1/31/10

Etsy Treasury: Glam Girl Farm Girl

The Vintage Apartment's Etsy Treasury: Glam Girl Farm Girl



I like being a little bit Glam and a little bit Farm Girl myself. Not to mention a titch Boho & a tad of just plain Messy.
Putting together this Treasury was quite organic - it went from Doris Day to a love of Primary colours to the mergence of what you see above. A girl likes to have layers ... and I definitely have a little bit of glam (not outwardly speaking, though) and a little bit of farm (by way of my love of nature). What about you?

Further Inspiration (blog love):
The Pioneer Woman -- for the inner (or outer) Farm Girl in you
-- (pick up a copy of MaryJanesFarm magazine sometime, too)
A Cat of Impossible Colour -- something a little more Glam Girl (for those who like vintage fashion)
~caren

Sunday Smile

Today's Sunday Smile is brought to you by deedee9:14 - it's all about blog love!


The Vintage Apartment's first ever ad! I am super impressed with deedee9:14's blog - design-wise & content-wise.  Bonus: she generously offered free ad spots! So I did up a little 120x120 ad, and whilst doing so decided I needed to upgrade my Etsy shop's banner:
I love design work, and having an outlet like TVA and this blog helps keep me sane (artistically speaking, anyways!).
Bonus: TVA has 4 sales now, all in January. It's a good start, and a good end to January.
Hello February!
~caren

1/28/10

Be My Valentine: New @ The Vintage Apartment

Here's my Be My Valentine photographs. I had included them, for a short time, on my Etsy shop. I know, what does that have to do with a vintage apartment? Well, love sits well anywhere and these photos are inspired by vintage kitsch. That's how! Plus, I've been itching to add some of my own creative outlets to my shop, and I thought with Valentine's Day fast approaching, these cute little photos would be a nice addition. It was fun to pick out the right candy heart to go with the corresponding toy! Gawd, I'm such a kid! :)

I have tons of these cute little Hello Kitties, dressed up in different animal outfits. Cuteness abounds! Total cupcake love.

I dug out my old Fisher Price toys, and lo and behold there was the motorcycle! Glee! I was inspired by Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (the comic book, not the movie).

Ah, Love! Simple statement, what more needs to be said?

Note: my sassy red kitty wanted to be a part of the photo shoot; I couldn't blame her.
Update: I have since removed all of the Be My Valentine photos from my Etsy shop. Perhaps they'll resurface in another form or in a new Etsy shop that's dedicated to my creative outlets. :)
~caren

Feeling Crafty: a Thank You note

Last week, the coveted mushroom teapot sold at my Etsy shop The Vintage Apartment. It happened on my birthday, so that was even more sweet. I quickly (and safely!) packaged the precious cargo, and created a happy little thank you note to go along with the teapot. I created a polaroid-style photograph of the teapot & used an old 4x6 cue card to write the note in (making a window to fit the photo). I then glued the cue card onto some lovely textured brown scrapbook paper. Voila!


I even doodled a little mushroom! :)




Cat & Dog are entirely off-topic, but aren't they cute?! My own little mushrooms who love it when I leave lots of blankets on the couch (but rarely are they together on said couch).


I love doing the little crafty thank you notes for each individual sale. Gives me a chance to be creative, and hopefully will give the receiver an extra smile.
~caren

1/24/10

Witch

No, not that kind of witch!
This Witch is magic, though - it's shiny red made-in-Germany plastic goodness magically threads your sewing needle!

I came across this wonderful creation at my local pharmacy (one of those old-fashioned types that's been around for over 50 years); I noticed it amongst their household goods section & immediately swooned. I had to have it (thank you, birthday gift giver who bestowed the powers of the Witch upon me!):






And yes, Grace had to be a part of it all by gleefully taking off with the hot pink thread I was using. I didn't get mad, though, 'cause she looked so cute with the spool of pink in her mouth!

Now I no longer have to poke myself or squint too hard to get that pesky thread through that tiny eye of the needle. I loves my new (actually, research shows this is vintage) Witch!
~caren

1/23/10

Birthday Bliss



I decided to get dolled up for my birthday (which was January the 22nd) this year. This is a rarity, to be dolled up (it usually only lasts a few hours once a year), so I really got into the vintage vibe of the outfit & did a girly photo shoot. Above aptly captures my bliss.
Wearing: green Ellen Tracy dress that reminds me of classic movies & Mad Men; vintage bauble necklace; vintage green leather purse; vintage scarf.

