Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Flower Fairies

About five years ago at the Hobbycraft Show in the NEC, Birmingham, I was wow-ed by the Pinflair stall where they were covering small chipboard squares with printed fabric to go on cards. I spent far too much money buying some, used them that year and then stashed them away, never to see light of day again. Well not never actually, because when Bah! Humbug! challenged us to use fabric on a card, I went straight to that box.
I did have some lovely old musical instruments on one piece of fabric but I seem to have used most of that, so instead I got out the piece featuring Christmas flower fairies. I probably bought this because I am an avid collecter of all authentic Cicely Mary Barker Flower Fairies items, but on closer inspection, the fabric is very badly printed and doesn't do her artwork justice at all. But undaunted I cut out one each of the four images and used them to cover the chipboard pieces, still stored with the fabric -amazing! I then jazzed them up a bit with red, green and clear stickles. I dug out a length of pretty green and red metalic mesh (I think Jean and I bought this between us on my recent visit, but goodness me - if I can't remember clearly what I bought a couple of months ago, it's no wonder I don't know where half of my stash came from!). Using this in various ways, together with papers from my Christmas off-cuts box, I managed to put together four aceptable Christmas cards, which I am entering in these challenges:-
Bah! Humbug! Challenge 46: Use Fabric.
Everybody Art Challenge: A Christmas card.
Scrapbook Sisters Card Challenge 61: Christmas Time.
Little Red Wagon Challenge 108: Christmas Theme.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Hi folks. I am rather late posting today as I was out all morning and have spent half the afternoon chatting to my youngest son via a video call on Skype. He is coming out to visit us in just over a week, and we are so looking forward to it. Also he is going to take something back for me that I have to finish off, so that is all that is on my work desk today.

Followers of my blog will know that I finished a scrapbook for my second youngest son just in time to take over ot UK when I visited in September. He was so thrilled with it but he asked me if I could add an extra page. Because of the way it works, this actually means two extra pages, so I put an extra slipcover in his book so all he has to do is slip these pages in to it when he gets them. The first one (that he actually asked for) is to highlight all the posters and fliers that have adorned the streets of Brighton, advertising gigs for his various bands - he is a drummer in a heavy metal band. He is well aware that I don't really go for his style of music, though I love to see his energy and enjoyment as he plays, and I am also not bowled over by the art work on many of his posters, but I understand the 'thrill' he says he gets to see his name (or the name of his band) in print, and they do deserve a space in his book. So I printed them out onto plain matt-finish paper and divided them into the four bands he has played in. I tied one to a lampost, put two behind acetate in a 'window', stuck most of them randomly on a notice board, and the most current ones onto a blackboard. That page is on my desk here.

For the other page I suggested he gave me his favourite photos of the bands in action, performing, practising, and just enjoying being together. And he did - some 35 of them! So the rest of my desk is covered with draft copies of all of them and I am experimenting with ways of displaying all of them on a 12" x 12" page! I think I am going for two cascades, one of the live performance pictures and one of the rest of them. These will just fit and I will have a tiny corner left to do a snippet of journalling. Best get on with it then....

I also just wanted to say a big 'Thank you' to everyone who gave me help and advice on the storage of copics, promarkers etc. It was very, very helpful, and I am grateful that you took the time to share your experiences.

Now I will just link this to Julia's blog and see what some of you are getting up to. I am sorry I can't get round to everyone, but I'll try to visit most of you in the next couple of days.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hark the herald angels sing

My order for some LOTV stamps arrived last week so I was all set to make my last run of cards with them when Hazel's latest challenge popped up and they fitted the bill nicely. The challenge is to incorporate some music and my stamps are all angels playing various instruments.I stamped an image and scanned it into my computer so I could flip it and have two angels looking towards one another. I added a touch of copics to their dresses and the clouds, and a bit more colour to their hair. I used a pastel blue promarker for the sky. I then cut the two images out vaguely echoing the shape of wings. I typed a verse of a well known carol and made sure it would fit inside a nesties die, and cut it out, distressed its edges with blue ink and matted it onto gold. (Originally I typed in my favourite carol, "It came upon a midnight clear" which includes the line "..from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold", but I realised that I had used the wrong image. Another of my new stamps is an angel playing a harp! So I quickly changed the carol and I will make more cards later with the harpist.) . The background is cut from a rather lovely gold embossed scrapbook paper (make unknown). I used a Debbie Moore stamp to print music across the lower half of the card, and then assembled it all as in the photo. Then I added some sparkle with gold stickles on the stars and crystal stickles on the angel's wings.

