Reading Year journal page

I know 2020 was a very different year from what any of us imagined but I hope you are able to look back on it and see some new habits or achievements that please and encourage you. I’ve always been a reader but I have to admit I spent more time immersed in stories this year. I read physical books, listened to many audio books as I worked on art and in the last week read e-books on my new e-reader. I was hoping to reach 100 books but fell a little short with a total of 93 and three currently on the go.

It is highly possible that I had years as a child when I read more than 93 but I don’t know; I didn’t keep a record. I have this year’s books written in a bullet journal but I decided to record them on an art journal page as well. This is the second book filled spread in my art journal and who knows, there may be more.

I love the book spines stamp from Darkroom Door and this time stamped it across the pages instead of in piles. After I had coloured all the book spines with watercolour markers and pearlescent paints I drew a shelf underneath and then stamped the DD woodgrain stamp above and below the shelf of books in grey and brown distress inks. I added a few titles to book spines with gel pens then used a scribbly script to fill the surrounding area with all the rest of the books. It soon became apparent that there would not be room for author names so I just did book titles. Once I had filled the space I had to squeeze the last few in between lines. I splattered some black soot distress ink over the page before removing the masking tape and adding the hand lettered title.

I read mysteries, war novels, crime novels, literary fiction, comedy, romance, historical fiction and a thriller. There were books I didn’t care to finish so they are not on the list and there were a handful I read twice. I read several series; I do like a good series and I took pains to try and have them arrive in my library holds in the right order or close to it.

The book club I belong to did manage to meet this year, once indoors before the pandemic started then two more times, outdoors around a picnic table then, in late October, around a bonfire. We discussed ‘Where the Crawdad’s Sing’, ‘Small Great Things’, ‘The Lager Queen of Minnesota’ and ‘The River’. If you know of some good ‘book club books’ please let me know in the comments below. I have received helpful recommendations from you before which I’m looking forward to reading in 2021.

Happy New Year!

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2020’s favourite posts

I looked through the stats for 2020 to see which posts were viewed the most. It is not necessarily an accurate indicator of favourites but it is fun to look back and see what appealed. I’ve included a link to the original post next to every photo. I’m featuring only cards I made and posted this year. Here they are in no particular order.

Back in January I used Darkroom Door stencils as a guide to paint watercolour backgrounds for silhouette stamping with DD stamps.

In February as I was preparing to teach a class using pearlescent paints on black watercolour paper I created this embossed and painted card. The class didn’t happen but the plan is still in my mind for either an online or in-person class hopefully some time in 2021.

This card and the next favourite feature the same Penny Black stamp and no-line watercolour technique. I used distress inks and markers for the watercolouring on this one.

Same stamp as shown above, Unforgettable from Penny Black but this time watercoloured with Arteza real brush pens.

This lilac card along with three other colour schemes featured the ‘lovely lilacs‘ stamp from Penny Black and there is a video tutorial as well.

Another video post once again with Arteza watercolour brush pens this time with Penny Black’s nature’s glory stamp.

Now this one is a little different, pencil colouring on kraft cardstock, again with a video. 2020 has definitely seen me create the most videos!

This one is also one of my favourites so it is nice to see it as a reader favourite too. It is the second post in the top ten to feature the lovely lilacs stamp from PB.

I’m happy to see one of my hand painted pieces in the favourites. This is a brusho & cling wrap painting I did after watching a CeeCee Creations video.

Another video post made the top ten, this one featuring die cut distress oxide painted leaves. This is the only one not featuring flowers.

This one just missed out on the top ten so I’m adding it here at the end because I think it might be my favourite of the year. It’s a brusho and cling wrap panels that made me think of hydrangeas so I turned the random patterns into massed flowers.

Thank you for dropping it to read my posts this year. I love sharing the details of my cards, journal pages and creative adventures. In a year when face to face interactions have been limited I have been encouraged over and over by the comments and conversations here on my blog.

