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Runs with Scissors

January 5, 2019

Happy New Year, Penny Black friends! I see that the studio has been returned to its pre-holiday status and only a few traces of confetti and tinsel remain in the corners. I missed the New Year’s Eve gala but I heard it was spectacular. Too bad there isn’t a matinee version of New Year’s Eve!

Pretty soon it will be time to decorate for Valentine’s Day. I’m not sure who is in charge of making the holiday magic here, but they do a wonderful job.

I think if I had to choose what part of Runs with Scissors I enjoy the most, it would be sharing and explaining the cards I make with Penny Black stamps and dies to post here. Truthfully, while I cut, color and paste I have running discussions in my head with all of you; what stamp should I use? Copics or pencils? Color combo? Should I put the embellishments here or there? It’s almost as good as having stamping time with friends. I think if you listen carefully while facing south you might hear my exclamations of joy as I finish yet another card using the latest release. Once again, this week it’s the Happy Heart Day release that generated smiles and a happy heart.

Using kraft cardstock is an easy way to change any design from feminine to masculine. I love the combination of kraft and red, which I’ve used for this card. The Hearts Galore die allows a shower of hearts to fill the background as well as let the pop of red show through from the red cardstock backing. The Kisses and Wishes sentiment set has many great sentiments for your heart day cards, but I chose the basic “Happy Valentine’s Day” sentiment and “with love” for this card. The sitting teddy is from the Key to My Heart Stamp set which has a matching die set Key … Cut Out.   This same design, using different colors is easily changed to make a more feminine card. Just eliminate the Valentine’s sentiment and substitute “Welcome Baby” or “Happy Birthday” and this teddy does more than double duty.

For this card, I’ve used the Lovely Border die set on each layer of cardstock and simply added the balloon carrying teddy from the So Much Love stamp set. This teddy doesn’t have a matching die, but the image was easily fussy cut and mounted with foam tape. It looks like the balloons are taking this cutie “up, up and away”! Red and white are the perfect Valentine colors, but I’ve tried not to stay in my comfort zone for all the cards this week.

I know I’ve said this often: Penny Black has something for everyone and the Love in Bloom set has images that are perfect for making a romantic, Victorian Valentine. I chose to heat emboss the heart wreath and birds in white onto black cardstock. I made two small slits in the middle of the wreath through which I threaded my coral/pink ribbon enabling me to tie a bow. I added a few heart embellishments just to increase the romance level. The Words Sweet sentiment set is the source of the “You are so Loved” message.

Last Year Leftover

Already Christmas seems so long ago. All that stress, worry, planning and extra work is behind us. Now we look forward to another year with its blessings, challenges, opportunities and surprises. Mother Nature will cycle her seasons as she sees fit and we will tear off calendar pages as necessary. We are offered a new beginning.

Before I go forth into a new beginning however, I want to share a story left over from last year.

You may remember that I flew to Minneapolis to spend Thanksgiving with my daughter and two sons and two grandchildren. It has been said about me that I can carry on a conversation with an empty room. If that is so, imagine the opportunity that presents itself on an airplane. There you are with a captive audience sitting in the sit next to you, seat belt buckled and no place to get away!

Dear Reader, I do try to be sensitive and avoid being annoying. I do, however, sometimes take advantage of my senior citizen status and smile sweetly as I assess the mood of my seatmate. Business travelers are usually very clear with their body language, laptops and headphones that they choose peace and quiet. In that case, I retreat to my book to pass the time.

On my trip home from Minneapolis I was blessed to be seated next to a young woman who greeted me with a welcoming smile and a warm “Hi!” Jackpot! I was too tired to read and welcomed a chance to chat the flight away.

All young people look very young to me, but Ania seemed to be in her late twenties or so, slight of build, pretty, long hair, dressed in jeans and a jacket with brown leather knee high boots. She had a sweet and gentle voice, but loud enough for me to hear despite the ear plugs I have to wear when flying.

Surprisingly, she was on a trip for work; a training seminar in Huntsville where she would be spending the next three days. Her co-workers were seated elsewhere in the plane and she was happy to visit, unlike many who travel for their work.

Of course, I asked who she worked for and she told me she is in the United States Air Force. “How good”, I thought. “A young woman who decided to take advantage of the opportunities military service offered to learn a trade and see the world.”

Why have I never learned not to judge a book by its cover! The young woman was a great conversationalist and spent some time asking me about my visit to Minneapolis and my connections to Huntsville. Finally, I took a turn to speak and asked her what she did in the Air Force.

I almost burst my seat buckle when she told me she was a pilot! Not only that, she had completed a tour of duty in both Afghanistan and Iraq. She was an officer, married to another Air Force officer both currently stationed in Colorado.

I wanted to stand up and salute or sing the Star Spangled Banner or something. I actually had goose bumps, I was so honored to be sitting next to her. How proud her parents must be of their daughter, I thought.

