Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Monday, February 13, 2017

Using a Trapeze Template for the Butterfly Challenge.

Before I start I'll share a 'senior moment' with you. I have been housebound for nearly two weeks with a nasty throat and ear virus, and I needed something to get me working again, so I thought I'd look to see what the latest butterfly challenge was. I glanced at it and saw P for paper piecing and thought I could do that, so I found my Leane Creatief butterfly stamp and stamped it twice onto white card. I coloured the outer frame in black on one and dark brown on the other, and decided I preferred the brown one. So I then stamped the image again, parts of it anyway, on several papers from my patterned snippets box, and proceeded to cut out the sections from the wings and glue them into place on my white image. Soon I had a pretty paper-pieced butterfly ready to go on a card.
Then I went back to the challenge blog and discovered there was a sneaky little 'r' in that word, and what I should have made is a paper-pieRced card!

So back to square one: - This time I dug out a Trapeze stencil by Mariannedesign.nl, bought decades ago, and used only once that I can remember. The idea with these stencils is to cut an aperture with a 'floating island' in the centre, held in place by stitching. This week's challenge is also to use the colour fern, which I presume can really be almost any shade of green, so I made a dark green base card and taped the stencil to the front. Then I carefully cut around the three unwanted sections and removed them.

Next I pierced holes round the circle and the triangle leaving some out, because I didn't need them all for my pattern. So when the stencil had been removed I was left with this, which I am showing to prove the paper really is pierced, because later I am going to cover it up!
The stitching is the next stage. This is a bit of a fiddle especially as I chose to use metallic thread which can be stiff and inclined to tangle, and I also added beads to some threads for extra interest. When all the stitching is done, sharp scissors and a very steady hand are needed to cut away the three struts that were supporting the triangle, without cutting any of the threads. It is not pretty when that is finished as all the threads are secured by bits of masking tape, which now needed to be hidden. 
To do this I cut two squares from a sheet of paper saved from a magazine I think, and cut a circular aperture in each, just one or two millimeteres smaller than the one on the card, and I glued one on the front and one on the back of my stitched piece. I also cut a matching triangle of the paper to go in the back of the 'island'. On the front of the triangle I glued a butterfly image that I bought a sheet of when I bought the stencil. They provided some extra layers so I decoupaged it a little. Then I cut a large frame using a Marrianne cut and emboss die and removed its centre with a tiny-scalloped circle die, and glued this to the front.
To finish it off, I added tiny green and pink gems to the spaces around the frame and in three of the corners. In the fourth corner I stamped a simple sentiment and added a small butterfly sticker. Then I piped a little green glitter glue around the butterfly's wings. So here is the finished card.
And here is a close up of one corner to show the detail better.

I did feel that perhaps the dark green card masked the sewing a bit and I am in two minds about adding a white insert behind it. Here I have just placed a piece of paper inside for the photo. Hubby likes it better with white behind it. See what you think.

So now I will link this to Butterfly Challenge #72: P is for paper-Piercing and F for the colour Fern. I think I have used enough shades of green to cover that as well.
Meanwhile there is still a paper-pieced butterfly fluttering around here somewhere, looking for a card to land on, so back to the drawing board!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A bit of shine for the Rudolph Day of 2017

Well here we are about to start on another challenge to make one or more Christmas cards each month, to save some of the panic when the season approaches. I am doing much better than last year having already made over a dozen cards this month. Half of them are made from recycled cards that I received this Christmas, but I like to make sure they look very different from the originals. However, for today's challenge I am showing a newly made card using a cutting file I purchased last year from the Silhouette store, and didn't get around to using.

