Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bobbin' Robins

You must think I have gone on strike. I am really just busy with visitors, but with more visitors and a very busy time to come next week, I thought I would just pop in with a set of Christmas cards that I made.
While looking for some inspiration among the remnants of old cards, I found a jolly little robin made from pieces of felt. He was a bit big, and heavy for my cards but I decided to try making him with pieces of paper. So I took him apart and scanned the separate elements, and then imported them into my Silhouette cameo, down-sized everything, and made a cutting file of them. 
Then I rifled through my Christmas paper off cuts and found a lot of little pieces and cut one set out.

Putting it together was relatively simple, and I thought he was quite cute, so I then cut out several more sets.
I mixed and matched the pieces until I had assembles twelve robins. I gave each one a black glass bead for an eye. I also found a cutting file in my library for a branch and added some holly leaves and again cut and assembled twelve of these. Then it was just a case of going through my boxes to find card large enough to make base cards, papers for the backgrounds, some extra scraps of paper, and an assortment of dies, stamps, punches and embossing folders, and getting them all mounted up.
I was given a big sheet of red card that had been very badly folded into rough quarters, and I was able to make several cards and some embellishments, from the uncreased parts of this. I also used some from a similarly folded up sheet of blue card, and some green. I had a couple of large paper surrounds from old cards that I made use of too, and I ended up with a dozen cards that are all different, but are all linked by a little paper pieced robin somewhere in their design.
There were two blue ones;
Two green ones;
Three red and White ones;
And five red and cream ones.
The only new sheet of paper I used was the cream and white snowflakes one which I printed off specially for the cards. All the rest came from my snippets boxes so I am linking these up at Pixie's Snippets Playground.
Then I had better go back and join my visitors.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Heavenly Host for Rudolph Day

I know I was kind of minus my mojo for a few weeks during our long, hot, summer, but it was still a bit of a shock to count up my pile of Christmas cards and find I have only made 45 so far! So much for my intention of making a dozen each month!  And, as I send around 120 most years, I need to do some batch baking, and Rudolph day is a good incentive to get cracking.

I am very good at collecting stamps, digis, cutting files etc, that I think might be useful for Christmas, but not so good at actually using them, so I browsed my Christmas folder in my Silhouette cameo software and spotted a rather cute, angel. This was a cutting file bought from the silhouette store, so the first thing I did was to resize everything in the file so that the finished card would fit in a standard envelope. I chose white card for the base shape as I have plenty of it, and then raided my snippets boxes for card and papers to cut the various parts. The most difficult was the wings because the swirls tended to tear, and the lower edges of the skirt layers also needed a little help with scissors, but I eventually had the first one made.

I adjusted the settings, to get a cleaner cut, and tried another one which went together better, so encouraged by this, I made two more, mixing and matching card and papers all on a similar theme.
Then, to make it even easier I cut four more base shapes, and four sets of wings without the swirls. Instead I passed them through an embossing folder, and did the same with the top, white layer of the dress. This time I did blonder hair, used shades of blue card and paper, silver foil in place of gold for the halo, and replaced the star with a two layer die-cut snowflake.
I made three more of these, so I really did use up a nice lot of paper snippets.
As with so many of the modern images, the original angels were faceless except for the cut out eyes, but I had to give mine rosy cheeks and a smile!
So the cards in this set are all similar but each one is different, and they make a good addition to my pile. Now for another design....!

