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, 30 November 2016

Spreading Glitter Through the World

This week's 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge is "glitter".

Who doesn't love glitter on a Christmas card?  Here's what I came up with:

I love the little bear with his starry wand spreading sparkle or glitter through the snowy landscape.

I watercoloured the image, bordered with gold glitter cs, and added gold glitter with a Quickie glue pen to the stars and sparkle of the wand.

May your world sparkle today!

Stamps - Crafters' Companion
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, gold glitter and cream cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Peerless watercolours, Quickie glue pen, gold glitter

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

More Christmas Trees

This week's SCS CAS challenge is "Christmas Foliage".  They wanted to see holly, mistletoe, wreaths, trees, etc.  Here's the card I made:

I took various green Distress inks and tapped some on my craft sheet, spritzed them with water, and smooshed my white cs in it. When dry, I die cut the pine tree - once out of the green smooshed piece and twice out of scraps of cs, then layered them together for more substance.

I used an embossing folder to create the background, stamped the sentiment between some of the raised bits, and used green cs for the base.

And the recent SCS Free for All challenge is "Christmas Critters".  I went with a sweet little dog, trimming a tree:

I coloured with Copics and added Glossy Accents to the ornaments.  I bordered with dark green, die cut with a deckled edge.

Thanks for dropping by!

Stamps - Rosie's Roadshow sentiment (1st card); Penny Black (2nd card)
Ink - Memento Bamboo Leaves, various green Distress inks (1st card);
Memento Tuxedo Black (2nd card)
Paper - white and green cs (1st card); red, green, and white cs (2nd card)
Size - A2
Accessories - Tim Holtz pine tree die, SU embossing folder (1st card); copics, Nesties deckled rectangle, Glossy Accents (2nd card)

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Inspired by Salvador Dali

This week's SCS CAS Challenge is "Hello Dali!" - to be inspired by a work by Salvador Dali.  When I first saw the challenge, I was going to pass over it as I only have time to make Christmas cards right now, but out of curiousity, I googled Salvadore Dali and Christmas and learned that he had designed some avant-garde Christmas cards.   Who knew?

I was inspired by the upper half this image that I found on this website:

So inspired in fact that I made two cards.  Here's the first one:

I sponged a background with various Distress inks trying to get the colours close to the Dali, but not quite as dark. I flicked a bit of water on it to get some texture.

I stamped the trees and sentiment in the darkest green ink I have (I didn't want them to be black). I added a bit of white on the upper edges of some of the branches with my white gel pen, but I think I need a new one as I wasn't getting much white. Then I sprinkled chunky white embossing enamel over the upper two thirds and heated from underneath.  I popped the panel up on fun foam.

Here's the second card:

For this card, I sponged a background with various Distress inks, stamped my sentiment in black (I didn't get a perfect impression but decided it suited the background), and stamped a few small snowflakes and heat embossed them.

I die cut the Tim Holtz pine tree once out of a flecked dark green cs and twice out of white cs. I glued the two white ones together and then glued the green one on top, slightly offset to let the white show as if it were snow on the branches.

These were really fun to make and a bit of a stretch for my imagination and creativity which is always a good thing to do!

Supplies for the first card:
Stamps - Tim Holtz trees, Impression Obsession sentiment
Ink - Memento Northern Pine, various Distress inks
Paper - white and mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - gold stick-on stars, Frantage chunky white embossing enamel, white gel pen, fun foam

Supplies for the second card:
Stamps - Northwoods sentiment, small snowflake stamps
Ink - Ranger Jet Black, ColorBox white, various Distress inks
Paper - Gina K white cs, dark green flecked cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Tim Holtz pine tree die, white embossing powder

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Inspired by Challenges

I'm in the home stretch of making Christmas cards for my fundraiser sale this coming Sunday.  I find it helpful to make cards for challenges - quite often, a challenge will spark an idea.  So here are a few I made in the last few days for SCS challenges.

First up, for the Featured Stamper challenge, I CASEd this card by MommaPatti and created this card in her honour:

A green shimmer cs card base and die cut holly, a white embossed background, some red gems and ribbon, and a sentiment - a truly traditional Christmas card!

