Friday, June 10, 2016

The Gossip Column with Taheerah Atchia No. 4 | Spectrum

Editor's Note:  We've extended the deadline to 31st of July at 11:55 p.m. CST to enter the challenge!


BLOGLAND, Jun 10 (w&w HQ) - Following an extended hiatus, celebrated Gossip Columnist Taheerah Atchia returns, undaunted by tragedy, to revive trend-reporting feature, The Gossip Column, for its second run of critically acclaimed investigative journalism into emerging trends in the papercrafting industry.


Hi there everyone, and welcome back to another issue of The Gossip Column!! I know it has been quite some time since my last issue of this feature, and I know many of you have missed it. I hope you can understand and forgive my break.  I trust that your appetite for your Gossip fix has not waned, as The Gossip Column is making a comeback! Many of the best stories feature comebacks, right?! This month's issue plunges right into the action, with a focus on one of the hottest trends around at the moment!!

If it's been so long that you're either new to The Gossip Column, or have forgotten all about it, please feel free to digest the most recent article, or keep reading for a quick recap of what The Gossip Column is all about:

The Gossip Column is a, now returning, monthly feature, with trend reporting and challenge and giveaway all rolled into one! Heading up this feature is our columnist Taheerah Atchia!

Each month, Taheerah will bring you an article, hot off the press, featuring a trend of some sort. Her write-up could feature trends reported from anywhere, not just papercrafting! As a part of the article Taheerah will also bring you some projects which interpret the chosen trend into papercrafting in some way - before throwing down the gauntlet for you to do the same! This exciting take on a challenge will still bring you the chance to create projects featuring your favourite w&w goodies, and the chance to win prizes too! But, more on that later!

Without further ado, let's dive straight into the fourth issue of The Gossip Column! We'll now hand you over to our Gossip Columnist, Taheerah!

"Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue..."

Are you picturing a rainbow too? Despite the obviously incorrect combination of colours in the lyrics (which always bothered me, even as a child - I used to sing a 'correct version' instead) I'm sure reading those lines transported many of you back to childhood memories and the wonder that a rainbow conjures.

And even into adulthood, people can't help but stop and gaze when a rainbow appears. The haze of hues conjured by the refraction of light through water droplets may nowadays be met by a flurry of camera phone snaps and social media shares, but cast yourselves in the role of ancient onlooker and one can understand how this phenomenon of optics was revered and formed the stuff of myth.

No pot of gold in sight

Everything from the religious, to the legendary, to the superstitious - rainbows have certainly cast their cultural influence across the ages. The Greeks and Romans believed they represented Iris, a messenger of the Gods[1]The Buddhists believe them to be a bridge, linking the world of suffering and illusion, Samsara, to the formless emptiness of highest achievable state, Nirvana[2]; the theme of a bridge also being seen in Norse Mythology as a Bifröst between the two worlds, Asgard and Midgard[3]The Bible determines a rainbow to be a sign from God that He would never send another flood, with devout Christians said to use the colours of the rainbow to focus their prayers[4]. And many, many more interpretations besides[5],[6]. From bridge, to messenger, to archer's bow, to serpent - it's clear that rainbows have long captured our imaginations for millennia.

The Bifröst connects Asgard and Midgard

Romanticised and mythologised rainbows might be, but the scientist in me twitches at the thought that spectra should find their beauty only in the superstitious. Once again art and science can find common ground, with Optics serving as our oeuvre to explain the phenomenon.

White light forms just one part of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. The Electromagnetic Spectrum encompasses all the different frequencies of radiation that a particle can emit, with light being the only range visible to the human eye. Other forms of radiation are also harnessed for our use, such as X-Rays (having a shorter wavelength) and radio waves (having the longest), but these require instrumentation other than our vision to detect.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

The term 'spectrum' was first utilised in optics by Sir Isaac Newton[7] to mean the range of colours observed when white light was dispersed by a prism[8]. Newton may be well known for discovering gravity through the famous apple-falling-from-a-tree tale, but it is also in Optics that he made many of his advances to the field of Physics. His dedication to the scientific method was undoubtedly impressive - at one point he even jammed a darning needle into his eye to see how it would affect his perception of light and colours[9]. Definitely not something to try at home.

White light actually comprises of several colours of different wavelengths, and when light passes through a medium with a different density, it causes the waves to bend in a process known as refraction. When the waves bend, it splits out the wavelengths of different frequencies, and so the individual colours can be seen.

Refraction of light through a prism, revealing its spectrum

So what of rainbows? Essentially, water droplets in the atmosphere acts as millions of tiny prisms, reflecting and refracting the light so that a spectrum appears. However, the conditions of observation must be such that a person can observe this happening at exactly the right angle, otherwise a rainbow cannot be seen.

