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 June 2018

Rustic Snowflakes

I am kind of sad today as this will be my last ever card for one of my favourite challenges - the Merry Monday Christmas Card challenge is closing down.  I'll miss them as they always had great challenges that appealed to me.  Their last challenge is this:

I was inspired by the wood wall, the pleated white curtains, and the white Christmas tree.

I used a scrap of corrugated card. I brushed a bit of white gesso randomly over it.

Three die cut Tim Holtz snowflakes, a sentiment stamped in a colour close to the corrugated card, and three pale gold gemstones finish it off.

Thanks for the years of great challenges, Merry Monday - we'll miss you!

Stamps - Penny Black sentiment
Ink - SU Baked Brown Sugar
Paper - white cs, corrugated cardboard
Size - A2
Accessories - TH Snowflake dies, gesso, pale gold gemstones

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Favourite Colours

The latest Color Throwdown challenge uses one of my favourite colour combinations!

I thought I'd do something where I coloured flowers with the blue, yellow, and green but instead used them as a background:

I used the splat stamp from the SU Gorgeous Grunge set for the three colours and then layered a flower die cut over it, letting it slightly overhang the panel. I set the heat embossed vertical sentiment stamp below the overhang.

I scattered blue, green, and yellow gemstones for embellishment and popped the panel up on fun foam.

Stamps - SU Gorgeous Grunge splats, Gina K sentiment
Ink - Memento Dandelion, Bamboo Leaves, and Danube Blue; Versafine Smoky Grey
Paper - white cs, shimmery black cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Memory Box die, gemstones, embossing powder, fun foam

Friday, 22 June 2018

Beautiful Poppies

I'm a very keen gardener and I have many favourite flowers.  I love poppies - from the simple California and Welsh poppies to the fancier Oriental poppies.  Penny Black has made some gorgeous poppy flowers so I chose one of them for this month's Penny Black and More Challenge "In the Garden" and The Flower Challenge "Use a Previous Challenge" (I chose "A Favorite Flower").

Here's my card:

I put the poppy stamp in my MISTI and stamped it with Distress Antique Linen on hot press watercolour paper.  I then inked the stamp with a combination of mini Distress inks and Distress markers, spritzing occasionally and only very lightly, and inking / stamping numerous times till I was happy with the results.

When thoroughly dry, I stamped and heat embossed my sentiment - I thought it was quite appropriate for the Penny Black "In the Garden" challenge.  I added a few sequins and popped it up on fun foam on a dark red card base.

Here's a close-up to show the great sentiment and the blending of colours on the poppies:

It will go to one of my sisters as a birthday card.

Penny Black "In the Garden"

The Flower Challenge

Stamps - Penny Black Spontaneous Joy, Technique Junkies sentiment
Ink - various Distress mini inks and markers, Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - hot press watercolour paper, dark red cs
Size - 5.25" square
Accessories - clear embossing powder, red sequins, fun foam

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Twofer Trees

I think Darnell's Twofer challenges are really challenging!  I'm amazed by some of the ideas people come up with.  Me, I just don't see my supplies that way - my brain can't move beyond them doing with them what they're intended to do and no more.

At least I can do the "two different occasions" part of the challenge!  My cards for this months's Twofer challenge ("Trees") came about because I wanted to make a "new home" card for my sister who just bought a new house that has some big fir trees out front - making me think of a die I have with houses and fir trees.  It's a die I bought mainly for Christmas cards but in this case, it was ideal for the "new home" card.

First up, the Christmas card.  I've been enjoying making some galaxy backgrounds lately so at our recent craft retreat, I led everyone in creating galaxy backgrounds.  The basic technique is this:

Sponge various colours of Distress Oxides onto watercolour paper (bright colours).  Using Black Soot Distress Oxide, press pad onto acrylic block and spritz with water.  Lightly tap over top of sponged background until most of the areas are covered, leaving some of the colour showing through.  Alternatively you can smoosh diluted Black Soot ink onto the background.  If too much black ink is added and not enough colour is showing, then you can add more colour on top, but it will be subtle.  Splatter with white paint to finish.

Then I trimmed down the panel, added the die cut, a stamped sentiment, and a pierced frame.  Here's a close-up:

The second card has a splashed background in three shades of blue Distress oxide ink, with the die cut, stamped sentiment, and fun foam under the panel to give some dimension.

Thanks, Darnell, for another fun challenge!

Twofer Card Challenge

And I'm taking the Christmas one over to Christmas Cards All Year Round where the challenge is "use non-traditional colours".

Stamps - sentiments - A Muse (card 1), PTI (card 2)
Ink - various Distress Oxide inks
Paper - mixed media cs for the backgrounds, white cs
Size - 4.75" square, A2
Accessories - MFT Pierced Square frame die, Ali Express die, fun foam

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Bird Watcher's Birthday

A friend's husband is turning 65 and she's hosting a party for him in July and when I saw the Paper Players' "Birds" challenge, it was a good prompt to get a card made for him as he's a keen bird watcher.

