Friday, December 28, 2012

Some Things I've Bought For Myself

You know how this fall positioned itself as the optimal platform for my great online spendathon. Caught in the depths of illness, the only thing I could do, it seemed, was to cruise the internet for cool things. It was a useful exercise given that Xmas was on its way.

I practiced that time-worn method: One thing for you, two things for me and, gotta say, I don't regret any of my splurges.

Most of my self-shopping was accomplished via Etsy, where I found the following:

Adorable poster from Loose Petals
I bought a couple of these posters in a couple of different sizes for between 20 - 35 bucks each. They arrived promptly and well-packaged and they're printed on the loveliest, textured paper. Let me say that these are utterly cheerful and I can't wait to hang them.

Vintage Knitting Mag from Libromancer
Oh, how I love this Vogue Knitting mag from Fall/Winter 1968. You may be thinking: Hey, Kristin. Didn't you say that bulky knits don't suit you? Well, peeps, these are not thick in the modern sense. The styles are very structured, just beautiful!, and so sleekly modern. I cannot wait to make something from this pattern mag.

Vintage Garnet Cocktail Ring from Ivy Cottage
OK, not the best pic, but this piece is delightful. I don't wear much red (though this has a very claret kind of vibe) but it perches brightly on my finger with the kind of heft I require to suit my large hands and fingers. It's obviously seen some special occasions and it's very well-made.

Organic, culinary-grade lavender from Lizzy Lane Farm
I spent a lot of time inhaling bowls of steam water with essential oils and lavender flowers (see above). What I didn't have at my access was food-grade lavender. And you know how I love a lavender infused tea or sable biscuit. I also had the idea that I'd make some new eye pillows for yoga (to give away as gifts) but my sister - who made my original eye pillow, which has been well-loved for so many years - offered to make me another. And then, when I said: Yes, please, I was sure to ask her to make one for Hilary too. :-) My new eye pillow is fabulous, by the way! Thanks Allison!

These were purchased outside of the kingdom of Etsy:

Ubiquitous Poster from Super Rural
I'm reluctant to share this one because it's been so popular for so long that I a) don't want to give anyone else any bright ideas and b) don't want to be one of those peeps who undercuts the fab by making it that much more ubiquitous. But finally I said what the fuck. This poster is pure pink, which I love (again, really cheerful), and it totally matches the tone on my walls. I've never seen a happening interior, containing this poster, that doesn't suit my style. It just makes me smile.

Hunter Wellies from Zappos - bought on (very good) sale and shipped for free to my parents in America
Y'all know how I've been trying to make friends with the rain - what with its increasing omnipresence in TO. I didn't know if these wellies would be a failure purchase but it didn't much matter. They're entirely returnable (via my parents to whom they were originally shipped since Zappos doesn't mail to Canada. Don't get me started on that.) I read that they fit big so I sized down and I'm really glad I did. I'm usually a Euro 39 or 8.5 US but I ordered the women's 8 and the fit's spot on. Note: I went to the Hunter site to see the exact dimensions of the shoes cuz Zappos had less than useless info and the chat feature yielded little additional help. An internet person basically corroborated that he didn't have any useful sizing feedback. Note: I didn't order from this site for its fab client service. I ordered for the price. The shoes are actually really comfortable, if slightly on the heavy side, and they look terrific with jeans and pants. I understand that they're entirely waterproof but only time will tell. Can't say how much less miserable I'll be the next time I have to walk in the rain.

Starting to see a theme? Things that look good, sparkle, smell terrific, encourage freedom of movement or my creativity - all of these were on my list.

Let me say I am so pleased with each item - and each one cost under 100 bucks (or much less).

I'd be lying if I implied I haven't bought myself some more goodies, just to express joy at being alive me. I've got a new, cute little stash of vintage buttons I hope to use on some sewn or knitted garments sometime soon. And don't forget the recently-purchased fondue pot (vessel of that which tastes fantastic).

Alas, the fur coat (I swear a pic is forthcoming) and the new Browns boots kind of threw me over the edge, financially, so self-gifting is on hiatus until future notice. Thank goodness I have all of these new treats to keep me warm and dry and cheery while I build up my discretionary resources again.

Today's questions: Whatcha think of these gifts to myself? Which do you like best? Have you ever gone on a spree when recovering from illness? Did you enjoy the spoils? Was it sad when you had to stop spending (cuz you'd got yourself on a roll)? Do tell!


