Saturday, April 20, 2013

CSI #68: A few clouds

Hello! Have you seen that CSI:Color, Stories Inspiration has revealed the new design team members, a real dream team, don't miss checking out the new and continuing members. This week we have a whimsical case file:

I had fun with mixed-media:

Just a few minutes before I was going to start working on my layout for this case file, my son said this funny thing, totally out of nowhere: 'My ears told me that they want a little bit of air. My tummy told me that it only wants a little cloud. Then my tummy will be very big and very happy.' It was so funny and fit real well for this case file so I immediately started to scrap it. From the evidence items I used: owls, clouds, flowers, and paint. And from the testimony items: document something funny

I wanted the layout to have a fun, whimsical feel to it and created a little scene with paint, crackle paste, stamps and dies.

I used watercolour paper for the background and mixed the same shade of blue-green as in the colour palette, as well as a bit of yellow. The yellow sun was painted first and some yellow streaks in the sky. Quickly, I painted the green paint across the sky, letting it blend together with the yellow, which is why I had to be quick, because you don't want the yellow paint to dry first. I also painted a few grassy hills, not worrying about any perfection here. I left quite a bit of the paper white.

When this was dry, I made a stencil using the two clouds from the Arrows, Banners, Chevrons & Clouds die, and Eclipse tape. For this technique, see my step-by-step tutorial on using your dies to make stencils. I smeared Golden crackle paste thickly through the stencil with a palette knife and wiped off the knife on the paper to create more streaks of clouds. This was left to dry overnight to give the crackles time to develop.

The tree was die cut from mat board with the Tree & Heart die. I used the 'joy' movers & shapers die to cut out the word in the crown of the tree. The canvas covered grungeboard arrow and hearts were left-overs from another project. The trunk of the tree was painted black and when dry it was sanded to reveal the white mat board.

The tree crown was covered with a thick coat of crackle paste and left to dry. When dry, I used watered-down Juniper Adirondack paint to paint the tree, wiping quite a bit of the paint off, so that it would be darker in the cracks. It has a really cool texture. The paste dries to a matte finish, which I really like.

 I used the watered-down Juniper paint to add colour to the cracks in the clouds.

I use this stamp by Tim Holtz often and thought it fit really well on this layout.

This Hero Arts flower stamp works so well as whimsical trees (I've used it in this way before). It was inked with Bundled Sage and Black Soot and misted with water before stamping. I used Tim Holtz new Tapered Fringe die to make the grass and die cut it twice from Bundled Sage Core'dinations cardstock, which had first been sanded a bit. The grass was layered and shaped. I had a left-over piece of velvet hearts on my desk and also used some really old Prima flowers. I wanted some small birds and owls in the scene, and shrink plastic was the solution. I love using shrink plastic when I need a smaller version of a die.

The birds and owl were die cut from shrink plastic and after they were shrunk, I coloured them at the back with alcohol inks. The owl was stamped with a swirl stamp and Jet Black Stazon on the front. I painted all the pieces with white paint at the back (see this tutorial), assembled the owl and then coated the owl and birds with Glossy Accents. The owl holds an 'A', which was made from paper clay in a Martha Stewart mold.

Glossy Accents give a really nice finished look to shrink plastic. After the glossy accents was dry, the owl got googly eyes.

I used a Hero Art stamp as a home for my journaling and placed the other shrink plastic bird on top. 'My ears told me that they want a little bit of air. My tummy told me that it only wants a little cloud. Then my tummy will be very big and very happy.' I wrote a bit more about this statement at the back of the layout.

Thank you for looking!


Dies: Sizzix: BirdsOwl #2, Tapered Fringe, Wanted Sizzlits, Mini Old Jalopy & Arrow, Heart Set, Tree & Heart, Arrows, Banners, Chevrons & Clouds, Movers & Shapers Joy
Stamps: Hero Arts: Three Flower Balls K5598, Frame with Scrolls K5541, Be Happy sentiment; Stamper's Anonymous Tim Holtz: District Warehouse, Tiny Textures, Mini Ornates
Ink: Ranger Archival Jet Black; Distress Ink: Bundled Sage, Black Soot; Stazon Jet Black
Alcohol ink: Adirondack: Butterscotch, Sunshine Yellow, Cranberry, Raisin, Black Soot
Paint: Daler & Rowney watercolours; Ranger Adirondack Juniper, Snow Cap, Black Soot
Medium: Golden Crackle Paste; Ranger Glossy Accents
Surfaces: Ranger Shrink Plastic; Sizzix Little Sizzles 6x13 white mat board; Daler & Rowney watercolour paper; Eclipse tape; Core'dinations Tim Holtz colour-core cardstock
Clay: Martha Stewart paper clay and Alphabet silicon mold
Embellishments: Prima flowers; Hero Arts pearls; Panduro velvet hearts


  1. This is just simply GORGEOUS! I love all that great texture!

  2. FABULOUS layout! I just loved the watercolor bg a lot an the textured clouds !

  3. Simply stunning... the imagination and creativity of this is utterly wonderful!
    Alison x

  4. I am totally blown away by this. Such artistry! In awe of your background work and the way you used the materials for this...will definitely be coming back for second third and fourth looks so I can try some of your technique. STUNNING!


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