Handicrafts by Kate Perry and other ramblings

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Rudolph day extra.

Our friend Maureen who hosts the Rudolph day Challenge on 25th of each month, is, this year, offering an extra challenge for anyone who has entered every month from January to November this year. As I qualify for that, I thought I would share a little Christmas project that I managed to finish this week. It is this Christmas tree.

I bought the cutting file from svgcuts, and found there were 18 sections to the tree itself, and a further 10 sections to make the base plus sixteen decorative panels to go on the base, and two layers for the star on the top! So it took a lot of card, but fortunately I had three huge sheets of light-weight green card in my cupboard that I bought for something last year and didn't use, and they were just enough for the tree. Of course, I cut it all out using my silhouette cameo machine.
Included with the cutting files was a pdf showing which lines were mountain folds, and which were valleys, and also showed which tabs could be inked. I decided I would ink them and used a new pad of DI picket fence. I am glad I did, because it helped me to see which tabs should be glued on the outside, and which should tuck inside and be glued later.
There was a 59 minute tutorial video for the assembly of the pieces, and without that I might not have managed it!
It was a fiddle to do, especially for the last joins on the tree, but it did go together very well, and was a very clever piece of design work. 
The original had a single candle lamp inside it, though they recommended replacing the bulb with a brighter LED one, but it did say in the instructions that a string of 100 LED mini-lights would also be suitable, and that is what I had to use. I took my photo when all the main lights in the room were on so you can't see them twinkling, but in a darker spot it is very pretty when it is lit up. There are lots of holes for the lights to shine through, and also holes for inserting plastic 'pretend lights', which apparently are intended for replacements in ceramic Christmas trees? I bought a pack of 100 from Amazon, and they are a nice extra touch. This second photo shows the lights better, and the base.
So now I will link this up at Scraps of life by Scrappymo. before you know it, it will be time to post our January cards. Why not make a new year's resolution to join in with us.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Getting carried away.

Here we are at the last Rudolph Day of the year, (25th of the month when we write a blog about a Christmas card or project). So here are two of mine.

I got  bit carried away this month and did some 'batch-baking'. I knew I was a bit behind with my card making so I chose a digi file and printed it off several times. The file is a cute group of singing owls, and is yet another LOTV image. I have used a lot of their images this year, and I am really pleased that they now release a lot of them as digi files. This means I can choose what size I use, but this time I just fitted several on a page and printed them, and then made them a little smaller and printed some more. They didn't need a lot of colouring, so I used my copic markers and got them all coloured, just changing the theme to keep it interesting. Some are red/green, some are blue/turquoise, and a few are purple/pink.
I then raided my die folder and found a few rectangular dies that fitted either the image or made a suitable mat, and cut them all out. For some I used the die for a mat and hand cut a rectangle to go inside it, and others I used the die for the image and hand cut a mat. And for some I drew round the inner and outer edge of the die and fussy cut them. 
In the end I had thirty-five toppers all ready to go on cards! In the card above, the pretty stitched lace frame is from a set of nesties by Gina Marie Designs. It is the first time I have used these and I really like them. I can see them coming out quite often. For the others I used one from Spellbinders Resplendent Rectangles, and one from Spellbinders A2 Distressed Edges sets. The large sentiment is a Creative Expressions die, and the tiny one on the image is from a Gina Marie set of stamps.
I found the slightly larger images did not fit on my standard rectangular cards, so I used some 13.5cm square cream cards that I bought in Hobbycraft several years ago. Some of the backing papers are from new pads that I bought in UK this year, and others are from my huge stash of Christmas snippets.  All the mats were cut from odd pieces of glitter, or mirri-card left over from previous projects, and chosen according to the colours used on the images.

I made fourteen of these square cards.

Next I decided on an A6 base card for the smaller images and once again I was delighted to find several very ancient pre-cut cards in my stash, in colours I could use, and for the rest I cut white ones. The backing papers are mostly from my stash, and I used up some very small off cuts of  the glitter and mirri cards to make various embellishments to match the image mats. This picture shows the different colour-ways I used.
Most of the embellishments are cut with Joanna Sheen Signature dies,  but the snowflake border is a Memory box die and the snowy corner is by Jeanine's Art. That is not a company I am familiar with but I picked it up in a small independent craft shop that I visited in UK.
And here are all twenty-one of the smaller cards.
That is a  huge thirty-five card added to my stash which brings my total up to 140, so now I am ready to get them all written and the overseas ones posted.
I will link up to the Rudolph Day Challenge at Scraps of life by scrappymo, who I am very grateful to for encouraging me to at least get some of my cards made throughout the year, because 140 in a rush at the end of the year, may have been a step too far!

