Limberlost Journal page & video

a girl of the limberlost Heather Telford

It is over a year ago since I completed a page in my art journal so it was a good thing when I was asked to create an art journal video for the Penny Black blog. The latest release from PB, Artistic Endeavors includes some beautiful stamps designed with journaling in mind. The page I created last year was a Narnia page so I decided to stick with the literary theme and make another book inspired page. My inspiration this time is ‘A Girl of the Limberlost’ by Gene Stratton-Porter. I read the book quite a few years ago but really enjoyed it and could see the butterfly and figure stamp working well on such a page.

top right Heather Telford

The main character, Elnora, catches moths to sell to collectors in order to support herself through high school. She lives on the edge of the Limberlost, a forested and swampy region where she finds the moths she later sells. I know these stamps depict butterflies but I chose to exercise some artistic license.

butterfly and background detail Heather Telford

Because I wanted to watercolour both the butterflies and the girl I stamped them on watercolour paper, painted them, then cut them out so I could attach them to the page.

bottom right Heather Telford

To add texture to the background I glued torn strips of tissue paper all over it then did partial stamping with a script stamp and a leafy stamp.

double page Heather Telford

Journal pages take me a long time so despite the fact that I sped up just about all the footage, it is still on the lengthy side. I hope you enjoy it and, maybe like me, get inspired to pull out a neglected art journal. Or perhaps you’ll go and check the book out of the library…

Edited to add: In the video I mentioned learning a lot from Vicky Papaioannou; her videos are here:


Stamps: Muse, Script, Verdure, Butterfly trio (PB)
Art Journal: Fabriano 24cm x 15.5cm
Art supplies: Faber-Castell gel medium , Tsukineko Versafine Onyx Black ink , clear embossing powder, Ken Oliver Colorburst powders (merlot, violet, ultramarine blue), Ken Oliver liquid metals (platinum, verdi gris, ultramarine blue), Faber-Castell Stampers big brush pen, lead pencil, Pigma 0.3 micron pen, Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils (medium flesh, brown ochre, juniper green, ochre, burnt ochre, venetian red, delft blue, warm grey 3), tissue paper, Dr Ph Martin Hydrus liquid watercolours (Hansa yellow light, phthalo blue, phthalo green, carbon black) Art glitter designer dries clear adhesive, Ranger distress micro glaze.


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

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

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)

Vintage tulips

vintage tulip Heather Telford

I have some more vintage style watercolour cards to share this week. Last month I posted a video tutorial showing a method for creating a vintage look with brown dye ink and watercolour pencils. I have created a few more cards along the same lines dreamed up some variations as well. To see the original card and video tutorial click here.

vintage tulip 2 Heather Telford

For this tulip card I used almost the same method as shown in the video but left out the elegant writer pen (as I did in this butterfly card). I stamped the original tulip images in vintage photo distress ink then blended the ink in the outline stamping with colour from both pink and brown watercolour pencils. I painted some distress stain around the edges of the watercolour panel and splattered some as well.

Vintage tulip closeup Heather Telford

Thanks for dropping in; I hope you’ll come back each day this week for more vintage style designs.

Stamps: Flower Gala , Soar (PB)
Inks:  Vintage Photo distress ink,Vintage Photo distress stain (Ranger)
Cardstock: Hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, brown cardstock, coral cardstock
Also:  Albrecht Durer watercolor medium flesh, VanDyke pencils (Faber-Castell)

More vintage watercolour

vintage watercolour butterflies Heather Telford

Thank you for your encouraging response to yesterday’s technique video. Please let me know if you give it a try. I have another card done in the same style today so if you missed the instructions yesterday, check out the tutorial here. The painting on this one was more straightforward as there was no masking. The butterflies are all on one large stamp, ‘Butterfly Charmer‘, and their botanical look makes them perfect for the vintage treatment.

 watercoloured butterfly closeup Heather Telford

As with yesterday’s card I stamped in vintage photo distress ink; this provides the sepia tone which I want to carry through the whole image as well as the water solubility necessary to blend the ink with the added colour from the watercolour pencils. I chose a blue, a purple and a pink pencil and switched from one to another as I coloured each butterfly.

vintage butterfly closeup Heather Telford

The assembly was more time consuming with this card partly because it had fiddly little lace and charm elements. The main reason putting this card together took a while though was because I didn’t know what I wanted. I glued down some lilac ribbon and added a bow to the butterfly charm only to decide I didn’t like it. Thankfully the ribbon pulled off without ruining the watercolour panel.  I did want the lace and the charm so I paired them with an embossed sentiment on a tag plus a little flourish die cut . The whole shebang is matted with the same pale brown as the tag and popped up on a natural coloured card base. I know for some of you this constitutes a fairly simple layout but for me this is high on the fussy-fiddly scale!

