Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Using new border dies for Rudolph Day

I recently ordered of some of Joanna Sheen's new Signature Christmas border dies, but most of my cards were done by the time they arrived, so I thought I would give them a quick try for the final Rudolph day challenge.
I bought three borders, Holly, Snowflakes and Stars, so for my first card I used the holly.

I am not sure whether Lidl's stores carry the same offers at the same time around the world, but if they do, you may have seen that last week they had stacks of their popular card and paper pads, and also some Christmas pads that contained several designs of printed vellum, each with a matching printed card and a plain paper. So of course, I bought one. For this card I have just used some little pieces of the green and red vellum, with the plain green paper. I like these pads because they are B sizes rather than the usual A sizes found in UK, and one sheet cut in half will make two European cards that fit the standard envelopes out here. They are just a bit bigger than an A6 card and give you a little more space to work in. I have used a plain white base card, covered with a large mat of green paper, and then a white mat cut along the lower edge with the holly die. I edged the white top layer with strips cut from the printed vellum, and stamped the centre with my favourite holly stamp by Penny Black. This is one of my oldest stamps and it has been used every year since I bought it. The sentiment was stamped and die cut using a Sizzix/Hero Arts set that I recently won in Pixie's Snippets Playground. To finish off, and give it a little bling, I added tiny red gems for the holly berries in the border, and red liquid pearls for the berries on the stamped image.

 For my second card I used the snowflake border, again cutting a white base card and covering it with some dark turquoise paper.
The top layer was cut from the matching printed card from the Lidl's pad, with the snowflake border along the lower edge. I used the piece from the centre of the blue layer to cut the sentiment with a Creative Expressions die. Then I found a snippet of white paper and stamped the snowman, another very old but much loved and used stamp by Fun Stamps. I added some colour and cut him out to stand beside the sentiment. Then two more snippets of white and irridescent silver were used to die cut a snowflake for the top corner.  There is some stickles glitter glue on the snowman's hat trim and bobble, and along the base of him, and some on the white snowflake and the centres of the flakes in the border. None of that shows in the photo, but it does add a nice bit of sparkle. One blue gem in the centre of the snow flake finished it off.

Having got this far I thought I might as well use the third border so I looked for something 'starry'. 

In the end I again cut a white base card and this time I made a mat using bright yellow card from my snippets folder, embossed with an Embosilicious folder, and cut with the star border die along the lower edge. I then used a Memory Box die to cut a topper from a snippet of starry paper, and stamped, coloured and cut a cute little Christmas star character from another snippet of white card. The stamp is a very ancient Anita's image. I knew I had it but it took a bit of finding! I added some gold-ice stickles to his hat trimmings, and to the smaller stars on the border and the embossed design. I finished it off with a sentiment cut from a little piece of dull gold card with a Signature die (I think). It's not the most usual colour for a Christmas card, but it is nice and cheerful.

So I have managed to make three cards which each use a brand new die and a very old stamp, and I am entering them in the final Rudolph Day Challenge for 2015, at Scraps of Life by Scrappy Mo, and also in Pixie's snippets Playground.

Friday, November 6, 2015

A few more makes for the Christmas market

Last week I showed some of the items I have been working on, ready for a charity market this morning. So here are the items I have made this week. For all of them my Silhouette cameo has been my main tool. 
The first two were a case of chosing some files and sizing them to fit on to purchased objects. Firstly I bought two plain eight-sided jars with glass stoppers, from a todo shop that was closing down. I lined them with white tissue paper studded with silver glitter, and filled them with Spanish chocolates. Then I down-loaded  the snowman file from My SVG Hut, and downsized it, and by cutting it twice, it fitted perfectly around the taller jar. For the smaller jar I used various files from my silhouette library. Then I found suitable ribbons to tie a bow round the neck of each jar.

Next I used two more files from My SVG Hut. On this site there was a note to say these can be resized to suit your project, but we recommend that you do not cut them smaller than 7 x 7inches. I made them less than half that size and they cut beautifully. Even the tiny stars and snowflakes cut perfectly. I love my silhouette when it works with me like that! I used transfer tape to place them on to round mirror plates with clear beaded edges, and sold each one wrapped with a silver candle with a blue bow on it. It is almost impossible to get a good photo of a mirror, but I wanted to show the detail in these designs.

The next two files I used came from a designer I have not used before. Her shop is called Etceteras4U. I saw some of these made up on a Facebook page, and just had to have a go. The ones on the left are made from twelve little flower shapes, again cut on my silhouette. They slot together, which is a bit fiddly, but I guess the mathematician in me, helped me to understand how it would work. As a child I made  a big collection of polygons (solid shapes), and I loved their names as well as their shapes. This is based on an icosahedron, which is made up of twelve identical triangles, and that is how this bauble fitted together. There was no gluing involved. Once the last pair of sides are locked into place, the shape is very stable. I then used a long crochet hook to thread some beads on a string, and then pull it through to add some more beads at the top, and make a hanging loop. 