As I used so many off-cuts of paper and cards, I am also linking to Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Across the miles for Rudolph Day

Last month our friend Rudolph nearly caught me napping. This month I am on track, so I am writing this a day early as Wednesday is my busiest day, so not a good one for blog posting.
This has been a crazy month with a visit to UK that included a wonderful 70th birthday celebration for me, and a family funeral, as well as some retail therapy and a good few miles of travelling. I brought my sister back with me for a week or so, but yesterday we saw her safely on to her plane for home, so now I have to get back into routine and do some crafting. And what better way than to make a Christmas card for Rudolph Day.
When I am in UK I usually treat myself to a couple of craft magazines as it is way to expensive to subscribe to one out here. This visit I returned with not one or a couple, but five magazines, so for this card I decided to use all the free items that came with one of them.
The set included an embossing folder of the postbox in front of iron railings, so I embossed it on red card and cut around the post box. I used a permanent marker to colour the base black. There was a tiny die to cut out the letter slot, and another with a matching stamp to make the letters.  There was a stamp for the little girl and a separate one for her hat, which I coloured with copic markers and fussy cut. A variety of word stamps were provided for the front of the letter box and I chose the Happy Mail one. (There was also a little bird and a sprig of holly stamps and matching dies which I didn't use this time).
When I opened the magazine and started flipping through it I found a big pack of backing papers to go with these. I chose an A4 snowy scene and cut a piece from the end of it to go behind my scene, and glued it all to a plain white card. I rounded the post box a little and attached it with silicone glue to give it a little dimension. Then I just added some star-dust stickles on the lamp, the ground and randomly on some of the snowflakes, to add a bit of sparkle.
The 'Happy Christmas across the miles' was also from this set and seemed appropriate for my card. I was pleased with how this turned out and may manage to make a few more before I have to post them.
But for now I will link this up to the October Rudolph Day Challenge as soon as it appears.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A quick dozen (almost) for my Christmas card stash.

Once again feeling I am falling behind with my Christmas card collection, I decided I needed to do a run of a something fairly straightforward, so here is what I made.

The design, including the script, is a cutting file from Silhouette cameo library, which I am sure I bought from the Silhouette store a while ago.  I resized it for a 12cm square card and fitted it six times onto cutting mat. Then I cut it from black vinyl. While the machine was set up I cut the six images again and set about weeding them. This is the tedious job of removing all the unwanted areas using a pricking tool, which can be difficult with the tiny pieces inside the letters 'e' and 'd' etc. However this design didn't prove to be too time consuming so I soon had my cuts all ready to go on cards.
I trawled through my Christmas snippets box and found a range of suitable designs for the backing papers, so  I cut the squares out and used transfer tape to lift each image from its backing paper and position it onto one of the squares.
Next I cut a mat for each one from various colours of the glitter card I mentioned in my previous post.
I was about to cut lots of base cards from white, thinking that this is an extravagant size card to make as you can only cut one card from each A4 sheet, when I remembered the huge stash of precut cards and envelopes still lurking in a bottom cupboard. So I had a look and sure enough, there was a whole box of 12cm cards in a wide range of colours. Amazingly I found one that was a perfect match for every one of my cards so I did a little happy dance and got them all mounted up, and I am really pleased with them. These cards and envelopes must be at least twelve years old, so I am really glad to be making use of some of them.
The more alert of you will notice that there are only eleven (almost a dozen) cards here. I did cut twelve but one didn't make it through the weeding-transfer process so I had to discard it. But still, eleven cards in one evening is a good result.
Now I am rushing off to Pixie's Snippets Playground to join in the fun before the gates are closed for this week.

Monday, September 25, 2017

September Rudolph day Challenge

Goodness; is it really the 25th already?! Rudolph nearly caught me out this month but fortunately I still had four of my little LOTV digi images ready to make into cards.
I printed the image four times and coloured them all in the same way with copic markers, just changing the colour for the little bird house.

I have been making a lot of 17 x 11.5 cm cards, which is sort of the European version of A6. They have just a little bit more space to work in and I really like them. (Plus they are exactly one half of a sheet card from the blocks I buy at Lidl's!).

However I have run out of the matching envelopes, and the shop where I buy them had restocked with the ones for A6 cards, so I have gone back to the smaller size for these.

