Two Ways to Cascade

Alison Day
Alison Day

This month your Design Team is tackling the topic of Cascading Designs. These are designs that have an area of concentrated “stuff” on one part of the page – usually the top – which then lessens in intensity as you move over the page. When Alice suggested this to the team I was immediately reminded of a layout I made in the summer of 2021 which I’ve never shared (or if I have I couldn’t find where and I looked!) I dug it out and … well, you will see the results below. 

Before we get to that though, it’s a good time to remind you that there are many different ways to achieve this type of look. Nikki shared how she used stamps and acrylic shapes to create a cascade of stars on her hybrid layout. Using stamps is a great idea! Not only does it give new life to a stash item we often forget to use, it also creates fantastic depth and texture without a lot of heavy embellishments. I’m fired up to try making something like this with my stamps now.

I also started with my backgrounds and – full disclosure; these were made before this topic was assigned – created a rainbow of ink droplets on two pieces of cardstock. I turned one into a bright, fun layout about a volleyball tournament my daughter participated in. The other I treated in a different way to give a completely different look.

Here’s a look at the two backgrounds coming together as well as the making of that first layout from 2021. Apologies for the sound and camera wobbles. We had just opened our Craft Store and I was still trying to find a good way to film layouts in the studio. I’ve since returned to my home studio as it simply wasn’t working out. Hopefully one day I’ll get to create a dedicated filming/creating space at my store!

As I alluded to in the video, this was inspired by a layout Shimelle Lain made with her August 2021 Best of Both Worlds kit which I’ve linked in the description box on YouTube. 

Here is a close up of the finished layout.

I achieve the cascading effect with both the ink drops and drips, the paper circles that follow those drips, and the Nuvo enamel drops that also follow those drip lines. All of those elements ‘fall’ from top to bottom.

In my next layout I took the idea of the cascade a bit more literally. Here is the process video for that.

As you can see, a very different looking layout to the first one, even though I started with essentially the same background. I will say that turning the paper 180 degrees made quite a difference. Having the drips end in larger drops gave the whole page the feel that things were falling from the top down. 

Here’s a closer look at the layout.

Since I had my background created already, the rest of the layout came together surprisingly quickly, given how much is on the page. I’ll let you in on a secret, this was made in a short window of time I had between my youngest daughter’s basketball games. LOL! The things we do as parents and creatives, right? My main trick to completing this quickly is that I really didn’t overthink placement. 

I initially placed my larger elements down – those that I would eventually create what I called the Flower Bower along the top of the page and down the left hand side. Then, before I could overthink and drive myself crazy by moving things around a million times, I stuck it all down.

Stick and go, that’s my motto!

The only thing I made sure I did was spread the different colours around as evenly as I could. Once that was done I could spend a bit more time placing the smaller “falling” clusters. The hardest part was figuring out where all the enamel dots went!

This faux cross stitch embellishment is from Pink Fresh’s Happy Heart collection and it’s one of those pieces that you love when you see it so you buy it and then … how do you use it? I wasn’t at all sure they would make it onto this layout and until the very end, they hadn’t. And then somehow, this is exactly what the layout needed to feel finished to my eye. I can not tell you how happy that makes me!

So there you go, two different interpretations of a Cascading Layout Design. I hope you give it a try. If you already have, please post links in the comments so we can admire your work.

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