Northern winter sky

northern blessings Heather Telford

Some times watercolour paint does the work for you. I added a few stamped branches to turn this pretty sky into a scene but really, the blended colours were almost enough by themselves.

northern lights blessings Heather Telford

I did have a basic plan but the blending was magic that happened when I walked away. I positioned a frisket film mask in the top right then sprinkled four colours of brusho on the panel of watercolour paper. Using a wet brush I blended the colours creating a hard edge at the bottom and adding water to the upper part of the panel. Once I had wet the whole upper area I tilted the panel so the colour blended from yellow to pink to purple and blue. At this point I had to go and teach a mini class so I was gone for an hour.

northern blessing close up Heather Telford

When I returned my panel was dry and all blended in the pretty pattern you see above – magic! I added the berry branches here and there, an extra shadow for a snow bank and a sentiment.


Stamps: Woodland Beauty, Nature’s Gifts, Festive Cheer (PB)
Ink: Versafine onyx black ink (Tsukineko)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah epic black paper
Paint: Violet, ultramarine, crimson, yellow brusho powder

Wintry Trail

Wintry Trail Heather Telford

The new ‘Wintry Trail’ stamp from Penny Black is one that you can add a lot of colour step by step or a little colour behind black silhouette stamping. I chose the silhouette style for this winter scene. I painted a deep blue sky and a paler snowy or icy ground. As I painted I intended the ‘ground’ to be covered in snow but as I look at the photos I think it looks a little like the ice of a frozen pond reflecting the colour of the sky.

Wintry Trail closeup Heather Telford

I have seen skies as blue as this one while ski-ing in the Gatineau hills. The contrast of  snow and trees is dramatic and beautiful. To make my version I stamped the scenic stamp on hot pressed watercolour paper in versafine onyx black ink.  I painted the sky first in turquoise and cobalt blue brusho and let that dry. I used a more diluted turquoise and diluted black brusho to paint the ‘ice’ and shadows. You can see there are little dots of white over the panel which means I started by flicking masking fluid over the panel.

Wintry Trail Heather Telford

The tiny tag is from the Gift Card Pocket die set and was just the right size for one wee word!

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments about this week’s winter watercolours. I’m glad you enjoyed them and would love to hear if you tried any of the same techniques.


Stamps: Wintry Trail, Holiday Snippets (PB)
Dies: Gift Card Pocket
Ink: Versafine onyx black ink, blue lagoon ink (Tsukineko)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah epic black paper
Paint: Turquoise, Cobalt Blue, Black brusho powder
Also: Daler Rowney masking fluid, Silver cord

Twinkling twigs

 into the sky Heather Telford

When I saw this ‘Into the Sky‘ stamp, I immediately thought of an inspiration pic I had found a while back. It just so happens that my first use of this stamp does not have the twigs reaching into the sky but quite the opposite.

 into the sky left Heather Telford

I pulled out one of my panels splattered with masking fluid then stamped the twig stamp multiple times in weathered wood and stormy sky stains. To turn the stamped images into soft background I painted water over the stamping which softened both the twig image and the colour. Next I painted worn lipstick, weathered wood and stormy sky stain over the whole panel keeping bottom left corner light and graduating to darker colour in the opposite corner. Once that dried I stamped ‘into the sky’ again in Versafine onyx black and smokey gray inks so I would have some sharp foreground images over the blurred  background twigs. I knew I would have some bright white dots when I removed the masking fluid but I wanted some light dots on the tips of the twigs also to look like water drops. To create those dots I used a paintbrush to add little drops of water at the end of twigs; I let the water sit and absorb some stain colour for a minute then dabbed with a paper towel.

 into the sky closeup Heather Telford

I finished it off with some splatters of platinum liquid metal to add sparkle here and there. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted a sentiment or not but I looked through a stack of options and decided the tiny miracles phrase worked, both the words and the shape of the stamp.


Stamps:  Into the sky, Season’s Gifts(PB)
Paints: Platinum liquid metal (Ken Oliver)
Ink: Versafine onyx black and smokey gray ink(Tsukineko), worn lipstick, weathered wood, stormy sky distress stains (Ranger)
Paper: hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, Neenah Epic black cardstock

Berry Kissed


This pretty new berry stamp doesn’t have to be saved for winter cards; I’ve already used it in fall colours and could see it popping up in a spring bouquet also. Even today’s card, which I will use at Christmas time, is not in traditional red and green.


