Sunday Smile: Strongpaw's first steps


This is for the kitty lovers out there, who swoon over baby kittens.
This is my Strongpaw, over 8 years ago, when she first learned to walk. It's a short, but oh so very sweet little video - which I just discovered on some old files.
I've been Strongpaw's kitty mama since she was 3 days old, so I got to witness her learning how to eat, how to walk, how to interact, etc. Such sweet baby kitten memories!


nature : my muse

felt a little off the past while
so i put on my plaid boots & magenta coat
and took off into nature
just me and my camera(s)

while i was musing over evergreens
a big black nose pushed into my side
when i turned around i saw this big old dog
happily snuffling me as i crouched in the snow

the trunk of a tree
can tell stories if you listen
so i stopped by and had a little chat
with a wonderfully moss-covered trunk

i have missed this time with nature
i somehow forgot its energy boost for my spirit
i got too lost inside myself
to remember

i found a spot in the snow
that was untouched by other creatures
and firmly planted my feet in its deep cold warmth
reattaching myself to the ground, to myself

sometimes i wish i lived somewhere that had vast amounts of nature surrounding it, without all the houses and noise in its mix. i used to live in such a place, where the chipmunks & chickadees knew me by name (okay, so i named them, not the other way around). but i love my little street in east city, where nature is but a hop skip and a jump away.
~lowercase caren



This is the Charley Harper an Illustrated Life by Todd Oldham book I was given for my birthday. I adore Charley's art, his artistic journey, and his personal story. I love that his art is steeped in nature, that he likes painting fish just as much (if not more) than painting a fox. It's his birds that first drew me to him, though. There's a delightful simplicity to his art that speaks to me. An energy is emitted by his bold use of colour, and strokes of black ink.

It's impossible for me to share all the images I adore from the book - instead, I just took a few close up shots of some pages to present to you. Enjoy!

I created a Pinterest board featuring Charley, too. I keep adding anything that reminds me of his work, or has his work on it. Just added a quilt featuring his birds & a pair of fox mugs to the board! I'm having fun with Pinterest... not utilizing it to its fullest yet, though. It's very much like treasury-building on Etsy!
~Charleyfied Caren

Birthday Giveaway Winner!

Hot little number 11 is what Random.org pulled out of the virtual bag!
Which would have meant The Vintage Cabin won, but she took herself out of the running (silly girl!), but that leaves Katie in the #11 spot - so, Katie, say thank you to Becke!

Katie, all I need from you is an address - you can email it to me here: caren@teachickadees.com
I will get your little goody bag out to you licketysplit!
I am excited to be shipping this happy bundle to Taiwan!

Thanks to all who entered, and with all those comments about favourite cakes ... I kind of feel like having another one (like one birthday cake is ever enough!).
~cakeful Caren


She likes to curl up with her heater.

Gracie loves my portable heater.
It's like having a second puppydog to curl up with.
All she needs is a cushion to lie upon & that grinning hot box to keep her happy!
I found her laying down in front of the heater the other day, but on the naked carpet.
I thought that wasn't so comfy looking, so popped a pillow onto the ground for her.
That pillow, btw, was one my grandma made a very long time ago. Grace, as a puppy, had dug into that pillow & pulled apart sections of it. It's been sitting in my 'to fix' pile ever since.
Princess Grace was pretty stoked about getting that pillow back!

I hope you're finding ways to keep warm these days! ... unless you live in a part of the world where it isn't winter. Then I might be kind of jealous of you right now.
~warm thoughts Caren

Note: Last day to enter my little Birthday Giveaway!! Winner announced tomorrow! :)


The Vintage Apartment is Open

After a month-long hiatus, The Vintage Apartment is once again open!
I had fun creating a new header/look for the shop using an awesome vintage Rolodex I thrifted a while ago and a freshly thrifted Remington typewriter.
I have learned I need new typewriter ribbons. The type was so light that I had to recreate the address card in Photoshop & use a typewriter-like font to finish my new header:

I have so much new stock to photograph! Exclamation point!
Which I will be doing over the next couple of weeks. Keep a look out for fresh vintage to hit the shelves!
~Etsy girl Caren


birthday flowers makes a girl smile

I received a lovely gathering of spring-like flowers yesterday (a birthday gift), a day when this girl really needed a pick-me-up.
The timing was so astoundingly perfect that I called my dear friend Leigh right away and told her just how wonderful she was! I had just had breakfast with her earlier that same day, and realized during our outing that I was too sick to be out. I got home just in time to be extremely ill (I won't go into details) and have been in bed ever since. I've been quite sick since last Thursday, making my birthday weekend somewhat of a damper. So, when flowers arrived around 6pm last night, I was beyond happy to have a little piece of beauty to look upon from my bedside. Leigh didn't know I was sick, so I think she's some sort of angel in disguise.

