Welcome to Squirrel's slightly nutty world of rubber stamping, papercraft, cats, Formula 1 and a variety of other off-the-wall topics. It's fabulous to see you and I hope you enjoy your time here. Please do pop back and visit me again soon!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Penny Black Saturday No 64 Christmas

Never one to miss the opportunity to use a Penny Black stamp, I am grateful to the Penny Black Saturday Challeng No 64 to give me a push to making another Christmas card - a few down, loads to go!

Penny Black "A Wish & A Kiss" stamp which I watercolour painted.
Papers are a mix of Papermania "A Wonderful Christmas Time" and "Secret Garden"
Text is from a Hero Arts clear set and the gems are from stash.

Thanks for coming to visit, hope to see you again soon.
Squirrel xx

Sketch Saturday No 66

Thanks to my crafting buddies, I am now addicted to challenges so you only have them to blame!

Sketch Saturday Challenge No 66 gave me the inspiration to use one of my new stamps (yes, another one!)

Penny Black "Overdressed Duck" stamp which I watercolour painted
Papers are a mix of Dovecraft Winterwonderland and Anita's Classic Christmas Blue
Classic Circle Nestabilities and Cuttlebug Snowflakes
Other bits and bobs from stash

Thanks for taking the time to come and have a gander! LOL!

Squirrel xx

Sugar Bowl Challenge 18

Loving the sketch from Sugar Bowl Challenge No 18 this week so thought I'd have a go and combine it with my frantic effort to get some Christmas Cards done. Don't know if the image really works but she's dead cute anyway and too irrestiable not to use.

Sugar Nellie Gorjuss Girls "Little Goth Girl"
Papermania Ribbon Collection - Spots & Flowers Citrus
Anita's Classic Christmas Blue (papers)
Hero Arts Buttons For Cards
Holographic card, peel-offs, silver thread and text from stash

I had fun making this, hope you think it was worth it!
Squirrel xx

Friday, 28 August 2009

Tilda & Edwin Get Married!

Hi All,

I've been having a browse through the challenges and this week's Cute Card Thursday - No. 75 - New Beginnings caught my eye.

My best friend's sister is getting married in a month and, I admit it, I have put off sitting down and making The Card. Wedding cards are such an easy thing to get wrong and I don't want to offend anyone! Anyway, this challenge has given me the push I need - the colour theme for the wedding is chocolate and cream:

Cute Card Thursday No 75 New Beginnings.

Main image stamps are Magnolia - Tilda In Hat and Lucky Edwin - coloured with ProMarkers, mainly in Cinnamon and Ivory.
Tilda & Edwin are layered on Papermania Exquisite, layered on Dovecraft Masculine, layered on Little Sizzles Earth Tones, layered on Bazzil ivory card. I deckle cut the edges of the ivory card and swiped with Chestnut Roan Colorbox Fluid Chalk. The borders and text are peel-offs from stash.

I'd love to know your thoughts on this one.

Am also going to sneak it into the Just Magnolia Ribbons & Bows for this week!

Squirrel xx

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Ostrich Principle

Hi All

Working on the Ostrich Principle of if I don't think about Christmas it can't possibly be so close, I decided to make mum's birthday card today. While I've been off work mum has been an absolute godsend and I don't know how we would have managed without her so I wanted to make something that made a statement!

This is my first 8x8 card and I am reasonably pleased with how easy it was to put together, especially as my largest cardstock was only 12x12 so there was a lot of cutting and sticking. Anyway, I used Bazzil cardstock, Papermania papers and Papercellar card (pearlescent blue), and this Penny Black "Sun Dried" image reminded me so much of mum. Flowers, sticky ribbons and peel-offs are from stash and sentiment was done on the computer.

I watercoloured the image (Winsor & Newton pan paints) but was a little stumped about the sky - I wanted it fluffy - soooo, after a bit of thought, I cut a scalloped oval with my Nestabilties and used that as a mask and then gently chalked the sky in. I hope the photo shows it ok - I was thrilled by how subtly effective it is.

Finally the inside, Papermania papers, layered with printed sentiment. Miniature printed version of Sun Dried layered again with the Papercellar card.

This was a full morning's work, but mum is certainly worth it.

Squirrel xx

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Two For One!

Hi All, and a Happy Saturday to you!

Still high on winning last week's Sketch Saturday Challenge I'm at it again - cheating a little bit by combining two challenges this week in the one card.

