Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Thursday, July 28, 2011

There's a tear in my eye...

'Yes', there's a tear in my eye, but 'No', it's not because I'm sad. It is the direct result of inhaling a powerful mix of garlic, chilli and ginger. I tossed up which of my blogs to do this on but I thought that cooking is a craft in it's own right, so I decided to go with this one. It makes a change from Christmas cards doesn't it?

Now I am a visual learner and I have really enjoyed following some of my friends' photographic recipes so I thought I'd have a go at doing one too. Those of you who follow my other blog will know that earlier this week I found myself with a supply of beautiful fresh ripe tomatoes, (see here if you missed it), so that was the cue for me to make some 'Hot Chilli and Ginger Jam'. Although this is sweet enough to deserve the name 'jam', it is really more of a pickle, and it does something quite amazing for a humble cheese sandwich, (especially if you are going to toast it), and it also goes well with cold meats etc. I should add that the original recipe came from the internet a very long time ago, and I cannot attribute it to anyone. I have changed it a little to suit what I have readily available here.

So here is what you need: 2Kg ripe tomatoes. 1Kg sugar.
100g garlic cloves. 400g fresh root ginger.
5g dried chillies. 100ml malt vinegar.

In these photos I am using 1½ times these quantities.

Start by peeling the tomatoes. (Stand them in a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes and then rinse under the cold tap and they will skin easily).
Halve the tomatoes and rinse under running water to remove the pips. I am not too fussy about this as I use the chillies whole, pips and all, so a few stray tomato ones are not a disaster.
Place in a large pan with the sugar (no added water) and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I use my preserving pan because it is less likely to burn, or to spit and burn my hands!
While they are cooking, peel and chop the garlic, (this is four smallish bulbs),
and the ginger, (a potato peeler can be helpful if the ginger is fresh enough to still be firm),

and chop the chillies. (The large ones are some I dried myself and the tiny ones were bought in the market). Fresh ones work just as well but you will have to guess the quantity!
Measure the vinegar. Add a little of each to blender and blend to form a fairly smooth paste, adding more of each until they are all used. I have a powerful hand-held 'blitzer' which is perfect for this, but any blender or liquidiser would do. This is the point at which the tears start to flow. It is pretty powerful stuff!
Add the paste to the cooked tomatoes, stir well, and simmer for a further 30 minutes.Blend the mixture until there are no large peices of tomato left. Again my hand-held mixer means I can do this in the pan which makes it easier.

Simmer for a further 60 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally. The resulting jam should be fairly thick so it is spreadable when cold. I had to boil mine a little longer this time as the tomatoes were so juicy.
Bottle, cover and label. Enjoy!

The original recipe used 4 x 500g cans of peeled plum tomatoes. Surprisongly enough, seeing as fresh ones are so readily available, or maybe because of that, canned tomatoes are quite expensive out here, and though I keep a tin at the back of the cupboard for emergencies, I rarely use them, but they work just as well. Strain them and discard the juice, and proceed as above.

The last lot I made was quite brown but this batch is a lovely bright red. It can only be down to the freshness of the tomatoes.

A word of warning; The first time I made this I used only my own dried chillies and we loved it. Last time I used only locally bought dried ones and it nearly blew our heads off! I mixed the two this time so we shall see ... I suggest you err on the side of caution, taste after you have blended them into the tomatoes and adjust the strength then. You can always add more, but you can't take them out again!

Throughout this process my fruit eating cat, Baggins, sat at my feet meowing, literally begging for some tomato. I eventually gave in and offered him this tiny titbit which he wolfed down. He then stayed there until I had finished, so when I went on to prepare chicken livers for our lunch I gave him some of them as a reward for his patience and he turned his nose up at them and walked away!

I am going to link this post to Inspire me Fridays, where Anything goes, but it will have to wait until next week as this week's collection has just closed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Acrylics-A quick post for Hannah

Hannah is my eleven (soon to be twelve) year old grand daughter, who is about to visit me with her family, and she is soooo excited. Every day she sends me the countdown to Spain, and we are at one week and five days now aren't we Hannah? Hannah has just left her primary school the proud winner of the Creative Arts trophy. She follows my blog and enjoys experimenting with paint and paper. Today she asked me if I have used acrylic paint, and what I have done with it. So here is my answer.

