Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A NBUS card for Rudolph Day.

Right, first, for those who are wondering, a NBUS card is one made with what Darnell calls "Never Before Used Schtuff". Every now and then she offers us the challenge to use something we have bought and never used, and let´s face it, we all have some of that! You can read all about it here.

So for my entry I have used a set of 3 dies called Royal Circles, by Spellbinders. I really liked these when I bought them back last Autumn, but ever since they arrived, they have sat on my table waiting for me to be inspired.

As today is the 25th of March it is also Rudolph Day so it seemed a good idea to combine these two challenges, and here is what I made.

It took a while for me to decide the best way to combine the dies in this set, but eventually I cut the largest from a small off-cut of red card, and removed its centre with a plain circle die. Then I cut the inner one and again removed its centre. For the smallest die I used a snippet of white card and stamped a Spanish greeting in its centre. The backing paper was printed from an Elusive Images (now Chocolate Baroque) CD. For the embellishments I tied a bow with a new reel of green ribbon which was an absolute bargain from the todo shop this week, and cut some ivy and holly leaves with Joanna Sheen Signature dies, from tiny oddments of green card.
I then decided to make a second card with this die set, but I used a completely different colour combo. This time I used the same backing paper printed in blue, and I cut the first and second size dies together from a piece of white card rescued from a card I received last Christmas. I again removed its centre and then cut a plain circle from some silver holographic paper just big enough to go behind the inner cut out circle. It looked a bit unfinished so I carefully hand-cut the inner circle of dots that were on the ´waste´from the original cut, and glued it in place. Finally I cut the smallest die in white, and added a single robin die cut from a LOTV printed image.
I decorated this one with a white bow, and two double-layer snow flakes cut with a pair of dies from "All Occasions dies", (also NBUS items) each with a gem in the centre. A small silver sentiment in the lower corner finished it off.

At the end of her post this week, Di suggested we might make our next Snippets card to fit in with Darnell´s NBUS Challenge and the Rudolf Day Challenge at Scrappy Mo´s blog, so I am linking up with both of those as well as Pixie´s Snippets Playground, and Christmas Stamping All Year Long where the Challenge is Dies to Die 4.

Friday, March 20, 2015


This is just a quickie before I go over to my other blog for my usual Friday post, to show a couple more things that I made to sell at my coffee morning.
Firstly here are a few coasters/candle plates. When I went on an outing to Lorca recently, we stopped at the shopping mall before the journey home, and in a little kitchen shop I spotted some mirror tiles. It was during Sale week and they were nearly giving them away, so I bought one set each of the round and the square ones. I could see them being used as coasters but they needed something to raise them up a little so I bought small self-adhesive pads at the todo shop to make them some feet. Then I  decorated them with designs cut from vinyl. Each one is only 10cm across, so it was a good way to use up some of my small pieces of vinyl, and I found enough bits to do each round one in a different colour. Just to make it more interesting, I also used a different design for each one, all taken from the files I have stored in my Silhouette cameo library. For the square ones I bought a set of three frame files from my vinyl designer, and cut two of each in the same colour.
I nearly didn´t show these as it is nigh on impossible to get a good photo, but this was one just about acceptable.

The other thing I made this week was this gorgeous basket. I love owls, and as soon as I saw this pattern on the internet I knew I had to make one. I got the pattern from a site called Crochet Ever After, and you can find it here. It was quite quick to make but a bit hard on my hands as it is crocheted with three strands of chunky wool. That makes him sturdy enough to be self-supporting and I think he is lovely. I am thinking of having another go in a different colour combination.

So I will pop over to Pixie´s Snippets Playground with my coasters, and then fly over to my other blog to do some positive thinking. Do come and join me in an hour or so.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

It´s a Stand Off!!

Just a quick post today as I am getting ready for my coffee morning tomorrow. I thought I would just share another of my Easter ´makes´, this time some little ducks and chickens that each hold a Cream Egg.

They look like they are having a bit of a stand-off, ducks v chickens!
The ducks are knitted and the chickens are crocheted, both using some of the many free patterns available on the net. (Search for cream egg cosies). I adapted them for the yarn I had available. The ducks were quicker and less of a fiddle to make and I think I prefer them. For speed I used my hot glue gun to add felt eyes, beaks etc, so I need to go through them and trim off any stray glue strands. I am hopeless at using a glue gun cleanly.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Getting Ready for Easter

With Easter coming up very soon, and the fact that I have committed to having a table at two events - a coffee morning next week followed by the village Gallarte Exhibition over the Easter weekend - I have been on the look out for some quick and easy items to make.

