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!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

PBSC Happily Ever After

Are we all ready for The Wedding then?  Got your place on the pavement beside the Abbey reserved?  I've got an armchair with my name on it ready for tomorrow morning.  Let's face it, you can't help feeling a little excited about it all.

This week's PENNY BLACK SATURDAY CHALLENGE have the most appropriate theme of Happily Ever After, and here is my wedding day card .....

I've used Penny Black Long Stem Cuties, painted in distress inks.  A Martha Stewart border punched along the bottom edge and then matter on Papermania Boysenberry gingham paper.  The floral papers are from Pink Petticoat's Vintage Rose collection.  Ribbon and bow stamp from LOTV and sentiment from Craftwork Cards.

Wish I could say that I was feeling better but this cold is hanging on in there and I had a dreadful night with coughing and spluttering.  Not up to much today apart from grocery shopping and the occasional catnap.

Hugs, Sxx

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

THAT tutorial .....

OK, you can stop with the nagging and the hints and the going on and on and on - the painting part has been published .......

Actually, I found this much harder than I thought it would be.  For a woman who can talk all four legs off a donkey, I was struggling to find words for this!

So, if you find that there isn't enough information or not enough pictures, or it is just simply rubbish, please do tell me.

Hugs Sxx

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Just Magnolia - A Sketch

Happy Easter everyone!  Hope you are having a super Sunday afternoon.  I am pleased to report that the sore throat is improving, but the snot levels have increased, and now a cough has joined the party!  Typical, first sign of good weather and the start of my holiday and I get whapped with a germ.  I guess that's what happens when you've been working full pelt for months, defences get low and those sneaky little suckers slip in when you're not looking.

I had been looking forward to a quiet afternoon of crafting but next door are having a family BBQ.  The trampoline is in full use and the swimming pool is now out for the summer.  Cousin Daniel is visiting.  For a young boy, he's got a voice like a foghorn and he's a right bossy little tyke.  Mind you, his mother obviously has a short fuse (and she has a voice like a cheesegrater).  All I can hear is "Daniel, stop that...." "Daniel, don't do that....." "Daniel ....."  I've come in from my craft space (in the conservatory) for a bit of peace!

JUST MAGNOLIA AND HANGLAR & STANGLAR challenge this week have a super sketch to follow and I have a feeling I shall be using this one again.

I had these Basic Grey "Pyrus" papers as an Easter present and the colours are so rich and gorgeous.  I've teamed them up with this little cutie American Indian Tilda.  She's painted with a mixture of Distress Inks and PrismaColor pencils.  A Craftwork Cards sentiment to finish.  With those fabbie papers I didn't think she needed anything else.

For those of you waiting for the Distress Inks Tutorial - Part One is out there now!  Be kind, please!

Hugs, Sxx

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Less is More # 12 - Off Centre

Sniff sniff cough ..... happy sunny Saturday everyone!  The amount of brain matter leaking out of my nose seems to have increased in direct proportion to the decreasing amount of mojo I have at the moment.  I thought this week's LESS IS MORE challenge with the theme of Off Centre might cheer things up a bit - until I sat down to make cards.......

It's been suggested that it might be better to put all my LIM cards in one post, rather than bore you with numerous posts during the week, so here you go, four cards in one hit.  And none of them very good I'm afraid.

Edited:  Bird stamp from a Kodomo set

Edited:  Don't know make but cat is called Daisy

Edited: Seagulls are an unnamed stamp from the Fine Line Classics range by Inkadinkado,
sentiment is Hero Arts

Edited:  Agapanthus Cluster by Stampendous, Hero Arts Sentiment
Glittered butterfly stickers from Lakeland (very old)

This last one is my favourite of the four.  Think I need to go off and do something else, perhaps inspiration will strike if I'm not actually searching for it.

Hugs, Sxx

Friday, 22 April 2011

Cute Card Thursday + Papertake Weekly + Lili Of The Valley

Happy Easter everyone, although I suppose, techincally I am two days early as we are still in Lent! 

Two cards for you today, the first is for CUTE CARD THURSDAY who have the theme of no text.  For this one, I wanted an image that conveyed the message ..... and I've ended up with a wedding card of all things!

