...to my Treehouse, where I do a bit of sharing goodies with my readers, and a lot of showing off of my CT tags. It's my little nest in the busy world of psp.

Squirrely has been my nickname since I was a child, both because it rhymes with my real name, and because I'm forgetful and just plain nuts at times. I've been tagging for 2+ decades off and on, and now that I'm retired/disabled I'm pretty much on most of the time now.

I love to share what I make with you, and I LOVE it when you respond with love back for the shares. So have a look around, take what you like and enjoy yourself. Just watch for splinters.

My Blinkie

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Swim With The Fishes

I've a new FTU tut for you today hosted HERE, using an way too adorable tube of Spazz'.
Even if you claim you can't animate, I think I've written this one
in such a way that even a novice in psp could make a sweet tag.
 You don't need to be a member of the group to see the tutorials, 
but it's a fun group if you're looking for one.
Swim With The Fishes
(FTU kit included with supplies)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Star of Summer - FTU tut

Hi there everyone,  hope you're all well and enjoying the Spring or Fall weather wherever you may be!
I've just gotten my hands on this so stinkin' cute new tube from Spazz, and had to write a tut for it right away.  Doesn't she look so fun??  And she is fun to play with because she's got tons of layers (including red,white & blue) for her bikinis so she'll match just about everything.  I found some cute FTU goodies to go with her, so click on the tag to be taken to the super quick and easy tut.

Enjoy the upcoming holiday America!!
Have a wonderful weekend all.
Friday, May 16, 2014

"She Served" Tutorial & WIN! winner

One of my favorite artists is Spazz because I love my tubes to look like real women and hers do.  I was bowled over when she invited me to join her CT after seeing my tags in the Creative Addictions forum where she sponsors a contest for us. Of course I said YES YES YES, and this tut is my first as a member of her very talented team.  I'm SO nervous now, so if you do this tut I'd love you to let me know if I'm doing A-OK or not lol.

She Served

**Tube of choice - I've used a gorgeous new tube by Spazz that she created just in time for Memorial Day, called "Miranda". 
You can purchase this tube at Spazz' Store - DO NOT use it without a license.
**Scrap Kit - I've used a fantastic PTU kit by Kizzed by Kelz called "Memorial Day", which also can be purchased at Spazz Store.  It's loaded with patriotic goodies!!
**Filters - Xero Radiance and Grey Tinter
**Mask of choice - I've used one of my favorites from Wee Scottish Lass - Mask_WSL119
**Font of choice - I've used United BRK for Spazz name and Impact Label Reversed for the dog-tag text.
**Template - my template HERE 

Tutorial Abbreviations
s/sa/fl/defl/ = Selections/Select All/Float/Defloat
c/p = copy & paste
d/s = drop shadow
f/f = flood fill

Drop Shadow used throughout unless otherwise noted ...2, 2, 7, 40.

1. Open my template, duplicate and close original.

2. Open paper6 and r/s 75%. On layer 1 of the template, s/sa/fl/defl and c/p paper 6 as a new layer, invert and then delete. 
Select none. 

3. Open paper 17 and r/s 75%. Repeat step 1 and then duplicate this layer, mirror and move it in your layer palette above layer 5.

