9/29/11

the Chicken Dance of another feather...


For all those chicken ladies out there, this one's for you.
This had me smiling so large I nearly teared up. Seriously cute.

This is where I found the above entertainment. I stumbled across Karen's blog at around 5am this morning; I don't even remember how I found her, but wow, am I ever glad I did. Have you seen her coop? It's a piece of modern art! I want to live in her coop.

the coop that Karen built.

So, I've obviously found a new happy blog space. Which isn't new, and probably more than a few of you already knew about. But, for those, like me, who are late showing up for the party, enjoy meeting The Art of Doing Stuff.
I don't have chickens of my own, but I do get to enjoy my neighbour's chickens' antics. They have come to know me as the Berry Lady. Whenever I sit out at my patio set, they make their way over & start to make some noise. Patiently, they wait for me to give in to their chicken charms & I find some berries to feed them through the fence.

hello! berries for chickens berries for chickens waiting for their berries.
they are smarter than they look.

Oh, chickens, how I do enjoy the bounty you give us! (I'm neither vegan nor vegetarian, so when I see these cuties I just think FOOD).  Just kidding. I think they're cute (and awfully plump! yum).
with joy,
Caren

9/28/11

happiness is: inspiring friendships

I visited with two of my closest friends the other day. I went with them to their home, a home that is surrounded by acres and acres of nature. It's a lovely place to go, and I haven't been in a while.
So, I immersed myself in their surroundings.

Art can be found everywhere, as Michele Karch-Ackerman is a bit of a national treasure with her heartfelt installation pieces, and her daughter Astrid (my goddaughter) is constantly creating beautiful things.
Like the jackalope & banjo textile pieces you see below:

Astrid's jackalope Astrid's banjo art

There's vintage goodness everywhere you look in their home. It's such a treat to the eye!
Every time I go, I find a new-to-me corner of other-timeliness. Below is Astrid's collection of ever-so-delightful vintage ceramic deer - including the most amazing blue deer lamp! Another little corner revealed some chrome goodies gathered together: a Big Ben clock, an old fan & a couple of thermoses.

so much vintage deer goodness! some vintage metal. 2 girls being cute.
Astrid & I hamming it up in her room; a room with a view to MANY MANY Polaroids.
I didn't take any photos of her rather large collection; I was too busy drooling.

  tea, with milk.
Tea is a standard heart-warmer at this home.
Always served in pretty cups, to suit the feel of the day.
I had milk in my tea. We drank it outside on their deck-on-high.

It's always an inspiring visit, full of dear friendship, art, Gilmore Girls (well, we attempted to watch some, but ended up talking instead - apropos, yes?), tea, egg salad sandwiches, happy dogs, and nature walks.
with joy, always,
Caren
p.s. here's a sweet blost post Astrid did of one of Michele's art shows.

9/27/11

the one with the kitten mug and sunning cat

the kitten mug 

Seriously, how awesome is this vintage kitten mug?!
It's one of my happiest recent thrift finds and best .25 cents I've spent in a while.
Three pretty bandanna-clad kittens are on one side, and a single kitten on the other.
No matter what, there's a sweet kitten looking at you when you sip your tea or coffee.

When I was drinking my latte out of it the other morning, my cat Strongpaw got curious.
Well, it was the sun she was most curious about - it was hitting my couch so perfectly.
So, Strongpaw hopped up next to my mug and curled up in the sunshine.
I don't have a photo of it, but she also started to lap up the foamy milk in the mug, too!
Little brat.

wink snug folded kitten mug + a kitty shadow
she looks so regal in the above shot. also, a little mean (which she can be!)

How's that for a little kitty-in-the-sunshine overkill?
(there is no such thing as too many sunning cat photos)

brought to you by sunshine & kitten mugs,
Caren

9/25/11

Sunday Smile: a sunny September walk

a sunny walk : the sky 

What a gorgeous blue blue sky we were blessed with yesterday!
Impossible to deny a sunny September walk with my pup Grace.

a sunny walk a sunny walk : smiling Grace a sunny walk : she had to wear shades a sunny walk : Grace's nose a sunny walk : brooch
{close up of my brooch : it's very old, needlework done by my grandma}

I'll keep today's Sunday Smile short & sweet.
I'm having a lazy hazy kinda day today,
full of couch potato goodness, lattes, kitty snuggles & movies.
But the gleam of yesterday's sunny skies is keeping me warm
whilst I keep cozy in my little apartment today. :)
with joy,
Caren

9/24/11

Saturday is for... the Market!

the squash gourds at the Market! musicians at the Market puppies at the Market! the owl at the Market musicians at the Market the bounty at the Market!
look at the bounty I'm bringing home!

