Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Friday, October 28, 2011

A little Christmas tree.

I had a bit of bother with the post I have just done for my other blog, so I hope I am more successful with this one. I thought I would just show you the results of my labours all yesterday afternoon and evening! This isn't my design. Anyone who went to the recent Ally Pally show, may have seen it on Kay Rutter's stall. She had made one to show off the verstility of her Hougie board. I was impressed enough to buy her board, and it is proving to be quite a useful piece of kit, so I was keen to give the Christmas tree a go.

It is of course, a similar idea to Tim Holtz rosettes, but with the folds scored at the regular intervals on the Hougie board. It would have been far easier to make if I had a 'grass' border punch, but I don't, so I managed with my Marianne die 'icicles'. What I hadn't taken on board until I came to make it was that this is a finite die; i.e. it is a set length, (short), and it cuts right across at each end. I didn't want to be joining lots of little pieces together, so I tried to cut it about three quarters of way down its length, move the die along, and start cutting below the edge blade, stopping before the end again, and so on .. Needless to say this didn't always work and I did have to join some pieces, but I kept going. I also had to guess what widths I needed to make each rosette smaller than the prvious one, and what length of paper would make the best rosette. I found that particular die quite difficult to use because it either didn't cut quite well enough and I had to help it in places with my little decoupage scissors, or else it cut beautifully but the paper was too well wedged into the die and was difficult to remove without tearing it. No amount of changing shims seemed to help with this. But in the end I had my six rosettes which I joined with pieces of foam tape. Then I lightly brushed PVA glue all over and dusted it with irridescent glitter, and made the star on top from a wooden die-cut snowflake, heat embossed with Queen of Diamonds UTEE.

I am quite pleased with the end result, but I won't be repeating the exercise too often. It was too time consuming. If I do eventually get a border punch I might give it another go, because it is very pretty. Incidently I was surprised to find it took just over two A4 page of heavyweight paper to make it.

I will link this to Inspire me Fridays linky party 30, where Anything goes.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I nearly didn't post this week as there is very little on my workdesk. In fact there is nothing - zilch - nada! Not even a cat, though, as you can see, she isn't far away. I have been to my usual knitting/sewing group this morning and decided against starting a new paper-craft project this afternoon.

Instead I made my workdesk the table out in the garden, where I sat and worked on a small piece of lace that I wanted to finish. It is a bracelet and I need to get several of them made over the next couple of weeks. Viewed from the other side, you can see that instead of the cats, I had our three hounds for company. Well one is a hound. the black one is his soppy sister, and the smaller one is a fussy little girl. They mainly live outdoors but they like it when we sit out with them.

Now my bracelet is finished and I am back indoors. So it is time to think about how I can mess up that tidy desk! But first I'm going over to Julia's blog to see what everyine else is getting up to today.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An unusual colour palette for Christmas

One of the challenges I follow pointed out that this month many people 'celebrate' halloween, but as they are a Christmas card challenge they asked us to make a Christmas card using the colours we associate with halloween - green, purple and orange. I don't usually have anything to do with halloween, and these are not colours I would be likely to chose for Christmas but I gave it a go and here is what I made.
They also asked for a die cut and I have used one that was cut not with a die, but with my craftrobo machine (I hope that counts). A friend of mine was given a craftrobo last Christmas and asked me to go and show him a few things he could do on it. I wanted to show him some very simple but effective ideas, but also to demonstrate it's full potential, so I made a template to cut out this deer scene. Because it is quite intricate I used some of my Chocolate Baroque printed paper as I know my robo 'likes' it. I did this several months ago and I now have no idea where the original image came from, but I think it may have been a black peeloff. (I still have some that are animal scenes. I used to use them over a brayered background.). Anyway, I rescued this one from my 'spare die-cut' box.

The background is made by covering white card with purple mica mist at the base, and a mixture of sticky-fingers sunset yellow and pink dye sprays at the top. I made a mask to just leave a circle where the sun would be and embossed this with stardust powder. On the purple area I used my water-effect stampscapes stamp and embossed this in the same way. Then I layered the die cut over it, matching the water line and the sun, using 1mm sticky pads and added a very narrow border of silver mirri-card.
In keeping with the Christmas theme I frosted the trees with ice-crystal stickles.

