Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A Papercraft Silhouette Project

I have got so used to using my Silhouette cameo to cut vinyl, that I have become lazy about trying it with paper, which is much more tricky to cut. But I bought it to cut paper so I am determined to keep trying.

Here is card I made this week, using a file called Butterfly gate-fold card, from a lady called Monica, who offers lots of lovely cutting files for free on her blog. If you use any electric cutting machine, it is well worth paying her a visit. She offers her files in many different formats, so they are suitable for most cutters.
I chose some double sided card and was pleased when it cut very well. I decided to use the pretty floral side for the inner surface, and the plainer green for the outside. I used a Signature die to cut the sentiment and added it to the front of the card, having first added some pink stickles glitter glue to help it to stand out.
Then I used some Art Impressions stamps and a Versafine Olympia green ink pad, to stamp vines and shrubs on each side of the front.
Thy looked rather plain so I raided my bin and rescued all the tiny off-cuts of paper from around the sentiments etc and fussy cut all the pink flowers from them. I glued these to the vines. To finish it off I added pink stickles around the butterflies at the top of the arch. I had also cut out two free-standing butterflies  and I reversed these so the flowers were on top, and glued them over the centre of the lattice on each front. There were two holes below the front butterflies at the top, that were part of the design but served no real purpose to my mind, so I fixed a pink butterfly brad in each of these.
Here is a close up of the right hand front to show the details, and because it is a truer colour than the other photos.
I was hoping to enter this in Mrs A´s Butterfly challenge, because it says it runs until 20.00 GMT which means there is still a couple of hours to go, but Mr Linky has disappeared so I guess I am too late. But not to worry. I don´t make cards to enter challenges, but enter them if they happen to fit. I made this card with someone in mind and enjoyed doing it, and that is what counts.
But I will link it up over Pixie´s Snippets Playground, because those flowers are the tiniest snippets I have ever used!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Stamps and Old Papers for Rudolph Day

Yes it is time to start another round of Rudolph day challenges where we make a Christmas card for the 25th day of each month. This year the challenge is hosted by our friend Scrappymo, at her blog Scraps of Life by Scrappymo!
There are no restrictions as long as your card is for Christmas, so why not come along and join in with the fun.
As I send around 150 cards each Christmas, making one a month is not going to help me much, so I often do a run of my design, but this month I have just made two.
As my header says, I used some new stamps. I saw a card using this image on Maxine´s blog, and liked it enough to send for the stamp, but they had to come from America and arrived too late to use for the Christmas just gone, so I thought I´d ink them up for today.
The image, and both the sentiments, come from a set of stamps called Joy to the World, by Our Daily Bread.
I inked the image twice onto white paper with Expresso truffle Momento ink, and once onto eclipse paper so I could cut it out to use as a mask. With the mask in place I used an ink duster to add tumbled glass distress ink around each image, and then I coloured the images with copic markers.

For the first card I cut the image with a Go Create, frilly squares #9 die. (I don´t know where the name came from because they are not frilly at all, but there is a whole series of these, and they are well worth looking for, as there are some very attractive, and different shapes amongst them). I then cut around the outer edge of the die from blue card to make a narrow mat. The snowflake backing paper is some I rescued from a received card, and I again matted it onto matching blue card, and then a mottled turquoise  base card. I bought a thick A4 pad of this card back in the days when I lived in UK, and a stall in the weekly market sold pads of factory ends of card. Over the weeks I bought one of every colour they had, and I still have enough to last me for my lifetime! Under the topper, I stamped a sentiment from the same set of stamps as the image, and added a few tiny snowflakes to link it to the top.

For the second card I used a Creative Expressions die from the Sue Wilson California collection. I cut a mat in the same way as above, using very dark brown card. I mounted this over another rescued backing paper from a received card, and another turquoise base card, a little larger than before. I needed to link the image to the base so I used left over snippets of the brown card to cut a pair of foliage sprays, using a Joanna Sheen Signature die. I like these dies because they come as a matching pair, one facing each way, which my inbuilt need for balance approves of! I stamped another sentiment from the same set onto an off-cut of the turquoise card and fussy cat around it, then mounted it over the foliage.
So that is my first two cards for next year made, and I will now link them up with:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Trying something different.

That is a bit of a misnomer as none of these projects are entirely new to me, but they are different from making cards which is what I normally post about on here.
Once the Three Kings festival is over, it is pretty quiet here for a month or two, so I have had time to complete a few projects that have been on my ´to do´list for a while.
1. Some digital scrapbooking. I started by re-running a few video tutorials on using masks and other techniques in Photoshop, and then I put together this page which features a photo of some of my decorations this Christmas.

