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Runs with Scissors

September 9, 2017

Hello, Dear Readers. As I write this, sunshine has returned to my corner of Alabama after several rainy and windy days. I think Harvey was swishing his tail in spite as he left for wherever depleted hurricanes go. We citizens of Alabama were more than willing to accept Harvey’s rain for a couple of days so he would, at last, ignore Texas.

This week, each time I found myself inconvenienced about some trivial thing or other, I thought of the residents of Texas and realize how fortunate I am to be safe and dry. I have declared my home to be a “whine free” zone for the duration of the Harvey cleanup.

Did you ever have an idea creep into your head without knowing where it came from? I’ve been wondering why I decided to go black and white for several cards today. Perhaps it was the new package of black cardstock sitting on my desk.  Perhaps I was craving clean and simple. Perhaps it was curiosity: could there be a one step process for using these awesome cling Brushstroke stamps?

Do not adjust your monitors. You haven’t lost your color. The first three cards really ARE done in shades of black, white and silver.

I had been working with the Bell and Berries cling stamp, fresh from watching Jill Foster’s super video (here). However, my work did not look like her work. The black cardstock was at hand and a light bulb went off. I reinked my stamp with Memento Luxe white ink and voila! I loved the result! All the fine details appeared and I emphasized a few with my white pen. Would this work with the other brushstroke stamps?

This time it was the Holly Sprig cling stamp using Delicata silver ink. In real life, the silver ink is more interesting than the white, as it has a bit of shimmer to it. However, the white ink photographs better. After I stamped the Holly Sprig image, I replaced it in my Misti with the Amaryllis stamp.

This may be my favorite of the three. The Amaryllis doesn’t use up all the “white” space and seems more at home on her black background. (Spelling “amaryllis” isn’t easy).

After a day of these three images sitting on my work space, I came back and finished them by cutting them out with the Antique Frames die set and mounting them on white cardstock. I loved the bright white trim around the edges. Next step was to die cut a sentiment for each image using the Greetings and Exultations die sets, thus adding a bit more bright white for contrast. I added texture with white Nuvo Crystal Drops.

We can be real artists with awesome results when we use the unique Penny Black brushstroke and scenic style stamps. The videos and designer examples provide the “how to” for the many ways to make these images work with any technique.

Red Cross Shelter

We have all seen the incredible news reports showing the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey as it came ashore in the Gulf region of Texas. Since it was in no hurry to move on, record breaking amounts of rain quickly put an area larger than some states under water. I am sure we all shared similar thoughts: where are these people going to go to escape their flooded homes? Thankfully, there are people and agencies that plan for the unimaginable and very rapidly there were shelters set up for the weary citizens of flooded Texas cities.

I look at the pictures of the people in the shelters and in my head I hear the crying babies, the barking dogs, the loud voices, the sounds of people moving around and tossing on their cots. There is the coughing, the sneezing and snoring of disturbed sleep.

Spending time in a Red Cross emergency shelter was never an item on my “bucket list”, but it happened anyway. Maybe that’s why I empathize with the people in the shelters and can hear those sounds in my head.

It all happened one early spring when Mr. RWS and I, along with my single younger brother, planned a road trip from our home in Wisconsin to visit my sister and her family for Easter in Alabama. I was home packing, the men were at work and as the day wore on, the light snowfall that had begun that morning began to pick up and the predictions showed that a major snow storm was heading to the Illinois border, where we were headed.

I checked in with the “guys” and suggested we postpone our trip for a day, giving the storm time to pass and the plows time to clear the highways.

Of course, due to my reputation of being terrified of snowy and icy roads, my concerns were minimized and the decision was made to leave after work as planned. I did insist, however, on a promise that if I no longer felt safe continuing, that we would stop for the night and continue the next day. Mr. RWS and my brother agreed. Looking back, I realize they were probably crossing their fingers while they promised.

I will spare you some of the details of the frightening trip on snowy roads that became scarier and more harrowing as we crossed the Illinois border. In addition, we were in heavy “rush” hour traffic and the friction of so many tires crunching the snow was creating very icy road conditions.

I realized things were only going to get worse and asked (begged) that we stop for the night while a motel room might still be available. I must have offended their pride by even suggesting such a thing as all memory of the promise they made was wiped out. And so we crept along on a highway thick with ice, by now in the dark with a blinding snowfall.

After several hours of driving at a tedious 25 mph, the men were ready to surrender. I think the announcement on the radio declaring the highway closed may have influenced their decision. And so, like pilgrims, we began stopping at every motel along the way. Every place we stopped was packed with travelers filling up every inch of space. We didn’t bother to ask about the luxury of an entire room being available. We would have gladly accepted floor space.

