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".

Monday, 31 October 2016

My Front Door at Christmas

Merry Monday has a great challenge this week:

My house has white wooden siding with a blue front door.  I always put a wreath on the door - lots of greenery and lots of holly berries.  So I made a card to represent that:

I did a background using a striped embossing folder, then die cut a blue front door. 

The wreath is made with bits of various green dps using the Martha Stewart pine branch die, with each punched piece cut in half as I needed to make a very small wreath.  I used a circle die cut with two Nesties as the base to glue the punched pieces to. 

I used some whole punched pieces for the swag above the door.  Lots of red gemstones were added to represent holly berries, and a larger pale gold gemstone is the door handle.

A banner die cut with a red vertical sentiment finishes it off.

Thanks, Bonnie, for a great Merry Monday challenge that was a lot of fun to do!

Stamps - Rosie's Roadshow sentiment
Ink - SU Real Red
Paper - white and blue cs, scraps of various green dps
Size - A2
Accessories - Sizzix striped embossing folder, Martha Stewart pine branch punch, Memory Box door die and Banners die, Nesties small circle dies, red and pale gemstones 

Saturday, 29 October 2016

A Better Bird for Merry Monday

Two days ago I made this card for the Merry Monday challenge:

I was not that happy with the card as it is in my old style of card making.  I'm no longer enjoying using my stash of dp - much prefer to make my own backgrounds.  So I decided to do another bird card using a piece of Inka Gold background that was sitting on my desk.

To make the background, I put some blue and silver Inka Gold on my craft sheet and spritzed it with some water and some homemade silver spray.   I smooshed a piece of mixed media cs into it (watercolour paper can also be used for this technique). 

I like to use a simple black heat embossed silhouette image on this kind of background, and then border with black cs.

Because the Inka Gold leaves a bit of texture on the background, it's best to stamp with the MISTI to be sure to get a good impression.

Thanks, Merry Monday people, for a challenge using one of my favourite themes for Christmas cards!

Stamps - Inkadinkado bird
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - cream and black cs, mixed media cs
Size - 4.25" square
Accessories - blue and silver Inka gold, homemade silver spray, embossing powder

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Starch and Brushos

I had fun with some friends recently using spray starch with brushos to make backgrounds.

Here's a card using the technique:

It's pretty easy to do the background - spray some starch on watercolour paper, sprinkle with brushos, cover with slightly scrunched cling wrap and let dry.

I added two diecut mistletoe sprays (double layered for more dimension), a bow to tie the sprays together, pearls for the berries, and a sentiment.

Another for my Christmas card stash and for the SCS Ways to Use It challenge "Oh Ribbon"!

Stamps - Impression Obsession sentiment
Ink - Memento Cottage Ivy
Paper - white cs, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - green ribbon, fun foam, green brushos, spray starch, cling wrap

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

A Bird for Merry Monday

I'm trying to get back into doing my favourite challenges.  Merry Monday is one of them.  This week they want a bird on a Christmas card:

I had set myself a goal in January of making one card a week that uses some dp on it as I'd love to get rid of some of my stash.  I've failed miserably in this goal!!  But I made myself go through my dp for this card and found something I liked with the bird stamp I wanted to use.

I inked up the bird with little red and green ink spots I've had for ages so that I could get the two different colours.  Die cut the image and a piece of green cs with inverted scallop dies that make me think of holly, and mounted on the dp and a green card base.  The gemstones on the bird really are red, but for some reason look black in the photo.

I feel like this card is a throwback to my old style of cardmaking - not sure it's really me any more.  So maybe I need to bite the bullet and get rid of a lot of my dp!!!

Stamps - Inkadinkado
Ink - red and green ink spots (unknown brand)
Paper - green and cream cs, Heidi Swapp dp
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - red gemstones, foam tape, Nesties inverted scallop dies

Monday, 24 October 2016

Autumn Berries

I've done one more watercolour card for the new CAS Watercolour challenge and am squeaking in before the deadline tonight.

I love the way leaves turn colour and, on some plants, berries appear in the place of flowers in the autumn.  Here's my card:

It's a very traditional way to use watercolour - simply painting the image with watercolour pan paints!  As much as I love playing with all the new watercolour mediums (like Brushos and Bister) and all the new techniques, I do still love just colouring my image with paints.

Enjoy the last of autumn!

Stamps - Magenta leaves and berries, unknown sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - watercolour paper, PTI Vintage Cream
Size - A2
Accessories - Sizzix die, twine, foam tape, watercolour paints

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Christmas with a Bit of Orange

The October challenge at Christmas Cards All Year Round is "use a little or a lot of orange on your Holiday project".

