Category Archives: Travel

Friday I’m in Love: Cats

I’ve been lacking motivation to post these days, and have been overall kinda blah.

I think a large contributing factor has been the death of my cat. Not long after our move, my little Weasley developed complications resulting from his rippling skin syndrome….and we had to make the heartbreaking decision to put him down.

He was an amazing cat. His fur was sublimely soft, he had beautiful long whiskers, and he loved to talk. You could hold an entire conversation with him, and never once feel like you were being silly because he listened…and answered. He was just so full of personality.

I still look for him everywhere and miss him like crazy. A side effect that I think might be exacerbated by the fact that I still find his fur everywhere, is that I’ve become a little cat crazy. Like, crazy cat lady crazy.

Case in point:

On my recent vacation in Barbados I befriended a stray whom my boyfriend dubbed Kittimus Cattimus. We were staying in a little cottage on the beach, and she became a regular: there to greet us every morning, and insisting we pet her just a little more before we went to bed every night.

She was a hyper, yet endearing, little bugger. If I could have, I’d have packed her up in my suitcase and brought her home. Since I couldn’t, I’ve been obsessing about cats in other ways…

1. Clockwork Kitty / 2. Patchwork calico cat / 3. Vintage cat medical model
4. Cat bead charms / 5. Golden kitten ring

So what’s the verdict? Am I a crazy cat lady? Or is that moniker reserved for ladies actually owning multiple cats (either real or ceramic)? In my defence, I haven’t actually purchased any of the above items…though the steampunk kitty is pretty tempting (he looks remarkably like Weasley, doesn’t he?)

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Random Photos (part un)

I failed miserably at taking a photo a day. I also completely failed at taking everyday photos on a regular basis, which I thought would be easier than taking photos on a daily basis (I guess it wasn’t). As a result, I think I’ve become a little gun shy: I haven’t been taking ANY photos at all.

To try and re-inspire myself…photographically speaking…I am going to randomly highlight photos from my library that I like and enjoy, in the hopes they’ll remind me what I like about photography, and get me snapping again.

Here we go:

My boy took this photo of me on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls. I like the feeling you get that it was taken almost unexpectedly (like he was caught in the act). This is the kind of spontaneous photo my boyfriend excels at taking. Once in awhile he’ll actually manage to snap a super spontaneous shot that doesn’t show the subject (umm…me) as a clueless mouth-breather.

My take-away from this photo: Don’t always try to take the perfect picture. Take more chances and just press the button already. It’s digital, what is there to lose?

I love details. I especially love being able to capture the details that initially drew me in to something, and that helped create an emotional response to it. I’m not always successful at doing this (ok, I’m hardly ever successful at doing this). But I keep trying: in this closeup of the Vietnam Woman’s Veterans Memorial I made a valiant attempt to do so…look at the expressions on the faces, the texture of the hair and the clothes (and the teeth!)…

This is one of my favourite photos of my late cat Weasley…it didn’t matter that I had a crappy camera at the time, or that I barely knew how to use it. It was taken at just the right time of day, providing the perfect lighting: sunlight streaming in the window behind him glows beautifully off his back, and highlights his plentiful whiskers (God, I loved those whiskers of his). Sometimes everything just kind of falls in to place, and we manage to capture it.

I love it when that happens.

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Type Tuesdays: Type Camp

Ever since my boy went to guitar camp in Alaska two years ago (he’s headed back this fall), I’ve been looking for my own theme getaway. I’ve considered bead or craft cruises, sewing courses, and even cooking classes, but I’ve never been able to really convince myself that I’m interested enough to commit to an actual theme vacation.

Just when I was ready to give up the idea for good, I came across Type Camp. Type Camp? Hello, I think I might be in love…Type is definitely something I could commit to.

While I might like to participate in camps in Rome, Weimar (Germany) or India, I’m particularly drawn to California where discussions, lessons, and workshops are led by world-renowned instructors who “…help you to become a better typographer and a better designer. By day, we’ll have typography workshops and by evening, we’ll stroll through the rolling hills of California wine-country…”

[ This years’ California Type Camp will be held at Dancing Deer Farm, pictured above ]

Ummm…A beautiful location, type and wine? Sign me up!

Unfortunately, this year’s California camp is just a little too soon to arrange, especially considering my upcoming move…it’s a shame, but at least now I know about it…and as cartoons from my childhood stated: knowing is half the battle.

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Friday I’m In Love: Vacation Prep (otherwise known as a reason to buy random stuff)

I’m headed to Italy in a little under a month. It’ll be my second visit – my boy and I loved it so much the first time we’re headed back for more. The benefit of this is that we know what to expect: For instance, we know how to order food in restaurants (get multiple dishes). We know how to cross the street (step onto it). And we know that a daily gelato is an absolute must (more if your waistline can afford it!).

