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".

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Merry Monday Blue and White

This week's Merry Monday challenge is "Blue and White with Texture".  A perfect challenge for me as I love blue and white.

I have a new Memory Box die of negative snowflakes and wanted to give it a try.  I die cut it and then ran the piece though the snowflake embossing folder to get my texture.  I put Sookwang tape behind it and added blue glitter - I was trying to get an ombre effect out of glitter so I used three shades of blue glitter, the darkest at the bottom.  It was hard to pick it up in the photo.

I added a heat embossed and die cut sentiment, and popped the panel up on foam tape.

Stamps: Rubber Soul Noel
Paper: white cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Encore Metallic Blue
Accessories: Memory Box snowflake die, 3 shades of blue glitter, clear ep, Crafts Too embossing folder, Nesties circle die, foam tape

Monday, 23 November 2015

Inspired Trees and Christmas Friends

Here are two cards I made this morning, each for a different challenge.  First up is one done for this week's SCS Inspiration Challenge.  Audrie chose her own Pinterest inspiration board and asked us to base a card on one the images.  The reason I chose this image was because I had just bought the Deep Red Winter Pines stamp and the Memory Box little cardinals die so it was the perfect opportunity to use them for the first time.

A very CAS card (which suits the inspiration image) - stamped and heat embossed the trees, used the same ink with a water brush for a bit of grounding, added a fine glitter to the snow parts of the trees, and glued on the cardinals.

The next card is for today's SCS CAS challenge "Holiday / Winter Critters", and this week's 52 Christmas Card Throwdown "Friends and Family" challenge.

So I chose this Penny Black image as I love the way the dog and cat look like such good friends, giving each other Christmas gifts!

I stamped it and then watercoloured it with my Zig brush markers. I started out by also painting the background around the whole image but really disliked it, so fussy cut all around the image and popped it up on ivory cs - I'm much happier with it!

I added the fine version of Flower Soft to the hats, red pearl pen to the ornaments or lights among the evergreen garland, and stickles to the candle flames.

Thanks for dropping by!

Supplies for Card 1:
Stamps: Deep Red Winter Pines
Paper: white and red cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Versamagic Ocean Depths chalk ink
Accessories: Memory Box Cheery Cardinals dies, fine glitter, clear embossing powder, Lil Inker stitched rectangle die, foam tape

Supplies for Card 2:
Stamps: Penny Black
Paper: ivory and red cs, watercolour paper
Paper Size: 4.75" square
Ink: Ranger Archival black
Accessories: Zig brush markers, Flower Soft, stickles, red pearl pen, foam tape

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A Last Tag for Loll

I've done one more tag for Loll's Twelve Tags of Christmas event.  It closes tonight.  If you saw my last tag which was totally out of my comfort zone in terms of colour, you'll know that I said my next tag would be blue and white.  Sure enough, I'm back to my comfort zone!

I just bought the Sizzix Bigz Stacked Snowflake die and wanted to use it.  The Bigz dies will go through thicker materials like chipboard so it was perfect for the glitter cs I used here (I've never been able to cut through it with a regular die).

I was inspired by Bonnie Klaas to stack a tag on top of a tag and by things I've seen recently using corrugated cardboard.

I die cut the larger tag out of a piece of mixed media cs I'd sprayed with a homemade blue spray.  Then die cut the smaller tag out of a Tim Horton's corrugated coffee cup band.  I brushed gesso over the smaller tag in random places.

The larger snowflake is the two middle-sized snowflakes dies stacked on top of each other.  I added two of the smallest snowflakes at the top.

I stamped and heat embossed "let it snow" on a scrap of white cs and hand cut it into a banner tag.  I used two shades of blue ribbon at the top and added a bunch of light blue gemstones.

In real life it is wonderfully sparkly but it so hard to capture that in the photo.

I'm also adding it to Happy Little Stamper's Mixed Media "tag" challenge (which doesn't have to be a Christmas tag) and Happy Little Stamper's Christmas "tag" challenge.  Both of these are open for seven more days so come and join us!

