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".

Thursday 31 August 2017

A Real Feather

I wasn't going to make a card for the latest Less is More challenge as I didn't have a good idea for it.

And then, while walking my dogs yesterday, I found my inspiration!  A beautiful feather was lying on the ground and I instantly thought of a card!  Here it is:

I think it's a hawk's feather which would make sense as there was a hawk's nest near my house and all summer we heard and saw the three babies swooping above the trees.

I stamped and fussy cut the bird as I thought it would look great perched on the feather (and I love the sentiment that is part of the bird stamp).  I used a mix of two inks trying for some colour variation in the bird.

I cut a circular opening in a scrap of paper to create a mask and sprayed inside the circle.

The feather is glued on, the bird is popped up with foam tape, and the whole panel popped up on fun foam.

It will be a perfect birthday card for a friend who is a keen bird watcher.

Stamps - Fiskars For the Birds
Ink - Ranger Potting Soil, Versafine Vintage Sepia
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - real feather, Nesties circle, Lindy's Stamp Gang spray, foam tape, fun foam

Monday 28 August 2017

Bubble Wrap for Christine

My friend Christine of It's a Card Day's Night was chosen as SCS's Featured Stamper this week.  Known as "calex" on SCS, she has a wonderful gallery showcasing her often innovative mixed media style.

I chose this card of hers for my inspiration, and made this card: 

I wanted to try using bubble wrap for a background the way Christine did. I used silver ink on the bubble wrap and then pressed my cs down onto it. I liked the look of it so left it plain, except for stamping and heat embossing a sentiment on it.

I added two layers of a die cut, with the top layer done in silver cs, and then bordered it with the same silver cs. Popped it up on fun foam and it was done.

Congratulations, Christine!

Stamps - Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - Versafine Smokey Grey, Delicata silver
Paper - white cs, silver glitter cs
Size - A2
Accessories - bubble wrap, Poppy Stamps snowflake die, fun foam

Tuesday 22 August 2017


The current Addicted to CAS challenge is:

I'm in the mood to make Christmas cards so pulled out one of my favourite Christmas images for this card:

Don't these two horses look like the best of friends?  I ride and volunteer with therapeutic riding so I've definitely noticed how some horses have a real bond with each other.  And they are herd animals so definitely have to have other horses around for company.

It's a nice quick card - stamped in black with just the Santa hats coloured and a bit of glitter added to the snow on the fence and the hat brims and pompom.  It's cut with an oval and mounted on an embossed background for texture.

Thanks for dropping by!

Stamps - Impression Obsession Santa Horses
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - red marker, Spellbinders oval, CB snow embossing folder,

Monday 21 August 2017

Perfect Winter Holiday

The new Less is More challenge is:

I once rented a cabin with friends in the winter and we nestled in with our books, some jigsaw puzzles, lots of good food and wine, and spent our days relaxing by the fire after going out for lovely walks in the perfect sparkly snow.  It was heavenly!

Here's my card:

I chose a stamp of a little cabin with very distinct smoke coming out of its chimney so I'm sure there's a lovely warm fire inside.

I did some minimal colouring with Copics, then went over all the snowy bits on the roof, ground, and trees with a Quickie glue pen and added glitter. Because it's a small image, I used a very fine glitter - it doesn't show up very well in the photo, but it's quite sparkly in real life.
The sentiment makes it work for either a Christmas card or a winter notecard.

Stamps - Penny Black cabin, PTI sentiment
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white and green cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Copic markers, Spellbinders deckle rectangle die, Quickie glue pen, glitter

Saturday 19 August 2017


A Christmas card for a couple of challenges:

The Christmas Card Throwdown (either heat or dry embossing):

and the Merry Christmas Challenge "Sparkle".

I did dry embossing for the first challenge and, for the second, I used a die cut that says "sparkle" and used shimmer cs and gilding flakes so that the whole card sort of sparkles.

For the ornament, I covered a scrap of cs with double sided tape and added gilding flakes.  Then die cut the ornament.

It's attached to the embossed background (copper shimmer cs) with foam tape and "hung" with silver cord.

The sentiment and the cardbase are silver shimmer cs.

So happy to have another card made for my stash!

