Sunday Smile: the cat and the computer

I love it when Strongpaw wants to spend time with me at the computer. She hardly fits on my lap, making it a difficult working environment, but there's something about a soft bundle of kittyness that makes work time a little more lovely. Above reveals how Strongpaw likes to take over the computer desk, blocking my views and most often laying across my right arm (and being right handed, makes typing difficult). Of course, I do not fight the cat for computer supremacy, that would just be silly.

And for those who noticed, yes, there is a Yo Yo on my desk. It's fun to Yo Yo a little now & then. Bonus? It entertains the cat immensely.
~kitty head Caren
note: this Sunday Smile is brought to you late, but a smile is better late than never, oui?



the Fallen Nest

the Downy Woodpecker

the Red Squirrel

a birds nest fell down to the ground
a winter's wind threw it down from its up above place
the sight of the nest so out of place down on the ground
brought to mind a word
-- fragility --
a moment from then to now
from quiet stalwartness
to a disquieting splat
from safety
to homelessness

an out of place wind
that's all it took

we live in such a fragile nest



trying to be happy a lot of the time

New Zealand artist Sarah McNeil's 'Trying to be happy a lot of the time' really struck a cord with me. Both because of the title & the little bits of happiness she included in them. Things like a fox, a lamb, a blue jay, a butterfly, a ferret, a snowflake. The two pictured here are the Summer & the Winter bits of happiness:

Sarah's Etsy shop is going into Vacation mode til the end of March (so I apologize for teasing you), but you can visit her blog for some inspiration and updates! Be sure to check out her portfolio website, too. It's pretty.

It's an art form in itself, trying to be happy a lot of the time.
note: I just went to buy the Summer version of the above series, and it sold in the few moments that I had taken to make this blog post! Is that irony? Or just bad timing? ;)


the one with the shoes

I love shoes.
A lot.
But I have unfashionable feet.
Shoes that are sexy & sweet just don't fit.

I'm okay with that, though. I own some cool & funky shoes, but none of these are high heeled or narrow toed. No, my shoes are made for walking, perhaps a little dancing, and more to the point - for wide feet.
I dream of having custom shoes made to fit my awkward toes (long story short: I repeatedly broke a baby toe in my teens, resulting in it being surgically re-attached; also, I have webbed toes ... don't you wish I didn't share so much?).

Etsy.com has a surprising amount of designers who make shoes. I knew about Darlingtonia's moccasins because I'm a fan of designer Katie's blog. I knew about The Generation because I've wanted to order a pair of their shoes for a year now (I know, I should get on that, huh?). The rest of the shops I refer to here are new to me and I am already a little bit in love with their shoes. I even made sure to include the men out there by sharing Wassookeag Mocassins in the photo collage above. :)

And then I found the following two pairs of boots. Swoon:

the Lois Lane boot by The Shoe Story

the Scrunch Boots by Spiro Creations

~wannabe-shoe-whore Caren


Grace and Bo Eskimo Kissing

Grace made a new friend today.
His name is Bo.
Bo is a tri-coloured Corgi.
He is a very happy puppy.
This was the only moment where Grace wasn't trying to keep Bo away from her; a rare moment of Eskimo Kissing between new friends.


Sunday Smile: Nanna the Wolf

Nanna Wolf in the Tulips

As soon as everyeskimo listed Nanna a wee winter wolf in her Etsy shop, I bought Nanna for my mom's birthday. Multiple reasons led me to this quick-response purchase: my mom is a grandmother, my mom's beloved cat who died last year was named Wolf, and my mom just started to knit again. You can see why this little wolf had to go to my mom, right?

When Nanna the Wolf was opened, where did she want to go? Hang out in the tulips and other spring bulbs blooming on my mom's kitchen table. Then a quick hop over to my pup Grace for a snuggle.

Nanna Wolf and Gracie Pup

Nanna has found a good home, and that makes me smile.
note: if you don't know what everyeskimo is, please do hop over to her blog and etsy shop. I visit both daily; I can't get enough of the eskimo!


Focus on: corduroy

This is a post dedicated to the wonder of corduroy
: click the photos to be taken to each individual Etsy item listing :


I love how the artist, Jen Ray, attaches little words of affirmation/wisdom to some of her work.
The little yellow bird who fell down on his bum needs to get up, and yes! "you can do it"!

