While trying to come up with ideas for the Utah-based honeymoon album I a making for our recently married niece, I decided to look at pictures on the internet from scenic vistas throughout the state. I saw one that was just perfectly framed, and it hit me. it is layers of mountains… I bet I could make a page based on this picture. The original picture if found at the Bess Realty Group website, believe it or not.
First thing’s first. I collected cardstock from my collection that matched well enough to make the layered colors. For the sky background and farthest mountains, I used cardstock with white centers, so I could sand them (as I will show a little later). The rest was from my beloved Bazzill cardstock collection. And I pulled all my green Ranger Distress inks and a couple of extras (Black Soot, Chipped Sapphire, Weatherd Wood, Crushed Olive, Bundled Sage, Forest Moss, Peeled Paint, Shabby Shutters, and Pine Needless). The rest of the equipment are: a pair of scissors, a fine knife for detailed cutting, a very thin (#005) marker for light details, and a nail file for sanding.
The sky is easy enough to do. I could just leave the pretty light blue background plain, but I wanted to put a scant few clouds, like in the picture. So I tore the top off of the file, to make myself a tiny file, and sanded in a circular motion until I got the shapes I liked. I also used some Q-tips for painting, but forgot to add them to the picture. Easy.
Next, I traced a mountain range on the gray-blue paper, putting the highest peak on the right page, and lowering the left side so it will fall under the next layer. I cut this out, using the fine blade to get a couple of cuts a little more rounded. I inked the edges of the mountains with the Weathered Wood ink to disguise the white center.
Before I get to the distressing of it all, I went ahead and cut out the rest of the layers. Next up is the blue-green paper. On the left it rises above the mountain in the background, and on the right it is basically on the same level while the mountain towers above it. I just freehanded a few mounds, making sure that they were not too high to cut off the mountain, or too low to make the front range look weird. Then the front, light green layer, starts on the right about halfway down the page and just curves down across both pages, until it is close to the bottom left edge. I used one piece of paper for both the left and right, to conserve. I hoard my Bazzill paper almost religiously.
Here is, in my opinion, the coolest part. I cut two and a half inches off the bottom to reduce bulk, but you can leave it in if you want to. Then I wadded them up into small balls. I carefully pulled them back out, and didn’t flatten. I used another piece of the nail file to sand certain areas, easily done by sanding the folds, to resemble little snow trails like in the picture. To make the mountain shadows, I used Chipped Sapphire and rubbed it where I wanted it with my finger. This gave it a smudgy look, instead of just inking any folds from the crumbling. When the ink dries, then I flattened it enough to tape it down onto the background.
For the middle range, notice that there are trees on them. However, they are so small that I was pretty sure I couldn’t draw them. So, I used the cast off paper from when I cut it and experimented with my greens until I found three that looked good to layer over each other. I chose (Bundled Sage, Forest Moss, and Pine Needless). I took the lightest ink, Forest Moss, and just slid it back and forth on the page, to give a layer of color to the matte green background. Then, I took Bundled Sage and a Q-tip. I tapped the tip onto the ink pad a few times until it was saturated, and then just made lines in areas where trees might be on both pages. The darkest ink, Pine Needles, repeated these lines, until I had a mess of lines in groups on this layer. I let it dry and taped it down onto the page. It looks cool to me.
The bottom range is brighter, with larger trees. I had planned to make some trees with green mulberry paper, but I was unable to locate any. Maybe mulberry has fallen out of style. So, I decided to leave it blank. This will be where any pictures or journaling my niece wants to do will be added.
The final result is very pretty. And I proved to myself that I can be creative without a template or someone else’s help. And so can you. Now, go choose a simple picture and amaze me.