Now, while I may be a quite competent crafter, an artist I am not. I went to a grammar school where art was something they were obliged to make a small space on the timetable for, but it was not important, and the teacher was not interested in my frustration at not being able to make something look how I wanted it to, and gave me no encouragement to try something different instead. Because of this I steered clear of paints but I loved having a new set of pens, and happily coloured in other peoples art work!

Many years later, when I had abondonned my work as a secondary school maths teacher, and almost by accident found myself helping out at, and eventually training to manage a large pre-school, I made sure all the children had lots of opportunities to play and experiment with paints, clay, plaster, and anything else messy I could find. I encouraged the parents to buy them a simple polo shirt and sweat shirt as 'uniform' and to let them get it messy without fear of a telling off when they got home, and we had so much fun!

Now I am retired I have finally expanded my own range of materials to include acrylic paint amongst other things. I haven't yet managed to do a representational painting, but I am learning about form, and shading. As part of my efforts to integrate with the local people in the Spanish village where I live, I attend a weekly group called 'Manualidades' which does literally translate at handicrafts, but the room is let to us for a painting session, so that is what we are supposed to do. We are not given any tuition, but we give and receive advice from one another. There are a couple of very talented artists there, and a lot of ladies who just enjoy the company and consider it a part of their tradition to have hand painted cloths, glass and pottery ware in their homes. So I bought some very cheap acrylic paints and canvasses and here are my first efforts.

The shapes all originate from rubber stamps or printed images, which I have used for an outline, resized according to the canvas, and for now I am happy to just try to improve my shading. It is not easy here as it is so hot and the paint dries before you have time to do much with it. But it is a start. I am hoping to try an on-line painting course next winter, if I ever find the time!

Another time that I used acrylics was when I was asked to contribute some pages for a collaborated art journal for a friend to use with her students at school. For this I covered thick watercolour card with gesso and then with a layer of Buff titanium acrylic paint. When it was dry I used distress ink to colour the edges, and then, with more paint and an array of bottle tops and cardboard tubes, I stamped circles all over it. The centre image and swirl of writing was printed onto tissue paper taped to copy paper so I could put it through my printer, and then it was fixed to the page with a thin layer of diluted PVA glue.

And finally, here is a piece I made when I wanted a bright, colourful background recently. This was an absolute favourite at my nursery though we used squeezy bottles of poster paint rather than acrylic. I simply squeezed paint from my tubes onto a piece of sturdy white card, and pressed a second piece of card over it. I used my fingers to move the paint around between the cards until it started to ooze out at the sides, and then I just eased them apart to see what pattern I had made. The acrylic paint was thick enough to give this a great texture. This picture was taken as soon as I separated the two layers. When I have anything that needs a few minutes to dry, I use magnets to attach it to my metal filing cabinet, well away from my inqisitive cats. They could have had some real fun with this!

Hannah tells me she has just drawn a flower, painted it with white acrylic paint and then gone over it with a soft blue felt tip pen, and it looks really nice. I think we are going to have some fun together. See you soon Hannah.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Two more Christmas cards.

When I saw that CrazyHazelnuts challenge this week was to use a reindeer I knew exactly what I would do, because last week I bought two of the latest Marianne dies of a reindeer and a sleigh.

I cut the deer twice from tiny off-cuts of brown pearlescent paper. Then I looked for a piece of card for the sleigh and found a little rectangle of an alcohol background I must have made at some time for another project. It was just big enough so I used that. I decided I didn't like the empty sleigh so I searched clipart until I found a picture of Santa that I could use. I had to mirror image him and trim him up quite a bit, but I did manage to cobble something together. (If I made this again I would print him on different paper to make him stand out more). I then stamped a couple of SeeD's parcels to fill the space at the front of the sleigh and mounted it all on to some starry scrapbook paper that I also bought last week. I mounted this panel on to a white DL base card and it was sort of finished, but I wasn't very happy with it. It was all rather dull, so I drew a rough frame with diamond black stickles glitter glue - it's slightly smudged as it is very hot here and I was working with both my ceiling fan and a floor standing one on, and they suddenly lifted my card and flipped it over! But I salvaged it as best I could. I also added ice crystal stickles to the main stars, and after a rummage through my Christmas peel-offs I found this one that says 'Santa's on his way'. It's not a sentiment that I would normally use but it fitted this card quite well and filled the empty corner of sky.

