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BOO! You’re Invited to a Halloween Party with Elizabeth!

September 14, 2018

Today is Fun Friday and we are celebrating with some autumn inspiration you are sure to fall for!
View our complete Fall 2018 collection HERE.

Today we welcome the talented Elizabeth Allan and she’s prepared for us an entire Halloween party!


Start your Halloween party on the right spooky foot with easy-to-mass-produce invitations featuring our cling stamp, 40-623 Dark Night, and Creative Die set, 51-440 Elegant Stitching.

Elizabeth has kept her design simple with monochromatic tones and a zip of orange. By reducing the amount of coloring, party planners can easily make multiples of this design.

Before the guests arrive, prepare the table with unique table setting cards featuring the cat from our clear set, 30-493 Stack O’ Lanterns, and our Creative Die set, 51-055 Shades.

Time for treats! Package them up with these next two innovative ideas.

Here’s a tip from Elizabeth for creating quick treat boxes: Start with a small jewelry box. Paint the top black and the bottom orange. Viola! Your box is ready to decorate and fill with yummy treats!

Hop to it! Here’s another party packaging idea featuring our miniature 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-495 Frog O’Lantern.

All those treats making you thirsty?
“Double, double toil and trouble;

Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

Do you dare quench your thirst with this witch’s brew?

Elizabeth stamped and embellished her miniature soda pop bottles featuring images from our transparent set, 30-490 Halloween Gathering. Simply stamp them onto colored cardstock using Versafine Onyx Black ink.

And finally, you can’t have a party without a game! How about some “Tic-Cat-Bat”? Not only is this game fun, but it also makes a BOOtiful table or buffet decoration/accent.

Design Details: Board size is 5.75 inches square. All pieces and base are reinforced with cardboard. Images stamped with the following inks: Brick Pattern (Hint of Pesto VersaMagic), Cats (Black Onyx VersaFine), Bats (Habanero VersaFine).

TGIF! Don’t miss this…

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

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Project One:
51-440 Elegant Stitching, 51-074 Encircled, 40-623 Dark Night, 30-249 Spooky Spheres, 30-358 Happy Snippets, 01-002 Storm Mix & Match Cardstock, 16-001 Fall Festival Mix & Match Cardstock

Project Two: 30-493 Stack O’Lanterns, 30-494 Halloween Treat, 30-492 Spider & Bats, 51-055 Shades, 80-015 Golden Moment Designer Paper Pad, 05-022 Fern Green Mix & Match Cardstock

Project Three: 30-492 Spider & Bats, 30-493 Stack O’Lanterns, 40-620 Witching You, 30-490 Halloween Gathering

Project Four: 30-495 Frog O’Lantern, 40-620 Witching You, 51-472 Halloween Trees

Project Five: 30-490 Halloween Gathering, 30-041 Spooky! , 30-078 Halloween Treats, 51-440 Elegant Stitching, 01-002 Mix & Match Cardstock, 16-001 Mix & Match Cardstock

Project Six: 30-489 Autumn Entrance, 30-249 Spooky Spheres, 51-074 Encircled, 01-002 Storm Mix & Match Cardstock, 01-003 Storm Mix & Match Cardstock, 16-002 Fall Festival Mix & Match Cardstock


Moonlit Magic

September 13, 2018

Turn up the Christmas tunes, put out the twinkling lights in the craft room, and get ready to tackle your holiday crafting to-do list with loads of inspiration from our designers and artsy friends as they feature the new stamps and dies from our Christmas 2018 collection!

Birgit Edblom’s scene with our Creative Die, 40-654 Tranquil Hamlet, is full of moonlit magic!

Design Details: Stamp 40-654 Tranquil Hamlet onto Waterford High White watercolor paper using Jet Black Archival ink. Paint with Daniel Smith watercolors. Allow to dry. Splatter background using watered down acrylic paint. Add moon cut from white cardstock and lightly inked around the outer perimeter using Distress Inks and an ink blending tool with a foam pad. Stamp sentiment using Versafine Onyx Black ink. Mount to dark blue cardstock and a kraft notecard.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-654 Tranquil Hamlet
30-504 Christmas Sentiments


Sweet Scroll

September 12, 2018

Turn up the Christmas tunes, put out the twinkling lights in the craft room, and get ready to tackle your holiday crafting to-do list with loads of inspiration from our designers and artsy friends as they feature the new stamps and dies from our Christmas 2018 collection!

