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".

Friday, 28 February 2020

A Blue Christmas Card, A Red Christmas Card

Today I've got cards for two challenges that want single colour Christmas cards.

First up is 12 Months of Christmas "Winter Blues".

I initially started out trying to make a stencil monoprint but ended up with this background - it used various blue Oxide inks and I added way too much water so lost all the definition of the stencil.   I decided it would make a great winter sky.

I put it behind a circle die with a house and trees on its lower edge. Added a sentiment, trimmed the panel to a square, and bordered with navy cs. I ran glue along the hill line, the trees, and the roof, and added glitter.

And then a completely different colour for the Christmas Kickstart "Red" challenge

The snowman is stamped, watercoloured, with a bit of pale blue wash behind him, and then some snowflakes stenciled with a glitter paste around him. The paste was too thick for the tiny snowflakes of the stencil so they came out a bit blobby.

I die cut a circle out of a square of red cs and popped that up with foam tape to border the snowman.

Thanks for stopping by today.


Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - Penny Black sentiment
Ink - Ranger Archival Cobalt, various Oxide blues
Paper - navy and white cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - glitter, Memory Box circle with house and trees die, fun foam, stencil

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Old Island Stamp Co. snowman, Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, red and white cs
Size - 5" square
Accessories - watercolour paints, Lil Inker circle die, tiny snowflakes stencil, glitter paste, foam tape

Thursday, 27 February 2020

One CAS Card, One Not So CAS Card

Two Christmas cards today as I'm trying to get some challenges done before they end.

First up, for Less Is More "More But Still CAS".
Here's how they explain the challenge: "The idea behind this challenge is to use lots of small images or shapes or words/sentiments but at the same time keeping the card as CAS as possible. How many small images/shapes can you incorporate into your CAS design?"

It seemed the perfect opportunity to get out my long-neglected Rubber Stamp Tapestry peg stamps and create a wreath with them.

How I made it:
  • Drew a light pencil circle to use as a guide.
  • Stamped various peg stamps in reds and greens around the circle, and a sentiment inside it.
  • Die cut with stitched circle die and popped up on fun foam.
  • Embellished with a small green bow.

Moving away from CAS for the second card.  It's for Christmas Crafts All Year Round "Hearts or Love".  

I was stumped for awhile for what to use but then decided there was a real sense of maternal love in this bear showing her cub the stars in the winter sky.

How I made it:
  • Stamped the bears and coloured their scarves and added a bit of shading to them with Zig markers.
  • Die cut them with the corresponding dies.
  • Created the background by masking the bottom and then doing a mixture of smooshing and blending with Distress inks for the sky. 
  • Stamped the stars that came with the bears onto the sky and heat embossed in gold. 
  • Added the sentiment, mounted the background on gold cs, popped the bears up with foam tape, and added Crystal Stickles to the snowline and under the bears.

Two more for my Christmas card fundraiser!

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - Rubber Stamp Tapestry peg stamps, unknown sentiment stamp
Ink - Distress inks (Forest Moss, Pine Needles, Candied Apple, Festive Berries)
Paper - white cs
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Lil Inker stitched circle die, green ribbon, fun foam

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Recollections bears and stars, Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - Versamark, Archival Jet Black, Distress inks (Faded Denim, Stormy Sky, Dusty Concord)
Paper - mixed media cs, gold shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Recollections bear dies, Zig watercolour markers, gold embossing powder, Crystal Stickles, foam tape

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Hedgehog and Heart

Finally getting this posted for two Penny Black challenges:

Penny Black and More "Animals, Birds, or Butterflies"

Penny Black Saturday Challenge "Love is in the Air"

The adorable Penny Black hedgehog is stamped and painted on watercolour paper.  I bordered him with a heart wreath die cut, bordered the panel with the same red, added a sentiment, and popped it up on fun foam.

I think that's it for Valentine posts.  I'll be back to Christmas cards next time!

Stamps - Penny Black hedgehog, SU sentiment
Ink - Archival Jet Black, SU Real Red
Paper - watercolour paper, white and red cs
Size - A2
Accessories - heart wreath die, watercolour paints, fun foam

Sunday, 23 February 2020

No Dogs, No Horses, Just Cats - and Knitting!

Those who know me well know that I am passionate about dogs and horses but very lukewarm about cats.  I wouldn't say I dislike cats themselves, but I do hate the fact that they kill birds, and because I have bird feeders in my garden, I could never justify having a cat that went outside and I don't fancy the thought of trying to keep one indoors all the time.  So no cats for me.

But today I'm blogging two cards featuring cats!  And knitting (which is one of my other main hobbies).

First up for the ABC Christmas Challenge "C = Cat, D = Dog", (I chose "C = Cat") and for the Penny Black and More Challenge "Animals, Birds, or Butterflies", I created this card:

The Penny Black image is stamped and watercoloured with some Glossy Accents on the little light bulbs and a bit of Fun Flock on the cat's hat brim and pompom. It's trimmed with a stitched square die and popped up on fun foam.