For the base card I lightly sponged a card with Adirondak juniper ink to take the stark whiteness away, distressed the edges with Memento bundled sage and used a set of tapestry stamps to randomly stamp holly leaves, a fir spray and berries in my three colours. Then I glued a strip of green paper from a magazine across the centre and added the main scene on top.

Finally I used some little clear stamps to print the sentiments, cut and distressed them a
s the base card, and glued them top left and bottom right of the card, highlighting them with purple and orange gems.

I am entering this card for:

Christmas cards all the year round, October Challenge: Halloween Palette and a Die Cut.
Bah! Humbug! Challenge 42: With Men in Mind.
Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge 43: Make a Scene.
Christmas Inspirations Challenge 35: Use a Diecut or Punch.
Christmas Stamping all Year Long: Something Spar-ka-lay.

And I shall also be asking
Shirley Anne to add it to my tally on her blog.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October ATCs

I thought I would quickly upload this month's ATCs for the three swaps I am involved with. As usual I have left it late to make them so I was determined to get them all done and posted by Monday.

Firstly here are my swaps for the Stamp Man where the theme was Oriental.
For the first one I used a digi image of a tree on glossy card which was lightly coloured with distress inks and a sponge. The image is Great Impressions and I coloured it with copics, and attached it with 1mm sticky pads.. The second one uses two hand-carved wood stamps and a bead that I bought in Vietnam. And the third one is a black and gold acrylic background, and the stamp is homemade using imagepac, from a photo I took of a bread van delivering in Murcia, stamped into a 'puddle' of Russett and Fools Gold UTEE.

While in UK I bought some Fresco Finish Crackle Glaze, which gives excellent results when used with the Fresco Finish paints. However I was told that it would also work with other acrylic paints so I decided to try in with a black base and gold top coat. Unfortunately the gold refused to crackle. Rather than waste it I overstamped the gold with a Great Impressions stamp of bamboo and a versamark pad, and embossed it with sparkley Disco black embossing powder. This is the base of the second ATC. I tried the glaze again with the gold as the base coat and black on top, and though the result was not good, it did try to crackle! I used the best part of this for the third ATC and, hid the plain, uncrackled part under the seal.

village is about a ten minute drive from the coast at Mojacar, and when I drive there I pass a dead tree. It has been there eversince we moved here, and on a winter's day, when there is not too much other vegetation around, it stands sihouetted against a blue sky, and I just love the shape of it. I knew one day I would have to stop and take a photo of it, before the council decided to cut it down, so I did, and here it is. After a bit of playing with it in Corel photoshop, I made it into the digi image that I have used in the first ATC.

Swap number two is for Angie Foxcroft of Crazicards craft supples, and the topic was Home and Family. I needed just two ATCs for this swap. The first uses a digi image I made from a recent photo showing four generations of my family. This was taken when I went to meet my new great-grandson last month. It is in a simple hand-cut heart frame and is embellished with gold gem hearts, ribbon and three small hand-made paper flowers. The second ATC used a Chocolate Baroque image, coloured with copics. It took me many attempts to make the script frame, usng Inkscape. I haven't learned to use that program very well yet, but I more or less achieved what I had set out to do. I mounted it onto plain green card and finished it with some green baker's twine and two flower brads.

My third swap was for the Chocolate Baroque Guild and our theme was Winter.
For the first one I used a stamp that was part of my subsciption pack when I joined the guild. I stamped it onto a very lightly coloured background, and again onto white card, and then a piece of acetate. On the first layer I stamped the little house from a recent Chocolate baroque stamp set, and added a little colour to it. From the card image I only cut the two front rows of snow, and added a little glitter to them. On the acetate I glittered the tree branches, and then I layered it all up with sticky pads. The large snowflake is a Marianne die, painted to match the sky, and glittered. For the second card I used some Chocolate Baroque background paper, and stamped the image onto a toning, but lighter shade of paper. I added some stickles dots for snow and mounted it onto the base card. Then I cut a frame using a nesties die, glittered it and covered the reverse with acetate. This I mounted over the owl like a window. The white snowflake is again a marianne die and the centre is a wooden shape, dipped into melted UTEE.