Visit her website & her etsy shop for further little wonderments.


a little Holga love

I finally developed my first roll of Holga film. My sweet yellow-orange Holga 135BC that I won from a giveaway over at For the Easily Distracted. My sweet lomo Holga is definitely the brightest camera in my collection, and is now quite possibly my favourite. I loved how the photos turned out: the vignetting is beautiful! The double exposures that I played with didn't work out like I expected, which only makes it more fun. The above shot of Astrid wasn't even intended to be something so funky - how awesome that my Holga decided to do something so cool with it? My favourite part is how my bird painting on the wall is double exposed over the heart in Astrid's hands. Oh, Holga, you are so cool!

Remember the winter ducks post I did a while ago? I had taken some Holga shots that same day, and I love how contrasty the one above came out. Good lord, why do I use a digital camera & edit them with filters to make them look like a Holga shot naturally looks like? I didn't have to do one spec of editing on any of these shots. I am so in love.

We have a wonderful outdoor ice skating canal in my town. I've never actually skated upon it, as I'm extremely clumsy and unsure-footed ... and don't own ice skates. But, I love to watch the people skating & playing hockey. I need to go more often ... next time, I'm bringing hot chocolate.

I even got a self portrait in with the Holga! This is the first shot I took with it. I find self portraits to be quite difficult, which is why I love my Canon digital - it has a swivel LCD screen so I can actually see myself when I shoot. I was pretty pleased with how this shot came out, though, because of the shadow & the contrast.

Astrid scored this awesome vintage wool aqua jacket recently - we both loved the perfect blue & the amazing retro style, but didn't notice the polar bear on the back until after! We both swooned. Sweetest jacket, ever! And the Holga really captured the colour ... once again, love the contrast & skin tones this lil plastic camera brings out!

I've been a film photographer longer than I have been digital, and my newfound love of lomography has helped my Creative Self become a louder voice. Polaroid, Diana, Holga and my dear old Pentax ME SLR are my go-to cameras ... I just don't go to them as oft as I want to. I think I'll stock up on some expired film and play a little more. Possibly get some accessories for them, too.

So, you will see me with my happy yellow Holga quite often!
I have these shots, as well as a few others from my Holga, on my newly-Pro Flickr account


a slow loris being tickled

Just watch it. Laugh. Be mesmerized by the Cute.


Thank you Zoe for turning my attention to the Slow Loris.
This is thanks to a twitter conversation about zoos. I had to look up what a Slow Loris was, and this video smacked me in the head.

***updated with this post I just did on Tumblr about the reality of what's happened to this innocent wild creature, thanks to how cute they are (no fault of theirs, they were born that way).
~cute overloaded Caren


a vintage sunset

The sunset was glorious last night. I ran outside & snapped a quick shot & then did a series of photoshop filters to the photo to create this vintage feel. I should have thought to take out one of my lomo cameras to photograph the sight, but as usual, instant gratification took over.

That sunset was a precursor to a beautiful sunshiney day today. I woke up, went outside with my dog and heard chickadees - saw my red squirrel flying about - watched nuthatches flit up & down a tree. I love when a sunset dials in a sunrise of equal beauty.



I had a good excuse to bake. I had yumbots to fill! Thanks to a dear old pal, I am now the proud owner of 4 cute-as-can-be robot cupcake molds.
"YumBots are happy to serve mankind. Just fill their cubic heads with cake batter and set your oven to “stun.” In a few nanomoments you’ll have an entire squad of scifi cupcakes. Made of high-tech silicone and built to last, each ‘Bot has a rotating head for extra android action. Four ‘Bots in four assorted colors in each appealing display box. Klaatu barada nikto!"
I wish I had a shot of these 4 little guys in the oven ... I didn't realize that I should have baked them without their feet. They all toppled over near the end of their baking time, heads removed from bodies. Very horror movie style. Out they came, headless and upside down. Their cake brains stuck to the pan. So, of course, I had to make the icing look like brains ... 'cause these are Zombie Robot Cupcakes!!

Except these zombies, I get to eat!!

