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".

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Poinsettia Frame

For Christmas Cards All Year Round, the challenge is to use flowers.  I made this card:

I stamped the poinsettia / frame image with the sentiment in the middle of it. I then coloured the poinsettias and pine cones with Copics, and went over the pine needles with a green metallic gel pen, and filled in the outer narrow frame and the inner narrow oval frame with a silver gel pen. I bordered it with green shimmer cs and mounted it on a white card base.

I have a few friends who ask me to do quite religious Christmas cards for them to buy at my fundraiser so this is a good design for them.

Thanks for dropping by!

Stamps - Gina K Festive Frame image and sentiment
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - green shimmer and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Copics, silver gel pen, green metallic gel pen, gold and clear gemstones

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Merry Christmas Puppy

Merry Monday is asking for a Christmas card with a dog on it.

I love Penny Black's dog images - many of them remind me of my English Cocker Spaniels.  So I used one of them to make this card.

I watercoloured my image with Gansai Tambi paints, trimmed it with a stitched rectangle die, and added red and green mats to match the dog's stocking.  "Joy to the world" seemed a fitting sentiment as the dog looks quite joyful!

It's a nice flat card for easy mailing.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps - Penny Black dog, Wordsworth sentiment
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, red and green cs, PTI Vintage Cream cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Lil Inker stitched rectangle die

Sunday, 25 March 2018


Birds are one of my favourite motifs for cards (and I have a lot of bird stamps).  So I definitely had to make a card for the latest Addicted to CAS challenge.

I made this card:

I stamped the bird in brown and coloured it with coloured pencils and Gamsol. 

I trimmed the panel and sprinkled with Frantage chunky white embossing enamel and heated it from underneath so it wouldn't blow off.  I took my Versamarker pen and went over a few bits of the branch where snow might build up and then added more of the Frantage to that.

I mounted the panel to a dark brown mat and put it on fun foam on the card base.

Thanks for dropping by today.

Stamps - Serendipity bird, Rubber Stamp Tapestry sentiment
Ink - Memento Rich Cocoa
Paper - white and dark brown cs
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils, Gamsol, Frantage Chunky White embossing enamel, fun foam

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Squeaking In Under the Wire

I've been meaning to do two cards for Darnell's March Twofer Challenge, but somehow March flew by!  So I'm getting them done and linked up on the last day!

I recently bought a new Penny Black stamp full of different flowers that is perfect for the challenge.

The first one is a "best wishes" card that I will probably use as a birthday card and put the "happy birthday" sentiment inside, and the second is a "summer time" notecard.  I went with softer colours, the full image, and some tiny flower sequins for the first, and, for the second, brighter colours that make me think of the heat of summer, just part of the image, and a die cut frame.

Here's the first card.  I'm also entering it in the "Inspired by All the Little Things" challenge where the image is:

I watercoloured the image with my Gansai Tambi paints - I find they give me the flexibility to achieve a soft watercolour look.  I did a bit of grey around the bottom to ground the image and mounted it on a thin dark grey mat.  My plan had been to use 3 or 4 regular sequins on the open space but I couldn't decide on placement and they just didn't look good, so I scattered quite a few tiny flower sequins around and glued them down, and then wished I'd just let the image stand on its own.  Oh well - no way to peel them off without damaging the panel.

And the second card:

I coloured this with my Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers - I laid down the colours and blended them into each other without using any water so I got rich strong colours.  I trimmed it down and attached it to the card base.  I then created the top layer with the sentiment, an opening, and a cross-stitch frame around the opening.

Thanks, Darnell, for creating the Twofer challenge - it really stretches my skills to think of two different ways to use a stamp!

Stamps - Penny Black flowers, unknown Best Wishes, Rosie's Road Show Summer Time
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - white and dark grey cs, watercolour paper
Size - 5.75" square, A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolours, Zig Clean Brush markers, tiny flower sequins, foam tape, Ali Express cross stitch dies

Friday, 23 March 2018

Back to Blue

So yesterday I said I'd be back to blue today.  And here I am.  Another card for the CAS Mix Up challenge that I'm hosting.

It's the same technique I used on my previous card here, but with the addition of a background.  I have acetate, stamping, die cutting, and smooshing with Oxide inks.

The butterfly was stamped and heat embossed on the front of the acetate.  Then working from the back, I used a clear-drying glue and glitter to colour the butterfly.  I used blue and purple, one at a time, aiming it where I wanted it with a straw with a point cut at the end to act as a little scoop.

When you first turn it over, it just looks like white blobs of glue from the front - it needs a few hours for the glue to completely dry and turn clear, and then you can see your lovely colours of glitter.

I created a background using blue and mauve Oxide inks and the smooshing technique on mixed media cs, and glued it to the card base.  Then die cut the front panel with a stitched square die, and used an old Spellbinders label die to create the opening and the frame around the opening.  I stuck the acetate to the back of the opening and then popped that whole panel up over the background with foam tape so that the butterfly is raised off of the background.

