1000 hearts, 1 saucy giveaway

I feel like celebrating!
The Vintage Apartment just reached 1000 shop hearts.
This makes me feel kinda loved.
So, I want to share that love with you!
That means it's Giveaway time again at Tea & Chickadees!!

I've chosen the item in my shop with the most hearts to be given away to one lucky winner!

And the item is...

For your chance to win, just leave a comment.
Yup, it's that simple.

I'd love it if you were also a Tea & Chickadees follower, but that's not a rule. Just a soft nudge. ;)
Feel free to tweet this giveaway, too. Hey, I won't stop you! I'm @buttercupcaren in twitterland.

Good luck! You have until Wednesday December 8th!
Contest open internationally.

proof that somebody loves me.

Sunday Smile: Furry Faces

Sandra Dieckmann is a wondrous illustrator of all things animal (well, she does more than just animals but I'm just a sucker for the critters).  I've been a fan of her artwork, via her Etsy shop, for a while now. As soon as I saw the Furry Faces Zine, I snapped a copy up straight away. When it came in the mail, I squealed a little upon opening the wonderfully folded up little zine. The photos above say it all; fun, colour & furry faces!! All in a neat little package. swoon!

Here's a few places you can find Sandra: (I recommend you visit them all!)

~furry face Caren


Saturday is for... the first snow

oh how I love the first snow of winter!
it's full of fresh possibilities,
and sparkles so delightfully.
waking up to the first snowfall is a magical thing,
everything crisp and clean
covered in a sheet of white.

I took Grace out for a run in the snow;
oh, and she ran and ran and ran!
we saw a group of cross country skiers, too.
i love the trails they make in the snow.
i always mean to x-country ski again...
maybe this winter i will?

I got to wear my favourite boots this first day of snow,
which made me happy, indeed!
now I'm home, and it's time for warmth & tea.

one more favourite thing on a first snowfall day,
is the post-flurry snuggle-time!
that's how you will find me and Gracie right now.
~snowfully yours, Caren


TVA: Black Friday Festivities!

The Vintage Apartment is taking part of the Black Friday festivities this weekend, starting at 12:00am EST Friday the 26th and ending 11:59pm Monday the 29th. 20% Off Anything in the shop!

Customers can use the Coupon Code I created that will automatically take the 20% off your purchase during checkout! Yay to coupons!

I got so into having this sale, that I even created a new banner & avatar for the sale period. I love the photo I took of Astrid modeling that '80s velvet dress that I used it along with my vintage kittycat.

Monday the 29th is known as Cyber Monday ... I decided to have my sale last until the end of that day, because it seemed apropos. Having an Etsy shop means I am out there in Cyberville - might as well celebrate a day dedicated to it!

~cyberkitty Caren

an ode to 1am Pancakes

At midnight, I wanted pancakes. I tweeted about this fact, and had a seriously awesome twitter chat about the joys of pancakes - pancakes with ice cream, pancakes with bacon IN them, waffles and sherbet, and eventually it led to apple pie with cheese. This, my friends, is what makes Twitter ever so awesome.

My midnight pang for pancakes turned into the reality of 1am pancakes. Well, 1:18am to be exact.
Yes, I did photograph my pancake making to prove I really did have them. I intentionally included the stove's clock. Yup. I'm *that* kinda girl.

oh, they were SO good.

My pancake recipe - which I don't actually have a recipe for, I do it by rote.
For a full recipe:
1 1/4 cups of flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
dash of salt
1 cup milk
slurp of vegetable oil
splash of vanilla
1 egg

Mix it all up & dole out onto pre-heated pan (I usually have my stovetop burner set at medium or a titch higher). Wait til you see the edges start to bubble & flip. Only takes a little bit longer for them to be done (don't overcook - they end up rubbery if you do).