There's something about receiving flowers, out of the blue, that really does brighten ones day. I keep meaning to be the girl who sends flowers to people, but I rarely actually do. It's such a simple thing to do, and you know there'll be a smile awaiting them on the receiving side. I need to leave notes for myself, reminding me to be the girl who sends flowers.
Have you received flowers from someone at just the right time, to brighten your day?


Sunday Smile: sprinkles on top!

A piece of birthday cake
Sat atop a pretty plate
The sprinkles were so many
They spilled over oh so prettily
A candle waited with bright anticipation
To answer her wishes full of imagination
But in the end all she really did need
Was a fork and a tooth full of sweet

And oh, did I ever have a tooth full of sweet!
And her mouth is full of smiles.
~sweet-toothed Caren, who supposedly is fond of making up silly rhymes
p.s. the cake's backdrop is a most wonderful birthday gift; Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life


a Birthday Giveaway!

It's my birthday, so I can do whatever I want!
What I want to do is offer a giveaway full of a few of my favourite little things!
These are sweet little items that I have stored, like the squirrel that I am, waiting to find their uses.
I think their purpose is to be given a new home, for someone new to enjoy them! 
  1. a vintage lucite sunflower napkin holder
  2. a vintage HOT cast iron trivet (perfect for your cup of tea!)
  3. a vintage trinket box, with a woven peacock design
  4. a pair of earrings (sadly, my ears are not pierced) made out of vintage lucite beads
  5. a Be My Friend Valentine photo (made by me!)

above: a Me collage! my passport photo in 1978, a favourite birthday card from my grandma in 1981, the typical awkward teen birthday shot (I think I was 18 - I shouldn't have been this awkward), & another kittycat. I love kittycats.

If you'd like to win the sweet little vintage-inspired Birthday Giveaway, all you have to do is this:
  1. be a follower of Tea & Chickadees
  2. leave a comment, letting me know what your favourite type of cake is ('cause it's all about cake!).
It's that simple. And this is open Internationally!
Contest ends January 27th, with a winner announced January 28th.

Keep on enjoying the little things!
~Birthday Girl Caren


Focus on: an Obsessed zine!

I am abundantly tickled pink today, as my Love to Print Presents OBSESSION zine arrived!!
I knew I had to have this precious art zine as soon as I saw it on Gemma Correll's Etsy shop.
Not only is there a 2 page cat obsession piece by Gemma herself (swoon!), but there is also drawings (obsessions) by:

 ignore my somewhat smug-tight-lipped facial expression:

I do so love all of the art in this little zine of drawings. There's a page dedicated to cute squid, another to bike riding, yet another to veggies!
~obsessed Caren


Impossible Cameras

I have a shelf full of vintage cameras & The Impossible Project film.
This is a very happy shelf to sit upon:
Full of colour & stories told (and stories yet to be told).
I have this shelf hanging right by my computer station.
I can pause and look up, smile, and be inspired.

The newest addition to this shelf is not a camera at all,
Instead its a package of The Impossible Project pins!
They have no purpose other than to make me smile
(and perhaps to tout my Impossible pride).


Most of the cameras here were from my own/parents past. A couple were thrifted. The orange-yellow Holga was won from For the Easily Distracted. The rainbow Polaroid & Spectra are from Mother Midnight.
My other cameras like to hide, they shy away from being photographed (more Polaroids, a Fujifilm Instax & my digital S5iS Canon).
~impossible Caren


I fell into a Rabbit Hole?

It has been a week since I last tweeted. For those who know me on Twitter, you realize this is odd behaviour. The last time I tweeted was on January 11th, 2011 (1.11.11!!).
"Off to have some tea & a cupcake..." she tweeted mysteriously, then disappeared into the Otherworld.

It should be noted that I did indeed steep some tea & eat a cupcake post-tweet, that day.
And then I fell into the Rabbit Hole.
Where I was miniaturized & had lengthy awkward chats with a googly eyed cat.
Or so I would have you believe.
a little doodle i did

In actuality, I fell into some serious re-patterning of my Life; that of Focus with a side dish of Getting Things Done. To accomplish all that I needed to get done, I excused myself from the internet (except for some minor blog & etsy stalking).

Have you ever felt like you were being swallowed by Time?
That's how I've been feeling. 
Time keeps eating bits of me away. 
It'll be my birthday on the 22nd of January. 
I want to bring a fresh perspective and lots of verve to this year: and no fear.

So, this is what I've been doing these days:, making Changes (some small, some big). The main focus right now is on my home (mainly my studio), as its where I spend most of my time - living & working. I am nearing completion, and it feels so good to know that soon, my home will be a source of inspiration ... and perhaps the host of little tea parties ('cause who doesn't like a tea party?).

{etsy.com sources: tabidesigns | helendardik | brightwallvintage}

There is a lot of work that still needs to be done, in the Big Picture, but to know that I can accomplish this one little step means I'm closer to dancing the two-step with the rest of my life.
p.s. The Vintage Apartment will be re-opening by week's end! (it's about time, huh?)