I was browsing the design store for my Silhouette Cameo last week when I saw the cutting files for some cute little boxes, both by Lori Whitlock. I thought they might be just the thing to hold some little chocolate treats so I bought the files and had a go at making them. And I was really pleased with how they turned out.
It took a sheet and a half of A4 card to make each one, but as I have enough card to last my lifetime, I was happy to put some to good use. My snippets boxes furnished me with pieces for the ears, beaks, bows and flowers etc, and I cut up a tatty doily for the lace along the front, and shredded some ancient green tissue paper to line the boxes. 
At our local Lidl store I bought a bag of hollow eggs and some little chocolate bunnies and chicks to go in them. On average they cost me 50c to make, so I should be able to get some profit from them at my sales. There is no guarantee as the tabletop sale will be attended by my retired English friends who do not have many children to buy for out here, and I am still struggling to find what items will sell to my Spanish community at the village expo. But they were fun to make, and will brighten up my table. Plus I have an in-house chocolate eater who will be quite happy if I bring them home again!!
As I used several snippets of card for the finishing touches I will pop over to Pixie´s Snippets Playground with these.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

H is for hexagons

H is for Hexagons is the theme over on Mrs A´s Butterfly Challenge blog this week, that´s hexagons and a butterfly of course. I was prompted to enter this challenge when I bought a new digi scrapbook kit  from Kimeric Kreations at Digichick called It´s a Guy Thing . When I buy a kit I like to download it straight away and unzip all the files, so I can look closely at all the items, and arrange them in folders as I like them, ready for when I want to use it. With this kit there was a folder called Graffiti and one of the elements in it was a patch of hexagons. So starting with that, and using other items from the elements folder and the matching alphabet, I built up a design in Photoshop, and then flattened all the layers and saved it as a jpg file. I rather liked the flower made from half of a zip fastener.

Next I used publisher to resize my image to fit twice onto an A4 sheet of paper, and printed it out.
I cut one of the prints to fit onto an A5 card, and the other to fit a 15cm square card. I made the base cards from some more sheets of the mottled turquoise card that I used in an earlier post.
I also had a new butterfly die that I wanted to try out. It is from Wild Rose studio, and I bought a large lacy butterfly from there a while ago that I am really pleased with, so when I saw they had a smaller one too, I decided to order it, and it arrived last week. So using a snippet of card from my box that matched the base card, I cut out the butterfly, and also drew around the outer edge of the die and cut this out. I covered it with wide, double sided sticky tape, and glued the two butterflies together, trimming the back layer to the same size as the fancy one. Then I rubbed a mixture of blue, green and aqua glitters over the lacey spaces to make a sparkly butterfly, which I added to my square card.

Occasionally at my Wednesday craft group, someone donates left over materials and bits and pieces, and recently I was given several packets of part-used embellishments. One of these had three layered flowers in it that exactly matched my colour scheme, so I used these to finish off the larger card, along with a shiny butterfly sticker from my stash.
So now I have two cards which I feel could equally be given to a woman or a man, and what´s more, I´ve actually used one of my digikits!  I am addicted to buying these kits. I just love the pretty papers and all the matching embellishments, but I am not so good about finding time to make the scrapbook pages with them. Perhaps, now I have done some cards, I might move on to a Lay Out.
In the meantime, I´ll link up with Mrs A´s Butterfly Challenge, and Pixie´s Snippets Playground.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

It´s Rudolf Day again

Well, actually it was Rudolf Day Yesterday, but I was too busy to post then as it was the last day of my son´s visit, and we had a party in the evening. 
For anyone who doesn´t know, Rudolf day is the 25th of each month, when we try to make a Christmas card to go towards our stock for next Christmas. So why not join in and start on your collection.
Fortunately I had made my cards early this month, before my son arrived, so I do have some ready to post.
I rarely make just a one-off Christmas card, so I have two to show again this month and they are based on a card I was given last Christmas. It was a purchased card from a well-known chain of supermarkets, so there are hundreds of them around and I felt it was OK to copy the design. The one I received was a simple white cutout bauble, mounted over a plain blue, sparkly card.
I wanted a different look for my card so I made a cutting file of the design and cut two from good quality white paper, using my Silhouette Cameo. I coloured them with copics using traditional reds and greens on one, and for contrast I used blues and pinks on the other.

The backgrounds are white paper embossed with one of my first cuttlebug folders. This wasn´t big enough, but the join is hidden under the cut out image, and it really doesn´t show. The base cards are plain white card.
For the red and green one I coloured the edge of the bauble with a gold pen, and dug out some very old peel-offs to find enough gold stars and snowflakes to cover the ones in the cut design. I use a tiny piece of red ribbon to hang the bauble, attaching it to the back of the embossed paper, then mounted this onto the base card and covered its edges with a gold peel-off border.
I then did the same to the second one, using a silver pen and peel-offs and a piece of silver ribbon.
Now all I need to do is pop over to Scraps of Life by Scrappy Mo to link this up, and then I shall go and see what everyone else has made.
Thank you for visiting me. I love to read all your comments.

Happy Birthday Ben

I have just enjoyed a lovely week with my son Ben. Sadly he had to leave this morning, but we were able to celebrate his birthday with him on Sunday. I had made two pictures for him, to go on the wall of his music room in his new house.
People who follow my other blog, will have seen one of them over the past months as it was a long-term project. In fact it took me two years to complete as I couldn´t handle it much through the heat of the summer, so it kept getting put away. It is done in counted cross stitch and was bought as a kit, but I hadn´t realised how difficult it would be to just sew in black and shades of grey. I would not attempt another monochrome one in a hurry! The chart was much too tiny for me to follow, so I had to enlarge it on the computer into four A4 sheets, but that at least gave me the satisfaction of finishing one page at a time.