The file is for a base card with a shaped cut-out front edge, and a large snowflake topper. 
When ordering some gold vinyl from a supplier in UK, I wanted to make the order sufficient to justify the postage, so I added a metre of five different colours of mosaic holographic film. I have never used this before and I wanted to try it out. I sorted though my stash and found a base card to match each colour of vinyl, and then realised that this would mean the snowflake did not stand out very well. So I used the Sihouette cameo designer edition of software, to make a file that would cut a slightly off-set panel to cover the front of the card. Then I glued this to the card and used transfer tape to add the snowflake, making sure it was exactly aligned with the front edge of the card. Of course this then meant that the left hand side of the snowflake stood out really week, but the right hand side still got lost on the matching card back that it overlapped. So I then managed to cut a panel of the backing paper to go behind this. 
I also made a cutting file of the words using a font called Yana, and cut them from vinyl to match the snowflake.
I rifled through my Christmas snippets box and found suitable papers for each colour, and assembled them all in the same way.
So here is my set of five cards. As you can see, the gold wasn't keen on being photographed, and the silver one picked up colours from everything around it. In fact it was difficult to take any photos of them because the vinyl was so reflective. But this was the best of a bad lot.
So this is all ready to link up with the Rudolph Day Challenge at Scraps of life by Scrappy Mo, in the morning.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Green Butterfly Challenge

I needed something to kick start me card making again after Christmas, and what better than a butterfly card. The Butterfly Challenge this time is to include a Zero, and or use the colour Zucchini. Now I have never used the word Zucchini to describe a colour. If my memory is correct, zucchini in USA are what we in UK call courgettes which are usually pale and dark green stripes. Now I live in Spain I know them as callabacin and they are plain, very dark green. However the challenge remit was anywhere on the green-yellow spectrum, so I dug out my leaf green brusho inks which separate with water to give a lot of yellow too, and made a background with them on very wet watercolour paper.

I left it to dry completely and trimmed it to fit a 11x17 card. I wanted to try a technique that I saw on some blogs before Christmas, where you use a cutting die to dry and wet emboss an image. I used two Wild Rose Studio butterfly dies. I won't write all the technique out here as there is an excellent video that explains it better than I can, by Jennifer McGuire, which you can see HERE.
In her video, Jennifer used a 'wink of stella' pen to highlight the raised areas in the embossing, but when I tried this it reacted with the ink and left a whitish film on it. So I coloured over this as best I could, and then went over it all with a deep yellow Leonie Pujol glitter brush pen which worked a lot better. I used a gold pen to draw in bodies and antennae on the butterflies, and to draw a frame around the card. You can see the detail of this technique better in this close up of the smaller butterfly.

Then I took the narrow pieces I had trimmed from the background card and die cut tiny flowers from the yellow areas which I glued randomly on the background, and some butterflies and the sentiment from the greener pieces, using a Joanna Sheen Signature die. Many of my friends are approaching a 'significant age' so I placed a gold peel-off 70th between the words to comply with the challenge to use a zero.
Now I shall link this up with Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge #69: Z for Zero and Zucchini.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Flying in for the Final Rudolph Day of 2016

For the last Rudolph day challenge of the year, I have used a little Christmas owl digi stamp from Aurora's wings. He has been in my library since last year, so I thought it was time I used him.
I knew I needed one more set of cards in a hurry so I printed him eight times and coloured him with copic markers, and fussy-cut round him. 
I also wanted to try out a new frame die by Amy Designs. So I found eight oddments of Christmas Backing paper, and eight toning pieces of card to cut the frames from. I distressed the edges of the BPs with a distress ink that matched the frame, and layered each set up on a white 15cm base card.
I liked the frame except for the top left corner which has a rather solid looking poinsettia on it, so I covered these with a double layer snowflake cut with two Marianne dies, and added a gem stone to the centre.
To finish, I added liquid pearl as the fur around the owl's hat, and some glitter glue to the snowy scene at the base of the frame.
I coloured all the owls in the same way, but used a variety of backing papers and frames, according to what I could find in my snippets box.
So, that is another eight cards for my pile, and now I will take them over the Rudolph Day Challenge at Scraps of life by Scrappy Mo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

When is an Angel not an Angel?

