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 August 2013

"Mothgate" and Squirrels

Hello all, hope you are having a sunny Saturday!  I think the kids at No 6 have just worked out that it is back to school this week (hurrah) and have spent the morning trying to kill each other - well, that's what the screams sounded like anyway.  How can small people make so much noise?

Anyhoo, a few of you noticed something I blogged a couple of posts ago about almost killing myself on Tuesday so I thought I had better own up.  But you have to promise not to laugh.  While you are preparing yourselves, I thought I would share a "necessity is the mother of invention" card with you.

Those of you who have seen the new Lili release will have spotted the squirrel stamps - well I had to have those didn't I?!  And I made this little CAS card today

Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Sentiment is also Lili from Christmas Handwritten Phrases
Matting layer is white card edged with Pine ProMarker
And the snow.....well that's where the invention came in

I thought I had a pot of FlowerSoft that I could use, but I couldn't find it and reckon it must have gone to Church in a bag of donated craft stuff for teenagers with disabilities, so I had a think and a rummage and found a pot of sparkly embossing powder.  I used some quite thick glue so it kept dimension and sprinkled.  Hey presto!

Are you calm yet?  Are you sitting comfortably?


I toddled off to bed on Tuesday night about 10.30, got myself sorted and settled down with my book for a little while.

As I was reading I became aware that I wasn't the only one in the bedroom - you know, you can sense it.  And then I saw it.  Well, I say "saw" it, I didn't have my specs on and anything beyond two feet is a blur but I could make out a black shape whizzing around the room.

I don't do bugs.  In any shape or form.  So I got out of bed, toddled off downstairs to find the flyswat.

Back upstairs this "creature" was all over the place, and it was big.  Ugh.  I took a couple of poorly aimed swats at it but naturally missed.  Then it decided the safest place for it was to hurtle about up near the ceiling.  I'm short.  Even with the flyswat it was out of reach.  So I did what any sensible, short-sighted, middle-aged woman in a nightie with bare feet would do.  I climbed up onto the bed.

It's at this point that I ought to mention my poorly knees.  I broke my right leg badly (is there a good way to break it?) in two places in 1988 and was in plaster for six and a half months.  Because the breaks weren't pinned, the tibia (shinbone) healed but with a slight outward curve to it.  Because of the curve, the knock-on effect is a knackered knee full of osteoarthritis.  Which lead to the opening-wedge-high-tibial-osteotomy surgery I had.  Basically the hospital broke my leg and re-set it, this time with pins and a plate.  The osteoarthritis is still in the knee (and the joint will need replacement in about five years) but the realignment of the bone has postponed the replacement surgery.  Everyone who suffers with OA will know how painful and debilitating it is.

Still with me?

I took a half hearted swipe at the bug.  Missed.  Tried again.  Missed.  It came a bit lower.  I took one almighty swipe at it that Andy Murray would have been proud of.

And lost my balance.

Time freezes.  Honestly, it does.  In that nano-second, your brain can actually work out that if you fall forwards you are going to kill yourself by head-butting the bedside cabinet, and that if you go backwards there is every chance you will land on your Kindle.  So I sat down.  Literally dropped my bum to the mattress.

There was a horrible and grusome cracking and popping noise from my knee of bone grinding against bone, which is now bent up an at angle it hasn't achieved in many years.  I am now rolling around the bed in agony thinking I've broken the bone, popped the pins, dislocated my kneecap ...... and trying not to scream because Toad is asleep in the spare room.

After 20 minutes of silent weeping, I sat up and tried to put my foot to the floor.  Ok, that's not too bad.  I shuffled forward a bit to put more weight on it and stood up.  Ice cold fire shot up from my ankle to my knee.  I sat down again.  Another 20 mins or so and I tried again.  This time I could stand.  Well, it's not broken.  I've probably pulled a ligament or something.  The pain eased enough for me to try and get some sleep.  I didn't want to wake Toad to take me to A&E or anything because trying to explain that to the hospital ........ you get the idea.

Anyhoo, the pain subsided and sleep I did.  I am pleased to say that apart from a very swollen knee on Wednesday and feeling like I have been sat on by a hippopotamus, I seem to be ok.  I just have to be careful and think about where I'm walking.  

Oh come on, you PROMISED not to laugh .............. and yes, I did get the bug!

Hugs, Squirrel xx

A Gem Of A Challenge (GDT) Use Two Papers

Morning all!  Here I am again with my second and final outing as GDT for A Gem Of A Challenge

And this week there is a wonderfully versatile theme of Use Two Papers so I am sure you will have fun working out which two to combine with your fabulous PG images.