As well as linking this to the Stampman swap site, I am also adding it to Make it Monday 59 linky party, and
Inspire me Fridays 29, where Anything goes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Two for the price of one.

A couple of months ago I saw a pretty bauble stamp used by someone on a challenge blog, and thought how nice it looked. So when, at the Ally Pally last month, I saw a pile of these stamps on a counter I went to take a look. Apparently it is now discontinued and they were selling them off at a discounted price, so, of course, one just jumped into my basket! It is a papermania stamp in an unusual cream coloured rubber. The first thing I did when I got it home was to take it off the wood block and put it onto Ez-mount. And when I saw that Hazel's challenge this week was to use baubles I saw the perfect opportunity to give it its first airing. It is quite detailed so it can almost stand alone and I decided to try white embossing it on a dark blue DL card. I was not having a good day and the first thing I did was to drop the inked stamp on the card. I thought I might get away with that for the back of the card as it was versamark ink, so I just turned it front to back and tried again. This time I did stamp it but I got a really poor impression, with lots of the detail missing from the centre of the design. Not deterred I cut the card in half along the fold and turned each piece to it's 'good' side. Then using my purple stamping mat, and making sure I put good pressure in the centre, I managed to get, not one, but two good impressions which I embossed with sea-foam white powder.
It was still fairly plain so I added some very subtle colour with pale blue and gold interference paints. These only show at certain angles, hence in my first photo they are quite bright, and in the second they hardly show at all. I also added ice-crystal stickles to all the little dots. The first image I trimmed a little, cut the ends with a Martha Stewart punch, layered it onto silver holographic paper and then mounted it onto a plain white DL card.The second image I trimmed rather more but it was still only just small enough to go on an A6 card. But out here the standard envelopes are slightly bigger than in UK so I made a card to fit one of them. This is usually a bit wasteful as you can only cut one from an A4 sheet of card, but today I added the extra width by folding it off-centre and even-ing out the two sides by adding a strip of lace cut with the same punch and silver holographic paper as in the first card. I added small white pearls in opposite corners to finish it off. The sun has reflected rather strongly off the silver paper, but at least you can see it's design.

So from an impending disaster I have managed to salvage two Christmas cards which I will link to Shirley-Anne's blog for my tally, and I am also entering them in:-
CHNC Challenge 42: Baubles or anything hanging.
ABC Christmas Challenge: U is for Unused stash, (stamp). WhoopsiDaisy Challenge: free and Easy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


What's on my workdesk? Well to be really honest the answer is very little! This is usually the case on Wednesday mornings which is my main reason for not joining in this bit of fun very often.

Because my two resident cats, who consider this to be their room not mine, have very long hair which they shed almost continuously, and also because if I leave anything on my desk they sit on it, I am used to clearing everything away on a daily basis. On Wednesday mornings I go to a little sewing group in the next town, so I haven't usually got anything out by lunch time. But I was home a bit earlier today so I thought I'd quickly finish off two ATCs that I started yesterday, and then assemble a couple more Christmas cards. Elements of these are at the left hand side of the photo, and the almost completed ATCs are in the foreground.
As for the yellow tray, well that is my 'work in progress' tray. I often work quite late in the evening and then I am too tired to clear away properly so anything I am working on goes on this tray which I slot on top of my files on the bookshelf. Today it has mostly new stamps on it that I have mounted onto foam, but not yet catalogued, snippets of paper, nice envelopes that I want to salvage parts of, and plastic trays full of odd beads, brads, bits of ribbon etc. Unfortunately I am very bad at clearing this at the end of a project and every now and then it gets so piled up that it won't fit on the shelf. We have reached crisis point again this week, so I thought if I got it out and stuck it on my desk in front of me, I might just be shamed into putting everything away before I start a new project. Well maybe ..... First I think I'll just finish off those Christmas cards!