  1. I'm all for it: nobody appreciates my gifts as much as I do!

    So glad you're feeling better, Kristen.

  2. I am slow to spend money on myself. Very slow. I hum and I haw over things that are more than $20, I wonder if I could do it myself or if I really need it...
    But once I do decide I'm buying something, I'm not hesitant. Sewaholic has a pattern I think would suit me? Sure, I'm supporting small business. Fabric, once I'm in the store, very little concern over the final bill (the trick is to stay away until I am ready to spend). I think the only thing I bought myself while Christmas shopping was socks and tights (both were needed although maybe not 4 pairs of patterned tights). Even when I happened to visit Fabricland because it was beside Henry's, I bought fabric for my mom not me.

    1. I think the decisive component in shopping is so key. That's where I'm at. I see it, I like it. I buy it. :-) And, please, where do you need patterned tights more than this sorry climate! Good purchase, IMO.

    2. Bra shopping I went all decisive too, didn't even wait for your shop along to end before I bought.

      Yes, tights are certainly needed and I don't regret the purchases. If there had been more variety in colour I probably would have bought another package. The McGregor outlet on East Mall just north of the Queensway is worth the visit if you're in the area (particularly if you know someone with size 13+ feet). Although I suspect that's pretty far west for you. My Tues/Wed client is near there so it's convenient for me.

    3. Too far west for me, though I did grow up in the Kingsway so I know from west. I really like - though I'm ashamed to buy from this place - American Apparel tights. They do the brightest and most durable ones. And I've got 6 of those shops walking distance.

  3. Oh boy. I went on a fabric binge AND a vintage knitting magazine binge last month: added 15 Vogue Knitting mags and 2 early Rowans to my collection!

    I have a Bernat book from 1958 that was my mom's; it's called "Bulky Knits" and all the sweaters are made from worsted, and in some cases DK weight yarn! A very different perspective on bulky!

    1. I can't believe you got all of those VKs - how awesome! That mag really is awesome in its vintage form. It's like a piece of history. The adverts alone make it worth the price. And you're so right about the fabric weights for the vintage bulky knits. I spent last night researching the old yarns and trying to figure out how they correlate to modern yarns (btw, check this out for great info: and a couple were actually DK. I mean, you do hold 2 strands together in some instances, but still.

  4. Just commenting to say I tooootally hear you on the illness spending. I had my wisdom teeth out about six months ago and while the painkillers I had were very effective, they muddied my mind so much that I couldn't concentrate on books or movies or knitting, but it turns out I had just enough attention span to bid on eBay... After a week and about $400 (of lovely boots and a purse and lots of yarn) I decided for the sake of my bank balance I better make do with ibuprofen. :)

    1. OK, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one! Though I can't really blame my sitch on painkillers. :-) BTW, you loved all of those things so really, where's the harm over time. It's not like you spent $40,000!

  5. Well, you know I'm all for self gifting :). Your presents are cool. I'm swooning over that cocktail ring! And I know what you mean about the structure of sweaters from that era. I can't wait to see what you make. xoxo

    1. Isn't it fun! It's all big and attention grabbing. Just my kind of jewel. And yours too! :-)

  6. Self-gifted myself a pair of Fluevog boots (Malcolms) I've been ogling all fall -- so that was actually restraint, imho. Although I didn't have protracted serious illness as an excuse.
    Hmmm, scrolling up through comments, etc., I realize that some might count my numerous purchases of tights as self-gifting. Not sure I want to acknowledge that line of thinking . . . And yes, I did treat myself to some re-upping of my favourite l'Occitane hand cream, but that just seems like a staple and shouldn't really count.
    And, um, yarn? That's potentially for eventual gifts, right? So shouldn't go in the column marked Me Me Me . . .
    Rationalization is, apparently, alive and well on the West Coast . . .
    Especially love your poster and the wedge Hunters which would be so practical here . . . as for the Vogue Vintage, I'm cringing a bit thinking of Vogue and Mon Tricot mags I eventually cleared out, from 70s and 80s. . . .which would totally count as Vintage now . . .

    1. Hand cream does not count! Nor do tights. I'm making that call right now and I will stick to it. Boots are a necessity for winter and yarn is the basis of gracious gifts. Actually, you've been totally prudent! :-)

  7. I've been interested in Hunter wedges for a long time! Thanks for the size tip!