Here is what I made for this theme:

I have used a PG polymer stamp called Faye With Flowers
The sharp-eyed amongst you will notice she is missing her wings - yep, I had a weeny craft knife incident so kept going and removed them completely
Painted in Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Papers are from Nitwits
Nestabilities floral oval die
and sentiment is from LOTV

I would like to take the opportunity of expressing my thanks to Mandy and the regular DT for having me on board in August and for making my stay a happy one!

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Friday, 30 August 2013

In 7th Heaven

It's the weekend at last, whoooooooooo!!  Phew, what a week.  I didn't tell you that I nearly killed myself on Tuesday night did I?  I know I can be a bit of a klutz at times but that episode took the biscuit.

Anyhoo, in 7th Heaven (or possibly 14th), as my latest batch of lovely and yummy rubber has arrived from the cuteness factory that is Lili Of The Valley.  And I think I have a new favourite Christmas stamp (yeah, another one).

This is James: Santa Stop Here (love him to bits!)
Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Backing papers are Bo Bunny Double Dots Vintage
The matting layers are simply white card edged with China Blue ProMarker
Woodware (at least I think it is) border punch
Martha Stewart snowflake punch
Blue pearls from stash
And a Hero Arts "Merry Christmas" stamp

I know I have used a LOT of the Bo Bunny papers lately but they are so gorgeous.  This orange reminds me of a thick and sticky marmalade.  Not sure how well the photo shows the graduation in colour but IRL it is fabulous.

Well, I hope you like this James the Bear, because I got all five of the new ones, and will be getting the older ones out of their safe place very soon.  You may be seeing more of James than is healthy, lol

No plans for the weekend, I intend to be resting lots to try and shake off the after effects of the Tuesday incident, or Mothgate as it has become known, and get lots of crafting done.  Have yourselves a super one, whatever you are up to.

Furry hugs
Squirrel xx

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Lili's Little Fairies (DT) No Flowers

Morning everyone!  Welcome to Thursday Liliday - lots happening at Lili's Little Fairies this week so grab yourselves a cuppa.

First things first, our challenge for this week is NO FLOWERS.  Yep, you read that right, no flowers at all!

Here is my DT card:

I have used LOTVs Santa
Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Papers are Papermania Christmas In The Country
Sentiment is from Little Claire's
X-Cut Palm Punch Medium Star
Memory Box Precious Stars die (I used the larger one of the two)

So, that's this week's challenge, and we are firstly sponsored by Natali at IVA NOVA CHEST

Now - the news!

This is the announcement you will find on the LLF Challenge Blog today

Times change, and we Fairies are changing with them.  This will be the last ever challenge as Lili's Little Fairies.  No, please, don't be too sad, read on.  

We have had a blast as LLF but it is time for a new start and from next week (5 September), we are becoming Crafty Little Fairies, a new look and, eventually, a new address (don't worry, we will give you plenty of warning of when the URL is changing).

Something else new and, we think, very exciting - we are opening the challenge up to use images other than LOTV.  So, you can still use your Lili's and we would love to see them, but you can also use other images too.  How cool is that?!  I am sure the Fairies will continue to share their love of Lili with you all but this does mean more of you will be able to join in the challenges with us.

So, we hope you are as excited about all this as we are - see you next week for the first ever Crafty Little Fairies Challenge!

And because this is the week that we say goodbye to LLF, the lovely ladies at LILI OF THE VALLEY have offered us 2 x £10 VOUCHERS as a farewell gift (the winners of these will be drawn by Random Number Generator)

How exciting is that?  The DTs remain unchanged, with the exception of the lovely Nanda waving goodbye to us this week, and we have some fabulous sponsors lined up for the rest of this year and all of 2014.  So, no reason to leave us, in fact more reasons to join us.  Sounds pretty good to me!

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Bijou Christmas

Evening all!  Phew, what a day!  My boss is on holiday now until the kids go back to school, and it has been manic.  First day back after the weekend and I am shattered already.  Mind you, that could have a lot to do with not sleeping well for the last two nights.  I am hoping that "dead on my feet" will ensure a decent night's kip tonight.

I'm well into my Christmas card making now, ahead of schedule for a change, but as the majority of my cards need to be posted, and UK postage is now so scary, I have gone for bijou cards this year - small and uncluttered, to try and keep some of the costs down.  Here is another one of those...

For this little one (6x4 card base) I have used
Lili of the Valley's Polar Pair
Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Matted on a layer of Bo Bunny Double Dots paper
Sentiment is Personal Impressions
Woodware Snowflake punch and a pink pearl from stash

And before anyone asks, yes, of course I ordered some of the new release from Lili!  I'm really quite excited about a new batch of rubber plopping onto the doormat, especially as it will contain the new James the Bear stamps.  Do you think I need to get out more?  Nah, I'm happy here!
At Dorte's request I am entering this in the ABC Christmas Challenge
Q is for Quick (even though it wasn't!)

