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!

Tuesday 29 March 2011

A Birthday Fairy

Just a quickie to show you this little birthday card I made using a Lili Of The Valley fairy ......

Very simple card but as the papers are so busy I didn't want to add anything more.

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday 27 March 2011

Another Less Is More - and this time it's the right size!

Not wanting to be the one to upset Chrissie and Mandi over at LESS IS MORE, and I know I was being cheeky in entering my slighty squatter "tall and thin" card, I've been a good little Squirrel today and made one the right size

This is definitely tall and thin - 8x4 - I've used a Molly Blooms stamp that was a freebie, painted with distress inks to try and tone in with that lush purple, blue and gold retro paper.  Sentiment is once again Hero Arts.

And while we are on the subject of tall and thin, I made myself a new bookmark this afternoon too - I've used one of the Hanglar & Stanglar "Attitude" girls, and she's distress inked.  Had a bit of bother with her hair but I think it is passable now.  Papers are Little Sizzlets and so yummy, shame I'm nearly out of them now.  I have laminated her now but took the photo beforehand so you didn't get the glare.

There will be no mistaking my books now!

Hugs, Sxx

Saturday 26 March 2011

Less Is More # 8 - A Sketch

Hello everyone, I hope you have had a good Saturday so far.  Mine started wonderfully with the qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix - yaaaaaaay FORMULA ONE IS BACK!!

Thursday night the strip light in our kitchen went phut, with a pop and a flash.  Last night saw me scrabbling up a step ladder to change the starter motor but that didn't make any difference so today we toddled off to the local DIY store to buy a new tube.  Who knew there could be so much choice?!  Anyhoo, we managed to get one and get it home in the car in one piece - what a daft idea to put a glass tube in a cardboard sleeve but leave the ends open!  Then came the Challenge Annika moment when Toad had to get the cover off the light, remove the old tube and insert the new one.  Last time we had to do it there had been a lot of huffing and puffing as the builders who had installed the light apparently only had one screw left to fix it to the ceiling!  But, not to worry, success!  I am now cooking dinner in a properly lit kitchen rather than ferreting about by candlelight like last night.

With that job done I thought I'd have a go at this week's LESS IS MORE challenge.  This time, Chrissie and Mandi have come up with a sketch for us to have a play with, and the instruction that it should be a tall and thin card, like a DL or similar.  Unfortunately my card came out looking a bit like me - not tall enough and not thin enough!  But it isn't square, so I hope it still counts.

This little bunny was a freebie stamp with a magazine last year (or it might have even been the year before), painted with distress inks and then I used Nestie classic circles and the out of the box technique for its ears.  Papers are from old pads that have long since lost their covers so no information there.  Sentiment is Hero Arts and stamped in Memento Rich Coco for a slightly softer look than black.

Right, got to dash, can smell something burning so dinner must be nearly ready!

Hugs, Sxx

Friday 25 March 2011

LOTV - Punch It

Those lovely little fairies over at LILI OF THE VALLEY CHALLENGE are asking us to Punch It this week, and I love my punches for that little bit of extra dimension on a flat card so I got busy last night.  Another dodgy phone phot I'm afraid:

I've used the new Mix It And Make It stamp and coloured with distress inks.  The sentiment is one of the pair of Recipe Sentiments and so adorable.  Papers are from two Papermania Capsule Collections and I've used two Martha Stewart border punches and my smallest EK Success retro flower punch and a standard office hole punch for the flower middles.

Thanks for taking the time to pop over for a visit.  I am desperately chasing my own tail at the moment but will get to catch up with you soon, I hope!

Hugs, Sxx

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Crafty Sentiments - Animals

Well, who'd have thought it - it's two years today since I was "persuaded" to set up my little corner of blogland and never, for one second, did I believe I could have this much fun with a pc!  I'd like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the wonderful friends I have made, each and every one of you has added extra sunshine to my life, and to all my loyal and trusty followers for sticking with it and making my day every time you drop by to say hi.  Squirrel's World would be a lonely place without you all.