The last place we stopped had information about a Red Cross shelter open in Effingham, another fifty miles south. Fifty miles might as well have been 500! However, it was either that or freeze in our car on the side of the road.

Effingham officials had opened a large park pavilion and set up hundreds of cots for weary travelers. A welcomed shelter from the storm, but unfortunately, the building was not heated and there was a shortage of blankets.

We were not allowed to stay together. There were separate areas for men, for women, for families with children and people with dogs. By the time we arrived, having made the usual four hour trip in almost ten, the shelter was crowded with folks who wisely left the highway when it closed. The donated food was almost gone and there were only a few pieces of KFC and about a dozen tacos left.

As angry as I was with my traveling companions, I did not hesitate to take the last pieces of chicken and happily left my picky eater brother with the tacos he refused to eat.

I wearily stretched out on my blanketless cot and the pleasant conversation I had with the young Naval officer on the neighboring cot helped pass the time and distracted me from the cold. Thankfully, Mr. RWS came to check on me during the night and brought me his blanket. That went a long way toward my forgiving him for our ending up in a Red Cross shelter.

The next morning brought sunshine and the decision to continue our trip. We were grateful for the shelter and the community of Effingham, but couldn’t wait to be in our heated car! The roads were still thick with ice, but sunshine helped and we drove slowly for an hour until like magic we left the ice for clear roads all the way to Alabama.

This is one of those family stories that is retold many times, sometimes with alternative facts, but finally and at last my husband and brother have admitted I was right.

Here is my colorized version of the Bell and Berries cling stamp image. For the leaves and berries, I colored directly onto the stamp with Tombow markers and then smoothed the color with a damp paint brush. For the bell, I applied Distress ink directly onto the stamp. I added some accents with my white pen. I followed Jill’s video instructions and masked off the image and then distressed the background and overstamped with the Letter Background stamp.

Can you tell I had fun making the background for this Peace and Holly diecut? It’s a blend of several Memento Luxe inks, liberally splattered with white Copic ink. I loved splattering, but next time I will put my project inside a box before flicking white stuff! This time I used the Snowflake Stitch Frames die for the border.

I couldn’t let this post go by without one “cute” card. The kitty is from the To All … transparent set and he seems to be hanging from the Merry Christmas diecut. Speaking of hanging, I’ve hooked the ornament from the Ornamental Branch die set over the letter “C” just for fun. Again, the Snowflake Stitch Frames die set created that sweet border.

Cooper is spending more time in his backyard kingdom now that the weather is cooler. He is not a warm weather dog, in spite of his southern roots. I love that he is secure and confident enough to express a preference. He has been known to plant all four feet firmly on the concrete driveway to let us know it is too hot to go for a walk, thank you.

Again, it is time for clean up and pick up. The scissors are stowed, the tiny vacuum has done its job on the itty bitty scraps. It’s been joyful spending time with you and sharing what I’ve done with the Be Merry release. Next time, Halloween and autumn for sure! Thank you for your comments and for stopping by the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 40-576 Bell and Berries, 51-174 Greetings, 51-397 Antique Frames

Card No. 2: 40-578 Holly Sprig, 51-174 Greetings, 51-397 Antique Frames

Card No. 3: 40-577 Amaryllis, 51-060 Exultations, 51-397 Antique Frames

Card No. 4: 40-576 Bell and Berries, 51-060 Exultations, 1999L Letter Background

Card No. 5: 51-367 Peace and Holly, 51-375 Snowflake Stitch Frames

Card No. 6: 30-445 To All …, 51-248 Merry Christmas, 51-345 Snowflake Stitch Frames, 51-368 Ornamental Branch


18 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2017 12:50 am

    it is so scary to drive on ice. doing it at night is just unacceptable!! yikes. loving these stamps and the silver on black! so unique and fresh. all the cards are great!

  2. Gina Nichols permalink
    September 9, 2017 3:57 am

    Thanks for sharing your travel story! We, as Women are always RIGHT!! Lol 🤔😬👌🏻

  3. September 9, 2017 5:27 am

    Your black and white cards (and silver!) are amazing and I can’t wait to try that out with some of my clings! And I could totally relate to your Winter drive as I live in Michigan and have more memories than I care to remember of driving in blinding snow and ice. Never did have to spend time in a shelter though and my heart breaks for what the people of Texas are going through and now the people in Irma’s path too! I’ll be checking back in next week…thanks for sharing!! :0)

  4. September 9, 2017 6:39 am

    Love the black and silver cards they look fab. Know how you feel about driving on the icy roads. Being in the UK we don’t get the tornados and hurricanes like other countries but we have had the odd really bad storm but have only been caught out in it a couple of times and know how scary that is thank goodness.

