11/30/11

Day Thirty: three wonderful things that happened this month

1. Spending time with a bunch of fabulous fellow bloggers today (more on this soon!):

the line up
from L-R {Mel  Des ✩ me ✩ Astrid ✩ Elycia ✩ Carly  Jen}

2. Being stitched by Jen aka Lucky Jackson! (pictured below being held by Jen's daughter Clare):

me, stitched by lucky jackson 

3. Chosen to be Profiled in Uppercase Magazine's Reader section!

uppercase 11 - my reader profile

Even with the nasty business of having my apartment ripped up & being displaced this month, November has been filled with positive notes! I'd say more joy came into my life than sadness during this 30 Days Hath November, and most of the joy happened today - the last of day of November!
I love it when a month ends on a high note, and it couldn't get much higher than spending an afternoon with talented, sweet, creative people - whilst also being surrounded by art & being served tea! I can't wait to share more on this day with you - but it'll have to wait! I'm exhausted and ready to go to bed now: happily & fulfilled. What more can a girl ask for?
with much joy,
Caren

Days Twenty-Six through Twenty-Nine

Day Twenty-Six: something I'm looking forward to :

Paris coordinates by sarahsmiledesign

Paris, 2012!

Day Twenty-Seven: myself, one year ago :

I had shorter hair, a nose ring, it was wintry instead of rainy, I was blond, I was doing web design work, I was busy packing Christmas orders from my Etsy shop... basically myself one year ago today was a lot like the me that is now except I have no nose ring, I'm growing out my hair, & I don't do web gigs any more. We all evolve, even the littlest of ways - so I am a different version of Me now. Hopefully wiser, possibly lighter, and definitely missing my nose ring.
I can't find a photo of myself a year ago, so you'll just have to get by with this lame text paragraph.

Day Twenty-Eight: a skill I'd like to learn :

I constantly toss out ideas of what I'd like to learn. Crochet, embroidery (which I used to do), carpentry, the ukulele, the banjo, the skill of organization, etc etc etc.


i love Zee Avi's voice! (you won't find me singing, just strumming a uke)

Day Twenty-Nine: some place I'd like to visit.

Come Fly With Me by LeaseaPenny

Japan, Australia, San Francisco, the Galapagos, the East Coast of Canada, the Northwest Territories, Portland Oregon, Vermont, the Bala Cranberry Festival, Montreal ... um. yah, there's places I'd like to visit.
Funny thing is, I hate to travel - or rather, travel hates me.
Which is why I enjoy little day trips.
Except for what I reference in Day 26 - I will triumph over travel for the chance to go to Paris!

Almost at the end of 30 Days Hath November - Day 30 is the last day, and hopefully I'll have a post ready for you before the 30th is over!
with joy,
Caren

11/27/11

Day Twenty-Five: the contents of my purse

what's in my purse, sketchbook edition
sketchbook entry : the contents of my purse

I also usually have crumpled receipts, a pack of gum, a bunch of keys, a hair clip, a necklace & a brooch (just in case), and other odds and ends. I just didn't draw them. :)
with joy,
Caren
*this close* to catching up with 30 Days Hath November!

Days Twenty-Two through Twenty-Four!

Day Twenty-Two: some place I’ve traveled :

"follow me" Leah Duncan

Vancouver Island - I will always remember the whale watching I did at Telegraph Cove. We mainly saw and heard Orca Whales, and I did see one Humpback break water. It was magical to hear them sing, to learn about their language, to see their mighty bodies break water. I felt both insignificant and all-powerful in that instance. Humans think they're all that, but we're really not as cool as most of the other lifeforms that share this planet with us. 

Day Twenty-Three: eight things you didn't know about me
  1. I lived in Saudi Arabia as a child.
  2. I used to think all cats were girls and all dogs were boys.
  3. I live with fibromyalgia, as well as other auto-immune disorders.
  4. I started collecting comic books when I was 11 years old because I wasn't able to go to school for an entire semester due to an illness. Comic books kept me company, and they also taught me how to draw!
  5. I still buy comic books from time to time (in fact, I just did so this past Wednesday!)
  6. I was once told that I was a "delicate flower". You may laugh.
  7. I don't like using the phone. Which is probably why I don't own a cell phone.
  8. I published a book of poetry/photography.
Day Twenty-Four: something that means a lot to me

freedom, even in its smallest form.
the freedom to jump in my car & just go.
the freedom to speak my mind, or not.
the freedom of choice.
"Be Free" by CygneNoir

with joy,
Caren
still catching up with 30 Days Hath November! Almost there! :)

Sunday Smile: gettin' Lucky!