Now that I look at the finished card, the cat came out a bit too yellow - she was meant to be more of a ginger/marmalade cat!

And for the Day of the Month Card Club "Send a Card to a Friend Day" challenge, I again went with a cat and knitting: 

Doesn't it look like the cat was about to play with the knitting and is looking up in surprise at being caught in the act?

A very CAS card - stamped, watercoloured, bordered in a matching blue, and popped up on fun foam.

It is for one of my friends who knits a lot and has a ginger cat.  We're in a knitting group together and she's a faithful attendee at the Christmas card fundraising sale I have every November, so I will send it to her to tell her how much I appreciate that support.

Phew, having survived two cards featuring cats, I definitely need to head off to my craft room and get out some dog and horse stamps!!!

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - Penny Black
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - red cs, watercolour paper
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - watercolour paints, Lil Inker stitched square die, fun foam, Glossy Accents, Fun Flock

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Rubbernecker cat, Rosie's Roadshow sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - watercolour paper, blue and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - watercolour paints, fun foam

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Flower and Leaf

I love the work by the wonderful Scottish Arts and Crafts designer, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He was one of the big influences on Frank Lloyd Wright and is well known (more so in the UK) for his early 19th century furniture, decorative arts, interior decorating, etc. designs. I was lucky to get to see a lot of his work when I was in Glasgow a few years ago.

I have a set of stamps from Chocolate Baroque, featuring Mackintosh's designs.

I stamped on watercolour paper, coloured with my Gansai Tambi paints, bordered with black, and popped up on fun foam.

It will be for a friend who also loves Mackintosh - her birthday isn't till November so I hope I don't forget I've got her card made!

It's for The Flower Challenge "Add Leaves".


and for Seize the Birthday "Show Me Your White Space".


Stamps - Chocolate Baroque
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, cream and black c
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, fun foam

Monday, 17 February 2020

Black, Gold, and Cream with Hedgehogs

A Christmas card for the Just Us Girls "Black, Gold, and Cream" Color Challenge:

How I made it:

- stamped the image and sentiment in black on watercolour paper (which I consider cream in colour as opposed to white)
- watercoloured the image (including the stars - my Gansai Tambi watercolour paints include a metallic gold)
- trimmed the panel and bordered it with thin strips of black cs on a gold shimmer card

I love those cute hedgehogs!

Stamps - Penny Black hedgehogs, Stampabilities sentiment
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, gold shimmer and black cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints

Saturday, 15 February 2020

A Masculine Heart

My friend who buys several Valentine cards from me each year likes at least one of them to be quite masculine - not my favourite thing to create and I find it challenging.  So I went grunge, thinking that would be pretty masculine!

The image and background are all one stamp.  I stamped it on masking paper and cut out the heart so that I two separate masks.  Using my MISTI, I put the heart mask on watercolour paper, inked up the background of the stamp with Distress Black Soot, spritzed with water, and stamped.  Let it dry, then removed the heart mask, and put the background mask down.  Inked up the heart with Distress Candied Apple, spritzed, and stamped.  I got a little bit of red seepage under the masking paper but not too bad.  I used a red marker to define the edges of the heart where needed.

Stamped and heat embossed the sentiment, bordered with black cs, and popped it up on cream cs.

It's for the following challenges:
The Male Room Challenge "Love You"

Double D Challenge "Hearts"

CAS Watercolour Challenge "Red and Black"

I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day!

Stamps - SU sentiment, Impression Obsession heart
Ink - Distress Black Soot and Candied Apple
Paper - cream and black cs, watercolour paper
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - clear embossing powder, masking paper, fun foam

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Joy of a Little Dog

The CAS Christmas Challenge is asking for "Joy" this month.  One of the great joys in my life is Tessa, my sweet English Cocker Spaniel.

Penny Black makes some lovely stamps that have a very spaniel-like dog that reminds me of Tessa.  One of them is a very tiny stamp, with the dog wearing a collar with a star.  The star, in my mind, makes it suitable for a Christmas card.

I have a great little tag die that has "joy" as part of it.  And the dog fits right on it perfectly.  I stamped the dog, coloured the collar and star with sparkly gel pens, and die cut it with the matching die. 

I die cut the "joy" tag three times and glued them together to give it dimension, stamped a few little stars on the top in gold, and added the die cut dog to it.

I added it to a gold shimmer stitched rectangle die cut and popped that up on fun foam.  I'd meant to put a brad through the tag's hole but forgot so added a red gemstone instead.

I'm also linking it up to the Less is More Less (Tiny and Few) challenge where they want you to see how small you can go with your images.  My dog and the stars are pretty tiny!  And there's only one dog and three stars.

Stamps - Penny Black dog, Stampendous star stamp
Ink - Delicata Gold Glitz, Archival Vintage Photo
Paper - gold shimmer and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Penny Black matching dog die, Impression Obsession joy tag die, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle die, red and gold glitter pens, fun foam

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Timeless Heart

I have a friend who always orders a few Valentine cards from me.  This is one of the ones I made for her.

