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, 31 May 2011

Tilda Plays Hop Scotch

Ugh, it feels like Monday morning!  But thankfully it's only a four day week at work and then it will be the weekend.  Can't wait.

What should have been a very productive crafting Bank Holiday didn't turn out that way, in fact, I made very few cards over the weekend at all.  Here is one I made yesterday using my new Tilda Plays Hopscotch stamp.

Painted in distress inks (what else these days!), papers are Basic Grey, matting card is Bazzil, sentiment is LOTV and flowers are Wild Orchid Crafts.

Hugs, Sxx

Monday, 30 May 2011

The Sky's The Limit

Morning all.  Hope you have lots of lovely plans for your Bank Holiday Monday here in the UK.  We're having a pottering about day - off to search for some bedding plants and a tootle over to see the Oldies later.

As I've been awake since Owl Fart, I got my sneak peek card finished and here it is

I've used the Aeroplane stamp from the latest Lili Of The Valley release - isn't he such a sweetie?  Painted in distress inks.  Papers are a mixture of Basic Grey from various pads.  Sentiment is handwritten so I hope it doesn't spoil it too much.

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday, 29 May 2011

No Card Today But A Sneak Peek Of Tomorrows

Hi All!  Hope you've had a good Sunday.  Now, because today has been such a huge event in the Formula 1 calendar, I've been a total petrolhead and have spent most of the day glued to the BBC for their FANTASTIC coverage of this year's Monaco Grand Prix - shame the race ended the way it did, but well done Jenson for a wonderful and totally brilliant drive.  You woz robbed mate!

So, because I've been such a couch potato (do potatoes jump up and down and scream I wonder?) I haven't had time to make a card but I have got an image and all the papers ready for something for tomorrow. 

Here's a tiny sneak peek .......

We've had a very late dinner today, I'm full of herb roasted butternut squash, loin steaks and cabbage, so am back downstairs in a mo to flump out to watch Disney's Tangled on DVD!  What a lazy Squirrel I am!  See you tomorrow ......

Hugs, Sxx

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Two Very Important Questions

Right, first things first, today's two card posts can be found here JUST MAGNOLIA and here LESS IS MORE

So, I have two very important questions for you:

1.  Do cats have a prescribed number of miaows to use up in a day?

2.  Does anyone know if you can freeze cheese (Cheddar) and how long does it keep for?

Hugs, Sxx

Less Is More # 17 - Recipe - Pick A Square

An interesting challenge from LESS IS MORE this week, Pick A Square - devilishly hard to describe but basically if you imagine your card quartered, you then choose which area (top left, bottom right, centre etc) that you are going to work in and the remainder of the card stays white!  Pop over to the challenge for a look if you think I'm losing the plot ......

Anyhoo, had a little play or three - and you can tell from the deteriorating quality of the photos what sort of day we've had.

House Mouse, coloured with Prismas, Hero Arts sentiment

Nitwits Collection stamp, paper pieced with scraps, Hero Arts sentiment

Nitwits Collection stamp, Prisma coloured, Hero Arts Sentiment

Hugs, Sxx

Just Magnolia - Friends

Morning all, how are we today?  Had a bit of a sudden start to the day with the Parcel Force man ringing the doorbell at stupid o'clock and Vince has not stopped miaowing since 5.30. 

I wonder sometimes what goes on between those hairy little ears - I think if you could see inside all you would find would be a huge plaza, empty except for one lone pigeon wandering around and the occasional ball of tumbleweed rolling past.

JUST MAGNOLIA AND HANGLAR AND STANGLAR have a theme of Friends for their challenge this week and I've been itching to have a go since it was posted yesterday.  However ........ you know that situation where you have your card all planned out in your head, but what you get on paper is nothing like what you had intended?  Yep, it is one of those!

I started off by masking these two H&S images, but they both have wings, and the wings got in the way too much so, started again, stamped and cut  out this time.  For a change, coloured with Copics.  Sentiment is Hero Arts and the papers are Bo Bunny Ad Lib and Basic Grey Lauderdale.  Martha Stewart border punch to finish off.  It is soooooooooooo not what I had in mind, but I kinda like it in a quirky sort of way.

Hugs, Sxx

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Do You Believe In Fairies?

Well, that low-down, sneaky, rotten, miserable, poor excuse for a MoJo has been hiding away from me for far too long now - any tips on giving him a kick up the bum?  To be fair to him though, I've not been the kindest, working stupid hours (oh boy, does that take it's toll on creativity) and not sleeping well.  Hey ho, here's hoping that this three day weekend will be just what the MoJo needs!

Anyhoo, enough of my waffle - I found two fab challenges to combine today .....
LILI OF THE VALLEY - I Believe In Fairies
PAPERTAKE WEEKLY - Pale Pretty Pastels

I had a rummage through my stash of old sketches and found this one from February 2010 from Penny Black Saturday Challenge - can't believe I've only used it once before! 

