Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

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.