OLS29 Christmas in July

OLS Christmas in July Heather Telford

I am hosting the One Layer Simplicity Challenge this month and the theme is ‘Christmas in July’. I know some of you make Christmas cards all year but I usually start around now and keep going until December! If you haven’t even thought about Christmas cards then perhaps this challenge will be a motivator. Perhaps you want to enjoy the summer sun and not think about December at all – that is totally fine too!

 Christmas in July Heather Telford

To make this one layer card I tore a piece of painter’s tape lengthwise into two strips and positioned them on my watercolour paper card base. I painted some blue along the torn tape edge and faded it to white. Keeping the tape in place I stamped a few trees in Memento Northern Pine ink and added a few dabs of black elegant writer pen. After stamping I painted over the tree to blend the ink. Northern Pine separates into brown and green when diluted which gives the foliage some variety in colour.

I’ve been reading a book called ‘The Non-Designer’s Design Book’ which has made me think about layout in terms of alignment, repetition, contrast and proximity. The book is concerned mainly with text documents like business cards, menus, ads, etc but the principles are relevant to art layout too. I found myself trying to apply what I’ve learnt when working out where my sentiment would go.


Stamps: Spread Cheer(PB)
Inks: Northern Pine Memento ink, Versafine Olympia green (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko)
Pencils & Pens: blue watercolour pencil (Faber Castell), elegant writer pen (Speedball)
Cardstock: Canson Moulin du Roy 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper

Our graduate

 sunrise bird Heather Telford

A week ago we had the privilege of watching our older daughter graduate from university. She has worked very hard, achieved excellent results and is off to undertake a Master’s in September. I chose her card from a selection I made last year; it could be a sunset or sunrise and the bird is flying off into it. My first chick is leaving the nest! As you can imagine I am very proud of her but not looking forward to her being miles away. It will be a great excuse to travel and see her though.

sunrise bird side Heather Telford

The background sunrise was painted wet into wet so I could blend the pink and yellow.  I  lifted out some yellow in the centre to make it brighter to look like the sun.  As you lift the colour out it is important to rinse your brush and remove some of the water; you don’t want to return colour to your panel or create a watermark by dropping in extra water.  I waited for the background to dry before stamping grey and black foliage in the foreground and a bird in the sky.


Stamps: Pastoral, Spread cheer (PB)
Inks:  Hydrus Watercolour (Dr Ph Martin)  I can’t remember which grey and black inks I used?!?
Cardstock: Hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, grey cardstock, Neenah solar white cardstock


Pastel Poppy Gems

pastel poppy gems Heather Telford

This week my colouring has grown softer each day. I changed mediums for this card and pulled out my tried and true watercolour pencils. I have added to my set lately but the originals are still the set I bought in university for my art subjects. I remember my parents thinking they were quite an expensive purchase then but I would say we got our money’s worth!

pastel poppy gems side Heather Telford

I embossed the poppy gems stamp in clear powder then painted each petal one at a time. I applied two pinks from the pencils and blended from dark to light, keeping some watermarks and blending others out. On yesterday’s card I kept the blending very smooth but sometimes I like to have a few watermarks here and there.

poppy gems close up Heather Telford

Colouring three times in a row is great practice for Kathy Racoosin’s upcoming 30 day colouring challenge.  The next one starts on  July 5th and lasts until August 3. I will share more details closer to the time but it is a great challenge, no pressure to colour every single day, plenty of wonderful inspiration from Kathy and some prizes along the way.


Stamps: Poppy gems(PB)
Inks:  Versamark (Tsukineko)
Pencils: Pine green 267, Chromium green opaque 174, Dark red 225, Madder 142, True blue 148 (Faber Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper

Bright Poppy Gems

Bright poppy gems Heather Telford

I’m sharing some more colouring today and yes, more poppies too. Poppies just keep on popping up on this blog don’t they!? Believe it or not I used the same medium on today’s card as yesterday’s very bright and bold card. The colours today are still bright but are blended out to much paler shades.

Bright poppy gems side Heather Telford

I stamped the large ‘poppy gems’ stamp in versafine onyx black and embossed in clear then used zig clean color real brush pens. Yesterday I pretty much filled the petals with colour and blended one colour over another. On today’s card I started with a little pink at the centre edge of each petal and a little yellow at the outside edge and blended the two colours with water to create a softer effect.

 bright poppy gems flat Heather Telford

I spied the raised panel layout on a couple of pretty cards recently and chose to do it on this one with a piece of orange fun foam. I have an even paler more pastel poppy card up next. See you soon and thanks for dropping by.