The one on the right is made from just three strips of card, perforated at the circular folds, and then just linked together. Again, it needed a little patience to get it right, but I love the shape that results from it. Again I used my crochet hook to add the tassel or ribbons, some beads and a hanging loop. I liked the red one when it was made, so I had another go using some ancient bright pink mirri card, and it also worked well.

I have been asked to do a workshop to make these at my Wednesday sewing group, so I will try to get some cut out before then. In the same shop that is closing down, mentioned above, I bought some mirri-card. It was their final days and they were nearly giving things away. They had packs of huge sheets of mirri-card, bigger than A2, that's more than 4 sheets of A4 card, with six sheets in each pack, and they were just 2€ a pack, so I bought a bronze-red pack, a blue pack and a green pack. That should make quite a few ornaments for us, and leave me with enough to keep me happy for years!

My final make was a last minute effort but I am so glad I did it. I bought this file a few years ago, and I can't remember where from. It is called a mindscape, and these images used to belong to Inkadinkadoo stamps. I am not sure whether the cutting files are still available, but I believe someone shares them via pinterest. I was too intimidated to even try cutting it when I first bought it, but having used vinyl quite a lot now, I really wanted to have a go. It wasn't perfect first time, and I had to redo parts of it. Then it was a nightmare to weed out the unwanted bits. Next I found a shadow frame that I bought at The Range on my last UK visit, and cleaned the glass ready to transfer the cut vinyl. I made a major mistake then. I have a very large roll of transfer tape which I hate, but I can't afford to discard it. It is much too sticky, so before I use it I have to wrap it around my arms, or pat it on a towel. Do this too much, and it won't pick up the image. Do it too little, and it picks it up but won't let go of it. And that is what I did with this. So I had to sit with a pricking tool, carefully easing each tiny section onto the glass, and then making sure I didn't touch it again with the transfer tape or it would pick it up again. But patience was rewarded and I finally got the image transferred. Then I placed some very loosely woven linen with gold glitter through it, behind the glass, and some pale yellow vellum behind that. It looked really pretty too.

Don't you just love that image? Look at all the tiny animals, birds and people that are used to make up the main picture. For the final step I stapled a set of ten LED lights across the inner frame so they shine through the vellum when they are switched on. They just look like spots of lights in this photo, but the effect is very nice in real life, and I like that it looks good all the time, with or without the lights on.
I actually sold this at my market this morning, so now I will have to make another one, because I want one for myself!!
For the jars and the candle plates, I used up a lot of tiny pieces of vinyl, and the yellow bauble's twelve elements were also cut from scraps of matching card, so I am linking this up with Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Monday, November 2, 2015

For the Love of London

I made this card for my son's birthday in the middle of October, but, because I have had visitors ever since then, I am only just getting around to show it.
Tom loves the city of London. When he was in  university there, he spent most of his free time walking the streets of London and he knows his way around there, far better than  I do. Just over a year ago he moved to Denmark, and is learning to love his new home city of Aarhus, but I thought I'd remind him of the 'old place' for his birthday.

The front of his card was designed in Adobe using scrapbook elements from a blog hop train by Pixel Scrappers posted last June, on the theme of England.

But the real surprise of this cards comes when you open it right out, and see the inside.
I think that's pretty cool! I bought the cutting file from My SVG Hut, and for the main part, I was really pleased with it. The actual construction of it worked very well. I did have several attempts at cutting the intricate details before I found a paper that was stiff enough to stand up, but thin enough to cut cleanly. I knew my thin, black card would cut, so I used this for the back row. 
The main thing is that the paper has to be low fibre, and I did find some grey pearlised-all-through paper which cut really well. On the third attempt, (adjusting settings and blade each time, on my silhouette), I even managed to cut the fine lattice along the top of the bridge. You can just about see it in the picture below.
But I did fail to cut the big wheel, so In the end I edited the cutting file to make three sections, and cut the main part from the black card, the struts of the wheel from black vinyl, which cuts much more cleanly than paper, and a white paper circle to go behind the vinyl, and that worked quite well.
The red buses were also cut from card, but I cut them again from snippets of red vinyl, and stuck them over the base layer. Even the tires are cut from tiny snippets of black vinyl.

