Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Trying something different.

That is a bit of a misnomer as none of these projects are entirely new to me, but they are different from making cards which is what I normally post about on here.
Once the Three Kings festival is over, it is pretty quiet here for a month or two, so I have had time to complete a few projects that have been on my ´to do´list for a while.
1. Some digital scrapbooking. I started by re-running a few video tutorials on using masks and other techniques in Photoshop, and then I put together this page which features a photo of some of my decorations this Christmas.

I hope to be making more pages on random topics through the year. This was a resolution I made last year but never got started on it, so hopefully this is a more positive kick-start.

2. Using many of the same techniques as for the scrapbook page, I then made this picture for my son´s partner. She had a puppy when she was twelve, and it has been her constant companion for seventeen years. She was the fittest dog I´ve ever known. Even as recently as a year ago, she was still up for a walk around the park, and would still play with a frisbee, but sadly they had to say ´Good-bye´to her in November. So I got my son to send some photos of Bow (She was called Strongbow!), which I made black and white. The backing paper, called Bearly Mine-Heart flourish, was in my computer folder of downloaded papers, but I can´t remember where it came from, but I toned the very white background of it to a pale grey. I used two of the hearts on it to add some printed words, and also added some to the main image, both sentiments I have seen on the internet and saved until needed. Then I placed the main image fairly centrally, and used bought, digital photo masks to add the other photos around it. I gave it a narrow black frame and now it is posted , and hopefully will soon be with Ella. I hope she likes it.

3. Next project is a decorated mirror for my craft room. When I changed my room around back in October I rescued a big mirror that was propped up against the wall, left there from when I had kittens who just love to play with their own reflection. I scrubbed it up, but it had a very bright blue frame so I dealt with that first. I gave it a couple of layers of white gesso and two of pale aqua-green paint that was left over from painting the trims around the house last Autumn. It still looks blue in the photo but it isn´t at all. It had sat around like that for a few months, so this week I cut two images from black vinyl and stuck them on opposite corners. I am a bit of a font-addict and have around 2,000 fonts on my computer, but recently I have bought some commercial script fonts with lots of added glyphs or flourishes. It was a bit of a learning curve to master how to access these and use them properly, but again I found some good video tutorials, so I set about using Samantha font, with added glyphs, to write the words, "Wish", "Dream", "Imagine", "Create", imported them into my silhouette cameo, and cut them out from different coloured vinyls, and added them to the mirror. Finally, I used some butterfly cutting files from my silhouette library, and the same colours of vinyl, and added three butterflies to two corners of the frame. It took some juggling around to get a photo without my reflection in it, but I couldn´t avoid the door frame, and I took it in a rather dark corridor so the colour of the frame is not very true. But I am pleased with the end result, and it is now hanging above my craft desk, quite high because it is only for decoration, and it actually reflects the light and brightens up my room in the evenings.

4. My fourth project is something completely different. I have finished a blanket that I have been making for months. I always have some knitting and/or crochet on the go, which I mostly do if I sit to watch TV in the evening, but as I don´t watch TV very often, these projects usually take me a long time to complete. I am still running my Knit for Africa project, and ladies at my sewing group give me baby clothes they have knitted, and lots of squares for blankets, which I sew together and finish off with an edging. But through the summer it was too hot to have a blanket on my lap, so I put them aside and decided to make some squares of my own, because they are nice little pieces of work to hold. I prefer to crochet. Mum did a lot, and the house was always filled with cushions with ´granny squares´for the covers, but more recently there has been a resurgence of interest in this craft, and the internet is full of patterns for new stitches and designs, that I have never tried. So I made a sampler blanket with twenty-five squares, each in a different colour and a different stitch. Some had to be undone and restarted several times, because I had to ensure they were all making up to roughly the same size. When they were all done, I crocheted a simple narrow edge to each one, and then crocheted them together instead of sewing them. It makes good strong seams, and adds an interesting ridge around each square. Then I did a few rounds in grey and orange to finish it off. I love the finished blanket.
One or two of the stitches were complicated and I won´t be using them again, but others had really nice textures, and some I would like to use to make a whole blanket in the one stitch. Here is a close up of some of my favourites.

This was a good way to use up the balls of wool left over from the baby clothes. I always say to my ladies to bring me any left-overs to use for blankets, so I have a big bag of wool ´snippets´. I have one kind friend who takes all the really tiny pieces and knits stripey squares with them. Sometimes she only gets one or two rows out of each piece. They look lovely when they are done, but there are so many ends to sew in!! I am really grateful to her for doing this. But I prefer the ´snippets´that are just long enough to make a whole square, and I am glad I have finally used some up. So this will be in my next consignment of knitting to go to the charity we support. And, in the meantime I will link this fourth project up in Pixie´s Snippets playground. It will make a change from taking a card there with me!


kiwimeskreations said...

You are a busy lady Kate - love that blanket. Not only is it colourful, but it has been beautifully made!!

Di said...

Wow Kate, you've been very busy! And your snippets blanket is absolutely fabulous! Love the wonderful colours you used as well as the variety of patterns!


Di xx

Jean said...

I love all the lovely textures you worked into the blanket, it looks great.
All of your other projects are brilliant too, I am sure Ella will be thrilled with her picture.
Jean x

Sarn said...

Super work here Kate. Good use of your wool snippets too.

Happy Sunday to you. xxx

MaryH said...

What a delightful post to enjoy as I sip my coffee this morning. Each photo was so interesting, and I loved reading the how-to-s with each. You've done some splendid projects (and kudo's for finishing your UFO-s- each one turned out so stunning). The textures of the patterns in the blanket just made me want to touch the monitor! And the colors are brilliant combined together. This is a lot of love to warm whomever is lucky enough to receive it. I'm awed by your PS skills with the masking, fonts and all that you did to create the wonderful tribute to Bow. His mistress will treasure this. And your mirror is such a work of art. Would love to have a visit with you and learn how to do some of these fascinating skills that you accomplish so well. TFS & congrats on your well deserved Snippet Playground highlight. Happy Sunday. Hugs too.

Unknown said...

you are a very versatile crafter Kate, and a very busy one! Am sure the picture of Bow will be treasured, and your blanket is fab - so long since I did any crochet, and the designs and stitches have changed so much since my granny squares!

Karen said...

You dabble in many crafts Kate and you are so good at so many of them. I love your blanket. I wish I could crochet but haven't managed it yet, the colours and texture on your squares is just quite simply stunning! I wish I could reach out and touch it but I know if I did I would want to keep it! So generous of you to donate them xx

Neet said...

Fantastic knitting of squares there Kate. What wonderful patterns.
Hugs, Neet xx