Monday, 20 August 2018

Diver's Deep Sea Surprise - by Claudia

Hi, servus and welcome back to another "Claudia Monday" over here on the Calico Craft Parts Blog!
I have much enjoyed my holidays at the lake but am also happy to be back in my studio (even though I still need to sit in front of a fan due to the extreme temperatures)...aaand I have already learned my first lesson after the summer break: do NOT reorganise your craft space shortly before you leave on holidays for several weeks. You won't find anything after you have returned. lol

So I had to put on my diving helmet to go searching for a lot of stuff I thought had been put in much better places than before. Nah! Just kidding....this is a detail shot of today's project of course. ;)
The idea for this project suddenly evolved when I looked at some of the stuff on my crammed desk that was waiting to be stored away and suddenly my mind started combining bits 'n pieces from the different piles...and as often happens when I find an awesome surprise craft part in my design team package, I changed my mind and put the already chosen pieces from my stash box to the side, because I just HAD to use this fab piece as my focal point and I had to use it NOW!

Honestly  my last order for future Calico Craft Parts design team projects mainly consisted of a collection of my beloved mixed media greyboard blanks (ATC blanks, smaller tiles and mixed media boards in various sizes), but lovely Helen also included some extra surprise goodies (like she always does) and one of them was a really cool (and I mean REALLY cool!) Deep Sea Octopus Diver with a divers helmet which I immediately fell in love with!

The other bits I picked from my desk were ...

...the newly bought Tim Holtz die and 3D embossing folder to create planks with, some gift wrap paper and paper embellishments with some beautiful script print on them. Oh, and some pieces of (fake) drift wood from the sales section of a home decor shop (which I forgot to add to this picture).

And this is what I have made from them:

Calico Craft Parts used:

- Deep Sea Diver Octopus - MDF Wood Shape
- Rounded Rectangle Greyboard Mixed Media Board - Style 18
- Coral - MDF Wood Shape - Style 3
- Coral - MDF Wood Shape - Style 6

Of course I had to play with my new dies and embossing folders!!! The Tim Holtz "Planks" die and the "Lumber" 3D embossing folder were must-haves of course.

I first die cut the planks and then ran them through my Big Shot using the embossing folder. The result was absolutely stunning! I followed Tim's advice to mist the cardstock with water from both sides before embossing them and to run them through three times  (Tim says: "3D means 3 times").

Then I painted the plank I was going to use with DecoArt media Titan Buff fluid acrylic on both sides.

Once that was dry I dry brushed the front side with several layers of different mixes of Titan Buff and Prussian Blue Hue fluid acrylics.

Next I added a wash of DecoArt media Raw Umber Antiquing Cream to my plank.

I added two more layers of the Antiquing Cream, then heat dried the plank and blended the edges with dark brown archival stamping ink (using a cosmetic sponge with a tip).

I used matte DecoArt Decou-Page to glue the greyboard mixed media board to the backside of the gift wrap paper.

Once dry I sanded off the excess.

The octopus got primed with a layer of white DecoArt media Gesso that I applied using the dry brushing technique to not lose any beautiful detail.

Once that had dried, I started with washes of DecoArt media Prussian Blue Hue and Quinacridone Gold, adding them loosely for a first layer to start from.

Then I used a fine detail brush to add some shading and detail with more paint. I only used Titan Buff, Prussian Blue Hue, Quinacridone Gold and mixes of the three tones to add shades and highlight details. The final touches were added with a white gel pen.

To make all the pieces match in colour, I added washes of Prussian Blue Hue to the plank and the background panel.

Then it was time to add some interest to the background! I glued on some script circles, added some doodling with a white gel pen and a black watersoluble pencil and a wet brush...

..and before I applied a layer of thinned Titanium White DecoArt media Antiquing Cream, I sealed the background with some matte spray sealant! 

The paper had crumpled a bit, but that added to the driftwood look beautifully - a happy accident! Yay!

So these were my components once all the parts were done - the painted octopus diver, the background, two painted Calico Craft Parts corals (with a quick coat of Quinacridone Gold on one and a mix of Titan Buff and Quinacridone Gold on the other), a piece of fake driftwood that would make a perfect stand for the panel, my self made paper plank and a stamped and cut out quote.

I used matte Decou-Page and sticky foam pads to assemble the pieces.

Et voilá! 

I hope you like it as much as I do! Here come some detail shots as well: 


Thanks for stopping by today - and for reading this far! I hope you have enjoyed your visit! 

Hugs and happy crafting!

go shopping:


  1. Claudia, this is fabulous! I love the octopus diver piece and the way you have finished it has truly brought it to life. The colors on the planks look amazing, everything comes together creating the perfect deep sea-scape. Beautifully done

  2. Absolutely gorgeous, your painting is brilliant and the whole project is a wonderful inspiration for me! xx

  3. Big round of applause, Claudia, for an undersea masterpiece! Your coloring on the octopus and helmet is nothing short of AMAZING! And your plank looks like it just washed up on the beach--well done!

  4. Oh my goodness Claudia!!! This is utterly fabulous, I love the diver/octopus but you have brought it to life with your amazing painting - this is truly amazing!! xx

  5. Wonderfully imaginative work, Claudia! I love the colours and the textures on this so much - fantastic! xx

  6. Thank you all so much for the lovely comments, Ann, Kerstin, Sara, Anne and Julie! XXX

  7. WOW and WOW!! This looks so dimensional Claudia! Your work with greyboard and product is really quite magical!
    This piece is right up on my list of Favorites by Claudia! heehee
    And gosh, very cool of Helen to send amazing pieces to create with!
    Jackie xx