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, 28 February 2017

First Signs of Spring

Vancouver has had a crazy winter - lots more snow and colder temperatures than normal.  But the birds are coming back and the snowdrops in my garden have been coming up.  Here are some almost ready to flower in the rock wall in my front yard despite the snow:

So when SCS's CAS Challenge was "Think Spring" this week, I immediately thought of a stamp I have of snowdrops in snow and created this card:

It's stamped and watercoloured, framed with a die cut frame, and a tiny bit of glitter put on some of the snow.

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, I hope you're seeing some signs of spring!

Stamps - Penny Black
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - white cs, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai watercolour paints, MFT Pierced Rectangle frame die, glitter, Quickie glue pen

Sunday, 26 February 2017

My Favourite Christmas Stamps

This week's Ways to Use It challenge at SCS is "It's My Favorite" - use your favourite stamp on your card.  Since Christmas cards are my favourite kind of cards to make, it seemed logical that my favourite stamp would be a Christmas one.   The problem is I have two favourite Christmas stamps - in fact they are so beloved that I actually bought a second one of each of them just in case something happened to them!

First up is Stampendous's "Snowy Postcard":

I stamped it twice - once in Archival ink for the outer frame because I was sponging it with Distress inks, and once in Memento ink for the inner image because I wasn't sure if blending with Gamsol was okay with Archival ink or if the Gamsol would make the Archival ink run (if anyone knows, please leave me a comment letting me know).

I sponged the frame in Distress inks, coloured the circle with a gold pencil, and coloured the holly with Distress markers, adding Glossy Accents to the berries. Then I fussy cut the inner image away and discarded it.

For the image, I coloured the Memento stamped piece with coloured pencils and blended with Gamsol. I then set it behind the frame and mounted on a white card base.

Using a Quickie glue pen, I went over all the snowy areas in the image and added a clear white glitter a local craft shop called "white snow glitter" (no brand name). I applied the glue thicker in some areas so that it wouldn't look totally flat.  Here's a close-up of the glitter:

My other favourite Christmas stamp is Impression Obsession's "Santa Horses".  It makes for a very quick CAS card.  I always make several to put in my fundraiser card sale in November to raise money for the therapeutic riding stable where I volunteer.  Here are two variations:

This one is simply stamped, with the hats coloured red and some tinsel glitter added to them, and some regular glitter added to the top of the fence. I die cut the panel with a stitched rectangle and bordered with black.

Again simply stamped with the hats coloured in red and regular glitter applied to the hats and fence.  I used a Nesties label die and popped it up on fun foam for dimension.

Three more for my stash - hooray!

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - Stampendous "Snowy Postcard"
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black, Memento Tuxedo Black, Distress Antique Linen and Brushed Corduroy
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils, Gamsol, green and red Distress markers, white snow glitter, Quickie glue pen, Glossy Accents 

Supplies for cards 2 & 3:
Stamps - Impression Obsession "Santa Horses"
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - white and black cs
Size - A2
Accessories - red marker, Quickie glue pen, tinsel glitter, regular glitter, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle, Nesties label die, fun foam

Friday, 24 February 2017

In the Garden

I'm home from a lovely couple of days visiting a friend who lives on a island off the coast of Vancouver - lots of walks with our dogs, some good food and wine, sitting by the fire, and catching up.  It was so relaxing.

Now trying to catch up with a couple of challenges, starting with SCS Free for All "In the Garden" - a project with something you would find in the garden.

I used a NBUS stamp from Penny Black - I've had it for ages (shame on me). It's got spring blossom, a bird, and a butterfly - all things I find in my garden.

Watercoloured, die cut with a stitched square, and popped up on fun foam - pretty basic!

I'll be back tomorrow with more.

Stamps - Penny Black
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, white cs
Size - 5" square
Accessories - Gansai watercolour paints, Lil Inker stitched square die, fun foam

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Metal and Rust

Some fun with mixed media!