~pancakefully, Caren


Focus on: lucille's kitchen

Focus on: Lucille's Kitchen

{from top left: French Recipes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6}

I adore Lucille's Kitchen, the Etsy artist's shop with a Parisian touch. The artist lives in Paris, mostly in her kitchen. Which is why her delightful paintings and prints reflect food & botanicals. I chose to focus on her series of French Recipe collection - for obvious reasons. French + Baking = bliss!

~Parisian-wannabe Caren


Sunday Smile: mother daughter

When I did a photoshoot with my goddaughter Astrid the other day, her mom (my dearest friend) Michele did a little modeling, too. The vintage pink party dress was too big for Astrid, so Michele donned it for me to photograph. I did a few fun shots of mother & daughter together, and this is my favourite. Both wearing vintage dresses, both absolutely adorable, both much loved.

P.S. Astrid is having a darling giveaway over at her blog, a girl named astrid! Go and check it out, it's the sweetest gathering of goodies!


photo: freedom is found

a moment of breath
before wings are unfurled

freedom is found

i love watching the family of crows on the dead tree across the street.
i never tire of looking at them through a lens of a camera.
this particular shot inspired me greatly. with the one crow feeding a young.
and the other crow in flight, but only its wing can be seen.
poetry in motion.


TVA: 'handrawn facsimile'

from left: Dialite alarm clock, antique tin globe, fisher price record player, little dutch mugs

So, I did a post a bit ago about how I do "handrawn facsimile" sketches to send to each of my buyers, depicting the item(s) they bought. I do it for my own enjoyment, but also hope that the receiver finds them equally enjoyable. I thought I'd continue sharing my little sketches with you ... just 'cause. :)

I use my trusty Staedtler triplus fineliners to make my drawings. Not having a printer has ended up being the best thing for my creative spark!
~sparky Caren
p.s. the title refers to 'TVA', acronym for The Vintage Apartment (I'm lazy like that)


Vintage Fashion Sneak Peak!

My goddaughter Astrid and I spent the afternoon together, photoshooting our little hearts out! I brought the majority of my vintage clothing & accessories to do a serious model shoot with Astrid. We had a blast! Seeing these clothes on a real live person made me fall in love with each and every piece. It is going to be hard to let them all go ... but that was the whole point of this activity!

So, this is your sneak peek at the dresses, coats and shoes that will be making an appearance at The Vintage Apartment! In the photo above, there's a blue jacket with deer appliqué, a delicious plaid cape, an '80s black velvet wiggle dress, a '70s faux wrap dress, and shiny cream leather shoes.  And that's only half of what was modeled & photographed!
Behind the scenes: Max (big) and Grace (little) wanted to model, too!

I love that Astrid likes to model, I can't imagine anyone else wearing my (well, the shop's) clothes!
And, personally, I think Max should look into some modeling contracts. That boy can smile pretty!
~vintagious Caren


kitten in a tree

So, the other day I saw a cat in a tree. Not unusual, but also not an every day occurance. It took me a moment to realize it was my neighbour Desiree's cat, Kitten. Kitten looked a tad bit freaked out, as if she didn't know how she got up there nonetheless how to get down. So, I dashed outside to have a chat with her (after grabbing my camera!).

She was irked that I wanted to chat with her; it was obvious she wanted to be left alone to figure things out. But, I couldn't stop talking to her about her adventure - or taking photos of her trying to figure out her way down! The top photo is of her finally getting bored (of me or the tree?) and just about to jump down.

Silly Kitten.


I Really Want a Shabby Apple Dress

Shabby Apple is the place to be for any fashion savvy lass. 
I love their vintage-inspired styles.
The fact that they have dress sizing for us curvy girls is a big plus!
These are only 3 of the dresses I adore.
I want to wear L'Artiste in Paris.
El Capitan would take me to the Australian Opera House.
And Madison Ave was meant for New York City.
I love that these dresses make me dream of travel!



What's in The Vintage Apartment?

