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".

Monday, 31 January 2022

Pink Valentine and Blue Birthday

A Twofer today.  For the Tic Tac Challenge, I have this Valentine card:

The background is created using the Alcohol Marker Marbling technique (tutorial here on SCS).  I used three different pink alcohol markers and followed the steps in the tutorial.

I added a die cut heart and sentiment to it, trimmed the panel, and popped it up on fun foam.

I now have a ton of tiny white hearts - wondering what to do with those....

I will need a birthday card for a nephew in March so The Male Room challenge ("For a Teenager") got me to get it made in plenty of time.  And I'll add it to Seize the Birthday ("Embossing" - I used embossing paste).

Love this crazy owl with his one large eye and one small eye! Stamped, coloured, and fussy cut the owl, the hat, and the gift. Popped them up on the background (I used embossing paste through a stencil and, when dry, I sprayed it blue), and added a sentiment on a banner.


Tic Tac Toe Challenge (I used the left hand vertical row)


The Male Room


Seize the Birthday



Supplies for card 1:
Paper - coated cs, white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - pink Copic markers, rubbing alcohol, Tim Holtz love die, heart die, fun foam

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Tim Holtz bird and accessories
Ink - Ranger Archival Jet Black
Paper - white and black cs, mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - markers, blue spray, stencil, embossing paste

Friday, 28 January 2022

Favourite Colours and Hand Writing

A Twofer today.  Two cards, each for two challenges.

First up my favourite colours (blue and yellow) and a bird for AAA Birthday ("Two Favourite Colours"), Seize the Birthday (option of Embossing), and We Love Stamping ("Anything Stamped with Option of Wings").

I stamped the lovely collage image and watercoloured it.  I layered it on the background panel that is dry embossed with a musical score.  I added it to a yellow card base.  And then went over all the little berries with a Stardust gel pen.

Next up for Day of the Month Card Club ("National Handwriting Day") and Rudolph Days ("Anything Christmas").

I picked a collage stamp with handwritten text in the background.  And my sentiment at the bottom is in a handwriting font.  So I think that qualifies it for "National Handwriting Day".

Stamped and watercoloured, trimmed, and popped up on fun foam on a gold card base.




Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - Carabelle Studio Dream Wings
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - watercolour paper, white and yellow cs
Size - A2
Accessories - watercolour paints, Darice musical score embossing folder, Stardust gel pen

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Cuddly Buddly Holly Collage, Impression Obsession sentiment
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - watercolour paper, gold cs
Size - A2
Accessories - watercolour paints, fun foam

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Baubles and Candy Canes

The ABC Christmas Challenge is "B is for Baubles" and the Jingle Belles Challenge wants us to add candies, cookies, or other holiday sweets.

I pulled out a very old Stampendous stamp I've had for years.

It's stamped and watercoloured, and has a narrow gold shimmer border and a gold shimmer card base.  I used a Tim Holtz Chit Chat sticker instead of the usual stamped sentiment, placing it strategically to cover up a smudge of red paint.

The bow is watercoloured with a metallic watercolour paint and the ornaments have Glossy Accents on them.

ABC Christmas Challenge "B is for Baubles"

Jingle Belles Challenge "Add Candy, Cookies, Cake, or Other Holiday Sweets"

Stamps - Stampendous
Ink - Versafine Clair Nocturne
Paper - watercolour paper, gold glitter cs, dull gold shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - watercolour paints, Glossy Accents, TH "sweet" Chit Chat sticker, fun foam

Sunday, 23 January 2022

Struggling with Loose Watercolouring

CAS Mix Up wants "loose watercolouring" this month.  It's not something I'm very good at but I've given it a whirl.  Here are a couple of my attempts (and an extra card that is not loose).

I stamped and heat embossed the wildflowers in platinum - that normally keeps the watercolour painting inside the lines but in this case I started by putting down a lot of water - enough that it went outside of the embossed lines.  I added dabs of orange and yellow watercolour paints and let some of it overflow outside of the flowers.

While I had the stamp and supplies out, I did a second one but did my normal "inside the lines" watercolouring - so much easier for me to do.  I think it's a holdover from my childhood when I worked so hard at learning to paint inside the lines in my colouring books!

I made it into a very plain simple card and am feeling so-so about it.  Maybe it's just too much the "old style" of card I used to make and not interesting enough for what I like to do now!!!

My other attempt at loose watercolouring is this one:


I put the poppies stamp in my MISTI and inked up the flowers with an orange Tombow marker and the stems in green, spritzed the stamp and stamped on watercolour paper.  With a wet brush I pulled the orange out of the stamped lines and went in with a couple of other shades of orange markers and a wet brush.  By the time I was done, I'd lost all the lines and definition of the flowers so put the paper back in the MISTI and restamped the flowers with a dark brown ink.  Not sure how I feel about this but I finished it off as a birthday card for a friend who loves orange.

Will I do much loose watercolouring in future?  Maybe, but maybe not.  I love watercolouring images for my cards but I think I'm too rigid or particular to really go with the looser style!  But I loved having the CAS Mix Up challenge to make me try a couple of techniques I wouldn't otherwise have tried!