But first I will link these up at Scraps of Life by Scrappymo for the Rudolph day Challenge, and in Pixie's Snippets playground.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pink for a special lady

I learned at my sewing group on Wednesday, that an elderly lady who sits with us, is celebrating  her birthday next week. She is very sweet and I wanted to make a special card for her. She wears a lot of pink which really suits her, so that is what I chose for her card. A blog friend Darnell has been running another NEBUS challenge. (For the uninitiated NEBUS = Never Before Used Schtuff!). I have several unused items, bought over the passed months, that I am just waiting for the right opportunity to use, so I found a set of Sue Wilson dies, from the Gemini range. They come in three pieces, an upper and a lower smooth, shaped edge, and a fancy bit in the middle, and the set I have used here is called Pavo. They are wider than I expected, but they were easy to work with, and I think they look really pretty.
This card is a rather last minute entry for Darnell's challenge which ends tomorrow, so I had to photograph it by artificial light which has made it more of a peachy-pink than it actually is, and the backing card is bright white!
I used the upper and lower edge dies to trim away parts from a 17cm square, pre-cut card from my stash, and I also cut the back of the card to match. Then I found a panel of pink from my snippets box. It is actually a page from a wallpaper sample book I think. Some-one gave me loads of them ages ago. But it has a nice texture to it, and I was surprised at how well it cut with the dies. I again cut the upper and lower edges with the smooth dies, and this time I added the fancy part at the top.
The flowers were made with Heartfelt Creations Delightful Daisies stamps, and cut with the matching die. I have used the leaves before with my poppy set, but the flowers are another NEBUS item. I used Memento rhubarb stalk ink on white paper snippets, and copic pens to add some extra colour to the petals. Then I double layered each flower and found some pretty jewel flowers for the centres. The leaves are painted with H2Os which gives them a nice sheen, and they are left over from the poppy card I made a while ago, when I got a bit carried away and made loads too many.
The sentiment isn´t one I would put on many cards but it is very suitable for the recipient of this one. I have two stamps of this verse in different fonts, but neither would fit into my oval die, so I printed it out on the computer and then cut it with what I think is a D'sire die. The butterfly came to me a few years ago on a card or gift, so I thought it was time she flew on to a new home.
So I will be linking this up with Darnell's NEBUS Challenge.
I will also pop over and link it in Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Butterfly Challenge #38; Y is for Yarn

With the very hot summer we have had, time away visiting family, and visitors here, I have not managed to enter this challenge as often as I would like, so I was determined to have a go this time. When I saw the challenge was Y is for yarn, I was a bit dubious. Yarn to me means wool, but I read the post and it said, 'Wool or embroidery thread', and I have lots of embroidery thread so I went for that. (I actually have even more wool, but I do not usually use it on my cards). 

Anyway, I remembered a card I made years ago, according to the information on the photo I took, it was back in 2009!, and I thought I´d give it another try. I hunted around for the necessary stencil which I found, but there was no sign of the instructions, so I had to figure it out again. It also took me quite a time to find the decoupage sheet I bought to go with it. Then I needed to sort out card, threads and beads and I was all set to go. Here is the card I made.
I know, the green layer is not straight, but I used very strong glue, so it is staying that way. It is a good thing I only make my cards for family and good friends, and they are used to my idiosyncrasies. A new pair of eyes and steadier hands would come in useful!
This is the stencil for making the card. I think it is an old Marianne one, but I am not sure. The idea is to cut around the inside of it, leaving the 'bridges' between the circle and triangle, and also around the outside of the square. Then you use a pricking tool to mark the holes along the edges. I sketched a second template and marked where I wanted to sew, and having chosen a copper thread and a bright green one, to go with the centre image, and a few green beads, I did all the sewing trying to keep the template as flat and evenly tensioned as possible. 
When this is done, you cut away the 'bridges' so that the triangle is suspended in the centre. You have to be careful not to cut any of the threads. You really don´t want to do that! Do you hear the voice of experience speaking?.
Next you need to cut matching circles in the base card and a top layer, big enough to cover the actually stitching and template, but not so big that it hides the thread work, and fortunately the largest of my set of circle dies was just right. I was using a large pre-cut base card, so I decided it needed a second mat, and I cut a larger circle in this as it would be sandwiched between the other two. (If I´d stuck to one layer it wouldn´t look so crooked!) Before joining them, I used an X-cut corner punch to cut a small butterfly in each corner. Using a punch again made me realise why dies are so popular. It was hard work!
I used plenty of strong, quick-drying glue to attach the stitched template to the base card, and then glued the green layer to go on top. That's when I remember there was a tan layer to go between them so I had to glue that fast, and by the time I had added the green one it was dry and wouldn´t move at all.
I cut the triangular butterfly out, and the decoupage layers, and  assembled them on the centre, and added a matching plain triangle to the back to hide the stitching.
Finally I found a copper happy Birthday peel-off to go in the bottom corner, added some yellow stickles to the centre of the flower, and at the top I added two shiny butterfly stickers. I bought a set of these from Lakeland before they stopped selling craft items - ten years ago maybe? There were hundreds of them, and they are still so pretty. I have used them regularly, but there are still lots left.
Now I will link this up to Mrs A´s Butterfly Challenge, and as the green card was from my snippets box, I will also pop over to the Snippets Playground to link it there.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rudolph Day

