Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Butterfly Challenge #33 : F is for Flowers, or P is for Poppies

Yes, the Butterfly Challenge for this time includes the criteria to add some flowers, so it was the perfect opportunity to try out my new Heartfelt Creations poppy stamp and die set. This set was only released last week, but I had pre-ordered it - I´m a sucker for anything poppy related - so mine came very quickly.
Like many of the HC flowers these stamps and dies each come as one plate, so if you stamp the whole plate, you can cut it all out in one go. To make all of these poppies I cut the entire plate twice. I stamped one in black ink and one in Memento rhubarb stalk ink, but because I chose to paint them, this doesn´t really show.
I had intended to use copic markers, my usual choice for colouring, but I remembered that once upon a time I liked H2O paints for poppies because they give the petals a lovely sheen which most poppies have naturally. It is literally years since I used them, but I dug out my paints and had a lovely messy time. I found that the die is not a perfect match for the stamps so I over-painted the edges quite generously as, for this project, I did not want any white frames around the petals.
There were no leaves with the poppy set so I used the leaves from a similar HC set called delightful daisies. These were also painted with two shades of H2Os and die cut.
While the paints were wet, I also did a quick wash of one shade on the underside of the cut flowers in case it showed, and covered both sides of a scrap of white paper ready for my butterfly.
I used some off-cuts of gold mirri-card and two dies from Spellbinders Respendent Rectangles set for the frame, Britannia dies for the greeting, and the Memory Box die Delaney Butterfly, for the lace butterfly. From my scrap of painted paper I cut the matching Memory Box die Cheviot Butterfly, and glued the gold lace one over it. 
I used an A4 embossing folder (sorry, make unknown), to give some definition to the backing paper, and then mounted it all up.
I am pleased with the end result. i love the sheen on the flowers and leaves.
So now I will link this up for the Butterfly Challenge #33, and thanks to Di´s posting, I now know there is a new challenge on the Memory Box blog and their first challenge is to use a Memory Box die and a Butterfly, and I have just a few hours left to enter.
I used up a few snippets of white and gold card card for this, so I can also go and play in Pixie´s Snippets Playground.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Using new stash for Rudolph Day

Once again the 25th of the month has rolled up a bit sooner than I feel it should have, so we are again making our Christmas cards to enter the Rudolph Day Challenge over on Scrappy Mo´s blog, Scraps of Life.
For me this was a good opportunity to try out a stamp I bought from a sale bin a month or two ago. It is a pretty angel by Creative Expressions. I stamped her with a Paris Dusk Memento ink pad onto a white snippet, and then I had to think what to do with her! I tried several dies around her and settled on another new, never before used item, a Spellbinders set called Labels 46, Decorative Elements. I used the outer frame from the set, and when I had cut my angel I inked around the edge with the same Paris Dusk ink. When I ordered a die set from Altnew in America recently, I wanted to add another item, really to warrant the postage cost, so I chose a nice set of Christmas word stamps, all based on words from well-known carols. I used one of these to fill the gap within my die cut, and then a second smaller one from the same set below it.
For my background I was struggling to find anything suitable in my stash so I browsed my on-line folder of paper downloads and found a starry sky. It was a very bright blue which didn´t work with my chosen ink so I played around with it in PS, to change the hue and opacity, and printed it out on the ´Normal´setting, and on ´Fast draft´. 

I found my die cut would just fit on a 12cm square base card, and as I have lots of envelopes that size, I went with it. 

I mounted it up and added a little glitter glue to the angel wings and stars, and a small white pearl to each corner of the frame.
This was a fairly quick and easy card to make once I had a done a trial run with scrap paper, and made sure everything would fit. Also I had several sheets of my backing paper from the various trial prints, and I could cut two cards from each sheet, so I decided to make a few more. And just to prove it, here is my set of six.
They are all much the same with just a slight difference in shade for the backing paper, and different gems and pearls for the corners depending on what I had six matching ones of. The more observant of you will notice that I have changed the orientation of the frame for one card. This is because I stamped too near the edge of my white snippet, and couldn´t fit the die in the same way round as the others!
So now I am off to Scrappy Mo´s to link this up for the Rudolph Day Challenge, where the only criteria is to make a Christmas card,
and as I used six pieces from that huge box of white snippets that I am sure we all have, I will also link up with Pixie´s Snippets Playground.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sunflower time

Thank you for your kind comments about my Get Well card (previous post). I did warn you I would be back today, so here is a very different card that I made very quickly when we were invited to a 60th birthday party a week or two ago.
Last month my husband had to travel to the south of UK for a family funeral, and flights were difficult at short notice so he had to fly to Bournemouth and travel by train across to Bognor Regis. My sister lives in Bournemouth so she kindly let him use her spare room, fed him and ferried him around to airports and stations. When he came home he handed me a package from Jean, and inside was these beautiful serviettes. She knows how much I like sunflowers, so she knew these would appeal to me. I looked at them and said "Hmm. I must find something nice to do with those", and my dear hubby said, "Won´t you just use them as serviettes?" Of course I won´t!!