It has been my best year ever for producing you tube videos and also the year I fulfilled a long time dream of producing online classes. Again thank you for your support in those endeavours.

I’m looking forward to sharing more creative pursuits on the blog with you in 2021, there will be watercolour and stamping (of course!) but also alcohol ink art, gel printing, lettering and journaling. I hope you are safe and well where you are and pray that 2021 will be a year of health and happiness for you.


Cabin by the lake

I’ve been trying to make some smaller panels and one layer cards over the last few days as I still need quite a few cards so how exactly did this happen!? Not smaller and not quicker but definitely satisfying. I was thinking about some of the scenic cards released by Penny Black this year and wanted to combine them into new scenes. I made the left side of ‘quietude’ + ‘cosy cabin’ + 1/3 ‘tannenbaum trio’ = a cabin by a frozen lake.

I worked on hot pressed watercolour paper with masking fluid splattered on it and began by stamping the small trees and horizon from the quietude stamp in iced spruce, forest moss and chipped sapphire. I blended over the trees with a paint brush but came back to them later to do more. I stamped the cozy cabin stamp next, forest moss and chipped sapphire on the trees, hickory smoke and black soot on the cabin. I remembered to colour inside the windows with a mustard seed marker before I got carried away with blending this time so it looks cozy inside. To add more trees behind the house I made a cabin post-it mask then stamped one of the tannenbaum trio stamps twice on the right hand side of the cabin.

Before adding the sky I made sure everything was dry then positioned a frisket film circle mask over the trees. I used speckled egg distress stain to paint the sky initially then when I had covered it all dropped in some chipped sapphire. Green ink did bleed out of the stamped trees but I kept a paper towel on hand to dab it dry before it could move too far.

The lake area is mainly iced spruce and stormy sky to keep it paler and frozen looking but I added chipped sapphire and forest moss at the bottom where the lake is in shadow behind the snowbank. The snowbank looked too large and stark in the left hand corner so I stamped just the tips of the branches from the single tree in the cozy cabin set to look like a bit of foreground foliage. ( hot tip for my Ottawa people, all three sets featured on this card are listed in the Crop A While online store, just saying…)

Quick update on Dressember: my card making friends keep pushing the fundraising total higher and I am so very appreciative. As I write this it has reached $1190.25. Thank you so much. Here is a photo from day 12 as I decorate gingerbread. Decorating the gingerbread is my favourite part of the process or maybe equal first place with eating it. This first batch unfortunately spread while baking to such an extent that the tree and mitten shapes were unrecognizable so the decorating was the only clue to what they were meant to be!

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Tannenbaum Scene – video

Last week I posted a card and video made with stamps from the Penny Black tannenbaum trio stamp set. I filled the scene with trees on the previous project making more of a forest. Today’s card features a different colour scheme and a painted sky.

As often is the case for my winter scenes I started with a panel of hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid. I painted the sky first and stamped the trees last but the video gives you all the details so here it is.

We had a decent fall of snow yesterday so it’s looking a bit more like the video around here now. What’s it like where you are?

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Vintage Car

The new vintage car stamp pairs perfectly with one of the ladies from the classy 1920’s chic stamp set, both from Darkroom Door. I made two slimline cards and went with a rainbow colour scheme.

To position the car behind the woman I stamped her first, masked her with a post-it note mask I had cut out and then stamped the vintage car over the top. As both were stamped in nocturne versafine clair pigment ink I was able to emboss in clear powder to make it easier to paint a multicoloured background. I used distress inks smooshed on my glass mat but painted water around the images first so I could drop colour in and blend one colour with the next. On the card below I stamped the car three times in Memento London fog ink and once in a rainbow of distress inks. I applied the rainbow with a marker and spritzed the stamp before stamping so the colours began to blend before hitting the watercolour paper panel.