Die-namics Tag dies, Sizzix Bigz Stacked Snowflake die, mixed media and white cs, Recollections glitter cs, recycled Tim Horton's corrugated cup band, blue ribbons, Rubber Soul sentiment stamp, ColorBox silver ink, silver embossing powder, blue gemstones, gesso, homemade blue spray

Friday, 20 November 2015

Merry Reindeer

This week's Merry Monday challenge is "Use a Reindeer" and the November theme for SCS's Christmas Card Challenge is "Santa, Sleighs, or Reindeer".

I made a background piece on watercolour paper using two shades of green Distress ink, then spritzed it with shimmer spritz.  When dry I stamped a few holly sprigs, added red stickles for berries, stamped a vertical sentiment, and sponged the edges with brown ink.

I used a textured cream shimmer cardstock for the base and die cut the reindeer out of bronze shimmer cardstock.

Thanks for dropping by!


Stamps: Rosie's Roadshow sentiment, Memory Box holly
Paper: textured cream shimmer cs, bronze shimmer cs, watercolour paper
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Distress Brushed Corduroy, Evergreen Bough, and Mowed Lawn
Accessories: Tim Holtz reindeer die, red stickles

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

A Card and a Tag for Happy Little Stampers

I love the fact that the Happy Little Stampers challenges run for a whole month!  It gives me a chance to enjoy them so much more.

This month the HLS CAS challenge is "Gilding".  I did an earlier card for it using my gold gilding flakes but also wanted to do something with my silver ones.

For the doves and the words, I covered scraps of cs with Sookwang tape, die cut them, and applied the gilding flakes to the top.  For the background, I used a stencil and spread IndigoBlu's Flitter Glue (designed for use with gilding flakes) over it, then removed the stencil and applied the gilding flakes to the glue.

The doves are popped up on foam tape, as is the blue panel.

Then the HLS Christmas challenge is "Tag" and the HLS Mixed Media challenge is also "Tag" (though for the Mixed Media challenge, it doesn't need to be a Christmas tag).  I'll put this in both, but because I'm on the Design Teams for these two challenges, I won't be in the running for one of the great prizes!  I'm also taking it over to Loll Thompson's "Twelve Tags of Christmas" event.  You have until November 22nd to link up your tag for this.

I really stepped outside my colour comfort zone with this one!  Those who know me will know that the peace dove card above is right in my comfort zone but this tag is way out of it.  

I inked up the tag with some red, pink, and orange Distress stains, then spritzed with gold spray.  Added a faint bit of text and some stencilled poinsettias with a Christmas blend of glitter on the embossing paste.

I die cut the layers of the mini poinsettia in three different colours of shimmer cs, the flourish in two of them, and the sentiment in the gold one.  I dyed a scrap of seam binding to match the background and tied a gold cord bow around it.

Here's a close-up of the die cut poinsettia:

My next tag will be back to blue and white - I don't think I can handle much of these hot colours!


Peace Dove card:
 Dies - Memory Box and Impression Obsession doves, Tim Holtz peace on earth
 Paper - dark blue, shimmery silver, and scraps of white cs
 Other - Simon Says Stamp Falling Snow stencil, IndigoBlu Flitter Glue, Cosmic Shimmer silver 
 gilding flakes, foam tape

Poinsettia Tag:
 Dies - Spellbinders Noel, Cheery Lynn flourish, Memory Box small poinsettia
 Stamp - Inkadinkado text stamp
 Ink - Memento London Fog
 Paper - white tag; gold, bronze, and burgundy shimmer cs
 Other - Tim Holtz poinsettia stencil, white embossing paste, Sparkle 'n' Sprinkle Christmas   
 glitter,  homemade gold spray, Distress stains, gold cord, seam binding


Monday, 16 November 2015

Autumn Leaves and Christmas Wreaths

Two great challenges today over at Splitcoaststampers!

