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Time for Ornaments

November 14, 2018

Over the next several weeks, here on our blog, Facebook page, Instagram, and YouTube channel you’ll find loads of inspiration from our designers and artsy friends as they feature the stamps and dies from our newest collection. All new products are now available in our online store!

Birgit Edblomis decking the halls today with our cling set, 40-625 Sparkles.

Her first card features a icy and cool blue color scheme.

Design details for card above: Ink the ornament image with Caran D’Ache Neocolors, lightly mist with water, and stamp onto linen texture cardstock from Paper Accent. Mask off first ornament and repeat process to stamp a second ornament “behind” the first. Paint the background with Daniel Smith watercolors. Stamp pine branches with very dark blue ink. Stamp sentiment with VersaMark ink, sprinkle with white embossing powder, and heat to set.

Birgit’s second card idea captures the traditional reds and greens of the season.

See card above for design details.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

40-625 Sparkles
30-251 Nature’s Gifts
30-516 Smile All Season

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Peace, Stillness, and Stamping

November 13, 2018

Over the next several weeks, here on our blog, Facebook page, Instagram, and YouTube channel you’ll find loads of inspiration from our designers and artsy friends as they feature the stamps and dies from our newest collection. All new products are now available in our online store!

Birgit Edblomis back with us today with two ideas featuring our miniature transparent stamp set, 30-518 Stillness.

Her first card features an abstract watercolor background and generation stamping as well as white heat embossing with the tree from this stamp set.

Design details for card above: Loosely paint background with Daniel Smith watercolors onto Waterford High White watercolor paper.  Stamp the tree twice with Ground Espresso Distress Ink. Allow to dry.  Stamp the tree a third time with VersaMark ink, sprinkle with white embossing powder, and heat to set.  Stamp sentiment with Versafine Onyx Black ink.

Using the same techniques, Birgit shares a second card idea with a different color scheme. Both are so striking… we can’t pick a fave; can you?

Design details for card above: Loosely paint background with Daniel Smith watercolors onto Waterford High White watercolor paper.  Stamp the tree twice with blue Archival ink.  Allow to dry.  Stamp the tree a second time with VersaMark ink, sprinkle with white embossing powder, and heat to set.  Stamp sentiment with blue Archival ink.

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

 

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-518 Stillness

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Soft and Sweet Bears with Birgit

November 12, 2018

Over the next several weeks, here on our blog, Facebook page, Instagram, and YouTube channel you’ll find loads of inspiration from our designers and artsy friends as they feature the stamps and dies from our newest collection. All new products are now available in our online store!

This week we welcome Birgit Edblom and her amazing card designs.

Her cards today are soft, sweet, and feature our newest critter stamps.  For her first card, she’s stamping with our miniature 3 x 4 inch transparent set, 30-521 Nose to Nose.

Design details for card above: Stamp the image with brown Archival Ink onto Waterford High White watercolor paper. Paint with Daniel Smith watercolors.  Stamp sentiment with Versafine Onyx Black ink.

Next, she’s getting inky with the bear from our transparent set, 30-520 Christmas Bunch.

Design details for card above: Stamp the image with brown Archival Ink onto Waterford High White watercolor paper. Paint with Daniel Smith watercolors.  Stamp sentiment with Versafine Onyx Black ink.

What more can we say? These cards are, simply put, beary cute!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card One: 30-521 Nose to Nose
Card Two: 30-520 Christmas Bunch

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Runs with Scissors

November 10, 2018

Happy Runs with Scissors Day, Penny Black friends. Time is marching on, with every day bringing us closer to the holidays. It may be too late to be early with your holiday card making: there is, however, enough time to finish card making before you begin your holiday shopping and baking.

I wonder sometimes how I managed to work full time, parent five children and manage all the extra chores and preparations needed to create Christmas for the family. I am now retired, with no major responsibilities and only a husband and dog to cook for, yet I am intimidated by the thought of preparing for Christmas. In recent years my preparations have consisted only of setting up and decorating the tree and placing a few holiday decorations about the house. Mr. RWS moves the large snowman from the garage and puts lights on the bushes and we call it done. One year we didn’t put up a tree or put any decorations outside and it was the dreariest Christmas ever! I could use a little help from Santa’s elves, it seems. Or maybe a little kick where it would do the most good.

Happy Runs with Scissors Day, Penny Black friends. Time is marching on, with every day bringing us closer to the holidays. It may be too late to be early with your holiday card making: there is, however, enough time to finish card making before you begin your holiday shopping and baking.

I wonder sometimes how I managed to work full time, parent five children and manage all the extra chores and preparations needed to create Christmas for the family. I am now retired, with no major responsibilities and only a husband and dog to cook for, yet I am intimidated by the thought of preparing for Christmas. In recent years my preparations have consisted only of setting up and decorating the tree and placing a few holiday decorations about the house. Mr. RWS moves the large snowman from the garage and puts lights on the bushes and we call it done. One year we didn’t put up a tree or put any decorations outside and it was the dreariest Christmas ever! I could use a little help from Santa’s elves, it seems. Or maybe a little kick where it would do the most good.