Paper - silver and copper shimmer cs, scrap of white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - silver gilding flakes, Spellbinders ornament die, silver cord, W Plus 9 sparkle die, Crafts Too embossing folder, double sided tape

Wednesday 16 August 2017

Salted Sky

Time to remind you about the CAS Watercolour challenge that closes on August 24th!

I find the salt technique is perfect for snowy / frosty / wintery looks so went with a Christmas card:

I did a very wet blue watercolour wash and sprinkled with lots of salt, then left it overnight to dry.  After I brushed off the salt, I had a lovely pattern to use for my frosty sky.  I used a simple die cut to lay over it, adding a tiny scrap of gold cs into the house's window.  My sentiment is stamped and heat embossed, and the panel cut out with a stitched die and popped up on fun foam.

Please come and join us with your clean and simple card that uses watercolour and salt!

Stamps - Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Sapphire Silk
Paper - white cs, watercolour paper, tiny scrap of gold cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - blue watercolour paint, clear embossing powder, Memory Box die, Lil Inker stitched square die

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Antique Ornaments

Summer is flying by - you'd think I'd want to "be in the moment" and just enjoy summer, but no, here I am thinking of Christmas.  So my reminder card for the August CAS Mix Up challenge is a Christmas one.  The challenge this month is:

And here's my card:

I covered a scrap of cs with silver adhesive-backed foil tape (the type that is used for furnace duct work).  Then I ran it through an embossing folder.   I then dropped various Christmas colours of alcohol ink on the foil, being careful not to let the red and green merge and turn into brown mud (the embossed ridges help with that).  When dry, I sanded off the embossed ridges to keep them silver.

I die cut with various ornament dies, "hung" them on the card with silver cord, popping them up with a bit of foam tape.

The sentiment is stamped in Staz-On as the cs is shimmery and slippery.  I trimmed the main panel so that I could tape the silver cord behind it, and then popped it up on foam tape.

Please come and join us before August 24th with your clean and simple card, featuring stamping, alcohol inks, and at least one other option - mine are die-cutting and dry embossing.

Stamps - Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - Staz-on, various Christmas colours of alcohol inks
Paper - scrap of cs, cream shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Spellbinders ornament dies, silver cord, Cuttlebug Textile embossing folder, silver adhesive-backed foil tape, foam tape

Sunday 13 August 2017

Yellow for Christmas

The August challenge from Christmas Cards All Year Round is to use yellow.  I'm entering this card:

I sponged with various dark yellows and yellow-browns to get the background. I stamped the trees in green. The snow is done with chunky white Frantage embossing enamel that I sprinkled over the card and heated from the underside.

Thanks for stopping by.  I'll be back tomorrow with some of the cards I did for SCS Dare to Get Dirty challenges.

Stamps - Tim Holtz trees, Impression Obsession sentiment
Ink - Memento Northern Pine, various Distress inks
Paper - white and mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Frantage chunky white embossing enamel, Memory Box Christmas star die, fun foam

Saturday 12 August 2017

Peace in Blue

The Jingle Belles Christmas card challenge is asking us to incorporate a Peace Symbol or the word Peace into our design.  I've done both on my card:

I stamped and heat embossed the dove and sentiment, trimmed the panel with a stitched rectangle die, and popped it up on fun foam on a blue card base. 

It's a real CAS design that would be easy to make multiples of.

I'm also entering it in the Merry Christmas Challenge "Anything Christmas Goes".

Stamps - Penny Black dove, unknown sentiment
Ink - ColorBox True Blue
Paper - white cs, blue shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - clear embossing powder, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle die, fun foam

Wednesday 9 August 2017

Festive Alcohol Inks

This card came about as a combination of having my alchol inks out for this month's CAS Mix Up challenge:

and one of SCS's Dare to Get Dirty challenges.  It closes today so I'm sure it won't matter now if I say that the challenge is called "Got Metal".

I put a piece of aluminum foil tape on a scrap of white cs and ran it through an embossing folder. Then dropped various Christmas colours of alcohol inks on it, trying not to let the red and green mix and turn to muddy brown. When dry, I sanded over the raised portions to get the ink off.

