Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Pink Angel for Jingle Bells Challenge

A blog-land friend pointed us towards the challenge over on the Jingle Belles blog this week, and I decided to have a go at it. The idea is to create a Christmas card with Pink on it in honour of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The two ladies who run this challenge have pledged to each donate $2 to the Susan G Komen Foundation for each entry in the challenge.

I have to say, it really is a challenge for me to make a pink Christmas card so I have leaned heavily towards the ´light red´end of the pink spectrum. Unfortunately my photo, taken in artificial light, makes my angel look almost orange, but I promise you, she really is pink!
I cut a plain red  15cm base card and a slightly smaller white layer. The mat is cut from a piece in my snippets box made when I was trying out my brushos. I think it was using brilliant red and dark brown, and lots of water. For this card I added a layer of bright gold spray and stamped some stars with versamark ink and embossed them with bright gold powder. I used one of my vast stock of white snippets to stamp the angel (Both her and the stars are from a new A4 rubber sheet of stamps from Choicolate Baroque called A Child is Born). I coloured her with copic markes and added some gold Art Quest paint to the dress trims and the trumpet, and white pearl paint from the same palette to her wings. When she was dry I cut her out. The word Rejoice was cut from gold glitter vinyl using my Silhouette machine. Before assembling the card, I stuck the sentiment onto the white card and cut around the top so I could slide the red mat under it. Normally I would have added the angel on thin pads to give it some dimension, but as many of my cards have to be posted internationally, I glued it on flat.
I am entering this in the Jingle Belles Challenge ; Pink Christmas, and also in 
Pixie´s Snippets Playground (red mat and white for angel were from my snippets box), and in Crafty Hazlenuts Christmas Challenge 199 ; Use something forgotten or never used. (The angel and stars stamps are new and have never been used before).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

If at first you don't succeed....

I have a lovely new frame die to show today. It took my fancy while browsing through a site so I ordered it. Since then I have seen it used on several challenge entries which surprised me as I didn't think it was particularly new, but looking back at the site, I see it is actually a new release, just last month. It is the Anja circle die by Marianne. 

I wanted to try it out straight away so I made a quick Christmas card, using an image from a Marianne decoupage page. I did it in a hurry and made some bad choices so I am not very pleased with the result.

The backing paper is too light so the pretty fame is rather lost against it. Also I used another die from the set to remove the centre, and the resulting aperture is too small for the size of the card and the image is also a 'bit lost'. But I won't waste it. It is usable, so I added some bling with holographic snowflakes, and did a re-think.

I then made a set of three smaller cards with a little step at the front of them. For the first one I covered some white paper with a double sided adhesive sheet. That was another mistake. Even after several passes through my Big shot, the film did not cut perfectly. Also some of the embossing is poorly defined. But I persevered and eventually got it more or less cut. Then I peeled off the protective layer, added a small image to the centre and poured Diamond dust over the frame. This is a glitter made from crushed glass, and it actually cut my hands a little when I was making sure it was all covered. It was a bit chunky and overlapped some of the cut out areas but I didn't think that mattered. I chose a fairly dark background from my snippets box to show off the frame, and added a strip of paper snowflakes and some silver peel-off flakes and a sentiment.
That left me with the die cut backing paper I had peeled from the adhesive sheet and I thought, "Why not use that as well?" So I painted it with diluted PVA glue and covered it with Glamour dust. I much prefer this to the previous one. I also cut the image with the next size up circle die, and I think that looks better too. I went for a strong contrast this time. There is a little brown in the image so I tried using a brown paper off-cut that I think was printed from a Crafter's Companion CD, and I used gold embellishments and sentiment.
For my final attempt I cut the frame using some silver starburst card. This looks rather 'gun-metal grey' in the photo but it is actually quite sparkly and pretty.
The backing paper is from one of those CD's that sometimes come with a craft magazine. This time I hand cut the image around the outside of the circle die, making it even bigger, and I think it works, and it doesn't cover enough of the frame to spoil it. A few tiny, silver peel-off snowflakes and a sentiment finished this one.
So I have made four more cards and learned a few lessons on the way. I can see me using this frame on birthday cards with just a spray of flowers across it, or something like that. I still think it is really pretty anyway.
As I used several snippets for my backgrounds, I will link this over at Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I have been playing with a new die I bought recently, that is just too cute not to show you. The die is called Trio Choir by Cottage Cutz. It is a small plate about 9cm x 7cm, and on it there are twelve pieces - a head, three hair styles, a right and a left hand, two belts to tie either left or right, a pair of shoes, a dress, a music sheet, and one more part that floored me for a while until I realised it was a little lace collar for the dress! Also included are three tiny clear stamps for the facial features.

