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!

Saturday 31 December 2011

Too Much Brandy In the Mince Pies?

Hello all!  At last, a day that feels like the day it should be - you know where you are with a Saturday!  Here at Squirrel Towers it has been confusion all week so it was nice this morning to get up, go for a tail trim and come back to a normal weekend day.

Now, when I'd made this card, Toad reckons I had eaten a mince pie with too much brandy in it - I kinda see what he means but what the heck, it was very tasty!

Allsorts Challenge - New Beginnings
Sweet Stampin' Challenge - New Beginnings

So here it is then, brace yourselves

Ingredients for this card are:
Stamped Image  High Hopes First Ride
Sentiment  LOTV Grunge Postmarks
Papers  All Basic Grey - variety of pads
Medium  Tim Holtz Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Dies Memory Box Puffy Clouds and Snowflake Corner (that I turned into flowers)
Extras  A few gems and a punched flower

Not the most traditional of baby cards but, hey, it's nice to be different sometimes (my excuse and I'm sticking to it).

Now then, remember at the end of November that I was positively bursting to tell you some news?  Well, it didn't happen and I was totally flat about it.  After the email from Lord Tim saying that he liked my colouring, I had another one from him saying that he would link my blog to his during the 12 Tags Of Christmas.  I appreciate that it must be an incredibly frantic time for him to produce all that work and get it posted so I'm not going to be too hard on him, especially as he is so darned talented, but I guess that was my fall after the pride, and oh boy, was it a long fall.  Never mind, pick myself up, dust myself off, and away we go again.

Whatever you are doing tonight to see in the New Year (we'll probably be in bed by about 10.30) I hope it is a happy and safe one for you.

Hugs Sxx

Friday 30 December 2011

Less Is More - Just One Word

I am so glad that the current LESS IS MORE challenge is running for two weeks - I've had a head full of ideas since I saw the theme of Just One Word but Christmas sort of got in the way of playing and today has been my first chance to get inky.

Me and the Toad were discussing ideas this morning (he does come up with some elaborate and impossible plans, bless) when I had an idea involving Magnolia Chess Pieces.  So off I dutifully went to hunt them down.  I did find them, but I also found a stamp that I liked better and had an instant idea for. 

I think I still had in my head Great Expectations from the telly last night, at the point when Herbert is urging Pip and Magwitch to get in the rowing boat quickly before they missed the tide and there was a fog over the river.   This was the inspiration for the clock and the colours.

Ingredients for this card:
Stamped Image:  Magnolia Clock (stamped in Tuxedo Black Memento)
Sentiment: Papermania Alphabet Letters (in London Fog Distress Inks)
Inks:  Background inking with Distress Inks - Tattered Rose, Antique Linen, Iced Spruce, Forest Moss

And that's it.  I think the mojo is fired up again now so I'm off to have a go at some DT work while the muse is upon me!

Hugs, Sxx

Wednesday 28 December 2011

My first ever WOYWW

Morning all.  This is a rarity for me, being at home on a Wednesday, so it means that I can join in with my first every WOYWW with the fabulous Julia.

So, what do we have?  As you can see, my workspace is in the conservatory, just under the kitchen window (very handy for being passed cups of tea).  This is my painting, gluing and assembling space - the guillotine and embossing bench is behind me but that is piled high with stuff because of having to make room for the Christmas tree.  This is spookily tidy for me, normally you can't even see the cutting mat for mess.

Bottom left you can just see a little thank you card I made with a Hero Arts Stencil Flower stamp and on the cutting mat is a part coloured Mo Manning image which I shall finish off later.  The white oblong next to the mat is my paint box full of Distress Inks - I took the water colour paints out of their pans and plipped in a drop of ReInkers so I have the full colour range all in one palette.  And you can tell by my water jar that I really need some clean water!!

So that's it - my space, my mess.  Off to have a peek at yours now.

Hugs xxx

Tuesday 27 December 2011

You're My Most Favourite ...

Afternoon all!  Hope you managed to have a Happy Christmas and that Santa brought everything you'd hoped for.  He didn't?  Was that because you were naughty?  Come on .... own up to Auntie Squirrel!

It was a very pleasant but quiet Christmas here at Squirrel Towers with just me, the Toadster and the Vincent.  But that was fine by us - morning Mass, bacon sandwich, open pressies, a bit of telly, dinner and a snooze!  Yesterday was lunch at the Oldies - must admit that we were expecting jacket potatoes and cold meats so we were a little thrown by being presented with a full roast dinner and a pudding.  Crikey, the old fur is getting a bit stretched around the belly area now.  Good job that Toad dragged me out (kicking and screaming I hasten to add) for a long walk this morning - and we have been disco dancing on the Wii this afternoon.

