12/31/09

Bring it on, 2010!

As I say goodbye to 2009, a year of endings (goodbye, sweet Buttercup & Co.) and beginnings (hello, world of blog, twitter, & Etsy), I wanted to do a quick synopsis of what the last year meant to me:


Above: snapshot summing up 2009 quite nicely.
(sweet Grace is full of life's joie de vivre, while the rock she stands upon represents a witty antonym to that joy)


Above: this is me, or at least what I hope I will become one day (and no, not a little plastic toy - but yes, a seamstress! and to continue to create artistic pieces like the above).


Above: the requisite sheep, just because they're so cute & curly-cued.


Above: Me & my Gracie (and my Batman tshirt) - it's all gonna be okay. :)

Happy New Year, blogworld! May 2010 bring more peace, more laughter, more love into every day.

12/27/09

Sunday Smile

The bait is set: cat hiding amongst Christmas wrappings (content)

Enemy approaches...

closer inspection ensures Cat is in the trap

attack is launched! Grace leaps into action, while Strongpaw raises her mighty paw.

Who won? Well, that really doesn't matter ... it's the unfurling of the story above that made me smile.

12/26/09

Happiness is... (Christmas rendition)

Happiness is...


...spending time with loved ones (whilst drinking tea)

...a lovingly wrapped gift that you don't want to unwrap

...art in the form of a fawn with a big bow on top

...the preciousness of a moment in time

I hope your Christmastime was full of happy moments,
~caren

12/23/09

Akane Designs' Corrabelle giveaway!

Hop on over to Akane Design's lovely blog for your chance to win a retro kitchen stand mixer rubberstamp from Corrabelle!



I really dig Corrabelle's vintage vibe. I'm in love with her deer stamp!



I am so glad I came across Akane's blog about this contest; as I've now learned about two wonderfully talented Canadian artisans.
Akane Designs' did a wonderful interview with Corrabelle, with insight into her creative process as well as the business of being a handmade artisan.
Contest ends December 29th (a Tuesday).

Good luck on this contest (although I really do want to win... )!
~caren

Buttercupped wishes you a magical Christmas!

Sending out wintry Christmas wishes to all the Buttercupped readers!


And let's not forget Grace, antlers and all, wishing you all the best:


Gracie was my inspiration for homemade Christmas greetings this year:
(I did an ink drawing of Grace wearing those silly antlers, scanned it, printed it on pretty paper & then stitched the cut out image onto vintage fabric with a layer of quilting batting in between.)

Homemade gifts and/or cards make a wonderful gift, for both the giver and the one receiving it. I get such joy over creating something each year to give to friends, normally in the form of a Christmas card (last year I used crayons & paper to create 3D owls sitting on a tree) and baked goods.  I didn't get around to baking this year, but hope to do something post-Christmas - because it's always a good time to celebrate cookies & cakes!  

12/19/09

Sunday Smile


Tea time with friends: one of the most important traditions.  Add onto that a lovely chocolate? Perfection in the making!

I hope something lovely made you smile, too!
~caren

Christmas Tree love

Here's a peek at my vintage-love Christmas tree in daylight & in darkness.  How I love my tacky little white tree that sits upon a dresser & is filled with a few of my favourite things.


I have a second Christmas tree in my apartment; a beloved vintage ceramic tree that belonged to my Grandma.  I have it sitting in my boudoir:


Note: I entered The Noisy Plume's Christmas Tree Photo Contest using a photo of the ceramic tree (different photo).  It's such a lovely contest! It closes today (Dec. 19th) so there isn't much time left to vote - but you can still look at the pretty pictures!
~caren

12/18/09

Thank-you Harlow Monroe & Hinterland Vintage!

Harlow Monroe & Hinterland Vintage awarded me with this fabulous giveaway win!!

I am super excited about shopping at these two fabulous Etsy shops!

I have never won anything like this before, and definitely not something quite so wonderful! So, thank you Harlow Monroe & Hinterland Vintage! You've made my day, and kick-started my Christmas season!
much love!
~caren

12/17/09

Winter Wonderland Reality







photo of me by Michele Karch-Ackerman

A family of boots, ready to take out for a hike in a winter wonderland
We follow the freshly made path with joy in our hearts
A family of trees smile down upon us with their snow-dipped branches
Grandpa oak tree left a perfect leaf for me to find
A family of sparkling snowflakes dazzled and surprised me

This is how I spent today: immersed in all the happiness spending time with loved ones in a real winter wonderland can bring!

I hope you, too, have a chance to play & be surrounded by good friends!
peace,
~caren

12/16/09

The Coterie's sofawned Etsy Giveaway!

Just in time for the holidays! Enter to win a beautiful print from Etsy shop sofawned.  Believe me, you will fawn all over her photographs!

The Coterie is hosting the giveaway, so hop on over for your chance to win one of sofawned's lovely art prints.



above: a sampling of sofawned's berry series

good luck! I know I'll be entering at least once myself!
xox
~caren

12/15/09

glasses!

Picked up my glasses today, and feeling smarter already!

I heart eye-fashion! They're the perfect accessory.

p.s. In the background of this photo is a snippet of an awesome piece of art by Lucky Jackson.  Visit her Etsy shop and be prepared to ooh and ahh! I love the use of vintage fabrics & embroidery in her work, plus she herself is equally retro-chic adorable!

12/13/09

Sunday Smile


New winter boots made me smile today!!


They're plaid! I don't even like plaid! But I practically swooned when I put them on, and actually told the shoe store salesman that they were the 'sexy beasts' of boots.  I cannot wait to wear these with a glammed up dress.  Who needs stilettos when you've got plaid winterized rubber boots?


