3/29/11

Tea and Kittens? Yes, Please!


Randomly came across this site, Tea and Kittens, a while ago. I forgot about it (my memory sucks!). Then I Have Cat tweeted about it the other day, which brought me to a blog called Catsparella  & this post. And here I am sharing this sweet + silly little find with you. And that, mes ami, is how the world wide web works! ;)

Kittens.
Tea.
Together.
It's a combination made in heaven!

Basically, the site exists to bring a smile to bored and/or stressed office workers.
I am not an office worker, but I found pushing the Try Again button, and subsequently viewing a different tea/cat combination quite entertaining ... not sure if I should be publicly admitting that, but there you have it. I like to push buttons & watch images magically change.

The above image was my favourite combo. Shiny dot mug with vintage goodies in behind PLUS a trio of furry little kittens? Yes, please!
I like tea & kittens,
Caren

3/27/11

Sunday Smile: sunshine & spring


what am I looking at so crazy-eyed?
maybe I thought I saw a badly drawn dancing cupcake?

tree buds of spring
I love seeing the first buds starting to pop out in Spring!

a neglected nest
an abandoned winter nest, waiting for a new occupant.

grace is happy it's sunny, too!
Gracie running free (and amok!) on a sunshiney spring day.

Things that made me smile this day:
Sunshine
Spring thoughts
Happy puppydogs
Watching nature unfold
Thoughts of dancing cupcakes (badly drawn digital ones or otherwise)!

me & my Orla latte
sleepily sipping on a big Orla mug full of latte made me smile, too!
note: no nose ring! I miss it, but am thinking of staying pierced-free.
I enjoy blowing my nose without anything in my way.

I hope a smile reaches you today, too. :)
Caren

3/25/11

the Great Zine Giveaway!


A while ago, the bright & shiny My Girl Thursday generously gave me a stack of zines. I picked up a brown paper bag spilling over in zines. There were so many that my brain sputtered at the thought of eyeballing all those pretty little zines! I ended up heading to a cafe directly after picking up the bag, and promptly emptied it out on a table top (far away from my steaming cup of latte goodness!). It was a smorgasborg of zineness!

After spending a lot of time pouring over these zines, I thought I'd do what Thursday did for me, and give away a stack of zines. So, here I am, hosting 'the Great Zine Giveaway!'.


Up for grabs are 14 lovely zines, which includes:
  1. food stamps foodie #1 by Milkyboots
  2. Please Keep Sharing by Nathan Carter
  3. Will You Marry Me by Nathan Carter
  4. The characters of Littleclouds by Littleclouds
  5. I (heart) Poor Spelling & Bad Grammar by Amanda
  6. Ker-bloom! 85 by Artnoose
  7. Zombies by ... I have no idea!
  8. Wants (Is that so much to ask for?) by Skylaar Amann
  9. Sho Ga Nai by Heather Bryant
  10. Bird Wizards No. 2 by Teeny Robots
  11. Loneliness: a coloring book by daupo
  12. South Paw: More Than Likely by Kristilyn
  13. Liquorice Five by NJ Streeten and Sally Plowman
  14. EZ Grocery & Video by Christopher Postill & Colleen McKeown

note: the zines listed above with no links to artists is because no link was listed in their zines.


How to Enter 'the Great Zine Giveaway':
  1. first, please be a follower of my blog, Tea & Chickadees
  2. leave a comment, letting me know who you have a crush on (could be real or imaginary) and an email address so I can contact you if you win.
This giveaway is open to International readers!
The giveaway ends April 8th, 2011!
That's it. And yes, this is just a ruse to find out who you are crushing on (just kidding).
Oh, and please do tweet or otherwise spread the news about this giveaway? 
That would be awful nice of you. :)

{page from EZ Grocery & Video; love the entire scene depicted here}

There will be one winner announced on April 9th, 2011.
There may be some extras put into the winning bundle. I'm just sayin'.
Good luck!
~Caren

3/24/11

Focus on: Pietari Posti's GIANTS!

