Stamping the stories: Lord of the Rings

Lothlórien Heather Telford

I don’t understand it but none of my children seem to have inherited my love for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and ‘The Hobbit’. I think they all read the latter but I am not sure that any of them finished all three LOTR. I have read them several times and thoroughly enjoyed them so when challenged with a fantasy and imagination theme the delightful forest of Lothlórien came to mind. I pulled out some tree stamps, some green inks and gold thread to create a representation of the magical forest realm of the elves in middle earth.

I used some sponging for the golden light of the sky, painting and stamping for the trees and grass and a little gold die cut popped up on gold thread as an embellishment. I stamped some of the trees wet into wet to create some misty atmosphere but added some more defined stamping once the paper dried. I think the little bit of script helps give the middle earth look. The speckled look is from a fine splatter of masking fluid applied before I started and removed once all the paint and ink were dry.

Have you read any JRR Tolkien? Are you a fan? What about the movies? Years ago my husband and I were watching ‘The Fellowship of the Ring”; we did not know one of our girls was still awake in next room. All she could hear was music then battle sounds, then talk, then battle sounds over and over. She finally asked us to turn it down; it was too scary to listen to. Poor thing. The movies are a whole lot of walk, talk, walk, fight, fight, fight, walk, talk, walk, fight, fight…


Stamps:  Splendor, Fantasy, Butterfly Party (PB)
Inks: Rich Cocoa, Bamboo Leaves, Espresso Truffle, Pear Tart, Olive Grove(ImagineCrafts/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, green cardstock, Neenah natural white
Dies: Leaflets (PB)
Also: Gansai Tambi paints, gold embroidery thread, masking fluid


Imagine Heather Telford

Many of you are familiar with the fabulous online stamping community ‘Splitcoaststampers‘. I have been a member for years and have appreciated the wealth of resources provided and the warm interaction and encouragement of the members. I was honoured to be invited at the beginning of this year to be a member of the Splitcoast design team, The Dirty Dozen. While a ‘Dirty Girl’ I was tasked with creating six projects each month inspired by a monthly theme. Back in April these projects were for fan club members only. It is one of the ways Splitcoast says thank you to fan club members for their financial support. Splitcoast membership is free but by paying a yearly subscription to the fan club you enjoy more resources and privileges while contributing to the running costs.

I was thrilled to be asked to join the ‘Dirty Dozen’ but I was a little apprehensive about thinking up a bunch of projects each month on a set theme. Themed challenges have a way of freezing up my creative juices! But a challenge is meant to be just that, a challenge and the results can be surprising. I met each challenge and was so happy to be taken outside my comfort zone. Each month I was blown away by the projects created by the rest of the team.Imagine banner Heather Telford

I enjoyed all the months but my favourite ended up being the ‘Imagine that’ challenge. I have turned the projects from that month into a story book week here on my blog. I’ll be back tomorrow with the first story book inspired card.


Stamps:  Soft Wings, Letter background (PB)
Dies: Envision (PB)
Inks:  Versamark, Rich Cocoa (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hotpressed watercolour paper, gold cardstock, brown cardstock
Also:Water colour with Gansai Tambi paints, gold embossing powder


Blue Stars

Blue Stars Heather Telford

The Brushos are still sitting on my desk for easy access allowing me to create more pretty patterns. Blue happens to be my favourite colour so I was quite happy  the blends and patterns happening on this panel. To create these blue stars I stamped in water then sprinkled some brusho over the water. I used a paintbrush to fill the stars with brusho blues and a spritzer to spread the colour outside the outlines. When I was almost finished painting I spritzed with blue pearl-ex spray to add some shimmer and sheen. The sentiment is stamped in two blues, something I do when I don’t have the exact match in ink.


Stamps:  Soft Grace, Yuletide Greetings (PB)
Inks: Versafine majestic blue and deep lagoon (ImagineCrafts/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Canson 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, blue cardstock
Also: Brusho watercolour powder, Interference blue pearl-ex spray


Stamping the Seasons: Fall

Fall Tree Heather Telford

Here is the final instalment in my Stamping the Seasons collection. Although I have added a few extra stamps here and there each design features the tree and twig stamps from the ‘Joy to All’ set.

The earthy tones of my bister powders were perfect for an autumn scene so I began by painting a green and blue sky then painted the brown and red landscape below. While the brown area was stil wet I stamped the twig stamp in three colours of brown over and over filling the foreground with both blurred images and later sharper ones. I positioned the tree on the left this time and bent the trunk a little on the acrylic block. To create leaves I sprinkled bister over the branches and under the tree then added water to activate it.

