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, 29 January 2020

New Chickadees

The current Jingle Belles Challenge is "Look What Santa Brought Me" - in other words, use something new that we got for Christmas or in the sales.

I love bird stamps as many of you know! 

I stamped and added some subtle colouring with watercolour paints and then did the berries with a red marker.   This beautiful chickadee stamp is called Stained Glass Birds.  I didn't colour it as if it were stained glass but I layered a piece of acetate over it to make it seem to be a window (that's why there is inconsistent definition in the photo - light was bouncing off the acetate).  I added a red frame over top to hold the acetate in place and to match the berries.

I'm looking forward to colouring it more as a stained glass window next time.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Stamps - Magenta Stained Glass Birds
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - mixed media cs, red and white cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - watercolour paints, red marker, Spellbinders square dies

Monday, 27 January 2020

Butterfly Birthday

I don't think people should be allowed to have birthdays in January!!  After all the making of Christmas cards and all the hectic socializing of Christmas and New Years, I hit a real slump for both card-making and socializing.  So I find I keep missing or nearly missing friends' birthdays.

Got this card made today for a girlfriend's birthday.

- place the butterfly stencil over coated cs and go over it with embossing paste.
- sprinkle various blue Brushos around the butterflies and spritz with water.
- when dry, trim the panel, and add it to a navy card base.
- add a navy cs die cut butterfly and sentiment. 

Love all the shades of blue (my and my friend's favourite colour).  The navy looks almost black, but in real life, it is definitely navy.

I'm heading over to three challenges with it.

Just Us Girls "Butterfly Photo Inspiration"


Krafty Chicks "All Occasions" Challenge - I chose birthday. 

Seize the Birthday "Stencils" 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Paper - navy cs, heavy coated cs
Size - A2
Accessories - various blue Brushos, Spellbinders butterfly die, butterfly stencil, Dee's Distinctively sentiment die, glossy embossing paste

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Vintage Santa

Every so often I really enjoy making an old-fashioned or vintage-style card.

I love this very old-fashioned looking Santa stamp.  I think it looks more like the old European images - where they call Santa "Saint Nicholas".  

I stamped it with Vintage Photo Distress ink and then pulled the colour out of Santa's coat with my Elegant Writer - it gives all the lovely tones of brown, black, tan, etc.  I then used coloured pencils to add subtle colour to the toys, little tree, Santa's face, etc.  I trimmed the panel with a stitched square die.

I stenciled random bits of text around the Santa with Antique Linen Distress ink, and then sponged over it with Antique Linen.  I darkened up the edges by sponging some Tea Dye and Vintage Photo ink.  Finished it off with a few flicks of water.

The sentiment (it sounds like an old-fashioned Christmas greeting to me) is stamped in brown and die cut with an oval, and then sponged in the same colours. 

I'm entering the card in a few challenges:

A Vintage Journey - "We're All Getting Older" - make your project look old with distressing, weathering, aging, etc.

Stamps - SU Father Christmas
Ink - Distress Antique Linen, Vintage Photo, Tea Dye
Paper - mixed media and white cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - text stencil, Lil Inker stitched square die, Spellbinders small oval die, fun foam

Friday, 24 January 2020

A Triangular Poinsettia and A Dog with Gifts

Two Christmas cards today!

First up for The Flower Challenge "Shaped Cards":

I have a triangular card:

The card base is a red tri-fold triangle.  I added a white layer that I embossed with an embossing folder of tiny triangles.

I put a scrap of white cs in my MISTI, inked up the poinsettia / holly sprig with markers, and die cut it with its matching die.  I found a tiny sentiment that just fits in the top section.

Today's second card is for the 52 Christmas Card Throwdown "Gifts":


And the Penny Black Saturday Challenge "Something New".

And the ABC Christmas Challenge "B is for Bingo":


I chose the centre vertical column.

I love the Penny Black sets with the adorable animals, especially the dogs that look very much like my English Cocker Spaniel.

Stamped, coloured with Prismacolour pencils and Gamsol, die cut with a wonky circles die, and bordered with red.  The wonky circles seemed to fit the idea of the dog trying to balance those gifts!

Thanks for stopping by today to see two more of my cards!

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - Local King poinsettia, Penny Black sentiment
Ink - SU Real Red
Paper - red shimmer cs, white cs
Size - 4" across at base, 5.5" tall
Accessories - Local King markers, Local King poinsettia die, SU embossing folder

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Penny Black
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - Bristol cs, red cs, ivory shimmer cs
Size - 4.75"square
Accessories - Prismacolour pencils, Gamsol, MFT wonky circles die, Lil Inker stitched circle die

Thursday, 23 January 2020

A New Star Stencil

Sneaking in under the wire for the CAS Stencil Challenge "Use a New Stencil".

