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Berry Beautiful Thank You

November 15, 2017

Thank you for joining us here on our blog. Scroll down for card ideas, supplies, and instructions with our designers and crafty friends. This week Cathy Andronicou brings us designs with her coloring expertise. You can also view our two newest collections by clicking the following links: Peaceful Wishes and Be Merry.

Today Cathy has for us a berry beautiful card!

Using both markers and colored pencils, Cathy has given our transparent set, 30-449 Berries Delight, delicate shading and dimension.

To give her design added interest, Cathy fussy cut along only one side of her scene then layered onto colored cardstock. Such a great technique!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-449 Berries Delight
51-352 Birds and Banners
02-002 Sticks & Stones Mix and Match Cardstock



VIDEO: Let it Snow

November 14, 2017

Thank you for joining us here on our blog. Scroll down for card ideas, supplies, and instructions with our designers and crafty friends. This week Cathy Andronicou brings us designs with her coloring expertise. You can also view our two newest collections by clicking the following links: Peaceful Wishes and Be Merry.

Cathy’s card today demonstrates how our miniature 3 x 4 inch transparent stamp, 30-452 Sending Wishes, and Creative Die set, 51-383 Snowflakes, are a marvelous match.

And how did she achieve such beautiful colors and shading? Watch below to find out.

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

And for a fab finishing touch, don’t you love how Cathy has layered her glittery snowflake Creative Dies?

And for more snowy fun, don’t miss this week’s card on our SIMPLICITY site…

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-452 Sending Wishes
30-448 Merry Delight
51-390 North Pole Cut Out
51-383 Snowflakes


Sharing a Peaceful Winter with Cathy

November 13, 2017

Over the next several weeks our designers and crafty friends will be joining us to share their winter and holiday creations featuring our two newest collections Peaceful Winter and Be Merry. So who will be decking the halls with us this week?

Cathy Andronicou

So what stamps and dies has Cathy been coloring? Here’s a peek…

(30-449 Berries Delight, 51-383 Snowflakes, 30-452 Sending Wishes, 51-362 Layered Christmas Wreath, 51-378 Layered Poinsettia, 51-398 Wreath & Bow)

And what has Cathy created?

So grab YOUR stamps and dies and get ready to join Cathy tomorrow for a week full of inspiration, including tutorials!


Runs with Scissors

November 11, 2017

Hello, everyone! Here I am again: scissors, stamps and paper all combined to create more Penny Black goodness.

Today in the United States it is Veterans’ Day, a holiday set aside to honor all those who served in the military. Our family is sprinkled with veterans: my Dad, several uncles, two nephews, my husband and my youngest son are veterans: they represent Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Thank you to all who served.

Some parts of the country have had their first snowfall while we in Alabama still enjoy our green grass and leafy trees. I know winter will find us eventually; she always does. After all, it is only 42 days until Christmas Eve.

It’s been weeks of inspiration on the Penny Black blog: so many designers, so many styles, so many ideas. Here is what happened when I sat down to play:

The holidays are approaching, but birthdays still happen. The Be Merry and Peaceful Winter releases include stamps and dies that can be used year around for many different occasions. I created a background for this card using Distress Oxide inks and a blending tool. I simply stamped the Berry Speckled image and the sentiment from the Words of Kindness set onto the background. I could easily have embossed the branch, but purposely kept the card easy to do. After seeing how Birgit made a similar image shine with an overstamping and embossing in white, I added some Nuvo white dots. I sure wish I had thought of the addition of white embossing.

The large sentiments in the Peace and Love transparent set are beautiful expressions for Christmas. I stamped and clear embossed this sentiment off center so there would be room for the Snowy Village. And if it is a snowy village, there had to be snow, created here by using the punch outs from the Snowflake Tree die. I framed it all up using the Antique Frame set.

I am working on expanding my background techniques and decided to give my alcohol inks another try. Fortunately, I protected my work surface so no permanent damage was done. I did, however, have to trim my fingernails in order to eliminate the last trace of ink from my hands. (Some of my bottles had leaked, making them a source of inky fingers) This time, instead of using glossy cardstock, I used Ranger Yupo paper. It is more plastic-like and the inks blend beautifully. I added some rubbing alcohol to the drops of ink and that set the colors into motion. I made four 5×7 sheets of background using a variety of ink colors. For this card, I used a bit of each as the background for the Joyful Ornaments. I “hung” the ornaments from hand drawn lines and added some enamel dots to break up the white space.

