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Runs with Scissors

March 10, 2018

Hello, Penny Black friends. Here we are, “marching” toward the Ides of March. We are also marching toward March Madness, the basketball tournaments that finally end basketball season. In Wisconsin, it is almost guaranteed there will be crazy winter weather that interferes with travel plans and tournament schedules. What would shut down the entire south only inconveniences those sturdy residents of the northern United States.

My time in the Penny Black studio today has been spent with the Sweet Spring release which has pushed all thoughts of bad weather … or bad anything … aside.

Here are the choices I made today:

The Sweet Spring release is the perfect relief from a lingering winter. This Blossom Branch stamp is easy to ink up directly onto the stamp and using your stamp positioner, stamp a few times until you like the way your image looks. It is best to avoid heavily inking the stamp as you then lose the fine detail. I used the Stitched Stackers die to create that lovely design around the edges of my white cardstock. The die cut for the sentiment is included in that set, adding to its usefulness and its “must have-ness”.

I colored the Melody Makers image using Copic Markers and then used the Stitched Stackers die to cut out my cardstock, leaving the design around the edges. In order to have a sentiment for this card, I layered vellum on the top and stamped my very appropriate and wise message onto the vellum. Thank you, Penny Black for the reminder to be my biggest fan and not my severest critic.

I used the Dainty Whispers stamp inked with gold ink to create a background for my Happy Birthday message using the Your Day die. The oblong frame the sentiment is attached to is included in the Stitched Stackers die set. The border design is unique and does not at all resemble ordinary sewing machine stitching.   Penny Black is never ordinary.

Family Time

Last week, my brother and his wife stopped to spend a few days with us on their way home to Wisconsin from Gulf Shores where they have spent part of the winter. If I ever need a Director of Excitement, I will offer the job to my brother, Mike. He can make a party happen wherever he goes. His wife, Deb, has been his loyal fan for many years.

My sister lives nearby so we shared meal preparation and hosting. It works out well to share the chores and nothing takes long to clean up with so many hands to do the work.

Our family always enjoys playing board, dice or card games when we get together. Each meal we share is usually followed by time spent at the table just visiting and then the question comes up, “What should we play?” Each of us siblings have a collection of games collected over the years and every now and then we add something new to the collection.

This year, we introduced the group to our new favorite dice game. It’s pretty simple; there are color coded dice and a white board for each player with colored rows and numbered squares in each row. Just throw the dice and “x” off a number on your board matching the color and number on the dice. Sounds a bit like Bingo, but much more interesting and mathematically challenging.

There is no denying we are all related! You have to ask the question, “How many Type A’s does it take to explain a new game?” And then there are all the “What If’s?” that follow. Eventually, somebody assumes the role of Director of Excitement and settles everyone down and becomes the authority figure.

At one point, there was discussion of how to score a variation of the game Mr. RWS and I have been playing for more than two years. Because we were in our home and it was our game and we were the experienced players, we thought everyone would take our word for how the scoring would be handled. While most of the group accepted the version of scoring as we assumed it to be, there was one holdout who kept saying, “Why is your version the right one and mine the wrong one”? To appease her and to go forward with the game, someone Googled the rules (the printed instructions were woefully inadequate) and wouldn’t you know, she was right! Don’t you hate when that happens?

I don’t know why anyone cared very much about the details. The game is what keeps us at the table where we laugh, snack, talk too loud, and share family stories and memories. We catch up a bit on current events in each other’s lives and offer our solutions to the problems of the world.

As usual, Cooper was confused by the change in routine but he tolerated having more humans in the house and didn’t even complain about the noise level. He is sometimes smarter than the humans who occupy his life as he quietly puts himself to bed when he is tired. He wisely kept out of the loud discussion regarding the rules but I think I spotted him mumbling to himself now and then.

And then, too soon, it is time for the visitors to sneak out very early in the morning to begin their twelve hour drive to their home in Wisconsin. But not before surprising us with this lovely flower arrangement whose fragrance is filling my kitchen:

The good byes are bearable only because we know there are airplanes and highways that allow us to keep connected to nurture our family ties.

This card makes me happy. The little girl and her puppy are from the Let’s Play transparent set. I created their park setting using the Trees and Hills die set and designer paper from the Summertime paper pad. I know this is getting repetitive: but I trimmed both layers of the card using the Stitched Stackers dies.

How fun is that Stitched Gift Box? And wouldn’t it be cute to pop a little puppy or kitty peeking out from the box? This time I have included a pup from the Good Times transparent set and a sentiment from that set, too. The color combination possibilities for the Stitched Gift Box are endless. And I just realized that five out of the six cards I did today include that Stitched Stackers die! At least I gave the Antique Frame set a rest.

I wasn’t being mean when I cut the doggie from the The Bunch image for this card. Sadly, he just didn’t fit with my design. The red scarfed girl is alone on the bench with her tulips, sending birthday greetings from the Happy Critters set. The circle diecut with the detailed border is cut from the Stitched Square and Circle die set. While pastels are lovely and very appropriate for spring, sometimes a girl just needs a dose of red!

Sometimes Cooper just needs a break from his oh so busy day! For the first five years Cooper lived here he would not sleep in his bed. He seemed to prefer the floor. It’s only been a year or so that he’s “taken to his bed”. And so much so that he now owns two of them! What a guy.