When it is a Star-Angel Sprite !!
I have been having fun  this week making the last few Christmas cards that I need for my local friends, and for these I turned to my library of digistamps and chose two.
The first is LOTV Christmas Angels - Praying. I printed her out six times. Then I chose Aurora's Wings, Star-Angel Sprite, and printed her five times (the sixth one wouldn't fit on an A4 sheet with enough space for a die-cut frame if I wanted one).
I then had a couple of evenings with my copic markers, adding colour to the images. This is so therapeutic!

Then it was time to make them into cards, and for speed I went with one design for my angels.

(I will say at this point, that we are actually having some much needed rain this week and the house is very dark, so all these photos were taken with artificial light and the colours are not good!).
I made six 12cm square cards, raided my Christmas snippets boxes for some backing papers, and on even smaller scraps of each one I stamped the sentiment heart (a SeeD's stamp) and cut it out.

Next I cut one layer of the Tonic Studio Star bauble die set from mirri-card; The one above is gold but it doesn't look it. I made a template for the angel and cut her out and layered everything up, finishing with a scattering of star stickers.
I made this card in three colourways.

Time for the second image. I must admit I do not usually go for this style of image, but I have rather fallen for my Star-Angel Sprite.
I again chose three colour schemes and this time I decided to fussy-cut the sprite. I made four 12cm square cards and one that was a little bit narrower because my snippet of backing paper wasn't quite big enough for the 12 cm card. I managed to find more pieces of backing paper in my snippets box to match or tone with each image.
Again, it doesn't show on the picture, but she is very sparkly because I coloured over the main star, her wings and her head-dress with the new Leonie Pujol Glitter Brush Pens. (The jury is still out on these pens. They are a lovely set of colours and are very sparkly, but the ink is a little too free-flowing for me so you have to be careful not to make blots, the brush is very soft, so precise colouring is difficult, and once dry, much of the glitter rubs off - though there is still plenty left on the image. I need to use them more to see if I can improve my technique).
The star crescent frame is also coloured with a light copic pen and then the pale blue glitter pen and it sparkles beautifully IRL. I have lost the packaging for the die and I can't remember the make, but feel free to say if you know please.
The sentiment is a really old Stampendous stamp. On some of the cards I used a different stamp by Penny Black. So here is the set I made of these.

As I used so many snippets for my backgrounds, and some of my huge collection of white snippets for the star crescent frames, I am going to link these with Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Holiday Robins

I have just returned from a week's holiday in Clonikilty, S.Ireland, and while there, I took quite a collection of bird photos. But the one I really liked was this perky little robin who sat on a dead thistle head right by the rail where I was leaning to look out over the sea at Inchydoney Bay.

So I decided to use it to make some Christmas cards. (I am way, way behind this year and need to do some big batches fairly fast!).

I chose a Winter background paper from a digital scrapbook kit, and in Adobe PS I cropped the robin and added him to the background. I resized it to fit a 15cm square card and printed it, cut it out and made a base card in plain white.

Going through my frame dies I settled on the second layer of Spellbinders fantastic ovals, and used a plain oval die to remove the centre. Then I glued it over the robin and masked any lines where the photo met the paper with stickles silver ice. I should have blended the photo into the paper before I printed it, but with time being of the essence, I didn't start again! I also added some glitter glue to the plants in the photo to give it a more Wintery feel.

For the sentiment I used a Joanna Sheen Signature die. It is larger than I usually use for a sentiment, but it worked well on this fairly plain background. I cut it from silver mirri-card to match the frame.

Happy with the result I then printed off more of the images, and made a set of six cards. Unfortunately when I came to make the frames and sentiments I found I was just about out of silver mirri-card, so I had to scrabble through my metallic snippets box to find pieces of dark silver (pewter?), and various holographic designs, for the other cards. As long as the frames and sentiments matched on each one, it was fine.