More Bucket Worthy Ideas

 In my previous Runs with Scissors post I mentioned having researched the topic of bucket lists. I came upon a site via Google that organized the topic of bucket lists into categories, some of which I discussed last week.

Having never compiled a bucket list, I can only speculate on topics I might have listed, had I been listing topics. When I came to the category of “Music” to be included in my possible bucket list, I was stopped cold. Me? Music? In the same sentence?

Seriously, there is not a musical atom in my entire body. There are ordinances in many of the places I’ve lived forbidding me to sing in public. Cooper gets up and leaves the room should I happen to break out in song while cleaning. (For some reason I remember every musical commercial I’ve ever heard and now and then they just burst forth in song). Mr. RWS tells me I have “relative pitch”. I don’t know enough about music to know if that is a good thing or a bad thing. I have two brothers who have been church musicians for years and one has gone on to be part of a band that plays professionally. Mr. RWS has a beautiful voice, is a talented song writer and sings in two music groups at church. Alas, musical talent did not come to me either genetically or by osmosis. There is no point in listing “learn to sing” on my bucket list. Let me tell you about the time I had to try when it really mattered.

I’ve written about returning to school as an adult to complete my degree. Because I wanted to finish my studies before I became the oldest living college student, I even went to summer school.

The plan was to become a teacher which required my taking a “Music for Elementary Teachers” class. Sounded like some easy credits and a nice way to spend part of my short Wisconsin summer. I thought the most embarrassing part of the class was the day that I was the only student who recognized the funeral dirge played at John F. Kennedy’s funeral parade, as my classmates were just babes or not born at that time.

But, no, serious embarrassment was about to occur. For the final exam in the class, each student was required to choose a musical piece to be sung, solo, for the professor. Thankfully, it was a one on one event, no one else present.

Instinct told me to keep it simple so I borrowed Mr. RWS’s autoharp and flipping through the little song book that came with it, I came across “The Little Brown Jug”. Perfect. It was simple strumming, minimal range of notes, and close enough to the ditties I used to sing for my kids to be a little familiar.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison had a new music building with individual rehearsal rooms to be used by music students. The class I was taking qualified me as a music student and therefore eligible to check out a key to my very own rehearsal room.

Dear Readers, sometimes you are better off not knowing how much you don’t know. The first time I entered the beautiful music hall, with its soaring ceilings, and modern décor I was greeted with a mix and blend of soaring musical notes: piano, violin and some of the most incredible vocals ever. These sounds were escaping from the individual rehearsal rooms as serious music majors practiced for their final recitals. Oh, how I wished I had a bag over my head as I checked in at the desk and collected my key.

Not only was I a very nontraditional student, I was carrying a lowly autoharp into these glorious music filled halls. My prayer was that no one could hear me singing my little tune, the first verse of The Little Brown Jug: (requires tapping one’s toes to the rhythm)


            My wife and I lived all alone

            In a little log hut that we called home.

            She loved gin and I loved rum

            I tell you we had lots of fun.


I actually was able to strum the autoharp and sing at the same time, and to my ears it didn’t sound awful too bad.

The day came for my appointment with the professor to sing my solo. The time began with me begging him to excuse me from this performance. I tried to convey my level of distress by telling him I would rather go through labor and delivery than do this solo.

He was kindly, but requirements were requirements and without the solo I would get an incomplete in the class and therefore, no credit.

Dear Reader, being nervous only made everything worse. I avoided all eye contact with the professor and just squeaked and squawked my way through it. Thankfully, one verse was enough to satisfy the requirement and it was quickly over.

Kindly Professor told me I had passed this exam but he recommended I find some other way to bring music into the classroom for my future students.

I used the same technique for this Christmas card as I did for the birthday card, Distress Oxide inks and a gorgeous stamp. These large slapstick stamps, this one is Graceful Whisper, don’t need much added. They work great for making multiple cards of the same design. If that is too repetitive for you, just change the background colors.

This background is one of the four I made during my experimenting with alcohol inks. The white Snowflake Tree draws your attention to the background done in Christmas colors. The Snowflake Tree, of course, needed the Snowflake Stitch Frame to finish off the card.