I stuck with London fog ink for the first two sentiments from DD classic cars vol 1 and switched back to the markers when stamping the birthday sentiment from DD happy birthday set. In keeping with the rainbow car I blended the same inks over the card base with blending brushes. The sentiment on the first card is from the DD classic motorcycles set

Speaking of dresses, but none quite so chic as the stamped one, I am continuing to wear dressed every day during December as I fundraise for the Dressember campaign which fights against human trafficking. My fundraising total has reached $795. If you would like to contribute just click over to my Dressember page. Thank you, thank you to those who have already done so.

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Wise Men

I have two more one-layer ink blended cards today created using exactly the same technique as yesterday’s cards. I masked the edges of the neenah solar white card front with painter’s tape then used blending brushes to build up colour to fill the inside space.

On both cards I placed a tiny circle post-it mask in the sky to be the star then blended the lightest colour over the whole panel. On the card above I started with antique linen distress ink; on the single wise man card below I started with speckled egg distress ink. Once the base colour was in place I positioned a hill shaped post-it note to mask the land area while I worked on the sky. On the card above I used worn lipstick then chipped sapphire. On the card below I blended pine needles followed by chipped sapphire.

For both cards I completed the sky blending then removed the tiny circle mask and blended over the top of the white dot so it would still be the brightest spot but without the crisp edges that would make it look too much like the moon.

Before removing the mask over the land area I stamped the Bethlehem stamp from PB lighting the way set along the edge of the mask in the lightest ink (antique linen or speckled egg). With the sky complete I placed the other half of the curved mask over the sky and removed the lower mask so I could blend the darker colours along the base of the design.

On the portrait oriented card I added one wise man from the PB three kings set in versafine clair nocturne ink while the tapes were still in place around the edges. On the card with three wise men I stamped one king with the tapes in place then removed the tapes to stamp two more kings overlapping the masked edge. I used sentiments from the PB set promise of hope.

I’ve mentioned my brother David’s videos a couple of times this year. He has created quite a few series since churches went online in March. Even though many churches are meeting in person again he is still creating short, thoughtful bible talks. You might be interested in his current series, God’s plan for Christmas. He is posting a new video everyday from Dec 1 -25 explaining the Christmas back story. There was nothing last minute about the birth of Jesus; it was planned from the beginning. As we prepare for a Christmas which will probably look a little different than usual you might enjoy taking a few minutes each day to think about the birth of Christ and what it means for us. You can find his God’s plan for Christmas series here

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Tannenbaum Forest – video

Funny story about this card, I realised last night that, although I had written in it, addressed it and even added the stamp to the envelope, I hadn’t taken the photos to go with today’s video tutorial. I pulled it out of the envelope, took some photos, did a little editing magic so you couldn’t see my handwriting on the inside then popped it back in the envelope. It’s mailed now, on its way to Australia.

This is one of two videos I’ve made featuring the tannebaum trio set from Penny Black. I’ll post the other one soon. I did generational stamping in a few colours to get the background trees to appear to be in the distance. It’s a fairly speedy technique which you could mass produce once you got into the swing of things.

As I’ve said before ‘you can never have too many tree stamps’ and the three in this set are no exception. You have already seen me pop them in a few cards on their own to add a foreground tree to a snowy scene or to be a single focal point on one of the mini cards I posted yesterday.

Thank you again for your interest in and support of the Dressember campaign. A couple of close friends I have made through card making helped move my fundraising total along yesterday. Thank you so much!

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Winter Quietude

When I posted a card stamped with the PB ‘quietude’ stamp recently I mentioned I would be making a more wintery looking version. Today I have two different colour schemes featuring snow and an extra tree from the tannenbaum trio set.

In this snowscape inspired by my friend Liz’s love for all things purple, I used speckled egg, dusty concord and black soot distress inks to paint a sky, a lake and snowbank shadows. I stamped the top of the scene first in speckled egg so I would know where to paint the sky then used a paintbrush and smooshed ink to fill the area above the horizon. I dried that then painted the lake area with speckled egg and dusty concord before stamping the trees in dusty concord and black soot inks.

