10/31/11

Cottage: keeping warm by the fire

a warm and cozy cottage
featuring a dog and a cat
and a cribbage board...

Polaroid: dog + cat + fire
{above: Polaroid of Grace and Strongpaw cozying by the fire at Gooseneck}
cat + dog + fire 
{above: same scene, different camera - this time using film}
the dog & cat loved the fire. 
{above: digital shot of the most-photographed moment at the cottage}
-trust me, there is no rarer sight than to see these two critters side by side-
Polaroid: wood burning stove 
{above: Polaroid of the fire that I built. I was mighty proud of my fire-making skills}
a content dog 
{above: Gracie lounging on my mom during reading time}
cribbage, lattes & a fire.
{above: cribbage anyone? I lost this game, but I made seriously good lattes & a fabulous fire}

I decided to (finally) share some shots I took at my cottage getaway!
Sorry it took so long; I'm having a hard time getting back into the internet world.
I was just cuddled on my couch, by my fake fireplace (it's a little electric one), and I got inspired to do a post dedicated to the warmth of the wood burning stove I kept fed during my week-long vacation into cottage-land. This cottage is named Gooseneck. It's a place my mom & I have gone to every year for 3 years now. It's our mom-and-daughter getaway - plus dog! And this time, for the first time, plus cat. meow.
I love my little apartment-sized electric fireplace, but nothing replaces a good old fashioned wood burning one. Since it was pretty chilly and drizzly the majority of the stay, I got to flex my mad fire-building skills at the cottage. I'm not complaining; the weather was perfect for snuggling up with a good book!
The cat immediately took over any area that was comfortable and was close to the fire. She has never experienced a real fire before, and it was obvious she felt it was time that oversight was fixed. Strongpaw was practically rapturous with the warmth it emitted!

the cat loved the fire
{above: proof of Strongpaw's heat-seeking happiness - film photo}

This post was brought to you by fire.
with joy,
Caren

10/23/11

Sunday Smile: Home

Hello!
I'm home!
I've come back from my cottage getaway;
feeling refreshed and wishing I owned a cottage of my own! ;)
I've been home for over 24 hours, but have left myself mostly unplugged.
I find I don't miss the internet at all when I'm away.
(um, okay, I miss tweeting a lil bit...)
Upon getting home, I found myself in a mix of melancholy and restless;
I often feel this way when I come back from vacation.
How did I regain my home-self?
Well, today I ended up getting out of town for a couple of hours
(to grab a yummy latte & cheese scone & visit a flea market).
Then I took Gracie for a nice long walk along our routine trail
and got out in my garden to do some pre-winter chores.
I felt much more at home after doing these simple happy things.

throwing leaves autumn gardening 
{above: that's a heap of leaves by my feet, which I then flung up in the air}
duck + reflections 
{above: during our walk, I found a lone duck in the reflective waters}
Grace amongst the mushrooms 
{above: Gracie standing tall. below: the mushrooms just beyond her}
a forest of mushrooms happy trails + a Vera scarf
{above: finding a bit of Me along my & Grace's walking trail - whilst wearing a favourite Vera scarf!}

I'll be blogging about my vacation in the upcoming days (you are forewarned!).
I think I took 300 photos, as well as a few Polaroids & some film shots, too.
For now, though, I just wanted to say: 
Hi! I missed you! I hope you smiled today!
with joy,
Caren

10/18/11

Away...

road trip - looking out the window 
{above: what Gracie will be doing during the road trip}

I'm taking my dog & my cat (and my mom!) away on a cottage trip!
We leave in a few hours, but before I go I wanted to say au voir (for a little while).
For a couple of years now, friends have lent us their cottage to use for a few days.
It's the kind of respite my spirit needs, to refuel and reconnect (with myself).

the forest.
{above: the trees & trails of Burnham Woods}

a walk in the woods.
{above: photo (by Michele) of me walking in the woods of my dear friends home}

I'm bringing a bevy of books with me to get lost in,
as well as bags filled with art supplies to get reacquainted with.
I'm leaving technology (i.e. my laptop) behind, replacing it with pen & paper.
Freshly baked bread & dreams of cake-baking await me!
The weather won't be the prettiest (rain in the forecast everyday!),
but there's a fireplace to light & Scrabble to play.

My only hope is my cat Strongpaw the cat does okay on the long trip;
we decided to bring her so the whole "family" can be together.
Strongpaw will hopefully love us for not leaving her behind ... (a girl can dream, right?).

