I ♥ Shoes & Bags

{pictured: thrifted vintage leather purse & favourite pair of red shoes}
if i could, i would have a closet full of bags & shoes.

~shoe-a-holic wannabe caren
Part of the Much Love Mondays


Sunday Smile: the Italian Owl

I picked this handsome fellow up the other day; how could I not? He made me smile.
I was told an Italian gentleman brought it in to the thrift shop, telling the lady that the owl was made in Italy  (it's dated 1974) and that if you talked to it enough you would learn to speak Italian.
Once again, how could I not bring it home?
Someday I might want to go to Italy and speak Italian, afterall!


oh sweet chickadee

This little fella and I had a lovely little chat the other day at The Ecology Park. He followed me about when I was picking out a shrub to buy. I asked him if he wanted to come home with me, and he seemed quite into the idea. I wonder if he's one of the chickadees I see visiting my backyard. He was cheeky enough to actually follow-through! 

The Ecology Park is one of my favourite places to visit. There's always something new growing and lots of birds & chipmunks to keep me occupied. It's all about eco-consciousness and organic living, with workshops and kids day camps. If you're in the Peterborough area, pop in for a peek.

just another chickadee, 


Grace in the Garden

I found Grace standing on the old wooden bench, waiting for me to see her. She was staring at me through the wild weeds. Cute!

This is where I often find Grace, sunning herself on a mound of mulch. My little cow.

She wanted to come say hi, so she hopped up on the garden table & sniffed the freshly planted pansies.

These were taken this morning, when Grace felt like being a part of the gardening experience. The morning is best for us to hang outside these days, because the sun isn't as hot and the humidity not quite so strong. I'm slowly doing little things in my garden space, moving plants, planting new ones, removing unwanted growth, etc. It's my favourite thing to do; to tend these living creatures & ensure they offer a healthy environment for the bees & the birds (and my spirit!).

All the while, Grace is there lending a helping paw. Okay, so mostly she just sits and stares and wishes I were tossing a stick for her instead. :)
~the gardening duo, caren & grace!

Etsy: Front Page via Makes Me Wanna Have Raisins...

The Wild Plum, a spectacular Etsy.com shop dedicated to the finest of Mid Century accouterments, made a delicious Treasury which landed on the front page today. Included in this lovely mix was my vintage amber glassware set:

Here's a peek at the Mid Century raisin lovin' front page of Etsy:

The Wild Plum is run by a lovely woman by the name of Christina. Her shop is one of my favourites, and no wonder! It's filled to the brim with unique home decor and houseware items. Here's a few of my faves:

(is this not adorable to the max?!)

(makes me want to break out my old typewriter!)

(I would put candies in this dish and keep it on my desk for snacking!)

Thanks, Christina, for making an inspired Treasury and giving my little shop a spotlight! I'm doing a little jig right now!
~caren, who ironically has a distaste for raisins ;)


Etsy Shop: Fresh Vintage!

List of vintage goodies, starting from top left:

I don't normally do shop updates on my Blog, but I am so thrilled with all my new vintage stock that I just had to share!

the one with the bubble ray gun

Bubbles from a superduper raygun style bubble machine? Yes, please!
~bubblelicious caren


Tuesday is for Etsy: deKanimal

a fresh Etsy shop full of fresh art: deKanimal

Happy to have found this fresh, modern & oh so colourful art! Artist is based in Los Angeles, California.

I've also come to realize that I'm drawn to a lot of the artisans & mid century collectors that live on the west coast of the USA. Those sunny western cities sure do come up quite a bit in my blog & etsy searches!

~ west-coast-wannabe caren


My Book of Pets

Howdy cowboy! Come 'round here often?

I knew this book was destined to be mine when I saw the above image.

My Book of Pets (1961) + my dog (2010) = timeless cuteness!

I love vintage children's books. I love new children's books, too. However, the vintage ones have the most delightful illustrations! I picked up this copy of 'My Book of Pets' just so I could salvage the wonderful images to use as ephemera. Sadly, the book itself is falling apart - well, maybe not sadly 'cause then I can cut it up without feeling pangs of guilt! :)
p.s. the turtle illustration I used in the previous post was from this book.


the Story of Buttercup the Turtle

{vintage childrens book illustration from my collection}

2 years ago, I rescued a turtle in distress. This is the story of Buttercup.

May 2008: I witnessed 2 teenage boys kicking what I thought was a ball on the trail near my house, whist on my way to work. As I neared the ball, I soon realized it was not a ball at all. It was a turtle!
I welled up with anger & sadness. I was so focused on the turtle, though, that by the time I thought to karate chop the kids who did it, they were out of sight.
I was able to gently & safely move the turtle into a more secure place until I could call the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre people to find out what to do. I was told to bring it into a veterinarian that is their on-call turtle surgeon. I then went with a container and gently put the poor turtle in it to bring to the vet. The turtle was so lethargic, I was quite worried. She was swinging her head about in an odd way, too. Her shell was cracked quite badly. Lucky for me, though, she was so stressed she didn't think to snap at me. She was a good sized Snapper!
I got her to the vet, and Dr. Kristy Hiltz was the turtle rescuer de jour. I was told it looked like the turtle had more than just a kick to deal with. That it was obvious she was also run over at some point. That she was in shock, but that they thought she would make a full recovery. (incidentally, I ended up switching to Dr Hiltz sometime later because I was so impressed with her work & care)

May 2009: A year later, I got a call from the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre peeps that a turtle I rescued a year previously was fully recovered and to be released - and would I like to attend the release?
Yes, please!
This is when I found out they named her Buttercup, after my shop (that I had owned at that time - Buttercup & Co.). And that she was a girl. Obviously, I had no way of telling the sex of a turtle - and still don't know how!
Buttercup was released in the same area as I found her in. It was a joyous occasion!