I kept my card in muted masculine colours:

I put the bird stamp in the MISTI and coloured it up with various Distress markers and stamped onto rustic cs.  I bordered with dark brown and popped the panel up on fun foam on a rustic cs card base.

The sentiment is on a label die cut with nail head embellishments.

There are lots of birds singing in my garden and visiting my feeder - I hope it's the same for all of you!  They bring me so much joy.

Stamps - SU Best Birds
Ink - SU Baked Brown Sugar
Paper - rustic and dark brown cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Distress markers, nail heads, Kaisercraft label die, fun foam

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Two Very Different Challenge

I have some spare time today so I'm here to post cards for two very different challenges.

First up a Christmas card for AAA Cards:

Using an old hexagon punch and a bunch of scraps of glitter cs, I created a border around the simple heat embossed sentiment "noel" that is also punched out as a hexagon.

Next up, is a card for a good friend.  It's one of my favourite friendship sentiments.  It's for the Less is More challenge.

I sprinkled red brushos over a heart stencil and spritzed with water.

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

I'll be back tomorrow with cards for some other challenges.  It's too hot to work in the garden today so a good chance to do indoor crafty things!!

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Gold
Paper - white cs, scraps of glitter cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - gold embossing powder, hexagon punch

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Kay Foley sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx black
Paper - white and red cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Heidi Swapp "confetti" stencil, red brushos, clear embossing powder, fun foam

Monday, 18 June 2018

Encrusted Jewels Butterfly

At the recent craft retreat I was at, Loll Thompson taught us the Encrusted Jewel Technique.  It is perfect for this month's CAS Mix Up challenge:

I turned one of the pieces I made at the retreat into this card:

To make the butterfly, I die cut it from thick card stock, then placed it on a warm grill on top of a layer of non-stick craft mat then parchment paper.  I sprinkled it with embossing powders.  I think I used some Frantage Shabby Blue, aqua or turquoise, white, and  platinum but I did not make a note of it.  Once they had melted, I added gold tinsel glitter and micro beads on top.  The melted embossing powders holds the glitter in place.  To finish it off, I melted UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel) on top.

I kept the card very CAS with just a stitched die cut layer popped up on fun foam on the card base and a few sequins for embellishment.

I was originally going to do the sentiment in a matching aqua colour (ColorBox Robin's Egg with clear embossing powder, but after I'd stamped it, I decided I wanted a contrasting colour so added platinum embossing powder instead.  In the close-up below, you can see that a bit of the Robin's Egg ink shows through the embossing powder.  You can also see all the tinsel glitter and shades of embossing powders in the butterfly.

It is a really fun technique and I may have to go out and buy myself an old used electric grill just to make more pieces.  You could do it with your heat gun but you'd have to heat it from underneath and it would be harder to stop the embossing powder and added things like glitter from blowing off.

Stamps - SU sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Robin's Egg
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Memory Box butterfly die, embossing powders (Frantage Shabby Blue, aqua, platinum, white, and UTEE), Martha Stewart gold tinsel glitter, micro beads, sequins, fun foam

Sunday, 17 June 2018

A Masculine Reindeer

June is over halfway through already!  So I'm here to remind you that you only have until June 24th to join us at CAS Christmas.

Here's my masculine card:

I die cut an A2 matting basics die out of scrap paper and used it to mask my top layer so that I could do some partial sponging with two shades of Distress inks.

I stamped a small sentiment in brown below the sponging, and added a brown die cut reindeer and three small die cut gold stars.

I popped the panel up on fun foam.

Here's a close-up:

If you're like me and you struggle with masculine cards, head over to CAS Christmas for inspiration from the rest of the Design Team and our great Guest Designer, Bobby (of bits & pieces).  The only other requirement is to keep your card clean and simple.

Stamps - Penny Black sentiment
Ink - Distress Walnut Stain, Weathered Wood, and Stormy Sky
Paper - brown and white cs, gold shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Ali Express reindeer die, small star dies, fun foam

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Ocean Waves

June is flying by and it's already time to remind you that you only have until June 24th to enter this month's CAS Watercolour challenge.

I was struggling with coming up with an idea but wanted to do something a bit different.  What I ended up with is a simple representation of ocean waves, with a bit of underwater plant life, and a great quote.

I used a totally different process for making this card - because I was stumped for an idea, I started searching through my UFO box (in which I have all sorts of backgrounds, pieces where I experimented with various techniques, etc.) for a background suitable for the "ocean" theme.  I pulled out a few pieces and started thinking.

At the end of the process, this card came together and is composed almost totally of pieces from my UFO box!   It's always great to find uses for them, but rarely do I find three pieces to put together into one card!

The background is a piece of smooshed watercolour paper from my UFO box - not sure what ink I used for it. 

I also found a piece that said "waves" to me.  It's a piece of coated cs on which I'd sprinkled blue and turquoise brushos, spritzed with water, and let the brushos spread as they liked.  It was wonderful serendipity that I got an area that looked like the froth on the crest of a wave and that perfectly fit one of my sloped hills dies.

