Strange things are happening

CTS 183 Heather Telford

Strange indeed to see me enter a challenge, follow a sketch, use a chevron pattern and texture paste! I would not be surprised if you thought someone else had taken over my blog. There are two signs, however that this is my card, those watercoloured poppies might look familiar and the placement of that little sentiment is pretty standard for me also.

How did this happen? Well, I have been meaning to try adding texture to cards for a while so I picked up some molding paste and applied it through a couple of stencils. In this experiment I mixed liquid metal into the paste before spreading it through the ‘Zigs and Zags’ stencil from Penny Black. It didn’t end up with a metallic look but  it took on the green of the ‘verdi gris’ liquid metal. It has been a while since I did a challenge other than One Layer Simplicity (new one is up today) so I checked a couple of my favourites and found the sketch on “Case this Sketch“.

CTS183 left Heather Telford

The die-cut poppies were sitting on my desk along with some other left over watercolour painted panels. (I will share projects featuring the other panels later this week.) This card really is an exercise in contrasts, the soft blends of the paint against the sharp corners of the zigzag, the pops of red over the stripes of green and the tiny black letters in the midst of a large expanse of white space.

As Joan Bardee would say:

MOOD WHEN DONE: Surprised but satisfied!

 CTS 183 Heather Telford

Stamps: Snippets (PB)
Dies: Field of Dreams (PB)
Stencil: Zigs & Zags (PB)
Inks:  Versafine onyx black (Tsukineko)
Mediums: Molding paste (Golden) Verdi gris liquid metal (Ken Oliver) Watercolour paint (Kuretake Gansai Tambi)
Cardstock: Hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, Neenah solar white cardstock

Snowy Birches

Snowy birches Heather Telford

Do you recognise these trees? They are part of a larger stamp, ‘Winter Song’ and even though the whole stamp is beautiful I often just want to use that stand of trees on one side. I began by painting a sky over a moon mask using brusho blues. Once it was dry I decided to add these trees and the snow banks. Because the sky was already painted I had to paint the trees in white paint to block out the blue on the trunks. I used the Gansai Tambi white paint and kept it quite thick and opaque. Once I had white trunks to work with I painted some grey shadows on the trunks and added some black spots and twigs with a marker. I used the ‘to the world’ from Holiday Snippets and then hand lettered some joy.

I have lights and greenery around the window now and one ornament on the tree! Little by little…


Stamps: Winter SongHoliday Snippets (PB)
Paints: Brusho, Gansai Tambi
Inks: Tuxedo Black (Imagine Craft/Tsukineko) Micron fine tip black marker
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Strathmore cold pressed watercolour paper, burgandy cardstock

Reach for the stars

Reach for the stars Heather Telford

Today’s card reminds me of photos I have seen taken with a fish eye lense so the world all leans into the photograph. I could have added the colours of northern lights as I sometimes would but I stuck to the more common blues of a night sky. It was a fairly simple card to make. I positioned a circle mask then splattered masking fluid on a piece of watercolour paper, once the masking dried I painted blue gansai tambi paint in circles around the moon to fill the panel. To finish the card I stamped black trees and a sentiment, matted and added the panel to a black card base.

We have had some beautiful sunset skies lately; I haven’t taken many photos but I have tried to imprint them on my mind to recreate with paint and ink at a later time. It is weird to be into December and not have snow or even the need to wear gloves yet. No-one in our house is complaining about the lack of shoveling but my son is wanting to start on the outdoor rink and my husband is keen to ski. What does it look like where you are? White Christmas or green?


Stamps: Prancers, Eloquence (PB)
Inks: Black Soot ink (Ranger) Versafine Onyx Black (ImagineCraft/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper,  Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, Neenah Epic Black cardstock
Also:  Winsor & Newton masking fluid, Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints

Stamping the stories: Peter Pan

Peter Pan Heather Telford

I am continuing the journey through imaginative books and stopping in Neverland today. When I was creating cards for the challenge I had to make sure there was a scene or setting from the book I could stamp or paint with some success.  In thinking about Peter Pan, a story I enjoyed as a child and read to my children, I remembered this pirate ship stamp and pulled it out for the first time. I also pulled out one of my copies of Peter Pan for inspiration, the one illustrated by the incredibly talented Michael Hague.

