Tulip Festival

Tulip festival 1 Heather Telford

The Tulip Festival officially starts in Ottawa tomorrow, but as you can imagine the tulips have started celebrating ahead of the opening ceremonies. I decided to create a couple of tulip displays myself but on paper not in the garden. I do have two tulips in bloom which would make the ratio of blooming tulips to planted bulbs quite similar to yesterday’s sad daffodil ratio.

I worked on both these panels at the same time on the same piece of watercolour paper. They were only separated by a piece of masking tape which explains why there are little splatters of red on the panel below even though I intended to keep that one clean and white. When I finished these panels I was a bit ho-hum about them; they were ok but not exactly what I had hoped. Adding mats and sentiments made the difference. The one below had a blue watercolour border that I ended up cutting off to add a red border and sentiment instead. The blue border was too soft on an otherwise crisp contrasting card. On the one above the border was created by the tape so I decided not to add another colour cardstock for the sentiment but remove it with a die cut instead leaving a subtle but readable cream coloured sentiment.

Tulip Festival 2 Heather Telford

Both cards were stamped and painted with distress stains over ‘masking fluid-splattered’ hot pressed watercolour paper. The top one got the extra spritz and splatter treatment at the end to make the tulips explode a little whereas the lower one was left with the colour inside the lines.


Stamps: Blooming Garden(PB)
Creative Dies: Many ThanksFor You (PB)
Inks: Mowed Lawn, Festive Berries, Ripe Persimmon distress stains (Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper,  Neenah Classic Crest Natural White 110lb smooth, Neenah chilli cardstock
Also:  Stick it adhesive sheets,  dimensional adhesive, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints


Deep Pink Poppies

Deep Pink Poppies Heather Telford

More poppies! I think this is the last for now. Maybe. As I mentioned in my last post, my poppy watercolouring has become progressively looser in the four cards I have recently created. This one might just be my favourite. It started out just like the last one; I inked the poppy stamp from Blooming Garden with distress stains (listed below). I stamped the image twice, spritzing the stamp with water before each impression but not re-inking. While the stain was wet I used a paintbrush to pull colour into the petals, adding stain or water here and there to make it lighter or darker. There was a bit of yellow left on the stamp from the previous card which ended up on the far left poppy and I quite like that happy accident. While the painted poppies were still damp I spritzed water over the images aiming from right to left so the poppy blow outs occurred in the same direction.

Even though this technique looks very loose and free it can go wrong very quickly. One of the keys to success is to spritz then wait to see what happens. If you spritz, take a quick look, think nothing has happened so spritz again, you can end up with water and colour everywhere but not in a very artistic arrangement. That kind of happened on the poppy under the die cut sentiment which, of course, is why it is under the die cut sentiment. Triple stacked die cut sentiment by the way. I really like the look of the stacked die cuts and I am getting better at lining them up so they look like one piece instead of multiples. I did try to incorporate some ribbon or embroidery thread but they just didn’t fit in so I resorted to simple mats to finish it off.

Deep Pink Poppies detail Heather Telford

I’ve been inspired by Kathy Racoosin’s #thedailymarker30day colouring challenge. I haven’t coloured everyday but doing this poppy project has been like a mini colouring challenge. If you haven’t seen my first three, here are the links: Pink Poppies, Red Poppies and Orange Poppies. I don’t think I have ever done blue poppies but Penny Ward has in this beautiful card.


Stamps: Blooming Garden(PB)
Creative Dies: For You (PB)
Inks: Peeled Paint, Aged Mahogany, Festive Berries distress stains (Ranger)Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper,  Neenah Classic Crest Natural White 110lb smooth, burgandy and green cardstock
Also:  Stick it adhesive sheets,  dimensional adhesive

Orange Poppies

Orange poppies Heather Telford

As you can see I haven’t finished experimenting with the poppy stamp just yet. I have another one after this one too and I noticed as I finished off this one that the watercolouring has got progressively looser in each design. In the first one, Pink Poppies I worked slowly with a fairly small brush, the second, Red Poppies, my brush work was looser but still contained by embossed borders. In this one I stayed mostly inside the outlines but pulled and pushed the colour around quickly with broader strokes. My next version is even looser. I worked with distress stains for this design. I inked the stamp with spiced marmalade and ripe persimmon stains on the petals and peeled paint on the stems and seed pods. I restamped the image after spritzing it with water. I didn’t re-ink because there was still plenty of stain left on the stamp. Then I did the same again. You can see the image on the left hand side is paler as the stain was more diluted by the time I stamped that one.

The stain sits on the hotpressed watercolour paper for a little while without soaking in which makes it possible to pull the colour into the petals and ‘paint’ them using the stamped stain. I do add more stain where I want it a little darker or dilute it with water to make it lighter. I painted the seed pods in the same way but added some vintage photo stain. Some colour does run in a direction you don’t want from time to time but I like a little bit of that on a loose watercolour. I added the blue background after the poppies were totally dry working with a water laden brush first then dropping tumbled glass stain and painting that around all the flowers. I added some splatters once the blue was dry.