So an interesting day of making three cards, none of which thrill me.  I'll be back to Christmas cards with my next post and hopefully feeling more confident!

CAS Mix-Up



Supplies for card 1 and 2:
Stamps - Indigo Blue wildflowers, SU sentiment on card 2
Ink - ColorBox Gold
Paper - watercolour paper, cream cs, dull gold shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Gansai Tambi watercolour paints, platinum embossing powder, fun foam, SU label punch on card 2

Supplies for card 3:
Stamps - Penny Black poppies, SU sentiment
Ink - Archival Potting Soil
Paper - watercolour paper, cream and dark brown cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Tombow markers, MFT wonky stitched rectangle die, Spellbinders tag die, twine, fun foam, gems

Saturday, 22 January 2022

Two More Colour Challenge Cards

Lots of the January challenges have really appealed to me.  I've got two cards today for colour challenges.

Color Hues wants silver and white.

A very quick card with silver heat embossing for the trees and sentiment on the focal panel that is layered on a dry embossed background.

Here's another photo where the dry embossing and the image are sharper but the silver doesn't show up as much (silver is so darn hard to photograph):

My second card is for the Color Throwdown "Red, Cream, and Gold".

Another very quick CAS card.  Stamped and heat embossed in gold on cream cs, with the ribbon coloured with a red marker and the bells coloured with a gold metallic pen.  Trimmed with a stitched rectangle die, bordered in red, and popped up on a cream card base.

Color Hues


Color Throwdown


Krafty Chicks "Clean and Simple" (for my second card)

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - SU Lovely as a Tree, unknown sentiment
Ink - ColorBox silver
Paper - white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - silver embossing powder, fun foam, Embossalicious embossing folder

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Creative Images
Ink - ColorBox gold
Paper - cream cs, red shimmer cs
Size - A2
Accessories - gold embossing powder, red marker, gold metallic pen, Lil Inkers stitched rectangle die, fun foam

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Three Shades of Brown in a Christmas Card

I'm just totally in a Christmas card making mood!  Or maybe it's that the January challenges are all really appealing to me. 

52 Christmas Card Throwdown wants three shades of brown, not what I'd normally pick for a Christmas card but it can work!

I've got three shades of brown in the reindeer, with the darkest one repeated for the sentiment.

My reindeer was created by first stencilling through a reindeer stencil with light brown Distress ink, then laying a star stencil over top of the reindeer stencil and stencilling through that with a darker colour.  I then took a dark brown and added it to the antlers and a bit to the feet, back, and tail.

I wasn't happy with where I'd positioned the reindeer on my cs, so I fussy cut it.

I stamped the sentiment in the dark brown on a square of cream cs, then popped the reindeer up with dimensional tape.

I added some tone on tone die cut stars around the reindeer.

I love the sentiment - it says: "On Christmas Eve a long time ago, my sister swore she heard reindeer hooves on the roof. I believed her then and I believe her still today. We can all use a little extra magic in our lives I always say."

52 Christmas Card Throwdown

Stamps - Kay Foley sentiment
Ink - various brown Distress inks
Paper - cream cs
Size - 5.25" square
Accessories - ARTplorations Christmas Reindeer stencil, star stencil, SSS small star die, dimensional tape

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

A Hanukkah Card

When I hold my annual fundraiser Christmas card sale, I always include several Hanukkah cards.  So when I saw the Just Us Girls colour challenge of white, light blue, and silver, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get a Hanukkah card made.

I smooshed a white tag into a couple of tones of light blue oxide inks, attached it to the card with a silver brad, topped it with a die cut Star of David cut out of silver glitter cs, and added a sentiment strip across it.  I embellished the card base with some white die cut 6 pointed stars.

Just Us Girls

Stamps -
Ink -
Paper -
Size -
Accessories -

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Polar Bears against a Pearly Winter Sky

The Paper Players want to see Winter Animals on a CAS card.  I went with polar bears.  And there are a bunch of January challenges that want blue (as many of you know, it's my favourite colour).


The background was created with the faux mother of pearl technique using various blue Distress inks and a silver pearlescent paint.  I added the die cut bears (cut twice and stacked for more dimension) and a star of wonder die cut.

The Paper Players

AAA Cards Clean and Simple Challenge

Colorful Options - "Winter Blue"


The Sisterhood of Crafters - "The Color Blue"

The Four Seasons Challenge - "Anything Goes Winter"

Tic Tac Toe Challenge - I chose the diagonal line "Winter, CAS, Free"




Stamps - Simon Says Stamp sentiment
Ink - various Distress blue inks, Distress Faded Jeans for the sentiment
Paper - white cs
Size - 6x3.25"
Accessories - unknown bear die, Memory Box star, silver metallic paint

Monday, 17 January 2022

Gold and Silver Star Shaker

Reminder time for CAS Christmas's Silver and Gold challenge!  I did a shaker card filled with silver and gold.

I created the top panel by trimming it with a stitched die and then die cutting a star in the centre of it.  I stamped and heat embossed the sentiment in gold and the small stars in silver.

