Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WOYWW 234 and a Friend for Happypotamus.

Hello everyone, I have something a bit different to show today.  (Well yesterday really, because I am writing this on Tuesday night). 
Winter has arrived in my corner of Spain, with chilly winds and cold nights. I don't mind the cold nights because last week we felt it was time to put the duvet back on the bed, and I like the weight of it after using just a sheet all summer. However, I digress. Although it is cooler, and we have had a little rain now, most days are still sunny with blue skies, so I am making the most of the last chances to sit out on our sheltered porch for the afternoon. Hence my desk this week, is the somewhat scruffy cane settee outside the back door. And what am I doing there? Well I am putting the finishing touches to Fatty Lumpkin, a fun  little pony made from crocheted African flower motifs.
Some of you may remember that I used these motifs recently to make a hippo, (Happypotamus), but the pony proved to be a lot more awkward to assemble. There is no stitching involved. the motifs are all crocheted together, and he was quite a handful when I got to the last few. But I stayed at  'my desk' until he was done, and here he is.
He will be going to my sale of work in the village next week, so I hope he doesn't get too attached to his new friend Happy.
Here they are together. Like me, they are enjoying the last of the sunshine.
I expect I will be moving my desk back indoors next week, and lighting a fire next to it if it gets any colder!
By the way. if anyone is interested in the patterns for these, and other similar animals, they can be found here.
Now, if you'd like to follow me to Julia's blog at the Stamping Ground, you can join me as I visit other folks work desks and see what they have been busy with this week.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Final Rudolph day for 2013!

Yes, this time next month we will have exchanged the gifts, eaten the turkey (some of it anyway), watched the inevitable Disney film, and hopefully visited or at least chatted with family or friends, and maybe some of us will be wondering what it was all about. For me Christmas is a lovely season, when we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, and the rest is just the trimmings. So while we have four more weeks for those final preparations, this is our last chance to post a card on here for Rudolph Day, and here is mine.

Actually, as you can see, there are two of them! When I was browsing through the files in the silhouette store, I spotted this little image and thought it was quite sweet, so I added it to my basket (as you do!). My cards for UK are all done and dusted, but I still need some more for friends out here, so this week I decided to give it a try. I went through my boxes of snippets looking for off-cuts of pearlised paper as I know that is the best for cutting with my machine. One of the good things about the silhouette is that the carrier mat is marked off with a one inch grid, and when you have loaded your design in the software, you can bring up the grid behind it, so you know exactly where it will cut. This means I can copy the image several times, I did four of these, and put four separate off-cuts of paper on the mat where it will cut, so it is a good way to use up the bits. I hope that makes some sense to the non-users of a cutting machine. Anyway, I found four small pieces of light brown paper to cut the deer, and then some larger pieces of brown for the trees. Unfortunately I only had two pale blue pieces so I had to cut into a new sheet for the other two backgrounds, so I made a new off-cut! Emptying my snippets boxes is a bit like filling a leaky bucket. It aint gonna happen! But not to worry. I had some quite big off cuts of the brown paper so I also cut two frames using a new Die'sire die.

For the first card I cut a narrow brown mat, and put a piece of silver holographic paper between the mat and the background so it shines through the stars and snow. Then I added the tree and deer and mounted it onto a 12cm square card. I see I still need to find a small sentiment stamp to go along the lower edge. For the second card I put the backer directly onto the white base card (15cm square this time), and put glitter glue in the star and snow holes. Then I trimmed the tree and added it with the deer, and put the die cut frame on top. And I did stamp a sentiment on this one. I also used some of the stars cut from the background, to decorate around the edge.
I still have two more sets of images from my cutting session, so for speed I will probably make another one of each of these.

Do you know, the pearl paper that I use for cutting is the same all the way through, so there is no right or wrong side, but it was only as I added these photos, that I noticed I had reversed all the image for one card. I must have been making them in my sleep!
I shall now go and link these up to Sarn's blog at Stamping for Pleasure, and also to Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Friday, November 22, 2013

For a baby girl.

A few weeks ago, a Romanian couple at my church decided they wanted to hold a 'proper wedding' ceremony in front of God and their Christian friends, so we did our best to make it a very special occasion for them. (They had been married in Romania some years ago). Mario and Florentina already have a little girl Andra, and this week their second daughter was born. (9.2lbs. Phew!). I was asked to make a card for everyone in church to sign on Sunday, so this is what I made.

