Wish for peace and happiness

pink poinsettia Heather Telford

I shared a more defined version of this pretty poinsettia recently, painted in vintage tones. Today’s card features a looser image in pinks with a few touches of brown. As is often the case when I am after a watery softy image I used distress stains applied directly to the stamp. I started with worn lipstick and gathered twigs stains on the stamp and some water drops on my watercolour panel. The image was soft and some of the edges bled when the water droplets blurred into the petals.

 pink poinsettia Heather Telford

Next I added marker in darker colours to the stamp then pressed it onto the still wet panel. Once it dried I splattered a few water droplets over the petals. I did like the soft look of it at this stage but it wasn’t until I added the sentiment over the top that I felt it was finished. Do you sometimes stare at a project because you know it still needs something but you’re not sure what? (if all else fails in these circumstances I add the letter background stamp!)

pink poinsettia Heather Telford

I would usually be hesitant to cover so much of an image with text but the contrast of dark and light as well as blurred and sharp seemed to work. To complete the card I added both brown and burgandy mats plus a little gold thread.


Stamps: Scarlet Majesty, Yuletide Wishes (PB)
Inks:  Versafine Vintage Sepia ink (Tsukineko) worn lipstick, gathered twigs distress stains, festive berries, gathered twigs, ground espresso distress markers(Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, red cardstock, brown cardstock
Also: Clear wink of stella brush pen, Gold thread

On the lake

lakeside Heather Telford

All this week and next Penny Black is sharing sneak peeks of the new ‘Festive Wishes’ release. As usual there are beautiful stamps and dies, some which don’t need to be reserved only for Christmas. The stamp featured above, On the Lake, can be used all year round.

lakeside silhouettes Heather Telford

To create this sunset scene I stamped in versafine onyx black ink on neenah solar white cardstock. I used a misti so I could stamp several times to get a solid black image. Once the ink was totally dry I sponged blue at the top, orange then yellow above the trees. I then sponged some yellow and orange over the water and blue from the edge of the water to the bottom of the panel. It has been a while since I sponged a scene; some of you might remember I used to do it all the time!

lakeside closeup Heather Telford

There are more teasers on the Penny Black blog and a chance to win some product from the new release.

There is also a new One Layer Simplicity Challenge hosted by the artistic Karen Dunbrook.


Stamps: On the lake (PB)
Ink: Versafine onyx black ink, Memento Dandelion, Tangelo and Danube blue ink(Tsukineko)
Paper: Neenah solar white paper, Neenah epic black cardstock, orange cardstock


Autumn Skyward Heather Telford

You know how much I like tree stamps, so you can imagine how delighted I was to see this delicate branch silhouette appropriately called ‘Skyward’. I created a thank you card I’ll be linking to Susan Raihala’s Gratitude Campaign

Autumn Skyward closeup Heather Telford

I chose to keep my design simple by adding colour with brusho. I sprinkled gamboge, lemon and dark brown brusho on a piece of watercolour paper, spritzed with water then dried it immediately with a heat tool. By limiting the amount of water and drying it quickly I was able to halt the blending of the colours. The resulting bursts of colour do a good impression of fall foliage, I think. I wanted the branches to almost fill the sky so I stamped twice overlapping some of the branches.

Autumn Skyward Heather Telford

For the second card I used the same technique but went for a summer look. It is not clear whether my colour is sky or foliage so I am happy for it to be both.

Summer Skyward Heather Telford

You would think I had used blue brusho but I sprinkled leaf green, sea green and lemon. I love the way brusho is never one single colour but a mix of different coloured powders; it’s different every time.

.Summer sky close up Heather Telford


Stamps: Skyward, Snippets, Heartfelt (PB)
Ink: Versafine onyx black ink (Tsukineko)
Paper: hot pressed watercolour paper, orange cardstock, teal cardstock
Paint: gamboge, lemon, dark brown, sea green, leaf green brusho powder

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