First up the CAS Challenge "Fall Foliage".

It's a soggy wet day here in Vancouver and most of our fall leaves are off the trees looking pretty brown and dead. Hence the subdued look of my card:

I used a large square acrylic block for the background - inked up with Ranger Lake Mist, spritzed with water, and pressed onto my cs. I then stamped one of the leaves, the splats, and the postage mark from the SU French Foliage set on top of it with the same ink.

Using Distress Brushed Corduroy, I stamped and heat embossed my sentiment and one of the other leaf stamps onto the background. The leaf looked kind of blah so I redid it on a scrap of cs and fussy cut it. I used a yellow marker and a waterbrush to tone down the white parts of the leaf. I used foam tape under it and layered it over the stamped blah leaf. A nice bronze border finished off the focal panel and it is popped up with foam tape.

The other challenge is Try a New Technique - "Hang Your Wreath" - to make a wreath using a die cut.

I used my Memory Box starry wreath die and gold cs. A few tiny stars come out of the wreath after cutting and I glued those amongst the background stars created by an embossing folder.

The sentiment is heat embossed in white on a strip of gold vellum.

I had a hard time deciding which of my wreath dies to use so may be back this week with some more die cut wreath cards.

Thanks for visiting!


Leaf Card:
Stamps: SU French Foliage, SU Teeny Tiny Wishes
Paper: cream and bronze cs
Paper Size: 4.25" square
Ink: Ranger Lake Mist, Distress Brushed Corduroy
Accessories: clear ep, yellow marker, foam tape, acrylic block
Techniques: Acrylic Block stamping

Wreath Card:
Stamps: Make an Impression sentiment
Paper: white and gold cs, gold vellum
Paper Size: A2
Ink: ColorBox Frost White
Accessories: Memory Box starry wreath die, Crafts Too ef, white embossing powder, foam tape

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Mixed Media Reindeer Tag

My good friend, Loll Thompson, is having her second Christmas tag challenge.  It's called Twelve Tags of Christmas and it runs from November 4 - 15, with the linky remaining open until November 22 so participants have lots of time to enter.  There are some fabulous prizes! 

The tags have to be mixed media.   For this event, Mixed Media is defined as stamps + ink, plus two other elements which add texture and/or dimension.

I'm honoured that Loll asked me to be one of her Guest Designers.  Here is my tag:

I started by inking a white tag with two shades of Distress stains.  I then darkened the edges with a matching Distress ink.  Then stamped the text stamp after wiping off some of the ink.  I added a spritz of homemade gold spray (appropriately made for me by Loll!).

I die cut two layers of the "joy" sentiment and three of the reindeer from a copper shimmer cs, glued them together and glued to the tag.  I decided the upper left corner needed something so used embossing paste over a small sprig of a holly stencil, then searched all my glitters for a green that would work - none would so I had fun blending green, blue, and graphite glitters together.

I embellished with a bit of ribbon and one gemstone for the dot over the "joy".

Here's another shot that shows more of the wonderful gold spray:

Thanks so much for looking and please join us before November 22 by creating and adding your tag to Loll's blog.

Stamps: Inkadinkado text stamp
Ink: Distress Brushed Corduroy and Peeled Paint
Paper: premade white cs tag, copper shimmer cs
Size: 4.75" x 2.5"
Accessories: Distress Stains (Peeled Paint, Bundled Sage), Tim Holtz holly bough stencil, embossing paste, glitter, dark green ribbon, copper gemstone, Tim Holtz joy die, Dee's Distinctively deer die, homemade gold spray

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Practicing my Paper Quilting

Today's SCS CAS and Technique Lovers' challenges inspired me to try making another "quilt" card.

The CAS Challenge is "to Grandma's house we go!" - to make a card that reminds you of your grandmother's house.  My grandmother was a real craftswoman - knitting, sewing, quilting, embroidery - she was never idle, even when we were visiting.