For my first attempt I cut all of them in white paper, and then cut the duplicated elements to make the whole trio, and added some colour using copic markers. I kept it simple and mounted them on some cream card with gold dots on it, and then added a gold mirri-card frame, cut using a Spellbinders die from the Radiant rectangles set. I mounted it all on a mid-brown base card, and added a matching small label with a gold peel-off 'Rejoice' on it.

They were a bit fiddly to do but rather fun, and I hope to get a few more like this made very soon.
In the meantime, I decided to do a more simple version with just one chorister on it, to help me build up my stash of finished cards. 
At my Wednesday craft group, we are often given unwanted papercraft items to sell for charity - usually the local MACS group. (Sadly the craft materials often come from a husband who has lost his wife to cancer, and who wants her 'stash' to help the local cancer charity). When I was helping my friend to pack up what was left to go to the MACS shop, I found several sets of pre-cut cards in a range of colours, all with matching envelopes, and she told me to take them home and use them. So I wanted to make sure they didn't just get lost at the bottom of the cupboard, and set about making cards with them straight away. I took a bit of artistic license with the colour for these ones. I had to smile, thinking back to the days when my oldest two sons were choir boys in their pristine white cassocks* each Sunday! (I think that should read surplices. Their cassocks were the blue gowns they wore underneath. We used to tease the oldest one and say he only went on to become a priest so he could still wear a dress!)
I have already used some of the cards on my previous posts, but I was left with a cream one, and one each of blue, turquoise, red and lilac. So I rummaged through my Christmas snippets box and found some backing paper for each one, and then looked in my other snippets for something that went with them. Mostly I cut a pale mat to cover the base card leaving just a small border. Then I used a labels 4 die to cut a topper for each one. I used tiny snippets of brown and black and peach paper to cut the hair, belts, shoes, hands and faces, and used white for the music but toned it down with Old Paper Distress ink. Then I cut a dress to match the BP or as close to it as I could find. I soon had a system for gluing them together and had them assembled on their cards in no time. 

Then I went through all my very old embellishments and found something to 'pretty up' each one. I found a box with literally hundreds of tiny red, green and colourless domes. They are more like pearls than gems because they are not faceted, but they are clear and shine beautifully. Goodness knows where they came from, but at least a few of them have now been used. I also used peel-off borders, gems, and matching stickles glitter glue around each label topper.

The word rejoice across the bottom of each BP is a stamp from a very old set by Hero Arts. I like them but tend forget about them.
So here is the whole set.
I certainly managed to use up a few snippets on these, so I will be linking them up with Pixie's Snippets Playground.

I recently showed a card I had made using a silhouette cutting file, and I had some very kind comments - Thank you - so I also made some more of these using two each of the green, blue and turquoise cards. and here they are.
Thank you for stopping by to visit me. I do appreciate your comments.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Autumn Butterflies

THE challenge over at Mrs A's Butterfly blog this week, is to use Autumn colours for your butterfly. 

Well I bought a new set of three mica sprays recently and the set was called Autumn Leaves, so I thought this would be a good chance to try them out. I have to say I was a bit disappointed, because when I had mixed the sprays, (they come in powder form which you mix with hot water), left them a good while to cool, and let the pigments activate, and then sprayed all three randomly onto some white card, I found they were very dark colours, and not, to my mind any way, all that autumnal! One was gold, one a deep copper, and the third was dark blue (for Autumn?!). I also prefer a fine mist for mica sprays and however many times I tried, I could only achieve, 'blobs' of colour. This is my trial sheet.

