Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A haven of peace in the garden.

As soon as I saw the theme this month on Craft a Scene was "In the garden", I knew what I was going to do, so why has it taken me nearly four weeks to do it!? I have no idea, but with time rapidly running out on me, and knowing I couldn't face a whole afternoon and evening of Olympic hype (Short and sweet bursts are enough for me!), I sat down today and made this card.

The base card is slightly gloss with a feint printed design in a neutral shade. It is so ancient it's source could be almost anywhere. 
The table and chairs stamp is from the Sheena Douglas plate - A little bit scenic; Sihouette garden. The stone arch and flower pot are from a sheet of Hobby Art clear stamps, and most of the others are from Art Impressions collections. 
I stamped mainly with Memento ink so I could add touches of extra colour with my copic pens.
The foreground, wall, arch and flower tub are layered on 1mm pads, to give depth to the scene, with an extra layer to round the flower tub, though this doesn't show in my photo.
I used my Silhouette cameo machine to cut the frame from one of my label files inside a plain rectangle. The bird swirl is also a silhouette file.
A simple scene that conjures up a sense of somewhere peaceful, with only the bird song to listen to, and of course, some gentle sunshine to make you want to sit there. It did turn out vaguely how I imagined it, and that makes a change for me!

This card is for Craft a Scene July Challenge; In the Garden.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


It is Wednesday again, and time to visit the homes of my blogland friends, thanks to Julia at Stamping Ground who kindly hosts this weekly snoopfest. Not wanting to miss out on my weekly fun, here is an honest photo of my workdesk today. Yep! That's right. It's empty, except of course for Baggins who likes it this way, because he can sprawl out in the stream of air coming from the big floor fan behind him. I was out all day yesterday (Our first ever visit to IKEA, and what an experience that was!), and I am out for a large part of today, so crafting has been minimal and I can only offer you  this unexciting view. But I will be later to visit you all, and hopefully make a start on a couple of cards that are only in my mind at the minute. Have a good Wednesday everyone.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Going green for Rudolf day

Yes it is the 25th again already which means it is time to go over to Sandra's blog and post a Christmas card for Rudolf day.
At my parchment craft class this month, our tutor brought in some old parchment magazines for us to borrow, and I chose to bring home one which featured a couple of Christmas cards. This was my first attempt at following a pattern without any input from a tutor and here is what I made.

I am not too thrilled with it. It is rather bigger than I like to make cards at Christmas, and the pattern work still leaves a lot to be desired. I am getting to grips with the grid work but haven't yet got the hang of stippling (covering an area with tiny white dots to create texture). You can see in the close-up picture of the pattern work, that mine is still very uneven. But I will keep practising, and hopefully I will eventually improve. In the meantime, I felt this piece was acceptable to use, so I mounted it up, adding a gold star to cover the glue used to attach the tree to the card. The sentiment strip is a stamp from a very old set by Hero Arts, and the backing paper came from a pack by Papermania called A silent night, which I purchased very recently. Those of you who know my work, will know that I don't do white spaces, so I wasn't comfortable with the areas on each side of the tree top, but this pair of Clarity stamps baubles filled them up nicely.

Although it is 00.44 am on 25th July here, I see it is not quite midnight in UK so I hope Sandra will accept my entry if I link it upfor Rudolf Day tomorrow morning. I seem to have got a bit ahead of myself!  I am also entering this card in:
Flourishes Timeless Tuesday 179: Christmas in July.
Hooked on Craft Challenge 22:  Christmas in July.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Butterflies for two lovely ladies.

I mentioned in a previous post that I had been busy making cards that I couldn't yet show on my blog. Well both my sister and lovely daughter-in-law had birthdays last week, so here are the cards I made for them.

Firstly my sister Jean, who many of you have met in blogland already. We are as different as chalk and cheese, but we get on so well now. We are both crafters, and we both love stamping, distressing, die-cutting and colouring, but our styles are very different. Whereas I am a tad slap-dash, a bit heavy-handed with inks and paints, and I have no set style that is 'me', Jean is a careful worker who produces beautiful pastel creations, often with the dreaded white space that I just can't handle, and I recognise her work because she does have her own style. (You can see some of her lovely work on her blog here. I'm sure she'd like you to visit). All this makes producing a card for her quite difficult. But one thing I dabble in that she doesn't do, is parchment craft, so I thought that's what I'd use for her card. This was our project at my monthly class in June. It was our introduction to colouring on parchment. Our class runs from 10.30 in the morning until 4.00 but even so, we all went home with our card unfinished. However I decided to use mine, so I layered up the main panels, but that left me with a fairly empty space on the left hand side that I didn't like. So I traced and coloured another butterfly on to  a small off-cut of parchment, cut it out, and glued it to the empty panel. The panel was already attached to the card so it was too late to emboss a sentiment as this has to be done from the reverse side, so I coloured a peel-off with a purple permanent marker and used that. I have a long way to go with this technique but I knew Jean would accept my shortcomings.

