Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Monday, June 27, 2011

Too much help! and more scrapbooking.

I was just getting my bits together to make a simple challenge card (see my previous post) and I started by printing out the image. But it came out stripey, so I knew I had to give in and replace the colour cartridge in my printer that has been registering empty for weeks now! So I turned my back for a few minutes and when I returned to my table this is what I found! Arwen, my beautiful white cat has got the hump because she spends all day being moved off my work. her son Baggins is curled up in the elegant box I use for mica misting, and Luna, the tabby is mid-moult and is covering my chair with hairs! But at least they make me keep my workroom tidy because I have to put everything away, or at least on my 'working on now' tray, whenever I leave the room or they would ruin it in seconds. I dispatched them all and took back 'my space' to get the card made.

I wanted to keep the card simple so I could get back to making a few more pages of my son's scrapbook. I was quite pleased with these. Our son was diagnosed as having ADHD but not the severe type that would have had him and us climbing the walls. He was just a very active little boy with limitless energy, no concept of fear and little self control. So we tried to channel his energy into something worthwhile, and we knew that the best way to have a really enjoyable family day out, was to go to an adventure playground where he and his brothers could be 'on the move' all day. I wanted to capture his energy and fearlessness in these pages and I had so many photos to chose from. I wanted to use as many as I could so I featured two on the first page that perfectly capture how he was, and on the second page I made film strips of a few really fun days out that we had.

When I did a small filmstrip for a previous scrapbook I carefully cut out the frames and used a punch all along each side. This time I used a digital image of one frame, cutting and pasting it to make a strip. I then saved it as a bitmap and imported it into my craft robo. I cut it out of black paper and then carefully measured the apertures and edited each photo to the correct proportions, cropping a few so that each set were all either oriented vertically or horizontally. Finally I joined them in strips on the computer and printed them out. I was very relieved to find that I had got it just right, and the film strips fitted exactly. I also used the craft robo to cut out the large letters and their mats. Then I fiddled around trying to print the journalling on suitable triangle shapes to fit between the pictures and added an epoxy sticker and a few 'movement' words. So that's two more pages to cross off my plan. That's thirty three finished and seventeen more to go, and it has to be done by the end of September. That sounds fine but it is already almost too hot out here to handle the photos, so I am going to struggle a bit.Help!!

I am entering these pages in Paper Crafting Journey Challenge 13: Anything goes. Make it Monday 43: Always anything goes.
Inspire me Fridays 12: Any craft

Saturday, June 25, 2011

P-P-Pick up a Penguin

Bah! Humbug! challenged us this week to use a penguin on our card and that proved a problem at first as I have no stamps of penguins. Then I remembered this image that I always liked, from an OLD CD of Joanna Sheen's, - Animal Antics. It is actually so old that it refused to play properly on my newish computer which has Vista on it. I eventually managed to open the file of jpegs and pull out this image but I couldn't get to the backing papers etc.

I wanted to keep the card fairly simple but I was also working to the sketch on the Sketch n Stash blog, and trying to meet Daring Cardmakers challenge of using 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue', so I started with a base card in a cloudy BLUE design. For the first panel I BORROWED the Dreamweavers snow stencil from a friend and used silver mica spray through it onto BLUE card. This didn't turn out quite how I expected it to but I sort of liked it so I used it anyway. The second panel is printed from the Artylicious CD Season's Greetings. It all looked rather plain so I edged each panel with a fine silver peel-off and added strips of holographic snowflakes to the penguins. I used a simple silver peel-off sentiment and edged it with the same fine silver strip. The snowflake in the top corner is another ancient piece of stash, so old that its original packaging said 'Sainsburys. Two sheets for 99p'. I livened it up with another holographic snowflake in the centre. The NEW bit is the tiny blue gems in the bottom right corner and the darker ones in the top left corner. (You can tell I'm a true Libra; everything has to be balanced!)

So this card is for;
Sketch N Stash Challenge 64; Follow the sketch and use something old or new from your stash.

Bah! Humbug! Challenge 25; Penguins.

Daring Cardmakers Challenge; Something old ...etc.
Craftyhazelnuts Christmas Challenge 26; Anything goes.
Creative Craft World, Card Crazy Challenge; Christmas in June.
Christmas Cards All Year Round; Anything goes.

I won a prize.