If I make this again, and I may do as I know someone else who would love it, then I would not cut the Happy Birthday letters like this. In the file they were perforated for easy folding, but because each letter is narrow, the perforations actually almost cut them off. Also they did not want to stand up, so some of them needed a small tab of matching card to re-attach them, and they still didn't stand up very willingly when the card was opened. I didn't like the look of them just cut from the inside layer of grey card, so I also cut the letters from blue vinyl which brightened them up, and made them look much better. Next time I will simply cut out the letters and glue them to the base layer, without them standing up. That way they will not detract from the main scene as I think these do. But you live and learn, and my son was very pleased with it, and that is what matters.
I shall link this up to Pixie's Snippets Playground as I used a lot of vinyl snippets for the inside design.

Friday, October 30, 2015

It's Christmas Market time again

Yes, I am having my usual panic crafting sessions to make items for a couple of charity stalls that are coming up in the next few weeks. We had the first one last Saturday but I only took jams and pickles to that one, as it was a joint effort from our church, and other folk did baking, knitting etc.
But now I have my own stall to get ready so here are a few of the things I have made. Starting off with a huddle of sock-snowmen.
They were relatively easy to make, and I love the way they turned out. In fact the hardest part was finding the coloured sock with long enough tops. There were plenty of stripey socks in the market but they were mostly very short, coming just above the ankle. Basically each one is made from the 'foot' of a plain white cotton sock - adult size - that is filled with round grain rice and tied at the top and around the neck. The hat is the top half of a coloured, preferable stripey, sock, and the scarf is cut from what is left over. I glued on a red pear-shaped pin for the nose, and punched black felt circles for the eyes. Then I glued on some matching buttons and used a promarker to add pink cheeks.  I also added a snowflake with a matching gem at the centre, to each hat. So these are very much for decoration only, and are not toys, but I still think they are fun.

Next I called my silhouette cameo into service and using a file bought from My SVG hut, I cut out a stable and assembled it. It was a little bit fiddly, but it all went together quite well. I would like to have stamped the roof with a wood-grain stamp but I haven't got one, and my embossing folder is too small, so I bought some craft, corrugated card, and used that instead. The stable is quite deep, with a vellum backdrop about half-way back.
This leaved enough room to put a battery tea-light behind it which gives the scene a really nice glow.

Again using my silhouette machine, and this time with a cutting file bought from Etcetera4U, I cut out a star.
I saw a photo of this star on Facebook and it looked as though it was white, with a golden light shining through cut out angels and stars. However, when I opened the file in my software, I found it was a solid star, with sequins glued randomly over it! Not deterred by this, I used some stars and angels from my file folder, making them much smaller, and added them over my star sections before I cut them out. The back is another star but without the cut-outs. I wasn't sure whether such small shapes would cut from card but they did. I was using a gold card bought from our 'todo' shop, at 75c for five sheets, so I didn't expect the quality to be as good as it is. Before I glued the last piece in place, I put a small string of 20 Led lights inside it, with the battery case and on/off switch left outside. They are almost too bright, but it does look rather nice lit up.
Each side of the star was cut from an 8inch square of card, and if I have time, I want to make a larger one, using two 12inch squares.

And finally here is a little amigurumi elephant that I crocheted using variegated Danish sock wool, bought from a shop below my son's flat in Aarhus when I visited him this summer.
I am not sure whether he was worth the effort, but he is rather cute.

So I have a few more items in the process of being made, so I am sure I will back in a day or two.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Reindeer for Rudolph day.

Finally I am getting back to some semblance of normal, after a long hot summer and lots of visitors, suddenly it is autumn. We have had several days of rain (my visitors timed it well because they had sunshine every day!), and last night the duvet came out,  and today I need a cardigan handy! So hopefully i can also get back to doing some crafting. 
Yesterday I did a quick browse through my very long Bloglovin' list and commented on as many posts as I could manage, so I didn't get my Rudolph Day post written. But the challenge is open until the end of the month, so I can still do it today. Fortunately I knew I would be busy so I made my cards at the beginning of the month!

I noticed that I had a lot of snippets of mirri-card in my box. I always seem to need a new sheet when I want to use it. So I matched up the gold ones (aren't there a lot of different shades of gold!), and cut out a set of frames with matching sentiment frames, and then set about finding something to put in them.

Once again I resorted to using my digi scrapbook kits, and used adobe to make a card layout, resizing a 12" x 12" backing paper to fit a 15cm card , and adding an image from another set, resized to fit in my frames. I also added a sentiment from a third kit, to fit my small frame. This is all a bit time consuming, but the complete card is now saved in my files, so I can quickly print off more should I need them. They just needed to be cut and glued to the front of a basic white card, with the frames added, and a little stikles to add some sparkle. I also glittered a wooden snowflake to go in the top corner.