I hope to be making more pages on random topics through the year. This was a resolution I made last year but never got started on it, so hopefully this is a more positive kick-start.

2. Using many of the same techniques as for the scrapbook page, I then made this picture for my son´s partner. She had a puppy when she was twelve, and it has been her constant companion for seventeen years. She was the fittest dog I´ve ever known. Even as recently as a year ago, she was still up for a walk around the park, and would still play with a frisbee, but sadly they had to say ´Good-bye´to her in November. So I got my son to send some photos of Bow (She was called Strongbow!), which I made black and white. The backing paper, called Bearly Mine-Heart flourish, was in my computer folder of downloaded papers, but I can´t remember where it came from, but I toned the very white background of it to a pale grey. I used two of the hearts on it to add some printed words, and also added some to the main image, both sentiments I have seen on the internet and saved until needed. Then I placed the main image fairly centrally, and used bought, digital photo masks to add the other photos around it. I gave it a narrow black frame and now it is posted , and hopefully will soon be with Ella. I hope she likes it.

3. Next project is a decorated mirror for my craft room. When I changed my room around back in October I rescued a big mirror that was propped up against the wall, left there from when I had kittens who just love to play with their own reflection. I scrubbed it up, but it had a very bright blue frame so I dealt with that first. I gave it a couple of layers of white gesso and two of pale aqua-green paint that was left over from painting the trims around the house last Autumn. It still looks blue in the photo but it isn´t at all. It had sat around like that for a few months, so this week I cut two images from black vinyl and stuck them on opposite corners. I am a bit of a font-addict and have around 2,000 fonts on my computer, but recently I have bought some commercial script fonts with lots of added glyphs or flourishes. It was a bit of a learning curve to master how to access these and use them properly, but again I found some good video tutorials, so I set about using Samantha font, with added glyphs, to write the words, "Wish", "Dream", "Imagine", "Create", imported them into my silhouette cameo, and cut them out from different coloured vinyls, and added them to the mirror. Finally, I used some butterfly cutting files from my silhouette library, and the same colours of vinyl, and added three butterflies to two corners of the frame. It took some juggling around to get a photo without my reflection in it, but I couldn´t avoid the door frame, and I took it in a rather dark corridor so the colour of the frame is not very true. But I am pleased with the end result, and it is now hanging above my craft desk, quite high because it is only for decoration, and it actually reflects the light and brightens up my room in the evenings.

4. My fourth project is something completely different. I have finished a blanket that I have been making for months. I always have some knitting and/or crochet on the go, which I mostly do if I sit to watch TV in the evening, but as I don´t watch TV very often, these projects usually take me a long time to complete. I am still running my Knit for Africa project, and ladies at my sewing group give me baby clothes they have knitted, and lots of squares for blankets, which I sew together and finish off with an edging. But through the summer it was too hot to have a blanket on my lap, so I put them aside and decided to make some squares of my own, because they are nice little pieces of work to hold. I prefer to crochet. Mum did a lot, and the house was always filled with cushions with ´granny squares´for the covers, but more recently there has been a resurgence of interest in this craft, and the internet is full of patterns for new stitches and designs, that I have never tried. So I made a sampler blanket with twenty-five squares, each in a different colour and a different stitch. Some had to be undone and restarted several times, because I had to ensure they were all making up to roughly the same size. When they were all done, I crocheted a simple narrow edge to each one, and then crocheted them together instead of sewing them. It makes good strong seams, and adds an interesting ridge around each square. Then I did a few rounds in grey and orange to finish it off. I love the finished blanket.
One or two of the stitches were complicated and I won´t be using them again, but others had really nice textures, and some I would like to use to make a whole blanket in the one stitch. Here is a close up of some of my favourites.

This was a good way to use up the balls of wool left over from the baby clothes. I always say to my ladies to bring me any left-overs to use for blankets, so I have a big bag of wool ´snippets´. I have one kind friend who takes all the really tiny pieces and knits stripey squares with them. Sometimes she only gets one or two rows out of each piece. They look lovely when they are done, but there are so many ends to sew in!! I am really grateful to her for doing this. But I prefer the ´snippets´that are just long enough to make a whole square, and I am glad I have finally used some up. So this will be in my next consignment of knitting to go to the charity we support. And, in the meantime I will link this fourth project up in Pixie´s Snippets playground. It will make a change from taking a card there with me!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

You´re a Star

Who´s a star? Why you are! The ´You´ in question this time is another of my grandsons who will be leaving his teens behind him at the end of this month. How can that be possible? It seems like only yesterday that I was looking after him with his cousin of the same age, and they were laying together in the playpen, out in our back garden!
His main hobby is acting, and each year he is part of the cast for the pantomime at Perton Civic Centre near Wolverhampton. Well this year he has his moment - he has the star part. Yes he is Aladdin, and his mum, and brother, and also my youngest son, his Uncle Ben, are all in it too. So if any of you are in the area, there are still a few seats available. It is on 20th-24th January. Pop along and see some Perrys having fun! Marcus will actually be on the stage on the night of his birthday so I thought this card might be quite appropriate.

