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".

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Nordic Village

Great inspiration from Merry Monday this week:

It immediately made me think of my Crafters' Companion Nordic Village stamp.

I watercoloured it in similar colours to the inspiration photo, trying to keep the watercolouring loose and rustic.  A simple sentiment, die cutting with a wonky stitched rectangle, a very thin black border, a bit of glitter along the snow lines, and fun foam behind to add dimension.

And finished just in time for the Merry Monday cut-off time.

It's also perfect for the SCS April Christmas Card Challenge where the optional theme is houses or buildings.

Stamps - Crafters Companion Nordic Christmas, Penny Black sentiment
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - Crafters Companion white watercolour paper, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, MFT wonky stitched rectangle die, glitter, fun foam

Friday, 27 April 2018

Upcycling for Earth Day

I love the current Jingle Belles Christmas card challenge:

The challenge is called Peace on Earth Day - create a card using recycled elements.

I always save some of the commercial Christmas cards I receive if I think there are sections I can upcycle. I have a friend who loves owls and who is very big on recycling so receiving a card with an owl on it is perfect for turning into a card for her!  I used two different commercial Christmas cards I received last year to create this card:

I fussy cut the owl in his warm sweater and hat off of one card. And I trimmed down another card to use the beautiful night sky section, using deckle scissors for the bottom edge to cut a snow bank.

I die cut a branch and smooshed it in a couple of green inks. And die cut the word "merry". I attached the night sky piece to my card base, added the branch, the owl, and the word "merry", and then stamped "Christmas" underneath it.

Stamps - Penny Black Christmas
Ink - Vivid Inky Blue, various green Distress inks
Paper - blue background and owl upcycled from a commercial Christmas card, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Tim Holtz branch die, Tim Holtz merry die

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

One of My Favourite Things

One of my all-time favourite things that makes for a perfect day is afternoon tea in the garden.

I pulled out an old unmounted stamp I have with a straw hat, a teapot, flowers, and a cake.

I haven't used the stamp for years and can't remember what brand it is - if anyone knows, please let me know.

I stamped it in grey as I wanted a soft look, then watercoloured, trimmed with a stitched rectangle, and popped it up on fun foam on a straw coloured card base to matche the hat.

Nice to think of summer and having tea in the garden!

I'm linking it up to two challenges:

AAA Cards - CAS Game #113 "A Perfect Day" - my perfect day is a sunny afternoon having tea with a friend in my garden.

Less is More "Bring Something Back" - an old stamp or a technique - I used a very old stamp.

Stamps - unknown unmounted stamp
Ink - Versafine Smokey Grey
Paper - watercolour paper, straw coloured cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Lil Inker stitched rectangle die, fun foam

Monday, 23 April 2018

Red, Green, and White

For The Color Throwdown Challenge, the colours are:

Of course, I went with a Christmas card:

For the background for my sketch tree dies, I smooshed with three different oxide inks.

The tree and word dies are cut twice in a slightly darker green to give contrast from the background, and glued together for more dimension. Red gemstones are added for the red part of the challenge.

To bring in the white, I added a thin border of white to give the green panel more contrast against the red card base. The green panel is popped up on fun foam.

Ink - Distress Oxide Peeled Paint and Twisted Citron
Paper - mixed media cs, white linen cs, red shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Simon Says Stamp Sketch Trees dies, red gem stones, Tattered Lace Merry die, fun foam

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Christmas Sentiment with Reindeer

I have always loved the sentiment stamps by Kay Foley.  I have lots of them, including several Christmas ones, so when I saw the Merry Monday challenge to use our favourite Christmas verse, I had to go with a Kay Foley one - but it was hard to choose which one.

When I finally settled on which Kay Foley sentiment to use, I made this card:

I let the sentiment be the star of the card.  All I added to it was a stamped and die cut reindeer positioned above the sentiment as if he is the reindeer making the sound of hooves as mentioned in the sentiment.

Stamps - Penny Black Leaping Deer, Kay Foley sentiment
Ink - Memento Rich Cocoa and Potters Clay
Paper - PTI cream, Bazzill rusty red
Size - A2
Accessories - Penny Black reindeer die, dimensional tape, brown gemstone

Friday, 20 April 2018

Inspired Row of Flowers

I love the row of flowers in the inspiration photo for the Inspired by All the Little Things challenge:

It made me think of a stamp I have but rarely use so pulled it out to create this card:

I used markers to ink up the stamp while it was in my MISTI so that I could do sections at a time and also go over bits that didn't come out. I misted lightly before stamping. I scribbled a bit of the red marker on my craft mat and went back in with a paintbrush to fill in the poppies.

The sentiment is stamped in grey and the image is bordered in a similar shade of grey. It's popped up on fun foam.