Dear Readers, it is time to prepare the Penny Black studio for next week’s designers to showcase their work with the Sweet Spring release. Every day brings new inspiration. Jill Foster’s videos teach us how to bring the brush stroke stamps to life and look like an original watercolor painting. And so many ideas for just the right colors and details.

I have stowed the scissors until I see you again on March 24th. I won’t be here for St. Patrick’s day as we will be hosting a daughter and her husband for a long weekend visit.   While we miss living in Wisconsin near family, we do provide a place to get away from winter for a few days each year. As excited as I am to see Jodi and Matt, I am already thinking about how quiet the house will be after they leave.

Speaking of leaving, I am on my way to the Penny Black Flickr Gallery to admire your lovely art. Know that I read and treasure your comments. It’s like having a friend for coffee on Saturday mornings. Thank you for the happy you bring.

Note: Here in the United States, tonight is the night to adjust your clock one hour ahead to welcome Daylight Savings Time.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-106 Word Express, 40-588 Blossom Branch, 51-416 Stitched Stackers

Card No. 2: 30-480 Artful, 40-615 Melody Makers, 51-416 Stitched Stackers

Card No. 3: 40-596 Dainty Whispers, 51-416 Stitched Stackers, 51-431 Your Day

Card No. 4: 30-468 Let’s Play, 51-033 Silver Linings, 51-381 Trees and Hills, 51-416 Stitched Stackers

Card No. 5: 30-463 Good Times, 51-414 Stitched Gift Box, 51-416 Stitched Stackers

Card No. 6: 30-479 Happy Critters, 40-603 The Bunch, 51-422 Stacked Square and Circles


10 Comments leave one →
  1. creatingincolors permalink
    March 10, 2018 5:26 am

    I love the Sweet Spring release and your cards – beautiful and full of color. I was away for a while and am now catching up with your older columns. I don’t want to miss anything! I enjoyed today’s story of family gatherings and games. It is so funny and true how the voices get louder. One of our family faves is how long it takes us to say goodbye! Yes, it can go in to an hour or two!

  2. jane harrah permalink
    March 10, 2018 6:52 am

    Love the Happy birthday and the little girl on the bench the best. Love how you colored that little girl, not all dark and dreary! Don’t you love having company? I have company planned for the next couple of months and I am happy. Thank you so much for all you share. You make Saturday a smiling kind of day! Your post always brings me a smile. Hugs to you!

  3. March 10, 2018 8:24 am

    Loved your family story, Judy–can only imagine what Cooper was thinking–haha! He’s so cute in his bed–glad he figured out how nice beds can be! Thankfully the last one we bought Fritz has a super tough cover as he loves to scratch it into just the right position–but actually nothing changes–haha! Wonderful cards & I especially love that puppy with the gift & the little girl with her tulips! You’re right–it was time for some red! Enjoy the time with your daughter & her hubby–don’t think about when they leave!

  4. March 10, 2018 10:22 am

    So enjoy meeting with you every Saturday morning – you can have the coffee, I will have some herb tea…..will miss you next week, but know you will have a grand time with family!!! Wonderful cards by the way – like the stitched stacker touch! I just received the ‘Ribbon Stackers’ and love them!!!! My wish list keeps growing even tho’ I keep thinking this is all I need – LOL! Thank you for the inspiration Judy…and for the reminder to reset my clocks…don’t want to be late for church!!!
    Paper Hugs to you and Paper Smooches to Cooper,

  5. Fran Gumprecht permalink
    March 10, 2018 11:33 am

    Your cards are beautiful! Always a pleasure having my Saturday morning coffee with you! Sounds as if you have a fun loving family! Hug sweet Cooper!

  6. mjmarmo permalink
    March 10, 2018 2:21 pm

    Such pretty cards! I can relate to the game playing. My husband is the reader of rules for all games!

  7. cmt permalink
    March 10, 2018 9:35 pm

    Your first card truly is wonderful, and I love the Creative Life sentiment and the way you used vellum for it. Lots of possibilities for that idea. I need to frame that idea for my wall.
    My 27-year-old son still loves to plays games with me during visits, so I can relate to your story. He’s way smarter than me, but I don’t mind losing to him every time just so we can have the fun of playing games together. Last Christmas I gave him a cooperative card game called Codenames Duet which we both enjoyed quite a bit. The fact that we are so mismatched in brainpower didn’t matter; it was a challenge for both of us as we worked together to win the game. It’s an odd way to play a game if you’re used to competing with other players, but very satisfying.

  8. dawnnz permalink
    March 10, 2018 11:19 pm

    Great cards. I love the pretty girl in red. What a great time you had with your family. I so can relate to the different family having different rules in the games. Enjoy your family time next weekend

  9. March 13, 2018 1:09 am

    How nice, that you had a great time with your family again ! Your cards are lovely, especially the one with the birds and of course the “dog”-cards ! Love Cooper in his bed, my little Flo (Australian Terrier) also has 2, one downstairs and one upstairs. It’s a dogs life ! 🙂 Have a lovely time next weekend ! Enny

  10. DebbieP permalink
    March 17, 2018 8:54 am

    Aloha Judy! I don’t know how I missed this column. I went looking for running scissors today and didn’t find you, but discovered why. I hope you are having a great time visiting with family. I love the dog and frisbee card….our border collie was a big time frisbee dog. Today we call her our miracle dog because she was in kidney failure and not expected to live, but it looks like she will make it to her 14th birthday on April 9. A lot of tears have been shed over the last month or so, but not all sad ones as she is nearly back to normal. Thank you God for answering our prayers!

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