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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

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Inspire and Explore with Birgit

January 4, 2019

Looking for sweet watercolor scenes featuring critters and Creative Dies? Look no further than our new collection Happy Heart Day.

The talented Brigit Edblom joins us today with card ideas we can’t help but L-O-V-E!

For her first card Birgit is stamping with our beary cute 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-534 All My Love.  When combined with a white on white border created with our die set, 51-484 Lovely Border, her card would be perfect for Valentine’s, anniversary, or just to say ‘I love you.’

Design details for card shown above: Stamp 30-534 All My Love onto Waterford High White watercolor paper with Jet Black Archival ink and paint with Daniel Smith watercolors.  Die cut 51-484 Lovely Border and from this panel die cut an inner rectangle with any basic frame die (Birgit used 51-440 Elegant Stitching.) Place the frame onto the card.

For her next card, Birgit has featured our 30-530 Fairy Love and 30-525 Words Sweet stamp sets.

The neutral grey background looks spectacular with the bright pops of red on this happy girl’s outfit.

Design details for card shown above: Stamp 30-530 Fairy Love onto Waterford High White watercolor paper with Jet Black Archival ink and paint with Pro Markers. Paint an oval with Daniel Smith watercolors. Stamp sentiment using Versafine Onyx Black ink.

To create a scene on her next card design, Birgit combined our stamp sets 30-450 Peaceful Winter and 30-535 Space Reserved.

Design details for card shown above: Stamp 30-450 Peaceful Winter with Distress Inks and Daniel Smith watercolors onto Waterford High White watercolor. Stamp 30-535 Space Reserved using Versafine Onyx Black ink onto Waterford High White watercolor and paint with paint with Daniel Smith watercolors. Fussy cut the image and place on the background with 3D foam.

For her next cards, Birgit is showcasing two different variations using the bunny from our miniature 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-529 Lovable.

First, this sweet bunny is sitting on our Creative Die, 51-488 Big Love.

Design details for card shown above: Stamp 30-529 Lovable onto Waterford High White watercolor paper with Jet Black Archival ink and paint with Daniel Smith watercolors. Cut it out. Stamp the dot border in darker brown ink. and paint a part with lighter brown. Die cut 51-488 Big Love from watercolor paper and paint in red with Distress Inks. Adhere to scene.

Next this happy hare is catching a ride on our Creative Die, 51-487 Love Train.

Design details for card shown above: Stamp 30-450 Peaceful Winter with Distress inks and Daniel Smith watercolors onto Waterford High White watercolor. Stamp 30-529 Lovable onto Waterford High White watercolor paper with Jet Black Archival ink and paint with Daniel Smith watercolors. Cut it out. Die cut the love train in black and red cardstock. Adhere to scene.

For more cardmaking fun, love is definitely in the air with our Creative Die, 51-492 Hearts Galore.

Using the die shown above as a background element, Birgit added the bear from our transparent set, 30-523 Key to My Heart, perched on her twine.  A sweet sentiment from the transparent set, 30-532 Love Sentiments, finishes off this card perfectly.

Design details for card shown above: Die cut 51-492 Hearts Galore and place onto a red cardstock. Stamp 30-523 Key to My Heart onto Waterford High White watercolor paper with Jet Black Archival ink and paint with Daniel Smith watercolors. Cut it out. Place the little bear on 3D foam with red twine. Stamp sentiment using Versafine Onyx Black ink.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card One: 30-534 All My Love, 51-484 Lovely Border

Card Two: 30-530 Fairy Love, 30-525 Words Sweet

Card Three: 30-535 Space Reserved, 30-450 Peaceful Winter

Card Four: 51-488 Big Love, 30-529 Lovable, 30-238 Footnotes

Card Five: 30-450 Peaceful Winter, 30-529 Lovable, 51-487 Love Train

Card Six: 51-492 Hearts Galore, 30-523 Key to My Heart, 30-532 Love Sentiments

*NOTE: Should any advertisements appear outside/beneath this post’s content, they are not affiliated nor endorsed by Penny Black.  We apologize for the technical “glitch” and are working on a solution so that your future experiences at our blog are ad-free. 

Keep it Simple: Modern and Marvelous

January 2, 2019

Today we bring you clean, simple, modern and marvelous project ideas featuring our Happy Heart Day collection.

And who better to bring a fresh take and modern style than our crafty friend Julia! For her first project, she shares with us a coordinating gift wrap and card set.

To begin, she simply stamped the adorable hedgie and rose from our miniature transparent stamp set, 30-529 Lovable, onto pink wrapping paper.

For her card, she die cut the balloons and bird from our Creative Die set, 51-493 Heart Balloons, from designer paper and then embellished them with thread.

And did you notice that sweet tag on the card above? It’s included in our Creative Die set, 51-491 Lovable Cut Out.  Speaking of, Julia combined this with the matching stamp set, 30-529 Lovable, on her next sweet card.

Julia simply sprinkled the roses, stamped in black ink, across her artistic watercolor background.

Another idea for using fun watercolor backgrounds is to use them with our Creative Die, 51-496 Strings of Hearts.

Simply paint with your favorite paints onto watercolor paper, allow to dry, and then die cut.  This is also a fun project to do with kids.

 

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-529 Lovable
51-491 Lovable Cut Out
51-493 Heart Balloons
30-528 Kisses & Wishes
51-496 Strings of Hearts

*NOTE: Should any advertisements appear outside/beneath this post’s content, they are not affiliated nor endorsed by Penny Black.  We apologize for the technical “glitch” and are working on a solution so that your future experiences at our blog are ad-free. 