That's me!
That's me as created by the indomitable Lucky Jackson!
Colour me swooned!
Jen (aka Lucky) has been mentioned numerable times in this little space, and now I get to tout her once again! This time directing you to her crazily creative endeavour, 365 Lucky Days and the portrait she did of little old moi.
Jen is creating a piece of original art every day for 365 days. Not just any art, but amazingly unique pieces of textile art - in the form of portraits. At least that's what we're getting treated to so far! Who knows what the future may bring? Which is why it's important to visit 365 Lucky Days daily!

- here's a few of my favourites (so far) -

day 55 day 31 DAY 65A day 23

It's a high possibility that you are already aware of Miss Lucky, as she's been buzzed about all over the blogosphere. Still, one cannot give too much love to this talented lady.
Jen and I have been bosom buddies for years now; I am so blessed to have had her breeze into my old shop Buttercup asking if I'd put her art up on the walls (I did, oh so happily so!). I had already known about her art, but somehow didn't realize she was from my own town! Crazy cool! We bonded over our love of a good thrift, of all things vintage, comic books & geekery, and at the heart of it all, our shared Peter Pan syndrome (we embrace our inner child a  lot!).
I loves her lots.
Thank you, Jen, for creating art using my face!
with lucky joy,
Caren

11/26/11

Day Twenty-One: something I could never tire of

- Grace -
Autumn 2008 - Grace sitting pretty.

walking the dog

Caren
p.s. this is a belated entry into the 30 Days Hath November - there are more to come!

Day Twenty: a childhood anecdote

When I was a wee lass, and my mom, dad, sister and I were moving home from Saudi Arabia, we had the opportunity to go anywhere in the world before settling back in Canada.
My sister and I chose Disney World.
I think it's because all of the other countries/places we went to were more adult-oriented - Greece, Switzerland, England, Sri Lanka, etc. We didn't have a choice in any of those - but Disney World? It sounded so EXOTIC!
It was not.
Although, I did get to have a boa constrictor around my neck - wish I could find that polaroid of me! It's one of my favourites. However, I did find the two shots below - one of me & Pinocchio (who I had no interest in) and a Polaroid of me, my sister, one of my brothers, and my dad at the Skyway (my mom took it).
Funny thing is, if you were to take a close look at that Polaroid, you'd see 4 people who don't seem to be having a good time. Well, at least my brother looked cute in his short shorts.

this is me with Pinocchio. a family polaroid
that camera my dad is holding? that's my sweet Pentax ME.
the Polaroid that took this shot? my sweet SX70!
(yes, my memories are linked up to the cameras used)

Moral of this story?
Disney World isn't as cool as I thought.
Should've picked Australia or Japan or the Northwest Territories... you get the idea.
with joy,
Caren
p.s. this is a belated entry into the 30 Days Hath November - there are more to come!

11/22/11

for your viewing pleasure : the lovely owl.



I just watched this owl video about 3+ times. Entirely too cute for words.
I want to pet that baby owl so bad!

I captured some stills of the little owlet, just for further oohing and ahhing value:





and let's not forget these guys:



I need an owlet, stat!
with joy & feathers,
Caren

11/21/11

Day Nineteen:a silly self-portrait


Well, I think it's silly. When I was blow drying my hair this morning I remembered today's prompt from 30 Days Hath November was a silly self portrait. I figured I'd get it over with first thing so set up my camera on the bathroom counter & got this shot. Yay to crazy flying hair and purple hair dryers!

note: in last blog post I mentioned how I most often wear a favourite striped shirt and a pair of jeans (in fact I drew a crappy picture of said outfit)? I did not lie.
with joy,
Caren

Catching up with 30 Days Hath November

{teatime : mug cozy my mom made for me w/ a zebra button! happiness}

Day Twelve: Three blogs I can’t get enough of :

365 Days of Lucky I love this girl! She's got mad skills. I feel pretty lucky that I scammed her into being have her as my friend.