I began with a watercolour panel splattered with masking fluid. If you are wondering how I splatter masking fluid I have a video on my youtube channel showing my method. I taped the panel to a firm surface and painted water over the whole area. I inked the stamp with milled lavender and bundled sage  distress stains then stamped onto the wet paper. The colours immediately diluted and once dry I was left with pale shadowy background images. I inked the stamp again, this time with ground espresso, seedless preserves and forest moss distress markers. I stamped over the shadowy background then painted extra forest moss distress stain onto the leaves to create dimension. Once the ink dried I removed the masking fluid, added a partial sentiment in brown and a dark green mat.



Stamps: Berry kissed, Festive Cheer (PB)
Inks:  Versafine Vintage Sepia ink (Tsukineko) milled lavender, bundled sage, forest moss distress stains, seedless preserves, forest moss, ground espresso distress markers (Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, olive green cardstock
Also: masking fluid



Today I have a ‘vintagy’ lamp-post card to share. ‘Vintagy’ because it is a different to my recent ‘vintage watercolour’ cards; it has more colour. My vintage style cards are often brown + black + one more colour but this one still looks a little old despite its red, blue, green and yellow inks.

I worked on a hot pressed watercolour paper panel with some masking fluid splattered over it. I stamped the lamp post in black and brown distress inks then blended the colours with a paintbrush on the paper. Before stamping I wiped the ink off the candle inside the lamp so I could use lighter ink later to paint it later. To create the swag decorating lamp I stamped the end of a branch from the woodland beauty set in gathered twigs distress ink. I drew red berries with a barn door distress marker and painted little pine needles in, yes, ‘pine needles’ distress stain then drew the candle in smokey gray and spiced marmalade distress markers.

To give the sky some depth I used three blue stains to paint around the lamp, leaving a small snowy hill white at the bottom of the panel. I blended some of the orange from the candle flame with water to fill the lamp and surrounding area. The edges are sponged in ‘vintage photo; and the sentiment stamped in vintage sepia all in keeping with my goal of a vintagy card!

It’s winter watercolours on the blog each day this week so I’ll see you tomorrow with some berries.


Stamps: Cones & Berries, Woodland Beauty,  Yuletide wishes (PB)
Inks:  Versafine Vintage sepia ink (Tsukineko)  tumbled glass, broken china, salty ocean, pine needles distress stains, barn door, spiced marmalade distress markers, vintage photo, black soot distress inks (Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper
Also: masking fluid

Vintage poinsettia

vintage poinsettia Heather Telford

Today’s card is a contrast to the sparkly bright poinsettias earlier in the week. I returned to a style I have featured on the blog several times this year, a vintage appearance. To achieve the aged look I stamp first in vintage photo distress ink then blend the stamped ink with watercolour pencils. I worked one petal at a time and used a wet paintbrush to pick up colour from the pencils. I chose a couple of reds, and a light green for the petals and a dark brown for the berries. Once the whole image was painted I coloured around the edge with a grey pencil to help ‘lift’ it off the page a little.

vintage poinsettia closeup Heather Telford

I matted the panel with textured burgandy cardstock and added a sentiment on one of the handy tags from the gift card pocket die (a set that gives you way more than just a gift card pocket; its full of tabs, tags, flowers, scalloped shapes…).

vintage poinsettia Heather Telford

As I finished editing this post it occurred to me that the vintage look on my poinsettia does give it a bit of a ‘dried up ‘cos I didn’t get watered look’. Now, how would I know that look I wonder?


Stamps: Scarlet Majesty, Holiday Snippets (PB)
Dies: Gift Card Pocket
Inks:  Versafine Crimson Red ink (Tsukineko) vintage photo distress ink(Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Burgandy textured cardstock
Also: Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils, Gold cord

Happy Birthday Crop A While


On Saturday I celebrated Crop A While‘s 3rd birthday along with 60 or so other people.


The celebration was a 12 hour crop complete with balloons, cake, prizes, loot bags and birthday cards.


There was even a surprise wedding anniversary celebration.

I enjoyed teaching a class, catching up with friends and working on a little stack of watercolour panels which will appear on the blog over the next few weeks. The crop was the first off-site crop for Crop A While, but judging from the overwhelming response it could be the first of many!