I didn’t set out to make these four cards so similar in layout and but it has been a interesting challenge to change the colour scheme each time to convey the feeling of each season. I did a similar thing a few years back using the Berry Branch stamp from Penny Black. (Spring & Summer, Fall & Winter, Winter tutorial)

Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall

fall tree view Heather Telford


Stamps:  Joy to All, Enjoy Life (PB)
Inks: Rusty Hinge, Barn Door, Gathered Twigs, Vintage Photo distress inks(Ranger)
Cardstock: Canson 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Burgandy cardstock, Neenah Natural white cardstock
Also:  Bister powder

Stamping the Seasons: Summer

Summer Tree Heather Telford

It’s a little ironic to be posting the summer tree on the day I woke up to the first snowfall this season! Let’s just consider this scene a happy memory or if you are in the southern hemisphere a glimpse of what may already have arrived. I worked with Brushos again to create this scene; I might return to the bister for the fall one. I began by taping down my watercolour panel and painting the sky in mix of several blues. While that dried I painted the paler green strip then finally the darker green hill. I let it all dry before stamping several trees on the left hand side and the tree from ‘Joy to all’ on the right hand side. I sprinkled green brusho over the empty branches and spritzed to add water. Between spritzing and painting with a brush I filled out the trees with a couple of green tones. The odd little flowers at the front I drew onto the stems which I stamped with the twig stamp. Finally I painted a path and added a white sentiment.

I haven’t done the autumn scene yet but watercolour powders seem to be the perfect medium for blend of colours I see in fall so I’m looking forward to that one. The rest of the Penny Black design team are sharing their ‘stamping the seasons’ projects on the blog this week and next.

Winter & Spring cards


Stamps:  Joy to All, On the townSpecial Wishes (PB)
Inks: Versamark, Memento Rich Cocoa, Cottage Ivy (ImagineCrafts/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Canson 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, yellow cardstock, Neenah solar white
Also: Brusho watercolour powder , white gel pen, white embossing powder

Stamping the Seasons: Spring

Spring Tree Heather Telford

I am back as with a spring card today using the same stamp set as yesterday, Joy to All. Some of my process was the same as for my winter scene but I definitely changed my colour palette. The muted tones of bister powder worked well for yesterday’s chilly scene but the spring scene required the brighter brusho tones.

I began by taping the watercolour panel down then painted water over the whole area. I sprinkled blue and green powder over the wet panel and moved it around with a paint brush until I had a soft background with clouds and trees suggested. Next I stamped the tree in a pigment ink and masked the area around the branches so I could sprinkle red powder over the branches without getting it on the rest of the scene. I spritzed over the powder and watched the grains transform into blossom.

I cut a hill shaped mask which I positioned across the bottom of the panel then stamped the twig stamp to create some flowering bushes with orange brusho. I removed the mask and darkened the edge of the hill with a paint brush and some green brusho mixed with water. I spritzed a fine mist of water over the panel which resulted in some little spots of lighter colour here and there.

To complete the card I added a brown mat and some brown thread to tie a tag stamped and painted to match the sky.

Spring tree view Heather Telford


Stamps:  Joy to All, A bunch (PB)
Dies: Flower tags
Inks: Versafine vintage sepia (ImagineCrafts/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Canson 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, dark brown cardstock
Also: Brusho watercolour powder , brown embroidery thread

Stamping the Seasons: Winter

Winter tree Heather Telford

Stamps that can be used all year round are winners in my opinion and I am always happy to see new tree stamps to use in my stamped landscapes. The ‘Joy to All‘ set contains a tree and some twiggy foliage stamps that I will be using winter, spring, summer and fall. This week and next you can see the Penny Black design team using new products to ‘stamp the seasons‘.

To create today’s wintry scene I splattered some masking fluid over the watercolour panel, let it dry then taped the panel to a firm surface to prevent warping. I used blue bister powder to paint the sky and snow banks then added the background trees in memento nautical blue ink while the sky was still damp. I stamped the tree from Joy to all in black ink then added shadows for all the trees in blue ink. To finish the scene I stamped the twig stamps from the same set in the foreground in black. Once all the ink was dry I removed the masking fluid then chose one of my favourite sentiments from the new release and a narrow black mat to frame the panel.

If you come back tomorrow you will see my spring scene using the same ‘Joy to All’ set.


Stamps:  Joy to All, Season’s Gifts, Prancers (PB)
Inks: Memento Nautical Blue & Tuxedo Black, Versafine Onyx Black (ImagineCrafts/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Canson 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah epic black
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid, Bister powder




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