Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Daisies and Butterfly

Last Thursday I went to my monthly parchment class, with some trepidation. I do not find this medium very easy to work with. It is tiring on both the hands and the eyes, and it is too 'slow' for me. I am used to making cards in an evening, but parchment has to be done in stages, allowing time for it to rest in-between each stage, and that's hard for me. Also our class has dwindled to just two of us, so it is not as social as it was. However I have mastered the basics, but at our last lesson we both struggled, and neither of us were very pleased with our end result.

Nevertheless, I decided to give it one more go so I turned up on Thursday and found I really liked the project Brenda had prepared for us. It was a simple DL card with some very basic embossing (the bit I don't get on with very well) and a nice, straightforward grid-work border (the bit I do like doing until my eyes give up and I start seeing double!). So I got stuck in with a more positive attitude, and although I didn't finish it at the class (10.00-4.00), I did finish it off when I got home, and have now mounted it up on a piece of green card (greener than it looks in the photo), held it in place with some sticky ribbon, and added the parchment butterfly. I positioned it to hide my only mistake in the grid work - there's method in my madness!

Of course, I thought it needed a touch of bling so I added a small rhinestone to the centre of each flower, and just a tiny drop of stickles to the butterfly wings. And for once I have a card that I will be happy to send to someone.

When I started parchment classes I asked the tutor what is the difference between parchment and vellum, and she said 'nothing', so I think I can enter this card in the challenge over on The little Red Wagon;

Monday, February 25, 2013

A little bit of Bling for Rudolph Day.

It's hard to believe it is the 25th already, but there's no denying it, so once again it is time to show a Christmas card, and link it to Sandra's blog at Stamping for pleasure.

This month I was idly rifling through a bag of 'scraps' salvaged from previous years' cards, to see if anything inspired me, when I came across an image I stamped back around October. I bought a plate of Christmas stamps from Chocolate Baroque, and to ensure I managed to use them all, I stamped each image straight away. Two of them made it onto a card for last Christmas, but this one fell by the wayside.

Sticking to my resolution to make mainly A6 or DL cards for posting to UK now, I used a plain white A6 base card, made falling snow with masking fluid and covered it in blue distress ink, adding a little green at the base. I marked where the archway would come and stamped some tiny Art Impressions deer in that area. Then I cut out the archway, and added colour to the stones with distress ink, and mounted it onto the background with 1mm sticky pads. I then found the stamp and printed it again, but this time I just cut out the two trees. I added some green to these and again mounted them with the thin sticky tabs. I covered all the joins at the base with some very cheap 'Structure' paint that I bought at Lidls a while ago. It made quite effective snow.

When it was all dry I felt it needed some Bling, so I used crystal stickles  on the trees and ground to give a bit of sparkle, and yellow stickles for the lights on the trees. I made a mess with one drop of masking fluid  on the left hand side so I hid this behind a single snowflake with a small silver peel-off greeting across it!

Well that is one more Christmas card for my box, but I need to step up my game if I am to have enough by the end of the year. Now I shall link this to Sarn's blog and see what everyone else has made.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sunshine and Smiles

My friend Annie posts some photos to make us all smile and give us a lift at the end of each week, and she has invited us to join in, so here is my Friday smile.
I have a friend called Shirley-Anne who lives in Australia. We have only ever met in blogland, but last week she sent me this lovely card, along with a fun bundle of die-cut shapes and frames which I am going to enjoy using.

Isn't it a lovely card? Such a happy image I couldn't help smiling when I opened it, so I thought I would give you all the chance to smile at it too.
If you want to see some more smiley pictures, do visit Annie's blog and see what has made her and others smile today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


It is time to 'show and tell' again as Julia Hosts another Wednesday crafting party over at her Stamping Ground.

Usually you see my desk looking pretty clear and tidy but this week you can have a peek at what it really looks like when I am working on a project.
To the left you can see how many of my new 'Really useful' boxes I have open at any one time. It is great to have them all right alongside me so I can reach what I want without even leaving my seat!

To the right there is a muddle of ink pads, sponges, dies, glue sticks etc. The lovely wooden port box holds my permanent markers. I think I was going to 'alter' that at one point, and maybe pretty it up a bit, but it didn't get done and it works fine as it is!. The big box at the back is full of sticky ribbons, paper lace and die-cut borders, and the white machine beside it is my eBosser, though as you can see from the photo above, I still tend to use my old cuttlebug in preference to it.
Then in the centre of those two is the little space I am actually working in. I am making a run of simple Easter cards to be sent with a round-robin family news letter that didn't get written in time to go with Christmas cards. (I am full of good intentions!). I am using a recently purchased set of Just-rite stamps with their matching spellbinder dies. I am very pleased with a set of three lace borders that match some of my basic edgebility dies. You can see these, along with some other border dies, held by a magnetic sheet stuck to a piece of brown cardboard. They are all too long for my current die folder, and they were in danger of getting bent, so I mocked up this holder for them, but I have ordered another die folder, (mine is full anyway) that takes A4 magnetic sheets so I will be able to put these, and other larger frame dies, in there. I am still waiting for that to arrive though. You can also just see my first completed card at the back, and two others that are WIPs. I shall then change my colour scheme and make a few more.