Old Brand New Dabito has such an eye for design + he has a way with photography. Also, his dog Beatrice is the cutest (a cute dog or cat is always a bonus to any blog)!

Miss Moss I visit Diana's blog to get inspired and to find out about new-to-me designers and artists. It's a beautiful space to visit, so I like to go about once a week so I can really immerse myself in her posts.

Day Thirteen: Something I'm proud of :

this space you're in right now. I'm pretty proud that I've kept a blog going for over 2 years (forgot to celebrate my 2nd year "blogiversary" - oops!). For a girl with the attention span of a gnat, I find this to be pretty cool. It certainly has evolved, devolved, evolved again, and is now a comfortable place for me to call my blog home.

Day Fourteen: A favourite movie :

can I change this to a favourite TV series? Yes? Awesome! Then I choose Gilmore Girls! Oh, wait, Buffy The Vampire Slayer! They're tied. So it's okay for me to choose both.
if I have to pick a movie, then I'll go with The Brothers Bloom just to be difficult. (I've only seen The Brothers Bloom once, but it really stuck in my mind - it's a pretty awesome flick)

Day Fifteen: Some style inspiration for the season :

um. I'm not a style follower. I wear jeans and shirts. And shoes. Not fancy shoes, but also not crappy shoes. But, I guess if I were to pick an inspiration, I'll go with this:

{Jillian from The Noisy Plume : I love everything about this photo; the sky, the field, the effortless style of the woman in the centre of it all}

Day Sixteen: Someone who inspires me :

My goddaughter Astrid - she's a constant source of inspiration for me! I wish I had a pinky's-worth of her style-sense and artistic ability. I've known Astrid since she was, oh, I think 11? It feels like I've known her and her family forever, though. And during my entire relationship with Astrid, I have been constantly wowed by what she can do. She makes me want to do more and be more.

{a nifty accidental double exposure of Astrid (in the background) & I}

Day Seventeen: My family :

my family consists of 4 siblings, 11 nephews/nieces, an aunt & uncle, a bunch of cousins, and a wonderful mom. also, my puppydog Grace and my kittycat Strongpaw. add onto that my chosen family, the Ackermans (see previous Day re. Astrid, and add onto that her brother Alek and their parents Michele & Martin).

Day Eighteen: What I wore today :

since I haven't been taking too many photos these days, I did a quick sketch of what I wore this day. It's pretty much what I wear most days. Also, this drawing somehow depicts me as a Manga-esque character. It's how I see myself in comic book form.

kinda wish my hair actually looked like I drew it.

And there you have it! My catch-up with 30 Days Hath November!
I know I've not been around much in the online world; it's somewhat difficult to do my normal daily routine when I'm displaced. I've started to make my temporary home into more of a Me space - basically by taking over with a myriad of vintage goods for my Etsy shop. It doesn't feel like home unless I'm stepping over boxes full of vintage!
with joy,
Caren

