Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


I had to miss my visit to the workspace of my friends last week, but I am popping in this week although there is not a lot to show on my desk.
I have been playing with vinyl in my Sihouette cameo machine this week. I made a successful card for my brother (See previous post) so now I am working on another one. But the design is your guess for now. It is another week or two before I can show it on here. 

My desk is tidy because I have to clear sufficient space around the machine for the 12" x 12" mat to move right through it back and front. It is easier now I have re-sited it on the right hand side of my computer desk. It is now relatively simple to move a few bits. So here you can see the vinyl loaded into the cutter, the blue protective sheet for the adhesive carrier mat, and the brayer that I keep to roll over any material I am going to cut to ensure it isn't going to move half-way through the cut. I often add a strip of masking tape to each side as well, just to make sure!

For once there is no mug of tea in the picture. It is replaced this week with a bottle of water. It has been so hot that I drink water non-stop.
The only other thing on view is my latest project Life page that I have just printed out. It is waiting to be trimmed and filed in the album. I can be doing that while my design is cutting. I am almost up to date with my project again now. Just one more week to do. (Do you realise we are already in week 31 of this year!?) Here's what Week 29 was like for me.
I had better make a start on week 30 now. It should be an easy one. It was too hot to do much! But first I shall link this over to the blog of our lovely hostess Julia, who makes our mid-week so much fun. See you over there!

Another new Adventure.

I have a brother who will be 84 in a couple of week's time. I don't see him very often so I wanted to make a nice card for him. He used to be in the Navy so I thought something nautical might fit the bill.

You will know from previous posts that I have struggled a bit to get my Silhouette Cameo to cut anything more intricate than basic shapes with paper and card. I belong to a Silhouette group on Facebook and there are some clever and generous designers who post there, and they often share the files they have made. I download some I like and every now and then I have a go at cutting one, with mixed success. But I have noticed that most of the people in the group are mainly using vinyl. They make tiles and 'floating frames', or add decals to lunch boxes and drinking bottles etc. or else they use heat transfer vinyl to press onto clothes, and all these are to sell from their etsy shops. I am not interested in starting a business. (I am retired and loving it!), so I haven't paid much attention, but it did strike me that the vinyl might cut better as has no fibres to block the blades.

So I took one of the downloaded files, and opened it in my Cameo. I found it needed a bit of tidying up, smoothing out some lines and removing some of the finest details. I was resizing it right down from about a 12" square, to fit an A6 card, so some of the finer lines merged together and needed to be altered.
I went to chat to a young Spanish couple from the village who I knew were sign-makers, and she gave me a couple of off-cuts of vinyl to try, so I set up a navy blue piece and did a trial cut. Once I was happy with the settings, I set it off, and few minutes later my cut was done. It cut beautifully. You can see how fine some of the lines are.
Then came the fun bit. All the unwanted areas had to be weeded out while it was still on its protective backing. I used a pricking tool and some very pointed tweezers. I knew I couldn't lift the design to place it on the card so I hunted through some rarely opened boxes and found an ancient strip of Woodware peel-off transfer paper. Amazingly it was still sticky, and I used that to lift the design and transfer it onto my prepared card.

For the card itself I used a plain white blank and distressed the edges with my favourite ink pad - Memento Paris Dusk. I also added a little of the colour to the main card. Then, with the same ink pad, I stamped the water droplets by Ryn, (Don't you just love that stamp?!). The anchor fitted over this and was soon rubbed down in place. I used tiny bits of the same vinyl to die cut the greeting and it was finished.

I enjoy messing around with designs like this, and would love to have a go at designing my own. So I think this could be the start of a new adventure!
I shall link this card to Make it Monday 151,  where Anything goes.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I am not picnicking really!

Well maybe I am just a little bit. See I post around 150 cards every Christmas, and normally by July I have made well over half of them. This year I have made less than a dozen! July and August are so hot and sticky out here that I do essential crafting only, and in September I am in UK for two weeks. Seeing as I need to post my cards the first week of December at the latest, you can see I have very little time to get the other 140-odd cards made! So I have decided to make them in runs of ten or more and started with a card for Rudolph day today, which you can read all about on Sarn's blog, Stamping for Pleasure.