For those who left kind comments about my little babies last week, I am pleased to say they are both doing well. Yesterday little Toby joined his sister in eating some solid food from a dish and they are both lapping milk, though I still top them up with a bottle at bed-time, to ensure everyone gets a good night's sleep. They have been no trouble at all, but Suzie has cut her first teeth, so I guess it won't be long before they are awake more during the day and chewing everything in sight. I'll try not to let them distract me too much, and I will visit as many of you as I can.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Hi my Wednesday blog-hopping friends. I almost didn't make it this week for several reasons. I usually prepare this post on a Tuesday evening as I always go out on Wednesdays, but last night we drove to a town about half an hour from here to see the film Les Miserables. I really wanted to see it as I have bought the CD which is a lot more meaningful now, and I love the music. We are singing the finale song as part of our choir concert this summer.
As you can see, we had to fight to find seats together!! There were seven of us, and maybe a further dozen folk arrived in time for the film, but that was all. It was easy to follow. The singing was all in English with Spanish subtitles, and what little speech there is, was dubbed in Spanish, but I knew what was happening, so it was fine. The film was amazing. I loved it. In true Spanish style, the cinema opened for a showing at 9.30 so it was almost 1.00 this morning when we got home! Hence no Workspace Wednesday posting.
Then today I went to my usual group, and when I came home I brought with me my two new babies.

Aren't they gorgeous? They are just two from a litter of nine pups that were abandoned outside our vet's clinic on Sunday. They are about three and a half weeks old so at the minute they need to be bottle fed every few hours, and as they already had a litter of eight abandoned last week, they  just didn't have time to do it properly at the vet, so they asked for foster homes. I have these two for about a month, until they are feeding properly on their own, and are ready to go to new, permanent homes.

The little black one is a girl. She is strong and active already, and greedy too.  She could be trouble in a week or two! The browner one is a little boy and he is smaller, less active, and reluctant to feed, so he will need more patience and attention.

And finally, last week I posted this picture of Arwen, and she was mortified when I told her that two people (one of them my own sister who knows Arwen well!), said they thought it was a picture of an oven ready chicken. I couldn't see where they were coming from at first, but then I realised that they were seeing the double layer of thick sheepskin that is her bed as legs, and then just maybe....
Anyway, Arwen has asked me to tell you that she is in fact a Real Princess, and don't you forget it!!!
I'll try to have some real crafting on my desk by next week.
P.S. The mini album I showed the start of  last week, is now finished, and you can see it if you click here.

Thanks to Julia for hosting this weekly gathering. I'll be round to visit as many of you as I can over the next couple of days.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My mini-album is complete!

In my previous post I showed some cut-outs for a mini-album and several folk said they would like to see when it is finished, so here goes.

I couldn't get a shot that showed much of the inside so I made a board showing all the pages.

This was the end task for an online course I was following to help me understand the full range of my Silhouette  Cameo machine. There are three sets of classes altogether, and I have just completed the first set, so I have a way to go yet, but already I have learned a lot. The courses were purchased from Jessica Sprague, though the tutor is actually Kerri Bradford.
I am also working through a self-paced course, this time tutored by Jessica, on using Adobe Photoshop, and some of what I have learned so far was useful when it came to the photos I was using for my mini-album. They are all quite recent, but I needed to convert them to black and white files and crop them to the required proportions and sizes.
Apart from the photos, a couple of rhinestones and oddments of ribbon and lace, everything from the shaped pages, to the script and the embellishments, were all cut with my silhouette. We were given the shapes in the course materials file, so the classes were more about how to resize them, the difference between grouped items and compound paths, and how to make our chosen titles using any font on our computer. (I could have done a lot of this already, but in a much more roundabout way. I now understand the purpose of a lot of buttons I have ignored up until now, so I should be much more efficient with future projects).
I used the course example as a guideline, but I did make a couple of extra embellishments, and arrange them and the  photos in a slightly different order. The colour scheme came from the tutorial as well, as we were supplied with the backing papers to print. I did use some of them but also substituted a couple with some from my stash.

Now I have made this one I feel confident to start from scratch and make one using my own ideas for colours, embellishments etc. I have an idea lurking at the back of my mind, but it may have to stay there for a while.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I see it is a whole week since I posted on here again. I have been busy but I keep making things I can't show yet! At least I managed to visit a few more of you this week, and today I even have some real crafting on my desk!

All the little cut-outs in the pink tray are the embellishments for a mini album I am making.
As you may have realised by now I am quite a fan of the tutorials on sale at Jessica Sprague. I have learned a huge amount about Adobe photoshop from them, and I also purchased a set of classes on using the Silhouette cameo. I know a lot of information is available for free on the internet, but you have to search for it, and I find these short courses are much more useful, and I have bought all of them when they have been on offer so they only cost me a few dollars each time. Plus I have the notes and videos for life, so I can refer back to them when I need to.
Anyway, the silhouette ones have been sitting on my computer for months so I decided to work through them. I have completed the first set and the mini album is the end product. 
I had a rather frustrating evening to begin with as I couldn't get the right settings to cut through my card, so I wasted several sheets, (see the bin as evidence), and got very close to throwing it all away. But after a fresh brew, I had another go, and eventually I did get it all done.
The pages were much easier to cut as they were mostly straight lines, and the zig-zag binder should have been simple, but I lost the perforations somewhere along the way and ended up with lots of cut strips, so I had to do that again! Talk about learning by your mistakes.
So instead of the finished book to show you, I have an assortment of bits and pieces, but hopefully I will be back in a day or two with the finished article.
Now I have to persuade this sleeping beauty to move off my printer, so that I can put some new ink cartridges in, as all my colours have gone. She won't be very happy about that.
And then I will pop over to Julia's Stamping Ground to link this up with all my other WOYWW friends.