Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Special Moments

I am supposed to be having a short while off card challenges specifically to complete the scrapbook I am making for my son, before I fly to UK next Thursday, when I hope to give it to him. So I thought I would just share with you the pages I have just completed.

Some of you will know that I have five sons. Two are older from my first marriage, and after a ten year gap I had three more, in fairly quick succession. When you are the middle one of a group of three little boys with only four and a half years between you, you have to fight for your share of attention, so I designed these pages to remind Jonathan of some special moments that we shared with him. (I have done similar pages for each of the boys and I think they are important memories to hold). For Jonathan, who since his teens has a had a preference for 'grungy' colours, I chose some grey paper, but as I find 'grunge' really hard to do, I ended up with red for the highlights! The large circle and it's scalloped frame, the script frame, and the letters for the title were all designed and cut with craftrobo, using the Design master software. The script about a mother was a template that I bought from craftsuprint. It was A4 size so I had to resize it, and then cut it, again with craftrobo. Unfortunately shrinking it down meant some letter strokes were very fine, and all my black paper had too many firbes in them and wouldn't cut cleanly. After three futile attempts I was about to give up when I remembered that I have a pack of mixed printed papers that always cut perfectly. So I chose one that wasn't really to my liking, and I swiped the reverse side with a versafine black onxy ink pad until it was completely black. Once it was dry, I had one more go at my cutting file and it worked! It's not perfect, but it is good enough.

My son is now twenty-six so I was working with really old photos which I scanned in, and then used a photo editor to crop them to squares. I decided to soften them by giving them all rounded corners to go with the scalloped frames.

My final job was to cut the two small scripts in red, using the trimmings from the photo mounts. For these I used my cuttlebug and a QuicKutz skinni-minis alphabet die set called Frankie. These are very fiddly to use, but you can cut just the letters you need. I decided to glue them in place with glue pen, and added a few dots cut with a hole punch. It was very hot this afternoon so picture me trying to pick up these tiny pieces with a ceiling fan going just above me at top speed and an even stronger floor-standing fan across my desk. Added to that I help from Baggins (See my previous post). It was a bit of a paper chase, but I got there in the end.

Now I am going to make some quote clouds to go on the two inside covers, and the summing-up page for the end of the book. If I get that done before I give it to him I will be pleased. I will still have two double spreads to do about his drumming and the groups he has played in, and posters from some of his gigs, but I can post those to him. What sort of music does he play? ... Heavy metal, and in particular 'Grunge' of course!!

I shall link this to Make it Monday 52: Any papercraft project.
Inspire me Fridays Linky Party.


There's not a great deal on my workdesk this Wednesday, but what there is, shows that I have had a very successful couple of days and have just about completed another double layout for my son's scrapbook. All that is left for me to do is add a few more words, and you can see I am sorting through some tiny Sizzlit mini-dies to find the letters I need. I have just enough bits of red paper left over after mounting the photos with it, to cut these letters, so I shall get them done now and maybe do a separate blog on the completed pages. I have a range of sticking mediums out. The tiny letters are a right fiddle and I can never be sure what will be best to use with them, but I expect I'll settle for a glue pen. Needless to say the rest of the space is occupied by Baggins, who is under threat of death if he moves onto my pages while my back is turned. I'm off to feed the dogs but it is such a nuisance to have to put everything away when you want to use it again in half an hour or so, so today I have risked leaving it out. (Just five more pages to do now, hopefully before I fly to UK next Thursday, when I want to give the completed book to him).
Now why not pop over to Julia's blog and see what everyone else is up to today.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sing for Joy

Well life has a way of tossing you around and upsetting even the best laid plans, and that is what has happened to me. My planned visit to UK for late October/November has been brought forward by six weeks or so, to enable me to attend a family funeral. However this will also enable me to get a much sooner than expected visit in with my new Great-grandson. Isaac Michael Edward made his appearance on Sunday morning, weighing in at a bonny 8lbs 2ozs. Did I make a card for this event?....Of course I did. Did I take a photo of it?....I thought I had but cannot trace it anywhere on my computer! So when I visit him I will take one then and blog about it later.

