4/27/11

In a Wanderlust frame of mind...

fabulous print by Linda Ketelhut

Do you ever get into a wanderlust state of mind?
I do. Not often, but it happens.
I wanderllusted my ass off the past few days. Daydreamed about Paris a lot, specifically planned out a trip whilst taking a shower Sunday morning. After talking about my Parisian thoughts with a couple of friends, a kernel of an idea was popped into my head. Hopefully, that little pop will turn into something creative & inspirational ... time will tell (if it does, I promise to share!).

I have put my sweet vintage Etsy shop into Vacation Mode for a while, so that I can focus on Things That Need To Get Done (totally deserves to be capitalized & bolded). Perhaps it's due to Spring unfolding around me, but I am in a cleaning kind of head space. Not just scrubbing the bathroom kind of clean (although I've already done that, thanks to an insect infestation in which I did some wackadoodle bug slaying & subsequent scrubbing), but a total re-organization of my entire home kind of cleaning. I already bought a new desk to help me in that general direction. Next up, more shelving & continuing to rid my space of excess & unnecessary Things (watch for an upcoming HUGE yard sale at the end of May, local peeps!). Also, putting my Etsy shop in Vacation Mode makes me feel like I really am taking a vacation, even though I'm still here in my little apartment.

Wanderlust is an awesome word. It states exactly what it means, no subtext and no misunderstandings. It's simply lusting to wander. I like that in a word.

Are you lusting over wandering, too? If so, where to?
xo
Caren

4/22/11

a Good Friday

Walk Towards

Grace & I took a Good Friday nature walk.
It was extra Good because the sun is shining & I wore my red shoes.

the Sign points the way

The signs tells us which way to go; even the little bicycle people point the right direction!
There could easily be another arrow, pointing to my home which is just a few steps away from this sign.

stalwart Grace

Grace loves it when she gets to go off-leash.
This only happens when no other dogs are around & so she can be a little nutter with no fallout.
She was extra good; keeping guard and looking shiny.

But not as shiny as my favourite old pair of red shoes!

the red shoes on straw

Grace boofs & a pair of red shoes

Grace boofed up a storm when I asked her to dance.
I wish I had gone to video mode, so you could see her spinning & hopping & boofing!

Spring comes alive in Bokeh!

The spring buds were in full force, with pretty bokeh spots swirling around.

A doily in her hair

And I wore my new doily fascinator that Mel of Needle & Nest Design made!
It suits my go-to hide-my-growing-out-hair hat perfectly!
I also got the necklace you see below, which Mel also made (isn't she amazing!?).
It is so very pretty, full of lace & vintage findings. I have named her Bella.

Lace & Vintage necklace

Walk Away

And Grace & I walked home again, with lungs full of fresh air and happy tails tales to tell.

I hope your Easter weekend starts (and middles & ends) as wonderfully, 
finding (or re-finding) the little joys around you as you walk along.
~Caren

the one with the flying Polaroid doodle

I doodled a flying Polaroid, from a dreamy little dream I had.
If only all dreams included a Polaroid with wings amongst the clouds above.
Wouldn't that be, well ... dreamy?

i dream of flying polaroids

The inspiration behind this dream wasn't just my love affair with a certain rainbow-covered Polaroid, it's also from Doodlers Anonymous. If you haven't heard of this online doodlers paradise, don't worry, you're not alone. I came across it innocently enough about a week ago from someone's tweet (sorry, I don't remember who tweeted the link!).
Well, after perusing Doodlers Anonymous, I decided to join up and submit my Polaroid doodle (you'll have to scroll down a bit to see my entry, but that's cool 'cause then you can view all the other pretty doodles!).
*update It was Saylor Made (Jeannine Saylor) who tweeted it! And her (awesome!) Polaroid doodle is 2 above mine*
I even did a lil photoshoot of the faux Polaroid coming out of my rainbow Polaroid, 'cause that's how I roll.

i dream of flying polaroids

I like doodling. Doodling is a great way to fill a space of time I would otherwise be daydreaming or twiddling my thumbs. I have doodles in every journal, sketchbook, notebook, and various other paper-related objects. Making faux Polaroids (or as I like to call them, "handrawn facsimiles", is the most fun form of doodling that I do.

flying polaroid - untouched
the actual Polaroid that filtered into my dreams (digitally doodled version)

My weapon of choice right now are my yummy Staedtler Ergosoft crayon pencils. Plus a black ink pen/marker of some sort (usually whatever's nearby). I also love using paper with a grid pattern; somehow I find the grids a happy creative space to draw on/in.