For the colour scheme below I again used speckled egg but with pine needles and chipped sapphire distress inks.

The falling snow on both cards is a result of splattered masking fluid on hot pressed watercolour paper. I splattered it ahead of time and did all the stamping and painting before rubbing it off to reveal all the white dots.

If you have been reading this blog for a while you will know I have participated in the Dressember campaign in the past to raise awareness and funds to fight human trafficking. I’ve signed up again and will be wearing a dress every day in December while I share information about the work being done around the world to end modern day slavery. To support this cause please visit my fundraising campaign page https://dressemberijm-2020.funraise.org/fundraiser/heather-telford where you can donate. I will be posting the daily dresses on my instagram account with occasional updates here on the blog. (Please note I have signed up with Dressember Canada this time so tax receipts will be sent to Canadian donors only.)

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Shells

Let’s take a break from the snowy scenes I’ve been serving up lately and instead spend some time at the beach. If only I could! I’ve always been a shell collector, even last year when I was walking along Soldiers Beach on the NSW Central Coast with my dad I collected shells for the fun of it. I didn’t end up bringing them home but it was fun to look along the sand and in the rockpools. This card features shells from the Darkroom Door Seashells set and a background stamped with the new DD filmstrip stamp seashells.

I stamped the large shells first making a mask for each one out of a post it note so I could before stamping a second or third shell and mask all three when I stamped the repeated filmstrip background. The large shells I stamped first in archival ink then over the top in distress ink which I blended to fill and add shading to the shells. The background I stamped in tea dye distress ink using the MISTI to keep the stamp in place and move the watercolour paper panel. After stamping the background I blended over the top with a paintbrush and water and dabbed away liquid to halt the blurring so I could still see the shell images.

Once I’d trimmed the panel to size I blended vintage photo ink around the edges with a blending brush and painted shadows under the large shells with dark browns and black. As usual the supplies are all listed below.

Have a great day even if you can’t collect seashells and definitely if you can!

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Woodland Getaway (and a winner!)

Before I give you the details about this winter scene I want to announce the winner of a registration in my new online class, Winter Wonder. Congratulations Colett, who told us plenty of things she loves about winter.

Sledding with the grandkids. Skating. Skiing. The way sound is so clear and crisp on those very cold cold days. Crisp snow beneath my feet and the crunch it makes. Hoar frost on the trees. Chickadees and other birds sitting all puffed up on the feeder. Sitting by the crackling fire with a good cup of coffee. Lots to love about winter!

If you would like to learn with me as I create beautiful winter scenes, skies and foliage check out the new class!

This forest landscape is a new PB stamp called woodland getaway To turn it into a snowy scene I used hot pressed watercolour paper splattered with masking fluid. I began by creating a sky with chipped sapphire ink smooshed on a glass mat, I spritzed the ink with water and swiped the panel through it several times to pick up ink and fill the top half of the panel.

I dried the inky sky before moving the panel into the stamp positioner. I stamped the scene first in stormy sky distress ink, the lightest colour, painted over the distant hills and added a little chipped sapphire ink to the edges. I inked the trees in black arteza real brush pen, stamped and repeated to build up the forest area. I spritzed the stamp a little to move the ink.

To define the track and edges I stamped in chipped sapphire and blended with some water to get shadow. Did you notice I called it a track not a road? I’m trying to avoid the ‘deer in the headlights’ interpretation. That is not what I was going for; I prefer to think of it as a trail where the skiers or snowshoers (?) came over a rise and surprised a couple of deer crossing the track. The deer from PB nature’s friends are stamped in versafine clair nocturne ink.

Just in case you are planning a little shopping this weekend the Foiled Fox is having a sale, Friday through Monday. I thought you should know!

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