I wish I could remember where I got this file from. I think I got it as a svg and converted it to a Silhouette Studio file. So if anyone knows where it might have come from, please let me know so I  can give credit where credit is due! I really must find a better way to catalogue all my files for Silhouette. 

Anyway, I chose a sheet of shaded orange card and folded it to make a DL card.  I resized the image to fit it, ungrouped all the little stars, and removed the larger ones. Then I cut the rest, and the letters at the top, from black vinyl. It was a real pain to weed as the tiny stars kept lifting with the transfer tape, and I ended up placing quite a lot of them by hand and eye, because they had moved from their original position. Fortunately you can move them around a bit when you first place them, though after a day they are well and truly fixed.

Then I took  the larger stars that I had removed and divided them into four sets. I found some tiny snippets of metallic vinyl left over from my Christmas crafts, and cut one set out of each of green, red, copper and gold. I kept the full image on my screen to help me place them in the right positions, and to finish off I cut a fancy script Happy Birthday from black and shiny red vinyl, and offset them slightly to give a double image. You can just see it in the photo.
The problem is that, having learned to be really frugal, and use up the tiniest snippets of card, paper and especially vinyl, my boxes of larger snippets are not getting emptied out very fast! I think that had better be one of my goals for this year. Always use snippets when you can!
But for now I will take these tiny ones over to Pixie´s Snippets Playground, and see whether anyone else is out to play.

Happy New Year
 to all my friends and followers.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Time to Celebrate.

No I don´t mean celebrate the New Year. We are celebrating because our new great grandson has finally arrived. Ten days after his due date, little Alfie John weighed in last night at a bonny 9lbs 7ozs. As you can see, his big brother Isaac is delighted with him.

So, of course I made a card for the family today. Knowing the baby was a boy meant that I could have made this in advance, but I can´t bring myself to do this until the baby has safely arrived! I had planned it in my head so it didn´t take too long to put together, and tomorrow it can start on its journey to UK.

I found a sheet of turquoise card to cut the base card from, and covered it with white paper that I embossed with a Beatrix Potter folder from Crafters Companion, and lightly dusted with tumbled glass Distress Ink.
The main image is a pre-coloured one which is unusual for me, but I loved this little face from a digi set I bought a couple of years ago, from Pink Gem studio. I printed it several times and added three layers to give it some shape. I then cut it out with a Nellie Snellen die, and used another die from the same set to cut the frame from a snippet of dark blue textured card.
There was just enough card left to cut the baby banner which was a cutting file I bought from the Silhouette store.
From the tiny corners of pale blue paper that the die had cut from the main image, I managed to just cut out the words Baby Boy, and the remaining one went behind the heart cut out on the body suit.
I wanted to add some sort of sentiment so I added a silver peel-off ´Congratulations´ to a sliver of the dark blue card, and roughly cut around it. It just fitted above the banner.
I used up several snippets for this card so I will take it over to Pixie´s Snippets Playgrouind.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

No more Christmas

Yes, I have put Christmas crafting behind me now, at least until the first Rudolph Day!
I am still playing the waiting game for our new little Great-grandson who was due on 19th December, but at least mum got to enjoy watching her other little boy open his presents. (He is a bit disappointed because he had been promised that Father Christmas would be bring his new baby brother!!).
In the meantime I have a grandson who will turn 11 next week, so I needed to get his card made and posted before the New Year celebrations get underway.
I thought there was a good chance he would have snow on his birthday - he lives in the midlands - so I felt I could use some snowy images without it being too Christmassy. I chose a snowman and winter tree digi stamps from The Paper Shelter, and for the main image I used a free digi from Inger Harding.
Once I had printed the two lower images on it, the upper section of my white card was embossed with the Sheena Douglas Snowfall folder. The images were coloured with copic markers.
The main image was printed on another piece of white card, coloured in the same way and cut out with a spellbinders circle die. I printed it twice and decoupaged the arms and hands, though this doesn´t show on the photo. I found a piece of mottled turquoise card for the base layer, and rummaged through my snippets box for some matching pieces to cut the circle frame (Nellie Snellen die) the birthday sentiment (Joanna Sheen Signature die) and some snowflakes (Marrianne die).
I assembled the card and added some silver ice stickles to the sentiment and frame, and some Imaginations Diamond Sparkle Medium, to add dimension to the snow under the boy, the snowman and the tree, and for the fur on the boy´s hat. 
Now I shall get it written, ready to post in the morning, but first I shall link it to Pixie´s Snippets Playground. I hope she hasn´t shut the gates because of the snow!

