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, 28 September 2016

Exciting News about a New Challenge

The wonderful duo of Loll Thompson and Bonnie Klass, creators of the CAS Mix Up challenge, have come up with a new challenge that will go live on October 1st.

The challenge will be to create a clean and simple card using watercolouring.  Each month there will be a different theme, or occasionally a different watercolour technique.

In honour of this news, I thought I'd post two watercolour cards I made in the summer but never got around to blogging.  They are variations on a technique called Vintage Watercolour that I learned from this tutorial on SCS.

I stamped the image (which is an outline stamp) in Distress Vintage Photo and then pulled some of the colour out of the Vintage Photo ink.  I put a bit of Tattered Rose (for the flowers) and Old Paper (for the leaves) on my craft sheet and added some to the inside of the image.  I did not use the Elegant Writer the way Heather did in her SCS tutorial as I wanted to keep my card just in brown tones.  With Antique Linen, I did some sponging around the edge of the panel and stamped some script and a postage mark.  And used Vintage Photo for the sentiment.  The watercoloured panel is popped up on fun foam for some dimension.

I did pretty much the same thing for the second card but used way more water so ended up with a lot of splotchiness.  I used Victorian Velvet for the flowers and Adirondack Lake Mist for the sponging and text in the background.

Watercolour is a fabulous and versatile technique so be sure to check out the new CAS Watercolour challenge and be inspired by Loll and Bonnie to join in starting on October 1st!

Stamps - SU Elements of Style and French Foliage
Ink - Distress Vintage Photo, Victorian Velvet, Old Paper, Antique Linen, and Tattered Rose; Adirondack Lake Mist
Paper - PTI Vintage Cream cs, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - fun foam

Monday, 19 September 2016

Heartfelt Wishes for Loll

A few years ago I connected through SCS with the wonderful and talented Loll Thompson.  Because we both live in the Vancouver area, we started getting together to make cards, try out new techniques, share supplies, and most importantly, get to know each other.  We have become good friends and when Loll learned she had breast cancer, she shared the news with me and some other stamping friends, but wanted it kept fairly quiet.

Needless to say I made a couple of cards to send her while she was going through her treatment.  Loll has now shared her story on her blog so I have her permission to mention it and to pass on her encouragement to everyone to do their monthly breast self-examinations.

Here are the two cards I made for Loll:

The background was done as an experiment of marbling with food colouring dropped on top of soapy water.  I was hoping to use it for the CAS Mix Up marbling challenge but I didn't get a true marbled look so used it for a card for Loll instead as it's in colours she likes.  

I added some randomly-inked text (using Distress Old Paper ink), die cut with a stitched rectangle, added a die cut spray of flowers and some sequins, and stamped and heat embossed my sentiment in gold on vellum. 

Here's the second card:

On this one, I experimented with alcohol inks on translucent Yupo.  The alcohol inks spread out into larger circles than they do on regular Yupo.  I used a new die cut for the flower and my pierced frames to border it.

Loll titled her post about her cancer "Truly Grateful" because she had really good results from the surgery.  I'm also grateful to have her on the mend and facing a positive outcome for a full recovery.

Stamps -
1st card - Inkadinkado script, Chocolate Baroque sentiment
2nd card - Rosie's Roadshow sentiment

Ink -
1st card - ColorBox Gold, Distress Old Paper
2nd card - Staz-on Black
Paper -
1st card - white cs, vellum, watercolour paper
2nd card - white cs, transparent Yupo
Size - A2
Accessories -
1st card - dish detergent, red and yellow food colouring, sequins, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle, gold embossing powder, Memory Box die, fun foam
2nd card - various alcohol inks, MFT pierced frame die, Memory Box flower die

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Dogs and a Mouse

I haven't done a post for a couple of days so am including three cards here: a couple of dog cards, one sad and one happy, and a card with a mouse!

The sad one was made for a friend whose elderly dog passed away.

I did the dog by inking up the stamp once, stamped it full strength, and then stamped it off twice without reinking as it goes off the page to give the idea of her wagging her tail right to the end as her life fades away.

