Susan Cobb

By Susan Cobb

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Designer Tip: I used Distress paints, embossing paste, chipboard, flowers, stamps, and die-cuts to create a beautiful mix of colors and textures for this mixed media page. I colored the area near the photo with Distress paints, then used embossing paste with the Swirl Dot screen to create a textural pattern over the paint. Distress paints work perfectly to color chipboard pieces, the key, and flowers, too.



  1. Place the yellow background paper with brown/aqua lace and swirls border at the bottom. Take the Broken China Distress Paint and press the dabber end against a piece of scrap paper to get the flow of paint started. Now scrub the Broken China paint over the center of the paper, extending to 2" from the top and left side, 3 1/2" from the right side. While still wet, apply Bundled Sage paint over the Broken China paint-the 2 colors will mix together. Wipe off the dabber with a paper towel. Let the paint dry.
  2. Sand the edges of a 4"x6" photo for a distressed look. Mat on brown textured paper with 1/4" borders and sand the edges. Cut an 8 1/2"x5" brown/ivory/aqua tiles paper and tear 1/2" from the bottom and side edges, leaving the top edge straight. Ink the edges with the Brown ink pad. Cut an 8 1/2"x2" brown/aqua flourishes paper and tear 1/2" along the top and sides, leaving the bottom edge straight. Glue on the brown/ivory/aqua tiles paper, 3/4" from the top. Cut a 6 3/4"x1 1/2" yellow flourishes paper. Cut a 6 3/4"x1 1/2" aqua/brown textured paper and tear along the top edge for a strip that is 3/4" wide. Glue on the yellow flourishes paper, 1/2" from the top. Mat the bottom edge of the yellow flourishes paper with brown/ivory dots paper with a 1/4" border. Sand and ink the edges with brown ink. Glue centered on the brown/ivory/aqua tiles paper, 1 1/2" from the top. Place the matted photo centered on the brown/ivory/aqua tiles paper, 3/4" from the bottom. Glue together.
  3. Place the photo/layered papers onto the background paper, checking for placement (my layered paper is 1 1/4" from the bottom and 1 1/2" from the left) but don't glue it to the page yet-just get an idea of the painted areas that will show once you add the photo and paper. Remove the photo and layered papers.
  4. Position the Swirl Dot screen on the painted portion of the background that will show once the photo and paper are added. (It's fine to add stenciled embossing paste beneath the photo and paper, too-it just won't show). Hold the screen in place with your fingers (or use stencil tape to anchor it to the page) and use the squeegee to apply the white embossing paste and pull it smoothly across the screen. Carefully lift the screen and wash it immediately with soap and water. Repeat for more areas as needed. Let dry. Lightly dab Bundled Sage Distress Paint on some of the stenciled areas. Let dry.
  5. Glue the photo/layered paper to the page as noted in step #3. Dab on Broken China and Bundled Sage Distress Paint on the bottom of the background paper near the lower left corner, and on the top near the upper right corner and on the bottom of the brown/ivory/aqua tiles paper near the lower right corner.
  6. Die-cut a pair of swirls each using brown textured paper and aqua textured paper. Glue the large brown swirl to the right of the photo, overlapping the layered papers with the larger end on top. Glue the smaller brown swirl to the right near the bottom of the first swirl as shown. Position the large aqua textured swirl so the larger end overlaps the bottom left corner of the photo as shown. Glue in place. Glue the smaller aqua textured swirl to the page with the large end on top, 3/4" from the left side and even with the top.
  7. Stamp a large bracket image on the left side of the page with Black ink, near the large aqua textured swirl as shown. Stamp a smaller bracket image with Black ink, angled 3" from the top near the right side.
  8. Choose 8 white flowers in sizes that work well for layering together. Dab on Bundled Sage Distress Paint for the light green flowers (I covered some completely and others I left the texture white for variety), and Broken China + Bundled Sage over it for the blue flowers, then leave a few white for contrast. Let dry completely.
  9. Use the Walnut Stain Distress Paint to color the birdcage. Let dry, then glue a thin strip of brown/aqua flourishes paper across the bottom of the chipboard birdcage, trimming edges evenly. Dab Bundled Sage paint on a key, then color two chipboard birds and a separate wing. Let dry. Glue the wing to the bird, then lightly dab Broken China paint on the edges of the painted birds as shown. Let dry.
  10. Write or computer print "together" large on white cardstock. Write or computer print "treasure", "forever", and the year in a smaller size on white cardstock. Trim "together" into a tag shape and tear the right side. Trim the remaining words and year into small rectangles and tear the right side of each. Ink the edges of each with Dark Brown ink, then lightly dab on Broken China and Bundled Sage paint near the edges as shown. Glue to the page as shown.
  11. Glue or Zot the birdcage to the page, so it "hangs" from the small aqua swirl die-cut. Zot the birds, flowers in place as shown. Trim the shanks from the buttons and Zot in place for flower centers or decorate as desired. Thread the painted key onto 1/4" wide sheer aqua ribbon and trim the ends to 1" long. Zot the ends to the top of the birdcage so it hangs on the front. Tie a knot at the center of a 4" length of 1" wide ivory grosgrain ribbon and cut each end into a "V". Zot the ribbon on the top of the birdcage. Tie a sage green twill bow and Zot near the lower right corner of the matted photo. Add knotted sheer aqua ribbon near the small words. Decorate with Gold Jewel Dazzles as desired.