So I am entering this card in:
CraftyHazelnuts Christmas Challenge 30: Reindeer.
Die Cut Dreams Challenge 94: Animal Antics.
Gingerloft Challenge 22: Make it Sparkle.
Creative Inspirations Challenge 64: Christmas in July.
Craft Us Crazy Challenge 13: Anything Goes.

And now for my second card. This one was for the Bah!Humbug! challenge which was to use some beads. I love beads but am not particulalry good at using them on cards. I get frustrated trying to thread them onto bits of ribbon or fibre to make a 'dangly' embellishment. However I remembered one of my bargain buys from many years ago, and sure enough, right at the bottom of my Christmas stash, I found a whole heap of peel-offs with pricking patterns on for stitching. I don't remember where they came from but whenever I find I have a lot of something, it is usually from a bulk buy pack at the QVC seconds shop in Shrewsbury, near to where I used to live. They sell items that have been returned, split packs, and some that have been opened to use a bit for a demonstration. Sometimes they bundle a whole lot of oddments together and sell them really cheaply, and I have found myself the owner of lots of things that I might not otherwise have bought, and they can come in very handy sometimes. Anyway, I chose a Christmas tree image and stuck the peel-off onto little scraps of green and red card. At that stage it looked like the picture on the left. Then I raided my lace-making boxes and found some metallic thread and beads, and before long it looked like the picture on the right. Then I just needed to make it into a card.

I decided to follow the sketch given for SFYTT July challenge which you can see over on I love to stamp , because it was a fairly simple one which suited my tree. I covered a white base card with some pale green paper and made a mat for the tree from vellum printed with holly. Then I cut a strip of darker green paper to go down the left side. All three papers were from a very ancient book of Christmas card kits which I think is Dutch. It's time I used some of them! The band across the bottom of the panel is Woodware paper lace coloured with copic markers. For the three top motifs I chose three different sized bauble peel-offs, stuck them to the left-over piece of pale green paper and also coloured them with copics. Then I cut them out and glued them to the card. To finish it off I added a silver star to the top of the tree and stamped a Crafty Individuals greeting at the base of the card in Memento cottage ivy. So here is the finished card. Sorry there are such deep shadows on todays photos. It was very sunny, but I still get better photos outside than indoors. I only took them out for a few seconds but the sun immediately made the corner of the vellum layer curl up. But I shouldn't complain. If I could bottle a bit of our sunshine and send it to you all I would!I am entering this in:
Bah! Humbug! Challenge 29: Beads.
Christmas Inspirations Challenge 29: Free Christmas project.
Delightful Challenges: Christmas in July.
A Sketch For You To Try: July Sketch.
Make it Monday Challenge 47: Any Craft project.

And I am linking this to Shirley Anne's blog, Stamping for Joy to add two more cards to my collection please.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One for my sister.

Some of you will by now have made the connection between myself and my sister Jean Straw, who is also a crafter and has her own blog called My Crafty Corner. Do pop over and see her work sometime. Her style is very different from mine, but she makes some lovely things. Anyway, when it is her birthday, of course I want to make a special card for her, so last week, this is the one I made.
The little girl is a Sugar Nellie digistamp. Her name is Grace, and I think she is so pretty. I printed her onto white card and I had intended to cut her out with a Marianne circle die, but I realised that it had too many 'cut-out' areas which would cut into the image, so instead I drew round the outer edge of the die and cut it by hand. I coloured her with my copic markers, edged the circle with Brilliance pearlescent lavender, and then layered her onto another Marianne die cut circle. This was layered onto a piece of printed backing paper from my stash, and then on to a lavender base card. I added paper candy dots to three corners and in the fourth corner I again made a boho flower from printed mauve paper and added a light spray of silver mica mist. I layered this over two Marianne cut foliage pieces. (I expect you gathered that I rather like my Marianne dies!).