The image includes a narrow, slightly rough edged border, so I decided to make white base cards and use my pens to colour the image border, and then distress the edges of my backing paper to match them, rather than cutting a mat for it.

So I started with two red ones. I was looking for some backing paper and found a small piece left over from an old papermania 6 x6 block, that I have mostly used up now. It was just right for these cards so I cut a tile from my snippet, and used a graphics programme to seamlessly cover an A4 sheet of paper, and printed it out.

I then did the same for the other two using green for the border.

The snowflake border is cut with a Joanna Sheen signature die, using some pretty, glitter card. This is lovely and sparkly IRL, but quite soft and smooth to touch and it die cuts beautifully. I can buy it in about eight different colours from our local 'Chinese bazaar'. It comes in huge sheets, possibly A2 for just 45 cents a sheet, so I thought I had better try to use some. The sentiment is one that turned up when I was sorting my stamps out recently and I am sorry, it had lost its packaging so I don't know the manufacturer.

So that is another four cards for my stash, which is coming along quite nicely. I have another two weeks out with visitors and visiting, so I still need to do one big run of something simple. The rate this year is flying by, I'll soon be posting the overseas ones.
But for now I will pop over to Scraps of Life by scrappymo, and enter this in the September Rudolph Day Challenge.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

More Lili of the Valley - DL style

A few weeks ago I said I had printed out a selection of images bought from the new Lili of the Valley Christmas range of digistamps. I was slowed down because we had several lovely visits from our family in UK, but I have finally managed to colour them, and most of them are now cards.
I am trying to use up some very old items of stash, and among these I found a pack of pastel coloured DL cards which were just perfect for these images. There are three sets so here goes.
1). Christmas feasting.

I thought this was such a cute image. I printed three of them and coloured them with copic markers. Then I chose three base cards and routed around in my Christmas snippets to find oddments of paper and trims to go with each one. So they are basically the same with different colours for their scarves and base cards, and different embellishments.

2). Nativity
These little images were sold as a Nativity trio, but I will let you into a little secret. I didn't like the centre one because the stable was empty. Now for me the whole point of the Christmas story is that there was a very special baby in the stable, so I put one in. I don't normally adapt digistamps, but I felt I had to do this. Here are the before and after pictures.

I again coloured the images with copic markers except for one. Can you spot the difference in my photo? My sister does beautiful colouring with coloursoft pencils, and as I have a lovely set of these, I thought I should try them again, so I used them for my first set. But I was not happy with the result. My arthritic hands struggle to hold a pen for long enough for me to sign my name, so I really struggled with this. Copic markers are my go-to colouring tools and they only need such a light touch, that I find them much easier to handle. 

I made backing papers using ink dusters and distressed inks, and die cut gold mirri-card mats for the images. The sentiments were printed on the computer. I made a set of five all the same

3).Angels from the realms of glory!
Another cute image. LOTV does them so well. Aren't they truly angelic? I found I could get four of these on an A4 sheet of paper, so that's what I did. I used - you guessed it - copic markers to colour them -  and for speed I used the same pens for each one. I added some Leonie Pujol glitter ink to the wings and halos.
The image was a bit too small for the DL cards, but I was determined to use them up so I chose two pale yellow ones, and two peach ones, and found some lilac off-cuts that went well with both colours. I cut a mat for each image, and from the bit that is hidden behind the picture, I cut the sentiments using Joanna Sheen dies. I also used a Joanna Sheen Signature die - starry border - along the lower edge of each mat, and used the cut out stars to fill in between the words.

So there I have it; another ten cards to add to my collection. According to my plan, I am about where I hoped to be by the end of June! But that is still an improvement on my total a few weeks ago.
I am entering the first two  in the ABC Christmas Challenge where the criteria is S for sketch/T for trio. I didn't manage to match them to a sketch but they both show a trio.
All three cards are going over to Pixie's Snippets Playground and also to 
The Merry Christmas Challenge #33 where Anything Goes as long as it is Christmas.

Friday, August 25, 2017

More robins for Rudolph Day.

I see it is a month since I posted on here, but it has been a lovely month of visits by family, so there was not much time for crafting. But last month I mentioned I was way behind my target for Christmas cards, so the next day I printed off several sheets of  LOTV digi images that I had just bought from their new Christmas release.  Most of them have now been coloured, and when my last visitors leave I will have one month to make cards with them, before I am off to visit UK myself!
But yesterday I did manage to put the first six together ready for this challenge. They all use a funny little, fat robin which I had printed and coloured in the same way, six times.
I cut them out with my largest plain oval die (Go Kreate I think), and then searched through my snippet boxes and found enough to cut six mats, three red and three green, using a die from the Nestabilities Floral Ovals set.