I now fly out next Thursday so one thing that won't be finished is my son's scrapbook. However there are only half a dozen pages to go so I will take him what I have done and add a few empty pockets at the end. Then I can post the final pages to him as soon as they are done. I don't return here until 26th September so my blog will be very quiet for nearly a month.For that reason I thought I would try to squeeze in a couple more Christmas cards but was a bit dismayed to find the Bah! Humbug! theme was 'Here come the girls'. Now I don't usually do 'girly' or even 'cute', but as Hazel's challenge over on CHNC was Build it up - lots of layers, I had a browse through my Christmas decoupage. At the bottom of the pile was a very ancient book of images, that I think I bought in Percy Thrower's garden centre at least ten years ago! I quite liked it at the time but I found the images were very intricate so I was lazy about using them. But looking through the book I came across these rather sweet little angels and thought they were probably girly enough. I emphasised their 'girlyness' by using a pink base card and layers rather than red, as the red of their dresses blended in with this quite well. They were very fiddly to cut but they actually layered up rather well. There are four layers which hardly show in the photo but as it is again very sunny this morning, you can see the shadows they cast. I mounted them on a left-over piece of scrapbook paper cut with a nestie label die, and cut a matching frame using a booklet of Christmas papers free with a magazine. They are not the sort of papers I would ever buy, so they have lurked in a box for several years, but I am making a real effort to use some of my 'past its sell by date' stash, and it fitted the bill here. The sentiment came from the same booklet. It still looked a bit stark so I used one more 'oldie' from my stash - a set of docraft peeloffs to add trees and parcels round the edge, and found a scrap of emerald satin ribbon to make a bow.

I hope my little angels are singing for joy, just as I am over our new little arrival.

I do apologise to all my fellow challenge-takers and followers that I haven't managed to comment very much just lately. After a busy fortnight with my visitors I then had to try to change my flights to UK and concentrate on things I need to finish off before my visit. But I will try to get to some of you before I go, and once I get back, normal service will quickly return!

I am entering this card in:
Bah! Humbug! Challenge 34: Here come the girls..
Craft Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge 35: Build it up.
ABC Christmas Challenge: Q is for quote - use a quote or sentiment.
Crafts for Eternity Recipe Challenge 34: Recipe, Anything with a Christmas theme.
Christmas Crafting Challenge 2: Cute Christmas.

And I will link it to Shirley Anne's blog Stamping for Joy.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Away in a manger

ATCs done and dusted, (see previous post), I wondered whether I still had time to enter this week's Christmas card Challenges, but for most of them I decided to wait for the new themes. But ABC Christmas Challenge runs fortnightly so I can do that one and this time the challenge is Q is for quote. I noticed some of the design team members had made lovely cards quoting the words of Christmas carols and songs and it reminded me of a project I did a few years back. I had just bought my first pack of mold'n'pour and went looking for things to try it out with. One thing I used was a very old decoration that has hung on my tree for many years. It shows a folk-art style nativity scene so I mixed up the two mold'n'pour elements and pressed my decoration into the resulting compound. Within a few minutes I had a flexible 'silicone' mould which I went on to use with air-drying clay. I was surprised at how much detail the compound had picked up. Once my decoration was dry, I painted it with a mixture of acrylics and permanent markers, and glazed it with diluted PVA glue. I made several of these and mounted them onto cards. Last Christmas I dug out the mould and made another dozen or so for my new friends in Spain. I knew I had one left over that must be lurking in a drawer somewhere, so I had a root around and found it, and used it for today's card.
I chose a royal blue base card, layered with pearlescent blue paper and then some shaded blue starry paper that I cut with a scalloped edge. (The bright sunshine has accentuated the shading in my photo). To mount the decoration I made a sort of rounded triangle with a scalloped edge using craft robo design master software, and cut it out of the same blue pearlescent paper. I typed the words of 'Away in a manger', cut them out, and used a matching blue mat cut with a nestie die. A tiny off cut of fused film made a bright star and I used shiny star peel-of strips down each side. I also have a Lavinia stamp of more words from this carol so I stamped that on an otherwise plain white, edged in blue, insert.

I am entering this in:
ABC Christmas Challenge ; Q is for Quote.
Make it Monday 51: Any papercraft project.

Stampavie and more: Christmas in Summer.

Totally Papercrafts Challenge 80: Christmas in August.

The Crazy Challenge, Christmas: Anything Christmas Goes.
And I am also linking it to Shirley Anne's blog Stamping for Joy, to add to my collection of Christmas cards.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A few ATCs

Hello my friends. Thank you for looking in on my blog which has been strangely quiet for a couple of weeks while I enjoyed some family time with my son, his wife and my three grandchildren. They survived the heat, just, and we had a great time together. Now they have gone home and it is my house that seems strangely quiet, so I am using my time to catch up on all the challenges that I have missed.