So for these I went to a very underused skill of my Silhouette Cameo machine - the Print & Cut technique. It is not something that has appealed to me so far, but having worked through a couple of tutorials on it, I can see it has potential for more than I had given it credit for. It certainly helped me speed up with this project. 

First I found an image I liked on a Faye Whittaker CD, and with a bit of fiddling around, got it to open in my Silhouette software. Then I cropped it to a small oval and printed it ten times. These then cut with the machine in seconds. Here they are still adhered to the sticky carrier mat.

Next I found an oval frame in my silhouette file library, resized it to match the image and cut ten of these. I glued each image onto its frame, and then set about making the base cards. Once again I stayed with the small A6 cards for ease of international posting, using some burgundy card to match the frames. I made a set of backing papers with white paper and a variety of embossing folders. I rummaged through a box of Christmas bits and found ribbons, gems and labels to match the image, and die-cut a few sentiments and embellishments from the snippets left over from  cutting the frames, and then it was just a case of sitting and putting them all together.
Last night I managed to assemble seven of them, and you can see the pieces ready to do the last three today. Here is a close up of two to show the lovely embossing detail. 
The folder on the left is from Crafters Companion The Snowman range, and the one on the right was a gift from my lovely friend Di. I love it Di. Thank you so much. I also used two other folders on some of the others. It makes it more interesting to do a run if they are not all identical.
Now I shall go and link this to Sarn's blog and think about what I am going to do for the next run!.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Taming the Lion!

The 'Lion' in this case is our second son, Michael, who hits his fortieth birthday tomorrow! I call him the lion because he has a mane of hair, which is normally held back with a bandanna or in a pony-tail something like this.

But if he shows it a brush, or shakes it around, it can end up looking like this! Quite a mane, yes?

Due to various work commitments during the summer, he has postponed his birthday celebration until early September, and at his party he is having the lot shaved off for charity! (He did the same for his thirtieth and it was such a fun occasion.).
He works as Fund-raising advisor for the Severn Hospice, so this time they will be receiving any sponsor money he collects.
So when it came to making his birthday card, I thought one featuring a lion would be appropriate. So here is the front of my card.

The backing paper is from a digi-scrapbook kit called Safari by Varena Karolyi. I think I bought it from Scrap Art a long time ago. I hope you can see the ghost-lion on the bottom right. He is beautiful. The tag was made from the same kit with the addition of a paw print strip png file I made. (A bit of artistic license here. They are dog prints really, but for today they are lion prints!). The base card is burgundy/brown with a hint of gold, and the letters are from a tiny ply wood alphabet I bought once..?, coloured with a walnut stain distress marker and sprayed with gold mica. The lion image is from another more recent digi scrapbook kit, Menagerie by Studio Sherwood, and bought from Scrapbook Graphics. I printed him three times and decoupaged his head and front leg, feathering around the mane layer.

Now the real surprise comes when you open the card and see this!
This was my first attempt at Kirigami - the Japanese art of paper folding and cutting, (as opposed to origami which is only folding). I bought the pattern from easycutpopup.com, and in fairness it was fairly easy. The file was called Fatherhood and as Mike adores his two little boys, I know it will appeal to him. There is no gluing involved. Everything just slots together. It is stretching the rules of kirigami a bit as you are only supposed to use one sheet of paper and this actually used three, but I think it was worth it. It all folded down flat very willingly. 
It is held into the main card by two small tabs, which I secured with pieces of masking tape. The front one was then hidden behind the main image. 

That left me with the one on the back, so to hide that I made a panel from the same scrapbook kit, and added a few words to it.
I am thrilled to say our plane tickets for September are booked so we will be attending the Big Cut, where we also see all of our boys and their partners, our grandchildren and our great grandson. Happy times!
The one good thing about the hair  (I actually love all his curls and will be sad to see them go), is that his daughter is getting married next May - another trip to UK coming up, and she is pleased that his hair will be tidy when he gives her away.
There are several 'Anything goes' challenges I could link this to, but I will just chose a couple of them. Then I will stand a chance of commenting on the other entries!
Craft Your Passion Challenge 172: Anything goes - Birthday.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sailing into the sunset.

