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, 28 July 2018

A Simple Christmas Tree

For July's Christmas Cards All Year Round "Tree" challenge:

The tree was die cut from a scrap of leftover mixed media cs coloured with green Brushos. The sentiment is stamped and heat embossed. I cut a second tree out of white cs and slightly offset it to give the idea of a dusting of snow on the branches.

The background is mixed media cardstock painted in white and blue and splattered in white.

Stamps - Kaiser sentiment
Ink - ColorBox white
Paper - white and mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - blue and white acrylic paint, Spellbinders Christmas tree die, Cuttlebug embossing folder, white embossing powder, green Brushos

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Splats for a Non-Traditional Christmas Card

I think of traditional Christmas cards having themes like Santa, reindeer, snow, stars, trees, doves, etc.  And they are the kinds of themes I like to use. So when I saw the latest 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge "Non-Traditional Christmas Card", I was going to skip it, but then I decided on this card:

I kept the colours traditional, but went with the rather strange theme of splats!

You take Distress Stains and prime them by pressing down on your craft mat or scrap paper to get the stain flowing. Then on mixed media cs (you get richer colour than on regular cs), you press down really hard and simply splat the Distress Stain on your mixed media cs with the sponge dauber.

I used red and quite an olive green shade of green. Then between them, I stamped my sentiment with Versamark and heat embossed with gold.

I die cut it with an oval die and popped it up on fun foam on a gold card base. a

Hope this counts as non-traditional!

Stamps - PTI sentiment
Ink - Versamark
Paper - gold cs, mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Distress Stains (Peeled Paint, Festive Berries), Spellbinders oval die, gold embossing powder, fun foam

Monday, 23 July 2018

Summertime = Beach Time

The new Addicted CAS Challenge is Summertime.

Living in Vancouver, Canada means I get to spend summer days at the beach - usually the off-leash beach at low tide when my dog, Tessa, can run over the sand, chasing balls to her heart's delight.  Here she is on quite a windy (but warm) day:

I'm sure the sentiment on this card is exactly how Tessa feels!

For the shells, I pulled some scraps of coated cs that had various colours of brushos on them - die cut the base of the shells from the more coloured parts and the top outline of the shells from mostly white sections. Some glue squished out while I was gluing the top outlines on the bases so I sprinkled glitter over them to soak up the excess glue.

The blue panel is on Yupo. I smooshed the Yupo into a mixture of blue acrylic paint that had been spritzed with water. I framed it for added interest and clustered the seashells at the bottom corners.

I stamped the sentiment with a Kaleidacolor ink pad.

Now I think Tessa and I need to head to the beach!!

Stamps - Technique Junkie sentiment
Ink - Kaleidacolor Blue Breeze
Paper - white cs, Yupo, coated cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Elizabeth Craft Designs seashell dies, brushos, MFT Pierced Square Frame die, blue acrylic paint, glitter

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Shades of Blue

A thank you card for a friend who loves blue.

I started by inking up a leafy background stamp in a very pale blue ink, randomly wiping off some of the ink so it didn't evenly cover the cs, stamping a sentiment in a darker shade of blue ink, and then arranging three die cut wildflowers (cut out of three different shades of blue cs) on top.

That panel is popped up on fun foam on an embossed background.

Since it's all shades of blue, I'm taking it over to The Flower Challenge "Monochrome".

Stamps - Hero Art sentiment, Rubbernecker background stamp
Ink - Versamagic Ocean Depth, ColorBox Blue Lagoon
Paper - white cs, 3 shades of blue cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Tim Holtz wildflower dies, Crafts Too embossing folder, fun foam

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Bundling Up CAS Style

The latest Jingle Belles challenge is "All Bundled Up" - use 3 or more layers.  Well that is a real challenge for me as I prefer more CAS cards, so I decided to do a CAS Card with three layers on top of the card base.

I have a stitched die cut layer with my sentiment on it, then a narrow green border layer, and then my image layer.

The image is stamped on watercolour paper and coloured with my Gansai Tambi paints.  I've added tiny red gemstones for the holly berries.

I hope this CAS version qualifies for the Jingle Belles challenge!!

It should definitely fit the AAA CAS challenge "Christmas in July" so I'm linking it up there too.

Stamps - Memory Box bird, A Muse sentiment
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - white and green cs, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi paints, red gemstones, Lil Inker stitched rectangle die

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Gold Poinsettia

A card for three challenges:

The poinsettia is stamped and heat embossed in gold on gold vellum, and fussy cut twice, using a smaller section of it for the top layer.