The Technique Lovers' Challenge "Block that Kiss" was a new technique for me.  You have to ink up an acrylic block with a lighter colour and then "kiss" it with a stamp inked up in a darker colour.  Then lay your cs on top and gently press all over to transfer image and background.  Here's what I made:

Since I had the Falling Snow embossing folder already out, I used it for the background for this card too. I bordered the snowflake panel with silver cs, popped it up on fun foam, and embellished the snowflakes with tiny peel and stick silver dots.

And for the SCS Color Challenge (white, gold, and cherry cobbler), I made this card:

I don't do very many Color Challenges but this one was so perfect for Christmas, and the challenge said to use an ornament for dessert - this immediately sparked an idea for a card.

I think ColorBox Chianti ink is quite close to SU Cherry Cobbler so I used that for the sentiment, along with a dark red shimmery cs for the border.

Both image and sentiment are heat embossed.

So there you have three cards for three recent challenges.  Come back tomorrow and see what I came up with for the SCS CAS challenge to base a card on a Salvador Dali painting! Now that was a real challenge!!

Supplies for the Holly card:
Stamps - Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Frost White
Paper - green shimmer cs, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Sizzix embossing folder, Tim Holtz holly die, Nesties label die, red gemstones, red ribbon, white embossing powder

Supplies for the Snowflakes card:
Stamps - Anita's snowflakes, Old Island Stamp Co. sentiment
Ink - Distress Faded Jeans, Memento Summer Sky
Paper - silver shimmer and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Sizzix embossing folder, silver sticker embellishments, fun foam 

Supplies for the Ornament card:
Stamps - Penny Black ornament stamp, Wordsworth sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Gold and Chianti
Paper - white cs, dark red shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - clear embossing powder, gold embossing powder

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Challenging Snowflakes

Audrie posts great Inspiration Challenges on SCS.  This week she chose a Spellbinders board on Pinterest.  I found this pin on the board to CASE:

Using lots of dies and doing a white on white card is quite a challenge for me.  I made this card:

I CASEd the layout and design, but flipped the layout. I used a random dotted embossing folder rather than the Swiss dots one on the card, and substituted snowflakes for the butterflies.

I cut two of all the dies and stacked them up to give more dimension and substance to them.

To stick down the corner die, I decided to try running it through my Xyron - unfortunately it left a lot of excess stickiness around the fine thin parts of it. To deal with the stickiness, I sprinkled on glitter and pressed it in. I then decided to add the same glitter to the snowflakes.

The snowflakes and sentiment label are attached with foam tape.

It's quite outside of my usual style but I'm pleased with myself for attempting it!  And I learned an important lesson from it - do not use the Xyron for really detailed dies!

Stamps - Old Island Stamping Co. sentiment
Ink - Versafine Smokey Gray
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - various snowflake dies, Spellbinders label die, Memory Box corner die, Cuttlebug embossing folder, glitter, clear embossing powder, Xyron, foam tape

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Relaxing and Winter Knitting

I've got three cards today on the theme of relaxing.  I did them for SCS challenges - the Free for All challenge "Relax" and one of the suggested themes for the Christmas Card Challenges "anything that speaks of relaxation such as a cozy fire, a cabin in the woods, a relaxing activity, etc."

I did two variations using the Penny Black winter cottage stamp - it looks like an ideal place to relax in the winter.

Both are stamped and watercoloured, and framed with a pierced frame die.  The first one is  added to a stitched layer. It's popped up on fun foam on the card base.  The second one is flat on the card with a sweet little vertical sentiment.  Lastly I took a Quickie glue pen and went over all the snow areas and added very fine glitter.

One of my favourite ways to relax in the winter is knitting. I find the repetitive motion very soothing.  So my third card is on the theme of knitting.

For this card, I used the Tim Holtz stencil with white embossing paste on a piece of blue cs to create the background. I stamped my image and coloured with coloured pencils to match the colours of the background, then die cut with a stitched circle. The background panel is popped up on fun foam for some dimension.

It's not truly a Christmas card but it represents my ideal Christmas sweater so it's going to be my Christmas card for a friend who knits.

Thanks for stopping by today.  If you have a second, please let me know which layout you prefer for the winter cottage card.