My daughter-in-law has two great loves, butterflies and the colour purple. When Chocolate Baroque released their plate of stamps - Punky Romance - I knew this was the perfect image for her. My son is a vicar, and Jo manages to fulfil the demanding role of being a vicar's wife, alongside being a mum of three lovely children and a teaching assistant, and still maintains her rather quirky, individual style. I recently bought some pan pastels so I decided to try them out to make the background, using a tint and shade in purple. They did blend easily but I could do with some card with a bit more 'tooth' as I found that when I burnished it with a paper towel, I took a lot of the colour off again. I cut the background to fit a purple square base card, and used my Memento Paris Dusk pad to stamp the image in the corner. I added some more pastels to the spare card to darken it and re-stamped the cogs, large butterfly and flowers, cut them out, and used silicon glue to add them to the main image. I added a small gem to the centre of each flower and some purple stickles sparkle to the butterfly wings. Next I printed out the quote by Dr Seuss that fits Jo so well, cut it out with my Silhouette machine, and glued it to the right hand side of the card. Finally I added a little green butterfly made with a lovely cut and emboss folder recently purchased from Stampin'up.

The jury is still out on the Pan pastels. I liked them for the background, but can't see me doing much detailed work with them. But I haven't really given them a fair trial yet.

I am entering the second card in the following challenges;
Crafty Catz Challenge 142: Monochromatic.
Inspire me Fridays: Anything goes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Well I have spent the morning at my usual Wednesday sewing group, which ends with a drink and tapas at a local bar. That meant a siesta was a must, so I am somewhat late in joining in with our Wednesday blog hop hosted by Julia at Stamping ground. But as I actually prepared my photos last night, I am going to go for it anyway.

I was dual tasking yesterday as I wrote a rather long post for this blog and one for my other diary blog, and at the same time I was regularly feeding sheets of black paper into my Silhouette cameo machine.

Taken from the end of the table, this photo shows my project 365 album open as that was the subject of yesterday's blog.

The husband of one of my Wednesday group friends, leads a local church and he asks her to make Christmas cards for the congregation and 'friends', some 100 of them, which is no mean task. She asked if I could help her out, so I offered her a design similar to my card for Rudolf Day last  month, and yesterday I cut out 100 nativity scenes, and then 100 tiny gold angels. The black paper was fairly fibrous, and I could only cut seven images from each sheet, so as each one finished cutting I had to carefully lift the scenes off, make sure the star still had all its points etc, and then scrape the carrier sheet clean of bits. You can buy a scraper for this job, but I have found that a small piece of card in a business card laminator pouch, works just fine! 

I managed to fit 54 angels onto one sheet. This is some gold almost plasticised paper that I was given when I purchased my original craftrobo machine, and it cuts beautifully, so I now have two sheets of angel-punched paper. I wonder what I can do with those. In the corner of this photo you can just see a grey fluffy tail. As usual Baggins wanted to sit on my work, but his fur sticks to my carrier sheet so I had to keep shoving him over. Eventually he got fed up with being moved and joined his mum, Arwen, under the window, but doesn't he look grumpy about it?!

Hopefully I will now get to visit some of your work spaces. Last week I had a system - I visited everyone whose number ended the same as mine, and a few regulars, and that worked better for me. With the best will in the world, I know I won't get to everyone, but hopefully this way, I will visit at least one new person each week as well as my regular blogland friends.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Memory making

Every now and then I give you an update on my photo 365 project where I aim to take one photo everyday. I decided to mount mine on a page for each month, with a corresponding script page to remind me what each one is, so that next year I can look back and see how I spent my year. I am enjoying doing it, though not every day is a 'big event' day and sometimes it is challenging to find a subject. But there are always flowers, wild life and our own pets to fill the gaps on quieter days. Anyway, we are just passed the halfway mark now so I thought it was time I published a few more pages.