On the plus side, you can see that when it catches the light, it does have a lovely iridescent shine.
I decided to use it anyway and I cut two different sizes of butterflies using memory box dies. I still felt they were a bit dull, so I then cut the corresponding fancy butterfly for each size, using copper mirricard, and glued them to the sprayed bases. You can't see it is copper. It looks almost black in the photo, but it is actually quite bright.
For the background, I, like many other folk at the minute, had a play with my new Brushos. I used some textured watercolour paper which I made very wet. Following advice on a youtube video I watched, I covered each of my paint pots with aluminium foil, and pricked four tiny holes in each one, and I found this worked perfectly. On my previous attempt I had found it difficult to use a small enough amount of each powder. This time I used yellow, orange and leaf green, and at the last minute I added a touch of red, and let the colours mix together.
I mounted it up on a plain dark brown card, and added a copper peel-off sentiment.
Well I shall now fly over to Mrs A's blog and hope she thinks that my sprays, being called Autumn leaves, are sufficiently Autumn colours for the challenge. To my mind, my background is nearer the mark, but the intention was there!
If, like me, you love butterflies, why not fly over with me and see everyone else's, and maybe even add one of your own.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Snowy Scenes for Rudolph Day.

I was chatting away to my sister on Skype a few nights ago when I suddenly spotted the date in the corner of my screen, and realised that Rudolph Day was almost upon us again. This is the 25th of each month when we are invited to link up to Sarn's blog with two new Christmas cards, so last night I made mine.
I used some snowy scenes that I bought a while back from Stitchy Bear - a site where I occasionally buy digi stamps. They are more complete images than digi-stamps, and I thought it would spoil them to try to colour them properly, so I just added a little pale colour using  pencils. (During my room makeover last month, the dreaded 'black hole' swallowed my coloursoft pencils, so I had to make do with some very old ordinary ones. I expect the others will turn up eventually!) There were three different images, and seeing as I could comfortably fit four onto a sheet of A4 paper, I stamped one of them twice. Having coloured them, I die-cut them, and also die-cut a frame for each one to match the base card. Once layered up I added some sparkle with stickles ice diamond glitter glue and set them aside to dry.
For the middle layer I used white embossed pearlised paper. Then I rooted through a box of ancient embellishments and found holographic trees and snowflakes, which with few adhesive gems, and a peel-off greeting, finished off my cards quite nicely.
So here are the four cards I made. (I am still rubbish at taking photos of white cards, so these have my shadow on them!)

The three digi stamps are: Robin's Christmas,  Snowy Postbox and On a Winter's Day.
Dies used: Spellbinders rectangle, Go-create oval, Spellbinders scalloped rectangle, two Die-namics fancy oval frames.
Embossing folders.: Sheena Douglas - Snowfall, and Crafter's Companion - Snowflake corner from the Snowman collection.
So now I will link these up over on Stamping for Pleasure, and see what everyone else has made. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Silent Night

Well I have just 34 minutes to link this up with a challenge so here goes. 
I bought a very detailed cutting file that I liked from the Silhouette store and used my machine to cut it from dark brown vinyl. It was too detailed to cut from paper. I made it a mat using the studio software, and cut that from a snippet of gold embossed card.
The base card was a pre-cut one in dark brown, and I added a layer of cream paper printed with the words and music from Silent Night. I glued the bauble to the matted layer, and added a sentiment cut with the same brown vinyl and Britannia dies. The fir branches are a Marianne die, and the flower, which just finished it off nicely, was a gift some years ago, so I don't know its origin. 

