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, 28 April 2019

Christmas Bunny

I had fun today making a card for the Christmas Kickstart "Christmas Bunnies" challenge.

It was a good chance to ink up a stamp I'd never used!

I stamped the image, coloured it with markers, didn't like how I'd coloured the bunny so restamped, recoloured the bunny, fussy cut it, and put on top of the first one - nice to have the extra dimension!

I die cut a slope out of the same white cs and layered it over the piece with the bunny on it to create the hill he is tobogganing on.  I used Stickles to go over the profile of the hill, to add sparkle to the snowy bits on the bunny image, and to add random streaks of flying snow as the toboggan goes down the hill.

A simple sentiment, a bit of fun foam behind the focal panel, and a red card base finished it off.

Here's a photo from a different angle that shows the sparkle of the Stickles better:

Thanks for stopping by!

Stamps - Penny Black
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - red and white cs
Size - 4.25" square
Accessories - markers, "Diamond Ice" Stickles, fun foam

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Friendly Creatures

Back to a Christmas card after non-Christmas ones for my last couple of posts!

I like to think of these two hedgehogs as friends who are making Christmas decorations together (though someone said that maybe they are siblings quarreling over who gets to hang up the garland of stars!).

I stamped them on hot press watercolour paper, then painted with my Gansai Tambi watercolour paints.  The set includes metallic silver that I used for the scissors and metallic gold that I used for the stars - in real life they have a nice shimmer to them.

Then a thin border of black, some fun foam to pop it up, and a gold card base.

It's going over to:

Sparkles Christmas Challenges - "Feature a Creature"

Christmas Cards All Year Round - "Family and Friends"

Rudolph Days - April Anything Goes

So what do you think - happy co-operative hedgehog friends, or argumentative hedgehog siblings?

Stamps - Penny Black
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - hot press watercolour paper, gold shimmer and black cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, fun foam

Monday, 22 April 2019

A Masculine Birthday

I made this as a birthday card for a male friend who is an avid reader and who loves coffee.

The image is coloured with coloured pencils and blended with Gamsol.

When finished, I had a smudge of oily Gamsol on the lower right edge so stamped and die cut "happy birthday" to cover it up!

It's going over to two challenges:

Stamps - Stamplorations
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - white and red cs
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils, Gamsol, Nesties circle dies, Lil Inker stitched rectangle die, fun foam

Friday, 19 April 2019

A New Look for My Blog!!

I'm thrilled to introduce you to the new look of my blog, created for me by my wonderful generous talented friend, Loll Thompson.  Loll came across the image on my new header and knew right away it would appeal to me.  And sure enough it does.  I live in a small older white wood-sided house, and I'm a passionate gardener so this image really makes me think of my house, my shrubs, my flowers, etc.  Here's a photo of my house so you can see what I mean (though it's autumn in the photo so not much flower colour):

I also love the fact that the image on the header is watercoloured - my favourite technique these days.  And Loll found a perfect font for my blog name.  Thank you so much, Loll! 

Now on to a card.  The latest Color Throwdown Challenge really appealed to me as they are colours that a friend of mine loves to put together:

So I thought I'd make this card for her:

I used various blue, orange, and yellow Distress Oxide inks to create a smooshed background on mixed media cardstock.  When dry, I stamped the script in dark blue ink for added texture and interest.

I bordered with navy cs, added a white die cut, and popped the panel up on fun foam.

Thanks so much for coming by today!

Stamps - Penny Black script stamp
Ink - various blue, yellow, and orange Distress Oxide inks;  Ranger Cobalt
Paper - white, navy, and mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Poppy Stamps Delicate Dogwood, fun foam

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Embossing Paste Wall

This is my last post with this current design of my blog - I will miss the beautiful blue header that Loll Thompson found for me when she created my blog but it's time for a new look and I really love the image she came up with for the new header.  So don't be surprised next time you visit me to see it looking a bit different!

Now on to today's card.  I created the background using embossing paste through a brick wall stencil:

One of my favourite things to do is make Christmas wreaths for my cards.  I used the old Martha Stewart pine branch punch to punch lots of branches out of various scraps of dp that were mostly green but with bits of white on them to give a bit of a frosted look. I glued them to a thin circle that I cut using two Spellbinders circle dies.

For the background, I used a brick stencil with white embossing paste (it was an old jar of Dreamweaver paste that had dried out a bit so I ended up with quite a rough texture that seemed to suit the bricks).  I added a small stamped sentiment to it. Then I "hung" the wreath on it with ribbon, mounted it on a red cardbase, and finished by adding red gemstones to represent the berries on the wreath

It's going over to three challenges:

The April CAS Stencil challenge is:

The ABC Christmas Challenge is "H for Hang It Up and / or I for Intricate".  I "hung up" my wreath with ribbon.

And because I used scraps of dp, it's going over to the Pixie's Snippets Playground.