As predicted, it didn't take my beautiful Arwen long t
o realise that the top of my new wide-format printer, makes a perfect cradle for her siesta - most of the day! Hence the coloured cloth covering it. But I have to say it is really funny to see her jump up whenever I print something!

Thank you for joining me in my little haven this week. If you would like to see what other crafters are up to, pop over to Julia's blog and take a peek.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


A quick blog today to show the card I have just finished off using another little bit of my work from the village art group. (See previous post). This one is another Sheena Douglas stamp coloured with felt-tip pens and a water brush. To make it look more 'Christmassy' I added a layer of coarse white glitter. Then I mounted it up on a 15cm square card.
The base card is embossed with a cuttlebug folder and swiped with chalk ink. The sentiment is Crafter's Companion and the layered snowflake is a Marianne die.

Although this is not strictly speaking a home it is 'God's house' and it does include a roof top so I am entering it in
Crafty Hazlenut's Christmas Challenge 41: House or home, and also linking it to Shirley-Anne's blog for my Christmas card tally.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Deck the Halls...

Now I like a little bit of bling on my cards, especially at Christmas, but I don't usually go for lots of glitter, but this week our theme at Humbug Hall was to use Glitz and Glitter, so I have done my best to rise to the challenge.

Yesterday afternoon, (after a big lunch and lovely walk along the beach, which you can read about here), I could have done with a bit of a siesta, but my village art group - manualidades, where I go to meet with some of the local Spanish ladies, reopened after the summer break. So I hastily collected together my latest Sheena Douglas stamps and some acrylic paints and off I went. One and a half hours later I came home with one holly branch painted. The rest of my time had been spent showing some of the ladies how I use stamping to get an image, and chatting about their work.

Anyway, in the evening I decided to make use of the little I had done, and as I sat looking at it I thought that somewhere I had a stamp of the opening lines of the song 'Deck the halls with boughs of holly' so maybe I could put them together. And that is what I did.I didn't want to hide all my painting under a lot of glitter so I just 'frosted' it with a clear stickles glitter glue. I then used a set of nesties labels and my cuttlebug to cut a mount out of starburst card. I have two types of this so I chose the rougher one as it has more sparkle. I was going to layer this on red, but it was already quite large, so instead I edged it with a red permanent marker. Using a smaller label die I cut a second piece and edged it in the same way, and on it I stamped the line from the song which turned out to be a Crafter's Companion stamp. It didn't stamp very well on the rough glitter card but I enhanced it with a black marker, and it is readable now. For the base card I used some plain green card which I stamped randomly with a holly sprig stamp by Clarity.

This card is for:
Bah Humbug Challenge 40: Glitz and Glitter.
Crafty Ann's Challenge 51: Inspired by a Christmas song.
Simon Says...:Sparkle and Bling.
Just Some Lines Challenge: Reminds me of a song.
Fab's Big Christmas Card October Challenge: Something Shiny and/or Snowflakes.

Of course, I am also linking it to Stamping for Joy so Shirley-Anne can add it to my total.

Friday, October 7, 2011

And now there is a set of 'Tinies'.

Thank you for the kind comments you have left on yesterday's post when I showed a set of four tiny Christmas cards I had made for the ABC Christmas Challenge, T is for Tiny. Following on from there I have now, as planned, made a whole set of them. That's sixteen of them to be exact. Using the original set of small images, decorated using copics, ink pads, glitter glue, and die cut frames, I managed to get four cards out of each sheet of backing paper I had made with glimmer mists and a large background stamp. Every card has some of it on, though in some cases it is only a very small piece. I incorporated some ribbons and a few gems to bling them up where needed. Now all I have to do is make sixteen inserts and sixteen 4" square envelopes! (I think my new Hougie board could come in useful here). At least these will be a good size for posting to UK.
I am linking them to the Make it Monday linky party 57 and to Shirley-Anne's blog, Stamping for Joy, where they will make a substantial difference to my card total.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