Enough of the slushy!  I have just discovered the CRAFTY SENTIMENTS challenge and this time the theme is Animals.  Oooh there are some seriously cute inspiration cards over there!

I made this card for a very dear and special friend of mine that I haven't seen much of lately but she is always in my thoughts.

I adore this Laurence Design stamp but it didn't half give me a headache with the colouring!  I've discovered that I can colour and shade with browns til the cows come home but grey is a different game altogether!  Papers are Craft Too and Papermania and the sentiment (just love it) is Hero Arts.

And an update on the dentist visit - I was in such a state by the time I got there that I think she took pity on me.  I have three old fillings that are now "leaking" (apparently) so they need to be drilled out and replaced.  The dentist is referring me to the sedation clinic to have them done!!  Assessment on 11 April and then treatment fairly soon after.  Whilst I am a believer in the Creation Theory, I do think the Good Lord went slightly astray with the design of certain body parts!  There is the worrying thought that we might be living too long for our teeth - perhaps He actually designed us to keel over before middle age when things start wearing out.  Hmmmm.

Hugs, Sxx

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Just Magnolia - Fave Colour Combo

I got home from work yesterday afternoon unexpectedly early and it was still daylight enough for me to make a card for this week's JUST MAGNOLIA & HANGLAR & STANGLAR challenge, who have the theme of your Favourite Colour Combo.

This is what I would refer to as a LBIMH card (Looked Better In My Head) but it's bright and cheerful so here goes!

I've used the delightful Leaning Tilda and coloured her with a wash of distress inks.  My favourite colour combination of the moment (yeah, I'm a fickle little squirrel) is sky blue and yellow - which is a good job as these Papermania Capsule Collection papers fitted the bill perfectly.  I cut a Nestabilities frame by tacking the two dies to the paper at the same time and then using the larger of the two again to cut the background for the frame.  EK Success retro flower punch for two corners and a Sizzlets photo corner die for the other two.  I used white Card Candy and coloured them with ProMarkers to match in.

Right, got to dash - dental appointment in half an hour, and I am bricking it ......

Hugs, Sxx

Monday 21 March 2011

LOTV - Bev's Sketch

Can you believe that it is Monday again?  Hmph.  And as if Monday morning wasn't hard enough, I've got all day to worry about the dentist tomorrow.  Oh joy.

Anyway, to cheer myself up yesterday I thought I'd tackle a Mother's Day card for the dearest mum ever, and as LILI OF THE VALLEY have a challenge with a sketch from the fabulous Bev Rochester, it seemed daft not to combine the two.

This LOTV stamp is called Bunches Of Love and comes from the most recent release of the cutest animal stamps on the planet.  Papers are by Craft Too, the matting card is DCWV, the lace is from stash and flowers and leaves are Wild Orchid Crafts.  Sentiment is also LOTV.

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday 20 March 2011

Less is More - Masculine (Cards 4, 5 & 6!)

That's it, I think I am officially addicted to the LESS IS MORE challenge - in between chores today I've made cards 4, 5 and 6 for this week's theme of Masculine.  My excuse is that I needed more men cards in my sale box, lol!

Card 4 is my favourite of all of them.  A Wild Rose Studio stamp, light colour wash and a Hero Arts sentiment.

Card 5 is a Creative Expressions stamp that I've had for years because I thought it would be "useful" and this is the first time I've inked it.  Paper from scraps and sentiment from a Woodware Pirate clear set.

And finally Card 6 - I know a lot of men would be happy just spending their birthday fishing and catching "the big one", which is what made me think of this.  A Helz Cuppleditch stamp and a Hero Arts sentiment.

That's it now, I promise, no more!

Hugs, Sxx

Saturday 19 March 2011

Less Is More - Masculine (Card 3)

Last but not least is my third card for this week's LESS IS MORE challenge.

Told you I was stuck in landscape mode!

Very simple - strips of black and white spots and stripes, white strip with Penny Black greeting in Lady Bug Memento ink, Hero Arts motorbike stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black and matted on red card.

