Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Monday, August 18, 2014

Two for the younger males of the Perry Tribe.

While I was busy with our visitors last month, one of our grandsons celebrated his thirteenth birthday. I had a card ready and posted it to him but didn't find time to post it on here, so here it is.

He is an ardent Dr Who fan so choosing a subject for his card wasn't too difficult. As this was an anniversary year for the program, there was a lot of stuff in the internet, and some while back I downloaded all the parts of a Dr Who blog hop, which together made a fairly comprehensive digital scrapbook kit. So in Adobe photoshop I started with one of the backing papers and added the letters, the Dalek and the Tardis at the bottom, and a badge and sentiment at the top, (the font was included in the kit). I printed it out and cut it into sections, sticking them top and bottom of an A5 white card. The section across the centre is a cutting file posted by one of the kind folk on the Silhouette Facebook page who generously share files they have designed. It depicts profiles of the twelve faces that have played the Doctor. I thought it was quite clever, so I cut it from black vinyl and transferred it to the space between my paper layers. I printed a second badge and embossed it with clear powder before sticking over the original one.

Next week it is our little great-grandson who has a birthday and he is three already! So for his card I looked through my digi-stamps and found this little bear singing along with his mice friends. He came from Di's Digi Downloads. When I had printed it out and cut my card to size, I made a mask from copy paper and dusted the whole background with Distress inks, squeezed lemonade and scattered straw. Then I coloured the image with copic markers. For the sentiment I dusted a small off-cut of white card and used an old stamp by Butterfly Kisses. I dug out a set of pens called Emboss. They have very 'wet' ink in strong colours, and were sold specifically for colouring a stamp for clear embossing. I have had them for at least eight years, and I was amazed to find they were still all working. So I used a variety of them to colour my stamp, embossed it with clear powder and cut it out. I matted it onto red card and cut it out again. The balloons are cut from tiny snippets of vinyl using a file I had in my silhouette library. At the last minute I made one larger and cut it from metallic vinyl and added a gold number three. I arranged the balloons along the top of the card, cropping them along the edges, and used a fine marker to draw in the strings.

The sentiment strip and balloons used up some snippets so I am going over to Pixie's Snippets Playground #138 with this one. (Sorry the photo is a bit pale. It is much more colourful in real life. It was very sunny and I was trying to get the metallic sheen of the red balloon to show. I didn't realise it had made everything else looked rather washed out!). But Hey-ho, You can't have it all ways.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Six Rockin' Robins

Although I do try to always enter Sarn's Rudolf day Challenge, which ensures I make two Christmas cards every month, I am aware that I will need a lot more cards than that in a few months' time, so I decided to have a little 'batch bake'. In with a recent order, this IndigoBlu stamp called Rockin' Robin, just fell into my basket, so I thought I had better show it some ink. 
I found six pieces of white card in my snippets box and stamped the image, three times using ink - black, blue and green. I then dusted a piece of card with blue ink and stamped it in versamark and embossed it in white. For the last two I again stamped in versamark and embossed one with clear powder and one with gold.
Next I rifled through my Christmas snippets box and found pieces of BP that went with each stamped panel. I added some green colourng to the green and black stamped images, and to the clear embossed one, and blue to the blue one, using copic markers. I left the white and the gold embossed ones as they were.
I mounted the backing papers onto plain white A6 base cards leaving a narrow border round each one, and then added the image panels. For each one, I highlighted the snowflakes with glitter glue, which looked quite different depending on what colour of ink it was covering, and also added some white perfect pearls drops for the mistletoe berries.
While these were drying I returned to my stamp. Inking up just the robin with Memento rich cocoa, I stamped it six times, and coloured them, again with copic markers. (I wasn't sure about the actual zones of colour on the robin so I looked at some in google images and was quite surprised to see the red area starts up around the eyes, and although we think of them as brown and red, they actually have quite a lot grey in their feathers). I fussy cut the robins out and glued one to each card panel. 
For a finishing touch I rummaged through a box of very ancient Christmas stickers and found a sentiment for each one. Some of the jelly stickers were so old that they had dried up and were no longer sticky, but I am determined to work through some old stash, so I did find something to suit each one. And here is the complete set.
I shall be flying over with these to Pixie's Snippets Playground #137, and also entering them in Crafty Hazlenut's Christmas Challenge #189 where the theme is Fur or Feathers - in other words show an animal or bird.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A man's card with a maritime theme.