LOTV stamp, painted with distress inks, lilac papers are from a very old collection, border punch is Modern Garland by Martha Stewart, the cotton effect paper is from stash.  Flowers were card coloured with a Frost Blue Copic pen to try and match the horseshoe.

And my second card is for the LILI OF THE VALLEY Easter Challenge and the PAPERTAKE WEEKLY Spots n Stripes challenge.  Made this one for the Toadster......

An easy easel card (using two pre-scored cards trimmed to right size), LOTV bunny stamp, Crafts Too papers, sticky ribbon, Hero Arts sentiment and the bow from LOTV which I 3d'd but it doesn't show too well in photo.  Brads are Papermania.

Glorious sunshine today, temperature supposed to reach 23C ...... and I'm sneezing.  The sore throat is back, I'm full of snot (for want of a better word) and feel a bit pants.  Just what the doctor ordered for the first day of my holiday!

Hope you all have a super long weekend, catch you soon.

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday, 17 April 2011

3 Cards, 3 Challenges, 1 Post

And a happy sunny Sunday afternoon guys!  Hope this finds you all feeling fine and full of Spring joy, and if you are unwell, I send you big warm get well soon hugs.

Less Is More - Week 11 - Acetate
Now, I have to make it clear here, I love the LESS IS MORE challenges ...... but, when I saw this week's challenge, I nearly cried.  I absolutely HATE acetate, I loathe and despise the stuff with a passion!  However, I was not prepared to duck out of the challenge so here is a very simple card using as little acetate as I could get away with ........

Very straightforward, two layers of textured cardstock, EK Success retro flower punch for the pink and the acetate which is offset over the base flower, Card Candy for flower centres, a few pearls and a Hero Arts sentiment!

Lili Of The Valley - Challenge 92 - Happy Birthday
This little card for the LILI OF THE VALLEY challenge happened by accident.  I had the urge to play with a stamp, and as I already had the Basic Grey Marjorlaine papers out on the workdesk, this is what happened....

Thought I would sneak this one into the CRAFTY CATZ CHALLENGE too for their theme of Furry Friends.
Little Acorn has to be one of the sweetest of the recent LOTV animal releases, but it is a close call as they are all gorgeous.  Painted with distress inks, layered on DCWV cardstock and Doodlebug paper and then lashing of Basic Grey papers.  Card Candy and a LOTV sentiment to finish.

Last But Not Least
This little Easter card came about because we received one in the post yesterday from Toad's brother and his wife.  Marianne had used this Magnolia cross, which reminded me that I had the same stamp buried in my Tilda box so I had to dig it out as it is perfect for Easter.

Distress inked again, the Basic Grey papers that were out and begging to be used, and a Penny Black sentiment.

You may be relieved to know that this is the last you will hear from me this week post wise, I've got a frantic four days at work this coming week (my boss is away now and I'm away when she comes back) but I hope to still be able to snatch half an hour in the mornings to pop over and see what you are all up to.

Hugs Sxx

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Easter Frenzy

Some of you working girls will have, no doubt, worked out, like I did, that if you book the 3 days between Easter Monday and the Royal Wedding as holiday, you get 11 days away from work for the price of 3, bargain.  I'd booked it as soon as the Wedding date was announced and have been gaily counting down to a nice break.  "Only a few days left to go" I thought this morning - and then it suddenly dawned on me that it is Easter next week and I'd got NO cards made at all, eeeeeek!

Thankfully I don't make that many Easter cards, but there are some I just HAVE to make so I've been a crafty Squirrel today .......

This first card is for 3 challenges:

PB image, painted in distress inks, papers are a mixture of Dovecraft, Papermania and a freebie (Craftwork Cards I think) and matting card is Papermania.  If my circles look a bit squint it's because I had a bit of bother with my Martha Stewart circle cutter - that'll teach me to not move my cutting mat onto something more level.  Round the edge of the blue circle and the stripe paper with my pokey tool and then round again with white gel pen on the blue and pink fibretip on the striped.  Sentiment was a freebie.  EK Success retro flower punch and Card Candy to finish off with a few pearls.

