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Special Friend

May 14, 2018

Over the next several weeks our designers and crafty friends will be joining us to share their creations featuring our newest collection of stamps and Creative Dies, Nature’s Art.

This week we bring you the wonderful stamped artwork of Birgit Edblom. Her neutral frame elements with pops of rich color will have you ready to grab your stamps and dies and get inky.

To kick off this week of inspiration, Birgit has reached for our miniature 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-485 Gentle Thoughts.

After fussy cutting her sweet pair of friends, Birgit then adhered them to her card with portions of the trimmed image extending beyond the framed background. This small detail adds so much to her overall card design.

Design Details: Lightly paint background using Daniel Smith watercolors and stamp sentiment. Stamp girl and dog using Ranger Archival Ink and paint with Daniel Smith watercolors. Fussy cut image and add light layer of Distress Ink around the outside using an ink blending tool and a foam pad. Add tiny dots to dress using a white gel pen. Adhere to notecard. (Paper: Waterford High White HP Watercolor Paper)

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-485 Gentle Thoughts
30-358 Happy Snippets



Runs with Scissors

May 12, 2018

Good May morning to all of you. I hope you can hear the birds singing where you are. Right now I am hearing the sound of lawn mowers as our neighbors experience the consequences of fertilizing and watering their lawns. The sound of lawn mowers in the spring is more easily tolerated than the sound of snowblowers in the winter! As a retiree, Mr. RWS does the lawn mowing during the week when our employed neighbors are not at home.

In the United States, we will be celebrating Mother’s Day tomorrow. The women with the hardest job in the world deserve the entire weekend, I think. So all of you mothers, step-mothers, adoptive mothers, single mothers, mothers to be, and anyone who has filled the role of mother, and especially those of you who are a mother to an angel baby, celebrate this weekend and your special place in life.

Spring, with its beauty and energy and new life is the perfect time to celebrate motherhood. I hope my cards this week express the joy of this amazing season.

This sweet bird image is one of four stamps included in the transparent set Ebullient. The other three images are floral and are about the same size. I’ve made a standard sized card with this image, but their size would be perfect for smaller note cards, too. I admit to having to look up the definition of “ebullient” and learned the word means cheerful and full of energy; lively; happy. Because spring can be all of these things, these spring related images are indeed ebullient.   I created the white circular frame by “nesting” two of the circle dies from the Stitched Square and Circles die set.

The Radiant transparent set includes this single flower stamp that is fun to color and makes a bold statement. I stamped, colored and fussy cut a “batch” of flowers and used five of them on this card. I used the Curved Stitch die to create the black space between the two portions of the card. I think it is safe to say this card is “ebullient”, too.

The fashionista from the All Fours cling set is enjoying a spring day walking her pups in the park, the Metropolitan skyline in the distance. When I realized my design left no room for a sentiment, I made a little tag using the Gift Card Pocket die set and tucked it between the grassy “hills”. There is always room for a hug!


However did I manage without the word “ebullient” in my vocabulary? The word goes beyond meaning “happy”. Ebullience implies a very energetic happiness, a life force that rejuvenates our spirit after a long and sometimes dreary winter.

The month of May, with its ebullient spirit, is the perfect month to celebrate mothers, graduates and newlyweds. Perhaps ebullient is the antonym for hibernation, a time of avoiding life rather than celebrating it.

Spring is nature’s gift, an apology for the misbehavior of a winter that hung around far too long. We can grudgingly forgive and hopefully forget those long, cold months as we notice nature’s art all around us. More anticipated than even Christmas or a birthday, spring is the reward we hoped for during the dreary winter.

Mother’s Day is a day when I am especially grateful for my family who will send cards and make much appreciated phone calls. It is a day I am grateful also for the mothers of my grandchildren who amaze me with the great job they do as moms while holding down very responsible full time jobs. I love watching this next generation grow into the amazing humans that they are, thanks to the love and hard work of their parents.

I am grateful for the people in my life who mentored me as a new mother or just listened to my fears and whining as I spent six years as a single mom. Some days I wonder how I managed and every day I know I didn’t do it without help. I believe experienced moms can play a big role in a new mom’s life by being supportive and encouraging. Moms need to be reassured that their instincts are valuable and there isn’t only one right way to be a good mother.

