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Runs with Scissors

January 6, 2018

Hello! Is anyone out there? It’s me, Judy, running with my scissors. Cooper and I are back from our holiday break, happy to be snug and warm again in the Penny Black studio. I see that the Christmas tree is gone and all the decorations have been packed away. I do spot a little confetti, however. Penny Black always throws an awesome New Years’ Party! Sorry I missed it this year.

It is my joy to be back and welcoming not only a New Year, but a new Penny Black release, Love and Roses. What makes this release extra special is the inclusion of many Penny Black fan favorites, including some of the woodblock stamps. I’ve used a mix of the brand new and encore items today.

Let’s see if I still know how to do this!

Mimi’s Heart woodblock stamp has been included in the Love and Roses release. I am so happy to see favorite Penny Black stamps again, especially Mimi.   I used the emboss resist technique with the Brick Wall stamp for a background. The Pinwheel die cut my scalloped circle to allow the sentiment from the new Smitten transparent set to show through. I tucked a Soft Caress diecut behind Mimi to add more detail. I love mixing the older stamps and dies with the brand new release!

The Crimson Blush cling stamp is a great addition to the Penny Black collection of beautiful flowers. This one is a very satisfying coloring project, no matter which medium you use. I’ve used Copic markers to color the rose and then fussy cut it. The background is trips of shiny embossed brown cardstock added to the white base. The rose has been placed onto the background with dimensional tape. I used a Circle Tag to add the sentiment, topped with a silver cord bow.

The Love and Roses die is bold and beautiful and big! This die set includes the roses and leaves and is all you need to create a Valentine that makes a statement. This die set will be perfect for wedding and anniversary cards, too. Those diecut roses will be a perfect addition to birthday, thinking of you, and encouragement cards.

The Perfect Gift

In previous Runs with Scissors editions, I’ve mentioned the reputation I have in my family of being the worst gift buyer ever. The Christmas of leather western belts from Mexico comes to mind. I wasn’t sure anyone was going to speak to me again after that. And then there was the year of shirts, identical except for color: I mean, someone had to get the orange one!

I had these failures in mind when Grandson Jack’s third birthday was approaching last November. Happily, there was no need to guess what the Alabama Grandma and Grandpa should send Jack for his birthday. I could just ask him. In keeping with his passion for the color green, Jack shared that he would like a “green ‘dozer”. Translated by Mom and Dad, that is a green bulldozer. I assured my son and his wife that I would be sending the requested gift in time to arrive for his birthday party in mid November. For once, I would be giving the perfect gift.

Well it turned out that green ‘dozers were not so easy to find online. There were green farm sets, green construction sets, and various other green wheeled toys. After a stressful session at the computer I was beginning to question my ability to find Jack a green ‘dozer. Finally, after much browsing and clicking and searching, there it was: a green ‘dozer. The only problem was that it was being shipped from Japan and would not arrive until mid December.

I ordered it anyway, but also ordered several other construction vehicle sets so there would be birthday presents for Jack to open at his party. I knew the green ‘dozer would be welcomed whenever it arrived.

Well, maybe not! I was innocently watching a bit of TV one evening the week before Christmas, when my IPad signaled that a Facetime call was on its way. Happily, I swiped the icon, expecting to see Evelyn and Jack and looking forward to spending some time with them.

Instead, there was son Scott, and the first thing he said to me was, “Mom, are you in a good mood?” “Why,” I said, “Are you about to ruin it?”

And he was!

In his hand he held what looked like a tiny packing box, not even as large as his hand. “This”, he said, “is the packaging for the present you sent Jack.” It took a minute or so for me to comprehend what he was saying. I realized that the green ‘dozer must have arrived, as promised, in mid December. The packaging, though, was a mystery.

And then Scott held up the ‘dozer: The itsy bitsy, teeny weenie, tiny, mini, miniscule ‘dozer. Yes, it was green. Yes, it was a bulldozer. And yes, it was dwarfed by my son’s hand.

Memories of being teased over the years about my gift buying mistakes flooded over me! I had done it again! I began laughing so hard I could not catch my breath. I realized what happened as soon as I saw the tiny vehicle. The description of the bulldozer from Japan included the words “N Scale bulldozer”. I was so excited to find a green bulldozer that I ignored that crucial description. This ‘dozer was meant to be part of an N scale train layout! I mistakenly thought the $14.41 price tag guaranteed a bulldozer of some size.

While we were talking about what had happened, Jack wandered into the kitchen and became part of the conversation.   I asked him if he liked the green ‘dozer Grandma and Grandpa had sent. His answer: “No. It is too small.” I could not disagree with that.