Well Rudolph Day has rather taken me by surprise this month, but fortunately I have a couple of simple Christmas cards I made to try out a new Stampin´up stamp. Rudolph day occurs on the twenty-fifth of each month, when we are encouraged to make a card related to Christmas, and share it on Scrappy Mo´s blog. So why not join in. Here are my contributions this month.

I like cards that depict the Nativity story, but the Kings get most of the attention, so when I saw this image of the shepherds, I just had to buy it. It is a clear stamp, and I haven´t managed to get a very good impression from it yet. Perhaps I need a new black ink pad. However, after a couple of practice prints, I stamped it onto some off cuts of lightly patterned cream paper. This one was using a versafine ink pad. While searching for some dark card to go behind it, I found a piece of navy card that was just big enough to fold into this little base card. It is 9 x 12cms, so I cut my image with a stitched square Crealies die, and it just fitted the card. The sentiment is from a very old SeeDs stamp set, embossed with Stamp-n-stuff Winter Wonderland powder. This is white with silver glitter in it and it is very pretty in real life. Then I just added some sparkle to the star with stickles.

For my second image I used a Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad, but it was no better or worse than the first one. I again cut it with a Crealies square die, and this time I double mounted it with skewed squares of navy card and blue Christmas paper from my snippets boxes. I then found a piece of white paper with navy stars, that was big enough to cover a pre-cut 15cm white square card, and placed the mounted image centrally. The sentiment is from a set of Nativity stamps by Our Daily Bread.
So I´m off to link this up at Scraps of Life by Scrappy Mo, and see what ideas other folk have come up with this month.
I´m also linking up with Pixie´s Snippets Playground.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

With Sympathy.

We had some sad news this week, when my husbands best friend in UK, lost his battle against cancer. I wanted to make a card for his wife, but knew it had to be a quick one so I could post it that day (Friday). We have no postal collections or deliveries at the weekend, so if I didn´t post it on Friday, it would have been at least Monday before it started on its journey.
You will know from my previous posts that I have recently placed a big order with Stampin´up, and another set of stamps I bought was a skeleton tree, this pretty blossom bough, and some appropriate sayings for Sympathy and Get Well cards. I believe the set was called Hopeful Thoughts. So I used them to make this card.

Sorry it is such a poor photo. The card has been sent so I couldn´t try again! The ribbon is actually a pretty olive green that exactly matched the distress ink, and the paper was not shiny!

I tried a few arrangements on scrap paper, and eventually chose this arch made by stamping the bough three times. I coloured the stamp with broken china and milled lavender distress pens, ´huffing´ on it before I stamped in case it was drying out. The sentiment came from the same set of stamps. I embossed a small strip of white paper with a Crafts-Too embossing folder and attached it below the image, cutting the complete piece to fit on a 7" square card. I distressed the edges and raised parts of the embossed strip with Memento bamboo shoots ink, and covered the join across it with a strip of green ribbon and added a bow.