I am a fan of Pietari Posti's art.
I dig the modern graphic retro vibe he creates.
He uses neon bright colours, which I'm cool with.
I'm a little in love with his GIANTS! series, and here's why:





I also really need to get my hands on a copy of NaïveModernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design. The title says it all: modernism, folklore, contemporary, graphic design. Yup, sign me up! Pietari did the cover of Naïve & is featured inside. Some of my other faves are inside, too, like Helen Dardik, Tes One, Doublenaut, Darling Clementine, Matte Stephens, Tad Carpenter, Jenn Ski and so many others. 
Pietari Posti is a Finnish artist living in Spain. That in its own right sounds kind of awesome, doesn't it? I found a great write up about him here (out of date in 2006, but still informational). I've been meaning to do a Posti post for a while, but better late than never right?

graphically charged,
Caren
note: all images are from pposti.com

3/23/11

Happiness is: Packages full of Care

A little bit ago, I blogged about my new best friend - in the form of a coffee maker - that stylish caffeinator, the Chemex. In that post, I mentioned my friend Tammy from Punk Rawk Purl. Well, Tammy & I were tweeting last week about the Chemex filters, and she mentioned the bleached ones might make better tasting coffee than the unbleached. I have the unbleached. We decided to send each other a few of our filters, to test out the theory of bleached VS unbleached. Of course, we couldn't just send one another filters now could we? You can visit Tammy's post to see the Cat Coffee Chemex themed package I sent her.

But this is about Tammy's package to me. Note: I did not take a picture of the filters because I was so enthralled with all of the pretty little things that came along with them! Let me just say, I was WOWed:

Happiness is getting a parcel full of handmade supercuteness!! There was a trademark owl card (of which I admired from afar!), a beautiful bird art piece, a sweet little note, & a pack of Catwoman cards!
Inside that little owl envelope was a sweet handwritten note that made me smile ever so largely.

I immediately framed the original Punk Rawl Purl bird art & put it on my shelf of birds!
Yes, I do have a shelf of birds. It's actually an entire wall dedicated to birds. I like birds.

Somehow Tammy knew I would dig these Catwoman cards. She snuck them in because she saw me tweet about how I'm Batgirl (yup, the secret is out!). I'm a comic book collector, so these cards were purrfect!

this is the envelope all these goodies came in - Hello Kitty Fragile tape? 
Hello happiness!

It's a real pick-me-up, to find a package full of sweet, thoughtful goodies in your mailbox. I'm not sure there's much else that's sweeter. I cannot wait to test out the bleached filter in my Chemex ... I really do love making coffee the Chemex way. It's not just about the end result, it's in the process that the beauty is found (which, might I add, is a statement not just about coffee, but about Life as well).
xox
Caren

3/21/11

First Day of Spring?

First Day of Spring?

This dapper little red breasted harbinger of Spring sat fluffed up on a very chilly First Day of Spring morning!
Ironic, isn't it?

First Day of Spring?

Puppydog Grace left her imprint all along the deck.
Yesterday, the deck was sun dried & cleared of anything resembling winter.
First Day of Spring happens, and BOOM! Snow.
Still, those are awful cute little paw prints to look at.

First Day of Spring?

The Robin took off just a second after I took this photo.
He realized his bum was getting frozen to the fence.

And that, my chickadees, is what the First Day of Spring looks like here in my little town in Ontario.
I don't mind it, though. I like that Mother Nature has a sense of humour. She's my kinda gal.
xox
Caren

3/20/11

Sunday Smile: sunny pets & bird songs

Sunday peek-a-boo StrongPaw

Sunday sunny Grace

Sunday blue sky Geese

This is my Sunday morning:
Sunshine.
Blue skies.
Kittycats peeking outside (but getting scared by sounds & hopping back inside licketysplit).
Puppydogs soaking in the sun and looking like a shiny copper penny.
Canadian Geese honking by up above.

could not get a good shot of Mr. Cardinal, but there he is over yonder!