Oh, and Grace made me smile at how much she loves the snow ... I took her out with me to test drive the new boots:




xox
~caren

12/12/09

Baking: Gluten-Free Maid Marion Muffin Success

I finally found a successful gluten-free translation for my "famous" Maid Marion Muffin recipe.  This bring immense joy into my kitchen (and my tummy)!



In a previous post, I blogged about the first-attempt at making these muffins with a gluten-free flour mixture (a failure).

And now, I can blissfully state that I have baked a successfully yummy gluten-free chocolate chip oatmeal muffin using what may become the essential GF flour mix (as well as GF oats).  There is some minor tweaking to dabble in (less xanthan gum) but overall I am a happy baking kitty right now.

Gluten-Free Flour Mix for baking (cookies/cakes)
1 cup white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour (or starch) - I used flour for this recipe
1 cup cornstarch
1 tbsp potato flour (not starch!)
Sift the above together and add 1/2 tsp Xantham gum per cup (a little more won't hurt, as it'll stop crumbling)

Note: I used the above for a tea biscuit recipe I've used for years, but it did not translate well (I referred to them as "tea pucks" - you get the idea).  However, it worked wonderfully for these muffins and I'll be testing my favourite cookie recipe using this mix soon!
~caren

12/7/09

Christmas antlers make the scene

I found an antler headband at a thrift shop, and decided to put it to use!


A buttercupped living room, Christmasized!



Grace got antlered, too! (and no, she wasn't so happy about it)

I'm loving this Christmas season! I'm having the most fun with adding little holiday touches to my vintage apartment.  Next is attempting to make a Christmas jacket for Grace!
~caren

12/6/09

she wore a buttercup in her hair

a bright, cold winter day made for a sweet Sunday walk

she wore a buttercup in her hair

her dog found an old friend

her family cottage was called 'Trillium Wood'; now it's a birdhouse

Sunday Smile





Did some Christmas-related photo shoots today for possible card-making ideas.  A Snoopy Xmas ornament became a model for one such idea; Grace immediately decided this was a bad idea.
This made me smile (as well as worried for Snoopy!).
~caren

12/5/09

Christmas loving kitty

Strongpaw loves Christmas, has since she was just a wee kitten.  I have a photo somewhere of her amongst a large nativity scene (was a Christmas card cover that  year).  This year is no different; she loves to hang out when dressing the tree.  When taking the ornaments out of the boxes, there's tons of paper rustling and wonderful little twinkling things to watch.

Here she is in kitty heaven, after finding her way underneath of the tissue paper:





Note: Strongpaw has been immortalized, in Etsy world, by friend Desiree - photo is titled 'Strongpaw' (I'm a proud kittymama!)
~caren

12/3/09

Baking: First Attempt at Gluten-Free Bread



I made my first ever bread today.  I've never attempted bread of any kind previously, nonetheless gluten-free, so started with a pre-mix by Pamela's - her GF Bread Mix - and did it in a bread machine (which is over 10 years old, and was my dad's).  I was a little nervous at first, thinking I needed a thermometer to make sure the water was the right temp (suggested by some resources), or that I didn't have the liquid amounts quite right, or that the yeast needed to be added in a special way.

Then I decided to just do it, and not get all hung up on the little details.  I asked my mom her opinion, since she used to bake bread all the time when she was first raising her kids.  Her comment was, "I never used a thermometer! Just use nicely warm water.", and "So what if you don't have a 2 Cup Measuring cup? Use the 4 Cup one.".  And yes, I did think I should do exactly what the bread making machine book told me to do.  I am ever so glad I listened to the mom instead, and just Did It.

About 3 and a 1/2 hours later, I had a freshly baked bread cooling on a rack.  Intense satisfaction made me glow (or was that the coffee?).  I waited the necessary 15 minutes to let it cool & then cut into it, putting a little butter on it for good measure.  And YUM! So tasty! And the texture was akin to a muffin or english muffins.  I was delighted! The sorghum & millet flours made it more earthy tasting, which I like.  It was dense, and somewhat gummy, but not in a bad way.



And all I had to do was add 3 liquid ingredients (oil, eggs, water) into the bread making receptacle, dump the bag of Pamela's Bread Mix in and then toss the yeast on top of that.  That's all I did.  Then push Start on the machine.  The only other thing I did was scrape down the sides of the receptacle during the mixing stage, just to make sure all of the ingredients got moistened.



Pamela's Products - I have tried 3 of her pre-mixes and have been thrilled with all of them (Baking & Pancake Mix, Chocolate Cake Mix, Bread Mix).
I think I'll attempt my own flour mix & try baking the old fashioned way.
~caren

12/2/09

a buttercuppery Christmas preview






I decided to put a few of my favourite things on my tacky white plastic Christmas tree this year.  So, up went sassy red kitty & original micro-machine cars.  I also have a pretty teacup, a pink sparkly butterfly, a couple of lucky cats, among other more traditional Christmas ornaments.

The last photo showcases one of my favourite Christmas ornaments - kitties playing with candy! Not pictured is Betty Boop and her dog dangling above looking quite saucy indeed.

I hope you're having fun decorating your space for the holidays! Christmas is a fabulous time of year for switching up the decor of your home.  I tend to do so in small doses, including using my grandma's vintage ceramic tree (just plug it in & its ready to be seen); it's small but throws a delightfully big punch of colour.

I made the decision to do a vintage-inspired Christmas this year.  So I found myself some wonderful old Christmas ornaments to fill up a vase & dangle on some tschokies (including a big blue ceramic rooster).  More photos to follow soon!

Feel free to share your holiday decor inspirations, including links!
~caren