Toad liked this but I think that is because it's a motorbike!

Link to Less Is More Card 2

Before I dash off out to buy an industrial sized sack of cat litter before the rugby starts, I must say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who visited me for last week's challenge - 52 stonking comments!  52!  That's the most I've ever received, so again, THANK YOU, you really made my week.  I must apologise to those that I did not get time to leave a comment on, I had a good old nose round all the entries and was so inspired.  You guys are really rocking this challenge, and it feels so good to be part of it all.

Hugs, Sxx

Less Is More - Masculine (Card 2)

Right, here we go with my second LESS IS MORE card - seem to have got stuck in landscape mode ......

Now I think this one is quite cute, but perhaps cute is not exactly right for masculine!  And perhaps the punched border is a bit too fussy ....... anyway, stamps are from three Woodware sets, one fishing (the sign post), one gardening (the shed) and one greetings (the words).  I stamped the sign, masked it to stamp the shed behind, then added the words.  A teensy wash of distress ink for colour.  Then I simply used the waste diamonds from the punched strip for a bit of decoration.

Toad's reaction was "that's different".

Hugs, Sxx

Less Is More - Week 7 - Masculine (1)

When I saw that the LESS IS MORE challenge this week has the theme of Masculine, I went a bit wobbly!

These LIM cards are a challenge on their own but then Chrissie and Mandi throw us a curveball with this one.  Anyway, I toddled off, did a few jobs but head was full of schemes.  I started off with this one card, then had another idea, and then a third - I'll do them as separate posts so I can enter them all - and I've had to walk away from the craft bench as I'd be working on the fourth if I hadn't moved.

Hero Arts stamps for the greeting and the candle, a lick of distress ink for colour and a scrap of patterned paper and a piece of matting card.

I quite like this but I asked the man of the house but all he did was flick his whiskers and go and sit beside his biscuit box so I had to ask Toad instead.  His reply did not fill me with much confidence .....

Hugs, Sxx

Friday 18 March 2011


I don't know about you, but I am so glad it is the weekend!!  It's been a week and a half but more of that later - first my card for tonight.

Now, how many of you make cards to order?  And how often do you get some strange requests?  Mine seem to be getting odder and more frequent.  One of the partners came up to me at work on Tuesday and asked me to make an invitation card.  She is married to one of the other partners and his parents are both 80 this year, dad tomorrow and mum in November.  They wanted to treat them away to a hotel weekend somewhere in East Anglia so the card was basically to invite mum and dad to choose a date as to when they would like their treat weekend.  A lovely idea I thought.

So, having ascertained that they don't have any particular interests or hobbies I had to put my thinking cap on.

I first of all went down the route of a four poster bed and then thought as they are 80 it might not be appropriate!  I ended up by thinking that most elderly people (and I apologise if this is a sweeping generalisation) like flowers.  What flowers do I think of when I think of East Anglia ...... summertime.....cornfields......poppies!

Because the stamp from Woodware is so large, I've kept the design so simple it's ridiculous.  I painted the image with distress inks and inked the edges with green Memento ink.  I used a sheet of colour matching paper from my Papermania leftovers for the central strip.  Inside, I printed the invitation on white card and matted it on to another piece of the spotty paper.

I was a bit worried it was too simple but when I handed it over this morning she loved it, and she particularly liked the reason I had chosen the poppy, so much so that she paid me double what I had asked!

Yesterday I had an appointment with the firm's occupational health doctor to see what his views were on this neck and shoulder pain that I've had on and off for months.  He was a really nice chap and did everything he could to put me at ease.  We had quite a chat with him asking loads of questions and making notes and then he did the examination.  As he moved my left shoulder, there was a loud click, then when he did my right, there was a louder click and a lot of grinding noises (kinda got used to that but I think he was a bit surprised).  Anyway, the long story cut short - osteoarthritis.  Bum!  So, he made a few suggestions about how to be more comfortable but unfortunately there ain't a cure.  Not what I wanted to hear.  He did however suggest that I change my handbag (he actually put it on the scales to weigh it) for a backpack so that's a valid excuse to go shopping, lol!