There are so many ways to use our Creative Die set, 51-458 Paper Scroll. Today Birgit Edblom has used the medium-sized scroll and has given it a vintage, distressed look.

And she embellished the scroll with our Creative Die set, 51-471 Pine Branch.

Design Details: Die cut scroll and pine branches from Waterford High White watercolor paper and paint with Daniel Smith watercolors. Stamp sentiment onto scroll using dark brown ink. Splatter Pine Branch dies with watered down white acrylic paint and adhere to scroll. Mount scroll to white background with crimped detail. Crimped detail achieved using Marvy Uchida Corru-Gater Paper Crimper.

And before we go, we wanted to remind you that you still have time to enter our current challenge with a chance to win a $100 shopping spree to our online store! Get all of the details HERE.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

51-458 Paper Scroll
51-471 Pine Branch
30-512 Joyful Sentiments


Lamp Post Scene

September 11, 2018

Turn up the Christmas tunes, put out the twinkling lights in the craft room, and get ready to tackle your holiday crafting to-do list with loads of inspiration from our designers and artsy friends as they feature the new stamps and dies from our Christmas 2018 collection!

Our Creative Die set, 51-449 Lamp Post, is perfect for finishing off a stamped and painted winter scene.

Before adding the lamp post, Birgit used our stamps, 40-637 Winter Branches and 30-260 On the Town, with her hand painted cityscape.

Design Details: Hand paint city using Daniel Smith watercolors onto Waterford High White watercolor paper. Stamp Winter Branches with grey ink, using generation stamping to achieve a lighter look as they move to the left. Stamp silhouette image using VersaFine Onyx Black ink. Splatter background with watered down white acrylic paint. Die cut Lamp Post from watercolor paper and paint each die cut piece. Adhere to scene.

Before you go, don’t miss this week’s card on our SIMPLICITY site…

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-637 Winter Branches
51-449 Lamp Post
30-260 On the Town


Birgit’s Brushstroke Stamping

September 10, 2018

Turn up the Christmas tunes, put out the twinkling lights in the craft room, and get ready to tackle your holiday crafting to-do list with loads of inspiration from our designers and artsy friends as they feature the new stamps and dies from our Christmas 2018 collection!

This week we welcome back Birgit Edblom for another week of fabulous inspiration!

Today she has for us three cards, each featuring our newest brushstroke stamps. For her first card, she’s stamping with our cling stamp, 40-627 Christmas Glow.

Design Details: Color the stamp with a green Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Artists’ Crayon, mist with water, and stamp onto Waterford High White watercolor paper. Stamp the pot in the same way, cut it out, and adhere into the tree image using 3D foam. Paint the background using Daniel Smith watercolors. Add some drops of white Liquid Pearls and yellow for the star.

 Next, Birgit has combined two stamps, 40-659 Jingle Bell Trio and 40-629 Winter Tree. After stamping the bells, she masked them, then stamped the tree in the background. What a clever way to add depth to her one-layer design.

Design Details: Stamp the jingle bells first using Rusty Hinge Distress Ink onto Arches – White, 300 gr Cold Press watercolor paper. Paint some shadows onto the bells using Daniel Smith watercolors. Paint the background with Daniel Smith watercolors. To make the tree appear like it is behind the jingle bells, mask the jingle bells before stamping the tree. (Masking: Stamp the jingle bells onto masking paper or thin typing paper. Cut out the jingle bells and adhere, using removeable adhesive, on top of the original image. Stamp tree, working around the jingle bells and over the mask. Remove the mask to reveal the effect.) Tree stamped with a variety of green Distress Inks. Sentiment stamped with Versafine Onyx Black ink.

Finally, take a peek at Birgit’s charming brushstroke stamping with our cling stamp, 40-653 Bundled Up.