The latest SCS Mixability challenge is "Petals to the Metal" - a mixed media project with flowers or petals made of metal of some sort.  And the SCS Ways to Use It challenge is "Shape Up" - make a shaped card - any shape except for the typical squares or rectangles.  I came up with this card to meet both challenges:

I chose a hexagon for my shape and created a poinsettia out of heated metal. I die cut it twice, shaped it, and then attached both layers to the top hexagon with a brad.

The top layer was created with a holly stencil and green spray, and then when the spray was dry, I splattered with some liquid copper paint and added a sentiment.

On Sunday, Christine (calex on SCS) of It's a Card Day's Night and I spent the day with Loll Thompson, experimenting with various new supplies and techniques.  One of the things we tried was rusting powder.  While none of us were too thrilled with our results (or with the bad smell it creates when you add the vinegar), I decided that I'd use a small piece as a frame for a sentiment on this card for SCS CAS challenge "I Love Chocolate":

It has a chocolatey colour so seemed perfect for the Kay Foley sentiment about Belgian chocolates.

The rusting powder was done on kraft cs by painting gesso around the edges, then sprinkling on the rusting powder, letting the gesso dry, then spritzing with vinegar, letting it dry, and repeating the vinegar a couple more times.

I stamped and heat embossed the sentiment, popped the panel up on fun foam, and placed it on a background layer of white cs.  I twisted dark brown and copper ribbon together and added it to the side of the background layer.

Thanks for dropping by today!

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - Penny Black sentiment
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white cs
Size - 4.25" across the points of the hexagon
Accessories - copper, Tim Holtz Tattered Poinsettia die, Penny Black stencil, Mr. Huey's green spray, liquid copper paint, Spellbinders hexagon dies, black brad

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Kay Foley sentiment
Ink - Versafine Vintage Sepia
Paper - white and kraft cs
Size - A2
Accessories - gesso, rusting powder, vinegar, clear embossing powder, copper and dark brown ribbon, fun foam

Monday, 20 February 2017

SCS Challenges

A couple of cards done for SCS challenges this week:

First of all, for the Free for All challenge "Pick a Combo" - pick a color combo for your card based on some of the top 2017 Pantone choices, with one of your choices being Greenery (the 2017 colour of the year).

I chose Greenery, Flame, and Hazelnut from the Pantone chart here:

I wanted to make a card for a friend who is a bird-watcher and who just bought a new condo.

I stamped the bird's nest in archival ink on watercolour paper, painted it using colours as close to the Pantone colours as I could get - Greenery for the leaves, and Flame and Hazelnut for the bird and flowers.

I then fussycut it, die cut a branch to ground it on the card (thought I doubt that thin little branch could hold the nest IRL!!), and added it to a white cs panel on which I'd printed the computer-generated sentiment.

The second card is for the CAS Challenge - Words (let a sentiment stamp carry the whole card).

I used a sentiment stamp for a sympathy card. I love what it says. In case it's hard to read in the photo, it says "Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. - Eskimo folklore".

It's stamped and heat embossed in gold, cut out with a stitched rectangle, popped up on fun foam, and embellished with some die cut stars. The stars are made from scraps of corrugated cardboard, randomly painted first with gesso, then with liquid gold paint.

It's also for the CAS Mix Up challenge to use corrugated cardboard.  It's open until February 24th.  There's no deadline for the SCS challenges.

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - BLine Designs "home tweet home"
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, white and kraft cs
Size - A2
Accessories - watercolour paints, Memory Box branch die 

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Verses Rubber Stamps
Ink - ColorBox Gold
Paper - white cardstock, corrugated cardboar
Size - A2
Accessories - Lil Inkers stitched rectangle, gold embossing powder, various star dies, gesso, gold paint, fun foam

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Inspired Wooden Snowflake

I made this card for two challenges - Addicted to CAS "Code Word: Wood" and SCS Inspiration Challenge (to choose something from a great Pinterest board called Details: Ribbons & Bows).  I chose this image:

and created this card:

I used embossing paste on kraft cs using a small section of a Tim Holtz stencil. When dry, I wrapped linen thread around it, tying a bow and attached a wooden snowflake that I'd darkened with metallic rub-ons.