I started by printing off two sheets and was a bit non-plussed when the second one came out a pinky-mauve. My yellow and blue cartridges were almost empty and only the magenta one was working properly! I thought they still looked quite pretty, so rather than waste them I rummaged through my mirri-card snippets again and found enough pink to cut frames for one, and purple for the other. They are a warmer shade of mauve than they look here!

I then replaced my two cartridges and made two more yellow and gold cards, using two different frames and die-cutting a snowflake from the frame centres for the corner.
While having my original play around in Adobe, I also tried out a second image that I liked, on a darker background, and I printed one off to try. I thought it was a bit too dark, but once again I didn't want to waste it, so I mounted it on a base card and made a frame from dimensional glitter paste. (It didn't quite fit in my cut frames!). I printed half a Christmas tree and fussy cut it to add some dimension, and added some stickles for sparkle. I also glittered the snowflakes on the backing paper and added gold peel-off sentiments.
So that's another half a dozen cards for my collection. I am linking these up with the Rudolph Day Challenge at  Scraps of Life by Scrappymo, and also at Pixie's Snippets Playground, where it is Di's 200th week anniversary, so do pop over and visit her if you can.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bobbin' Robins

You must think I have gone on strike. I am really just busy with visitors, but with more visitors and a very busy time to come next week, I thought I would just pop in with a set of Christmas cards that I made.
While looking for some inspiration among the remnants of old cards, I found a jolly little robin made from pieces of felt. He was a bit big, and heavy for my cards but I decided to try making him with pieces of paper. So I took him apart and scanned the separate elements, and then imported them into my Silhouette cameo, down-sized everything, and made a cutting file of them. 
Then I rifled through my Christmas paper off cuts and found a lot of little pieces and cut one set out.

Putting it together was relatively simple, and I thought he was quite cute, so I then cut out several more sets.
I mixed and matched the pieces until I had assembles twelve robins. I gave each one a black glass bead for an eye. I also found a cutting file in my library for a branch and added some holly leaves and again cut and assembled twelve of these. Then it was just a case of going through my boxes to find card large enough to make base cards, papers for the backgrounds, some extra scraps of paper, and an assortment of dies, stamps, punches and embossing folders, and getting them all mounted up.
I was given a big sheet of red card that had been very badly folded into rough quarters, and I was able to make several cards and some embellishments, from the uncreased parts of this. I also used some from a similarly folded up sheet of blue card, and some green. I had a couple of large paper surrounds from old cards that I made use of too, and I ended up with a dozen cards that are all different, but are all linked by a little paper pieced robin somewhere in their design.
There were two blue ones;
Two green ones;
Three red and White ones;
And five red and cream ones.
The only new sheet of paper I used was the cream and white snowflakes one which I printed off specially for the cards. All the rest came from my snippets boxes so I am linking these up at Pixie's Snippets Playground.
Then I had better go back and join my visitors.

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Heavenly Host for Rudolph Day

I know I was kind of minus my mojo for a few weeks during our long, hot, summer, but it was still a bit of a shock to count up my pile of Christmas cards and find I have only made 45 so far! So much for my intention of making a dozen each month!  And, as I send around 120 most years, I need to do some batch baking, and Rudolph day is a good incentive to get cracking.

I am very good at collecting stamps, digis, cutting files etc, that I think might be useful for Christmas, but not so good at actually using them, so I browsed my Christmas folder in my Silhouette cameo software and spotted a rather cute, angel. This was a cutting file bought from the silhouette store, so the first thing I did was to resize everything in the file so that the finished card would fit in a standard envelope. I chose white card for the base shape as I have plenty of it, and then raided my snippets boxes for card and papers to cut the various parts. The most difficult was the wings because the swirls tended to tear, and the lower edges of the skirt layers also needed a little help with scissors, but I eventually had the first one made.

I adjusted the settings, to get a cleaner cut, and tried another one which went together better, so encouraged by this, I made two more, mixing and matching card and papers all on a similar theme.
Then, to make it even easier I cut four more base shapes, and four sets of wings without the swirls. Instead I passed them through an embossing folder, and did the same with the top, white layer of the dress. This time I did blonder hair, used shades of blue card and paper, silver foil in place of gold for the halo, and replaced the star with a two layer die-cut snowflake.
I made three more of these, so I really did use up a nice lot of paper snippets.
As with so many of the modern images, the original angels were faceless except for the cut out eyes, but I had to give mine rosy cheeks and a smile!
So the cards in this set are all similar but each one is different, and they make a good addition to my pile. Now for another design....!

