Monday 12 June 2017

Paradise Found - a Mini Journal - by Claudia

Servus, hi and thank you for stopping by today! It's been two weeks since my last Calico Craft Parts project and tutorial so this means it is time for another inspirational make to share with you.
Oh, and thank you all so much for the lovely comments over here and on facebook on my last DT make! :)

It seems I am already in an ocean-summer-splash-y mood as my last make (over HERE) was an ocean life themed one and this one is too. I just love all the fab aquatic and marine wood shapes and especially the beautiful star fish shape evoked in me the image of me, sitting in an Italian beach restaurant with yummy fresh sea food, good wine and the restaurant being decorated with fishermen's nets, collected star fish, shells and crustaceans of all kinds.

So I created this star fish mini album or travel journal (depending on what you want to use it for...notes taken at beautiful destinations or collecting tickets and pictures...or all of these ;)

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Starfish MDF Wood Shape - Style 1
- Square Shape Mixed Media Board (two pieces)
- Sheet of Mini MDF Nautical Motifs - Style 6

(as always, please, click on the images for a larger view)

I started with painting the mixed media squares with Burnt Umber heavy body acrylic paint.

While these were set aside to dry I painted the base for my starfish. I used DecoArt Americana "Pumpkin" as my base...

...and then mixed that with "True Red" to shade the starfish.

Once the paint was dry I applied some dark brown archival stamping ink around the edges using a piece of blending foam.

I used my heat tool to make sure that everything was dry so I could apply a thorough coat of DecoArt media Clear Crackle Glaze using a soft brush. As the images shows I applied a rather thick layer to get larger cracks.

The covered starfish was set aside to dry naturally. 
Time to loosely mix a bit of DecoArt media white Crackle Paste with some drops of media fluid acrylics "Cobalt Teal Hue" and "Phtalo Turquoise". I made sure there were still some streaks of darker paste visible and applied the mix to the covers using a palette knife.

In the meantime the Crackle Glaze on the starfish had already dried so I could continue with adding a layer of Carbon Black media Antiquing Cream and letting it set completely.

Then I went in with a damp soft cloth and removed most of the Antiquing Cream so only the cracks remained black.

I sealed the starfish with a thin coat of DecoArt media Ultra Matte Varnish so none of the Antiquing Cream would come off or be reactivated during the next steps. It also gives some tooth for more paint to hold on to - so this step actually is a cool double duty thingie.

Before I had decided on how to paint my starfish I had browsed the internet for images. It's incredible how many different starfish there are!!! Wow!

I started painting mine with dots in DecoArt Americana "Coral Blush".

Then I painted thin lines in "Yellow Light" Americana paint and more dots - this time in "Pink" Americana multi-surface NEON paint along these lines.

Using "Orange" multi-surface NEON paint I "shaded" the pink dots by only painting "half of the dots" with it...(I hope that makes sense).

This close up hopefully shows the effect of the "shading" - it really adds some dimension to the painted dots.

To visually fuse the starfish with the turquoise cover I also added turquoise dots to the dots lines in the middle of each arm.

And to fuse the cover with the starfish I scraped on some orange multi-surface NEON paint with a palette knife.

I found the starfish was a bit too bright so I toned it down with a thin wash of DecoArt media white Antiquing Cream. While wiping that back I also decided to wipe off the yellow lines that I had painted in the centre of the starfish as they were too dominant (as I had added a sealing coat of varnish that worked pretty well).

I had prepared a piece of "fishernet" and "glued" that in place by placing it directly on the cover and scraping on some white Crackle Paste to hold it in place.

Two painted tiny shells were added to the back cover in the same way. Then I punched the holes for the binding.

For a bit more depth I sprinkled on some turquoise and white DecoArt media Shimmer Mister paint, using the nozzles' tubes for sprinkling.

I drew a thin white outline around the covers' edges using a white gel pen.

The starfish was fixed to the cover using a hot glue gun. The word sticker was added and both - starfish  and sticker - were outlined with the gel pen too.

I cut to size some pages for my mini journal/album and distressed the edges using a craft knife. Some dark brown spray ink was spritzed onto my craft mat so I could dip the pages' edges into it. For a finish I glued some designer paper to the insides of the covers using matte DecoArt Decou-Page.

 Once all was dry I put my album together using two pieces of rough string.

If you struggle with threading rough cord through small holes simply wrap some sticky tape around the ends (and remove it once you're done with threading).

Done! Here it is - my little "Paradise Found" travel journal/album. I think I will give it to my lovely niece for her birthday ;)

There are blue starfish out there, yellow and red ones, light beige ones, bright pink and orange ones, ...well honestly there are so many beautiful styles of starfish that you could do a lot of starfish designs without having to repeat yourself....nature's designs really always are the most amazing and beautiful ones, aren't they?!!!
(I didn't stick to a specific starfish design by the way but rather combined several designs that I liked and followed the patterns).

I hope you will have a lot of fun designing your own starfish and/or using one or the other technique shown in this tutorial! Thanks for stopping by and see you in two weeks!

Hugs and happy crafting!


  1. You outdid yourself with that starfish. The colors are beautiful!!!

  2. I just love this Claudia! The layers on the starfish are just amazing and it sits on a glorious background too. Such beautiful colours and textures. Jennie x

  3. The fishnet is so perfect for the look of it all and your starfish turned out just WONDERFUL Claudia! Such a neat mini journal. Xj.

  4. What a great idea for a summer mini journal! I love your starfish and the fabulous, fishing net background. It's really put me in holiday mood. xx

  5. What a beautiful starfish! Bright and perfectly set in its background: i love the textures. Great inspiration!

  6. that's lovely Claudia - great tutorial and journal. Have fun using it!

  7. Aw! Thank you all so much for your kind words, Juli, Jennie, Joi, Julie Ann, Lys and Sandie! I am so glad that you like my little album that much! Mwah! XXX

  8. Such a nice mini album, and I love how you added so many little colors to the starfish. Just fabulous! xo

    1. Thank you very much, Barbara! Hugs! :) xxx

  9. Completely incredible, Claudia. It's always such a joy to watch you work your magic with the Craft Parts and the DecoArt products. Brilliant!
    Alison x