  5. September 9, 2017 6:41 am

    I have also spent a night in Effingham due to icy roads but at least there were hotel rooms available….and I still live in Wisconsin:) Love your stories and am also a huge fan of Penny Black stamps and dies. Your cards are beautiful.

  6. September 9, 2017 6:44 am

    Do keep Cooper in when the wind picks up. He might take flight and that would be not good. Even N. Ala. and Ms. are going to have a visit from this crazy storm so be safe. Let’s just hope it is a short visit and the craft room doesn’t get too messed up.

  7. Shirley Kramer permalink
    September 9, 2017 6:55 am

    I just love your stories and your beautiful cards. Thank you!!!!

  8. Judy permalink
    September 9, 2017 7:50 am

    I agree with you on not wanting to travel on ice. I pretty much don’t drive in the winter here in Wisconsin unless I know the roads are bare and no storm is predicted
    LOVE your colorized version of the Bell and Berries stamp! So vibrant–makes you want to celebrate the holiday.
    My favorite is the kitten card. So cute!

  9. creatingincolors permalink
    September 9, 2017 8:04 am

    The black and white and silver looks gorgeous! Must try! Actually I’m liking everything from the Be Merry release and agonized over what choices I could make within my budget. And you were definitely right to want to avoid driving on snow and ice, not to mention after dark. In my book that all equals hibernating at home!

  10. September 9, 2017 8:09 am

    Oh what a story, Judy! I used to have to close my eyes the whole way through the mountains to get to the ski area & that was with a tiny bit of snow or ice on the road! Love your cards–so unique with the white/silver & black! The colored version is a stunner & you’ve made me want to play with my brushstroke stamps! Very clever the hang the ornament from the “c”–adorable card! Can’t believe 2 big hurricanes so close together–praying people make smart decisions. A pat on the head for Cooper–Fritz agrees about the cooler temps! Big hugs, Greta

  11. September 9, 2017 10:57 am

    Your black and white/silver cards are inspired! I also find driving in snow very intimidating. I found my self driving up a mountain is a freak snow storm. The road was so narrow and icy that I couldn’t turn around. So up the mountain we went in 2nd gear till we reached our destination. We were the last ones in!!

  12. karenajo permalink
    September 9, 2017 2:45 pm

    Love your black and white card ideas and the inspiration from all your other creations today. Thanks for the travel story – have never been in a shelter as you did, but a couple times in snowy, icy and rainy storms I wished there had been a safe haven to wait it out ! Cooper is so cute – love your pictures of him !

  13. mckcampbell permalink
    September 9, 2017 5:58 pm

    your cards are always so enjoyable to see along with your stories. I do know the feeling of being ignored even when you know that you know you are right. Glad you lived through it to tell the story I just pray that many live through this rage of hurricanes to tell the story later at some point. Hugs to little fluff:)

  14. Vicky S. permalink
    September 9, 2017 6:11 pm

    Your black & white cards are beautiful. We had a time like that. I also tried to talk everyone out of going but no we would beat the storm & of course we didn’t there was 6 of us in 2 cars when it got bad we found a motel with one room. So all of us in 2 double beds
    & a roll away. I don’t think any of us got any sleep. In the morning the snow plows had been thru & we made the rest of the trip just fine.

  15. mjmarmo permalink
    September 10, 2017 8:20 am

    Such pretty cards! We have also made trips in such conditions. Glad you safely made it to shelter.

  16. Sheila permalink
    September 10, 2017 1:01 pm

    Love the silver and white cards, now I know what I can do with those stamps. Jill Foster is just way too talented. LOL But I love to watch her put one of those together so effortlessly. Love your story about the ice, being from KY we had our share of snow and ice. But now I’m here in earthquake country where we can go to the snow or the desert or the beach.

  17. jane harrah permalink
    September 11, 2017 6:17 am

    Great cards and a great story. Feeling the pin from Harvey and Irma and the poor souls who have lost so much. Praying for safety for all and the ability to rebuild.

  18. Kathi K permalink
    September 11, 2017 9:25 am

    Wow Judy I can relate – although I was stuck on a road in the middle of a blizzard in Buffalo, in the car by myself. Fortunately, I had a full tank of gas and a fully charged phone, and the woman behind me needed my phone to call her loved ones as hers had died. We ended up spending the night in my car, giving updates to our families, and became blizzard buddies. In the morning, some wonderful men came to shovel us out, and I was home to my family. We exchanged Christmas cards for years. I’ve learned to always be prepared when the weather looks bad, and I’m stronger than I think! On second thought, I can stay home now (retired), CASE your Christmas cards, and watch the flakes fly. Love your stories. Prayers to Texas and Florida.

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