Of my four alcohol ink backgrounds, this is my favorite. Oh, how hard it was to cut into it. I saved the remnants. Bright white diecuts against these vivid colors makes it all pop. I love that bold Silent Night from the Blessed Night die and the tiny town against the background of blues and greens.

Cooper is a really good sport, but as you can see by his expression, he is not very keen on being “decorated”. When I explained the importance of Veterans’ Day, he agreed to wear the bandana … but not for long. He will miss his daily trip to the mailbox today; it is a Federal holiday and there is no mail.

Once again, I have run out of time without sharing the bucket list I have put together since starting this project. Thankfully, there are more Saturdays in November which are more opportunities to run with my scissors and post my bucket list.

The Penny Black studio is amazingly organized so clean up doesn’t take very long. Thankfully the alcohol inks confined their leakiness to my hands and fingers. Those itty bitty scraps from the detailed dies vacuum up quickly and before I know it, it’s time to turn out the lights and lock the doors.

As always, I am off to visit the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to see the new additions to the art you post there. After that, it’s home to put our flag on display and remember the Veterans we honor in our country today.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-353 Words of Kindness, 40-560 Berry Speckled

Card No. 2: 30-438 Peace and Love, 40-558 Snowy Village, 51-369 Snowflake Tree

Card No. 3: 51-365 Jingle Bells, 51-366 Joyful Ornaments, 51-397 Antique Frame

Card No. 4: 30-442 Festive Season, 40-582 Graceful Whisper

Card No. 5: 51-060 Exultations, 51-369 Snowflake Tree, 51-375 Snowflake Stitch Frame

Card No. 6: 51-377 Blessed Night, 51-396 Winter Village


Fun Friday with Virginia

November 10, 2017

It’s fun Friday and today we welcome one of our fabulous friends, Virginia Lu!

Virginia has been working her magic with our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-560 Berry Speckled, and has two fun ideas for getting inky with this design.

On this first creation, Virginia repeatedly stamped Berry Speckled around the perimeter of her card to create a frame. What a wonderful way to highlight a beautiful stamped sentiment.

Additional design details on Virginia’s blog HERE

Next, Virginia added her trademark sparkle to this stamp using gilding flakes. So festive and fun!

Additional design details on Virginia’s blog HERE.

Thanks so much, Virginia, for continuing to dazzle us with your one-of-a-kind cardmaking!

One more thing… TGIF!

“Like” our page on Facebook for exclusive inspiration by Birgit Edblom!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-560 Berry Speckled
30-382 Yuletide Wishes

Winter Magic

November 9, 2017

Thank you for joining us here on our blog. Scroll down for card ideas, supplies, and instructions with our designers and crafty friends. This week Poet Roeven brings us designs with her dimensional crafty charm. You can also view our two newest collections by clicking the following links: Peaceful Wishes and Be Merry.

Peet’s winter magic begins with our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-571 Feathers & Twigs. Instead of using the entire image, she fussy cut just the bird after stamping and coloring with Inktense colored pencils blended with water. What a great way to get even more design options from this feathered friend.

To create a perch for her bird, Peet used both the positive and negative pieces from our Creative Die set, 51-398 Wreath and Bow.

Her elements were layered onto embossed paper and a panel trimmed from our designer paper pad, 80-017 Festive & Frosty.

To add to the frosty white-on-white look, Peet also embellished her card with our Creative Die set, 51-383 Snowflakes.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-571 Feathers & Twigs
51-398 Wreath and Bow
51-383 Snowflakes
80-017 Festive & Frosty
30-444 Full of Merriment


Peet’s Peaceful Pair

November 8, 2017

Thank you for joining us here on our blog. Scroll down for card ideas, supplies, and instructions with our designers and crafty friends. This week Poet Roeven brings us designs with her dimensional crafty charm. You can also view our two newest collections by clicking the following links: Peaceful Wishes and Be Merry.

This tag design by Peet is certainly joyful!

Peet’s peaceful pair (our 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-451 Star Gazing Friends) was stamped and colored with colored pencils. She then fussy cut the image and added Glossy Accents for an icy look.

Next Peet die cut her tag shape using our Creative Die set, 51-402 Do Not Open….

Peet also die cut and layered two of the flakes from our Creative Die set, 51-383 Snowflakes. It’s amazing how layering the different snowflakes in this set gives them such a special and unique look.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

51-402 Do Not Open…
51-383 Snowflakes
30-451 Star Gazing Friends
30-448 Merry Delight