Centerpiece Heather Telford

Have you visited the Penny Black blog this week? Jill Foster has been sharing gorgeous projects all week to showcase the new ‘Time to Celebrate’ release. There is a giveaway too, so make sure you drop in. This lovely vase of flowers is one of the new stamps and I pulled out my new watercolours to paint it. I started by inking the stamp with memento angel pink on the flowers and desert sand on the vase which gave me a pale outline for my painting. I used a small round watercolour brush and worked one petal or flower section at a time. I started by painting water onto a petal, added pale color to the watery area and spread it, then added darker colour on the section closest to the centre of the flower or to any areas that would be in shadow behind another petal. As I painted I dabbed excess paint and water away with a paper towel or dry paintbrush. I worked on sections that were not adjacent to each other so the paint could dry before I painted the petals next door. I used both paint and markers for the stems, leaves and flower centres.

When the flowers were dry I painted the vase and finally a pale shadow below it. I picked out some co-ordinating pink and green cardstock to mat the panel and die cut a green sentiment from the new 2 die set ‘Many Thanks’. Thanks for dropping in.


Stamps: Centerpiece (PB)
Creative Dies: Many Thanks (PB)
Inks: Memento Angel Pink, Desert Sand, Bamboo Leaves, Grape Jelly, Tuxedo Black (PB)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper,  Neenah Natural White 110lb cardstock, pink and green cardstock
Also:  Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints 

Spring Things

Sun fire Heather Telford

I pulled out one of last year’s floral stamps for this card and tried the co-ordinating die from this year’s release.  I painted a pale background first and let it dry before I did any stamping. I inked the stamp directly with distress stains, spritzed, stamped then blended with a waterbrush and a clear wink of stella pen. The petals were inked in seedless preserves and dusty concord so there would be some light and dark purple to blend. On the main panel I added a few wink of stella highlights once I had blended the petals but on the die cut lily I did all the blending with a clear wink of stella so it has a subtle shimmer when it catches the light. The dots on the petals and the filaments get a bit lost when inked with distress stain so I went over them with a marker once the petals were dry.

I completed the card by matting the main panel in green and popping up the die cut lily over the top. I added a simple sentiment but I am realising now that this would have made a nice easter card. I guess I can stamp an easter sentiment inside.

Sunfire detail Heather Telford

Believe it or not I still have a few snowy scene  card ideas bouncing around in my head. How about you – are you just stamping all things spring these days?

I’ve never entered Darnell’s cool NBUS challenge but I am eligible with my never before used ‘sun fire’ die so I will link up over there and at the Work it Wednesday Challenge on the Simon Says Stamp blog.


Stamps:  First DanceSnippets (PB)
Creative Dies: Sun fire (PB)
Inks: Dusty Concord, Seedless Preserves, Spiced Marmalade, Tumbled Glass, Ripe Persimmon, Forest Moss Distress Stains (Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, green cardstock, Neenah Natural white cardstock

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

Pink Poppies

Pink poppies Heather Telford

Last week I posted several loosely watercoloured cards. The poppies on today’s card were painted with more precision and there was no spritzing to make the colours blend and bleed. I worked on a watercolour block which I had splattered with a fine mist of masking fluid. The end result with such a fine mist could represent snow but I think it could pass for rain too. I have had snow fall on my daffodils and tulips but the poppies are pretty safe! Once the masking fluid was dry I inked the poppy image from ‘blooming garden‘ with memento angel pink and new sprout markers. The colours are fairly pale so I had an outline to work with but not so dark that it would be noticeable after I had added all the colour. For this one I used my watercolour pencils as paints. I do this by picking up colour from the lead of the pencil with a waterbrush then painting  with it. For the poppies I used colour from three pink pencils (listed below), for the stems and seed heads two greens and a brown then a blue and a green for the background.

I didn’t want both of the tall poppies to look exactly the same so I altered the petals a bit on the left hand one. When I checked a photo of seed pods to choose my colours I saw many were quite round so I fattened mine up a little. When the poppies and seed heads had dried I drew some veins and ridges with the watercolour pencils.

Pink poppies tag detail Heather Telford

To create the little tag I painted a scrap of watercolour paper with the same colours I had used on the background of the main panel, die cut a ‘flower tag’, then stamped the sentiment from the ‘sprigs’ set across it. To complete the card I matted the panel with a narrow red mat, tied the tag on with embroidery floss, popped the panel up on a wider green mat and attached it to a cream card base.

Pink poppies detail Heather Telford

As you know I love doing the loose watery images but I also find it quite satisfying to work slowly to paint a more formal image.

Kathy Racoosin is doing a 30 day coloring challenge at present which inspired me to do pull out my pencils.


Stamps: Blooming Garden, Sprigs (PB)
Creative Dies: flower tags (PB)
Inks: Memento Angel Pink, New Sprout, Olive Grove markers (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper,  Neenah Classic Crest Natural White 110lb smooth, pink and green cardstock
Also:  Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils medium flesh 131, dark red 225, indian red 192, night green 155, pine green 267, olive green 173, moss green 168, apple green 170(Faber-Castell), Cream embroidery floss



Sweet Visit

Sweet Visit Heather Telford

It is always a thrill to see a hummingbird suspended in mid-air to take some nectar. I have never been successful in getting a good photo so I’m settling for a stamped and painted one. I have played with this stamp three times now. The first time I was happy with result but in a momentary lapse of reason stamped a sentiment in such a way as to render it pretty unappealing (I’ve saved it in case I get a brainwave for fixing it). The second one worked fairly well and will be in the Dirty Dozen gallery later this month. But this one is my fave. The other two panels had one bird and one flower; I think it makes way more impact with one bird on a panel full of flowers. But, enough of the comparisons with cards you haven’t even seen.

I started with the flowers at the bottom keeping in mind that I wanted the bird in the top right hand corner so I had to leave space. The three main flowers were inked with Memento markers, as seems to be my current habit, spritzed with water then stamped on watercolour paper. I blended the stamping with a waterbrush adding extra colour here and there. When the flowers were dry I used a marker to define the veins in the petals and the stigma. To create the paler background flowers I spritzed the stamp again without re-inking, stamped on scrap then stamped the remaining watery ink on the paper. I blended with a waterbrush to make the images even less distinct than they already were. The bird was also inked with markers, spritzed, then stamped and blended on the paper. To finish I splattered some pink, orange and green around the flowers. Sometimes when I want a bit of splatter I grab a watercolour pencil the same colour as the ink I’ve used and splatter that for more intense colour.

Sweet visit detail Heather Telford

To finish the card I popped it up on a textured watercolour paper card base. I tried a narrow blue mat but it wasn’t needed; the little sentiment in blue ties in with the bird. I am linking up with the Spring Blooms challenge at the Inspiration Journal and the Spring is coming challenge at the Artistic Stamper.

(Please don’t be mad but this one was almost a video…I just got all inspired and started creating without turning on the camera! Soon, I  promise.)


Stamps: Sweet visit,  snippets(PB)
Inks: Nautical Blue, Bahama Blue, Danube Blue, Paris Dusk, Olive Grove, Bamboo Leaves, Desert Sand, Rose Bud, Tangelo, Potter’s Clay Memento markers (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano hot pressed watercolour paper, Demco cold pressed watercolour paper
Also: Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils


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