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.