My first task was to make four sets of ATCs for August swaps, all of which need to be at their destinations in UK by the end of the month. I usually play safe and allow ten days for this, but these only have 6-7 days so I hope Mr Postman is on the ball. I had some disappointments with last month's swaps when two sets failed to get back to me. I am hoping they were in just one batch of mail that went astray, as others arrived just fine. But this was tempered with some good news when one of my Vintage ATCs was a winner for the July swap at the Stampman. (See my post for 11th July). So, of course I wanted to take part again and their theme for this month was The Ocean. Here is what I made.I started by spraying two pieces of glossy white card with glimmer mists and pressing them together. I have seen this done on Youtube with memory mists and it gave a lovely variegated finish. But they use a different kind of pigment which stays in droplets, and I found the glimmer mists and sticky fingers mists just mingled together, leaving me with a pretty, but even, blue-green coating. I tried to add some texture with a squirt of Making memories silver but this was only partly successful as the nozzel had blocked and no amount of soaking and scrubbing would release it. So finally I got out my trusty cuttlebug and passed the cards through the swirls embossing folder, after which I felt they were ready to use. For the first one I made a seahorse ( Just for fun stamps)and fish (freebie stamp with magazine) with mother of pearl and blue nile fantasy film, and glued them to the background. I then stamped strands of seaweed onto acetate and fixed this over them with 1mm sticky pads and blue brads. For the second one I wrapped blue and green fibres around the card and between the lines I made wavy lines of glossy accents and covered them with a blue/green mix of seed beads. (While doing this I stupidly opened my box containing seven compartments of different seed beads, upside down, resulting in --a mess! I spent the rest of the evening patiently sorting them into their colours again. I am sure some of you think I must be mad, but it was quite theraputic, and I was pleased to see my neat little box back as it should be!). I still had a bare strip down the side of my ATC, so I cut some tiny fish from a sheet of decoupage backing paper and glued them on, highlighting them with a clear sakura glitter gel pen. The whole thing is backed onto a piece of card from a publication from a well known bank, which happened to be just the right colour. The third one is quite different because I looked above the ocean surface and saw a tall ship, sails billowing in the wind. I used blue card for the sky and cut around the swirls on all the offcuts of my base cards, layering them up to make the waves. I stamped a Crafters Companion ship stamp onto cream card twice, and added some shading with copic markers. I cut one out, decoupaged the sails from the other, and tucked it between the waves. There was quite an expanse of waves at the front, so I added three more of the fish as in the previous one, and stamped a Crafty Individuals seagull in the sky.

The Chocolate Baroque theme this month was The seaside and for this I used some more of the blue embossed card as a base and added a CB seagull stamp, and squares cut from Crafty Individuals backing paper. Some sand and a few tiny shells in the corner finished it off. For the second one I used a different sheet of the CI paper for the sand, and some oddments of painted paper from my snippits box for the sea. The main image is Crafty Individuals as is the bunting spelling BEACH across the top.

Angie Foxcroft of Crazicards craft supplies also runs a monthy swap and her theme was Words. So for the first one I stayed with the sea idea and used a lovely words stamp from Great Impressions. The photo in the background is my footsteps taken very early one morning on a beach in Thailand. The tiny shells I used as an embellishments were collected from the same beach. For the second one I did something completely different. This time I did make the backing card with memory mists on glossy card. I think you will be able to see the different effect of using these. I chose some words from a plate of sentiments by Chocolate Baroque, and at first I stamped them on the background in black. But they didn't pop out as I wanted them to so I coloured some white card with my palest copics, and used a variety of memento ink pads to stamp the words on this. Then I cut them out and mounted them over the black ones. I added coloured beads on a spiral of wire across the top. Next I cut out lots of tiny flowers with a special punch, using tiny oddments from my snippits box, and glued them in small groups, randomly over the card. A couple of colourful butterfly stickers finished this one off.

My finally for the Shillington swap the theme was 'Silhouettes'. When my sister said she wasn't sure she liked the theme, I had to confess that it was one of my suggestions! But as I was running out of time, and I knew today was really my last chance to post them, I didn't use some of my lovely silhouette stamps as I had intended, but instead I cut out black card silhouettes using my craft robe. The templates for these had been prepared previously for pages in my sons' scrapbooks, so it was easy to reduce them down to ATC size. For one I used a photo of a skateboard park as the background and added words on the computer, and two skateboarding poses. The background for the handstand was brayered using Big and juicy pad, Spice. I printed the music notes which were a part of the original image as they were too small and fiddly to cut easily, and the word 'Joy' is a Crafty Individuals stamp. This image was used on a scrapbook page along side my son in the same pose! For the third one I again brayered a background using Big and Juicy pad, Gumdrop, and masking the heart to give a contrasting colour. The words in it are a stamp I made ages ago using imagepac, and come from a fabric sticker I found in what must have been one of my 'lucky-dip' buys at the QVC surplus store. The family group silhouette came from the internet.

Wow. that was a bit of a marathon. Thank you for staying with me. Now I look forward to seeing what little pieces of art I receive in place of them. Hopefully all four sets will come this time.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

WOYWW 113?