Hugs, Squirrel xx

PS.  I have candy on offer in case you missed the post - link to it is in my sidebar

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Fruit flies like a banana

Afternoon all.  How are you doing today?  A much better day weatherwise - when the weatherman said yesterday would be showers between the sunshine, I didn't think he meant the sunshine on Friday and Sunday!  It was wet from start to finish - but it does mean that Toad's pet pumpkin got a good watering.  I am slightly worried, it is starting to take over the garden.  It was confined to one corner but now it has grown across the back of the raised bed, down the side, shot off towards the shed, turned the corner and is now heading towards the house.  Is there such a thing as death by pumpkin I wonder?

Thank you for all your kind words yesterday in respect of my Wee Stamps Spotlight - it is good to feel so loved.

Back down to earth today and something odd for you.  You'll see what I mean in a moment.  But first, how many TOGS are there still out there?  On the rare occasions that I used to drive to work, I always tuned in to Radio 2 to catch the Wordmeister, Sir Terry Wogan.  I used to giggle so much that it is a wonder that I didn't either wet myself or cause an accident.  One of his little quips (that I admit, took me a while to work out) was Time flies like an arrow, Fruit flies like a banana.  Now it makes me chuckle every time I think of it and I was determined to get it onto a card somehow.

And I've done it!
This is Tick Tock from the Oddly Sweet Curiosities Set 5 from Susana Loves Stamps
Painted with a very limited palette of Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Scattered Straw, Brushed Corduroy, Tumbled Glass, Broken China, Tattered Rose and Chipped Sapphire
Cloud background done with handcut stencil and an Ink Duster brush with
Tumbled Glass Distress Ink
Papers are Bo Bunny Double Dots (using a lot of these just now)
Sentiment computer generated in Harrington font

Isn't he just so much fun?  I think it is the goofy grin that does it.
I masked him to do the clouds with Eclipse Masking and I will hold my hands up to say it was a close call with his alarm bells and his tail as to whether he made it in one piece, but he did!

So that's me done for today.  I will try to squeeze in some visits between my roast dinner and bedtime as I know I am well overdue with popping round to see some of you.

Biggest of hugs
Squirrel xx

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Berry Nice And Bright

Afternoon all, hope you having a super Saturday, despite the weather.  East of England is somewhat grey and damp, and very humid.  Today my hair has the tumble-dried look.

I am a slightly embarrassed Squirrel today, it's nothing I've done wrong but because I am the focus of attention.  I am usually one to hide away in a corner but I've been outed!  Sylvia Zet and Mariska have "spotlighted" my cards using Wee Stamps today, on Sylvia's blog and on the Wee Stamps Facebook page.  You can find the post here on Sylvia Zet's blog ........ Spotlight on Squirrel

Regular readers will know that I adore Sylvia's images and just love using Wee Stamps.  And I thought that as today was My Day, I would make another one to share with you.  It's a tad on the bright side so you might want to take a step back....bit further maybe..... that should do it.

I am putting it down to the bad light as to why her hair has photographed so badly, it doesn't look like that on the card I promise you.

I have used the ultra cute Berry stamp from Wee/Whimsy for this one
Painted her with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
The papers are all Bo Bunny Double Dots
Martha Stewart doily lace border punch
Woodware large holly leaf punch
Red pearls for berries
Sentiment is from Little Claire's Sentiments Christmas set

I hope you like this, and thank you so much for your kind words and support.

I shall toddle off to continue my happy dance!

Hugs, Squirrel xx


Oh my!

I've been put in the Spotlight!

Here, at Sylvia Zet's blog ........ Spotlight on Squirrel


Thursday, 22 August 2013

Lili's Little Fairies (DT) It's All About The Boys

Well would you look at that, it's Liliday again, whoo!  So that means another new challenge with LILI'S LITTLE FAIRIES.

The title is a dead giveaway but just in case you missed it, the theme for this week is It's All About The Boys.  LOTV have some fabulous boy/male images to choose from (stamp, Art Pad, Sketch Pad or die cut) so there are simply no acceptable excuses for you not entering!

There is a treat for you as a prize this time - a two week GDT spot with the Fairies later in September or October.

Here is my DT card:

I just love this little chap!  He is LOTV Take It Easy
Painted in Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Sentiment is also LOTV and is from the clear set Happy Circular Sentiments
Papers are all Bo Bunny Double Dot Very Vintage

Enjoy the challenge!

