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".

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Horses and Dogs, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I posted "Horses and Dogs, Part 1" where I talked a bit about the horses in my life and showed a couple of cards featuring horses.  I thought it was about time I came back and did Part 2 - dogs.  If you only want to see the cards I've made recently that feature dogs, skip down part way through the post.

I've lived with dogs my whole life.  As a child in England, we lived with my grandparents and their spaniel, Lass.  After we came to Canada when I was 10, we got our own family dog - a sweet little spaniel cross, Sandy.  She was followed by a larger spaniel cross, Sasha.  So I seemed destined to have spaniels in my life.  But my first dog as an adult was a rescue Husky / Samoyed cross, Usk, that my boyfriend and I had.  He was so bonded to my boyfriend that I wanted a dog that bonded more with me so I went back to spaniels and we bought a Springer Spaniel puppy, Sheena - to my dismay, she bonded more with the Husky / Samoyed dog than with me!  After the two of them had died, my then-husband and I bought another Springer, Jessie, who saw me through some of the worst parts of my life - divorce, ill health, the death of one of my best friends.  

As Jessie got older, I knew I didn't want to have a period of time without a dog and I knew I wanted to go slightly smaller as I got older, so I got Will - the adorable English cocker who I still have.  I got him as a tiny puppy and when he was three years old, his breeder got back his sister from a neglectful home and asked me to take her.  By then, Jessie had died (a huge heartache as she'd been with me through so much) and I was ready to have two dogs again so along came my sweet Shea.  It took some time to make her feel safe and secure but after awhile, Shea became the most loving and gentle of dogs who followed me everywhere - probably the most bonded of any dog I've ever lived with.  Will and Shea became the best of friends, and when she died of cancer this spring, Will grieved as much as I did.  Here are the two of them (Will is the black one, Shea the brown one):

Will is now 11 - average life span of English cockers is 13 or 14, so after losing Shea too soon, I'm hoping Will keeps on going as his usual robust healthy self.

Now on to cards.  Of course, I have bought whatever English cocker stamps I can find since I started card-making.  And lots of my friends who come to my fundraiser Christmas card sale love dogs so I have quite a few dog-themed Christmas stamps.  Here's one that is both English cocker and Christmas:

I was at Loll Thompson's house recently for a fun day of trying different techniques. One technique we did was spraying cs with various colours of spray, then running it through an embossing folder, and then rubbing Inka Gold over the top of the raised parts. I used one of my pieces for the background of this card.

My focal image is stamped in grey and then heat embossed in a sparkly ep called "marcasite". I used metallic pens to colour the ribbon blue and the sleigh bells silver. It looked a bit too stark so I sponged Distress Stormy Sky around the edges to soften it.

I twisted silver cord around silver ribbon and threaded two metal mini sleigh bells on it for the SCS Ways to Use It challenge "Make It Metal".

All the layers are attached with foam tape so it has nice dimension in real life.

It's also for the September theme "snowflakes and blue" for the SCS Christmas Card Challenge, for the Less is More challenge "sprays", and for the Addicted to CAS challenge "blue".

And here's a non-Christmas one using one of my favourite English cocker stamps.  This particular stamp really makes me think of Shea - the pose, the shape of the head, and the expression.  I made this to send to her breeder to thank her for sending Shea to me and giving me 8 lovely years with her.
I stamped it in Vintage Photo as that colour is very close to her colour. I did a background of stars as the kennel is called Eclipse and the breeder loves all things cosmic.

I made it with a few challenges in mind:

Less is More blog to use sprays - I sprayed a star stencil with gold Mr Huey's spray.
Last week's SCS Color Challenge - gold and vanilla.
The current SCS Free for All challenge - add something gold to the card - I used a gold spray for the stencil and dark gold cs for the border and die cut.

I'll be back again tomorrow with a couple of fun dog Christmas cards.

Christmas card:
Stamps: Creative Images
Paper: white cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Versafine Smokey Grey, Distress Stormy Sky
Accessories: various sprays, silver Inka Gold, Stampendous Marcasite embossing powder, Cuttlebug embossing folder, silver ribbon and cord, silver mini sleigh bells, Atyou Spica blue and silver metallic pens, foam tape 

Thank you card:
Stamps: Grey Wolf Graphics spaniel
Paper: dark gold cs, Gina K ivory cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Distress Vintage Photo
Accessories: Mr Huey's gold spray, Hero Arts star stencil, Dee's Distinctively Thank You die, foam tape


  1. Two beautiful cards Susan. Thanks for sharing your stories about Will and Shea. They look so happy sitting well-behaved as you took their picture. :) At some point you need to bring Will over when you come for an "art" day. I'd love to meet him. xx

  2. Two beautiful dogs, Susan! I know you must miss Shea so much. Your cards are awesome and a wonderful tribute to both of them!

  3. I too, always had a dog growing up - a cocker mix and then a great dane (best dog I ever had!), then later a husky mix who was uncontrollable, and then I switched to cats which I thought I would never like but do! luckily mine have been loving and not aloof as some cats can be. A lovely story of the dogs in your life - so heartbreaking when we lose our beloved pets - your cards are so sweet with the dog images! How fun that you get to 'play' with Loll too! Julia xx

    1. Julia, we had cats as well as dogs when I was a child, but I always related more to the dogs. But I do like both even though I've never had a cat as an adult (my ex-husband was allergic to them and I love feeding the birds in my garden so having a cat doesn't seem fair to the birds!). Check back for my next post as there will be some cats on the cards!

  4. Sounds like you had fin with Loll, this is a superb backdrop for your card!
    Thanks so much
    "Less is More"

  5. I like the background you created while crafting with Loll and the sponging around the main image ties it together nicely. Thanks for joining us at ATCAS.

  6. Two wonderful monochrome cards and a great use of sprays. Your fur babies are gorgeous!
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    Anita x
    Less is More

  7. A cute duo of cards Susan and they match your cute doggies perfectly.
    Great use of spritzing and thanks so much for sharing and taking part.
    Sarah xx
    Less is More


Thanks for leaving me a message! I love hearing from you.