My friend Di from Pixie's Crafty Workshop, has been encouraging me to join you so here I am. The main reason I haven't done this before is that there is usually the same thing on my work desk everyweek - Nothing! - except for one or two fat and furry cats. Baggins and Arwen consider my craft room to be their territory and view me as an intruder. So everytime I leave the room I have to put everything away, or they will ruin it. However, when I am busy in there I physically shove them over to give me enough space to work in, as I did last night when I was working on a welcome card for my first great-grandson due in around three weeks time. My visitors arrive on Monday and go home the day he is due so I am hoping they will take my card with them and post it in UK. Here is the rest of my space.

To the right of my desk is my paper store, now all sorted into design types and stored in the shelves hubby bought for me last Christmas. So nice not to have it all dog-eared (or should I say cat-eared). The fan is another reason why I put everything away. It is always on, and it lifts my bits and pieces and deposits them in the most obscure places! Along side that is a tall bookcase. All the big files contain my stamp collection. I have taken just about all the mounted ones off their wood blocks and put them on EZmount. Then I can store them on laminated sheets in plastic pockets with a stamped image for quick reference, and file them according to their image. The yellow tray just peeping out on top of some of the files, is where I put my current work when I have to leave it before it is finished. Every week or so I clear it off and start again.

Next to the bookshelf is my tall filing cabinet with all my plain card and paper in, along with boxes of embellishments, all sorted and labelled. It actually gave me great pleasure to achieve this, and it is now so much easier to find things. Mind you, there are a lot of long-forgotten items nestled at the bottom of each box, but it is fun to have a root now and then and use some of them up. And on the wall behind me I have also moved into the shelves section of the built in wardrobe. In here I store my Christmas stash, ribbons and flowers, prefolded cards and envelopes, smaller pads of paper and card, and anything else that hasn't got a home.

To the left of my desk there is a box of 'sticking mediums', my copic markers because they are in constant use, and small drawers holding some of my ink pads, fancy scissors, oddments of stationery etc, and underneath I have embossing powders, glitter, and everything for my cuttlebug.

And finally, in front of my workspace (which this morning has the white cat on it!) is my computer desk, with printer and craftrobo always connected, and few other drawers containing pens, pencils, paints etc.

So now you have been all around my room. I am so lucky to have my own space, with almost continuous blue skies and sun shine outside, and my furry friends to keep me company while I work.

Now I shall link this to Julia's blog, Stamping Ground, and see what everyone else has on their workspace this week.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Fun Trio

Yesterday I set out to make a card featuring something we eat at Christmas, and I settled on this cheeky trio of chicks with their candy canes.They are a digistamp from pink cat studio, which I printed out and coloured in plain, bold colours using some promarkers. I then cut them out with deckle-edge scissors and coloured the edges with my distress ink pad, barn door. For the base card I chose a yellow DL because I have a huge stack of pre-folded cards that I am determined to work my way through, and this was one of them. Rooting through my Christmas paper box I came up with these two pieces which I joined to make a background, and I thought I would cover the join with some lace. Another root through some boxes brought up this short piece of very grubby, screwed up broidery-anglais, which I rubbed with distress ink in antique linen and mustard seed. I then washed it out to encourage the inks to spread and blend, and ironed it dry with my craft iron. I threaded some red satin ribbon through the top. There was about a quarter of an inch lace to spare on either side so I was able to tidy up the ends and then I attached it across the card with double sided tape. I used some more of the ribbon to make a matching bow but I wanted something else small to finish it off, so on the spur of the moment I dug out my box of fimo. I haven't used this since I came to Spain almost three years ago, and I can't remember how long before that, so I was surprised to find it was still very pliable. I quickly made up a set of tiny candy canes which I baked first thing this morning. (I couldn't do it last night as I already had the aircon on cooling down our bedroom before we go in there, and the dishwasher was on, so I couldn't risk turning on the oven as well. Too many appliances at one time and everything fuses. Our electricity supply in the village is a bit suspect, but you learn to live with it!) once cooled, I varnished them with glossy accents and used some more to stick them down the side of the card. For the greeting I used another forgotten find that I unearthed on my root through my boxes, another of my spur of the moment QVC shop buys I suspect, and that is a set of very large metal brads with a matching set of rub-ons to go with them. I chose a yellow brad and a plain greetings and added these to the top corner of my panel. It is nice to make a card that has used so many odds and ends from my stash!

I am entering this card in:
Crazy Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge 31: Feature some Festive Food.
Bah! Humbug! Challenge 30: Use Lace.
Christmas Cards all Year Round August Challenge:Choose 4 items from a list. (Inking, ribbon, metal embellishment, rub-on greeting).
Sketch and Stash Challenge 67: I've used lots of stash and followed the sketch, (more or less).
Stamping Sisters in Christ Challenge 100: Any Creature, Great or Small.

I am also linking this to Shirley-Anne's blog , Stamping for Joy, towards my target of 50 cards.