And while I was on a roll ......

Minimum of fuss with these two, I just needed quick and simple cards to get in the post.  First one is LOTV with a PB sentiment and the second is Stampavie with LOTV corners.  Papers are from scraps box but I think they are Dovecraft, Papermania and Wild Rose Studio.

Only one more to do now, and that's the one for Himself - hope he stays out of the way for a little while.......

Hugs, Sxx 

Monday, 11 April 2011

My last entry for LIM this week (maybe)

When I made this, it was with the intention of it being my last entry into this week's LESS IS MORE challenge as I'm getting a bit OCD about it ......

...... but now, looking at it here, I don't think it works as well as I thought it might.  The red Happy Birthday flag was supposed to be a direction to the main sentiment but actually, I think it is more of a distraction.  I'm not sure, but I'm fairly certain you lot will tell me!

Main sentiment is My Sentiments Exactly and flags are from a Hero Arts clear set.

Hugs Sxx

Sunday, 10 April 2011

PBSC Say It With Flowers and another Less Is More

Hello everyone, hope your Sunday is going well ...... mine started better than expected with the result from the Malaysian Grand Prix!  And we have another race next weekend too, bonus!

Two little cards for you this afternoon - the first is for the PENNY BLACK SATURDAY CHALLENGE with their theme of Say It With Flowers .....

I've used my new Scented Garden stamp from Penny Black, painted with distress inks.  Paper is from an old pad of K&Co and the matting card from stash.  EK Success retro flower punches and sentiment from Hero Arts.

And still on the theme of flowers, this one is for LESS IS MORE Focus On The Sentiment challenge.  I have to say, these one layer cards can be tricky little devils ......

Loving that quote, but can't remember what make it is, it is either Hero Arts or Penny Black.  I cut a frame with two Nesties in a sheet of Eclipse masking paper and then, having spent ages trying to line them up on the card, stamped over with a textile design stamp, then I chalked over that with some light green and peeled off the masks.  Stamped the sentiment and the tiny Magenta flowers to which I added a smudge of colour with distress inks.

Hugs, Sxx

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Less Is More and Domestic Goddess (Ha!)

Happy sunny Saturday everyone!  Well, I hope it is sunny where you are - it is a truly beautiful Spring day here in the east of England and it is making my spirits fly.  And the dust ......

My mother, bless her feather duster, is the ultimate Domestic Goddess.  That woman takes cleaning to a whole new level and can spot a single speck of dust floating in at 300 paces, without her bi-focals, and it doesn't get a chance to land.

So what went wrong?  Some things are naturally inherited, hair and eye colour, height and weight, but some things seem to skip a generation and for me that means domestic skills.  I am the first one to wave my hand in the air and admit that I am a housework sloven.  I suffer from Dust Blindness, I simply don't notice it until seeds germinate in it and I wonder why the bookcase has turned green and fuzzy.  I am far to easily distracted by more interesting things, which explains why our house looks more like student accommodation than that of two professional adults and one fat cat.  Toad is just as bad as me, his mind is elsewhere and dreamy.  Let's face it, you know you have a problem when the only time you actually notice the cat hair is when you managed to produce a meal without any in it.  It has become a third condiment, salt, pepper and cathair.  If I die coughing, could someone tip off the Coroner to look for a hairball?

But this glorious sunshine is highlighting the problem.  The low angle of the sun is showing the ploughed field on the coffee table and the enormous cobweb that has grown overnight - I am really going to start taking lessons I think.  Oh the shame.

Anyhoo, enough of that, LESS IS MORE have an interesting challenge this week - Chrissie and Mandi are asking the LIMettes to create a One Layer Card with a theme of Focus On The Sentiment ....... crumbs!

Here is my first attempt ......

This idea just popped into my head while I was watching the Formula 1 qualifying this morning (see, another housework distraction) and I just had to get it onto card before I could think about anything different.

A 5x5 white pre-creased card base, simple single ink line border in black.  I stamped the Penny Black Birthday Dreams stamp in Memento Rose Bud straight onto the card and then masked it to overstamp the Happy Birthday text stamp.  Then I used a deckled edge rectangle Nestie as a drawing guide for the border around Birthday Dreams.  Finally I added a tiny sparkling butterfly as contrast and three pink gems to compliment.