Anyhoo, today was my first chance to get to play for a few days so I grabbed it with both paws.  I bought a couple of Mo Manning stamps earlier in the month and had been itching to play with this little cutie.

And as I failed miserably to make enough Christmas cards this year I thought I would make a few New Year gifts.  Very simple but postable!

Yes, I know the calendar clashes horribly, but when it is open the pages are white so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb then.  That adorable sentiment came with the image.  Who could resist it!

Anyhoo, I'm off downstairs again to get some dinner sorted.  After all that exercise I'm famishing and in danger of wasting away (yeah, right, like that'll ever happen, lol).

Hugs xxx

Friday 23 December 2011

Winter Wonderland (DT) A Thank You Recipe

Having said that in my last post before the last post was the last post before Christmas, this one really is the last post, honestly!  Welcome to this week's WINTER WONDERLAND - we are starting a short run of non-Christmas cards and what better to start you off in time for all those presents than a Thank You Recipe.  We would like to see your "thank you" cards using 3 papers, 3 flowers, 1 image, 1 ribbon and, of course, a thank you.

And this week we have a $15 gift voucher on offer from our generous sponsor SIMON SAYS STAMP!

Here is my card:

Ingredients for this card are:
Stamped Image:  Whiff of Joy Henry Hugging Large Heart
Medium:  Tim Holtz Distress Inks ReInkers
Papers:  First Edition (all three from same pad)
Sentiment:  Hero Arts x 2
Extras:  Magnolia Old Swedish Lace die cut, EK Success retro flower, Card Candi, Anita's Sticky Ribbon

We are also having a Design Team call for Winter Wonderland so if you are interested, please do hop over to the post and leave a comment with a link to your blog by 31 December.

So that's it from me - I hope you will find a little time over the Christmas holidays to join us with your Thank You card.

Hugs Sxx

Wednesday 21 December 2011

Design Team Call for Winter Wonderland

Morning all.  Now here's a thing, we have two Design Team spaces waiting to be filled at Winter Wonderland.

Our precious Danielle and Suzi are leaving us (sob) and that means we have two vacancies for willing crafters.

Do you love Christmas?  Could you make a card to a theme once a fortnight? Would you have the time to comment on just 1 in every 10 entries each week?  If you have answered yes, then you could be just the person we are looking for.

If you are interested, pop over to Winter Wonderland for more details and leave a comment on the DT post with a link to your blog by 31 December.

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday 18 December 2011

Just The One Trombone In The Big Parade

Afternoon all.  Hope this finds you well.  Only one week to go to the big day and at Squirrel Towers we are still in total chaos.  This may well be my last post until after Boxing Day now as I have had to TIDY the craft space to make room for the tree.  It stands on part of my work surface to at least give it a fighting chance of surviving Vince!

This week the LESS IS MORE ladies have set a theme of music.  I knew immediately which stamp I wanted to use, simply because I came across him last weekend when rummaging for something else.  Fate perhaps.

This little chap is a Penny Black and I didn't check the name of him before I came upstairs, sorry.  Coloured in Distress Inks and layered with HOTP paper and a LOTV sentiment with a few gems to finish.  Simples.

As I have missed so many posting dates for Christmas cards, I would like to finish with a little message

To all my blogging friends, old and new, may
I wish you a joyous and love-filled
Christmas and here's to a
Happy 2012 for all of us

Hugs, Sxx

Tuesday 13 December 2011

A quick one

I'm in a right tailspin now - under two weeks to go to the big day and I am sooooooo not ready for it.  I don't know what's happened to me this year, normally I am much better organised than this.  It doesn't help that the post office have made the "last posting dates" earlier than normal, which means I have already missed a lot of the overseas ones!

Thankfully I have no need to post my card to mum and dad as they are only 15 mins away!  I made this card on Sunday.  I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with it, just that I wanted it to be big.  So starting with an 8x8 card base, I sat and scratched the fur for a while and then it just sort of happened.

I've used some Lili Die-Cuts for this as is was really too dark to be painting, which could explain why some of the elements (particularly the Merry sentiment) are on the squiff.  It was really too dark to be playing!  Anyway, with some magazine freebie papers, a Penny Black stamp and Papermania's Relationships stamps this is what I came up with.  Woodware Holly brads and HunkyDory Diamond Sparkle gems were the final touches.  It's not the most sophisticated card I've ever made, and not the most elegant, but mum and dad will love it anyway.