I embossed a Spellbinders Decorative Elements frame die onto a square of white shimmer cs. I taped the poinsettia in the centre of it, using little bits of foam tape to pop up sections for dimension.

For the card base, I used a gold shimmer cs that matches the gold vellum. And embellished with little gold shimmer stickers in the centre of the poinsettia.

Splitcoast Stampers: Die Embossing

CAS Christmas:  Poinsettia

The Flower Challenge: Monochrome

Stamps - Penny Black poinsettia
Ink - ColorBox gold
Paper - gold vellum, gold and white shimmer cs
Size - 5.5" square
Accessories - Spellbinders Decorative Elements frame die, gold embossing powder, Starform gold sparkle stick-ons, foam tape

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Poinsettia and Mesh

Time for a reminder to join in with the CAS Christmas challenge with a card featuring poinsettias.

Our sister challenge CAS Mix Up recently had a "layered embossing" challenge so I got several pieces made when making something for it, including the poinsettia on this card:

The poinsettia was made using the Encrusted Jewel Technique.  On a warm grill topped with a piece of non-stick craft mat and a piece of parchment paper, I placed a die cut poinsettia (cut out of thick cs).  I sprinkled with red and garnet embossing powders, letting them melt.  I added glitter all over it and gold microbeads to the centre.  Then melted clear UTEE on top to hold everything in place.

When crafting with friends, I'd randomly brushed some gold grounds that one of them had on a piece of cs to see what it was like, so trimmed that down for a background.  Added a heat embossed sentiment and a piece of red and gold mesh, and popped the panel up on fun foam.

Here's a close-up of the poinsettia and mesh:

I'm also adding it to the July CAS Mix Up challenge - Colour your Die Cuts - as I coloured my die cut with embossing powder.  My mixed media are die cutting, embossing powder, mesh, glitter, and microbeads.

Please come and join us at CAS Christmas.  You have until July 24th to link up a CAS card featuring poinsettias.  There's lots of inspiration from the Design Team and July Guest Designer, Marina (My Perfect Life).

Stamps - Old Island Stamp Co. sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Chianti
Paper - white cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - TH Tattered Poinsettia die, Stampendous Ruby Red and Pearl Claret embossing powders, UTEE, glitter, gold microbeads, red and gold mesh, Daniel Smith Gold Grounds, clear embossing powder, fun foam

Monday, 16 July 2018

Splashed Wildflowers

Mid-month already so I'm here with a reminder card for CAS Watercolour.

I took a piece of mixed media cs and used Loll Thompson's splash watercolouring technique (see her video).  I started with Distress Oxide Peeled Paint and splashed it on the lower half of the cs.  Then I used a bunch of other colours, one at a time, drying after each, to colour the upper half of the cs.

I die cut the three wildflowers out of my piece, getting the stems at the bottom and the flowers at the top.  Then die cut them again out of scrap cs and layered them for more substance.

I glued a stitched frame to the card base, stamped a sentiment, tied the bunch of wildflowers with a piece of twine, and then glued them down.

Here's a close-up:

The splash technique is so much fun - just be sure to dry between layers so that you get the nice splashed colour effect.  You have until July 24th to link up your card.  Head on over to CAS Watercolour to see what the rest of the Design Team and our Guest Designer (Marcia of Marcia K Designs) created.

I'm also adding it to the July CAS Mix Up challenge - Colour your Die Cuts - as I coloured my die cut with splashed ink.  I have stamping, die cutting, oxide ink splashing, and twine.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps - Technique Tuesday sentiment
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black, Distress Oxide - Peeled Paint, Wild Honey, Broken China, Wilted Violet, Seedless Preserves, and Worn Lipstick
Paper - mixed media and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Tim Holtz wildflower dies, twine, Lil Inker stitched rectangle die

Monday, 9 July 2018

Congratulations, Paper Players!

The Paper Players are celebrating their 400th challenge!  And they are asking for a card that celebrates something such as a birthday, anniversary, etc.

I need a few birthday cards over the summer, and I felt like doing something a bit less CAS, so came up with this:

I found a very pale background in my background box that was probably a mopping-up of leftover ink from some mauve and blue smooshing.  I stamped some text, plant sprig, butterflies, and sentiment on it.  Added a thin navy border and mounted it on a coloured card base (I've been trying to use up some coloured cs so my last three cards have all had coloured card bases!). 

It felt like I was on a roll with a kind of collage design so I decided to go all out and added some sticky Design Adhesives that have been sitting in a drawer for years, one with a dark blue glitter sprinkled on it and the other with mauve glitter.  It needed a bit of dimension so I punched out three little butterflies out of vellum and added them, each with a gemstone!