Many of the challenge blogs that I use offer a little prize now again, the winner usually being chosen by a random generator, and the prize being provided by a sponsor. I enjoy making my cards, and the challenges encourage me to think differently sometimes, and to try things I might not otherwise have done, but it is an added bonus to receive a prize. Last week my number was picked on the Daring Cardmakers Challenge Blog, and I won this pretty pad of papers, kindly donated by Emma at Crafty Emma's Store. Thank you Emma. The papers are such lovely vibrant colours and I am sure I shall get a lot of pleasure using them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Going Green

Today I was making a card on the theme Christmas wings, which for me has to be a robin or an angel. I have so many lovely angel stamps, so that's what I went for. I also wanted to work in monochrome and I thought angels are nealy always white, blue or gold, but why not a green angel? It would be different.
After Antonia, the lovely lady who runs our village post office, explained to me how the Spanish mail is priced, I have tried to stick to standard sizes for my cards. It makes sense to use A6 size for any that I may be posting to UK, but the 'standard small envelope' out here is a little larger then in England, so sometimes I cut a base card to just fit one of these. I prefer it to A6 as I have a little more space to work on, but it is not economical as I can only cut one from an A4 sheet of card. Today I chose to do this using a sheet of lime green card. For the backing paper I dabbed a green Marvy blending-blox onto my silicone mat, spritzed it with water and layed white paper on it. When it was dry, I cut it to fit the base card and used a Martha Stewart doily lace punch down each side.

Next I chose this lovely stamp by Great Impressions and stamped it with Memento cottage ivy, and coloured it with copic markers. Then I used black Stazon to stamp just the wings twice onto acetate, dabbed green alcohol inks on the back and cut out both wings from the first image, and then just the front one from the second. I cut a slot along the angel's back and tucked the edge of the wings through it so I could secure them with tape on the back. Then, starting with the largest nestability no 4 label die, I drew round it and extended it a little in length and quite a lot in width and cut out a template. I put this over my angel image, drew round it and cut it out by hand, and distresed the edges with the same memento ink. I then used the small Nestability die and an Art Journey sentiment stamp to make the small label. Finally I mounted up the layers and added three lime green gems to the top left and bottom right edges.

This card is for:

Craftyhazelnuts Christmas Challenge 25: Christmas wings.
Craft your Days Away Challenge 22: Monochrome, and
Stampin' for the Weekend Challenge 10: Lemon and Lime.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


It may have hit 40º here yesterday, but today I am back in the snow making a Christmas card featuring scarves and mittens! I have kept it fairly simple with a printed backing paper and several SeeD's stamps. I stamped these with Memento tuxedo black and coloured them with my Copic markers. The snowman's frame was made with a conbination of Nellie Snedden and Nestability circle dies. A little bit of stickles sparkle was all it needed to finish it off.

I made this card for:

Bah! Humbug! Challenge 24: Scarves and Mittens.

Crafty Ann's Challenge 43: Christmas in June.
Just add ink 72: Just add some Colouring.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And now for something a bit different

Just to prove that I don't spend all my time making Christmas cards (plus a few birthday ones and some ATCs), I thought I'd share two ongoing projects that I have finally completed. Some of you are already aware that I am learning to make bobbin lace. Several months ago I visited a lace day in Cartagena, and from one of the trade stands I bought the pattern and 'bones' for making this little fan. It was a 'Spanish' pattern which are notorious for not having enough pin holes and this was no exception, so it took me the first week or so to put the pattern right and work out how to do it. Then I chose the threads and wound the bobbins (believe it of not it took 68 bobbins for this little piece of work!), but somehow I never found enough time to sit and actually make it. But now it too hot out here for my other activities such as knitting and crochet, so I returned to my lace and managed to finish it off. Of course, having cut off 68 bobbins at the end, I then had 68 ends to sew in, and that is my least favourite bit.

Last night I laid it over the little wooden bones, spread them out evenly, and glued it in place. These little fans are purely decorative and are not meant to be functional, but it folds up just like a full size one, though in retrospect I think it would have been better worked in finer thread. Maybe I'll have another go some time. I also have a kit to make a larger one which I'd love to get on and do, but I have other things I need to make first.

Just as I am getting ahead with making Christmas cards for challenges, I am also trying to get ahead with making a few craft items to sell at charity stalls nearer to Christmas. I want to make some more lace tree decorations in a bangle (see my earlier post here), and also some bracelets. I have just made my first one of these, and here it is.

Again, it took me a few days to understand how to interpret the pattern. My lace 'teacher' is on an extended holiday in France and UK, so I had to figure it out for myself, which was a good thing really, but it did take me a while. The most fiddly bit of this was joining in the second half of the fastener at the end. i hope to get several made in different colour combinations, in time for Christmas. I made this one as a trial run for myself - I have big wrists since having surgery several years ago, so I had to make it three centimetres longer than the pattern. I wore it to church this morning and already I have taken an order to make one - for next week! So I had better get back to winding bobbins.

