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Runs with Scissors

February 2, 2019

Wow! Did you see that cloud of dust? Or was that snow? January just whizzed by and left brand new February in charge for the next four weeks. It has finally become cold in my corner of the world (can everyone say Vortex?). Also, the days are becoming a little longer which means Cooper has to go to bed a little later each day. He is a firm believer in the “early to bed and early to rise” philosophy of life, but we encourage him to stay awake until it’s dark outside. We try, too.

This will be my last Runs with Scissors using the Happy Heart Day release to make Valentines. This release offers enough versatility, though, to use many of the stamps and dies all year long and I see no need to pack away all the cuteness.

Who am I kidding? I have no room in the closet to pack away anything. The closets in my home are all due for a major purging and reorganizing. I am waiting for a burst of energy to strike and then “watch out world” … major decluttering in progress! In the meantime, here’s what I’ve been up to instead of purging closets:

This sweet bunny from the Lovable set is enjoying time under the Love in Bloom tree. I’ve used Novu drops to fill in the hearts on the tree for added dimension. I placed blue cardstock under the Lovely Border cut out to match the blue sky around the tree. It was good to choose blue over red for a change for the accent on this card. I can’t wait to send it to one of the little people in my life.

That Big Love die is big enough to command the entire card face and there is room for the Special Friend to sit on a big heart letter. Red and kraft always complement each other and the tiny bit of white for the sentiment brightens things up a bit. The Big Love die can be useful when making cards for anniversaries, weddings, baby arrival, and birthday and even encouragement cards. Who doesn’t want to send and receive love all year around?

I’ve combined the Key to my Heart set with the stacked birds from the Happy Hugs set and added a sentiment from the Kisses and Wishes set to make this traditionally colored Valentine. I added clear Novu drops on the red hearts and the birds’ eyes. How cute is that? Winter would be almost unbearable without the fun of Valentine’s Day in February.

It All Began When …

… I was invited to a co-worker’s home for a demonstration of “stamps” and card making. I was intrigued because I had received a hand made card from a friend for my birthday and it was the cutest, sweetest thing ever! I didn’t quite get “stamps” and I wanted to know how she made it.

The card featured a stick-figured young girl in a cute dress stamped onto a small rectangle of white cardstock. Around the four edges of the cardstock my friend had stamped “happy birthday”, framing the girl image. This smaller rectangle was mounted on slightly larger black cardstock and that layer was mounted on patterned paper. And, as was the style about twenty years ago, a raffia bow finished the card. When I saw that card something went off in my brain and I knew I wanted to be able to do what my friend could do.

That first session at my co-worker’s home, complete with M&M’s for snacking, was a transformative afternoon. I remember moving from one station to another, first stamping our image and then moving on and adding color and layers. The last station was learning how to punch the side by side holes for threading the infamous raffia and making a bow.

Between doing all that and munching the M&M’s, I was on a high. I didn’t think anything could be better than what I had just done. And then we went from Stamping 101 to Stamping 201 … heat embossing.

The demonstrator stamped an image in plain black ink and then sprinkled the magic clear embossing powder on top of it, waved her magic heat gun over the image a few times and there it was … a dimensional and glossy sentiment.

That did it! I was hooked. I knew that I had discovered a form of art that was within my realm of ability. I was a mature grown woman at that time but felt like a school girl who had just discovered that art could be fun. Coming from a history of my art work being criticized and made fun of, this was a revelation, indeed. Those stamped images relieved me of the need to be able to draw and allowed me to spend time coloring as an adult. It’s called card making, but we are really making little pieces of art combining cutting, coloring and design skills.

Twenty years ago card making did not involve as many choices or opportunities as we have now. There were companies that marketed their stamps through home parties and there were brick and mortar stamping and scrapbooking stores. If you wanted to share your hobby, you invited other stamping friends to your home or went to theirs. I was fortunate that several of my co-workers took up stamping and scrapbooking and we would gather weekly to share our stamps, ideas and pizza. We would proudly take our creations to work the next day and show them to our nonstamping friends, who could always pick out my cards due to my inability to stamp straight sentiments or even mount layers evenly. I definitely was artistically challenged.

