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".

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Chickadees and Cardinals

I live in Vancouver, Canada, and we get tons of chickadees here, but sadly no cardinals.  Cardinals are the ultimate bird for Christmas cards so I always do some cards with them, but in honour of my local birds, I also do some with chickadees on them.  Today I've got both to show you.

First up, cardinals:

I love this old Northwoods stamp and it works perfectly for some blank gold cardbases I have. It's very basic card - stamped, coloured, and sponged around the edges of the image. Then bordered with some red. And a bit of glitter added to the snowy parts of the branches.

Then two versions of the same chickadee, using one of my favourite Christmas stamps:

Both are stamped on watercolour paper and coloured using Inktense pencils.

The first one I die cut and kept in the die so that I could sponge around it.  The dp I used adds a sentiment to the card.  I kept the second version more muted to go with the dp I chose to use for it.  I die cut a circle frame and layered it all together and added a sentiment attached with twine.

All three are for the October theme of birds over at the SCS Christmas Card Challenge.


Northwoods stamp, blank long gold cardbase (8.25"x4"), white and red cs, Memento Tuxedo Black ink, Distress Antique Linen ink, markers, glitter

Chickadee Version One:
SU Beautiful Season, PTI Vintage Cream, watercolour paper, Hot off the Press dp, Memento Tuxedo Black ink, Distress Antique Linen and Scattered Straw inks, watercolour paints, Spellbinders label

Chickadee Version Two:
SU Beautiful Season, PTI Vintage Cream, watercolour paper, Echo Park dp, circle dies, label die, red twine

Friday, 30 October 2015

Christmas Lights in a Snow Storm

Merry Monday is one of my favourite Christmas card challenges.  This week their challenge is "Christmas Lights and Glitter".  I don't have any stamps or dies of Christmas lights but I did borrow a stamp from my friend, Loll, called Twinkling Tree that is perfect for a tree lit up with Christmas lights. 

I've already posted a couple of cards where I stamped Twinkling Tree on white cs, but when I borrowed it, I also stamped a few in white on navy shimmer cs.  I decided to use one of these for Merry Monday - I used a Quickie glue pen and gold glitter in each of the lights on the tree and sprinkled Frantage Shabby White Embossing Enamel around the tree - it created a lovely snowy effect with bits of gold in it.   For the snowy ground, I scribbled my Versamark pen along the bottom and added the Frantage to it as well.

It called out for a gold shimmer cs cardbase and a gold die cut sentiment.  In real life, it is all very glittery and shimmery - so much so, that I decided to make a much calmer, cooler version that is more "me" in style:

For this version, I painstakingly put little shimmer stickers onto each light on the tree and then sprinkled Frantage Chunky White Embossing Enamel.

Let me know which version you like best!


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Winter Window

I haven't been very creative this week as I've been worrying about my Mum who has been in hospital with heart issues.  But thankfully they figured out the problem - and have gone in and done as much repair work as possible for an 89 year old who's health is compromised.  She's doing well and will get to go home next week sometime.  Thank you to those of you who added encouraging comments on my last post.  She love receiving that card I made for her.

Now it's back to Christmas cards.  This week's SCS CAS challenge is to make a Christmas card using acetate on the card in some way.  I love making cards with windows on them, and acetate is perfect for them.

I used a scrap of glossy cs that I'd coloured with alcohol inks, layered two hills of white cs, used a glue pen to add some glitter to the hills, and then added two die cut trees.

I cut three window dies and glued them together, with the acetate glued in between two of the layers. On the back, I added some glitter along the edges of the window frame.

The window is attached to a background made using a striped embossing folder to look like wood panelling with a scored strip across it for a chair rail.

Thanks for stopping by!

Paper: white cs, dark green shimmer cs, coated cs
Paper Size: A2
Accessories: blue alcohol inks, Memory Box window die, Impression Obsession tree dies, scrap of acetate packaging, glitter, foam tape, SU embossing folder

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Happy Little Stampers Blog Hop

Welcome to my blog! 