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A Piggin Happy Birthday

It is a very special day on my calendar - it is my BFF Julie Pig's birthday.  Happy Birthday Piglet!

Now, I dropped Pig's card round last night (and had a sweet moment with Mudge, who looks so much like a pirate these days with his one eye, he is a seriously cute and cuddly kitty) so I am safe to blog it now as she will have opened it before she set off to work this morning.

Wish my plate looked like that in the mornings!
This chubby cutester is Farmer's Breakfast from Whimsy Stamps
Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Sentiment is Hero Arts
Image layer edged with Memento Grape Jelly for contrast
Backing paper is Nitwits/LOTV Bonnets & Bowties

Hope you all have a happy day

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Monday, 19 August 2013

Candy Time!

OK, it's a day or so later than promised but here it is, my 150,000 hits celebratory candy

The usual rules apply

Followers only please (I will be checking)
Link to your own sidebar
Add your details with the linkie thing at the end of this post

Candy will close on Saturday 28 September
The winner will be announced a couple of days after

And what is the candy?  A gift voucher for you to choose your own yummy items

gif maker

So what are you waiting for?  Get entering!

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Pretty Flower

Afternoon all, hope you are having a super Sunday.  I'm a bit droopy today because of a bad night's sleep - my old pal Arthur (arthritis) was playing up, you don't expect that in August really but hey ho, it happened.  Hoping to have a little snooze in a bit.

I had a play with another of Sylvia Zet's amazing stamps yesterday.  Here she is:

This is Lomasi (Pretty Flower) from Whimsy/Wee Stamps
Painted as usual with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Sentiment is Hero Arts
Gems are Papermania
Matting layer from the Wellington Bear papers

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Saturday, 17 August 2013

In The Garden

As always these days, time is my enemy, and I am missing so many challenges that I used to take part in.  However, I have actually managed to make a card for a challenge that is still current, so here it is!

I have used one of my most precious Penny Black stamps - Sweet Talk
Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Edge of image layer inked with Memento Rich Cocoa
All papers are Raspberry Road - Love Lies Here
Lili of The Valley sentiment
Mini retro flower EK Success punch and a simple hole punch

Hugs, Squirrel

Friday, 16 August 2013

On Cloud 9

No, not me, I'm a grumpy old Squirrel at the moment, but Toad's youngest niece got her A level results yesterday and she achieved what she needed to head to Brighton Uni to study teaching.  The family is very pleased and very proud of her.

I love this cute little Cloud 9 set from Tiddly Inks
Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers) complete with niece's red hair!
Background layer made with Memory Box mini clouds and birds dies and cutting masks from Post-It Notes and inking over with an Ink Duster Brush in Tumbled Glass Distress Ink
Image layer edged with Bahama Blue Memento Ink

Thank goodness it's the weekend!

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Thursday, 15 August 2013

LLF (DT) Vintage/Shabby Chic

You know it's Thursday when it's another new challenge with LILI'S LITTLE FAIRIES.

This week our theme is VINTAGE/SHABBY CHIC.  I went more Vintage than Shabby with my make:

I have used the LOTV Hydrangeas stamp
Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers) (and yes, I really did do the petals one at a time)
Papers are Nitwits/LOTV Country Lady
MFT Crochet Lace border
SCACD corner dies
LOTV sentiment from the Vintage Labels Just To Say set
Can't remember what make the shaped die is, could be Die-Namics or Nestabilties.

Thanks for popping by.
Squirrel xx
And although it has been a long time coming, I notice I have just reached the 150,000 hits today, so at the weekend I shall organise a thank-you candy.  Watch this space.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Be Fabulous

Happy Tuesday everyone.  I thought I would share a card I made at the weekend with you today.

This is Be Fabulous from the Barkley Collection at Crafters Companion
Part painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers) and part paper-pieced
Sentiment is (I think) Hero Arts
Papers are from a Forever Friends freebie magazine gift
And that's it

You would be proud of me though, I resisted the urge to indulge in the whole Barkley range and just bought two of the Everyday stamps!  I'm still in shock.

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Back to ultra CAS

Having a doldrums time of card making at the moment - various reasons, none of them you will be even vaguely interested in - so have gone back to the ultra CAS style that I love so much.

I just tried to link this Tiddly Inks Flying High set up for you but its vanished!
Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Both images and sentiment from the same set
Matting layer from old Papermania Blueberry Collection

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Definitely Different

Years ago at my old job, one of the girls who thought she was up-front with anything new told me that I needed to be following the trends.  My response to her was "I don't need to follow trends Rachel, I set my own".......that kinda shut her up for a while!