So, for my card I took one serviette and separated it into its three layers. Taking the printed layer I cut it just passed the centre, and used modge podge to glue it to a piece of white card, and glaze it. This makes it wrinkle a little but I  rather like the texture. I left it over night to dry.
The next day I cut one flower away, and using only about two thirds of the petals, I fussy cut it and set it aside. 
With the rest of it I cut out a 6 inch square as accurately as I could, keeping the flower fairly central. I used a new We-R-Memorykeepers, mini 8 punch called vine. This is a large corner punch which, used eight times, will make the mat you can see here. With the matching border die it can be extended up to a large mat that just fits onto a 12" x 12" scrapbook page. I saw it in use once and liked it, and I got my son to bring one over for me, but somehow I hadn´t got around to trying it. I do like the shape it makes.
I found some yellow card that matched the sunflower and made a square 15cm base card, and mounted my mat so it just fitted on it. Then I added the second ´thinner´flower shaping the petals slightly.
For the centre I found some micro beads that at some time I had coloured yellow with alcohol ink, and used cosmic shimmer acrylic glue to stick them in a ring. Then I filled the centre of it with rust coloured accent beads. The outer ring is made up of tiny gold beads, amber glass beads and burgundy faceted glass beads. As the party was for a Spanish friend, I used a gold peel-off sentiment that says ¨Felicidades´, literally ´Happiness´, which is the usual greeting on a card here whatever the celebration.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A Get Well card for my Grandson

It is ages since I posted again, but I am pleased to say I am almost done making the cards I need finished before I go away in a week´s time. So tonight there is one that I can now post, and that is a get well card I made recently for my Grandson. He is twenty, not the easiest age to make a card for, but he was very poorly with what eventually we knew was Glandular Fever. He is on the mend now, but of course, it will be some time before he is completely recovered, and in the meantime he will be feeling pretty low some days. So I wanted to make something that would make him smile.
It also needed to be something fairly quick and easy to make, as the Spanish snail mail is so unpredictable and it could be a week or more from posting to it arriving. As it happened, this one arrived in two days! but that is the exception rather than the rule.

Anyway here is my card which I made using a paper cut file bought from Treasure Box Designs. It is one of the Bobble Buddies collection.
To prepare the base card I embossed the front to about three-quarters of the way down, and hid the not very good lower line with a vintage sticker strip that has been in my stash for ages. I lightly distressed the edges with walnut stain DI.
The parts for building the bear were svg files which can be made to cut with my Silhouette Cameo machine (if, like me, you have the Designer Edition of software). On the computer screen, I sorted the files into groups for cutting with the various colours, and using the grid on my mat to match their placings, I used various snippets from my boxes and cut them all out.
I highlighted the edges of most of the pieces so that they stood out better when they were stacked, and added a little rosy pink to his cheeks. Then I assembled him and added him to my card.
The sentiment was computer generated so of course, the front section needed to be positioned and printed at the very beginning. It then continued inside the card like this. (The insert looks very wrinkled because I used wet glue to stick it in place, and took the photo before it was dry. It soon flattened out as it dried and I rushed off to get it in the post).
I finished the insert with a small printed version of the little bear that I had added a trail of hearts to, taken from some clip art I found on Google images.
I shall add this to Pixie´s Snippets Playground, and tomorrow I will try to get back with another card that has now been given, so I can show it.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Fluttering by with some bling.

Goodness, it is a long time since I posted on here, but I haven´t been entirely idle. I have been trying to get all the cards made that I will need during June and July as I am away on holiday for two weeks, and when I come home again, it always takes me a while to get back into the swing of things. Most of those cannot be shared just yet, but here is one I can post, and I made it for the Butterfly Challenge #38: A Butterfly with ´S´for sequins.
I did, of course, cut this butterfly on my Silhouette Cameo machine. The file was bought from the Silhouette store some time ago, just because I thought it was so pretty, so I am glad I have found an opportunity to use it.
I cut it first from a larger patterned paper with some metallic elements in the design, but when I put it over some plain card, it just looked a mess, and the lace design was ´lost´. So I tried again with this tiny floral paper from my stash. I´ve had it for ages and I have no idea where it is from! I then tried placing it over a pale blue card and a pale pink one, trying to match the flowers in the pattern, but it looked very wishy-washy on both of those. So then I tried various darker cards and was surprised to find it looked best on this mid-lilac tone. So that is what I used.
Then it was time for the sequins. I don´t really use sequins. Had I even got any?... Well Yes. In a little box, at the very bottom of a bigger box, hidden away in a dark cupboard that I rarely visit, not only did I unearth some sequins, but some of them were a perfect match for my card. Result! So I glued these on the butterfly body, and the larger flowers on its wings. I even found some tiny shiny dots - mini sequins? - that I added to the smaller flowers.
The butterfly sentiment is a never before inked stamp, make unknown, and the Happy Birthday is a much used Aspects of Design stamp.
So I will flutter over with this to Mrs A´s blog for the Butterfly Challenge, and see how other folk have incorporated sequins in their cards.   