I was pleased with the end result, so as it was also my lovely daughter-in-law's birthday last week, I made the same card again but with slightly different backing paper and a different shade of lilac paper for the large circle mount, again using up pieces from my stash. It wasn't quite such a good colour as the original, but I sprayed her flower with copious purple mica mist because I knew she would love that. (She tells me that she has just dyed her hair purple!).

I am entering these cards into these challenges.

Make it Monday Linky Party 46: Any project.
Joyful Stamper: Inspire me Fridays Linky party 15.
Stampalot Challenge for July: Anything Goes.
Southern Girls Challenge 23: Happy Birthday.
Scrappy Frogs Challenge: Summer Flowers.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Shaped Card

A shaped card is what Bah! Humbug! challenged us to make this week, so my mind immediately thought of lots of ideas, but because I am trying to keep my challenge cards more simple, to leave me time for other crafting as well, I settled on a circle. I know there are several lacy circle die sets available, but somehow they are never just the size I want, so I decided a while back to try designing my own using Design Master for CraftRobo. That way I can resize them as needed. So I made a template for a scalloped lace circle using a large circle and the letter 'O' from a fairly heavy font (I can't remember which one worked best).So when I came to make this card I decided to use that template and I added a plain circle to the back to make a folding card. It actually took me several attempts and several spoilt sheets of card before I managed to cut the base card out as I wanted it, but more of that later. Next I used the same basic circle and a smaller one to make a ring of blue pearlescent paper to go behind the edge. I could have just used a whole large circle but this way I have still got a fair size circle of my precious royal blue paper to use as a mount another time! For the stamp I chose one by Creative expressions, which, although not quite circular, I felt would fit into my circle frame quite well. I actually made a whole run of cards with this stamp when I bought it a good few years ago, but I don't think it has had an airing since then! I used Versafine majestic blue ink and a stamping mat which together gave me a good image. I also stamped a small greeting at the base of the trees in the same ink.

I added some sparkle to the snowy trees with stickles, and added a tiny gem to the largest stars. Hopefully that makes my card eligible for Crafty Hazelnuts challenge to use stars, though I may manage a better one later in the week. I trimmed a tiny sliver off the scallops at the base of the card to help it to stand, and added a bow to the fold at the side. Inside I stamped a simple sentiment (There was no writing on the wood block so it's origin is unknown.)

I am entering this card in:
Bah!Humbug! Christmas Challenge 28: Make a shaped card.
Celebrate the Occasion Challenge 22: Christmas; Must be a shaped card.

As I said above, I spoiled some card cutting it, so rather than waste it I used some to make another card. I had used one lacy circle as a trial run to see how the stamp fitted, and as it was a good print I used that. I had to hand cut a couple of scallops that had missed in the craftrobo, and this time it wasn't attached to a plain back. So I cut a circle of silver holographic paper to go behind it so it only showed though the lace, and not around the edge, and then mounted it onto a deep blue 15cm square card. I embellished the image as for the one above, and added three matching gems to the lower right hand corner, balancing them with a bow in the top left corner.If I am honest, I think I prefer the square card, but it wouldn't have fitted the challenges above. However, I am entering both cards in:
Christmas inspirations Challenge 29; Free Christmas project.
Digistamps 4 Joy Challenge 23: Christmas in July, with snow and ice.
Stamp Something Challenge: Christmas in July Somethings.
Simply Create Challenge 48: Christmas time.
Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge 29: Seeing Stars.
And I am linking them both to Shirley-Anne's blog,
Stamping for Joy, towards my target of 50 cards.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Big Welcome

Hi happy crafters. I am so thrilled to find that my group of followers has topped twenty now, so I just wanted to say a big welcome to all the new folk who have joined my group. I have managed to send personal e-mails to some of you, but if I have missed you, you are still just as welcome. I love to read your kind comments on my little offerings, and to visit you to see what you have been doing. I hope that some of the things I make and do will give you ideas and inspiration. I have tried so many new techniques since I arrived in blogland at the end of last year, all as a direct result of inspiration from other bloggers, so hopefully I can pass on some of the love.