11/15/11

Distraction from Reality: a warm kitten

{click link to visit photo's original home on Etsy}

I'm afraid I'm not in the blogging spirit of late. I'm behind in my 30 Days Hath November and have very little inspiration in which to draw from right now. My Sunday Smile was a cheerful antidote to the reality I'm living in right now. 
Late last week my apartment became inhospitable. A nasty little surprise hit me on Thursday, in the form of a sewage backup. My apartment is in the basement of a 60+ year old house, and suddenly the dear old plumbing decided it needed to be seen, smelled and heard. My bathtub erupted in all manner of crap (literally). From there, it went downhill. Turned out the main plumbing line that hooks up to the city line needed to be replaced; this happened to be in my living room floor. It also happened to be so full that when the caps were taken off you didn't have to go far to see the sludge - it was *this close* to bursting through my living room floor. Luckily, it was caught in time, but not quite so perfectly. My entire living room all the way to my bedroom has been contaminated. To say it's gross is an understatement. I rescued most of my belongings before things got really bad, thankfully. 
I've been pretty stressed out. It'll be a while before my home will be home again. First it needs to be sanitized, then further destruction will be done before rebuilding. To be honest, the idea of going back into that place makes me pretty sick; in fact it has made me sick.
The silver lining? I get to have new flooring put in. The carpet in half of the apartment is compromised, so bye bye carpet, hello laminate (or something equally non-carpet)! I hate carpets, so I'm not-so-secretly happy about that turn of events. It'll be covered by insurance to boot!
Sorry to go on about the poopy (ha!) situation I'm in, but I just thought I'd let it all hang out here. I'm trying to stay positive, but deep down inside I'm not-so-cheerful.
I'll be spending today moving out some more belongings to get ready for the sanitation to begin. Then it's a waiting game to see how fast new flooring and drywall can be put back up.
So, aren't you glad I didn't share any photos of the situation I've painted a pretty picture of?
Sweet kittens looking cute in vintage photographs is much better!
with hesitant joy,
Caren

11/13/11

Sunday Smile: some chicken love

chicken face chicken bum chicken face chicken bum - hello naughty chickens on the fence

Those are some mighty fine chicken bums and chicken faces, no?
I enjoyed chatting with these 2 girls whilst they scampered along the fence top.
They were looking for these particular berries that grow on the vines covering the fence;
I ignored the fact that they were naughty chickens for being up there.
It's probably my fault they misbehaved; I feed them the berries through our fence!
These are my next door neighbour's chickens, of which I have had the joy of partaking in their bounty (eggs!).

The girls make me smile when they come a'running to greet me when I'm in my backyard, looking for a berry or two. They will be sad chickens when the berries are all gone; I'll have to find another treat to give them during the winter!
with joy,
Caren

11/11/11

Day Eleven: Something I’ve been craving

I've been craving pancakes a lot lately.

Really big pancakes.
{I want to lick the monitor right now}

with joy,
Caren

Day Ten: What I like most about my job.

Well, the 10th 30 Days Hath November prompt had me thinking hard. First I had to figure out what my job title is, then I could answer the question. I honestly can't figure out my job title. I work from home, running my vintage shop. I do some odd jobs now & then doing graphic, print & web design (more of a rarity these days as I've become bored of computer related work - was in the biz for over a decade). Um, so with all of that, what do I do? I can tell you that my favourite part of owning my vintage Etsy shop (thevintageapartment.com) is finding the vintage goodies! I love to hunt. I also love to research the history of the items. Then there's the photographing of said vintage goodies - it's a creative spark! Oh, and then there's designing the Thank You cards for my customers which I do enjoy. I guess I love a lot of aspects of my current gig.

Family Thrift Store
{me at a Salvation Army Thrift Shop; in my crappy I'm-thrifting-so-whatever clothes}

I can go one further, though, and say the thing I like least about it is working from home. I have cramped quarters and a real lack of people-related energy/inspiration. Having had owned an honest-to-goodness retail store and the social hubbub it entailed made me love that energy! So, working solo from my small apartment is sometimes difficult. But then again, my natural way of being a homebody + somewhat anti-social kind of makes working from home quite apropos, no?
with joy,
Caren

11/9/11

Day Nine: a close-up of my day - UPPERCASE

uppercase 11 - pretty crayon cover!

I actually ventured outside of the house today, to run some errands. This is the first time I've gone out, without a helping hand, in quite a while. I'm utterly pooped now, though, and will be in rest-mode this aft/eve. I brought my camera with me to take part in today's 30 Days Hath November prompt - to show a "close-up of my day". Thing is, I forgot to use the camera ... well, actually, it was more that I was too tired to use the camera.
However! I did do a close-up of a very very happy moment I had today, before I left the house.
My issue 11 of Uppercase Magazine came in the mail today!

uppercase 11 - hello!

