Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Butterfly Challenge #29 - L is for Lace

I am currently working on my first hybrid scrapbook, i.e. a mixture of digital papers and images, embellished with ´real´elements, so I am practising on some of my cards.
For this one I chose a scrapbook kit called Take Your Chance by Moos Scraps, and selected a pale pink distressed paper, and a scrap of script with butterflies, a frame and an individual butterfly from the elements. I layered up the paper, script and frame in my graphics program, and printed it out as my base card. I also printed two of the single butterflies. Of course, the beauty of using a kit is that everything is designed around a colour palette, so they all tone in and go together.
To embellish it I used a strip of Woodware sticky-back paper lace, coloured with an Aged Mahogony distress marker. These pens very rarely see the light of day, but I could not get a deep enough colour from the ink pad, so I tried the pen and it worked fine. (When I looked at this photo I noticed that a row of little dots had not come away, just above the flower, but fortunately this morning I was able to lift them out with a pricking tool).
Next I gathered up a length of cream lace to make a flower. It didn´t look right against the paper, so I made another one using some burgundy lace and didn´t gather it up so tightly so it stood out around the cream one. I used a deep red gem brad for the centre and lots of silicone glue to hold it together in place. I fussy cut the two butterflies and glued one to the flower and one to balance it in the opposite corner.
I am entering this card in Mrs A´s Butterfly Challenge #29: L is for Lace.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

More new stash for Rudolph Day

Yes I have yet more new stash to play with today. I do not normally have such a run  on new goods, but this year I managed to make good use of some of the sale offers. So this time I am using a stamp by Creative Expressions,  Christmas Night bauble, and the co-ordinating die, Vintage Baubles, both Sue Wilson designs. I wanted these last year but thought they were too expensive for the amount of use they would get, so when I saw them in the sale at Joanna Sheens website, I went for it, and she does free International shipping too!
I was a bit disappointed to find that the main image did not fit exactly between the top and bottom fancy cut outs of one of the dies, so I stamped it on a separate piece of paper, cut the inner lace for the bauble from dull gold card, trimmed away the centre section and then moved the stamped image around until it more of less fitted into the space, and cut it by hand. I cut the outline bauble from cream pearlescent card, and mounted the gold part over it. To give the image a bit of a lift, I added glossy accents to the moon and the roof tops and sprinkled them with ultra fine iridescent glitter. 
There was nothing in my Christmas papers box that looked right with this, so I rooted through my digifiles and came up with this one from a pack by Bearly Mine called Christmas dreams. I have several of these paper packs and they are lovely, but sadly her web page is no longer operational so maybe she has stopped designing, which is a shame.
I used Publisher to position the paper and resize it for a 15cm square card, added the sentiment - another digi file from a Karen Murray set of Christmas setiments, and printed it out. I folded and cut it, and added the bauble. Then I used some snippets of green and brown card to cut various pieces using the Tim Holtz Winter foliage die set, and a Marrianne Fir branch die. I cut them up and mixed and matched them, to go along the top and left hand side of the card and added a green bow in the corner.
And that is my card for the Rudolph day Challenge this month. 
As I also used snippets for the foliage, I will link this to Pixie´s Snippets Playground as well, as soon as the gates reopen later tonight.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Decorating the Tree