May was a special month because we had our UK visit, and within the space of one short week we attended our youngest son's Civil partnership ceremony, visited all four of his brothers, spent some time with our little great grandson, and managed some retail therapy in, and around our home town, so, of course, one photo a day just wasn't enough! So May has an extra page that is a random array of photos taken during that week.

For the 'proper' May page I chose two toning papers from a Stampin' Up pad, and as I had chosen to use a large photo board for the pictures, very little of this showed around the edges, so I decided to simply add some some pretty sparkly green and gold braid, bought that day from a Chinese bazaar shop. I cut the letters for the month name in a matching green card and edged them with a green and gold glitter that has lurked at the back of a drawer since my years as a Nursery manager.

Next came the extra page for May, and for this I started with two sheets of the plain cream card that come in the page protectors, with the album I bought for this project. I knew the centres would be covered so I just painted a wide strip around each side with a mixture of white mixer acrylic, with dabs of blue and a little silver. Paints dry as soon as they hit the paper in this heat, so I used water to spread them, but wasn't concerned about being neat or blending carefully. Next I took one of my new Crafter's Workshop 12"x12" templates. 
I had intended to spray  glimmer mist through this, but as soon as I started I realised it was a mistake, as it simply spread across the acrylic paint without soaking in, and the design was lost. So I quickly wiped this mess up with a kitchen roll and instead I used a sponge and applied ink from my favourite Memento ink pad -Paris Dusk. I kept moving the template around until I had some element of the design on every edge of my paper. (The coloured dots in these photos are the mixture of magnets I use to pin work to my metal filing cabinet while it dries, and to take photos).

I simply edged the script page with a little of the same memento ink, and for the photo page I used my Silhouette machine to cut the lettering from a small scrap of card that had again been coloured with Paris Dusk ink. These didn't show very well against the paper so I cut them a fairly wide mat from silver card, and to finish this page I cut two swirls with a new die-namics die, one from the blue card and one from the silver, and layered them across the top left hand corner.

That just left June to do and for these pages I used some pretty aqua paper, again from Stampin'Up I think. I edged the script page with a pearlescent jade Brillance pad. For the letters and embellishments I took a small piece of white card and sprayed it with Crafty Notions lustre aqua spray. This was a bit too blue so I added some green apples perfect pearls mist. I then used silhouette to cut the letters and edged each one with a copic marker to make them stand out from the background.
For the finishing touches I used the same sprayed card and cut two bird, swirl corners using a new Crafty Individuals cutting die, and a similar bird swirl using a silhouette file.

And while we are on the subject of memory making, this little book is full of special memories. I bought it from a street vendor in Bangkok, and I used it to keep a fairly detailed diary of the three months we spent, (June -August 2008), rambling around Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Along with a huge file of some 4.000+ photos, it is the basis of a set of scrapbooks that will be made one day. So watch this space!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More inky fun

I said yesterday that I was busy making cards that couldn't be blogged yet, but I feel fairly safe in posting this , even though my son's birthday isn't until the end of the month. He is not likely to look on here. 
I recently ordered two Michael Powell stamps online. One is still out of stock so I have to be patient and wait for it, but this one arrived and I just had to get it inked up so I could have a go at colouring it. I used Memento ink as I wanted to use my copic markers. It is quite an intricate image for my current poor eyesight, so I sort of followed the colour guide on the stamp to help me differentiate between the various buildings, though I did add extra colour to the background hills, and vary some of the brickwork. I used a very pale blue Pan pastel for the sky but this doesn't really show in the photo.

When it was done, I trimmed it up and gave it a very narrow frame to match the base card I had chosen. Then I had to decide on the backing paper. In another recent online order, I bought the current issue of Craft Stamper magazine, because I was interested in a technique using highlighters that I read about on Lynne's blog recently. (I used to subscribe to the magazine but the hike in price for international customers is unreasonable, and you are not able to claim subscription gifts, or free offers, even if you are prepared to pay the postage, so I did not renew my subscription, but I do miss seeing it). Anyway, in this month's issue I read an article by Elaine Hughes about colouring a background with alcohol ink pens, and dripping blending solution on it to give a bubble effect, so I tried it, and it worked a treat for making a watery background for my picture. I then used off cuts for the sentiment strip using a Chocolate Baroque stamp. Finally I used another CB stamp for the seagull which I coloured with copics and cut out. It is mounted with 1mm sticky pads behind the post and it's body to bring it just above the panels.
I am entering this in the following challenges:
Celebrate the Occasion Challenge 70: Happy Birthday.
Scrap Creations: Use something bought in the last two months.
Loves Rubber Stamps Challenge 8: Sweet summer days.
Make it Monday 97: Anything goes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Hi all. I've just noticed that I haven't done a post since the blog hop last week, but that doesn't mean I haven't done anything. In fact I have had a busy week. My problem is that I usually make cards as I need them, and this month is a particularly busy one in the family, so I have made several cards that I can't blog about until after the events.