If you pop over to Debby´s blog, A Scrap Journey,  you will see she is again running her challenge for you to show your five favourite Christmas cards, made by you during the past year.

So here are my five.
Starting with my Journey to Bethlehem card, which I was pleased with because it shows a part of the true Christmas story, and uses the Kings in a way that I haven´t used them before. It was a card that took a while to design, but I was then able to run off a set of 21, which really helped out my total needed. You can read more about it here.

My second card was made after I had watched a Sue Wilson video, and is a CASE of her card, an all white greetings card. I added colour and embellishments to use it for Christmas. See the details here.

Card number three uses a MoManning drawing. Her´s is one of my favourite sites for digistamps. A small run of these cards let me indulge my love of colouring, and despite using the same image, I still made a set of cards that were all different. See them all here.

My fourth card was a small victory for me because I put to good use some of the ´scraps´that I had rescued from my cards last Christmas. I always do this, but I rarely use them. Read more about my recycled images here.

And for my fifth and final card, I chose this one, because I really do like to see a Nativity scene on a Christmas card and this one covers it all. I used the same die to make a dozen cards, but like many of my friends who commented, I actually preferred the two where I cut the die into three elements and used them all on one card. See what I mean by clicking here.

Well that´s my choice of five, so now, why not follow me over to Debby´s blog and see what other folk have chosen, and maybe add your own favourites too.

Monday, December 8, 2014

More Silhouette fun

I am doing two posts in quick succession, because I am still having internet problems. I have no idea why it is happening, but from around 7.00 each night I can open and update e-mails, Facebook and twitter, but nothing else. At mid-night it suddenly all starts working again. Any ideas anyone???
So I wrote one post earlier this evening, and then had to wait until mid-night to link it up and publish it. Now I am doing a second quick post before I go to bed.
For my last few cards I  tried something a little more ambitious with my silhouette cameo, using files I bought as svg files a while ago, from svgHut. But first I made a more straightforward one that I just thought was quite fun, and suitable to send to a teenage grandson.
I used some snowy backing paper from my stash, matted onto holographic silver paper and mounted onto a white base card.
The snowmen were cut from white pearl paper, and the features from tiny snippets of vinyl. These funny snowmen looked really odd until I added the tiny white vinyl dots to their eyes. then they suddenly came to life. 
The sentiment was cut from the same white pearl paper, and the snowflakes from snippets of silver vinyl.

Then it was time to try my special cards. This the front of the first one, all cut from vinyl and transferred onto cream leather-look paper, and then to brown card.

The more observant of you will realise this is the same image I used on my lightbox in my previous post. I actually made this one first and used it as a trial run to see how my file would look before cutting the larger one for the frame. But for this card it is the inside that is more important, so here it is.

As you can see this was a very intricate cutting file and I was nearly tearing my hair out by the time I had managed to cut all the layers well enough to use. The top picture shows the completed scene, and the lower one was taken looking down on it more to show how it is fitted together. The four strips are cut from light grey and three different shades of brown pearl paper. I used this as I know it cuts better than more fibrous paper or card. I then cut the small items, kings, stable and palm trees, again in dark brown and glued them over the base layer to make them stand out more, and to strengthen them. I was pleased with this as a first attempt, although I made one major error. The layers are slotted into diagonal slits in a base sheet, and I needed to fix this firmly to the main card to keep them in place. Unfortunately I half closed the card to press the tape down and then found it was not quite into the centre of the card, so when I opened it out flat to make the scene pop-up, it split down part of the centre line. I decided it had been too much work to waste, so I split it the rest of the way down and used it anyway. I was making it for my sister Dorothy who once told me she always loved pop-up cards as a child. She is soon to hit eighty now, but hopefully she will still like them, and I know she will not mind my mistake!

I had another of these files and decided to have another go, so here is the front of my second card which I made with my favourite Santa cutting file. (The empty white space below the Happy Christmas actually has my two grandsons names on aka Big bear and Little bear. Visit my other blog if you want to know what I am talking about).
I made a better job of this one, and glued the inside onto a flat base, so no split this time. Otherwise the process was the same.
I loved the way this turned out, and I am sure the boys will too.
I used some tiny snippets to cut the second layer of the deer and the sleigh, so I am also linking this to Pixie´s Snippets Playground. It is not often I get to play there twice in one day.
Craft a scene are also asking for a winter scene, and although this usually includes some stamping I think this meets the criteria. so I am linking with them as well.