Here is her release party:

Buttercup, I was told, was the feistiest of all their releases! She was out of the bin before we even opened the trunk of the car!

Buttercup was inching her way out of the bin into the grasses.

It took no time at all for Buttercup to make a beeline for the water!

I could imagine the sigh of relief at this point.

And off she went!

But then, Buttercup turned around and smiled at us.
I will never forget that moment.

A year later, and I still keep a look out for Buttercup. She's easy to recognize, due to the big scar she has on her shell. I've decided she found a mate and has had many babies since I last saw her. That she bobs her head out of the water to smile at passerbys.

I've been working on retelling her story in a childrens book - I hope to actually fulfill this dream sometime in the next year. I'll keep you posted about it!

Happy World Turtle Day!
~buttercup caren

Sunday Smile: Linens on the line

hanging linens on the line makes me smile.

me right after hanging said linens out.

There's something so old-fashioned, so country-living, about hanging clothes & linens out on the laundry line that makes me deeply satisfied.  I needed to air out my comforter & blanket due to a Grace-incident (she decided to roll in mulch & bring it to bed with her). After I strung up the comforter I thought, 'gee, doesn't that look purty?' - or something along those lines. I also convulsed into a coughing spell because I'm still getting over this chest infection - but hey, that didn't ruin the moment. :)

I hope something makes you smile today, too.


blog love: A Collection a Day

A Collection a Day (http://collectionaday2010.blogspot.com/) is a favourite stop in my daily blog visits. Everything about this blog satisfies my need for, a) design, b) little things, c) art, d) community

Lisa Congdon is a San Fransisco based artist (http://lisacongdon.com/) who decided to start the blog as a way to document her collections (and her passion for collecting). I find it to be a fabulous way to create community, because of how we the visitor can interact by sharing our thoughts & emotional responses. I know I end up going down memory lane whilst perusing her posts.

Not only does Lisa take photographs of the small-scale items placed artistically together, but also draws or paints certain pieces (sometimes of only dreamed about collections).

Here's a smattering of these delights (1 from each month):

Yes, this is a 365 day challenge - every single day, a new collection is unveiled (sometimes, one collection is broken up into multiple posts).
If you haven't checked A Collection a Day yet, go and spend some time there now. There's already 142 (as of today) collections to ponder!

Cat + Monkey + Dog

I think I squealed a little when I saw Strongpaw snuggling with my giant love monkey.

Grace had to get in the way, 'cause I was paying attention to That Cat.

Grace is so jealous of Strongpaw, and cannot stand even the slightest attention I pay the kittycat. Strongpaw, on the other hand, simply detests the air that Grace breathes. And yet, they'll sleep in my bed together, under the covers & almost cuddling.
Don't you just love your pet's personality quirks?


In my garden today

Did a walk-about in my garden earlier today & took some quick snaps of some of the blooming beauties:

siberian irises!

cranesbill geraniums!

hens & chicks!


Okay, so Grace isn't blooming, but she's awful cute when she mows down on her stick amongst the gardens!
Being in my gardens is a balm to the soul. It's my favourite part of the day. I really should just move outside once Spring hits; pop a tent out back and away we go!
~green-thumbed caren

Yard Sale Loot

Last weekend, Astrid & I went to a local animal shelter's yard sale (ARK - Animal Rescue Krew). We scored some great loot! This is why I knew I needed to buy a hatchback vehicle. Much roomier to shove yard sale finds in!

Astrid posed amongst our loot, which includes:
  • Polaroid camera & other vintage cameras
  • pint-sized vintage classroom chair (for my neighbour's little girl)
  • vintage books
  • a Fab tray
  • vintage yellow-orange TV
  • miscellany of vintage industrial/office goodies
  • vintage copper deer & forest scene on a wood plaque

This weekend is full of yard sale goodness, but I'll be sitting it out whilst still in recovery mode of this heinous sicky bug. 
For those who are local, don't forget it's the LAWS (Lakefield Animal Welfare Society) yard sale this weekend! Also, Hope Valley Shelter has their annual yard sale on now. 
Next Saturday is the Gilmour St. gigantic multi-family (I think it's over 100 houses taking part this year) annual yard sale - wear walking shoes & carry a big thermos of coffee!

Ah. Thrifting glory! I hope to get back to health soon, hopefully sooner than later so I can get to the last day of this weekend's crazy-big yard sales. The bonus is that all of the yard sales I enjoy are also fundraisers. Makes it even sweeter. :)

I hope you find some fabulous yard sale loot, too!


suddenly the rain came

I was outside in my gardens when a few spots of rain started to fall. I enjoyed their friendly little drip drops while I did a walk about.

Then, suddenly, those little drippy drops turned into a full blown heavy duty rain fall! I love the look & feel of a good solid pouring down. I took a quick shot or two of the rain falling hard on the street & how the pansies looked somehow happier than usual.

Even though I'm home feeling sick and sorta blue, this out-of-the-blue rain fall made my heart go hippity-hop.
Do you love a sudden rain fall, too?

What I Like Wednesday: little blue bowls

I get giddy when I see pretty little bowls. I have quite a collection, mostly vintage/thrifted finds. I cannot get enough of bowls. They're quite possibly the most useful (pretty) dish of all.

I totally have my "i love this" look on my face.

These two little blue bowls are banged up vintage Fire King. I got them for .25 cents. I might plant little violas in them & put them in my garden.

My favourite bowls are a set of delightful robins egg blue vintage Fire King mixing bowls, which are perfect to whip up cake or muffin batter in. yum!

Here's one from Etsy shop OctaviaBrown:

Do you have a thing for bowls, too? Do you have a favourite bowl?