Sketch Saturday Challenge No 65.
Penny Black Saturday Challenge Week 63 Stitching.

Ingredients for this card are:
Penny Black "Easter Wishes" bunny (how cute is he?) which I watercoloured and sponged the edges with ColorBox Chalk Chestnut Roan
Hero Arts "Happy Wishes" from their "Thinking Of You" clear set
Papers are My Mind's Eye "Wild Asparagus" and I nearly wept using them
Dark floral ribbon is Anita's Sticky Ribbons
Flowers punched with a Woodware punch, coloured with a ProMarker (still not quite dark enough) and the flower centres are Papermania Adhesive Shimmer Dots
The faux stitching is hand drawn with a permanent ink pen.

Many thanks for taking a look - your continued support means so much.
Squirrel xx

Friday, 21 August 2009

Just Because It's Friday

Hi All, and a Happy Friday to you!

I had a bad day yesterday but feel more energised today. Had a little bit of a play with Tilda .....

I stamped and masked Tilda and then stamped the books and coloured with ProMarkers. Then using Tim Holtz Distress Inks "Shabby Shutters" and a cosmetic sponge I went round the edges. The plan green backing paper I stamped with Penny Black "Sunny Days" in Versafine Spanish Moss ink. The patterned paper is from Papermania Spring Burst and the gems and flowers are from stash.

Not satisfied with this, I then used the same Papermania Spring Burst papers for the inside and created a pocket on the left and, with a Nestabiities die cut the scalloped oval window for the right side.

And in a flush of enthusiasm I then made a bookmark to go in the pocket, again colouring Tilda with ProMarkers. The lilac patterned paper is from DCWV Floral Stack. Fuzzy fibres for the tassel came from stash, as did the card stock. Punched at the bottom with Martha Stewart Floral Lace.

And then .... had to do at least one Christmas card today. Sugar Nellie santa stamp, coloured with ProMarkers. Backing papers from Daisy & Dandelion "A Winter's Tale" collection. Corner gems from stash to look like holly and berries (I hope).

That's me done for today. If you have not already put your name down for the candy, please do!

Squirrel xx

There's A Smell ...... Updated

.... and it's a smelly smell!

It's been bugging me for a couple of days now. It seems worst in the area of the sofa in the bay window and I did wonder (briefly) if Vince had finally been brave enough to catch one of the mice living in our garage and managed to sneak it indoors without me seeing. But then I realised that was silly, he doesn't even know he's a cat.

I had intended to persuade hubby to tip the sofa tomorrow to investigate (it's way too heavy for me at the moment) but after wandering around the house this morning sniffing (but at the same time trying not to smell - make sense?) I think I have narrowed it down. A little while ago, himself excavated the boot of his car and there is a suspicious hessian bag sitting in the hall full of his stuff. The smell actually seems worse now in that area.

Now, I am a relatively brave woman but I am NOT delving into that bag! It's like little boys and their pockets, you never know what you might find. I'm going to take refuge in my craft space until my hair appointment this afternoon and guess what his first job will be when he gets home tonight?!

I'll let you know if we eventually find the culprit!

Update: Toad, being the good little boy that he is, started the search this morning.

As he moved things around the smell was getting stronger and more stomach-heaving. Eventually he held up an M&S bag with a triumphant "I've found it" - which caused a puzzle as, so far as I was aware, that bag only contained a box of over-the-door coat hangers that a friend had given me.

He took the bag outside to the wheelie bin and came back in looking a bit green. He'd had a peek in the bag and said there was a green liquid in it, like a foodstuff had decomposed.

YUCK YUCK YUCK YUCK - all the windows are now WIDE open and getting a blow through!!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Snow In August

Hi All,

After much encouragement and so many positive comments (thank you with all my heart) I have been browsing the challenge blogs that have been recommended and this week's Sketch Saturday Challenge caught my eye - I am aways on the lookout for new inspirations for layouts and I think I will be entering this one on a regular basis!

Sketch Saturday Challenge No 64.

Stamp - Main Image from Penny Black clear set "Holly Jolly" and sentiment from another PB clear set that I can't remember the name of (sorry)!
Backing papers - Dovecraft
Card stock (blue) - Bazzil
Ribbons - Anitas
Glitter Snowflakes - Papercellar
Border punch - Martha Stewart Scallop Dot

Many thanks for taking the time to have a little peek.
Squirrel xx

PS. Just heard the fabulous news that I have won this week's challenge! I am thrilled to bits and am really looking forward to being able to spend my voucher at
Bunny Zoe's Crafts.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Worlds Most Challenging Cards?