I love stars as a theme and I seem to end up buying more stencils, dies, and stamps that have stars than any reasonable human being needs.  I recently bought the Hero Arts Stars Pattern stencil so pulled it out for this card.  It was inspired by two of this week's SCS challenges, the Technique Lover's Challenge "Paint Swiping" and the CAS "Inspirational" challenge.

For the paint swiped technique, I followed the SCS tutorial here.  I added dabs of two Distress paints across the centre of my mixed media panel and then took a baby wipe, scrunched it up, and swiped some of the paint blobs upwards and some downwards.  Then I added a couple of dabs of an opalescent blue paint and repeated with the baby wipe.

Then I stamped and heat embossed the inspirational sentiment, before stencilling the silver glitter paste stars around it. I had some silver glitter cs that matched perfectly so bordered it with that and then popped it up on fun foam for some dimension.

I really like the effect of the paint swiping and will use it again for backgrounds.

Stamps - Stampabilities sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - mixed media cs, white cs, silver glitter c
Size - A2
Accessories - Hero Arts stars stencil, Distress Paint (Faded Jeans, Tumbled Glass), Art Alchemy Opal Magic Blue acrylic paint, Bo Bunny silver glitter paste, Ranger Polysparkle embossing powder, fun foam

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Fashion Shopping

The Paper Players challenge is "Fashion Fun".

My youngest sister loves fashion and shopping so this card is for her:

The image is stamped and watercoloured, then trimmed and put on a dotted embossing folder (I thought it went well with the polka dot dress), and the sentiment added with pink ribbon.

Like the women in the image, my youngest sister also wears high heels a lot - unlike me who would instantly sprain my ankle if I tried to walk in high heels!


Stamps - MFT Say Charge
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - white cs, watercolour paper
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, Cuttlebug embossing folder, sentiment tag, pink ribbon

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Frosty Thank You

A card for the Addicted to CAS Challenge "Frosty":


Here's my card:

I started by splattering masking fluid with a toothbrush onto watercolour paper. Then I stamped and heat embossed the tree line in white. I thoroughly wet the piece and dropped in various blue Distress inks, helping them move into the little spaces between the trees with a wet paintbrush. When dry, I rubbed off the masking fluid, revealing the snowstorm.

A simple heat embossed sentiment stamped on a scrap of cs and die cut with a label die (because when I originally stamped it directly onto the card base, I stamped it crooked). And a bit of fun foam behind the panel for some dimension.

A very appropriate card for this past week in Vancouver - lots of snow and colder than normal temperatures!

Stamps - Tim Holtz tree line, Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - ColorBox Colonial Blue and Frost White, various blue Distress inks
Paper - watercolour paper, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - clear and white embossing powder, masking fluid, label die, fun foam

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Sadly Repeating Dog

My sister asked me to make a pet sympathy card for her to give to a close friend - he just lost his beloved dog.  

I stamped the image in brown ink once, then stamped off two more times, getting the image lighter each time.  I love the idea of the dog wagging its tail right to the end of its life.

Added a sentiment above and trimmed the panel down before adding it to an embossed background.

I'm going to link it up with CASology for their "Repeat" challenge.

And to The Male Room "Anything Masculine Goes".

If you have a pet, go and give them a hug.  Their lives are sadly far too short.

Stamps - SU D is for Dog
Ink - Archival Potting Soil
Paper - PTI Vintage Cream
Size - A2
Accessories - unknown embossing folder

Saturday, 11 January 2020

A Tiny Tag

A card for CAS Christmas "Tag" - your card must have a tag on it.


Unlike my card (see here) for the challenge launch where the tag was the whole focal point of the card, this one has a very tiny tag that just carries the sentiment.  

And, because I used a punch for the tag, I'm also linking up with the Double D Challenge "Punch".

I started by stamping the dove in metallic blue ink on a scrap of denim blue cs, heat embossed it, and then coloured the dove's body and wings with a white coloured pencil. I laid my tiny snowflake stencil over it and used the same metallic blue ink with one of my stencil brushes, getting the stencil around, but not on, the dove.

I trimmed the piece to fit behind a white die cut frame. The sentiment is stamped and heat embossed on white, punched out with a tiny tag punch, and attached to the dove with silver thread. The panel and frame are popped up on fun foam on a matching denim blue card base.

Stamps - SU Dove, Simon Says Stamp tiny sentiment
Ink - Encore Metallic Blue
Paper - white and denim blue cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Memory Box tiny snowflakes stencil, white coloured pencil, tiny tag punch, sparkly embossing powder, MFT stitched rectangle frame, fun foam, silver thread

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Tone-on-Tone Snowflakes

I'm heading over to the Just Us Girls challenge today.  It's Word Week and the word is "Snowflakes".
And Stamplorations want Stamps and Splatters.