I bordered that panel with red and green shimmery cs, and topped with a Tim Holtz metal Christmas token attached with silver cord. I popped the panel up with foam tape and added it to a matte silver card base.

When I'd finished the card, I realized that I couldn't add it to CAS Mix Up because there is no stamping on it!  I contemplated adding a sentiment below the panel but decided I liked the clean look of it without anything else.  And I'd probably smudge the stamping on the slippery silver cardbase and totally ruin it!

Here's hoping you'll join us at CAS Mix Up before August 24th.  Your card must be clean and simple, include stamping and alcohol inks and one other element or technique from our list.  Had I added stamping, my "other" would have been dry embossing.

I'll be posting more of my Dare to Get Dirty challenge cards over the next while so please come back! 

Ink - various alcohol inks
Paper - red and green shimmer cs, silver matte cs, scrap of white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Cuttlebug embossing folder, Tim Holtz "Festive" metal token, silver cord, foam tape, aluminum foil tape used for furnace ducts

Stamps -
Ink -
Paper -
Size -
Accessories -

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Salted Snow

Have you tried making a salted watercolour card yet for the CAS Watercolour Challenge?

I love using salt for snowy or wintery backgrounds.  Here's a card using blue watercolour paints and Kosher salt as a background for some shimmery snowflakes:

I did quite a wet watercolour wash with a couple of shades of blue watercolour paint and while still wet, sprinkled it with salt (I found kosher salt worked best for me - not too fine and not too coarse). I let it air dry overnight, then brushed off the salt.

I die cut three snowflakes and my sentiment out of silver glitter cs, and bordered the panel with the same. I popped it up on fun foam.

Then I spent more time trying to get a good photograph of it than I spent making the card! It was so hard to capture the sparkle and the dimension of the die cuts! This was the best I could get.

It's also for fellow CAS Watercolour Design Team member, Karen Dunbrook's SCS Technique Lover's Challenge "Add a Pinch of Salt".

Paper - silver glitter and white cs, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, salt, Penny Black Let It Snow die, Impression Obsession snowflake dies, fun foam

Saturday 5 August 2017

Paws on the Floor

The latest Merry Christmas Challenge is "Animals".  I went with a dog wearing a lovely Christmas scarf with Christmas trees on it:

I watercoloured the dog to keep it paler so that I could have nice contrast with the bright scarf that I coloured with markers. It's bordered with a scrap of dp.

It's also for this week's SCS CAS challenge "Put Your Paws Up".  My young dog, Tessa,  would love the title of this challenge as she's always putting her paws up - up on the kitchen counter to investigate the good smells when I'm cooking, jumping up on people to greet them, etc.! So I gave my card the title "Paws on the Floor" as I'm always telling her to keep her paws on the floor. The pup on my card has its paws nicely on the floor!

For those of you who saw last year's photos of Tessa when she was a young puppy might like to see her now that she's a year old.  Here she is when she's not putting her paws up on things, but sitting very regally on the footstool:

Believe me, she's not often this still - she is full of energy and loves to play and go for long walks!

Stamps - Penny Black
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white cs, unknown dp
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - watercolour paints, markers

Thursday 3 August 2017

Gold Poinsettias and a Pierced Frame

The latest Less is More challenge is Piercing.

I used a pierced frame die to set off my gold and green Christmas image:

I smooshed a piece of acetate with various shades of green alcohol inks, using alcohol blending solution to help prevent them from drying too quickly.  Then I crumpled up a piece of tissue paper and glued it down to the inked side to give it backing and a more textured look.

On the clean side of the acetate, I carefully stamped and heat embossed the poinsettia image in gold.  I framed it with dark gold cs, using a pierced square frame die, and added my die cut sentiment.  Both the frame and sentiment were die cut twice and glued together for more substance.

Since I have stamping, alcohol inks, heat embossing, tissue paper, and die cuts, I'm also linking the card up with August's CAS Mix Up challenge to use alcohol inks.

