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".

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Ribbon, Glitter, and an Ornament

The new 52 Christmas Card Throwdown is a stash challenge:

I went with a glittered ornament and "hung" it with ribbon:

The ornament was stamped and then covered with a piece of double sided tape before die cutting.  I removed the backing from the tape and sprinkled glitter all over it.

I die cut a red panel and a white panel with stitched rectangle dies, and a "joy" sentiment in white.  The ornament is popped up on foam tape and the ribbon and bow attached to it.

Here's a close-up of the glitter on the ornament (it was really hard to photograph):

I sold almost all of my Christmas cards (and also many donated by my generous crafty friends, Loll Thompson and Christine Alexander) at my fundraiser sale on Sunday.  So I'm afraid I'll be posting many more over the next few weeks as I work hard to make enough for myself to mail out!!

Stamps - Penny Black ornament stamp
Ink - SU Real Red
Paper - white and red cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Spellbinders Joy and Ornament dies, Martha Stewart glitter, double sided tape, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle dies, ribbon, foam tape

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Smooshed Tranquil Twist of Gold

It's the last week of my 4 week stint as Guest Designer for SCS's Color Challenge.  This week's challenge is called "A Tranquil Twist of Gold" and the colours are:

They are based on SU colours that I don't own so I had to do my best with what I have.  Here's my card:

The gold of course was easy - I used it to heat emboss the sentiment and border the focal panel.   I created the lime by mixing Distress Oxide Twisted Citron and Squeezed Lemonade and smooshing with it.  Distress Oxide Evergreen Bough worked well for the Tranquil Tide substitute.  

After smooshing, I trimmed the lime panel down, heat embossed the sentiment on it, and bordered it with gold miri cs.  I die cut the tree out of the Evergreen Bough piece and again out of fun foam, gluing them together for more dimension.

I'm also entering it over at the Rudolph Days Challenge.

Stamps - Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - ColorBox gold, Distress Oxide Twisted Citron, Squeezed Lemonade, Evergreen Bough
Paper - white cs, gold miri cs, mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - gold embossing powder, Impression Obsession fir tree die

Sunday, 25 November 2018

A Special Poinsettia

Sneaking in under the wire for The Flower Challenge:

Christmas is my special occasion so I made this card:

Stamping a grid over an image is a new technique for me.  First I inked the poinsettia while it was in my MISTI, spritzing and stamping after applying each colour.  Then I stamped the grid in Versamark and added white embossing powder.  Then sponged around the image, popped it up on fun foam, added gemstones to the centre and a die cut sentiment.

Stamps - Penny Black poinsettia, unknown grid stamp
Ink - various mini Distress inks, Distress Antique Linen
Paper - watercolour paper, white and brown cs
Size - 6x4.25"
Accessories - white embossing powder, Tattered Lace sentiment die, gemstones, fun foam

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Horses and Sleigh on the Move

It's pouring with rain today so got a card done for the AAA Cards challenge:

I love the Tim Holtz stamp of horses pulling a sleigh - it has a great sense of movement:

The background is made with the embossing folder stamping technique - inking up one side of the embossing folder, spritzing a little, and then stamping it onto either watercolour paper or mixed media cs.  I used various shades of blue mini Distress inks - it's easier to get more colour variation with the mini inks.

Then stamped and heat embossed the image and sentiment.  To add snow to the ground, I rubbed my Versamark pad along the bottom edge and heat embossed with a sparkly white embossing powder.  Some of the powder got onto the horses and sleigh but I left it there when heating as it gives a sense of powdery snow blowing up from the ground onto them as the horses move through it.

It would be lovely to be out on a snowy day in a horse-drawn sleigh - sounds much more inviting than going out in today's heavy rain!!

Stamps - Tim Holtz sleigh, Stampabilities sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black, Versamark, various blue Distress inks
Paper - white cs, Mixed Media cs
Size - 6x4.25"
Accessories - Cuttlebug embossing folder, Judikins White Diamond embossing powder

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Tree of Gifts

Today's card was inspired by the Addicted to CAS challenge:

It got me to use a new Jofy stamp that I hadn't yet inked up.  (I have far too many stamps like that - problem is I keep turning to my tried and true stamps!)