T is for Tiny

T is for Tiny and the challenge from ABC is to make a set of four tiny Christmas cards. I was looking forward to this as I much prefer small cards to great big ones, especially at Christmas. I am not sure how small they need to be to count as tiny but I have gone with 10cm square (4") as this seems to have been the choice for several other challenge takers, and it's a nice size to work with. I wanted an excuse to use a new stamp I bought at Ally Pally called 'Cover the page-flourishes' by Impression-Obsession. This is one of a set of 6 x 6 stamps designed to make backing papers. It was mounted on foam, but I know these big stamps can be difficult to get a good impression from, especially in the centre, and I couldn't afford the big rocker block that was available to use with them, so I made do with my big flat block and put a purple foam, stamping mat under my paper. And I needn't have worried; I got a perfect print every time. So first I raided my white off-cuts box and found several larger pieces of card. I sprayed them with a variety of mica mists and then stamped them with the flourishes in a coordinating colour ink. I think I shall be using this stamp a lot!

Next I went through my Christmas stamps and pulled out a few smaller images. These I stamped several times on smaller offcuts of white card. My aim is to make a whole batch of tiny cards, each one using some of the flourishes backing paper and one of the images. The stamps I used are, angel square - Stampendous, star - Anita's, candle - Crafters' Companion, holly swirl - Denami, robin - Kars, and Joy bauble - Great Impressions. I then used a variety of card offcuts, dies and punches, pens and peel-offs, and a few bits of bling, and here are the four I have done so far. I am entering these in ABC Christmas Challenge ; T is for Tiny. Christmas Cards All Year Round October Challenge; Orange, green purple or black with a punch or diecut. (The orange card, top left, meets these criteria).
Paper Sundaes Challenge 89; Lots of layers. (Orange 5, blue and red 4, green 3).
Inspire me Fridays 26; Anything goes.
I am also linking them to Shirley-Anne's blog,
Stamping for Joy, to add four more to my total. I hope to be back later with the rest of these Shirley.


It's good to be back making cards again after my little break with the family in UK. I am eager to progress with my Christmas cards. Time is rushing by and I want them 'done and dusted' in plenty of time, so I was pleased to see that this week's challenge at Bah! Humbug! is to feature the Nativity. I have loads of nativity related stamps so this was an easy one for me. But I have still almost run out of time so I went for the simplest of cards.

First I used a Big and Juicy pad (gumdrop) to brayer a background on smooth, matt cream card. I then stamped the scene using a set of tiny silhouette stamps by Stampendous, perfectly clear stamps. I have had them for years and have used them so much.
The words across the top are from a set of Hero Arts sentiment border stamps.

Now with just an hour or so to spare, I am linking this card to Bah! Humbug! Christmas Challenge 39; Nativity

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Hello again fellow crafters. Where did that week go? My desk looks a bit more useable this week. Most of my new stash has found a home and now I am making use of some of it.
At the Ally Pally show I spent a fair bit of time at the Serendipity stall, looking at all the scenescape stamps. I love this technique of using lots of small element stamps to build up a picture. I already have a good collection of Art Impressions stamps which I use in this way, so of course I had to buy some scenescape ones as well. So surrounded by memento ink pads, that I find work very well on glossy card, a selection of acrylic blocks, a few pens, and other stamps from my collection, I set about making a night time scene (in blue). I was quite pleased with that so I double mounted that and let it stand alone on a card. Next I tried to make the same scene in daylight, (in green), which I don't like quite so well, but it is OK. Then I started to make a card front using another set of element stamps, this time by Hobby Art, which I also bought at Ally Pally. This design is a courtyard with an archway that I have cut away and hopefully it will eventually have the day scene behind it. So now I need to finish that off and clear everything away again before my cats come and sit on top of it all. (If you have any trouble keeping your workspace clear, invite a cat in. You'll soon learn to put things away!) But first I will link this to Julia's blog, and pop over to see what everyone else is getting up to this week.Link