Friday, January 23, 2009

buying barbies... well, sort of

necklace from Etsy seller mamaslittlebabies

s a lovely holiday gift, my husband and I gave each other the stomach flu.  Ah, love. Don't worry though, this post isn't going to be about that.  Well, it mostly isn't going to be about that.  It's about how I recently found myself home sick and shopping online, or as my husband would tease, "buying Barbies."

You see, I have a childhood friend who has engaged in some notoriously dramatic behavior over the years, particularly when sick.  While in college, she went home to her parents to stay with them because she had the flu. Languishing in her childhood bedroom (which I imagine as still being a confection of frilly Victorian floral wallpaper, fluffy pillows, pink curtains, and a big white iron bed), she found herself delusional with fever and watching a home shopping channel. On an all-Barbie marathon day.  With access to a credit card.  Apparently, there was a certain degree of surprise when later, after the fever was gone, a parade of Barbies began appearing at her doorstep.

So, last month I found myself huddled on my sofa, under my covers, while my family and friends gathered elsewhere to enjoy holiday parties, lunches, and dinners. My husband was either in bed or propped up at his computer,  I couldn't walk anywhere near my kitchen for fear that I'd see food, and my attention span was beyond short.  I was so. very. bored.  What was a girl to do?  

My solution: spend several days combing Etsy for supplies and other things I "needed." Not surprisingly, I found a ton. 

Of these, possibly my favorite, and the most appropriate homage to my friend's girly, illness-induced purchasing spree, was this fantastic necklace from Mama's Little Babies. Cheri, the California-based artist behind this shop, uses Victorian illustrations that range from charming to campy as inspiration to create beautiful necklaces and brooches.  The images are printed on a lightweight plastic, making them very wearable. It was hard to choose just one but, having spent much of the semester reading and writing about the history of costume, the Pleated Victorian Bodice necklace won my heart.  And the packaging was so lovely, complete with a beautiful little handmade charm.  I wish now that I'd taken a picture, but I quickly cannibalized it and reused the box!

Some of my other feverish purchases included delicious-smelling perfume oil samples from Wiggle Perfume (I like them all so much, I still haven't been able to pick a favorite), beautiful mineral foundation and eyeshadow from Pink Quartz Minerals (I've never been much of a make-up wearer, but this stuff is great), and an awesome Day of the Dead style skull t-shirt from Ahpeele (who graciously accommodated my request for a custom shirt color).  All three went a long way toward my promise to myself that I would get out of my rut of just throwing on any old thing, pulling my hair back, and running out the door to school.   There were countless supply purchases too, but I won't prattle on about those until they actually materialize into finished work.

Since the "Great Holiday Plague of 2008," as we've come to call it at our house, I've justified my little spree as doing a some Etsy research and development; stocking up and checking out other sellers products, packaging, and methods. Come to think of it, I wonder if I can write that off? Anyway, it's way better than Barbies. Right?


  1. Shopping always makes me feel better when I'm sick! Never heard of Mama's Little Babies before, going to check it out!

  2. Oh, I've done feverish shopping before! I woke up the next morning, after the fever had broken, and thought, "Did I buy 4 tubes of lipstick and a copy of Cinderella?"

  3. Haha! Great story and the necklace you picked out is adorable!

  4. haha great story!! and love the necklace! love the phrase "buying barbies"