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Learning Through Inspiration with Joan Bardee

May 15, 2019

Very excited to be back sharing more of my Learning Through Inspiration series here on the Penny Black blog. That series is all about improving my cardmaking through studying other designers’ cards. Today I’m finalizing my study of the super talented artist Heather Telford.



* Imagine opening an envelope containing this beauty. The deep purple flower, from Dreams of Love (why don’t I have this stamp?), is a gorgeous focal point. Heather managed to keep the detail of each flower, while creating a “painterly” look. LOVE.

*Heather added a lot of subtle details to this card without making the card seem overloaded. I really struggle with that and usually end up with super plain cards. It’s that aspect of her card that I am focusing on today.

*See those beautiful stems and leaves surrounding the flower? Heather added most of them from another stamp set and did it in a way that makes it look like they were part of the stamp. Just flawless (trust me, I tried — it’s difficult to pull that off.)

*Heather cut the main panel with a die that has a small design around the edge. It adds interest, without fighting the delicate, but bold, flower.

*Check out the bottom layer of her card – Heather stamped and embossed the words in weathered white. That touch makes the card more interesting without distracting from the main image.

*The font, size, and location of the sentiment are perfect for this card. Sometimes I make a lovely card and then have no clue where to put the sentiment. Heather’s choice is spot on.



*Turns out that I can add some details under the main image, add a few layers, and still stay true to my own style! Who knew! Maybe I’ll use up some of my colored cardstock!

First Card

* Chose Radiant, a gorgeous flower from the last Penny Black release that I hadn’t yet had time to use. It’s a snap to color – just scribbled some markers on it, added a tiny bit of water and done.

*Since I couldn’t figure out a way to add any vines and leaves the way Heather did, I substituted some patterned vellum from my stash on which I stamped a portion of Trees in Bud in a pale green. It’s very hard to see, but the richness is there.

*Used Penny Black’s new Stitched Nested Frames. Love the subtle design that these dies add to the card. The purple mat on my card is the largest size, which is slightly less than an A2 card. I love that it’s a bit smaller because I can get 4 mats out of one sheet of cardstock. ($hop $mart!)

*Tucked the sentiment under the flower in the same way that Heather did.

Second and Third Cards

*I just HAD to use the bird from Peaceful Time for this blog post! It’s perfect for so many occasions. I kept the water coloring simple – just brushed color over the embossed image and didn’t even attempt shading. Not Heather’s coloring style, but I thought it worked fine for these cards.

*Stamped a pattern underneath each bird. In the second card, the pattern is very pale gray foliage and in the 3rd card, the sentiments make the pattern. If I had to do it over again, I’d use a darker gray under the blue and purple bird.

*Following Heather’s lead, I used more than one layer of white cardstock, and that was both a challenge and fun. I think the gray strip on the second card helps offset the bird nicely, and the black and gold on the 3rd card is a bit unexpected (at least for me..).

*Finally, I had to die cut with the Stitched Nested Frames again – used them to cut the gold glitter paper in the third card.

MOOD WHEN DONE: Success! I learned a lot. Tried a few things that didn’t work, but eventually I made 3 cards that I don’t think I would have made before I studied Heather’s cards. And that’s a win! Plus, I’ve got one more Christmas card done for this year. That makes two!

Thanks again to Jill Foster and Penny Black for providing me with some gorgeous stamps and dies, and the opportunity to share here on the Penny Black blog. And more thanks to Heather for her inspiration all year long.

for the products featured on Joan’s cards above

Card One Supplies: Penny Black Radiant 40-669; Radiant Cut Out 51-523; Sympathy Sentiments 30-582; Trees in Bud, 40-663; Stitched Nested Frames, 51-535 ; patterned vellum; white, black, and purple cardstocks; Wow Opaque Bright White Superfine Embossing Powder; Tombow Dual Brush Pens 555, 665, 126, 177; foam tape; Versamark; StazOn Black ink.

Card Two Supplies: Peaceful Time 30-571; Peaceful Time Cut Out 51-532; Flower Fantasy 30-565; white linen and gray cardstocks; Versafine Onyx ink; clear embossing powder; pale gray ink, clear jewels; Tombow Dual Brush Pens 555, 685, N89,

Card Three Supplies: Peaceful Time 30-571; Peaceful Time Cut Out 51-532; Christmas Sentiments 30-504; white, gold glitter, black, and gold cardstocks; Versamark; clear and gold embossing powders, Versafine Onyx ink; Stitched Nested Frames, 51-535; Tombow Dual Brush Pens 856, 177, 126, 969, 942.

Disclaimer: From time-to-time we have guest bloggers post on our site. The views, opinions and positions expressed within these guest posts are those of the author alone and do not represent those of Penny Black Inc. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them.
13 Comments leave one →
  1. catcraig permalink
    May 15, 2019 2:20 am

    all three are fabulous!

  2. Michele permalink
    May 15, 2019 5:59 am

    Fabulous, Joan!! I’ve got my eye on that gorgeous bird! You’re not the first that has given it the kaleidoscope of color treatment! I love it!

  3. Betty permalink
    May 15, 2019 6:01 am

    love seeing this series of learning you are doing – we all can learn from it – who is next?? and love your cards!

  4. May 15, 2019 7:29 am

    Joan, these are lovely cards. I love the way you incorporated ideas from my card but in new and wonderful layouts. The little bit of grey stamping under the purply blue bird is delicate but adds so much. The repeated sentiments under the red bird is genius. The nested die on an angle – brilliant also.
    I am so honoured you chose to be inspired by me and I can honestly say you have inspired me right back with all your gorgeous creations.

  5. Judy Jung permalink
    May 15, 2019 8:27 am

    You have an incredible eye for detail! Love your color choices .. inspirational!! Hugs.

  6. Vikki H permalink
    May 15, 2019 8:30 am

    What I enjoy about your series is that it confirms we are inspired by what we like and see in other designs but can recreate in our own style. Oh, that bird is too tweet~

  7. May 15, 2019 9:07 am

    Another successful analysis of how to recreate a stellar card(s) plus build your Christmas stash. Seriously, though, I’m so enjoying this series.

  8. Lisa Elton permalink
    May 15, 2019 10:58 am

    These are all fabulous Joan, beautiful work!

  9. SmilynStef permalink
    May 15, 2019 5:45 pm

    You rock my friend … so fun learning right along beside you.

  10. May 16, 2019 2:47 am

    Joan, these are all so beautiful! I really love this series.

  11. May 16, 2019 3:32 am

    Remarkable! Its really awesome paragraph, I have got much clear idea about
    from this piece of writing.

  12. barbara lassiter permalink
    May 17, 2019 6:31 pm

    Lovely cards and I’m learning much from you in this series! Hey, two is two more Christmas cards than I’ve created, thus far! 🙂

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