Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Sunday, December 15, 2019

The final push

When I came to write my local cards this week, I found I needed just a few more, so I looked through my files for something quick and easy, and I decided on these cutting files by Judith Henry, which I purchased from craftsuprint.
There was a set of four but I just used two of them, cutting them with my Silhouette Cameo.
The main image, star and corner frames were cut into a plain panel which matched the base card. I then used a rectangle of gold mirri-card behind the camels, and a panel of black glitter vinyl behind the shepherds.

The sentiment did not cut cleanly from the card panel so I decided to cut them separately and add them to the front, using gold vinyl for Happy Christmas for the camels and the same black glitter vinyl for Joy to the World for the shepherds.

I made three of each design which was enough to complete my cards to distribute among local friends.
I am linking up to Scraps of Life by ScrappyMo, for her Rudolph Day extra challenge for anyone who entered this challenge every month during 2019. I have so I qualify.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Rudolph day Challenge #November

Hi all. One quick card today as I have been ill for a while with this brutal virus that is doing the rounds. But I am a little better today so I was determined to make at least one card for this challenge as I have entered every month and didn't want to miss his one. I started off preparing at least two but soon realised that I had better settle for one and go and sit down again. So here it is.
Sorry it is not a brilliant photo but I am not up for fiddling with it today. I wanted to try out a new set of dies I bought by Bright Rosa. They were very reasonably priced and the set included  20 dies; The card base with elongated hexagon front, eight nesting hexagons to fit it, a hexagonal star-burst background die, matching corners with mats in two sizes, and two long hexagonal labels, so it was very comprehensive. 
I chose an image from an old magazine page, and matched it with a dark blue card with a white fleck for the base.
I cut the background mesh and matching corners in gold mirri-card, a white mat from thin felt that happened to be on my desk, and the image, and layered them all up. In this picture it looks as though the front of the card is complete, but the picture below shows that the corners are actually on the inner back of the card.
There was quite a lot of cutting involved but on the whole this was a straight forward card to make, and I shall be doing some more very soon. My second one will use silver mirri-card in place of the gold. I haven't yet decided whether or not to use one of the label dies to add a sentiment.

This is obviously a versatile set of dies which isn't restricted to use at Christmas, so I think it was a good buy.

I shall link this up at the November Rudolph Day Challenge, so if you are busy making things for the Christmas season, why not join in and post your own creations.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Rudolph Day Challenge #October 2019

Well I am writing this early and scheduling it to post on 25th, as I am going back to UK on 22nd to spend some more time with my son.
I have a card to show that I made recently using a cutting file bought from 3dcuts.com.

I used the card recommended on the site-American craft card in vanilla and it did cut beautifully on my Silhouette Cameo machine.
There were a lot of pieces to this card so the assembly was a bit of a jig-saw, but there was a clear tutorial video on the site and that helped a lot. It went together fairly easily.
The card has a lot of dimension, see the photo below, but it folds perfectly flat for mailing.

I did consider adding a little colour to some parts but I decided I preferred it plain.
I look forward to coming back on the 25th to link up with scrappymo's blog, and see what everyone else has made.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Rocking Your World 2019: Week 39

