Fresh starts...

Hello! It's been almost a year since I've written anything in this space. I won't bore you with the details of the whys and why nots of my lack of blogging, instead I'll just jump right back in and hope to entertain you once again! I'll be posting about art, vintage goodies, my hopes & dreams, home decor, cats and dogs, coffee, photography, and general pretty happy things I find around my home and the interwebs. For now, here's is a very short synopsis of the past little while in my life:
scenes from the new apartment

A lot has happened in the past year, but let's speed up to a month ago when I moved into a sweet little apartment in the upper level of a century home. It's the change I needed to refresh my spirit. Now I can look out my bedroom window and see chickadees flitting about in the big evergreen sitting right outside the window. I have big sunbeams that fill my kitchen (which also doubles as my studio/office) with the happiest of light. I've packed my new living room with all of my favourite things, including my lovely pink sofa (of course!). It's still very much a process of finding where to place everything, and knowing when to let go of something that doesn't fit. Two things that do fit perfectly is my pup Grace and my cat Strongpaw. They love the new place!

the Critters necklace series

The other changes that have happened in the last while is my Etsy shop had a makeover! The Vintage Apartment is now Lonely Bear (named after a cat named Henry Bear who tends to be lonely even when surrounded). Not only is there vintage still to be found, but I also started making sweet necklaces to adorn your necks! I'm also doing little paintings and hope to add them and my photography prints to the shop.

I've incorporated this blog into my new website - lonelybear.ca - that way everything that I do can be found in one place. I'll be expanding the website at some point, but for now it's a jumping off point to my Etsy shop and to this blog.

So there it is! It's all about fresh starts and finding time to make happy things!
with joy,


Sunday Smile: the Pop Up New York Cat Cafe

If you're in the New York Bowery District, you probably came across the craziness of the pop up Cat Cafe put on by Purina ONE. It opened up this past Thursday and closes today. The thing that makes this awesome isn't just that it's a cat cafe (always awesome on its own), but that it's a cat cafe filled with adoptable cats from North Shore Animal League. I don't know about you, but any way that spotlights the theme 'adopt don't shop' in a big way is pretty freaking awesome in my eyes!!

I have to admit, I hope this idea takes off. I'd love to see like-minded 'pop ups' popping up all over. For cats and dogs. In the one article I read, one kitty got adopted before the cafe even opened! Now, what I'd like to see happen is to have the cats that have been in a shelter for a very long time or that are special needs be spotlighted in this sort of set up. My heart breaks every time I come across a story of a cat that has spent its entire life in a shelter, always passed up by a forever home. So, let's put those cats in future cat cafes, yes?

But I digress. This is about the coolness that is a New York cat cafe, free cat'achinos and all!

Cats. They're where it's at. Put 'em in a cafe, and they're bound to bring all the crazy cat peeps out to play!
with joy,


Thriftshop Zoo




I went thrifting the other day, and came home with a zoo!
All those little critters you see in the blue dish came in one plastic bag. I didn't even know what all was in the bag, I just saw the giraffe & the cat and thought, how cute! Can you imagine my delight when in that same little plastic bag there was a zoo-full of animals? A mama seal and its baby, a cocker spaniel and its two babies, the giraffe, the cat, a polar bear, an ostrich!, a donkey! and a saint bernard. Instant zoo!
I also nabbed an adorable big cat planter (hello baby Cheetah!) and a prettily striped Japanese cat.
Honestly, nothing makes me happier than bringing home the critters. It's definitely becoming a problem, but at least they're not real... right?
Now I'm thinking of how cute it would be if all those tiny animals were real ... best zoo ever!
I also thrifted that beautiful vintage blue dish, which I immediately saw as a cute succulent garden base.
Ah. the thrill of the thrift!
with joy,


Sunday Smile: Easter Weekend, the Beach, and Memories

seagull floating by

It's a beautiful weekend here in the Kawarthas, Ontario! I spent my Saturday in Cobourg with my mom, to visit the Memorial Walk for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) in memory of my dad who passed away from the disease 12 years ago. It sounds like a sad thing to do, but it wasn't. I was immediately buoyed by the beautiful day, and especially the beach and view of Lake Ontario. My dad was a nature lover, and loved the water, so I was filled with good memories whilst walking along the beach.


My mom and I brought two special photos of my dad with us to the Memorial Walk, where we were to asked to pin up photos of loved ones. We ended up deciding not to pin them on the Memorial Wall, though, and instead did a private 'Remember Dad' moment at the Buttermilk Cafe over breakfast (breakfast was dad's speciality). Also, the Buttermilk Cafe makes a killer breakfast! So, it was just a perfect way to think of dad.

remembering my dad
photos of my dad: him holding a baby Strongpaw 12 years ago
& him reading Harry Potter while petting his two cats, Opie and Wolfie.