Although I didn't intend to enter this post in a challenge, I am going to link it to Inspire me Fridays 11, where a wider variety of crafts are included. It is great to see all the different things that people around the world are enjoying making. Have a peep and be inspired.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rockin' Santa

Well I faced an interesting pair of challenges this week that I was determined to combine with one card. The first challenge by Daring cardmakers was to use a Father Cristmas image and this week they have a prize to go for kindly donated by Crafty Emmas Store. The second challenge from Bah! Humbug! was to make a card for a teenager. Now many of you will say that teenagers and Santas don't mix, but in my household they did. I had five boys who all loved the traditions we had, including a very well decorated tree which among other things, carried the memorabilia of many happy nursery school 'makes'. We also had at least three Nativity scenes on various ledges, sitting happily alongside snowmen and Santas. You get the picture? Now by their teenage years, my boys had no illusions left about who played 'Santa', but they still expected a stocking on Christmas morning, one of which had to contain a new pair of drumsticks and another a full set of guitar strings! One of my sons is a drummer in a heavy metal band, one plays the piano, guitar, saxaphone and sings, two are into playing vinyl, and the fifth is now a vicar who still likes his music loud and heavy, so most cards I make for them feature music somewhere. Hence the Rockin' Santas on my card. My teenage boys would have loved this, partly because I had 'tuned in' to what interests them.

So how did I do it. Well, these are not your usual images. So I started with a SeeD stamp of Santa and stamped him and coloured him with copic markers. Then I cut him out. I had some pictures of guitars from a birthday kit I purchased a while ago from www.craftuprint. I used the computer to make it the right size, printed it and cut it out. Then I just had to bend Santas arm a little so it looks as though he is playing (in his mitts!). The drummer was a bit more difficult but eventually I came up with this copyrite free clipart picture of him in his workshop, making toys. He was in the right position but it took a bit of fiddling around in my photo editer to turn his hammer into a drum stick, and remove the toys from his bench and lap. I had the drum kit picture in the same card kit as the guitars so I made that into a transparent layer and pasted it on top of the Santa picture, resizing it until it looked about right. I added a deeper red to Santas waistcoat, decoupaged both images and added some sparkle with irridiscent glitter.

The tree in the centre is another SeeDs stamp, the writing is computer generated using a font called Grunge! purchased from scrapnfonts, and the music across the top is paper lace from a Christmas pack by Woodware.

I am entering this card for :
Bah! Humbug! Challenge 23; "Whateva" - A card for a teenager.
Daring Cardmakers Challenge: Use a Father Christmas image.
Crafts and Me Challenge 38: Stamp something.
Fabs Big Christmas Card Challenge for June:Christmas Sentiment.
Christmas Cards all the year round June Challenge: Anything goes.

Friday, June 10, 2011

A bit of Lovin'

After a somewhat complicated card for my last challenge entry, I wanted to go with something a bit more simple this time. As soon as saw that this week's challenge on ABC Christmas was "L is for Love", I thought of this nice script stamp. I have actually used it so much that it is almost worn out, but I managed to get a reasonable image with it, and just touched it up with a pen. I wanted a suitable image to go with it, and eventually settled on this Mo Manning digistamp of two inuit children, Siki and Shiya, greeting one another. I cut the script and a frame for it, with a nestabilities label die, and made similar ones for the picture, only square, using Craft Robo.

The colour challenge to go with this was red, green and silver, and that on its own made me stop and think. I instinctively use gold with red and green, and keep silver for projects using blues and purples. But I had found some red and green stripe background paper and I thought I might use something silvery to go below it. I embossed a small strip of card with a cuttlebug folder and sprayed it with silver mica mist, but I didn't like the result. It looked more like gunmetal grey to me. So I added a couple of bursts of red and green glimmer mists and ended up with this rather strange colour. But I used it anyway, with a peel-off strip of silver snowflakes across the join. I mounted the two frames and looked at the two spaces this left me with. In the end I found some silver holographic paper and some plain red, and using two sizes of two Marianne dies I cut out several flowers and layered them up, fixing each set with a brad through the centre. I glued the larger one at the base of the card, which covered most of my funny bit of embossed card, and the smaller one at the top.