I am almost embarrassed to tell you how much I love this card! This beautiful Lighting the Way transparent stamp is all you need to make this simply elegant card. I stamped the image with black Versafine ink and heat embossed with clear embossing powder. The image looks so elegant on gold cardstock. I finished it off with the border created using the Stitched Stackers die. What a perfect design for making multiple cards that are flat for mailing.

At last I am using the Paper Scroll die. That die makes an impressive background for the large sentiment stamps and dies. I have stamped the message from the He is Born mini set which includes the “mountain” die. For just a touch more color, I added the berries from the Winter Berry Branch die. Next time, I think I will stamp the “Jesus Christ is Born” message in red ink to match the cardstock.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a poinsettia! I colored my white cardstock by blending red Distress Oxide inks and then stamped the Christmas Poinsettia flower in VersaMark and heat embossed using red embossing powder. For some greenery, I used the Winter Berry Branch die to cut out green and gold diecuts. I matted the flower using the Ribbon Stackers and Antique Frame dies. Happiness is using red, gold and green on one card.

Bridging the Gap

I value the time I spend with women friends. I’ve shared with you before that I am a member of our church’s Kitchen Angels, a group of women who prepare a monthly luncheon for the senior members of our congregation. We share our stories while we peel and chop and sauté as well as serve and clean up. It’s hard work, but made enjoyable by the fellowship we share.

I have women bridge friends, too. There are eight of us women who gather in a legion hall the first Thursday of each month to play bridge and have lunch. We take turns “hostessing”, which means we are responsible for dessert as well as making sure we have the cards, score pads and tallies that we need.

I don’t know if there are any bridge groups consisting of young people anymore. The game seems to be dying out, which is a shame. Our group is pretty typical of the local bridge groups; i.e. we are all eligible for senior discounts!

As the years have passed, I can’t help but notice the toll time has taken on our group. One of the women has died, some have moved away to be closer to family and some have settled into an assisted living arrangement. Other women have taken their place and the monthly game continues. Our oldest member is 96 years old and plays a great game of bridge.

Two of the ladies now have eye problems which required us to switch to large print cards. There are several canes leaning against the tables as we play. It isn’t unusual for someone to be recovering from hip surgery or a knee replacement. Occasionally the group supports someone dealing with the death of a spouse or an adult child.

With the passing of time and the addition of more ailments or life trials, one might think there would be little card playing happening and more moaning and groaning and sharing of complaints. This is not the case. I think because every one of us has “something” to deal with or complain about, we just call it a draw and move on. No one deserves more sympathy than anyone else so there is no point spending time focusing on our troubles.

Instead, we greet each other cheerfully, sincerely glad to see each other again. The stronger ones get the tables and chairs set up, the ones who aren’t as mobile as others occupy the chairs that ensure they don’t change tables during the day’s play. When it is time to place our lunch orders and pay the waitress, those who are more mobile retrieve the purses for those who are not. If one of us goes to the counter to pour a beverage, we ask if anyone else is thirsty and serve each other.

The first few minutes of our gathering are often spent complimenting each other on a new hairdo or a pretty blouse. Sometimes there is a little discussion about offering to pay someone’s dollar into the prize pot. The ladies who can drive have chauffeured those who can’t.

The last time we played it was a rainy day and one of the women’s jacket had become very wet while walking from her car to the entrance. She was shivering in her sleeveless blouse and it didn’t take long for her tablemate to take off her own jacket and give it to her chilly friend.

I know we are of mixed political and religious beliefs. Some of us are native to the south and there are some of us born and bred north of the Mason Dixon line. There is a mix of the soft southern accents and the louder less genteel Yankee accents. We don’t let those differences matter. We don’t even mention them.

I’ve noticed over the years that a women’s bridge group is not nearly as competitive as either a men’s group or a mixed group. While we all enjoy the game and hope to have decent cards that allow us to win a few hands, there seems to be a more collegiate atmosphere than competitive. But, to keep it interesting, there is the prize money for first and second place which includes bragging rights.

In a world that includes more and more harshness and divisiveness it is a blessing to retreat into the kind world of my bridge playing friends for a few hours each month. I walk a little taller, my shoulders a little straighter because someone noticed my new outfit, or my new necklace or my haircut. Sometimes the conversation turns to our pets or a recipe or the grandkids and we light up as we brag a bit; everyone gets equal time for those conversations.

I don’t have a solution for the world’s problems, but I do know that we would make progress if the world functioned more like my First Thursday bridge group.

How fun to have a die that you can use vertically as well as horizontally. Readers, meet the Wreath Noel die! I’ve paired it with the Holly Flourish diecut on ivory cardstock for this design. That shiny gold mirrored cardstock is so perfect for holiday cards. Now that the card is finished I am wondering if a little red bow wouldn’t have been a fun touch. Next time!