For the red ones I made white 17.5x11cm base cards, and used an old Personal Impressions stamp across two corners. The sentiment is from the Inkylicious clear stamp set - Season's greetings. I had already put quite a lot of stickles glitter glue on the branches of the image, so I finished them off with red perfect pearl drops for the berries on the stamp. I made three the same with slightly different shades of red for the frames.

For the green ones I used very pale green base cards. A long time ago I was given some very big sheets of card that had been roughly folded, and were difficult to store, so I cut each sheet into as many standard size blank cards as I could. I've been looking for an opportunity to use some of them. With offcuts from the green mats I cut strips of a holly border (Joanna Sheen signature dies), and I found some oddments of holly paper left from a do-craft set from several years ago. I covered the base card with the BP and mounted the matted image as high as possible. Then I stamped a sentiment under it from a hero Arts Christmas sentiment stamp set, and just managed to add the border below this. Again I used red perfect pearl drops for the holly berries.

One green base card was slightly smaller so I used the border a little differently.

Now they are all done and I have six more cards for my stash. Now I must get on and use the rest of my prepared images. But for now I will link these to the August Rudolph Day Challenge, and also Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Variations on a Theme for Rudolph day.

Yes it it Rudolph Day once again - the 25th of the month when we all get to show our latest Christmas makes. I recently bought a NEW set of dies - It is a Creative Expressions set designed by Sue Wilson, called Festive Collection-Holly Lattice Frame. To be honest, the holly in the frame is so insignificant that I think you could get away with using it at any time, but I felt a set of Christmas cards would be a good way to try them out.
As well as the dies I bought a coordinating rubber stamp of a robin on winter foliage sitting on a frame, so I started by stamping it up three times. I cut a mask for the actual robin and sponged some ink on the frame, and then coloured in the image with copic markers. I used the largest die to cut one out, and the second size to cut the other two. Then I again used the largest die to cut three mats from pieces of red card from my snippet box. I put one of these aside and for the image cut with the large die, I coloured the inner and outer frames in dark green instead of using a mat. 
Then I chose the smallest frame die to cut out the centre behind the robin, leaving the lower part still attached so I could fussy cut around the little bird. When I put these onto the red mats I felt the robin was overpowered by the red background so I ran a snippet of white paper through my snowfall embossing folder (sorry no maker's name on it), and cut small pieces to go behind the cut out centres of my frames.
Then it was a case of adding each one to a background. I knew I had some offcuts from an OLD set of robin and holly BP bought  when shopping with my sister, probably at Hobbycraft. The robin one wasn't quite big enough so I used a piece of plain white paper below it and tried a technique I have been meaning to try for a long time. I used Adobe Photoshop to design a bold sentiment using two fonts, and printed it with my laser printer. Then I laid some red foil on it and passed it through my laminating machine and I was quite pleased with the way it turned out. You can just see the shine in my photo above.
For the image with the green coloured frame I used a green base card and a snippet of the holly paper from the same set as the robin one. I stamped a sentiment from a Hero Arts clear stamp set, and some Inkylicious festive berries in the corner.
For the last one I used a plain white base card and stamped it with my all time favourite holly flourish stamp, a very OLD one by Penny Black, and another sentiment from the Hero Arts set.
To finish them all off I added drops of red perfect pearls to all the holly berries on the frames and backgrounds.

And finally, for something completely different, I used the remaining red mat I had cut. The die set I had used got its name from the two remaining dies that I had not so far used, a lattice work centre piece, and a flourish fill-in for the main frame, so I cut both of these from gold mirri card and added them to my red mat. 

Not quite sure what to do with them then, I rummaged through my Christmas snippets box and came across half a sheet of Hunkydory card, and some loose poinsettia flowers which matched it. To allow enough of the flower corner to show, I cut a cream square base card and a piece of the Hunkydory poinsettia card to fit it. Then I used a craft knife to cut around some of the flower petals so I could slip my red and gold topper under them. Then I glued two of the loose flowers together and added them to the top right corner. The sentiment is a Creative Expressions die, cut from the same gold mirri card, and then I just added a few rhinestones to the centres of the flowers.
So that is four more cards to add to my collection. I counted them up today and I have made 45, which is approximately half of what I had planned to do by now, so I think I had better do a major production line one next!
In the meantime, I will link this to the July Rudolph Day Challenge, and also to Pixie's Snippets Playground,

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Butterfly Challenge #82

I was honoured to be asked to be Guest designer for the Butterfly Challenge #82, but I was a little less sure when I knew the chosen colour was Orange Peel. It is not a colour I would normally chose to craft with, but it is a bright happy colour and I wanted to send a cheerful card to one of my sisters who is going through a tough time, so this was perfect. The actual challenge was to use at least one Butterfly + M for matching pairs, and/or the colour Orange Peel. 