One of my problems with using this particular stamp is that it is very tall and narrow and doesn't work for an A2 card so I really have to step out of my A2 comfort zone!  The card is 4x8"!!  And of course that meant making an envelope for it - thank goodness for the We R Memory Makers envelope punch board!

The image is stamped and coloured with coloured pencils.  I bordered with gold cs.  I went over the stars and baubles with Glossy Accents, and added Wink of Stella to all the ribbons and Stickles to the dots at the ends of the squiggles.  My photo doesn't really capture the shimmer and shine they give.

I'm also adding it to the Stamping Sensation challenge "Get Ready for Christmas", since stamping is the predominant element of the card.

I'm already planning some kind of system for 2019 to use all my NBUS stamps - commit to two a week maybe?

Stamps - Jofy tree, Stampabilities sentiment
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white and gold cs
Size - 4x8"
Accessories - coloured pencils, Glossy Accents, Wink of Stella, Stickles

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Quilting with Spruce and Merlot

This is week three of my four weeks as Guest Designer at the SCS Color Challenge.  This week the challenge is "Vanilla Merlot under the Shaded Spruce".

I don't have the Stampin Up inks or papers that the challenge is based on so I have to come as close as I can.  Here's my card:

I am having so much fun with my new Gina Marie quilt die and I had some perfect dp languishing in a drawer. I die cut three times - once out of ivory cs, and once out of each of two different dps.

I used the ivory outline and stuck it onto double sided tape. Then carefully added the tiny pieces from the two different dps - one of them was double-sided so I flipped a few of its bits over to use the reverse pattern.

I popped the quilt up on fun foam on a dark red cardbase and die cut "joy" out of the same dark red cs.

Paper - dark red cs, Gina K Pure Ivory cs, various dp
Size - 5.25" square
Accessories - Gina Marie quilt die, Tim Holtz joy die, fun foam, sheet of double sided tape

Monday, 19 November 2018

Winter Chill

A very straightforward card made with a few challenges in mind:

SCS CAS Challenge "Take the Chill Off" - a card depicting how you would  take the chill of winter off.

The Paper Players "Sweet Treats".

And Jingle Belles "Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding" - any kind of holiday food or drink.

I stamped my image on watercolour paper, coloured with Inktense watercolour pencils, trimmed it and mounted it on cream cs. Added the sentiment, bordered in black, and used a blue card base.

It's making me want to curl up on the couch with a good book and a pot of tea (can't stand coffee!).

Stamps - Stamplorations
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, black, cream, and blue cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Inktense watercolour pencils

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Gold Nativity

The current Less is More challenge is a colour challenge:

I chose gold as my metallic colour:

A very CAS card - image and sentiment stamped and heat embossed, bordered in matching gold cs, and using an ivory cs for image and base - love ivory and gold together!  Less is definitely more in this case as I love the simplicity of it!

Stamps - Stampendous
Ink - ColorBox gold
Paper - Gina K Pure Ivory cs, gold shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Ranger gold detail embossing powder

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Vintage Santas

November has sped by so far - it's already time to remind you to enter the CAS Christmas challenge.

It seemed a good opportunity to pull out an old set of inchies stamps that includes several vintage portraits of Santa.

I stamped the three different Santa portraits with Versafine ink - it gives better detail than many other inks would do.  I trimmed them by hand and placed them over a background created with a dot stencil and a light green ink that I applied to get a variegation of tone.  I framed it with dark red cs.

I stamped the "Dear Santa" sentiment with the green ink I used on the stencil and popped up the panel on fun foam.  The card front seemed in need of something so I twisted some red and green twine together and wrapped it around the card front.   In real life, the green twine is the same shade of green as the green ink.

Now it's up to you to link up a CAS card featuring Santa - you have until November 24th.  There's lots of inspiration over at CAS Christmas from the Design Team and our November Guest Designer, Pam (Expressions with Heart).

I'm also linking it up over at The 12 Months of Christmas where the theme is "All Tied Up for Christmas" - use ribbon, string or twine.