I have heard from a few friends that I was actually in this issue, and I was full of anticipation to see what it was all about. I had a suspicion it was for the readers' Profiles section - and I was right!

uppercase 11 - my reader profile

 I had sent in my profile to Uppercase back when they had asked readers to submit them (using a series of questions). I excitedly filled mine out, as I was/am an Uppercase reader, carefully picking out a Polaroid that my goddaughter Astrid had taken of me riding a vintage bicycle. I took my time answering the questions, letting myself ponder over them a little. So, when Jen tweeted me that I was in the most recent issue, I did an internal squeal.

uppercase 11 - Triangles!
{above: Triangles! I love geometric shapes!}
uppercase 11 - Flashlights!
{above: Flashlights! Reminds me of my friend Martin}
uppercase 11 - OWLS!
{above: OWLS! The fact my lil profile was in the same issue as owls made me utterly gleeful!}

So, there's a little snapshot of a moment of time in my day today. A happy little moment. 
I hope you've enjoyed this peek at the inside of Uppercase Magazine - my favourite use of paper! :)
I wasn't able to renew my subscription right away, but as soon as I saved up the $$, I immediately went to Uppercase's website and bought the renewal. 
Thank you Uppercase for being a constant source of inspiration (and for putting me in print!)
with joy,
Caren

11/8/11

Day Eight: the last item I purchased

... this ...

the Spare necklace on Buddha owl
{The Noisy Plume's Spare necklace, perched upon my Buddha owl}

{photo by Jillian}
{wearing my Spare}

I have always wanted to have a little piece joy that is The Noisy Plume, but the first time I bought from Jillian's shop it was as a gift for my mom (I got her a pair of earrings for Christmas last year). I kept prowling the Plume's shop, waiting for something to feel right for me. Late one night (or rather early early morning), I was browsing Etsy and happened to see a new listing that Plume had done. When I saw the Spare necklace, it felt right. Specially when I read Jillian's words:
For days when your soul is spare.

A white room.

A winter washed plain, grasses bowing down in handfuls of wind.
Bright, quiet and clean.
At that moment, I needed something soothing. I was having a bit of a bad time (being sick for so long amongst other things) and when I read the above prose it just fit. I was feeling sparse in my soul & needed a little filling. 
I adore this necklace; its simplicity, it's lightness, the way it nestles just below my collar bone. It's like a whisper from a bird's feather laying there.

Visit the Plume's blog for the most beautiful writing and stunning photography. You'll feel refreshed.
with joy,
Caren

Day Seven: a song for the day



Pink Martini : Splendor in the Grass
This song gets me everytime. it's sweet. it's simple. it's meaningful.
I just watched the video for the first time right now & it's just like the song.
Pink Martini is just about to release a Retrospective CD, which I might need to get. Definitely want their Christmas CD!
I've been a fan of Pink Martini's for quite a while now. The mix of retro vibe & international flair is so unique!
I hope you enjoy this song for the day (a day late).
{part of the 30 Days Hath November prompt}
with joy,
Caren

11/6/11

Sunday Smile: my ukulele

taking a stroll with my ukulele 

A little while ago, I was thrifting with my goddaughter Astrid and during our travels, I found myself a ukulele. A beautiful vintage Harmony ukulele. Besides the banjo, the ukulele is something I have a crush on. I have no musical ability, just ask my childhood piano teacher. However, I'm told I have a good ear. An ex of mine had started to teach me the guitar, and while I did enjoy strumming the old girl, I sucked at being a student (this has always been the case). So, this time, with my sweet little ukulele, I am teaching myself. I've already learned to tune it and am now starting with some basic first lessons via YouTube. I hope I can actually play you a tune sometime! Just don't ask me to sing ... my voice may cause nausea. ;)

holding my ukulele 
{above: faux strumming of my ukulele & Gracie pup running amok}
i like my hat 
{above: my banjo-playing hat w/ my mom's very vintage leather leaf brooch}
i like my tshirt 
{above: a new Tshirt that I adore - I haven't bought myself Tshirts in years!}
i love my ukulele taking a stroll with my ukulele

I also scored myself a beginner's guitar for next to nothing. It's a cheap Nova guitar, but good enough to learn some basic stuff on. I may just start teaching myself how to play it, as well. Who knows? Maybe I'll tap into some hidden talents? Or at least look cool trying.
Trying new things makes me smile :)
with joy,
Caren