But first I will link these up at Scraps of Life by Scrappymo for the Rudolph day Challenge, and in Pixie's Snippets playground.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pink for a special lady

I learned at my sewing group on Wednesday, that an elderly lady who sits with us, is celebrating  her birthday next week. She is very sweet and I wanted to make a special card for her. She wears a lot of pink which really suits her, so that is what I chose for her card. A blog friend Darnell has been running another NEBUS challenge. (For the uninitiated NEBUS = Never Before Used Schtuff!). I have several unused items, bought over the passed months, that I am just waiting for the right opportunity to use, so I found a set of Sue Wilson dies, from the Gemini range. They come in three pieces, an upper and a lower smooth, shaped edge, and a fancy bit in the middle, and the set I have used here is called Pavo. They are wider than I expected, but they were easy to work with, and I think they look really pretty.
This card is a rather last minute entry for Darnell's challenge which ends tomorrow, so I had to photograph it by artificial light which has made it more of a peachy-pink than it actually is, and the backing card is bright white!
I used the upper and lower edge dies to trim away parts from a 17cm square, pre-cut card from my stash, and I also cut the back of the card to match. Then I found a panel of pink from my snippets box. It is actually a page from a wallpaper sample book I think. Some-one gave me loads of them ages ago. But it has a nice texture to it, and I was surprised at how well it cut with the dies. I again cut the upper and lower edges with the smooth dies, and this time I added the fancy part at the top.
The flowers were made with Heartfelt Creations Delightful Daisies stamps, and cut with the matching die. I have used the leaves before with my poppy set, but the flowers are another NEBUS item. I used Memento rhubarb stalk ink on white paper snippets, and copic pens to add some extra colour to the petals. Then I double layered each flower and found some pretty jewel flowers for the centres. The leaves are painted with H2Os which gives them a nice sheen, and they are left over from the poppy card I made a while ago, when I got a bit carried away and made loads too many.
The sentiment isn´t one I would put on many cards but it is very suitable for the recipient of this one. I have two stamps of this verse in different fonts, but neither would fit into my oval die, so I printed it out on the computer and then cut it with what I think is a D'sire die. The butterfly came to me a few years ago on a card or gift, so I thought it was time she flew on to a new home.
So I will be linking this up with Darnell's NEBUS Challenge.
I will also pop over and link it in Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Butterfly Challenge #38; Y is for Yarn

With the very hot summer we have had, time away visiting family, and visitors here, I have not managed to enter this challenge as often as I would like, so I was determined to have a go this time. When I saw the challenge was Y is for yarn, I was a bit dubious. Yarn to me means wool, but I read the post and it said, 'Wool or embroidery thread', and I have lots of embroidery thread so I went for that. (I actually have even more wool, but I do not usually use it on my cards). 

Anyway, I remembered a card I made years ago, according to the information on the photo I took, it was back in 2009!, and I thought I´d give it another try. I hunted around for the necessary stencil which I found, but there was no sign of the instructions, so I had to figure it out again. It also took me quite a time to find the decoupage sheet I bought to go with it. Then I needed to sort out card, threads and beads and I was all set to go. Here is the card I made.
I know, the green layer is not straight, but I used very strong glue, so it is staying that way. It is a good thing I only make my cards for family and good friends, and they are used to my idiosyncrasies. A new pair of eyes and steadier hands would come in useful!
This is the stencil for making the card. I think it is an old Marianne one, but I am not sure. The idea is to cut around the inside of it, leaving the 'bridges' between the circle and triangle, and also around the outside of the square. Then you use a pricking tool to mark the holes along the edges. I sketched a second template and marked where I wanted to sew, and having chosen a copper thread and a bright green one, to go with the centre image, and a few green beads, I did all the sewing trying to keep the template as flat and evenly tensioned as possible. 
When this is done, you cut away the 'bridges' so that the triangle is suspended in the centre. You have to be careful not to cut any of the threads. You really don´t want to do that! Do you hear the voice of experience speaking?.
Next you need to cut matching circles in the base card and a top layer, big enough to cover the actually stitching and template, but not so big that it hides the thread work, and fortunately the largest of my set of circle dies was just right. I was using a large pre-cut base card, so I decided it needed a second mat, and I cut a larger circle in this as it would be sandwiched between the other two. (If I´d stuck to one layer it wouldn´t look so crooked!) Before joining them, I used an X-cut corner punch to cut a small butterfly in each corner. Using a punch again made me realise why dies are so popular. It was hard work!
I used plenty of strong, quick-drying glue to attach the stitched template to the base card, and then glued the green layer to go on top. That's when I remember there was a tan layer to go between them so I had to glue that fast, and by the time I had added the green one it was dry and wouldn´t move at all.
I cut the triangular butterfly out, and the decoupage layers, and  assembled them on the centre, and added a matching plain triangle to the back to hide the stitching.
Finally I found a copper happy Birthday peel-off to go in the bottom corner, added some yellow stickles to the centre of the flower, and at the top I added two shiny butterfly stickers. I bought a set of these from Lakeland before they stopped selling craft items - ten years ago maybe? There were hundreds of them, and they are still so pretty. I have used them regularly, but there are still lots left.
Now I will link this up to Mrs A´s Butterfly Challenge, and as the green card was from my snippets box, I will also pop over to the Snippets Playground to link it there.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rudolph Day