I made this card for ABC Christmas Challenge; L for Love

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Christmas night in June

This week I wanted to make something a bit different, and because it was rather a lot of work, I have found several challenges that it is suitable for. But I started with the Bah! Humbug! Challenge - Surprise, surprise. Had I not just made a magic slider card for their recent challenge, I could have done one of those, but instead I thought I'd have a go at another style of card I learned with Hazel from Horseshoe Crafts, many years ago, and haven't made again since.

The first thing was to cut the card and assemble it so that I could mark each area I needed to work on.* Then I decided to decorate the front. The paper I chose is a bonus download from the members section of Crafters Companion website. I chose my all time favourite snowman stamp, cut him out and glued him to a magazine background. This was matted and layered with silver dufex paper and then dark blue card. The snowflake is a die-cut template from craftsuprint which I cut using CraftRobo.
Next I turned to my middle layer. The mice are stamped onto white starburst paper and glued in place to hide the fact that my copic markers had bled through the card!(See below). It didnt take the stamps very well but I think I got away with it. The rest is matted in each section with papers from magazines and CDs, but first I computer generated the text and printed it onto them. The geese and reindeer were stamped onto white heavyweight paper, coloured and cut out, and glued in place. I bought the reindeer stamp just as I finished making Christmas cards last year, so I am glad I have found an opportunity to use it.I knew what I wanted to put in the centre but my stamps were too big, so I stamped the whole scene on white copy paper, scanned it into the computer and printed it out in two halves, managing to place them in the right position on the base cards. (This took a few attempts but I got there in the end). I added some colour with my copic markers. * This section actually had to be done as soon as the card was cut out, but for this post, it makes more sense to put it here.

To finish off the centre section I used the QuicKutz alphabet die set, Skinni minis - Frankie, with my cuttlebug, to cut out the letters for the wording on the top and lower panels, and used a baby Xyron to stick them in place.

So the idea is to open the gate fold front of the card to see the inside, then following the instructions given, to ease apart the centre to reveal the secret in the middle. Surprise, surprise!

If anyone would like the instructions for making this card, please ask.

Stamps used:-
Main snowman - Funstamps

Reindeer and snowflakes - Woodware

Geese and mice - Great Impressions
Santa - Crafters Companion
Most others - SeeDs

Challenges entered :-

Bah! Humbug! Challenge 22 ; Surprise, surprise

Craftyhazelnuts Christmas Challenge 23: Wintertime blues

Sparkles Forum Christmas Challenge 5: Snowmen

Stampin Sisters in Christ Challenge 92: Use something new (Reindeer stamp)

Lets Craft and Create Challenge 21: The four seasons

Claudia and Company Challenge 83: Fancy folds

Stampavie and more Challenge 144: More than a fold
Southern Girls Challenge 20: Start of Winter, Christmas
Paper Crafting Journey Challenge 11: Anything goes? Use your favourite... (Snowman stamp)
Christmas Cards All Year Round, June Challenge: Anything goes.
Inspire me Fridays Challenge 5: Anything goes

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Away with the fairies

Last month I took part in the Chocolate Baroque ATC swap with the theme 'Fairies', - a theme I could really enjoy. Here are my two swaps, both made with a beautiful Ctafty Individuals fairy stamp. The first one has words behind the image from a Chocolate Baroque plate called Artistic Affirmations, stamped onto a card well sprayed with a variety of mica mists. For the second one I stamped some flowers from the CB plate Abstract flowers, coloured them with copic markers and decoupaged them. To go inside them I wanted two fairies facing each other so I stamped one onto shrink plastic, scanned it into the computer, reversed it and printed it onto inkjet shrink plastic. This didn't shrink as smoothly or evenly as the one I usually use, but it was sufficient for what I wanted.

I also made a card for a friends birthday that featured a fairy. This time it is one from an old book and CD of Fairies, elves and gnomes by Dover. It is described as 'electronic clip art' but I guess it's really what we now call digistamps. I haven't used it as much as I expected to, but I have returned to this one image many times. She is so pretty. I stamped her three times and coloured her in a mixture of copic and promarker pens. I have a set of 72 copic markers (a birthday present from my understanding Hubby), but they are all quite subdued colours. The very few promarkers I have are much more vibrant so I used those to lift the design. The main wings are highlighted with black diamond stickles, and the front butterfly is dabbed with versamark ink and embossed with one layer of fine, clear powder. I didn't have a suitable gemstone for the heart hanging from her hand so I used glossy accents on purple ink. For the base card I sprayed blue interference, purple and silver mica mists onto black card. A silver peel-off greeting finished it off.