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".

Friday, 29 December 2017

Penny Black Bell

Before the month is over, I wanted to enter this card in the December "Winter or Christmas" challenge at Penny Black.

I put the stamp in my MISTI and inked it up using mini Distress inks and Distress markers. The mini ink pads make it easier to get into the different areas, and then the markers let you do fine areas like the stems. I stamped onto mixed media cs, repeating the process until I was happy with my colours.

I kept the stamp in place in the MISTI so that I could use a technique I learned from Jill Foster in this video.  Basically you stamp over the coloured image with Versamark and heat emboss with clear embossing powder. It is then very easy to do your watercolour wash background around the image without risking the colours in the image running into the background - especially the red from the berries.  I did the wash in a pale grey-blue.

Once dry, I splattered with a bit of watered down gray ink. I stamped my sentiment on a scrap using the same ink, heat embossed it, and trimmed it into a little banner. I sponged around the edges of it with a bit of the grey.

I trimmed my main panel with a Spellbinders matting basics die, popped it up on fun foam, and added my sentiment banner.

Stamps - Penny Black Bell and Berries, Old Island Stamp Co. sentiment
Ink - various mini Distress inks, Versamark, Versafine Smokey Gray
Paper - white and mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Distress markers, clear embossing powder, Spellbinders matting basics rectangle, fun foam

Sunday, 24 December 2017

A Very Last Minute Card

Here it is Christmas Eve and I need one final Christmas card for this year (to hand deliver, of course). 

Both the Merry Christmas Challenge and the Christmas Cards All Year Round Challenge have "anything goes" right now so I'll link up there. 

And also over at CAS Mix Up it's anything goes as long as there is stamping and at least two other of their optional elements.  I have stamping, spraying, heat embossing, and die cutting.

And at SCS, the Mixability challenge is Silent Night - "all is calm, all is bright" - use cool calm colours or all warm bright colours on a holiday card.  I went with calm and cool - blue, green, and brown.

The background is sprayed with a blue spray - not sure what brand as the piece was in my UFO box. Then I die cut the tree line, rubbed Versamark over it all and heat embossed with verdigris embossing powder that gives a great mottled look. I added two die cut reindeer and a sentiment.

Merry Christmas to all my blog friends and followers.  Thank you to you all for dropping in to look and to leave comments - it is so appreciated, and so encouraging!

Stamps - Make an Impression sentiment
Ink - Memento Rich Cocoa, Versamark
Paper - white and brown cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Impression Obsession reindeer dies, Tim Holtz tree line die, Ranger Verdigris embossing powder, blue spray

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Tic Tac Toe Christmas

The new Merry Monday challenge is a Tic Tac Toe game:

I chose the left hand vertical column - stamping, die cut, and red.

I also wanted to play along with SCS's Inspiration challenge to be inspired by something on the Dept. 56 site.  I chose this ornament here.

Here's my card:

I used a never-before-used birch tree die cutting it from white cs and a tiny cardinals die cutting them from red cs.

I created a background for it by sprinkling black Brushos on coated cs and spritzing with water.

When dry, I stamped the sentiment with Staz-on, glued down the trees and cardinals, and popped it up with fun foam on a red card base.

I'm also going to link it up at CAS Mix Up, where the challenge is stamping and at least two other things from the CAS Mix Up list.  I have stamping, die cuts, and brushos. 

And also CAS Watercolour, as the Brushos are watercolour.  The theme is Anything Goes.

Stamps - Old Island Stamp Co. sentiment
Ink - Staz-on black
Paper - white and red cs, glossy white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - black Brushos, Impression Obsession birch trees die, Memory Box tiny cardinals die, fun foam

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Peace Dove on Blue

The new Less is More challenge is "Birds / Feathers".

I went with a peace dove theme as I need a few more Christmas cards.

It is definitely a less is more or CAS card - very quick and simple to make with very limited supplies - two kinds of cardstock and two dies, plus some glue.  Oh, and one little gemstone!

In the interests of not wasting good cardstock, I had cut the white dove for the above card out of a piece of white cs that was ready to be a card base.  I could then turn the negative die cut into this card:

I put silver cs behind it, stamped a sentiment in silver, and embellished with a few tiny silver stars.

I'm also adding the blue card to the Jingle Belles challenge (your last minute cards) and the Christmas Card Throwdown (choose a challenge from 2012 or 2013 - I chose October 2012 "Use Die Cuts"). 

It has been so much fun doing various Christmas card challenges throughout the year.  Thank you so much to the people who run all these challenges and make card-making more fun!

Stamps - Paper Smooches sentiment on card 2
Ink - ColorBox silver on card 2
Paper - blue shimmer and white cs (card 1), white and silver cs (card 2)
Size - A2
Accessories - Sizzix Delicate Wings dove die on both, Impression Obsession Peace die on card 1, silver embossing powder and silver star sequins on card 2

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Watercoloured Branches and Pine Cone

Christmas is coming faster and faster and I still need Christmas cards so my reminder card for December's CAS Watercolour challenge is yet another one!  This month it is "Anything Goes" as long as it is clean and simple, and includes watercolouring.