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday 11 December 2011

Less Is More - Let It Snow

Morning all.   How are we today?  I'm feeling a bit down in the dumps as we've just had in the estimate for our kitchen and it is £3,500 over our top end budget.  Fourteen years waiting for a new kitchen and it looks like it still won't happen.  Sob!

Anyway, LESS IS MORE this week are asking us to Let It Snow with a One Layer Card.

Hugs Sxs

Saturday 10 December 2011

The Last Lili

Morning all.  Just before the chaos begins and we go out shopping (yes, I know, I need my bumps read) here is the card I have made for the last LILI OF THE VALLEY challenge as we know it.

If you are not already aware, LOTV have made the decision to concentrate on one blog to showcase their products and that will be their Ideas To Inspire blog.

So, what do us desperate Wanna-Be-Fairies do?  Well, we stick with Jacqui and Bev who are going to be starting an independent blog in January called Lilis Little Fairies Challenge!  It will still feature our fix of Lili stamps and images and is even taking over the blog address so there is no excuse for not being able to find it.

So, with a sad and happy heart (I just hate mixed emotions) here is my card for the theme of Pink, Silver and White ....

Isn't silver a little bleeper to try and photograph?!  Anyhoo, ingredients are:
Stamped Image  LOTV Summer Perfect Present
Sentiment  Taken from LOTV Summer My Best Friend
Papers  A mix from First Edition pads, and silver textured mirri card
Medium  Tim Holtz Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Extras  Martha Stewart border punch, EK Success retro flower punch, Papermania gems,
Craftwork Cards Card Candi and a Memory Box border die

Thanks for popping over.  Yet again I am way behind with my visits to you but I am trying hard.

Hugs Sxx

Friday 9 December 2011

Trust Me, Genes Have Nothing To Do With It

My mother, God bless her, is a natural baker.  She can turn out a cake in the blink of an eye and it ALWAYS tastes good.  Even when the only thing in the fridge is a lump of hard cheese, she can magic a cake out of nowhere.

So why did I not inherit this skill?  Over the years I have come to realise that there is no such thing as a Baking Gene, and if there was, then I certainly was somewhere else when it was handed out.  Even my Yorkshires are iffy (I could keep the Olympic Ice Hockey team in pucks for a lifetime) and my cakes are, well, not very cakey.

So imagine my surprise and unbounded delight when, after a large bout of insanity struck, I managed to turn out a light fruit cake this week!

OK, it is a little scruffy round the edges but that's totally my fault for rushing the lining of the tin.  However, and this is the important bit, it is EDIBLE!  And it actually tastes pretty good and there is no need for a gallon of tea to wash it down with either, lol. 

Sure it won't ever win any beauty contests.  But I made it, and I'm proud of it.  So much so that I am taking a chunk of it to mum tomorrow for her to pass judgement on!

Hugs, Sxx

Winter Wonderland - Let It Snow (DT)

Oooh, I am in such a panic now!!  Just on two weeks to go, aaaargh!

Thanks for joining us for another WINTER WONDERLAND challenge - our theme this week is a great one but I hope it's not tempting fate to say Let It Snow!

Our sponsor this week is DELICIOUS DOODLES who are offering a prize of 3 digi images.

And here is my DT card using my most favourite ever all time snowman

Ingredients for this card are:

Stamped Image:  Penny Black Snowy
Colouring Medium:  Tim Holtz Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Papers: BoBunny Snowfall Collection
Sentiment:: LOTV Christmas Postmark
Extras: Memory Box swirl die and Martha Stewart snowflake punch

Hope to see you all at the challenge with your Let It Snow entries!

I shall also enter this little chap into the following challenges:

Hugs, Sxx

Wednesday 7 December 2011

PBAMAA December Birthday

Half way through the week, and it's 18 days to Christmas.  I really need to get a wriggle on as I am no where near prepared.  And I bet there are crafters out there sitting comfy with all their cards written and presents wrapped.  As you have done yours, would you fancy giving me a hand then?

On Monday I said I would be back with a male birthday card for the December challenger over at PENNY BLANK AND MORE AT ALLSORTS and here it is:

Ingredients for this card are:
Stamped Image  Penny Black Where's Dinner
Colouring Medium  Tim Holtz Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Papers  BoBunny, and PDA matting card
Extras  Nestabilities Labels die

I really ought to get my PB stamps out more than I do, I love using them and they are a joy to paint.  It was PB stamps that started the rubber addiction all those years ago.