I was browsing through some digi scrapbook kits this week, and one caught my eye so I bought it. It is called Winterberry by Kimerick Kreations. I thought it was an unusual colour palette for a Christmas kit, ranging through, brick red, orange and peachy shades to ´antique linen´ beige. I am a bit of a digi kit collector and I love all the papers and little elements that come with them, but I have to admit that they don´t all get used, so I decided to use this one to make a card before I filed it away.
I chose a stamp by Sheena Douglas, and worked out what size frame it would need. Then I used Adobe photo shop to make a sheet of the background (orange textured layer) with the frame on it, and also a strip of border that came with the kit. I printed this out together with a page of the darkest red plain paper for a mat.
I stamped my image onto off-white paper and coloured it (except for her dress) with copic markers. I used two shades of green markers to add extra foliage to the tree as it is a bit sparse on the stamp. I wasn´t keen on the white background so I lightly dusted it with Brilliance pearlescent orange ink, which made a huge difference to it.
I trimmed the background around the frame, and using a craft knife I carefully removed the area inside the frame.  I used this piece of cut out paper to stamp my image again and paper-piece the little girl´s dress. Then I realised her lower hand was included in this area so I stamped that bit again on the off-white paper and coloured it. When I had cut it out I made a small slit in the dress sleeve and slipped it into place.
To make the little ornament that she is hanging stand out more, I stamped it onto a snippet of the red paper which I glued to another layer to strengthen it, and cut it out. I used my white Signo pen to colour the light spot, and when that was dry I triple embossed it with UTEE, and glued it in place on the image panel.
Next I made a white A5 card and added a mat of the dark red paper. I mounted the framed image at the top of this and the border strip along the lower part. 
Lastly I used a  Memento Potter´s clay ink pad to stamp the sentiment which is an old Inca stamp.
I am entering this card in the following challenges.
ABC Christmas Challenge: H for Happy Holiday (or Happy Christmas).
Christmas Cards All Year Round: Show a Christmas Ornament.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Butterfly Challenge 28 + M is for Music Notes

I was delighted to see this challenge, because with two musical sons to make cards for, I have accumulated a fair number of music related stamps etc. I knew what I would be doing, but my card turned into a catalogue of mistakes and failings, so it was much harder work that I had intended. It is a good thing I have a sense of humour and don´t give up too easily.
1. The stamp I had chosen is from an A5 set by Chocolate Baroque, called Music fanfare. (I bought mine when it was released some two years ago or more, but it is their featured stamp of the week right now so it is on special offer, but I don´t know on which day that will change). However, when I got it out I realised that although it was music based, it had no notes on it, so when I stamped it, I added a little SeeD´s stamp of notes to fit the challenge. 
2. I wanted to use a die called Anja´s border I think, which I bought a long time ago and only used once. I soon remembered why I only used it once - it doesn´t cut properly. This is unusual for a Marianne die and if I had been in UK I would probably have returned it, but with two or three lots of international postage needed for a return, I hung on to it. However, I made a shim from a piece of acetate to go  over the bit that wasn´t cutting, and I did manage to get a useable result.
3. I wanted to reverse it and cut the other edge to make a gate-fold card, but it wasn´t designed to use in this way, and the two edges don´t meet up as you expect them too. So after wasting a lot of card, and still not having a matching up gate-fold, I did what I probably should have done in the first place, and cut it twice from larger pieces of card and trimmed them after they were matched up. I mounted them onto a plain brown base card and trimmed around the front, shaped edges.
4. I had found a rather nice grungy sheet of scrapbook paper in shades of dusky pink and brown which I used, but it wasn´t until after I had cut it that I discovered the paper was double sided with plain, open brown letters of the alphabet on the back, so I would have had to mount it onto card anyway to hide this!
5. Searching through my stash I found the end of an old paper stack by Papermania, called Nostalgia Warm, which still had some off-cuts of plain pink paper that I used for the images. Because I had gone for a gate-fold card I now needed two images so I chose a second from the set and again added some music notes. I added a little colour to each image with copic markers. I used a Memento ink pad in Rich Cocoa for all the stamping and I liked the way it looked almost burgundy on the pink paper. 
6. Then I found that none of the dies in my considerable collection would fit the images, so my next task was to design my own labels in the size I wanted, import them into the silhouette software, trace them, and cut them out. I also made matching mats in the same file and cut two of these from the brown card left over from the base card. I used the same ink pad to distress around the edges of the pink labels.
7. When I took my first photo of the finished card I could see that the right hand topper was not on straight at all. (Why can I see that clearly in a photo and not on the actual card?). Fortunately I had mounted them using 1mm sticky pads and I was able to remove and reposition it, so it is more or less straight now.
8. I like to add a bit of bling to my cards and I was tempted to edge the butterfly on the left image with stickles, but felt it wasn´t quite right with these rather vintage colours, so instead I gave a quick paint over it with a Wink of Stella pen. This seemed to react with the alcohol ink from my copics, and it turned plain white, with no detail showing at all! So I stamped it again, coloured it, fussy cut it and glued it over the white one.
9. In the top corner I stamped some tiny butterflies by Lavinia, and for the lower corner I stamped, and fussy cut,  some vintage roses on the left over pieces of pink paper, and glued them in place. This bit actually worked with no disasters. The roses were done using a new set of stamps that only arrived on Friday so it was my first play with them. I will give more details of these in a later post.
10. More to make it easier to write on than for any other reason, I printed out a sheet of grungy music score scrap book paper to completely cover the main inside panel, and stamped a Birthday greeting on this as I did not want to add a sentiment to the front of the card.
11. I had just finished writing this post when I accidentally hit the wrong button and deleted it all! So I have now rewritten it, and before anything else can go wrong, I will fly over to Mrs A´s blog and link this up to her Challenge #28 - Use a Butterfly + M is for Music notes.
I also used enough odd bits of paper to take this to Pixie´s Snippets Playground - Week 172.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Another Bargain, and a whole bunch of snippets

