Friday, July 7, 2017

The Gossip Column with Taheerah Atchia | No.8 - Summer Fruits


BLOGLAND, Jul 7 (w&w HQ) - Back with a fresh perspective and a zest for juicy gossip, critically acclaimed trend-reporting feature, The Gossip Column, returns with a freshly-picked exclusive for its latest, celebrated trend in the papercrafting industry.


Hi there everyone, and welcome back to another issue of The Gossip Column!! I know many of you have been awaiting the next instalment with baited breath, so I'm delighted to bring you your latest gossip fix, hot off the press! This month's issue is destined to whet your appetite, with a focus on one of the hottest trends, not only of the moment, but a perennial favourite!!

If you're either new to The Gossip Column, or would like a refresher 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 an exciting Winnie & Walter feature, with trend reporting and challenge and giveaway all rolled into one! Heading up this feature is our columnist Taheerah Atchia!

Each issue, 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 eighth issue of The Gossip Column! We'll now hand you over to our Gossip Columnist, Taheerah!

One of the staple skills of the art student is the still life. These studies, in pencil, paint, or other media, are one of the core skills that artists practice to hone their eye for shape, colour, and texture. If you need to learn to walk before you can run, then surely you need to sit still before you take your first step.

One of the earliest recollections of drawing I have is a still life of an apple I drew in primary school. We were each given an apple, asked to cut it in half, and draw a view of the inside and the outside. I was one of the lucky ones - my apple had rotted a bit and left a chasm in the middle, so I had something more interesting to emulate in my art. I still have that drawing somewhere, and it was rather good, even if I say so myself.

Long before I was stretching my artistic eye, fruits were being represented in art. The earliest discovered examples belong to the Ancient Egyptians, with examples over 3000 years of age. The people believed that their still life paintings, in sealed tombs, would manifest as the genuine article in the afterlife.[1]

Ancient Engyptian Art, featuring fruit

Any glance through the history of art will find fruit littered throughout works of many of the great masters. From Roman floor mosaics (representing the 'unswept' food that had fallen to the floor during banquets!)[2] to Eve being tempted in the Garden of Eden, fruit has been represented in many guises, and with varying symbolism. Clearly Nature was one of our earliest muses.

Adam & Eve, c1507, by Albrecht Dürer

The depiction of fruit in art also serves as a window into the history of its time. Eating habits, social status and religious beliefs (The Last Supper, anyone?) are all details that can be gleaned by the representation of fruits. Mediaeval Upper Classes did not eat much fresh fruit, as unprepared food was regarded with suspicion, leading to health problems and vitamin deficiencies. The poorer classes, ironically, did not suffer the same fate.[3]

Over the course of time, eating habits shifted, with wider travel bringing more and more exotic delights to our tables. Trade and imports opened up a whole new world of epicurean possibilities, and changed cooking as we know it. We barely bat an eyelid now, but many of the fruits we are used to seeing on our supermarket shelves were once not available to us at all, or at best, were a rare treat as regional seasonality delivered. Our practically year-round availability of bananas is thanks to a global trading program. The humble pineapple actually takes a minimum of three years to mature to the point of harvest. In some parts of the world, oranges are never actually orange.[4We really are quite unenlightened about the food that we eat.

Summer Fruits

It would be remiss of this article to discuss fruit without explaining the difference between fruits and vegetables. Bringing home the science, fruits are a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems. Despite legal wrangling[5], a tomato is a fruit - and so is a pepper, and so is an eggplant, and so are many others that we commonly mistake for vegetables.

I've spared you the more complicated details of how fruits grow, but if you do fancy the entire Botany-fest, there's a whole bunch of extra-credit reading you can do.[6]

Now that that's out of the way, we can get back to business.

Citrus Print Dress by Stella McCartney - one of the turning points in High Fashion for fruits

Summer fruits have actually been a trend for quite some time. Beginning with the pineapple, we started to notice fruit appearing in high fashion around six years ago - and it was promptly followed by citrus fruits, peaches, cherries, and, most recently, watermelon. With their immediate Summer-feel-good-vibe association, it's not hard to work out why this trend was embraced into home décor, design, and, eventually, into papercrafting.[7]

Cue the pretty pictures... 