Although I was happy with the poppies over all, some of the stems and seedpods crossing over and overlapping with the lower poppies in the bottom right corner did get a bit messy. I didn’t want to crop them out completely and lose half my panel so I decided to add the sentiment over the top held in place with a pretty little die cut flourish. The flourish is attached using ‘stick it’ adhesive sheet and the sentiment oval  is popped up on dimensional squares. The nice thing about ‘stick it’ adhesive sheets is that you have a few moments to adjust the positioning before it sticks permanently so I was able to position the flourish then lift the little curls I wanted to sit on top of the popped up oval before pressing all the flourish firmly onto the panel. (Edited to add: I noticed the next day that I had called this post Orange Tulips! I’ve changed it to poppies)

DSC_7293 Orange poppies detail Heather Telford

Supplies: Stamps: Blooming Garden, Snippets (PB) Creative Dies: flourish (PB) Inks: Peeled Paint, Spiced Marmalade, Ripe Persimmon, Vintage Photo, Tumbled Glass distress stains (Ranger) Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper,  Neenah Classic Crest Natural White 110lb smooth, blue and green cardstock Also:  Stick it adhesive sheets, scrapbook adhesive dimensional squares

Red Poppies

Red Poppies Heather Telford

More poppies. I thought it might be fun to try a few different techniques with the same stamp, especially such a pretty stamp. In some ways outline stamps such as this one are more versatile than brushstroke or silhouette stamps. On my previous card I used the outline of the poppy as a guide for my watercolour painting. On this card the embossed outline is a fence to contain the watercolouring. I have a new set of Gansai Tambi watercolour paints that I am experimenting with so painting within the lines seemed to be a safe way to start.

I stamped in black and embossed in clear powder on watercolour paper. I chose a pinky red and an orange red for the petals, laying down the pinky red first over the whole petal then adding the orange red from the centre. I used an olive green and a brown to fill the seed pods. I decided to paint over the flowers with masking fluid while I painted the blue panel which was probably not necessary considering I had the embossing to fence in the colour. Once the masking fluid was dry I ruled a rectangle around the image letting a few petals extend over the edge. My pencil lines were my guide for painting the blue background. When it was all dry I peeled the masking fluid off and discovered it had absorbed a lot of the colour from the petals. I’m not sure why this happened so I will experiment further with paper, paints and different masking fluids. But for this panel I just added more colour and carried on. To finish I added a little sentiment on the side and popped up the panel on a cream card base.

I have created a few projects with the new watercolours now and I am really enjoying both the choice  and the richness of the colours.

I’m not sure if I will follow this post with another poppy project; I have been wanting to play along with the current One Layer Simplicity challenge so we will have to see where the inspiration hits first.


Stamps: Blooming Garden, Snippets (PB)
Inks: Versafine Onyx Black (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper,  Neenah Classic Crest Natural White 110lb smooth
Also:  Kuretake Gansai Tambi 36 Watercolor Set

Four Tulips

Four tulips Heather Telford


The tulip festival continues in Ottawa and here on my blog. I pulled out all my PB tulip stamps and have them on my desk waiting for inspiration. I can’t promise I will use them all during the festival but I will have a few more for you.

To create this little scene I stamped the tulips from the transparent set Blooming Garden twice in Memento Angel Pink. I then painted the petals with colour from a couple of watercolour pencils (listed below). I inked some of the detail lines on the stamp with a Memento Rose Bud marker and stamped over the painted petals to finish off the flower heads before painting the stems in green. I used the same green to fill in the lower background and a blue watercolour pencil for the sky. I then dabbed some pink watercolour ‘paint’ into both the green and the blue to suggest more tulips in the background.

The taped edge of the panel framed the picture which I popped up on dimensional tape over a strip of ribbon.


Stamps: Blooming Garden, Special Wishes (PB)
Inks: Memento Angel Pink, Northern Pine , Rose Bud marker (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper,  Neenah Classic Crest Natural White 110lb smooth
Also:  Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils True Blue 148, Pink Madder Lake, 129, Pine Green 267 (Faber-Castell)


Dusty Pink Poppies

Pink poppies Heather Telford

I have poppies for you again today, in pink. The only poppies in my garden are orange; they are quite cheery and bright but the lady down the road has dusty pink poppies which appeal more to me. I cut out the poppies with the Field of Dreams die then coloured them with distress stains. I added some watercolour pencil as they were drying and finished them by stamping parts of the co-ordinating stamp from Blooming Garden to add a little shape and shading. Before sticking them on the card front I ran a rich cocoa marker around all the edges.  The left hand border is from the Lace Edgings set and is stamped in a mix of memento rich cocoa and vintage photo distress stain.

Thank you for all your lovely comments about my simple watercolour card. I enjoyed reading them all and was interested in the suggestions for making subtle additions. It was a simple card to make and I did the watercolouring while watching tv so I might remake it and try a little embellishing just for the fun of it.


Stamps:  Blooming Garden, Truly Great, Lace Edgings (PB)
Pencils: Albrecht Durer Watercolour pencils Vandyke Brown 176, Medium Flesh 131 (Faber-Castell)
Inks: Memento Rich Cocoa  (Tsukineko) Vintage Photo, Peeled Paint & Victorian Velvet distress stains (Ranger)
Creative Dies:  Field of Dreams (PB)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper

Watercoloured poppies

Watercolour poppies

There are various ways to watercolour with stamps; the card above was done using a method I often use when I have an outline stamp.  I taped the watercolour paper to my work table and brushed water across the whole panel. While still wet I stamped the background stamp then the poppies. I inked the poppy stamp by applying the orange stamp pad to the flower head and a green stamp pad to the stems. Because the paper was still damp the ink bled a little to make a soft edge.  With water and matching watercolour pencils I added colour to the petals and the stems, blending and darkening shadow areas. When the paper was almost dry I stamped over the poppies stems and seed pods to give them a bit more definition.  Once the paper was completely dry I sponged blue ink in the top left hand corner and green ink in the bottom right hand corner.


Stamps:  Damask PatternBlooming Garden PB)
Inks: Memento Summer Sky, Tangelo, Cantaloupe, Olive Grove (Tsukineko)
Also:  Matching Faber Castell water colour pencils
Cardstock: Fabriano 25% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper


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