As soon as I’d saw the Beautiful Shapes Dies in the Stampin’ Up! January to June Mini Catalogue they were on my wish list. Since getting the dies I haven’t been disappointed and have enjoyed experimenting with them. The nested circle dies are nice, and I’ve used the hexagons to create frames and for sentiments. Also in the Beautiful Shapes are a couple of dies that cut out tiny diamonds and triangles. I’d had an idea for these right away, and today was the day to put it into action…
SIMPLE SHAPES, SIMPLE IDEA
I’ve always been fascinated by optical illusions and I had a feeling I could create something by combining the diamond and triangle shapes. To do this I first chose three complimentary colours.
I scribbled down a few different combinations but couldn’t resist purples. So I pulled out scraps of Fresh Freesia, Highland Heather and Gorgeous Grape. Then using my Mini Cut and Emboss Machine I set to work cutting out the pieces.
In the end I needed 14 diamonds each in Gorgeous Grape and Highland Heather. From the Fresh Freesia Card I needed 10 of the diamonds, plus 8 triangles. This didn’t take too long as each of the dies cuts out two shapes at once.
FULL DISCLOSURE – The first time I tried this I used Multipurpose Liquid Glue (Tombow) to attach the pieces. However although it gave me time to move them into exactly the right place the result was a bit disappointing (and sticky). But it did allow me to perfect the technique, and work out how many of each piece was needed. So my second attempt was a much quicker process.
Having had my false start I decided a better option would be to use Adhesive Sheet. So I cut a 2″ x 6″ piece and began to create the pattern using my piles of cut shapes.
THREE STEP PROCESS
Essentially assembling the pattern was a three step process. I also realised there were a few simple rules to my pattern, and these definitely helped me as I worked…
- Each one of the three colours ALWAYS faces the same way, and not like the other two.
- If I considered the design as a six-petalled ‘flower’, each colour was always opposite its twin.
- Because the ‘points’ were slightly rounded there would always be a tiny gap right at the centre of each ‘flower’. Trying to fill the gap would make the pattern fail.
The key to getting everything lined up was starting in one corner and using the straight edge to line up the first few pieces.
With the initial ‘flower’ done I flipped the strip of Adhesive Sheet so I could work up the rows.
The Adhesive Sheet also comes with the protective backing in three sections so this meant I only needed to expose a little a time.
By the time I was done these simple shapes had worked their magic so they now looked like a series of stacked cubes. All I needed to do was add the assembled pieces to a bookmark base and my project would be finished.
However… I’d made a simple rookie mistake and had been working with the Adhesive Sheet still on the backing paper. I’d forgotten that when I removed that paper I’d essentially have a collection of pieces with adhesive on the back, but they would no longer be stuck to anything. Duh! I should have stuck the Adhesive Sheet to a strip of paper or card first, then assembled the pieces on top. So as you can imagine it took me longer than planned to transfer the design to a 2″ x 5-1/2″ strip of Basic Black Card. Once the pieces were finally in place I flipped the card over and rubbed the edge of my Bone Folder over the back to make sure everything was really secure. Then I trimmed the panel down to 1-7/8″ x 4-7/8″.
To turn the card strip into a bookmark I punched the top using the oval hole option on the Detailed Trio Punch. Then I cut three 6″ pieces of black twine from the Baker’s Twine Essentials Pack. I folded the twine in half and threaded the loops through the hole. Then I passed the cut ends through the loops and pulled tight to secure them in place. Phew! Finally my project was complete.
Despite the false start and minor technical issues I am really happy with how this project turned out. It definitely is the optical illusion that I set out to create, and very striking. From one angle it looks like a series of stacked cubes, but from another I see a series of steps. Now I’ve done it once I know that the whole process will be much quicker the next time. I already have ideas for using similar panels as layers on cards. What do you think?
BUNDLE BONUS – The Beautiful Shapes Dies is available as part of a bundle with the coordinating Hello Beautiful Stamp Set (not used today). If you want both, you’ll save 10% if you order them using a single ‘bundle’ item number. I’ve included a link to the bundle in case you want to explore this option.