On a happier note, I recently came across a stamp that reminded me so much of my puppy, Tessa, and her litter mates when I went down to see them a couple of weeks before I got Tessa.  They were weaned off of their mother and just starting to eat mushy food - and they all shared it from the same bowl.  They would step in the food sometimes and then track it all over their pen.  There is a lot of clean-up and laundry involved if you breed dogs!  Whoever designed this stamp's image sure knew what they were doing!

I turned it into a thank you card to send to Tessa's breeder.

I stamped the image in Distress Tea Dye ink as it is close to Tessa's colour, then watercoloured it with various Distress inks.  I added the pawprints on the bottom right to balance with the sentiment.

Tessa no longer steps in her food and is growing up into a well-mannered (most of the time) and very sweet young dog (most of the time) - she's now five and a half months old.  Here's a recent photo:

And finally a card I made with a sweet mouse - I sent it to a 10 year old great-niece who loves to read.

I used an ancient stamp I have of a mouse on a stack of books - simply stamped and watercoloured.

The sentiment below the mouse makes me think of my childhood - whenever my mother asked me to do something when I was reading, I'd always reply "as soon as I finish this chapter".

I cut it out with a tag die, made a background with a text stamp, and popped it up on fun foam.

Thanks for dropping by!


Stamps -
1st card: SU D is for Dog
2nd card: PB puppies, Bouji paw prints, Savvy Stamps sentiment 
3rd card: Kidstamps mouse, Wendy Vecchi text stamp, PTI sentiment 
Ink -
1st card: Memento Tuxedo Black
2nd card: Distress Tea Dye and various others, Memento Tuxedo Black
3rd card: Versafine Onyx Black, Adirondack Lake Mist 
Paper -
1st card: PTI Vintage Cream, Deja Vu dp, black cs
2nd card: watercolour paper, cream cs
3rd card: green and white cs, watercolour paper 
Size - all are A2

Accessories -
1st card: dimensionals, twine, Spellbinders tag
2nd card: Lil Inkers stitched rectangle die, fun foam 
3rd card: watercolour paints, Die-namics tag die, brad, fun foam

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Marbled Tea for CAS Mix Up

This is my reminder card for the September CAS Mix Up challenge "Marbling".  Our challenge is to use stamping, marbling, and your choice of at least one other element from our list of choices on the right of the CAS Mix Up page.

For my card, I chose die cutting (the teapot), Glossy Accents (on the teapot), and heat embossing (on the sentiment).

I used the shaving foam method of marbling and .  See here for a tutorial on it.  I stuck to just two colours of Distress reinkers - Faded Jeans and Seedless Preserves.  After swirling the inks on the foam, I just started playing with different scraps of cs.  First I pulled a piece of regular fairly heavy cs through it.  This got me a very dark marbled piece.  I then tried a few others.  I did not like the results on glossy or coated cs so tossed them.  But my final pull was on a piece of quite lightweight watercolour paper and I really liked it so used it for the background for this card. 

I showed the results to Loll Thompson and she suggested using the very dark first pull for die cuts and that's what gave me the idea for this card.  Thanks, Loll!

I die cut the dark piece with the PTI teapot die, and cut a second teapot so I could layer it for more substance.  I then coated it with Glossy Accents to make it look more like a china teapot.  I trimmed the background piece so that I could place the teapot on it as if there was a swirl of lovely blackcurrant tea scent coming out of the spout.  With a paintbrush, I added a bit of watered down reinker around the base of the teapot to ground it.

I added a stamped (in dark blue) and heat embossed sentiment, bordered with navy cs, and popped it up on fun foam for dimension.

Please think about getting very messy with some marbling and join us at CAS Mix Up - you have until September 24 to link up.

Stamps - PTI Tea for Two sentiment
Ink - Versafine Majestic Blue inkpad; Distress Faded Jeans and Seedless Preserves reinkers
Paper - PTI Vintage Cream cs, watercolour paper, navy cs
Size - A2
Accessories - shaving cream, clear embossing powder, PTI teapot die, Glossy Accents

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Altenew Peonies

 Altenew is running an "Ultimate Challenge Blog Hop".

