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Runs with Scissors

December 8, 2018

Hello, Penny Black friends. I am composing this edition of Runs with Scissors in a state of shock: how can this be December? The weather here in northern Alabama is more typical for October than December. As I write this, it is 70 degrees Fahrenheit and our outdoor Christmas decorations look a little foolish. The poor giant snowman looks very uncomfortable and is leaning a bit. It’s great weather for shopping and performing any neglected yard chores, but not so great for getting into the Christmas spirit.

However, I am happy to report our Christmas tree is up and decorated, the living room is proudly wearing its Christmas décor and even the kitchen table is sporting a holiday centerpiece. So far, so good.

This might be a good time to discuss Cooper’s narrative in the last issue of Runs with Scissors. How was I to know my little buddy would turn into “Crabby Cooper” and use the opportunity to vent his dissatisfaction with Daylight Savings Time and the weather? I was counting on him to spread sunshine and light and was horrified when I read his whiney post. We have discussed the power of positive thinking and future expectations when he is asked to pitch in. I hope a wagging tail means “I understand and agree” in canine language.

Speaking of being positive, it is time to finish those Christmas cards! I’ve made a few more samples of what can be done with the Welcome Winter 2018 and Christmas 2018 releases and I hope you see how versatile Penny Black stamps and dies can be.

A long time ago I struggled with the “mystery” of masking. More often than not, I would stamp the wrong image first and end up with some very weird results. I am so happy I finally “got it” and was able to make this card showing two of the three snowmen from the Skate all the Way stamp peeking from behind the Birches image. Allow me to feel a bit smug for a minute. I am sure I will be humbled the next time I try and do it wrong. I used a combination of a white ink pen and white Novu drops to create snow for the happy little skaters. If you choose to do this too, stamp the birch trees first and then mask them off and stamp the snowmen on top of the masking and exposed card stock. I then fussy cut the image in order to eliminate the partial stamping of the third snowman. Hope this is clear enough for you to try it! Don’t those little guys make you smile?

Finally I am using this beautiful dove from the Joy of Peace cling set. I stamped and heat embossed with silver embossing powder and fussy cut the dove. I stamped a branch image from the Season’s Marvel set with VersaMark onto the silver circle. It doesn’t show up on the photo, but in real life adds texture and interest to that background. There are so many options for using that big, bold and beautiful dove and it was such a joy to play with.

Even Teddy Bears have Christmas! I simply stamped the image from the Christmas Bunch set, colored the Teddy with Copics and after coloring Merry Christmas with Copics, I went over the letters with Novu drops. I struggled with how to make the background more interesting and decided red and green sequins would be just what this card needed. I have not used that Ribbon Stacker die nearly enough and was happy to include it in this card.

Turkey Fest 2.0

Thanksgiving in Minneapolis was a huge success. I admit to having concerns about making the trip and being able to fully enjoy the experience. There were a few nagging thoughts (for all of us) about Thanksgiving last year being when my MG symptoms flared. I am happy to report with a few minor adjustments, such as driving instead of walking to neighborhood stores and restaurants, I was able to do what everyone else did. I even navigated the airports; slowly but successfully.

My daughter is an amazing host. We were all treated to a hockey game (Minnesota won over Michigan State), a morning of bowling (Kathy defeated her brothers) and an amazing performance of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at the Children’s Theater of Minneapolis (Broadway quality). In between these events, we enjoyed the traditional Thanksgiving dinner, just as we had as a family when the kids were young. Again, Jack’s favorite part of Thanksgiving was the gravy.

The weather cooperated, giving us a mix of milder and very cold temps, but no snow or ice. Family members took turns spending time outside with Evelyn and Jack between events in order to make nap and bedtimes more welcomed.

I put everyone’s largest worry to rest when I successfully navigated the three flights of stairs to my daughter’s condo. Not just once, but multiple times. However, it was Kathy who lugged my almost 50 lb. suitcase up those stairs. Sadly, I never thought ahead to pack lighter. Next time, Kathy, I promise.

On our last evening together, the three siblings went out for a few hours for adult drinks and conversation. This Grandma happily spent time with Evelyn and Jack to make cookies and memories. How fun to watch them take all their blankets and make a sea of lava and a boat to escape. We watched “America’s Ninja Warriors” and played “Llaminoes” . Supper of chicken nuggets and mac and cheese was served, and finally, it was cookie baking time.

