Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Merry Christmas quartet for Rudolph day

Well Rudolph day has really crept up on me this month. Tonight we set back our clocks so we get an extra hour of sleep - always assuming we make it to bed on time! I could do with an extra hour and some, in every day right now. However, I have been trying to get ahead with my Christmas cards and, fortunately I kept a little set of four aside, ready for this challenge. I seem to have deleted the photo of the single one I would normally have put here first, and I haven´t the time to do it again, so straight away I will show you the one of the set of four cards that I made.

I used a new Justrite stamp that I bought in a ´specials´order recently. It was complete as you see it here, but I wanted different colours, so after a bit of ´faffing around`, I stamped the whole image with versfine ink and masked off the centre while I embossed the scrolls around the edge with bright gold powder. Then I inked just the centre with rhubarb stalk Memento ink, and stamped it onto snippets of white card, and embossed them with clear powder.
I cut the scroll border and a mat - red card for three, and green mirri-card for the fourth one- using two sizes of my first ever set of dies, the scalloped circle nesties. I used a plain circle die to cut the centre, and I made a mask frame a little smaller than the die, so I could add green ink around the edge of the centre without spoiling the red outer circle. Then I mounted the centres over the scrolled frames and added them to the cards.
Each one is on a 12cm square, white base card, (I know the top left one doesn´t look white, but it is!), a mirri-card mat, (with it´s centre removed because I am very careful with my mirri-card which I can only buy when I have a trip to UK), and then a backing paper taken from a Dovecraft, Back to Basics,  6 x 6 pad. I´ve had it for several years and not used it, but this year I have turned to it several times.
A small gold organza bow added to the top of each one, and that´s four more cards to add to my stack. I have over a hundred ready now, and for the first time ever, they all have their inserts, an envelope  and a label on the back. That was my  best idea  for this year, and I didn´t put any of them away until they were complete and ready to use. I still need to do a couple of batch bakes to reach the total I need, but I don´t feel under pressure like I did last year. So thanks to Sarn, for keeping us up to the mark all year.
Now I will go and link up with the other Rudolph players, and see what they have been making. Join me over at Sarn´s blog, Stamping for Pleasure, and maybe link up a couple of your own Christmas cards too.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

A Pink Angel for Jingle Bells Challenge

A blog-land friend pointed us towards the challenge over on the Jingle Belles blog this week, and I decided to have a go at it. The idea is to create a Christmas card with Pink on it in honour of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The two ladies who run this challenge have pledged to each donate $2 to the Susan G Komen Foundation for each entry in the challenge.

I have to say, it really is a challenge for me to make a pink Christmas card so I have leaned heavily towards the ´light red´end of the pink spectrum. Unfortunately my photo, taken in artificial light, makes my angel look almost orange, but I promise you, she really is pink!
I cut a plain red  15cm base card and a slightly smaller white layer. The mat is cut from a piece in my snippets box made when I was trying out my brushos. I think it was using brilliant red and dark brown, and lots of water. For this card I added a layer of bright gold spray and stamped some stars with versamark ink and embossed them with bright gold powder. I used one of my vast stock of white snippets to stamp the angel (Both her and the stars are from a new A4 rubber sheet of stamps from Choicolate Baroque called A Child is Born). I coloured her with copic markes and added some gold Art Quest paint to the dress trims and the trumpet, and white pearl paint from the same palette to her wings. When she was dry I cut her out. The word Rejoice was cut from gold glitter vinyl using my Silhouette machine. Before assembling the card, I stuck the sentiment onto the white card and cut around the top so I could slide the red mat under it. Normally I would have added the angel on thin pads to give it some dimension, but as many of my cards have to be posted internationally, I glued it on flat.
I am entering this in the Jingle Belles Challenge ; Pink Christmas, and also in 
Pixie´s Snippets Playground (red mat and white for angel were from my snippets box), and in Crafty Hazlenuts Christmas Challenge 199 ; Use something forgotten or never used. (The angel and stars stamps are new and have never been used before).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

If at first you don't succeed....

I have a lovely new frame die to show today. It took my fancy while browsing through a site so I ordered it. Since then I have seen it used on several challenge entries which surprised me as I didn't think it was particularly new, but looking back at the site, I see it is actually a new release, just last month. It is the Anja circle die by Marianne. 

I wanted to try it out straight away so I made a quick Christmas card, using an image from a Marianne decoupage page. I did it in a hurry and made some bad choices so I am not very pleased with the result.

The backing paper is too light so the pretty fame is rather lost against it. Also I used another die from the set to remove the centre, and the resulting aperture is too small for the size of the card and the image is also a 'bit lost'. But I won't waste it. It is usable, so I added some bling with holographic snowflakes, and did a re-think.