I really love that I am making friends from around the world through our mutual interest in all things crafty, though so far I haven't got a follower from what is now my home country of Spain.

One of my newer friends is Shirley-Anne from Australia. She makes some lovely things, so do pop over to her blog, Stamping for Joy, and have a look. On her blog she has laid down the challenge to make 50 Christmas cards by December 1st. I have just counted my makes so far this year and find I have 38 (I thought it might be rather more!) but of course none of these have been linked to her blog, so I am a late starter. I am going back to yesterdays post to link that as my first entry, and then I will have to get my skates on to catch up. I certainly need at least fifty more, so there's an incentive to start with. I met Shirley-Anne through the Make it Monday challenge blog which is a great place to go if you want somewhere to showcase scrapbook pages, ATCs and other papercrafts as well as cards of course.
And now, because I can't do a craft post without showing a picture, here is a card I made a while ago when I sorted through some rather old stash, and decided to make something useful with some of it. It has not been entered for any other challeng
es, not been shown on my blog before. It is using a dufex pirima ge sheet, cut and layered, using 1mm sticky pads because too di mensional cards are not ideal for international posting. This is matted onto a spare scrap of light blue paper from my off-cuts box which has been punched once on each edge with a fiskars border punch. The panel is then mounted onto a square navy card and a silver peel-off greeting added across the corner. I hope this can be card number two towards the target fifty.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Little Giving.

Here's a quick and easy card from me this time.

Acording to the ABC Christamas challenge, N is for No Nonsense, so we needed to make a simple card with no designer backing papers and the minimum of 'extras'. I was also making a card for Bah! Humbug! who wanted to see some 'meeces'. Well as I only have three stamps with mice on, all by Great Impressions, it was not a too difficult choice, and I decided on the one where these two friends are exchanging Christmas gifts. So I stamped them onto plain white card and coloured them with copic markers. Then I cut the image out with nesties label 4 die and edged it with brilliance sky blue ink. For the base card I printed the sentiment from the computer in blue, then used my swiss dots cuttlebug folder to emboss the top two thirds of the card. It wasn't quite long enough so I had to emboss the last two rows of dots down one edge by hand. Then I found a length of blue spotted ribbon to go across the card and mounted the label panel on it with thin sticky pads. A touch of stickles glitter glue on the snow and it was done.
This card is for :
Bah! Humbug! Challenge 27: Meeces..
ABC Christmas Challenge: N is for No Nonsense.
Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge 28: Spots before your eyes.
My Creative Moments Word Play: Christmas/Winter.
Moving Along with the Times Challenge 106: Christmas in July.
Little Red Wagon: Christmas in July.

I am also hoping to start contributing to Shirley-Annes challenge over on Stamping for Joy, to make 50 Christmas cards before 1st December, so this is my first card towards that total.

Monday, July 11, 2011

ATCs that are special to me.

A few years ago I was a regular contributor to the Stampman ATC swap, but it became so busy that they couldn't cope with the practicalities as well as the running of the shop, so it closed. I knew it had restarted over a year ago but with my move to Spain, I never got around to joining in, but this month I decided to give it a go. You can find the details here.

The theme for July was Vintage. Now I have quite a pile of vintage photos that I have bought in sets, or downloaded onto my computer, but as I was thinking which ones to use, I had the idea to use something much more special to me, and that is this lovely photo of my maternal Grandparents. I never met them, but I just love this photo, taken around 1905 I think. She is so elegant and he so proud.

I made a few copies of the photo and for my first ATC I passed a memory glass slide through my little Xyron quick sticker, and pressed it over just my Grandmother's picture. I cut this out and edged it with aged mahogony distress ink. (This didn't dry properly but it did leave a hint of colour). Then I found some burgundy card with a gold sheen if you look at it at an angle, and embossed it in my cuttlebug. It looked a bit too good, so I sanded it, rubbed it with walnut stain distress ink and spritzed it with water. I glued a small strip of lace, left over from a scrapbook page, about two thirds of the way down, and mounted the slide at the left hand side. I then chose two feathers to glue the other side, (My ever-present lazy cat got so excited when I got my feather box out I think she would have attacked them all if I hadn't got the lid back on fast. I've never seen her so animated!), and then I knew it needed a flower to finish it off. My punches were all too large or too small, so I found a selection of paper flowers from my stash, all variations of pink and white. I rubbed tea dye and victorian velvet inks onto my craft mat and spritzed them, and let my paper flowers soak it all up. With some difficulty I then layered them up with a brad fastener through the centre, screwed them up and passed the petal edges through aged mahogony and walnut stain ink. Then I flattened it out, and when it was dry I glued it to the base of the feathers.

