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".

Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Great Outdoors

Today I have a card for a few challenges:

The Male Room - "The Great Outdoors"

52 Christmas Card Throwdown - "Colouring"

Penny Black - "Creative Christmas Challenge"

I used Jill Foster's technique seen in this video.

I put the image in the MISTI and coloured the different parts of the image with various small Distress inks (in the video, Jill Foster uses Distress markers - either are fine). When all was stamped, I restamped it all with Versamark and heat embossed in clear. That way I had a resist for sponging the sky, the sunset, and the snow.

I made a small sentiment banner out of kraft cs and mounted the panel on fun foam on a kraft card base.

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps - Penny Black image and sentiment
Ink - various small Distress inks, Versamark
Paper -  kraft and white cs
Size - A6
Accessories - clear embossing powder, fun foam

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Imagine a Fairy

 I made this card for the latest AAA Cards Challenge:

When I was a child, I loved all things imaginary - fairies, unicorns, animals that talked, etc. 

I used a very old stamp that I've had since I was a children's librarian (that was a long time ago!).  We used to stamp the children's reading records every time they came in to report about their reading during the summer reading club.

I dug out a scrap of a Brushos background (blue Brushos sprinkled on watercolour paper and spritzed with water).  I stamped the fairy on it and then painted over it with pearlescent watercolour paints - the blue of the Brushos blended in with the paint colours, hence the slight blue tinge to the fairy's skin!  In real life it's quite sparkly.  Here's a photo where I tried to capture that:

I added a die cut frame, cut twice and stacked for more dimension, and used a Tim Holtz word sticker for the sentiment.

Once I'd attached the panel to the card base, I decided it needed a little embellishment so took some tiny stars (silver ones and irridescent ones) and dropped some onto the card, letting them fall where they might.  I then glued them on.  This was the first time I used my new Marvy Uchida Jewel Picker - it was indispensable for picking up the tiny stars to put glue under them!

Here's one last photo showing the card in full and the placement of those stars:

Letting the stars fall on to the card at random seemed to work better than my usual agonizing over where to place embellishments one by one!

Stamps - All Night Media fairy
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - watercolour paper, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Yasutomo pearlescent watercolour paints, Impression Obsession frame die, blue Brushos, star embellisments

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Snowflakes and a Gift Card Holder

Posting for a couple of challenges today:

Jingle Belles "Let It Snow"

ABC Christmas Challenge "S is for Snow"

A friend asked if I could make some small cards for her with gift card holders inside so I came up with this design for one of them.

Here's the outside:

I made a background with a TH snowflake stencil. I took Broken China ink, smooshed it on my craft mat, and mixed in some embossing paste and went over the stencil with it.

I die cut "snow" out of blue glitter cs, and bordered the stenciled panel with the same.

I added a single gemstone to the largest snowflake.

And here's the inside, showing the gift card holder:

For the inside, I made the gift card holder out of a snowflake dp to match the theme of the card, added a little stamped and die cut label to it, and stamped "to" and "from" on the other side.

I have a package of little envelopes that would just hold cards this size so I might make a bunch of them for both my friend and to sell at my fundraiser.
I'm also adding it to The Merry Christmas Challenge "Anything Goes".

Stamps - SU "A Gift for You", Rubber Stampede "To / From"
Ink - Distress Tumbled Glass
Paper - PTI Vintage Cream cs, blue glitter cs, American Crafts dp
Size - 3.5" square
Accessories - Simon Says Stamp snow word die, blue gemstone, Tim Holtz snowflake stencil, embossing paste, Simon Says Stamp gift card envelope die, Spellbinders scalloped oval die

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Red, Glitter, and Green

I love tic tac toe challenges and this one from 4 Crafty Chicks lent itself perfectly to a Christmas card.

I chose the left hand vertical column - red, glitter, green.

I've been having fun making some encrusted jewel pieces.  I die cut the tree from thin chipboard, then placed it on a warm grill on top of a layer of non-stick craft mat then parchment paper.  I sprinkled it with green embossing powder.  Once it had melted, I added multi-coloured chunky glitter pieces 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 then die cut the tree from fun foam and attached it immediately to the encrusted jewel tree to give it a bit more body so that it wouldn't bend and crack.

It was incredibly hard to photograph and get the sparkle to show up in the photo but here are a couple of close-ups to hopefully show the chunky multi-coloured glitter on the tree:

I added the tree to a small panel with a red stamped sentiment and put that on a red card base.

Stamps - Rosie's Roadshow sentiment
Ink - SU Real Red
Paper - white and red cs, light weight chipboard
Size - 4x5.25"
Accessories - Spellbinders tree die, green embossing powder, chunky glitter, UTEE, fun foam

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Tea Rose

I have to start by pointing out that the title of this post "Tea Rose" is extremely accurate as not only am I using the image of a rose but I'm also using tea on my card.

I've seen challenges where they ask you to use coffee but I am definitely not a coffee drinker - in fact, I can't even stand the smell of it.  So I decided to play with tea instead!