I then made a set of three smaller cards with a little step at the front of them. For the first one I covered some white paper with a double sided adhesive sheet. That was another mistake. Even after several passes through my Big shot, the film did not cut perfectly. Also some of the embossing is poorly defined. But I persevered and eventually got it more or less cut. Then I peeled off the protective layer, added a small image to the centre and poured Diamond dust over the frame. This is a glitter made from crushed glass, and it actually cut my hands a little when I was making sure it was all covered. It was a bit chunky and overlapped some of the cut out areas but I didn't think that mattered. I chose a fairly dark background from my snippets box to show off the frame, and added a strip of paper snowflakes and some silver peel-off flakes and a sentiment.
That left me with the die cut backing paper I had peeled from the adhesive sheet and I thought, "Why not use that as well?" So I painted it with diluted PVA glue and covered it with Glamour dust. I much prefer this to the previous one. I also cut the image with the next size up circle die, and I think that looks better too. I went for a strong contrast this time. There is a little brown in the image so I tried using a brown paper off-cut that I think was printed from a Crafter's Companion CD, and I used gold embellishments and sentiment.
For my final attempt I cut the frame using some silver starburst card. This looks rather 'gun-metal grey' in the photo but it is actually quite sparkly and pretty.
The backing paper is from one of those CD's that sometimes come with a craft magazine. This time I hand cut the image around the outside of the circle die, making it even bigger, and I think it works, and it doesn't cover enough of the frame to spoil it. A few tiny, silver peel-off snowflakes and a sentiment finished this one.
So I have made four more cards and learned a few lessons on the way. I can see me using this frame on birthday cards with just a spray of flowers across it, or something like that. I still think it is really pretty anyway.
As I used several snippets for my backgrounds, I will link this over at Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I have been playing with a new die I bought recently, that is just too cute not to show you. The die is called Trio Choir by Cottage Cutz. It is a small plate about 9cm x 7cm, and on it there are twelve pieces - a head, three hair styles, a right and a left hand, two belts to tie either left or right, a pair of shoes, a dress, a music sheet, and one more part that floored me for a while until I realised it was a little lace collar for the dress! Also included are three tiny clear stamps for the facial features.

For my first attempt I cut all of them in white paper, and then cut the duplicated elements to make the whole trio, and added some colour using copic markers. I kept it simple and mounted them on some cream card with gold dots on it, and then added a gold mirri-card frame, cut using a Spellbinders die from the Radiant rectangles set. I mounted it all on a mid-brown base card, and added a matching small label with a gold peel-off 'Rejoice' on it.

They were a bit fiddly to do but rather fun, and I hope to get a few more like this made very soon.
In the meantime, I decided to do a more simple version with just one chorister on it, to help me build up my stash of finished cards. 
At my Wednesday craft group, we are often given unwanted papercraft items to sell for charity - usually the local MACS group. (Sadly the craft materials often come from a husband who has lost his wife to cancer, and who wants her 'stash' to help the local cancer charity). When I was helping my friend to pack up what was left to go to the MACS shop, I found several sets of pre-cut cards in a range of colours, all with matching envelopes, and she told me to take them home and use them. So I wanted to make sure they didn't just get lost at the bottom of the cupboard, and set about making cards with them straight away. I took a bit of artistic license with the colour for these ones. I had to smile, thinking back to the days when my oldest two sons were choir boys in their pristine white cassocks* each Sunday! (I think that should read surplices. Their cassocks were the blue gowns they wore underneath. We used to tease the oldest one and say he only went on to become a priest so he could still wear a dress!)
I have already used some of the cards on my previous posts, but I was left with a cream one, and one each of blue, turquoise, red and lilac. So I rummaged through my Christmas snippets box and found some backing paper for each one, and then looked in my other snippets for something that went with them. Mostly I cut a pale mat to cover the base card leaving just a small border. Then I used a labels 4 die to cut a topper for each one. I used tiny snippets of brown and black and peach paper to cut the hair, belts, shoes, hands and faces, and used white for the music but toned it down with Old Paper Distress ink. Then I cut a dress to match the BP or as close to it as I could find. I soon had a system for gluing them together and had them assembled on their cards in no time. 

Then I went through all my very old embellishments and found something to 'pretty up' each one. I found a box with literally hundreds of tiny red, green and colourless domes. They are more like pearls than gems because they are not faceted, but they are clear and shine beautifully. Goodness knows where they came from, but at least a few of them have now been used. I also used peel-off borders, gems, and matching stickles glitter glue around each label topper.

The word rejoice across the bottom of each BP is a stamp from a very old set by Hero Arts. I like them but tend forget about them.
So here is the whole set.
I certainly managed to use up a few snippets on these, so I will be linking them up with Pixie's Snippets Playground.

I recently showed a card I had made using a silhouette cutting file, and I had some very kind comments - Thank you - so I also made some more of these using two each of the green, blue and turquoise cards. and here they are.
Thank you for stopping by to visit me. I do appreciate your comments.