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Tarzan Kitty

May 15, 2017

This week we are thrilled to spotlight clean and simple card-making with the talented Francine Vuillème. Francine’s cards feature uncluttered style, one main focal point, white space, and minimal layers. And they are also filled with inspiration and certainly a lot of charm!

We’re so glad this adorable Tarzan kitty is swinging by for a visit today. Francine transformed the cat from our transparent stamp set, 30-414 Time to Celebrate, giving him a “rope” instead of balloons. How clever!

For Francine’s instructions for this card, please visit her blog HERE.

And if you are looking for even more clean and simple inspiration featuring Penny Black products, don’t forget to check out our SIMPLICITY site! New clean and simple designs are posted every Tuesday and Thursday.


And before we go, we just wanted to announce the winner from our recent giveaway with Vicky P.!  Congrats to Rebecca Craddock!  Please email us your $25 worth of selections from our online store to, with the subject line “Vicky P. Giveaway Winner.”  Don’t forget to also include your shipping information.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-414 Time to Celebrate
51-002 Leaves
30-351 Kool Kats


alexandra’s Sunday scrapbooking – the Cameo Effect

May 14, 2017
Hello dear Friends! Welcome to another edition of scrapbooking with Penny Black inc. products. Today, I thought I would share an easy and fun way to make a detail “pop”. To illustrate that technique, I have used: Potted Flowers and Flower Medley. I hope you’ll join me over @ art scrap & more. Thank you!

Runs with Scissors

May 13, 2017

Once again, here we are Penny Black friends. The lovely month of May is flying by more quickly than January or February even tried. Here in the United States tomorrow is Mothers Day. There is no more difficult nor more important job. To every mother out there I say, “Enjoy this special day. You have earned it.”

While I am thankful for the privilege of being a mother, I have learned to accept and appreciate the slower pace and lowered responsibility of my life as a retiree. There is no way I could be sneaking out of the house to spend Saturdays on the Penny Black blog if my children were still at home. If I remember correctly, it wasn’t easy carving out time for an occasional bubble bath.

Here is what I’ve done with my free time this morning:

Therese Calvird did a video, watch HERE, demonstrating the technique I’ve used on this card. Those incredible sentiment sets that Penny Black has included in the past two releases, Bliss and Celebrate, are worthy of being the focus of the card. Therese demonstrated a great technique that allows for the large sentiment as well as an image to fit on the same card. Using the MISTI, I stamped the large sentiment with black Memento ink. I left the sentiment stamp in place on the MISTI and then using soft grey Memento ink, I stamped the Cheerful floral image on top of the sentiment. I then loosely and lightly colored the flowers and butterflies with Copic markers. The next step was to put the card back into the MISTI, reink the sentiment with VersaFine black ink and stamp the verse again. It was pretty quick and easy and the technique would work with many combinations of sentiment and image stamps.   It is true that moms “do many small things with great love” in addition to all the big things they do.

I am finding many ways to use that Stencil Cut set of dies. Not only can you use them for great backgrounds, they can be the focal point, too. For this card I just cut the opening three times and placed a layer of designer paper from the Summertime paper pad between the openings and the card base.   Any sentiment would work, but this sentiment from the Especially Micely set makes the card appropriate for any mother.

Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy coloring with Prismacolors on kraft cardstock. Here is the sweet Sunflower Baby ready for summer in her sun suit and sandals. It looks like she got a little sun while picking sunflowers in her garden. I am so proud of myself for remembering to “ground” her by drawing those black lines!

My mom has been gone a long time. She did not live long enough for her hair to turn the silver that she so hoped for. There have been many times I wished she was here to see my children as adults and most of all, to meet my grandchildren. She did not live long enough to meet Mr. RWS or to know that I am not growing old alone.

The mothers I admire most at this stage of my life are the wives of my sons. They work at very demanding jobs and then devote their evenings and weekends to ensuring my grandchildren are able to participate in many enrichment activities and sporting opportunities. I am sure there are many weekends they would prefer to sleep late or spend the day in their pajamas relaxing.