Likewise the water weeds are from a piece of watercolour paper that was smooshed with green inks and had been languishing in the UFO box.  I used one of the Christmas greenery dies from a Tim Holtz set.

I put all that together and then thought "now I need a sentiment".  I have a nephew in his 20s who is a very thoughtful, philosophically-minded fellow and I decided to do something for his birthday with the card.  I die cut "moments" from a scrap of dark green cs since it would fit the space.  Then I went searching on the internet for a quote that used the word "moments" and either "ocean" or "wave" or "tide" and more serendipity - I found a great quote that fit the bill and that will really appeal to my nephew.

Here's a close-up that shows the focal panel and the quote really clearly:

In case anyone (other than me who, as a retired librarian, needs to look up information) wants to know who John Tyndall was who wrote the quote - he was a 19th century Irish physicist.   He is not to be confused with the 20th century John Tyndall who was a nasty British fascist / neo-nazi politician.

So this was the most ass-backward way of making a card!!  But at the end of the day, I really like it!

You have until June 24th to link up an ocean-themed CAS card at CAS Watercolour.  Head on over and check out the inspiration from the rest of the Design Team and our Guest Designer, Robyn (Waterlily Cards by Robyn). 

Stamps - none - sentiment was typed on my computer and printed out
Ink - not sure what aqua ink I used for the smooshed background
Paper - coated cs, watercolour paper, white and dark green cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Tim Holtz greenery die, blue and turquoise brushos, Tim Holtz "moments" die, Ali Express slopes die

Friday, 15 June 2018

Barn and Blue Jays

I didn't think I'd be able to do this week's Merry Monday challenge as I couldn't recall having any stamps of barns, and then suddenly remembered a really really old stamp I've had forever that has a barn in the background.

I stamped it and coloured it with coloured pencils, added a sentiment above it, trimmed it down and matted with red, and popped it up on fun foam on a dark green card base.

Then I took my Quickie glue pen and went over all the snowy bits and added glitter.  In real life, there is a lot of sparkle.  Here's a close-up that shows the barn and hopefully some of the sparkle:

I'm saving it for my sister who used to live on a farm.

Stamps - Northwoods image, Make an Impression sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - white, red, and dark green cs
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils, glitter, fun foam

A Favourite Flower

This month's Flower Challenge is to use a previous challenge.

My card works with two of the previous challenges:

Irises are one of my favourite flowers and I have lots of them in my garden, including a whole bed of them in my lane.  Here are the ones in the lane at their prime:

And here's my card:

I die cut the iris out of watercolour paper and painted it with my Gansai paints, then went back in with coloured pencils to add a bit more detail. I cut two more of the iris and glued them together for more substance to the iris.

I glued it to an embossed panel and added a heat embossed sentiment on a scrap of purple cs.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Stamps - Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - ColorBox white
Paper - white and purple cs, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - Memory Box iris die, Gansai watercolour paints, coloured pencils, white embossing powder, Craft Concepts embossing folder

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Alcohol Inks Challenge

Just Us Girls are doing a trend challenge this week:

I must say I love playing with alcohol inks.  I love the wonderful textures and blends I get with them.

They make such a wonderful background for a simple die cut and sentiment.  I die cut the trees and then tore a snowy edge out of white cs so that I'd have a place to stamp my sentiment.

I often make a few winter / Christmas themed cards that say "thinking of you" as, at my age, there are always friends going through a first Christmas after recently losing a loved one, and "merry Christmas" is not really what they want to hear.

Stamps - Denami Designs sentiment
Ink - Ranger Archival Library Green, various green and blue alcohol inks
Paper - white cs, Yupo
Size - 5.5" square
Accessories - Tim Holtz tree dies

Friday, 8 June 2018

Upcycled Angels

Merry Monday is asking for angels on a Christmas card this week.

I keep some of the most beautiful commercial Christmas cards people send me as I can't bear to throw them in the recycling bin.  And every so often, I go back to what started me making cards - recycling or upcycling the cards I've received.  This challenge was perfect for one card I've been hoarding in my stash of favourite commercial cards.  I should have taken a photo of it before I cut it up - it was a tall narrow card with three angel images on it, each image being in its own square.  I turned it into two cards:

For the one on the left, I fussy cut one of the squares containing an angel, layered it over a bit of the commercial card's background, then added it to a shimmery white layer, and popped that up on a shimmery dull gold card base.

For the one on the left, I fussy cut the other two squares.  I stamped my sentiment on a piece of patterned tissue paper, glued that on a gold border and then onto a white card base.  The two angel squares are popped up on fun foam.

I'm going to send one of them to the person who originally sent me the commercial card and see if she recognizes it.

Stamps - Hero Arts sentiment
Ink - ColorBox gold
Paper - white, white shimmer, dull gold shimmer, and gold cs; patterned tissue paper
Size -  4.25" square and A2
Accessories - clear embossing powder, commercial Christmas card, fun foam