Observing a rainbow

Despite the name, rainbows are not only formed by rain. Any water droplet (e.g. from fog, waterfall spray and so on) can perform the optical feat required to split light asunder. Secondary, tertiary and even quaternary rainbows have been naturally observed - as have moonbows, supernumerary rainbows, so-called fire rainbows (circumhorizontal arcs), and more[10]. Just as light is actually made up of many more than 7 colours, so the phenomenon of rainbows itself seems determined to enthral us with countless permutations of interpretation, observation and imagination.

Fire rainbow (L) and waterfall spray rainbow (R)

Fast-forward to today, and rainbows are one of the hottest trends of the moment. Everything from fashion, to food, decor, and papercrafting alike. Graphic design is teeming with spectrum logos (think Instagram, A Color Story, Winnie & Walter). Artists of previous generations depicted many a rainbow in their Fine Art, and our modern-day love affair with the spectrum today takes the form of everything from bold graphic statements, to delicate licks of pastel hues, and smaller-scale prints...


Graphic design...


Home décor...


The colours, mythology, wonder and beauty of a rainbow can't help but uplift the spirit. It is no wonder, therefore, that we find ourselves drawn to the inherent happiness that the spectrum produces - be it in the LGBT Pride flag, the rainbow-unicorn meme, the bold nature of graphical prints, or the daring lines of fashion. Chasing that elusive pot of gold might be a fruitless endeavour, but embracing the nature of this trend certainly is not.

So, with that near overload of the senses from all that inspiration, I couldn't help but see a million different interpretations when it came to using rainbows in my own work! I have seen so many designers rock this trend, but of course I wanted to do something different!

My first card was inspired by a well-known album cover:

Doesn't it make for a great Father's Day card?! I used the giant detailed diamond die from the Flawless Diamond Cutaways and then used a white pencil to draw my lines, and painted my watercolour spectrum on top of them!

The circle sentiment from The Write Stuff: Leave it to Dad is just perfect for completing the look - it mimics the album cover perfectly!

My second card is not quite a clean and precise, and that's exactly why I love it:

I broke out the Mini Scenery: Multifaceted stamp set and heat embossed the pattern on white cardstock. I then used the In a Word: Hi Cutaway, die cutting the word from the panel and then popping the die back in and watercolouring it.

The blends and bleeds of the colours into each other, and outside of the shape, were too good to part with, so I ended up using the entire panel, popping another die-cut in to add some height to the 'Hi'. I impressed the card front with the Cover Model: Multifaceted Cutaways to continue that geometric pattern, and added the 'there' from The Big, the Bold and Comfort to complete the look.

My final card really went all-out and embraced the idea of a spectrum in a totally bold way:

Certainly packs a punch!! I blended my panel with Distress Inks then blended several other pieces of cardstock and die-cut many, many stars using the Big Bang Confetti Cutaways. I worked out my pattern and adhered them all in place, which certainly took some time but was well worth it!

I blended a smaller piece of cardstock in the same way and die cut it using the In a Word: Thanks Cutaway, backing it onto a slightly offset white cardstock equivalent so it stood out a little more. A heat embossed phrase created with stamps from the The Big, the Bold and Party finished everything off nicely!

So, now that you've had a whirlwind tour of the mythology and science of rainbows, a host of inspiration images*, and some of my own creations to further inspire you, I am delighted to bring you this month's Gossip Column challenge!

Your challenge is to create a project which uses spectrum/rainbow colours in a creative way! Use a number of the colours, or all of them - the choice is yours! As always I like to stretch your creativity, so I'm asking you to think outside the box with your designs and push your use of the theme outside your comfort zone! Pick a style that's new to you, or use your supplies in a different way, or perhaps even break out the Fine Artist in you, or use a technique that splits ink colour into many, like you might have done in school! Don't be limited to a literal interpretation of rainbow colours or order - feel free to experiment with pastel hues, limiting your selection of colours - whatever you fancy! I will be looking closely for originality as well as execution when it comes to picking winners, so dare to be different and show me what you can do!

*Need more inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board for a plethora of pins to further spark your creativity!

The Rules
  • Create a brand new project which uses spectrum/rainbow colours as a part of your design
  • Post on your blog or to an online photo album. Ensure you link up to this challenge post in your blog post
  • Extra credit will be considered for projects which use the colours of the spectrum as the main focus of your design, and/or for a creative and original use of the rainbow colours
  • You must use at least one Winnie & Walter product for your creation. This can include our free digital products too!
  • Link up your creations to this post using the Inlinkz below. Please use the link to your actual post rather than the link to your blog
  • You can enter as many times as you like!
  • The deadline for linking submissions is Sunday 31st July at 11:55pm CST. 
  • I will select one overall winner ('Gossip Queen/King'!) and two honourable mentions ('Hot Gossips'!). The Gossip Queen/King will win $30 credit to the w&w shop, and the Hot Gossips winning a $15 credit a piece!
  • Winners will be announced on the following Friday (5th August).