Then I thought I would use just my Grandfather's image for the second one. Although this photo was taken prior to the Great War, and though to the best of my knowledge he didn't die in that war, I have used his photo before to represent 'the great fallen', (See my top right side bar), and I wanted to do so again. Using a lighter brown base card I cut a mask and stamped part of the Crafty Individuals poppy field stamp across the base. I used copic markers to add a little subtle colour. I then used old paper distress ink to colour some ordinary copy paper and printed out the words of one verse from the Ballad of Willie McBride, also known as The Green Fields of France. This is a very poignant song that I have loved ever since I first heard it many years ago at a folk club. If you are not familiar with it, do spare a moment or two to read the rest of the lyrics which you will find one version of here, though there are are several others with small differences. This is the version I have on CD so I am more familiar with it. To make the 'brown leather frame, I screwed up a small piece of brown card, and rubbed it with walnut stain ink and then spritzed it, and left it to dry. Then I tore round the words and layered them up with the framed photo. I used two very small paper flowers, colouring them with barn door ink as for the flower above, and fixed them with a black mini-brad to make a poppy for the top right corner, and in the left I added two brown folk-heart brads.

I needed one more card for my swap, so this time I used the photo of both of them and added a metal frame from my stash. I had a piece of card, partially embossed, left over from my first ATC so I used that as the base. In the main photo, the 'props' were a fence and trailing leaves which gave me the idea to use a small piece of green mesh cut on the bias to represent a trellis, and some woven fibre 'ribbon' for the leaves. It lacked something so I added random tiny pearls for flowers. Then I found some beads from recycled jewellry that I buy in local markets, and threaded them on brown cord to hang below the picture, and covered the rather untidy join with a small cream organza bow. I hope you think I did my grandparents proud.

As well as the Stampman swap, I am entering these for the
Make it Monday linky party number 45.

Theme Thursday Challenge: Vintage.
Art Impressions Challenge 23: Use something from your stash.
One Stitch at a Time Challenge 70: Anything goes.
I am also linking to a new challenge for me called ABC because their current challenge is Y is for Yesterday. I am not sure if entries are meant to be a greetings card, but these fit the bill so well that I am giving it a try. I'm sure if it is only cards, they will let me know for next time.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Birthday Card for a Friend

One of my crafting friends turned 70 today so, of course, I made her a card. It just so happens that earlier this week I received an order from Chocolate Baroque which contained three sheets of their new stamp releases, so what better way to try some of them out.
I knew my friend likes butterflies so it was easy to decide which stamp to use as the main image. I wanted to work mainly in one colour, so I cut a 14cm square of white card and used a sponge to add some Memento rhubarb stalk ink, making it darker around the edges. Using the same ink pad I stamped the main image and added a little extra colour with copic markers. I then chose a large swirl stamp from a second sheet of my new stamps, and used sections of it to stamp all around the card. I mounted this onto a dark burgundy base card, and used pink and plum stickles to highlight the spots on the butterfly's wings.

For the corner embellishment I had a go at making some boho flowers. This was only my second attempt and I was very pleased with them. The larger one was not too difficult though the tiny ones were a bit fiddly. I made them from layers of pink card and white heavy paper rubbed with the rhubarb stalk ink pad. While they were still wet I wiped them through some of the ink that I had put on my craft mat, and then when they had dried I added a touch here and there of the darker stickles glitter glue. I could tell you how I made these flowers but a lady called Carole Claxton has kindly put an excellent tutorial on her blog which you can find here, so there is no point in my repeating it all.