I want to draw more. I want to draw so much that I can then open my own little shoppe selling my own little artwork. The fact that I'm sharing this with you is a big step. I often keep my little hopes & dreams to myself these days, because Life kind of stopped (see previous post). Oddly enough, that previous post has been more helpful than I ever imagined. Even though I am struggling to keep moving, I am taking those first few steps on that new path.

Now, I hope my next dreamy thoughts include kittycats wearing sweaters.
xo
Caren

4/20/11

Looking for Peace

Grace undercover peek-a-boo!

How lovely would it be, to curl up inside a blanket all comfy & warm, and be cocooned awhile? Grace the pup sure knows how to do things right.

This post is a departure from Tea & Chickadees' norm. This is a personal reflection and sharing of another part of Me. I made a conscious decision to make this blog a place of happiness, positivity & sweet moments. Not just to benefit those around me & the world-at-large, but for my own well being. It's good for the spirit to reflect on things like nature, fluffy kitties and cute puppies, beauty, art & the little things in Life that make you smile.

Here's the dealio: I'm going through a bit of a crisis of Self right now, and I've decided to do some serious focusing on this thing called Life and where I've taken it. My health has steadily declined over the past few years, and has reached an all-time low. This has affected my natural ability to see the little joys around me; I find it very difficult to see the little joys right now. 

Things have become a bit of a blur.

blurred 1970s

For years now, I have been coping. Coping isn't really living. Coping is what we do to get by; to make it from one day to the next. It's one of my least favourite English language words. I much prefer words like apropos, plethora and aplomb (other words with a pronounced 'p' that are just so much better)!

When living with auto-immune disorders like I do (and millions of others), stress is the biggest culprit. Physical, mental, emotional stress = big bad fallout. I've been falling since 2006, and it seems I've reached the bottom, finally and with a loud BOOM. Living with chronic pain is no picnic ... but I'd like to try and make it more of a picnic, maybe by adding a pretty vintage blanket, more pie, sunshine in a bucket to be carried everywhere, and a dash of dancing ants! Yes, that'll do.

I haven't been active in my living the past while; definitely since December of last year. My local friends are aware of my disappearing act; my hermit impersonation could win an Oscar. It's just that I mostly need rest and quiet right now. Which means a lot of lone time. And I'm okay with that, but I often feel like I'm letting everyone around me down. Saying 'no' is hard. Making plans only to break them because I am having a particularly pain-filled & exhausted day, sucks.

So, I'm taking a break. I'm refocusing. I'm going to change my path a little, maybe take the trail that veers off to the left. See where it'll take me; hopefully somewhere peaceful and contemplative (like the scene of my tulips resting amongst a wall of blue).

pretty pink tulips

I'm not sure why I felt the need to share a little behind-the-scenes and less-than-fun world with you, but it just felt like the right moment. I admire other bloggers who share tidbits of their less-than-fun personal lives, and so I felt emboldened to do likewise. I'm equally unsure what I hope to achieve by doing so ... except that once you put out a plea to the universe for a little help, sometimes those prayers are answered.

I made an Etsy treasury the other day, dedicated to myself entitled "hope you feel better soon..." - but, it's also for everyone who is sick, having the mean reds, or feeling downright crappy. I hope you feel better soon and that the gray skies turn blue soon.


I feel like this is a good first step for me to venture into the next phase of things. It's like taking off a bandaid in one fast & painful zzzzzzzzzzip! - sure it stings, but only for a bit. Then the booboo has room to breathe & finish healing.
xo
Caren

4/17/11

Sunday Smile: Oh Yum!

