Winter Sunset

winter sunset Heather Telford

I have another wintry scene today created back in January when it really did look like this outside! I used painter’s tape to mask the edges of the watercolour panel then frisket film to mask the snow while I painted the sky with colour picked up from my watercolour pencils. I stamped some trees before moving the frisket mask down to create more snow banks. Before I moved the frisket film each time I added twigs and scrub in the snow banks by stamping parts of the ‘Etched Branches’ stamp. Frisket film is a plastic film which is waterproof and sticky on one side making it perfect for masking with wet mediums like watercolour.

Occasionally I am asked in classes what to do when paint seeps under the masking tape around the edges of a panel. You can see it did so in a few places on the one above. Often I will do nothing and it will have some uneven edges to add to its uniqueness. If it looks too messy or unbalanced I sometimes trim or add a die cut to cover the offending area.

Don’t forget to keep checking the PB blog if you are interested in the new products from the ‘Especially for You 2015’ release. There are new cards everyday and a chance to win some new stamps and dies.


Stamps:  Etched Branches, AmazingPrancers (PB)
Inks: Walnut stain distress ink (Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hotpressed watercolour paper
Also: Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils, Graffix frisket film




Sunrise Branches

Sunrise Branches Heather Telford

Does this scene look familiar? I posted an autumn branches card last week which involved inking the ‘Etched Branches’ stamp multiple times with distress stains. When I had finished making that panel there was still stain on the stamp so I stamped it on a piece of watercolour paper to see what it looked like. When I apply distress stains directly onto a stamp I often stamp it several times resulting in less intense colour each time. I was happy with the amount and variety of colour on the panel above so made it into another card. After stamping I stuck painter’s tape around the border of the panel then sponged the sky. I decided on a sunrise made up of radiant neon inks (listed below). I chose area where the branches were palest for the lightest sponging, leaving a small area unsponged then a circle of yellow, surrounded by orange then the rest of the panel in blue.

I popped it up on dimensional squares then added a sentiment below. I think the next ‘Etched Branches’ card will be winter one. Fall is fast slipping away.

Stamps:  Etched Branches, Edge to Edge (PB)
Inks:  Barn door, Vintage Photo, Mustard Seed, Crushed Olive, Spiced Marmalade distress stains, Vintage Photo distress ink (Ranger) Radiant Neon Electric Blue, Electric Yellow, Electric Orange inks (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Natural white cardstock
Also: Dimensional squares (Scrapbook Adhesives)


Autumn Branches

Autumn Branches Heather Telford

The etched branches stamp is once again the star of an autumn card; I have yet to use it on a winter scene. Using loose watercolouring I tried to recreate the colours I have been seeing against bright blue skies lately. We have had some beautiful clear autumn days and it has been a great year for gorgeous colours.

I began by dabbing Ranger Archival jet black ink onto “Etched Branches” stamp leaving some places un-inked. I then stamped onto watercolour paper and placed a stamp positioner next to the stamp before removing it to mark the position for subsequent impressions. As I was making several impressions it helped to tape the stamp positioner to the panel with painter’s tape. I inked small sections of the “Etched Branches” stamp with Mustard Seed distress stain and stamped onto panel using the stamp positioner to guide the stamp into the same place then repeated the same steps with other distress stains inking different sections of the stamp each time. With all the colour stamped I spritzed the panel with water to make the colours bleed into each other and the surrounding area. Next I splattered the same distress stains over the panel and let all the ink dry.

Before removing the stamp positioner I re-inked a few sections of the stamp with black marker to give some branches more definition. To colour the sky I sponged Radiant Neon Electric blue ink, for the foreground Memento Luxe Pear Tart ink and to finish Vintage Photo distress ink around border. I matted the panel with brown cardstock and stacked three diecuts of the word “Thankful” for my sentiment.