Homeware and décor...


Art and Design ...

From superstition to status symbol, from still life to hipster chic - Summer fruits offer an instant feel-good vibe thanks to their plethora of colours, evocation of sunny days, and sweet treats. With a veritable cornucopia of ways to incorporate fruit into our lives without necessarily being of the edible variety, it is definitely a trend that is here to stay. After all, it is a part of your five a day.

So, with that near overload of the senses from all that inspiration, I couldn't wait to apply the look to my own creations!

My first card is bold, punchy, and full of life:

I started by watercolouring my card panel with Distress Inks in shades of red and green. There have been a few fun watermelon cards created by some of my crafty friends recently, and this is my take!

I used the Scenery: Spotty Creative Screenings stencil to add my watermelon seeds with Versafine ink.

I then built my sentiment with words from The Big, the Bold and Baby, The Big, the Bold and You, and The Big, The Bold and the Happy stamp sets.

My second project featured a more zesty look:

Fun, right?! I wanted to create the look of various fruits being dunked into sparkling water in some kind of punch!

I used the reverse of the circle image in the True stamp set to create all my circles. I spritzed the inked stamp with water before stamping, then spritzed my paper again to spread the inks some more!

I used a pen to draw on all my fruity details! Those splodges of colour became slices of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and kiwi fruit! So fun!

I used the sentiments from the Ring In The Celebration stamp set to finish my card, along with some Nuvo Jewel Drops in various coordinating tones. This stamp set is being released by Winnie & Walter next month, but is already available in the Catherine Pooler store if you can't wait until then!

For my final card I finished up with another 'close-up' design:

I really love this one! It was so much fun to put together!

I used the Scenery: Madison Creative Screenings stencil and spritzed with two different colour mists for a pineapple colour and some shimmer! You should see this beauty in person!

I used the Lulu Fringe Cutaways die to create my pineapple leaves. I finished up with a punny sentiment created with my label maker and adhered the pieces with dimensional glue gel for lots of dimension.

This one does keep cracking me up! FINE-APPLE! Bwahahahahahaha!

So, now that you've had a whirlwind tour of all things fruity, 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 the look of summer fruits in a creative way! Use patterned paper, stamps, a clever technique, whatever - 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, try a new technique, combine with one or more other trends - wherever your creativity takes you! 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 use the look of summer fruits 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 summer fruits as the main focus of your design, embracing a new-to-you technique, and/or for a creative and original use of summer fruits in your design
  • 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 Thursday 31st August 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 Wednesday 6th September.

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. This is a fabulous post of inspiration and a fun challenge!

  2. Always so inspired by your gossip column T! I love love the watermelon card so much. I am IN.

  3. Such a fun collection of fruity cards! Getting my thinking cap on now!

  4. wow! so much fun :) love the cards you came up with. Adore the fresh colors. Look forward to giving this challenge a go.

  5. Overload of inspiration is right! I could just sit & stare at all the wonderful images in this post! Your first card is absolutely amazing--LOVE it! Thanks again for sharing your creativity--such a great challenge!

  6. Amazing, Taheerah....absolutely amazing what you did with the fruity inspiration. Such fabulous and creative takes. Wow. What a great post and fun ideas.
    <3 J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com

  7. A very cool article, Taheerah! We have year-round bananas in Australia and I have never even considered the need to import them, and our Summer oranges are mostly green-skinned and I didn't realise that was "different", haha! I love your fruity creations. The watermelon card in particular is AMAZING. :-)

  8. Oh Taheerah, this is such an awesome post and I just LOVE your projects!! All three are so creative but I especially love the pineapple one... Superb use of the Madison Creative Screenings and who doesn't love that punny sentiment?!? ;)

  9. what a fresh & colourful inspirations, love each card

  10. Absolutely superb cards, Taheerah... all of them! I must confess that this time I haven't read the article, but I'll try to find some time to do so and to participate in your fruit party! I would so wear that watermelon skirt in the photo... :).

  11. While looking for all the Leading Ladies for the Guess Which Leading Lady Game, I came across this post which prompts my question - what happened to the Hot Gossip column?! Was this the last one? I can't find the announcement of the Gossip Queen and Hot Gossips for this challenge either! not_amanda at Yahoo dot com


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