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Runs with Scissors

September 23, 2017

Can you feel that breeze? That’s September speeding by. I wish we could find a way to make these beautiful fall months stay around longer. There would be more days to enjoy the changing colors and the cooler temperatures. I remember the beautiful Wisconsin autumns and how hard it was for me to enjoy them while dreading the coming Wisconsin winters.

There is nothing, however, preventing me from enjoying the Be Merry release as I continue to make Christmas cards here in the Penny Black studio. I am so happy that everything I need is here for me to enjoy. Once I reunited with my scissors, there was no stopping me.

There are twenty-four different patterns included in the Festive and Frosty designer paper pad that is part of the Be Merry release. I’ve combined this sweet bird pattern with the Peace and Holly die as well as the Edger die. I like using designer paper for backgrounds not only to save time, but to enhance my holiday cards.

For this card, I masked off the right portion of the Santa’s Visit stamp, inked the remaining portion, removed the tape and then stamped with black Versafine ink onto my cardstock. I decided not to add any color, but just enjoy the calm snow scene as it appears here. The sentiment is from the Holiday Snippets clear set and I think ties in well with the Santa and reindeer flying by.

I had so much fun experimenting with downsizing the Santa’s Visit image that I made it even smaller and this is the result. I can visualize this image gracing the front of note cards or being used for masculine cards. Keeping this image in its black and white state reminds me of an artistic etching. My next experiment with this stamp will be to use only the right portion of the image, which will eliminate the Santa image and make the stamp even more versatile.

Gratitude 2

Hot shower. I don’t know when I started saying a prayer of gratitude every time I turned on the hot water in my shower. I know it must have been a long time ago because it seems like I’ve done that forever. It’s like a little gift every time I turn that shiny knob to “on”. I never forget to say “thank you”.

It doesn’t matter how difficult or frustrating my morning has been, when I finally make the decision to hit the “pause” button of life and take my shower everything else fades and gratitude for my hot running water takes over.

Sometimes I make the decision to start my days with housework or laundry and postpone the shower until later in the day. That never ends up being a good decision. All it takes to ruin my morning is a glimpse in a mirror as I pass by and see my “bed head” hair, sticking up at crazy angles. My unwashed, no makeup face must belong to someone else, I think. And, horrors, what if someone comes to the door?

That blessed hot water is like an eraser that smoothes down the shaggy edges of both my hair and my mood. The pleasant aroma of the body wash and shampoo soothes my nerves and reminds me that we need beauty in our lives.

I’ve written before about my husband’s mission trip to Ethiopia to install water pumps in wells for communities where the women walk at least ten miles to collect water. But first they must have a supply of firewood on hand, which they also collect on foot, traveling many miles.

This is a photo my husband took while in Ethiopia of a woman bearing the bundle of wood that she will be taking to her home. Most will be used for cooking fires: and some will heat the precious water for bathing.

It didn’t take this photo or the mission trip to make me appreciate hot running water as much as I do, however. Hot water has always been a means of comforting achy bones and muscles. I’ve always believed any ache or pain should first be treated with hot water soaking or showering. If it persists after that, further measures can be taken.

We have the luxury where we live of an abundance of water. This is very different from living in Arizona or traveling in our RV full time. I am grateful that my showers can last longer than the few minutes we used to allow ourselves for showering when water was in short supply.

The technology of hot water showers hasn’t changed too much; a large vessel to heat the water and a system of pipes to allow the water to exit through the shower head. Shower stalls can be fancy or plain. Bathrooms have become design projects with an incredible array of possibilities. Marble, tile and river rock installed in varying patterns along with techy features that allow for regulating temperature, pressure and angle may add to the experience but it is that liquid sunshine – hot water- that is the star of the showering experience.

I am grateful for hot showers.

A simple, easy peasy card, using the Jingle Bells die set and designer paper from the Holiday Trimmings paper pack. I love those jingle bells with the delicate bow! I think that bow may find itself on future cards, Christmas or not! So much potential with this die set by varying the background paper and color scheme.