Many folk are having problems with blogger right now, but I am going to risk trying to write a post anyway. I suddenly realised that I needed to post a card to my brother who will be 85 in a few days time, and as he used to be in the Navy, (the Fleet Air Arm really), I thought he might like a card with a maritime theme.

I started by choosing a tropical beach photo from the thousand plus that I took on holiday in Thailand six years ago. (I still haven't made the scrapbook!!). In photoshop, I clipped it to a mask from a set called Marina masks, by Black Lady Designs. So this was my background, which I printed out to form the front of my white card.
I then added a seagull in one corner using an very old inkadinkadoo stamp, with a little added copic colouring, and fussy cut it.
The ship in a bottle is a much newer stamp that I bought recently from Creative Expressions. I stamped it in Memento London fog, and coloured it a little with my copic markers. When it was dry I swiped it with a versamark ink pad, dipped it in clear embossing powder, and heated it to resemble glass. I attached it to the background with silicone glue, and stamped a small happy birthday in the bottom corner with a very old Elusive Images (now Chocolate Baroque) stamp.
My card is now winging it's way over to UK and with a bit of luck, it might just arrive in time for my brother's birthday.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Summer Butterflies

While visiting a friend's blog recently I saw a link to Aurora's wings Digi-stamps. I'd not heard of them before but I liked the image on their link thumbnail so I looked them up. Not all the images were in a style I would chose, but I came across this girl and she immediately made me think of this month's Butterfly Challenge, where the theme is Summer Butterflies. So I bought her, along with a couple of other images and last night I used her for my card.
The base card is a pre-printed one, that I have had for ages. it's probably another of my QVC surplus store buys. I'm always glad when I think to use up some ancient stash!
The image from Aurora Wings digi-stamps, was dusted with DI tumbled glass, and coloured with copics. I printed a second copy and decoupaged the largest butterfly and the front flower on her hair. The top layer of the butterfly was swiped with versamark and embossed with clear powder, and a little stickles was added to the wing tips, and to the yellow flowers.
Using an off-cut of yellow card, the frame was cut and embossed with a Marrianne die, and the embossed detail was inked with Memento grape ink, before removing it from the die. I don't care for this hard shade of yellow very much, but it went with my coloured flowers and the detail on the base card. There was just enough left to cut the sentiment with Britannia dies. (I was also determined to use up something from my yellow/orange/red snippets box as it is bursting at the seams, and this was the best option!).
Two foil butterfly stickers were the finishing touches.
I am linking this up with Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge; Summer Butterflies, and I am also popping it over to Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

My First Commission

My crafting is my hobby, and apart from making a few items for the Christmas charity stall etc, I have no desire to sell my 'makes', or fulfil orders for anyone. However, my youngest son's partner has just celebrated a significant birthday, and when Ben asked me if I could make 'one of your vinyl thingys' for him to give to Dave, of course I said I would. And I really enjoyed doing it too. I was given a list of his favourites - colour, quote, song, poem, book etc, and I chose to  work with the colour and the poem because I liked it so much.
I read it through a couple of times and picked out the images that came to me; a winding path with a small boy walking on it, trees with swirling falling leaves, and a dandelion head with the seeds blowing away.

I chose a blue background from a digi-scrapbook kit, and searched in google images for other ideas. Eventually I settled on these two.

I made the background layer the right proportions to match the plain black frame I had bought, and in adobe photoshop I changed the hue of the road to blend with the background, faded it out and stretched it to fit. Then I digitally cut the little boy and added him as a layer onto the road, again changing the hue to blue, and making him a suitable size. His trousers stood out as still having a brown tint so I then cut them out separately and turned them a true blue and added them over the brown ones. For the leaves and seed head I used elements from several digi scrapbook kits, trying to get them all to similar tones of blue. I faded each of them so no one stood out from the others, and then I flattened it all into a jpeg image, and used Publisher to size it to fit the frame exactly, and printed it out.