Well Rudolph Day has rather taken me by surprise this month, but fortunately I have a couple of simple Christmas cards I made to try out a new Stampin´up stamp. Rudolph day occurs on the twenty-fifth of each month, when we are encouraged to make a card related to Christmas, and share it on Scrappy Mo´s blog. So why not join in. Here are my contributions this month.

I like cards that depict the Nativity story, but the Kings get most of the attention, so when I saw this image of the shepherds, I just had to buy it. It is a clear stamp, and I haven´t managed to get a very good impression from it yet. Perhaps I need a new black ink pad. However, after a couple of practice prints, I stamped it onto some off cuts of lightly patterned cream paper. This one was using a versafine ink pad. While searching for some dark card to go behind it, I found a piece of navy card that was just big enough to fold into this little base card. It is 9 x 12cms, so I cut my image with a stitched square Crealies die, and it just fitted the card. The sentiment is from a very old SeeDs stamp set, embossed with Stamp-n-stuff Winter Wonderland powder. This is white with silver glitter in it and it is very pretty in real life. Then I just added some sparkle to the star with stickles.

For my second image I used a Memento Tuxedo Black ink pad, but it was no better or worse than the first one. I again cut it with a Crealies square die, and this time I double mounted it with skewed squares of navy card and blue Christmas paper from my snippets boxes. I then found a piece of white paper with navy stars, that was big enough to cover a pre-cut 15cm white square card, and placed the mounted image centrally. The sentiment is from a set of Nativity stamps by Our Daily Bread.
So I´m off to link this up at Scraps of Life by Scrappy Mo, and see what ideas other folk have come up with this month.
I´m also linking up with Pixie´s Snippets Playground.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

With Sympathy.

We had some sad news this week, when my husbands best friend in UK, lost his battle against cancer. I wanted to make a card for his wife, but knew it had to be a quick one so I could post it that day (Friday). We have no postal collections or deliveries at the weekend, so if I didn´t post it on Friday, it would have been at least Monday before it started on its journey.
You will know from my previous posts that I have recently placed a big order with Stampin´up, and another set of stamps I bought was a skeleton tree, this pretty blossom bough, and some appropriate sayings for Sympathy and Get Well cards. I believe the set was called Hopeful Thoughts. So I used them to make this card.

Sorry it is such a poor photo. The card has been sent so I couldn´t try again! The ribbon is actually a pretty olive green that exactly matched the distress ink, and the paper was not shiny!

I tried a few arrangements on scrap paper, and eventually chose this arch made by stamping the bough three times. I coloured the stamp with broken china and milled lavender distress pens, ´huffing´ on it before I stamped in case it was drying out. The sentiment came from the same set of stamps. I embossed a small strip of white paper with a Crafts-Too embossing folder and attached it below the image, cutting the complete piece to fit on a 7" square card. I distressed the edges and raised parts of the embossed strip with Memento bamboo shoots ink, and covered the join across it with a strip of green ribbon and added a bow.

Well I´m back today. Last night I had the same problem as our friend Veerle had last week, and was unable to add a photo, but I followed the advice kind friends gave to her, and cleared my cookies and browsing history, and today everything is fine. There is always something new to learn with the computer.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Wreath is not just for Christmas, +Butterfly Challenge #36 - W is for Washi tape..

In my previous post I showed two Christmas cards I made with a new set of wreath stamps and dies from Stampin´up. Well when I ordered them, I ordered a little floral wreath stamp set too, which is also compatible with the dies, so here is what I made with them.
I started with a scrap of white card which I coloured with my palest violet copic marker, and then stamped with the floral wreath stamp. I cut this out with the dies and coloured the flowers and leaves with copic markers. I also stamped, coloured and die-cut the bow.
A couple of years ago I popped into the QVC reject shop while visiting Shrewsbury, and was disappointed to find that it no longer had the rows of craft items that I used to love browsing through. However they had a few bits and pieces and I picked up a bundle of washi-tape, in ten different colours, and for each colour there was a narrow tape with a geometric design, and a wider tape with a floral design. And, you´ve guessed it, they have never been used! So this month´s butterfly challenge was the perfect excuse for me to dig them out. I chose the green and lilac tapes, and used them to make a wide diagonal corner on another of those pre-cut square cards from my hoard! A lilac one this time. I added my wreath, and some little pink, blue and green shiny bird stickers that I picked up for pennies in a bin at The Range last month. Then I added a green and a purple 3D butterfly sticker to each corner, and stamped a simple sentiment that came with the wreath stamp set.