Here's the start of a new feature on tea & chickadees: What's in The Vintage Apartment?
I decided to start featuring items in my Etsy shop, something I rarely do around here.
I thought it would be fun to put together 4 items in some sort of a theme to showcase.
To kick of this new blog series, I thought I'd focus on some Cute & Kitschy stuff... 

clockwise from left:

Here's to self-promotion!
Hope you enjoy this peek at my little corner of Etsy.
~cute & kitschy Caren

Sunday Smile: sunny puppy

Gracie, my puppydog, was sunning in the window yesterday. 
She sat atop a cushy chair and let the sun shine in on her for a good long while. 
Gracie is such a kittycat.

this shot creeped me out a little, because you can see my hands holding the camera in her eye.

We can all learn from our dogs & cats. On a sunny day, stop everything and find a warm spot to curl up in.
p.s. these photos made me realize I need to cut my dog's nails.


Saturday is for... the birds

This majestic pair of mated birds (the male with wings spread wide, the female sitting & squawking) have been hanging out on my neighbourhood's canal. Only the one pair, though. I loved walking down to the bridge and watch them. Just, watch them. I found them quite exotic, next to our usual suspects of seagulls and Mallard ducks. I have no idea what species they are, but that's okay. It doesn't make them any less beautiful.
~Caren, the bird watcher


focus on: David Downton

Modern fashion illustrator David Downton

David has done numerous portraits of model Carmen Dell'Orefice

Book: Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton

I love fashion illustration. It's one of the reasons I adore the fashions from bygone eras, because it wasn't photographs that depicted the magical dresses, it was art. There's something more freeing, visually, in seeing a dress or a suit or a hat in art form, rather than in a photograph. You can use your imagination that much more. I'm not sure if David Downton is as good as his predecessors, but I love that somebody's bringing fashion illustration back into the forefront.

I know illustration won't be replacing live models and actresses, but it sure does make for a refreshing change of visual pace, doesn't it? Let's hope more magazines bring back the illustrated covers! I LOVE the one David did of Cate Blanchett for Vogue (as seen above).


the little red squirrel

the little red squirrel
is a busy little squirrel
he dashes to and fro
he leaps from branch to branch
he chases his competition away
all the while being cute cute cute
he entertains me every day
thank you little red squirrel
for being you

~squirrelly Caren


Saturday is for... little things

Oh, how I love my tiny little purple TV set!
It arrived licketysplit from the little factory of the little red door.
It came with giant vintage plastic letters spelling TV.
My little kittens came out to play with the little TV.
Oh, they had such fun in the playground of the little red door!

Yes, it really is that cute.

Visit the little red door to get your own cute on!
"small things. huge awesome" is the shop's tagline, and it's so true.
~little Caren


The Colours of Autumn

Autumn is coming to a close.
It's always a sad moment in time when the colours fade, 
and the cold gets a little bit more bitter. 
I went out the other day and captured the remaining colours of autumn, 
before they faded into the white of winter. 
It was a crisp, perfect fall day, and I reveled in it!
p.s. all of these photos were taken from my front garden. I didn't have to travel far!


Inspired by: the women of Mad Men

The women of Mad Men: style
Betty, Joan & Peggy by Flapper Doodle

 Betty, Joan & Peggy

Betty Draper
Joan Holloway

I watch episodes of the 1960s television drama Mad Men just for the fashion and decor. Oh, the fashion! The smoking & the drinking! The 1960s home decor! Swoon!

So, this is my style watch on the women of Mad Men. Betty, in her perfect dresses & prim sweaters. Joan in her curve-hugging wiggle dresses & her red red hair. Peggy in her sweet dresses & no-nonsense business attire. I scoured Etsy.com for some vintage outfits that I could see our Mad Women wearing on the show.

Also, I want that black & white checker dress Peggy's wearing, the rust wiggle dress Joan is wearing & the teal one inspired by her. I suppose that means I don't have any Betty in me, huh? That's okay, I don't smoke anyways.