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Spotlight on Nature’s Beauty

October 1, 2015

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, Especially for You 2015!


There’s a chill in the air on Birgit’s card today. Nature’s beauty is highlighted by simply stamping our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-417 Regalia.


Using acrylic paints, inks, or watercolors, you can create a dynamic background design, too! Just add stamping on top to finish the look.


Oh, and Mimi looks adorable when layered on top as well! (Don’t you love those miniature buttons Birgit added to her coat and hat?)


An artsy, natural background is just one stamp away. Here are three more stamp designs that would also work well for this style of card: 40-420 Pastoral, 40-412 Berry Bevy, and 40-421 Tall Timbers.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

Spotlight on Die Cutting Dimension

September 30, 2015

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, Especially for You 2015!


Layered die cuts add tons of dimension on Birgit’s card today. She’s used our Creative Die, 51-148 Chaplet.



When working with dies, don’t be afraid to cut the design twice and layer the two identical die cut pieces on top of eachother for a look that is sure to “wow” the recipient. Off-setting the two die cuts adds even more unique style!


We can just imagine how this layered technique would also work these Creative Dies… 51-151 Whirl Wreath, 51-160 Wonder & Joy, and 51-159 Christmas Kiss.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

Spotlight on Traditional Elegance

September 29, 2015

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, Especially for You 2015!


Birgit’s muted tones and subtle background pair beautifully with our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-405 Holly Tweet.



Birgit created her background by stamping Holly Tweet in grey and adding just a touch of shading using watercolors. She also stamped our background stamp, 40-421 Tall Timbers, along the left-hand side of her card. Next, she stamped the bird on a separate piece of paper, added color, and cut it out. She adhered this feathery friend to her card using dimensional adhesive. Liquid pearls are a lovely final embellishment.


Want even more traditional elegance for the holidays? You may also enjoy the following stamps: 40-407 Starry Wreath, 30-309 Filigrees, and 40-408 Brush Pines.


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:

Product Spotlight with Birgit

September 28, 2015

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, Especially for You 2015!


To begin our week with Birgit, she has crafted an adorable card featuring our Slapstick/Cling stamp, 40-403 Sugar Plum Fairy.



Her focal point design, colored with watercolors and wings highlighted with glitter, looks beautiful against her glowing background. By cutting out her image, she was able to layer it over the Distress Inked background.


And if you love this card, we also think you may enjoy these stamps, too! They celebrate the joy of the season through the eyes of a child. (40-424 Pine Sprite, 40-422 Angel Swing, 40-425 Beary Merry)


Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies:



alexandra’s Sunday scrapbooking – a Recipe to Make Holiday Cards with a Tag

September 27, 2015
Hello dear Friends! Welcome to another edition of scrapbooking with Penny Black products. For today’s post I thought I would share my recipe to make the HCMP (Holiday Card Making Process) fun, easy and simple. I hope you’ll join me over at art scrap & more. Thank You!

Runs with Scissors… and Spam!

September 26, 2015


Hello. I am so happy to be with you again on the Penny Black blog. It is such a beautiful autumn day today that I decided the best way to get here was to walk. While on the way I saw the month of September whiz by! October is waiting in the wings. The windows are open here at the Penny Black blog and there is a wonderful breeze blowing the curtains, scattering glitter and paper scraps everywhere. I love this time of the year. It is that short period in Alabama between turning off the air conditioning and turning on the heat pump. Here on the blog it is the time to work on holiday-themed cards.


Holly Concert is a woodblock stamp, my favorite kind of stamp because they feel so permanent and collectible. These birds on a holly branch are fun to color, but this time I embossed with silver embossing powder, adding a touch of lavender to the berries. In my mind’s eye, I can also see silver birds with red holly berries, mounted on red and silver cardstock. It’s a bonus when one card gives you a good idea for the next one.


These cutie hedgies from the transparent set Best Day Ever are having a great time jingling all the way. I just colored them with Copics and fussy cut them so they could each have a square of their own. I am a big fan of the large Christmas sentiment dies; they add so much to a card. And hedgies make me smile.


A kraft and black color combination always catches my eye. Here I’ve created a textured background using the Frame and Pattern die set. I die cut two of the Branching Out trees, in gold and black card stock. I offset them just a bit when I layered them to create some depth. That tree die can be the focal point on cards for so many occasions.

When last we met I was waxing eloquently about the financial hazards of spending time (and money) in an airport. Well, there is more to airport challenges than money. The first major hurdle is clearance by the people and machines that make up the TSA and security checkpoints.

How, you say, can a woman of my age get in trouble going through Security? How could I be a threat to this great nation? Or the plane, or the passengers, or the airline staff?

I have traveled enough that I don’t even slow down the line when going through Security. I place my IPad in a separate plastic bin; take off my shoes and jacket and put them in a bin with my purse. I remember to put my makeup in a clear plastic bag and toss it onto the pile. I then send my carry on bag through.