I printed out the poem in several different fonts and sent them to Ben to chose, and once he had decided, I printed it in my Silhouette cameo software, fiddling around with size and spacing until it was just right, and then I cut it from Black vinyl. I knew if I used a sheet of transfer paper to lift it in one go, I would risk sticking to and tearing the printed background, so I did a few lines at a time. The spacing isn't perfect, but Ben didn't want me to do it again, and said he couldn't see what I was worrying about! Considering how small the print was, it cut really well, though of course it was fun weeding out all the tiny centres of the 'closed' letters. I only had to re-cut a couple of letters, and eight dots for the 'i's'!
So here is the finished project.
I have tried to add this as a large photo so you can read the words which I find quite moving, especially the last few lines. He wrote it when his young son first went away to boarding school. (The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed that a letter is missing in the last verse. Fortunately I spotted this and was able to put it right).
Also fortunately, my husband made an unexpected visit to UK last month, and was able to take this with him and hand-deliver it. I promised I would not put it on my blog until it had been given. The birthday has now passed and I am told he was thrilled with it, and of course, it is quite unique, which it makes it a special gift.  
So that is my first commission done and dusted. I'm not looking to do any more but I'm always happy to do something for one of my boys!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Finding my mojo for Rudolph Day

Well it seems like ages since I was posting on here, though I've really only been AWOL for two weeks. (There has been one post in that time because I was guest designer for the Butterfly challenge, but that was done well in advance and scheduled to post on the right day!). I haven't actually been away at all, but I have enjoyed two weeks with my lovely grandsons and their girl-friends. We don't see them very often, so with such a lot to catch up on, I left the computer sleeping.
But when I have had a break from crafting, I find it really hard to get started again, so Sarn's timely reminder that Rudolph Day is here again, was just the incentive I needed to make me get busy. If you don't know what I am talking about, pop over to Stamping for Pleasure, and maybe join in by posting two Christmas cards on the 25th of each month. It's a great way to get started on your Christmas stash.
For my first card I decided to CASE one made by Sue Wilson. I am sure many of you watch her on create & craft TV. I don't have that opportunity but I do follow her blog and pick up some useful ideas from her videos on Joanna Sheen's shop website. Her card was in pretty shades of lilac and green, but I thought it would also make a good Christmas card. You can see Sue's card, and follow her tutorial for making it, by clicking here

Instead of her pastel shades, I used glitter with strong Christmas colours, and cut the frame from ivory pearlescent paper. The base card is matching ivory pearl card. Both the inner fancy circle and the outer frame are cut with Sue Wilson's new die set - Italian Collection, Calabriar. To make the outer frame stand out from the background, I cut a mat from an ancient piece of old-gold paper. I have no idea where it came from. Before assembling everything, I cut the sentiment with Britannia dies from the centre of the gold mat. To finish it off, I used snippets of red and green paper to cut the ivy flourish and poinsettias, both using Joanna Sheen's signature dies. Since taking this photo, I have also added a dark red nailhead to the centre of the circle and it looks just right.
I really like the look of the glitter, especially on a Christmas card, (If you haven't seen the tutorial, it is glued to the back of acetate, behind the frame), and I will probably make some more of these at a later date, but it was fairly time-consuming as each colour of glitter needed to be almost dry before the next one was added. On her video, Sue does them one after the other, but even using an anti-static bag, I found quite a lot of stray glitter clinging to the wrong areas, so I needed the glue to be fairly dry before trying to clean this off and add the next colour. Still worth it I think.

This was all done last night, so I then had to think of a second card that would be relatively quick to make. I had also bought some other Sue Wilson dies, from the California Collection, the Basic frames, and Decorative frames set B, and I wanted to try them out. These are a nice shape to work with, and the two sets do work together in most sizes, though there is no mat for the largest decorative frame. Anyway I chose a smaller plain and fancy pair, and then rooted through my box of Christmas scraps to find an image that would fit them. This one of the three kings was just perfect. So I cut it with the plain die, and then found some snippets of gold mirri-card to cut the fancy frame. Next I stamped the verse which is one of my oldest Clarity stamps, with versafine ink, and embossed it with Cosmic Shimmer gold detail powder. I also layered this onto a narrow gold mat. For the paper I used a sheet from a Papermania set called Silent Night. I sent for it in with some other items a few years back, but was disappointed when it came because it is so dull, and I haven't used much of it. However, I did find this sheet in dark red with a small gold dot pattern which worked fine. The base card is again made from the ivory pearlescent card. I accidently bought two big packs of this on two trips to a craft shop in Albox, which is just too far away to justify going back to exchange one. It is a useful, neutral colour which is just as well, as I am likely to be using it for a few years yet! To add a little interest, I cut two lace edging strips from those strips that always seem to get left over, and you can never decide whether or not to save them. Now I have edge dies, I always save them! I think this die is a Spellbinders one but I am not sure.
So that is two more cards for the pile. Now all I need to do is to link them up with Sarn's Rudolph Day Challenge, and Pixie's Snippets playground.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Spots and Stripes for the Butterfly Challenge.