Hi All,

I've come to the conclusion that the worlds most challenging cards to make are those for men and teenage girls, and this afternoon I've had to do both. I am now feeling wilted and wobbly and in desperate need of chocolate!

First off is a birthday card for a friend's husband. I used the Sugar Nellie Home Grown Manga Boy, coloured with ProMarkers, and matted with DCWV Neutral Stack cardstock. The backing paper is Dovecraft. The text is Woodware small white peel-off greetings and gems are from stash.

Second, and the hardest of the two, is a card for hubby's teenage niece. I've already made two cards for her this week and binned them. Why are 14 year olds so difficult (in all senses)?

Anyhoo, I have used Sugar Nellie Little Cotton Rabbit, again coloured with ProMarkers, and the backing papers are Papermania Spring Burst. Text is Woodware as before, and gems and border peel-offs from stash. I really hope this one is ok, but knowing teenagers, I shall probably never find out!

Hope you are all having a fantastic weekend. I'm now off to put my feet up for a few minutes with a nice cuppa. See you soon!

Squirrel xx

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Penny Black Saturday Challenge

After being nagged mercilessly by Carol and Pauline I thought I ought to have a go at Week 62 of the PBSC Week 62 Colour Challenge.

Ingredients are:
Cardstock - DCWV Old World Stack
Stamps - Main Image: Gifts For You / Sentiment: From Salutations clear set
Flowers - Prima Esprite Light Blue
From Stash - white card stock, blue gems and large brad

I hope this fits the bill - am in awe of the DT cards! Thanks for dropping by.

Squirrel xx

Friday, 14 August 2009

Crafting Frenzy

Hi All!
Have had a tiny Crafting Frenzy over the last 24 hours and here are my humble efforts. I am sorry that the information is either brief or vague - I really must get into the habit of keeping a scribble pad by my workspace to make a note of the name of the stamp and what papers I am using. Any errors in info are entirely my mistake.

OK, card No 1 - Penny Black stamp "Xmas Kiss" on an 8x3 card with Papermania old Christmas paper for the background. The little tag was cut using Mini Labels on my CBug.

Card No 2 - I really like this one, despite the simplicity. Penny Black "Christmas Tidings" stamp (one of the new releases). Background stamped using Versafine Smokey Grey. Main image highlighted with ProMarkers. Text stamp is also a Penny Black.

Card No 3 - A Whipper Snapper image (ain't she just the cutest) but for the life of me I can't remember her name. Backing papers are PaperCellar Easter/Spring collection and Bazzil Basic card. Greeting is from a Hero Arts clear set.

Card No 4 - ah yes, the Cinderella card. This one was an order from a friend. Last year I did her a Disney castle themed engagement card and this is the wedding card for the same couple.

Card No 5 - my first Gorjuss Girls stamp "Little Miss Attitude" - I am so in love with this l'il darlin'. Backing papers are DCVW Floral Stack, gold embossed card from Create & Craft, flowers are Prima Esprite Brown.

Card No 6 - another of the new Penny Black stamps "Home For Christmas". I wanted to keep this straightforward so it is simple stamping in Versafine Majestic Blue with a few little gems as a twinkly surprise. Tree paper is Anita's and blue from Daisy & Dandelion "A Winters Tale" collection.

Card No 7 - and just for the fun of it, using the Penny Black Saturday Sketch Challenge No 61 for inspiration (I won't enter it, it is nowhere near their amazing standard). I can't remember the name of this stamp either (it's an older one and probably discontinued). Didn't look to see what the papers were either (how senile am I getting?) but the flower is from the pink collection from WHSmith!

PS. Have now been nagged by Carol so am desperately trying to work out how you add a link .... aaargh this is not working! Anyone have an idiots guide please?!

Penny Black Saturday Challenge Sketch 61.

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to wade through this lot! Hope to see you all again soon.

Squirrel xx

Thursday, 13 August 2009

A Little Bit of Good News

Hi all

I've had two physio appointments this week - the first on Tuesday was the tortuous circuit training and today's was a one-to-one with my individual physio and ......

..... he's discharged me!!

YIPPEE - no more sweaty Tuesday mornings with Wed/Thurs rolling around in agony.

He said he was really pleased with progress, was happy with how confident I am with the exercises and is happy that I can self-manage now.