Well it seems like ages since I was here, but although I have only missed two weeks, a lot was going on during that time. I returned home on Tuesday and am slowly getting back into my routine.
When I left for UK I had an early flight and after a few days of heavy rain, it was good to see the sun slowly emerging from the clouds as we approached the airport.
This was the first time we had been to the new airport at Corvera, though it has been in use since late autumn last year. All our summer visitors managed to get flights to Almeria which is much nearer to us. Corvera is now known as Murcia International Airport, and the old Murcia airport at St Javier is no longer in use. It was not too busy, but the main holiday season is over now and the winter schedule has kicked in. But there was of course a small Duty free shop, a café and a few small independent shops there, plus a wide open area with seating. One side of the departure lounge was all glass and while I was queuing to board, I looked out over the runway as folk from UK were disembarking, ready for us to get straight back on. Ryanair operate on a very fast change-over time!
It was a straight forward flight and Ben was there to meet me. He is coping well most of the time. Understandably he doesn't like the empty house so he has adopted a little rescue cat to keep him company. So introducing Bobby.
He has a lovely nature and has settled in well. However, he did go walk about one day and we searched all the surrounding areas with no luck. Fortunately he arrived back three days later, with muddy paws and very hungry. We think he got trapped inside somewhere. But he was happy to be home, and settled back in his favourite spot, on the arm of the sofa right next to Ben.
After a few days of sitting around waiting for important phone calls and keeping appointments we felt we needed to get out of the house, so went for a walk all around the estate where Ben lives. It is really lovely there with loads of tall trees, just getting their Autumn colours, and plenty of open green areas. Round the back of his house there is a small lake with ducks and moorhens on it. 
The ducks tended to stay under the shade of overhanging branches but occasionally one moved out across the water.
I just love the reflections of the trees in the water so here is another one. As you can see, it was a lovely day. In fact it only rained on one day during my two week visit, and I never needed to wear a coat. We walked on around a narrow track to what is known as the Italian Garden. We have no idea where its name came from as it is just a big open space with mounds all over it, all grassed, with the occasional shrub. It made me think of Telly Tubby land. (I don't know whether this children's TV program has reached other countries but it was, and probably still is, very popular in UK). It was a lovely place to take a picnic, walk a dog, or just sit with a book for a while.
At the end of the road was this magnificent horse chestnut tree. It must be very old. It was surrounded by a fence, maybe to discourage 'small people' from trying to collect conkers from it. There were plenty of smaller trees around to raid for such treasures. It is hard to think that we are right near the centre of the busy city of Birmingham. It was like a walk in the English coutryside.
As a child I learned the poem 'The Village Blacksmith' by Longfellow and the first verse immediately came to mind when I saw this tree:
Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands. 

I loved the poem and this verse so exactly makes a picture in my mind of rural England, that I have never forgotten it, though I can't recite any more now.

Ben had just received his new phone the week before. It is a Huawei and is known for its very high grade camera, so he wanted to try it out. We saw a full moon rising above the tree outside his house, and he did get excellent photos of it - as good I have got with my Cannon camera. I now have Ben's cast off Samsung phone which also has a very good camera, but not the zoom that his new one has. So I couldn't get the close up picture, but I rather liked this one.

Dave's funeral was arranged for last Thursday and it all went very smoothly. We met up in a large hall afterwards and there were over a hundred people there. All our boys were able to come and we did manage to get a quick shot of them altogether. I am so blessed to have such a lovely bunch of boys.

Chris came over on Tuesday to be with us, but he nearly didn't make it as our car broke down on the way to the airport. Fortunately he had left in plenty of time, and our insurance company sent a break-down truck to tow the car back to village, and they also provided a taxi for him, so he made the plane with very little time to spare.
On Sunday, Ben, Chris and I, went to Manchester to visit our son Jonathan who moved into his new house a few weeks ago. I was already down to visit him when I go back to UK in October, but Chris will not be with me then, and he was keen for his dad to see the house. He and his wife have lived in a rather dismal basement flat for several years, because it was relatively cheap and enabled them to save up a deposit for a house. So they are very proud that their dream has come true. Sadly on the way to collecting us from the station, an old problem to do with the cartilage in Jonathan's knee, resurfaced and he couldn't even stand. So he spent most of the day in A&E But they have now referred him to the knee clinic, so hopefully it will be dealt with sooner rather than later. His wife cooked us a lovely dinner, and we still had a good day there. His house is really nice, just perfect for a young couple. It needs some decorating but they will soon put their own stamp on it. It has a really lovely garden, and although it was the one day we had rain, we sat in the conservatory with the doors open, and watched so many different little birds coming to a feeder. They have a Staffie-cross dog called Rudy, and she is delighted with her new garden, and was in and out all day.

Chris and I came home together on Tuesday, leaving Ben very early in the morning. It was nice to see the sun was still shining in Spain. Because of the drama with the car when Chris came over, we had no car at the airport so we had booked onto a shuttle bus that took us all the way back to our village. It was only half full so we didn't have to make too many stops. It is the first time we have used it, but it really was very easy, and we will consider it again if there is one coinciding with our flights both ways.
The air here is very 'soft' and our visitors are always tired for the first few days they are here. Well it hit me this time too, perhaps because I stayed away a bit longer than usual. I have been falling asleep all the time, but I have managed to unpack and do all the washing. All the animals were pleased to have us home, and Charlie decided to help me sort the laundry!