Notwithstanding the fact we’re basically prepared, I still have the sense that I’m lacking in necessities…that I don’t have the right clothes, or the right shoes…that I need more “equipment” (read: gadgets) to help me deal with everyday life on the road. It’s silly, really, because I get this feeling before every single vacation I go on….and all it is, is an excuse to buy stuff.

Here’s what I’m currently loving, and absolutely must have for my upcoming trip:

An e-reader. Every vacation I pack my bag full of books, in the hopes they’ll last until the plane touches down back home. More often than not….they don’t. This time around, I won’t have the weight or the worry that I’ll run out, because instead I’ll be bringing dozens, if not hundreds of books with me on my brand spanking new Kindle. Yep. I’ve already bought it (because, of course, I had to “learn” how to use it!), as well as an apple green cover, complete with a handy-dandy light (perfect for reading in low-level lighting conditions like a plane).

A new tote (or purse, or shoulder bag, or whatever). One that can double as my carry-on for the plane, and that I can use in my day-to-day adventures. Something that’ll fit my Kindle, wallet, tour books, water bottles, snacks, maps, a cardigan, small purchases, you name it. Oh, and it’d be great if it allowed me to organize everything inside and closed securely.

Something like Selina Vaughan’s absolutely beautiful and unique vintage seed sack totes. Available on her website, as well as through her Etsy store, these bags are both large enough, and appear to have a sufficient amount of organizational aids inside their zippered closures. I’ve been lusting after these for awhile, only can’t decide which one I like best….

Another purse-maker that’s caught my eye on Etsy is Milloo from Greece. She’s got a great assortment of styles, in both affordable canvas, as well as more expensive leather versions. I particularly like her Kallia bags (especially the bright red and green ones), as well as the Elessa. This one’s got more of a purse-y feel to it, but remains sufficiently large to pack a lot of stuff, and offers two ways to carry it. Both practical and pretty.

Shoes. Don’t I always need shoes? Of course I do! But my upcoming trip is just an excuse to get them now. As usual, my shoe fantasies err on the side of practical and cute. Like Ugg Australia’s Neema II in Mist Denim….I won’t lie to you: I bought these after work yesterday. As soon as I’d slipped them on my feet, and felt their cushion-y softness, it was a done deal. So comfy.

Skinny pants. Dare I elaborate? Jeggings. I don’t know if I should be happy about this new found (and comfortable) discovery, or hanging my head in shame.

A dress. Anyone who knows me really well thinks I’m lying right now…but it’s true. Before every vacation I start dreaming of a world where I shave my legs regularly (!) and wear dresses. Deep (deep, deep) down, I want to be more feminine, and wear dresses. Even deeper down, I suspect a part of me also sees the practicality of not having to match a top and bottom…but I digress.

I discovered Shabby Apple this week, and have once again begun dreaming in technicolour about wearing dresses. Like their super cute Gondola dress that looks like a separate kelly green top (love!) and amazing striped bottom (love x2!).

And if only I looked good in yellow (do I? I don’t think so…)…because I adore the cute scalloped top on Bellissima. It just looks like a happy outfit to wear:

So…am I nuts? Or does everyone have the same irrational need to buy new things before a vacation? (Because honestly? my wallet would definitely appreciate a slightly more practical approach, considering the costs of the vacation itself.)

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Oh My: Vintage Camper Follow-Up

A few weeks ago, I wrote about running away in a vintage camper…at about the same time, my boyfriend’s mother was discovering my blog, learning a few new things about me, and coming up with some pretty special Christmas gift ideas. Today, I’m sharing one of those gifts with you. A photo:

Imagine my surprise when I opened up a pretty package to find the above snapshot from a family camping trip back in the early 1950s with….yep….a vintage (wooden!) teardrop camper.

Teardrop campers like this had room for two adults to sleep, with an area for cooking outside under the rear “hatch”. The image to the left provides a better idea of its likely configuration [ source: teardrops.net ]. Apparently only the larger campers had their wheels inside the body of the camper…so this sucker could have been as big as 6-1/2′ wide, 5′ high, and nearly 12′ long.

This alone was a fantastic find…but what I found wrapped up beneath it almost blew my mind: the camera that took that very same photo…an old Kodak Brownie.

According to the Brownie Camera Page, the Brownie Holiday Camera was produced from 1953-1962 and came in two models: one with, and one without, a flash (mine doesn’t have the flash attachments). The Brownie Holiday Flash retailed for about $5.00 (which seems an obscene amount of money for the time), and came with this cutie little manual:

So now I have to find a suitable display for my oh-so-cute brownie camera, and the photo it took…though that’ll only happen once I’m in a more permanent living situation where I’ll actually bother to decorate.

(Oh the plans I have for that future, mysterious, and elusive abode.)

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