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Runs with Scissors

July 16, 2016


Here I am again! A bit splattered and ink smeared but in the best possible way. I have posted only one of my attempts at having an Artistic Endeavor, but believe me, it is the best of the bunch! Apparently I have taken the advice to “just have fun” too seriously because my “having fun” did not yield many useable pieces of art.

I hope you are working with the Artistic Endeavor release and having fun while you create. There are so many ways to add visual and textural interest to your art. So far I’ve been moderately successful only when I am more conservative. I believe the fact that so many people will see my results holds me back a bit. There is only so much humiliation one can bear. However, I have never enjoyed a process or technique more!

Since it is way too hot and humid to be outdoors lately I did, however, enjoy playing with all the stamps and dies in this release. I love that there are so many options.


This image is very aptly named Portrait. Literalist that I am, I used the stamp “as is” and added a few die cut embellishments. I have had time enough to view different interpretations and uses of this stamp, so next time I will venture out. I noticed that the butterflies add so much to an art journal page. Why didn’t I think of that? I’ve water colored this lovely lady and embellished the image with Shall we Dance and Whimsical Tree. It is time for me to be less conservative with these art journaling stamps and I promise to “let loose” next time.


We all appreciate stamps that are versatile enough to use in many ways. While the Hydrangea stamp is a good way to embellish art journal pages, it is also a good size to be the focal point of a card. Here I’ve used it as a background for a shaker card and added a butterfly from the Butterfly Trio set. I colored the flower using the emboss resist method and my Memento Luxe inks.


Last week it was gold and a Golden Wedding anniversary card. This week I’ve used the Bird Flower Doily die to make a Silver Wedding anniversary card. That die makes a dramatic statement! I’ve used the Doily die set to create the background for the number 25, cut from the Numbers die set. I added a little tag from the Flower Tags die and stamped it with a sentiment from the Happy Snippets stamp set.

Story continued: Booze in Busia’s Basement

Last week’s chapter ended with my grandmother mentioning several ways to supplement the family income including how to benefit from Prohibition. She mentioned that the children were the helpers.

My grandmother continues telling her story to her youngest daughter who most likely was a toddler and not involved with the bootleg still.

One job your brother had was to skim off the hot water from the condensing chamber and replace it with cold; then place a fresh bottle at the mouth of the tube when full. Another job was that of a look-out; watch for strangers or policemen on their routes and hope the odor of mash wouldn’t direct them to our door.

A newsboy in the family became the number one helper. His canvas newspaper bag was a perfect camouflage for the procurement of large supplies of sugar purchased at the back door of the grocery store, the grocer himself a profitable moonshiner.

That bag also was used to make personal deliveries. Anyone seeing a young boy, aged 10 or 11, out late in the evening with a canvas bag over his shoulder would only assume he was a diligent and ambitious newsboy. A harmonious relationship with the neighbors was most important. Without their cooperation our clandestine operation could get us into trouble. If the product was of a good quality, a long stream of customers found their way to your door. For safety sake, the little children were told they were all uncles come to call.   ( I have to stop and take a deep breath here, dear readers). The customers’ flasks were cleverly hidden in lunch boxes, grocery baskets, wash baskets; some flasks were strapped to their legs; others had small straps sewn in their floppy visored caps to hold the flask firmly in the cap.

I am wondering if this is when the saying “Necessity is the mother of invention” came about.

Well, now that the illegal portion of my family’s history is behind us, let us move on to my aunt’s next question of my grandmother:

It seems to me that your life in this “golden land” was pretty much all struggles. Can you say you were happy here in America?

The first twenty years spent in this country were very lonely for me. I literally cried my way through those years. I missed my family so much. Letters from them were so infrequent. Because of an inability to write, they had to hire a letter writer and then it was done only in extreme emergencies. Money for stamps was not available. When a letter from Poland did come, you could not express joy at receipt of it for it was usually edged in black. And so over the years, my family became smaller. I turned to my church for solace. Every holy day was our holiday. Over the years we added American traditions to our own holiday and church customs and that mixture made the holiday doubly meaningful.

Was the inability to speak English a handicap?

Not a serious one. In all the shopping areas we traded there were clerks especially hired who spoke a foreign language, either German or Polish. Evening classes were offered in the schools, but my work as a charwoman at this time made it impossible for me to attend. I tried to learn to write with each child’s entrance into the second grade and all seven of you children surpassed me. Your father had more opportunity to grasp a smattering of the English language from dealing with men at work. As the children grew older the responsibility of doing the necessary shopping or dealing with people fell on them. The difficulty is more so now with fewer people conversant in a foreign language.

I am almost to the end of Busia’s interview and will end her story next week. I will share with you what it meant to me to visit Poland back in the 90’s and stay in Posnan, near my grandmother’s village.


This is my grandmother celebrating her 90th birthday with a family reunion. She went on to live to be 102 years old. She outlived several of her children which was yet another hardship she endured during her long life. Her courage has so far resulted in five generations of her descendants enjoying and appreciating life in the United States.


The adorable stamp set Love Me includes five darling doggie images. Happily, there is a set of dies titled Dog Days to go with the stamped images. Here I’ve combined the little doggie diecuts with a tree from the Trio of Trees die set. Love it when there is a die that eliminates the fussy cutting.


For this card, I have channeled my inner Birgit. I’ve used the Whimsical Tree die along with the Tweets die. It’s a simple combination of elements with a great deal of white space. One never knows what will happen when working with Penny Black stamps and dies.