It is very pink!, but with my male-orientated family, I don't have many opportunities to make pink things, and they like the style that we might describe as 'a bit over the top'!.
I raided my 'pink' snippets box and found a piece big enough for the background, which I lightly embossed with baby hands and feet. Then I found some heart-pattern pieces for the outer frame and the lace border, and some deep raspberry pearl card for the mats. The image is 'Sleeping baby Tilda'. I don't usually go for the magnolia range. I don't do 'cute', and they were very over-used a year or so ago. But I did like this one, though I had to give her mouth. They don't ususally have one which takes away their character for me. The lace was made with two Spellbinders edge dies, the frame and swirls are Marianne dies, and the flowers are a combination of die cuts and flowers from my stash. It felt unbalanced with the empty space on the left, so I added three pieces of white card candy and two tiny pink gems.
As I used up some very ancient snippets for this, I am entering it in the 100th edition of Pixies Snippets Playground.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


For the second week running I have the photos ready, but haven't found time to write the post, so although it is nearing bedtime, I am still going to join in  with the Wednesday workdesk trip. See Julia's blog, Stamping Ground to find out all about it.
I decided this week to give my room a complete overhaul. I was tired of
having no floor-space, and constantly barging my hips etc as I hovered between the work table and the computer desk. It was a mammoth task as there is no spare space in here, so everything movable had to be dumped on our bed in the room next door. This exposed rather more dust than there should have been, plus a lot of long white hair. (I wonder whose that could have been?). So I had a good clean up and then I had to enlist the help of hubby to lift the desk over the table and rearrange everything, including all the wiring. I have got fourteen items always plugged in, and three sockets with only one of them being earthed! So there are adapters coming out of adapters and enough overload to give an electrician nightmares.
Still, this is how it looks now. My desk is back under the window where the light is good to work by, and the sun is not too hot for a few months. The windows are actually quite a poor fit and it was getting draughty around my shoulders when I sat at the computer for too long. Now I can swivel my chair between the table and the computer, the only drawback being a very small space to use the mouse. 
Also, on what was the computer table, I have my printer and silhouette cameo set up with space for them to both work as they should. The coloured cover and all the 'stuff' on top of the printer, is to prevent Arwen from making it her bed again. I'm sure all her hair was the main cause of the last one failing. She actually left my room and hid under our bed while all the moving was going on. She is back now, but she is not happy with the new arrangement!
But it didn't stay this tidy for long as last night I spent my time wrapping up lots of little chocolate bars and sticking them together to make these.

Folk who follow JoZart on here, may remember these when she made them and wrote a post about it last year. I wanted to make some then, but I couldn't get the candy canes out here. I spotted some in the pound shop when I was in UK back in September, so I brought a couple of boxes back with me. (My sister thought I had lost the plot when I bought them, but she will see what they were for now). Mine rely rather more heavily on selotape than Jo's did, but my hand-eye coordination is bad right now. The doctor has given me stronger painkillers that are making me go 'do-lally', and my eye appointment came through yesterday, but it is not until 8th January, so for now it's a case of, "if in doubt.. add another layer of tape"!
Well I have made it before the clock strikes mid-night, so I'll go and link this up and see what some of you folk are busy with this week.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Not a card - Now that makes a change!

I've been working hard on my Christmas cards so I thought it would be fun to do something different for a change. I had been sorting out a drawer in my craft room and I came across a box containing four clear glass 'eggs'. I have had these for at least ten years, because I bought them after a workshop when we had turned them into glittered ornaments. I actually remembered how we had done them too, so I hunted out the bottle of 'Simple Solutions Acrylic Medium 2' which we had used to stick the glitter, and I was amazed to find it was still as liquid as when I had bought it. So I then sorted out a selection of glitters and mica pigments. It is so good to be using some of these materials that have hibernating in my drawers for years, 
So this was my desk as it was on Tuesday night. Unfortunately I didn't have any time to post it on WOYWW this week. Here I have swirled the solution around inside the third 'egg' and it is draining back into the pot . The first two are done. I find an old egg tray is a perfect way of keeping these safe while they dry.
I made one each of red/gold, and shades of purple, blue and green. I love the way the glitter sparkles through the glass and the pearly mica powders fills in any gaps. When all four were done I put the tray in the one room where the cats never go (these won't bounce on my stone floors!), and I left them overnight to dry completely.

Then I glued the tops back on and tied a small length of tinsel around them, and to finish them I cut a Santa and his sleigh from black vinyl using my Silhouette cameo machine, and carefully transferred it onto the outside of the bauble. This was a very fine cut but it worked well. The shiny glass is extremely difficult to photograph, but here is the finished green one. I expect I paid quite a lot for these ornaments as they were sold as art items, but that is money long forgotten, so I will put a reasonable price on them and try to sell them at our Gallarte (the village arts and crafts group), expo at the start of next month. I usually only have mince-pies and jam at the Christmas expo because I am too busy to make anything else!