Happily enough, I woke up to a sale on my Etsy shop, The Vintage Apartment. The mushroom teapot that was coveted sold!

My neighbour and good friend Desiree (So Fawned) popped over to wish me a happy birthday, and gave me a darling gift - she made me a French Press cozy!! I couldn't believe she'd done that! So lovely. I immediately put it on my dog Grace ... an odd thing to do? Well, yes. But it did fit her just right.
Note: I posted a separate entry dedicated to the cozy love, found here.

The next thing I knew it was nearly 2pm, and there was a freshly baked sour cream coffee cake awaiting this birthday girl! It felt like a very grown-up birthday cake... quite apropos!

But then, finally, I got to escape to my favourite restaurant Matsu Sushi where Mr Kim pampered me just right. I love the pistachio ice cream with a candle in it. The best is getting a polaroid photo taken on your birthday (okay, it's a Fujifilm not a Polaroid). I'm in quite a few of these polaroids in Matsu's photo albums!

Then I took Grace for a glorious sun-filled walk/run before retiring for the rest of the day.

I then got a surprise visit from my sweet friend Karen (The Messy Artist) , who gave me a delightful chipmunk-filled card & a wee gift. It completed my birthday bliss!

The rest of the night was spent watching classic movies.









Basically, a perfect day.
blissfully, & one year older (or is that younger?)
~caren

French Press Cozy Love (a birthday gift story)

My lovely neighbour & friend Desiree (of So Fawned fame) gave me a delightful gift yesterday, on my birthday. I immediately put the cozy on my dog Grace, because that's the kind of girl I am.
I then did a photo shoot of my French Press wearing its new buttons & pins fabric cozy ... and along came Grace, and I decided to photograph her wearing it too.












You've got to admit, Grace looks cute in the cozy ... it looks like her neck is the same size as the French Press!
Thank you Desiree!
~caren

1/22/10

Etsy Treasury: Black White Yellow

Current Etsy Treasury: Black White Yellow (a spot of sunshine):


Inspired by my current obsession with bright cheerful yellow. It pops more, though, against the neutrality of a classic black & white backdrop.

Note: I was flipping through a magazine and caught sight of a Covergirl ad featuring one of my favourite actresses, Drew Barrymore - this time in a stunning Black White Yellow combination! I then located the following photo without all the advertising mumbo jumbo ... just pure Drew in a bright crisp yellow:



I need to photoshoot my apartment's yellow bits. I didn't realize just how much yellow adorned the corners of my home. It shouldn't be such a surprise, I am the one who chose to paint my old shop a bright buttercup yellow afterall!
~a buttercup girl

1/21/10

Happiness is: Vintage Table & Mug

Yesterday was a pre-birthday celebration with my dear friend Michele & my goddaughter Astrid. Not only did we eat at my favourite breakfast joint (Starlite Dining Lounge) but we also thrift-shopped at my equally favourite Sally Ann. I was in my glory. I left with BAGS full of goodies, both for myself (I'm allowed to be self-indulgent - it's almost my birthday!) and for my Etsy shop.

The last thing I picked up as I was heading out was a fabulous vintage ('60s or early '70s) telephone table. I was so smitten, and really needed a side table for my living room, that I bought it without a 2nd thought. So happy am I!


The yummy butterscotch colour of the vinyl & faux wood, as well as the delicate bronze wire work are a perfect match to my '60s couch.

I also came home with this lovely glass pedestal mug, perfect for my "poor man's latte'!

Close up of the textured acorn design. Love!

It will take may posts to get through all the vintage goodness that I hunted that glorious pre-birthday day. I never need to thrift again! (okay, that was an overstatement... but definitely not for a whole week or two!).

Coming soon: 1960s Mary Tyler Moore style wedding dress (dreamy!)
~the soon-to-be-birthday-girl caren

1/19/10

Hanging out with Bettie, Cat & Dog

My Tuesday was supposed to be put aside for 3 things: Cleaning Baking & Crafting. So far, only baking has been done. Also added a couple new items to The Vintage Apartment, which is always a good thing. Mostly, been hanging out with the cat & dog and eating freshly baked muffins.


My "I'm going to clean the apartment" look... which is not working for me, 'cause I still haven't done any cleaning. (wearing a Bettie by Olivia mens tee that I altered into a more feminine version)

I love Bettie Page. I have a long history with this pinup queen! I miss my old Bettie site... may need to do a new one.