Stamps -  Penny Black Christmas Cottage, Rubber Soul sentiment (first card) and Rosie's Roadshow sentiment (second card), Lockhart Stamp Co. knitting stamp
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - white, brown, and blue cs, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - MFT pierced frame dies, Peerless watercolour paints, Quickie glue pen, glitter, fun foam, Tim Holtz stencil, Dreamweaver white embossing paste, Lil Inker stitched circle, coloured pencils

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Two "x3" Cards

SCS has a great CAS challenge this week - "x3" - have 3 of the same thing on your card, whether identical or slightly different.

First up is a Christmas card I did for it:

I put double-sided tape on a piece of white cs and rubbed in gilding flakes. Then die cut the ornaments and sentiment.

I found a piece of grey-green shimmer cs for the card base and hung the ornaments with gold cord.

The second one is an autumn card:

I stamped the leaf three times in Versamark and embossed with copper embossing powder. Then stamped the outline of the leaf over top and embossed it with platinum embossing powder.

The sentiment is stamped in sepia ink and clear embossed.

It's bordered with copper cs and has copper thread and cord wrapped around the edge.

Thanks for dropping by!

Stamps - the autumn card: SU leaves and unknown sentiment
Ink - the autumn card: Versamark, Versafine Vintage Sepia
Paper - the Christmas card: grey-green shimmer cs, white cs; 
the Autumn card: bronze and cream cs
Size - A2
Accessories - the Christmas card: gilding flakes, gold cord, Spellbinders ornament dies, Tim Holtz noel die, SookWang tape
the Autumn card:  copper, platinum, and clear embossing powder; copper thread and cord

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Watercolour with Snowflakes

Time for a reminder card for the fabulous new CAS Watercolour challenge!  Be sure to check out all the fabulous ideas from the Design Team and enter your card by November 24th!

Here's my card:

I laid a TCW stencil on watercolour paper, sprinkled two shades of blue brushos over the opening, spritzed with water, and immediately removed the stencil.

When it was dry, I relaid the stencil and randomly stamped with a script stamp using Archival Cobalt Blue ink.

The sentiment banner looks like black cs in the photo but is actually navy blue.  The sentiment is heat embossed in white.  The panel is popped up with fun foam on the cardbase, as is the sentiment banner.

A scattering of sequins finish it off.

We'd love to see your cards - remember they must be CAS, must include some form of watercolour, and must have some text other than the sentiment.

Stamps - Serendipity "let it snow", Wendy Vecchi script stamp
Ink - Archival Cobalt Blue, ColorBox white
Paper - watercolour paper, white and navy cs
Size - A2
Accessories - turquoise and oster blue brushos, TCW stencil, white embossing powder, blue sequins, fun foam

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Masked Star

It's time to remind you to join us at CAS Mix Up.  Our challenge ends on November 24th.

Here's my reminder card:

Using a Nesties star die, I cut a mask out of masking paper and laid the negative mask on my cs.  I sponged the star with Delicata Golden Glitz ink and then stamped and heat embossed the hanging stars in gold.

I put the positive part of the mask over the star and splattered gold liquid watercolour paint around the star.

I added a gold embossed sentiment, die cut with a Nesties square, and popped it up on the card base with fun foam.

As a finishing touch, I went over the insides of the hanging stars with Wink of Stella - very hard to see in the photo but sparkly in real life!

To fulfill the requirements of the challenge, I have masking, stamping, and, for my choice, sponging, heat embossing, splattering, and die cutting.  And my card is very CAS!

Come on over and join us at CAS Mix Up!

Stamps - Anita's hanging stars, SU sentiment
Ink - Delicata Golden Glitz
Paper - Gina K Pure Ivory cs
Size - 5.25" square
Accessories - gold embossing powder, liquid gold watercolour paint, Nesties star and square dies, fun foam

Friday, 11 November 2016

Ornamented Tag

My wonderful friend, Loll Thompson, is running her Christmas tag event again this year.

 I'm honoured to be one of her Guest Designers.

My tag is quite different to what I've done for Loll's event in the past, when I've stuck to my preferred Christmas colours of blue, red, and green.  This year I've stepped out of my comfort zone and done quite a pastel background with gold.

I started with some coated cs and sprinkled a little bit of scarlet and yellow brusho, then spritzed generously with water to get quite pale colours.  I let it air dry.

