‘A little bird told me’-mixed media canvas

Today’s post features one of my contributions to issue 15 of Crafter’s Inspiration magazine by Crafter’s companion out this week. It’s a 12 x 12 mixed media canvas which gives some inspiration on how to use the free dies and embossing folder which come free with the magazine.

IMG_7471 (Edited)


12’ x 12’ primed canvas

Water colour card and mount board (optional)

Tacky glue

Collall glue gel

Pink glitter embossing powder

Versamark ink


CI15 die set

Sheena Douglass Autumn Branches

Diesire small Stitched Banner

Embossing folders

CI15 Ornate Lace folder

Darice- Script; Gem Swirl;Floral Paisley and Bird houses Post


Sheena Douglass –Groovy Flower Power; Grunge Tree and Clouds


Crafter’s Companion- ‘Twit Twoo’ stamp set- sentiment-“ A little bird told me”

Leonie Pujol-‘Sunflowers forever’; ‘Bohemian doodles

Colouring materials

AquaTint inks- Numbers: 58;53;16;34;26;27

Pebeo Deco Creme- Numbers:4;16;18; 27;29

Pebeo Dyna Number: 356

Specrum Noir Sparkle pens – Clear;Amethyst and Sand Dune

Distress ink-Seedless Preserves and Picked Raspberry


Pebeo Deco Creme- Concrete relief paste

Sparkle medium-Champagne

Pebeo Gilding wax- King Gold

Finishing touches


Baker’s twine

Florist mesh-Pink


The Method:


Using Tacky glue stick an A4 piece of water colour card horizontally across the top of the canvas.’ Repeat’ emboss two 12’ bands of watercolour card using the Paisley and Bird houses folders. Rather than having straight edges, cut freehand ‘spiky’, ‘curly’ grass shapes on the Paisley and ‘mountain’ curves above the bird houses. Layer together and stick to the bottom of the canvas.

Using AquaTint inks paint horizontal bands of colour across the canvas. (purples and pinks for the sky, orange and yellow in the centre and pinks and greens for the foreground) Using a paint brush and water, faux bleach a half circle for the sun in the centre of the canvas blotting with kitchen towel. When dry sand the entire embossed area with a sanding block.


Using no.4 yellow paint stencil clouds across the centre. Using the relief paste stencil leaves around the top of the canvas. When dry ink with pink ink. Finally stencil small flowers randomly around the picture using sparkle medium and leave to dry.

The Elements 

Die cut the branches x2. Freehand cut a shape for the tree trunk and a large curved branch. Remove elements from the die cuts and stick along the curved branch to create an arched tree shape. Colour with a purple sparkle pen.

Die cut multiple flowers, leaves and hearts using the magazine die set. Colour with a combination of the aquatints and acrylic paints. Whatever you fancy. Accent with sparkly gems and clear sparkle pen. Use the Sand Dune pen to add veins to the leaves.


Die cut 3 birds along with wings. I used mount board but you could also multilayer card and stick together. Emboss bird bodies using Darice embossing folders. Emboss watercolour card using the magazine folder and fussy cut lace elements for the bird’s tails. Colour all the elements with acrylic paint (I used a mix of 27& 29 to make teal for the bodies and pink Dyna paint for the tails). When dry, gild with gilding wax and attach mesh, twine and buttons to the tails.

Final canvas 

  1. Die cut banner, stamp sentiment and lightly highlight with ink.
  2. Stamp and emboss some flowers across the centre of the canvas between the birdhouses. Cut baker’s twine and stick to canvas as flower stems.
  3. Finally, assemble all the elements. Use Collall gel in parts to create dimension. Ink around the edges of the canvas with a darker distress ink and paint canvas sides with no.16 acrylic paint.

IMG_7344 (Edited)Tips

  1. If cutting mount board, the bird dies will cut this if put through the Gemini 3 times.
  2. The important elements for a mixed media canvas are: Colour; texture and Layout.

-Select your colour palette first and gather a range of colouring mediums consistent with this palette.

– Texture can be achieved by embossing, sanding, stencilling, stamping etc but also by sticking down a range of materials at different heights and neutralising with gesso.

-One suggested layout for a scene is to divide the canvas into thirds with the focal point being just above the centre.

  1. Enjoy to process! It’s good to have a basic plan before you begin but its best to embrace what happens- It will never turn out how you think. Your creation will be unique- have fun!!


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