I added a layer of acetate behind the star and then a layer of thick fun foam (also with the star die cut out of it).  I filled the shaker with tiny gold hexagons and tiny silver stars (hard to photograph them and get their accurate colour!).  Then added a backing layer and taped the whole thing to the card base.

There's lots more inspiration for you over at CAS Christmas.  You have until January 24 to link up a card.  Please be sure it is clean and simple, and follows the challenge of silver and gold.

Stamps - unknown sentiment, Stampendous tiny star
Ink - ColorBox gold and silver
Paper - white cs
Size - 5.75" square
Accessories - Sizzix star die, Lil Inker stitched square die, silver and gold embossing powder, acetate, Nuvo tiny gold hexagons and tiny silver stars

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Blue and White Christmas

It's time for January's second Peace on Earth Christmas challenge.  I went with one of my favourite Christmas colour combinations - blue and white.

I created the background by swiping various blue Distress stains across some watercolour paper that I'd lightly spritzed with water to help the colours blend.  When dry, I stencilled some tiny snowflakes with white embossing paste.

I layered the Delicate Pine Frame die over it and added it to a panel stamped with a right angle sentiment.  Then popped that panel up on fun foam on the card base.

I was inspired by the white tree and blue and white colour scheme of the lower left image on Peace on Earth's mood board (although the challenge is an "anything goes" Christmas challenge so you don't have to use the mood board).

Head on over to the Peace on Earth challenge blog for more inspiration!

I used up a little off-cut from the background and created this mini slimline:

I ran a piece of white cs through a dotted embossing folder.  Because the mini slimline size is 6.25", the embossing folder left an unembossed strip at the bottom - perfect for stamping the sentiment.

I layered a deer / tree die over the background piece and assembled the card.

I really like the mini slimline format - a great way to use up little scraps!  

I'm also entering the following:

Colorful Options "Winter Blue" challenge


The Sisterhood of Crafters "The Color Blue" challenge 

The Four Seasons "Anything Goes Winter" challenge

Supplies for card 1:
Stamps - unknown corner sentiment
Ink - Distress Faded Jeans
Paper - white and mixed media cs
Size - A2
Accessories - various blue Distress stains, Memory Box tiny snowflake stencil, white embossing paste, Memory Box Delicate Pine Frame die, fun foam

Supplies for card 2:
Stamps - Rubber Soul sentiment
Ink - Distress Faded Jeans
Paper - white and mixed media cs
Size - 6.25x3.25"
Accessories - unknown deer / tree die, various blue Distress stains, Cuttlebug embossing folder, Memory Box tiny snowflake stencil, white embossing paste

Thursday, 13 January 2022

A Snow Person

Christmas Crafts All Year Round wants "Snow People" this month.

The snowman is stamped and coloured with coloured pencils, trimmed with a hemstitch rectangle die (I'm in love with these dies as they really add a lot of interest to what is basically a very simple card), and layered on a red card base.  The little star over the letter "i" in the sentiment inspired me to add a few tiny stick-on star embellishments.

Our cold snowy weather has really got me enthused about making Christmas cards!

Stamps - Inkadinkado
Ink - Versafine Onyx Black
Paper - white and red cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Spellbinders hemstitch rectangle die, tiny silver stick-on stars

Tuesday, 11 January 2022

Smooshed Oxide Ink Background

A peace-themed Christmas card that will go into the stash for my fundraiser - my best friend always wants 10 different peace / dove themed cards so I make them throughout the year so that I have enough.

I created a smooshed background with a few grey and blue Distress Oxide inks.  When dry, I stamped the berry branches and sentiment on it.  I added two die cut silver glitter cs doves (stacked twice for some dimension), popped the panel up on fun foam, and used a white pearl pen on the berries.

I'm linking it up with: 

Just Us Girls "Inked or Sprayed Background"

We Love Stamping "Anything Stamped with Option of Wings"

Stamps - Penny Black Berry Berry stamp, unknown sentiment
Ink - various blue and grey Distress Oxide inks, Versafine Clair Nocturne
Paper - mixed media cs, silver glitter and white cs
Size - A2
Accessories - Memory Box dove dies, Viva Decor white pearl pen, fun foam

Saturday, 8 January 2022

A New Dove Die

Every year my best friend asks me to make about 10 peace / dove themed Christmas cards for her as part of my fundraiser.  So I'm always on the lookout for new stamps or dies.  I spotted this die just before Christmas and ordered it for myself.  And the Jingle Belles challenge is asking us to use something new we got pre- or post-Christmas.

I created the background by stencilling the snowflakes with glitter paste, then sprinkling a bit of two shades of blue Brushos around the snowflakes and spritzing lightly.

The card base and the dove are cut from a shimmery cream cs and the olive branch from shimmery green cs.

I love getting going on my Christmas stash for my November fundraiser!  And Vancouver's snow puts me in the mood!

Paper - cream and green shimmer cs, mixed media cs
Size - 5.25" square
Accessories - MFT dove die, snowflake stencil, glitter paste, blue Brushos