My text stamp was inked randomly with Distress Antique Linen and stamped over a section of the Brushos that I liked. I then die cut a tag out of it.  It's easier to stamp the text first and then die cut if you want to the lines of text to be parallel to the top and bottom - I'm sure you can guess how I know that!!

I added a two-part ornament die cut out of a light and a dark gold shimmer cs, and a die cut sentiment.  Finished it off with some sequins and a ribbon.

Be sure to head over to Stamping with Loll and check out all the tags - I'm sure you'll be inspired to join in!!

Stamps - Inkadinkado text stamp
Ink - Distress Antique Linen
Paper - coated cs, light and dark gold shimmer cs
Accessories - Ellen Hutson "be merry" die, Memory Box ornament dies, Die-namics tag die, gold sequins, gold ribbon

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Blue Spruce Tag

My good friend, Loll Thompson, of Stamping with Loll is running her annual Twelve Tags of Christmas event.  Loll makes twelve different tags but also has guest designers each day. So there is a lot of wonderful inspiration!

Here's a tag I made for the event:

I love blue spruce trees so used that as the theme of my tag.  The tree is die cut from a 5 part tree die, edged with a blue highlight glitter, and decorated with small gemstones and a silver star.

The tag itself is mixed media cs.  I drizzled some masking fluid on it to keep some of it uncoloured, then sponged with Milled Lavender and Tumbled Glass Distress inks.  When dry, I rubbed off the masking fluid and stamped a text stamp in Stormy Sky Distress ink.

I attached my tree and a "joy" sentiment, die cut from the same blue cs as the tree.  The ribbon was coloured with Tumbled Glass reinker.

The Twelve Tags of Christmas linky is open until November 25 so do join in!

Stamps - Crafters Companion text stamp
Ink - Distress Milled Lavender, Tumbled Glass, and Stormy Sky
Paper - blue cs, mixed media cs
Accessories - Elizabeth Craft Designs 5 part tree die, Tim Holtz Joy die, Dienamics tag die, Tim Holtz crinkle ribbon, silver star, tiny gemstones, masking fluid, blue highlight glitter

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Merry Snowman

Merry Monday Christmas Challenge asked us for a winter activity this week.

What better than making a snowman?  Hard work for the little bird on my card:

A simple stamped and watercoloured image, with a bit of Frantage Shabby Blue embossing powder sprinkled around and heated from underneath.

The sentiment is die cut and placed right near the musical notes as if the birds were singing "Let It Snow".

Great challenge to build up the Christmas card stash!

Stamps - SU
Ink - Ranger Archival Black
Paper - white cs, watercolour paper, black cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Zig markers, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle die, fun foam, Frantage Shabby Blue embossing powder, Tattered Lace sentiment die

Friday, 4 November 2016

Magical Bears

It's time for another Happy Little Stampers Christmas Challenge.  This month it is watercolouring.

I have a set of Gansai Tambi watercolour paints and I love to colour images with them so this was a perfect challenge for me.  I chose a new stamp set I recently bought from Crafters' Companion and made this card:

After watercolouring the image, I laid some paper over the bears and ground area, and splattered with a bit of the gold watercolour paint.

I die cut with a Nesties square as I like the embossed edge it gives to the panel.  I popped it up on fun foam on my card base.

I went over the stars in the image with a glue pen and added very fine gold glitter.  Some of it clung around the stars where I hadn't added glue - I'm sure it will eventually fall off but for now it looks like stardust.

Happy Little Stampers is offering a prize for the best card, so be sure to join in!

You have until the end of the month so get a Christmas card made using watercolour!

Stamps - Crafters Companion
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - white cs, watercolour paper
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, gold glitter, Quickie glue pen, Nesties square die, fun foam

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Snowflakes and Text

Getting on with Christmas cards as I still need lots!  I find inspiration from all sorts of challenges.  Splitcoaststampers Featured Stamper last week was Bev Polen, aka guneauxdesigns.  I chose this card of hers to CASE in her honour.

I changed her butterflies to snowflakes:

Like Bev's card, I added some subtle text and some small die cuts.  But whereas she used her butterfly die to create a stencil, I used mine as a die cut.

I laid it over a panel of mixed media cs that I'd sprinkled with brushos and spritzed with water and then with homemade silver spray.  The background panel has a nice shimmer in real life.