Happy Little Stampers are celebrating the second release of their stamps with a blog hop!

Comment on the HLS blog, and then continue on to each Designer. You must comment on all the blogs in the hop to be eligible for prizes.
I love my new Happy Little Stampers stamp set "Thinking of You" so used it for this card:

It's got a great small text stamp that I really like for doing mixed media, layered images over inky backgrounds, etc.  I made a Wrinkle Free Distress background, but instead of spritzing with water, I spritzed with a homemade shimmer spray.  It's hard to photograph the shimmer but it's there in real life!  Here's a close-up of the text stamp over my background.  It's subtle as I didn't want it to jump out at you.  And take a look at the lovely swirly font on the "with love" stamp that comes with the set.  It goes perfectly with my flourish embossing folder border.

The ribbon attaching the sentiment is white in real life - not sure why my photo picks it up as yellow!

The flourish embossing folder also works really well with the two little flourish stamps included in the stamp set - also great for adding interest to backgrounds as you can see at the top right and a bit down on the left hand side in this close-up:

 I finished off by adding a simple white die cut flower.  The card is for my Mum who is currently in hospital with heart and lung issues - she loves flowers and she loves blues and mauves.

I hope I have inspired you today with my card. The designers and I have had so much fun playing with these stamps! Next you need to hop on over to "LesLee's" blog. 

Stamps - Happy Little Stampers
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Ink - Distress Salty Ocean, Faded Jeans, Dusty Concord, Seedless Preserves; and Memento London Fog
Accessories - white sheer ribbon, foam tape, Memory Box Prim Poppy die, Spellbinders ribbon label, Cuttlebug flourish embossing folder border, homemade shimmer spray

Monday, 19 October 2015

Snowflakes and Velvet

This month's Happy Little Stampers' CAS Challenge is "Paper Piecing" - a technique I rarely use.  I wanted to do a Christmas card so searched for a line image that lent itself to some piecing.  When I came across my Christmas stocking stamp, I thought of piecing the heel, toe, and top with my lovely red velvety specialty paper.

I stamped the stocking on the red velvet paper and cut out the top, toe, and heel, and then stamped it on white cs, coloured the snowflake, and then fussy cut the whole stocking.  The velvet pieces are glued on top.

For the background I used a snowflake stencil that Loll Thompson made for me on her Silhouette.  It's sponged with pale blue ink to match the snowflake on the stocking.   I then used a stitched rectangle die to reflect the stitching around the toe and heel.

Thanks for dropping by!

Stamps: Rubber Soul sentiment, Heather's Stamp Haven stocking
Paper: white cs, red velvet specialty paper
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black and Summer Sky
Accessories: homemade snowflake stencil, blue marker, red gemstone, foam tape, Lil Inkers stitched rectangles die

Friday, 16 October 2015

Triangular Poinsettia

This week's SCS Ways to Use It challenge is "Shape Up" - a card in any shape except squares or rectangles. And also add some pink to honour  Breast Cancer Awareness month.

I have some triangular card bases in my stash so this was a perfect opportunity to use one. I coloured my poinsettia with a mix of red and pink markers to get in the pink for the challenge.

I cut a slightly smaller white triangle and embossed it with the SU ef with small triangles on it.

The poinsettia and holly spray are by Local King (a Vancouver company) and some of their stamps come with matching dies. I coloured directly onto the stamp with their markers which are meant to be layered over each other, so started with two shades of pink and added a bit of red at the base of each petal.

I'm also posting it in the Happy Little Stampers "Poinsettia" Christmas Challenge.

Stamps: Local King poinsettia, Stampendous joy
Paper: shimmery red triangular cardbase, white cs
Paper Size: 4" across at base, 5.5" tall
Ink: Local King markers
Accessories: SU ef, Local King poinsettia die

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Reminder Poinsettia

I've done a second poinsettia for the Happy Little Stampers "Poinsettia" challenge that runs until the end of October.