Stamps - Rubber Soul Joy
Ink - SU Real Red
Paper - white and red cs, scraps of dp
Size - 5.25" square
Accessories - Martha Stewart pine branch punch, ribbon, red gemstones, MFT brick wall stencil, Dreamweaver whit embossing paste, Spellbinders circle die

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Frosty Elf

Before I get on to today's card, I want to let you know that I'll soon be getting a wonderful new look to my blog soon - thanks to my ever-so-talented dear friend, Loll Thompson!  So watch for that to come very soon.

Time for a reminder to make a card for CAS Christmas!

Once again I had to borrow an elf stamp from my friend, Christine.  This time I used a very small elf image:

I stamped the elf and coloured it with coloured pencils.  I scribbled on his list with a pencil to make it look like he was really reading a list of who was naughty or nice.  I cut a little frame with icicles and few small snowflakes to add some more interest to the card - and he does work at the North Pole after all so I'm sure there are icicles hanging on the windows at Santa's workshop!.

There's more mid-month inspiration over at CAS Christmas from the Design Team and our Guest Designer,  JoAnn (Crafty Nana's Blog).  You have until April 24th to link up your card.

Stamps - Clearly Besotted elf and sentiment
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white cs, white sparkle cs
Size - A2
Accessories - AE icicle die, small snowflake dies, coloured pencils

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

One of My Favourite Poppy Stamps

I have many poppy stamps so am loving this month's CAS Watercolour Challenge!

Here is my reminder card:

I've had this stamp for many years and still love it.  It really epitomizes Oriental poppies for me.

I stamped it in Versafine Onyx Black.  When dry, I used my Inktense watercolour pencils, going over the shading lines of the image with an Inktense pencil and then drawing the colour out from there with a wet brush.

I finished it off with a bit of subtle splatter, made by pressing Distress Black Soot ink on my palette and watering it down.

You have until April 24th to link up a clean and simple watercolour card featuring poppies.  There is lots more inspiration from the rest of the Design Team and our wonderful Guest Designer, Rachel (Creating Paper Hugs) over at CAS Watercolour.

Stamps - Clear Art Stamps Crafty Secrets Poppy
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black, Distress Black Soot
Paper - watercolour paper, SSS Ivory cs
Size - 5.25" square
Accessories - Inktense watercolour pencils, fun foam

Monday, 15 April 2019

Metallic Nativity with Red

The 52 Christmas Card Throwdown challenge is asking for:

It can be any metallic, so I chose gold, and my one other colour is red.

The image is one I picked up at a second hand sale and it had no label on it, so I've no idea who made it.

A very CAS card - I stamped and heat embossed in gold, bordered with gold metallic cs, and mounted on fun foam on a red card base.

Stamps - unknown unmounted stamp
Ink - ColorBox gold
Paper - gold metallic, red, and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - gold embossing powder, fun foam

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Spring Birds and New Leaves

The Male Room is asking what spring brings to mind - whether it's the return of the birds, trees greening up, gardening, etc.

For me, it's definitely hearing the birds singing and the plants and trees all coming back to life.  So I combined those things for my card:

I stamped and watercoloured the bird and framed it with a circular frame I made from two circle dies. I bordered my sentiment with the same green as the frame.  I stenciled some leaves in a pale spring green in the empty space at the upper right.

Stamps - SU Friends 24-7 bird, Savvy Stamps sentiment
Ink - Distress Oxide Walnut Stain, Distress Shabby Shutters
Paper - watercolour paper, cream and green cs
Size - A2
Accessories - leaf stencil made on Silhouette, SU label punches, Spellbinders circle dies

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Brightly Lit Windows

I'm sneaking in under the wire for the Less is More challenge:

I went with a Christmas card and electric light, showing all the windows in the houses lit up with light on a cold winter's evening.

My sky was created by putting gesso through a snowflake stencil to create a resist and then using a variety of blue, pink, and mauve sprays to create a wintry sky. Unfortunately the gesso absorbed some of the colour.

I then die cut the village and taped it over the sky panel, and then used a white card base with stamped sentiment. As a final touch, I went over the windows with a gold gel pen as if all their lights were on.

Stamps - Make an Impression sentiment
Ink - Vivid Sky Blue
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - various blue, pinky, and mauve sprays; snowflake stencil, gesso, AE village die, gold gel pen

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Guest Designing for Twofer

I was thrilled to win the February Twofer Challenge with this card, and was then invited to be their Guest Designer for the April challenge:

In case you're not familiar with the Twofer challenge, here are the basic rules:

I don't have any zoo animal stamps so my friend, Christine, kindly lent me some of hers.  I chose a very unusual elephant and came up with this Twofer:

First up is a Christmas card where the silly elephant has really overindulged in the Christmas festivities:

He looks pretty miserable, doesn't he?

First step was to create the sentiment on the computer and then print it off on a lightweight cs.  I then put it in my MISTI and laid a piece of scrap acetate over it so that I could get my elephant lined up perfectly between the sections of the sentiment - by stamping onto the acetate, I can see where the image is going to end up.  Then removed the acetate and stamped onto the cs.

I then coloured the elephant with coloured pencils and Gamsol.  The Santa hat from the Tim Holtz Crazy Birds' accesories stamps seemed about the right size so I stamped, coloured, and fussy cut it.  Bordered with red cs and it was done.

