A blog devoted to the cards I make in my tiny upstairs space. When my sister stays there, she calls it an "artist's garret". I'm not an artist, but am an enthusiastic cardmaker - hence the title "Cardmaker's Garret".

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Gold and Vanilla

Today's Color Challenge on SCS is gold and vanilla - it immediately said Christmas card to me. And gold is so perfect for stars.  And I hold a Christmas card sale to fund raise for Southlands Therapeutic Riding Society, more commonly called STaRS, so I need some cards with stars on them for the sale. 

I stamped and heated embossed Gorgeous Grunge stamps and a sentiment for my base layer, and did the same with the Christmas Star stamp on a separate piece of cardstock. I fussy cut the star and scored and folded it for dimension. To keep the dimension, I put three layers of foam tape in the centre and two layers in the middle of each point, and then a bit of sookwang tape at the ends of each point.

Stamps: SU Christmas Star and Gorgeous Grunge, Wordsworth sentiment
Paper: Gina K ivory cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: ColorBox Gold
Accessories: Stampendous detail gold embossing powder, foam tape

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Mixed Media Peace Doves

My last few cards have been what I call my "old style" - pretty straightforward stamping, colouring, either some dp for the background or a bordering layer.  So the last couple of days I was yearning to get back to my "new style" of using some of the newer products like stencils, paste, sprays, etc. and ending up with a more mixed media type of card.  Yesterday's SCS Inspiration Challenge totally fed into this - to be inspired by one of the pins on a mixed media Pinterest site.  I found this pin and immediately knew what I wanted to do - turn it into a Christmas card with a "peace on earth" theme.

Here's my result:
I kept the layout, the general design, the colour scheme, but changed the ravens to doves and the sentiment to peace.

I used three different sprays to get the background, and then flicked some dark brown Twinkling H2O paint on it with a paint brush.  I used a star stencil (made for me by my always generous friend, Loll Thompson) with a gold embossing paste instead of the little triangle stencil on the inspiration.  I stamped my sentiment in dark brown and die cut the doves out of dark bronze shimmer cardstock.  I edged the panel in the same dark bronze.

Stamps: Tim Holtz sentiment
Paper: mixed media cs, dark bronze shimmer cs, PTI vintage cream cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Distress Walnut Stain
Accessories: homemade star stencil, Memory Box dove dies, Dreamweaver gold embossing paste, Lindy's Stamp Gang Long John Silver spray, Mr Huey's Shell spray, Distress Antique Linen spray stain, dark brown Twinkling H2O paint

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Penny Black Pup with a Snowman

Here's one of my other new-to-me Penny Black stamps - love the humour in this one!  

The stamp worked perfectly for a card to fit a stray odd-sized envelope I had in my stash!

I used mixed media cs for the image as it allows enough time to blend the distress markers with water. I put stickles on the snowflakes and then glue on the hats with tinsel glitter, but the stickles weren't dry so the tinsel glitter stuck to the snowflakes as well. It makes it all quite sparkly!


Stamps: Penny Black "naughty or nice", Hero Arts sentiment
Paper: cream, red, and green cs; mixed media cs
Paper Size: 6.25x3.25"
Ink: Archival Jet Black
Accessories: Tim Holtz Distress markers, stickles, Martha Stewart tinsel glitter

Penny Black Pups

I recently picked up some older Penny Black dog stamps in a sale.  The dogs are quite spaniel-like so remind me of my dog!

I've had fun playing with two of them in the last couple of days.  This post has a tag and a card using one of the stamps.

I wanted to make a tag for the Tag You're It challenge blog.  Here's the inspiration:

And here is what I came up with:

I substituted the dog for the bear and coloured his stocking in red, yellow, and blue to reflect the balloons in the original. 

I used my mixed media cs as it is quite heavy so good for a tag. The image was stamped and coloured with Distress markers.  The tiny star cluster was stamped multiple times.  

I then went on and made another tag with the same stamp, but this time, fussy cut the dog, and stencilled the sentiment on the tag, sponged it for a more rustic look, and mounted it on a dp background.  I had another star cluster stamp that I coloured with red and green markers and stamped on the tag to reflect the dp.  Once I'd put it together, I had second thoughts and now feel it's a bit of overkill on the stars - I like things more CAS.  But I do like the tag part of it!  Feel free to tell me what you think!  Here it is:

Supplies for the tag:

Stamps: Penny Black Xmas Treat, Rubber Stampede To/From, unknown mini star cluster stamp
Paper: mixed media cs
Paper Size: 4.5x2.5"
Ink: Archival Jet Black, Distress Mustard Seed
Accessories: Distress markers, gold and green ribbon, Dienamics tag die 

Supplies for the card:
Stamps: Penny Black Christmas Treat, Memory Box Magic Stars
Paper: mixed media cs, ivory cs, ColorBok dp
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Archival Jet Black, Distress Brushed Corduroy, Vintage Photo, Pine Needles and Barn Door
Accessories: Dienamics tag die, green ribbon, foam tape, Distress markers, Tim Holtz Christmas Words stencil

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Congratulations X 2

A friend asked me to make him two "congratulations" cards for his coworkers who recently got promotions.  He wanted them larger than the usual A2 so that there is room for all his staff to sign.