To create this scene I painted some masking fluid where the waves would be then embossed the ship in black. I used watercolour paints to paint the sea, sky and cliffs then concentrated on the ship using paints then watercolour pencils for some finer details at the end. The sentiment is stamped on a die cut banner then trimmed and popped up over the panel.

After creating all my ‘story book’ cards I realised the books I chose were all made into movies. Perhaps that is a sign of a good story? I know I loved the books first and sometimes enjoyed the movies later on. It was the whimsical parts of Peter Pan that appealed to me, Wendy sewing on Peter’s shadow, the dog being their Nanna (although I did not get that as a child!?) and a ticking crocodile!


Stamps:  Pirates, Sweet Wishe(PB)
Inks: Versafine Onyx Black (ImagineCrafts/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah Epic Black cardstock
Dies: Triple Banner (PB)
Also: Gansai Tambi paints, masking fluid

Stamping the stories: Lord of the Rings

Lothlórien Heather Telford

I don’t understand it but none of my children seem to have inherited my love for ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy and ‘The Hobbit’. I think they all read the latter but I am not sure that any of them finished all three LOTR. I have read them several times and thoroughly enjoyed them so when challenged with a fantasy and imagination theme the delightful forest of Lothlórien came to mind. I pulled out some tree stamps, some green inks and gold thread to create a representation of the magical forest realm of the elves in middle earth.

I used some sponging for the golden light of the sky, painting and stamping for the trees and grass and a little gold die cut popped up on gold thread as an embellishment. I stamped some of the trees wet into wet to create some misty atmosphere but added some more defined stamping once the paper dried. I think the little bit of script helps give the middle earth look. The speckled look is from a fine splatter of masking fluid applied before I started and removed once all the paint and ink were dry.

Have you read any JRR Tolkien? Are you a fan? What about the movies? Years ago my husband and I were watching ‘The Fellowship of the Ring”; we did not know one of our girls was still awake in next room. All she could hear was music then battle sounds, then talk, then battle sounds over and over. She finally asked us to turn it down; it was too scary to listen to. Poor thing. The movies are a whole lot of walk, talk, walk, fight, fight, fight, walk, talk, walk, fight, fight…


Stamps:  Splendor, Fantasy, Butterfly Party (PB)
Inks: Rich Cocoa, Bamboo Leaves, Espresso Truffle, Pear Tart, Olive Grove(ImagineCrafts/Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, green cardstock, Neenah natural white
Dies: Leaflets (PB)
Also: Gansai Tambi paints, gold embroidery thread, masking fluid


Imagine Heather Telford

Many of you are familiar with the fabulous online stamping community ‘Splitcoaststampers‘. I have been a member for years and have appreciated the wealth of resources provided and the warm interaction and encouragement of the members. I was honoured to be invited at the beginning of this year to be a member of the Splitcoast design team, The Dirty Dozen. While a ‘Dirty Girl’ I was tasked with creating six projects each month inspired by a monthly theme. Back in April these projects were for fan club members only. It is one of the ways Splitcoast says thank you to fan club members for their financial support. Splitcoast membership is free but by paying a yearly subscription to the fan club you enjoy more resources and privileges while contributing to the running costs.

I was thrilled to be asked to join the ‘Dirty Dozen’ but I was a little apprehensive about thinking up a bunch of projects each month on a set theme. Themed challenges have a way of freezing up my creative juices! But a challenge is meant to be just that, a challenge and the results can be surprising. I met each challenge and was so happy to be taken outside my comfort zone. Each month I was blown away by the projects created by the rest of the team.Imagine banner Heather Telford

I enjoyed all the months but my favourite ended up being the ‘Imagine that’ challenge. I have turned the projects from that month into a story book week here on my blog. I’ll be back tomorrow with the first story book inspired card.