I started by putting the rose stamp in my MISTI, colouring it up section by section with my Tombow markers, lightly spritzing each time. When dry, I used some coloured pencils to add a bit of extra definition of the petals and leaves.

I brewed a little bit of very strong orange pekoe tea and used it for the background. I "inked up" a small script stamp by carefully dipping the stamp in the tea, shaking off some of the excess liquid, and then stamping around the rose. If you don't shake off the excess liquid, you just get a blob like along the top or a bunch of blobs like the middle bottom section - I'm fine with it as I like the variety.

I stamped the vertical sentiment on a scrap of the same watercolour paper, die cut it with a banner die, and sponged a bit of tea over it.

The panel is popped up on fun foam for some dimension.
It's heading over to the Color Throwdown challenge that inspired me not just with the colours but also with the roses in their image.

And to the Flower Challenge:

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps - Penny Black rose, Rosie's Road Show sentiment, unknown script stamp
Ink - Distress Oxide Vintage Photo
Paper - watercolour paper, PTI Vintage Cream cs
Size - A2
Accessories - strong steeped tea, Memory Box banner die, Tombow markers, coloured pencils, fun foam

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Is Tobogganing a Sport?

The new Paper Players challenge is "Sports".

Since I need to make lots of Christmas cards, I went with a winter sport - tobogganing.  Got my card made, and then found myself wondering if tobogganing is actually a sport - too late now if it's not, the card is made and here to be posted.

A quick card to make - stamped, watercoloured, trimmed with a stitched rectangle, and bordered with red and green to match the bears' scarves.

Stamps - Penny Black Arctic Antics
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper; red, green, and cream cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle die

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Blue and Gold

The Sparkles Christmas Challenge for this month is "Blue and Gold",

I played around with making a gold encrusted jewel star for my focal point.  I really enjoy this technique.  I die cut the star from thin chipboard, then placed it on a warm grill on top of a layer of non-stick craft mat then parchment paper.  I sprinkled it with gold embossing powders.  Once they had melted, I added multi-coloured chunky glitter pieces 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 then die cut the star from fun foam and attached it immediately to the encrusted jewel star to give it a bit more body so that it wouldn't bend and crack.  Here's a close-up of the star:

The background was done with Distress inks and the smooshing technique, with water droplets flicked over it.  The sentiment is heat embossed in gold, and, to get matching gold strips for the top and bottom, I inked up some scrap cs and then heat embossed it with the same gold embossing powder as I used on the sentiment.

The sentiment is actually longer - the rest of it is on the inside and it says "... and that star will warm you all Christmas long."

If you haven't tried the encrusted jewels technique, I highly recommend it.  A great way to use up your stash of embossing powder and glitter!

Stamps - Kay Foley sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Gold, blue Distress inks
Paper - chipboard, mixed media cs, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Spellbinders star die, various gold embossing powders and chunky glitters, clear UTEE, fun foam

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

An Iris for the Flower Challenge

I love irises and this month's Flower Challenge is "Anything Goes" so I went with an iris.

Here's my card:

I die cut the iris out of watercolour paper and painted it with my Gansai Tambi paints.

I pulled a pale background out of my UFO box (a very late pull of a shaving foam background on coated cs). I glued the bottom of the iris stems down and popped the iris flower and bud up with foam tape.

I die cut the frame and put it on top using foam tape all the way around it. Added lots of sequins for embellishment.

Here's a closer look showing the dimension of the iris and the frame created by the foam tape behind them:

Thanks for dropping by today!

Paper - white cs, coated cs, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - Penny Black iris die, Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, foam tape, Lil Inker stitched rectangle, Spellbinders deckle edge rectangle, sequins

Monday, 17 September 2018

Wreath on a Brick Wall

Time to remind you to get your CAS Christmas Challenge "Wreath" cards made!

I went with one of my all-time favourite wreath techniques.  I make a few of these every year as they always sell well at my Christmas card sale!

I used the Martha Stewart Pine Branch punch to punch out all the branches for the wreath - I love this technique so much that I actually bought myself a second punch in case the first one I bought many years ago decides to pack it in!  Crazy, eh?

For the little branches, I used a variety of green decorative / patterned papers.  They are usually photos of grass or leaves that people would use for scrapbooking.  If you want to see what I mean, look at this example and this one on the scrapbook.com website.  I pick them up when patterned paper is on sale at Michaels or JoAnns.  Using them gives me nice colour variation in the branches and makes it look more realistic and even as if some of it is speckled with snow.

I cut a very thin circle base using two sizes of Spellbinders circle dies and then glued down the punched branches, overlapping each one.

For this card, I decided to leave the wreath with just a red bow.  Sometimes I add red or white gemstones for berries.  But I like the CAS look of it this one without embellishment.

The background is a Tim Holtz brick stencil and Ranger Texture Paste just covering an area slightly bigger than the wreath.  It left me with a perfect little spot to stamp my sentiment.  I trimmed the panel and popped it up on fun foam.