I needed a quick birthday card so that my grandson could take it back to UK with him this morning to hand-deliver. I wanted to try out a simple folded card that I saw and liked on a blog last week, but, although I did a quick trial fold with a piece of scrap paper, I did not note down where I saw it, so if it was you who posted it, please let me know so I can give you the credit!

Because it was the last day of my grandson's visit, and the end of our village fiesta, I did not make it to my usual Wednesday group, nor did I post on WOYWW, but I had taken a photo on Tuesday ready for it, so here it is, with my card as a WIP centre front.

As you can see I made the background with a brayer and some memento ink pads. The Splodge away mat doesn't come out to play very often, but it has really improved my results with a brayer, so it was money well spent. I used a small Stampscapes texture stamp repeatedly over the lower half of the space which gives a realistic sea impression, and the ship silhouette is by Chocolate Baroque. I used a pale blue piece of card for the base, and some snippets of BP on the lower section. (It doesn't really show in the photo but it has little fish and star-fish on it). I folded the card and cut the image to fit. layered it on a dark blue mat and glued it to the front. I cut a greeting (my Britannia die again!) to match the blue mat and glued this to the base. So here is the finished card.

The diamond topper is supposed to stand up from the base, but mine was a little heavy so it was not very stable. To get around this I cut a small strip of card and glued the top to the back of the diamond. Another small piece of card glued to the base acts as a stop for this and that held it up perfectly and folded away easily for posting.
This was a very straightforward card to put together, so I will be using the design again I am sure. So 'Thank You' to whoever used it last week and gave me the inspiration.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


If you would like to know what the fuss is all about each Wednesday, pop over to see our hostess Julia at her Stamping Ground and read all about it. But before you do, have a quick peek at my desk. though heaven knows, there is not a lot to see there this week.
I did warn you! There are just a few rough outlines of some chooks, and all four of my paper snippets boxes. And before I moved to take the photo, me sitting in front of them, contemplating!
It all started here. Those of you who follow Jozart and her LillyBo quilts blog will know that at the Wednesday group I go to, there are a some folk who are pretty nifty with a sewing needle. I flatly refuse to mention this group by its original name which was "Stitch and Bitch"!, so it is now known as the Sewing Group, the Craft Group, the Wednesday Group etc. etc. We all do something, knit, crochet, sew, cross-stitch, and we all chatter, but we don't  allow 'bitching'. 
Anyway, one of the ladies does beautiful folk-art style quilting, and recently
she made these lovely items to sell to raise funds for the food bank, organised by the church where we meet. Aren't the gorgeous? She also prepares kits for the projects that we can buy to make for ourselves and I am currently making a green bunny just because he is so cute. I also really likes her chooks banner, but as I am not much into sewing, I thought I'd try some paper piecing, so Elizabeth gave me a copy of the pattern. Now I am just deciding how I shall tackle it. Watch this space.

And while you're waiting, don't forget to pop over to see what others in the crafting world are getting up to.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

My Love-Hate relationship with Cammie.

'Cammie' is my Silhouette Cameo machine, and when it works well I love it, but I also come very close to throwing it out the window when it chews up my good card and paper, and refuses to give a clean cut to even a simple shape. Don't get me wrong - it's potential is huge. I think it is the operator that is usually at fault! But it is very temperamental, and only cuts really well when I use paper with a minimum of fibre content. Fibrous paper clogs the needle too quickly. I am disappointed by the seemingly short life of the blade, and the sticky carrier mats. Having said that, I enjoy messing around with images to design my own shapes and patterns in it, and it is more versatile than using dies because you can resize designs to suit your needs. Unfortunately the main supplier of the replacement blades and mats has an unnecessarily high International postal policy, so I shall stock up next time I am in UK.
But today I am posting one of my Cammie successes. This is the anniversary card I made for Eileen and Tony, (see my previous post for the birthday card I made for Eileen on the same day). 
This time I used a bought file - from craftuprint I think. Originally the circle was cut in one piece with the base, but it did not overlap enough, so it seemed flimsy and wouldn't stand. So I fiddled with the file a bit so there was a wider join, and cut it out as a plain circle on the base, and then cut the lattice circle separately, and  I also cut a plain circle of dark blue paper to go between them.