However my halo is shining as I did manage to file away all those stamps I showed last week. They are now all in one or other of these files. It is not quite so easy to categorise them as it used to be, e.g. does it go in Floral, Swirls and flourishes or Butterflies? But I put them where I think I am most likely to look for them, and whenever possible I put a 'note to self' in the other folders. I once did the mammoth task of moving all my stamps from their wooden blocks and putting them onto EZmount. They are now stored on laminated A4 paper in plastic pockets to catch any that fall off, with a stamped sheet and list of companies on the reverse to help me identify them. All the files on my shelf have stamps in except the two brown ones on the lower shelf which house my ATCs and are waiting to be decorated.
Now to my desk this week. I had a play time last night, trying out various methods of applying colour. I stamped my new Poppy stamp from Chocolate Baroque in Stazon, Versafine and Memento. As usual I got by far the best image using versafine, but I was surprised at how pale the memento one was. All was revealed when I came to add colour and found I had stamped them all on to white pearlised card. I am on the waiting list for a cataract operation (September I hope, as only really urgent ops are done in July and August), and the sight in my right eye is almost nil, so it wasn't until the light caught the sheen on my paper, that I realised what I had done. 
Notice that my usual cup of tea is now replaced with a bottle of water. Need to keep the fluids up in this weather. Also don't you just love my jumbo kitchen roll? They are perfect for messy workers like me. Needless to say Baggins is in on the act too. He loves my fan and sprawls out right in line with it, whenever he can get away with it. (His mum, Arwen, hates it and curls up on it's stand on the floor, away from the air stream).

I had cut a mask for the flower from eclipse paper, and had intended making backgrounds trying out sponging with my new pan pastels, and on another, trying my, also new, ink dusters with distress ink, but I decided that the paper wasn't ideal for a trial run, so just coloured the images instead. 

Here are the first two. I prefer the one on the right, stamped with Memento so that I could colour it with copics. I have the full range of colours in these, and a colour chart I made to help me chose which to use. The centre image was stamped in versafine and painted with my much loved H2Os. I only have a few colours in these but I love the sheen they give to flower petals. They didn't perform at their best on this paper, but I think it is usable. For the third one, stamped with Stazon so I could use water base pens, I was not happy with the result so I didn't complete it. I have the new TH distress markers but when I tried colouring direct to paper, earlier in the week, the result was disastrous, so bad I won't even show it on here. The colours were much too intense, and I couldn't find a combination for skin tone. So this time I tried scribbling on a tile and picking up the colour with a water brush. I still found them very hard to blend, and I did not have a suitable colour range, although I do have the complete set. I shall try again on watercolour paper and chose a subject more suited to the slightly 'grungy' colours. I'd be interested to know how anyone else is getting on with them.
Sorry this is a too long post for Wednesdays, but thank you to anyone who has stuck with it to the end. It is time now to go over to Julia's Stamping Ground to post it, and see what my friends are busy with this week.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Just a quick peek at my work desk this week folks. I had my usual morning at my sewing group and when I got in I realised that I needed to make an insert for a birthday card to hand-deliver at a party this evening. This required a stamp I bought around four months ago, but have not so far managed to file. So I went to my 'tidy-up' tray and pulled out all the new(ish) stamps that still need to be filed, and here they are!

I'm not proud of it. In fact it is quite shameful. Some of these were bought during my UK visit in May and several even earlier than that. There are also a few relatively recent purchases. They include some from SU, quite a few from Chocolate Baroque, several magazine giveaways, and one of the new Michael Powell stamps. I did have a session recently when I transferred them onto EZmount, so now I have to decide which folder they belong in and GET THEM PUT AWAY! 

As it is now time to get ready for the aforementioned party, most of them will return to the tidy tray tonight, but it is my resolution for the week, to get them all filed by the weekend. Don't hold your breath!
Do hop over to Julia's blog to see what everyone else has out to play with today, and I will join you in the morning to visit my friends and leave some comments.