Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Friday, December 28, 2012

Just Playing

Most of my Christmas shopping is now done online as we have very few significant shops in our area. However, on my recent day trip to Granada I saw a jumper that I knew my husband would like. I was toying with the idea of buying it when a crafting friend who was with me said "Go on Kate. It's worth it just for the tag". 
What tag was that? Well here it is. This cute little chipboard reindeer was tied to the label in the neck of the jumper, so I bought it. I'm pleased to say the jumper was a hit, and I got to keep the tag!

So today I decided to have a play. I started by scanning the tag into my computer and then I used a combination of my photo editor, (Corel PSP) and windows Paint, to make a black and white image. Then I took this into my Silhouette cameo machine and made a cutting file. To start with I made it a good size and cut it out of some backing paper from my snippets box.

Next I used the Silhouette Studio software to put the image into a frame, resized it and cut it out. I mounted it onto another snippet of pale blue and gold paper.

I also found, when I was clearing up the wrapping paper, that there was a kraft-paper band around the jumper that had further reindeer on it.

I couldn't let that go to waste so I cut the seven images out using a variety of dies, and distressed the edges with fired brick DI. These will make useful little embellishments on next year's cards!

I then gave this image the same treatment as the larger one, making another cutting file which I tried out on the remaining printed paper scraps. I kept it small but the cutting files are easily resized to whatever is needed for a project.

I felt there was still some more mileage in my little reindeer, so I took a sheet of thin plastic that I had rescued this morning when Chris was tidying out his office and had thrown out a wallet-folder with a broken catch. The inner pockets were all made of thin, pliable plastic so I cut them all away. I wasn't sure whether it would cut with my silhouette, but after a couple of tests, and adjustments to the settings, I had it cutting fine. So I then cut out stencils of my reindeer and tried them out on some white paper, sponging them with tea-dye and vintage photo DIs. Of course I also have the 'positive' cut images which could have ink sponged around them, or be used as masks with spray inks, but I haven't got around to trying that yet.

My next idea was to print out a negative of each image onto very thin paper and I used these to make polymer stamps using my Imagepac. These won't get a lot of use, but I think the tiny pair will again be good for making more of the little die-cut embellishments, when I have used all the originals
Of course I also have a digi stamp of each image from the original project and these can be resized so in some ways are more useful, but as I like to colour my images I also spent ages making an outline version of the larger one. It's a bit shakey, but usable I think.

I still felt I could do more, so I played around with the images in my silhouette, resizing them and flipping some of them, and I also introduced an image of a female deer that was already stored in the silhouette library, and I made this border. I also made a border of cut grass by flipping and merging repeat images of one grass tuft that I had. I cut both borders from the plastic and sponged ink through to make this. It could be re-cut in other sizes to fit along a DL card or even a scrapbook page.

So I think I got good value from my reindeer tag. Sometimes it's good to just play!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wishing all my followers, and blogland friends a
Very Happy Christmas
 and may Peace, Love and Joy, fill your lives throughout the coming year.
(This greeting will stay at the top of my blog until after Christmas. Please see below for any newer posts).

My favourite Christmas cards challenge


On my friend Di's blog I read about Debby's Challenge to highlight our favourite five Christmas cards that we made in 2012, so I thought I'd have a go. You can read about the challenge here.

So here is my first choice, and it was one of the first cards made this year. You can find the post for it here. I liked the image which I bought in a post Christmas 2011 sale, and it was a delight to colour with my copic pens.
Then, in no particular order, here are my other four choices.

This one was unusual for me as I don't often use monochrome, but at least I used green rather black, and white. You can read about it here.

I like this one because for me it sums up all that is important about Christmas. It was fun to make using my Silhouette cameo machine. Here is the post about it.
I made this one in a last minute rush when I realised that I was still a few short of my target, and as so often happens in such cases, it turned out better than others that I spent more time over. The post about this one is here.
And finally, here is one of a set I made with  a newly purchased Indigo Blu stamp. It stamped perfectly, was quick and easy to make, and worked in every colour combination. I like it for it's simplicity, and it also uses one of my oldest and best loved sentiment stamps.
Now I am off to link this to Debby's site. Why not pop over there and join in the fun. She is showcasing her own favourites so there is some great inspiration, and also offering Christmas candy for this challenge.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

One last Christmas card

I decided to post about one last Christmas card though it is one I made a month or so ago. I sent it to my sister Jean who follows this blog so I waited until I knew she had received it, before showing it on here.

As you can see it is another piece of parchment craft, and I was fairly pleased with it as it was the first time I had tackled a proper project from a magazine without any help or advice from my teacher. (I am afraid it hasn't photographed very well, but you can get a rough idea of what it looked like).

Once I had traced the frame to the centre panel I coloured the holly leaves and berries with coloursoft pencils and then filled the centre with embossing using a grid. I stippled the frame to whiten it and then pricked around it and used snips to cut it out. 

The bell was made separately with all the white lines being traced and embossed, and then the various sections were filled with different grid patterns. Once it was cut out, I mounted it onto the main panel, but it looked rather insipid, so I decided to cut a matching bell from green card to go under it. A green organza bow covered the glue dot I used to attach it to the card.

The base card was embossed with my new A4 size embossing folder that came with my eBosser machine. I glued the panel to the card in the area hidden by the bell, and tied a matching ribbon around the left hand side.

I love the look of the parchment work but it is too time consuming, and too hard on my hands and eyes, to use very often, so I will have to reserve it for cards for very 'special' people!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Taking a break from Christmas

Well, what with the baking marathon last week, trying to put up the decorations (finished this afternoon), getting my cards posted to UK (done yesterday), Cantante choir concerts (2 down and 4 to go), and our local arts and craft expo (last weekend), I didn't even manage my favourite weekly visit around the crafting spaces  of my many friends at WOYWW. Unfortunately I won't be around tomorrow either as our Wednesday sewing group have their annual day out in Granada city. So I'll be on the coach at 8.00 tomorrow morning and won't be home until at least 10.00 at night. I'll be on my knees by then, but it is always a good day out. So I decided a quick blog was in order tonight and I am showing a birthday card I made for one of my sisters for last week. It was really our project piece for our last parchment class of the year. 
We started off by 'dorsing' a green area in the centre on the back of the parchment with oil pastels, and then placed the paper over a picture of a poppy and coloured it (without and outline) on the front, using blendable pencils. I have a lovely set of Derwent coloursoft which I bought with my prize money for the poppy ATC in my right side bar,  and I am quite pleased with them.
Once the picture was done we pricked the border which was a bit risky as one mistake can ruin the whole project. I was doing very well, but it is a long tiring day at the class, and just at the end I made a small mistake, which I was very cross about. 
Back at home I used four mini glue dots in the corners to attach my parchment to the front of a pretty pale green card and hid the glue under orange/red card candy. Fortunately I could also hide my pricking mistake under a floppy green bow! This card was actually prettier than it looks in the photo as the green of the base card and slightly darker green dorsed area don't really show.
Right, now I shall get my local cards written and then I can enjoy my day out tomorrow. It's back to mince-pie making on Thursday!