Magnolia Rhapsody

magnolia rhapsody Heather Telford

Penny Black has added more lovely brushstroke stamps to their collection including this beauty, Magnolia Rhapsody. I have several techniques I use with my brushstroke stamps; for this card I used memento markers, blending colour both on the stamp and on the paper. Using a stamp positioner I started by stamping the whole image in angel pink memento ink; this gave me a reference image which helped me apply the darker inks in the right places on the stamp. Next I inked all the petals with an angel pink marker then added lilac posies ink to the flower centres and petal tips. I spritzed lightly before stamping so the colour would mix a little then blended further on the paper with a damp brush. After finishing the petals I inked and stamped the leaves, then the branch and twigs.

magnolia rhapsody Heather Telford


To give a bit of a bokeh look to the scene I stamped again around the main image without applying more ink. The result was pale pink and green petals and leaves in the background.  I tried out the morning dew Nuvo crystal drops on petals and leaves; you might be able to see my little dew drops in the photo below. I added a thin strip of cardstock to the bottom of the card base and balanced it with bit of sponged green at the top.

magnolia rhapsody close up Heather Telford

Thanks for dropping in today.


Stamps: magnolia rhapsody, stitched flowers (PB)
Ink: angel pink, lilac posies, pistachio, olive grove, espresso truffle, tuxedo black memento markers & versafine onyx black ink (Tsukineko)
Also: Nuvo ‘morning dew’ crystal drops
Paper: hotpressed 100% cotton watercolour paper, olive textured cardstock


Purple Iris


This iris card is a project from last year; it features one of my favourite techniques for brush stroke stamps: inking with memento markers. You could use any water soluble markers I imagine, it is easy to apply colour to the stamp with them and their water solubility makes it possible to get nice colour blends. I stamped on a piece of hot pressed watercolour paper which I had splattered some masking fluid over.


I began with some drips of water on the watercolour paper panel. I inked the stamp with the markers listed below, spritzed the stamp and used the MISTI to stamp on the panel. Wherever the stamp hit the water droplets it bled into the surrounding area. I also blended the ink with a paint brush and water. When the panel was almost dry I stamped again in purple and green to get some extra definition on the leaves and petals. To frame the iris I painted some very diluted northern pine ink around the background then waited for it to dry again before adding some splatter.

I remember when I did made this panel I ended up stamping several at the same time; some ended up darker and more defined, others were pale and looser. It all depended on how much ink and water I applied to the stamp.

Thanks for dropping in; I’ll be back tomorrow with brand new stamps from Penny Black!

Stamps: Pure Iris(PB)
Inks:  Memento Cantaloupe, Grape Jelly, Sweet Plum, Olive Grove, Pistachio (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Hot pressed Fabriano watercolour paper, Olive Green cardstock
Also: masking fluid


stillness Heather Telford

After a week of balmy temperatures hovering around zero, we are back to real winter weather again and bright scenes like this one. Winter here is often prettiest when it’s the coldest.

stillness Heather Telford

I stamped and embossed this scene using ‘winter ledge’ and a stamp positioner so I could get the thin layer of snow on the branches. The trick to this is to stamp first in versamark then move the cardstock up ever so slightly then stamp in pigment ink, in this case versafine onyx black. Once the panel is stamped twice you can emboss both images at once. The embossing resists ink once you sponge or paint over the top. I sponged this scene in memento Danube blue ink creating snowy hills behind the branches with post-it note masks.

stillness close up Heather Telford

I hesitate to say that I hope you are all staying warm as I know our family in Australia have been wishing for a little respite from the heat. I hope you are enjoying the weather, whatever the weather, whether you like it or not!


Stamps: winter ledge, snippets (PB)
Inks: versamark, versafine onyx black, memento danube blue (Tsukineko)
Papers: Neenah solar white
Also: clear embossing powder

African Trees 2 Ways

watercolour trees Heather Telford

I have something new to share with you today, some stamps from my homeland! No, not Africa, Australia. The images are of African trees but the stamps themselves are from Darkroom Door in Australia. I have recently added Darkroom Door designs to my teaching schedule so I will also be sharing some projects here on the blog. My first class with Darkroom Door stamps is in February; it features these trees and you can find it on my Upcoming Classes page.

watercolour trees Heather Telford

I decided to make two cards of similar design but with different techniques. On the one above I painted a distress stain background to  create a graduated wash then stamped the trees in distress inks. I did first and second generation stamping to get some paler more distant trees. I stamped and spritzed the darker foreground trees then painted grass at the base.

brayered background &  trees Heather Telford

The second card doesn’t include any watercolouring. I began by brayering a pale green sky, dark at the bottom and pale at the top. I used first and second generation stamping again to add background trees then sponged some ground at the base and stamped darker trees followed by even darker ground.  I like the misty feel of this one; I haven’t been to the African plains but I think maybe they look a bit like this in the early morning or perhaps when its very dry and dust is in the air.

brayered background &  trees Heather Telford


Stamps:   African Trees (Darkroom Door)
Inks:  Memento new sprout, bamboo leaves, olive grove (Tsukineko) & Distress peeled paint, forest moss stains and inks (Ranger)
Cardstock:  hot pressed watercolour paper, neenah natural white cardstock, co-ordinating green cardstock


magnolia Heather Telford

I thought I’d share a spring bloom even though it will be a long time before we see any around here. We are experiencing serious winter weather right now; we’ve got plenty of snow, plenty of ice and plenty of cold! I’m sure I will be creating more wintry scenes in the weeks ahead because although cold outside, it is also beautiful.

To create this watercoloured magnolia I inked the ‘unfolding’ stamp with memento markers, spritzed the stamp and stamped on cold pressed watercolour paper. I used a brush to blend colour within the petals and stems and to splatter some ink over the stamped image. Creating such a loose print meant that the sepals on the stamp were lost so I drew them on after the stamping dried.

magnolia closeup Heather Telford


Stamps: The Unfolding (PB)
Inks:  potter’s clay, espresso truffle, cantaloupe, rose bud memento inks (Tsukineko)
Cardstock: Fabriano 100% cotton cold pressed watercolour paper, coordinating cardstock for mats

Let it snow

Sled n skis Heather Telford

I am writing this post from sunny warm Australia while my Ottawa family is sending me photos of the snow that has already fallen. I have a series of  ‘Winter Warmth’ posts this week featuring dies and stamps from the latest Penny Black releases. I chose to pair watercoloured die-cuts with watercoloured backgrounds to make some indoor and outdoor winter scenes. You might think that sledding or skiing is not a particularly ‘warm’ activity but consider the trudge up the hill with the sled or the energy expended cross-country skiing; you can end up quite heated!

I created my background forest on cold pressed watercolour paper by doing first and second generation stamping with memento northern pine ink. I then tore a few snow banks from the same paper and layered them in front of the trees.

sled-n-skis close up

I die-cut the sled and skis from hot pressed watercolour paper then coloured them with distress markers, blending with water to get shadows and dimension. I added some die-cut greenery and a little twine bow to both the skis and the sled then tucked them in behind the torn paper snow banks. I added some clear wink of stella to the torn edges to make the snow banks glisten a little.Sled n skis Heather Telford


Stamps: woodland beauty, festive snippets
Dies: Sled ‘n’ skies, winter lantern
Inks: memento northern pine, tuxedo black (Tsukineko), festive berries, gathered twigs distress markers (Ranger)
Paper: hot and cold pressed watercolour papers (Fabriano), green cardstock
Also: clear wink of stella, linen twine


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