Oh Christmas Tree

Love joy peace tags Heather Telford

Oh Christmas Tree, a beautiful slapstick cling stamp from Penny Black, is the star of the Penny Black blog this week. You can see this stamp featured everyday on projects created by the PB Design Team. I dreamed up tags in three colour schemes featuring only a portion of the stamp but the same technique. All three tags started on the same panel as you can see below.tags background Heather Telford

I used watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid and coloured with three distress stains (Victorian Velvet, Bundled Sage and Tumbled Glass). I swiped the stains directly onto the paper then blended them with water. While the panel was still wet I stamped ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ four times in distress inks (Seeded Preserves, Peeled Paint, Aged Mahogany, Salty Ocean). When the panel was dry I switched to pigment inks that would not bleed or blend to stamp a defined image in similar colours of Versafine ink (Crimson Red, Spanish Moss, Imperial Purple, Deep Lagoon).

tags background second stamping Heather Telford

I cut the panel into four tags but the blue one did not advance to the next level. Each of the three remaining trees became a tag with rounded top corners and gold or silver highlights and sentiment. Using the colours in the background as a guide I darkened the edges of each tag with sponged distress inks. I highlighed the dots with gold or silver sharpies and added a splatter of distress stain and wink of stella pen over each tag. I think it was at this point that I removed the masking fluid to reveal the fine white specs. To continue the gold and silver details I stamped ‘Love’, ‘Joy’ & ‘Peace’ from “Joy Filled” and embossed with silver or gold embossing powder. I sprinkled embossing powder randomly and sparingly on top of the tags then heat set from underneath so as to not blow the powder off. To emboss the star I coloured it with a gold wink of stella marker then sprinkled gold embossing powder and heat set.

Joy tag details Heather Telford

I gilded the edge of the tag with the co-ordinating sharpie then finished by adding matching ribbon and metallic cord.

 Joy tag Heather Telford


Stamps:   Joy Filled, Oh Christmas Tree (PB)
Inks:  Victorian Velvet, Bundled Sage, Tumbled Glass distress stains & Seeded Preserves, Peeled Paint, Aged Mahogany, Salty Ocean(Ranger) & Crimson Red, Spanish Moss, Imperial Purple, Deep Lagoon & Versamark(Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko) 
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid, gold & silver sharpies, gold and silver embossing powder, gold and silver wink of stella pens.

No card left behind

Oh Christmas Tree Heather Telford

I recently started using the phrase ‘no card left behind’ at my classes. I know sometimes a card needs to left behind; sometimes a fresh start is best. I’m not talking about those instances; I’m talking about the times when the card is basically working. The colours are pretty, the layout is balanced, the stamping is solid but then something goes wrong. It could be a crooked sentiment or maybe a smudge of ink, perhaps an incomplete imprint from the stamp. In these situations I have adopted the policy of “No Card Left Behind” and I like to make sure it happens in my classes. I like the participants to go home happy with the their cards. I know they might try it again and tweak things or they might decide the design is not for them and never try it again. Either way I like them to go home with the promised cards.

To this end I have a few emergency solutions up my sleeve. I’m sure you have them too. Some of my class participants joke about the butterfly fix: “I can always stamp a butterfly over that” It can work in some situations but not really on a snow scene! I have shared some of my fixes before and have decided to continue in the spirit of “No Card Left Behind” and share some more from time to time. I will try and remember to photograph the problem before I come up with the fix but sometimes I just forge ahead and its too late for ‘before and after photo shoots’.

I have two cards to share today; the second one is the NCLB. I started both with the tree image embossed on watercolour paper with silver powder. I added distress stains to the paper and blended them immediately with water and a paintbrush. For the card above I kept the colour contained in the tree area just letting it bleed out a little by spreading the stain and water with a brush. On the other panel I blended the colour all over the panel so the whole rectangular area was covered in shades of green. I then sprinkled salt on the wet paper and let it dry. The result was a pretty textured background but overall the design was lacking something. I set it aside and finished the above panel with some silver, blue, green and yellow splatter. I added a bit of definition around some of the swirls and the border with watercolour pencils.

No Card Left Behind Heather Telford

Now how about the NCLB card? You can see I ended up punching out stars and arranging them as a tree but it took a bit of fiddling around before I settled on that design. I first punched squares from the watercoloured panel to see if I could come up with a three or four square CAS layout but that wasn’t coming together so I punched as many stars as possible out of the squares and remaining scraps and arranged them in a tree shape. I had a little star punch that framed the star at the top of the tree and cut a little trunk from a scrap. All the shapes are popped up with 3D foam squares from Scrapbook Adhesives on a white panel which is popped up with the thin 3D foam squares. I had a few narrow scraps left so I stamped a simple sentiment and attached it as a tab to the panel. Punches are a good option for saving a card that will no longer work as a whole panel. I often punch squares from a stamped design but circles or fancier shapes like flowers and stars are great to arrange into a new design.

Thanks for wading through this rather long description; have I inspired you to give the occasional mess up a second chance? Do you have strategies for saving your hard work after an annoying slip or smudge?

Stamps:  Oh Christmas Tree , Winter Magic (PB)
Punches: large and small star 
Inks: Versamark, Versafine Majestic Blue (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko), Distress stains Pine Needles, Evergreen Bough (Ranger)
Pencils: Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils Indianthrene Blue 247, Viridian 161, Lemon 107 (Faber Castell)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Natural white 110lb cardstock, Neenah Solar white 110lb cardstock
Also: Silver Embossing Powder, Silver Wink of Stella Pen, Salt, 3D foam squares, thin 3D foam squares (Scrapbook Adhesives)