This is a useful card to have ready when I need one in a hurry so I thought I might as well make a second one. 
This time I chose a pale peach base card and found some yellow and orange washi-tapes to go with it. Using just the floral tapes this time, I made a band at the top and bottom of my card. I then stamped the wreath on white paper and used copic markers to match my colour scheme. I stamped and die-cut the bow, and the flowers from snippets of printed paper - the flowers were also included in the stamp and die sets, and this time I stamped the sentiment inside the wreath. The yellow and orange butterfly was from the same set of 3D stickers as the ones on my first card.

Wondrous Wreath.

I have managed a few hours in my craft room this week, so it was time to make a couple more Christmas cards to add to my stash.
I´ve mentioned before that Stampin´up don´t supply to Spain, but I have found that one of my blog-land friends has an online shop and by ordering through her, and having my order sent to my courier friend´s lock-up, he will then bring it over for me on his next UK/Spain trip. So when they brought out their new Winter catalogue, I decided to treat myself. One of the things I ordered was a set of stamps called Wondrous Wreath, and a matching set of dies, so I wanted to try them out. 
There were three layers of stamps so first I stamped the wreath in green onto a scrap of white paper. Then I added the darker green leaves. These could be made to match exactly the layer below, but I chose to off-set them a little for one of my trials. Lastly I stamped the red berries. I then cut this out with the inner and outer wreath dies. I used some more scraps of paper to stamp the red bow, and hanger and also die cut these.
I am still trying to use up some of my huge stash of pre-cut cards with envelopes, that are positively ancient now, so I chose a pearlised green 12 cm card and made a backing paper by shrinking down a 12" x 12" scrapbook paper that was in my digikit file. I added a border cut with a Fiskars punch, and some red stickles for a bit of sparkle. Red perfect pearls added dimension to the berries and that was my first card finished.

For my second attempt I chose a pale green base card and cut a backing paper from a red scrapbook paper that I printed out for an earlier project. Because I thought it looked too dark, I cut a mat for the wreath on my Silhouette Cameo, using a scrap of paper from my Christmas snippets box. A starry gold peel-off border and more perfect pearls on the berries completed this one.
The greetings on both cards are peel-offs as they were small enough to fit inside the wreaths.
I shall link these up in Pixie´s Snippets Playground.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Enchanted Sparrow Paperscape

My sister Jean, known to many of you through her own blog, had her birthday while I was away on holiday, so I wanted to make her card and have it packaged up, so I could post it to her from UK before I moved on to Denmark. Because of that, it was rather a rushed job, which I know I could add some refinements to if I did it again, but I also knew she would not be too critical so I sent it anyway!

I had been browsing through a site that sells svg cutting files, mainly for 3D projects, and my eye was caught by a very realistic little sparrow sitting on a blossom branch. It turned out to be intended as a paper wall hanging, so I bought the file called Enchanted Sparrow Paperscape, from a site called simply svg cuts, and I decided to make it up and just use cut corners to slot it into a plain white card to send to Jean.
Because it was all done in a bit of a rush, I packed it up and forgot to take any photos, but this weekend Jean sent me some, so here it is.
The background was a piece of plain white card, dusted with a range of distress inks, and then sprayed with perfect pearls sour apples mica spray.
There were then two layers of frame to cut, lots of little flowers and their centres, and the little bird which has nineteen individual pieces, thirteen of them being just for the wing! I was going to show you a map of the pieces but I have just realised it is probably copyrighted, so I had best leave it. But this close up shows the layers on the bird, and you can see that some of them are very tiny indeed. They are also very odd shapes, but I was pleased to find that it soon became fairly obvious which way they should go. Because I use the Designer Edition of the studio software with my silhouette cameo, I can import svg files and cut them straight away, so it was just a case of resizing everything together, so my hanging would fit on a reasonable size card, and sorting out which piece should be cut from which colour. It was a good opportunity to use up some very tiny snippets which I always have plenty of lurking in my boxes.
If I made it again, and had more time, I think I might double layer some of the flowers, and add more shading to their petals, and maybe a little sparkle to their stamens too.
Because I wanted Jean to be able to use this as a wall hanging if she wanted too, I did not add a sentiment to the front, but wrote inside the card instead.
This one can definitely be linked up to Pixie´s Crafty Workshop.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Noel, Noel for Rudolph Day.