The Technique Lovers' Challenge is to chose a technique we either love, missed out on trying, or want more practice on, and when doing it, CASE either one of your own cards or someone else's.   I've always meant to try making another quilt card. I only ever made this one here.  I did that one a few years ago and was never that happy with my choice of papers, and I didn't like having the sentiment cover so much of it, and it was a bit sloppy with gaps between the pieces of dp.

I'm much happier with this version - love these two patterned papers together, and I did a better job of placing the pieces. I also prefer my smaller sentiment. I stamped it on a tiny tag and attached it with a bit of twine and an old button - both of which make me think of my grandmother as, having gone through the war in England, she saved all her old buttons and bits of string in jars on the kitchen counter!

Thanks to the CAS challenge for making me think of my grandmother - she died quite a while ago at the ripe old age of 101 so I have many memories of her over many years.

Stamps: unknown noel
Paper: white and red cs, scraps of dp
Paper Size: 5.25" square
Ink: SU Real Red
Accessories: CB embossing folder, tag punch, button, twine, foam tape
Techniques: quilting

Monday, 9 November 2015

Inspired by L.L. Bean

This week's Inspiration Challenge over at SCS is to be inspired by something on the L.L. Bean website.  I chose a Christmas wreath image and made this card:

I made the wreath with scraps of various green dps and the Martha Stewart punch, added red glitter gemstones, mounted it on a red front door and a white brick background.

I love making these little paper wreaths and may have to do a few more before Christmas!

Stamps: A Muse sentiment
Paper: white and red cs, scraps of green dps
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Memento Cottage Ivy
Accessories: Martha Stewart pine branch punch, Memory Box door die, SU sentiment label dies, Tim Holtz embossing folder, red glitter gemestones, gold metal circle embellishment

Friday, 6 November 2015

Tag for a Baby Girl

I'm on the Design Team for the new Happy Little Stampers Mixed Media Challenge.  The first challenge, which runs till the end of November, is "Tag".  I decided to step outside of my frantic Christmas mode as I need to send a gift to my god-daughter's new baby girl so I can use this tag for her.

My mixed media are ink, sprays, embossing paste, glitter, and ribbon.

I started with a blank off-white tag that I sprayed with two different sprays.  I let the colours run, blend, and air dry.  I then used embossing paste over a star stencil, added a blend of silver and pink glitter, and set aside to dry.

I stamped a lovely sweet stamp from an old SU set, die cut it with a circle and backed it with a scalloped silver glitter paper circle.  I had planned to run the "congratulations" sentiment level along the bottom but did something radical for me and put it at an angle! 

The ribbon I used is silver with a pink thread along each edge but I don't think it shows in the photo.

Please come and join us at Happy Little Stampers and make a mixed media tag of your own!

Stamps: SU In the Stars, Memory Box sentiment
Ink: Memento Rose Bud
Paper: off white tag, silver glitter paper
Accessories: Spellbinders oval tag,  circle, and scalloped circle dies; ribbon, Hero Arts star stencil, embossing paste, silver and pink glitter, Mr Huey's First Kiss spray, Glimmer Mist Tattered Rose spray

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Gilded Ornaments

I love it when a bunch of challenges all come up at the same time and work out for one card!!

First up is Happy Little Stampers November CAS challenge "Gilding".  I used gold gilding flakes on the ornaments.  And kept the card CAS by putting them directly on the cardbase with no extra layers.

Then there Merry Monday's "Red and Gold" challenge.  I decided to use a red cardbase to go with my gold ornaments and sentiment.

And finally SCS's Ways to Use It challenge "Gold Mediums".  The gilding flakes are my gold medium.

I find gilding flakes really tricky to use most of the time, but they are easy on a die cut with a layer of double-sided tape on it - still make a mess though and fly around everywhere!

I put sookwang tape over some scrap white cs and die cut the three ornaments. I removed the top layer of the tape and rubbed gold gilding flakes into the tape. I popped them up on foam tape, added gold cord to hang them with, and die cut a gold sentiment.