And here is Mimi, one of the images included in the Adventures transparent set, at the beach, flying her kite in the ocean breezes. It looks like she is being very careful not to risk too much exposure to the sun. The sweet images in the Adventures set are fun to color and will bring a smile to anyone.


Mr. RWS has been out of town this past week and Cooper spent every day all day gazing out the front door, hoping to see the car appear with his best buddy. There are so many times I wish that Cooper could understand language, but never more so than when Mr. RWS disappears for more than a few hours. Cooper has no idea if Mr. RWS’s absence is forever, or if it is for just a few more minutes. Either way, Cooper will be there to provide an ecstatic greeting.   I, too, will be at the door, happy to have our little family unit whole again.

Once more, it is time for me to pack up, pick up and get up from the Penny Black blog. I love spending time here and it is a treat to be playing with all the Penny Black supplies. I’ve stowed the scissors and thankfully I put them in the same place each week, something I wish I would do more often with my personal belongings. I believe I spend half my life looking for things I’ve misplaced. I can only imagine my mother’s sigh of relief when I left home to go to school. At last, her scissors were always found in the drawer where they belonged.

I send to all of you a great big thank you for your lovely and encouraging and often very fun comments. Cooper loves it when I read them out loud to him. My next stop is the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery where I can return the favor and leave a comment on your work.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

Time for Lovely Layers

July 15, 2016


Today we welcome back the talented trio, also known as the Lovely Layers Ladies!

Emma Williams has designed a card worth tweeting about!


Her rustic, distressed background contrasts beautifully with her bright coloring. We love the look!


Download complete supplies and instructions HERE.

Next, Emilia Sieradzan, AKA Lady E: has our hearts a’ flutter with her creation.



Watch as her artistic background and lovely layers take shape

Watch directly on YouTube HERE.



Finally, Yenni Natalia has created a happy layered scene.


All of her layers add to this balanced, whimsical scene.


As an added bonus, even the inside of Yenni’s card is happy and layered. This is such a fun surprise for the lucky recipient.


Download complete supplies and instructions HERE.

What will you be creating this weekend? Whether it’s full of lovely layers or clean and simple stylings, we’d love to see. Share YOUR Penny Black stamped and die cut creations in our Penny Circle Flickr Gallery and/or our Facebook page.


And remember, Fridays are fun on our Facebook page, too!


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

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

A Bold Bouquet

July 14, 2016

Click HERE to view today’s new SIMPLICITY creation.


And don’t forget to scroll down to see what Birgit has been crafting!


Birgit Edblom’s unique stamping and die-cutting always leaves us inspired. So this week we welcome her to the blog as she spotlights several products from our new release, Artistic Endeavors!


Today Birgit has her talented hands on our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-464 Sweet Perfume.


She fussy cut around only a portion of the large stamp, giving her design an organic, natural look.


We’d like to give Birgit a special thanks for this wonderful week of inspiration!
And we’ll be back tomorrow with three very special Lovely Layers Ladies.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

Flowers and Fur

July 13, 2016

Birgit Edblom’s unique stamping and die-cutting always leaves us inspired. So this week we welcome her to the blog as she spotlights several products from our new release, Artistic Endeavors!


Are you on the lookout? On the lookout for cuteness? Look no further than Birgit’s card with this new Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-461 The Lookout.


Birgit’s neutral background with a pop of color on her flowers is an awesome design idea.


Birgit proves it… you just can’t go wrong with flowers AND fur!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

Birgit’s Blooms

July 12, 2016

Click HERE to to see what’s happening on our SIMPLICITY site.


And now scroll down for Birgit’s inspiration!


Birgit Edblom’s unique stamping and die-cutting always leaves us inspired. So this week we welcome her to the blog as she spotlights several products from our new release, Artistic Endeavors!


It’s as if we’ve walked into Birgit’s garden today. First she’s “planted” our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-469 Hydrangea.


This stamp is not just for art journaling. The large bloom looks great on a card, too.


Next, Birgit works her magic with 40-466 Flower Cascade.


Birgit turned the image and positioned it in the lower left hand corner of her card, leaving eye-pleasing white space on the top right hand corner of her card and plenty of room for an elegant stamped sentiment (30-350 Sentiment Collection).


If you enjoyed Birgit’s fresh flowers today, you will certainly love her card tomorrow. It has flowers AND fur…

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

Product Spotlight with Birgit

July 11, 2016

Birgit Edblom’s unique stamping and die-cutting always leaves us inspired. So this week we welcome her to the blog as she spotlights several products from our new release, Artistic Endeavors!


Today things get extra cute as Birgit spotlights our adorable critter stamp, 40-462 Taking Notes.



Birgit fussy cut the mice from the larger image, showing us how to get even MORE from this fun stamp.


These clean and simple cards certainly make our hearts smile.
And speaking of smiling…


Congrats to Mary K Holmes, the winner of our Artistic Endeavors giveaway. Mary, please email us at your selection of $25 worth of product from our online store. Please include “Artistic Endeavors Giveaway Winner” in the subject line and don’t forget to include your shipping information with your selections, too.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

alexandra’s Sunday scrapbooking -Poppy Gems

July 10, 2016
Hello dear Friends! Welcome to another edition of scrapbooking with Penny Black inc. products. Today, I’m using slapstick/Cling Poppy Gems #40-447 to illustrate pictures taken in June at Utah Beach in Normandy… I hope you will join over @ art scrap & more for the complete TUTORIAL! Thank You!

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