I am entering this in:

Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge 47: Music.
Wags'n'Whiskers Challenge 67: Christmas themed.
Creatalicious Challenge 28: Christmas, Make sure it sparkles.
Stampin Sisters in Christ: Use a music stamp.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I wasn't in the right frame of mind for my usual Wednesday morning sewing group, so I was around at home for a while. The first thing I did was try to take one photo that showed all twenty-three of the little (10cm square) Christmas cards I had been making. I finished them last night so my desk was completly clear. I needed to make a tiered stand so my big Spanish/English dictionary came in very handy. This was layered up with a couple of craft books, some storage boxes, some long acrylic stamp blocks and my mini easel. I got the photo I wanted (See my previous post), so I thought I'd show you the back view! Just next to that, in front of my printer with the coloured cloth over it, is my canvas bag of basic art materials that I keep packed to take to the art group in the village on Monday afternoons. I am fishing in it all the time to use the things, but if I am running late on a Monday, which is nearly always, I know I can grab the bag and run, and there will be something in there to keep me busy for a couple of hours.

Above that is a small basket containing my xyron sticker making, cocktail sticks, a pot for small stray items that I find all over the place, and loads of other bits and pieces. I keep this covered to stop the cats playing with it all.

Round a bit further, just to the left of where I sit, is a plastic shoe-box containing all my sticky stuff from glossy accents to PVA to silicone glue, glue dots and double sided tape. It is useful to keep it all within reach. In front of that is a water mister and two bottles of 90% alcohol, bought off the shelf in most Spanish supermarkets. It cleans up almost anything, from permanent markers to sticky scissors, and I regular wipe some over my green mats as I am a messy worker, and they always have something on them that shouldn't be there. And in front of that again is my box of copic markers - I have one set of 72 colours and I need to get the other set, but while I have been saving up for them, they have brought out another 45 colours. How tough is that! In the meantime, I supplement my range of colours with a handful of promarkers, (in the square pot) that I bought several years ago when they were introduced at the NEC show, and a set of flexmarkers bought recently in UK.

A question for all users of alcohol ink pens. - How do you store yours? I read somewhere that upright is better than horizontal, and the storage containers available for them all suggest this. But - I have encountered two problems. One of my copic markers appears to have dried out already. It is not one I use that often, but it is quite dry. None of the others bought at the same time are dry at all. I will buy a reinker for it, but I am wondering whether it has a faulty cap and I should be thinking of replacing the whole pen instead of refilling this one. Also the Flexmarkers that I bought last month are very, very pale colours. When I use them they almost make the paper just look wet, and you have to wait for them to dry to see the colour. I thought one of them didn't actually have any colour in it, but I have since discovered that the chisel tip makes the paper pastel pink, while the brush end leaves it colourless! Has anyone else experienced this? If I didn't live overseas I would probably send it back, but from here, it may not be worth the hassel. I have tried shaking it, and storing it with the brush tip downwards but it has not made a difference. That one certainly isn't dry, just without colour. I just love using these pens, but they are too expensive to buy faulty ones. What are your feelings about them? I'd appreciate your comments. Thanks.

Now it's time to link this to Julia's blog and see what my crafting friends are getting up to this week.

A Special One, and then Some..

I was a bit non-plussed when Bah! Humbug! challenged us this week to make a card for 'Baby's First Christmas', as I had made the one I needed for my new great-grandson for Hazel's challenge to make a card for Someone Special, a couple of weeks ago. (You can see it here). But I decided to use the same MoManning digistamp as I used then, but a totally different layout and colour scheme, as I have a couple of friends with new baby girls in their families, so one of them may be able to use it. So here is the card I made this time.
It made a change for me, as our family is very weighted on the male side, and I don't get to do girly cards very often. The image is coloured with copics, the papers are all from a magazine freebie booklet from several years ago, the flowers and leaves are all made with Marianne dies, and the teddy is an old, much loved, PSX stamp. The bauble is clear embossed to make it shine.

And then some more of my little cards. I made a set of sixteen of these a while back and really enjoyed the challenge of making a small space look interesting. I sorted through my collection of Christmas cards this week, and although I have some 80 or so ready to go, I realised that I need about another forty so I thought I'd better get stuck in. I started by using Publisher to compile a page of Christmas digistamps, and here it is. The baby picture, Henry's little lamb and the cherub on a bauble, are all MoManning designs, the cute deer images and chicks are from pink cat studio, and the adorable Baby Jesus and the sentiment, is a pink gem design. Having printed this I removed the baby image and replaced it with more repeats of the others, and printed it out a couple more times. (Note to self; Spread them out a bit more next time. It was difficult cutting between some of them!) I had one arm in a sling for the weekend but fortunately it was my left arm so I was still able to use my pens, and I spent my time adding colour to all the images mainly with copic markers. Hiding away in my pre-cut cards I found a set of pale green ones with matching envelopes and a couple of red ones with green envelopes, so I made use of those and cut the rest from heavy white card. I can cut three of these from one A4 sheet, and this time I made sure they would all fit into the 9.9cm envelopes that I recently bought a pack of. Then it was a case of raiding my off-cuts box and using a variety of Nesties, Nellie Snellen and Marianne dies, to turn each image into a card, adding a variety of peel-offs, gems, and ribbons as needed. I tried not to make too many the same, and as I was using up oddments, this was easy. This morning I counted them up and was pleased to find I had made twenty three cards, so I arranged them as best I could, and managed to get them all into this picture. Quite a satisfying few days work. Now I just have to do it all over again and I will have enough!!