What started it all was a bright cherry red Mr. Cardinal singing overhead.
Mrs. Cardinal joined in on a lovely morning serenade.
A Blue Jay piped in, screeching over the sweet song of the Cardinals.
Chickadees peeped in & out of the melody.

Nature makes the most beautiful music.
This is a Sunday morning that made me smile deep inside.
xox
Caren

3/17/11

bling brooch, gingham apron & owls, oh my!

the bling-bling bird!

A dear friend, Karen, popped by today with a belated birthday gift full of awesomeness!
note: my birthday is in January, so she's been holding onto these goodies for quite a while!
She wrapped it up in a green gingham apron (I love gifts wrapped in a gift!) that is just so perfect, with cross stitched scenes of trees and happiness.

Inside the apron were three little birds (Karen knows me so well!):
  • first popped out the blingiest of all bling-bling brooches - a preening parrot whose shine is blinding! she was right, I do need a little bling in my life right now. It was so shiny in the photo above, hope you can see it okay!
  • next came the sweetest little smooth black owl with bright yellow eyes, all the way from Edmonton!
  • and lastly, the prettiest soapstone owl with big black eyes. she will go beautifully with my other little soapstone owl; a perfect pair!
Two little owls...

I swooned. I cooed. I was touched.

the gingham apron
the apron will be used this weekend, when I bake ... something! (cake? cookies? both?)

Owls sitting pretty
look at how cute these little guys look together!

Grace hogging the shot.
and, as per usual, Gracie had to get in on the action;
her tongue was probably up my nose in this shot.

This was such a lovely little bundle of happies. I hadn't seen Karen in so long, and the fact she also brought me gifties? Hello! I'll make sure to save some cake/cookies for her. :)
xox
Caren

3/16/11

Helping Japan, One Etsy Item at a Time.

This is a lovely way to raise funds for various Japan earthquake & tsunami relief organizations: via purchasing pretty things from Etsy.com. I am always amazed at the generousity of Etsians during times of need. The same thing happened when Haiti was hit hard. There are so many more items and shops offering percentages of sales to relief funds on Etsy - search for 'japan relief' to find out what's out there.

drenculture is donating 100% of their non-custom prints to Save the Children

Amanda Aktins is donating 100% of these 2 gorgeous prints to Red Cross

Krize is donating 100% of this print to American Red Cross/Helping Japan

Love For Japan is an Etsy shop created for the sole purpose to raise funds for Japan relief. 100% of sales goes to Red Cross. You'll find handmade and vintage goods here from a variety of Etsians.

Hey Day Handmade created a couple of special listings, like the one above, where 100% of the sales goes to Global Giving Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief.

Honey Pie Headbands is donating 100% of this red hair bow, as well as other red items, to Red Cross.

Polkadot Magpie has 100% proceeds from her Hand prints to go to Red Cross relief.

Scrumptulicious is offering 100% proceeds of their sweet almond cookies to Japan Relief


I have donated moneys to a group of animal rescue organizations, as they really need the extra help right now. Yasmine, of my happyplace blog Cats VS Humans, tweeted this link last night which was a great education on the needs of animals during the tragedy that hit Japan. I added the Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support ChipIn widget to my blog (upper right section), in case others would like to give a little money towards their efforts.
All life is important.
Caren

good morning, chickadee!

Chickadee & the Sumac - side view

Chickadee & the Sumac - back view

there he was, my little chickadee
sitting atop the deep red tufts of the sumac tree
having a morning treat in the mist of the rain
a grey-white backdrop for this joyful moment in time
oh, what a lovely way to start the day!

I hope you have little joys to bring some light into your day, too.
xox
Caren

3/15/11

the one with the winking cat & In Bloom


Here's my Strongpaw kittycat, winking my way whilst in the middle of my sorting of vintage scarves.
I left my pile of vintage scarves on my couch to grab a cup of coffee.
When I turned around, the cat had stubbornly deposited herself right in the middle of it all.
She was quite pleased with herself.
Hence the winking.
I have to say, she does look pretty amongst those vibrant colours. Perhaps I should make a little kittycat scarf for her to wear.

