Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Well I've finally made it to the Wednesday blog snoop overseen by Julia at her Stamping Ground. It's only my second visit this year but somehow something always seems to get in the way.
Although I have once again spent rather a lot of time crafting on my computer, I do have something on my desk to show so here it is.
In that brief respite that usually follows the Christmas festivities, I did quite a lot of internet surfing and ended up placing a few orders for items that caught my eye in the January sales. I  have been waiting for one last parcel which finally arrived yesterday. It came from America and I got stung for import duties which was annoying as it almost wiped out my sale bargain savings. But it is the first time it has happened since I came out here, so I decided not to mind, and just enjoy what was inside. As you can see from my desk, this was a selection of Just Rite stamps and coordinating dies. I do enjoy using these, and they will be a great addition to my collection. 
Also on my desk you can see a Christmas image. One of my 'not so clever' purchases was a big box (500 sheets!) of A3 size photographic paper which turned out to only be suitable for a laser printer. I have been looking for the larger sheets for ages and was so pleased to spot them, but I missed the word laser on the package. I did try it in my inkjet printer but the ink puddled on the surface and became a muddy blur. So I decided to try stamping on it, and the actual stamp worked quite well. But when I coloured with my copics they wouldn't blend smoothly, so I only did the skin on the little girl and then stopped. I stamped her again on standard stock and made the card that I posted about last week. This one was fixed to my cupboard door with a magnet and left to dry. But when I caught a glimpse of it a day or two later I thought it looked OK so I added a very small amount of colour to the rest of the image and mounted it up to make a second card. In my bid to continue working through all the ready folded card and envelope sets that I have accumulated, I found the bright blue one on my desk which matched the blue on my image perfectly. Our post office does not like coloured envelopes, (?) though I did get away with a couple of navy ones at Christmas by putting large white address labels on them, so I decided to use the envelope as a mount.
I did this post on Tuesday as I shall be out in the morning at my usual group, so I have popped back to include a photo of the card as it is now finished.  I actually cut the mount with one of the new dies, but it was then too big to go on the blue card so I ended up using a white one, (to go with a white envelope!) and the blue card lives on for another day!

The reason I didn't make it to WOYWW last week was that our son Jonathan and his girlfriend came over to help Chris with some heavy garden work. He is a trained tree surgeon, so he soon had it done. They were only here for three days but they enjoyed the sunshine and the break from the cold and snow in UK, but on Wednesday we were driving them back to Alicante airport. It is the only one that offers suitable flights during the winter months but it is a five hour round trip for us. So I'll close with the double-spread from my Project Life album that I have made to record their visit.
Hopefully I'll be back to visit as many of you as I can, when I get home from my group tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A new stamp for Rudolph day.

Here we are at the 25th of January already so it is time to start on next year's Christmas card. Yes, I can hear some of you groaning at the dreaded 'C' word, but this is a great way to get a head start on your card collection, so why not fly over to Sarn's blog, Stamping for Pleasure, see what cards have been made, and maybe get inspired to join in yourself. Come next December, you'll be so glad you did.
I guess we all like a bargain. I know I do. So while I was making up an order with Crafter's Companion to use up some old loyalty stars, I had a look in the 'sale' section and chose this sweet little stamp from Sheena Douglas' Little bit festive collection. So when it arrived this morning, it seemed the best idea was to try it out for this month's Rudolph Day card.
The stamp was a bit bigger than I had expected, and after my rather huge postal bill this Christmas, I had promised myself to try to stick to A6 cards, at least for any that will be posted to UK. So I needed to keep this one simple. There was no space for anything fancy. I started with a piece of smooth card coloured a soft beige with a flex-marker, and stamped the image in Memento rich cocoa ink. I then coloured it with copic pens, distresses the edges with Memento olive, and mounted it on an oddment of Christmas paper. This was then mounted onto a very old pearlised olive base card. (Two more of my crafting resolutions; to try to use my snippets which are now colour sorted and stored in easily accessible boxes, and to use as many as possible of the huge collection of ready folded cards and envelopes that I have accumulated over the years!). I then added a simple greeting from a set of clear individual word stamps that are donkeys years old, and I have no idea what company they came from. Finally I stamped the tiny Merry Christmas border which came with the main image, backed it with the same Christmas paper I had used for the image, and glued it across the lower edge of the card. So now I am off to link this up to Sarn's blog, and go and feed my patient husband who is probably thinking tea is cancelled for today!

I am also linking this to:- 
Christmas Cards All Year Round January Challenge; Anything goes.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Project Life

I have been absent from my blog for a while because I have been getting to grips with a new experience, and I decided to give it my full attention. Most of you are aware that last year I followed a project called 365+1 which entailed taking a photo everyday and pasting each month into a photo-mask to produce a scrapbook page. I am glad I managed to stick with it and now I have a lovely scrapbook that shows in pictures how I spent my year. Doing this taught me quite a lot about how to use my new camera, and I also mastered the technique of clipping a photo to a mask. I had hoped to garner other useful tips about using Adobe photo shop, but most of it still remains a mystery to me.
I didn't want to do 365 again, so this year I have decided to try a Project Life book. This entails making a completely digital double spread for each week of the year, using masks, journalling card, embellishments etc. To get me started I bought a one week course from Jessica Sprague, which is why I have been too busy to do much crafting. I wanted to do the whole course before I started, and then I had to catch up by making the pages for the first two weeks. I am delighted with this mini course and have learned so much in just six lessons and a couple of bonus tracks. Now each Sunday I just have to do the pages for that week, and as the year passes I will get much quicker, and by the end of the year I should be much more proficient at using photo shop, and have the confidence to tackle more individual pages for my other scrapbooks, using a wider  selection of techniques, and relying less on templates and masks. They also won't be purely digi pages. I shall aim for a hybrid scrapbook with a digital background and 'real' embellishments.