I sprinkled red and pink Brushos on watercolour paper and spritzed with water.  When dry, I die cut the heart, and used Distress Black Soot to stencil over it.

Initially I was just going to pop it up with fun foam on the wonky stitched background rectangle but it looked too plain - just needed a little more so I stamped Timeless Texture stamps behind it in very pale grey (by stamping off before adding to my background).

A simple die cut sentiment finished it off.

It's going to be linked up with:

The Paper Players Color Challenge - Red, Pink, Black, and White

Stamps - SU Timeless Textures
Ink - Distress Black Soot, Memento London Fog
Paper - watercolour paper, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - heart die cut, MFT wonky stitched rectangle die, TCW Confetti stencil, fun foam,

Monday, 10 February 2020

An Elephant Never Forgets

Seize the Birthday's challenge is "Creatures Great and Small".

I did this card with an elephant:

I stamped the elephant and sentiment, then coloured with coloured pencils and Gamsol. Trimmed the panel with a wonky stitched rectangle and popped it up on fun foam.

Given my aging memory, it's always good to have a few belated birthday cards on hand!

Stamps - Rubber Dance African Animals
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - coloured pencils, Gamsol, MFT Wonky Stitched Rectangle die, fun foam

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Love in a Shaker

A card for the Paper Players challenge "Love is in the Air".

I decided to make a shaker card as I haven't done one for ages.

I die cut the heart shape from white shimmer cs and using acetate, fun foam, and double sided tape, created a shaker with it. I filled it with red, silver, and white sequins and some tiny red cs hearts that came out of a die cut I'll be using on another project.

The sentiment is die cut from red cs.

Here's a close-up of the shaker part to show all the lovely things inside it:

Thanks for stopping by today.  I hope to be back with at least one or two other Valentines soon as a friend asked me to make 4 or 5 Valentine cards for her.

Paper - white shimmer cs, red cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Love word die, heart die, acetate, fun foam, tiny red cs hearts from a previous die cut, red, silver, and white sequins

Monday, 3 February 2020


February's CAS Christmas Challenge is "Joy".

I pulled out my Memory Box Winter Joy die.  This is the die:

Image result for memory box winter joy

I haven't used it for ages.  In the past I've just die cut it and added it to a background.  This time I wanted to try and use it in a different way.

I die cut it out of masking paper and added the mask to a piece of white shimmer cs.  I then sponged and brushed a couple of shades of blue Distress ink over it.

I removed the mask.  I die cut the three letters of "joy" out of a scrap of aqua/turquoise shimmer cs and glued it over the letters on the card.

I mounted it on fun foam on a matching white shimmer cs card base.  And embellished it with blue and white sequins.

Head on over to CAS Christmas to see what the rest of the Design Team and our wonderful Guest Designer, Claire (String Bows Blog).  You have until February 24th to link up your card.  Please be sure it is clean and simple, and includes the theme of "joy" in some way.

I'm also linking it up to our sister challenge, CAS Mix-Up as the challenge there is "Stencil from Die-Cuts".


Ink - Distress Oxide Salty Ocean and Tumbled Glass
Paper - white shimmer and aqua/turquoise glitter cs
Size - 5.75x4.5"
Accessories - Memory Box Winter Joy die, masking paper, blue and white sequins, fun foam

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Red and Black

CAS Watercolour has a perfect challenge for February - "Red and Black".

A great opportunity to get a Valentine or two made (though your card does not have to be a Valentine)!  Here's mine:

I inked up the stamp with mini Distress red and black inks and then spritzed the stamp before stamping it onto watercolour paper.  I tapped the black ink on a palette and mixed it with some water and then did some subtle splattering.  I like the sentiment "cherish" for a Valentine card - a bit different to the usual "love" or "happy Valentine's day".

There's some beautiful inspiration for you over at CAS Watercolour from the rest of the Design Team and February's Guest Designer, Michele (I Card Everyone).  You have until February 24th to link up your card.  Looking forward to see what you make!

Stamps - Penny Black "Pash", SU sentiment
Ink - Distress Black Soot and Candied Apple
Paper - watercolour paper, black and red cs
Size - A2
Accessories - water spritzer, Spellbinders layering rectangle dies, fun foam

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Snowy Snippets

Vancouver is forecasting more snow for tomorrow and Tuesday.  Here's a card in readiness:

I've been trying to clean up my craft desk after all the frenzy of Christmas card making in November and December - I meant to do it in early January but I just couldn't summon the inclination to do it!

For this card, I used nothing but bits from my desk - a leftover die cut line of snowy trees, leftover die cut snowflakes, the remains of a piece of faux mother-of-pearl background.

I assembled all those, trimmed the panel, mounted on fun foam, and added a peel off sentiment.

I'm linking it up at:

The Male Room "It's Snowing"
Snippets Pixie Playground Challenge #370 

I might have to see what else I can make from the clutter on my desk!

Paper - scrap of faux mother of pearl background, white glitter cs, white cs
Size - 6x4.5"
Accessories - peel off sentiment, snowflake and tree dies, fun foam