Here's a close-up to see the paste embossed bricks and the patterning and colour variation in the little branches:

We'd love to have you join us at CAS Christmas.  Your card needs to be clean and simple, and must follow the theme.  You have until September 24th to link up.  There's lots of inspiration from my fellow Design Team members and our wonderful Guest Designer, Birgit (Rapport fran ett skrivbord).

Stamps - PTI sentiment
Ink - SU Real Red
Paper - white cs, various patterned papers
Size - A2
Accessories - Martha Stewart pine branch punch, Spellbinders circle dies, Tim Holtz Bricked stencil, Ranger Texture Paste, red ribbon, fun foam

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Sparkling Tree

Reminder time for CAS Watercolour where the September challenge is "Tree":

For my original Design Team card, I watercoloured the trees.  For this one, I created a watercolour background using Loll Thompson's "splash watercolour" technique (see her video here).

I used three shades of blue Distress Oxide inks to create the background, putting one at a time onto my craft mat and spritzing with water, splashing my mixed media cs into it and then drying with my heat gun.

Once I was happy with the results, I stamped the Penny Black tree and sentiment onto it, trimmed it down, and popped it up on fun foam.  Then I painstakingly added a clear gemstone to every single little circle in the image.  Here's a close-up to show all those gemstones (though the photo doesn't do it justice - the sparkle in real life is quite impressive!) and the lovely blend of splashed blues:

You have until September 24th to join us at CAS Watercolour.  Be sure to follow the theme of "tree" and keep your card clean and simple.  There's lots of inspiration from the Design Team and our wonderful Guest Designer, Ros (Mikey's Mom).

Stamps - Penny Black "Twinkling", PTI sentiment
Ink - Archival Jet Black; Distress Oxide Faded Jeans, Chipped Sapphire, and Weathered Wood
Paper - mixed media and white cs
Size - 4.75x6.25"
Accessories - clear gemstones, fun foam

Saturday, 15 September 2018


After having this card chosen as CAS Perfectionist in the ATCAS challenge "Berries", I'm thrilled to have been asked to be the Guest Designer for the next ATCAS challenge:

One of my favourite bird images is a Penny Black robin sitting on an old flower pot.  I've used it to make a note card to send out around Christmas time to friends who've suffered a recent bereavement - somehow a "Merry Christmas" card just won't seem appropriate this year.

I stamped the image on hot press watercolour paper and used my Gansai Tambi paints to colour it.

I die cut a pierced frame twice and glued them together for extra dimension.  I finished off with a Quickie glue pen and glitter on the snowy bits.

I'm also taking it over to the Penny Black "Creative Christmas Challenge" - the challenge is to have a Penny Black product as the main focus.

Stamps - Penny Black robin, Rosie's Roadshow sentiment
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, MFT Pierced Rectangle Frame die

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Watercoloured with Markers

For the September CAS Mix Up challenge:

I put a Penny Black stamp into my MISTI, inked up with Distress markers and spritzed lightly, repeating till I was happy.  When it was dry, I stamped the sentiment with one of the matching inks, and then with Antique Linen, sponged the edges softly.

I popped the panel up on fun foam on a green card base, and added green twine to the right side.

For CAS Mix Up, it has stamping with an ink pad, stamping with markers, sponging, and twine.

Stamps - Penny Black Effulgence, Rosie's Roadshow sentiment
Ink - Distress Peeled Paint and Antique Linen
Paper - hot press watercolour paper, Bazzill green linen cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Distress markers (Peeled Paint, Squeezed Lemonade, and Wild Honey), fun foam, green twine

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Tweeting for Peace

Two challenges were in my mind for this card:

Jingle Belles is asking for "Peace on Earth".

The Twelve Months of Christmas wants one or more birds for "Have a Tweet Christmas".

This was a very quick card to make - stamped the image and heat embossed with a blue glittery embossing powder, trimmed the panel, and popped it up on fun foam.

A good design to remember for the last minute rush of making Christmas cards at the end of November!

Stamps - Local King Rubber Stamp Winter Wishes 3
Ink - ColorBox Blue
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Stampendous Blue Magic Tinsel embossing powder, fun foam

Friday, 7 September 2018

Double Wheels

Dara and Diane's new Double D Challenge is "Let's Pop a Wheelie" - use anything that has wheels.  Here's their mood board:

My sister is going to be going to a wedding a couple of months for a friend who fell in love with the leader of a bike tour she went on.  So my sister asked me to make a card for her to give them.  And here's the perfect challenge for it!

I die cut the bicycles out of pieces from my UFO box - they were either coloured with Distress inks or with sprays.

The hilly ground was cut with a stitched slope die and coloured with coloured pencils and Gamsol.

The sentiment is heat embossed on a label die (to cover up the first stamping of the sentiment that came out crooked!).

I die cut lots of tiny hearts out of gold and silver textured cs and glued them on so that they are flowing between the baskets of the two bicycles.

Stamps - Memory Box sentiment
Ink - Versamark
Paper - white cs, scraps of backgrounds from UFO box, textured gold and silver cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Memory Box bicycle die, Impress Cards and Crafts tiny hearts die, label die, stitched slope die, coloured pencils, Gamsol, Platinum embossing powder