Having been on holiday for the past two weeks, the 25th of the month seems to have come round a bit fast, but I have managed to get one card made ready for the Rudolph Day challenge. 
I used a new Sheena Douglass stamp that arrived in the post while I was away. The word as far the camels was one stamp. I stamped it onto an off-cut of plain white card, and added some extra palm trees for balance at the end. Then I made a mask and covered the letters and ground while I dusted on some distress ink. Next I removed the masks and used copic markers to colour the letters and the ground. I used a gold gel pen on the star.
I have a lot of pre-cut cards and envelopes from years ago and the DL ones are all a bit colourful for me, but I am determined to use them up, so I chose a yellow one for the base card. Then I covered most of it up with some blue background paper that I found in my Christmas scrap box.
I trimmed the coloured image panel and added it to the BP, and highlighted the edge of the panel and the BP with very thin gold peel-offs.
Finally I stamped a greeting from a new Stampin´up set.
Considering this was rather a rush job, I was quite pleased with how it turned out, and I hope to get a few more of these made soon.
I am entering this in Scrappy Mo´s Rudolph Day Challenge.
If you are trying to make a start on your Christmas cards too, why not visit her blog and find out all about it.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Son!!

We have several summer birthdays in our family, so before I went to UK, I made several cards to deliver by hand while I was over there. Today it is our second son Michael´s birthday, so I can now show the card I made for him.
Michael has always rather liked the big cats, so when I saw this Tiger face cutting file on the All Things Silhouette Facebook page, I knew I could use it on his card. (The file was designed by the talented Anne Huxter, and was generously made available to members of the group. She has designed many other animals and her files are on sale at her website Treasured Templates)
I made a bright background using red, yellow and orange brusho inks on a wet paper. I was generous with the ink so some crystals didn´t dissolve completely, but this just gave some texture to the finished project and I quite liked the effect.
The black face lines were cut from vinyl on my Silhouette cameo machine, and I used a wide sheet of transfer paper to place them over the best area of background, which I then cut to fit. I then mounted it onto a white A5 base card.
I used the Salamander Script font to write the greeting in the silhouette software, and resized it to fit across the card, and also cut this from black vinyl. This still left me with too much of a gap, so to fill it, I cut strips of trellis with a Memory box die, from the left over brusho background, and trimmed it to fit above and below the sentiment.
I love the way this turned out, and I am sure Mike does too.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Butterfly Challenge #33 : F is for Flowers, or P is for Poppies

Yes, the Butterfly Challenge for this time includes the criteria to add some flowers, so it was the perfect opportunity to try out my new Heartfelt Creations poppy stamp and die set. This set was only released last week, but I had pre-ordered it - I´m a sucker for anything poppy related - so mine came very quickly.
Like many of the HC flowers these stamps and dies each come as one plate, so if you stamp the whole plate, you can cut it all out in one go. To make all of these poppies I cut the entire plate twice. I stamped one in black ink and one in Memento rhubarb stalk ink, but because I chose to paint them, this doesn´t really show.
I had intended to use copic markers, my usual choice for colouring, but I remembered that once upon a time I liked H2O paints for poppies because they give the petals a lovely sheen which most poppies have naturally. It is literally years since I used them, but I dug out my paints and had a lovely messy time. I found that the die is not a perfect match for the stamps so I over-painted the edges quite generously as, for this project, I did not want any white frames around the petals.
There were no leaves with the poppy set so I used the leaves from a similar HC set called delightful daisies. These were also painted with two shades of H2Os and die cut.
While the paints were wet, I also did a quick wash of one shade on the underside of the cut flowers in case it showed, and covered both sides of a scrap of white paper ready for my butterfly.
I used some off-cuts of gold mirri-card and two dies from Spellbinders Respendent Rectangles set for the frame, Britannia dies for the greeting, and the Memory Box die Delaney Butterfly, for the lace butterfly. From my scrap of painted paper I cut the matching Memory Box die Cheviot Butterfly, and glued the gold lace one over it. 
I used an A4 embossing folder (sorry, make unknown), to give some definition to the backing paper, and then mounted it all up.
I am pleased with the end result. i love the sheen on the flowers and leaves.
So now I will link this up for the Butterfly Challenge #33, and thanks to Di´s posting, I now know there is a new challenge on the Memory Box blog and their first challenge is to use a Memory Box die and a Butterfly, and I have just a few hours left to enter.
I used up a few snippets of white and gold card card for this, so I can also go and play in Pixie´s Snippets Playground.