I love blue cornflowers growing amongst red poppies so this card makes my heart happy!

Stamps - IndigoBlu wildflowers, Inkadinkado sentiment
Ink - Archival Watering Can
Paper - watercolour paper, PTI Vintage Cream cs, grey cs
Size - 6.5x4.25"
Accessories - Tombow and Distress markers, fun foam

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Watering Can and Ornaments

We're at April 17th, the reminder date for the CAS Christmas challenge.  Be sure to head over to see what the Design Team have created to inspire you.

Here's my card, my first ever photographed against one of the beautiful backgrounds given to me by my wonderful friend, Loll Thompson:

It's a new-to-me stamp that I hadn't inked up before now.  It's such a lovely image for me as a gardener as I love the rustic watering can.  I may make a few more using it for my gardening friends.

It's stamped and watercoloured, with metallic silver mixed with some black for the watering can, and metallic gold and copper for the ornaments.  In real life, it's more shimmery than the photo shows.  It's then bordered with gold and placed on a red card base.  Here's a close up:

Here is a detailed close-up to try to show the shimmer:

We'd love to have you join us at CAS Christmas with your clean and simple card featuring ornaments.  You have until April 24th.

Stamps - Power Poppy Simple Joys, Impression Obsession sentiment
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - hot press watercolour paper, gold shimmer and red cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints

Monday, 16 April 2018

Elegantly Written Bird

Time for a reminder about CAS Watercolour's "Bird" challenge!

I was inspired to make my reminder card by the latest Technique Lover's Challenge at SCS - "Pen Painting" - to use the Elegant Writer pen to watercolour.  More about that after I show you my card:

The Elegant Writer is a calligraphy pen that has a pigment that will separate out with water into tones of grey, teal green, and a pinky mauve.  Lydia (Understand Blue on SCS) did a great video on using it (see it here) and I followed her technique.

I stamped the bird in Distress Vintage Photo on mixed media cs, then added some thin lines with the Elegant Writer here and there around the edges.  With a small brush and water, I pulled the colour out of the Elegant Writer lines and out of the Vintage Photo stamping.  The browns are from the Vintage Photo ink and the greys, greens and mauves are from the Elegant Writer.  When dry, I fussy cut the bird.

I used an embossing folder for my background, trimming it down to leave space on one side for my vertical sentiment and to keep my card CAS.  I topped it with a leafy die cut made from a piece of watercolour paper and brushos.  I glued down the bird's feet, legs, and tummy, and used foam tape to pop up his back and head.

Don't forget to come and join us at CAS Watercolour with your clean and simple cards featuring birds and watercolouring.  You have until April 24th to link up.  There's lots of inspiration over at our reminder post from the Design Team and our Guest Designer, Stef of Perry Papercrafts.

Stamps - SU Best Birds, Technique Junkies sentiment
Ink - Distress Vintage Photo, Memento Cottage Ivy
Paper - white cs, watercolour cs, mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Elegant Writer pen, leafy embossing folder, green Brushos

Thursday, 12 April 2018

A Wreath with Ribbon

Merry Monday wants us to "add a ribbon" this week.

One of the things I love making for my cards are little Christmas wreaths, and ribbon goes well with wreaths so here's my card:

I made the wreath with scraps of various green dps and the Martha Stewart punch, added gold gemstones, mounted it on a red front door and a white wood background.  I used gold ribbon to "hang" the wreath over the door and to add a bow to the top of the wreath.

Another ready to go into my stash!

Paper - white and red cs, scraps of various green dps
Size - A2
Accessories - Memory Box door die, Spellbinders circle dies, Martha Stewart pine branch punch, black gemstone, gold ribbon

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Holly over Alcohol Inks

52 Christmas Card Countdown has a Sketch Challenge right now, not usually a kind of challenge I enjoy, but I saw the sketch and immediately had an idea.

I thought of one of my new-ish dies and decided it would work perfectly with an interesting staggering of the three top panels.

I dropped several different colours of green alcohol inks along with a bit of dark yellow and gold mixative onto Yupo until I had a background I was happy with.  I layered my holly die cut over it and put fun foam on the back.

I stamped the sentiment on an A2 card base and added a strip of gold Starform Outline sticker between it and the panel.  I then looked at it and decided the proportions were all off - I'd set everything too high on the card base and it looked top heavy in a bad way.  So I chopped the bottom off and ended up with a strange-sized card - 4.25" across and 4.6" high.  I like it so much better!  I'll hopefully be able to make an envelope using my envelope punch board (and use it as a card that I'll hand deliver).

Thanks for taking a look!