My hat is off to them and to all of you whether you are empty nesters who are missing the everyday routine of raising your children or moms who are in the thick of it all.

Hats off to Grandmothers, too, whether you are blessed to be a hands-on Grandma or, like me, have to be content with Facetime and occasional visits via airplane.

As an adoptive Mom, I have a special place in my heart for those moms who loved their babies enough to place them for adoption. I have written the story here of my adopted son’s birth mother letting him know she was open to being contacted. This is the first Mothers Day my heart is at peace for her because finally she was able to share her story and enjoy the photos and letters that were exchanged. What I haven’t shared is that within a few months after making that connection, the metastatic cancer that made her search so urgent finally claimed her life.   I am grateful that I was finally able to thank her for that most precious gift.

Because I was raised as an “Army Brat” I must salute the military wives and mothers who, though married, often function as a single parent while their spouse is deployed to places families are not allowed. And even though the next duty station may allow wives and children to accompany their military husband and dad, there are sacrifices involved. Most military wives cannot pursue a career of their own as the frequent moves prohibit them from making long term employment commitments.   As mothers, they watch their children make and leave friends; leave a school they have been successful and comfortable in; and give up extra curricular activities that they may have excelled in. And it is the Mom’s job to create a home for the family at the next stop in the military career. Every military wife and mom knows that her family’s acceptance of the new surroundings depends on how accepting she is.

Several years ago I gave up planting flowers around our house and in the backyard. I claimed the reason was that I was “all nurtured out”. That must not have been totally true as soon after I gave up raising flowers, we adopted Cooper. There must still be a little nurturing gene left.

A long time ago when the kids were all home and Mothers Day was approaching I would kiddingly ask them “When is the Mothers Day truck coming with all my presents?” When I saw this stamp in the Cheerful Critters stamp set, it brought back the memories of my asking about the Mothers Day, Birthday and Christmas truck! So here is the bright pink mini vehicle stuffed with presents and on its way to deliver them to some very happy moms. I really like those larger sized banners in the Birds and Banners set that accommodate some of the die cut sentiments.

I have said it many times before: the only mice I like are the cute Penny Black mice. These little guys are from the Especially Micey set and are having fun whizzing around and flying their banner. This time I’ve stamped “Life is Great” but you could choose any Happy Snippets sentiment. I am always pleased to use some of my designer paper, this time from the Golden Moment paper pad.

This Birthday Fairy is pure coloring joy. And those wings and crown are a great place to add bling. This card had a mind of its own and it took hours before I finally gave up on my original idea to paper piece a la Peet and colored with Copics instead. Thankfully, there is no sign of the many earlier attempts at stamping my image that ended up in the waste basket. No matter how many times I checked my fingers and the MISTI cover plate, every stamping impression ended up with smudges or blurs. The solution was to walk away for an hour and start over. Thankfully, the smudge gremlins grew tired of waiting for my return and went on to bug some other stamper. My apologies if they found their way to your desk. This card became more clean and simple than I intended. It seemed prudent to quit while I was ahead.

Our weather last week was so beautiful that it was impossible to stay indoors. We put Cooper in the car and drove two miles to Ditto Landing, a park and marina on the Tennessee River. There are walking paths, a camp ground, and the incredible Tennessee River. We put Cooper on his long retractable leash and let him wander and sniff away. Cooper is happiest when he is in shade. Every hike finds us going from shaded spot to shaded spot. I took this photo while Mr. RWS and I were sitting on the picnic table bench in the sun just gazing at the river for a few minutes. Cooper, being the shade seeking canine that he is, spent the time under the bench. I snapped the shot as he decided to check on us, perhaps ready to scurry to the next shade-giving tree along the river bank.

Has anyone seen my itty bitty vacuum? All those little specs from die cutting are scattered everywhere. I hate leaving Penny Black’s studio in a mess and that itty bitty vacuum is easier to handle than the big one. Thankfully, I haven’t misplaced my scissors and I will be running again next week. Thank you for spending time with Cooper and me and thank you for posting your Penny Black creations in the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery.