Thanks for dropping by for a look!

Stamps - SU French Script
Ink - Memento Sky Blue
Paper - white and mixed media cs
Size - 6x4.25"
Accessories - Memory Box snowflake collage die, blue brushos, homemade silver spray, a blue sequin, small snowflake dies

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Watercoloured Poinsettias

I am thrilled to be on the Design Team for Loll's and Bonnie's new challenge "CAS Watercolour".  The idea of the challenge is to create a clean and simple card that involves both watercolouring and the monthly theme.

I'm honoured that Loll and Bonnie chose a theme that I suggested for November:

The idea is to use some text on the card that is not the sentiment or is in addition to the sentiment.  It's an element that I've seen used by many cardmakers that I admire.

Here's my card:

As you can see, the script is a subtle background feature that enhances the overall look of the card.  See below for a version without the script for a comparison.

For the watercolouring, I stamped the poinsettia with Distress Vintage Photo ink on watercolour paper and coloured it partly by pulling out the Vintage Photo with a wet brush and partly by adding some black Elegant Writer to the edges of some of the petals and pulling out the colours that separate from it - amazing tones of teal green, pink, and black.

I learned this technique from a video made by the very talented Lydia Fiedler (aka UnderstandBlue).

Heather Telford also did a tutorial on this technique but hers is slightly different as she brings in more colours than just the Vintage Photo and the Elegant Writer.

Once the poinsettia had dried, I trimmed the image down to a square, masked the poinsettia (I stamped it and fussy cut it on masking paper), added some random bits of text in Antique Linen, and sponged around the edges with Antique Linen.  I watered down a bit of Black Soot ink on my craft mat and flicked it lightly over the background, and bordered the panel with black.  I used PTI Vintage Cream cs for the card base - it's the closest colour cs to watercolour paper that I've been able to find.  I embellished with a few black gemstones in the centre of the poinsettia.

Here is a version of the same poinsettia without any text on the background:

For this version, I masked the poinsettia, added a bit of black splattering and a sentiment, and left it at that.  I like this version as well and it's a cleaner look, but the text stamping adds some texture that I feel is lacking in this one, and also enhances the vintage look created by the Elegant Writer.

Let me know which you prefer!

And come and join us at CAS Watercolour with your cards featuring watercolouring and text.  You have until November 24th to link up.

Stamps - Penny Black poinsettia (both cards), Stampington script and postmark (first card), Tim Holtz sentiment (second card)
Ink - Distress Vintage Photo, Antique Linen, and Black Soot
Paper - watercolour paper, black cs, PTI Vintage Cream cs
Accessories - Elegant Writer pen, black gemstones and pearls

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

The Joy of the Full Moon

CAS Mix Up is challenging you to use "Masking" as the special technique in your November cards.

I came up with this card for my Design Team contribution:

I used two types of masking - masking paper to die cut a circle mask for the moon and a hilly mask to keep the bottom half of the panel white, and liquid frisket for the snow storm.

After placing my masks and splattering the liquid frisket with a toothbrush for the snow, I sponged with two blue Distress inks, keeping it lighter around the moon.  When dry, I rubbed off the liquid frisket and removed the masks.

I added a reindeer (die cut twice from bronze metallic cs), a stamped and heat embossed "Joy", and two lines of glue and glitter for the snow banks.

I popped the panel up on fun foam on a stitched border, and then popped the whole thing up on the card base.

Please come and join us up until November 24.  We have added two new very talented Design Team members - Julia from Create with Julia and Joanna from Jo-Jo's Spot.  And have a Guest Designer - Linda S. from Lin's Craft Corner.  So there is lots of wonderful inspiration for you!

Your cards need to be clean and simple, and include stamping, masking, and at least one other choice from the list on the right hand side of the CAS Mix Up challenge blog.  My other choices were die cutting, sponging, and heat embossing.

Stamps - Rubber Soul "Joy"
Ink - ColorBox copper, Distress Faded Jeans and Chipped Sapphire
Paper - white cs, bronze metallic cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Dee's Distinctively reindeer die, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle die, copper embossing powder, masking paper, masking fluid (liquid frisket), small circle die, fun foam, glue pen, glitter