Before this post gets outrageously sad (sorry if I made you sad), I'll share this photo of the sweet vintage Dachshund salt & pepper shaker set I got at Cobourg's Blue Box thrift shop! Isn't it adorable? I've always wanted this set, so was pretty chuffed when I saw just as I was leaving (empty-handed) from the shop!

vintage Dachshund S&P shaker set

And to further brighten this post up, here is a dog wearing a pink dress! YES!!! Really, this is always a good thing. This sweet girl was one of many dogs at the ALS Walk. Along with the pink-frocked Border Terrier there was also a puppy French Bulldog! I admit, I ended up spending most of my time there interacting with all the cute pups. How could I not?!

Border Terrier in a pink dress

kiss kiss pups
the Terrier meeting a puppy French Bulldog, and melting my heart! SO MUCH CUTE!!

Easter rice krispie squares

And this all brings us to today. Easter Sunday. A day in which I made pretty rice krispie squares - dyed them a pale peachy pink and put sprinkles on them. You'll find me eating these all day, as well as out in the garden, and cuddling with my dog. It's a beautifully peaceful day today. Quite a perfect Easter! And I'll continue remembering my dad, and eating pretty rice krispie squares.

with much joy,


Katris Modular Cat Furniture

I just saw this on Hauspanther and had to share it with y'all! Because it's a pretty awesome design that's eco-friendly, multi-functional, and most importantly, purrfect for our cats.

Katris is a modular cardboard furniture system created for cats to lounge on, scratch, climb up on, etc. as well as usable for their humans (think shelving, tables, benches). Individual cardboard blocks that resemble Tetris pieces (how cool is that?!) can be put together in so many different ways (endless possibilities!) and secured with a special clip. The company that has designed the Katris system is Papercut Lab.

They aren't available to buy yet, and the hope is it won't be ridiculously expensive. We are talking about cardboard, even if its pretty & tough cardboard. The pieces would have to be replaced at some point from kitties using them as scratching posts, so it could be a pricey bit of decor. Still, I know I would love something like this - in fact, I would have bought this in lieu of the standard carpeted + sisal-covered tree I did buy. I love that it's multi-purpose and that I can make whatever shapes I want!

I can't seem to find out where Papercut Lab are located, but they have a very Scandinavian vibe to them.
I noticed that the Katris system is blowing up on the interwebs - Pinterest and Facebook - so hopefully that will speed the company along to get their product ready to sell! Looks like they'll be doing so via Amazon.

with cat-filled joy,


kittens in bowls





What can I say? They're kittens in bowls! With a side of chopstick. Yum Yum!
with joy,


Bowzer Box for Gracie!

Gracie got an awesome surprise in the mail on Monday: a Bowzer Box just for her!! Well, Henry Bear the cat thought there was something for him, too, but Grace growled loudly enough to shoo him away from HER goodies. So cute!

Bowzer Box is a subscription service that delivers goodies to your (or a friend's!) dog on a monthly basis. It's a really fun way to spoil that precious pup in your life - which, obviously, my Gracie is such a pup.
This is a Canadian company, and they pride themselves in including at least one Canadian product in the box. Bowzer Box also donates 10% of all proceeds go to animals that are less fortunate which makes them pretty ace in my books.

Now, on to the goodies!!

Denta Snacks, Barkery liver treats, Peas & Carrots organic bone cookie, Bacon & Apple Fruitables treats, spool of poop bags, Rescue balm for chapped/sore paws & noses and a fab little treat ball! Everything was just the right size for Grace and I love that the treats area all wheat-free!

This is Grace in mid-bark because I was taking photos instead of giving her the goodies!

Grace couldn't wait to get into the box!

And Henry Bear was happy afterall, because he got the box!!

There's already subscription services like this for U.S.A. based dogs, so I was gleeful to test out a Canadian one! Bonus, shipping is only $4.50 across Canada.

Bowzer Box has generously given my readers a coupon code to save 15% on your first order - just use GRACE during the checkout process to get your savings. Yay!!

Bonus: if you order between now and the end of March, you'll get free shipping too! Now go to it and spoil your puppies! You know you want to ;)
*note: please email the folks at Bowzer Box to get both discounts at the same time as they've run into technical difficulties getting both to work simultaneously :)

with puppy joy,


Sunday Smile: Grace, by Laura Manfrey

This is a painting of my Gracie pup by the wonderful artist, Laura Manfrey! I found myself overwhelmed when I saw her post on Instagram, along with these words: "Feel better soon little Grace".
You see, Grace recently hurt her back quite badly and I took her to Emergency Vet Services to get things looked at. It was such a stressful time, and seeing this painting made me so happy! Grace is much better now, though! Yay!

If you don't know who Laura is, here's a sampling of her delightful work:

See what I mean? Laura's got skills full of the power of cute!
Laura can be found on Twitter and Instagram as well as her Cargo Collective website
To think that she chose Gracie as a subject matter to put her paint to makes me smile :)
with joy,