Stamps: Butterfly charmer, Happy Snippets (PB)
Dies: flourish & butterflies, a pocketful
Inks:  Vintage Photo distress ink (Ranger) Versamark (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, brown cardstock
Also:  Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils (Faber-Castell), lace, butterfly charm

Vintage Watercolour tutorial

vintage birdhouse 1 Heather Telford

I have a tutorial for you today (gasp) which I made for SplitcoastStampers. In it I show my technique for creating a vintage style watercolour. By vintage style I am referring to muted sepia tones in this case with some blurred script and watermarks to give it an even more aged look.

I chose a birdhouse from the Fly High set and paired it with the Playful stamp using masks to stamp all my elements before I started watercolouring.

vintage birdhouse 2 Heather Telford

The two examples above are fairly similar; I changed the sentiment and naturally the watercolouring is not exactly the same. If you visit Splitcoaststampers you can see the stepped out photo tutorial or you can watch my video tutorial below.

This video came together quite smoothly (with the help of my son and my husband) so here’s to more!

 vintage birdhouse 1 floral detail Heather Telford

Thank you for being so kind in your comments. You really are such an encouragement to me. I hope you try some vintage style stamping; all you need is some brown ink and a few watercolour pencils. The fun of the elegant writer pen is entirely optional.
Stamps: Playful, Fly High, Soar (PB)
Inks:  Vintage Photo distress ink (Ranger) 
Cardstock: Hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, brown cardstock
Also: elegant writer (Speedball)  Albrecht Durer watercolor pencils 142, 180 (Faber-Castell)

Pop, Pop!

pop pop muted Heather Telford

I am sharing some more experimentation with brushstroke stamps today. This one is called Pop, Pop, Poppy and you can see I didn’t really mix up the layout at all but the medium was different for all three cards. The top card was stamped in a pale dye ink then coloured with watercolour pencils.

pop pop pastel Heather Telford

The blue leafed version above was stamped with distress stains and the bright pops of colour below were achieved by dropping colorburst powder onto water-stamping.

 pop pop bright Heather Telford

The bright one above, although messy, ended up being my favourite. Which do you prefer?


Stamps: Pop, pop, poppy (PB)
Mediums:  Dandelion Memento ink, Versafine onyx black (Tsukineko) Worn Lipstick, Chipped Sapphire, Weathered wood distress stains (Ranger) Colorburst powders (Ken Oliver)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot & cold pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Epic Black cardstock

Poppy Gems 2

Poppy Gems 2 Heather Telford

The Poppy Gems return today but in a more traditional colour scheme than last week’s card. I stamped with liquid watercolour paint on this panel, a technique not unlike what I often do with the distress stains. I used a paintbrush to apply the paint to the stamp then, after stamping, used water to blend the colour into the petals and leaves. In the centres and shadows on the flowers I layered colour to increase the intensity. The paints are Dr Ph Martin Hydrus watercolours which dry permanent. This feature was helpful when I decided to add a background weeks after completing  the flowers. There was no chance I would make the pinks and greens bleed into the sky when I added blue with a watercolour pencil and waterbrush.Poppy gems 2 detail Heather Telford

The little tag is a cut with the new die from Penny Black, ‘gift card pocket’ which comes with so much more than just the pocket die.

Poppy gems 2 tilt Heather Telford

Thank you for dropping by today; I will be back soon with more alcohol ink adventure as well as another couple of cards made with the ‘Poppy Gems’ stamp. I hope you have a great weekend.


Stamps: Poppy gems, Perfect Pairing (PB)
Dies:  gift card pocket (PB)
Inks:  Versafine Onyx Black (Ranger)
Pencil: Albrecht Durer watercolour pencil sky blue 147(Faber-Castell)
Paints: Dr Ph Martin Hydrus Liquid Watercolours – Set 1
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, pink cardstock
Also: linen thread


elegance wbg Heather Telford

Elegance is the perfect name for this new stamp featuring a bunch of calla lilies. I think I had some in my garden once but apparently you need to dig them up each year and replant them?? That was just not going to happen I’m afraid, no matter how elegant they might be. I have quite a few day lilies that come up year after year and multiply with no attention from me so I have just stuck with them!

I stamped in weathered wood stain because I wanted to keep the lilies looking white; ink would have worked just as well but I only had stain. I used my watercolour pencils to colour the flowers and background (colours listed below).  I found a scrap of exactly the right blue card to frame the panel and matched it with versafine ink for the sentiment.

elegance bbg Heather Telford

I must admit I am taken by surprise that Easter is less than a month away; 2016 is flying by!


Stamps:  Elegance, A very happy easter (PB)
Inks:  Weathered Wood distress stain(Ranger) Blue Lagoon versafine ink (Tsukineko)
Pencils: Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils sap green 167, apple green 170, lemon cadmium 105, light orange 113, light grey 195, medium grey 197, night green 155 for background (Faber-Castell)
Paper: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, blue cardstock