So I started off by making an orange base card. I had several new items that I wanted to try out, so next I chose some heavy white card and embossed it with one of the new Crafter's Companion 3D embossing folders - Country garden. To enhance the depth of the embossing I lightly swiped it with gold metallic paint that I bought at a recent Lidl's craft sale. I wiped the excess off so some of the design showed through white. It dried with a nice sheen to it.
I used some more of my orange card to cut one of my favourite oval frames. (I think it is a d'sire die but I had it before I kept account of the names so I am not sure). I have a plain oval die that fits the centre of this, so I cut it from white paper and used another almost new stamp - I think I have inked it once before. It is from the Altnew set, Persian Motifs. I chose orange and yellow copic markers to colour it and mounted it on the base. For the butterflies I used another new set (I have been spoiling myself lately!), also by Altnew, called Painted Butterflies. There were plenty to choose from but I wanted my Matching pair, so I chose just one. These are stamped in three layers using different shades, and my Misti comes in very handy to get them positioned correctly. There is a matching set of dies so I cut them out and adhered them to the frame. I used Momento Tangelo ink to stamp a simple sentiment and cut it as a banner with an orange mat.
Now I shall go over to Mrs A's Butterfly Challenge and see what lovely creations you have made.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

June Rudolph Day Challenge

Here we are at Rudolph Day again already. Because I have been busy finishing off items for our son's wedding next week, I needed a quick and easy card to make for this challenge, so I turned once again to my Silhouette cameo library of cutting files and I chose this picture of a shepherd. 
When I brought it up in my silhouette software I realised I didn't really like the way it was going to turn out. If I just cut it and adhered the pieces to a base card I would end up with black stars (and black everything else), on a white background. So I played around with it a bit and separated the elements and then just cut the wavy 'ground' lines to use as a template. From that I made a mask which I used to add some distress inks in blue above the mask for the sky. Then I used the other half of the mask to cover the sky and dusted on green inks for the ground.

Next I cut out the ground lines, shepherd, sheep, large star and script from black vinyl  and used transfer tape to move them all in one go, onto my background, trying to line up the black pieces with my sky-meets-earth background.
Then I used some silver holographic vinyl to cut the inner large star and all the small stars and again transferred them all together, making sure I fitted them around the black silhouettes. I neatened each side edge with holographic silver peel offs and that was my card finished.
While my software was set up to do this, I made four more cards the same so another five have gone into my Christmas stash box.
And that's all there is to it. So now I will link up with the June Rudolph Day Challenge, and I hope to see lots of your links there too.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Butterfly Challenge #79

Having just about recovered from having my lovely son and his partner here for twelve days, while also suffering with a virus that left me feeling like a wet dish-rag, I decided it was time to go looking for my mojo and get making again.
I needed a birthday card for one of my sisters later this month, so when I saw the Butterfly Challenge was open for four weeks this time, I thought I could combine the two.
My sister will be a magnificent 89 years old, so I wanted something  bright and bold for her and I chose some dark fuchsia-pink card, which is one that would normally be left as I came to the end of a mixed colour pad!

I used a cutting file that I think I bought from Craftuprint. It was for a tent-fold card with a circular, over the edge, centre piece, but it turned out to be a poor file because the two were welded together which meant cutting it would leave me with a folded card with a big hole in the centre, and lots of 'confetti'!! So I played around with it in my Silhouette Cameo design software for a while and managed to extract a file for the base and a second one for the centre overlay, which I made sure to save in my library so I can use it again sometime.
I cut the base from the pink card and the overlay from some pale cream card.
For the centre , I used a hero Arts stamp on the left over cream card, and sorted out some copic pens that toned with the pink card to colour it, adding some yellow Leonie Pujol sparkle ink to the flower centre. Then I cut them out with the matching Sizzix framelet die, and glued them to the cream mat.