Strongpaw loves her leopard print ... peek-a-boo!

Gracie is diggin' the new bamboo teal throw almost as much as I am!

And there you have it. My day of cleaning averted by all things Bettie, puppy, kitten & baking.
How are you escaping cleaning your home? ;)
~caren

The Vintage Apartment: New Additions

Some new additions to The Vintage Apartment!


Gracie felt like showcasing this large vintage galvanized metal filing box!


Another vintage galvanized metal filing box, but this time smaller & with an awesome old label!


I love the smoothness of these handsome vintage  teak elephants.


A wonderful duo of vintage needlecraft in the form of a Rooster & a Songbird!

Ah, vintage love!

1/18/10

Etsy Treasury: Dreamy Cupcakery



Totally psyched to have finally snagged a spot on the Etsy Main Treasury! I knew it had to focus on something I loved. And I love cupcakes! And cupcake dresses. And baking. And kitchen goodies. And vintage goodness & art that reminds me of all of those things. And so, here is Dreamy Cupcakery - dedicated to that which is light & fluffy & full of icing on top!
Enjoy!
~caren

Happy Monday

I don't think I've mentioned it before, but Monday is my favourite day of the week. It's the day I normally go out for breakfast at my equally favourite breakfast spot, Starlite Dining Lounge (a quirky old place where the decor is awful, but the coffee's great). I also go to the local Sally Ann directly after breakfast. So, what's not to love?!

Today a package came in the mail that made my happy Monday even better:


A lovingly done-up package from Hinterland Vintage, to be exact!




I received my wonderful new vintage cape! I squealed happily when I took it out of its wrapping and immediately donned it & wore it for the rest of the day (I currently still wear it whilst sitting at the computer). I felt like my look was finally complete. It's even better than I thought it would be, and I thought I'd love it. So, my Monday is oh so happy! It's a lovely butter cream shade with shiny pearlized buttons and pretty little flowers edge the buttons & bottom of the cape. Delovely!
Bonus: Hinterland snuck in a wonderful vintage scarf that was made into a perfect hair scarf! So in love!! My favourite colour & with butterflies, nonetheless. Joy!

Other moments that made today so happy: got a 60-page book of colourful scrapbook paper for 80% off & a pattern for a simple everyday house dress for only $2.

Happy Monday all you buttercups!
~caren

1/17/10

Sunday Smile

Baubles! How I love pretty vintage baubles! I just got the biggest, chunkiest, most colourful vintage necklace I could find, and am in love with it:


I got the above necklace from Uncommon Vintage

Below: a few big bauble necklaces I came across on Etsy:








These big vintage baubles make me smile!
~caren

1/16/10

Style School: Photo Wall Art

I am so happy that I finally found a way to display some of my favourite photos. Last autumn, my goddaughter Astrid & I did an awesome vintage-inspired photo shoot. I took tons of photos of Astrid wearing different vintage dresses (the robin egg blue dress was my mom's!). I've always wanted to display them in a creative way, but could never think of exactly how.  Style School presented an idea, and I took off with it.






I used a photo album frame (12x12) that I had (well, I have many actually!), but decided to use fabric as the matting.  This inspired stitching each photo to the fabric.  I do believe it's become my signature - combining sewing/fabric and photos/prints.

I used Poladroid to create the faux polaroid technique of the photos above; then printed them 2 to each 4x6 photo paper sheet. I used my sewing machine to stitch each photo onto the fabric. Then hand-stitched the scattering of buttons on the bottom corner.  I ended up glue-gunning the fabric to the frame's backing just to make sure it stays put.  I also chose not to use glass, as the glare was too much & I prefer to have textile-related art "breathe".

I also wanted to use words, as the photographs themselves spoke to me of emotion.  The text reads as follows:

"she is / longing / for joy
waiting / to be / found"

I was inspired first and foremost by the creative energy surrounding the photo shoot Astrid & I did; by the clothes themselves & the atmosphere in which the photos were taken.  I had done the "faux polaroid" technique months ago, but never knew how to complete the look.

And now, voila! My first piece of photo/poetic art framed! (thank you for the push, Style School!)

It does not come easily, this creative outlet.  For some, perhaps, it does happen naturally and with ease. For myself, not so much. I tend to curse a little and get impatient. But, it's a process - and the process is definitely worth it. I felt completion at the end of this project.

Does art/craft come easily to you? If not, how do you work through the process?
~caren