Pine needles & cones

Pine Panel Heather Telford

This panel of pine cones and needles is one of the bits & pieces that was waiting to be turned into something. I made the panel quite a while ago so here is my best guess at how I did it. I splattered some masking fluid on watercolour paper then inked the pine cones with vintage photo distress ink spritzed them with water then stamped them on the panel. I did the same with the pine needles in, surprise, surprise, pine needle distress ink. At this point I may have painted a little tumbled glass stain around the needles and cones as a background. When the panel had partially dried I restamped sections of the pine cone for added definition. I switched to Memento Northern Pine ink to add some darker needles. When all was dry I rubbed off the masking fluid.

I trimmed it a little and matted it with brown and then tried to think of a background that would add interest but not compete with the panel itself. I tried embossing the needles and cones from the “Nature’s Gifts” set on the card base in a pearl powder. The powder is very pretty and I will try it again on another project but it didn’t work for this one. I ended up with no more pattern on the card base that the stripes of repeated sentiments. Keeping it clean and simple qualifies it for the Less is More challenge this week to be ‘Christmassy’.


Stamps:  Nature’s Gifts Winter Magic (PB)
Inks:  Tumbled Glass distress stains & Pine Needle, Vintage Photo distress ink(Ranger), Memento Northern Pine, Versafine Vintage Sepia (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Neenah Avon Brilliant 110lb cardstock, Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Sticks & Stones mix & match paper (Penny Black)
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid


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Falling Snow Video Tutorial

Falling Snow Tutorial Heather Telford

Today’s tutorial is one I created for Splitcoast Stampers. Splitcoast posts a new technique tutorial every Wednesday and in today’s I show how to create the look of falling snow on a watercolour card. I created both a photo and video tutorial for Splitcoast.

The video took me a few attempts so I have four slightly different versions of the card which supports my claim that watercolour techniques never give you the same result twice. The picture above is the first one I created and the one featured in the photo tutorial. It has quite a bit of masking fluid snow in the sky; the one in the video ended up with a lot less. I mention in the video that I have stopped using post-it notes to mask when I do watercolour scenes. I now use frisket film, a reusable, repositionable plastic film which doesn’t disintegrate when it gets wet. It is called Grafix Extra Tack Prepared Frisket Film.

I have another video showing in detail how to apply and remove the masking fluid here.

Stamps:   Prancers, Hello Winter(PB)
Inks:  Memento Nautical Blue, Bahama Blue, Northern Pine inks (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Solar White 110lb cardstock, Olive Green cardstock
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid, Kemper Spatter brush


Together under the Northern Lights

Together Heather Telford

I have a stack of watercoloured backgrounds and images on my work table waiting to be turned into something. Some are practice pieces that worked, others are left over from classes I taught and some are experiments still needing some tweaking. Most of them are wintery or Christmassy so now is the time to work with them. The background above is just one of the bits & pieces that was ready to be used. It was made with distress stains blended over splattered masking fluid. I cut out the deer with the ‘Together’ die and popped them up over the background then added two hand cut snow banks and some branches cut with the ‘Nature’s Song’ die. The challenge at Less is More this week is to use something Christmassy on your card. I think this qualifies.

I will have more projects made from the bits & pieces pictured below later in the week but tomorrow I’ll be back with a video tutorial.


Stamps:   Joy Filled (PB)
Creative Dies:  TogetherNature’s Song (PB)
Inks:  Chipped Sapphire, Bundled Sage, Tumbled Glass distress stains & Chipped Sapphire distress ink(Ranger)
Cardstock: Neenah Avon Brilliant 110lb cardstock, Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid

Bits &  Pieces waiting for time and inspiration: 

Bits & Pieces Heather Telford

Inch by Inch 5: Christmas Village

Christmas village Heather Telford

I hope you have enjoyed the Inchie Arts projects this week. My final one (for now) is a door handle decoration, a little panel with a winter scene on six 1.5″ squares.

Christmas village on door Heather Telford

To create this panel I began by splattering masking fluid on six squares then, when the fluid had dried I placed them edge to edge in a 2×3 array on masking paper to hold them together while I stamped and coloured. I stamped the village from the transparent set, “Gleeful” on an array of tiles in versafine onyx black. Using a waterbrush I picked up blue from a watercolour pencil to paint the sky. With a selection of watercolour pencils I coloured and blended the buildings and trees in the stamped image.  Once the watercolouring had dried I rubbed off all the masking fluid to reveal the ‘falling snow’. I used ultrafine sharpie markers to highlight some features on the fillage and a clear wink of stella pen to make the windows glisten. With a white gel pen I drew snow on roofs, window trim and around doorways to finish off the picture.

To assemble the decoration I cut a corrogated cardboard base using the ‘Frame’ die and a green mat for the squares then painted the frame edges with white gesso and the green card with wedding dress luxe ink. I mounted the art squares on the green with a small margin between each square then finished it off with a blue and white polka dot ribbon.

