Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I'm flying!

Well I'm really quick off the mark this week. The new Bah! Humbug! challenge was only posted yesterday, and here is my card done and dusted already.
When you think of 'Things that fly' in connection with Christmas, top of the list must be Angels and Robins. I used an angel on my last card so I went for a robin this week. This one is from the Inkadinkado plate 'Winter birds'. I stamped him with timber brown Stazon and added colour with a coloursoft pencil. A little sakura transparent glitter jelly roll pen highlighted the snowflakes and swirls. I cut him out with a nestabilities label and cut a matching frame using a small piece of red dufex card left over from another project. The backing plate is from the Chocolate box core'dinations card stack, embossed in a cuttlebug folder and sanded to reveal its red core. There was just a thin strip of the dufex card left and I managed to cut a narrow ribbon with fancy scissors to go down the side.

I still felt it lacked something, so I sorted through some boxes of oddments and found this big red flower brad which I added a tiny sticker to, and added it across the main image and its frame. I haven't put a greetings on which is unusual for me, but I felt this card would be equally useful for Christmas or a winter birthday, so I can add one at the last minute if I feel I need to.
I am entering this card in the Bah! Humbug! Challenge number 8 Things that fly.

As this is the fifth time I have entered this challenge I am also going to add their sticker to my side bar. I feel it has earned a place there.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Silly me!

When my igoogle reader headlined the new Bah! Humbug! challenge as 'Use a CD' I immediately thought of all the lovely Christmas papers etc that I have on CDs and started thinking about which to use. Then I went to their blog and realised I was supposed to use an actual CD on my card! So I had to do a rethink and this is what I came up with.

The base card is actually white though it looks pale blue in my picture. I used alcohol inks to colour my CD and cut a scalloped frame for it with craftRobo, and a matching smaller one to cover the centre hole as my image was not quite large enough. I used one of my favourite angel stamps by Stampendous-All night media, and coloure
d her with a mixture of copic markers and Artquest pearl paints. The shepherds and sheep come from a Stampendous-perfectly clear set of minature nativity silhouettes, and the Bethlehem is by Crafty Individuals. I made the greetings stamp using imagepac.
I am entering this card in the
Bah! Humbug! challenge 7

Sunday, February 20, 2011

No room for me!

My craft room has been taken over by my cats!

Here is Arwen, giving me the 'evil eye' because I keep taking her off my chair so I can sit down!
And on the right is Baggins, who sits as close to me as he can get, which usually means on my current work. My family are used to paw prints and hair on their greetings cards.

Incidently. This is what they looked like when I took them in six months ago. They were neglected, half starved and frightened of their own shadows. I suppose I should be pleased that they now want to stay close by me, but sometimes I would like a little bit of space to work in.

Luna has the sense to lay along my window sill and soak up the spring
time sunshine. She's no trouble at all.

Still, I have managed to do a bit of crafting around my furry friends. A friend on GG has asked us all to help her compile an Art journal, to share with the children she teaches. We are each making one or two pages to mail to her, so she can bind them together to make the journal. The theme is 'Time'.

I have never done any Art Journal pages before but I decided to give it a go. First I cut two pieces of medium weight watercolour card and painted them with gesso. For this one I used Sticky fingers yellow and Making memories gold and pale ale, dye sprays. When this was dry I stamped a variety of clock faces from a Crafty individuals plate, around one corner. Lower down I stamped the Grandfather clock and hand-wrote the words of the song, which I always loved when they played it on the radio programme Children's Choice, many moons ago! A few personal thoughts in the top right-hand corner, and some additional 'Tick Tocks' finished it off.

Because of a second marriage, and a rather late second family, for twenty six years I had a child, or children under ten years at home, and for twenty years there was at least one teenager, so when the last ones had 'flown the nest' we took the decision to retire to Spain, and have some time for ourselves, to do whatever we wanted. This was the inspiration for my second page. To colour my gessoed page I chose a range of sticky fingers sprays from their spring and summer colours, and added some gold. I was in rather a mess by then so I blotted the page with a sheet of plain copy paper, giving me some pretty background paper for another project, and then used a heat gun to dry the page. This blew some of the excess ink around, and I was quite pleased with the end result.

I hand wrote 'My time is NOW, and I'm going to enjoy it' in the page centre. Then I collected together a selection of text stamps that covered some of the things that I aim for and/or hope to do with my life, and placed them randomly around the page. I also stamped a few complimentary images. The overall effect is perhaps a bit messy, but that is how I work, and I guess, if nothing else, an art journel should reflect your true self.