Design Details: Stamp the image with Ranger Archival Ink Pad – Shadow Grey onto Waterford High White watercolor paper. Using the light grey stamped image as a guide, paint the image with Daniel Smith watercolors. Stamp the sentiment Versafine Onyx Black ink. Splatter painted panel with watered down white acrylic paint.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card One: 40-627 Christmas Glow, 30-512 Joyful Sentiments
Card Two: 40-659 Jingle Bell Trio, 40-629 Winter Tree, 30-504 Christmas Sentiments
Card Three: 40-653 Bundled Up, 30-510 Snowflake Sentiments


Runs with Scissors

September 8, 2018

Welcome, Penny Black Friends to another edition of Runs with Scissors. My thanks to Cooper for making sure Runs with Scissors happened while Mr. RWS and I made the trip to Wisconsin to spend time with family and friends. Cooper was on his own doggie vacay while we were away and maybe someday he will share his own vacation stories. Weren’t we lucky to rescue a dog that knows how to use a computer?

It is good to leave home now and then to spend time with people you love in places where so many of your memories were created. But as every traveler knows, it is good to return home to savor the new memories and sleep in your own bed.

It was also a joy to be back in Penny Black’s studio, playing with the new releases, Fall 2018 and Christmas 2018. This week I made a variety of cards for each of the upcoming holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The transparent set Halloween Gathering includes a great assortment of spooky images that can be combined in many different ways. For this card I’ve used the tree and the witch on her broom, stamped directly onto a background I created using Distress Oxide inks. I added black embossing powder to make the images pop against that spooky sky.

These images are also from the Halloween Gathering transparent set and created a card with an entirely different mood. I used Copic markers to make the sky and color the whacky house. That little black cat is keeping an eye on those bats. The house is a fun image to color and would look very different using a variety of color combinations.

This card was made using the Abundance mini stamp set. I think I used twenty different Copic markers coloring the cornucopia and its contents. I fussy cut the image and mounted it on the layers created with the Stitched Stackers die set. The upcoming holidays are a chance to bring out those gold, silver, red and green sheets of cardstock.

Family Time at Lake Wisconsin

“Don’t be sad it’s over, smile that it happened at all”. It’s rumored that Dr. Seuss is the author of this bit of wisdom, but even if his authorship can’t be proven, it’s good advice.

Those are the words that ran through my head as I tearfully hugged my kids and grandkids goodbye at the end of our week’s visit at the lake in Wisconsin. It doesn’t matter how determined I am to say good-bye with a smile, those tears come down my cheeks, a mixture of sadness because I have to leave and happiness because we were together.

Much of my joy came from traveling successfully, making it through airports to change planes and keeping up with the family’s activities. I almost forgot my diagnosis and was thrilled to feel so well. I made pancakes for the group, just like I always do when we gather. It’s a family memory; mom at the stove trying to make crepes as fast as the kids and grandkids can eat them.

Mr. RWS and I spent half a day visiting dear friends from the days we lived in the Lake Wisconsin area. Dinner with one couple and just a brief “drop in” with another. Just long enough for hugs and a quick check in.

The story of my adopted son connecting with his biological family came full circle when we spent an hour with his 95 year old biological grandmother. There are no words to describe that experience. I am grateful that we met and were able to fill in details about the journey each of us took in order for my son to join our family. I love a story with a happy ending, and this, indeed, was one of those.

There is a ferry that transports vehicle and pedestrian traffic from one side of Lake Wisconsin to the other. It is one of only two remaining free ferries in the country, I believe. How fun it was to see my adult son with his two little ones recreating the memories we made when he was a little boy. The ice cream stands at each side of the lake are still there, and yet another generation of families are stopping for a treat after disembarking the ferry.

We spent time each day boating on the lake, pulling the little ones behind the boat on a luxury “tube”. I couldn’t help but smile to my self remembering the newborn days of being careful how we held them, being certain to support their little heads and now they are zooming across the wake, arms waving to signal, “faster, faster”!

These two are happiest on the boat, riding the tube and swimming in the lake.

I have decided to wear sunglasses for the rest of my life! And spend more time boating.

Evenings were campfires and S’Mores and gorgeous sunsets that gave the lake house it’s name: Sunset Bay.

Jack and Evelyn are at a great age to play board games and work jigsaw puzzles, both of which we did. It is so hard to see little ones learning the hard lesson that there can only be one winner.