Here's my entry:

I dropped bits of red, orange, yellow, and green alcohol inks onto Yupo paper, and then added a bit of silver mixative.

I die cut "merry" out of silver cs and twice more out of scrap cs, gluing them together to give dimension, then added a matching border, and stamped and heat embossed "Christmas" underneath.

It was hard to photograph - there is actually a bit more silver in the background than it seems as some of it photographed as if it were just grey.

Stamps - SU Christmas
Ink - ColorBox silver, various alcohol inks
Paper - white and silver cs, Yupo
Size - A2
Accessories - silver mixative, silver embossing powder, PTI "merry" die

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Christmas Dogs

I love Christmas card challenges as they help me get my cards done on time.  The current challenge at 52 Christmas Card Countdown is:

Here's the card I did for it:

It's a very simple card - stamped and watercolour, with a bit of Flower Soft on the brim and pompom of the hat.  It's for a friend who has a miniature schnauzer.

Here's another I did recently for SCS but never blogged:

Stamped and watercoloured image, with glitter on the snowflake dots and snow lines, and then some snowflakes punched out of glitter cs for extra interest. I added Flower Soft to his hat as well, and bordered it in red to match the hat.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps - Stampendous Santa Pup and Rubber Soul sentiment (card 1);   Crafters Companion "Barkley" (card 2)
Ink -  Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - dark green, white and red cs, watercolour paper, aqua glitter cs
Accessories - various small snowflake punches, Nesties label dies, Quickie glue pen and glitter, white Flower Soft, watercolour paints

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Ghosted Mistletoe

Just a reminder that the CAS Mix Up "Ghosting" challenge is going on until October 24th!

One of the easiest ways to do ghosting on a card is to use Distress inks, an image, and water.

I created a green background with two shades of green Distress inks.  I made sure it was thoroughly dry before stamping and heat embossing my mistletoe with Versamark and white embossing powder.  I stamped the sentiment with black Archival ink.

I then took a fine paintbrush and some water and lifted the green from the insides of all the mistletoe leaves and stems.

For added interest, I sprinkled Frantage chunky white embossing enamel over the panel and heat set it from underneath the cardstock.

I mounted it on fun foam for some dimension and added a white pearl pen to the mistletoe berries.

The CAS Mix Up challenge requires stamping, ghosting, and at least one other technique or element - my others are heat embossing (on the image and the sprinkled Frantage) and liquid pearls (the pearl pen).  Be sure to keep your card clean and simple!

Stamps - Penny Black mistletoe, Impression Obsession sentiment
Ink - Distress Peeled Paint and Mowed Lawn, Versamark, Archival black
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - white embossing powder, white Pearl pen, Frantage chunky white embossing enamel, fun foam

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Red with a Ghosted Butterfly

The October CAS Mix Up challenge is "ghosting".  And the SCS Mix-ability challenge is "The Color Red".   But once I'd finished this card, I decided it wasn't CAS enough for the CAS Mix Up challenge so it only got entered in the Mix-ability one.

I dropped red and yellow alcohol inks and gold mixative onto Yupo paper and let the colours mix and dry.

I then laid a stencil over top and used alcohol ink blending solution and a felt pad to lift the colour off.

I added a gold heat embossed sentiment and some gold sequins, and popped the panel up on fun foam.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps - Paper Angel sentiment
Ink - ColorBox gold, red and yellow alcohol inks
Paper - Yupo, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - alcohol ink blending solution, gold mixative, Crafters Workshop stencil, gold embossing powder, fun foam, gold sequins

Friday, 7 October 2016

A New Challenge for Flower Lovers

As well as being a card-maker, I love gardening and grow flowers in my perennial borders and in pots on my patio.  So I was thrilled when I learned that there is a new card challenge devoted to flowers - The Flower Challenge.

The first challenge is "Anything Goes".  I made this card:

I made a smooshed background (see this video by Loll Thompson on how to smoosh a background) using various pink and green Distress inks on watercolour paper, then stamped the flower in Archival ink.  I watercoloured it using the same inks.

The sentiment is one of my favourite quotes - and very appropriate for The Flower Challenge.

The challenge runs until October 26 so plenty of time to enter!

Stamps - Tim Holtz flower, SU Fabulous Florets leaves and sentiment
Ink - various pink and green Distress inks, Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, cream cs
Size - A2
Accessories - fun foam (to pop the panel up)

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

A Variation on Autumn Watercolour

The other day I made a card for the new CAS Watercolour challenge.  I mentioned in that post that my first attempt had too much water and it flowed all around the leaf images.  I was going to toss that attempt but I really liked the leaves so decided to fussy cut the leaves to get rid of the excess colour all around them.  Here's the card I made with those leaves:

For the technique of colouring the leaves, see the earlier blog post here.