I enjoyed this project more than I had expected to, and I may now start an Art journal of my own.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Not my style

This week's Bah! Humbug! challenge is to use doilies, and I wasn't sure that the Spanish even use them, but sure enough; a trip round a Todo shop (A cross between a pound shop and an old fashioned hardware shop) and I had what I needed. There was little choice and they were very thin. I decided to jazz one up a bit so out came my favourite mica sprays, Candy apple red glimmer mist, and Making memories bright gold. I made my first ever black Christmas card last year, but I felt this very bright doily needed something dark to set it off to its full advantage, so I chose a black background, and because of the size of the doily, I used a DL card. And here is what I came up with.
The pine and holly is an Elusive images stamp. I stamped it three times, coloured it with copic markers and decoupaged it. It left me with rather a lot of red on show so I took a small element from the main image to make sprigs of holly to go round the arch and in the corners. A SeeD's stamped greeting finished it off.

This is so not my style that whoever receives it won't believe that it is from me, but it is good to move away to something different, and I am quite pleased with the result.
So now I am off to add it to the Bah! Humbug! challenge here

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Hot and Spicy

Maybe not quite what you were expecting, but I see my time spent in the kitchen as just another facet of my craft work, so when I made my Hot Chilli and Ginger Jam today, I decided that I would post a recipe in pictures on my craft blog, so that, if you like the sound of it, you can have a go to.

It was far too nice a day to spend hours in the kitchen so I did the preparation out on our sunny porch. First there were two kilos of plum tomatoes to peel and deseed. I bought lovely fresh ones from the market yesterday, but 4 x 500g cans work just as well. (They still need to have their seeds removed).
Next I peeled 100g (three bulbs) of garlic. That's unbelieveably sticky stuff when you handle it in quantity! Then I chopped just 5g of dried, whole chillies, (again I would use fresh ones but they are not in season right now), and finally I peeled and chopped 400g of fresh root ginger. It was time to go into the kitchen then.

I like to work with a big pan for jams and pickles so I used my preserving pan. In went the tomatoes with 1kg sugar (no water), and they were cooked together for 30 minutes. I had to stir it at regular intervals to ensure it didn't stick.

While they were cooking I used my hand-blender to blend together the chillies, garlic and ginger, and 100ml of malt vinegar. Leaning over that is guaranteed to clear any blocked sinuses, and bring a tear to your eyes! This was added to the tomatoes in the pan, mixed well and cooked for a further 30 minutes.

Next I blended everything in the pan until there were no lumps of tomato remaining, and then left it to simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. By then it is thick and almost smooth, and it smells heavenly. This batch is still quite red, but the last lot I made was dark brown. I guess it depends on the tomatoes you use.

All that was left to do then was to bottle it, seal it and add some labels that I made with clipart on the computer. With pickles I add a cellophane cover over the jar to stop the vinegar from attacking the metal jar lids.

I was brought up not to waste anything, but that often goes by the board in our modern world, but I am trying to live the Spanish way, and they use everything. So the big colander full of tomato hearts, seeds and skin was processed with a dash of balsmic vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar to stabilise it, and then put through a sieve to remove the actual pips. I then cooked the resulting liquid for a few minutes as this improves the taste, and I now have a box of tomato purée/ sauce in the freezer, to use in my next bolognaise sauce or soup. Mum would have been proud of me!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

All Creatures Great and Small. Sir Stampalot monthly challenge

When I saw that this month's challenge at Sir Stampalot was All creatures great and small, I immediately thought of this lovely lion head stamp. I like the way it's shape aligns closely to the shape of the map of Africa. So I stamped it three times, coloured it with three shades of copic markers and added a little ArtQuest light gold paint to give it some shimmer.

Then I cut it out and decoupaged it. Other African animal stamps complete the background and for the 'small' I used the little ant from a set of kiddies bug stamps that I used to use with the children when I managed a nursery school. I knew I'd find a use for it again one day!

The African mask is one of my embellishments made from air-drying clay in a silicone mould, and painted with shades of brown and copper acrylic paint.

Full details of this challenge can be seen here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Buttons and Bows

This is my entry for the Bah! Humbug! Challenge 5, which is Buttons and Bows.

I decided to connect my buttons to make a Christmas tree decoration and then I coated them with UTEE in pearl Blue. While it was still hot I stamped into the top and bottom ones with snowflake stamps and highlighted one with silver pen and the other with stickles glitter glue.
I used white for the main card, and stamped a pine branch randomly in tumbled glass Distress ink, with the slightly darker shade of Broken china for the two at the top. I then coloured a piece of silver dufex card with stream and pool alcohol inks, and darkened the edges with a little denim. I used this to mount the buttons and to go under the Martha Stewart punched lace down the edge.

The Spanish greeting (Happy Christmas) is a stamp that I made using Imagepac, because I couldn't find one in the shops, and I use it a lot on my cards. A small length of sticky-back ribbon and a couple of mini bows finished it off.