In my previous post I used a new stamps and matching dies set that I bought , at a very reduced price, from Sizzix, so this time I am using a second set, bought from the same sale, at the same fantastically low price.
For just 6.67 € I got two large and two small flower dies plus two sizes of centres, and three large flower stamps plus two smaller ones, and six alternative centres. Quite a bargain. 
Of course you don´t need to use of them but as I wanted to try them out, my first card has one flower on it that incorporates all the flower stamps and dies, and one set of centres, and here it is.

This is not a very clear photo so some of the stamping is not visible, but what look like plain white petals in the second layer have fine script stamped on them. To match the flower I raided my pink snippets box and found a piece of the pink and mauve mottled paper that I had a whole pad of at one time, but now I mostly have off cuts. I trimmed the base of it with a Marrianne lace die and distressed the edges with Memento Rose bud ink.

The bright pink card at the bottom is packaging from a Heartfelt stamp set, which I kept because it was so bright and has a high gloss finish. I used some more of this to cut the large sentiment with a Joanna Sheen Signature Die.

If you read my previous post you will realise that this one is much the same design as I used then, with a different flower, and they are both CASing a card that I received at least two years ago from a crafting friend.
It works well with this type of topper, and enables me to make smaller (A5) cards which are better for posting to UK. 
As I was making this it struck me that, although it is not a poinsettia, this flower would sit well on a Christmas card too. So then I found several snippets of mirricard in red, green and gold and cut out some flowers in each size and style. Next I used Brilliance dew drop ink pads in pearlescent poppy, pearlescent thyme, and galaxy gold, and stamped some of each design in each colour and cut them out. Then I set about assembling them in various combinations. I was hoping to make six flowers, but I found I had a few pieces left at the end so made them into a seventh one. (It probably looks better for being less crowded!).
I have a huge box of Christmas paper snippets, so I made seven white base cards and mixed and matched my papers to make seven pairs. Then I chose something to use for the join, either with a sticky ribbon, a trim from my stash, or by die-cutting an edge. I assembled my panels and glued them to the card fronts. I added a flower to each one, and then added something to decorate them. For some of them I die cut a sentiment, or cut one with my Silhouette, and for the others I die-cut holly leaves etc.

Here is the first one finished. I liked the star paper which was left over from a sheet I made with Imagination crafts Sparkle medium and a star stencil. The sentiment was cut on my Silhouette using a purchased file, and gold sparkle vinyl. It cut out beautifully.

I had to make one of my cards in landscape orientation because I wanted to use a piece of card I had made with my cover-the-page  holly stamp, embossed in gold, with the berries coloured with a red glitter pen, and I did not have a deep enough piece to make the card portrait like the others.

Anyway, I did get all seven cards made and they will be a useful addition to my very slow-growing stash for next Christmas.
So I will link these up in Pixie´s Snippets Playground, and get over to my other blog to write about what has rocked my world this week.
A big Thank you to those who look at my creations and leave me nice comments, and especially to those who have the patience to read my ramblings on Kate´s Adventures each Friday too. I do appreciate you all.
Sally has kindly pointed out that Stamping Sensations theme is Pretty in Pink this month, so I shall link my first card over there too. Thank you Sally.