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, 31 May 2016

Flowers for Challenges

I love cards with flowers on them so was happy to see another flower-themed challenge at SCS - this time the CAS challenge "May Flowers".  And the new Addicted to CAS challenge is "Petals".  I made this card for them:

I have lovely orange and yellow poppies (both Welsh poppies and California poppies) and some of the larger oriental poppies blooming in my garden right now, so I'm inspired to use poppies on my cards!

Stamped, heat embossed, and watercoloured, die cut with a stitched square to add interest, and bordered with black - it feels like a real back to basics card with no embellishments, no dp, nothing fancy!

And the SCS Technique Lovers' Challenge is "Stencil Monoprint" so I used a flower stencil for it:

The Stencil Monoprint technique really takes some practice! I finally got one I'm happy with.

I used two colours of Distress inks and a flower stencil as I'm also doing it for the "May Flowers" CAS challenge.

I added a die cut sentiment (cut twice and glued together to give more body to it) and several sequins. The focal panel is popped up on a piece of fun foam.

Poppy supplies:
Stamps: Sparkle n Sprinkle poppies, unknown sentiment
Paper: watercolour paper, cream and black cs
Paper Size: 4.25" square
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, clear embossing powder, Lil Inkers stictched square die

Stencil Monoprint supplies:
Paper: watercolour paper, dark blue shimmer cs, white cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Distress Faded Jeans and Dusty Concord
Accessories: stencil, Sissix celebrate die, sequins, fun foam
Techniques: stencil monoprint

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Dies and Punches (and DP!!)

This week's 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge is to use dies and/or punches.

I used both - lots of dies and two punches:

The background is a piece of dp from my stash (I really do need to make more cards with dp so that I can use it up!).

I die cut a brown branch, a bunch of small red birds, and a rustic cream Nesties label. I stamped one of the Itty Bitty Backgrounds on the label, and heat embossed with a sparkly ep to tie in to the sparkly dots on the dp (hard to see in the photo). I arranged the branch and birds on the label.

The sentiment is stamped and then punched with a SU punch and bordered with a piece of red, also punched.

Stamps: Northwood sentiment, SU Itty Bitty Background
Paper: PTI Rustic Cream and red cs, Imaginisce dp
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Craft Smart Brick Red, ColorBox white
Accessories: Papermania sparkly ep, SU punches, Nesties label die, Memory Box branch and birds die

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Framed May Flowers

Today's Ways to Use It challenge over at SCS is "May Flowers" (with the condition that we not use patterned paper on the background of the card). 

I kept mine very simple:

I stamped my image on watercolour paper and painted with Gansai Tambi paints. Added a sentiment and bordered it with a die cut frame. I cut the frame twice and glued them together to give it more substance.

I thought of adding some sequins or glitter, but decided I liked the clean look of it unembellished.

Thanks for dropping by.

Stamps: Penny Black Demure, Judith sentiment
Paper: PTI cream cs, watercolour paper
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Ranger Archival Jet Black
Accessories: Gansai Tambi watercolor paints, MFT pierced rectangle frame die

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Puppies and Painting with Embossing Powder

Puppy fans start reading now; those who only want to see today's card, skip down halfway.

I went to see the puppies again on the weekend.  They are now 6 weeks old and very active and playful - and totally adorable.  I don't yet know which puppy will be mine.  The breeder will do temperament testing at 7 weeks and have them evaluated for conformation at 8 weeks (one of her buyers wants one to show so that is why the conformation will be important).  As far as I'm concerned, I just want a sweet companion!

Here are some photos:

They play and race around and then suddenly crash in a heap and fall asleep!  I won't see them again until I go down in mid June to pick mine up and bring her home.

I've done one more card for the CAS Mix Up challenge before the challenge closes tonight.

My choices for extra elements are stenciling, embossing paste, and die cut circles.

I stamped the butterfly with Versamark and then "painted" it with three colours of embossing powder.  I found the easiest way to add little bits of ep in different spots was by taking a plastic drinking straw and cutting off one end to a sharp point to make a little scoop that I could use to sort of control where the ep went.  After heating it, I fussy cut it.

The background was made with pearlescent embossing paste through a random dot stencil.  When dry, I die cut a circle out of it.  And bordered it with a red die cut circle. 

I attached the body of the butterfly with double sided tape and popped the wings up with some foam tape.

I used a shimmery off-white cardstock that matched the pearlescent embossing paste for the card base. 

I finished off with a sentiment that I heat embossed with the same red embossing powder that I used in the butterfly.