Stamps:  Soft Wings, Letter background (PB)
Dies: Envision (PB)
Inks:  Versamark, Rich Cocoa (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hotpressed watercolour paper, gold cardstock, brown cardstock
Also:Water colour with Gansai Tambi paints, gold embossing powder


Farewell to summer: Fuchsias

Summer garden Heather Telford

This one is a stamp-less card! I created a stencil for myself by cutting the fuchsia die from a piece of plastic then painting through it. I wasn’t able to achieve sharp edges or details but I wasn’t really after that look. Before using the stencil I wet the whole panel with water and painted blue and green paints around the edges. The middle wasn’t totally white but it was paler so my pinks would not end up changing too much. I used kuretake gansai tambi paints which are highly pigmented so it is easy to get some really strong colour. I did add a bit of definition to the petals after removing the stencil. I also painted some very very pale fuchsias through the stencil and added a little splatter. Before fuchsias fully open the lower petals form a little balloon which just screams out to be popped. Did anyone else pop them when they were a child?

Creative Dies:  Fuchsia (PB)
Paint: Kuretake Gansai Tambi 
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper, Neenah solar white cardstock, PB clear skies paper
Also: Winsor & Newton masking fluid

Snow Berries

Snowball branches Heather Telford

I have another snowy card for a sweltering day (here in Ottawa anyway!) Perhaps gazing at that frosty landscape will help you feel cooler??

The branches above were stamped with, ‘Berry Bevy’, a new stamp from the ‘Especially for You 2015’ collection currently being revealed on the Penny Black blog. I created a wintry moonlit scene by masking a piece of watercolour paper with both circular and hill shaped masks of frisket film. With the masks in place I painted a distress stain sky;  the snowflakes you see were made by masking fluid splattered onto the panel before I began. I removed the moon mask before stamping the Berry Bevy stamp in versafine ink. Once the main image was stamped I removed the hill mask and painted a shadow for a foreground snow bank, masked it and added a few more twigs poking out of the snow. When it was all dry I painted each of the ‘berries’ with the pearly white paint from my gansai tambi watercolour set. It has a nice shimmer and looks silver or white depending on the angle of the card. There are more inspiring projects on the PB blog today including Mimi’s beautiful take on this stamp and some stunners from Jill.

Stamps: Berry Bevy (PB)
Inks:  Broken China, Tumbled glass, Seeded preserves, Dusty concord distress stains/inkpads (Ranger)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper & black card
Also: Kuretake gansai tambi watercolour paints, Winsor & Newton masking fluid, Grafix frisket film

Colour inspiration

Last month I taught a class involving watercolour panels and die cut shapes. All the samples I demonstrated and all the cards and panels created by class members were different. I really enjoyed watching everyone choose colours to work with. I snapped a few photos as the paints dried.

wc diecut class

wc die cut class


 wc diecut class


 wc die cut class

DSC_7949 wc diecut class

DSC_7653 wc diecut class

I still have some panels waiting to be transformed into something new.

DSC_8057 wc diecut class


Church on a hill

25 years of ministry Heather Telford

This year marks twenty five years of ministry for the pastor of our church. He arrived in Ottawa shortly before we did in 2000 and our families have been friends ever since. His wife asked me if I would make a card for the occasion with a church on it. I looked through my stamps but the only church stamp was a snowy scene which was mainly trees with a snow laden church in the distance. As we are pretty happy to finally be free of snow I decided against using that stamp. I attempted a painting instead and found several church images as inspiration then combined elements from a few and set my church on a tree filled hillside. Rather than obscure some of the scene I printed the words on vellum and wrapped it round the painted panel. I used my gansai tambi watercolour paints for most of the painting then switched to watercolour pencils to add finishing touches.


Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton hot pressed watercolour paper,  Neenah Natural White 110lb cardstock, Neenah Epic Black cardstock, rust cardstock, vellum
Also:  Kuretake Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer watercolour pencils