Since CAS Mix Up closes tomorrow and since shaker cards are one of the best ways to use acetate, I thought I'd add another card that I made for a shaker card challenge at SCS.  I posted it months ago on SCS but never got around to posting it on my blog.  It fills the requirements of CAS Mix Up with its stamping, acetate, and acrylic paints.  So here it is:

This one uses an Impression Obsession circle shaker window and the matching cs overlay so was really easy to put together.  The fairy was stamped on a background created with blue and silver acrylic paints.  Here's a close-up of her lovely glittery shaker stuff:

You've got one more day to enter CAS Mix Up and show us how you like to use acrylic on a card!

Supplies for the first card:
Stamps - Carabelle butterfly
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black; various blue and purple Oxide inks
Paper - white cs, mixed media cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - acetate, clear embossing powder, glitter, Nesties label dies, Lil Inker stitched square die, foam tape

Supplies for the second card:
Stamps - Lavinia fairy, SU sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black, Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white cs, mixed media cs, Impression Obsession shaker cs overlay
Size - A2
Accessories - Impression Obsession "shake it window", clear embossing powder, sequins and starry sprinkles, fun foam, blue and silver acrylic paints

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Two Cards, No Blue

My followers have probably figured out that blue is my favourite colour!  So today I have two cards without a speck of blue!!

First up for Merry Monday Inspiration Challenge:

I created this card using a new stamp I hadn't inked up yet:

Pretty basic - stamped, watercoloured, and popped up on fun foam on an embossed background.  I love the image - here's a close-up:

Then quite a different card for 52 Christmas Card Throwdown:

Santa and his sleigh are stamped and coloured with coloured pencils, with a bit of glitter added to Santa's hat and jacket.

The Memory Box Joyeux Noel die was just the right sized to put on the diagonal underneath Santa.  I'm not that comfortable with things on the diagonal but it worked with the Santa stamp.

All this non-blue is making me thing I need to go back to something blue tomorrow!

Supplies for the first card:
Stamps - Stamplorations
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, cream and dark pink (or is it light red?) shimmer cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Sizzix embossing folder, Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, fun foam

Supplies for the second card:
Stamps - Crafters Companion Nordic Christmas Santa
Ink - Ranger Potting Soil
Paper - white and red cs
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils, Memory Box Joyeux Noel die, white glitter

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Music and Holly Challenges

I got to spend the afternoon in my craft room today.  I had intended to work on organizing my unmounted stamps but instead, made two cards.

First up, for Jingle Belles "Hark the Herald Angels SING" - have a musical element on the card.

One of my goals this year is to use up lots of pieces from my UFO box.  This little piece of background was in there - it's smooshed oxide inks on photographic paper.  I die cut the musical score out of navy cs, added strips of navy cs to the top and bottom, stamped the sentiment in navy, and popped the panel up on fun foam.

I also wanted to make another card for the inaugural CAS Christmas Card Challenge "Holly".

I had a piece of mixed media cs in my UFO box that I'd sprinkled and spritzed with green brushos.  So I started with that.

I used a Tim Holtz stencil with white glitter embossing paste.  I missed a section of the stencil so I die cut the sentiment and placed it over that section to hide the fact that it wasn't evenly covered with the stenciled design.  I trimmed it down and added a narrow red border, and popped the panel up on fun foam.

If you want to join us at CAS Christmas Card Challenge, it's open until March 24th.

Supplies for first card:
Stamps - A Muse sentiment
Ink - Staz-On Midnight Blue
Paper - photo paper, white and navy cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Simon Says Stamp Jingle Snowflake die, fun foam

Supplies for second card:
Paper - mixed media cs, red cs, cream shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Tim Holtz Festive stencil, Cosmic Shimmer glitter paste, Tattered Lace Merry Christmas die, fun foam

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Cup of Christmas Cheer

Squeaking in at the last minute for Merry Monday's Inspiration Challenge:

I have a great new stamp that seemed perfect for the challenge.

I stamped and watercoloured, trimmed the panel, and popped it up on some Christmas sentiment dp.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps - Stamplorations
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, linen cs, unknown dp
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi paints, fun foam

Holly Two Ways

March is flying by and there is only one more week to enter a card in this month's (the inaugural) challenge of Loll's and Bonnie's new CAS Christmas Card Challenge.

I created a card with two types of holly - an old favourite stamp and a stencil.

I heat embossed the stamp in platinum and watercoloured it with Twinkling H2Os.  I then fussy cut it.

It looked too plain on its own so I created a simple background with a stencil and Dreamweaver's lovely Pearlescent embossing paste - it goes well with the platinum embossing powder.  I popped the stamped holly piece up on foam tape.