So here is the finished card.
I am hoping to make some more of these this week, but for now I shall link this up to CraftyHazelnut's Christmas Challenge 194; Silent Night.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


It rang a lot of bells for me when Mrs A wrote her post about the song "The Ugly Bug Ball", sung by Burl Ives. I also had a copy of this record and both I, and our older two sons loved listening and singing along with it. Now Mrs A decided to make this the theme for her Butterfly Challenge this fortnight, so I thought I could have some fun with it.
I happen to have quite a collection of 'bug' stamps. I used to use them to make counting books with the children in my nursery, and they loved using them. So out they came and this is what I made.
The main image is a stamp by Flourishes. The bugs are mostly from a set of rubber children's stamps from my nursery supplies catalogue, and the rest are a set of wood-mounted hero arts mini-stamps. The larger butterflies are part of a Chocolate Baroque stamp, and the tiny butterflies and dragonflies are punches.
Everything is coloured with copic markers. All the bugs (except the ants) are stamped on tiny snippets of white paper, and after being coloured I added a wink-of-stella sparkle to all the wings, cut them out, and added them wherever I could fit them!
Having just read the challenge description again I fear my spider, snail and ants may be disappointed, as Mrs A says all the bugs must have wings to attend the ball. In the lyrics of the song, the main character was a caterpillar, and ants and spiders were also there, so maybe she will let them in!
Anyway I shall fly with them over to her blog to enter them in Butterfly challenge #14; The Ugly Bug Ball,  And as I used up some of my vast store of white snippets for all the bugs, I think Pixie might let me in to the Snippets Playground too.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Well it looks like I may make my third post today. (The second one is on my other blog).
In my Creative blog Hop post I said I was working on a run of Christmas cards. I finished them last weekend, but there hasn't been time to do a post about them until now.

Taking part in Christmas challenges has kept me making cards all year, but a few a month is not really enough for me, so I thought I had better try and do a run of one design. I really like Christmas cards that show something of the nativity story, which is after all, what the season is all about, so I sketched  my design on paper, using an idea I found in one of my old files of magazine cut outs, when I was reorganizing my room. And here is the finished card.
For a project like this it is worth putting in some work first, so here is how it was done.
1. I stamped a very old Bethlehem scene, using an Art Impressions stamp, (top left). I scanned it into the computer, and used a graphics program to split it into five elements (centre and bottom left), which I rearranged to look like the final picture (right).
2. I arranged the sections in one line and found I could fit seven lines on one A4 page so I printed this out three times onto cream card. I roughly added patches of brown and yellow with copic markers.
3. This gave me 21 sets of buildings which I cut out by hand! It didn't actually take very long!
4. In Adobe photoshop I made a background using two digital scrapbook papers. I resized it, again so that I could fit seven copies on an A4 page, and printed them out three times. I cut them with my rotary cutter.
5. I found twenty-one pieces of card in various weights and shades of cream, and cut and folded twelve centimetre square, base cards.
6. I matted the background pieces onto navy card - again I managed to get seven out of a sheet of card, and glued them to the right of the base cards.
7. Now it was time to layer the Bethlehem pieces on each one. I just used double sided tape for most layers, but put 1mm pads under the dome-roofed building at the front.
8. I used a file from my silhouette library to cut 21 kings on camels. Originally he was going to stand in the empty panel at the left hand side, but I thought this looked like two unrelated images - Bethlehem and the king, so instead I moved him across so that he overlapped the front building, and cut 21 'half' kings using a different image, and added him behind the first one. I  liked this a lot better. Because I was cutting the kings from paper, and it was already a fairly delicate design, I decided not to try to cut the very thin reins. Instead I drew them in at the end with a fine permanent marker.
9. The final bit was to cut the stars using a Memory Box die. I scrabbled through my mirri-card snippets and found enough little pieces to cut them without starting on a new sheet, so I was pleased about that, and it doesn't matter that there are several different shades of gold.
I didn't feel any sentiment was needed, but on the inserts I used a word art piece referring to the kings, and taken from from the book of Psalms, which is part of a digi set I bought a while back. Sorry I can't remember its origin.
It is not often I do such a big batch of cards but it is a good way of upping my total, and I shall be doing it again very soon I think. And just to prove I really did finish all twenty-one of them, here they all are, complete with inserts and envelopes, and they even have my 'hand made by..' labels on their backs.
As I managed to use up lots of little snippets of gold card, I shall take these over Pixie's Snippets playground week 141.