Anyhoo, I've rambled big time, and the Toad has now walked in looking hungry so best I scamper off and get some dinner on before the poor little chap fades away ......

Sees ya all tomorrow.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Love Grows

It's the Oldies wedding anniversary at the end of this month and I had been thinking hard about what to do for them - after all, 52 years together and I think they have got the t-shirt!  However, they are both keen gardeners (thanks for all the veg dad) and this Lili Of The Valley Love Grows stamp seemed just right.

Papers are from the Basic Grey Curio collection - I am totally in love with that floral one.  Would love wallpaper like that.

Hugs Sxx

Wednesday 16 March 2011

A Thank You With Attitude

My latest ebay purchase arrived this weekend and I could not wait to have a little play - have had to wait to post the card here because I wanted it to get to Sarah first!

Hanglar & Stanglar girl (with Attitude) painted in distress inks, papers are all Dovecraft Back To Basics II and sentiment is Hero Arts.

Hugs, Sxx

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Get Well Soon

Yesterday morning, I was greeted at work with the news that one of my colleagues had a terrible accident Sunday afternoon, rollerskating of all things, and had broken both arms - ouch!

Naturally, all the girls want to send her get well wishes so I was despatched home last evening with the instructions to make a card.

I've used this gorgeous little ted from the Kanban TLC clear stamp set and watercolour painted with distress inks.  The papers are all from The Little Tea Shop collection from Dovecraft except for the sentiment piece which is Pink Petticoat Vintage Roses.  Sentiment is Pink Gem Designs.  Matting card is Papermania and Card Candy to finish off.  I've made this as a book card so that there are more pages for signing on.

Get Well Soon Linda - we miss you already!

Hugs, Sxx

Monday 14 March 2011

Oldie But A Goodie - Baby

A very quick post today guys, with a very quick card - OLDIE BUT A GOODIE are looking for Baby cards this week, and I needed to get one made, so perfect coincidence ......

My work colleague who ordered this wanted a very simple card without any fluff as it is being sent overseas.  Pink Gem Designs Baby Boy stamp, painted in distress inks, Papermania spotty paper and really fun Monster paper that I received from Maria Therese in a candy quite some time ago.

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday 13 March 2011

Penny Black - Green

As soon as I saw that the PENNY BLACK SATURDAY CHALLENGE this week had a theme of Green, I thought of Kermit ......... well, who wouldn't.

I seem to have had this PB frog stamp forever, and it still helps to cheer me up.  Painted with distress inks, matter on Coordinations cardstock, with a variety of green papers from Dovecraft, Joanna Sheen and Papermania.  Sentiment is Pink Gem.  Punches used are Martha Stewart and EK Success.

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Saturday 12 March 2011

Less Is More # 6 - OLC Off The Edge

Morning all, how are we today?  Had a lovely lie-in until Mr LardyPaws decided to use me as a trampoline because I am apparently the only one in this house who knows how to serve up his breakfast just as he likes it.  Must be something to do with the way I open the catfood pouch!  If any of you have seen some of the Simon's Cat films (particularly Cat Man Do)you will know just what I mean, lol!

Anyhoo, today, the girls over at LESS IS MORE have a real challenging challenge for us.  It's the One Layer Card week but there is a twist, it carries with it the theme of Off The Edge.  Sneaky.

Now, this made me immediately think of two things, one of which really shows my age - Harry Worth doing his silly moves in the shop window with his arm and leg, and the other is Donkey in the Shrek films "I am a donkey on the edge, don't push me!"  Yeah, I know, but it makes me chuckle every time I see the film.

So here is my card:

I have used this cute little bear stamp called Zoe from FunStamps and painted her with distress inks.  They behaved a bit oddly on this card stock so she's a bit blotchy!  The sentiment is from the Hero Arts clear set called Everyday Sayings.  I used Memento ink to stamp the image and the sentiment.  Have to admit that all that white space freaked me out a little bit!