Evelyn and Jack are now 4 and 5 ½. I took this same photo last year, but some things are worth doing again. Here they are watching the cookies they put on the cookie sheets as they “grew” and browned in the oven. Last year I wasn’t so sure how long they would remain interested in frosting cookies, but they surprised me with the amount of time and effort they spent until every cookie was frosted and trimmed. This year they needed very little help and also stayed with the project until the end. Jack and Ev decided eating the cookies was not nearly as fun as decorating them, though.

As all good things must, our visit came to an end on Sunday as my two sons and two grandchildren piled into their car for the trip back to Milwaukee. Evelyn goes nowhere without her fleet of stuffed animals and each of them bring their treasured blankets and pillows. Their car was packed to the brim with the people I love and the things they love. This Grandma always sheds tears as she waves good-bye … her heart full, her spirit nurtured and full of confidence that we will make another visit happen, somehow.

Although we had good weather, a blizzard through the Midwest changed my travel plans and allowed me an extra day with my daughter. We put that time to good use, decorating her tree and living room; tidying her basement storage unit; and polishing silver candlesticks and other silver pieces for the holidays. We missed the rest of the family, but I treasure the time I had with Kathy.

The airline gave me no choice when it rescheduled my canceled flight so the last trouble I caused was my 4 am departure for the airport. It is difficult to sneak quietly down three flights of stairs with a 50 lb. suitcase, but my daughter managed. All I had to do was get into the toasty warm Uber car and enjoy the ride to the airport. I do hope I get invited again next year.

I have to admit this card could use a little less brown! Wish I had thought to use grays for the bird’s fence perch, but I am thankful for the holly leaves and berries to add color. I was not sure what color to use for the bird and then I noticed the stamp was called Robin’s Christmas … colors decided!! Again, Novu drops to create snow. I added a tag for the sentiment which broke up some of the brown. I don’t know why I am doing more time consuming cards the closer we get to Christmas. It’s what happens when you decide to make cards. I love this image and enjoyed the time spent coloring.

Look who showed up again! Snowy is sporting a bright and cheerful rainbow scarf and hat this time and is enjoying the Novu drop snow. Snowy isn’t hanging out here in Alabama where the temperature is 60 degrees right now. I have agreed to let him know when things get chilly here. I wonder if I will ever stop loving this snowman! He is just the right amount of cute and cuddly and makes me smile every time. I don’t even mind that he insists on being part of Runs with Scissors so often. There are so many ways (just ask me!) to use Snowy to make your Christmas cards. The die Frosty’s Snow makes it so easy to cut out your colored image.

Well, Cooper got grounded for his sassy post while I was gone. Silly dog, he doesn’t even realize he is grounded, just thinks this is a fun new place to snooze.

Cooper really wants to please and was quick to apologize for being so crabby. He wants to love and be loved! He is fortunate he is cute so I couldn’t stay annoyed with him for very long. He has promised to adjust his attitude and I have promised to adjust the amount of treats per blog post written. All is well.

From your comments, I learned Cooper is not the only one who “suffers” through the time changes. Thank you for understanding.

A bit of good news before I leave. My neurologist declared me “looking great” and doing well. I am responding well to treatment and can expect this next year to see me doing as well as I have this past year, once diagnosed. He complimented me on my compliance with his treatment plan and said that made a difference. We wished each other a Merry Christmas as I won’t be seeing him again until spring. Life is good.

Also in the good news department is the upcoming new release of stamps and dies. This release has some of the most ADORABLE images ever! Penny Black will be posting sneak peeks on the blog, on Facebook and on Instagram. I know you will fall in love with the images just as I have. They will be on sale beginning December 14th, just in time to add to your letter to Santa.

And now, the scissors are stowed and the studio is as I found it. Don’t forget to share your Christmas and other cards in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery. Until next time, happy Penny Black stamping!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 51-160 Wonder and Joy, 40-636 Birches, 40-656 Skate All the Way

Card No. 2: 51-422 Stitched Square and Circles, 30-514 Season’s Marvel, 30-453 Love and Peace, 40-643 Joy of Peace

Card No. 3: 51-409 Ribbon Stackers, 30-520 Christmas Bunch

Card No. 4: 51-027 Triple Banner, 30-307 Holiday Snippets, 40-647 Robin’s Christmas

Card No. 5: 2521K Snowy, 51-058 Joyous Wishes, 51-266 Frosty’s Snow, 51-435 Curved Stitch

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Paula permalink
    December 8, 2018 4:00 am

    I love your stories! Your cards are amazing too. Merry Christmas.