I was thrilled as I'm on the Design Team for the CAS Mix Up blog and our blog was invited to take part in the blog hop, along with 17 other challenge blogs.

One of our founders, Bonnie Klass, made our blog's card but the rest of the CAS Mix Up Design Team is also making cards for the challenge.  Here's my card using the gorgeous Altenew Peony Bouquet stamp set.

Peonies are one of my favourite flowers and I have a few of them growing in my garden.  One of the loveliest is a pink one, so I watercoloured my images in shades of pink.

The stamps are heat embossed in white on hot press watercolour paper.  I used my Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, with the wet-on-wet technique (taught to me in a get-together with Loll Thompson, the other founder of CAS Mix Up).  See here for a video on how to do it.  I love the way the water moves the paint when you drop it in.

I fussy cut all of the images and arranged them on a die cut stitched rectangle panel that is popped up on fun foam.

Head on over to Altenew if you want to join in the blog hop and to link up your creation using Altenew products.  You might win a $35 gift certificate!

Stamps -  Altenew Peony Bouquet, Hero Arts sentiment
Ink - ColorBox White, Memento Bamboo Leaves
Paper - white cs, hot press watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - white embossing powder, Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Lil Inker stitched rectangle die, fun foam

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Gold, Black, and White for Merry Monday

One of my favourite challenges is the Merry Monday Christmas Card Challenge.  After a break for the summer, they are back with a new challenge.

I recently picked up a couple of older Penny Black stamps in a sale and this was a good opportunity to use one of them.  It seemed to suit being stamped and heat embossed in gold:

I added a heat embossed sentiment in black, die cut it and a black border with stitched square dies, and added 3 black gemstones to the bottom corner for balance.

Thanks, Merry Monday, for all of your great challenges!

Stamps - Penny Black image, Wordsworth sentiment
Ink - ColorBox gold, Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - white and black cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - gold and clear embossing powders, Lil Inkers stitched square dies, black gemstones

Friday, 9 September 2016

Acetate Star with Alcohol Ink

I've really been enjoying experimenting with alcohol inks in the last few months.  For today's card, I took a die cut acetate star and dripped a couple of shades of red alcohol ink onto it.  Then I added a couple of drops of gold mixative.  Love the end result!!

To turn it into a card, I made a background with a stencil and gilding flakes, die cut it into a circle, then die cut a slightly larger gold circle to border it.

I stamped and heat embossed a sentiment that I love to use with star-themed cards.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps - Great Impressions sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Gold, red alcohol inks
Paper - white and gold cs
Size - 4.25" square
Accessories - star die cut, scrap of acetate packaging, circle dies, gold mixative, gold embossing powder, TCW stencil, gilding flakes

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Bearing Gifts Three Ways

One of the challenges I often enjoy doing is SCS's Inspiration Challenge.  This week we had to be inspired by an image on designspiration.net.  I chose this image:

It immediately made me think of my SU Bearing Gifts stamp that I haven't used for awhile.  I'm taking part in the SCS Christmas Card Challenge (set yourself a monthly quota and get them done each month so as not to be in a mad rush come November).  I have gotten behind with my quota and am still working on my 10 for August.  Bearing Gifts is the perfect stamp for the August optional theme of Arctic Animals

In the interests of getting my August quota finished, I decided to make three cards with the same stamp.  To make it less boring, I used different layouts and different colouring methods.

Up first is one coloured with Copics, with the image die cut and mounted on an embossed background:

The next one uses coloured pencils.  I stenciled some snowflakes around the bear with Glitter Snow Paste, die cut it into a square, bordered it with dark green, and popped it up on fun foam on a cardbase). 

And finally a very simple one, watercoloured, bordered with red and black, and on a cream cardbase.  I find that PTI's Vintage Cream cs is the closest colour to most watercolour paper so often use it as the cardbase for watercoloured images.

All of them have a bit of glitter on the trim on the bear's hat and along the "ground" to add a touch of sparkle.

Let me know which one is your favourite!