4. Repeat step 2 on all of the following layers with the papers listed:
~~~Paper 2 onto layer 3
~~~Paper 4 onto layer 4
~~~Paper 7 onto layer 6

5. Make a gradient in the foreground of your materials palette using 2 colors from your tube - I used #f9f6e4 and #d1c9b7. Highlight layer 8, s/sa/fl/defl and add a new layer.  
F/f this layer with the gradient color, select none.

6. Open paper28 and r/s 50%. Highlight layer 11, s/s/f/d and c/p the paper as a new layer, centering it on 
the circle. While still selected, open your close up layer and c/p this as a new layer resizing 
if needed, again centering it on the circle so her salute is included. Invert, delete and select 
none on both the tube and paper layers. Add Xero Radiance to the tube with these settings:

Then add Xero Grey Tinter with these settings:

Duplicate the tube and add a Gaussian Blur of 3.00. Change the blend mode of this layer to Soft Light and 
change the original layer to Hard Light. 

7. Move down to your white background layer in your layer palette. Open pp22, c/p as a new layer. Grab your crop tool and use 
snap crop to make the paper fit the image:

Go to Layers and find Mask_WSL119 and apply, merge group. I then grabbed my pick tool and stretched 
the mask out a bit so it would show more on all sides.

8. Open your main tube and resize if needed to be about 525 px tall. C/p onto your tag, moving it to the right a bit. Duplicate
and add a Gaussian Blur to the duplicate layer of 3.00, change the blend mode to soft light. Add a d/s of 4, 4, 60, 7.00 and
repeat with -2, -2, 40, 6.00.

9. Now we'll decorate our tag, refer to my example for my placement of the elements. Remember to add d/s unless noted elsewhere
~~~Element 26 - r/s 35% and c/p it moving it to the left top above the closeup tube.
~~~Elements 2, 6, & 10 - rs 25%. C/p them each as new layers and drop them down and below layer 9, arranging them to your liking. Duplicate each and flip. Add d/s of 0, 0, 34, 10.00
~~~Element 88 - c/p under your main tube layer to the right side. Duplicate and rotate 180 degrees. Do not add a d/s to the layers.
~~~Element 94 - c/p as a new layer and move it under your tube layer. Image and free rotate it left 45 degrees (look above for
placement. Highlight layer 9 in your palette and s/sa/f/d, highlight element 94 again and hit delete to erase it from the circle.
~~~Element 113 - c/p under the dog tags layer to the right side.
~~~Element 117 - r/s 40% and c/p under the stars layers to the far right bottom.
~~~Element 43 - c/p as a new layer below the suitcase layer
~~~Element 118 - r/s 20% and c/p as a new layer moving to the upper right of the tag.

10. In your materials palette, change the foreground to #0a41a8 and background to #b6161e. Change to a 
gradient selecting 'foreground/background' choosing linear, 0, 0. Type out your name and add an Eye Candy Glow of 2, fat,
color #ede8d7, opacity 100. Add a d/s to your name of 2, 2, 3.00, 75. Add some text to the dog-tags like I did if you like and rotate it to fit.

11. Add your artist's copyright information, delete the white background and save as a png file. Enjoy your 
new Memorial Day tag!
Back on day one of this blog, I started a WIN!, which is what I'm going to call contests or challenges that  I run here on my blog. I have to admit to being a bit disappointed with the number of entries I had, but those who did enter are all good friends of mine or talented tut writers, so that was truly nice. I hope as my tuts and blog gain more notoriety in the tagging community, my WIN!s will be more popular.  I mean hell, I never pass up the chance to win free tubes.

I had 8 entries which I numbered 1 - 8 with one being the first response.
And the winner is....

Congratulations Julianne!!!
I'll contact you and you can tell me what store you would like your 3 tubes to come from.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Courage - a Memorial Day PTU tut.

** WIN! tubes by reading my May 1st post, just below this one **

As a child of the 60's, the Vietnam War was as much a part of my childhood as the banana seat on my Stingray bicycle was. It was a part of my every day, and my uncle died there as did my best friend's brother. It's perhaps for these reasons that the real meaning of Memorial Day is extremely important to me.  Sadly, a good many Americans haven't a clue as to what the day really means, so bear with me as I hop on a soap box for a paragraph, ok 2 paragraphs.
Here is an excerpt from the office of the White House Press Secretary from 2005:
 As Memorial Day approaches, it is time to pause and consider the true meaning of this holiday. Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values. While we should honor these heroes every day for the profound contribution they have made to securing our Nation's freedom, we should honor them especially on Memorial Day.

We now ask that all Americans come together to recognize how fortunate we are to live in freedom and to observe a universal ``National Moment of Remembrance'' at 3pm on each Memorial Day. 
Further suggestions given are a moment of silence; the playing of Taps; visit a soldiers grave, anything you deem appropriate to their memories.

Certainly enjoy your BBQ's and shopping Memorial Day sales, as these are all part of the freedoms that our fallen Veterans fought for in the first place. But just take literally one moment of your celebrations with friends and family to honor them as well.  You can begin early, by making this Memorial Day tag to "wear" all month long.

Tutorial Abbreviations
s/sa/fl/defl/ = Selections/Select All/Float/Defloat
c/p = copy & paste
d/s = drop shadow
f/f = flood fill
AS = Animation Shoppe
You will need to gather:

**Patriotic tube of choice - I've used Spazz' beautifully rendered Gloria which you can find at her website HERE.  Please don't use without a license.
**Scrap kit "Deployment" by HorsePlay Pastures. Sadly, this Designer is retiring at the end of this month (5/14), but she is selling all of her kits now for just $1, so it's a good time to snag this one. 
**Filters Eye Candy 3.1 (or any version with both Glow & Drop Shadow).
**Mask - 136 Insatiable Dreams mask which you can find HERE (scroll down for Masks 5).
**Animation - a FTU Simone animation - SimoneAni69 HERE.
**Font of choice.  I've used AL Constitution.
**Lyrics to "God Bless the USA" which I pre-made for you HERE.

1. Start a new image, 650x650 and f/f with white. Add a new layer and select all. Open p4, and c/p into selection.  Select none.  Layers, find 136 Insatiable Dreams mask and apply it, merge group.  Duplicate this layer and merge down.
2. Open El59 and c/p as a new layer, moving it to the left and changing the blend mode to overlay.  Duplicate it and mirror/flip. 
3. Open and r/s El11 70%, c/p as a new layer, mirror and move to the far left (see my tag for placement). Change the blend mode to overlay.
4. Open El12 and c/p as a new layer moving it to the far right, letting it overhang the mask.  Highlight the merged mask layer, s/sa/fl/defl and invert. Highlight the El12 layer and hit delete 3 times, select none.  Change blend mode to overlay and duplicate.
5. Open El9, c/p as a new layer moving it up to the top of the image.  Change the blend mode to burn and duplicate.
6. Open El47. c/p as a new layer and mirror. Lower the opacity to 88.
7. Open the included lyrics from my zip file and c/p as a new layer. Lower the opacity to 47.
8. Open your tube, r/s the longest side to 625 pixels, c/p as a new layer and add Xero Radiance effects with these settings:
9. Duplicate and add a Gaussian Blur of 5, change the blend mode to Screen. Using Eye Candy's drop shadow, add a heavy shadow of 10, 10, opacity 35, direction 355 on the original tube layer.
10. Open El52 and c/p as a new layer, moving down a teensy bit so you can see the text "God Bless the USA" from the lyrics layer.  Duplicate this layer as well and merge down.
11. Add your artist's copyright information just above the lyrics layer in your layer palette, and add your name as well. If you're not going to animate, delete the white background layer and save as a png.

To Animate:
12. Hide both tube layers and your merged Courage layers.  Go to Edit, copy merged, open Animation Shop and paste as a new animation.  
13. Open SimoneAni69 in A/S and note there are 26 frames.  Move back to your image and duplicate frames until you have 26.  Move to the sparkle animation, select all and copy.  Move to your tag, select all and paste into selection. Hold it until you see the stars and place them below the 'God Bless the USA' lyrics layer (right where you pasted "Courage".
14. Move back to psp, Layers, view, invert and again, copy merged.  Go back to Animation Shop and paste this as a new animation, duplicating to 26 layers as well.  Select all and copy, move to your background image and paste into selection. Save as a gif, and enjoy your new Memorial Day tag.
And your holiday :)
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Grand Opening Freebie, Tutorial and a WIN!

I'm very excited about my new blog and I hope you'll enjoy your visit and add me to your favs so you can come back again and again.  I've recently started writing FTU tutorials & designing FTU scrap kits, both of which seem to be enjoyed by those that have found them, which gave me the idea of opening a blog to advertise them - one stop shopping so to speak for you.

Today I have BOTH for you, and a chance to win a gift certificate to your favorite store!
Here is my newest FTU tutorial - 

'Staches & Glasses
click the title to be taken to the tut

You can find the FTU kit I designed used in the tut, along with 
many other goodies at the 
Creative Addictions Attitude Blog
(be sure to leave a note of thanks wherever you download)

Not many things make a tagger happier than to WIN! stuff, am I right?  Periodically I'm going to give you a chance to do just that right here on my blog, and we're going to start things off today with a 


All you need to do is answer the following questions in a comment after this post, and you can win 3 tubes from the same store of your choice!  There are no right or wrong answers, xthis is just my way of taking a poll to find out what you like best in scrap kits & tuts so I can create/write what you enjoy best.  Pretty easy huh?  Just be sure you answer every question, leave your email address where the comment box asks for it, and your name will go in the pot.  The winner will be chosen by a random generator.  This WIN! will close out at midnight on May 15th, so get your answers in early and spread the word to your friends!

(copy & paste from here)
1-Favorite colors in scrap kits?
2-Favorite types of frames? (be specific, ie not just "round", but "round, metal with swirls")?
3-Who is your favorite PTU Designer & why? (again, be specific)
4-Regarding tuts, do you prefer those using scraps or no scraps?
5-Do you prefer tuts with or without the use of templates?
6-Who is your favorite TUT writer & why? (no sucking up - random generator remember? lol)

There you have it - good luck and thanks for stopping by.  I hope you enjoy the tutorial and your new FTU kit.  

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