I’ve read someplace that in order to be good at something, you have to spend 10,000 hours working at it. I know that I’ve invested many more than that over the past 20 years and I don’t think of any of those hours as working at something. Stamping has always been a source of pure joy. (How quickly I have forgotten the failures!)

When we retired and sold our home and belongings and moved into our 35 foot 5th wheel, stamping was almost the only thing that remained the same in my life. At the time, my entire collection fit under the lift up mattress of our bed. I was fortunate that the RV park in Arizona where we spent the winters had a stamping group and we met weekly and shared our stamps and supplies. Those evenings soothed my homesickness and gave me a feeling of community that one misses when full time RV’ing.

After settling here in Alabama after five years of traveling and spending winters in Arizona, we bought a PC to replace our ancient bulky slow laptop and I discovered a website with weekly challenges. I was so excited but also tearfully desperate because I had no idea how to participate! It took months for me to figure out how to post a card photo or join in the chatting. Eventually I shed more tears, but this time tears of joy. May of 2008 was the first time I posted a photo to Flickr of my very primitive card – it was frog-related if I remember correctly.

I have spent quite a bit of time trying to remember the first time I noticed Penny Black on the computer and don’t exactly remember how or when that happened. I believe I fell in love with the Mimi little girl stamps. I do know once I discovered Penny Black I abandoned other companies and began my monogamous relationship with my all time favorite company. I do remember in 2013 I won five wood block Penny Black stamps and made a card with each stamp to post and thank Penny Black for the happy surprise. I remember I shortened a rather long neck on the Mona Lisa image! It’s a wonder Penny Black ever talked to me again!

Mona Lisa 4302K

I do remember vividly the day I received an email from Penny Black’s social media director, Jill Foster, asking me if I would like to be a member of their first ever Stamp Squad. Jill had selected five of us to receive Penny Black stamps to be used to demonstrate ideas for using them. At the end of our six month stint, we were each asked to do one last posting by writing a blog post pretending we had taken over the Penny Black blog. My posting date was December 31, 2013 and I had fun with that assignment. Little did I know what it would lead to.

While I was still learning to live with the sadness that my Stamp Squad days were finished, I received another email from Jill Foster asking if I would like to continue on as a contributor to the blog, posting on Saturdays. I am sure weather watchers around the world saw seismic activity as I screamed for joy over that email! I assumed it would be another six month assignment and always breathed a sigh of relief when those deadlines came and went. I’m wondering if they’ve forgotten about me? Shhh, don’t say anything.

How the stamping world has changed in these twenty years! So many companies, so many releases, so many new products and techniques. Penny Black withstands and overcomes the competition by providing incredible art work and styles to fit any taste. The designers provide such inspiration that I am humbled to share space with them. There are enough releases to keep things seasonal and fresh, but not so many that you become overwhelmed and disappointed that you can’t keep up.

My accumulation of products over the years has tamed my addiction to purchasing more and more and the latest and greatest. I have learned that there will always be new items to replace or improve the older ones. There will be new techniques and tools. But I don’t have to have them all. I used to tease Mr. RWS that buying new golf clubs was probably not the solution to improving his golf game; that applies to my hobby, too. Oh, and I still do my best work with a bowl of M&M’s nearby!

*Thanks to Vicky S. for suggesting the topic for this week’s Runs with Scissors. I am grateful for all your suggestions and welcome even more.    

I have hoarded some glossy red and glossy black cardstock for almost fifteen years. While living in Arizona, I attended a huge stamping expo that included representatives from multiple paper suppliers. At one time I had entire reams of various glossy papers. I remember being nervous about sharing with Mr. RWS how much money I spent that day!   I used a red sheet for my card base and die cut the Love Train from a sheet of the glossy black. I’ve made the card suitable for any friend or family member, but I know a little boy who would love that train!