Who doesn’t love a red, white and silver color combination for Christmas? And when you add an adorable hedgy stamped from the Hedgy Joy stamp and die set, there is even more to love. This time I’ve cut the Jingle Bells from silver cardstock and topped them with the delicate bow in red. That wonderfully appropriate sentiment is from the Sweetest Moments clear set, which has an assortment of holiday sentiments.

The Be Merry release contains several clear sets of holiday sentiments and I wanted to make a card with the sentiment as the focus. This large message written in a beautiful script is from the Joyful Wishes set, which I have balanced with the cardinal from the Festive Season clear set. Both images were heat embossed so that I could create the vintage looking background with blended Distress inks. The Antique Frame die added the beautiful edges. Next time I would plan my design so the bow from the Jingle Bells set could be included.

The other evening, Mr. RWS was at church practicing with his music group. Cooper really misses his buddy when he is gone. Usually, I have the wooden front door open so Cooper can watch through the glass storm door. For some reason, I had shut the door, not thinking about Cooper’s need to keep watch. Cooper solved that problem by somehow getting himself onto the bed in the extra bedroom where he could see out the window. I have decided that Cooper believes his intense watching and waiting is what brings Mr. RWS home again.

And right after Cooper’s photo is when I clean up my mess and stow the scissors until next time. It amazes me how quickly I am able to restore order from the chaos I manage to create. The secret is Penny Black has a place for everything, and those places are all labeled. That’s a system I should put in place at home, instead of the “wonder” system I use now: as in “I wonder where I put that?” But the one place I never lose track of is the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. I love browsing the Penny Black creations I find there.

Note: I will not be running with my scissors next Saturday, the 30th. I am off to visit Evelyn and Jack in Milwaukee to collect hugs and make pancakes. The love I have for them does not amaze me as much as the love they have for me.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 51-367 Peace and Holly, 51-209 Edger, 80-017 Festive and Frosty

Card No. 2: 30-307 Holiday Snippets, 40-561 Santa’s Visit

Card No. 3: 40-561 Santa’s Visit

Card No. 4: 51-365 Jingle Bells, 80-013 Holiday Trimmings

Card No. 5: 30-436 Sweetest Moments, 30-447 Hedgy Joy, 51-376 Snowflake Stitch Frame, 51-389 Hedgy Joy Cut Out

Card No. 6: 30-434 Joyful Wishes, 30-442 Festive Season, 51-397 Antique Frame


21 Comments leave one →
  1. dawnnz permalink
    September 23, 2017 1:37 am

    Great cards and I concur with your gratitude for hot water showers. Enjoy your trip to see your grandies…

  2. Ginger permalink
    September 23, 2017 6:29 am

    My favorite is the Santa’s Village card. You are right . It is a perfect image for a masculine card. Thank you . Be safe. Please know you will be missed.

  3. creatingincolors permalink
    September 23, 2017 6:41 am

    I love the cards you created with the Santa’s Visit stamp! What beautiful images you made with masking and black ink! I also like your reminder of the importance of clean water, and how lucky we are when we have it on demand at the touch a lever. Enjoy next weekend full of hugs, pancakes, and special friends. We will faithfully await your return, just like Cooper waiting for his best friend to come home (precious).

  4. September 23, 2017 6:51 am

    Penny Black Christmas is a must.
    You know…Cooper just might have something here. In the past our dog could hear my husband coming home when he was over a mile away and start wagging her tail. As a result My ‘pet’ name for him became Daddy Wags. He didn’t seem to mind. there is a lot more to the animal world than most people understand.

  5. Julie permalink
    September 23, 2017 7:29 am

    When I was growing up, my parents had a timer on the shower so we could not ” waste” water. Ever since then, I am conscious of water use, geateful every day for my morning shower. During the 5-year drought in N Calif., we took “navy” showers; once the drought ended, I was once again grateful for a steady supply of glorious hot water!

  6. Beth permalink
    September 23, 2017 7:42 am

    Thanks Judy for ‘allowing” me to leave Santa’s Visit in black and white. I do this a lot….with black, sepia, grey etc.
    I’ve seen the videos with the masking, sponging, and water coloring. Beautiful, but a bit tedious on those small scaled homes for my limited skill set. It is a large stamp with a whole lot going on. I like doing maybe just one red barn amidst the black/white.
    Brilliant idea to scale down the image. Why don’t I think of that stuff!
    Just love to read your stories. You are a cleverly gifted writer.