Now that Labor Day is behind us, Evelyn has gone off to kindergarten and Jack is finishing his last year in the Child Development Center that he has attended since an infant. If this trip has taught me anything, it’s taught me how quickly the early years of a child go by. I am grateful for the time we spent together and I am grateful for the family who set aside their daily lives and work in order to make it happen. We are already discussing Thanksgiving … not if, but where! Watch out airports, this grandma is a traveler once again.

I used the Fall Wreath die set, running it through my die cutting machine twice: once with gold cardstock that I colored by blending Distress Oxide inks and the next time using plain gold cardstock. I layered the extra leaves to create more dimension. The circle cut from the Stitched Square and Circle dies was the perfect background from my Fall Wreath.

Oh, how I love that Birches cling stamp! My head wants to spin when I think of the possibilities. This time, I went easy peasy and used the image by itself with the addition of three pops of red. This stamp is a wonderful addition to your Penny Black collection as it can be used for so many occasions just by changing the embellishments or backgrounds.

Smiley Cooper, just glad to be home. Cooper was spoiled by his caretakers while we were away, but agrees there is no place like home. It had been a couple of years since we left him for a week and it took a few days for him to realize the suitcases were gone and his folks weren’t going anywhere for awhile.

Speaking of suitcases, I successfully packed a week’s clothes for two people into one large suitcase that we checked. I suffer enough paying for one suitcase per trip and I think paying for two would be more than I could bear. I think overpacking is why suitcases have wheels now. After advice from my world traveled daughter regarding the cooler temps in Wisconsin, especially in the evenings, we added a carry on for jeans and sweatshirts. It was impossible for me to think about cooler temps when our air conditioning had been out for the days before we left. But that’s a story for another day!

It’s now time for another good-bye. How quickly these posts go. It’s always good to spend time with you and I will be back soon. I am still learning how to manage my myasthenia gravis symptoms in order to have the energy to do the things I must as well as the things I love.

The scissors are stowed, my scraps and bits vacuumed, the stamps all accounted for. I have spent far too much time searching for clear stamps that I’ve carelessly set aside instead of returning to their packaging. I am trainable!

Until next time, I hope to see your work in the Penny Circle Flicker Gallery. And as they say here in Alabama, “Happy Fall, Y’all”.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-490 Halloween Gathering, 40-433 Spooky Wishes, 51-397 Antique Frame

Card No. 2: 30-490 Halloween Gathering, 51-416 Stitched Stackers

Card No. 3: 30-491 Abundance, 51-416 Stitched Stackers

Card No. 4: 51-422 Stitched Square and Circles, 51-478 Give Thanks, 51-479 Fall Wreath

Card No. 5: 40-636 Birches, 51-031 Perched, 51-174 Greetings

Creative Christmas Challenge!

September 7, 2018

We’re pleased to announce a Penny Black challenge to keep you inspired and motivated to tackle your holiday crafting to-do list!

Who can play along?
Anyone can submit their project!  We love to see what YOU create with Penny Black stamps, dies, stencils, and designer paper pads.  All levels of crafters and designers are welcome.

What should I create?
Submit any type of project with a holiday theme (for example, Christmas, winter, autumn, Thanksgiving, etc.). You can create cards, tags, mixed media designs, altered art, scrapbook pages, home décor… the sky is the limit.  Just be sure your submission has at least one Penny Black product as the main focus.(Looking to add more Penny Black to your stash? View our online store HERE.)

How do I submit my project?
Pick from any of these options (and you only need to pick one) and there is no limit to the number of entries you can submit:

*Add it to the Penny Circle Flickr gallery.

*Leave a comment on this post linking us to your blog entry or online gallery. When you post on your blog, a link back to this post is appreciated, but not required.

*Post it to our Facebook page @PennyBlackInc and/or share it on your Facebook page with the tag #pbcreativechristmas.

*Share it with us on Instagram @pennyblackstamps with the tag #pbcreativechristmas.

Two lucky winners will receive a $25 shopping spree to our online storeAnd the grand prize winner will receive a $100 shopping spree to the Penny Black online store! That’s three winners! The $25 shopping spree winners will be announced here on the blog on September 28 and October 26. The grand prize winner will be announced on November 30th. DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES IS WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 11:59 PM PST.

TGIF! Don’t miss this…

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