Personally, I really like it but that won't stop me having a few more plays with this challenge!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to stop by and comment on my Touch Of Red cards this week, I really appreciate it and I am sorry that I was not able to return the favour.  With being ill for several days, it has taken it out of me but I am on the mend so will pop over and catch up with as many of you as I can this week.

Off for a tail trim shortly and then we are meeting friends over at our local pub for an early evening meal.  Really looking forward to that.

Hugs, Sxx

Friday, 8 April 2011

Last Gasp Less Is More

Morning all, it's nearly the weekend, yay!  Pleased to report that the antibiotics have finally kicked in and I am feeling sooooooooooo much better!

Just a little quickie for you today - a last gasp entry for the LESS IS MORE A Touch Of Red challenge.

I'ved used a Magenta flower square and painted with distress inks, I hardly diluted the red at all which gave it such intensity.  A single strip of black peel off, a Hero Arts sentiment and some matting card.

Hugs, Sxx

Thursday, 7 April 2011

My Partner In Crafting Crime - Layer It Up

When I saw this challenge over at MY PARTNER IN CRAFTING CRIME it seemed perfect for me, as there are times when I just don't know when to stop layering!  The criteria is 3 or more - I've managed 6 in places ..... but I could have kept going!

I've used Milton With Daisy, distress inked, papers from various pads of K&Co, a piece from scrap box, two Martha Stewart punches and a Craftwork Cards sentiment.  The butterfly was cut from the same sheet of K&Co paper as the beige matting behind Milton.

Thanks for popping over to see me, I love your visits, you really lift my day.

Hugs Sxx

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

What A Contrast!

Apart from the nausea and the sore throat, the earache and the antibiotics, I think I could get used to having an extra two days off work a week!  I managed to finish the thriller I have been reading (Die Trying by Lee Child) this morning, and I've had a crafty afternoon.

I've made two cards, one for the PASSION FOR PROMARKERS CHALLENGE (which I haven't entered in months); their theme this week is Pink & Yellow -

I've used Kraftin' Kimmie's Bella The Artist, coloured of course with ProMarkers.  The pink dp is Crafts Too, and the yellow is Papermania but I've overstamped it with a Hero Arts spotty stamp in Memento Rose Bud.  Sentiment is Craftwork Cards and the buttons are from my long lost button box (yay me, I found it).

This afternoon's second card is a because I felt like it card - I've had this Being Together stamp from Stampavie (Gillian Roberts) for a while but this is its first inking.

Image painted with distress inks.  Papers are all Basic Grey Marjolaine and the blue pearls are from stash.  Photo doesn't show it well (looks like dirty smudges) but I chalked the sky and the grass around the image.  Martha Stewart border punch to finish off.

My earlier post today is here, CraftyCatz and Cupcakes, if you are interested.

Thanks for popping over to see me - unless I have a relapse I'll be back at work tomorrow but there will be a scheduled post on Thursday morning.

Hugs, Sxx

CraftyCatz And Cupcake

Morning all.  Well, it's official, I have "quinsy" - apparently that's doctor speak for a throat infection to you and me.  Got a bucketful of antibiotics and they will be a challenge.  They have to be taken on an empty stomach - that is, one hour before food or two hours after.  Four times a day.  Now, for little squirrels that like to graze their way through a day this is going to be tough - I've had to work out a timetable!  And I reckon I will only be able to munch three times - that's appalling, don't they know about my mid-morning Wotsit attack?  It's going to be a long seven days .......

Anyhoo, here is a little card I made late yesterday afternoon for two challenges

OK, maybe it isn't that funny, but watching a cat try and get out of the rain is quite amusing (horrid aren't I) - Image is LOTV, distress inked, papers and matting are Little Sizzles, sentiment is also LOTV from the same A5 stamp sheet, a few Nesties and my small flower punch, a sprinkle of gems for raindrops and that's it.

Oh yes, and the answer to yesterday's Spot The Deliberate Mistake?  Yep, Vicky got there first - how can a jam jar have a lid on it when it's got a spoon in it.  D'oh!  Tell ya, I worry myself sometimes.  Email me please hunny!