I popped the panel up on fun foam and added a sentiment die cut out of the same kraft cs. I kept it at just the word "Greetings" as "Season's Greetings" and "Merry Christmas" were both too long and bulky for my focal panel.

I think it would make a great masculine Christmas or winter greetings card.

Paper - kraft and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Tim Holtz stencil, Dreamweaver white embossing paste, SU wooden snowflake, metallic rub-ons, Tattered Lace greetings die, SU linen thread, fun foam

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Wise Men and Snow Men

A couple of challenges got me going on some more Christmas cards for my stash.

First up, the Merry Christmas Challenge is asking for "wisemen".

Stamped, coloured with markers, and bordered with the three colours of their robes.  I love the bright colours!

And then this week's Merry Monday Christmas Challenge is "snowman, snowwoman, or snowfamily".  Sounds like the same challenge but there's that important difference - the word "Monday" in the challenge name!

Here's mine.  I think of it as a snowwoman since I coloured the scarf purple!

Pretty straightforward - stamped and coloured image, stitched die cut rectangle, various small snowflake dies with purple gemstones, and a bit of purple grosgrain ribbon.

Two more for my stash, thanks to these challenges!

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - unknown
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white, red, green, and blue cs
Size - A2
Accessories - copic markers

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Inkadinkado
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - purple gemstones, purple marker, Lil Inker stitched rectangle die, various snowflake dies, purple grosgrain ribbon

Friday, 17 February 2017

Reverse of Yesterday's Card

Yesterday I posted this card and explained how it was made (see here):

I had a lot of spritzed red brushos on my stencil after I finished it so before cleaning it up, I flipped it over onto another piece of watercolour paper and used the stencil to do a stencil monoprint background to make this card:

When dry, I added a bit of very pale text stamping and a postmark.  Then stamped and heat embossed the sentiment.

I'll link it up with the CAS Watercolour challenge since it is a watercolour technique and it fits the February theme of "Love":

If you want to join in, you have until February 24th.

Stamps - Tim Holtz sentiment, text, and postage mark
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black, Adirondack Lake Mist
Paper - watercolour paper, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - TCW stencil, clear embossing powder, red brushos, fun foam

Thursday, 16 February 2017

CAS Watercolour "Love" Reminder

Have you joined us in the February CAS Watercolour challenge yet?

Here's  a reminder card to help inspire you:

I started out by laying my stencil over a piece of watercolour paper.  I sprinkled two shades of red brushos over the openings in the stencil, spritzed with water, and quickly removed the stencil.  When it was dry, I stamped and heat embossed my sentiment.  The watercolour panel is popped up on fun foam for some dimension.

For a tutorial on this technique, please see Loll Thompson's video here.

The Design Team has created some more wonderful cards to inspire you so be sure to head over to CAS Watercolour and check them out.

Stamps - Kay Foley sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - watercolour paper, PTI Vintage Cream cs
Size - A2
Accessories - TCW stencil, clear embossing powder, red brushos, fun foam

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Corrugated Reminder

It's mid-month so time to remind you to come and join in with the CAS Mix Up February challenge

I seem to be on a star kick with the corrugated cardboard challenge as my first card also featured stars - in that case a few small ones.  This time I'm using one large star from a package of large die cut corrugated cardboard stars.

The star came completely plain brown so I dressed it up to fit in with the idea of mixed media.  I randomly brushed gesso and gold paint over it.

The sentiment is stamped and heat embossed in gold on vellum, and is wrapped around the star and taped underneath.