And I have always had my own style, in whatever I do.  And I have given up trying to hide it because it still sneaks in there.

Anyhoo, where is this leading?  Well, steampunk has been around for ages now, and if I am honest I have avoided it like the plague because it confuses me.  And then SCACD brought out a range of stamps that, thanks to Delphine and Elaine, I knew I had to have, they are just so darned quirky.  I have spent weeks just looking at them trying to pluck up the courage, until today:

This one is Special Delivery
The link will take you to the individual stamp but mine came from
the set, as did the sentiment (Mechanimals Set)
Painted in Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Papers are all from the Craftsman pad by Prima
The faux brads are from stash

Now it's made, I'm not sure what to make of it, and no idea of who it will be sent to!

Hugs, Squirrel xx

A Gem Of A Challenge (GDT) Summer

I have no idea when this will appear on Blogger as although my Schedule says British Summer Time, Blogger seems to think I'm on Martian Time or something weird - I've had delays of up to nine hours so far - it's no wonder you think I am keeping very strange hours!

OK, today is the day that I've been keeping really really secret for aaaaaaaaages but can now share with you!  I guess the clue is in the post title but yes, I am GDT for A Gem Of A Challenge today, wheeeee.

I was so thrilled to be asked by Mandy if I would like to do this that it took me at least two seconds to send the email back, lol.

The theme for this challenge is SUMMER and here is my card:

Now, I have a quite a few PG stamps, polymer, not digi, and this one was perfect for the theme but I think I have had him so long he appears to be retired now - not sure if he is Max, Jack or Andy, but whichever, he is kinda cute!

Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Papers are Echo Park: Summer Days
Sentiment is Hobby Arts
Stars punched with X-Cut Medium Palm Punch

Looking forward to seeing all your wonderful Summer themed PG makes!

My next GDT outing with the Gems is 31 August.

I would also like to enter this little chap into the challenge over at

Hugs, Squirrel xx

And as Blogger seems to be eating my posts, here are links to the last couple of days
in case you thought I'd left the planet

A Tiny Bit Tiddly

Friday, 9 August 2013

A Tiny Bit Tiddly

Morning all.  A refreshing change for a Friday, I'm not at work!  Vince has his first vet visit for ten years this afternoon for a claw-clipping so I thought I might as well indulge myself and have a long overdue me day.

I got a tiny bit Tiddly last night.  I overindulged.  Not in alcohol - I only have to sniff the cork these days before I fall over - but at Quixotic Paperie and a delicious parcel of Tiddlyness was waiting for me when I got home.

I found it hard to choose which one to play with first so I closed my eyes and took the first one my hand found:

This one is Happy Day
Painted with Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Papers are Lucy Cromwell Designstax from Papermania
Sentiment came with the stamp
Whimsy corner die, Martha Stewart border punch
Timeless Rectangle Nestabilities die
And a tiny flower gem from stash

I had all sorts of good intentions for today, like a little bit of desperately needed housework, but do you know what?  Stuff it!  I shall put some washing in and have a crafty day!

Ooh, and something exciting tomorrow (well it was for me) so do pop over and I'll share with you.

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Thursday, 8 August 2013

LLF (DT) Christmas In August

Monday? Nope.  Tuesday?  Nope.  Wednesday?  Nope.  Thursday?  Nope.  Liliday?  You betcha!

Hello Lilifans, welcome to another super Liliday and a new challenge with LILI'S LITTLE FAIRIES.  This week we are asking you to get festive with CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST (great chance to use your new stamps!).

I have used the LOTV stamp Light The Way as he's one of my favourites
Painted in Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Papers are Dovecrafts Christmas from last year
Sentiment is from the Christmas Handwritten Phrases set
Gold borders and corners from stash

A simple card I know, but great for those difficult boys!

Do hope you will be able to come and join us this week - we have a new sponsor too

Hugs, Squirrel xx

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Wee One

My BBFF Jayne had a baby this week.  The thing about babies is that you know they will arrive eventually but there is always the element of surprise when it pops into the world when you discover if it's a boy or a girl.

I knew the roughly expected date and for once I got organised, but the age old question - do I do pink, or blue, or one of each, or go neutral.

I went for the safe option!

I think this baby stamp called Wee One from Whimsy/Wee by Sylvia Zet has to be one of the most adorable stamps EVER for a little one!  Thank you Sylvia for another brilliant creation hun,
Painted in Distress Inks (ReInkers)
Teamed up with a mixture of Nitwits Papers
Whimsy and Memory Box dies
LOTV and Personal Impressions sentiments
and a whole lot of love

Hugs, Squirrel xx

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