Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

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!)


Jean Straw said...

Very impressive, I'm glad all your effort paid off. It's a lovely card.
Jean x

Saskia said...

That's a lot of work to get a background paper, but well worth it! Wonderful card too.

505whimsygirl said...

Oh wow! I love the 12x12 paper you put together from your photo. I absolutely love poppies too. They are so vibrant!

The card came out lovely.


Lynne K said...

Wow! Your background paper is brilliant, Kate! Wish I could do that! Beautiful card too. You're lucky having those lovely flowers out now. Our daffodils have been in bud for ages but are refusing to open out because it's so cold!

Lynne x

MaxineD said...

You are impressive on the computer!! What a talent to be able to translate one petal into a paper!!
Love the resulting card too.

veronica said...

really love your poppy card Kate, looks really bright and cheerful! Your computer background looks great too, I am totally lost trying to use graphics programmes, so am very impressed with your results