First up is one using some lovely die cut dogwoods (I borrowed the die from my friend Christine).

I sponged a blossom stencil - the flowers are sponged in two shades of pink distress ink and the leaves in one shade of green. After cleaning the stencil, I replaced it over the sponging and added clear embossing paste.

I die cut the dogwood flowers and leaves in white cs and sponged them with the same colours of distress ink as on the stencil. I shaped them a bit with a stylus, stuck them together with crystal effects and added them to a die cut branch over the stencil. I finished off with yellow liquid pearls in the centres of the flowers and mounted them on a brown branch die cut.

The sentiment is cut into a banner and lightly sponged in the same colours.  Pink ribbon down the edge holds extra pages on the inside for signatures.

The second card uses my favourite technique for making hydrangeas:

I made a background on coated cs with two shades of blue brushos then stamped the hydrangea collage stamp. I brayered a piece of the same coated cs with the Hydrangea ink pad that gives a nice variety of blues and mauves inks, and punched out lots of tiny hydrangea blossoms which I layered over the image. I added white gel pen dots to the centres.

I framed it with a stitched rectangle frame (using 3 layers to give substance) and added one tiny blossom to the bottom corner.

I'm entering it in the Less is More challenge "Congratulations".

 Supplies for Card 1:
Stamps: unknown sentiment
Paper: white and brown cs
Paper Size: 7x5"
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa, Distress Shabby Shutters, Spun Sugar, and Tattered Rose
Accessories: Tim Holtz blossom stencil, Dreamweaver clear embossing paste, Susan's Garden dogwood die, Memory Box branch die, Liquid Pearls Buttercup, dimensionals
Supplies for Card 2:
Stamps: Rubber Stampede sentiment, Inkadinkado hydrangea
Paper: white cs, coated cs
Paper Size: 7x5"
Ink: Big and Juicy Hydrangea, Archival Jet Black
Accessories: Martha Stewart hydrangea punch, Lil Inkers stitched rectangles, Ultra Marine and Oster Blue Brushos, Signo white gel pen

Friday, 14 August 2015

Remember to Sparkle!

It's my month to make a reminder card for the Happy Little Stampers Christmas Card Challenge.  The August challenge is "sparkle" so I went for full coverage sparkle!

I stamped the Snowy Postcard image, and coloured the holly in a strong green for a pop of colour and the roofs and snowy highlights in a very pale blue.  I then patted my Versamark ink pad all over the image, sprinkled with a sparkly embossing powder and heat embossed.  I add red gemstones to the holly, a black border, and a white cardbase.

In real life it is very sparkly but it was incredibly hard to photograph.  I took about 20 shots - some inside with lights, and a bunch outside in various light.  I finally settled on this one (done outside in full sun) as it does show some of the sparkle.

You have until the end of the month to participate in the challenge so head on over to Happy Little Stampers and get a Christmas card done for your stash!

Stamps: Stampendous Snowy Postcard
Paper: black and white cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Archival Jet Black, Versamark
Accessories: SU Iridescent Ice embossing powder, red gemstones, green and pale blue markers

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Zig vs Distress Markers

Zig Version:

My friend Christine (known as calex on SCS) and I spent yesterday at Loll Thompson's (Stamping with Loll) house having a great time crafting with her.  One of the things I wanted to do was try Loll's Zig markers as I've heard so much about them.

I stamped this image by Penny Black on mixed media cs and coloured it using yellow, orange, and green Zigs, laying down a little bit of colour and pulling it out with a water brush.

The Zigs were very smooth and easy to use, and have a great brush tip and wonderful vibrant colours.  Christine did a comparison with SU markers and concluded that the Zigs pulled the colour out much more easily and gave a smoother blended result.

When I got home, I cut a rough mask to lay over the poppies and added some pale green stencilling (using a leaf stencil made for me by Loll) around them.  I felt a need to balance the yellow of the poppy on the left so added a thin strip of yellow cs along the right edge. And popped the panel up on a white cardbase.

I'm entering it in Loll's Happy Little Stampers "Masking" challenge and one of the SCS Dare to Get Dirty challenges.

Distress Marker Version:

Before I spend the money on the Zigs, I want to know how they compare to the Distress markers as I have the full set of them.  So before I left Loll's, I stamped the same image on the same cs and brought it home to colour in.  Here's the result:

The Distress markers took more water and more effort to pull the colour out but gave a pretty good result, though of course the Distress colours are more muted.  So do I need the Zig markers?  I'm not sure - though I definitely want them!