Stamps - Paper Smooches sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Evergreen, various alcohol inks
Paper - white cs, Yupo
Size - 5.6x4.25"
Accessories - Simon Says Stamp Holly Triptych die, clear embossing powder, gold mixative, gold Starform Outline sticker, fun foam

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

April Showers on Crocuses

It's been raining a lot in Vancouver lately so I was inspired by a couple of very appropriate challenges to create today's card.

I put the crocus stamp in my MISTI and inked it up with Tombow markers, one colour at a time, misting lightly with water after each colour.  I left the stamp in the MISTI while I pulled some colour from the outlines of the leaves and flowers, and then re-inked with the markers and stamped again (without misting).

I then taped a raindrops stencil (made for me by my kind friend, Loll Thompson, on her Silhouette) over it.  And experimented - I squeezed out some Nuvo drops onto my palette and with a palette knife, dragged them over the stencil.  It was hard to get even coverage but I'm fine with that.  What I wasn't fine with was how hard it was to get them off my stencil even though I washed it right away - so probably won't do that again!

They look very different depending on the angle and the lighting:

I die cut with an octagonal die and glued it to an octagonal card base.

It's for the following challenges:

SCS's CAS Challenge  "A Rainy April Day" (celebrate the rains that bring beautiful flowers).

The Flower Challenge  "Shaped Cards"

Addicted to CAS Challenge  "Code Word - Rain"

4 Crafty Chicks Challenge  "Flowers"

Time Out Challenge - Photo Inspiration (I went with yellow flowers):

Now if only the rain would stop long enough for my garden to dry out so that I can get outside and do some spring clean-up and enjoy the flowers!

Stamps - Serendipity crocuses
Ink - Tombow markers
Paper - mixed media cs, white cs
Size - 3.75" octagon
Accessories - Spellbinders octagonal die, grey Nuvo drops, raindrops die made on a Silhouette

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Two Favourite Techniques

A card for two challenges:

AAA Cards - "A Favorite Technique"

4 Crafty Chicks - "Flowers"

Here's my card:

Rather than just one favourite technique, I included two - smooshing with Oxide inks and heat embossing.

I stamped and heat embossed my flower image in white, then smooshed with Faded Jeans, Blueprint Sketch, and Broken China, drying between each layer.

I then trimmed the panel, added a few sequins, stamped and heat embossed my sentiment on a vellum strip, and mounted the panel on fun foam on a linen cs base.

Stamps - Hero Arts Elegant Weeds, Memory Box sentiment
Ink - Distress Oxide Faded Jeans, Blueprint Sketch, and Broken China; Versamark
Paper - mixed media cs, vellum, linen cs
Size - A2
Accessories - white embossing powder, Cosmic Shimmer Aurora Blue embossing powder, fun foam, sequins

Saturday, 7 April 2018

White Snow, White Trees

The April challenge at Christmas Cards All Year Round is to use all white.

And SCS's Inspiration Challenge sent us to the Carlyle Avenue website.  I found these white trees for inspiration:

I had the perfect set of evergreen tree dies in various sizes to use to create this card:

I die cut 5 trees, stacking some of them 3 layers high and some just 2 layers. I added them to a dry embossed background with a small sentiment.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps - Penny Black sentiment
Ink - Distress Oxide Hickory Smoke
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Memory Box Evergreen Trees dies, SU embossing folder

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Red Snowflake

I'm here with a card for Merry Monday.  This week's challenge is:

I made a CAS card:

I was inspired by some dp I had with a rich red background and snowflakes. I cut a square of it for my background.

I die cut a large snowflake out of dark red glitter cs, and glued it onto the focal panel that was cut out with a stitched die cut. I added a stamped and heat embossed sentiment, and popped the square up on fun foam.

Normally I only like snowflakes in white or pale blue or silver, but now that I've done this card, I really like it!

Stamps - Penny Black sentiment
Ink - Versafine Crimson Red
Paper - white cs, Paper Studio dp, dark red glittet cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - snowflake die, Lil Inkers stitched square die, embossing powder, fun foam

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Embossed Alcohol Ink Panel

I'm quickly posting today so that I don't miss the deadline for the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown:

I used dry embossing on my focal panel on this card:

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 Christmas token attached with silver cord. I popped the panel up with foam tape and added it to a matte silver card base.

I've also used this technique and die cut ornaments out of it, as in this card (a CASE of a card I posted a while back, but using different dies):

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.

I'm going to link it up at CAS Christmas where the April challenge is Ornaments.

I promise I'll be back one of these days with something other than a Christmas card!

Supplies for card 1:
Ink - various alcohol inks
Paper - red and green shimmer cs, silver matte cs, scrap of white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Cuttlebug Textile embossing folder, Tim Holtz "Festive" metal token, silver cord, foam tape, aluminum foil tape used for furnace ducts

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, aluminum foil tape used for furnace ducts, foam tape