I recently bought this Penny Black stamp and love the way it lends itself to the techniques I learned from Jill Foster (see this video for the way she lays down colour on the stamp using small ink pads or markers and then adds details by watercolouring, and this one where she colours the stamp while in the MISTI, then going over it with Versamark and clear embossing powder so that it is really easy to do either a watercolour wash or sponged background).

With the stamp in the MISTI, I coloured it with Memento Dewdrops, stamping and repeating till I had the basic image on my mixed media paper.  I then put some ink from Distress inks onto my palette and, using water and a paint brush, I filled in the details and added shading.

When all was dry, I restamped with Versamark and clear embossed.  I could then add the icy blue wash around it to ground the image (without worrying about the brown or red running into it).

I added some glitter to the snowy bits of the branches and the pinecone.

As well as making it easier to add a background wash, I really like the way the heat embossing makes the image have more definition.  I did another version without the heat embossing to show the difference.

I used a very neutral coloured wash and kept it away from the image as best as I could.  I added some sequins as well as the same bits of glitter to this one.

I'd be really interested in knowing which one you like best!

Be sure to check out the other mid-month inspiration from the Design Team at CAS Watercolour, including Guest Designer, Hideko, and link up your card by December 24th!

Stamps - Penny Black, Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - various Memento Dew Drops and Distress inks, Versamark (on first card only), sentiment on first card - Versafine Crimson Red, sentiment on second card - SU Real Red
Paper - mixed media cs, red and white cs
Size - 6.75x4.75"
Accessories -  glitter, clear embossing powder (on first card only), sequins (on second card only)

Friday, 15 December 2017

Peace on Earth

I know everyone is really busy getting ready for Christmas, Hanukkah, etc., but it's time for a bit more inspiration from the CAS Mix Up Design Team.  You have until December 24 to get a card made for our challenge.

I went with a stamped sentiment, brushos, and die cuts for my card:

The background was made using various blue brushos and spray starch.  I sprayed the starch on mixed media cs, sprinkled the brushos over it, and then placed cling wrap on top and scrunched it up.  When dry, I had this beautiful background.

I trimmed the piece down, and added a die cut dove and branch to it, and a simple stamped sentiment beneath it.

This might well be my favourite of all the Christmas cards I've made this year!

Head over to CAS Mix Up for more inspiration and ideas of what the Design Team and Guest Designer, Ina (of Little Bits of Craft) chose for their stamping and optional items combinations.

Stamps - A Muse sentiment
Ink - Ranger Archival Cobalt
Paper - white cs, mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Impression Obsession dove die, various blue Brushos, spray starch, cling wrap, Spellbinders rectangle die

Thursday, 14 December 2017

The Paper Players Colour Challenge

I'm taking a one day break from posting Christmas cards in order to post something for The Paper Players' colour challenge:

I needed a card to send a dear elderly family friend who has to move into a retirement residence.

The flowers are heat embossed in white and watercoloured. The background panel was masked, coloured with the same paints, using the green where I wanted the sentiment, then stamped with the sentiment, and die cut with a stitched rectangle.

It's popped up on fun foam and the flowers are partly taped flat and partly popped up with foam tape.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for some mid-month Christmas inspiration for CAS Mix Up!

Stamps - SU Fabulous Florets, Chocolate Baroque sentiment
Ink - Memento Bamboo Leaves, ColorBox Frost White
Paper - watercolour paper, rustic green cs
Size - A2
Accessories - white embossing powder, Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle die, foam tape, fun foam

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Sparkling Ornaments

Addicted to CAS is challenging us to use "sparkle" this week.  And so is AAA Cards!

And what better to sparkle than glitter on a Christmas card:

I used a brass stencil with two colours of glitter.  See this video for the technique.

Here's a close-up photo so you can see how sparkly it is:

It's finished off with a simple vertical sentiment, stamped and heat embossed.

I'm adding it to CAS Mix Up's "Stamping plus 2 Items of Your Choice" (mine are stenciling, heat embossing, and glitter).

Stamps - Northwoods sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Gold
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Dreamweaver ornament stencil, gold and clear glitter, sookwang tape, gold embossing powder

Monday, 11 December 2017

An Old Cardinal Two Ways

Merry Monday has a colour challenge this week:

I chose the red, the darker green, and the light blue.  I used one of my first Christmas stamps from many years ago.  I'm looking at my stamps critically in an attempt to weed some out, especially the older ones.  But this one I still love!

It's stamped and watercoloured with a pierced frame (cut twice for more dimension) over it, and the panel popped up on fun foam. I added Glossy Accents to the berries, though it doesn't show in the photo.

I'm also going to add it to CAS Watercolour where December's challenge is "Anything Goes" and CAS Mix Up for "Stamping and 2 Items of Your Choice" (mine are watercolouring and die cutting).

While I had the stamp out, I decided to make a second one:

Same stamping and watercolouring, but die cut with a stitched circle and mounted on fun foam on a green cardbase.

Which layout do you prefer?

