Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sparkly Christmas Cheer

Good morning,

I am writing this post with a big grin on my face, for the sun is out and the sky is blue! Yesterday was a miserable Saturday, with rain and grey clouds all day. Today I have big plans to get out and go walking with my dog down by the river - so I am so thankful that the weather has obliged.

It's time for a new challenge at The Squirrel and The Fox and this time we want you to


Yup, we want to see all your glittery and sparkly creations - so go ahead, bling it up.

We are being sponsored by Bugaboo for our challenge this fortnight and for my creation I was lucky enough to play with their image - JJ Christmas.

I love this image and think she's just perfect for many of my girlfriends who take their festive celebrations very seriously. I think she'll feature heavily in my cards this year.

It was hard to capture the sparkles with my camera, but I have coloured the glass with Kindy Glitz glitter glue. The paper also has lots of sparkle through it. I made this card as a gatefold card - first time I have made a card like this actually - and I decorated the inside to match.

I hope you'll join us and be in for the chance to win the fabulous prize from Bugaboo. They have very generously offered 7 free digis to our lucky winner.

Thanks for visiting - now I'm off to enjoy this sunshine.


Friday, June 15, 2012

It's Summer at Sparkles!

Hmmph, well that just reminds me that it's not Summer here. Damn opposite-side-of-the-world business! Although I must admit that watching the footage of the Jubilee I think you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between Australia and the UK weather wise recently. :)

So yes, back to the task at hand. I need to tell you of the newest challenge at Sparkles Monthly Challenges -


Yup, it's time to show us all your warm and summery creations.

For my card this month I purchased a brand new Meljen's Design image - Beach Kitten.

Aww, look at her in her sweet bikini. Maybe I have spent too many years with dogs and beaches - I keep thinking of the combination of sand and wet fur and, well, there's nothing pleasant in that combination! But this beach babe looks perfectly well behaved - sitting pretty with her shades on.

Our challenge this month is sponsored by the wonderful Lili of the Valley, who are offering a £10 prize to our lucky winner.

I hope you'll join us!

Also entered into the following challenges:
Creative Mondays - Summer
Craft Room Challenges - Furry Four Legged Family
Tuesday Throwdown - Critters
Polka Doodles - Summer Scene
Totally Papercrafts - It's Raining Cats and Dogs


Coffee with Cream please!

Hello Everyone,

It's time for another challenge at Chocolate, Coffee and Cards Challenges - and the theme this fortnight is:


That's right, we want to see your creations that feature the dominant colours of brown and cream.

Our sponsors for the challenge this week are Delicious Doodles & Di's Digi Downloads.

Delicious Doodles are offering a prize of four digi images, and Di's Digi Downloads are offering a $10 voucher for their store. What fabulous prizes I hear you say? I agree!

I was able to select an image from Delicious Doodles for my DT creation, and I chose Westie in a Gift Box.

Isn't he the cutest???? I coloured the gift box with copics, as well as the inside of his ears and left the rest of him uncoloured. The sentiment is a little wooden stamp that I picked up at a Papercraft Fair in a bargain bin. All embellishments were from my stash.

I haven't done a brown and cream card before, but it's gone straight to the top of the list of favourite colour combinations.
I hope you'll join us for our Coffee With Cream challenge. The new DT have made some wonderful creations - visit the Challenge blog to check them out.

Thanks for visiting!

Also entered into the following challenge:
Whimsy Stamps Challenge - Buttons & Bows
Craft Room Challenges - Furry Four Legged Family
Shopping Our Stash - Double the Ribbon
Tuesday Throwdown - Critters
Truly Madly Crafty Challenges- Monochrome
Totally Papercrafts - It's Raining Cats & Dogs


Monday, June 11, 2012

For Shereen

Hello All,

I'm here today with a very special card for a very special person, along with a bit of a story about me and how this wonderful woman is changing my life. I know that my blog is all about cards, and less about me, but I thought this was a tale worth sharing. It's a long story, so if you just want to see the card, please feel free to scroll down to the bottom.

About 6 months ago I met Shereen Oliver. Shereen is a Zumba instructor who I solely credit with getting me off the couch and helping me to rediscover a level of fitness I haven't had in years. This gorgeous lady has made me realise I can be strong, I can be fit and I can enjoy exercise - particularly when it's all wrapped up and disguised as dancing. Once I was a very keen Ceroc dancer, even instructing for a while. My final dance experience was the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics. Here's a photo of me waiting to go out and dance for (what seemed like) a gazillion people. Note, that is a wig. I am not afflicted with "Annie" red curly hair naturally, nor did I do my own makeup. :)

Just before this photo was taken my dance partner got himself a girlfriend. Said girlfriend was the jealous type and didn't appreciate her boyfriend dancing so close to another girl. The fact I had a steady boyfriend made no difference. Within a week Joe dropped me like a hot potato. Tired of the cliques and without a dance partner, an injured shoulder was the perfect excuse to stop, and stop I did. I never went back to class, turned in my instructor card and I never did Ceroc again.
For over 11 years I floated along doing nothing more than the occasional bike ride or walking the dogs. My fitness ebbed away and I got lethargic, put on weight and succumbed to the misery of my shoulder that never healed and hurt constantly. I hurt my foot and had surgery, and then with an upper body injury and then a lower body injury it became too hard to think of anything that wouldn't hurt it. I tried squash, I tried netball, nothing doing.

Then I saw an ad for Zumba with Shereen in the local paper. I had heard about Zumba, had heard how it was a craze that was sweeping the world and how you got fit and had fun. I went to a class and have never looked back. Shereen is a wonderful teacher and is so incredibly motivating and inspiring. I have never seen anyone engender such love and loyalty from her clients.