I know to walk through the scanner, feet apart, hands held over my head (someday this will become impossible, I’m sure) and wait politely for the TSA person to beckon me on my way. Well, on my last trip as I stood at the conveyor waiting for my carry on to come rolling back to me, I noticed it was being pulled back for another scan. I was hoping that the TSA personnel now hovering over the x-ray screen were just discussing how cute my zebra striped bag was. But, no … I was asked to step aside please to the little table where I was reunited with my carry on.

I knew immediately what the problem was. I told the blue-gloved lady that I could explain what they were seeing. She was having none of that and had to see for herself. She unzipped my bag which consisted of several compartments inside. As quietly as I could I explained to her that the object they were worried about was a can of Spam. Well, I think she would have believed plastic explosives more readily! She looked at me quite oddly and proceeded to check the compartments.   There is a strict rule about not being allowed to touch your bag while they search (ok, so one time I had some paper punches in my carry on which those non crafty TSA people didn’t recognize as benign).

So I verbally guided her to the offending container. There it was, visible as soon as you removed the Ritz crackers covering it. I’m sure the TSA lady has never profaned her lips with Spam. She looked at it as if it was a nest of cockroaches hiding under the crackers. Bravely, she picked the can up with her blue hand and held it above her head and in a not-so-quiet voice said, “I would starve before I would eat this stuff.”

It is embarrassing enough to have your baggage singled out for searching without having it announced to the entire population of the airport that I was guilty of transporting Spam. She asked me what I was going to do with it. By that time I was so mortified I could not think of a good comeback (but I’m sure there are a few) and confessed I would be having Spam and crackers for lunches while staying at my son and his wife’s home. I was going to be watching baby Jack for a week and wanted quick and easy lunches. She didn’t seem interested in my telling her the crackers were the peppery ones and combined with the Spam reminded one of the Spam rolls I bake at Christmas. Thankfully, she returned the Spam to its nesting place in my bag and I was allowed to go on my way.

Well, almost as embarrassing as the experience in the Security line, was the telling of the story to my adult kids. They think carrying my own ham sandwiches when traveling is an embarrassment, so imagine their reaction to my bringing Spam for lunches at their house. I didn’t mention the sandwich board I wear while traveling with all their names and their relationship to me. Hmmm, maybe I should add their photos. Serve them right.


The Gothic Gate die is a great way to add interest to your Christmas cards. Opened or closed, it draws attention to your main image. Love this cutie pup from the Jolly Critters set who is admiring his Christmas stocking and guarding his Tiffany-wrapped package. Just like Cooper, this fellow enjoys Christmas, especially if there are treats in his stocking.


Who doesn’t love penguins? The snowman-making, tuxedo-wearing penguins from the transparent set Mimi’s Christmas have had a fun day playing in the snow. I’ve framed the image with more of my silver paper, adding a diecut sentiment and a few black dots just for fun. If I hadn’t been so enamored with my new silver paper, I might have considered other colors for the theme of this card, too: red or green come to mind.


I felt like Frankenstein when I altered this image from the slapstick set Victorian Homes. The house image was taller than I wanted for my design, so I separated the roof from the house and trimmed things up a bit. I also trimmed some steps and sidewalk from the bottom. I masked off a circle before I created the background with Distress inks. Those black bats flying by are, to my amazement, hand drawn. I was delighted to use the Victorian Homes stamp again; in its altered state it is a great Halloween image.


The idea of using the Holly Concert stamp with a red, white and silver theme just wouldn’t leave my head. So I’ve added it here, proving that any traditional or non traditional Christmas color will work with this stamp. There, I feel much better.


Here is Cooper, fresh from the groomers and reunited with his toys which we had put away for many weeks. Cooper needed to be inactive for awhile and he does not cuddle or sleep with his toys. He is all boy and wants to play fetch and tug of war with them.

Cooper has suffered a torn ligament in his back right leg (ACL in humans, CCL in dogs). For almost two months we have managed his condition with severe reduction in activity, medications and an attempt at weight loss. After a couple of weeks of this routine he was again walking on all four legs. We were so hopeful that the leg had healed and were even thinking of canceling his scheduled surgery. Sadly, we came home on a recent Sunday to find him once again holding the injured leg up and in obvious pain. This convinced us that surgery was indeed called for. It has been scheduled for October 13 and involves an overnight at the vet hospital and then weeks being crated almost 24/7 to allow for healing. It is breaking my heart to even talk about it. Cooper, Mr. RWS, and I will appreciate your good thoughts and encouragement.

That autumn wind has stirred up things a bit here at Penny Black. I’ve run the vacuum, wiped down the countertops and put away the stamps and inks. The scissors are locked up until next time. I will be checking the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery for your holiday and seasonal creations. Your work always amazes me.

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Tag Time with Micheline “Mimi”

September 25, 2015

Handmade holiday tags add a touch of whimsy and love to gift giving. Join our designers this week as they share tag ideas featuring products from our newest release, Especially for You 2015. And if you’re planning to create your own holiday tags, be sure to check out our Creative Die, 51-007 Tagged, a staple for tag-making any time of the year.


Micheline “Mimi” is here today for even more tag making fun! She’s used two Slapstick/Cling stamps on her magical design: 40-408 Brush Pine and 40-422 Angel Swing.



Download complete supplies and instructions HERE.


And remember, TGIF!


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