For the background, I stamped and heat embossed a few small stars, using the same gold.  I then sprinkled some Frantage Shabby White embossing enamel on the panel and heated from underneath - it contains some fine gold specks as well as larger white bits.  It didn't give me as much gold as I wanted, so sprinkled on some gold UTEE and heated that from underneath.  It's hard to get the sparkly effect when taking a good photo of the whole card so here's a close-up to show all the gorgeous gold-ness:

I finished off with a bit of gold and white ribbon for hanging the star (it came with the hole already punched so had to incorporate it.  Both the star and the background panel are popped up for dimension.

Since it's the first challenge I've ever hosted, I've really enjoyed seeing all the entries so far and am hoping there will be lots more by the deadline of February 24th!  So come on over to CAS Mix Up for some more mid-month inspiration from the Design Team and our Guest Designer, Julie Beech.

Stamps - Kay Foley sentiment, small Stampendous stars
Ink - ColorBox gold
Paper - white cs, vellum, Craftsmith corrugated star
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Craftsmith corrugated star, gesso, gold paint, Ranger gold embossing powder, UTEE gold embossing powder, Stampendous Shabby White embossing enamel, fun foam

Tuesday, 14 February 2017


Since it's February 14, I thought I should post some of the other Valentines I've made this month.

I did this first one for the SCS Color Challenge - "What's Black and White and Red All Over?" (with hearts for dessert).  And for the CAS Watercolour Challenge  - "Love".

I took a stencil with a section of little hearts on it, masked off the non-heart parts, sprinkled red brushos over the stencil and spritzed with water to activate them.

When dry, I stamped and heat embossed my sentiment over them in black, bordered with black, and popped up on fun foam.

It's for my best friend - love that sentiment for a really close friend.

Next up is one I made from a piece of watercolour paper that I used to mop up the leftover brushos sitting on the stencil after I made the previous card.

When the brushos had dried, I stamped my text/heart image on it and heat embossed it with sparkly embossing powder.  I trimmed around the edge of the image, popped it up on fun foam on a stitched square die cut, and popped that panel up on the card base.

And last up, for the SCS Mix-ability challenge - "Have a Heart" - a mixed media card with a heart theme:

The central panel is made by stenciling some hearts with embossing paste, then sprinkling some mixed glitter over it. I then sponged with two shades of old rose ink and splattered with some water drops. I added some random text stamping.

I wanted to keep my card very CAS but the panel looked lost on the card base so I ran a strip of red ribbon under it and added three punched glitter hearts. My sentiment is too low down - but too late now to fix it.

Wishing all of you love, friendship, and chocolate for Valentine's Day!

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - Kay Foley sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - watercolour paper, black and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Heidi Swapp "confetti" stencil, red brushos, clear embossing powder, fun foam 

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Clearly Perfect
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - white cs, watercolour paper
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - clear glittery embossing powder, Lil Inkers stitched square die, fun foam, red brushos

Supplies for card 3:
Stamps - Wendy Vecchi text stamp, SU sentiment 
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black, Distress Tattered Rose, Vivid Tea Rose
Paper - white cs, scraps of different red glitter cs
Size - A2
Accessories - SU heart stencil, Dreamweaver embossing paste, heart punch, glitter, ribbon


Monday, 13 February 2017

Inspired by a Hat

Audrie (girlgeek101) over at SCS chooses some great sites for the Inspiration Challenge.  This week she chose a children's clothing and accesories site called Spearmint Love

I wasn't sure I'd be inspired by this site until I spotted the most adorable child's hat and immediately knew how I'd interpret it!!  Here's the hat that inspired me:

 Because it's a knitted hat and it's a bunny, it immediately made me think of a stamp I have that has a bunny knitting.

I stamped it and coloured with coloured pencils and Gamsol, using the basic colours of the hat for the bunny and the colours of the hat's little flower embellishments for the wool and the chicks' sweaters.

I added a "spring wishes" sentiment as baby chicks always make me think of spring and Easter. And a few flower sequins in the same colours as the flowers on the hat.