Spent some time at the Saturday Farmer's Market today!
I always start my visit with a stop at Kyoto Coffee.
This visit was specific for all kinds of fruits & veggies,
from wax beans to strawberries to peaches to red potatoes to corn on the cob...
the list goes on!
Today there were even puppies on hand for us to cuddle.
It was a particularly grey day, but that didn't dampen the spirit of the Market!
It was a busy hub of action.
Lots of musicians and dancers to entertain the masses,
and food galore from perogies to croissants to samosas to hot dogs to waffles!
ah yum.
I do so enjoy a trip to the Market.
Specially when I get to bring home croissants & pretty gourds!
with joy,
Caren

9/21/11

I'm a Guest at A is for Ampersand!

Just a quick note to send you over to A is for Ampersand's blog to take a peek at my guest post that's up right now! So excited to share some owl & kitty love over at one of my favourite blog spaces.

Here's a sneak at what it's all about (hint: the little things + cats):

little owl vase
teensiest and cutest vintage owl vase, ever.
Kitten cute
Kitten, my neighbour's cat - she's always showing off her belly.
with joy,
Caren

Autumn is for capes!

I want a cape something awful.
A few have crossed my path, but none of them have fit all that great.
I might need to get a pattern and just make one myself,
but that doesn't stop me from looking at all the pretty capes online!
Etsy is full of them - both vintage and handmade.
I found a bunch over at ModCloth and one lovely cape coat at H&M.

{all from Etsy}


Woodland Cape (ModCloth) : Botany Professor Cape (ModCloth) : Cape Coat (H&M)

dude cape coat! it's not just for girls!

Does autumn make you want to find new ways to layer, too?
I have an equal love for trench coats. Right now, though, I'm all about the jaunty cape. A perfect topper to skinny jeans & boots, not to mention a wool or corduroy skirt, leggings & oxfords! Oh yes. I am dreamy eyed just thinking about the outfits to be had with a cape on my shoulders!
No red capes for me, though. I am no little red riding hood (also, I look terrible in red - sad, but true). Plaid, check, or herringbone please; even a plain tan one would do!
with joy,
Caren
p.s. I'd be happy with a Batman cape, too, just so you know.

9/19/11

A is for Ampersand giveaway!

hello chickadees! Remember how I mentioned I'd be a part of Amy's (A is for Ampersand) big sponsorship giveaway this week? Well, it's up and running now! Hurry over to see all the pretty goodies up for grabs!

This is what I've added to the mix, in vintage style:

vintage baubles & scarf - giveaway 
1960s big bauble triple strand necklace (light as air!) & a '70s polka dot scarf!

grace is the giveaway dog
Grace always has to be a part of the photoshoots, my little giveaway girl!

My vintage shop is Amy's sponsor this month, so feel free to visit The Vintage Apartment to view more goodies! I just redesigned my shop's banner, too, to make it extra pretty to visit. :)

new shop banner - chevrons & bears, oh my!

Have a happy Monday - made better by giveaways!
with joy,
Caren

9/18/11

Sunday Smile: pigtails & butterflies

lil pigtail! 
pigtails! 

It's a little thing, but the fact I can pull my hair into little pigtails makes me squeal like a lil piggy!
(perhaps not quite the right visual, but you get the idea)
It's been slow-going, this growing-out-hair process. I usually get totally irked by the in-between stage by now & chop it all off again - but this time, I've held off grabbing a pair of scissors and going to town. I'm proud of myself!
I hope I can retain my patience for another few months, as I really do want to have longer hair by the time I turn 40 (which is in just 4 and a half months... woah!). For some reason, I envision myself with the longer locks of my younger years for my next decade. Perhaps it's some "vain" attempt at keeping young? Ha. If you knew me, you'd know there's no reason for me to panic ... I'm one of those Peter Pan types. Never going to get old! Nope! I've got fairy dust keeping my feet from touching the ground. ;)

I do, though, wish I could float on the air like a butterfly. I love this time of year, when the Monarch butterflies find my butterfly bushes in full bloom and stop to have a drink before their long trip down south. Everyday, I go out into my backyard and wait for them to visit. I never tire of watching them gracefully dance upon the air.

the wing span of a Monarch handsome Monarch Monarch bokeh
love how this shot turned into a Bokeh butterfly!