Be sure to Celebrate and find time to do something you love this Mothers Day.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-406 All Great Things, 40-514 Cheerful

Card No. 2: 30-410 Especially Micely, 51-349 Stencil Cut, 80-016 Summertime

Card No. 3: 30-423 Banner Sentiments, 40-526 Sunflower Baby, 51-352 Birds and Banners

Card No. 4: 30-426 Cheerful Critters, 51-220 Party for You, 51-352 Birds and Banners

Card No. 5: 30-410 Especially Micely, 30-358 Happy Snippets, 51-359 Critters, 80-015 Golden Moment

Card No. 6: 30-423 Banner Sentiments, 40-524 Fairy Birthday, 51-352 Birds and Banners


Inspiration X 3!

May 12, 2017

Today’s post is filled to the brim with inspiration as we have not one, not two, but THREE cards for you.

We begin with the amazing designs of our Lovely Layers Ladies. First up is Emilia Sieradzan, AKA Lady E.

She’s created a shabby chic card design which features watercolors, stamping, and the layering of Creative Dies.

Be sure to check out her video… it’s truly mesmerizing to watch her gorgeous card come to life.

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

Next up, Yenni Natalia’s card is filled with an abundance of elegance and beauty.

We love how she’s “grounded” her focal point floral stamping in a garden of cattails and leaves cut from our Creative Dies. It’s truly wonderful!

That’s not all, our product spotlight with Vicky continues today with her fifth video. (Seriously, how spoiled are we?!)

To give our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-513 Burst of Blooms, an extra elegant look, Vicky has incorporated gold foil into her design.

Vicky’s foiling process is quite simple… watch it below.

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

And we just love how she kept with the golden gorgeousness by gold heat embossing her sentiment from our transparent set, 30-413 Birthday Love.

As the week comes to a close, we’d like to extend a special thanks to Vicky for all of the fun and inspiration!

Oh, and one more thing… TGIF!

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

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card 1: 51-007 Tagged, 51-311 Cogwheels, 51-340 Dream Big, 51-308 Bold Branch, 51-285 Line of Hearts, 30-238 Footnotes
Card 2: 51-334 Butterfly Border, 51-325 Leaf Edger, 51-315 Cattail Clique, 51-333 Awesome, 40-507 Awaken
Card 3: 40-513 Burst of Blooms, 30-413 Birthday Love

Colorful Container Garden

May 11, 2017

Don’t miss the new creation on our Simplicity Site today… click HERE to check it out!

And now scroll down for another video from Vicky.

Ready for colorful inspiration and video tutorials? Join us this week for five card ideas and the how-to’s from the talented Vicky Papaioannou.

We just can’t get over the bold colors Vicky has given our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-518 Potted Flowers.

With just this one stamp, Vicky has created a springtime scene that is both colorful and dimensional.

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-518 Potted Flowers


Flying by with another video!

May 10, 2017

Ready for colorful inspiration and video tutorials? Join us this week for five card ideas and the how-to’s from the talented Vicky Papaioannou.

Perhaps the critters from our transparent set, 30-414 Time to Celebrate, are getting carried away with their celebrations because Vicky is here again today with another video. YAY!

Be sure to check out Vicky’s video for great tips and techniques for working with detailed critter stamps.

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-414 Time to Celebrate
51-053 A Pocket Full
30-104 Sweet Wishes


Awaken to Sunshine

May 9, 2017

Don’t miss the new creation on our Simplicity Site today… click HERE to check it out!


And now scroll down for more from Vicky!

Ready for colorful inspiration and video tutorials? Join us this week for five card ideas and the how-to’s from the talented Vicky Papaioannou.

Vicky has given our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-507 Awaken, a happy sunshine-y look on her card today.

The way she fussy cut along only one side of the image gives added interest to her entire card design.

And don’t forget to watch Vicky create this card… her process certainly inspired us AND brightened our day!

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-507 Awaken
30-338 Special Thoughts