I decided to play around with the stamp and heat emboss one in black and one in white, and then use exactly the same colours of Twinkling H2Os to see how they compare with the one heat embossed in platinum.

I used a different stencil on this one, with a spray rather than an embossing paste.

And this one just uses some red cs to border it.

My favourite is the first one with the image embossed with platinum embossing powder.  How about you?

Stamps - Serendipity holly, Penny Black and A Muse sentiments
Ink - Versamark, Versafine Onyx Black, ColorBox Frost White
Paper - watercolour paper; white, gold shimmer, and red cs
Size - 5.25" square and A2
Accessories - Twinkling H2Os, embossing powders (platinum, clear, and white), homemade stencil, Dreamweaver Pearlescent embossing paste, gold spray, SU sentiment punches, foam tape

Friday, 16 March 2018

A Lush Garden

I'm back with a reminder card for CAS Watercolour's March challenge:

It seemed the perfect opportunity to use a stamp I bought a few years ago.  So good to get it inked up!

The sentiment is part of the stamp - it says "May aging be forgotten when life's memories are remembered."  So I will probably use it as a birthday card.

It's stamped and watercoloured with my favourite watercolours - my Gansai Tambi set.  I die cut it with a stitched square die and was going to just pop it up on fun foam on the card base but it looked too plain, so I added a dry embossed background for texture and interest.

You have until March 24th to enter a card at CAS Watercolour.  It needs to be clean and simple, and follow the theme of "Garden" - not just a single flower but something that represents a garden more than that.

Stamps - Art Impressions Memories Window
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, PTI Vintage Cream
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Lil Inker stitched square die, Sizzix Floral embossing folder

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Glittered Poppies on Acetate

It's mid-month so time to remind you to have some fun with incorporating acetate into your clean and simple mixed media card for the CAS Mix Up challenge!

And because it's our second birthday, we are celebrating and there are prizes to be won this month!

I chose to use glitter with my acetate this time:

I used the technique in this video for adding the glitter to the acetate.  But I gave my card more dimension by popping up the panel with the acetate on fun foam.

I stamped and heat embossed the poppies on the front of the acetate.  Then working from the back, I used a clear-drying glue and glitter to colour the poppies.  I used red glitter on two of the larger poppies and burgundy glitter on the third large poppy.  Then I mixed red and gold glitter for the smaller ones, and for the two bottom ones, I used the leftover bits of all the colours.

When you first turn it over, it just looks like white blobs of glue from the front - it needs a few hours for the glue to completely dry and turn clear, and then you can see your lovely colours of glitter.

I die cut a rectangular window in my top layer of cs, taped the acetate panel (heat embossed side up, glitter to the back) behind it, and added a die cut frame.  Then I backed this panel with foam tape so that the poppies appear to be floating above the card base.  You can sort of see that here (and also can see the glitter colours better):

I'll be back in a couple of days with another card using this technique but layered over a smooshed background.

You have until March 24th to join us at CAS Mix Up with a clean and simple card featuring stamping, acetate, and at least one other element - I have heat embossing, colouring with glitter, and die cutting.

This is my last post as a Design Team member for CAS Mix Up!  I'm honoured to be the hostess for this month - going out in high style!  I'd like to thank Loll and Bonnie for all their help - it's been quite a learning curve for me and they've been very patient!!  And now off to my new Design Team at their CAS Christmas Card Challenge!

I'm also adding the card to a couple of other challenges:

Where it's ANYTHING GOES as long as there's stamping on it, and my poppies are stamped.
 Create anything that sparkles and all those glittered poppies definitely sparkle!

Stamps - Penny Black
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - acetate, clear embossing powder, glitter, clear-drying glue, MFT pierced rectangle frame die, foam tape

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

A Couple of Challenge Cards

Two more Christmas cards from me, done for various challenges!

First up for these two challenges:

Less is More "Monochrome"

The Paper Players "Any Shade of PInk"

I made this very CAS pink poinsettia card:

I die cut and shaped the poinsettia out of pink shimmer cs and mounted it on a white cardbase with a bit of dark pink mesh trim behind it.  I added pink microbeads to the centre.

And for the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown's Colour Challenge:

Normally when I use kraft as a colour, I use kraft cardstock but this time I decided to try using kraft as my ink colour - at least as close to kraft as I could get.

I coloured the image using coloured pencils and Gamsol, popped it up on fun foam on a red cardbase, and added a couple of brown gemstones.

So happy to be increasing my Christmas card stash!

Supplies for the first card:
Stamps - A Muse sentiment
Paper - white cs, pink shimmer cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories -  Tim Holtz Tattered Poinsettia die, scrap of dark pink mesh, dark pink micro beads

Supplies for the second card:
Stamps - Deep Red Santa
Ink -
Paper - red and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils, Gamsol, fun foam, dark brown gemstones