Make sure you visit the Penny Black and the Inchie Arts blogs for more Inchie inspiration and for a chance to win some stamps and art squares.

Christmas village detail Heather Telford


Stamps:  Gleeful (PB)
Creative Dies: Frame and Pattern (PB)
Inks:  Versafine Onyx Black (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko)
Pencils: Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils (Faber Castell)
Cardstock: Green cardstock, Natural corrogated cardstockInchie Arts 1.5″ white square
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid, polka dot ribbon, white gesso, white gel pen, clear wink of stella pen, ultrafine sharpies

Inch by Inch 4: Vintage Skyline

Vintage city Heather Telford

From a snowscape to a vintage cityscape my Inchie experiments continue. I never would have guessed when I first saw this skyline stamp that it would become such a favourite. Working on a 3″square splattered with masking fluid, I stamped ‘Skyline’ several times, never a full impression just the top of the buildings and without reinking so that the foreground images were darker than the background. I added colour with several earth tone watercolour pencils layering and blending colour until I was happy with the values and shadows. I mixed a blue and green to make a dark colour for the sky then added brown over the top to make it more muted. Finally I removed the masking fluid to reveal the cream flecks which I think make it look like an old damaged photo.

Deciding what to turn it into was difficult. I would have liked to create a notebook but time was not on my side so I made a card. I tried a patterned background, a portrait oriented and a landscape oriented rectangular card and two different sentiments before deciding less was once again more. Don’t forget more inchie arts inspiration on the Penny Black and the Inchie Arts blogs.


Stamps:  Skyline (PB)
Inks:  Memento Rich Cocoa (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko)
Pencils: Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils (Faber Castell)
Cardstock: Neenah Natural White 110lb cardstock, Inchie Arts 3″ cream square, Penny Black mix & match Sticks and Stones paper
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid

Inch by Inch 3: Mini Snowscape

Inchie snowscape Heather Telford

A mini snowscape was a must with the Inchie Arts squares so for day 3 I watercoloured a tiny scene using distress inks and memento inks. I used the same techniques I’ve used on previous snowscapes, a punched mask for the moon, a cut mask for the hill side and snowbanks and of course a splatter of masking fluid to create the appearance of falling snow. I have a tutorial showing the process on a larger scale here. When I was creating my masking fluid tutorial recently I splattered quite a few inchies at the same time so I would have a few ready when inspiration struck. The trees on this little scene were stamped in Memento Northern Pine ink which is my first choice for stamping pine trees. I added some Paris Dusk ink to the trees with a marker as they were looking a little flat. The teeny sentiment is a result of stamp surgery performed on a circular stamp from the Hello Winter set. The finished card is 3.5″ square.

If you are wondering where to buy art squares there is a list of retailers on the Inchie Arts blog. Don’t forget to visit both the Penny Black and the Inchie Arts blogs for more inspiration and giveaways.

Stamps:  Prancers, Hello Winter (PB)
Inks:  Memento Northern Pine, Paris Dusk ink (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko) Chipped Sapphire, Salty Ocean distress ink(Ranger)
Cardstock: Neenah Solar White 110lb cardstock, Navy cardstock, Inchie Arts 2″ white square
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid

Inch by Inch 2: Twirl Tree

Twirl tree tiles Heather Telford


Day 2 of my Inchie Arts week features the white 2″ squares. All week you can see Inchie projects on the Penny Black blog and the Inchie Arts blog. There are giveaways too so make sure you visit.

To create today’s project I worked on two squares taped together at the back. While completing my design I was undecided about whether I would mount them on the card with a gap between them or not. In the end I decided to keep them together. I used the new intricate die, ‘Twirl Tree’ to cut a mask from masking paper. I also cut the star using the ‘Tree of Joy’ die. I pressed the sticky masks firmly onto the squares then added a handcut snow bank mask over the bottom of the square which overlapped the tree trunk. I sponged over the masks with memento Summer Sky ink, Salty Ocean distress ink, Chipped Sapphire distress ink and to finish, a very light application of Encore Silver metallic ink.

Before attaching the squares to the card base I punched a little bite out of both sides of the card base with a ½” circle punch and wound dark blue and turquoise machine embroidery thread round and round. I taped it down firmly then popped up the squares over the thread and added a simple sentiment. We had a few centimetres of snow today so all the trees look prettier. I won’t talk about it too much though because I know some of you would rather not think about winter and others of you have a whole lot more than a few centimetres!

Stamps:  Yuletide Greetings (PB)
Creative Dies: Twirl Tree, Tree of Joy (PB)
Inks:  Memento Summer Sky ink, Encore Silver Ultimate Metallic ink (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko) Chipped Sapphire, Salty Ocean distress ink(Ranger)
Cardstock: Neenah Solar White 110lb cardstock, Inchie Arts 2″ white square
Also: machine embroidery thread



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