Stamps - Darkroom Door Christmas Inchies, Penny Black sentiment
Ink - Versafine Crimson Red, Distress Oxide Peeled Paint
Paper - PTI Vintage Cream
Size - A2
Accessories - Tim Holtz Dot Fade stencil, Spellbinders rectangle die, red and green twine, fun foam

Friday, 16 November 2018

Christmas Rose

November is flying by at a frightening speed.  How are you doing with getting your Christmas cards done?  I'm here to remind you to get a card made for CAS Watercolour that will be perfect for the season:

My card includes both florals and greenery, and it uses a really old (but still much loved by me) stamp:

One reason I love it so much is because I have various Hellebores (commonly called Lenten roses) growing in my garden, one of which is the Christmas rose, more officially and properly known as Helleborus niger.  Botanical names and common plant names get so incredibly complicated - the older brain reels from trying to keep them straight!  The Christmas rose is supposed to bloom at Christmas but mine doesn't usually do much till mid-January, but every year I hope to see it at Christmas.

I stamped in Versafine Onyx Black on watercolour paper, and watercoloured the image.

When dry I trimmed it down with a Spellbinders rectangle die and left it in the die while I carefully sponged around the image with Distress Antique Linen.  When I took it out of the die, I was left with a nice narrow white border.  I attached it to red cs so that I'd have a narrow red border as well.

And finally popped it up on fun foam on a green cardbase.

There's more inspiration over at CAS Watercolour from the rest of the Design Team and this month's wonderful Guest Designer, Maura (see her SCS Gallery here).  You have until November 24th to link up your card.  Please remember to keep it clean and simple with quite a bit of "white space" (on my card the white space is dark green - that's okay because we're talking about "empty space", not literally "white".  Also please note that we're looking for florals and / or greenery, but not Christmas trees.

Hope to see you in our gallery!

Stamps - SU Christmas Rose (from the SU Christmas Cardinal set)
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black, Distress Antique Linen
Paper - watercolour paper, red and dark green cs
Size - A2
Accessories - watercolour paints, Spellbinders rectangle die, fun foam

Thursday, 15 November 2018


Two happy little gingerbread fellows helping me use up some of my decorative paper - my ongoing self-inflicted challenge!

A pretty obvious card, reminiscent of my old style of cardmaking!  Stamped and die cut gingerbread boys, popped up on a die cut label, added to decorative paper, and finally a simple die cut sentiment - I chose "Be Jolly" because they look so jolly!

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps - Stampin' Up
Ink - Memento brown
Paper - PTI Vintage Cream, dark red, Basic Grey dp
Size - A2
Accessories - Sizzix label die, Tattered Lace sentiment die, SU gingerbread die, foam tape

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Flowers for a Colour Challenge

It's my second week of being a Guest Designer for the November SCS Color Challenges.  This week's colours are:

They are not colours I would normally put together so this was a real challenge for me!   The only thing I was comfortable using them with was a floral bouquet.  The dessert option (just for fun) is NBUS (Never Before Used Stamp) - I had a perfect never used flower stamp!

I used the closest colours in my Zig Clean Brush markers. I inked up each colour one at a time in the MISTI, spritzed very lightly with water, and stamped onto mixed media cs. 

When dry, I added a bit more definition with the Zigs and coloured pencils, sponged lightly around the edges in blue, added a white embossed sentiment on a banner of black cs, and popped it up on fun foam.
I'll be back next week with my third SCS Color Challenge DT card.

Stamps - Penny Black flowers, SU sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Frost White, Memento Sky Blue
Paper - white and black cs, mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Zig Clean Brush markers, coloured pencils, pearl embellishments, white embossing powder, fun foam

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Festive Wishes

The ABC Christmas Challenge is one of my new (new-to-me) favourite challenges - I really like being given a cue word.  This month it is either "W for Wishes" or "X for Xmas".  I went with the first as it was a good chance to use a sentiment stamp I hadn't yet used.

The partridge in a pear tree stamp was sitting out on my desk begging to be used again.  I stamped and heat embossed both the image and the sentiment in copper, trimmed it, bordered it with copper cs, and popped it up on fun foam on an embossed musical background (since the partridge in a pear tree comes from a Christmas carol!).

