Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Rudolf for Rudolf Day

It's the 25th of May today so time to drop in on Sandra's blog to post a Christmas card for Rudolf day. I only returned from a very busy week in UK last night, but fortunately I had my card 'done and dusted' before I went.

For this card I cut a pair of fancy reindeer using a bought file for my silhouette cameo cutter, from their online store. I cut one in red printed paper and one in green. I also cut their matching mats reversing the colours. I was having a bit of trouble cutting their patterns perfectly, but I hid any minor faults with a little stickles glitter glue. I then cut a fancy oval label also with my cameo and mounted them on it. For the background I used a red and green striped paper from a magazine, and edged it with a gold star peel-off border. I added the oval topper and used a gold peel-off greeting under it. For the finishing touch I tied a bow with some red, green and gold Christmas ribbon and added a tiny gold reindeer charm. Will I  get the rest of my usual set of six done? I'm not sure. My son arrives tomorrow for a week's stay, but I have a couple more reindeer cut and ready to use, so I may give it a go. Incidently I chose red and green for this card because I had intended to enter it in Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge before I left for UK, when she wanted traditional colours, but I didn't have time to post it. This week her challenge is to use blue, so I will have to try harder next time!!

And now for something completely different. This is for my blog-land friend Shoshi who also has a fondness for duck-billed platypus. We bought this little sweetie for our youngest son Ben, the Christmas just before his second birthday, and because he couldn't manage the word 'platypus' at the time, he called it Duckie, and Duckie it has been ever since (Ben is 25 now!). When Ben left home he kind of put Duckie into my care, so of course I brought him to Spain with me. Today he has been through the washing machine, had a long sun bathing session, and then been subjected to a rigorous hair brushing. Doesn't he scrub up well? Now he is back where he belongs, on the spare bed, ready for Ben's visit tomorrow. It's a good thing Ben doesn't follow this blog or he might kill me!!

Happy Rudolf day everyone. Pop over to Stamping for Pleasure and get inspired to start your Christmas card collection too.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Yes it's Wednesday again and time to pop over to Julia's Stamping ground to see what my fellow crafters are busy making. I haven't managed to get there for a couple of weeks and I nearly didn't today, but I wanted to show you all something amazing. My desk was very clear and tidy this morning, because tomorrow we are coming to UK for a week. But this afternoon I used it to sort through the knitting that I and my friends have done for the Fish and Chip babies in Africa. Please see my previous post if you have no idea what I am talking about.

Anyway, just two weeks ago I asked a few friends to help me knit these little jumpers and beanie hats, and here is what they made. I have no less than eighty, yes 80, sets to bring to UK with me for delivery. People are so generous with their time and materials. I am overwhelmed by their response. They were deliberately asked to knit in dark, bright colours because the garments will probably never be washed. Don't they look great? 
Goodness knows whether I will get them all in to my case, but I shall have a jolly good try.

I am afraid I will not get to visit many of you this week, but I will try. I just have a few last minute things that have to be done first. I won't be around next week as that will be our last day, and it will be a very hectic visit, but I will be back as soon as I can.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

From tiny acorns mighty oak trees grow.

That's a common enough saying and often proved true.

I found my acorn was when I was visiting several craft blogs and I spotted some posts about knitting tiny jumpers and beanie hats for African babies who are born into such poverty that they are sent home from hospital wrapped in newspaper. Hence their nickname "Fish and chip babies". I live in Spain, and already the weather is hotting up (it's expected to reach 29º tomorrow), so before long we will mostly be packing away our knitting needles and wools until next autumn, but I thought there might just be time to knit a couple of these jumpers first.

I wanted to share the idea with a few of my friends at my church and the sewing group I attend on Wednesday mornings, so I borrowed some photographs from Jo's blog, and downloaded the pattern from Dawn's blog, and made up a few leaflets to offer around. I am visiting UK in a week's time and thought I might get a nice little bundle of finished garments to take back with me for posting.

My 'oak tree' is what happened next. The project really seemed to catch people imagination. Several of my sewing group friends said they would get one made, as did some friends at church. One of my church friends was so taken with the idea that she posted about it on a local forum and several people up where she lives said they would knit. Then someone said their friend in Malaga (more than a three hour drive from here) would also make some, and she organised a 'knit-in' with her friends and got them all knitting too. 