In keeping with the use of the Distress markers, I finished this card in a more distressed style.  I spritzed the Peeled Paint marker in random spots, and then, using Peeled Paint ink, I added a partially inked text stamp and sponged the edges.  A simple green cs border seemed to be all it needed.  I used an ivory cardbase for this one.  I'll add the sentiment to the inside.

Supplies for the first card:
Stamps: Penny Black poppies, Impression Obsession sentiment
Paper: mixed media cs, white and yellow cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Archival Jet Black, Distress Bundled Sage
Accessories: leaf pattern stencil, Zig markers, SU label punch, dimensionals
Supplies for the second card:
Stamps: Penny Black poppies, Inkadinkado text
Paper: mixed media cs, ivory and green cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Archival Jet Black, Distress Peeled Paint
Accessories: Distress markers, marker spritzer tool, dimensionals

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Horses and Dogs, Part 1

If you only want to see today's cards, scroll down quickly to the last part of this post.

As much as I love card-making, a more important part of my life revolves around animals, in particular dogs and horses.  My dear English Cocker Spaniel, Will, is my constant companion at home, and a variety of horses fill two or three days of each week.  There are the ones I volunteer with at the therapeutic riding program like Teddy, an amazing Norwegian Fjord who is gentle, patient, caring, and always well-behaved with a special needs rider, but can be a real rascal with the kids in the regular lesson program.

Me with Teddy

And here's Sprite, the star of our therapeutic horses, who never moves a muscle when it takes 10 minutes to get a rider with cerebral palsy on his back, or a rider with MS suddenly has a very jerky muscle spasm, or even when the therapeutic riding instructor's dog sits on his back.

Sprite with Sadie

And then there is the horse I lease two days a week.  She's a sweet, gentle, 22 year old Arab mare - perfect for someone like me who just wants to enjoy the pleasures of riding without the challenges of a demanding horse.  Her name is Betta and I feel so lucky to have come across her.


In honour of these equine friends, I'm posting a couple of cards I just made featuring horses.  Nothing too exciting in the way of techniques, but I still love doing the plain old simple cardmaking that I started out with years ago.

This one was made for the Splitcoaststampers Christmas Card challenge, with an August theme of "furry friends".  I have a sale of my Christmas cards every November to raise money for the therapeutic horse riding program, so I always make some cards with horses on them for the sale.

And this one was made for the SCS Dare to Get Dirty Challenge posted by SweetMissDaisy.  Dare to Get Dirty challenges are only for SCS Fan Club Members so you need to join the Fan Club to take part - joining is a great way to help keep SCS going.  Like me, my sister took up riding again in her retirement.  She's far more ambitious than me and  is planning on entering some small horse shows in the fall.  So I made this card to send to her in a few weeks.

Supplies for the Christmas one:
Stamps: Serendipity "Clyde", A Muse sentiment
Paper: white and shimmery copper cs, red glitter cs
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black, ColorBox Copper
Accessories: watercolour pencils, clear embossing powder, red gems, deckle edge and rectangle dies, label die (all dies by Spellbinders)

Supplies for the Good Luck one:
Stamps: Impression Obsession horses, SU sentiment
Paper: Gina K ivory cs, brown cs
Ink: Memento Rich Cocoa
Accessories: coloured pencils, dimensionals

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Sparkling Stars

The word "sparkle" immediately made me think of stars so it seemed a great opportunity to use a new SU set called Bright and Beautiful, and a new stencil from Hero Arts.

The background uses the stencil with pearlescent embossing paste with glitter sprinkled over it while wet.  I didn't have a gold that blended in with my glitter cs or my gold embossing paste so I mixed gold glitter with clear glitter to tone the gold down.

The large star is stamped, heat embossed, and die cut, and then topped with a smaller star die cut from gold glitter paper.  Repeated the gold glitter paper for the background for the sentiment, and as luck would have it, I had the perfect sentiment with the word "sparkle" in it!


Stamps: SU Bright and Beautiful, A Muse sentiment
Ink: ColorBox Gold
Paper: gold glitter and cream cs
Size: A2
Accessories: Hero Arts star stencil, Dreamweaver Pearlescent embossing paste, Glitter Ritz gold and clear glitter, Judikins Egyptian Gold embossing powder, foam tape

Happy Anniversary to a Beloved Aunt and Uncle

My favourite uncle and his wife are celebrating their 60th anniversary this month.  I really wish I could be at the celebration but they live in England and a trip is just not in the budget this year.

I made this card for two of the Dare to Get Dirty challenges over at Splitcoast Stampers.  We're supposed to keep the details of the challenges to ourselves as they are for Fan Club members only.  But here are the links if you're a member and want to play:


Stamps: SU Fabulous Florets, PTI sentiment
Paper: white and pink cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: ColorBox White, Memento Tuxedo Black and Cottage Ivy
Accessories: white embossing powder, watercolour paints, Lil Inker stitched rectangle