Image is Pom Pom from Lili Of The Valley.  Isn't she a sweetie?  I've painted her in dilute Distress Inks (looks like I could have done with Bev's and Jacquie's MasterClass!) and matted her on to a pale yellow card by Bazzil.  The little circular sentiment is also LOTV from the Calendars stamp sheet.

Papers are all Pink Petticoat from a pack that was free with a magazine recently.  It is just so pretty that it hurts to use it.   I think the blossom one has to be one of my favourite all time floral papers.

My small EK Success Retro Flower punch for the little blooms, an ordinary hole punch for the dots, and gems from my stash.

Relieved to say (thanks to Chrissy and Pops) that I think I've sorted my commenting problem and have been trying to get round to see you but there are so many wonderful creations I've missed that it may take me some time to catch up!

The Toadster has just crawled into the bath after a Wii Fit session, so best I go and sort out some supper, otherwise my name will be Mud, not Squirrel!

Hugs Sxxx

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Commenting Apologies

Hi Guys, just popping by to explain - I am having horrible problems with commenting at the moment.  I sign in, check the Reading List in Dashboard, as I normally do, and then pop over to your blogs.  Unfortunately, when I arrive, apparently I'm not signed in!  I try to leave a comment but just keep getting shuttled between the comment box and the sign in page.  I sign in again but Blogger either isn't recognising me or it is our IT system at work being a pain.

The blogs that have commenting pop up on a separate page seem to be ok, it's the ones with the comment box embedded at the bottom of the post that I'm having problems with.

So, even though I've not left a comment this week, chances are I have been to visit you!  Hope this resolves very soon!

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Less Is More # 16 - Butterflies

Afternoon all, hope you are all fine and dandy.  I think the knock-out juice from the dentist yesterday must have been quite strong as my head's all over the place today - what my boss' son refers to as "a bit space cadet".

This week's LESS IS MORE challenge is another iffy one for me, butterflies!  And looking at some of the stunning entries already uploaded, I am hanging my head in shame at my effort.  You win some, you lose some!

Background paper is from scraps box but I think it is a Nancy Watt paper that came with Making Cards.  The smaller of the two paper pieced butterflies is Hero Arts and the larger one is Penny Black.  Sentiment is Hero Arts also.

Right, off to write 100 lines of "must try harder next week".

Hugs, Sxx

Friday, 20 May 2011

Just Magnolia and Dentist!

Evening all, bet you didn't expect to see me tonight!  I won't be blogging tomorrow as in the morning I shall be on my way to the dentist for treatment under sedation.  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

Needless to say, I won't be fit for anything for the rest of the day so hopefully I will catch up with your blogs and challenges on Sunday.

Anyway, here's a little card to be going on with - this one is for this week's JUST MAGNOLIA AND HANGLAR AND STANGLAR challenge who have a fab sketch by Donalda.

Love this H&S boy image, he looks like he's been caught doing something he shouldn't!  Papers from Dovecraft and sentiment from Craftwork Cards. Oh, and of course image painted in distress inks.
Keep me in your thoughts for tomorrow.  Please!

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Ribbons & Bows and A Fizzy Moon

Happy Sunday all, hope your weekend has been a great one so far.  Two cards for you this afternoon, the first one for the LILI OF THE VALLEY CHALLENGE with the theme of Ribbons & Bows - it's a bit bright so you may want to stand back a bit .....

Don't say I didn't warn you - think I was trying to make up for the lack of sunshine today!  I've used the LOTV I Baked A Cake stamp, painted with distress inks, the sentiment is from the new LOTV Additions range, the papers are Echo Park Summer Days, and the stamped ribbon and bows are also LOTV Additions.

Now my second card is a total contrast in tone, but similar in that it has a bear!  I've had my eye on these Fizzy Moon stamps for quite some time (always was a tail-end-charlie) and when I finally got around to trying to buy some, you would not believe it - even my favourite on-line store said they were no longer stocking them!  Thankfully, my good mate Zippy said that her local craft shop had them in stock so she very kindly tootled off to get them for me (I did pay her for them!).  Hard to choose a favourite as they are all so sweet .......

Sorry for the lousy picture - the Doodlebug spots and stripes papers are actually chocolate brown, not black!  Love Fizzy with that enormous bunch of delicate flowers.

Hugs, Sxx

Less is More # 15 - OLC Embossing

Oh my goodness, how long is it since I got the heat gun out?  Far too long, in fact, it's so long that I can't actually remember the last time I used it.  This week's LESS IS MORE have a one layer card challenge with the theme of embossing (dry or heat) so I've done both.