Looking at the bunny knitting is making me want to get out my knitting - it's been neglected lately in favour of card-making!

Stamps - House Mouse "Will Knit for Friends", PTI sentiment
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - white and black cs
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils, Gamsol, flower sequins

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Shades of Pink

The SCS Free for All challenge this week is "In the Pink" (some pink somewhere, preferably multiple shades of pink).  I used a Penny Black stamp that's been in my NBUS collection for awhile.

The flowers seemed ideal for watercolouring in shades of pink. I used everything from a pale pink to a deep raspberry pink.

I added some transparent glitter stickers to the corner scrolls and the spots on the butterfly, and some black gemstones to the centres of the flowers, and then popped the watercolour panel up on fun foam.

A great birthday card to have in my stash!

Stamps - Penny Black
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - white cs, watercolour paper
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Gansai watercolour paints, black gemstones, Starform transparent glitter stickers, fun foam

Friday, 10 February 2017

Adjacent Colours

This week's Less is More challenge is to use three adjacent colours on the colour wheel.

I chose blue, turquoise, and green from the bottom right corner and made this card:

I used the splotch stamp from SU's Gorgeous Grunge set, then topped it with a die cut dark grey tree and a stamped and heat embossed dark grey sentiment.  I trimmed the panel down and mounted it on fun foam.  I'd also cut the tree out of fun foam to give it more dimension.

It's going off in the mail to my 26 year old nephew - always hard to know what kind of card to make for him.

Stamps - SU Gorgeous Grunge splotch, Rosie's Roadshow sentiment
Ink - Distress Mowed Lawn, Peacock Feathers, and Salty Ocean; Versafine Smokey Grey
Paper - white and dark grey cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Memory Box Coastal Tree die, clear embossing powder, fun foam

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Celebrating Older Women

SCS's Ways to Use It challenge is an odd one this week.  Carla (aka Covington Crafter) discovered that February is "Spunky Old Broads" month so challenged us to make a card celebrating older women.  While I don't like the term "spunky old broads", I do like the idea of celebrating older women.

I love this image of two older women sitting and chatting. As I get older, I find my bonds with my women friends deepening all the time. So I like to think of myself in 20 more years still having wonderful intense conversations with my friends - hopefully we won't be senile, but if we are, this sentiment gives hope to still being friends!

I stamped the image and sentiment in black, and added a bit of colouring with coloured pencils. It looked a bit dull so I added three colours of twine between the image and sentiment for added interest and popped it up with foam tape.

So here's to all the older women I know!  Cheers!

Stamps -  Deep Red women and sentiment
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - white and black cs
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils; blue, green, and beige twine; foam tape

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Tessa Plays with the Sleigh Bells!

The latest Addicted to CAS challenge is:

I decided to add to my Christmas card stash and base it on my own pets by using a stamp of an English Cocker Spaniel:

I love my old Creative Images stamp of a spaniel tangled up in a ribbon of sleigh bells. It comes with the sentiment as part of it so makes for a quick card.
I coloured the ribbon in red copic marker and the bells with a gold glitter pen. Die cut the panel with a stitched rectangle die and popped it up on a dark gold card base.  I die cut some stars out of the same dark gold cs and scattered them around the top of the dog.
The image looks a lot like my dogs, especially the younger one, who's still puppy enough to do exactly what the dog in the image is doing!

Those of you who read about and saw puppy photos of Tessa on my blog last summer might be wondering how she's doing - she's 9 months old now, a very happy energetic and playful dog.  Here's a recent photo photo of her happily playing outside and getting tired and grubby:

And my dear old Will turned 13 on January 31st.  Here's a photo of him from last summer, still a handsome boy:

Pets are so enriching in our lives.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the other ATCAS Pet cards!

Stamps - Creative Images
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white and dark gold cs
Size - A2
Accessories - red copic marker, gold glitter pen, SSS star die, Lil Inker stitched rectangle die, fun foam