Well I´m back today. Last night I had the same problem as our friend Veerle had last week, and was unable to add a photo, but I followed the advice kind friends gave to her, and cleared my cookies and browsing history, and today everything is fine. There is always something new to learn with the computer.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Wreath is not just for Christmas, +Butterfly Challenge #36 - W is for Washi tape..

In my previous post I showed two Christmas cards I made with a new set of wreath stamps and dies from Stampin´up. Well when I ordered them, I ordered a little floral wreath stamp set too, which is also compatible with the dies, so here is what I made with them.
I started with a scrap of white card which I coloured with my palest violet copic marker, and then stamped with the floral wreath stamp. I cut this out with the dies and coloured the flowers and leaves with copic markers. I also stamped, coloured and die-cut the bow.
A couple of years ago I popped into the QVC reject shop while visiting Shrewsbury, and was disappointed to find that it no longer had the rows of craft items that I used to love browsing through. However they had a few bits and pieces and I picked up a bundle of washi-tape, in ten different colours, and for each colour there was a narrow tape with a geometric design, and a wider tape with a floral design. And, you´ve guessed it, they have never been used! So this month´s butterfly challenge was the perfect excuse for me to dig them out. I chose the green and lilac tapes, and used them to make a wide diagonal corner on another of those pre-cut square cards from my hoard! A lilac one this time. I added my wreath, and some little pink, blue and green shiny bird stickers that I picked up for pennies in a bin at The Range last month. Then I added a green and a purple 3D butterfly sticker to each corner, and stamped a simple sentiment that came with the wreath stamp set.

This is a useful card to have ready when I need one in a hurry so I thought I might as well make a second one. 
This time I chose a pale peach base card and found some yellow and orange washi-tapes to go with it. Using just the floral tapes this time, I made a band at the top and bottom of my card. I then stamped the wreath on white paper and used copic markers to match my colour scheme. I stamped and die-cut the bow, and the flowers from snippets of printed paper - the flowers were also included in the stamp and die sets, and this time I stamped the sentiment inside the wreath. The yellow and orange butterfly was from the same set of 3D stickers as the ones on my first card.

Wondrous Wreath.

I have managed a few hours in my craft room this week, so it was time to make a couple more Christmas cards to add to my stash.
I´ve mentioned before that Stampin´up don´t supply to Spain, but I have found that one of my blog-land friends has an online shop and by ordering through her, and having my order sent to my courier friend´s lock-up, he will then bring it over for me on his next UK/Spain trip. So when they brought out their new Winter catalogue, I decided to treat myself. One of the things I ordered was a set of stamps called Wondrous Wreath, and a matching set of dies, so I wanted to try them out. 
There were three layers of stamps so first I stamped the wreath in green onto a scrap of white paper. Then I added the darker green leaves. These could be made to match exactly the layer below, but I chose to off-set them a little for one of my trials. Lastly I stamped the red berries. I then cut this out with the inner and outer wreath dies. I used some more scraps of paper to stamp the red bow, and hanger and also die cut these.
I am still trying to use up some of my huge stash of pre-cut cards with envelopes, that are positively ancient now, so I chose a pearlised green 12 cm card and made a backing paper by shrinking down a 12" x 12" scrapbook paper that was in my digikit file. I added a border cut with a Fiskars punch, and some red stickles for a bit of sparkle. Red perfect pearls added dimension to the berries and that was my first card finished.

For my second attempt I chose a pale green base card and cut a backing paper from a red scrapbook paper that I printed out for an earlier project. Because I thought it looked too dark, I cut a mat for the wreath on my Silhouette Cameo, using a scrap of paper from my Christmas snippets box. A starry gold peel-off border and more perfect pearls on the berries completed this one.
The greetings on both cards are peel-offs as they were small enough to fit inside the wreaths.
I shall link these up in Pixie´s Snippets Playground.