January 2023 Squirrelz Stash Bash

Welcome back to another installment of Squirrelz Stash Bash. And not just any installment, but the first of 2023!!! We’re all getting a little bit busier these days, so to make things more doable we’re making a teeny tiny change. If you came here from my sweet friend Anna’s amazing blog, I’m so glad to have you here! And if you are already a follower, I’m so thankful to see you again!!! If you are new here, the Squirrelz Stash Bash is a small monthly hop where my friends and I, a.k.a. the Squirrel Squad, make cards based on a monthly theme with the goal of using supplies we’ve been “squirreling away” and have neglected. In years past, our monthly prompts had 2 components: a required theme and a randomly selected supply type or technique. Having to combine both was sometimes very challenging. Several of my talented squirrel sisters are doing design work for companies these days, so to free them up we’re making a slight change. The monthly prompt will still be a required theme, but the randomly selected supply / technique will now be optional. To kick off the new year, the prompt for January is Love / Friendship and the suggested technique this time is ink blending.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me share the hop list with you. There’s just a handful of us, so it makes it easy to see all the interpretations of the monthly prompts! I’m sure the girls will wow you with their talent, like always!

Ok, so although the technique is optional, my silly brain went all in on the ink blending and almost forgot to incorporate the actual theme. Ever have a time where your brain is just so insistent on something that it neglects to consider other alternatives? I kinda knew I wanted to use a new to me stamp set I received for Christmas (Hero Arts Little Buddy) before it was squirreled away and forgotten about. Have a look at how my cards turned out:

I say I went all in on the ink blending because I immediately had the idea to ink blend both a background, but to use the ink blending as a way of coloring too. I started by stamping the images and heat embossed them, knowing I would be ink blending to color them with Distress Oxides. I used a handful of browns for the squirrels, acorns, and branches, blending until I was happy. I used new to me dies from Gina Marie Designs for the panel layer and sentiment layer. I applied masking tape to protect the edges of the panel, and then used another handful of Oxides in pretty colors to create the backgrounds directly on the panel, blending the inks with makeup brushes. I used grass slimline stencils from Stamp Anniething to ink blend some details on both panels. I wiped all the extra ink from the images, expecting the heat embossing to show through with its glossy finish, which it did not, which surprised me! It was not a showstopper though, and the embossing still provided a raised line to assist in fussy cutting. The squirrels were easy to snip out, but we will not talk about how long it took to cut out those oak branches! Assembly came together easily with parts of the branch glued flat to the panel and the acorns being popped up on foam tape for dimension, as was the sentiment. Here is a closer look at each card:

Don’t look too closely at these cards because they have more than a few flaws. In fact, you’d swear these cards were actively trying to thwart their own creation. Crafting only once a month is making me rusty and I made multiple rookie mistakes and wasted valuable time. I tell you this so that if you too have days where you make more garbage than projects, you are not alone! I have misplaced my mojo many times, but I always find it again… eventually!

Time to hop on over to my good friend Lounon’s blog, Craft Me Craft Moi, where there is no lack of mojo or talent! I’m heading there myself as I’m excited to see what she, and the others, have made this time!!! Thank you so much for visiting!


12 comments on “January 2023 Squirrelz Stash Bash

  1. […] you are hopping, you should come from the blog of Karen, and after me I invite you to hop to Marie’s blog […]


  2. […] embellishments in your stash that you haven’t used in awhile! Head on over to the lovely Karen’s blog for more crafty […]


  3. Love your sweet cards, Karen! And I truly admire your patience in fussy cutting those oak branches. Honestly, I couldn’t find any flaws! The ink blending is divine!


  4. Well, looky there, you used our mascot! He/she deserves to have a name by now. LOL! How about Skippy? Shirley? 🙂 I’d say you ink blended your hand and arm off with these cards! And then you fussy cut? I bet your hands are worth NOTHING today! I know mine would be! Great cards, my friend!


    • You’re right! He/she/it/they needs a name!!! And girl, you don’t know the half of it! I ink blended 4 panels… 2 portrait before I realized the stamps wouldn’t fit well in portrait orientation, then the 2 you see here. Then the GMD die is a little wonky so cutting a perfectly square rectangle wouldn’t look right with the loopy die as the mat. So I had to mask the edges and ink blend all over again! And I stamped and fussy cut 2 full sets of images before I realized I would need to either emboss or over-stamp after ink blending. So much wasted time and hand power!!! 🤦‍♀️ At least now you know some of why I was cussing at 10pm. You should have heard me at 2am! Pffft!


  5. They look so cute Karen ! And I see no flaws 😉 I feel for you for the fussy cutting I know how small branches can be a pain in the ass to cut :p


    • Well, apparently squirrels are blind because I think the mistakes are obvious, but I’m not complaining! That, or you guys are very gracious, which is more likely 😘 What’s worse than fussy cutting branches is that I cut out 2 of them before I realized that I was going to need to either heat emboss or over-stamp after ink blending. 🤦‍♀️ So I actually fussy cut 4. The first 2 came out much better but by the last 2 my hands were shot.


  6. These cards came out so cute! The ink blending is so smooth and divine! And your fussy cutting is perfection! There are no flaws on these cards! They are adorable! And it’s always nice to see a squirrel! 🙂 The best work!!!!


  7. You did a beautiful job! I would not have known the die was wonky if you hadn’t mentioned it – but you overcame the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, shucks! That’s so sweet of you!!! You know, after I cut down that ink blended panel for the first card I thought either my trimmer blade had gotten off alignment or that I must have been half blind cutting it! So I grabbed the other panel and was uber careful, so I was beside myself when they wouldn’t fit! I still have this die out on my desk and plan to leave myself a note in case I don’t use it for months and forget. 😄 I truly appreciate the comment love, Priscilla!!! You gave me reason to smile on an otherwise crummy day, so double thanks 😘


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