Stamps: Poppy gems, (PB)
Inks:  Versafine Onyx Black (Tsukineko) Zig Clean Color real brush markers (Kuretake)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper
Also: orange fun foam, spellbinders square die

Love art poppies

Love art poppies Heather Telford

My inspiration for this panel came from my garden. I only have one colour of poppy in my garden, orange. I didn’t quite capture the colour; but it was a good colouring exercise. To create the collection of poppies I had to mask several times then stamp over my masks. Fortunately the cutting required for a mask of this poppy wasn’t too fussy!

love art poppies above Heather Telford

I used zig clean color real brush markers and worked with one orange, one yellow and one red. The colours remained bold and bright because I blended with very little water and just worked with a combination of red and orange or orange and yellow. The centres are purple and black. The background is also zig markers, a mix of blue and light green with water marks to break up the brightness and give a little texture.

love art poppies reflection Heather Telford

When I photograph my cards I sit them on a piece of glossy cardstock; I like the strong reflection I got this time.

 love art poppy close up Heather Telford

I fully intended to add a sentiment in that big empty space in the top right corner but didn’t notice I hadn’t until I was editing my photos. I will wait and see who I send it to and add a sentiment later.

Stamps: Love Art (PB)
Mediums:  Zig Clean color real brush markers(Kuretake) Versafine Onyx Black ink (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, Neenah Epic Black cardstock

Vintage sunbursts

vintage sunbursts Heather Telford

I have two last cards to wrap up my vintage watercolour week. These differ from all the previous cards as they were stamped with solid or ‘silhouette’ stamps rather than outline stamps. The technique used on all my other cards involved pulling brown ink from the outline either into the image or into the back ground.

vintage sunburst closeup Heather Telford

With a solid stamp the inside of the image is already full of ink so I adapted my technique in order to get the same vintage brown & black effect. Because there were no petals or wings to be filled I didn’t incorporate watercolour pencils into these designs. On the ‘sunburst’ stamp above I inked most of the stamp with vintage photo distress ink but left the flower centres and the base of the stems to be inked with the elegant writer pen. I spritzed the stamp so the brown and black would blend into each other and the pink and green tones would bleed out of the black. I moved the colour around a little with a paintbrush.

vintage grasses Heather Telford

On the ‘nature’s paintbrushes’ stamp I inked first with vintage photo ink then added the elegant writer black on the seed heads of the grasses. I spritzed with water before stamping and also on the watercolour panel so the colour and image would bleed into the surrounding area.

vintage grasses closeup Heather Telford

When I was looking for some ribbon or twine to finish the cards I spied my black gingham and was surprised how much I liked it on the predominantly brown card.

Thank you so much for leaving me such kind comments this week; I glad some of you have tried the technique or plan to. I know many of you are not in my area but for those who are, I have a June class where we will be using similar techniques to make a poppy themed art square. (My first mixed media class!) All the details are on my upcoming classes page. I am also offering it at Crop A While in Orleans.

Poppy square banner scaled

Stamps: Sunbursts, Nature’s Paintbrushes, Happy Snippets, Treasured Sentiments(PB)
Inks:  Vintage Photo distress ink (Ranger) Elegant writer pen (Speedball)
Cardstock: Hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, black and natural cardstock (Neenah)
Also:  black and white gingham ribbon

Vintage Flower Box

Vintage flower box Heather Telford

I’m continuing my vintage watercolour theme today with the square ‘flower box’ stamp. I completed this panel using the technique shared in my video tutorial. I stamped the image with vintage photo ink and added black here and there with the ‘elegant writer’ pen from speedball.

Vintage flower box 2 Heather Telford

Most of the leaves and the centres of the large flowers have a black/green tinge to them; this is what happens when you add water to the elegant writer ink. I also spread it around the corners with a paint brush.

vintage flower box closeup Heather Telford

The orange and purple colouring is from watercolour pencils. I pulled colour from the pencils and filled the petals and flower shapes drawing in brown from the stamped outlines at the same time. I added splatters of colour from the pencil and water droplets for an aged look.

 vintage flower box flat Heather Telford

The word ‘smile’ is laser cut from matboard and glazed with crackle glaze.  Thanks for joining me this week; I’m so pleased you are enjoying my vintage theme.

Stamps: Flower Box (PB)
Inks:  Vintage Photo distress ink,Vintage Photo distress stain (Ranger) Elegant writer pen (Speedball)
Cardstock: Hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper
Also:  Albrecht Durer watercolor delft blue, raw umber, dark orange pencils (Faber-Castell), Rock candy clear crackle paint(Ranger)


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