I then decided to try something else with my photo so this time I used another digital background and a Winter cluster png file also from a scrapbook kit. This cluster had a space for a photo so I slid my robin in and sized it down to fit, and again I printed off a 15cm square copy, and glued it to a plain white base card.

This time I used another quite large sentiment die by Creative Expressions - a Sue Wilson design. Again I had to find snippets of shiny card for these. The one in the photo is very holographic, but others were plainer, but at least I have used up quite a few of my oddments. Now I will have to tour all the todo shops and see if one has some silver mirri-card! I finished it off again with glitter glue on the foliage and the larger snowflakes from the cluster frame.

Again it seemed sensible to make a set of six of these, so I now have a dozen cards to add to my collection.

I had to change two toner cartridges mid-way through the printing and as you can see, the backgrounds are different shades, but I felt they were all quite acceptable. (None of them are as pink as they look in this photo!) The one good thing about my new laser printer is that there is no colour change when I add the stickles like I sometimes had with the inkjet prints.

All those bits of shiny card mean these two can wing their way over to Pixie's Snippets Playground #254.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Another Joyful Rudolph day.

Well last month's cards for this challenge featured the word Joy and so do this month's, but I guess it is a good thing to wish for people. Whatever the state of the world, there is some joy to be found in it if we truly look.
I am posting this early because I am off on holiday for 12 days, and I will be staying in a house with no wi-fi, so there won't be much computer activity from me. I will schedule it to post on the right day and hopefully I will be able to link it up on my phone.

I have a 'To do...' list as long as my arm before I leave, so I needed a card that was fairly quick and easy to do, so again I turned to my Silhouette cameo library for a cutting file to use. I chose this filigree star with the word Joy in the centre.

I cut the top layer from white pearlised heavy paper. I like this paper which has a gold sheen on it in some lights, and it is fibre-free so it cuts well. I found that if I resized it to fit a 12cm card, I could just fit two on each A4 page.

For the next layer I raided my snippets drawer and found four pieces of beige/gold sheen card, and two of yellow-gold heavy parchment, and cut the six squares, and six circles with the word Joy cut out,  for the centres.
Then I made six base cards from 240gsm white card and glued it all together.
I am not brilliant with the clean and simple look and am always tempted to add stars etc to the white spaces, but hubby said leave them as they are, and for once I did.
So six more cards in my stash means I can at least write enough to take to UK with me to save on the postage. When I get back I will need to make some more quickies, for my local friends.
Now I will link this up to Scraps of Life by scrappymo, ready for the Rudolph Day Challenge on the 25th October and hope I can do it properly when that date comes around.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Joyful Rudolph Day.

Well the 25th has crept up on us again. Fortunately I made my cards a week or so ago, but I have only just got to the computer to post them.

I am still looking for designs that don't require too much colouring and hand-cutting as my arms continue to be a problem, so I went through my Silhouette Cameo library looking for a file I haven't used before, and came across the cutting file for this word Joy.
I had some heavyweight dark red, pearlised paper that I knew would cut well, so I used that. I tried it on a few cards and decided it looked best on plain cream, so i used that to make the base card.
To 'ground' the word I used the off cuts of the red with a Signature die to cut the starry border. I collected all the little stars that came from this, and dotted them randomly around the image. Then I used another die - Memory box I think but I am not sure - to cut a star of Bethlehem from gold mirri card, and glued it over the star in the original image.
Because  this used half an A4 sheet of the red paper, I cut it a second time from the other half, and made another card the same. Then I went through my stash and found similar pearl, non-fibre paper in silver, pewter, and stone, so I cut two sets from each of these. I paired up the silver with turquoise card, the pewter with mid-blue card and the stone with dark red, and made them up in the same way, so I have a useful set of eight cards, that really show why Christmas is the season of Joy.
So I will pop over to the Rudolph Day Challenge at Scraps of Life by Scrappymo, to link this up. Then I have another card to make before tomorrow!