As embarrassed as I was, I couldn’t help but be thankful that the package had not arrived in time to be opened in front of the friends and family attending Jack’s birthday party. The grandparents and aunts and uncles from the other side of the family are always very generous and ingenious when giving gifts to Evelyn and Jack. I always make sure to include a check for the college fund with any gift I give, to make up for my poor gift buying skills.

I do know that this story will live on long after I am gone, along with the stories they already tell about my fast gift failures. I just hope the family remembers that I meant well.

This cling stamp is titled Young Love, but I think late in life, enduring love is sweeter and more treasured. Actually, love has no age. This is another image that is fun to color. This time I used watercolor brush pens. I am learning that I manage watercoloring better if I dilute the colors to softer shades. These two love birds make me smile!

This happy pup is from the new So Loved transparent set. Again, I used my watercolor brush pens, this time going a bit darker.   I added some flowers from the Flower Bunch die set and tucked in a few red hearts. I really like the finished edge that the Cut Out Borders dies create.

Sometimes a girl craves white space! After all, one layer stamping is how we all started. Coloring this image from the From Me to You transparent set was fun and relaxing. Penny Black critters always make me smile and I am happy to see these two again. The new Penny Black sentiments are as at home with the older images as they are with the new images in the Love and Roses release.

Cooper’s winter wardrobe has expanded to include a down vest, thanks to a thoughtful Santa Claus. Don’t you think purple is just the right color for him?   One of Cooper’s favorite Christmas presents is this stuffed Santa, which came complete with a “duck call” noise maker inside its fat tummy.

Once again, it is time to stow the scissors and clean up my mess. I will even vacuum up the last of the confetti from the New Years’ party. I am looking forward to staying inside until this cold snap is over. There is nothing like new stamps and dies to keep a crafter occupied while confined to the indoors.

While I enjoyed my winter break, I am glad to be back with the Penny Black family again. The designers’ work was an inspiration while I was gone. Jill’s amazing videos are inspirational and motivational and a real treat to watch.

Cooper and I send wishes to all of you for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Now it’s time to catch up on browsing the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. See you there!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 40-137 Brick Wall, 51-026 Pinwheel, 51-092 Soft Caress, 4118H Mimi’s Heart

Card No. 2: 40-511 Crimson Blush, 51-204 Circle Tags

Card No. 3: 51-405 Love and Roses

Card No. 4: 30-455 Smitten, 40-587 Young Love

Card No. 5: 30-457 So Loved, 51-133 Cut Out Borders, 51-199 Flower Bunch

Card No. 6: 30-207 From the Heart, 40-276 From Me to You


26 Comments leave one →
  1. Denise permalink
    January 6, 2018 1:24 am

    Judy…your story about the green bulldozer made me laugh inside as I have done the same thing in the past. It definitely put a smile on my face and it felt good to know that I am not alone in messing up gift buying especially for the ones we love. Thank you so much for sharing. You have such a way with words…it is a gift that you have for sure. Have a great day…Denise

  2. Jan Pignanelli permalink
    January 6, 2018 4:54 am

    A funny story! I saw the comparison picture before I finished the explanation and laughed out loud! I bet grandson had fun with his “several other construction sets” hauling the tiny ‘dozer to his imaginary job sites! Love your cards (always) Need to get my Critters out and play til I come up with a sweet Valentines card! Thank you, Judy, for your sharing of words and art!

  3. Marliese permalink
    January 6, 2018 5:42 am

    Judy, you’ve done it again. Great cards, great coloring and, of course, great story.

  4. mjmarmo permalink
    January 6, 2018 6:33 am

    Such lovely cards! I could see myself doing that too with the dozer!

  5. Paula Meuschke permalink
    January 6, 2018 6:44 am

    I don’t know if it matters anymore, but I put toy, green bulldozer in google and it pulled up quite a few. One of them was from John Deere. I would think your gift buying problems would be a treasured memory for your family. And, I love your cards, but your stories are my favorite part of your blog. I love reading them, each and everyone.

  6. jane harrah permalink
    January 6, 2018 7:41 am

    I kind of like the tiny dozer and one day think your grandchild will cherish it. Missed you over the holidays and love hearing from you again and knowing all is well. Happy belated holidays and looking forward to the year ahead with many beautiful cards!

  7. jillianfoster82 permalink*
    January 6, 2018 7:49 am

    Welcome back, Mrs. RWS!!! So happy to see your cards and read your stories. You are the best!

  8. Linda permalink
    January 6, 2018 7:56 am

    So glad you are back. Love your stories and I can relate! Cards are just lively.

  9. wendy gerrity permalink
    January 6, 2018 8:06 am

    What a relief!!! You are back! Welcome home!!