I love fussy cutting so stamped the poinsettia twice and also stamped two of the leaves.  I heat embossed them in white and then watercoloured them.  I fussy cut one whole poinsettia and then just the centre part of the other, shaped them a bit, and attached them partly flush to the cs and partly popped up with foam tape.

I have a very hard time doing any stamping off the edge or partial image things, but for this one, I made myself trim off part of the poinsetta.  It's on a raised centre panel, but it seems odd to me.  Maybe I'd be happier if it went off the actual edge of the card.  But other than that I am please with the card.  A lovely cluster of off-white pearl embellishments fill the centre and I used a Happy Little Stampers Christmas sentiment that balanced the space nicely.

You've got till the end of October to make a poinsettia card for Happy Little Stampers so please join in!

Stamps:   SU Joyful Christmas, Happy Little Stampers Mixed Christmas Sentiments
Ink: ColorBox white, Memento Cottage Ivy
Paper:  PTI Vintage Cream cs, watercolour paper
Size:  4.75" square
Accessories: Kuretake watercolour paints, white embossing powder, off-white pearl embellishments, foam tape

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Red Birds and White and Gold Words

Today I made cards for two challenges over at Splitcoaststampers.  First up is the Technique Lovers' Challenge "Watercolor Powders".

I used two colours of bister powders, sprinkled them on coated cs, spritzed with water, and allowed to air dry. When dry, I stamped the Berry Branch on it, added the die cut birds and word in red, bordered in the same red and added to a cream cardbase.

It's also for the October SCS Christmas Card Challenge theme of birds on a Christmas card.

Next up is the CAS Challenge "Use Your Words"- use word stamps only, no image stamps. 
 I love my Kay Foley sentiment stamps so it was a good chance to feature one of them. It is stamped and heat embossed in gold on white cs and bordered with gold cs.

The background is faux mother of pearl using a bit of watered down Inka Gold instead of the usual pearl paint. I sponged over it with Distress inks in various reds and warm browns.

Because the sentiment talks about tiny white lights and things decorated with gold sparkly stuff, I sprinkled on some white Frantage ep and some gold UTEE and heated them from underneath. I wanted to tie the sentiment to the background a bit!

Thanks for visiting!

Supplies for the first card:
Stamps: Penny Black Berry Branch
Paper: PTI cream cs, red cs, coated cs
Paper Size: 4.25" square
Ink: Staz-on Black
Accessories: blue and natural bister, Tim Holtz winter die, Memory Box bird dies

Supplies for the second card:
Stamps: Kay Foley sentiment
Paper: white and gold cs
Paper Size: 6"x4.25"
Ink: ColorBox Gold, various Distress inks
Accessories: Inka Gold, Stampendous Frantage white ep, gold UTEE, gold detail ep
Techniques: faux mother of pearl

Monday, 12 October 2015

An Overdose of Gemstones!

I borrowed my friend Loll's Twinkling Tree stamp recently and stamped several panels with it.  When I saw the new Addicted to CAS challenge "Sparkle", I decided that I could use gemstones on each of the twinkling lights on the tree.  Little did I realize it would use about a packet and a half of gemstones and would take a very long time to add each little gemstone.  Even using my very fine-pointed tweezers, my hands ached at the end of it.  Here's the result:

Luckily I'd stamped it on Gina K heavyweight cs (and used the same as the cardbase) as all those gemstones need a heavy cs!

The tree and sentiment are stamped in brown and I used a matching brown cs as a border.  The gemstones are from Recollections - they come in a packet containing both red and dark red in three different sizes that nicely fit the little circles on the stamp.  And I like the mix of the two tones of red.

It's an unusual colour scheme for me - outside of my normal colour choices - but I like the end result, and it sure does sparkle in real life!