The weekend before we went away, Spain was hit by the 'Gota Fria', a time of storms, thunder and lightning, strong winds and much flooding. The worst hit was an area just North East of us, and although our area had some very heavy rain, we escaped most of the damage. Sadly many homes were destroyed and people lost everything. There has been a huge effort to raise funds, and provide food and clothing for those most affected. I am glad to say it has passed over now and we are back to warm sunshine. Let's hope it stays away too.
Now I will link up with Annie's Friday Smiles, and Rocking Your World, and then go and practice some Christmas songs before I go to choir this evening.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Rudolph Day Challenge #September 2019

My word, this month has gone in a flash, partly because I spent much of it in UK helping with a family crisis. Fortunately my next set of Christmas cards were made before I went, as I only came home yesterday.
For my card I am sort of CASING a card made by Liz for the challenge last month. I liked its simplicity. You can see her card HERE. She made hers  by recycling a card she had received, so I started from scratch, by looking for suitable clip art on line of Mary and Joseph, and playing with it in a graphics program. The Bethlehem scene is a very old Woodware stamp which I stamped then scanned and resized. Next I arranged the two for my topper and printed it out several times. I added minimal colour using copic markers and cut it out with a variety of dies. 
Then I used border dies to make a decorative edge either down the side or along the lower edge and mounted each design onto a suitable base card. In some cases the edge is cut in the large topper so the base card shows through, some are cut into the base card and backed with mirri-card.
Each design was either distressed around the edge with a DI pad, or mounted on a cut frame before being added to the card.
I found the words to the favourite Christmas song "Little Donkey" and combined words from each verse to make a suitable short poem which I printed and mounted to suit the main image in each case.
There is a little glitter glue added to each card, on the roofs in Bethlehem, and on most of the cut edges. I do like a little bit of bling on Christmas cards.
Here are some of my designs.

Altogether I made twelve cards, eight portrait and four landscape.
So now I will head over to Scraps of life by Scrappymo and link my post, and then I had better unpack some cases!

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Rudolph Day Challenge - August 2019

Well, contrary to my usual posts, I have in fact done quite a lot of crafting in the past week or so, but as I was mainly making Birthday cards for the next two months, so my visitors could take them back to UK for me, I am unable to show them yet. But I did remember to take some photos this time so I will try to post them when the birthdays have all passed.
But I did also make some Christmas cards for this challenge, and I am writing my post early before the next two lots of visitors take my attention. I will schedule it to post on 25th. It has been a very busy Summer!

I recently sent for some new Sweet Dixie dies. I had to wait a while for them to arrive as they had to be sent from America to the UK store I was buying from, and then be forwarded on to me, but I sometimes get stung for high duties when I buy direct from USA.
For this set I used the Three Kings die, and a star from the stable scene set.

I started off with a playing session with my Brusho crystals. I love the ultrmarine one which splits into turquoise and purple when water is added. For some I sprinkled the dye onto slightly damp card and sprayed it with water, and for others I made the card very wet and added a few dye crystals. 
I also played around with red, yellow and green dyes. Some came out rather dark but I managed to use parts from them. Brushos are very strong pigments and I tend to bit a bit too heavy handed. But practice makes perfect so they say.

When they were dry I cut out the bits I liked best and added them to white or cream pre-cut 13.5cm square cards. Then I cut the kings from either black card, or silver or red mirri-card, according to which looked best on each background. 
The sentiment is cut from two different die sets so they are slightly different fonts, but they worked together OK. For the black ones and the red one I cut the star from gold glitter card, and then cut silver stars for the silver kings.
Apart from waiting overnight for the backgrounds to be properly dry, these cards were relatively quick to make, and I soon had four of each colour-way assembled.

Now I want another play with the Brushos so I may make a few more. I added these eight to my stash and did a quick count-up and was pleased to find I have over ninety cards made so far. I am just about on schedule, which was a dozen cards each month, so I will have plenty ready to write and take with me to UK when I visit in October. They will be left with family members to distribute by hand or pop in the post nearer to Christmas. Our post from Spain has got very expensive at 1.85€ per card, so any I can save in this way is helpful, especially as I send around 120 cards each year!
So now I will schedule this to post on 25th August, AKA Rudolph Day, and when it is published I will link it up with the Rudolph Day Challenge on Scrappy Mo's blog. Why not pop over with me and add a card of your own.

Post Script. I managed to make another set of 8 of this design before my visitors arrived, just varying the colours in the background and the mirri-card.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

July Rudolph Day Challenge

Well the 25th comes round pretty fast each month, and once again it looks as though I have had a lazy month. In fact I needed quite a few birthday cards for June-August, and they were quickly finished so my visitors could take them back to UK to post, (Spanish postage is becoming very expensive), and needless to say, in the rush I forgot to take any photos.  So now it is time for another Christmas card, and here is mine for this month.