Oh Yum marshmallows

Late night tweeting will sometimes get you this:
Mocha & Bavarian Cream Marshmallows!
You see, I was craving coffee really late at night, but knew better than to actually have a caffeinated drink before bed. I tweeted my craving, and then Kathy tweeted me, inviting me over whilst she made coffee-infused soap for her Etsy shop Oh Yum. If she still lived in Ontario, I would've taken her up on the invite!
Instead, I ordered a bar of said coffee soap (Javalicious!) and a dozen Mocha Marshmallows.
The package full of yumminess arrived this past Friday & I partook in all of the different scents and tastes over the weekend.
My favourite thing? Dropping a Mocha Marshmallow in my coffee! Next time, though, I'll do it with black coffee. No need for cream & honey when you pop a sweet creamy marshmallow in your java!
See the pretty pink marshmallows? Those are the Bavarian Cream ones! I'll be adding one of those to my next cup of coffee to make it pretty in pink.


I look forward to scrubbing my hands with  the Javalicious soap (above: bottom photo). It has real coffee in it, which is just what the doctor ordered. I can just lather up some coffee soap late at night instead of giving in to my caffeine cravings.
Thanks for all the yummy, Oh Yum, they sure did make me smile!
~satiated Caren

4/16/11

the tickling of a Little Penguin

This is exactly what the title says it is: a video of a Little Penguin being tickled.
It's equally as all-kinds-of-cute as the tickling of the slow loris.
What is it with little animals and tickling? Why is it so much cuter than just about anything else?
And why do they enjoy the sensation so?
At the end of it all, there is very little difference between the all mighty human and the little penguins of the world. Except, let's be honest, the little penguin is a heck of a lot cuter.
**Thank you Tammy for letting me know the original video had been removed - I had to replace it with this short 22 second tickle-fest. It's still worthy of adorableness!
~Caren, who's pretty sure she makes a similar sound to the penguin when she herself is tickled!
Warning: do not attempt tickling a cat; this action may be met with sharp teeth and claws.

4/14/11

a girl named astrid Giveaway

My favourite blogger (who also happens to be my dear goddaughter), Astrid, is hosting a really really big giveaway to celebrate her 100th blog following!!

I donated some vintage flair to the winnings: a vintage scarf full of flowers (as worn by the lovely Astrid below) & a red white & blue vintage brooch. Also included is a generous donation by Elycia of the delightful Love, Elycia. She offers 3 lovely headbands! Astrid has included April's issue of Lucky magazine (with cover  girl Zooey Deschanel offering fashion advice!) & some fresh make-up!

a few of the pretty pretty things up for grabs!


Oh, and did I mention? Astrid is also including the above POLAROID CAMERA! A handsome Impulse!

Yes. Astrid is giving away a Polaroid along with all the fashionable extras. Truly, a giveaway worthy of much ado!! I wonder if I can enter it, even though I'm sort of a part of it? Hmmm.

So, my chickadees, go on over and enter! You know you want to! (I know I do!)
godmommy Caren

4/11/11

shed a little light on the subject...

vintage wall sconce lit up

I picked this wonderfully argyle mid century double light wall sconce at a moving sale this past Sunday. Who has an indoor yard sale on a Sunday? Not many people, so was surprised to happen upon this particularly awesome thrift stop. I was one of their only customers, and they were pretty happy with my love of all their in-mint-condition 1940s-1960s goodies. The woman who originally owned all of the items is now 91 years old, and was "practically OCD" (her daughter-in-law's words) about keeping her home clean.

So, this lamp was the last thing I bought. It wasn't for sale. I told them I had to have it. They wanted $20 for it, I told them $10. I ended up spending $5. One of my happiest thrifts!

I also left this sale with a free working (and finely tuned) 1950s Hoover upright vacuum cleaner in blue. This may change my feeling towards vacuuming (a task created by the Devil). I'll take some pretty pictures of it soon to share!

vintage wall sconce - one light on
it has 4 settings: left light on, right light on, both lights on, off. yay!

Grace aka photo bombing dog.
as per usual, Grace had to get in on the action!

Wall of Nature + thrifted wall sconce
the sconce amongst my Wall of Nature.