That black glossy paper was so dear to me that I couldn’t bear to throw away the negative cut out from the previous red and black Love Train card. That cut out would look good on any color of cardstock, but I went for the dramatic look and paired it with gold cardstock. How great is it that you can make two cards from one diecut? That saved so much time that I could make a sixth card!

Kraft cardstock isn’t just for the guys anymore. Here I combined it with pink for a more feminine look. The Hearts Galore diecut is backed with pink cardstock and the Neighborhood Love houses each have a tiny pink heart window. The little pup from the So Much Love set is enjoying the view as he floats at the end of his balloon bouquet. I don’t know what I would do without that Silver Linings die set … I love to add clouds when I can.

I took this photo a few years ago, but since I still have that wooden heart and I still have Cooper, a new photo wouldn’t look any differently! Cooper is sending some of the love from his love-filled heart to all of you. He thanks you for caring about him and being interested in his doggie life. I love sharing Cooper with all you!

I have chatted far too long and now must make a quick exit. Thank you for the ideas you mentioned in your comments last time. I will be depending on them for sure! I also depend on your inspiration in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery, so please share your work with us. Oh, and I’ve stowed the scissors until next time.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 51-484 Lovely Border, 51-491 Lovable Cut Out, 30-522 Love in Bloom, 30-529 Lovable, 30-534 All My Love

Card No. 2: 51-422 Stitched Square and Circles, 51-488 Big Love, 30-536 So Much Love, 30-531 Special Friend

Card No. 3: 51-352 Birds and Banners, 30-523 Key to My Heart, 30-528 Kisses and Wishes, 30-524 Happy Hugs

Card No. 4: 51-487 Love Train, 30-532 Love Sentiments

Card No. 5: 51-487 Love Train, 51-484 Lovely Border

Card No. 6: 51-033 Silver Lining, 51-492 Hearts Galore, 51-293 Neighborhood Love, 30-526 So Much Love



29 Comments leave one →
  1. dawnnz permalink
    February 2, 2019 1:15 am

    Love your cards today Judy… and love your story – it’s always fun to hear how your stamping journey started. Haven’t stamps evolved in the past 20 years.
    PS – I remember you shortening Mona Lisa’s neck!

  2. Andrea Hastilow permalink
    February 2, 2019 1:28 am

    I can totally see why purging those cupboards got left so you could play with these adorable images. Devine ! Thank you for sharing your how it began story, so amusing. I’m at the beginning of the journey. It’s been a little stop start so far with bad health getting in my way as a constant reminder of getting a disease that I shouldn’t suffer from for at least another twenty years as Drs put it & feeling alone in all my mistakes & disasters. You’ve cheered up my Saturday in snowy UK thank you & in off to see what else can do the same. Till next saturday, thank you x

  3. Peg permalink
    February 2, 2019 3:11 am

    Adorable cards this week Judy and a great story of how you got started in stamping. Of course, Cooper is so darn cute as always. Thanks for sharing. I think my great grandson, almost one year might like that train idea. He loves the Thomas the Train books I sent…I see a theme beginning here! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  4. Debbie P permalink
    February 2, 2019 4:10 am

    Your cards are fantastic. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. They are great stories.

  5. Carol Hargrave permalink
    February 2, 2019 4:56 am

    Each Saturday I open my iPad to “Run with Scissors” and smile. Loved todays message and could so relate. I tell my children I have spent their inheritance buying carding supplies.
    Thanks for sharing!!!!!

  6. February 2, 2019 5:05 am

    Well I know why Penny Black has kept you around. Your creaticity is a wow and we all enjoy seeing what you come up with.
    Cooper seems to get cuter with ever post. Don’t even think of leaving him out.

  7. BeverlyBL permalink
    February 2, 2019 5:22 am

    I always enjoy your cards and stories. Both are so entertaining. Your stories are like you are sitting and chatting with me. I like your style!