As some of you may know, I recently joined a second choir, which sings more classical music, and I am enjoying having the contrast between that and the more popular-music style of my first choir. At the moment we are working on the first half of Handel's Messiah, for a recital at Christmas, including the wonderful piece "For Unto Us a Child is Born". So I thought what better theme for this month's card.
I have just bought part of a new set of stamps and dies from Crafters Companion called Nature's Garden-Poinsettia Perfection, and one piece is this scroll stamp and die. I had the quotation in my digi word art file but I don't know its origin, and the tiny baby is from a page of digistamps bought from craftuprint. I resized both to fit inside the scroll and printed out two sheets of them on parchment coloured paper. Then I used DI walnut stain to stamp the scroll around them and cut them with the die. I used a water brush to blend the ink a little, and a mixture of water based felt tip pens, and alcohol ink markers to add a little colour to the image. A drop of yellow glitter glue (works better than gold) on the star finished them off, and I had eight toppers ready to use.

I cut eight of my favourite size, base cards which measure 17 x 11.5 cms. These are literally sheets of card from a Lidl's pad cut in half, and I find it a much better size than the UK standard, and they fit the standard elvelopeshere in Spain.
Using four sheets of medium weight white paper, I generously sprayed with a mixture of mica sprays, blue, gold, silver, and 'shimmer', and left them to dry, and then cut eight backing papers and glued them to the card fronts.
My intention was to sponge ink through stencils for the shepherds and angles to make them more subtle, and I even cut the stencils with my Silhouette machine, but I found that the ink did not take well over the mica sprays, so in the end I imported the shapes into my silhouette software and designed cut files for the various sizes. Last night I rummaged through my metallic off-cuts and had a cutting session, eight each of the two shepherd groups, and forty angels of various sizes. I felt black would have made them too dominant, so I cut the shepherds from grey pearlised card.
The card above is the only one I have put together so far, but the rest are ready to go and won't take long to assemble.
Happy Rudolph day folks. Fiollow me over to Scraps of Life by Scrappy Mo, and why not enter a card yourself in her Rudolph Day Challenge for July while you are there.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Rudolph Day; June 2019

Here we are again at 25th of the month, so this is my offering for June.

Each year I try to make a set of cards with an image that is somehow related to singing, or at least music, to give to my friends in the choir I sing with. Last year I used a stamp of a branch with singing owls on it. This year I found this cute group of singing penguins. It is a Wild Rose Studio stamp, and I stamped it twenty-two times. (I was aiming for 20 but I must have lost count along the way!). I used some pre-cut and folded white A6 cards, and stamped with my Misti to place them directly onto the cards.
Using a mask to cover them, I dusted DI tumbled glass around them, and then I coloured them with my copic pens. Next I cut the snowflake frames using a Memory Box die. I am sure most folk, like me, have several folders of paper and card off-cuts, and I try to use them up, but I just seem to make more. By far my biggest box of off-cuts is the white ones, so I was pleased to find 20+ pieces in there, large enough to cut all my frames. This is supposed to be a "cut and emboss" die, but I simply could not make the emboss part show. I tried all sorts of different arrangements in my Big Shot, but without success. Then I tried adding snow paste through the spaces after I had cut it, but that was too much of a fiddle as I would have had to wash the die between each frame. Next I tried colouring through the spaces with a pale blue ink but I was ruining the nib on my marker. Finally I settled for using a small stencil brush and an ink pad to add the blue dots and snowflakes around the cuts. By this time my Tumbled Glass ink pad was too dry, so I had to change to Memento Bahama Blue which is much darker, but I think it worked OK.
I used Stickles frosted lace which is a fine, low glitter glue, that works well for fur and bobbles on Christmas hats, and glued a frame over  each image.
The sentiment came with the image stamp and I wanted to use it, so again my Misti helped me to place it in the lower left corner of each card. It hit the pattern in some cases but each one was legible except for one. It was rather pale so I stamped it again and managed to move the card a little between stamps, so I printed it again on a piece of paper, cut it as close to the writing as I could and distressed the edges with ink, and covered over the blurred version on the card - waste not want not.
I thought they needed a little bling so I added a more sparkly glitter glue - crystal - to some of the snowflakes and spots, and they are now all spread around my craft room waiting for it to dry. And just to show I really did make twenty-two of them, here they all are.
This set is often made in a rush, the week before they are needed, so it is good to have them all done so early this year.
So Thank you Scrappy Mo for inspiring me to get making each month. Why not follow the link below and make your early Christmas card to add to the post.