Monday 3 February 2020

Send In The Clowns Decorative Envelope

Hello Everyone!

It's 2020 and a great time to start setting your sights on something new and exciting for the new year.  How about stretching your creative vision and trying a new product or a new style? Or, if you're really comfortable with a style you've chosen, then maybe try introducing a little bit of mixed media or some other genre to give your style a new look. 

I consider myself more of a vintage style artist but love to add some mixed media elements to my work.  I am excited to share my newest creation using Andy Skinner's Creative Expressions line of products. They are awesome!

This lastest piece is called "Send In The Clowns".  It is a vintage style envelope that is perfect for a gift card or placing in a junk journal, handmade book or any number of things.  I love the detail in this piece as well as the textural elements and muted colors.

I also love how dimensional this little envelope is. The layering of stenciled patterns, stamped images melded into the colorful envelope and the flashy free standing "big top", provides the perfect background! Whimsical clowns fly through the air and race around a vintage truck to complete this very vintage look.

This started off as a kraft-ish colored paper envelope measuring 4 1/4" x 5" when the flap is folded.  So there is a lot of fun little details added to a fairly small space.

I began with a basecoat of DecoArt Traditions White Gesso.  When dry, I applied Andy's new Creative Expressions Cosmic Shimmer Strata Paste with a palette knife through his Whirlpool stencil. Gritty and very textural; I LOVE this paste!  

Because this paste is gives such a raised and gritty feel, I added a light coat of Andy's Cosmic Shimmer Super Matte Varnish to protect and seal the Strata Paste for my next layers.

Andy's new Cosmic Shimmer Artist Pigment Paints are fantastic! They provide lush color yet it is semi transparent. So you get a soft yet vivid layer of color.  First a layer of Yellow followed by a light wash of Quinacridone Gold.

Using a baby wipe, I added just small touches of Andy's Cosmic Shimmer Artist Pigment Paint Cobalt Teal to pop some teal-ish accents. I then added a bit of Quinacridone Red using a baby wipe as well.

Now that the base was complete, it was time to begin adding all of the decorative layers.  I stamped two images from Andy's Creative Expressions Roll Up! Roll Up! Stamp onto a piece of plain white tissue paper using Black Permanent Ink.  Heat set to dry.  Then I tore around one of the images.  Tearing the edges helps them to blend better into the background than using a cut edge.

Using DecoArt's Media Matte Medium, I brushed a fairly heavy layer onto the envelope and then laid the stamped image on tissue paper over that area of the envelope. Then I added a layer of the Matte Medium over the images and gently punched the brush over the raised surfaces to be sure the image was gripping to the envelope.  Heat set to dry.  To make the edges further blend into the base, I created a light wash of water and Creative Expressions Cosmic Shimmer Yellow Artist Pigment Paint and gently brushed over the stamped image again, paying even more attention to the edges.  Heat set.

Andy has some WONDERFUL Rub On images from his Creative Expressions line of Mixed Media Transfers.  This truck is from Retrology.  I rubbed it onto a piece of striped cardstock and love how it turned out to go onto my envelope.

Here is the finished envelope with the truck in place.  Clowns all around and having a great time "clowning around".

Next, I fashioned the "Big Top" for the top of the envelope using a fancy edge trimmer and a scrap of striped paper.  I folded the edges of the paper to make the Big Top dimensional and stand away from the envelope.  Then I used double sided tape along the top edge and the side edges to adhere it to the envelope.  From Andy's Poe Diversity Mixed Media Transfer Set, I added the "CARNIVAL" rub on centered on the Big Top. (see the complete envelope picture)

The back of the envelope was very simple.  I first brushed a light coat of the white gesso.  Then I added a layer of Andy's Yellow Artist Pigment Paint followed by a wash mix of water and Andy's Raw Umber Artist Pigment Paint to give a really aged, vintage look.  Next I used Andy's Roll Up! Roll Up! stamp again randomly stamping the "circus" portion of the stamp onto the back of the envelope.   **Note:  Andy also has this same image on his Alchemy Plus Mixed Media Transfer Sheet!

All of the clowns are from an old sheet of Graphic 45 paper I had from years ago.  I love these little clowns!  They each have their own personality and add so much to this Circus envelope!  Everything was glued in place using some adhesive pads to raise the truck and some of the clowns.  But even those were glued in place using Andy's Cosmic Shimmer Quick Grab Glue!  This stuff is amazing and really does what its name says ... it grabs quickly!

Here is a list of all of the wonderful products used on this very vintage piece!  I encourage you to try them if you're not already addicted to them!

Miscellaneous Supplies
  • Palette Knife
  • 4 1/4" x 5" envelope (or whatever size you choose to use)
  • Paint Brushes
  • Scrap cardstock (in this case, Graphic 45 for the clowns and striped paper)
  • Adhesive pop up pads for raising elements
  • Double Sided Tape
  • Acrylic Stamp Block
  • Decorative Edge Trimmer

About the Artist: Candy Colwell

Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. Candy, the detail in this is astonishing! I can almost smell the popcorn! The background alone was wonderful, but the way you created a miniature 3 ring circus over it shows your depth of imagination and your eye for composition!. Love it!

  2. I am not so keen on clowns but I always love your wonderful tutorials Candy, this is a fabulous, fun creation! It may be small but it really packs a punch, my favourite element is the truck rub-on, perfect for the circus theme! Anne xxx


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