Now, I would like to send you off to check out the In Bloom 5-days-of-Spring blog party My Girl Thursday and Little Tree Vintage are putting on right now. It's happening all week long, and has many bloggers sharing DIY, crafts, fashions, and more.
Here's a vlog Chantilly did on wearing vintage scarves in your hair (quite apropos for this post!)

{be prepared for some fashion sense & giggles)

This springfully-minded fashion vlog by Elycia is absolutely smashing! I want some of her style, stat!

{Elycia incorporates vintage/thrifted skirts, dresses, belts, and more into her fun style} 

And last, but oh so not least, is my goddaughter Astrid's post about fresh make-up for Spring! I am so impressed with this, because I never learned how to properly apply makeup. When I was 15, I was an odd mix of tom boy & girly but had no aptitude for putting on eye makeup or blush or lipstick. Fast forward 24 years, and I still haven't figured it all out.

Thank you Astrid for teaching me some eyeliner techniques!

There we go! This post is all about Springful happy thoughts, which is muchly needed - both by myself, by some of my friends, and for the world-at-large. We need to remember to smile in order to get through the tough times.
Caren

3/14/11

Can't wait for my Collection a Day!

{image source Uppercase Journal}

I pre-ordered my copy of Lisa Congdon's A Collection a Day a couple of weeks ago. I never pre-order anything! But how could I resist getting my greedy little paws on this gorgeous collector tin encased boxy book as quick as possible?! Plus, if you pre-order you save $10 on the price of the book. This agrees with my thrifty self. If you don't know who Lisa is, or her A Collection a Day blog, then you may be living on Mars. Although, I bet Martians even know about Lisa & her collections.

Links:
A Collection a Day blog
A Collection a Day publisher (Uppercase)
A Collection a Day website

Uppercase did a mini video of the book's preparation

With anticipation,
Caren

3/13/11

Stickers for Emma

I read a very caring blog post over at Curating Cuteness (Katie is such a dearheart!), which caught my heart and made me want to take part in helping to spread a little joy to a girl who needs every little bit she can get.

Miss Emma is 11 years old and is facing a long & difficult term of chemotherapy to treat a tumor in her head/neck/face. Emma has been fighting the growth of this tumor since she was 10 years old. I visited her mother Leanne's blog My Space, where I learned more about this strong & joy-filled girl and her loving family. 

Mel, the woman behind blog Day to Day, wrote an inspirational post about Emma. Mel proposed the idea of having little care packages sent to Emma during this difficult time, care in the form of stickers! This is such a wonderful, love-filled idea that I immediately went through my old sticker collection to put together a care package for Emma.


I have always loved little things. Stickers were an early obsession, and I actually kept quite a few of my old collection in a brown paper bag. I like to sporadically look through them, as it triggers happy memories from childhood. I didn't have any full sheets left, so instead, I cut out some of my favourites to mail to Emma. Hello Kitty, My Melody, unicorns, kittens, oh my! Also, I had these sweet miniature cards with faeries on them, in which I put one or two stickers inside of. This way, Emma can open lots of little cards!



To mail a little bit of joy to Emma, here is the address:

Miss Emma Love
PO Box 2849
Burleigh Waters, QLD, 4220
Australia


Thought: It is so hard to know what to do for the people of Japan during their deep need, it is just so vast and immeasurable! My heart aches for Japan and their seemingly endless struggle to find solid footing after the earthquake and tsunami hit. In some way, to be able to have a face, a name, and the focus of Emma gave me pause to do something to help. It is often in the little things that joy, love, and healing can be seen.

I will offer Japan what help I can, through donations to viable organizations and prayers.
For Emma, I will offer some small offering in hopes it will bring her a moment of joy.
With a heart full of love,
Caren