The background is a sprinkling of blue bister on coated cs, spritzed with water and allowed to air dry.  The leaves are popped up on it with foam tape.

I stamped and heat embossed the sentiment in white on a scrap of dark brown cs.

The whole panel is popped up on a piece of fun foam.

I'm entering this version in the CAS Watercolour challenge along with my earlier version.  You have until October 24th to come and join in with a clean and simple watercolour card with an autumnal theme.

Stamps - SU French Foliage leaves, unknown sentiment
Ink - ColorBox white
Paper - white and brown cs, coated cs, watercolour paper
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - blue Bister, white embossing powder, foam tape, fun foam

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Christmas Embossing Two Ways

The October Christmas challenge over at Happy Little Stampers is "embossing".

For my Design Team contribution, I went with a fairly traditional card that has a dry embossed background and a heat-embossed focal image and sentiment.

The poinsettia is heat embossed in gold on red vellum and then fussy cut.  It is layered on the dry embossed background and given some dimension with foam tape under the petals.  The sentiment is heat embossed on a label die and attached with red and gold ribbon.  Gold gemstones carry on the gold colours.

I'm going to enter it into the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown sketch challenge as well.

While I had the stamp and the red vellum out, I made a second card and I'm going to enter it into Happy Little Stampers CAS Challenge "Embossing on Vellum":

The poinsettia is done the same way but embellished in the centre with gold stickles and  set inside a circle die cut frame with a gold heat embossed sentiment.

Happy Little Stampers is offering a prize for the best entry into the challenge.  You have until the end of October to enter a Christmas card that uses some kind of embossing.

Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Stamps - SU Joyful Christmas, A Muse sentiments
Ink - ColorBox gold
Paper - white cs, red vellum
Accessories - gold embossing powder, Spellbinders label die, red / gold ribbon, SU Sizzix embossing folder, foam tape, gold gemstones, Nesties circle die, gold Stickles

Monday, 3 October 2016

Autumn Watercolour

Loll Thompson and Bonnie Klass have started a fabulous new challenge - CAS Watercolour.  Each month will have a theme or occasionally, a specific technique.  For October, it is Autumn.

I took my French Foliage stamp set and decided to watercolour right onto the stamp with Brushos.

I sprinkled some red, yellow, brown, and orange Brushos onto my craft sheet and spritzed them with water.  Then using a paint brush, I added the colour to the stamp, and stamped onto watercolour paper.  I was using my MISTI so if I didn't get enough coverage, I was able to add more colour and restamp.

Once the Brushos were dry, I inked up the stamps directly with brown ink and overstamped the watercoloured images.  I added a sentiment and some splats, and then popped the panel up on fun foam.

This version is my second attempt.  The first attempt ended up with Brushos flowing all around the images - I put way too much water / Brusho mixture onto the stamps.  So the trick is to go light on the water / Brusho mixture the first time and know that you can go back again if you're using the MISTI.

If you feel like celebrating autumn with some kind of watercolour technique, you have until October 24th to link your cards up at CAS Watercolour.

Stamps - SU French Foliage leaves, unknown sentiment
Ink - Archival Potting Soil, Distress Antique Linen
Paper - PTI Vintage Cream, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - Brushos, fun foam

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Ghosting a Snowflake

It's time for a new CAS Mix Up challenge!  For the month of October, it is "Ghosting".

I am in Christmas card mode as time is passing by so quickly and I need to get lots of Christmas cards made.  So I came up with this card as my Design Team contribution:

I started out by taking a piece of glossy cs and adding a couple of shades of blue alcohol ink and some silver mixative to it.  I then took a snowflake stencil (one of the good old Dreamweaver brass stencils) and went over it with alcohol blending solution to remove the alcohol inks in order to "ghost" the snowflake image.

I cut it out with a circle Nestie die and framed it with a Memory Box circle / snowflake die cut out of silver cs.  Mounted it on a white cardbase, heat embossed the sentiment, and embellished with a few sequins.

There are many different ways to do ghosting.  Head on over to the CAS Mix Up blog for more information and to link up your card.  You have until October 24th.  Please remember that your card must be clean and simple, as well as including stamping, ghosting, and at least one other thing from our list of suggestions in the right hand column.  In my case, my other things are heat embossing (my sentiment), alcohol inks, and die cutting.  Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

Stamps - Hero Arts sentiment
Ink - Brilliance Pearlescent Sky Blue for sentiment; various blue alcohol inks
Paper - white and silver cs, glossy cs
Size - A2
Accessories - alcohol blending solution, silver mixative, Nesties circle die, Memory Box snowflake circle die, Dreamweaver snowflake stencil, clear embossing powder