Stamping the stories: Wind in the Willows

Wind in the Willows Heather Telford

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. I don’t think I read it as a child; it was later when training to be a primary school teacher, reading all the classics and designing lessons and such. I am not that keen on animal books but this one is a delight; Ratty and Mole are such appealing characters. I read it to my children from a beautifully illustrated edition (Michael Hague once again) given to me by my Nanna on my 21st birthday. Some of the double page illustrations are incredible watercolours which surprise you with their intricate details.

I initially had the boat moored by the river bank with no Ratty and Mole in it but my daughter said I had to put them in. I did not have any suitable stamps so I had to paint them myself. Unlike the talented Sandy Allnock I do not find animals easy to paint or colour, let alone draw! I found an E. H. Sheppard illustration to assist me and did my best. I’m glad the moon is behind them; they are legitimately dark and shadowed. I realise the boat is backwards; I was so caught up in adding Ratty and Mole I put the oars in the wrong hands, ahem, paws!

Anyway, back to the beginning, I started by painting the river then positioned a large circle mask cut from frisket film before painting the sky. I removed the mask and stamped the foliage and spritzed it so it would bleed a little into the surrounding area. I let everything dry before I painted the boat and its inhabitants. I think the sentiment was just the right one for Ratty and Mole.

What are your favourite fantasy books? Do you even enjoy fantasy? Books about other worlds and magic lands have always intrigued me. I know Wind in the Willows isn’t another world or a magical tale but the animals do talk and go messing about in boats so you do have to use your imagination a little bit.


Stamps:  Sprigs, Friendship (PB)
Inks: Forest Moss, Crushed Olive, Peeled Paint distress (Ranger), Versafine Spanish Moss (ImagineCrafts/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Classic Crest Natural White 110lb smooth
Also: Gansai Tambi paints, Grafix extra tack frisket film

12 Comments on “Stamping the stories: Wind in the Willows”

  1. Clelie says:

    Oh, I am loving this!…Wind in the Willows was such a favorite in our home that my son, when 16, lovingly nicknamed his best friend “Ratty” and they certainly “messed about” in lots of adventures! My very favorite?….Winnie the Pooh!!!!!!!

    • Heather says:

      How very cool of your son. ‘Winnie the Pooh’ is a favourite of mine too and I did consider it for the series but I don’t own any Winnie the Pooh stamps so it would have involved too much drawing of animals!

  2. Cheryl Kreis says:

    Heather what great fun. Really enjoying your childlike imagination brought out in these Children Stories. Simply Wonderful!

  3. Pat says:

    This is beautiful and I think you have done a great job with ratty and mole Heather and the scene you have created is quite magical! I have read Wind in the Willows and the story is lovely for children and adults to enjoy. x

  4. So beautiful! Full of atmosphere! The children’s fantasy books I like are the Harry Potter books! xxx

  5. Paulette S says:

    Heather, this series is wonderful. I do love fantasy and make believe. I did so much day dreaming as a child. LOL We didn’t have a lot of books as kids, it was only my little brother and I. Nanny read Mother Goose to us every night in bed. And that poor book was falling apart then in the late 60’s. I think it was mother’s childhood book. I loved it so much that I bought one for my first baby when he was born, but it was a more modern version, which I didn’t realize until the beginning of this year 2015. My daughter Katie had borrowed Jon’s book when her baby was born 3 years ago, but graciouly gave it back when Jon’s son was born this Spring. I purchased her little girl age 3 a new one like Jon’s, but didn’t realize the ones I had bought were a more modern cover until Grandma Karen sent Maddex the old original version, but I still love the illustrations in them and the older childrens books. That old water color is just so beautiful, it makes my heart sing like all of your water colors! My favorite childhood book, was at my other Grandma’s house, The Farm Book, a Golden Super Shape Book followed closely by the Richard Scarry books, which I found fascinating to look at all of the little characters and what they were doing and I loved the the Dr. Suess books at the doctor’s office. I wasn’t much on reading myself, it was so difficult for Me, a wiggle worm! But I could easily get lost in the pictures and day dream…

    • Heather says:

      Thank you so much for sharing such lovely memories. It is wonderful you have been able to continue traditions with your grandchildren. I remember my cousins had the Richard Scarry books and I always thought they were very cool. We had Dr Suess and all my children read them when I was teaching them to read. I have an old but beautiful edition of a flower fairies book that belonged to my mother. All the illustrations are ‘plates’ not printed on the page and I have always loved them.

  6. Rufus says:

    I don’t comment nearly as often as I should, given how much I enjoy all of your creations. But just had to let you know how much I’ve been enjoying this series! You’ve hit it out of the park with each and everyone. I’m an omnivorous reader, if it doesn’t move I’ll read it! I loved all the Lord of the Rings books, The Harry Potter series, oh I’d better not get started naming books and authors. Just wanted to say THANK YOU for all the inspiration I always get from you. Now if I could just hang out looking over your shoulder for a day to figure out how you manage to do it……………

    • Heather says:

      Thank you for visiting and joining in the conversation. All this talk of classic favourites is making me want to pull them out and read them all over again. You’re welcome to come and look over my shoulder if you happen to be in the area;-)

  7. craftytreen says:

    oh my! I haven’t read the wind in the willows for about 50 years. now I have to. your card and the sentiment are so wonderful and dreamy! I have to tell you that I really LOVE this series! thanks so much. hugs, treen

  8. Lindsey says:

    I think your silhouettes are perfect. 🙂 Not my favourite children’s classic, but I do like it, and you’ve captured it nicely here.

  9. […] the stories cards: Mary Poppins, Wind in the Willows, Peter Pan, Lord of the […]

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