wait. Cooper looks smashing in his 4th attire. Good to have you back …great creative goods here.

  10. knurse22 permalink
    July 15, 2017 10:40 am

    I have to be honest and say that those brush stroke stamps are not my thing. My my glory, you had me smiling with the butterfly trio and squares! Love it—and I actually have those three thank you squares. Come Monday morning, I am going to create something with it! And buy those cats dies! LOVE what you did with them, and already am envisioning the cards I will make for California daughter/cat woman!!! Love hedgie, too, and always the ladies!
    Why do we make ourselves crazy for overnight guests?!?!? By the time we finish our ‘chores’ and are ready for them, we are often exhaused. Would we enjoy our visits more if we just relaxed and let the time flow? I don’t know—I am the same as you—but I sure want to try it sometime! Maybe I will tell my brothers to just ‘drop in’ someday—gasp!!! So glad you had a wonderful time to visit and play with family!
    Cooper looks divine in his bandana!

  11. Harriet permalink
    July 15, 2017 11:33 am

    Glad you are back. Oh my, your post reminded me of the years my beloved sister came for a visit. I, too, cleaned, cooked, and decided on things to do. We ended up laughing, crying, eating and marveling in our love. She is gone now so thank you for reminding me of wonderful times.

  12. Sharon Russell permalink
    July 15, 2017 5:43 pm

    Glad your back and I a, doing the exact same thing! I need an inversion table for neck and back issues-which meant redoing two rooms-deep cleaning ensued since we were moving major furniture-which morphed into bedroom and my craft room! Now I am dealing with the leftovers! TONS have gone to trash, thrift store, etc! More to go. limited stuff to attic-mainly EMPTY sotage bins! And Monday I pick up new curtains, etc. for the guest bedroom youngest step son will occupy Sunday. Houseleaners come Tues (psoriatic arthritis and fibro=1x month housecleaners! Glad you had a good visit.

  13. Irene permalink
    July 15, 2017 6:29 pm

    I do declare, I think you did more work in those two weeks than I do in two months. You definitely are not slowing down. When the time comes, I think you’ll be cooking the luncheon for your own funeral, and sending out handmade thank you cards afterwards. Then look out, Sweet Jesus, you’ll be chasing the dustbunnies in heaven. But you ain’t anywhere close to your last hurrah, that’s for sure. And after all that fixing and cooking and entertaining, then you bang out these beautiful cards. I love the hedgie cards, and this one is so, so sweet. Second favorite would be the lovely daisies. Seriously, you are so lucky to have family you get along with. So lucky.

  14. July 16, 2017 1:10 am

    Loved reading about the happy time with your family! I too used to do all that prep time when we would have visitors, not so much anymore. I have developed some major spine problems, Good times and good memories are so precious to keep and hold close in our hearts.

    Enjoyed your beautiful cards and how cute that little Cooper is, with that scarf around his neck. So adorable! I always look forward to Saturday morning coffee with you. Take good care and hugs!

  15. Diane F permalink
    July 16, 2017 7:03 am

    Just love Cooper’s look, it does suit him so.

    Your story about your family reunion bought tears to my eyes. For many years of our lives my sister, brother and myself all lived on different continents. Now my brother and I live in the same country but at different ends and my sister still lives the other side of the world. We got together for a couple of hours last year and it was so special. We too are very noisy and try to out do each other. You talk about the same sweets you all like, well we were discussing what design we would use if we had to build a house from scratch – they were all the same. Thank goodness for modern communications, they make it so easy and cheap for us to all stay in touch.

    Beautiful cards. Just love your designs. Have said it before, you provide me with such inspiration. Thank you.

  16. mjmarmo permalink
    July 16, 2017 7:39 am

    Is’t’ it amazing the things we think we need to do! I also spend weeks cleaning and shopping for company but I have not painted. Those memories are precious!

    Lovely cards this week too!

  17. July 16, 2017 11:07 am

    Thanks so much for entertaining me with your lovely writing but also with those gorgeous cards you created. I particularly love the pretty dancing daisies. That stamp set is on my wish list for sure. And, it is so good to know that in my retirement years I am not the only one who takes forever to get ready for company. And, it wears me out a lot faster too! It is so nice to see them come, but after a few days it is nice to see the tail lights too. LOL

  18. Kathleen Barrett permalink
    July 16, 2017 5:03 pm

    I don’t even like cats – I’m a big dog person – but that cat card is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Your dots really made those cats special!
    You were missed…glad you had a good visit.
    We don’t dress our dogs either, though I have been known to put on a Halloween costume now and again (bumble bee and devil). Cooper looks like he’s ready for a parade! Would neighborhood has one and he would have been a perfect fit!
    So happy you are back!

  19. jane harrah permalink
    July 16, 2017 5:27 pm

    We just moved to Delaware and we are going through the hectic process of trying to find places for everything and make it all work while unpacking so many boxes…………and yet, there are still more boxes………I love your story. It makes me feel better. Are we silly to want things to perfect for folks to come and visit? I don’t think so. And I still have so many boxes to go……….

  20. July 17, 2017 9:49 am

    YEA for happy memories with family and friends…happy for you Judy-worth every moment of hard work you did!!! Your cards are special – each one a treasure. I especially like the Fancy Cats card – I have that set and can’t wait to use those adorable cat dies!!!!
    Paper Hugs,

  21. alexandra s.m. permalink
    July 17, 2017 8:36 pm

    Great post dear Judy and your card are absolutely beautiful!

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