Are you ready to put your gossiping skills to the test?! I can't wait to see your creations!!

Just one more thing before you go! We would love your feedback on The Gossip Column and the challenge, so please do leave us a comment on this post! Each and every issue of The Gossip Column will focus on something different and we can't wait to bring you the future issues if you love this feature!

'Til next time, Gossipers... !


Further Reading:


  1. Welcome back Taheerah!! Fabulous post and I LOVE the challenge. Can't wait to play along!!! 😍

  2. so happy to see you back. awesome article and the cards are amazing

  3. Loved your article, Taheerah. I'm a fan of mythology and science so this reached out and grabbed my attention, immediately. Also, impressed with your use of the spectrum on your cards from clearly defined to a riot of color, all are impressive.

  4. One can NEVER have too many rainbow-ed cards ;) Welcome back.

  5. Taheerah you are BACK with a vengeance!! LOve your cards ... now [insert chin tapping here] what shall I try - since you've thrown down the 'do something out of your comfort zone' gauntlet! The wheels are turning! xx

  6. Welcome back Taheerah!! Love your theme and cards!
    Moxie Craftie

  7. So happy you're back, Taheerah, and this article is over the rainbow!!!

  8. Wonderful post - even the science - lol. fabulous cards and so happy to see the rival of this post. Strong work Miss Taheerah :-P

  9. WOW - it is WONDERFUL to have you back Taheerah and with such a RAINBOW BANG!!!
    LOVE your cards, such EXCITING designs!!!
    I confess to having a fascination for rainbows, from the science behind them to the sheer beauty. ... I still remember the colours by reciting the verse from an old science teacher, ROYGBIV = Richard of York gave battle in vain = red orange yellow green blue indigo violet
    NOW it's time for me to go away and start thinking about what to create :)

  10. Taheerah, I knew I would be in for a treat this evening when I had time to digest your comprehensive article. I always learn so much from them, and not just about card-making! You have a unique perspective on things, and a distinctive voice. I'm already looking forward to the next one : )

  11. Wow what an informative post. Good to have uou back. Your projects are stunning especially the last one.

  12. Wow what an amazing come back!!! I've learned so much from this article alone, and holy inspiration batman!!! So excited to create something now and to get those wheels a turning!

  13. Awesome article! For whatever reason, I have always been in awe when seeing a rainbow. Thanks for all the info.

  14. Welcome back Taheerah. LOved your gossip column here.. Looking forward for the spectrum challenge :)

  15. So happy to see you back Taheerah and really enjoyed reading about rainbows. Can't wait to get started on some projects and look forward to next months column!!!

  16. It's wonderful to see you back, Taheerah, and with a great article! I'm also looking forward to play along. We all need rainbows in our lives!

  17. I'm thrilled to see you back with the fabulous Gossip Column with Taheerah! I absolutely love that you really delve in each theme!
    I can't believe that you created a card inspired by the "Dark Side of the Moon", one of the very favorite albums (and band) here at home :). I made a knitted sweater to my husband about thirty years ago, inspired by the same album cover... at first he couldn't close his arms because the sleeves were too tight, but then I fixed it :). My husband still has the sweater, but don't use it, of course. You just brought sweet memories.
    Every card is amazing, like always!

  18. I finally had a chance to read your article, Taheeerah....bravo! Welcome back! Hoping I have time to play along this month - rainbows are my favorite!

  19. So happy you are back! Great article, photos, and cards! But I just realized that my card doesn't feature all the colors of the rainbow... So sorry...

    1. Thank you for your kind words Susanne! Don't worry - it doesn't have to feature all the colours! :)

  20. wonderful column, and that album cover will always be a favorite. wonderful inspiration in your cards.

  21. You managed to combine Asgard, Isaac Newton, Pink Floyd and a rainbow layer cake into one freaking awesome post! We totally have to meet one day, Taheerah - we can have a cardmaking, science talking, mythology talking, cake eating nerd session together!

    1. I also adore the fact that you included further reading links!

  22. Welcome back Taheerah, I hope that all is well with you and your family. We have missed you. Lucky the time has been extended now I can have a go.

  23. I love your cards but my favourite is definitely the bold use of the colours! What a fantastic card! I could look at it all day long!! :)


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