How's that for combing the subject matter of pigtails and butterflies?
Totally smile-worthy subject matter, oui? :)
with joy,
Caren

the Twitter Tea Party

Twitter Tea Party - dream
how I wished I was dressed for the Tea Party!

There's a Twitter Tea Party being hosted by Miss Kait!
{Miss Kait's Twitter Tea Party}
I am taking part in it right now, but not all gussied up like in the above photo.
I am in comfy clothes appropriate for another day of sick.
The above photo was taken earlier this morning, in the vain attempt at acting healthy.
I was not healthy, though, and getting dressed up & taking photos only made things worse.
So, fast forward to the now. Contentedly in comfort clothes & sipping tea
whilst tweeting with like-minded tea grannies! Happiness!
The Twitter Tea Party is full of tea chat, bloggy goodness, giveaways and more!
It's about making connections, really. I've already met some new tea lovin' tweeps. :)
So, thank you Miss Kait for being the hostess with the mostest!

Twitter Tea Party
Twitter Tea Party

I set up my TV tray to resemble a pretty little tea party spread. The doilies added just the right touch.
I brewed a little pot of Kusmi Tea Detox blend and used my favourite sweet mug (by Stepanka).
Happily, I baked special tea cookies last night - forgetting that the tea party was happening today!
I even picked some posies out of my garden to add to the look and feel.
Then I cozied up on my couch with my puppydog Grace - both of us under a blanket
and sipped tea whilst tweeting with a group of fabulous ladies.

Twitter Tea Party
Twitter Tea Party  

The cookies above are a basic "drop cookie", which I added chunks of 70% cacao chocolate to.
They turned out sublimely! I edited an old recipe to use my spelt/kamut flour mix and the coconut sugar I substitute regular sugar for. It was easy to make the recipe into a wheat & sugar-free one!
And they turned out better than I imagined!

Drop Cookie Recipe:

1 and 1/4 cup flour (I used 1 cup spelt and 1/4 cup kamut)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mix above in a bowl and set aside
1/4 cup butter (slightly softened)
1/4 cup shortening
Mix the butter & shortening together til whipped (about 30 seconds)
Add 1/2 cup coconut sugar (or 1/2 cup brown sugar + 1/4 cup white sugar) to the butter/shortening mix and whip up well.
Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the sugar/butter mixture and whip well.
Add the butter/sugar/egg mixture to the flour mix = mix together well.
Add whatever you like to the above basic recipe - nuts, chocolate, dried fruits - whatever!
I chopped up an organic 70% cacao chocolate bar to add - only about 1/4 cup worth; just enough to add a bit of fun.
Drop onto cookie sheet from teaspoon. About an inch or two apart.
Bake in 375 degree oven for about 8-10 minutes.

Twitter Tea Party - reality
the reality of my tea party - blurry sick self sipping on yummy tea. :)

The TwitterTeaParty search on Twitter - you can follow along!
I hope you get a chance to enjoy some tea today!
with joy,
Caren

9/16/11

Grace interlude

Gracie & I
I hid behind my cute puppydog, 'cause I have a puffy sick face going on right now.

hello my dear chickadees!
I hope this post finds you all full of cupcakes and tea. :)
Just a short note to apologize for the lack of posts so far this month.
I've been terribly busy keeping up with this crazy thing called Life, and a huge side dish of sick.
Change is Good, but sick is just plain craptastic.
So, I thought I'd distract you with Gracie pup snaps & stories!

Grace - not comfy 
here she is, in all her hangdog glory!
she was obviously saying, "bring me a pillow for my tush, this gravel is too hard!"
and, of course, I complied!
Grace - comfy "can we go now?"
Grace in her "don't leave me!" plan of attack.
Um, and yes, her plan worked. She's a smart cookie.

I've got a guest post & giveaway coming up next week over at the lovely A is for Ampersand;
I'll keep you informed of those pretty posts when they come. :)
I'll have some thrifty posts to share, a Polaroid giveaway, and lots more before the month is gone!

written in my "sick bed" (where you'll find me most often these days), with a puppydog to keep me warm,
xo Caren