For the lattice I use my last sheet of precious pearl white 'paper' that feels almost like plastic. It is pearlised all through, and virtually fibre-free. I have no idea where it came from, so I am unlikely to be able to replace it. The fun part is after the file has cut, when you need to weed out all the spare pieces, and then carefully remove the design from the sticky mat without tearing it.!

The silver holographic paper that I used for the 25, and the middle layer of the sentiment, is very thin and I could not get it to cut at all. Then I had a 'Eureka' moment. I passed small pieces through my old Xyron machine and pressed them firmly down onto some smooth copy paper, and they cut perfectly! The only way I have found to securely stick down a lattice, or other delicate design,  is with a glue pen, and even then it is difficult not to get glue on the right side. I cover it with a sheet of laminate and put it under my trusty Unabridged Spanish-English dictionary while the glue dries, to prevent the paper curling. It weighs a ton and is perfect for the job!
I shall link this card to:
Creative Fingers: Anything goes.
Inspire me Fridays 110; Anything goes.
Joanna Sheen Challenge: Don't be Square.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

For a special friend.

Followers of either of my blogs will know that a special friend of ours, Eileen, had a party last weekend to celebrate her 70th birthday and also hers and Tony's 25th wedding anniversary. So here is the card I made for her birthday.
All the stamps, including the main sentiment are from Chocolate Baroque.(The happy Birthday is a Britannia Die). The edge of the base layer was cut with a combination of sizzix dies - the bracket edge and one of the coordinating lace fillers. A gold underlay was cut just using the bracket edge, and a narrow black layer added under these to bring it out to the full width again. The sentiment is cut with a decorative labels 8 die, inked around the edges, and mounted on a double mat in gold and black cut with standard labels 8 dies. The poppies are painted with H20's, fussy cut and decoupaged over the topper.
I am entering this card in :
Left of Centre Challenge 9: Use a sentiment on the front.
Creative Fingers: (A new challenge): Anything goes. 
and Inspire me Fridays 110: Anything goes.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I am a bit late posting this week but as there is nothing on my desk, it shouldn't take long to do! At the weekend my wonderful wide-format printer gave up the ghost! We replaced the print head as recommended and it made no difference so my lovely hubby ordered me a new one. He ordered it online on Monday and it arrived the next day! That is pretty impressive, even more so here in Spain. So yesterday was spent rearranging the computer area of my craft room. It now looks like this.

The printer is another wide-format one but without the scanner and copier as I can link to Chris' A4 one for that. I have tucked it away in the corner to try to keep the cat hairs off it! I also did have my two monitors stacked vertically, but my vari-focal glasses made reading the top one difficult so I now have them side by side again, which is much easier.

Just round to the left, where the old printer used to be, there is my
silhouette cameo, the glitter-glue tower, and a box that holds any container of liquid that is too tall to stand in one of my drawers. I'll have to pull the cameo forward when I want to use it, but like this, it gives me a bit more space and light for my working area.

Princess Arwen has lost her throne on top of the big printer. She was a bit perplexed last night, but this afternoon she is quite content on top of a set of storage drawers, next to the sunny window.

You may have noticed a bowl of something pink in front of the printer in the first photo. It is delicious water melon. This morning a friend at my craft group gave me a gift!
The stripey ones are Sandias - water melons without all the black pips! They just have a few small soft white ones which you can eat. Now with the best will in the world I cannot eat seven water melons in the week or so that these will be at their best, so most of them will go to the food bank at church on Sunday. But I had to crack one open straight away. Later on I will cut all of it up and store it in the fridge. It is even better when it has been chilled. I looked it up on the net and by volume, it has less sugar and calories than an apple, so as a diabetic it is a fairly 'safe' fruit for me to eat - in moderation of course!
A few folk have asked me about a card I had started making in my

Wednesday post a month or so ago. I did a post about it this week and I thought it had disappeared. I have just discovered that I accidentally posted it on my 'other' blog! Doh! I probably did it late at night when I would have been better off in bed. Either that or I had a touch of sunstroke. Anyway, this is the finished card and if you want to know any more about it, you will find it here.

Now I am off to quickly link this to Julia's Stamping Ground, and see what my crafting friends have been up to this week.