I hope you enjoyed the puppy photos and the card!

Stamps - Memory Box butterfly, Savvy Stamps thank you
Ink - Versamark
Paper - white and red cs, shimmery off-white cs
Size - 4.25" square
Accessories - embossing powders: Distress Antique Linen, Ranger Rich Red, and Stampendous Sapphire;   Tim Holtz dot stencil, Dreamweaver Pearlescent embossing paste, Nesties circles, foam tape

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Peace Dove Cards - Set 3

Here's the third peace dove stamp I chose to use for my friend who is purchasing some peace-themed Christmas cards from me.

Very quick and simple designs - stamped in dark blue and heat embossed on white, and mounted on a dark blue shimmery cardbase.

The first one I did has the focal image just trimmed into a rectangle; the second has it die cut for more interest.

I went over the bird and stars with Wink of Stella.

I have one more dove stamp I want to use for my friend so will be coming up with a fourth set soon.

And for those of you eager to see how the puppies are growing, there will be more photos in a couple of days as I'm going to see them tomorrow.

Stamps: Stampendous Dove Tiding
Paper: dark blue shimmer cs, white cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Versafine Majestic Blue
Accessories: clear embossing powder, clear Wink of Stella, Sizzix die cut

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Peace Dove Cards - Set 2

Here are the next in the series of Christmas cards with a dove / peace theme my friend has requested for this coming Christmas.  And again, I used the same stamp in slightly different ways.

For this one, I stamped and heat embossed the dove, watercoloured it, went over the berries with a glue pen and added red glitter, and cut around the outer lines of the stamp (the straight lines are part of the stamp).

I added it to a dark green card base and die cut a sentiment out of watercolour paper that I put a pale blue wash on to match the pale blue in the dove.

For this one, I stamped and heat embossed the dove, watercoloured it, went over the berries with glossy accents, and cut around the outer lines of the stamp (the straight lines are part of the stamp).

I bordered it with green shimmer cs and decided to leave it without a sentiment as I liked the look of it as is.

Stamps: Serendipity
Paper: watercolour paper, dark green cs, white cs, pale green shimmer cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Versafine Onyx Black
Accessories: watercolour paints, red glitter, clear embossing powder, Tim Holtz peace on earth die

Sunday, 15 May 2016

UTEE - Ultra Thick Embossed Cardinal

It's time for the mid-month reminder to enter the CAS Mix Up challenge!  May's challenge is:

I decided to use UTEE for my heat embossing.  If you're not familiar with it, UTEE stands for Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel.  It gives a far thicker and more raised result than regular embossing powder.  It's great for solid images as well as for a lot of mixed media work.

I stamped my cardinal image with Versamark and then heat embossed it with gold UTEE.  It's a good idea to use a heavy weight cs with UTEE.

My choice of an extra element is a die cut sentiment.  I wanted it to match so rubbed Versamark on a scrap of cs, added the gold UTEE, and then when cool, die cut "Joy".  To keep the gold all the same, I created my bordering layer the same way, as described in this video by Gina K.

It's a wonderful heat embossing technique for making sure your border matches your embossed image - you can use it with UTEE or regular embossing powder.  The UTEE bubbles up a bit when you're heating it.  If you keep heating, it smoothes out, but I liked the slightly bubbled texture for my border.

As a finishing touch, and keeping with the heat embossing part of the challenge, I sprinkled some Frantage powder (the one with a mixture of white and gold) around the cardinal and heated it from underneath.

Please come and join us at CAS Mix Up.  You have until May 24th to link up your card.

Stamps - Inkadinkado
Ink - Versamark
Paper - Gina K Pure Luxury Heavy white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - gold UTEE, Stampendous Frantage Shabby White Embossing Enamel, Spellbinders rectangle dies, Spellbinders Joy die

Saturday, 14 May 2016

A Snowy Owl

Before I show the next peace dove cards for my friend, I thought I'd post this card I did for this week's SCS Ways to Use It challenge "The Owl and the Pussycat".  In honour of Edward Lear, we were to use an owl or a cat on our card.  I'm behind on my self-imposed monthly Christmas card quota so went with a winter owl image.

I used a scrap of watercolour paper that I'd smeared with an dark blue inkpad. I stamped the image in white and heat embossed in white, then sprinkled with Shabby Blue Frantage and heated from underneath. The Shabby Blue is a mix of white, pale blue, and gold embossing powder.

I framed it with a pierced frame die and popped it up on fun foam.