My Wall of Nature is another of my favourite spaces in my home. It's full of mostly vintage art & animal figurines (owls, deer, a bear), but also has some new art like the spooned squirrels by Sandra Dieckmann (one of my favourite artists). The console table Grace is standing on has more nature-inspired items - more deer, fox, birds, and my growing collection of vintage Hoselton aluminum critters. I'm constantly switching the Wall around, as I have lots of nature-based art & figurines! It's my happy place.

Oh, and if you look close enough in the last photo, you'll see a set of 3 cross stitched brooches by Zoe of A Giraffe in a Scarf - I created a little home for them to live on whilst not being worn - I used a vintage embroidery hoop & fabric from a vintage floral pillow case to create their nest. :)

happily, Caren
p.s. I shared this post on Apron Girl Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday 

4/10/11

Sunday Smile: sleepy puppy face




Gracie had curled up on my blanketed lap & quickly went into sleepy puppy mode. I couldn't help but grab my (handily located) camera & snap some extreme close-ups of her smooshy sleepy puppy face.
It's enough to make a girl smile.
xo
Caren

4/9/11

a quiet corner with birds on a wire

living room wall with birds

A quiet corner of my apartment. One that I never tire of looking at; exactly this:
  • a corner of my riotous retro couch
  • a glimpse of my vintage lamp (thank you mygirlthursday!)
  • and one of my sweetest pieces of art - Birds on a Wire by the lovely & talented Mel of  Needle and Nest Design.
The Needle and Nest blog is new, but Mel's art & craft talents are not. I've known Mel since the days of Buttercup & Co., where my shop hosted her art. I fell in love with the Bird on a Wire painting and to this day, it makes me feel serene & joyful every time I look at it. It ended up being the jumping point for the colours & feel for the rest of my living room (beautifully unintentionally!).

Please do visit her blog, you won't be disappointed. It's full of her art, her craft, her darling baby girl, her 2 cute & silly kitties, and so much more. Don't believe me? Take a peek!

And for local peeps, you can see her work in person next weekend at the SpringKLE art & craft sale!

Spring + Sprinkle = SpringKLE (I think?)

I know what I'll be doing the weekend of April 15th!

On a sidenote, today was the most glorious of days: the weather spiked a lovely sunny high. I drove my car with the sunroof open (first time this season!), windows down, and happy music blaring. It was the kind of day I wish I had worn a pretty dress for. I saw tulips starting to poke through the earth in my garden today, and started to plan some changes I want to make in my outdoor space. My dog spent most of the day outside, too. This day was a day of warmth and sunshine. Freshly baked tea biscuits as the sun was going down finished the day of perfectly.

I hope you are having some sunny happy moments this weekend!
Caren

the Great Zine Giveaway WINNER!

And the winner of the Great Zine Giveaway is ... drum roll please ... Sophie from the UK!

the great zine giveaway!

Sophie said..."Oh my! I would love to win this giveaway! I have a huge crush on.. books. I can't get enough of them! My house is filled will them."
It couldn't be a better match, as Sophie is an obvious fan of zines - there are many wonderful posts on her blog Oh My Clumsy Heart dedicated to them!


Sophie was lucky #7!

In the original post for this giveaway, I asked entries to tell me their current crushes. I never did say who I'm crushing on right now -  is it possible to have a crush on a movie? If so, then it's Scott Pilgrim vs The World (a movie I finally saw for the first time just a couple of weeks ago).

Congratulations Sophie! I'll get your pretty zines sent out licketysplit!
xo
Caren

4/8/11

I felt pretty today.


I wore a vintage brightly coloured Vera scarf in my hair today.
I shrugged on my black eyelet jacket & decorated it with a big Sarah Coventry gold toned brooch.
I put on a swipe of lip gloss to finish it all off. 
I felt kinda pretty after it was all said & done.
So I took some photos a la What I Wore Today style.
Thing is, this is a very rare occurrence - this getting prettified in an effort to go out in some sort of style.

me & my puppydog's feetsies.

This all lasted about an hour. I went out & did my mini errands, came home & almost immediately got into sweat pants, a t-shirt, and an old ill-fitting hoodie. But, for that hour where I had a Vera scarf in my hair, I felt pretty fine.