Other knitters said friends and family in UK would also make some. Then one of our church members who shuttles between a home out here and a home in UK said she would get her church back in UK joining in. This was taken at our sewing group this mornings with the jumpers and hats we have made so far.

Two gentlemen from the forum, who regularly travel between Spain and UK have offered to transport parcels for delivering to cut our postage costs. We have found a business in each locality here, willing to act as a collecting point for finished jumpers, and a place where people can donate wool and needles.

My friend's husband has now set up our own website, Knit for Africa,  where the pattern can be downloaded, and there is information about collection points etc. We have decided to keep the project running until the end of the year - what happened to my fortnight deadline?!!!

Maybe by then our little oak tree will be wilting, but maybe it will have dropped a few more acorns that others will pick up and plant. Who knows.......

In the mean time, if we have helped just a few of these poor little tinies who are born into conditions no-one should have to endure, then it will have all been worth while.

Be encouraged my blogger friends. Keep posting. You never know what influence you may be having on those who happen to browse your site!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

And so ends another month ....

A few of you may remember that I started off this year following two photography challenges which involved taking a picture every day for a year. There were several of these on the internet but I chose to follow Suzie's 365+1 challenge where each day you are given a word prompt to inspire your photo. At the same time I decided to just take a photo each day of what I was doing, or anything really that caught my eye.

I have to admit that somewhere during the second month I gave up on Suzie's challenge because I found myself inventing situations so that I could use the word prompt. This seemed too contrived so I decided to concentrate on my other photos, and each month I make a new page to display them so that at the end of the year I will have a diary of my life during 2012. I am using a 12" x 12" format, and a set of five Carina Gardener month-masks that I bought from Jessica Sprague's site. I choose a mask at the start of each month and update it daily whenever possible.

Knowing my total inability to recall recent events, despite the fact that i have clear, detailed memories of when I was five (some 60 years ago - ouch!), I decided to put my photo collages into an album with a facing page for each month saying what the photos represent. Usually, when I have filled my photo page I post it on my other blog, but this time I decided to mount it and finish the pages to show on here. Although I edit the photoboards digitally I like to add some 'real' embellishments to add interest. For April I used some chipboard letters and punched/diecut corners and motifs.
So that was life in the Perry household for April. Now I have made a start on May. This is the first time I have used a photoboard with regular shaped spaces, and although I edited it slightly to take three larger photos, I think I prefer the other boards which have an assortment of sizes and shapes on them. To show you what I mean, here are the first pages that I made in January.
It is harder sometimes to edit photos to fit the various shapes, but I think it makes the page more interesting.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The rest of the set

In my last post I showed the Christmas card I had made for the Rudolf day challenge on Sandra's blog, Stamping for Pleasure. I said there, that I hoped to make a set of six of them, as I do need a lot of cards come November, and it is helpful to have some made in advance. You can see my first card here, and now I have made the other five. They are not a matching set this time, but they are all on the same theme using my new Marianne ivy die, encircling a bird image.

This is the pair to the original one; very similar but on an A6 card instead of a DL one, and this time I have cut a round aperture, and put the bird on a scalloped circle of printed paper, inside the card.The robin is cut with the Marianne small bird on a branch die.

The next pair of cards are both using images from the Woodware Winter birds plate of stamps. The ivy circles and card edges have been coloured using Black-star-gold Crafty Notions mica spray and a Brilliance lightening black ink pad. The owl is backed on a black circle matted onto white card embossed with a cuttlebug folder, and the robin is on computer printed paper. The sentiment sliders are a cuttlebug die.

The final pair both make use of robin images salvaged from old Christmas cards. They are mounted onto printed papers and then onto a base card, and the ivy is again sprayed with mica mists. Another Marianne die was used to cut the snowflakes on the blue card.

Although the original card carries the sentiment Merry Christmas, none of the others do, so I am entering these five in Craftyhazelnuts Christmas Challenge 70 which is to create a Christmas card with a sentiment that doesn't include the word Christmas.

As the second pair include stamping I will also link them to the Christmas Stamping all year long Challenge 8; Anything goes.

P.S. I apologise for the huge white gaps in this post. In draft there are no gaps to delete, so I cannot do anything to change it. I have reduced the size of the photos (you still see a reasonable size one if you click on them), but that didn't help much. Just one more moan about the new Blogger. I am getting very fed up with it!