Ania had no childhood dreams of being a pilot or being in the military. Her life’s path was determined when she met her already Air Force officer husband while attending college. They fell in love and she decided to join the Air Force so they could be together. Her thought process then led her to the idea if she was going to be in the Air Force, why not be a pilot? Two years of “pilot school” and she accomplished her goal.

On a personal level, I learned she was born in Poland to American citizens which endeared her to Polish me even more. And when she shared photos of her dog, the relationship went to the next level: her dog was a clone of Cooper!

My original seating assignment for this flight was a seat in the rear of the plane. I was unwilling to pay extra fees for a seat closer to the front. My amazing daughter had changed my seat assignment to make it easier for me to board and leave the plane which landed me next to this amazing young woman.

We exchanged phone information so that when she and her very handsome husband (she shared photos) retire as planned in Huntsville, they can look us up. It was difficult for me to imagine her retiring in my lifetime, but she might have been older than she looked and military can retire after twenty years.

The flight was over before I was ready to end our conversation. It was one of those connections that you enjoy and think about afterwards.

I felt honored to meet such an amazing young woman. I also realize there are thousands like her, making good choices and taking advantage of the opportunities that our generation of women did not have. My daughter has done the same, not in the military world, but occupying a position in the corporate world previously open only to males. I wonder if she has ever surprised her seatmate with her own story?

Again, I’ve used kraft cardstock as the base for this “Just for You” card. This image is part of the Space Reserved transparent set. I’ve colored the image using Prismacolor pencils and drew a “string” to the Heart Balloons diecut. I added the little birdie to give Ms. Kitty something to look at. I think they may become friends. Honestly, the cards using the Happy Heart Day release almost make themselves.

This sweet little fairy is included in the …To my Heart mini set. The background heart was created using the Hearts Around die. The infinity sentiment is from the Words Sweet sentiment set and fits nicely within the heart. Ms. Fairy was fun to color with Copics and gave me a chance to add sparkle to her fairy wings. I was happy to include lavender in my Valentine palette. Also, I believe fairies love having silver hair!

In our culture of wanting more and more, this sentiment reminds us that “love is all you need”. It is one of the sentiments in the Love Sentiments set and is perfect for Valentine’s Day but would be at home on engagement, anniversary and wedding cards, too. The Strings of Hearts diecut forms my background and I’ve popped the birds from the Happy Hugs set onto the small square cut using the Snowflake Stitch Frame die set. I love the birds in the Happy Hugs set and plan to use them long after Valentine’s Day has passed.

This photo reminds me of what Cooper might look (and feel) like the next day if he were to party hearty on New Year’s Eve! Thankfully, none of us imbibed but instead celebrated with a delicious grilled steak dinner. We also trust the world spinning on its axis enough to allow the new year to begin without our supervision. Cooper says, “Happy New Year to all”! He looks forward to another year on the blog.

And now it’s time to sweep up all those tiny little hearts that like to scatter about the studio. I’ve stowed the scissors and restored order to the Happy Heart Day collection. Monday morning will bring the Penny Black designers to the studio to share even more of what can be done with this collection. Meanwhile, Cooper and I will return home to make a list of our New Year’s resolutions. One of us has to quit barking at every dog and person that walks past our home. The other has to spend less time on the IPad and more time catching up on chores. That barking thing isn’t working so well for me anyway; makes my throat sore.

Don’t forget to post your work in the Penny Black Flickr Gallery. Make that a New Year’s resolution!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 51-492 Hearts Galore, 51-495 Key … Cut Out, 30-523 Key to My Heart, 30-528 Kisses and Wishes

Card No. 2: 51-485 Lovely Border, 30-526 So Much Love

Card No. 3: 30-522 Love in Bloom, 30-525 Words Sweet

Card No. 4: 51-493 Heart Balloons, 30-535 Space Reserved

Card No. 5: 51-435 Curved Stitch, 51-485 Hearts Around, 30-525 Words Sweet, 30-533 … To My Heart

Card No. 6: 51-375 Snowflake Stitch Frames, 51-496 Strings of Hearts, 30-524 Happy Hugs, 30-532 Love Sentiments

21 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrea Hastilow permalink
    January 5, 2019 1:07 am

    WOW ! Such a lovely story to tell, the young lady sounds amazing & most definitely deserving of the respect you felt. I have a few serving friends & the love & respect & honour I feel knowing them overwhelms me at times. They are so fabulous to want to defend all that we hold dear. Your cards are absolutely gorgeous ! Those heart frames are devine & all your colour work is fantastic. Thank you for sharing both your cards & a great story.

  2. Carol Cooney permalink
    January 5, 2019 2:57 am

    I never miss your posts, they are so full of beautifully made cards and the most interesting stories. I believe we are about the same age so I can relate to all the antics, love and sorrow you tell us. It was an OMG expression with shivers too the coincidence in your seating and meeting of this young lady. Keep up all the joy you bring to us in the stamping world. Thank you so much.