It's heading off to a friend who loves blues and purples and also glitter!

Stamps - Inkadinkado text stamp, SU sentiment, Stampendous Silhouette Sprig, unknown butterfly trio
Ink - Memento Paris Dusk, Cottage Ivy, and Grape Jelly
Paper - mixed media, navy, and blue cs, scrap of vellum
Size - A2
Accessories - ClearSnap Design Adhesives, butterfly punch, mauve and purple glitter, gemstones

Sunday, 8 July 2018


I haven't posted much lately as I've had my sister visiting from Toronto.  We had a lovely time and I was sad to see her go home.  I made today's card to send to her.  It says "Just to say" on the front and inside it says "I'm glad we're sisters".

This month's Flower Challenge inspired me.

I went with blues of course since they are my favourite colour (and my sister loves blue too).

My background used a technique inspired by this post by Magouille.  She also includes a video.  In a nutshell, here's what you do: 

Create an alcohol ink background on Yupo and let dry.  Place stencil over top and using a small sponge dauber, dip into blending solution.  Blot off excess blending solution and then pounce dauber over stencil to remove colour.  Make sure all areas are done before removing stencil.  You can dry off the stencil and move to another location and repeat.

I then stamped "Just to say" in blue Staz-On on the bottom corner that hadn't been completely covered by the alcohol inks, mounted it on a very narrow white border and then on fun foam, used a blue card base, and topped off with a white die cut.

Here's a close-up:

I love this technique and also the way the Tim Holtz wildflower stencil and dies go together so well.

Stamps - Chocolate Baroque sentiment
Ink - StazOn Midnight Blue
Paper - blue and white cs, Yupo
Size - A2
Accessories - various blue alcohol inks, alcohol ink blending solution, Tim Holtz Wildflower stencil and die, fun foam

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Framed Poinsettia

It's hard to think of poinsettias when my garden is full of phlox, baby's breath, astrantia, foxgloves, and geraniums, but this month I have to as the CAS Christmas Challenge wants them on our cards.

I went with a simple framed die cut poinsettia on a red card base.

After die cutting the poinsettia layers with watercolour paper, I watercoloured them with my Gansai Tambi paints, keeping it darker in the centre and fading out to the petal tips.  I used my ball stylus to give the petals some dimension and layered them.  I added it to a red card base gluing down the centre and popping up some of the petals with tiny bits of foam tape.  I die cut a stick frame to glue around it.  Finished of with a  simple heat embossed sentiment on the bottom, and a tiny bit of stickles and some gold gemstones in the poinsettia's centre.  Here's a close-up:

Head on over to CAS Christmas for more poinsettia inspiration from the rest of our Design Team and our July Guest Designer, Marina (My Perfect Life).  You have until July 24th to link up clean and simple cards featuring poinsettias.

I'm also taking my card over to AAA Cards where the challenge is to use a frame.

And to CAS Mix Up for the "Colour Your Die Cuts" challenge.

I have my watercoloured die cut, stamping, and heat embossing.

Also taking it over to Winter Wonderland where the challenge is "Square Cards Only".

Stamps - A Muse sentiment
Ink - ColorBox white
Paper - white and red cs, watercolour paper
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Poppy Stamps Grand Stick Frame die, Poppy Stamps Blooming Poinsettia die, Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, white embossing powder, gold Stickles, gold gemstones, foam tape

Monday, 2 July 2018

Splashed Gears

2018 is flying by!  We're halfway through the year already!  There's a new challenge over at CAS Watercolour for the month of July:

The last time I was at Loll's house, I used one of her new dies and cut it out of mixed media cs.  It was sitting on my desk looking up at me, all boring and plain white, and just seemed to cry out for some splashing.  It was much more appealing once splashed and turned into this card:

I splashed both sections in light colours of Distress Oxide inks, and then splashed the inner section in some darker colours.

I glued the die cut onto the card and added a die cut sentiment on top - I think it will work really well as a masculine birthday card.

Splash watercolouring is a really fun technique and quite addictive.  Head on over to CAS Watercolour where there is a great instructional video by Loll Thompson to get you started and lots of inspiration by the Design Team and this month's Guest Designer, Marcia (Marcia K Designs).  You have until June 24th to link up a card - please be sure to keep your card clean and simple, and use some element created with splash watercolouring.

Ink - Distress Oxide Fossilized Amber, Antique Linen, and Vintage Photo
Paper - mixed media and white cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Ali Express gears die, Tattered Lace sentiment die