Thank you all for your visits and kind comments. I do appreciate them. I have struggled to find time to visit everyone recently, but I am trying to have a catch-up session tonight.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Trying out some more new stash for Rudolph day.

I have failed miserably so far with reaching my monthly target for Christmas cards, but at least as the 25th of each month comes around, I do manage to make one or two for the Rudolph Day Challenge..

For today´s card I am using two new items. Firstly a stamp which I ordered from Crafty Individuals, just too late to use it for last Christmas. It is a sweet little row of birds on a holly branch, so having stamped it, I used copic markers to turn them into robins. I actually stamped it twice, so this week I can use the other one on a different card. For a bit of sparkle, I added Icicle stickles to the holly.

Th other new item I used is a die set. I rather like this tri-fold style of card, but I usually make a right mess of cutting it, and all the little panels to decorate it. So when I saw a set of dies for this purpose I just had to buy it. I was happy when it arrived but I have to admit, I have a few issues with it.
The die is from a series called Presscut by Crafts-too, and it says on it "...will fit most popular die cutting machines", The site I bought if from added "...but it is just too big to cut with a cuttlebug". It is a very unstable die, because it is so thin, and all the cutting lines are thin, and it was held onto a backing card with sticky tape that was so strong I really thought I would bend the die trying to remove it. Also, although it does just fit the width of my big shot machine, (and it is only just!), it is actually about half a centemetre longer than a sheet of A4 card, so in length it doesn´t even fit in my big eBosser machine, so I had to cut it part way down, then turn it around to cut the other half. Fortunately I do buy the pads of coloured card that Lidl sells from time to time, and they are European size not A4, so the die did just fit on a sheet of that. I do think they should warn you about this on the website, which was a British company, as most crafters in UK use A4.
Rant over! The good thing was that, as well as the frame, there were twelve smaller dies for cutting panels, either with a straight edge or a tiny scalloped edge. These are both the same size for each panel, so you can´t layer one over the other, it is either or.
So, back to my card.
I was able to use these small dies, I chose the scalloped ones, and several snippets of three  designs from a pad of robin and holly paper that was by Papermania. I bought  it in UK a couple of years ago, and only have very tiny pieces of it left now.The dies made it quick and easy to assemble the card. Then I added the stamped image to the centre section, big  die cut letters from Memory Box to make the word JOY on the front panel, and a very old stamped sentiment from Hero Arts on the back panel.

So tomorrow morning I shall be linking this up at Scrappy-Mo´s blog for the Rudolph Day Challenge, and at Pixie´s Snippet Playground.

I am now working on a second of these cards using a snowy theme. I´ll add an image if I get it finished in time.

When hubby and I toured Thailand a few years ago, the ´in phrase´on T-shirts, signs etc was "Same, same...but Different". Well I managed to make my second card this evening, so here it is - Same, same...but Different!

The main image is one of my all time favourites from Penny Black. I usually stamp it in black, masking off the deer, and add them in brown. But this time I coloured it all with distress marker pens, (chipped sapphire, bundled sage, and vintage photo),   ´huffed´on it,  and stamped. You need quite wet pens, and you have to work quickly, to get a good image this way, but when it works, I like the effect.
The snowflake chains on the front are an Indigo Blu stamp, with iridescent embossing powder. The snowflakes are a Memory Box die, and all the panels are cut from odd snippets from my Christmas box. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Cards for the Men

Those of you who know me well, will know that I am very outnumbered in my family, so I am always needing cards for men. I find these quite hard to do especially when I have left it to the last minute to make them, so this week I decided to make a few in advance. 
I raided my digi stamp folder and chose three images- Kingfisher in the rushes, In the harbour, and A Scottish castle, all purchases from Stitchy Bear. (Their site has changed considerable since I bought these, and they no longer seem to have these images, so I have not included a link).