  3. Ausra permalink
    January 5, 2019 6:10 am

    You are a great story teller and absolutely love your cards. Keep sharing.

  4. Carolyn L permalink
    January 5, 2019 6:39 am

    Saturday is much better with you in it. Love the PB cards, really love the chat, and Cooper is the “cherry on top”!

  5. Kathie permalink
    January 5, 2019 6:41 am

    I so love reading your stories. Thank you for the smiles and tears. From cold Monroe, Wisconsin.

  6. dianne vescovo permalink
    January 5, 2019 7:03 am

    Always love reading a post from you. Happy New Year!

  7. Jane Harrah permalink
    January 5, 2019 7:44 am

    Your cards, like your words, are so filled with loved that they actually overflow. I do hope that young lady gets a chance to read what your wrote. She should hear your words and feel the swell of pride she deserves. You make me feel warm inside and I so want to sit and chat with you. Happy New Yer, my unknown friend!

  8. Jan Elmore permalink
    January 5, 2019 8:17 am

    Judy, thanks ever so much for sharing your plane ride home! I am moved by your story!

  9. January 5, 2019 8:45 am

    Hi Judy : )

    Great job!! on your cards from the new release. It is such a fun collection isn’t it??!!

    I enjoyed reading about your time with Ania. I do not often spark up conversations with strangers on planes. I do not consider myself shy and yet when it comes to talking to strangers I clam up! You inspire me to open my eyes to opportunities like this. My “thing” is chatting with checkout girls. It always surprises me how you can bless someone’s socks off by a smile and a kind and interested inquiry about them. : ) I hope I sit next to you on a plane one day! wouldn’t that be a fun surprise!?!

    Happy New Year!

  10. barbara lassiter permalink
    January 5, 2019 8:47 am

    Judy, you may have little hearts that scatter around in the studio as you create your beautiful, inspiring little cards ……….. but I think you scatter little hearts around outside the studio with your beautiful, inspiring little stories. Thanks for a great start to the New Year and happiness and health to you and your family for 2019! 🙂

  11. Harriet Herrington permalink
    January 5, 2019 9:18 am

    Wonderful cards, Judy.

    Like you, I can strike up a conversation with anyone, anything! I so enjoyed your conversation with your young woman! Good for both of you sharing info. I think as we become more isolated, we are loosing the art of conversing gently with strangers….a very sad thing!

  12. Jan Castle permalink
    January 5, 2019 10:20 am

    Thank you Judy for your wonderful cards and the delightful story….proud for our Country and for Anita!!! Hope she gets to read your blog too and enjoy her new friend – YOU!
    Paper Hugs and Happy New Year Judy,

  13. DebbieP permalink
    January 5, 2019 2:36 pm

    Beautiful cards and a beautiful story…what a great way to start 2019! Looking forward to what lies ahead. I hope all here have a year filled with all the things that make us happiest!

  14. creatingincolors permalink
    January 5, 2019 4:01 pm

    What a beautiful batch of cards, and what a beautiful experience you had on that plane ride. In a world where it’s hard to get more than a quick glance and half smile from a seat mate, two amazing people met and made a lasting friendship. It really is a “wow” story.

  15. Karen H permalink
    January 5, 2019 4:05 pm

    Happy New Year Judy, Cooper and hubby! What an inspiring story today giving hope for generations following ours! I think it was a little more than serendipity that put you next to Ania. Glad to see your post as always.

  16. Cheryl permalink
    January 5, 2019 4:53 pm

    I used to come for the cards and stay for the stories. But now it’s quite the opposite! Love your stories. And your cards too!

  17. janet sisk permalink
    January 5, 2019 5:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing your amazing cards and your equally amazing airplane story. My daughter also lives in Minneapolis – she just moved there in July from St. Louis. She has adjusted to the cold just fine since she lived in PA and MI growing up. My parents and sister live in Birmingham, AL too. More connections. 😀

  18. January 6, 2019 12:29 pm

    Another lovely post. I always enjoy your tales and cards. I think I would enjoy sitting by you on a plane, train or bus.

  19. Brenda S. West permalink
    January 6, 2019 12:45 pm

    While I love your stamps, I love your stories more and look forward to Sunday’s post. Thanks for sharing so much of your life with us. Brenda West

  20. January 8, 2019 12:24 am

    You make so much! And so diverse; great to see this post every time!

  21. January 19, 2019 9:24 am

    What a wonderful story of your flight home, Judy! Clearly those seat assignments were meant to be! Love all your cards! Think I’ll use more kraft for my Valentines this year–you’ve inspired me! Can’t take my eyes off the elegant black & white card with the gorgeous pink bow! I have the Strings of Hearts die & you’ve reminded me to use it!

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