Wednesday, 31 August 2016

The fussiest of cuts

It's another Clarity Challenge today.

I had such good intentions to not leave it until the last minute this month (after my "6 minutes to spare" effort last month). I did start my snipping back on the 8th, but have still had a day of it today!  So posting the finished picture now, and will be back to blog properly once I've linked it up, to make sure I don't miss the deadline.

Back again!

The challenge theme is fussy cutting. So I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to practise my parchment snipping. I had a go at the Clarity Retreat in July, and got some scissors. It's a bit of an acquired skill, but I thought even if I start out a bit ropey, I should be a lot better by the end of the challenge!

I used the leafy swirl Groovi plate. I love this design, the stencil is my favourite, so I had to get the plate when it came out, although this is the first time I've used it. The idea was to use the stencil for the background, so the two tie together.

I quickly realised that the swirls aren't the easiest way to start with the picot cutting! But, I ploughed on anyway. And I think I have got better. I figured out that when doing the piercing (around the design, with a two needle tool), working towards me is a lot easier than away, I get a smoother line.

And snipping is easier when you've got a solid sheet to work on, so doing the fiddly swirls first, then the straighter bits, is best. The actual picot varies, some is alright, other bits are a bit ropey, and I'm not always sure why - I think I'm doing the same but the results say otherwise! Practise, practise, practise.

But despite this, I think the results are very pretty.
You'll spot the butterfly there as well. This is a Clarity Club stamp. I heat embossed it in white onto parchment, and picot cut it out. There is a Groovi butterfly, but I don't have it.

So, that was the time consuming part of the project. I was expecting the gelli plate background to be a lot quicker. I didn't allow for the unpredictable element! I've had several goes and different approaches to this today. Some just didn't turn out as I wanted, but I also had a lot that looked great but then stuck to the plate and were ruined when I tried to pull the print. Not sure what was happening, maybe I'm using the wrong paint, maybe the plate needs a bit of tlc, maybe the paint needed to go in the fridge(!). On the up side, I have some lovely waste prints etc to use, and some partial prints - I may need to get into paper piecing to make use of them.

These are the prints I ended up using. They both started with a thin layer of yellow on one side and blue on the other, then south pacific, lifted off through the punchinella. 

The top one then had a layer of cream paint, also lifted off. I put hey pesto on to lift the print, that didn't take much of the paint off, so I used the cream paint again to pull a second print, which is what I've used.

The second print had a layer of hey pesto which I laid the stencil into, and lifted paint off through the stencil and punchinella. As it dried I removed the stencil and pulled a waste print to remove the paint under the stencil, which was still wet.

This is the waste - how lovely. I have a few of these now! I might try to work them into next month's challenge, In the Garden.

I then used the cream paint to pull a print with the paint left on the gelli plate. It tore a bit, but was the best one, and I was able to cut a panel out of it to use.

I over stamped the first print with the butterfly, in Potting Soil archival ink, to add interest.

I then put it all together. Both gelli prints were trimmed, then edged in brown sharpie pen, and mounted on white stencil card with a narrow border. The small piece went onto the larger, on foam pads to lift it. I then attached the parchment using a tape pen - I use these all the time, so it's a bit of a result to find that they can be used on parchment and don't really show.

And here's the finished article again.

I'm not sure how I thought this would turn out. I had hoped for more of a stencil background, but it wasn't to be.

However, that did lead me to using the two prints together, which I like. It's all a learning curve, I had fun playing with the gelli plate, despite the frustration at times. And I'm happy with the outcome, it's delicate and pretty.


  1. The addition of the parchment detail adds extra dimension to your card, Lucinda. Love the background, too. Thank you for continuing to support the Clarity Challenge and best wishes. ;~}

    1. Thank you Shelagh. The parchment swirls are a lot of work, but very pretty, and I think I'm getting faster at my picot cutting.

  2. This is a lovely piece of artwork Lucinda - great idea to use parchment as the fussy cut details.
    Wishing you luck in the Challenge x

    1. Thank you, although there were times when I wished I hadn't started down this road! But slowly getting to the point where the repetition is quite therapeutic. And good to do something new.

  3. I do love Gelli print backgrounds and yours perfectly fits your delicate parchment swirls and butterfly. Great instructions too, thanks for sharing. Good luck in the challenge x

    1. Thank you Lesley. I love gelli prints too, especially when they work, and I love mixing parchment with other techniques. Picot cutting adds a new twist to that. It's lots of fun exploring the possibilities.


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