Edited to add second card (coz I had so much fun with this idea)

Same principal as the first one but used a Forever Friends bear this time, with another Hero Arts sentiment.

Have been working some pretty intensive hours lately so I'm way behind on visiting your blogs, I'm doing my best but sadly there seems to be no respite at the moment.  Hope you will forgive me, and I promise I will get there when I can.

And just before I go, a quick reminder about my CANDY that is running until 31st March - there are two candies on offer, one for UK and one for Overseas, so if you've not got your name down yet, there is still time.

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Thursday 10 March 2011


I did it!  It finally happened!  Happy dancing ..............

So many thanks to the Lili Of The Valley fairies for choosing my humble little card - you have made my year!

Hugs, Squirrel xxx

Wednesday 9 March 2011

A Hanglar Birthday Boy

Evening all, well, here we are, mid-week - so it'll soon be the weekend again, yipee!

Just a little card for you today - I was playing with my Hanglar Message kit and came up with this - so straightforward, but it is for a man, ha ha!

Camera has distorted the colours a bit.  Image painted with distress inks, the message banner is stamped with a LOTV sentiment and layered over the boy image.  Papers are a mixture of K&Co, Dovecraft and Papermania.  And that's it.

Hugs, Sxx

Less is More - Take 2

Here we go with a last ditch attempt at this week's LESS IS MORE challenge - what have Chrissie and Mandi done to me?  I cannot stop thinking about this challenge!

I wanted the Hero Arts sentiment to take centre stage so I've kept this very simple.  Striped paper is from Craftwork Cards Vintage Rose collection, it reminds me of freshly washed cotton sheets.  Martha Stewart border punch top and bottom and a small EK Success retro flower punch for the little pink flowers.

Hugs, Sxx

Monday 7 March 2011

Crafty Catz - Special Birthdays

Here's my card for this weeks CRAFTY CATZ CHALLENGE who have the theme of Special Birthdays.  I must state, for the records, that it is not my mum who is 80 (and woe betide anyone who tells her she looks that age) - no, this is an order card for one of my work colleagues whose mum is 80 this month.

The instructions were spring colours so ....... image is LOTV, distress inked, the papers are all Dovecraft Back To Basics (I and II) except for the pink circular mat which is Papermania.  Daisy from Wild Orchid Crafts, Martha Stewart branch punch for leaves, peel off lettering and numbers from stash.

Fingers crossed that she likes it, otherwise I'll be stashing it away for another 7 years for my mother!

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday 6 March 2011

Less Is More # 5 - Pastels

I'm afraid that my less is more mojo is on a no-go this week.  I've made three cards for the LESS IS MORE challenge with the theme of pastel colours, and I'm not happy with any of them!

Here is the least offensive of the three .......

It's a one-layer card so nerve wracking direct stamping required!  The flower stamp is a Penny Black called Aspire and I've inked direct onto the rubber with Marvy le Plume pens, a quick huff and then stamp.  I used the same method for the sentiment.  The colours have come out darker in the photo but I used sky blue, dusky pink and pale green.

It's that simple there's not much else I can say really!  Hope that Chrissie and Mandi are in a kind and caring mood this week.

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Saturday 5 March 2011

Just Magnolia And Hanglar & Stanglar - Anything Goes

When my most recent ebay purchase plopped onto the doormat this morning, I could not wait to get it inked up and, as the challenge at JUST MAGNOLIA AND HANGLAR & STANGLAR is Anything Goes, I thought why not.........

........I got a bit carried away and forgot totally about the optional glitter, but hey, the word is optional, and I couldn't really think of anything that I could get away with glittering once the card was made!

I've painted the H&S image with distress inks, and I've 3d his little cart with two more layers, one for the cart and the next for the wheels.  The papers are all from the MME Fine & Dandy: True Blue collection.  These colours are just screaming to be used for male cards.  Sentiment is from a little Hero Arts set.