Hugs, Sxx

Monday, 4 April 2011

Spot The Deliberate Mistake

Come on then, let's see who is on their toes today and able to spot the deliberate mistake ....... first one to get there and I'll send you a little something.....

I bought all three of these cooking mice stamps in the latest LOTV release and love them all - this one is Sprinkled With Sugar - can't you just see the mischief on their little faces?  Papers are all Papermania from an older pack that featured the hundreds and thousands paper so it seemed right for a cooking theme.  The sentiment is Hero Arts and matting card is DCWV.  Pink Candy Dots from stash to finish off.

Not spotted it yet?  Here's just the image to see if that helps ......

I could have kicked myself when I realised, but by then the distress inks were dry and it was too late!  Put it down to this infection scrambling my brain.

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Just Magnolia - Simon Says Stamp Special Monthly Challenge

Morning all, and a Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful mums out there.  Just got back from visiting my very special one and am pleased to report that she was munching chocolate before we even left her.  Bless.  Think dad had his eye on getting some too but I don't rate his chances of mum sharing it with him lol!

This week's JUST MAGNOLIA challenge is their Simon Says Stamp Monthly Special, it's a very special prize indeed but I don't think I'm in with a shout this time, the card is too basic....

I've used the new Tilda with Flowerpot stamp and she's coloured with ProMarkers.  I must thank Mina for the inspiration of paper piecing Tilda's coat, I think it looks fabbie.  Papers are Craftwork Cards Vintage Rose.  The extra for this challenge is buttons - now somewhere I have a jar of teeny tiny buttons, but do you think I could find them?  Could I heck.  So I've used the smallest Classic Square Nestie to make some faux buttons instead.  The coral matting card is DCWV.

Throat is only a little bit better today so I think I shall be off to the doc begging for antibiotics tomorrow. 

Hugs Sxx

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Less is More # 9 - A Touch Of Red

In between sucking ice cubes to sooth my throat, and taking a sneaky catnap, I made this little card for this week's LESS IS MORE challenge of A Touch Of Red

I've been wanting to use this Le Chat Noir stamp for ages, it was a freebie with Craft Stamper magazine ages ago, and for some reason, this is the stamp that came immediately to mind for the theme.  Classic Oval Nestie and a Scallop Oval Nestie for the frame, and the sentiment and pawprint stamps are from a Wild Rose set that I've had a while too.

I'm so sorry that I didn't get to visit many of the LIM entries last week, I have a feeling this week may be the same, but I will catch up with you all soon I hope.

Hugs, Sxx

And the Candy Winners are .......

Sorry I'm a bit late posting this today guys, whatever this lurgy is that I've picked up has totally knocked me for six.

Without any more waffling, the two candy winners are:


and UK
Number 9 - that's DIANNE of CrazyCraftShed

Well done guys, and thanks to everyone who took part.

Sandra and Dianne - could you please email me your details:  squirrel1964@hotmail.co.uk

Hugs, Sxx

Friday, 1 April 2011

LOTV Spring + CCT Couples

Well thank goodness it is Friday, I woke up this morning with swollen glands and a sore throat - great, perfect for the weekend.

So, let's have a card to cheer us up shall we?  LILI OF THE VALLEY have a Spring theme this week and CUTE CARD THURSDAY have the theme of Couples, so I've combined them.

Now, I always think of mushrooms as being autumnal but hopefully the spring colours will get over that little continuity error!  Isn't this stamp from LOTV called Toadstool For Two just the sweetest?  I think it would be great for engagement, anniversary or even a quirky wedding card.  Painted with distress inks of course.  Papers are all Dovecraft Back To Basics from collections I and II, you can never have too many spots, but the flowers were punched from a Papermania Capsule Collection.  Matting card is all DCWV.  Craftwork Cards Card Candy for the flower centres and an Oh My Words sentiment.  Martha Stewart branch punch for leaves and a border punch for the pink paper, ooh and I nearly forgot the gorgeous green and gold sticky ribbon from stash to finish off.

Hugs, Sxx

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