  8. SarahC permalink
    February 2, 2019 5:29 am

    Love the cards Bunny with the heart tree would be my favorite of this group but they are all neat. The story was priceless and I enjoyed it tremendously. Happy crafting

  9. Eloise Luyk permalink
    February 2, 2019 5:57 am

    I look forward to your stories about life each week. You have many talents, card making and telling stories. I too have a special love for Penny Black products, mostly the floral stamps that I can use with water coloring or make them look like I water colored them. Have a happy week.

  10. ginger na permalink
    February 2, 2019 6:08 am

    My stamping journey started with a card demonstration party. What fun! Embossing is still a wow. The heart tree with the blue and the kraft cards are my favorite, but the train is delightful. Enjoyed reading about the early days. Take good care.

  11. Linda Page permalink
    February 2, 2019 6:56 am

    I’m so happy that someone else besides me hoards glossy cardstock. I love colored gloss cardstock and only have a little bit left from my stash from years ago. The train cards are so cute. I just got the heart frame dies. Can’t wait to use them on a card. Your introduction to stamps sounds just like mine. One demo and I was addicted for life!! Hugs to Cooper. Thanks for sharing your stories!

  12. jillianfoster82 permalink*
    February 2, 2019 6:59 am

    The perfect start to my Saturday— stories and your awesome and inspiring cards! Hugs and thanks for all you share!

  13. Judy permalink
    February 2, 2019 7:57 am

    So glad Penny Black has kept you on! Do any of your children stamp? My daughter AND her husband did years back when they couldn’t afford to buy stamps–and they worked at the local Hallmark store at the time! My son-in-law, who has passed away, came up with some nice cards in that time.

    Keep up the good work!

  14. February 2, 2019 9:00 am

    Your story of starting stamping could have been written by me! I felt the same way–art for a non-artist, except I still have to work around not being able to color–haha! PB was carried by the stamp store in my little town where I learned about stamping over 25 yrs ago, so they’ve been in my stash from the beginning. Just love your sweet cards, Judy, especially the tree of hearts & that darling puppy with the balloons! So glad PB figured out they needed you to stay on!

  15. Jan Castle permalink
    February 2, 2019 9:10 am

    I’m will Jill Foster in her comment!!!! Your story this week certainly brings back fond memories of how I got ‘hooked’ by walking into a stamp store…that was all it took! When they demonstrated heat embossing I new something magical had happened and I had to do this too! Thousands of hours and $’s later, I KNOW this passion has given me JOY, PEACE, and a sense of FULFILLMENT in bringing joy to others! It keeps me out of trouble too and is cheaper than therapy – LOL!!!!
    Thanks Judy for always sharing your heart and lovely art work!
    Paper Hugs,

  16. bjaneglas permalink
    February 2, 2019 9:15 am

    Love your stories as always-very similar to mine on introduction to stamping. Great cards

  17. Leap Year Baby permalink
    February 2, 2019 9:39 am

    I love it we seem to have the same start to one of our addictions. Of course over the 20 yrs I’ve included art journals and mixed media. Then there’s the other room in my house filled with fabric. It’s hard to choose between quilts and stamping. Holidays always bring Snowy and his friends to the forefront. Thank you for your inspiration and introducing Snowy.

    Thank you for sharing your stories and inspiration.

  18. Mary Smith permalink
    February 2, 2019 9:49 am

    I enjoyed reading your stamping story. Mine started exactly the same way, so I was smiling and nodding my head as I read it. The difference is that I am not on a design team, I’m just a happy home stamper. I am definitely not monogamous! I love many different companies and I haven’t learned to not buy all of the new stuff! I still have craft play dates where we try out new techniques. I never thought of M & Ms. I will definitely have to get some for our next craft day! 😄

  19. February 2, 2019 10:44 am

    I so enjoyed reading your post and this week was no exception! I so loved your story on how you started stamping and how it evolved. After my Mom passed away, I was left with a box of pictures, so i decided to scrapbook so my Grandkids would know all about their past. This led to cards/crafts which I so enjoy doing today. Thanks so much for sharing your stories and craft! Like you, I always have some chocolate around!!