My second card is a get well card.  I have more sympathy for the elephant in this one as he really does look ill (whereas the Christmas elephant brought his misery upon himself!).

I had a scrap of coated cs that I'd sprinkled Bisters on (probably the green).  It had a perfect dark brown spot that fit the elephant's eye!  I stamped him with Staz-on and then fussy-cut him.

Using a chintz-patterned dp, I stamped and heat embossed the Poppy Stamps Hayward Sofa, then fussy cut it.  Poor elephant didn't quite fit so he needed a pile of cushions to rest his head on.  The sofa stamp has a cushion in one corner so I stamped, heat embossed, and fussy cut it three times, and stuck them on under his head.  I added a bit of "ground" with coloured pencils, and bordered the panel with the same dp as I used for the sofa.  The sentiment is stamped on a fussy cut label stamp.

I hope you are inspired to get out a zoo animal stamp, die, or stencil and create a Twofer for the challenge.  There's lots more inspiration from the Design Team here.  You have until March 24th to enter.

Supplies for the Christmas card:
Stamps - Katzelkraft elephant, Tim Holtz Crazy Birds' Santa hat
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white and red cs
Size - A2
Accessories -  computer-generated sentiment, coloured pencils, Gamsol

Supplies for the Get Well card:
Stamps - Katzelkraft elephant, Tim Holtz sentiment and sentiment label, Poppy Stamp Hayward Sofa stamp
Ink - Staz-on Black, Versafine Onyx Black, Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - coated cs, Gina K Pure Ivory cs, Graphic 45 dp
Size - 5.75x3.75"
Accessories - clear embossing powder, coloured pencils, Bisters

Monday, 8 April 2019

Ombre and Threes

A card for a couple of challenges:

Addicted to CAS:

Jingle Belles - Three of Something      -     I have three die cut snowflakes and my image has three ornaments.
I stamped the image/sentiment with an ombre of blues, trimmed the panel, and added it to my card base along with three die cut snowflakes to balance it.

Stamps - Local King Rubber Stamp
Ink - Kaliedacolor Blue Breeze
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - small snowflake dies

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Quick and CAS Iris

A thank you card for a couple of challenges.  Very quick to make and very CAS.

The Paper Players set a tic-tac-toe challenge.

I chose a diagonal line - die cut, embossing, and floral.

And the AAA Challenge asked for:

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.

It was such a quick card to make and I really like the results so am tempted to make a few more to have on hand.

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

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Spoilt Elf

April's CAS Christmas Challenge is:

I have no elf stamps at all so had to borrow from fellow DT member, Christine - so if you see similar images popping up amongst the inspiration, that's why!

A simple stamped image and sentiment, coloured with coloured pencils and Gamsol, trimmed with a Spellbinders label die, and added to a red card base.  I added a tiny die cut holly sprig and berries to balance the panel.

Please join us, and show us your best Christmas elves.  Head over to CAS Christmas to check out the cards made by the rest of the Design Team and this month's Guest Designer, JoAnn (Crafty Nana's Blog).

Stamps - MFT elf and sentiment
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - red cs, bristol cs, tiny scraps of green and red
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Spellbinders label die, coloured pencils

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Elegant Writer Poppy

Loll has chosen a great theme for April's CAS Watercolour Challenge:

I love poppies and have many (far too many) poppy stamps so it was hard to choose which one to use.  But finally got it narrowed down and here is the resulting card:

I got out my Elegant Writer pen and decided to use a technique I learned from Lydia Fiedler (Understand Blue).  See her post here for a video describing the technique. 

If you're not familiar with the Elegant Writer pen, it's an amazing ink pen that goes on black but will react with water to separate into different shades of grey, teal, and a mauve/pink. 

All was going really well for the first part - I put the stamp in my MISTI and stamped with Distress Vintage Photo.  Then there was a major problem with the next step where I was supposed to go over some of the lines with the Elegant Writer pen - my pen seemed to have dried up and would not write.  But there was still ink down at the bottom of the nib - it just wouldn't flow to the tip to write.  So instead of adding it to the image and then drawing the colour out with a wet brush, I took my wet brush to the bottom of the nib, picked up some of the colour and took it to the image on my wet brush.  The more water you use, the more colour separation you get.  I got a nice variation throughout the flower and leaves.

For the stems, buds, seed heads, and butterfly, I used a clean wet brush and pulled out some of the Vintage Photo from the stamping to colour them in.

I decided not to add a sentiment as I love just the look of the image - it's a wonderful collage image of the poppies, the text, and the background dots.  I trimmed the panel and popped it up on fun foam on a kraft card base.

I'm really happy with the CAS vintage look to it.

We're looking forward to seeing a gallery of wonderful poppies this month.  Head over to CAS Watercolour to see the rest of the inspiration from the Design Team and our talented Guest Designer, Rachel (Creating Paper Hugs).  You have until April 24th to link up.

Stamps - Carabelle Studio
Ink - Distress Vintage Photo
Paper - hot press watercolour paper, kraft cardstock
Size - 6x4.25"
Accessories - Elegant Writer pen, fun foam