Blog | Squirrelly Minds turns 3! Original Gemstone Watercolor Painting Giveaway

Squirrelly Minds Turns 3! (Ice cream donut cake pictured) | Squirrelly Minds
Ice Cream Donut Cake pictured above.

Happy 3rd birthday Squirrelly Minds!
Well, happy birthday tomorrow. August 30th 2011 was when I posted my first blog post, introducing Squirrelly Minds to the world. A lot has changed around here and it’s been incredible to watch this small space develop and grow. And it’s because of you.

Thank you everyone for commenting, liking, sharing, pinning, visiting, and being a part of the Squirrelly Minds experience. I do this because I love it, and I love sharing these experiences with you and watching what you do with projects found here. Thank you so much for keeping me inspired to keep going!
Love you!

To say thank you, I’m doing a giveaway, and it is a reflection of how dear I hold Squirrelly Minds to my heart.

Squirrelly Minds Birthday - win a gemstone painting | Squirrelly Minds
Nope, my shop is not yet up and running (working on it!) but to show my gratitude, I would love to create an original gemstone watercolour painting for one of you. Well really I’d love to for all of you but I only have so much time ;)
Squirrelly Minds Birthday - win a gemstone painting | Squirrelly Minds
I have to be honest, deciding to do this giveaway was a little nerve wracking. I mean, I’m giving away my art! I’ve never given my art to anyone short of family or close friends. Eek! But it’s a special day, and I can’t think of any other better occasion to give away something so dear to me to a person (you!) who has helped Squirrelly Minds become what it is today.
Just a fair warning to whomever will win – have a few different gemstones in mind just in case the one you choose is too impossible to paint! (some of them are, trust me).

Here’s how to enter:

Enter

Details are in the widget with multiple ways you can enter. The more you enter, the better your chances are.

Drawing

There will be one winner chosen randomly via rafflecopter. The giveaway ends at 12:00am PST on Saturday, September 6th. The winner will be contacted via e-mail. If there is no reply within 48 hours another winner will be drawn.

Shipping etc

Giveaway is open to Canadian and US residents. Shipping is covered but winner may be responsible for duties and taxes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Squirrelly Minds Birthday - win a gemstone painting | Squirrelly Minds
Again, thank you for all your support. It truly means so much.
Good luck!
Squirrelly Minds Birthday - win a gemstone painting | Squirrelly Minds

(pssst due to the long weekend I’ll be back on Tuesday with a fun post and yet another giveaway!)

      

Print | Free Printable Back to School Card

Free Printable Back to School Card | Squirrelly Minds
How did school get to be one week away? And some of you are already back in school! Summer always seems to fly by doesn’t it?
The start of the school year is a pretty magical time, filled with excitement, uncertainty, and fun surprises. To kick off the year with a little something for your teacher, why not print off this free card and show your teacher how excited you are for the new school year!
Free Printable Back to School Card | Squirrelly Minds

Free Printable Back to School Card | Squirrelly Minds

Yep, usually it’s customary to give a word of thanks and maybe even a gift at the end of the school year, but why not at the beginning? It surely will leave a fond impression on your teacher. No, I’m not encouraging brown nosing, just starting the new year on the right foot ;)

Free Printable Back to School Card | Squirrelly Minds
As it stands now our strike isn’t nearing an end, so it looks like I won’t be back in the classroom come Tuesday. *sigh*. So I wish all of you a LOVELY first day back at school! I hope your new teacher tickles you pink!

      

Eat | #Pinmakeeat 7 – Tested Pinterest Recipes

Pin Make Eat #7 | Squirrelly Minds
Oh no.
You know how I’ve been so good at my pinmakeeat challenge, testing recipes from my Eat board, making 1 or more a week? Well….I sincerely failed this month.
As I’m sure you’ve noticed, I haven’t been posting on my usual M-F schedule. This month has seen a few changes with my having to pick up an esl teaching job, taking me away from Squirrelly Minds and, sadly, painting, which also delays getting the print shop up and running. It’s also resulted in us making quick and easy recipes with whatever we have on hand, so no – we haven’t been the best of chefs.
Sorry!
My current job is only for another week and then I go back to the regular school year (that is if our strike is resolved by then….) so hopefully I’ll have more time to dedicate to the blog, the print shop, and pinterest recipe making!!!