I was a lucky winner on the Butterfly Challenge #8, and as a result I was invited to be a Guest Designer for the new challenge this week. This was exciting as it is not something I have done before. I was a bit less sure when I heard the theme was Spots and Stripes, and of course, Butterflies, as I rarely use regular geometric designs in my craft, but I managed to make this card.

I remembered that I have a few cut and emboss butterfly dies with spots and stripes on. So I dug these out and started to play around with them. They were all quite small so I also got out some larger butterfly dies to be the focal point on my card, a large, ornate one from Wild Rose Studio, and a smaller one from Memory Box.
I stamped a piece of white card with a Swiss dot stamp by inkylicious, and embossed it with blue interference powder, and used this as a background for the two larger dies. I made a square base card from a sheet of royal blue, and used the left-overs to cut the two butterflies which I matted onto their spotted backgrounds. 
Next I used white card to cut and emboss the spot and stripe butterflies with JoyCraft dies, and added colour to them with Memento Paris Dusk ink before removing them from the dies. Then with some tiny snippets of paper I cut and embossed the smallest butterflies from a set by Stampin'Up, and gently swiped them with the same ink pad to bring out the embossing.
The background papers are snippets from an SU pad I think. They were in my bit-box, but they toned perfectly so I think they were from the same set. 
I mounted the two large butterflies on the central strip, and my Libran need for balance means the others were placed fairly symmetrically on each side. A greeting cut with a Britannia die from the last of the blue card, completed my design.
As well as the Butterfly Challenge #11, I am posting this in Pixie's snippets playground.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


I have been rather noticeable by my absence just lately, but this does not mean I haven't been spending time in my craft-room. It is just that I have made several projects that are all 'time-sensitive', so after their relevant events have taken place, I will be blogging very frequently for a while.
However I am going to show one card that I have made. My son's partner has a 'significant birthday' coming up, but I know he will not be seeing this blog so I think it is safe to show it now.
I started with some cream card that I cut on my silhouette cameo to form a 15cm square card back with a wine bottle attached at the left edge.

I used some digital scrapbook paper from a kit called 'Wine o-clock', and in photoshop I added a glass of wine and a cork from the elements file.

There were no grapes in this file, which I felt there should have been, so I found some google images of a fruiting vine, and a bunch of grapes, and conveted them to png files so I could slide them onto my background. I printed this out and glued it to the inside of my card blank. 
From a left over piece of card I cut a second bottle and swiped it with distress inks, and when it was completly dry, I used versamark ink and fine, clear embossing powder to make it look like glass. I used an even smaller card snippet to cut a cork and wound twine around it and then covered it with adhesive foil ribbon, and coloured it with green alcohol ink.
I am not sure where the original label came from but it has been in my files for quite a while. (I believe it is modelled on a Jack Daniels label!). Anyway, I opened it in publisher to add my own words and the relevant year, and printed it onto a snippet of parchment paper and distressed it with Old Paper distress ink. I curled one corner and then glued it to my wine bottle. A matching snippet made the tag - printed on the computer -  which I matted onto dark red card and then some of the 'cut-away' from the base card.
I thought there was rather too much brown space in the centre, so I distressed another piece of my cut-away card and used a Britannia alphabet die to cut the word Cheers.
This picture shows the separation of the wine bottle better. Fortunately there was nothing on the back of the bottle inside the card, so I was able to write my message to him on there.               I used a lot of off-cuts of paper and card for this, so I shall pop over to Pixie's Snippets Playground to join in the fun there.