I'm also adding it to the CAS Mix Up challenge - stamping, heat embossing, and at least one other element of your choice - I have the stamp, the heat embossing of both the white ep on the owl and the Frantage around the owl, and for my other elements, a die cut frame and an ink smeared background.

Stamps: Inkadinkado
Paper: white cs, watercolour paper
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Vivid Inky Blue, Hero Arts Snow White
Accessories: white embossing powder, Stampendous Frantage Shabby Blue embossing enamel, MFT pierced rectangle frame die, fun foam

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Peace Dove Cards - Set 1

I have a friend who orders a bunch of Christmas cards from me.  They all have to have a theme of peace doves.  So I've come up with a few designs, using three different stamps.  Here are the two cards using the first stamp.

The dove panel is stamped in Versamark and heat embossed with a dark blue ep. Both it and the embossing folder background are popped up on fun foam.

I centred the first on the embossing folder background and offset the second (the only logical place to put it with this folder!)

I'm trying to be more efficient by making a couple of cards when I have a stamp out, but I never want them identical so it's fun to find easy ways to vary them.

I'm adding one of them to the CAS Mix Up challenge - stamping, heat embossing, and at least one other element.  My other element is the embossing folder background.

Stamps: Local King
Paper: white cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Versamark
Accessories: Cosmic Shimmer Steel Blue Aurora embossing powder, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Darice embossing folder, fun foam

Friday, 6 May 2016

Shiny Berries

This month's Mixed Media challenge at Happy Little Stampers is "Shine".

I'm falling behind on my goal of getting lots of Christmas cards made ahead of time so decided "Shine" was a perfect challenge for a Christmas card.

My mixed media are ink, glossy accents, die cuts, watercolour paints, a stamp, and translucent embossing paste.

I die cut the berry cluster out of watercolour paper and painted it with watercolour paints.  I then went over the berries with Glossy Accents.  The background was made using a brick wall stencil.  I sponged Distress Brushed Corduroy and Fired Brick over it, then cleaned the stencil, let the ink dry, and then replaced the stencil and added translucent embossing paste over the top.  Both the Glossy Accents and embossing paste add shine.

I chose a textured cream cs for the card base and top layer.  I die cut a square opening out of the top layer, added the sentiment, and assembled.  The berries are popped up on foam tape.

Come and join us at Happy Little Stampers.  The winner will receive a $15 discount from the Happy Little Stampers shop.

Stamps - Penny Black
Ink - Distress Fired Brick and Brushed Corduroy
Paper - watercolour paper, mixed media cs, textured cream cs
Size - A2
Accessories - My Favorite Things Brick Wall stencil, Penny Black Berry Cluster die, Spellbinders square die, Glossy Accents, Dreamweaver translucent embossing paste, Gansai watercolour paints

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Holly for 52CCT

This week's 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge is to pick a previous theme challenge. 

I picked theme #20 "Holly" and created this card:

And also made a colour variation on it:

I stamped and watercoloured my image, flicked some colour splatters on it, die cut with a square, and bordered with burlap.

It's a nice flat card for mailing and would also be easy to mass produce.

Thanks for visiting!

Stamps - Rubber Stampede holly, Wordsworth noel
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - cream cs, watercolour paper
Accessories - watercolour paints, red and natural burlap

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A Christmas Gift

The Happy Little Stampers's challenge for May is "gift".

I used a great Penny Black stamp that always makes me smile.  The dog in the image looks so happy to be receiving a kitten for Chrismas.  My dog would definitely NOT like to receive a kitten!

It's stamped, then watercoloured, die cut with a stitched square, and bordered with green shimmer paper (that, in real life, is closer in colour to the gift in the image than it appears in the photo).

Please come and join us at Happy Little Stampers.  You have until May 28th to link up.  The winner will receive a $15 discount from the Happy Little Stampers shop.

Stamps: Penny Black image, A Muse sentiment
Paper: cream cs, aqua green shimmer paper, watercolour paper
Paper Size: 4.25" square
Ink: Ranger Archival Black
Accessories: watercolour paints, Lil Inkers stitched square die, Spellbinders square die

Monday, 2 May 2016

Puppy Photos and a Doggy Card

Since most of you come to my blog to see the cards I made, I'll start with the card and then go on to puppy photos. 

As a dog lover, I just had to do the latest SCS Free for All challenge "Dogs are Kids Too". And I wanted to make a card for the SCS CAS374 challenge "Let the Background Talk".

