posts filed under the 'out of town' category :
November 21st, 2010

le petit écureuil

Location: Top of Mount Royal; Monday, November 15th, 2010.squirrel in distance

Come to me little squirrel!at your feet

Oh. That was easy.squirrel on leg

Oh! Um, hi. Well, you’re on my leg, aren’t you. Ugh, well, let me see what I can find.little pig squirrellittle pig squirrel

How about these maple caramel cones that I bought for my friend Bobby as I know they are a favorite childhood treat and that he hasn’t had them in forever. Just one of the two though; I MUST save one for Bobby.back for more

Crap. Sorry Bobby.sweet old squirrelthank you

Hello fat old squirrel. Your skinny(er) friend ate most of my treats, but here’s a crumb.

“Fat old squirrel says merci, silly english woman”.watch over you

“Me and my sticky squirrel friend will watch over you for your kindness. Bonsoir!”

November 19th, 2010


Not dead! Not dead! I promise! Just getting back on track after a week of travel, food, dancing, food, drinks, food, and family. And food. squirrel au Mont Royal

Oh, and this guy. Hai there!

November 12th, 2010

buoy bird takes flight yet again

Geez, for a bird with a buoy of her own, I go away quite a bit! But I’m not complaining; this year of travel has been such an unexpected treat. This weekend it’s all about my gal pal Izzy, and a convoy of us are heading to Montreal for her birthday extravaganza. Seeing as I’ve never been to Montreal before, I don’t really know what I’m getting myself into, but I’ve been told to dress well and to expect the best! So with that my feathery friends, I’m off to get a chic hair cut, pack my bags, and I’ll see you all next week! Au revoir for now! x0Montreal

Photo by Slack12 via

October 14th, 2010


“Hiiiii… Shane was it? Hi Shane. My name is Vikki Humphrey, and I hold a Visa card with your company. Yah, well, I’m on vacation, and I could reeeeally use a credit limit increase…”

You can always judge a great vacation by how much money you blow. I had a really, really great vacation :P

Jeff, myself, and a couple friends headed down to Chicago this past weekend for Canadian Thanksgiving to visit with a fellow, relocated Canadian. I knew the weekend would be a blast, just based on the company I would be keeping, but I never imagined I would fall so in love with a city that I otherwise would have never explored.lighthouseboat collage

The first endeavour we took on was the river and lake architecture boat tour. Definitely no regrets. With a river running through the city, towering sky scrapers, and a harbour front reminiscent of those in Nova Scotia, I felt like I was in a million places all at once. It was very nostalgic and awe inspiring.building collage

The architecture in Chicago is INSANE! The old world styles mixed with innovative and sometimes sci-fi looking buildings was pure eye-candy, and all the eras seemed to gel together to create a sky line that was like nothing I’ve ever seen before.the bean

THE BEAN! I was dying to see the bean (aka: the Cloud Gate Sculpture in Millennium Park), and it did not disappoint. If you only got to glance at Chicago for a split second, the best way to do it would be via the Bean. The reflective surface is designed to capture the whole Chicago skyline in one magnificent image, allowing you to take in a 180 degree view just by standing back and looking forward. It was also cool to get really close up and make silly faces into the convex and concave surfaces, kinda like the mirror house at the circus.fall collage

We landed in Chicago at the perfect time of year, in my opinion. Fall is beautiful most anywhere, but Chicago had that specific autumn splendor in spades. Although we were treated to above average temperatures, the streets were still leaf-covered, sun drenched, and decorated for the season.centerpiece collage

Our biggest “excuse” for going to Chicago was to bring a proper Canadian Thanksgiving to our newly fake-yankee’d friend. Guess what? Fresh turkeys are HARD to come by a month before the host country is to celebrate their own Thanksgiving, so we had to settle for a couple fresh chickens. However, Jeff tried his hand at brining this year, and now none of us will likely be satisfied by anything less ever again. Moist and salty, and complimented by the fall harvest’s best veg, we were sufficiently suffonsified (Thanks Kyla ;) ). And what is a harvest table without a centerpiece!? Making due with that which can be found in a manly-man’s condo, I think I did pretty good.


