Runs with scissors the penny black blog

One can never go wrong with the emboss resist technique. I stamped the Parade of Flowers image with VersaMark watermark ink and then heat embossed the image in white. The Distress Oxide inks blend like warm butter and I used several orange/yellow tones for my background. The Wavy Stitch Edges die created the space to place the Fantastic die cut. I added enamel dot centers to my flowers in order to balance the black of the sentiment. While we are always happy to learn new techniques, our old techniques, like our old friends, can always be relied upon.

I had a birthday last month and it has been a long-standing tradition between my best friend from 5 th and 6 th grade to exchange cards for our June birthdays. This year, there was no card for my early June birthday, but I sent a card and a note for her late June birthday.


Well, this was the surprise delivered to my door one day; late for my birthday but abundantly beautiful to make up for the delay.

… I was hurrying through the Atlanta airport to catch my flight for the last leg of my trip to Milwaukee to visit family when I was stopped in my tracks with the inability to catch my breath and enormous pain in my chest. My first thought was “heart attack” and my second thought was “how embarrassing”! I sat and rested for a few minutes and the symptoms cleared, and I had a lovely visit in Milwaukee.

It was during my Thanksgiving visit in Minneapolis when the same shortness of breath reappeared, despite my having been treated for possible bronchitis before I flew again. This time there were several dramatic instances of losing my breath, witnessed by family, that could not be ignored. I assumed the bronchitis had returned and I would be treated again upon returning home.

The diagnosis, Dear Reader, confirmed by lab work, is a rare neuro muscular disorder called Myasthenia Gravis (MG). MG is an autoimmune disease which causes weakness in the skeletal muscles. My shortness of breath was due to weakened muscles in charge of my breathing. Something I used to take for granted, muscles doing their job, was now not to be taken lightly.

Now, you may think this news would have been devastating, but on the contrary, Mr. RWS and I almost danced in the doctor’s office to learn what I had was a lot better than some of the alternatives. While incurable, myasthenia gravis (MG) is treatable, can go into remission and does not ordinarily shorten one’s life span. I was diagnosed in April and quickly realized I needed to focus all my attention on getting well.

This birthday card was so fun to make! I used the Art Deco Window, minus the “flaps” to create the frame for the kitty from the Birthday Critters set. I placed a piece of acrylic across the opening to provide an “anchor” for the flying mouse. I put glitter wherever my bottle of Nuvo drops took me. One cannot go wrong adding a touch of gingham now and then, either. When I do a cute little card like this I remember what made me fall in love with this hobby so many years ago.

Thank you, Penny Black for this beautiful sentiment which has become my mantra. This sentiment is from the Grateful Heart transparent set. By coloring and then fussy cutting the bird on a branch from the Singsong cling set, I was able to frame the sentiment with the image. As I used to tell my kids, “Life is choices” and no matter what your day or life brings you, we can choose gratitude.

Here is my team, Mr. RWS and Cooper, hanging out by the hanging plants in the patio area that I can see while sitting at my kitchen table. Those flowers are a symbol of my need to “smell the roses” and a motivation to unwind the hose each evening to keep them watered. Those flowers have been as beneficial to my health as the pills I take each day. Not to mention those two guys in my life!

I have stowed the scissors, put away all the stamps and dies and cleaned up my mess. I use a broom now instead of the vacuum and keep things on lower shelves to conserve my muscle energy. It is good to be in my happy place. See you next time. I will slowly make my way through the Penny Circle Flickr Gallery, where it is always a treat to see your lovely work.