I’d love to know what pinterest recipes you’ve been experimenting with!

      

Entertain | Backyard S’mores Party

Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds
S’mores are the ultimate campfire treat – but who says you need to go camping to enjoy them?
The other night, we hosted a s’mores party, and yes, it was as amazing as it sounds. We spiffed up the festivities with some fun creations from my Silhouette and got a little creative with our s’mores creations. Good friends, good food, and twinkling lights in the evening sky. That’s my kinda party.
Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds
With wild forest fires scorching the province however, the majority of BC undergoes a severe campfire ban every summer. This makes camping much less fun, and s’mores parties impossible. Unless you have a propane fire pit! Luckily our friend has one and lent it to us for this shindig. Thank goodness because s’mores over the BBQ would not be the same! So we lined up blankets on either side of the fire pit and set up a table full of s’mores goodies.

Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds
Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds
We had a couple simple rules at the s’mores party (aside from stuff your face and have a good time).

One: Before creating a s’more, you must put on a marshmallow tattoo.

Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds

I created these adorable marshmallow tattoos with my Silhouette Portrait. I was worried that printing and cutting the images separately would be tricky and end in marshmallow decapitation. Thankfully the registration marks made the process dead easy, and making these tattoos with Silhouette’s printable tattoo paper ended up being super fast. It was the perfect way to customize the party – and a ton of fun to see everyone sporting a little white and pink marshmallow!
Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds
From my Instagram feed

I also decided that boring white napkins were not good enough. So I grabbed a s’mores design and printed it on my heat transfer paper. I even used regular paper napkins and, while the heat wrinkled the napkin a little bit, in the end it turned out great. I debated also printing out everyone’s names on them, but that would have been going to far. (…or would it have?)
Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds

Now for rule #2:
Two: All s’mores must be experimental

Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds
Everyone was warned in advance we wouldn’t be making your usual s’mores. Everyone was encouraged to bring a unique chocolate bar and, if they were so inspired, a unique filling.
For cookies there were breton crackers, graham crackers, chocolate chip cookies, biscotti and chocolate sided hob nobs.
As for chocolate, we had peanut butter, caramel, chocolate, cookie’s and cream, oreo, mint, aero, hazlenut, almond, macadamia, and so much more. (my freezer is stuffed with left overs).
For fillings, there were chocolate covered pretzels, nectarine slices, bacon, blueberries, dates, strawberries, and various sauces.

Oh friends, did we ever get creative.

Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds
We made all sorts of fun s’mores combinations, all of which I’ve named:
The sweetheart: Graham crackers, roasted marshmallow, mint chocolate and strawberry
The desert blue: Graham crackers, roasted marshmallow, dark chocolate, blueberries and dates
The sultry savory: Breton crackers, roasted marshmallow, bacon and dates
The salted crunch: Graham crackers, roasted marshmallow, chocolate covered pretzels and bacon.

But my ultimate favourite was this bad boy, appropriately (and perhaps boringly) named, the ultimate s’more:

Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds
A graham cracker on the bottom, a roasted marshmallow, two squares of caramilk, a piece of bacon, and two thin slices of nectarine topped with a chocolate sided hob nob cookie.
Serious decadent s’more perfection.
Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds

Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds

Backyard S'mores Party | Squirrelly Minds
All in all it was about having fun, loosening the belt buckle and spending time with friends int eh last weeks of summer.
Don’t worry there’s still time. Go round up some friends, fire up that propane fire pit and make yourself some spectacular s’mores.
And make sure you let me know what you put in it!

Are you faithful to the classic graham cracker, milk chocolate and marshmallow s’more, or do you like to mix it up?

While Silhouette provided me with materials for this party/post, all opinions remain my own.

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