For the butterfly I used  two matching Memory Box dies, one lacey and one solid, cutting the lacy one from some more of the cream card, and the solid one from a single layer of Fantasy film-watermelon, which has pink tints in it. I glued them together and then cut a second cream lacey layer and glued the filmy one to it just along the body. I cut a body from a snippet of the pink card and used it to attach the butterfly to the card. This gives the wings a lovely iridescent sheen which actually shows in the photo for once.
I wanted a bold sentiment but the one I had was just too big for the space. It should have looked like this. But I cut it from more cream card anyway and carefully trimmed away the 'swooshes' just leaving me with the two words. I moved them around until they fitted in my space and glued them on, and I am happy with the way this turned out.

So now I will Link up with The Butterfly Challenge #79 where the challenge this time is to use L is for layers,  the colour cream, and of course, a butterfly. And remember, you still have nearly two more weeks to add your own creations.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

May Rudolph Day Challenge

Every month on 25th day, I try to make a Christmas card to enter in the Rudolph Day Challenge over at Scraps of Life by Scrappy Mo.
This month it has been a real challenge as we had my son and his partner out here for the last twelve days - they went home this morning - plus the throat virus I had in January has come back to haunt me, so I haven't felt up to doing much crafting. So I needed a quick and simple design and once again I turned to my Silhouette Cameo files to find one I haven't use so far. I settled on a simple skyline cut-out of Bethlehem, that makes an accordion fold card. As two copies fitted nicely on a sheet of 12 x 12 dark blue card, I cut it twice.
The file was just for the basic shape with the windows and doorways cut out, so I then made files for pieces of yellow paper to go behind all the apertures. I thought they made the back look a bit messy, so I also cut each section of the main card out again just a tiny bit smaller, this time in heavy white paper, and glued those to the back. It made the card a bit more stable, and much neater. 
Finally I opened a sentiment cutting file for the words "Joy to the world; the Lord is come", and divided it into four sections, rearranging and resizing them to fit between the windows on each section. I cut them from dull gold vinyl and transferred them onto the cards.
I was quite pleased with the end result and here it is. 

This was a very straightforward card to make so I saved all my files so I can make a run of them later. For now I have two completed to add to my collection.
I am linking this to the May Rudolph Day Challenge.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Star Gazing for Rudolph Day.

Quite a while ago I  bought this little Art Impressions stamp, but I have never got around to using it. It is a cute image with a lovely sentiment around it, so I decided to make use of it for this month's Rudolph day Challenge. So I stamped it several times onto plain white paper, and coloured three using the same set of copic markers for each one.
I cut the inner square out and mounted it over a second stamped image, which I then cut out with a Go Create frilly circles#0 die. (The image above is square because I cropped my image to get a more detailed picture of the stamp). I distressed the edge of the die cut with blue distress inks, and then decided I was quite happy with the result, so I coloured some more images and cut and mounted them in the same way, so I had a set of six toppers to use.

Then I sorted through my huge collection of pre-cut cards and envelopes, the 12cm square ones for these, and selected some appropriate colours. I have so many of these cards and a lot are in colours I would not normally use. I think they are a left over from when I had access to an excellent QVC seconds shop where they nearly gave away kits that had been opened for a demonstration etc, and I picked up all sorts of stash that I might not other wise have had. So I am really trying to put some of it to good use this year.

Anyway, I then raided my snippets boxes to find patterned papers that toned with my cards and this is the first one I completed. I used a Joanna Sheen star border die to cut along the paper layer, and to make it show more, I also cut it from a thin strip of silver mirri-card, and glued the silver stars into the paper cuts. Then I finished it with a silver peel-off sentiment.

Then I used a variety of papers and other oddments to make the rest of the set. The Christmas Blessings sentiments are also cut with Joanna Sheen signature dies.
So that is six more cards to add to my collection. I am way behind my target, but at least this challenge inspires me to get a few more made each month!
So I am linking this to the April Rudolph Day Challenge, and
Pixie's Snippets Playground, because, for once, I have managed to use up quite a few snippets of paper.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

March Rudolph Day Challenge

Well here we are at 25th of the month again. I swear these monthly challenges make the time fly even faster. This has been a busy month for me, so I only managed to put one card together this time. I will have to do better than that to meet my schedule of at least a dozen each month! But here it is anyway.
I started with a 15cm, pale blue preformed card from my stash. It had a printed image on it which I covered with white paper passed through my falling snow embossing folder (sorry I don't know the company). The trees are a Marianne die, the deer family is a Memory Box die I won on this challenge some months ago, and the frame is a Go Kreate 'frilly circles' die (Not a very apt name but I like the shape!). The sentiment was a file in my Silhouette cameo library which I cut using the same cards as the trees and the smaller deer. I finished it off with some glitter glue on the trees, which changed colour because it was on dark card!, and a few holographic snowflake stickers. The left hand tree and snowflake above it are just about hiding a join in the background paper because my embossing folder wasn't wide enough!
So I will link this up with the Rudolph Day Challenge over on Scraps of life by Scrappy Mo, and perhaps I had better start making some for April now.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A mint green butterfly challenge