I've dry embossing a square in the centre of the card using my Martha Stewart score board, then I stamped using VersaMark and this wonderful skeleton trees stamp by Kodomo.  I sprinkled randomly with opaque red, transparent blue and detail silver embossing powers and then turned the heat gun on.  Oh my, the smell of burning dust and cat hair!  The sentiment is simply stamped with a Hero Arts message.

Hugs, Sxx

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Shape Up!

I love that old joke about being in shape - after all, round is a shape isn't it?!

PENNY BLACK AT ALLSORTS have "Shape Up" as their theme for the May challenge, and there is also a DT call out.

As some of you may be aware, around Christmas time I took the difficult decision to step down from the three DTs that I was on.  It was getting harder and harder to juggle all three and an increasingly hectic and demanding work life.  However, five months on and I am missing DT work but don't think I could cope with going back to doing it weekly or fortnightly, so when I saw the Penny Black @ Allsorts had a call out for their monthly challenge, I thought I might give it a try.  After all, Penny Black stamps are what got me into papercrafting in the first place, and I have so many of them that have been sadly neglected of late.

I should have know that all would not go smoothly!  Here's my card:

I cut the card base using a Nestabilities die, and the two smaller layers also.  Papers are from Pink Petticoat, a pad that was a free gift with Papercraft Essentials magazine this month.  And this is where the trouble started - for some reason, my Pinflair glue (which has been superb until now) soaked straight through the paper - maybe the paper isn't coated in the same way as others or isn't as thick but I ended up with what looked like great big smudges - hence the semi circle of flowers to cover up the worst of it.  I used Penny Black "For You" stamp - this one is coloured with ProMarkers, because the first one in distress inks went blotchy (aarrrrgh), the sentiment is Hero Arts, and the pearls are from stash.  Beginning to wonder if this card wasn't meant to happen!

Anyway, it's made and I will enter it in the challenge, but I don't hold out much hope, lol!

Would also like to enter it into this week's TOTALLY GORJUSS challenge of "Not Square".

Hugs Sxx

Friday, 13 May 2011

Oh Mr Blogger, What Have You Done?

Well, it was only because I was looking for this week's LOTV challenge that I suddenly realised that anything posted since sometime Wednesday night/Thursday morning has been wiped off the face of Blogland!  Including my white on white card for the LESS IS MORE challenge.  It was here, honestly, I even had some nice comments on it .......... anyway, here it is again.

Thank you to everyone who did leave me a comment - I just wish I could retrieve those as well.

Hugs, Sxx

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Less is More - White-On-White

When I saw the challenge from LESS IS MORE this week, I nearly ran screaming for the hills.  White-on-White is one of those things that I've never got the hang of and tend to avoid it like the plague.  I even considered not entering the challenge at all this time round!

However, a tiny germ of an idea popped into my head last night so I dashed off to the craft room and made this:

They don't come much simpler I'm afraid.  A 5x5 card base, half rolled through the Cuttlebug using the daisy folder, a lace-edged square Nestie, and two punched hearts which I put through different folders in the Bug.  And that's it.

Hopefully Chrissie and Mandi will be nicer this week and come up with a challange that has some colour in it!

Hugs, Sxx

Monday, 9 May 2011

Sunday Sketch And Stamp

There's a super sketch from Claire over at this week's SUNDAY SKETCH & STAMP CHALLENGE that I could not resist having a play with. 

The lovely clean lines of the sketch show off the papers perfectly so I wanted to keep it clean and fresh without any fluff so this is a very simple card - the sketch, the image and a sentiment.

The image is LOTV's Together Forever stamp, painted in distress inks, the papers are from Dovecraft's Sugar & Spice collection, the matting card is Bazzil and the sentiment is Hero Arts.  And that's it - told you it was simple.

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Just Magnolia And Hanglar & Stanglar Challenge

Happy Sunday everyone!  Getting myself into Grand Prix mode here this morning, ready to park my bum in the armchair and scream at the tv for the Turkish Grand Prix ....... some people might think this an odd way to spend a couple of hours on a Sunday but I've done it for so many years now that it's just become a way of life in the Squirrel household.  It took the Toad some while to adjust to this insanity when we first married but even he joins in these days!

Anyhoo, over at JUST MAGNOLIA AND HANGLAR & STANGLAR CHALLENGE (isn't that such a mouthful?) there is an Anything Goes challenge with the option of stitching.  I took the plunge this week and ordered a Bee My Honey kit direct from Hanglar and it plopped onto the doormat yesterday morning - I couldn't wait to have a play.

As this little love has stitching on her frock, she seemed perfect for the challenge .... I simply echoed the stitching onto the papers and flowers.

Isn't she such a little cutie?  Painted in distress inks with a mixture of papers from stash.  EK Success medium and small retro flower punches and Card Candi to finish.

Off to cram in a couple of chores before the start of the race so catch ya later!