I printed the Kingfisher out twice and coloured them both the same with copic markers. I cut them with a Spellbinders deckle edge rectangle die. For the mats I chose two different blue snippets - both saved from brochures of a well-known high street bank! - and cut them with deckle edge scissors. The background is a photograph, sized to fit the front of the card, and faded out so that it compliments the image without over powering it. I finished these with a Signature Die sentiment cut to match the image mat.

I printed out, In the Harbour, and then I altered it so that it was the right size and in the right position to  fall across the centre of a card, and printed it again.

Because this second print was for an ´almost´ one layer card, to save on weight for international posting, I couldn´t use my copic pens to colour it as these leak through the card, so I used coloursoft pencils instead. The waves, anchor and sentiment were all cut using my silhouette cameo machine.

As the second image was to be layered up, I did colour this one with copics, and hand-cut it, and its blue mat, using the inner and outer edges of a Labels 8 die. (I often resort to this because the gap between one die, and the next size up, is just too wide). I set this at an angle on a cream textured card, and stamped the sentiment - from a Crafty Individuals word set - with brown archival ink. The seagull on a post is a Chocolate Baroque stamp that I stamped on a snippet of white card, coloured and then cut out.

The final image I only printed once because I felt I was more limited in what I could do with it. In the end I added some subtle colour with copics, using warm greys for the rocks and bridge, and cool greys for the castle, and then a range of greens for the vegetation and blues for the water. I cut a light grey frame using the largest die from the Spellbinders Radiant rectangles set. I didn´t want to put a sentiment on this image, but I may add one at the last moment, or else print it on the insert instead.
As I used a lot of snippets for the mats in these cards, I will link them up in Pixie´s Snippets Playground.
As my first two and last cards all fit their colour challenge, I am also entering this at The Male Room, where all entries have to be for men or boys.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ripping it up for The Butterfly Challenge #30

It is an honour and a delight to be Guest Designer for Mrs A´s Butterfly Challenge#30 . My choice of the letter ´J´was a purely random one, simply because our son Jonathan was staying with us at the time. When Mrs A informed me that J was for Jagged edges, it became a real challenge! However I had a new set of stamps to play with, and here is what I made.

The backing paper is printed from a digi scrapbook kit called Damask Papers, from e-scape and scrap. The paper behind the image and sentiment, and the butterfly are from the same digi kit I used for my previous card. They are both darkened around their edges with some Pistachio Memento ink, and I dusted the butterfly with it too,  to tone down the bright white parts. The sentiment was one I had on file on my computer, and I printed it out in green and roughly cut around it with some deckle edge scissors for the first Jagged edges.
For the roses I used my new stamps which are a set by Altenew. Not a company I am familiar with. I had to send to America for them and they were quite a while getting here,  but I am enjoying using them.
The set makes four different roses, two leaf sprays and several individual leaves. Each flower and leaf has three or four layers, and the idea is to use three or four different ink pads getting progressively darker, or to use one pad and first, second and third generation stamping for the layers.  For this card I have used just one ink pad - Memento Rhubarb Stalk, but the leaves used three different pads, Memento Pistachio, Bamboo Shoots, and Cottage Ivy.
It sounds a bit complicated but it isn´t really. The stamps are clear so you can see how you are placing them, and I printed off a pdf file that shows which parts should line up. And it isn´t important to line them up perfectly. As you can see from this close up, my leaves are not quite aligned, but it doesn´t spoil the end result. I think these stamps produce almost the look of a vintage printed image, and I can see me using them quite often as I have always struggled to find a vintage look.
I used paper masks to layer the roses into a bunch, and then tore around the completed image for my Jagged edges. I distressed them as described above, and glued them to my card adding the butterfly in the corner.

When the stamps first arrived I was a bit daunted by them, but I soon realised that there was a line on their acetate carrier sheet, encircling the parts for each rose, which helped a lot. The leaves you have to sort out for yourself! There are around fifty-six separate stamps in this set, and some of them are very tiny! The first thing I did was to experiment with different inks and this was the result.
The two roses on the far right, and the two on the far left, were all done using several ink pads, and the two central ones were done with one pad, stamping it off first to get progressively lighter results. I rather like the orangey-yellow one.
Most people would find this easiest to do, using a stamp positioner. I know there is a Fiskars one available in UK. I actually sent to America for the MISTI, which cost a lot more, and I do mean a lot more, but it has a larger working area, and think it is brilliant, so for me it was money well spent. It is also wonderful for anyone stamping multiple times with one stamp, for making party invites etc. Jenny McGuire has posted an excellent video on using the MISTI along with the Altenew stamps on youtube which you can see HERE, if you are interested to learn more.
But now I shall schedule this to post for you all on Wednesday, and I´ll be back to see how you all have interpreted the Jagged edge challenge - with a butterfly of course.