I made a tone-on-tone card:

I created a background by sponging various blue Distress inks and then spritzing with shimmer spray.  The spritzing added some really nice splatters of lighter colour.

I made sure it was completely dry before stamping the snowflake background stamp with Versamark and heat embossing with clear embossing powder.

I bordered it and die cut the sentiment out of the shimmer cs, and popped the panel up on fun foam. Added a few gemstones for extra sparkle.

As much as I like snowflakes on cards, I'm hoping there won't be any coming my way!


Stamps - unknown snowflake background stamp
Ink - various blue Distress inks, Versamark
Paper - white cs, SU shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - clear embossing powder, shimmer spray, Penny Black sentiment die, fun foam, tiny gemstones

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Norman, the English Bulldog

My niece has a wonderful English Bulldog called Norman.  Here's a photo of him:

When I saw the Stamping Bella stamp of the English Bulldogs, I just had to have it to make a birthday card for my niece.

I stamped in brown and watercoloured, matching the dog on the left to Norman's colours.  The sentiment is heat embossed in copper and the panel is bordered with copper cs.

Paper Players are asking for "Something New" (my bulldog stamp) and their inspiration board has a photo of a somewhat bulldog-like pup.

And Seize the Birthday has an optional challenge "Layer It" - I have two layers on top of my card base.

And even though this is for my niece, I think it would make an equally good masculine birthday card.  So I'm linking up to The Male Room "Anything Masculine Goes".

Stamps - Stamping Bella Bully Trio, SU sentiment
Ink - Archival Potting Soil, Versamark
Paper - watercolour paper, white and copper cs
Size - A2
Accessories - watercolour paints, copper embossing powder

Friday, 3 January 2020

Sprayed and Glittered Holly Tag

Christmas is only just over and away we go with a new series of CAS Christmas Card Challenges!  Christine is our host this month and she has challenged us to put a tag on our cards.

Here's my card:

I had more trouble making the tag than I'd expected.  I wanted to use some of my sprays and get a rich shimmery background for the gold embossing.  The first time I sprayed, I left it to dry, and came back to a blobby mess as the cs warped and the colours pooled horribly.  So I tried again and weighted down the cs to keep it flat while it dried.  Once dry I used my Dreamweaver gold embossing paste over the holly stencil and left it to dry.   I came back to discover that the gold embossing paste had dried the colour of the background - it had obviously absorbed the pigment from the sprays!

So I then placed the stencil back over the embossing paste and went over it again with Bo Bunny gold glitter embossing paste, hoping that would dry gold - it's not as gold as it should be but at least it has more contrast to the background than the Dreamweaver gold paste had!  I trimmed the piece down and created the tag top with a SU punch.

I die cut a wonky stitched background panel and sentiment, flicked some of the spray over the background panel, found a piece of gold ribbon that matched quite well, and was glad to call it done!

You have until January 24th to make and post a Christmas card with a tag on it.  If you need more inspiration, head over to CAS Christmas and see what the rest of the Design Team and this month's wonderful Guest Designer, Jane (Onions and Paper) made.

Happy New Year to all who join in with CAS Christmas challenges!

Paper - mixed media and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - SU tag punch, Tim Holtz holly stencil, Dreamweaver gold embossing paste, Bo Bunny gold glitter embossing paste, gold ribbon

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Peace in Cool Colours

Today is the start of the 2020 CAS Watercolour challenges and Bonnie is asking for Cool Colours.

I went with a very cool blue, a green, and a dull gold - although gold is a warm colour, I thought this version of it qualified as cool.

I stamped and heat embossed the doves and the sentiment in platinum (it matches my dull gold card base), then watercoloured the doves.  I inked up the olive branches in green and stamped them on, and added a bit of blue splatter.  The panel is trimmed with a stitched rectangle die, and popped up on fun foam.

For more inspiration, head over to CAS Watercolour to see what the rest of the Design Team and our wonderful Guest Designer, Chrissie (Simply One of a Kind) came up with.

Happy New Year to all who join us at CAS Watercolour!

Stamps -
Ink -
Paper -
Size -
Accessories -

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

My Favourites from 2019

I'm starting the New Year by looking back at my cards from 2019 and listing my favourites.  And because I do way more Christmas cards than anything else, I'm allowing myself 10 Christmas cards and 5 non-Christmas.

Feel free to quickly skim this post (or skip it altogether!) but if you're interested in the supplies or techniques of any of them, just click the link above the photo. 




Thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my favourites from 2019!  Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and creative New Year!