  7. September 23, 2017 7:51 am

    Have a wonderful trip, Judy! Those kids are growing up so fast–glad you get to see them again before the winter hits! Gotta say, these are some of my favorite cards yet! I totally adore the scenes done in black & white! Now that is something I can do! That must be a great paper pad–love what you’ve used here! I need to use some of what I have & you’ve inspired me!

  8. DebbieP permalink
    September 23, 2017 9:23 am

    Love, love, love all of today’s cards. I think I could make those! And they seem like a great way to use up some of the large Christmas paper stash I have. Thank you for the ideas and inspiration. Enjoy your trip up north – the colors should be really beautiful. Growing up in Michigan, fall was my favorite season. It still is – even in Hawaii (and yes there are seasons here). Like all of us, Cooper will be happy to see you when you return.

  9. mjmarmo permalink
    September 23, 2017 10:12 am

    BEautiful cards! I cannot function without a shower first thing once I get up. We are truly blessed.

  10. September 23, 2017 10:16 am

    Awesome post! Love your clever use of “Santa’s Visit” ! Beautifully done with each and every card, Judy! You are so right about hot shower…. things we take for granted! Cooper is a true Gem!!

  11. Gayle M permalink
    September 23, 2017 10:34 am

    We have so much to be thankful for, running water, what a blessing! Love your words and cards.

  12. September 23, 2017 11:53 am

    Your Peace and Holly card is sooooo cheerful! All the cards are an inspiration actually – thanks so much! Will miss you next Saturday, but trust you will have an enjoyable trip and fun with your friends!!! You deserve the BEST!!!
    I am also grateful for ‘hot showers’…eases those aches and pains and restores an optimistic outlook for the day – Thank you Lord!
    Paper Hugs

  13. alexandra s.m. permalink
    September 23, 2017 2:34 pm

    They are all so beautiful Judy but if I had to choose only one, I would pick the back and white scene. Fab on that red background!
    Have a wonderful visit!

    • Linda Brown permalink
      September 23, 2017 3:18 pm

      I always look forward to reading your post and checking out your lovely cards. Thanks for the great reminder of how blessed we are!

  14. Jill Groom permalink
    September 23, 2017 5:51 pm

    Love your cards and the reference to the wonder’ system. But oh the universe is cruel – why oh why does your post coincide with the failure of our hot water system .. on a long weekend!! Still – there will be added gratitude for those SHORT hot showers (Western Australians do NOT have unlimited water) when the system is restored. And my 15 yr old will get to experience how my Grandma and great-aunt bathed as an added bonus.

  15. Marilyn S permalink
    September 23, 2017 6:45 pm

    Love the Hedgy card it’s almost taking the place of Snowy cards from last year…almost. I also like the edger die. Thank you for all your inspiration.
    Enjoy your trip you will be missed. Love all your photos of Cooper he’s adorable.

  16. September 24, 2017 1:38 pm

    Fun and fabulous read, that I always enjoy x Yes a big thank you for water and a shower. Well done Cooper…one clever dog x Have a lovely time away and collect lots of hugs…and pancakes too! Fabulous cards with great inspiration, thank you x

  17. Diane F permalink
    September 24, 2017 1:59 pm

    Just love the black and white cards using the Santa’s visit stamp – stunning. I can totally relate to the “wonder system”. I have 3 ceiling to floor cupboards full of craft items and have gotten round to labelling the sentiment stamps and putting the Christmas ones in a separate section other than that it is just plain pot luck ! I tend to spend more time looking for stamps to use and matching background papers than actually crafting !

    Safe travels and enjoy your time with the family. Cooper is just so precious.

  18. jane harrah permalink
    September 25, 2017 4:10 pm

    Hot showers and holiday cards….life is really good. Once again, thanks so much for sharing. Love the tails and tales.

  19. September 26, 2017 1:54 pm

    Great creations as usual !! Thanks for sharing. A lot of love for Cooper is too cute !

  20. Daria permalink
    October 2, 2017 6:58 am

    Wonderful cards–some fun, some beautiful. I especially love the cards you made with Santa’s Visit. Thank you for sharing the details.

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