OK. The shops (remember that credit limit increase?). I won’t go on about the scads of money I spent at superstores and bargain basements which we just don’t have here in Canada (for shame!), but I do have to share with you a couple of the ADORABLE places that were right within our host’s community.Maude the Pugpug collage

This is Maude. Maude is ambassador and co-owner of Paper Doll, a stationary and gift store in the heart of Wicker Park. Maude and Stacy (also a co-owner, along with sister Kelly) were kind enough to show me around Paper Doll, revealing to me all the wonderful things that I was then SO tempted to buy. What I wanted to take away with me the most was Maude herself (as many of you know, I’m a pug fanatic), but as she is quite attached to her loving Paper Doll family, I was shown other ways to take the spirit of Maude home with me: Maude Pins (made for the shop’s upcoming 10 year anniversary), Maude tee’s, and even a Port-a-Pug, a paper Maude-like creation that is cute, cardboard, and convenient.card collage

Paper Doll carries a plethora of indie-designed greeting cards and paper goods. The perfect place to pick up a Thank You card for a certain Chicagoan host.bird collagetea

Pins, figurines, candles, teas, and toys were just a few more things that I could have lined my shopping bags with, but I had to have some restraint. It’s one thing to get on hands and knees to photograph a stranger’s shop; it’s another to try to take all the stranger’s goods with you back through customs. However, if you would like to see more of the shop, and all that I had to leave behind, check out Paper Doll’s website here. If you’re in touch with them, tell Maude and Stacy I said hello, and give sweet Maude a puppy kiss for me. Pug breath lasts an hour, but pug love lasts a lifetime.bead collagebeadniks

The next local shop I stumbled upon was Beadniks, the best damn bead shop I have ever been in! Woods, metals, stones, and feathers in every color can be found in this earthy, upbeat shop. But the best find at Beadniks was the staff. Lauren was a creative genius like no other, helping me craft an awesome set of Halloween earrings, and a great felt-bead necklace. I wish I could have stuck around to take in a week’s worth of Beadniks workshops, like “Booze and Beads” (YAY!) and “Fringe Benefits”, a class on making beaded earrings. Check them out here, and if you are a lucky devil who lives in Chicago, be sure to visit the shop up on Division Street.Mmmmm

And last, but NEVER-NO-NEVER-NOT least, Chicago. Deep. Dish. Pizza. Holy crap. Just look at that cheese! This might be the main reason for me not to live in Chicago; I’d weigh a million pounds. Jeff and I were determined to have at least one slice of proper Chi-town Deep Dish before we left, so after coyly asking a valet attendant where to find the best of the best, we found ourselves on the steps of Giordano’s. You know when slang leaves your mouth in the most organic of ways while immersed in a particular culture? Well, I actually said “Mama Mia!” while eating this pizza without realizing it. I could go on ad nauseum about this amazing, decadent creation, but really, words just can not describe. Check out Giordano’s website here, but know that if you do, you’ll just be all the more likely to buy a plane ticket to Chicago just so that you too can have the cheesy, euphoric experience.vik and jeff in chicago

And that was Chicago. The most beautiful city I’ve ever been in, and one I intend to return to again and again. It swept me off my feet, tantalized all of my senses, and left me breathless, broke, and begging for more… pizza that is. :)

October 13th, 2010


Oh Friends! How I have forsaken you! My apologies for not being around at ALL this past week; I have been in BEAUTIFUL Chicago, enjoying the fall… and the shopping! Stay tuned for all the sights and shops I took in, and I promise, no more absences for a while ;) See you tomorrow!!!chicago

October 2nd, 2010

inside the rosebud

There is nothing like a day of baking cookies and pies to make you ready to write about the great indoors. I mean, check out this kitchen: baking in it and then writing about it? Easy.lanterns

The first time we came to the ‘Rosebud (approximately a month ago), we didn’t know what to expect. And to be honest, the same to can be said even today. As I mentioned, there is always plenty to do here, but there is also always plenty to look collagedining table

I have found myself being pulled to head outside on the sunny days we have spent here, only to be pulled even stronger to stay in the house to craft, cook, or even just to take in the scenery which lies within. Autumn is always a time of deep, rich colors, but The Winking Rosebud has managed to include all these beautiful colors inside the main house, making it just as beautiful as the changing leaves that are just beyond its big picture windows.tablescapepumpkin candles

There is no category that the main house fits into. There are Mexican tiles on the floors, African tapestries on the walls, Tibetan instruments in corners, and plenty of Canadiana sprinkled around liberally. Not a hint of beige or white, let me tell you. This hodge-podge of color and culture comes together to make a home that is warm, full, and oh-so inviting. I felt it the moment we walked through the hand-carved front door.dragon collage

Although the ‘Rosebud is a very eclectic place, it carries the classic comforts of home, allowing it to be both an amazing gallery of art and furniture AND a loving place where you can kick back, relax, and feel like one of the family. There is a lot of love here, and it is evident in all that this place is and that these people are.odiefireplace

So, that’s all for me from The Winking Rosebud. A HUGE thank you to our hosts; you have inspired us, and reminded us so much of what home really means. This place truly is a ‘retreat’, as any guest (myself included) would flee to this place again and again.

