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, 30 December 2021

Two Santa Cards

Vancouver had a big dump of snow last night and it's been abnormally cold (for us, though not for lots of you!) so it seemed a good day to make cards, do a blog post, etc.  Of course I'm still doing Christmas cards but the snow makes it feel like the thing to do!

First up one I did before Christmas but mailed out to a blog friend so didn't post it earlier.

One of the stamps in the SU Bokeh Dots set makes a lovely winter night sky background.  I stamped it, added a thin black border, die cut the Santa and reindeer in black, and added a vertical sentiment.

It is going off to:

AAA Cards Challenge - Christmas and Optional Twist "Slimline"

Next up is a rescue of a first attempt at colouring the Deep Red Vintage Santa stamp.  I made a real mess when I coloured the border around it and was going to toss it but decided to just die cut the inner circle and make a quick card with it.  I recycled the back of a commercial card I received last year so that I could link it up with "Z is for Zig Zag" at the ABC Christmas Challenge.

I used alcohol markers to colour the image - they are not my strong point so just used them like markers without any shading.  I do like the vibrant colours you can get with them and the way all the details and shading on a stamp will show through them.  There was a black blob below Santa's hand (actually the bowl of his pipe but by the time I realized that, I'd already added a bowl up next to his hand).  So to cover up the blob below his hand, I used a TH remnant rub over it.  It also takes care of adding a sentiment!

Come back in a couple of days and you'll see my more successful version of the Deep Red Vintage Santa!

Meanwhile I'm linking this one up with:

ABC Christmas Challenge - Y is for Yummy or Z is for Zig Zags

Christmas Cards All Year Round - Something that Starts with X, Y, or Z - so my zig zag background works here too.

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - SU Bokeh Dots background, Rosie's Road Show sentiment
Ink - Distress Faded Jeans, Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white and black cs
Size - 6.3.25"
Accessories - Frantic Stamper Santa and sleigh die

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Deep Red Vintage Santa
Ink - Memento Tuxedo Black
Paper - white cs, recycled red zig zag commercial card
Size - 4.75" square
Accessories - Spellbinders circle die cut, TH "Dear Santa" Remnant Rub-on, alcohol markers, fun foam

Sunday, 26 December 2021

Christmas Mini Slimlines

A couple of Christmas mini slimline cards, one vertical, one horizontal, both using up little scraps or snippets that were hanging around on my desk!

I had a tiny snippet of a galaxy background that I'd made for other cards and it just fit behind the tiny reindeer  / tree die.  I cut the die out of another leftover snippet of white cs.  I stamped the sentiment in grey so as not to look stronger than the night galaxy sky.

The horizontal one:

There are always little snippets of background leftover after I trim a background down for a card.  Here I used both a snippet of a blue Oxide ink smooshed background and a snippet of embossed dots, and topped them off with the polar bears cut from a snippet of white cs (of which I save far too many!).

Linking up one or other of them with:

Pixie's Crafty Workshop Snippets Challenge

Double D Challenge "Lots of White"  (the upper left image in their inspiration board inspired the colours in my first card)


AAA Cards CAS Challenge "Christmas and optional twist Slimline"


Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - Simon Says Stamp sentiment
Ink - grey ink for sentiment, various Distress inks for galaxy background
Paper - white and mixed media cs
Size - 6.25x3.25"
Accessories - unknown reindeer / tree die, diluted white acrylic paint for splattering galaxy background

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Power Poppy sentiment
Ink - various blue Distress Oxide inks, Versafine Clair Twilight
Paper - white and mixed media cs
Size - 6.25x3.25"
Accessories - unknown bear die, Cuttlebug embossing folder

Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Red Cardinal, Green Holly

The Color Hues Challenge is asking for red and green - wonderful traditional Christmas colours that I love using.

I've been trying to use some of my older stamps to justify their continued existence in my rather large collection!

I stamped on watercolour paper and used my Inktense watercolour pencils and a wet paintbrush to colour it - I'm able to get a richer red from those than from watercolour paints.

Bordered with red cs, mounted on a cream card base, and added red pearl embellishments to the berries.