So just to prove I really have been doing it, here are my first two weeks.
I wouldn't want you to think I have abandoned my papercrafting and I have actually made one card as well, but it was for my Grandson's 18th birthday so I will  write a post about that in a day or two, once I am sure he has seen it. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


This is my first post since last Wednesday's tour around your work spaces, so I don't know where that week went!
Anyway, do visit Julia's Stamping Ground and find out why Wednesday is such a special day for us all. You can even join in and make it special for you too.

My desk does show some signs of activity, as I received a parcel which I thought had gone astray in the post, and I wanted a quick play with its contents. I had ordered a simple pair of Christmas stamps with a matching custom die, so I did a quick stamp and cut, and then added colour to the images and put them away in in my WIP folder. Last night I dug them out again and as you can see, I am experimenting with stencils, ink, die cuts etc to find a good way to turn them into cards. Note the really useful boxes with masks and stencils in the front one, and green and brown snippets in the one behind it. I am sooo organised right now. I wonder how long it will last! The black folder is a purpose bought die storage, but I have filled it so the larger ones are now in ...yes; another really useful box!
The large white machine at the back of my desk is my eBosser. It is an electric die cutter, but I find I am still using my, now rather tatty, cuttlebug for smaller dies. It gives a better cut. But the the one real advantage of the eBosser is that it takes embossing folders up to A4 size, and the couple of these that I have, make covering a card background much easier.

Before I go on my visiting spree to see what you are busy making, I thought I'd share a couple of photos of a very Spanish tradition. Out here, Three Kings day (Epiphany) is much more important than Christmas day. On the night of the 5th January the kings arrive and travel around the streets on elaborate floats, and then go to the town hall, or another suitable venue and hand out presents to the children (previously provided by their parents). When they go to bed they leave out food and drink for the kings and wake up to three more presents, one from each king. In our little village we have a fiesta on the 6th, when the men all dress up as soldiers etc - they love it - and the kings reappear, and they re-enact the events at King Herod's palace. Then there is a medieval market, and as with all our fiestas, lots and lots of food. At each fiesta there is a 'comeda popular' which is a free meal for everyone who wants it , and this time they made a huge tortilla. In our region this is a sort of pancake but it is about and inch or two thick, and made of beaten egg poured over sliced potato and onion. It is served in big wedges stuffed into a big bread roll or length of french bread. Chris and I struggle to eat one portion between us. Despite this free meal, there is also a giant barbeque, a stall making patatas pobre - slices of potato boiled or fried with chunks of sweet peppers, garlic and onions, and in this case it had slices of choritzo and eggs added. It was a beautiful sunny day, and there is always a lovely, happy atmosphere on fiesta days. So here are the photos.

As you can see, there is no political correctness here. One king always has a 'blacked' face. They always used to arrive riding on real camels, but for the last couple of years they have used horses. A sign of the economic times I guess.

Men playing soldiers! They do it in style don't they? It is all great fun.

A slice of tortilla anyone? I'm glad it isn't me trying to get that cooked evenly all through.

A huge barbecue.  This was cooking on the night of the kings' arrival, but they did it all again the next day.

Breaking eggs into the patatas pobre.

I hope I haven't made you all feel too hungry!
On Monday I took the decorations down and packed them all away, so that's Christmas over for another year. Time to get down to some serious crafting again now then!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Hi all. After the Christmas rush I decided I needed a couple of weeks to wind down but now I am back with a newly organised craft room to inspire me for a new year of crafting fun. So I am starting off by joining in with a hop around other folks work spaces courtesy of Julia at Stamping Ground. Do stop over there to see what it is all about, and then join in with the fun.

I have been too busy tidying up to do much actual crafting so here is a quick look around my room.

First my computer corner which now has a lovely blue chair that Santa left under the Christmas tree for me. I have turned it round a bit to show off my red huggy heart cushion.  I do spend a lot of hours sitting at my computer and now I can sit comfortably which is great.

The new chair needed a bit more space than the dining chair I used to use so I have stacked my plastic storage units, and left a corner space for those awkward items that you only need occasionally  but can't quite throw away! I made sure I could still open the windows. This morning the sun is streaming in and the birds are twittering in the acacia trees outside. The first almond blossom is out and you could almost believe it is spring, but January and February are our worst two months, so I won't get too excited about the weather yet!

Further round from my computer is the desk where I do most of my work and at the side of this my new storage shelves and boxes are now in place, with the boxes all labelled and filled already. Arwen has been sulking while all the work was going on, but now it is done she is back on her throne, on top of my printer, and looks very at home there.

I still have one area to tackle and that's the bottom layer of my book shelf. This is perched above my original storage unit, and tends to get all sorts of oddments stuffed into it, but I have got rid of the broken box files of snippets (now colour sorted in the new unit), so I need to clean it out and decide how best to make use of it.

And finally, just to prove I have done some work this week in here, this was my desk last night. I am very pleased with myself for sticking with my project 365. I did actually take a photo for every day of the year, and I did get them all sorted into my monthly masks ready for printing. I haven't been quite so good about getting the pages mounted up, so last night I printed off the last few. It is only the last three months really but in October I did two extra pages. one for our holiday touring Ireland and one for our birthday week when all five of our sons came out to surprise us. So that means I have five double spreads to mount up and file in the album. At least they are all printed and trimmed now, so that is my project for this week.

So now I wish you all a good New Year. May 2013 bring you all you are hoping for. I will visit as many of you as I can after I have fed my hungry husband!