I haven't set up any guest bloggers or time-released posts during my getaway (sorry!),
so Tea & Chickadees will be a little barren until Sunday.
I'll be back with renewed vigor & creativity to share!
(and hopefully lots of pretty pictures, too)

I'll leave you with an Etsy treasury I just made,
an ode to Autumn:


oh, and don't forget I'm giving away a Polaroid + a pack of Impossible Project film over at Miss Teacups!
with joy,
Caren

10/16/11

Sunday Smile: Gretchen, Kitten & Sheep

Gretchen, sheep & a cat
{above: photo taken with my trusty Holga, expired film, on a drizzly day}

This is a short & sweet Sunday Smile.
This is Gretchen. She is my next door neighbour's little girl.
I get to see Gretchen grow up, which makes me smile!
Kitten is their cat. Yes, her name is Kitten. She likes her belly rubbed.
Kitten also follows Gretchen & her mom around like a puppydog.
Gretchen is wearing a very cozy wool sweater that is adorned with sheep.
I found this sweater at a yard sale & knew it had to be hers.
It's very hard not to smile with a Gretchen living next door to you!
(she's wearing a paper turkey headdress, and carrying a bag of popcorn = cutes!)
xo
Caren

10/15/11

Saturday is for... Horses!

having a chat with the horses 
{above: Holga 135, expired Blacks 200iso film}

Autumn equals horse visits for me.
I've blogged a few times about my love of horses, and how I love them from afar
(meaning, I don't actually ride them - I just chat & pet their noses).
I thought I'd share a couple of my recent visits with roadside horses:

road trip - horse (nose) road trip - horses horse land
{above: Holga 135, expired Blacks 200 iso film}
the sweet horses

I usually always bring a film camera with me when I go for little day trips.
More often than not, that camera is my happy yellow Holga 135.
I also always bring my digital Olympus PEN.
Basically, I'm the girl who carries multiple cameras in my purse, around my neck and on my shoulder.
I constantly look like a tourist, even in my own town!

It's always a joy to find horses by the side of the road, where I can have a chat.
Of course, I never wear the proper shoes and so look a little ridiculous tiptoeing through rough terrain to finally reach them. I swear, the horses roll their eyes at me as I head towards them.
Horses have senses of humour, right?
I think they tend towards sarcasm.
"Oh, Gertrude, look at those *lovely* red open-toed shoes she's wearing. How *appropriate* for farm life!"
Yes, I think a horse should have the name Gertrude. Also, pretend she has a British accent.

Hope you're having a lovely weekend, chickadees!
Don't forget to enter the Polaroid Giveaway!
with joy,
Caren

10/12/11

Polaroid Giveaway via Teacups & Bubble Baths!

Hello sweet chickadees!
Just popping by to let you know about a pretty sweet giveaway over at the lovely Teacups & Bubble Baths. I'm {finally} doing that Polaroid giveaway I've been teasing about, and doing so via Carly's pretty blog! Here's the details, plus a gratuitous kittycat shot:

a Polaroid & a kittycat October 2011 Polaroid Giveaway

I'm giving away my very own Sun600 LMS Polaroid & a pack of The Impossible Project's PX100 First Flush (very experimental & made for SX70 but can be used in 600 series). 

Enter by visiting the giveaway blog post & following her simple instructions!
It's really that easy peasy. :)

Thanks Carly for hosting this fun treat! xo!
with joy,
Caren

Warkworth : Camp Ho-Ba-Chee

I took a trip to Warkworth, Ontario with my mom on Thanksgiving weekend. It was a beautiful day, perfect for a mini day trip! Our destination was Camp Ho-Ba-Chee, a delightful shoppe filled with vintage goods & handmade accessories (and handmade dog sweaters, too!). Friends of mine opened the shop just a little bit ago, a dream come true for them! I am so thrilled for them, and for the rest of us who get to partake in the wonder that is Camp Ho-Ba-Chee! Seriously awesome shoppe for vintage loving girls like me!
I brought Grace along, as she does love a good road trip and the owners of the shoppe are extremely dog-friendly (they do make lovely sweaters for dogs, afterall!). Grace does not, however, like to shop. She would rather eat treats and be on the move.
Here are a few snapshots from my time at this lovely stop in Warkworth:

Camp Ho-Ba-Chee - retro kitchen 
{retrolicious kitchen table & kitchenware! yum!}

Camp Ho-Ba-Chee - globes
{maps & globes & a globe light!} 

Camp Ho-Ba-Chee - paint by numbers 
{so much paint by numbers!}

Camp Ho-Ba-Chee - pretty things 
{blurry capture of a gorgeous teak hutch filled with retro goodness}

Camp Ho-Ba-Chee - Grace & friend 
{Gracie is hanging out with the shop dog out the front, having a drink}

Camp Ho-Ba-Chee - hello! 
{can you spot Gracie & I in the mirror? amongst all the pretty!}

Camp Ho-Ba-Chee - what I got
{what I brought home: cute vintage doxie planter & antique shabby chic soap dish holder}

What: Camp Ho-Ba-Chee, a wonderful place full of vintage & antique & handmade things
Where: 18 Main St., Warkworth, Ontario and Online
Who: the loveliest of shoppe owners, Lesley & Robin (and Alice & Maggie, the store dogs)!

It's worth a boo, this delightful home away from home! :)
I adore the treasures I brought home with me.
with joy,
Caren
p.s. next post will be dedicated to another wonderment of a shoppe located in Warkworth - Toyls of Labur!