I am entering the first card in:
Bah! Humbug! Challenge 44: Baby's First Christmas.
Papertake Weekly Challenge: First Christmas.

And linking the whole collection to :
Make it Monday 63: Anything Goes.
Inspire me Friday 32: Anything Goes.
Digital Tuesday Challenge 137: Christmas time.
and to
Shirley-Anne's blog, where I am sure I must have reached my target of fifty cards by 1st December.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Let your little light shine

Hazel's challenge this week is 'Whatever lights your candle', and as I usually take themes fairly literally, I knew straight away what stamp I would use, but because my left arm is in a sling at the minute, I neded to keep it fairly simple.
I wanted to make separate elements in case I messed one up, so I found an off-cut of cream card and stamped the Penny Black image using three memento ink pads. It didn't stamp particularly well so I added colour with copic pens. I cut it out and added a bit of sparkle with yellow stickles on the flame and around the frame. (I find yellow stickles are much more effective than the gold ones for most things). I then found a precut card and envelope in some very old stash and as it looked a bit dark I added two lengths of Christmas foil ribbon bought recently in Hobbycraft. This left me with a space on the left that needed filling, so another search through my 'old stash' produced a suitable quote on cloudy acetate. I ran it through my Xyron and stuck it to the same cream card as the main image, cut it out and framed it with yellow stickles to match. The greetings banner is so old I can't begin to think of it's origin!

I made this card for:
Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge 46: Whatever lights your candle,
and I am also linking it to Shirley Anne's blog towards my tally. I am determined to hit my total of 50 cards before the end of the month!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Skiing Anyone?

Now I don't think this ranks among the better cards I have made, but as it was very much a case of trial and error, the end result is not too bad. Regular followers of my blog will know that a few months back my husband bought me a big set of Serif Craft Artist CDs, but due to unplanned events and circumstances, I haven't had a chance to really get to grips with it. The ABC team wanted us to feature Winter Sports for their challenge this week, and as I had no suitable stamps or digis I decided to use a 'real' photo and see what I could make. This is the photo I used, taken when we took some visitors up to Sierra Nevada a couple of Christmases ago. None of us actually take part in the sports there, but the scenery is stunning and there is a lovely holiday atmosphere in the village at the base of the slopes.

For the card I imported papers that were already on my computer, and used one of the Craft Artist CDs for all the frames and embellishments. I am sure there are a lot more complicated techniques available within this programme, but the basic assembly of this card was very easy, and did not take too long. I printed it out twice on to one sheet of A4 card, so, as you can see in my photo, I made two identical cards. I did think it was a bit 'flat' as I am now used to adding several, (sometimes too many), embellishments to my hand made creations, so I added a white organza ribbon bow over the printed one, and 'blinged-up' the snowflakes with stickles and gems.

I made this card for:
ABC Christmas Challenge: W is for Winter Sports. I shall also link both of them to Shirley-Anne's blog.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I nearly didn't post this week as there was absolutely nothing on my desk this morning, except my array of green mats. But when I came home from my usual Wednesday morning craft group, I found a small parcel waiting for me. It was an order from Chocolate Baroque, so of course, I went to my craft room to open it and have a play. So you can see two newsletters and a rainbow of pearlescent card which are part of my CB Guild subscription renewal, three large plates of stamps with EZ Mount to put them on, and two lots of Crealies foliage dies that I have had my eye on for some time. I've already tried these out in my cuttlebug so one of my boxes of card off-cuts is out. Now I have to get the stamps mounted up on their foam and catalogued so that I can have a go with them.

It is a beautiful hot and sunny day today so I had to close my windows and wooden shutters to get this photo. The cats are curled up on top of my printer, in a sunbeam. They know how to make themselves comfortable!

Don't forget to pop over to Julia's blog to see what everyone else has on their desk today. I'm afraid I can't get to all of you, but I will visit as many as I can before the zoo start demanding their tea.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Trying something new.