I have cut apart transparent stamps before, but this is the first time I’ve altered a die! I cut my Starry die in half, wanting to use only the tail end of the die for this card. The other half, the wider half, is also a great way to make a starry sky. I have mirrored gold cardstock behind the glittery white front of my card that gives a snowy look. I colored my cute bear with Copics and cut him out. I did not like the package balancing on the bear’s nose, so I cut it off and placed it at his feet (the package, not the nose). Again, I used the modernistic Evergreen Tree dies topped with the bow from the Wreath Noel die.

I have hoarded this sheet of glossy copper cardstock for more than 15 years and I have finally decided to stop hoarding and use it. I cut the Fall Wreath from gold cardstock and shaded the leaves a bit with Distress Oxide raspberry ink. I mounted the wreath and the Give Thanks sentiment onto the copper cardstock. I love how easy this was and how pretty it is.

Cooper loves the cooler fall temperatures which have, at last, arrived here in Northern Alabama. I believe he is a Southern-born dog meant to live in cooler climates. As he ages, Cooper becomes more cuddly and content to be a lap sitter at times. That does not, however, rule out his ability to go from zero to sixty mph if a squirrel should happen to enter his backyard territory!   It is so fun to see him run like the wind, with his ears flapping madly. Since there were no squirrel sightings recently, this photo of Cooper in the middle of the Thanksgiving wreath will have to do!

And now it is scissor stowing time. I’ve just checked the calendar and realize that Thanksgiving will take place before I post here again. I am venturing to Minneapolis on my own to spend time with kids and grandkids for Thanksgiving. I think the biggest challenge will be the three flights of stairs leading to my daughter’s condo. Mr. RWS will be home with Cooper, enjoying the leftovers from the turkey dinner we will share before I leave.

I wish all of you a lovely holiday, filled with good food, loving family and dear friends. If this year’s Thanksgiving is different for some reason than past years’ holidays, I wish you the ability to enjoy the day for what it is. Life is always changing and always brings challenges along with more to be grateful for. I am grateful for the kind messages you leave each week and the encouragement that brings. Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you, dear Penny Black friends.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

Card No. 1: 30-496 Lighting the Way, 51-415 Stitched Stackers

Card No. 2: 30-506 He is Born, 51-458 Paper Scroll, 51-480 Winter Berry Branch

Card No. 3: 30-504 Christmas Sentiments, 40-649 Christmas Poinsettia, 51-397 Antique Frame, 51-409 Ribbon Stacker, 51-480 Winter Berry Branch

Card No. 4: 51-467 Wreath Noel, 51-483 Holly Flourish, 51-415 Stitched Stackers

Card No. 5: 30-520 Christmas Bunch, 51-384 Evergreen Tree, 51-412 Starry, 51-418 Wavy Stitch Edges

Card No. 6: 51-478 Give Thanks, 51-479 Fall Wreath

VIDEO! Gimme 5 with Therese Calvird

November 9, 2018

Are you ready for a new video from the super talented Therese Calvird?

For today’s GIMME 5 video, where Therese features five “same but different” card designs, she is sharing five clean and simple Christmas “highlight” designs.

Pop some popcorn or grab some hot chocolate and enjoy Therese’s unique and inspiring approach to our brushstroke stamps.

Watch directly on YouTube 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

40-659 Jingle Bells Trio
40-653 Bundled Up
40-627 Christmas Glow
40-494 Scarlet Majesty
40-492 Berry Kissed
30-439 Gather Around
30-307 Holiday Snippets
30-453 Love & Peace
51-474 Xmas Poinsettia Cut Out
51-365 Jingle Bells
51-368 Ornamental Branch

Joy and Merriment

November 8, 2018

Over the next several weeks, here on our blog, Facebook page, Instagram, and YouTube channel you’ll find loads of inspiration from our designers and artsy friends as they feature the stamps and dies from our newest collection. All new products are now available in our online store!

Peet Roeven’s final card for this week is full of holiday elegance.

To begin, she colored our Creative Die, 51-480 Winter Berry Branch, in traditional reds and greens.

For added dimension and realism, she added Glossy Accents to the berries.

A gold splattered background, handstitching, and gold glitter paper create the perfect shimmering “home” for her berries and leaves (and a few snowflakes, too)!

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

51-480 Winter Berry Branch
30-501 Joy & Merriment

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Warm and Cozy

November 7, 2018

Over the next several weeks, here on our blog, Facebook page, Instagram, and YouTube channel you’ll find loads of inspiration from our designers and artsy friends as they feature the stamps and dies from our newest collection. All new products are now available in our online store!

Can you handle all of the cuteness on this card by Peet Roeven?

For this warm and cozy design, Peet has combined our miniature transparent set, 30-521 Nose to Nose, with our Creative Die set, 51-455 3 Snowflakes.

She colored her bears and accessories with colored pencils and then gave them lots of sparkle using Stickles glitter glue.

The textural snow for her scene was made by adhering Diamond Dust to cardstock using tacky glue.

To compliment her die cut snowflakes, Peet also created a stamped snowy background featuring our cling stamp, 40-640 Snowflake Medley. She heat embossed it in white and added watercolor on top.

Shop for today’s featured Penny Black supplies

30-521 Nose to Nose
30-520 Christmas Bunch
40-640 Snowflake Medley
51-455 3 Snowflakes

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