10/10/11

Musings, Milkweed and Doxies...

overlooking the water, bridge, sumac 

It was the Canadian Thanksgiving this past long weekend,
which means lots of food and family time!
Although, for me, I just spent it with my mom & the cat & the dog.
I wasn't able to join in on the family festivities due to a continuing illness (insert violins here).
However, I did eat pumpkin pie! So, I can't complain.
I felt perky enough to take Grace for a wee walk on another spectacular October day;
the weather has been so warm & welcoming this past week!

I love it when the milkweed breaks open to let its fluffy seedpods catch the wind,
so I found myself playing with the fluffy stuff
all the while looking up into the blue blue sky.

milkweed in hand. milkweed in hand - blowing in the wind fire in the sky 

Gracie (almost) has a new friend, and her name is Shannon.
Shannon is a long-haired Dachshund! She makes me swoon.
She and Gracie seem to get along quite wonderfully, so I had high hopes of puppy playdates.
However, something happened between the two that left Grace with overly aggressive behaviour.
The fun stopped, and we were all quite shocked by the outburst.
I just don't get dog behaviour; they were happy & friendly and then BAM! snarl.snap.grrr.
I felt like the worst puppy mama; I hope Shannon & her owner forgive the transgression.
I so adore the long-haired doxies ...

Shannon the Doxie
Shannon the doxie! only 10 months old; so sweet!

I continue to work on my redesign for Tea & Chickadees! I'm doodling away, slowly creating the new space. I think I'll get it all done by the end of the week, so I do hope the sparse furnishings around these parts won't keep you at bay!
with joy,
Caren

10/8/11

...be patient please...

hello my dear chickadees!
If you've recently popped by & noticed something weird, don't be alarmed - I'm in a crazy redo-my-blog kinda mood and to kick-start things, I've removed a lot of design elements. I'm going back to basics, and more changes are to come forthwith.
I've already been filling pages in my art journal with sketches & ideas, and will be working on it over the weekend. Still not exactly sure what the end result will be, but I can tell you it will be quite different than it was! (um, vague much?)
So, don't mind the sparse looks of things right now - won't be long before something a bit more, uh, designy comes your way!
with joy,
Caren

10/7/11

a little Holga love

she holds her Holga close 
{photo of me by Michele}

I use my little yellow Holga quite often. It's become my favourite film camera, what with its vignettes and ability to do double exposures ... and let's be honest, it's just so darn cute! I haven't shared the shots I took this past summer with you, so thought I'd reminisce a bit.

The first few were taken during sunny outings to the Farmer's Market; both the Wednesday and the Saturday (we are a market town!):

Batman sneaker + Grace's paw
That's Grace's paw next to Batman's sneaker.
Gracie meets little girl
Little girl really wanted to pet Grace!
the Market's kawaii cuteness
Awesomely cute knitted hats & lots of kawaii goodness at this stall. :)
the Market's fidler
the fiddler of the Market.
the Market's pretty posies
pretty pretty posies at the Saturday Market.
my kitty sunbathing
Strongpaw the cat, suntanning. :)
old car meets new girl
double exposure: Astrid & a cool vintage car
she painted her finger nails
accidental double exposure of Astrid & .. I have no idea!
she cast a shadow over the cityscape
I love how this shot turned out. Astrid's outline can be seen to the left, overlooking downtown.

And it's not just me who loves the Holga!
Check it out:

Grace and the Holga
Grace looking statuesque next to the Holga.
the Cat & the Holga
Kahlo cat lookiing through the lens!

I hope you've enjoyed this trip down lomography land! I'm just testing a newly thrifted 1980s Ricoh AF2 film camera and am hopeful the snaps turn out swimmingly - I'll share them when I'm finished the roll! :)
with joy,
Caren

10/6/11

Tiny & Grace: puppy playdate!

Grace & Tiny frolic 

Grace met a new friend, in a little package named Tiny: the Chihuahua.
It was instant, their connection - they ran & ran & ran!
It was nigh impossible to get a good photo of them, since they hardly ever stopped to take a breath.
So.much.puppy.power!

Grace sees Tiny from afar 
above: Grace at attention upon seeing Tiny in the distance.
Grace & Tiny - puppy bum 
above: Tiny butt!

Grace & Tiny - blurred 
above: what most of the photos looked like.

Tiny the chihuahua 
above: Tiny tongue!

Grace & Tiny - puppy love
above: a rare moment of stillness, just before crazy puppyness ensued.

It's always such a blast when Grace meets a dog that can keep up with her crazy ways.
They didn't want to part ways; Tiny wanted Grace to go home with him (such a lady's man!).
They even kissed at the end of their "first date".... and I just got too cute, didn't I?

I definitely saw the Chihuahua in Gracie during this puppy playdate.
Everyone always says they see the Chihuahua in her, but I mostly see the Doxie/Pug.
But, yeah, it's pretty obvious seeing Tiny & Grace together that she's got lots of lil ChiChi in her!

Crazy dog lady,
Caren