Thanks for looking and come and join us at some of these challenges!

Paper: white, gold, and red shimmer cs
Paper Size: A2
Accessories: Cosmic Shimmer gilding flakes, gold cord, Memory Box sentiment die, Spellbinders ornament dies, foam tape, sookwang tape

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Happy Little Stampers Christmas Tag

Hello All,

It's time for the November Christmas challenge at Happy Little Stampers.  This month the challenge is "Tag".

I find making tags quite a challenge - it's a smaller canvas and a different shape to a regular A2 card.  But I was happy with how this one turned out (and it's in my favourite colour combination of blue, silver, and white!).

I started with a blank white tag and sponged it with Distress inks.  When dry, I used a tiny snowflake stencil and went over it with Pearlescent embossing paste.

I set that aside to dry while I die cut the trees out of white cs and the word "winter" out of self-adhesive silver paper.  I very lightly rubbed a green coloured pencil over the trees, then added the dies and white layers to the tag.

Finally I added glue to the hilltops and trees, and sprinkled on glitter.  The ribbon is hard to see, but it is blue, with silver threads that match the sentiment.

Thanks for dropping by, and please join us by making Christmas tag for the Happy Little Stampers challenge.  You have until the end of November to enter.

I'm adding this tag to Loll Thompson's Twelve Tags of Christmas event.  This is for mixed media Christmas tags and is open for entries until November 22nd.  Every day from now until November 15th, Loll will be posting one of her tags alongside two tags by guest designers.  I'm honoured to be a guest designer on November 14th.   So watch for another tag from me that day!

Paper - premade white tag, white cs, silver self-adhesive paper
Ink - Distress Broken China and Faded Jeans
Size - 4.75"x2.5"
Accessories - Memory Box stencil, Dreamweavers Pearlescent embossing paste, blue and silver ribbon, Stampendous Crystal Snow glitter, Tim Holtz "winter" die, Memory Box trees die, green coloured pencil

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Three Unrelated Christmas Cards

I'm a big fan of Splitcoaststampers' challenges.  Two of my favourites are on a Monday - the CAS challenge and the Technique challenge.

This week's Technique challenge is "White Silhouettes".

I created a starry sky with a stencil, embossing paste, and a light sprinkle of glitter, then stamped and  heat embossed my image in white at the bottom.  I grounded the image with a scribbled line of white paint and added a simple die cut sentiment.

Next up is a card for the Inspiration Challenge.  We were to be inspired by an image at a Pinterest site of free printables.  I chose this image as it inspired me to ink up a stamp I've never used before.

Stamped it and then coloured bits of it with Distress inks and a water brush. Then I sponged the edges, bordered with black, and used a glue pen a mixture of gold and clear glitter (I wanted the glitter to look a bit tarnished and vintage).

And now a very basic card, also using a stamp I hadn't inked up before.  This one is for the CAS Challenge "Time to Hibernate" - use a critter that hibernates.   I made the card and then realized I see the bear as a polar bear and polar bears don't hibernate!  But I'll just think of him as a generic bear who will head off to hibernate after he's given the children a ride.

I coloured with Copics, added a smidge of glitter to the bear's hat and the ground below the bear, and die cut with a stitched square.

I love making Christmas cards so I hope you enjoy looking at them!

Sleigh Ride: 
Stamps -  Tim Holtz sleigh, Wordsworth sentiment 
Paper - white and black cs
Ink - ColorBox Frost White
Accessories - Simon Says Stamp star stencil, embossing paste, gold glitter, white embossing powder, Sharpie white paint pen, Spellbinders die, foam tape 
Vintage Winter:
Stamps - Inkadinkado
Paper - white, black, and kraft cs
Ink - Ranger Archival Black, various Distress inks
Accessories - glue pen, gold and clear glitter
Stamps - SU Bearing Gifts
Paper - white and ride cs
Ink - Ranger Archival Black
Accessories - glue pen, clear glitter, Lil Inkers Stitched Square dies, Copic markers