Despite my good intentions, I did not manage to enter the last Butterfly Challenge. But when I saw the new challenge I was determined to have a go. The challenge is to use a butterfly combined with E for edges, and/or the colour mint green. Well mint green is a colour I use a lot both in my clothing and in my craft, so I was happy use that.

I am currently trying to make a few items for a charity stall at a coffee morning at the end of the month, and a couple of weeks ago I saw a project on Dreaming Tree that I wanted to try. So I purchased the cutting file which was for a paper sculpture designed to fit in a 12" square shadow box frame. We cannot buy these in my area of Spain, so my sister bought four frames and posted them to me, but I chose to work with 8" frames instead. So I resized the files and cut them out using my Silhouette Cameo machine. I chose mint green card for the background and had made the first one ready to be framed when the parcel arrived. (Sorry it is hard to get a photo of something behind glass, so there is some reflection distortion on the left side).
The first layer of white is cut twice and the two parts are glued together for added strength, and mounted onto the background with foam tape. Then the decoupage layer is cut and shaped, and mounted onto the base. I added a few iridescent and pale green gems to add some sparkle. As you can see from the picture, I downsized the file a touch too much because I did it before the frames arrived. I would have preferred it if the white outer edge had met the frame with no green showing, but I intend to make this again with probably a pink background so I will do better next time!

Then I resized the files again to fit on a 6" square card. This time I only cut the lower layer once and glued it directly onto a mint base card. I added the decoupage layers and some gems as in the picture, but using pearls instead of gems on the butterflies. Then I used a Joanna Sheen signature die to cut "Happy birthday" from a snippet of the card and covered it with glossy accents to make it pop a little more. I glued it where  the background was flat. The picture is protected by the glass, but I put a little silicone glue under the butterflies' wings on the card to save it losing all its dimension in the post. So here is the card.
I was pleased with how well this smaller file cut from card. I think the new Premium blades for the cameo are a big improvement. here is a little picture of the two items together so you can see there really is quite a difference in their size.

So now I will link this up with Butterfly Challenge#74: Mint green (I can't really call a wooden frame an edge so I will just go with the colour this time),

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Non-Traditional cards for Rudolph Day

On the 25th of each month we try to post about another Christmas card we have made, and suddenly the date has arrived again. I am a wee bit ahead of myself as I am writing this on the evening of 24th, but I am sure by tomorrow, there will be a Rudolph Day Challenge for me to link up with.
I am really trying to use up my papers and card, but also looking at items that have never been used, and browsing my files this week I came across a digital stamp that I bought along with several others, from Aurora's Wings. It is called the Rose Angel, and I am not even sure it is a Christmas image, but I decided to use it to make some very non-traditional Pink Christmas cards. I had the forethought to choose my dies for frames up front, so I could print out the image in the right sizes. That doesn't happen very often!

I printed it three times, and coloured each of them in much the same way, using my copic markers. Then I punted around for pieces of card to go with them. So here is my first card.

I found a new sheet of deep pink card which made two base cards, and a scrap of lighter pink for the frame which was cut with the largest die from the Spellbinders set, Resplendent Rectangles.  I used some Tsukineko sheer shimmer spritz on the image to give it just a little sparkle, and cut it out with the next size down from the same die set, and mounted them together on the base card.
I wrote the sentiment on the computer and printed it out three times. I made one into a banner and glued it across the base of my image.

The second card was made using the other half of the deep pink card, and I again spritzed the image. This time I cut and framed her with  Just Rite Nested medium oval labels, using the same light pink card as before. Then I cut two panels using Sue Wilson's Striplets-Lattice Windows die from white card and layered them under the image. I cut the second sentiment using the cutting edge and inner edge of a label die (make unknown). I liked this layout and will use it again some time.