  10. January 6, 2018 8:10 am

    So glad you’re back, Judy! Was worried you might have become an ice sculpture with the cold going clear to the south! Wonderful cards–love that brickwall stamp done in pink, the new roses die & oh my goodness–the loving couple should be framed! Cooper is a cutie, as always! Fritz wears his fleece hand me down jacket from Keesha every time we walk. He’s already wanting it to be summer–haha! Happy New Year!

  11. Verna Angerhofer permalink
    January 6, 2018 8:57 am

    Awesome card designs using the new products and so nice to read your great post again. I always enjoy your stories you tell.

  12. January 6, 2018 9:55 am

    You can never go wrong at John deer or Tractor Supply for these little workers. Of course you might have to float a loan for some of them . LOL
    PB critters are the cutest and the new release is just perfect. Thanks for sharing and I love Coopers new vest.

  13. Julie Cowan permalink
    January 6, 2018 10:07 am

    Your gift-giving stories are a hoot, and you are right–those memories are the ones that will stick out in your family’s minds. I have to say, I appreciate the honesty in your family’s responses. Needless to say, I love your inspiration with the Penny Black products–some of my favorites in the crafting world!

  14. January 6, 2018 10:07 am

    I think your ‘green dozer’ gift is perfect…one day your Grandson will have a ‘miniature’ to place on his desk or shelf still in one piece and can proudly say “my GrandMother gave this to me and I treasure it’! My husband had a large collection of miniature cars and some dozers…our 11 year old grandson, Cody, was thrilled to get this collection when ‘Papa Jim’ slipped to Heaven. Cody does treasure this collection – added to his own already started collection – which Mom and Dad built shelving to hold it all!
    Paper Hugs in the New Year Judy!

    • judka permalink
      January 7, 2018 4:34 pm

      Jan, thanks for putting such a positive spin on my poor shopping decision! How awesome that your grandson has Jim’s collection to enjoy. I wish you a great New Year!

      • January 7, 2018 7:19 pm

        You too! Maybe a hint to your grandson would give him the idea to start his own miniature collection…..lots of grown ups have this kind of collection!!!!

  15. DebbieP permalink
    January 6, 2018 10:43 am

    Ahhhh, my Saturday routine is back to normal. I missed you and am so glad you’re back. Love all your cards today. I don’t know why, but the pink brink wall is my favorite. What shades of pink did you use? And so sorry to hear about the green dozer, but it really made me laugh out loud. I’m sure years from now, it will all become one of the family stories and maybe a tradition carried on by future generations! Cooper looks so cute in his purple vest. Have a great week and stay warm…

    • judka permalink
      January 7, 2018 4:33 pm

      Debbie, thank you for your lovely comments. I used Memento Luxe ink, Angel Pink, for the brick wall. That is one of my “go to” stamps for backgrounds. It will warm up Into the 60’s here next week!

  16. dawnnz permalink
    January 6, 2018 11:19 am

    Gorgeous cards Judy. Happy New Year and all the best for 2018

  17. donna mikasa permalink
    January 6, 2018 12:04 pm

    Welcome back, Judy! I hope you enjoyed your well deserved break. I’m still smiling about that green ‘dozer. Japan is really into miniatures and that was probably for some tiny rice farmer tending to his mini rice field! Love your cards as always and it’s nice to see you here again!

    • judka permalink
      January 7, 2018 4:31 pm

      Big hugs, Donna. Maybe I am just ahead of a trend! Thanks for explaining.

  18. Diane F permalink
    January 7, 2018 12:09 pm

    Beautiful cards and such a funny story ! I am relatively new to online shopping and have also been caught a couple of times. I try to look at all the small print now !
    Cooper looks very smart in his new outfit. Looks like he approves of it.
    Good to have you back. I too have spent the day tidying up my craft room putting all the Christmas stamps and dies away. It feels good starting with a blank canvas.

  19. Marisela Delgado permalink
    January 7, 2018 3:31 pm

    Oh my gosh, Cooper is so cute. NO OFFENSE, but he is my favorite part of your blog.

  20. Marjorie Dumontier permalink
    January 7, 2018 7:57 pm

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post and those wonderful cards ! I’m also wishing you and Cooper (and of course all your family) a very happy, and mostly healthy new year ! Love from France, Marjorie

  21. karenajo permalink
    January 8, 2018 11:00 am

    I am a little slow commenting here, but so good to have you back. Your cards are so wonderful – especially love the one with the mouse and hedgehog. Your green’dozer’ story is priceless and it is amazing what happens sometimes when we over look a detail.
    So good to see Cooper again – he is adorable! Thanks for sharing 1

  22. kellybooth permalink
    January 10, 2018 5:48 pm

    Happy 2018 I’m hoping it is a good year for us all…
    Love all the cards Judy especially Mimi just have a soft spot for her….

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