Hugs, Sxx

Monday 5 December 2011

Penny Black And More At Allsorts - December (Birthday)

Huge sigh of relief, even though it is Monday morning - no Christmas card for this one!  Those lovely ladies over at PENNY BLACK AND MORE AT ALLSORTS have a BIRTHDAY theme for their December challenge.

I love having a rummage through my boxes of PB stamps but it is always so hard choosing what to use as they are all so much fun.

I've gone CAS girly for this one

It was the sentiment that inspired this one - made perfect by finding that little kitty.

Ingredients for this card are:
Stamped Image and Main Sentiment  Penny Black Pink Toes and Penny Black Dance Sing Love
Colouring Medium  Tim Holtz Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Smaller Sentiment  Hero Arts
Extras  Lilac silver fleck cardstock, Martha Stewart punch, gems from stash

To balance things out I shall be back with a male birthday card ......!

Hugs, Sxx

Sunday 4 December 2011

Doubling Up - 2 Cards, 2 Challenges

Hi all.  Hope your Sunday is going well. 

Less Is More - Colour Challenge - Green
It was chickens last week and ducks/geese this week for my LESS IS MORE card.  It is a colour theme this time and that is GREEN.

Not happy with this card, but then we all have one of those now and again don't we.

Ingredients for this one are:  Stamped Image  Penny Black Noel  Medium: ProMarkers
Papers From scraps box  Extras Gems from stash

There is a fab photo for inspiration at this weeks SECRET CRAFTER challenge

Just look at all those gorgeous colours and delicious decorations!

Ingredients for this card are:  Stamped Image House Mouse  Medium Tim Holtz Distress Inks (ReInkers) Papers HOTP and green pearlised card  Extras  Woodware Christmas sentiment, Craftwork Cards Winter Berries Card Candi, border peeloff from stash

Hugs, Sxx

Saturday 3 December 2011

Winter Wedding

Morning all.  How are you?  Running around chasing your tails trying to sort out your Christmas?  I am terribly disorganised this year - nowhere near enough cards made, only one person has presents.....Toad has gone into town this morning for a haircut and I debated for all of two minutes whether to go with him to do some shopping.  Looks like it will be a dose of cyber shopping for me later then.

Anyhoo, my office room-mate asked me to make a wedding card this week.  It's for a lady that we both know so it was a pleasure to do but the one condition I got was don't go too girly and keep it simple.  Aargh.  As the wedding is the Friday before Christmas, I had to think hard about the colours too and decided that if she is mad enough to get married in December then I would go with wintery colours.

Ingredients for this card are:
Stamped Image:  Whiff Of Joy
Medium: Distress Inks
Papers: Wild Rose Studio
Sentiment: LOTV
Die: Memory Box
Extras:  Textured silver mirri card, blue matting layer, blue gems from stash

Here's a close up on the bride and wreath

Hygs, Sxx

Thursday 1 December 2011

Anything But A Christmas Card

Afternoon all, bet you didn't expect to see me today (a) because I should be at work and (b) internet issues.  And the answers to these quandries are (a) I'm at home poorly and feeling very sorry for myself and (b) a temporary resolution brought about by a swift kick up the modem - not sure how long it will last though.

In between frequent visits to the smallest room in the house (feeling a tad queasy) I've tried to take my mind off things by having a little play with this week's LILI OF THE VALLEY CHALLENGE Anything But A Christmas Card because I am still in denial and I rather liked the idea of not making something Christmassy!  Quite a few photos so please stick with it ......

I decided that the theme could be interpreted one of two ways - anything but Christmas or anything but a card, so I've combined those thoughts and made a gift bag, completely without the aid of a safely net.

Ingredients for this are:
Stamped Image:  LOTV Born To Shop
Cardstock & Paper:  Rymans Smooth Coated White Card, Basic Gray Pyrus
Colouring Medium:  Tim Holtz Distress Inks (ReInkers) and paper piecing with Pyrus
Sentiment:  Hero Arts
Gems: Papermania
Punch: Martha Stewart

Now, I had never attempted anything like this before (simply don't have enough patience) and I didn't have a template either so I had a quick peek SplitCoast Stampers for a tutorial on a square notecard holder and simply adapted it.  Ok, this wasn't the easiest shape to work with but it wasn't the hardest either - at least I had simple measurements to juggle with.  I'm quite chuffed with it for a first attempt.

Hugs, Sxx
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