And it's entered in SCS Dare to Get Dirty challenge posted by Nancy Littrell.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps - Tim Holtz poinsettia
Ink - various green alcohol inks, ColorBox Gold
Paper - cream and dark gold cs, tissue paper
Size - 5" square
Accessories - gold embossing powder, acetate, Tim Holtz noel die, MFT Pierced Square Frame die

Wednesday 2 August 2017

Frosty Window

I hate to be thinking that it is the beginning of August and we are halfway through a beautiful summer, so the last think you'd think I'd want to do is think about frosty windows!  But this month's CAS Watercolour challenge is "salt":

The salt technique lends itself so well to winter / snow / Christmas types of cards.

I love frost, and I love the patterns it makes on windows.  Here's my card:

I took piece of watercolour paper and spritzed it with water, then did a very wet wash with some liquid silver watercolour paint given to me by Loll Thompson.  I sprinkled on quite a bit of kosher salt and let it dry overnight.  When I brushed the salt off the next morning, I had a lovely frosty look.

I die cut the window three times to get dimension, glued them together, then taped a piece of scrap acetate to the back, and then taped the salty piece to the back of that.

The sentiment is stamped and heat embossed in silver, and then its panel is die cut with a stitched rectangle and popped up on the cardbase on fun foam.  I realized when it was all put together that the stitched rectangle is a different shade of white cardstock but could not bear the thought of pulling it all apart and changing it, so decided I like the contrast it gives.

The above photo does not do the silver paint / salt piece justice.  Here's a close-up that hopefully shows the frosty shimmer it has:

I originally made the card with a piece done with blue watercolour paint and salt, but after putting it together, just looked at it and thought "frosty windows are not bright blue" so started again to make the one above.  But I do like my blue paint / salt piece and will either sell it or send it to someone, so here's a peek at that card:

I like it because I love blue and white, but really like the monotone one as it really does make me think of waking up on a winter morning when I was a child in Ontario and our old single pane windows would be all silvery with frost.

Be sure to come and join in with something you've made using a salt and watercolour technique.  There is lots of inspiration from the rest of the CAS Watercolour Design Team and our August Guest Designer, Ros (of Mikey'sMom blog), and from the videos linked up at the challenge.  Please be sure that your card is clean and simple, and link up by August 24th!

Stamps - Impression Obsession sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Silver
Paper - white cs, watercolour cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Memory Box window die, silver liquid watercolour paint, kosher salt, silver embossing powder, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle, acetate, fun foam

Tuesday 1 August 2017

Alcoholic Delphiniums

It's August 1st so time for the new CAS Mix Up challenge.

I'm a very keen gardener and one of my favourite flowers is the delphinium.  I love the beautiful shades of blue, mauve, purple, and pink that they come in.  When I came across the Memory Box Delphinium Circle die, I had to buy it.   Here's my card:

I chose all the delphinium-like colours amongst my alcohol inks and smooshed them on a piece of Yupo.  See Loll Thompson's video tutorial for information on the technique.

I die cut a large circle out of my piece and then die cut the Delphinium Circle from the centre of that.  Then I die cut an even larger stitched circle out of white cs.

I also die cut the Delphinium Circle out of a scrap of cs to use as a mask over the white circle so that I could figure out the placement of my stamping.  I have the discontinued Ranger Big and Juicy Hydrangea ink pad - a wonderful mix of the same blues and mauves, so used that for my stamping. The flowers are the closest thing I have to delphiniums that would fit with the die.  They are stamped in a mix of first and second generation inking.

Three little co-ordinating gemstones give a bit of sparkle and the whole panel is popped up on fun foam.

This is the second card I've made with the Delphinium Circle die - I'll post the first one after the recipient receives it!

Nancy of Scandinancy Creates is the host for this challenge and Trina of My Crafting Closet is this month's Guest Designer after winning the June challenge with her beautiful sailboat card seen here.  There's also great inspiration from the rest of the Design Team and some links to video tutorials using alcohol inks.  So head on over to CAS Mix Up and be sure to link up your card by August 24th.  Please remember to keep it clean and simple, and include some stamping as well as alcohol inks and one other option from our list on the right side of the blog.

Stamps - Lavinia flower, unknown sentiment
Ink - Ranger Big and Juicy Hydrangea; various blue, pink, and mauve alcohol inks
Paper - white cs, Yupo
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Memory Box Delphinium Circle die, Lil Inker stitched circle die, fun foam, blue and mauve gemstones