Stamps: Penny Black Twinkling Tree, Old Island Stamp Co. sentiment
Paper: Gina K cream cs, brown cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Wendy Vecchi Potting Soil
Accessories: Recollections red gemstones

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Dreamy Dreams

The current Addicted to CAS challenge is "Dream".  I have the perfect Dylusions sentiment for it and also a Penny Black image stamp called "Dreamy".  I put the two together and came up with this:

It was very quick to make.  A sprinkle of blue brusho on coated cs, a spritz of water, and then letting it dry overnight.  Then the Dreamy stamp in Staz-On.    I trimmed it down to leave lots of white space around the edge of the panel.  The sentiment was stamped on a scrap of cs and cut out and taped on top.

Stamps: Penny Black "Dreamy", Dylusions sentiment
Paper: white and coated cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Staz-on Black
Accessories: blue brushos, foam tape

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Rain and Wind

I really dislike the combination of rain and wind - when the wind blows the rain under your umbrella, through your raincoat, etc. In fact, I don't like rain much at all (though I know we need it!) and unfortunately for me, I live in Vancouver, Canada - part of the rainy Pacific Northwest coast!! But I love this city and wouldn't move!

I made an alcohol ink background with some silver mixative in it - it looks like a stormy blowy sky to me. Simple stamping of the woman with her umbrella blown inside out and the sentiment ("life moments" seemed perfect for one of these kind of moments!) in Staz-on (the background was done on glossy cs).

It's for this week's SCS CAS challenge - to make a CAS card using one of the Hope You Can Cling To challenges (a charitable challenge at SCS).  I chose UnderstandBlue's challenge "Whatever the Weather" - make a card on the theme of the weather you like the least.

Stamps: Deep Red woman, Tim Holtz sentiment
Paper: black and white cs, glossy cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Staz-on Black
Accessories: various alcohol inks, silver alchohol ink mixative, foam tape
Techniques: alcohol ink polished stone

Monday, 5 October 2015

Greenery for a Wreath

I spent a nice quiet evening yesterday watching TV and punching out little evergreen boughs from scraps of dp.  I put together two little wreaths for cards, and this morning turned one of them into this card:

It's for the current SCS Ways to Use It challenge "Use Greenery".  And surprisingly for me (those of you who know me well know that I really dislike sketch challenges), it's also for the sketch challenge at the 52 Christmas Card Countdown.  When I saw the sketch, it immediately said "wreath" to me and also it is a very CAS sketch:


And it was a good chance to use up a piece of dp from my stash (which is much too large!).

I'll post the card I make with the other wreath later - and maybe a few more, as making these little wreaths makes me really happy - go figure!

Stamps: SU sentiment
Paper: cream and red cs, Colorbok dp, scraps of green dp
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Memento Cottage Ivy
Accessories: Martha Stewart pine branch punch, Nesties scalloped circle, label die, red glittery dome embellishments

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Poinsettia for Happy Little Stampers

Hello All,

The October challenge on Happy Little Stampers is "Poinsettias".  I used my new Zig markers and a new (to me) Penny Black stamp for this card.

I stamped and heat embossed in white the poinsettia and one of the stamps from Gorgeous Grunge on watercolour paper, and used the wet on wet watercolour technique - I wet each petal before dropping in colour.  I used three different colours on the petals. 

I did the background by painting with Distress stains.  In real life the background looks softer than it does in the photo.  I darkened up the edges by sponging a bit of Distress ink.

I added one of the HLS Christmas sentiments over top, using Staz On green to make sure it didn't rub off where it touched some of the white heat embossing.  And used a Pearl Pen for the centre of the poinsettia.

The image seemed a bit too big for a regular A2 card.  When I was in England last year, I bought some English envelopes to go with some specialty cardstock I bought there.  So I cut my white cs to fit that envelope and the proportions of the image panel seemed to work better - the English envelope works for a card that is a little taller than A2.

You have the month of October to make a card for the poinsettia challenge so please join us.