I wanted to depict my English Cocker Spaniel, Will, as I'll be giving the card to friends who are going to dog sit for me in the summer. The stamp I used looks a lot like him. I stamped and fussy cut it.

To "let my background talk" for the CAS challenge, I used it to depict Will's colouring which is called "blue roan" - kind of a blend of blues, greys, and black. To depict that I made the background by sprinkling blue and black bister on coated cs and spritzing with water. I added a black paw print in one corner. I die cut a stitched panel from it. The "thank you" die is cut from the leftovers of it that had very little of the bister colouring on it.

The new puppy I will be getting in June is also an English Cocker Spaniel, but her colouring will be "orange roan" - a blend of white and rusty orange.  The puppies are born much lighter than they will end up once grown into adult dogs.  I went down to see them again on Saturday.  They are now three weeks old, eyes and ears are open, they have tripled in weight, are moving around on unsteady little legs, and are looking more like puppies.  But no personality differences showing yet so I still don't know which of the three girls will be mine.  They had their first meal of mushy puppy food and yogurt when I was there - they tasted it and then walked through it!  They sleep in crazy positions all piled on top of each other. 

Eyes are open now and they totter around unsteadily.

First taste of food (other than their mother's milk).

Sleeping in a pile.

Looking out of the whelping box.

Pretty cute, eh?  Thanks for dropping by and I hope you don't mind me including puppies in with cards!

Stamps: Raintree dog stamp, paw print stamp
Paper: white cs, coated cs
Paper Size: A2
Ink: Memento Tuxedo Black
Accessories: bister, thank you die, stitched rectangle die

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Snowy Scene for Merry Monday

This week's Merry Monday challenge is "Let It Snow".

I created a background using the embossing folder stamping technique and various blue Distress inks.  I used the same Distress colours but the stains rather than the inks to paint the sky in my focal image.  I added some watercolour paints to the trees and cabin, then went over the snowy parts of the image with white Wink of Stella, and finished off by heat embossing with a sprinkling of white Frantage embossing powder.  It's popped up on fun foam to give it some dimension from the background.

Thanks for dropping by!

Those of you are interested in my coming puppy, drop by tomorrow for some photos and a doggy card!

Stamps - Penny Black Christmas Cottage, Rubber Soul Let It Snow
Ink - Archival Jet Black, various blue Distress inks
Paper - cream and black cs, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - various blue Distress stains, watercolour paints, white Wink of Stella, fun foam, Stampendous white Frantage embossing powder, snowflake embossing folder

Bubble Fairy

I am so thrilled and honoured to have been invited to be on the Design Team for the CAS Mix Up challenge run by Loll Thompson (Stamping with Loll) and Bonnie Klass (Stamping with Klass).  I start with the May challenge:

I love heat embossing.  It was the technique that lured me into stamping and cardmaking.  There is something quite magical about the way heat embossing turns ink and powder into something completely different in a few short seconds.  It can be as simple as clear embossing powder over pigment ink (like the sentiment in my card) to the wonderful rich shine you can get from gold embossing powder to the complex effects of Frantage ep or UTEE (ultra thick embossing enamel) or, as I used on the fairy in my card, wonderful multicolours from Kaleidoscope ep.

The fairy was stamped with black Versafine ink on regular white cs and heat embossed with the most amazing embossing powder - Stampendous Kaleidoscope ep. Depending on how much you heat it, you can get different colour tones - I heated different sections of the image for varying amounts of time. I think you can see blue, orange, green, and black tones in the photo.

Here's a close-up of the fairy:

I made a background with two different Tim Holtz stencils (that tied in to the bubbles and dots in the stamped image) and Pearlescent embossing paste (my choices of other elements), stamped my sentiment and heat embossed it with regular clear ep, die cut a panel with a stitched rectangle, and put fun foam behind it for dimension.

I fussy cut the fairy, and stuck down the bottom edge flat to the background with regular double sided tape and then used thin foam tape as she headed upwards out of the bubbles, and then near the top of her, I used two layers of the foam tape as I wanted to give the impression of her flying off the card.

Please come and join us at CAS Mix Up - you must include stamping and heat embossing, and then at least one of the other elements from the list of "Your Choice Options" on the right hand side of the challenge page.  The challenge is open until May 24th.

Stamps - Inkadinkado fairy, Rubber Stamp Tapestry sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - PTI white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Stampendous Kaleidoscope embossing powder, clear embossing powder, Tim Holtz Bubbles and Dot Fade stencils, Dreamweaver Pearlescent embossing paste, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle die, fun foam, foam tape