Sunday, 4 September 2016

Peacock Colours - Less is More Challenge 292

I got some exciting post delivered this week - I bid on some Sizzix Thinlits on ebay. An alphabet, cos I don't have one. And I got it hurrah! It's 661040 Delicate Letters by Emily Atherton.

I had a fiddle around and decided that actually whilst I liked the letters themselves I really like the spaces left behind once the letters have been cut away.

And worked out that I can run the Thinlits Dies through the Big Shot in stages (depending on how many letter repeats are needed). For example, I can do Birthday in one pass, but Happy needed to be done as 'Hap', then letters moved around for the last 'py'. I suspect this is where electronic die cutters come in, you can do multiple letters and things much more easily!

This is my first card made using the idea of using the waste leftover card after you've cut the letters out. Then I stuck a piece of red card behind it to make the letters pop. I think it's a bit stark, but the parentals really like it, well mum did, dad thought it needed something else.

Then came Saturday which is when the Less Is More Weekly Challenge starts. And this week it's using the colours of a peacock's feathers.

I have an enormous stash. Upstairs. In boxes too big for me to move around by myself. However, I do have a box of paper and also my Big Shot downstairs. So I decided. I'd do the challenge if I could find appropriate stuff downstairs already available. I think it went quite well....

I had green/blue/purple papers, though they're a bit muted and not all at shiny. And I have my new Thinlits Alphabet. I remembered that lovely late mediaeval poem that you can read from the top or backwards from the bottom. And the first two lines made me think of shooting stars and making wishes.

I used the Die Cut Alphabet (Thinlits Delicate Letters) to cut out the words on blue, green & purple paper (Dovecraft 8x8" Leigh Bourne Designer Paper Pack), and glued them onto a lighter green paper from the same pack. The hearts are from the same paper using a Provocraft Hearts die (has lots of different hearts and a key on it, no actual product no. on it though). If I'd had a star die it would've been better. But I don't. So that was that!

It was a right faff restoring the negative space to the B, R, D, A etc, I put the letter back in, then used that to guide where the 'space' went. It's not the cleanest card, there's glue smears cos Tabithacat came to visit and a quick trample and sit on my stuff (sigh) and there's a bit of dodgy trimming at the sides. But that's what happens when you lose your fine motor skills. I'm not buying any new glue etc til it runs out, but when I do, I think i'll be buying some of those glue mouse things. Far easier and cleaner to use!

Overnight I puzzled a lot over whether to and how to incorporate the actual poem, as an insert? on the back? what colour paper or card? I know I have a CD somewhere that makes it easy to print out verses on the inside of card blanks. But that's upstairs. And I didn't fancy trying to get the verse printed direct onto an 8 x16" card blank, sideways and get the positioning right.

I ended up opening Word, setting up custom sheet size to 8x8" and picking a font and changing the colour to purple, and printing it on another piece of the light green paper. Which forms the back of the card. I have to say the purple came out somewhat charcoal colour in real life, but it looks purple in the photo. Weird huh!
Trimmed it all up - cos it's not very easy applying scapbooking weight paper to card using double sided tape, it needed tidying! And ta da! a poem birthday card! The inside is plain white (I usually use plain white card stock as the foundation for whatever papers I'm using for the design.) Of course, I have no envelope. Sigh. I'll have to cut down a big office type one for it. Or give it to someone physically present so it won't need one...

As you can see, when passing the sandwich through the Big Shot for the second time (to make sure I got a good clean cut), the T moved in Fiery Tail - but as it sort of reminded me of a comet's tail I kept it. Now I'm not so sure.... However, it's a learning curve and I think I'm going to buy a magnetic plate for the Big Shot so that the letters stay where I put them, no matter the 'bowing' of the cutting plate.

I'm also a bit grumpy that my other clear plate (marked Bottom Plate, not for cutting) now has little puncture marks where the back of the Thinlit Dies aren't quite clean and there's a bit of metal sticking up that feels rough to the fingers and makes them hard to move around on my self healing cutting board.

Anyway, I've decided I do rather like these thin metal dies. I bid for a Tattered Lace Essentials flower set but didn't get it. I shall keep an eye out for more. I think they can be useful. I quite fancy a lower case smaller alphabet too.

I actually fancy an electronic die cutting machine BUT I have other things to spend my money on. So that's that!

This is the poem. You can read it the normal way but also from the bottom upwards. A trick poem!

I saw a Peacock, with a fiery tail,
I saw a Blazing Comet, drop down hail,
I saw a Cloud, with Ivy circled round,
I saw a sturdy Oak, creep on the ground,
I saw a Pismire, swallow up a Whale,
I saw a raging Sea, brim full of Ale,
I saw a Venice Glass, Sixteen foot deep,
I saw a well, full of mens’ tears that weep,
I saw their eyes, all in a flame of fire,
I saw a House, as big as the Moon and higher,
I saw the Sun, even in the midst of night,
I saw the man, that saw this wondrous sight.
                                  Anon - Pre 1665


  1. This is quite awesome! You've been so creative in your approach. I love the double line on the T and thought it was on purpose to look like a comet's tail, so I think you were right to leave it. The poem is great - I haven't come across that before. Very clever. With holding dies in place, I don't know whether this would work for you but I use little bits of post-it tape to hold them down and stop them moving as they go through my Cuttlebug. A roll lasts for ages so it might work out more cost effective than a magnetic plate? Anyway, thanks for playing along at Less is More! Great to see you with us again :)

  2. This is really creative and the finished result is fabulous!
    Super poem too!
    Thanks so much
    Less is More

  3. Very clever design and super poem to go with it.

  4. What a fab card! I really admire your patience in cutting all those letters out individually, but the final effect is awesome. Love the poem too - it is new to me. Thank you so much for sharing this with us at Less is More.
    Sharon xx

  5. Super creative card, love the poem too, clever you ;) Viv xx


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