Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

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!


Maxine D said...

What wonderful ornaments Kate - in fact they are stunning!! I like both techniques and they are so quite dramatic in their own way.

Saskia said...

Cool ideas for making your own ornaments!

JoZart said...

Super lovely ornaments, Kate. love them. Most of the ones I have are handmade and they are treasures and memories too. It doesn't seem a year since I did my swap and angels were winging to and fro around the world. They've hung all year over my desk but will go into the living room again this year.
Jo x

Jean Straw said...

Hi Kate, these look gorgeous, I remember doing some with you once and I still have them too. I love the the little round one the scene inside.
Jean x

Di said...

Wow Kate, what stunning baubles you created. Goodness know where you get the patience but the results are so worthwhile! I suspect you like a challenge when crafting :)

Hugs, Di xx

veronica said...

they're really lovely Kate - and well done for remembering how to make them! The mini one is my favourite, I think, but am sure they will all sell well

JoZart said...

Thanks so much Kate, I'll order the owl book for the little'uns. Glad you enjoyed my bird post. It was magic!!
Jo x