Hugs Sxx

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Animal Antics

Morning all, hope you are having a good weekend so far.  Had a bit of a lie-in this morning - I was so tired after only three days back at work this week and still being somewhat snuffly so I took advantage of the opportunity!  Mind you, the temperatures have risen quite a bit compared to during the week - there we were with a couple of frosts in the mornings and today I was having to peel the cat off my legs!

Today I have one card for you but for two challenges:
LILI OF THE VALLEY - Animal Antics

So, what do we have, well the image is LOTV Gift Wrapped and painted in distress inks, the sentiment is LOTV as well.  The blue cardstock is from stash, the pink cardstock is Coordinations, the flowers are Wild Orchid Crafts, the leaves are Martha Stewart branch punch, and the three blue patterned papers are all from an absolutely ancient pad, the DCWV Paperstack Matchmaker 2 collection.  This must have been one of the first pads of paper I bought when I started papercrafting, and it is never ending - much better value than some of the 24 sheet jobs on the market now!

So that's me for now, might be back tomorrow, we'll see.

Hugs, Sxx

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

More Of A Waltz Than A Side-Step

Afternoon all!  I am pleased to say that I actually slept last night ....... for THREE HOURS without coughing!  Wheeeeeeee!

When the alarm went off this morning, I fell out of bed, crawled downstairs for a coffee and to make sure Toad left for work and then crawled back up again for a shower, with every intention of trying to go to work.  But then the bathroom started spinning and the floor got closer, so I changed my mind.  Oh well, try again tomorrow I guess.

Having spent the morning napping and catching snippits of television, I thought I really ought to try and do something productive.  Washing up?  Nah.  Ironing?  Nah.  Crafting?  That'll do it.  I've had the urge for a while to make a side-step card but never really got round to it.  Actually, that's not quite true.  I did try, but got in such a piggin' muddle with my measurements that it all went in the bin in a fit of squirreliness.  So, fuzzybrain here, thought she'd try again.  Found a great tutorial on Splitcoast Stampers (how wonderful is that place?) that looked straightforward enough so got to work.

First attempt went in the bin as I wasn't seeing straight and managed to score and crease a line a quarter of an inch out.  Hmph.

Second attempt went better and here it is - it is by no means perfect, I am well aware of that!

So what did I use?  Base cardstock and green card are Bazzil - not sure if the base card is thick enough, the card seems to want to splay open so I may have to reinforce it.  Martha Stewart border punch for the grass edging.  Dovecraft green spotty paper from the Back To Basics II collection.  Trees are Lavinia stamps, Little Sleuth and Watson are both High Hopes stamps painted with distress inks.  Sentiment is LOTV.  Peel-off sparkle letters coloured with a black ProMarker for "Birthday?" and square black gems from stash.  If you look closely at the storm cloud sky, you might see that these are fingerprints in distress inks!

I'd like to enter this attempt into four "Anything Goes" challenges this week:
3.  HERE COME THE BOYS (a new challenge) and

Thanks for all your kind words and get well wishes, pleased to say that they seem to be working.

Hugs, Sxx

Monday, 2 May 2011

Less Is More # 13 - Thank You or Congratulations

Hi All.  Sorry that I've been MIA since last week - I've been really poorly and have only in the last twenty four hours crawled back to life.

I already had a cold at the start of the week so when I woke up Wednesday feeling a bit clammy, it just seemed part of the cold thing.  However, I lost my appetite as the day went on (unheard of) and by the time we got home from a day out I felt totally bushed.  Not any brighter on Thursday, and then the sickness started.  I know it is very rare for anyone to ever die from being sick but honest to God, there was a time in the early hours of Friday morning, sat on the loo with an old washing up bowl in my lap, that I thought I was going to meet my Good Lord Jesus there and then with my knickers round my ankles and my hair a sticky up fright from sweating so much.  Friday and Saturday were spent curled up in a whimpering heap in bed with Toad dashing around asking if I wanted him to take me to the out-of-hours clinic.

I'm still full of catarrah and coughing like I've been smoking 80 a day for 50 years and my legs feel like jelly but at least I'm out of bed.  Supposed to be back at work tomorrow!

It's totally ruined what had been a much needed holiday, but the upside is that I've lost 7-10lbs!  Mind you, I guess that can happen when you don't eat.  Anything.

My only attempt at crafting has been this quick little card for this week's LESS IS MORE challenge.  Optional themes of thank you or congratulations - I've gone for thank you.

I stamped the rose bud (Penny Black I think) onto a sheet of antique looking Basic Grey paper and then masked it with a Post-It Note, overstamped with the Hero Arts "thank you" definition, peeled off the mask and added colour to the rose with Prismacolors.  Deckled edged Nestie for the shape, which I aged the edges down with a golden brown pencil, Martha Stewart border punch and three toned pearls to finish.

Thanks for popping over.  I'll do my best to catch up once I'm feeling more squirrelly.

Hugs. Sxx

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