This is Shereen.

Is it any wonder I rock up to Zumba twice a week with Shereen? If there's any chance I can look even a fifth of how good she looks any time in the future I will be thrilled to bits.

It's not all smooth sailing. My foot hurts, my shoulder hurts and now I have added a troubled knee to the list. But this time - I don't care. The foot is something I treat carefully with orthotics and I am used to it. The physio on my shoulder is helping and I have a cortisone injection scheduled for next week. The knee is treatable with physio and stretches and will be better with time.  What I realise now is how little that matters in the overall scheme of things. What's important is that the rest of me is feeling amazing. I am energised, thinner than I have been since I was in my early twenties (I'm now 38) and I'm even motivated to do exercise outside of Zumba.

Now Shereen is taking on a new challenge, entering a body sculpting competition in October. This requires a new level of dedication to her fitness and given the intensity of her job, it's a serious commitment. In addition to this, Shereen is taking new steps to expand her business at the same time - she's obviously not one to do things by halves! I wanted to make Shereen a card of encouragement, to tell her how awesome she is and how much more awesome she will be at the end of this journey, and to remind her of the support she has from so many people.
I used Kenny K's Download Diva image for this card. The minute I saw it I was reminded of Shereen, and there's always a need to expand my Kenny K collection!

My card was created using Sassafras papers and cardstock from my stash. The sentiment is from Stampin' Up, the ribbon border punch is from My Favorite Things Die-Namics and the swirl is a Magnolia Doo-hickey die. I added eyelets to complete the look and hold the papers and cardstock together.

I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I think my little Kenny K image looks like just she could be a fitness instructor and with her ipod in her ears and her sassy expression, she could easily pass for Shereen.

I would like to enter this card into the following challenges:

Crafty Ann's Challenges - It's a Girl Thing
Fussy and Fancy - Swirls & Flourishes
Paper Crafting Journey - Colour It Up
The Ribbon Girl - Use Ribbon or Lace
Make it Monday - Anything Goes
And that's probably a long enough post!
Thanks for visiting, see you again soon.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

It's Winter or Summer at The Squirrel and The Fox

I wish it was Summer here. I am not a fan of Winter. In fact the only good thing about Winter is that it gives me a chance to wear knee-high boots, opaque tights, and a fabulous coat I picked up in Melbourne. With a dress of course. Otherwise I really would be cold - and somewhat of a spectacle.

To celebrate the fact it's Winter, and I use the word celebrate very loosely (must just continue to remind myself of the boots) we thought it could be a very fitting theme for us at The Squirrel and The Fox this fortnight. But given half the world will be celebrating the beginning of Summer, we decided to combine both seasons and our theme is now


I spent the weekend in Canberra visiting my dear friend Linda (aka The Squirrel). The weather was cold and raining, perfect for settling in with cups of hot coffee and lots of time to chat and craft. I also got to play with Linda's crafty supplies, which only added a whole lot more things to my list of 'must haves'.

Given my love of warm weather, is it any wonder I chose to theme my DT card for Summer?

I think I shot this photo on a weird angle trying to get the light right - it looks very crooked!

The image is a darling one from Pollycraft. Pollycraft are having a closing down sale, and for only  £9.50 you can get 100+ digi images. It is a spectacular sale - click on this link to get to the store. The image was coloured with copics.

Who can resist the idea of an ice-cream on a hot Summer Day? When I was little and we would caravan for our Summer holidays down the NSW South Coast, every day we would pester Mum & Dad for the money for an ice-cream. We could ride our bikes to the local store - one of the last local stores I remember - and I would buy a chocolate paddlepop. Even to this day, with all the 'grown up' ice creams on offer, I still love a chocolate paddlepop.

I can't tell you which papers I have used, other than they were in Linda's stash. :)

Our challenge is being sponsored by Robyn's Fetish Digital Stamps and More. They are offering our lucky winner five free digis.

Also entered into the following challenges:

Wags 'n Whiskers - Summer Fun
Paper Pretties - Summer
Fashionista Challenge - Simply Summer
The Crazy Challenge - Childhood Memories
The Ribbon Girl Blog - Use Ribbon or Lace

Thanks for visiting, see you again soon!


Friday, June 1, 2012

Chocolate, Coffee & Cards Challenge

Hello Blogging friends,

I have exciting news to share today, for I am now a member of the Chocolate, Coffee & Cards Challenges Design Team!

I even get a fancy new blog badge.

I know I was cutting back on my DT commitments due to my real job getting in the way (don't you hate it when that happens?), but when an opportunity came up for one of my favourite challenge blogs, I just had to apply, and wouldn't you know it, they let me join them.

So here I am to tell you about the current challenge - and what a delicious start to my DT term it is! Chocolate, Coffee & Cards Challenges have posted this yummy looking photo as inspiration:

How it inspires you is up to your imagination. Is it the gorgeous colours of pink, orange, yellow & green? Is it the spots, the stars, and diamonds? So many possibilities.. yet I sat motionless for DAYS trying to figure out what to do. Finally, I got my gorgeous little digi from Digi Doodle Shop, Emily Hug a Heart, coloured her in to match this spectacular cake, and came up with this:

I popped her up with dimensionals, as well as the sparkly, blinged-up banner. The banner was created with My Favourite Things Die-Namics Banner and Mini Alpha set. I stamped the name Caitlin on it with the teeny tiny letters, in honour of one of my all time favourite little people who I am visiting this weekend.

Our challenge this fortnight is sponsored by Digi Doodle Shop and a fabulous $10 Gift Certificate is on offer for one lucky winner.

I hope you'll join us for my first CCCC Challenge! Now, I think I need to eat cake - preferably a big pink, orange, star studded one.