For those of us who have become grandmothers, Mother’s Day has even more meaning. I treasure my grandchildren, even though we live far apart. I am thankful for today’s technology that allows for sharing of photos and videos and real time video phone calls. Travel by air shrinks the distance between us and the visits are precious and never routine.

Welcome, beloved May with your ebullience and celebrations. Thank you, Mother Nature for your art that nourishes our spirit. Thank you, mothers, for doing the hardest and most selfless job in the world.

As I said earlier, I created a batch of flowers using the Radiant set and had two left over after making the birthday card above. Since I wasn’t very pleased with my coloring of the flowers in the Rose Bowl image, I added my fussy cut flowers to the bouquet, blocking the not so successful coloring. I think the images from the Cup of Tea transparent set bring calm to the ebullient floral arrangement.

I may have spent more time on this card than the others combined. Actually, this Apples card didn’t take long after I found the technique that worked for me. I tried watercoloring; I tried using Tombow markers directly onto the stamp; I tried applying ink onto the stamp with a dauber. What I learned from my failed attempts is to use a light touch so you don’t lose the detail built into the Apples stamp. Also, this pale green cardstock has a shimmery, not very absorbent surface which helped. I applied my ink lightly to the image with a dauber and did not press down very hard with my MISTI. I was ebullient with the result! I truly felt like an artist after my accomplishment and only a sentiment from the Artful transparent set would do.

Mom is all about love, so I reached into my Valentine collection of dies and created the heart cut out using the Butterfly Heart Popout die. The bouquet of roses was made using the Love and Roses die set and I added a butterfly from the Flutters die set. Hearts, flowers, sweet words and a butterfly: perfect recipe for a Mother’s Day card.

Cooper loves to smell the roses. Cooper may not know what ebullient means, but he lives it every day. At the age of 8 ½ there is still a lot of playful puppy in him which adds to our ebullience daily.

Indulge this grandmother, please, by letting her post photos of the two littlest.

Evelyn is taking Irish dance lessons and recently had her first recital.

Jack is now sporting a big boy haircut since he goes to the Barber Shop with Daddy.

Now it is time to stow the scissors, tidy the studio and head to the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery to comment on your art. Hopefully when I get home the new gazebo will be sporting the replacement canopy sent by the manufacturer. Sadly, Mr. RWS did not notice the ten defective areas on the original canopy until after he had installed it and the sun shone through the bare spots. He deserves extra husband points for the perseverance he has shown putting together and installing gazebo number four as well as several replacement canopies over the years. We could not use our patio without a source of shade so the gazebo is our friend. My thanks to Penny Black for the addition of “ebullient” to my vocabulary and for the life lessons learned from the various sentiment and verse sets. For all of you mothers who spend time with me each week, I wish you the love of family, the ebullience of spring, and the joy of knowing how important you are.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-434 Ebullient, 51-422 Stitched Square and Circles, 51-433 Believe in Your Dreams

Card No. 2: 30-461 Smile Today, 30-481 Radiant, 51-435 Curved Stitch

Card No. 3: 30-358 Happy Snippets, 40-606 All Fours, 51-033 Silver Linings, 51-167 Metroopolitan, 51-191 Gift Card Pocket, 51-411 Rows of Stitches, 51- 418 Wavy Stitch Edger

Card No. 4: 30-481 Radiant, 30-482 Cup of Tea, 40-618 Rose Bowl

Card No. 5: 30-480 Artful, 40-619 Apples, 51-397 Antique Frame

Card No. 6: 30-106 Word Express, 51-006 Flutters, 51-291 Butterfly Heart Popout, 51-405 Love and Roses

Fun Friday: Links we Love

May 11, 2018

Today we are so excited to bring you lots of inspiration with some fabulous links we love from our Simplicity Sister, Mayline Jung! (And if you haven’t heard of our Simplicity Sisters, be sure you check out our clean and simple stamping site HERE for more of their amazing work!)

