I have used graphic quilling for the water and sand. The stones are made with 3d quilled shapes. The grass is hand husked and stands above the birds' feet and sand. The cranes' feathers are made to look realistic with shaped 3d quills.
The design is typically Chinese/Japanese. and the idea came to me from stencils.
Its been a long while... but I hope you find the time to visit my blog and tell me what you think.