The Color Hues Challenge

Christmas Kickstart Challenge 


 Jingle Belles - It's a Wrap - any last minute Christmas cards

52 Christmas Card Throwdown - any 2021 challenge.  I chose:


We Love Stamping - anything stamped with the option of CAS


Stamps - SU Christmas Cardinal
Ink - Archival Jet Black
Paper - watercolour paper, red and cream cs
Size - 5.25" square
Accessories - Inktense watercolour pencils, red pearls

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Mice and Hedgehogs

I'm really trying to use stamps I've never used before so thought I'd choose one of my never-before-used Penny Black stamps for the Penny Black Saturday Challenge "Christmas".

Love these sweet mice and hedgehogs celebrating Christmas together!

Stamped and watercoloured, bordered with black, and a sentiment and a string of gold peel-off stars to finish.



Penny Black Saturday Challenge "Anything Goes or Christmas"

NBUS Challenge "Never Before Used Schtuff"

Christmas Kickstart Challenge "If It's Christmassy, Link It Up"

Jingle Belles "It's a Wrap" - any last minute Christmas cards 


Stamps - Penny Black critters, Stampabilities sentiment
Ink - Versafine Clair Nocturne
Paper - watercolour paper, cream and black cs
Size - 6x4.25"
Accessories - watercolour paints, gold peel-off stars

Monday, 13 December 2021

Ruby Trill Cardinal

Here in Vancouver we don't get any really colourful birds like the cardinal I remember from my childhood in Ontario.  So I love to put them on my Christmas cards - and of course, they are the perfect Christmas birds!

I used a new stamp that I hadn't even inked up yet.

I stamped and watercoloured the image, doing a paler colour of the leaves for a partial background. In the part of the background that wasn't coloured, I added the sentiment. I diluted white acrylic paint and then added some splatters for snow. 

For the following challenges:

 52 Christmas Card Throwdown - Pick a Previous 2021 Challenge - I picked "Birds"


Color Hues - Red and Green

Christmas Kickstart

Stamps - Penny Black "Ruby Trill", PTI sentiment
Ink - Versafine Clair Nocturne
Paper - watercolour paper, black and cream cs
Size - 5.75" square
Accessories - watercolour paints, white acrylic paint

Monday, 6 December 2021

Winter Snow

For the Tic Tac Toe Challenge, I picked "Snowflakes, Free, and Winter" for this card:

The tag was an experiment in doing a gesso resist - I spread gesso through a snowflake stencil onto a tag and then smooshed the tag into blue Distress oxide inks. I didn't get a clear snowflake pattern as the inks coloured some of the gesso, but I like the splotchy look of the tag.

I added a glitter cs snowflake flourish and two word die cuts to the tag, and added it to an embossed background. Finishing touch - a little blue bow.

Tic Tac Toe Challenge - I chose the vertical centre row - Snowflakes, Free, Winter.

Paper - white cs, tag, blue glitter cs
Size - 6x4.25"
Accessories - Embossalicious snowflake embossing folder, white gesso, snowflake flourish die (Memory Box?), Tattered Lace word dies, blue ribbon, snowflake stencil

Friday, 3 December 2021

White Bird, White Branches

A card for the Tic Tac Toe Challenge and the Pixie's Crafty Snippets Challenge:

I have a lot of scraps (aka snippets) of festive cardstock leftover at this time of year!  I die cut the branches from scraps of glittery white cs and the bird from a scrap of white shimmer cs. I die cut two extra birds from scrap cs and glued them together for more dimension. I sponged a tiny bit of grey ink onto the bird as it looked very blah and flat.  Then stamped a sentiment on my focal panel and arranged the branches and bird. The bird's feet are glued down but his body is popped up with foam tape. The whole panel is on fun foam for more dimension to the card.

Tic Tac Toe Challenge - I chose the right hand vertical row - Die Cuts, Christmas, White on White.


Pixie's Crafty Snippets Challenge


Stamps - Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - Distress Hickory Smoke
Paper - white cs, white glitter cs, white shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Stamplorations bird die, TH greenery dies, fun foam, foam tape