Stamps - Penny Black Sparkler poinsettia, HLS sentiment, SU Gorgeous Grunge
Ink - ColorBox white, Distress Antique Linen, Staz-on Forest Green
Paper - watercolour paper, white cs
Size - 6"x4.25"
Accessories - Zig brush markers, white pearl pen, white embossing powder, Antique Linen and Bundled Sage Distress stains

A Rainbow of Medieval Houses

When I first saw the Merry Monday challenge "Colours of the Rainbow", I was stumped.  Then I had three ideas all at the same time.  I posted one yesterday and am posting another today.  The third idea won't be made in time for the challenge.

For this one, I thought of a stamp I have of Santa flying over a row of medieval houses.  Then I remembered my trip to Copenhagen where I loved seeing all the tall narrow houses in different colours.  So here's what I came up with:

I used coloured pencils to make my rainbow of houses, went over the stars with my Stardust gel pen, and coloured in the moon with Wink of Stella.  A simple black border and a star embossed background finished it off.

Here's a photo of my inspiration, taken on my trip to Copenhagen a few years ago:

It's a beautiful city if you ever the chance to visit it!

Stamps: Crafty Individuals
Paper: white and black cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: coloured pencils, Stardust gel pen, Wink of Stella, Crafts Too embossing folder, foam tape

Saturday, 3 October 2015

A Rainbow of Santa Hats

This week's Merry Monday Christmas Card Challenge is "Colours of the Rainbow".

I inked up my Penny Black stamp of happy little dogs all wearing Santa hats and coloured the hats with Copic markers.  I used the same colour for any of the dogs' collars or gifts.  I then coloured the dogs bodies with coloured pencils so that they weren't as strongly coloured at the hats, etc.  There's a faint shading of snowy ground under their feet.  I then fussy cut along the top edge.

I had a scrap of dp that matched the shading I did for the snowy ground so used that for the background.  I die cut the sentiment twice and glued them together.  The image of the dogs is taped flush to the bottom of the dp, but there is foam tape under the dogs' hats to pop them up a bit.

I'm also adding it to the SCS Free for All challenge "Puppy Love".


Stamps: Penny Black
Paper: white cs, unknown scrap of dp
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: coloured pencils, Copic markers, Tim Holtz merry & bright die cut, foam tape

Friday, 2 October 2015

A Lazy Dog and a Frisky Pony

Today's Free for All challenge over at Splitcoaststampers is "Puppy Love" and those of you who have read earlier blog posts, know that I love dogs.

A friend who is a fellow dog lover is retiring soon, and this sleepy lazy dog seemed to go so well with the idea of retiring. I stamped him and coloured him with coloured pencils.

The background panel was done using some blue sprays, then it was run through a script embossing folder. I rubbed Ice Blue Inka gold over the top of the embossed script, and then rubbed some on a scrap of cs and used that to die cut "retirement".

And moving on from dogs to my other favourite animal, I've done a Christmas card using a new horse stamp - actually a stamp of a carousel horse, but I trimmed off the carousel pole.
It's the last of my monthly quota of Christmas cards for the SCS Christmas Card Challenge for September which has a theme of snowflakes and sapphire blue.  I did the background with the faux letterpress technique - I used a swirly snowflake embossing folder, inked up the raised surface of the snowflakes and then embossed my cs so that the blue swirls and snowflakes and debossed.  The pony is water coloured and fussy cut, with Wink of Stella added to the blanket's fur edges.  There are also lines of Wink of Stella on the snowy ground.

Thanks for taking a peek at cards using my favourite animals!

Supplies for the first card:
Stamps: Penny Black
Paper: white and black cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: Ice Blue Inka Gold, Mr Huey's Blue Fireworks spray, homemade blue spray, Dee's Distinctively retirement die, Sissix ef, foam tape, coloured pencils 
Supplies for the second card:
Stamps: Whimsy Stamps horse, Rubber Soul sentiment
Paper: white cs, watercolour paper
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Distress Faded Jeans
Accessories: Wink of Stella, watercolour paints, foam tape, Darice embossing folder