A moment happened today - y'know, one of those moments that brings a smile to your lips? - when I was at Shoppers Drug Mart. At the check out, the woman behind the counter recognized me as "the girl who always wears pretty brooches". She'll never know just how much she made my day. :)

my head.

I have a big round head & scarves always just slide off of it. I fixed this issue with the use of well-placed barrettes! yay! I thank mygirlthursday for inspiring me to try the scarf-in-the-hair-trick again. It's a great way to hide the icky stages of growing out ones hair, as well as adding a splash of colour to an outfit!

Y'know what's funny and/or sad? I'll probably wear the exact same outfit tomorrow when I have to go out for an appointment. I have a very limited wardrobe.
prettily,
Caren
p.s. today's (April 8th) the last chance to enter the Great Zine Giveaway!
p.p.s. this post was supposed to be posted hours ago... I forgot to hit 'Publish Post'! d'oh.

4/7/11

a robot love story



I found this video on Amber Benson's blog. If you don't know who Amber Benson is, then that means you are also unaware of the awesomeness that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Amber is also an author. Well, Amber does a lot of things. I even own her movie Chance, a little known indie project of hers from nearly a decade ago. I actually met Amber about 10 years ago or so (as a crazed fangurl)... totally geeked out when I did.
Th video above is by a friend of hers, Shannon Hourigan.
I was riveted, hoping the robots would find one another at the end.
I won't ruin it for you. Just watch.
Also, I really want those salt & pepper shakers. Robot S & P shakers? That are wind up? swoon.
~Caren

4/5/11

Fruity Wallpaper Backgrounds




I had some fun with these fruitful wallpaper patterns. I found out about Bulgaria-based graphic designer Kristina Miletieva via a new-to-me blog Owls and Pears (hello, how did I not know about a blog that's content is owl & pear based before?!). 
I immediately downloaded all of the fruity goodness & tested them out as backgrounds.
I even used the apples for my new Twitter background:

(as you can see, it compliments my Orla mug avatar!)

~fruity Caren

the one with the rainbow at my feet

Rainbow at my feet

yesterday 
a rainbow fell unto my floor
i tried to capture it in my hands
but it liked where it landed
softly and with such sweetness
so i just stood and watched it
brighten my day for a little while
i hope it comes to visit again
soon

~Caren (who needs a little more rainbow in her days)

4/3/11

Sunday Smile: RAWR!

RAWR!
This Sunday Smile is brought to you by Strongpaw and sunshine.
My kittycat never looked prettier as she did whilst preening in a sunny spot.
I took a gazillion photos of her enjoying the sun floating on her fur.
She turned into a fierce model.
RAWR!

This is basically an excuse to show a plethora of kittycat photos ... you have been warned.

kittycat lick

kittycat whiskers

curled up kittycat

kittycat ear

sigh.
I love kittycats.
Their effortless way of Being makes me both envious and joyous.
I hope the sunshine kitty brings you a smile, too.
~kitty Caren

4/2/11

new blog love... Flashlights and Arrows

My dear chickadees, I felt the urge to share with you a brand new blog a dear friend of mine, Martin, just started up. I am quite smitten with it already, and he only just birthed it a few days ago! Flashlights and Arrows is the name of this wondrous new place to visit, and be immersed in a unique perspective on Life.
Quote from Martin's about page:
"I am a hunter. I have spent all my life hunting.... Hunting for meaning.  Hunting for vision.  Hunting for happiness and purpose.  We are all hunters if you think about it..."
awesome vintage Davy Crockett belt buckle he treasure hunted!

His newest (and totally uniquely wonderful) addition is a Library in which he will share a favourite book at a time, and we can even join in and have it work as an online Book Club. He's started with, fittingly, Robin Hood - a book I do believe I have not read yet (egads!). 

The 'Trophy Room' is a wonderful place to visit, where you can see some of Martin's wicked cool vintage finds (no one is a better vintage hunter than the man behind this blog - believe me! I am jealous of his collection!). Case in point, this wonderful deer head plaque:


There aren't many men doing blogs, and I greatly appreciate Flashlights & Arrows distinctly masculine flavour. It's refreshing, it's intriguing, and it's a wonderful place to visit. I hope you enjoy it as much as I!
~a blog smitten Caren