I explained that I am still getting a lot of pain in the knee but the consultant had said this was soft tissue damage. He confirmed this and said it may take several more months for that to go. He thinks it will be about a year from operation to full recovery.

I know, in the grand scheme of things, that being discharged by the physio is not a huge event but it meant so much to me.

It's been a rough four months so far and I was getting so low. I hit rock bottom about halfway through and you know what they say, the only way is up, and today has been a really good boost.

I've got a doctor's appointment on Monday so it'll be interesting to see how much longer I get signed off for, especially as after 17 weeks I've still got bruising (you should have seen it on week 1 - it was navy/purple/black from bum to ankle). Another couple of weeks would be nice as I'm now getting into the Christmas cards LOL!!

Yours, still limping but with a small skip
Squirrel xxx

Monday, 10 August 2009

Frolic Through The Flowers

Hi All,
Just a quickie today as the unmade Christmas cards are calling me .....

Made this little fella (Penny Black "Frolic") for a challenge and one of the criteria was that it had to be a shaped card. Now, I am one for simplicity and clean lines so my head went a bit fuzzy with the word "shaped". Anyhoo, this is my humble offering:

Thanks for popping by
Squirrel xx

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Got My Mojo Back!

At long last! After watching Stubbleman and his car, I thought it was about time I had a rummage about for my mojo and, guess what, I found it at last!

First of all a couple of Christmas card, yes, I know, it's too hot to worry about Christmas, but I had to make a start somewhere.

I've called this one "Mrs Snow" as I don't think many male snowmen would be seen dead in lilac and pink LOL! The stamp is from the Sugar Nellies Home Grown collection and is one of the best snowmen I think I have ever seen. Purple backing paper is from a Papermania Contemporary Collection from about 2 years ago. I have coloured the image using ProMarkers.

Next is a Penny Black "Warm & Cold". Again the backing paper is from Papermania. Photo probably doesn't show it that well but I've painted this fella with H2Os.

Over on DoCrafts, this week Tilda Challenge is entitled "Just Like Me". Oh, I thought, this'll be easy - until I started and then I realised just how complex and contrary I am! Obviously this Tilda does not have any treats in her pocket, otherwise the cat would be facing the other way. Images coloured with ProMarkers and the backing papers are a mixture of DoveCraft, Papermania and 7Gypsies.

And finally, a birthday card for a very special crafting friend - I'm taking a chance as I know she's away at the moment so hoping she's left the laptop at home. Image is Penny Black "Acrobat" coloured with ProMarkers (I am finally getting to grips with these pens), backing paper is from the Dandelion & Daisy Picnic Collection and the flowers from WHSmith.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Am I Ready To Return To Work?

As some of you know, I've been stuck at home for the past four months not being able to do much.

Sooo, you tend to spend a lot of time gazing out of the window at what's happening the the street....

.... and our neighbour opposite is really getting on my chimes! How he manages to have a permanent two day stubble is beyond me (beginning to think it's a fake one) but what is really winding me up (and this is pathetic now I type it) is how often he washes his car!

He uses a pressure washer so I always know when he's out there in the drive. So far this week he's washed it three times. THREE times!!! He'll have no paint left on it soon. It's not as if it's a posh, flash car or anything, just an ordinary Ford Mondeo diesel (but he does have a personalised numberplate).

This chap is only in his late 20s/early 30s. I think he needs to get a hobby - and please don't tell me washing his car is his hobby LOL.

Good grief, I think that mentally I am ready, so ready, to be getting back to work - if only my knee was playing the same game.

Yours, slowly going cuckoo
Squirrel xxxx

Sunday, 2 August 2009

August Already?

Hi All,

Strange things happen to your mind when you are out of your normal routine! My last day at work was 16th April and, in a way, it only feels like a couple of weeks ago instead of fifteen weeks. I have lost the plot completely with birthdays (to all of you who grumbled, I am sorry - but I think I had a valid excuse this time!) and what month of the year it is.

Anyhoo, I am determined to cram in some crafting before I get dragged kicking and screaming back to work in a couple of weeks. My bestest mate, Julie-Pig, is hitting the big 40 this month and I wanted to do something that little bit extra for her soooo I had my first ever attempt at a Treasure Box.

I used Bazzil Basic pastel card in three shades, pink, soft green and cream. Although the photos don't show it, I have painted the box using H2Os so there is a little bit of twinkle in the sunlight.
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