I actually completed the cross-stitching back in October last year, but it looked a bit ´sorry´then. It had no definition, and it was crumpled and grubby all around the edges from my hot hands!

But then there was lots of top-stitching to do. I don´t enjoy doing that bit but it brought the picture to life, and made it look a lot better. I finished that in January.
The next step was to gently wash it and rinse it carefully, and leave it a while to dry a little. While it was still damp I turned it face down onto a towel and made sure it was squared up properly, and then I ironed it on the back and left it there until it was completely dry.

With cross stitch pictures that I have done before, I have taken them to a craft shop to be stretched and framed, but that wasn´t an option here, so I had no choice but to do it myself. I had a long chat with my sister Jean on Skype because she always does her own, and then I did my best with it, and I was pleased with the result. I had the mount and glass cut at the shop, and a frame made to size. I am glad to say that Ben is really pleased with it, so it was worth all the work. (I´m afraid you can see my reflection in the glass on this, but there was no other way to take it.)

Ben´s second picture was quicker and easier to make. This time I bought a standard size frame and made my picture to fit in it. I did have to have the mount cut at the shop though.
This time I used ink dusters and distress inks to make the background sea and sky, using a mask to add the setting sun. The picture is one I saw on the net on the front of a T-shirt, and I designed a cutting file in my silhouette studio software. I cut the top half of the image from black vinyl and added it to my background. Then I altered the cutting file to make the image more open, less dense. I cut this from sparkly black vinyl to make it like a reflection in water. I added this to the picture. Both halves were cut in three parts because I only have a twelve inch cutting mat and this was too long for it. But I used a transparent transfer tape, so it wasn´t too difficult to match it all up. 
A while ago I bought a digital scrapbook kit called Listen to the Music by Kimeric Kreations at Digichick. I took the saying from the Word Art file in this, and again turned it into a cutting file, cut it from black vinyl and added it across my picture. I wasn´t quite happy with the background because there was no difference between the sky and the water, so I used an old, very tiny water ripple stamp by Art Impressions, to stamp randomly over the lower part with one of the inks I had used already. It doesn´t show very much, probably most clearly over the sun reflection, but it makes the distinction I was looking for.

And here is the finished picture.
I am glad to say that Ben was equally delighted with this one, and he is looking forward to hanging them both in his new room.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Recycled Robins

Two posts in one day! Seeing as it is ages since I was here, I am having a catch up. My internet problems seem to have settled down now the high winds have dropped. In fact I am sitting by an open window, with the sun streaming in, and I´m writing about snowy robins!
As I send, and make, around 150 Christmas cards each year, I really need to make 12-15 each month to avoid a mad panic at the end of the year.
My score for January;- 2 !!!
So I thought I had better get my act together this month, and I pulled out my box of salvaged bits from this year´s cards. Robins seem to have been top of the charts, and I had quite a few. Some were huge and filled the whole card front, and there is not much I can do with those, but I selected some of a more usable size and went through my file of dies to find ones they fitted in. When they were all cut out I raided my snippets box to cut a mat for each one, and my Christmas paper off-cuts box for pieces of backing paper. Then I just had to match them up, make some base cards, and add a few embellishments - perfect pearls for holly berries, gems, glitter glue, peel-offs etc.
So here are my first three.
Dies used: Creative Expressions from  Sue Wilson´s California Collection, Spellbinders Floral Ovals, and Sizzix framelets - Fancy lables.

It is worth remembering when making cards like this, that one snippet of card can be made to go a long way. For the green card, (top left), I only had one
piece of that particular shade so when I had cut it to size for the large mat, I cut the frame from the centre of it. I put a small piece of white card stock in the ´hole´to bring it up to level with the rest, and glued my backing paper over it. Then before I used the frame, I cut the sentiment from it and hid that under the robin image. So I had a mat, frame and sentiment that all matched, from one off-cut of card.

Here is my next set. These two are smaller; an A6 card and a 12cm square.
This time I used some paper off-cuts for the first one, as well as some pieces from the original card, and a Martha Stewart punch to make the borders. I liked the little red square one, and for this I used a Impression Obsession Cover-a-card stamp on plain white card to make the backing paper. Red frame - Nellie Snellen die.

And finally, two more A6 cards.
For the first one I used a snippet of snowy paper, and a Marianne snowflake die, and for the second I used my favourite holly stamp, a very old one by Penny Black, with red perfect pearls for the berries.
Dies used. Spellbinders Resplendent Rectangles, and Nellie Snellen foliage frame.
Well that is seven made this month so things are improving. (I have actually made nine because my Rudolph Day ones are ready to post on 25th as I have visitors until then so I won´t be doing a lot of crafting!).
I have made a small dent in my snippets boxes with these cards so I am off to Pixie´s Snippets Playground. I have just posted some Spring flowers over there, so she´ll be thinking I´ve got my seasons in a muddle.