I follow the Silhouette facebook group, where most of the members are American, and they are making a different sort of bauble that I also wanted to try, but I have not been able to source clear, empty baubles out here. I gather they are plentiful in shops like Michaels and Walmart, but they seem to be non-existent in Spain! I found one lot in UK but to post a tray of 18 to me, they wanted £26 postage!! So I sorted through my own decorations and I found three small glass balls with fine, irridiscent fibres in them. I was able to remove this with fine tweezers, so I decided to give it a go. 
The balls were rather small so I had to cut some very tiny images. This is my cut image still on its backing sheet, after I have weeded out the bits I didn't want. (I see I had missed one area between the lamp-post and reindeer's tail, but I did remove it later). To give you an idea of size, the grid on my very worn cutting mat is one inch squares, so my little image is less than 2 inches. But when I am using vinyl, even the very fine lines cut so well. 
I then cut a circle the size of the diameter of my glass ball, from a plastic page pocket, and using transfer tape, I carefully placed my image just below the centre of this. The next job was to roll the circle up to post it through the little opening at the top of the bauble. If the circle is just the right size it should spring out to fit. Mine was a spot too big so it wouldn't open flat, so I had to persuade it to come out again so I could trim a minuscule amount from all around it! This time it did fit. Then I used a long narrow spatula to add small amounts of glitter snow both in front and behind the transparent layer. A right fiddle but quite effective! I replaced the cap with a little dab of glossy accents to ensure it stayed in, and tied a ribbon around the top with a small dazzler in the centre.
Again this was a pain to photograph, but it gives you an idea of what it looks
like. I shall do the other two that I have, and I would love to do some more but I won't be able to buy any in time for this year. But I may order some to be delivered to one of my sons, and I can collect them sometime, ready for next year. There are plenty of places selling the splittable ones, that come in half to put a small gift etc inside, but I don't want these. Though I did think the second type might work with these, and even be a lot easier to handle. But the glittered ones need the smooth glass (or plastic) balls without joins. I still have both the egg and round bauble that I made at the workshop all those years ago, and every year they hang on my tree, so they are not quite as fragile as they look. It was fun to do and I have a lovely glittery room now!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Working with Digi-stamps

I bought my first digi-stamp around a year ago when I wanted to enter a challenge and had no suitable images on my rubber stamps. I was a bit unsure at first, but now I have quite a collection. I was surprised to find that they can be coloured with my much loved copic markers without the ink smudging. The other advantage of them is that they can be resized to fit any shape or size of card, and of course, any fancy frame that you have a die for.

So last week I went through my collection of digis and printed out a few Christmas images in a variety of sizes. These are the stamps I used. (I have over printed them with the place I bought them from, so they cannot be copied. It is only fair to the folk who design them). The one in the bottom right corner I printed off several times, and used them to make the set of blue cards in my previous post.
For the others, I passed several happy evenings colouring the images, and sorting through all my snippets boxes for co-ordinating papers and card. I cut out a selection of die-cut frames and put together these cards. Some of them have a couple of decoupaged layers, but I mostly keep them fairly thin, for ease of posting to UK.
I found all sorts of odds and ends of ribbon and labels, to finish them off with, and also 'blinged' them a bit with stickles glitter glue.
Now I have enough made to start writing all the ones for overseas posting. I am hoping to put them in a parcel that a courier-friend is taking over for me next week. Then my son can hand-deliver the local ones, and pay British postage for the rest!
Now I must start again on all the ones I want for friends here in Spain!
Seeing as I used up so many of my paper, card and ribbon off-cuts to make these, I shall pop over to Pixie's Crafty Workshop, and link them up in the Snippets Playground.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Blue Christmas

I mentioned in my regular Wednesday post that I was making a run of blue Christmas cards. Well I did, and here they are.

Most of them are all the same design, made using papers from a digi scrapbook kit called Once upon a Christmas from G&T Designs. I found I could fit three backers and toppers, plus three of the baby images (A Day for Daisies digi-stamp), all onto an A3 sheet of paper. So I printed out three sheets so I could make a run of nine cards. I cut my own 15cm square base cards which left me with small strips of card from each A4 page, and I used these to print off a few more of the baby images in slightly varying sizes. I coloured all the images with copic markers, fussy-cut them, and used silicone glue to mount them over the image on the topper. I enjoy dong that though the straw from the manger made it rather more 'fussy' than I would have chosen! I used a Memento Paris Dusk inkpad to distress the edges of the top layer. The words are a cutting file for my silhouette cameo that I bought from Designer Vinyls, but for these I simply added the png file to the toppers before I printed them.

When I came to assemble them I realised that two of the backgrounds had not printed right to the bottom. I don't know why as the third page did it fine! Anyway, for those two I cut a lace border in dark blue card so they fitted the base card properly. I finished each of these designs off with some new Stckles glitter glue called Silver Ice which is much nicer than silver or just ice! I put some on the star above the manger, and randomly on some of the background stars.

The extra baby images were also used. I made some die-cut frames for them, and also printed out some different backing papers , so altogether I have a baker's dozen of cards, and I am quite please with them. They will all help me reach my target of 160 cards by the end of the month! 

I am entering this for Aud Sentiment Challenge 92: Inspirational Christmas.
My Heart Pieces digital stamp challenges ; Anything Christmas
and Make it Monday Challenge 164: Anything goes.

I don't always enter my cards for challenges. It mainly depends on whether I have time to search for suitable ones, and whether or not I think I will have time to visit other entries to comment, but sometimes I do like to, so I was pleased when my sister pointed me towards a new blog called Challenges for Days, which lists the challenges available, each day (the ones that have asked them to of course!). They are currently offering some blog candy to anyone who promotes them, as they want to get known more widely. So if you are looking for some inspiration it is worth paying them a visit.