Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Well my workdesk today is so boringly empty that I am only posting a tiny photo of it. Last night I cleared away everything I had used to make a birthday card for my grandson who will be 17 at the end of January. I can't show the card here as some of his family follow my blog. So instead I will pan around a bit to my computer desk that sits at right angles to my craft desk. I have had to rearrange it because for Christmas, my lovely husband bought me a silhouette cameo machine to replace my defunct craft-robo. It is a much bigger machine as it has the capacity to cut 12" x 12" papers which will be great when I start my next scrapbook. To make sufficient room for it to work with the larger carrier mat I needed to move my second screen. I started using a monitor at the side when my PC was changed for a laptop which had such a small screen that I had difficulty seeing it. I now have a much newer lap-top with a larger screen but I have got used to being able to slide pages from one monitor to the other, and have several open at the same time, so I wanted to keep it. I tried moving it across to the other side to make the space needed for the silhouette but that didn't work either, and it conflicted with the out tray on my printer. Then, this week I helped Chris to raise his second monitor up above his main one and I realised that might be the solution for me too. So I now have two screens stacked one above the other and I can still slide pages between them. If I fold the lap-top down a bit you can see that the monitor is sitting on two large bricks wrapped in brown paper like a parcel. (They are hollow cell bricks and I didn't want any bugs crawling into the cells to nest!). So now I am all set to get to grips with my new machine. Incidentally, my current photo that I am using as a wallpaper on my screens is a scene from the amazing Angkor Wat temples at Seam Reap in Cambodia. It is a daily reminder of the wonderful time I had there back in 2008.

Well, better late than never I have managed a blog post today, so now I am off to Julia's blog to see what everyone else is getting up to now the Christmas festivities are over.
Happy New year to you all. I'll see you again in 1012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Greetings

There hasn't been much going on in my craft room for the past couple of weeks as I have been busy fulfilling all my orders for mince-pies, and singing with my choir. You can read all about that on my diary blog Kate's Adventures. I have made five New Year cards which I don't usually do, but I can't show them here as some of the recipients follow this blog. Instead I will leave you with this image of my 'White Mary and Joseph'. This is not a new project; I made them about ten years ago, after watching a very inspiring lady demonstrating at the craft show in NEC Birmingham. Each one is built around a wine bottle, I think with a wire and paper head, and then covered with strips of cotton fabric dipped in runny poly-filler which dries white. I remember scouring all the local charity shops to find a pure cotton sheet to tear into strips. Polyester-cotton doesn't hold the poly filler the same. It was a messy job but well worth it, and the resulting figures are very stable and robust. Many of my new friends in Spain have asked me to do a class to show them how to make some but I will have to do some research first to remind myself, and also try to find an equivalent Spanish filler that dries white.
I had the notion to make a whole nativity scene but I do not have sufficient space to display them. These two sit on my hall table where they are the first thing visitors to the house see, and for me they are the embodiment of what Christmas is all about.

So may I wish all my loyal followers a Very Happy Christmas and I hope 2012 is for each of you, a year full of Love, Hope and Peace.

Kate x

Thursday, December 1, 2011

For two sisters.

Actually the two birthday cards I needed this week were one for my sister and one for my sister-in-law. One is in her late seventies and one in her eighties, and I know they are both very fond of flowers so that's what I went with. My sister in particular is forever linked by the family to pansies, presumably because they were her favourite as a little girl and it just stuck. So I used my Joanna Sheen Fabulous Flowers CD to print out a few copies of a pretty lilac pansy and decoupaged it. I used a DL lilac card, a backing paper I found in my stash, (I had printed it but I can't remember it's origin), and two Marianne dies for the foliage. A cuttlebug ribbon slider for the greeting, some lilac organza ribbon and some matching gems finished it off. (It looks very blue in the photo but it is lilac!)

For the second card I again chose a DL blank, this time in white, and an off-cut of pink paisley paper which again is one I printed off too long ago to remember it's origin. I found some blue card to match the blue on the backing paper and softened it with silver glimmer mist, painted on because none of my sprays want to work these days. I used the same Marianne die as before for the side foliage, plus a Spellbinders lace border and nesties labels for the frame. The sentiment is a Chocolate Baroque stamp. The flower is one I made when I had a couple if friends over so that I could show them how it is done. It was made using the wet paper technique which is my favourite method of making flowers, and although they are quite chunky, they are also very robust, and I know they will survive going through the post. There is an excellent tutorial for making these flowers on Carole Claxton's blog . While mine are still wet I rub an ink pad onto a white tile, spritz it with water and wipe the flower through it, as many times as necessary to reach the colour I want. I finished this card with a butterfly made using my new Framelet set of Sissix dies with Hero Art stamps, which I can see being very well used in the future. The set contained three sizes of the butterfly and two flowers.
I am entering this card in:
The Craft Room Challenge: Make your own flowers;
and both cards in
Make it Monday linky party 65: Anything goes.