Mayline’s stamping combines bright colors, playful placement of her images, and fun combinations of stamp sets to create one-of-a-kind cards. Just take a peek…

Additional details for the card shown above available HERE.

Additional details for the card shown above available HERE.

Additional details for the card shown above available HERE.

Additional details for the card shown above available HERE.

Additional details for the card shown above available HERE.

TGIF! Don’t miss this…

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

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card 1: 40-601 Flower Pageant, 30-455 Smitten

Card 2: 51-412 Starry, 30-471 Sweet You, 30-455 Smitten

Card 3: 40-607 Birthday Balloons, 30-455 Smitten, 30-210 Ooh La La

Card 4: 40-587 Young Love, 30-480 Artful

Card 5: 30-457 So Loved, 30-408 Fairy Flutters, 30-455 Smitten

Heartfelt Thanks

May 10, 2018

Over the next several weeks our designers and crafty friends will be joining us to share their creations featuring our newest collection of stamps and Creative Dies, Nature’s Art.


It’s been a wonderful week of cards from Peet Roeven, and today’s card certainly doesn’t disappoint. To create a vertical layout, Peet stamped and layered the floral panel from our miniature 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-488 Appreciation.

She colored her flowers with colored pencils and simply cut around the square shapes.

Her sentiment was stamped onto vellum and wrapped around the floral panel.

This simple layout and design could be easily replicated and changing the colors of the flowers would give the card a whole different look.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-488 Appreciation


I Love You Mom

May 9, 2018

Over the next several weeks our designers and crafty friends will be joining us to share their creations featuring our newest collection of stamps and Creative Dies, Nature’s Art.

Peet Roeven’selegant design today is perfect for Mother’s Day creations or anytime you just want to tell mom “I love you.” Or you could completely change the sentiment and use this card layout for whatever occasion best suits your needs.

Peet began by stamping our cling stamp, 40-618 Rose Bowl, and coloring it with watercolor pencils, blending with a waterbrush.

For her background, she layered our Creative Die, 51-443 Art Deco Window, over a blue watercolored background. We just love the simplicity of this blue sky outside of the window.

Peet fussy cut her rose bowl and layered it in front of the window.  Such a fresh looking card!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-618 Rose Bowl
51-443 Art Deco Window
51-191 Gift Card Pocket
30-294 The Sweetest


Birthday Critters

May 8, 2018

Over the next several weeks our designers and crafty friends will be joining us to share their creations featuring our newest collection of stamps and Creative Dies, Nature’s Art.

It’s always useful to have birthday cards on hand.  Peet Roeven brings us a pair of cute ideas today.

For Peet’s cards she has featured the furry friends from our transparent set, 30-466 Birthday Critters.

She stamped the images and colored them with watercolor pencils, blending with a waterbrush.

Next she combined them with our Creative Die, 51-444 Flowing Butterflies.

And Peet accentuated her happy designs with playful paper from our Designer Paper Pad, 80-015 Golden Moment.

We love the movement and cheer the butterfly die adds to her card designs.

And by using the sentiment ‘love’, these cards aren’t just limited to birthdays!

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


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-466 Birthday Critters
30-487 Balancing Act
51-444 Flowing Butterflies
51-191 Gift Card Pocket
80-015 Golden Moment


Fashionable Graduate

May 7, 2018

Over the next several weeks our designers and crafty friends will be joining us to share their creations featuring our newest collection of stamps and Creative Dies, Nature’s Art.

This week we will be sharing beautiful and playful card designs by Peet Roeven.

We begin with this fun graduation card.

Peet used our designer paper pad, 80-016 Summertime, to paper piece the outfit on the fashionista from our 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-487 Balancing Act.

Instead of using the cat which is included in the image, Peet substituted Creative Dies from our die set, 51-348 The Graduate. What a clever idea to get even more mileage from this stamp set!

She layered her fussy cut and die cut elements with a frame cut from our Creative Die set, 51-416 Stitched Stackers.

With a touch of watercoloring behind her frame, and a few sequins and stitching, Peet’s card is complete and full of congratulatory style.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-487 Balancing Act
51-416 Stitched Stackers
51-348 The Graduate
80-016 Summertime