Using the off-cuts of the base card, I cut two 'forest branches' with a Marianne die and using the back of one of them so that they both curved inwards, I glued them from the bottom left corner, and then glued the flowers in place over them. A small greeting in the same ink, added to the top right corner, finished it off.

I am linking this card to these challenges:
Scrappy Frogs Challenge: Summer Flowers.
Creative Craft Challenge: Pretty Blossoms.
Ooh La La Creations Challenge 83: Summer Flowers.
Make it Monday 44: All Papercrafts
Joyful Stamper: Inspire me Fridays 14 linky party.

Monday, July 4, 2011


This is a card I made a couple of weeks back, for one of my sisters. but as her birthday wasn't until last week, and I had to allow extra time for the vagaries of Spanish mail, I didn't want to put it on my blog until now.

This was my first attempt at Sheena Douglas' paint fusion. I have been 'sitting on' the stamps for a while but I have only just been able to source out here the paint she recommends, and when I tried with my usual acrylics, they were just too thin, and I wasn't happy with the results. I am still waiting for a new order of the paints to arrive, so I only have a very limited colour range, but I had enough to attempt the poppy. I had painted it on plain white card which looked rather stark to use as a topper, so in the end I cut the flower and its leaves out, and made a meadow background to mount it on.

For the background I sponged all over the card with distress inks in mustard seed, shabby shutters and peeled paint. I then randomly stamped over it with an Adirondak meadow ink pad and the peeled paint, using Hero arts grasses stamp and several meadow flower stamps by Elusive Images (now Chocolate Baroque). I edged the card with the darker green ink, mounted the poppy and added a green stamped greeting and a butterfly peel-off. I think that was a mistake but I couldn't remove it. Another time I would stamp a small butterfly and colour it. But I was pleased with the card over all and I hope my sister was too.

I am linking this card to
Make it Monday week 44; All paper crafts.
Scrappy Frogs Challenge; Summer flowers.
Stamping Sisters in Christ Challenge 96: Clean and Simple (Well it has no fancy embellishments).
The Paper Shelter Challenge 20: Anything goes.
Craft Room Challenge; Summer birthdays.

In the pink

When one of your regular blogs sets a challenge to use something you hate, you have the choice to give it a miss this week, or stop muttering and give it a go. I decided to take the latter course, so here is my card using the infamous acetate!
For this card I used a set of images that I have had on my computer for years and I do not know their origin. I know they started as a cat sitting on a window ledge looking out onto the bare branches of a winter tree, and I expanded this into a set so I have one with and without the tree, and with or without the cat, and one of just the frame and just the cat. Using the frame and cat I printed this onto white card, cut and folded it into a standard A6 card, then cut out the window panes. Lightly pencilling around the edge of these to mark their position on the inner right hand side of the card, I used a stamp positioner, (and removed the pencil marks), to stamp inside the card with a winter tree stamp from Elusive Images (now Chocolate Baroque). I used eclipse paper to make a frame mask for this image, and one for the hills, and using a sponge I applied shades of pink/purple inks to the sky - Versacolor in lilac, hyacinth and grape. To make it a bit more 'Christmassy' I stamped the Crafty Individuals Santa and sleigh across the sky. I then gave a suggestion of frost with stardust stickles on the hills and tree branches.

While this was drying, I stamped just the cat image and cut it out. Then I dabbed it on a versamark pad and triple embossed it, rounded it a little, and using silicone glue for dimension, I atached it to the main image. To complete the front I used the same lilac ink pad to stamp a personal Impressions (Dawn Bibby) Christmas tree, SeeDs parcels and Clarity stamps baubles, and added a peel-off greeting that I had coloured with a black permanent marker.

Oh, and of course, I covered the open window panes with a piece of ACETATE, held in place with another window frame on the inside of the card!
It is very hot and sunny here and this card did not photograph well. The base card is white, not pink, but I did my best.

I am entering this card in the following challenges.
Bah! Humbug Challenge 26; Use acetate.
Craftyhazelnuts Christmas Challenge; Use Pink and/or purple.
ABC Challenge; M for monochrome.
For Fun Challenge: To cool off those who are hot!
Creative Friday Challenge 47: Christmas in July.
Our Creative Corner: Christmas in July