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



Brusho Northern lights

Northern night sky Heather Telford

I have another brusho card to share today with a different look. I blended all the colour on this panel rather than leave the speckled patterns of the previous cards. The brusho colours are intense so I didn’t use much to create this sky. I sprinkled some blue, green red and purple over a panel splattered with masking fluid, then blended with water as I would with other watercolour paints. I stamped the trees and sentiment in black then, once the ink was dry I removed the masking fluid to reveal a scattering of stars or perhaps snow.

Stamps: Seasons Wishes, Prancers (PB)
Mediums:  Brusho powders, Versafine Onyx Black ink
Cardstock: Hotpressed Canson , Neenah Solar White, Epic Black

30 Day colouring challenge

poppies back and front Heather Telford

Kathy Racoosin of The Daily Marker is hosting a 30 Day Coloring Challenge during October. It is her third colouring challenge and her videos, blog posts and clever creations are very inspiring. I played along a few times during her last challenge and hope to participate even more this time. For all the details visit Kathy’s blog and check out her instagram also.


The colouring on my ‘fresh’ bouquet was done with Zig clean color real brush markers. I have 14 colours (so far), most of them quite bright so it was not difficult to get vivid petals by blending just the yellow, the pink and a little water. The background did involve fussy cutting a mask! Unlikely to happen often, I know. I stamped the background in versafine vintage sepia ink over the masked central image. Now that I think about it, several masks were needed so the background images did not stamp over the top of each other. This is why you don’t see this sort of thing very often on this blog. I do have a ‘too lazy to fussy cut and mask’ technique which often works well. I will share that some time soon.


Stamps: Fresh , Snippets (PB)
Inks:  Versafine Vintage Sepia ink (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100%  cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Natural White cardstock, Brown cardstock
Also: Zig clean color real brush markers, pink and orange thread

Farewell to summer: Rose

Hello Friend Heather Telford

Another farewell to summer card, this time roses. We are enjoying the most beautiful weather at present so the farewell to summer is not too painful!

I painted this one myself with distress stains then added one little stamped sentiment.  You cannot tell in the photo but the brown looking paper is actually black and gold glittery paper, not a shiny glitter a subtle glitter which works in well with the olive tones of the leaves. (If you like the look of handpainted roses check out Lydia’s recent roses with the artograph and brusho. It is a cool technique.) My plan for a while has been to be sketching and painting regularly but I am just not in the habit yet. I know a little every day is the way to improve. As my kids would say. “Just do it!

Stamps:  A Bunch (PB)
Inks: Aged mahogany, Victorian Velvet, Peeled Paint, Crushed Olive distress stains (Ranger), versafine Olympia green (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah natural white

One stamp, two colours

Queen Anne's Lace Detail 2

Continuing my experiments with bistre paint powders, I pulled out one of my favourite stamps and limited myself to a blue and green colour scheme. Below are all the results of my fiddling around with colours, water, repetitive stamping and order of operations. All the panels were splattered with masking fluid which really added interest on the most watery panels. Where the stains pooled and bled into each other the little masked dots break up the solid colour. Each was taped to a board with painter’s tape which created a masked border that I retained on all but one card.

On the panel below I sprinkled both blue and green bister on dry watercolour paper then spritzed lightly, tilted it this way and that, then walked away. This is becoming my new watercolour mantra, ” Walk away, just walk away!” As I have said before it helps to have chips on hand to distract yourself from wanting to fiddle more with the painting that needs to dry. In this case I did not have chips but I did have four different panels to work on so as each one was set aside to dry I started the next. Once dry I stamped the Queen Anne’s Lace in a dark green and a mix of two blues to co-ordinate with the bister patterns. I stamped twice without re-inking in between so the lower images are a bit paler. I like the lacy airiness of the flowers on this one but it’s not my favourite.

Queen Anne's Lace 1 Heather Telford

There was more water involved in the panel below and some painting and sponging too in order to frame the scene. I began by stamping in pale green on a slightly damp panel. You can see those first pale images in the background. I then switched to darker colours and dropped some bister into the stamping. To fill the white background I used a paintbrush to pull both stain and bister into the spaces. I tried to be careful not to lose the definition of the flowers. When it was totally dry (walk away, just walk away) I sponged a bit more colour in the corners. I like the shadowy images behind the stronger ones on this panel but it is not my favourite.

Queen Anne's Lace 2 Heather Telford

To be honest with you, below is the one that almost got tossed. I didn’t walk away and you can see all the murky green that resulted. I didn’.t want to give up however so I pulled out some scraps of dry wall tape I had used on another project and sprinkled bister powder over the tape, spritized water over the powders, let it dry a bit then sponged for more coverage. Not only does the grid add some interest, it leads the eye away from the murk. The other thing that saved this one is the mass of masking fluid flecks right in the centre adding light to the murk. You have probably guessed, not my favourite.

Queen Anne's Lace 4 Heather Telford

Which leaves us with this one. It has lots of blue, some nice bister bursts, both watery and defined stamping, some white flecks in appropriate places and I couldn’t be happier. Yes, it’s my favourite. Which one do you prefer?

Queen Anne's Lace 3 Heather Telford

Do you ever fiddle around with the same stamp and colours for several projects? It’s not quite making multiples but it is time efficient to use the supplies while they are all on the table.


Stamps: Queen Anne’s Lace, Happy Notes, Heartfelt, A Sweet Day (PB)
Inks: Bundled Sage, Forest Moss, Pine Needles, Crushed Olive, Chipped Sapphire, Evergreen Bough, Salty Ocean Distress Stains & Chipped Sapphire distress ink (Ranger) Spanish Moss, Majestic Blue & Olympia Green Versafine inks (Tsukineko)
Paint Powder: Blue and Green Bister
Cardstock: Canson cold pressed 100%cotton watercolour paper, 
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid

Colour inspiration

Last month I taught a class involving watercolour panels and die cut shapes. All the samples I demonstrated and all the cards and panels created by class members were different. I really enjoyed watching everyone choose colours to work with. I snapped a few photos as the paints dried.

wc diecut class

wc die cut class


 wc diecut class


 wc die cut class

DSC_7949 wc diecut class

DSC_7653 wc diecut class

I still have some panels waiting to be transformed into something new.

DSC_8057 wc diecut class


Church on a hill

25 years of ministry Heather Telford

This year marks twenty five years of ministry for the pastor of our church. He arrived in Ottawa shortly before we did in 2000 and our families have been friends ever since. His wife asked me if I would make a card for the occasion with a church on it. I looked through my stamps but the only church stamp was a snowy scene which was mainly trees with a snow laden church in the distance. As we are pretty happy to finally be free of snow I decided against using that stamp. I attempted a painting instead and found several church images as inspiration then combined elements from a few and set my church on a tree filled hillside. Rather than obscure some of the scene I printed the words on vellum and wrapped it round the painted panel. I used my gansai tambi watercolour paints for most of the painting then switched to watercolour pencils to add finishing touches.


Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper,  Neenah Natural White 110lb cardstock, Neenah Epic Black cardstock, rust cardstock, vellum
Also:  Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils



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