Might have known that it was going to be one of those days - the car battery is dead, again, poor old Toad's i-Touch crashed and burned, and I've just broken a tooth on a Galaxy Counter of all things.  That'll teach me for having sneaky chocolate before dinner.  Guess that'll be another ££££ appointment coming up.  Hmph.

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Friday 4 March 2011

LOTV Sketch + CCT Spring

Guess what?  I stopped in my little furry tracks this morning because ..............we FINALLY, after four months of standing in the snow, the wind and the rain, FINALLY, we have a new bus shelter!  And it's a posh one, with proper sides and a front and a roof!  I can hardly contain my excitement!  We're having a house warming party on Monday, lol! 

Anyhoo, I made this card last night after seeing Bev's brilliant sketch over on the LILI OF THE VALLEY challenge and, because it is soooooo long since I played there, this is going in to the CUTE CARD THURSDAY challenge who are looking for Signs Of Spring this week.

I'll apologise now for the photo - I had to take it using the flash and then tweek the white balance on Photoshop.  It's not brilliant so I'll try and swap it if we get some daylight tomorrow.

The LOTV bunny is another one of those stamps that is so cute but I haven't used much so I thought it was time he had an outing.  He is painted with distress inks.  Papers are mostly K&Co from the pad that has the daisy on the front, and a sheet of Basic Grey for the bright green bottom layer and the strip.  The white daisy ribbon around the part circle is sticky ribbon (what a wonderful invention).  EK Success retro flower punch with Martha Stewart frond and branch and Card Candy for the flowers.  The little sentiment is LOTV also.

Hope you like it.

Hugs, Sxx

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Help - It's Infectious!

First of all, I'd like to wish the fabulous Jackie at Craft Designs a VERY Happy Birthday today - hope you have had a great one sweetie!  If you have not met Jackie before, do pop over and say hello - she does some wonderfully creative things with beautiful photographs that she takes herself.

I thought long and hard about Jackie's birthday card and I cannot get this Less Is More lark out of my head, it really is an infectious way of thinking about the way you craft.  It's all about placement, proportions and design - and when there is very little on the card, there really is nowhere to hide!  I still can't break free of the need to paint a stamp image though, lol!  Here's what I made (it's ok, I know she has already received it)....

I've used image stamps from the little Flower Girl set by H Cuppleditch and watercolour painted them with distress inks.  Kitty was a joy to colour but quite difficult for me to get the body shaping around her legs and tum.  I hope she doesn't look too much of a Ninja Mutant!  The sentiment is LOTV and the matting and gems are from stash.

I am enjoying these so much I am even thinking of adding a "Less Is More" range to my sale cards!  Chrissie and Mandi, you have so much to answer for, lol!

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Double Celebration Candy

I shall be celebrating my second blogoversary in three weeks time, and three weeks ago I had my 50,000 hits so, here I am, slap bang in the middle with some celebratory candy for you.

So, what's in the candy - quite a bit actually, and there's two of them!

Tin of 24 WHSmith Water Colour Pencils
Woodware Flower Maker Punch
Martha Stewart Branch Punch
Anita's Classic Gold Christmas Vellums
2 Tina Wenke stamps =
- Opossum Pals
- Mouse Carrying Cake

2 Tina Wenke stamps =
- Mouse On Orange Daisy
- Mouse and Rabbit With Sunflower
2 packs of ribbon
2 packs of gems

So how do you enter?  Well, it is all very simple really:
1.  Leave me a comment (please clearly mark your comment UK or OVS)
2.  If you think you might come back, sign up to Follow (if I reach 450 followers I will add a surprise or two)
3.  Please link to your own blog (sidebar is fine)
4.  Email entries are welcome
5.  Because of the weight of the package, I am sorry but I will have to restrict CANDY 1 to UK entries only
6.  Do not despair, CANDY 2 is for overseas!

Entries for this candy will close at midnight (BST) on 31st March.  The two winners will be announced on 2nd April.

Hugs, Squirrel xx

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