Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Using up the Bits for Rudolph Day

As I hinted at in my Wednesday blog hop post, I decided to use up some old stash and snippets for my Christmas card this month. I recently came across a pack of cream cards with a Christmas die cut aperture that I must have had for at least ten years. They probably came in a 'job lot' from the QVC seconds shop I used to visit in Shrewsbury. I didn't like many of them but two caught my eye as having possibilities.

First I took the plain bell aperture, drew through it onto plain paper and
constructed a sort of template for iris folding. I went through my recently sorted snippets boxes and found small pieces of red and green papers and started cutting, folding and sticking. It always surprises me how little paper you actually need for this technique. The centre hole and the 'clanger' and hanger were backed with tiny pieces of silver card dabbed with green alcohol ink. Not being one for empty spaces on my cards, I filled the corners and lower space with green stickers that are even older than the cards, and a red sentiment peel-off. Amazingly they were still really sticky!

The second card I picked out was a snowman. He was not big enough to use for iris folding so I just did some paper piecing for this one. I used the die cut snowman to cut up as patterns for the scarf and hat and added tiny black gems for the face. I punched out little black circles of card for the buttons, and then added two strips of similarly ancient snowflake peel-offs down each side. Some holographic silver paper went behind the cut out stars and snow lines, and a touch of stickles crystal made him sparkle.

Now I am off to link these to the Rudolph Day Challenge at Sarn's Stamping for Pleasure.
The first card I am also linking to Crafty Hazelnuts Christmas Challenge: use Red and Green.
Also, when I had a mammoth clear out of all my off-cuts of paper and card, and sorted them into colour boxes to make them so much easier to use, I did say I would start making cards for Pixies Crafty Snippets Playground, and I think these two make me eligible to tip-toe through the gates. See you there!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Well it has been a while. A mixture of other commitments  such a jam making for the market, sorting knitting for Africa, plus family visitors, has left me with little time or energy for any crafting. However, the need for two cards last week kick started me into action again (See my previous post), and now I am determined to manage my time better so that I can get more crafting done. And I am keeping up my good intention by writing a post for WOYWW to link up with the Stamping Ground tomorrow. (It should be What's On Your Workdesk Tuesday? for me, as my time on a Wednesday is already committed elsewhere, but I know I am not the only one who prepares it a day early so hopefully I can be forgiven). If you would like to know what crafters around the world are getting up to this week, follow me to Julia's blog and join in the fun.

This week it is Rudolph Day again, so today I was thinking about making one or two Christmas cards. A couple of months ago I spent days sorting out all my paper and card off-cuts and I now have four A4 boxes of patterned paper, and three 12" x 12" boxes of plain card and paper pieces, all sorted by colour, so my other aim is to make use of some of it, before these boxes are overflowing like my original folders were!
You can see two of these boxes out on my desk today, along with some ancient aperture cards and some iris folding pattern books. Hopefully there will be an end result to post about soon. I might even tip-toe through the gate of the snippets playground with it.
I am going to find a new home for the eBosser machine as I don't use it often enough to warrant the amount of space it is taking up on my desk. I do use it sometimes, especially with my A4 embossing folders so I won't put it right away.
The big Spanish dictionary under the snippets boxes doesn't need to be there either, but it very useful for pressing cards flat while the glue dries etc! And I do refer to it when I am making jam labels or choir posters that need to be bilingual. But I thought you might like this photo that I took when I left the dictionary open one day and came back to my room to find Arwen 'reading' it! I did think perhaps she was trying to learn how to swear at me in Spanish as well as English. She is one feisty
cat even if she is very beautiful!
I know the dictionary is upside down, but I don't think she does.

Well that is it for this week. I shall get to visit as many of you as I can when I get home from my sewing group tomorrow.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Smiley faces

Well I see I have been AWOL for nearly a month. How did that happen? I think I have just been so busy with other things, particularly jam making and sorting knitting for Africa, that I have not had the time or energy to do much crafting. But at the end of last week I found myself needing a couple of cards so I had to get my act together.

First I will share some news we had last weekend that gave us a bit of a scare, but did have a happy ending. We had a phone call to tell us that our son Mike's older boy Olly, who is 9 now, had had an accident in a children's play area and was in the High Dependency Unit at Birmingham Children's hospital with a fractured skull that was bleeding under the 'dent'. He was on close obs. with a view to surgery. A lot of folk in UK and here were praying for him and God is good! The bleeding stopped spontaneously and a later scan showed no internal damage. He has a permanent dent in the side of his head, (it looks quite big on the scan), but the consultant said that surgery would now only be for cosmetic purposes so they decided against it.
Olly is now home and recovering well, though he will need to take care for quite a while. Of course I wanted to send him a card but I did not have a suitable image in my stash and searching the computer for a digi stamp did not throw up many results. (I couldn't wait to order a stamp from UK, but digis are instant). Eventually I did find this little boy which was a freebie on this site. I printed it out, coloured it with copics and cut the image and a red card mat with spellbinders 'Marvellous squares' dies. I then covered a base card with some blue scrapbook paper from my stash, and used an off cut of the same red card to cut the sentiment with one of my first cuttlebug cut and emboss sets. It looked a bit plain so I thought I would cheer him up with some smiley face stickers left over from my days as a nursery school manager! He will be feeling a lot better by the time he gets it, but I hope it makes him smile too.