As I spend a lot of time (too much time!) hopping around blogland, I often read hints and tips and technique tutorials, so it is nice to give some of them a try now and then, and that is what I did for this card.

Unfortunately I can't remember where I saw this technique, but I suspect it was on a Make it Monday post. Anyway the aim is to produce a 'misty', sparkly topper, and is particularly suited to a snow picture. I wanted a sihouette image that would give a good, black picture, so I hunted through my snow folder and came up with this circle stamp set by Carolines. The holly is part of the circle frame, and there are several different, smaller stamps to fill the space so I chose the snowman. Once he was stamped I grounded him with a few pens lines. Next I cut around the frame and passed it through my Xyron machine, face down so the image was sticky. Then I carefully covered it with a used tumble-dryer sheet, and cut around it again. (I don't use a tumble drier, but a friend salvaged a couple for me). I cut this out again and then gently shook a fine irridescent glitter all over, tapping the excess off, which left this clearly visible image with a distinct shimmer.

I used a Nellie Snellen die and an off-cut of blue card for the frame. I chose a plain white base card and embossed the top, right hand section with a cuttlebug folder. The blue ribbon was from my stash, and I finished it off with several snowflakes cut with a set of Marianne dies, and blinged them up with matching gems and the same glitter as the topper, applied with a glue pen.

For those of you who don't have a Xyron, I think this would work with a good glue stick if you worked fast so the glitter was added before it dried. You might need to glitter it and then cut it out.

I am entering this card for the :-
Bah! Humbug! Challenge 43:- Snowmen.
Crafty Hazlenut's Christmas Challenge 45:- Bright colours and/or sparkle. (This one has the sparkle. I'll try to add a brighter one later in the week).
Winter Wonderland: Make your card sparkle.
Delightful Challenges: A very sparkly Christmas.
Heidis Hobbystuggu: A Christmas card with Bling or Sparkle.

Here is another little card that I made this week, this time using a Marianne large snowflake die, and a small bird on a branch die, also Marianne, which I coloured to look like a robin. I again used my Xyron to make the snowflake uniformly sticky, and covered it with fine glitter, and used stickles crystal ice to frost the branch. I shaped the leaves from little ovals, so they looked like holly and added red perfect pearls drops for some berries. The background paper is an old magazine freebie from my stash.

I am linking both of these cards to Shirley-Anne's blog to add to my tally.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Vintage Christmas with a Sparkle

I don't do a lot 'vintage' stuff, so I had to dig deep in the stash boxes to find something for the ABC Christmas Challenge this time.I found the postman and car topper, rescued from an old Christmas card, and then I stamped the postbox (Creative Expressions; Create a scene set), and coloured it with copics to match. I also added matching irridescent glitter to the top. I mounted both of these onto some off-cuts of scrapbook paper, and used a Penny Black sheet to cover a cream base card which I had distressed around the edges with walnut stain distress ink. I used the same ink to distress the edges of the images and mounted them on the base. The greetings was from a tiny paper pad for vintage ATCs. Then I rummaged through my bit-box and found the red ribbon and leaves from some crackers last year, and a flower from my practice days when I had just read a tutorial about making them. I added some aged mahogony distress ink to darken the petals, and highlighted them and the leaves with burgundy stickles, and attached them all to the corner with silicone glue.

This card is for
ABC Christmas Challenge: V is for Vintage.
Crafty Purple Frog Challenge 27: Sparkle
Pink Gem Challenge 33: Cold and Frosty

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

For Someone Special

When I saw that Hazel was challenging us to make a Christmas card for someone special, I imediately thought of my new great-grandson Isaac. As his mum doesn't follow my blog, I feel quite safe in making a card for him and posting it here. So first of all here is Isaac, who obviously is going to be encouraged to share his mum's love of Disney videos, and her favourite Tigger.

And here is the card I have made for him.

I have used a MoManning digi stamp for the main image, called 'Baby's first Christmas', and coloured it with copics. The backing paper was from my stash, a magazine freebie I think, and the red is a very old sheet from when I had a phase of printing Christmas music as backers. I reversed it and used the back for the frames. The bauble was a bit insignificant so I gave it some shine with glossy accents. This has cracked slightly overnight so I may have another go using UTEE instead. I thought it would be fun to sit the baby in a flower, so the poinsettia and fir branch are Marianne dies and the script bauble was made with nesties circle dies, and computer generated words.

I am entering this card in:

Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge 44: For someone special. Bah! Humbug! Challenge 43: Use Die cuts.
Make it Monday 61: All papercrafts.

And I am linking it to
Stamping for Joy so that Shirley Anne can add it to my tally.