  20. Verna Angerhofer permalink
    February 2, 2019 11:08 am

    Awesome cards and I am glad you are still doing the Saturday blog for PB. And, I love that Love Train. I want it as I have little boys and big ones too who would like cards made with it.

  21. February 2, 2019 11:09 am

    Hello Judy and thank you so much for Runs With Scissors and all your wonderful stories. Through my own fault, I am literally inundated with ‘blog mail’ and I’ve gotten to the point where I just can’t keep up! However, I would NEVER miss reading your posts as they always fill my heart. You are an absolute joy and so precious to many of us Judy. God bless ❤️

  22. Jane Harrah permalink
    February 2, 2019 1:03 pm

    Thanks so much for the fun post today! My journey is somewhat the same except I didn’t learn to stick with one company. I have too many stamps and am working on a purge and organization now. It has been interrupted by the adoption of a rescue puppy and we are now in training, both the dog and my husband! He is a full time job (the dog) so we both are worn out. I am not a kid anymore so what was I thinking? I love your cards and love the love die and I loved reading your journey. Heck, I love it every week! You have a great way with words.

  23. Vicky S. permalink
    February 2, 2019 3:40 pm

    Judy, Thank you for telling us how you started stamping.
    I am glad that Penny Black kept you on because
    I look forward to your post. You are so real never pretending.
    And your work is beautiful. My daughter saved some of my first cards
    Are not very good. I have never posted any of my cards because I really don’t know how to do that. Maybe when my daughter comes to town she will have time to show me how to do that. Take care of yourself so you can post for a long time. Thanks again.

  24. Donna Sicafuse permalink
    February 2, 2019 3:59 pm

    So sweet! Loved your story as was interesting. Cards were pretty—thanks for sharing and showing and tell Cooper am sending some love his way—he looked can I say hmmmm handsome with the Valentine—thanks for sharing all—Hugs

  25. creatingincolors permalink
    February 2, 2019 4:06 pm

    I loved reading your story of how you got started stamping and how you evolved over the years. You made a good choice in sticking with Penny Black stamps and I’m glad they chose you too! I get a lot of inspiration from your cards and words. I’m so glad you mentioned that we don’t need it “all” when it comes to card making. It took me years to realize that and now I am purging and donating too. So many stamps and supplies and companies!

  26. February 2, 2019 4:25 pm

    Stunning and so so sweet!

  27. Pat Gasko permalink
    February 3, 2019 12:55 pm

    Wonderful cards of course you always do a terrific job. I quickly ordered the Lovable stamp set I just could NOT resist that Bunny she makes me smile. I also purchased the dies. Next on my quick order was the Love Train although out of stock I patiently waited for it. Thanks to Penny Black and her adorable products my Valentine cards will be soooooo cute. I really enjoyed reading on how you came about being a talent stamper. When I’m working in my craft room my Yorkie Bailey is often resting under my desk on a padded foot stool her eyes following me all over the room. I want to Thank Penny Black for keeping you working on Saturdays, its a day I look forward to and miss you very much when you’re not there. What a great sanity saving, sharing hobby we have where we bring joy to many. Hugs to you Judy and stay healthy.

  28. Marisela Delgado permalink
    February 4, 2019 4:03 pm

    Give Cooper a kiss for me. It is almost 4 years since my beagle named Monster died. He was my little boy and I miss him terribly. Thanks for sharing your little boy with us.

  29. karenajo permalink
    February 5, 2019 2:18 pm

    I can truly say that heat embossing was the ‘magic’ that got me hooked on card making too! I was also at a stamping party at a friend’s house – that was about 15 years ago. It is amazing what card making does for the creators and for the receivers – better than therapy! Love PB stamps and supplies and so very glad they have kept you as part of their family. Your cards this week are wonderful and as you say could be used for other occasions. Thank you for sharing your creativity, wonderful life stores and Cooper! Cooper’s pics always make me smitle!

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