Stamps - SU Cardinal Christmas, Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper;  linen cs for the first;  green Bazzill cs for the second
Size - A2 (first one), 4.75" square (second one)
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, fun foam, Glossy Accents;  first card - MFT Pierced Rectangle Frame;  second card - Lil Inkers stitched circle die

Friday, 8 December 2017

Gingerbread House

For the Paper Players challenge:

I only ever made one gingerbread house in my life but I remember it being a lot of fun - I was about 12 years old.  So here's my card in memory of that:

Stamped, coloured with pencil crayons, a bit of glitter added, and then I distressed the edges and sponged.  The twine goes with the rustic feel of the kraft panel and the distressed / sponged edges.

Because of the distressing, I'm also adding it SCS Ways to Use It "Distress It" challenge.

Stamps - Tim Holtz gingerbread house, SU sentiment
Ink - Archival Jet Black, Distress Tea Dye and Antique Linen
Paper - white and kraft cs
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils, glitter, Tim Holtz edge distresser, green twine

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

A Dog in a Santa Hat

The new Merry Monday Christmas Card challenge is "Santa Hat".

I went with a dog with a Santa hat just like the cute pup in their image.

The dog and the Santa hat are stamped and coloured with coloured pencils and Gamsol for blending. They were then fussy cut.

I stamped the sentiment on the lower part of a panel of white cs and dry embossed just the upper part. Then wrapped the ribbon around it.

The dog's paws are taped directly to the ribbon but his body and hat are popped up with foam tape.

I added Flower Soft to the hat brim and pom-pom.

Stamps - Tim Holtz dog and hat, Stampabilities sentiment
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white and red cs
Size - A2
Accessories - plaid ribbon, Sizzix embossing folder, coloured pencils, Gamsol, white Flower Soft, foam tape

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Perched Bird

The December challenge at Penny Black is Winter or Christmas.  It inspired me to use a stamp I haven't yet inked up:

Using my MISTI, I started by adding colour with my Memento dew drop ink pads to different parts of the image, stamping and repeating as necessary.  Once I had a foundation of colour, I used Distress inks on my palette with water and a paint brush to fill in with more colour.

Once dry, I restamped with Versamark and heat embossed.  This gave the outlines of the image a bit more definition.  I added a bit of a wash around the edges.

I stamped my sentiment on a little tag and attached it with baker's twine, then popped the panel up on fun foam.

I added Aleene's Glitter Snow Paste to the bits of snow on the log and leaves, and Glossy Accents to the berries.

This was my first time using this stamp and I love it - will have to make a couple more cards with it.

I'm also taking it over to Christmas Cards All Year Round's "Anything Goes" challenge and the Christmas Card Throwdown "Pick a Challenge from 2012 or 2013" challenge (I picked Theme Challenge #3 - Christmas Animals or Birds).

Stamps - Penny Black Snowy Perch, Impression Obsession sentiment
Ink - various Memento Dew Drops, various Distress inks, SU Real Red
Paper - white cs, mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - SU tag, baker's twine, Aleene's Glitter Snow Paste, Glossy Accents, fun foam

Monday, 4 December 2017

Red and Green

This week's Less is More Challenge is:

I made this card:

I stamped the image, then coloured with Copics, not bothering to blend the green branches as I wanted them to look rustic like the image.  I added a bit of shading to ground the tree, trimmed the panel and bordered on one side only with thin strips of red and green cs to emphasis the challenge criteria.

While I had the stamp out, I made two more versions of the same tree:

This one is stamped on watercoloured paper and painted with metallic watercolours, bordered in black, and on a dark gold card base to match the gold of the stars.

I stamped it on watercolour paper and used my Zig markers to colour everything except the stars which I coloured with a glitter gel pen. I did a bit of pale brown colouring under it to ground it and splattered a bit of the same brown and also some gold watercolour paint. I used a warm gold cardbase that matches the gold in the stars.

I used my new Jofy stamp set - not my usual style of Christmas tree but it's kind of fun, isn't it?

Stamps - Jofy tree and sentiment
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black for the Copics one, Ranger Archival Jet Black for the other two
Paper - white, red, and green cs for the first card;  watercolour paper, black cs, and dark gold shimmer cs for the second card;  watercolour paper and bright gold shimmer cs for the third card
Size - A2
Accessories - Copics for the first card;  metallic watercolours for the second;  Zig Clean Color Real Brush Watercolour markers, Atyou Spica gold glitter pen, and gold paint for the third

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Blue and Green Christmas

Merry Monday has a fun Christmas card challenge this week:

I used the green and blue, with a white card and a bit of silver:

The image is coloured with coloured pencils, blended with Gamsol and blending stumps, with some Wink of Stella on the ribbon and the silver tags.  It's bordered with a thin bit of silver shimmer paper and then green cs, and the sentiment is stamped in silver.

Stamps - Jofy gifts, Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black, Delicata Silvery Shimmer
Paper - white and green cs, silver shimmer paper
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils, Gamsol, Wink of Stella, Lil Inker stitched rectangle die