Stamps - SU Bearing Gifts
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black with the Copics, Hero Arts black with the coloured pencils, Versafine Onyx Black with the watercolours
Paper - white, cream, black, red, and dark green cs; watercolour paper
Size - A2; 4.75" square
Accessories - coloured pencils, watercolour paints, Copic markers, CB embossing folder, Sizzix die cut, Memory Box snowflakes stencil, Aleene's Glitter Snow paste, Quicke glue pen, glitter, fun foam

Monday, 5 September 2016

Three Different Angels

Because I hold a fundraiser sale of my Christmas cards every November, I have to make lots of Christmas cards and try to do it throughout the year.  The SCS Christmas Card Challenge helps me as you get to set a monthly quota, and they post optional monthly themes if you need ideas.

All well and good in theory, but lots of participants fall off the rails and fail to get their monthly quotas made.  Every other year that I've done it, I've managed to do my 10 a month.  This year I am so far behind (I'm blaming it on my new puppy!).  I needed 3 more for July so used the optional July theme of angels.

I dug some smooshed blue and silver Inka Gold backgrounds out of my UFO box and used 3 different angel stamps.  The first card is also for the current Sparkle Creations Christmas Card Challenge to be inspired by this photo:

Here are my three cards:

To learn how to smoosh with Inka Gold, I highly recommend Loll Thompson's video tutorial here.  You can get quite a lot of backgrounds out of one session - they do get paler and less intense as you go along, but that is fine as the paler ones are often better for backgrounds while the early pulls that are more intense can be used for die cuts.

All the images are stamped in Versafine with clear embossing powder to give maximum definition on the Inka Gold background.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps - 1st and 3rd cards - Deep Red; 2nd card - Inkadinkado
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - all cards - mixed media cs for the Inka Gold backgrounds;  1st card - shimmery white cs;  2nd card - black and white cs;  3rd card - blue and white shimmery cs
Accessories - clear embossing powder;  1st card - MFT pierced frame die;  3rd card - SU punches for the sentiment

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

It's already September and Christmas is fast approaching!  So why not join in the Christmas challenge at Happy Little Stampers?  This month the challenge is to be inspired by or base your card on a Christmas song.

I decided it was the perfect opportunity to ink up a brand new stamp that has not only an image to fit the words, but even has the song title as part of the stamp.

I stamped with archival ink on watercolour paper, then painted with Distress inks.  I kept the colours of the children's clothing quite muted as I wanted to stick to the vintage look of the stamp.

I popped it up on a piece of fun foam for dimension, then took my Quickie glue pen and glitter and went over the snowflake dots and splotches.

It's quite sparkly in real life, but hard to capture in a photo.

Come over to Happy Little Stampers and check out the other songs that inspired the Design Team, and then link up your card!  You have until the end of the month and you might win a discount for the Happy Little Stampers' shop.

Stamps - Crafty Individuals image, Make an Impression sentiment
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black; various Distress inks for colouring the image
Paper - watercolour paper, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Quickie glue pen, SU Dazzling Diamonds glitter, fun foam

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Marbling for CAS Mix Up

Summer has flown by and it's time for another CAS Mix Up challenge.  This month it is "Marbling".

I used stamping for my sentiment, marbling for the background of my focal panel, and heat embossing and die-cutting for my choices.

I used the good old shaving cream technique to do my marbling.  If you've never done it and want to give it a try, check this tutorial on Splitcoaststampers.

I used three reinkers (two shades of blue and one of green) in the shaving cream and tried it with a few different cardstocks and watercolour paper.  This one is my favourite result - it is on a high quality, very smooth cs (the name of which I have no idea as it's just in my stash!).

I stamped and heat embossed the sentiment, cut out a stitched rectangle, added a die cut stem, and popped it up on a white cardbase.

Head on over to CAS Mix Up and check out the cards by the other Design Team members.  You'll also find some other tutorials for marbling and the list of "your choice" options.  You have until September 24 to enter a card.  Please don't forget to keep your card clean and simple.

Hoping you will join us!!

Stamps - unknown sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black for sentiment; 3 reinkers: SU Brocade Blue, SU Sage Shadow, Memento Summer Sky
Paper - white and black cs, heavy smooth white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - shaving cream, Memory Box die, black embossing powder, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle die, fun foam