Vikki and Jeff

love, Vikki and Jeff

October 1st, 2010

outside the rosebud

Mmmmm, the smell of fall in the country. I consider myself a lucky, lucky gal to be getting the chance to experience it. Usually I don’t hit an semblance of country until around December (home for Christmas! I have my tickets booked!), so I’ve been indulging in the chance to take in the smells, as well as the sights, around the exterior of The Winking Rosebud. And although I can’t share all the gorgeous smells of fallen leaves, wet grass, and crisp air with you, I can show you some of the wonderful property which is providing them.Deef

The other day I shared with you the guest house that Jeff and I have been populating for the majority of this week. Well, as there are now new guests up there, we have moved into the Big House. Just wait until you see the inside of this place…outside house

A few of the days spent here have been a bit on the rainy side, but that has been a-ok with me. It was the kind of rain that reminds me of the scene in Dirty Dancing when Baby and Johnny steal the car to go practice their moves (ya with me? anyone???), so I enjoyed the rainfall-romance from under a gazebo, glass of wine in hand, and computer in lap. Long afternoon bliss.rainy day

The wildlife around the property has been wonderful, reminding me of the peaceful souls in the world (the ones that aren’t crammed into the subway at 8 am, pre-morning coffee). Horses, dogs, squirrels, chipmunks and an apparent coyote have kept life existing around me, even in my quietest moments. Of all the moments shared with these creatures, I have loved the most my mornings with the chickadees. If you know me well, you know my (permanent) love for these little guys ;)green collagechickadee

There is always something to do at the ‘Rosebud, both inside and out. We have had parties, bonfires, dirt bike races, and hot tubs all week long. I have yet to hop in this canoe, which will likely happen this weekend, so don’t be too surprised if you don’t hear much from me over the next couple of days. This gal has got a lot more relaxing to do before she’s back to the grind.axe and canoe

So, in closing, I have to apologize for not sharing what Buoy Bird is predominantly going to be about: MY home. But I promise you, through experiencing another’s home that ignites the senses as much as this one has, I will only be better equipped to bring all the potential beauty of my home to the forefront. Just give me a few more days here ;)


photo by Jeff Chew

Stay tuned for Part Two: inside the rosebud.

September 28th, 2010


G’day Everyone! Sorry that I haven’t been around for the past couple of days with stories of shops, crafts, yard sales, and the like but, as many of you know, I am spending my week enjoying a much needed break from the city life.

Getting out of town is no easy feat for me and mine, being car-less and all. So when we were offered the opportunity to spend a whole seven days at a family/friends’ retreat, we jumped and held on to that offer good and tight.

Welcome to The Winking Rosebud Retreat.the winking rosebud

This is my home for the next week, and what a home it is.cottage

We hadn’t even pulled up the front drive when I felt myself starting to unwind, making me realize how tightly wound I actually was.driveway

The Winking Rosebud is my boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend’s parent’s place (HA!), but to put it simply, we’re staying with friends. Great friends. These lovely people have built a home that they get to enjoy year round, taking in the simple pleasures of a country life.squirrel

I will feature much more on The Winking Rosebud throughout the week, but today I thought I would just share with you some of the simple pleasures that I am enjoying.pumpkinhorseshoesteeny horses

Check in through the week to catch more of The Winking Rosebud’s interiors, exteriors, and all that this wonderful place is inspiring. I’m off to do more of this…my view


September 27th, 2010

where’d ya go?

Hey folks! I just wanted to pop in and let you know that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, as I did promise you all that I’d be updating at least 3-5 times a week. I am currently in one of the most inspirational places you could be during the fall in Ontario, and I might just need today to take it all in. Then I will start sharing all this fabulousness with you, so stay tuned!!! :) leaves