My third card is slightly different. I used a white base card and covered it with a snippet of pink backing paper. The image and frame were cut using  stitched square dies, and the third sentiment, cut as for the second card, was attached at the base with short off-cuts of sticky ribbon.
It is not like me to use pink for Christmas but I think it worked quite well, and I have three more cards to go in my collection for next Christmas. 
So in the morning I will link this up with the February Rudolph day challenge and see who else is getting ahead making cards for next Christmas.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Butterfly has landed.

Anyone who has read my previous post will know that I misread the criteria for a challenge and was left with a paper-pieced butterfly looking for a place to land. Well this week she has landed on a card I made for my sister's 82nd birthday.
The butterfly was made using a Leane Creatief stamp which I won as a prize in an earlier Butterfly Challenge. I stamped her onto various snippets of yellow and orange paper and cut out the individual sections to glue in place on an image made by stamping on white card.
I found a piece of burnt orange card to make the base. For the next layer I used a new set of stamps and matching dies from Altnew, called Amazing You. First I stamped the various leaves off the edge around a piece of white paper cut to fit the card front. I coloured these with copic markers.
Then I stamped some of the flowers onto snippets of the same papers I had used for the butterfly, and cut them out with the corresponding dies. I added a little colour to their centres and glued them to the stems and leaves.
The sentiment is a very old stamp by Crafty Individuals, and I finished the card off by randomly adding green and orange card candy in the spaces.
I am going to link this up to Pixie's Snippets Playground as I haven't been over to lay for a while.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Using a Trapeze Template for the Butterfly Challenge.

Before I start I'll share a 'senior moment' with you. I have been housebound for nearly two weeks with a nasty throat and ear virus, and I needed something to get me working again, so I thought I'd look to see what the latest butterfly challenge was. I glanced at it and saw P for paper piecing and thought I could do that, so I found my Leane Creatief butterfly stamp and stamped it twice onto white card. I coloured the outer frame in black on one and dark brown on the other, and decided I preferred the brown one. So I then stamped the image again, parts of it anyway, on several papers from my patterned snippets box, and proceeded to cut out the sections from the wings and glue them into place on my white image. Soon I had a pretty paper-pieced butterfly ready to go on a card.
Then I went back to the challenge blog and discovered there was a sneaky little 'r' in that word, and what I should have made is a paper-pieRced card!

So back to square one: - This time I dug out a Trapeze stencil by Mariannedesign.nl, bought decades ago, and used only once that I can remember. The idea with these stencils is to cut an aperture with a 'floating island' in the centre, held in place by stitching. This week's challenge is also to use the colour fern, which I presume can really be almost any shade of green, so I made a dark green base card and taped the stencil to the front. Then I carefully cut around the three unwanted sections and removed them.

Next I pierced holes round the circle and the triangle leaving some out, because I didn't need them all for my pattern. So when the stencil had been removed I was left with this, which I am showing to prove the paper really is pierced, because later I am going to cover it up!
The stitching is the next stage. This is a bit of a fiddle especially as I chose to use metallic thread which can be stiff and inclined to tangle, and I also added beads to some threads for extra interest. When all the stitching is done, sharp scissors and a very steady hand are needed to cut away the three struts that were supporting the triangle, without cutting any of the threads. It is not pretty when that is finished as all the threads are secured by bits of masking tape, which now needed to be hidden. 
To do this I cut two squares from a sheet of paper saved from a magazine I think, and cut a circular aperture in each, just one or two millimeteres smaller than the one on the card, and I glued one on the front and one on the back of my stitched piece. I also cut a matching triangle of the paper to go in the back of the 'island'. On the front of the triangle I glued a butterfly image that I bought a sheet of when I bought the stencil. They provided some extra layers so I decoupaged it a little. Then I cut a large frame using a Marrianne cut and emboss die and removed its centre with a tiny-scalloped circle die, and glued this to the front.
To finish it off, I added tiny green and pink gems to the spaces around the frame and in three of the corners. In the fourth corner I stamped a simple sentiment and added a small butterfly sticker. Then I piped a little green glitter glue around the butterfly's wings. So here is the finished card.
And here is a close up of one corner to show the detail better.

I did feel that perhaps the dark green card masked the sewing a bit and I am in two minds about adding a white insert behind it. Here I have just placed a piece of paper inside for the photo. Hubby likes it better with white behind it. See what you think.

So now I will link this to Butterfly Challenge #72: P is for paper-Piercing and F for the colour Fern. I think I have used enough shades of green to cover that as well.
Meanwhile there is still a paper-pieced butterfly fluttering around here somewhere, looking for a card to land on, so back to the drawing board!
P.S. Please see my next post to find out where she eventually landed.