Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


Hello again. I have a quick post for you today as I am still in Christmas card mode and don't want to lose the burst of enthusiasm that has helped to boost my tiny collection so far, up to a decent collection of around 75 cards this week. That is still only around half of what I want, so I need to crack on with some more sets. Tonight I am making a run of blue and white cards. I did the prototype earlier this week so I know what I need. I have just printed and cut out the backgrounds toppers and base cards. Now I need to colour all the little images, cut them out and start an assembly line. Hence the box of pens on my desk, with the colours I will be using already selected.

You can also see various 'sticking' materials, my favourite pair of scissors and the tiny decoupage snips that I use for the little awkward cuts. The memento ink pad is to distress the middle layer.
And then there is that box at the back to the left of the picture. It is labelled 'Finished cards' but that isn't quite true as a good three-quarters of them need an insert! Every year I say I will do the inserts as I make the cards, but something else always needs to be done first, so it gets left. I do have a folder on my computer of Christmas and Birthday inserts in all sizes, so a lot of these will  get a printed one. But  a few will be stamped, and I also like to stamp a Biblical Christmas verse inside, especially when, as with this year, I have made a lot of cards depicting snow scenes and robins rather than the Nativity. Christmas is important to me as a Christian, so I like my cards to reflect on the real reason for the season. So I  am hoping that box on my table will inspire me to have an 'insert day' this week, so at least half of my cards are ready to write and send!
Thank you to everyone who visited my blog last week. I hope I got back to you all, and a few more beside. I'll do my best to visit you all again this week. But first I will link this up to Julia's Stamping Ground, ready for the happy trip around the work-desks of the world tomorrow morning.

Friday, October 25, 2013

A Winter scene for Rudolph Day.

Well the penultimate Rudolph Day (25th of the month),  has arrived, so once again it is time to make and show a Christmas card.

This month I have used a new stamp I bought recently in UK. I thought it was time for it to get inked up. 

I used Memento olive grove to stamp it, and added the minimum of colour with ciao markers. I used the same markers to colour the holly wreath which was all part of the same stamp. Then it was time to mount it up and I realised that I had made the same mistake I always do. In my effort to get several images onto one sheet of paper, I forget to space them out sufficiently to use most of my dies! However, there were a couple I could cut with my fancy oval die, and mount onto a red mat. Others I cut with a plain oval and removed the centre from a red fancy oval so I could use it as a frame. One had to be fussy-cut around the image and mounted onto a complete red oval because it had no 'spare' white area around it. (I really must learn from my mistakes!)
Another recent purchase was an A4 embossalicious folder, with an all-over holly design. So I ran a few sheets of paper through the machine with this and used them as a background. On some I lightly added some green ink to the raised area, but I left the others white. I mounted them onto a white base card, with a thin red mat for the larger ones,  and added a small red peel-off greeting, and a red bow in the opposite corner to balance it up.
The images on a red frame fitted onto an A6 card but I needed to make a couple of slightly larger ones for the white frames on a red mat. So that is another set of six cards ready in my box. I am finally beginning to catch up.
So now I just need to link this up to Sandra's blog, Stamping for Pleasure.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A set of cards that nearly didn't get made!