Secondly my lovely grand-daughter is twenty-one at the end of this week. She holds a special place in my heart because, not only was she our first grandchild, but along with her younger cousin she brings some female balance to our very male-orientated family, and it is nice to make a pretty, girly card for a change.
To make this one I used one of my favourite stamps, the rose script, from Graphicus, now Chocolate Baroque. I stamped it twice and coloured the rose with copics on one, fussy cut it, and used silicone glue to stick it to the other image. The off-set mat and small hearts are pink pearlised card and the base card is ivory pearl. I have an ancient pack of printed Indian papers which I used for the border, cut with a fiskars punch, and the heart backer. 
To add some bling I used decorative gems from Joycraft.

This too is now winging its way to UK, so today I need to think about a Christmas card for Rudolph day on Thursday. I also need to seriously rethink my time management, so I can get back to indulging myself down here in my 'play-room'.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Hi folks, Here is my desk as it was this afternoon around 4.00. The sun was shining and my window was wide open. I had an hour or so to 'play' so I decided to finally try out my new gelli plate which arrived two weeks ago and was still unopened. I started off by watching a few youtube videos about it, because although I had seen most of them before, I thought I could do with a refresher course!
Then I assembled everything I might need, including a fresh brew which is right there in the centre of my desk. The gelli plate, still unopened is on a teflon sheet as they recommend, and to the left is a pile of heavy paper ready for the prints. Behind that is a big roll of household paper and my water mister, which is the suggested way of cleaning the plate. I don't have a lot of acrylic paint but I have a some basic sets, mostly bought when Lidls have them on offer, plus four Fresco paints, and large tubes of mixing white, titanium, silver and gold. So I got all of these out along with my pot of Gesso. To the right of them is a pile of texture materials such as bubble wrap, hessian tape, laundry bag net and some lace, and in front of those is a selection of masks. Finally there is a new soft-ball brayer bought for this purpose, and three Princeton catalyst wedges that I bought with the plate. (This was the parcel that came from USA and cost me so much in import taxes!). The wedges are silicone so they are tough and very easy to clean, and they have a variety of edges for drawing lines etc through the paint.
I had a very messy but fun hour or two experimenting with these. The gesso was a bit too thick though this meant that the brayer left a nice texture on the plate, and the Fresco paint was almost too thin, and started to shrink leaving holes if I waited too long to print it, and it also dried too fast. So in the end, the cheap little tubes of paint were the most satisfactory with the mixer white when I wanted to make pastel shades.  And the silver and gold were lovely when used over other colours.
After the clock change it stays light until 9.00 now and I hadn't realised how long I had been playing, so when my dear hubby came looking for his tea, I did a very quick clearing up session and forgot to take a photo of the the now very messy desk. But as I printed each sheet I used magnets to attach it to my filing cupboard door to dry, and I did take a photo of these, so here are my first attempts. This was purely experimenting to see what worked and what didn't, but there are one or two pieces that I may be able to use on something. I am sure you can see what I used for most of them. The random dots are a stencil I cut from a thin sheet of  plastic using my silhouette cameo, and I am quite pleased with it.

It is only a few minutes off midnight here so I shall publish this now, and in the morning I will link it to Julia's blog, Stamping Ground where we are celebrating a milestone in this weekly snoop around the craft desks of the world. Do feel free to follow me there and see what we have all been getting up to.

Monday, April 1, 2013


Amapolas is my new Spanish word of the week and it means Poppies. I desperately need to increase my Spanish vocabulary so I try to learn a word a day, but most of them fail to connect with any brain cells and they are gone again by the next day. But the odd one or two stick, and amapolas is one of those.
I was thinking about them because this is their season. As I was driving the

'back-road' to Turre last week, this pretty sight caught my eye. The verge along the roadside was lined with acid yellow oxalis flowers, studded throughout with delicate wild poppies. There was just enough breeze to make them dance and of course I stopped to take a photo. On closer inspection I found there was also lots of tiny blue speedwells in bloom. It all looked so pretty.

The poppies were moving too much for a close-up shot so I picked one and took it back to the car for a photo. The sun turned the outer petals to orange and gold and I thought I ought to try to do something with it. So first of all I opened the picture in Corel PS, cut out the image and pasted it onto a white background. Then I used Gimp to turn this into a png file so I can use it as an embellishment on a digi scrapbook page. 
Then I did the same thing with a section of the flower - just one outer and

part of an inner petal. Adobe photshop was next and here I took a white page and dragged and dropped the small png file randomly, sometimes flipping or rotating it, until all the white was covered. It would be lovely to be able to do all three of these actions in one program, but so far I haven't managed to work out how that is done!

I now had a piece of backing paper about 15cm square with a fairly random dark and lighter red pattern on it.
Next I repeated this but this time I started with a much larger white area, and a small tile made from the above square. Again I rotated and flipped it, and randomly overlapped it, until all the white background was covered.

 This gave me a 12"x12" sheet of backing paper to

use in a scrapbook or for cards.

For today I decided to make a card, so I dug out a poppy image stamped and coloured some time ago, matted and layered it first onto gold mirri-card and then onto deep red card, cutting the layers with my silhouette cameo machine. I covered a white base card with the poppy paper I had made, added two strips of sticky  ribbon, and mounted the topper across them. I printed the paper on my 'good' matt paper so it lost some of its vibrance, but I cured that with a quick spray of gold mica ink which worked perfectly, though it doesn't really show in the photo. I stamped a simple greeting in versamark ink and embossed it with bright gold powder. Unfortunately my bright gold is no longer very bright, and more closely resembles dull brass, so I wished I had stuck to my original plan and used a gold peel-off!

I enjoy messing about on the computer like this, but I don't always end up with anything worth keeping. I think I could do better next time, but I am quite pleased with my afternoon's work.
(My apologies for the rather odd layout of this post. The format looks fine when I am doing it, but when I publish it the sentences are chopped up every time I add a photo, and I don't understand computer language to put this right!)