For more Thanksgiving inspired projects visit the Penny Black blog this week

Stamps:  Etched Branches (PB)
Creative Dies: Words of Gratitude (PB)
Inks:  Archival Black ink, Barn door, Vintage Photo, Mustard Seed, Crushed Olive, Spiced Marmalade distress stains, Vintage Photo distress ink (Ranger) Radiant Neon Electric Blue ink, Memento Luxe Pear Tart ink, Memento Tuxedo Black marker(Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Natural white cardstock, brown cardstock

Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon dark Heather Telford

The lovely foliage stamps in the new Penny Black release are perfect for creating stamped landscapes. There are some new transparent sets as well as a couple of slapstick cling stamps that I will use winter, spring, summer and fall.  Both these cards are very simple in design using only one foliage stamp to suggest the landscape.

The card above was a “no card left behind” project as it didn’t go quite as planned. I decided to paint a watercolour moon inside a negative mask cut from frisket film. The aperture was wider than the moon you see above. After I had painted the moon in golden orange distress stains I dried it completely (or so I thought). I swapped the negative mask covering the moon for the circle mask which left the rest of the sky to be painted in darker tones. When I started painting the darker distress stains onto the paper the colours seeped in under the mask. They didn’t spread over the whole moon just around the edges. When I removed the mask it did not look like a realistic moon any more.  To save my scene I cut a smaller moon mask, stuck that over the watermarked moon then  sponged a darker sky around it to cover the seepage. I finished the scene by stamping the branches from “Nature’s Gifts” several times across the bottom and tying on a little tag.

Having learnt from experience I placed the mask on dry unpainted watercolour paper for the panel below. I painted the sky with distress stains and there was no seepage. (I will do more experimenting with the frisket film and let you know what I discover) When I removed the mask the moon was too white and flat so I painted and sponged some pale yellow and brown ink around it until it looked more realistic. I stamped the gorgeous etched branches across the base in black to complete my scene.

Both cards are around 5 inches square so I have been having fun with a friend’s envelope maker making custom envelopes out of pretty designer paper in my stash from long ago.

These cards make me think of one of my favourite songs, Helpless, by Neil Young. It’s the line, Yellow moon on the rise that keeps popping into my head. I have liked that song for many years. Little did I know as a teenager back in Australia I would one day live in Ontario (also mentioned in the song) and see Neil Young in concert twice. Do you ever get inspired by songs or performers?  I know Ardyth has a thing for David Bowie but I’m definitely more of a Neil Young girl!

Harvest Moon light Heather Telford


Stamps: Natures Gifts, Etched BranchesSpecial Wishes (PB)
Inks: Ripe Persimmon, Spiced Marmalade, Mustard seed, Vintage Photo, Antique Linen distress stains &  Wild Honey, Spiced Marmalade, Vintage Photo, Black Soot distress inks(Ranger) 
Cardstock: Neenah Natural White 110lb, Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, rust cardstock

Moon on the rise

Moon on the rise Heather Telford

‘Etched Branches’ is a beautiful new stamp from Penny Black`s latest release ‘Winter Wonderland’.  I used it to make a ‘moonrise’ scene but I can see myself placing it in a snowy scene very soon.

I used frisket film to mask the moon on watercolour paper. The film is new to me but I will be using it when I’m watercolouring and getting the paper quite wet. Post-it notes and masking paper can get too soggy if I apply a lot of water to the edges. After positioning the moon mask I painted the sky in stripes of pink and purple using the distress stains listed below. I let them dry a bit then painted more water and stain over the colours this created the watermarked edges which look a bit like clouds. I removed the mask and painted a few wisps of cloud over the moon area.  I stamped ‘Etched Branches’ in Versafine Onyx black ink then sponged the land below the coloured sky in purple grey and black. To complete the card I matted in white and added branches in purple and black cut with the ‘Natures Song’ die.

I was up a bit earlier than usual this morning to start on a birthday breakfast for my 14 year old and the sky was very pretty in pink and orange. The view from my kitchen is obscured by branches like those in the scene above but also by power lines which are not quite so picturesque.

Stamps:  Etched Branches (PB)
Creative Dies: Nature’s Song (PB)
Inks: Victorian VelvetSpiced Marmalade, Dusty Concord distress stains & Dusty Concord distress ink (Ranger) Memento London Fog, Tuxedo Black (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Neenah Black 100lb, Neenah Avon Brilliant White,  Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper