Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Final Post ... here

Dear Reader,

We're not gone, we've just moved this blog to join our main website, please click here for more!

Thanks for your continued support :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkins for Squirrels!



Dear Reader,

With our Halloween clip getting closer and closer to being finished, there's a real sense of the season in our house right now. And I'm happy to report, my eldest felt the need to share the joy with our resident squirrels :)

Inspired by a new kit we're developing, she decided they needed a little halloween scene of their own, complete with pumpkin!

I love how pleased with her results she was, and I love the results themselves!!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS the squirrely Halloween clip should be ready to share by next week, so stay tuned :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Prototyping for Halloween

Dear Reader,

The Natural History Museum has asked us to participate in another of their fantastic museum events. So in a couple of weeks we'll be celebrating the "haunted museum" with another crafting extravaganza.

The theme they are working with is `Dia de los Muertos' so that's been on my mind for a couple of weeks.
I'm happy to share our exciting ideas :) The main event will be bright skeletons with big skulls and colorful teeth!

And just to have on hand, I figured out how to twist up some tiny skulls too. Hope to see some of you at the museum on the 25th!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Reflections

Dear Reader,

Schools can be amazing places, and our local one is one of the best I've seen. Beyond the superb education, the extra curricular activities always abound.

This week was "Reflections" week, and those who took part were tasked with crafting something that reflected what they felt would make the world a better place. I was actually coaching my youngest on the soccer field while my eldest built this wonder!

I love that nature is so high on her wish list. I also love the way she expressed that wish! Truly Squirrel King as another parent remarked to her :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS Perhaps camping this weekend paid off more than just the rejuvenating effect I felt!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Whimsy from Oakoak

Dear Reader,

I stumbled across Oakoak a couple of months ago and was struck by the beauty, simplicity and lovely juxtapositions of his work.

The images are always arresting and often surprising in their inspired use of what's lying around.

Hope you have a great weekend and perhaps see some new and whimsical possibilities in the world around you :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

P.S. Oakoak's website has plenty more images.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Just Trucking Along

Dear Reader,

One of the joys in life is getting glimpses into the myriad possibilities the world offers. So yesterday, how fun to be a trucker for a day :)

Our big shipment of new card deck instructions finally arrived and I was on the bill of lading to pick it up!

Having visited the warehouse to pick up the goods - which was the size of at least a couple of football fields - I now want a turn with the forklifts!

Keep an eye out for fun new opportunities yourself and share what you know with someone else; this morning I'm going to open my daughter's eyes to Pascal's triangle and the amazing world of binomial coefficients :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, September 29, 2014

Halloween Shoot Continues

Dear Reader,

The squirrels have entered the graveyard and the Halloween shoot continues.

Over the weekend, my wonderful and talented friend Tom Clancey (the cinematographer, not the resurrected writer) stopped by for a couple of days to lend a hand on the graveyard shift. What ensued was a master class in photography for me :) Learning is such a joy and learning from a good friend is all the more fun!


Then yesterday, I watched Boxtrolls with my youngest, and at the end of the movie there was a little piece showing the makers moving the individual characters shot by shot. It was pretty cool, and it made me want to share a couple of images of the concentration that goes into making our little pieces - here's a couple of images my lovely wife caught of me :)

Yes, that's a candy bag in my hands :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Friday, September 26, 2014

Closer and Closer to Halloween

Dear Reader,

The final hours of the set build are always the most fun as things really start to take shape, so ...

today I thought I'd give you a quick glimpse into the evolution of the table-top cemetery!

I love the way a world gradually materializes in just a few hours :)

And it's always interesting to see what goes where and how fundamentals such as the ground beneath our feet make some of the biggest differences.

There's still a little way to go, I mean obviously we need a night sky and a few more tombstones, but all in all its getting close :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Halloween Cast of Characters Coming Together

Dear Reader,

Even squirrels like to Trick or Treat and of course they get dressed up for the occasion!

So far we have skeleton squirrels - insisted upon by my youngest, and now my own personal favorite - a witch - complete with broom - and still to come a ghost squirrel and of course the mummy, a regular favorite.

Finally, there's the stomping grounds including the night sky and the moon! Super excited to put the final touches together and shoot these later this week. I'm pretty sure everyone will have a good chuckle :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

PS there's a mystery guest character in the Halloween clip, see if you can guess :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Spiders at the Natural History Museum!

Dear Reader,

This weekend we made a trek to the Natural History Museum in LA to help celebrate the opening of their spider exhibit.

A fun time was had by all and in the end the kids that stopped by crafted about 500 furry friends!!



Spiders were creeping all over the place, and they weren't shy of hogging the limelight ;)


And when it came to construction, even the security got interested in crafting an assistant (look at the end of the table in the shot to the right)!

Keep an eye out next year, the sheer joy of it was so great that I think we'll try figuring out how to bring this craft to you in a kit. Then the spiders can truly take over :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Friday, September 19, 2014

Halloween Is On Its Way!

Dear Reader,

Halloween is on its way, I know because there's a lot of discussion about costumes in the house. There's also been talk about how The Squirrel King should celebrate.

At this stage it's fair to say there will be a witch squirrel, a ghost squirrel, a mummy squirrel and maybe even a skeleton squirrel.

Where will we find them? Here's a couple of visual clues.
What they are doing in the graveyard ... well that you'll just have to wait for :)

Stay tuned as the set comes together!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Display Boxes

Dear Reader,

It all started with the "farm-to-school" produce box; our new in-store display unit that is :)

Over the last few months we've been busy with many things behind the scenes and our new display unit is certainly one of them.

Inspired by the waxed cardboard that our swag of fresh fruit and veges arrives in every week, we decided to take a similar tack with our new in-store display units.

We're pretty excited by the final product, seen here with and without acorns, so keep an eye out for them in stores near you :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fun with Duct Tape

Dear Reader,

I've seen some wonderful uses for duct tape including the construction of bags, but I had not until this weekend witnessed the sheer joy that can bring young ones :)

Returning from a tea-party with friends, my eldest sat me down to school me in the ways of duct tape construction. Specifically, she led me through step-by-step, her method for making a purse.  Check out the spectacular results!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Friday, September 12, 2014

And Then They All Disappeared

Dear Reader,

As we prepared for the big shipment to Canada, it occurred to me that it would be fun to document the chief squirrel overseeing our packing job. And so without further ado, here it is for your viewing pleasure :)

video

Four pallets in all, and all headed north. If you live in Canada, keep an eye out in your nearest Mastermind Toy store :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Sunshine and Forest Packs!

Dear Reader,

There has been a lot of talk of late of boxes, so I wanted to take a moment to remind everyone what's inside all those boxes ... Acorns!

A big part of our hectic schedule over the last couple of months has been an expansion of color choices and a wonderful overhaul of the tags. So without further ado, I present to you, our Sunshine Pack, that sets you up for pink, yellow and orange squirrels, and ...


our Forest Pack that has the fixings for purple, blue and green!!

Super excited to see the squirrels you guys make with these new colors :) Keep an eye out for them, they're starting to head out into the world!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, September 8, 2014

Boxes and Boxes of Acorns!!


Dear Reader,

The last couple of months have been incredibly hectic, but we're about to lighten our load because ...

Our Canadian shipment is ready to go!!



A thousand acorns and dozens of stowaway squirrels are set to trek north.

With a little luck this will free me up to share more images with you!

Stay tuned for more posts, because there's plenty happening at Squirrel King headquarters :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Squirrel King: Title Sequence!!

Dear Reader,

We've been very busy here at Squirrel King headquarters working out production of acorns. In the meantime though, the squirrels themselves were building a title card. Here's what we caught of the action :)


Hope you enjoy this as much as we did making it!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, July 28, 2014

Flash-Mob Oath!

Dear Reader,

We've done a redesign of our Oath!!

Don't worry, our commitment remains the same, the difference is that we've now amassed enough squirrels behind the scenes for a flash-mob to form :)

Said squirrels joined together on a bright green background and spelt it out - kind of similar to the fields of France where people have recently celebrated the cycling Tour.

Here it is in all it's glory!!
Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Long Overdue Update

Dear Reader,

It's been a chaotic last few weeks and we've traveled far and wide ... and it's been too long since I posted here!
The upside of all this is that The Squirrel King is spreading out across the country :)

We've been flat out attending trade shows for the first time ever and the response we've garnered is a little overwhelming. People - from Florida to LA, from Dallas to Canada - love our product and more generally the philosophy underpinning what we're doing.

To all our new friends, it's been wonderful to meet you!

Stay tuned for more updates, I'll try to get back to at least once a week :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Squirrel King Celebrates Soccer!

Dear Reader,

I've been talking about it for a few weeks, teasing you with making of images, well without further ado, here is the final product. Check out our celebration of goalies!


Hope it brings a smile to you. Please share with anyone who enjoys squirrels or soccer :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, June 30, 2014

World Cup Soccer: Crafting Time

Dear Reader,

I have always been a firm believer in the adage that life is not a spectator sport. And I've tried very hard to instill this into my kids, encouraging them to partake in sports, learn to ride a bike and just generally get out there.

All of that is simply a backdrop to my next observation: spending family time crafting while watching the world cup has been a great joy over the last week or so. I shall share the results shortly, but in the meantime I encourage you to enjoy some sport with your young ones. At the end of the day, spending time with them is a the rewarding common denominator :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Kooba Squirrel

Dear Reader,

The last week has been chaos for us! We flew to Dallas to meet McManemin - our new reps in that part of the country - and to partake in our first ever trade show. And did we ever meet a slew of great people!!

Pictured here is Kooba Karl tearing it up in the showroom. Karl comes care of Samm, one of our new favorite peeps. He's is a great ambassador for the game Kooba that amused us to no end. To read more about Karl, click here.

For those of you in the south, thanks for the hospitality and look out for acorns in stores near you :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Our Latest Store

Dear Reader,

Our latest store on the West Coast is in Fairfax, CA. Called Revolution 9 it too strives to foster a community of creativity and they're doing a great job!

The wonderful structure depicted here reminds us of the milk carton community we saw closer to home just a couple of weeks ago. So fun to see young minds being inspired :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cell Animation Delight

Dear Reader,

I've always been a big fan of mixing media right back to the day my mind was blown when I first saw "Who Framed Roger Rabbit". For those of you similarly inclined, here's one to enjoy. It's fun and whimsical and just reminds you how wonderful simple ideas can be :)


Hope you enjoyed Hombre McSteez and much as I did!

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Friday, June 6, 2014

Practice Time in the Almost Finished Stadium

Dear Reader,

Our stadium is getting much closer to completion and the stands are starting to fill with spectators, so my supreme helper decided that the time had come to start warming up the goalie. Check out the action:


Can't wait to share more :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Glass Beach

Dear Reader,

At The Squirrel King we think a lot about recycling, repurposing and just generally taking odds and ends and making them more beautiful. It's all part of our Oath.

And it buoys me whenever I'm reminded that Mother Nature has a similar philosophy.

The other day I stumbled across this lovely example of her work. A beach that was once a dumping ground now now sparkles in a unique fashion of its own! I take this as a shining example to all of us to keep at it :)

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims

Monday, June 2, 2014

Milk Carton Community

Dear Reader,

Last week was the wonderful end of year open house at my kids school, and boy were they delighted to share it with us. So we skipped down the street to check out the fine year's work :)

The bird was a personal favorite of mine. No wonder they were so excited.
And the milk carton community just reminded me how fast time flies! It seems like only yesterday when the clouds parted and I saw another milk carton community.

Chin chin
Ruthless Whims