Winners!

December 31, 2018

Thanks to everyone who partied with us as we celebrated the release of our Happy Heart Day collection!  Without further ado, here are our winners!

Blog Hop Winner #1: Daniela May
Blog Hop Winner #2: Momcat
Blog Hop Winner #3: Linnea S
Day 2 Winner: Rostamps4fun
Day 3 Winner: MKW_Cards
Day 4 Winner: Kirsty Vittetoe
Day 5 Winner: trainwithmeghan

Congrats, you have each won a $50 shopping spree to our online store. To claim your prize, send your selections to info@pennyblackinc.com with “Attn Susan: Happy Heart Day Winner” in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your shipping information as well.

And before we go, we wish you ALL fun and festive New Year’s Eve celebrations.

May 2019 be filled with all things inspiring and inky!

*NOTE: Should any advertisements appear outside/beneath this post’s content, they are not affiliated nor endorsed by Penny Black.  We apologize for the technical “glitch” and are working on a solution so that your future experiences at our blog are ad-free. 

Keep It Simple: Bold Red Valentines

December 28, 2018

With our new collection, Happy Heart Day, creating handmade Valentines and love-themed cards need not be tricky or time consuming.

Today Patti Kehl shares with us three fun card designs featuring stamps and dies along with bold red cardstock.

For her first card, Patti has used our Creative Die set, 51-494 Love and Miss You, as the string for her heart-shaped balloon (51-493 Heart Balloons).

This is certainly an adorable finishing touch that gives this card extra charm!

And while Patti’s cards are always crisp, clean, and achievable for all levels of papercrafters, she always adds that special something that makes them unique. For her next two cards, she’s used the heart/stitching die which is part of our Creative Die set, 51-486 Stitched XOXO.

When used with our Creative Die, 51-487 Love Train, it makes the perfect train track!

All aboard!

When combined with the pup from 30-523 Key to My Heart (exact match die 51-495 Key…Cut Out), the die cut stitching line gives him the perfect place to sit.

Who can resist these happy hugs?

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card One: 51-445 Floral Half, 51-493 Heart Balloons, 51-494 Love and Miss You, 30-528 Kisses and Wishes

Card Two: 51-487 Love Train, 51-486 Stitched XOXO, 30-524 Happy Hugs

Card Three: 51-486 Stitched XOXO, 51-495 Key…Cut Out, 30-523 Key to My Heart, 30-523 Happy Hugs

*NOTE: Should any advertisements appear outside/beneath this post’s content, they are not affiliated nor endorsed by Penny Black.  We apologize for the technical “glitch” and are working on a solution so that your future experiences at our blog are ad-free. 

Inspire and Explore: Layers to LOVE

December 26, 2018

Today Peet Roeven is here to inspire and explore the creative possibilities of our new collection of stamps and dies, Happy Heart Day.

She’s papercrafting with her whimsical and fun layers to LOVE.

To begin, Peet has stamped and colored the adorable pup from our transparent stamp set, 30-523 Key to My Heart, and then cut him out using the exact match die, 51-495 Key…Cut Out.

To create her lovely layers in the background, Peet has used our Creative Dies, 51-493 Heart Balloons and 51-485 Hearts Around.

To create a window/frame look with the Heart Balloons die, Peet simply ran two dies through her die cutting machine at the same time.

On her next card, Peet’s focal point was created with our miniature 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-534 All My Love.

After fussy cutting her sweet bear, she layered him on top of two rectangular pieces of paper.

She splattered one with light pink watercolor paint and the other was cut with our Creative Die set, 51-484 Lovely Border.

While her first two cards featured furry friends, these next two cards from Peet feature friends of the feathered variety! Her sweet birds were stamped using our miniature 3 x 4 inch transparent stamp sets, 30-524 Happy Hugs.

Peet’s background was created by simply layering our Creative Die, 51-496 Strings of Hearts, over an abstract watercolor design.

Instant interest and depth!

And for Peet’s last card for us today, she’s combined several of these die cutting, stamping, and layering techniques along with a sweet sentiment from our transparent stamp set, 30-525 Words Sweet.

So much cuteness, whimsy, and fun… thanks for all of the inspiration, Peet!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card One: 30-523 Key to My Heart, 51-495 Key… Cut Out, 51-485 Hearts Around, 51-493 Heart Balloons

Card Two: 30-534 All My Love, 51-484 Lovely Border

Card Three: 30-524 Happy Hugs, 51-496 Strings of Hearts, 51-493 Heart Balloons, 51-494 Love & Miss You

Card Four: 30-524 Happy Hugs, 30-525 Words Sweet, 51-485 Hearts Around, 51-493 Heart Balloons

*NOTE: Should any advertisements appear outside/beneath this post’s content, they are not affiliated nor endorsed by Penny Black.  We apologize for the technical “glitch” and are working on a solution so that your future experience at our blog is ad-free. 

Happy Holidays from Penny Black

December 24, 2018

From our hearts to yours, we wish you the merriest of holidays filled with joy and peace!

Card design by Micheline “Mimi” Jourdain featuring 40-580 Berry Bramble, 40-495 Cones & Berries, 30-512 Joyful Sentiments, 30-497 Joyful Holiday, 30-518 Stillness