Along side my digi-cards, (See yesterday's post), I have also been working on a few 'proper' paper-crafted Christmas cards. While browsing the internet recently, in particular, craftsuprint site, I spotted this cutting file that I rather liked, so I purchased it, and this week I thought I'd have a go at using it.
Sadly my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine has been developing a fault lately which has got progressively worse, and when I turned it on to cut these cards out, it wouldn't read the image or cut it at all. I have about six weeks left of my two year guarantee so I thought I might have to send it back. But I knew the postage was around £76 two years ago, so would probably be more now, so it was a tough decision. However, I wrote to the company I bought it from, and they suggested that I contact the technician at Graphtec, (the home company for the machines). As soon as I saw his name I knew he was someone who has been very helpful to me in the past when I had my original CraftRobo machine, so instead of e-mailing him I rang him up. 
He listened to my machine over the phone, and made some suggestions for me to try. Then he got a bit too technical for me so I called for Chris to come and talk to him, and he was given some really sensible and helpful advice. Chris then did something - involving my computer and printer - and hey presto, my machine was working again! Once again I am really impressed with the customer support from this company, and the fact that Brian was able to diagnose the problem and suggest action to remedy it, just by listening over the phone, when we ourselves had no idea how to do it. 
So thanks to him, I was able to continue with making my cards.
The image has three main layers, plus the capital A and M, and the base card. Opening the files in the Cameo software, I resized it to fit on a DL card, and using one A4 sheet for each layer, I was able to fit three to a page. So I cut each page in each colour, and by alternating them both ways, I was able to assemble six cards; three on a blue base and three on white. 
It is a bit of a  'labour of love' to glue them all together, but I soon got in the swing of it, and had all six finished in an evening. I just added a small gem stone to the centre of the star as embellishment. Being me, I was not too happy with the empty corner, top right, and had to fight the urge to add a stamped greeting, but I think it is probably best without.
The only thing I am changing before I use the file again, is to remove the cut triangle in the letter A on the third layer. I think it should be left white. But I think I can change that quite easily, so I shall do so before I save it to my library. I might get a few more made in a different colour combination later.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Yay! I'm back - for this week anyway. Maybe I need some lessons in time management, because I never seem to have a spare minute these days, to post on my blog, nor to comment on everyone else's. But tonight I have been busy chopping up several bulbs of garlic and a huge bag of root ginger, to make a new batch of my Hot chili and ginger jam. It now has to simmer gently for an hour so I am going to use that time to prepare this post for the morning. Excuse me if I pop back to the kitchen to stir the brew every now and then. And what am I back for? Well, of course it is for the weekly blog hop hosted by the lovely Julia over on her Stamping Ground, so if you would like to see what crafters around the world are getting up to, pop over and join in the fun.

Obviously my 'work desk' tonight was the kitchen table, so here is my desk from the night before, when I actually did do some crafting.

I am so far behind with my Christmas cards this year, and with the way my life is at moment, there is little chance of me catching up in time, so I made the decision to do a batch of digital cards. Not something I have done before, and not my first choice, but it certainly was a lot quicker. I used Photoshop and a digital scrapbook kit called Cameo Christmas by Pamela Rose designs. I chose a backing paper, a frame, and a swathe of flowers and greenery, and constructed my page. I then found a reasonably decent photo of Chris and I that we took to send to our African boy whom we sponsor for his secondary education. I resized it to fit behind the frame and saved the whole thing as a jpeg file. I was then able to use Publisher to size it down to fit on a 12cm square card, and could fit six of these on an A3 sheet of paper. So what you can see here is one of the sheets about to be cut up, plus green and red card for the bases, a very untidy box of ribbons, a sentiment stamp and ink pad, and my tower of stickles glitter glue. And of course a grumpy Arwen who objected to being moved to the end of the table. I have done so little craft recently that she thinks she owns the whole space and is extremely disgruntled when I move her off it.
So in one evening I was able to cut out four sheets of images (two dozen in all), cut score and fold 24 base cards, stamp 24 sentiments, and the worst bit - tie 24 little red bows, and then put them all together. And just to prove I did, here is a later shot of my desk, with all twenty-four cards, spread out while the glitter glue dries, with Arwen banished for an hour!
That is the closest shot you are going to get of them as I haven't decided who I will be sending these to yet. I shall make a list now and see whether I should make a few more. I am also trying to get a few sets of 'proper' cards made for my friends locally. The digi ones will be good for posting to UK, so most of them will go there.
Well that's it for this week. I think my jam is just about ready to bottle up. The kitchen is very pungent right now, but as I said to my sister earlier, at least I should be breathing clearly tonight!
I'll be back tomorrow to link this up and hopefully to visit as many as I can of you.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

For a Ruby Wedding Anniversary

As it is over a week since I posted anything, I thought I would just show you the card I made a couple of weeks ago for some friends' Ruby Wedding. It was needed on the same day as the rather elaborate wedding card in my previous post, so I needed to keep this one fairly simple.

I chose a big decorated heart stamp by Magenta. It is is one of the first stamps I ever had, so it must be pretty ancient now! I stamped it in Rhubarb stalk memento ink, and clear embossed it. When I had cut it out I mounted it on a burgundy mat cut with an 'around the page' punch by Martha Stewart.
Next I cut the rose leaf swirl from the Heartfelt Creations Bella rose die set, from gold mirri-card, and used the off-cuts to make the 40 years, using Britannia dies.
The rose stamp is also from the Bella Rose collection, and I coloured it with copic markers and cut it out with the matching die.
The sentiment was made on the computer and mounted on a Spellbinders label.
I was going to distress the edges in red ink, but instead I used fine gold peel-off borders to hold it all together.