Since I used an embossing folder, I'll link it up over at CAS Mix Up:

I have an embossing folder, stamping, and heat embossing.

And The Sparkles Christmas Challenge is "Embossing - Heat or Dry or Both" - I have both.

Thanks for dropping by today.

Stamps - Old Island Stamp Co. Partridge in a Pear Tree, Penny Black sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Copper
Paper - PTI Vintage Cream cs, copper cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Ranger copper embossing powder, musical embossing folder, fun foam

Friday, 9 November 2018

Stars, Encrusted and Embossed

For November's CAS Mix Up, Bonnie is challenging us to use embossing folders.

I'm hoping to make more than one card for this challenge as there are so many wonderful ways to use embossing folders, but for today I've gone with their original purpose of creating an embossed impression on cardstock.

To meet the CAS Mix Up requirements, I have embossing folder, stamping, encrusted jewel technique, die cutting, and heat embossing.

I started by die cutting a 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 and tiny star glitter on top.  The melted embossing powders hold 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.

I used a star embossing folder for the background, bordered it with a frame cut from gold shimmer cs, added a heat embossed sentiment, and hung the star with fine gold thread from the frame.

Here's a close-up from a different angle to show the dimension of the embossing folder and the wonderful "jewels" in the star:

I hope you like it!

Stamps - Penny Black sentiment
Ink - ColorBox gold
Paper - gold shimmer and white cs, thin chipboard
Size - 5.25" square
Accessories - Spellbinders star and square dies, Sizzix embossing folder, gold embossing powder, UTEE, various chunky glitter and star glitter, fun foam, thin gold thread

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Marbled Thanks

Today's card is for the Paper Players.

I had a lovely piece of marbled background in my UFO box that seemed perfect for the autumn colours in the challenge image.

I used the shaving cream technique and created a bright colourful background. I stamped and heat embossed the sentiment and trimmed the panel down. I used scraps of co-ordinating colours of cs to cut three wildflower die cuts. The panel is popped up on fun foam.

A brief change from Christmas cards!!  But back to them tomorrow!

Stamps - Hero Arts sentiment
Ink - Oxide Walnut Stain, various reinkers
Paper - white cs, mixed media cs, scraps of red, brown, and blue cs
Size - A2
Accessories - shaving cream, Tim Holtz wildflower dies, clear embossing powder, fun foam

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Pine Tree with Magicals

I was thrilled to be asked to be one of the November Guest Designers for the SCS Color Challenge. This is my first card for it.  Here are this week's colours:

The colour on the right is silver.  The dessert option (just for fun) is to use heat embossing.

Here's my card:

I don't have Stampin Up ink or papers so have to get as close as I can with the supplies I have.

To get the first two colours, I used different Magicals powders. I sprinkled them on mixed media cs and spritzed with water, getting them to dissolve and flow. They give some lovely shimmer to the background that, unfortunately, I could not capture in my photo.

I die cut the pine tree using mixed media cs. I pressed a couple of shades of green and one of brown on my craft sheet, spritzed with water, and did the splash technique on the tree, continuing to add and blend colour until I got something close to the dark green in the challenge.

For the silver, I die cut a silver glitter star and stamped and heat embossed the sentiment in silver - heat embossing is the dessert option this week.

To assemble the card, I die cut two more pine trees out of white cs, glued them together, then glued my green one slightly offset to give a slight white edge for more contrast from the background colours and to give a little impression of snow on the branches.

I die cut two white snowbanks, one of which has the sentiment on it.

There's no deadline for entering a SCS challenge so if ever these colours inspire you, head on over to the SCS CC712 Cabana Party in the Silver Meadow challenge.  And I'll be back next Tuesday with another card in the colours of that week's challenge!

Stamps - Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - ColorBox silver; Distress Mowed Lawn, Peeled Paint, Frayed Burlap
Paper - silver glitter, white, and mixed media cs
Size - 6x4.25"
Accessories - various aqua and green Magicals, Stampendous Silver Tinsel embossing powder, Tim Holtz Pine Tree Bigz die, sloped hills dies, small star die