Update! Here's a robot cupcake being eaten ... went straight for the BRAINS! nom nom!
{Happy Valentine's Day}

~Caren, who is eating cake today
p.s. I used the Devil Food Cake recipe from New Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook (1981, 1985 5th printing version). YUM!!!


Sunday Smile: a poor man's latte

I am a big fan of the Poor Man's Latte. I don't have a lot of disposable income & I like lattes, so the obvious thing to do is make my own. Hence, the 'poor man's latte'. This is how I do it:

I use my sweet little orange vintage Turkish pot to heat up my milk/cream combo
(I like to add a titch of cream to make the froth that much more ... frothy)

Close up shot of my Turkish pot... isn't she sexy?

Sexier still is coffee beans. Like, woah.

I put honey in my milk.

Then I get frothy with it.


In goes the freshly brewed coffee.

Then, to top it all off, I put a squiggle of honey on top.

This is me at 7:00am this morning; barely alive but enjoying my frothy treat.

No idea why I was awake so early this morning, on a Sunday no less! I like to think of Sunday as the day of rest. But, I hardly slept a wink the previous night so decided to just get up & at 'em! Cleaned my kitchen prior to making a pot of coffee. Did some deep thinking after I drank some coffee.
Now I am back in bed because my dog Grace begged me to. She is currently curled up in her nest, which is under the covers and between my crossed legs. Silly pup, she doesn't realize that it's morning ... maybe I should make a doggy latte?
It's enough to make a girl smile.
~caffeinated Caren


Polka dots, a crinoline & a monkey...

My goddaughter Astrid & I spent a day together. We put polka dot dresses on, along with a crinoline, and celebrated our two birthdays (which are only a couple of weeks apart) with a girly photoshoot! And let the shenanigans begin:

Astrid in her new polka dot dress & my crinoline!

Polaroid taken by Astrid of me wearing my polka dot dress & crinoline.

Grace, all tuckered out in the crinoline.

I realize that both pictures of Astrid & I above have no heads ... that was unintentional. I think Gracie's head more than makes up for our lacking. Um, there's another non-head shot below but I think the last photo once again makes up for it:

I kinda love this shot, in all its erroneous ways. :)

monkey love at its cutest!

It's kinda Valentine-themed, huh? I think we meant to take photos of ourselves holding the heart, but then the crinoline got in the way. And the monkey.
~crinoline Caren


the 1963 German magazine

I picked up a couple of these '60s German magazines, entitled Libelle, last year. They were at a church sale, and the 'seller' told me to just take them. I was like, okay, I like free things! So, I ogled them in the car (don't worry, I was a passenger) and was quite gleeful about some of the articles & advertisements. I don't read/speak German, so whatever they're trying to say is lost on me. The pretty pictures more than make up for my lack of German, though.
note: I took German in high school, which got me a trip to Europe when I was around 15/16 years old, but beyond allowing me my first experience getting drunk (beer in Germany, wine in Switzerland), the language didn't stick.

The first photo I saw was the one pictured above. Look at all that vintage luggage!
And then there was a centrefold ... just look at all those smiley happy models all dressed up in the fashions of the day (the striped nighties are my favourite):

This made me giggle - the somewhat childlike crayon drawing of Jackie Kennedy. There were other female celebrities of the time in this article, with the same crayon-look drawings representing them. But the Jackie O one is the best.
Below are two fabulous underwear advertisements. One for women, an awesome illustrated line up of lingerie; & one for men (and boys) in their tighty whities:

Smarties! What a happy-creepy ad!

I enjoy perusing old magazines; to get a feel for the time. My only problem is I'm allergic to their old-musty-paper smell. It's worth a stuffed up sinuses, though, to take a peek at another era.


breakfast served with love

I sometimes feel the urge to prettify a meal.
Yesterday morning for breakfast, I craved cream of wheat.
It's a warming food; simple & old fashioned.
A perfect meal to go with all my favourite vintage dinnerware!

MmmMmm... brown sugar makes this breakfast complete!
And then Strongpaw the Cat smelled the sweet bowl of goodness.
She hopped up, without hesitation, and stuck her nose into my breakfast bowl!

The Cat actually got a few licks in, too, whilst I had to get up to get my coffee.
Lesson learned: never leave a bowl full of milky goodness unattended with a feline around.