  2. SueCD permalink
    December 8, 2018 4:47 am

    So glad to hear your very positive health news. Love your cards again this time, especially Snowy and his rainbow scarf. Jack and Evelyn reminded me of happy memories baking cookies with several of my kindergarten classes. Happy December to you and Cooper!

  3. Eloise Luyk permalink
    December 8, 2018 5:06 am

    So glad to hear you hare doing well, enjoy your stories and look forward to them always. Happy Holidays, peace and good health.

  4. ginger permalink
    December 8, 2018 5:07 am

    Good to know you are doing well. I always enjoy your cards and commentary. Glad to see Snowy..he is a favorite.

  5. Deanna Morgan permalink
    December 8, 2018 5:14 am

    I love your new picture! So happy to hear you had a beautiful Thanksgiving visit with family! Blessing to you and your family (including Cooper). And hoping you have a wonderful, blessed Christmas, too.

  6. Fran Gumprecht! permalink
    December 8, 2018 6:02 am

    So glad you had time with your family at Thanksgiving! Fun time making memories with the grands! Glad you are doing well! Loved your cards, especially the robin! Merry Christmas!

  7. creatingincolors permalink
    December 8, 2018 6:11 am

    So glad you are doing so well! And that heartwarming visit with children and grandchildren – priceless. Cooper is always lovable, even when having a crabby day. I always enjoy your stories. Blessings to you and your family.

  8. Kathy B permalink
    December 8, 2018 3:08 pm

    Your trip sounds like it was a lot of fun. Glad your health is improved. I really like your new photo! Merry Christmas to you, Mr. RWS and of course, Cooper!

  9. Jan Castle permalink
    December 8, 2018 3:08 pm

    Yay!!!! You had a great trip, home safe and sound, a good report from your Dr., and Cooper is forgiven….all is right with the world! Love what you did with Snowy – one of my favorites too! Will be using your delightful design for his scarf and hat…love it!!!!
    Christmas Blessings to you and yours Judy!
    Paper Hugs,

  10. dawnnz permalink
    December 8, 2018 3:23 pm

    Awesome cards. Glad you enjoyed your trip to visit the family despite the early morning rising to get your plane home. Merry Christmas Judy, Mr RWS and Cooper. 🎄

  11. Michelle permalink
    December 8, 2018 6:47 pm

    So thankful you are doing well.

    Sent from my iPhone


  12. barbara lassiter permalink
    December 8, 2018 7:05 pm

    The new photo is great, Cooper looks content and I love the robin card! Blessings and wishes for a wonderful Christmas!

  13. December 8, 2018 10:09 pm

    Love the new badge for your posts, Judy! So glad you had a great trip & boy am I impressed you could do the stairs–not something good for me at this point. Adorable picture of the kiddos & what a fun time with them! Love all the cards–especially Snowy with his rainbow attire! Wishing you & the always cutie pie, Cooper, a wonderful holiday season! Hugs, Greta

  14. Tina Murphy permalink
    December 9, 2018 11:23 am

    Thanks for sharing your holidays with us. So very glad to hear you are doing well and able to enjoy all the activities. Cooper is as cute and sassy as always so don’t be too upset with him. Tessa, the shih tzu complains about time changes as well but it really is just an attempt to get more treats. Thanks also for the time you spend crafting such terrific cards! I like the browns in the bird card, don’t change a thing.

  15. Jane Harrah permalink
    December 11, 2018 5:25 am

    Love the cards and most importantly that Snowy made it in the cut! Great stories as always and happy to hear you are doing so well. I wish you the merriest of Christmases and hope you continue to post in the new year! I always look forward to hearing from you, like an old friend chatting. Hugs.

  16. Lisa Haff permalink
    December 11, 2018 5:11 pm

    Hi Judy, glad to hear you are feeling better. I love your Saturday columns they brighten my week. Love your simple cute Christmas cards too. Your grandkids sound adorable-thanks for sharing. What a fun Thanksgiving Holiday you had. I started my Christmas cards in August and I’m still making them. It seems my list is getting longer every year-where does the time go. The closer we are getting to 12.25 it seems the more things I have to do.
    Merry Christmas!

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