winter

Thoughts on “Investing” in Clothing, Featuring the Purse of My Dreams

a lady wearing a black vintage style trench coat, satchel and beret

Dare I suggest that the Long Winter is nearing it’s end? With the warming of temperatures in the past week, it feels like it! Of course, we’ve still got a ways to go before Spring, and while that cold snap wasn’t really that long, it sure felt like it! We’ve gone from -38C to + 8C within a couple of weeks, and it has been so incredibly lovely to be able to go for a walk and open the windows for some fresh air and be able to leave the house to take some outfit photos without having to bundle up like a marshmallow. Even though I know that the temperatures will drop again before Spring, it is still worth it to have this small respite!

So, in other news, I’ve been searching for a new “everyday” purse for quite a while. I have been looking for a new one since my other purse started wearing out. (The leather strap was beginning to crack, the metal buckle had broken, and there was a hole forming in the top fold…) I bought that purse five years ago in England and carried it almost every day, though, so that wasn’t too bad, considering that it wasn’t full grain leather.

holding a vintage style satchel purse in copper coloured leather

In looking for a new purse, I didn’t have a definite idea of what I wanted, but I did have a list of requirements.

I’ve realized over the years that, while I do love a good statement bag to coordinate with an outfit, most days I walk or ride my bicycle and a large handbag is just not practical to carry for long distances. I also like having my hands free for when I am running errands or going shopping, so I wanted a crossbody bag.

I also didn’t want the purse to be too big, because while I do want to be able to put everything in my purse, I didn’t want it to become to heavy to carry, or too big to fit in my bike basket. However, I didn’t want it too small, otherwise I would end up carrying a purse and a tote bag.

It also had to be brown or cognac leather and I wanted something in a vintage satchel style, but not too bookish. I wanted something timeless and classic, but not too vintage either, considering what I talked about in my recent personal style post.

I searched for quite a long time, and while I came across a lot of purses, none of them quite ticked all of the boxes until I found this one on Etsy, made by Sunray Family Workshop from Ukraine. It was a bit more than I had originally planned on spending, but I used the money I earned on Poshmark so, as my mom said, it was like I traded a bunch of clothes and accessories that I didn’t want for something that I did! I was also able to get it on sale, so that was nice too.

a lady wearing a vintage plaid skirt and green sweater with a vintage styled purse and beret in the snow

I was nervous about purchasing online, because I’ve been disappointed in the past with online purchases, but my fears were unfounded, as the bag was even better than I hoped it would be. I asked the seller to make it in a darker colour of leather for me, and I love the shape and style of it. It’s so nice to be able to purchase a piece directly from the person who makes it, and it really is a piece of craftsmanship.¬† I think that this purse was a good investment, and is definitely going to be a good addition to my wardrobe since it fits in with my style description, “unconventional classic with a dash of history” pretty well.

I recently read somewhere (and I can’t for the life of me remember where) that we should stop saying that we are “investing” in clothing purchases, because the value of clothing depreciates immediately after purchasing. You only have to scroll through Facebook Marketplace, or Poshmark or Thred Up to see how much clothing has devalued once it has been worn. Even designer pieces aren’t worth as much as when they are new. Until an item has survived long enough to become “vintage”, it really can’t be called an investment.

lady wearing a vintage styled outfit on a snowy lane

However, I do think that even if we aren’t “investing” in clothing in a monetary way, there is another definition for “invest” that can apply to our wardrobes:

“Devote (one’s time, effort, or energy) to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.”
We should carefully choose which items we buy and add to our closets, even though that may add a bit of extra bit of time, thought and effort. I think that many of the clothing pieces that find their way to secondhand selling sites or thrift shops were not thoughtful purchases, which is why they are for sale again. (I often even see items with the tags still on!) Perhaps we should coin the phrase “purposeful” or “thoughtful” shopping. I think that it is a principle that most of us could use a bit more of- at least I know that I do!

While purchasing a higher quality item might not be an investment we will have a monetary return on, it may still be one that still has a worthwhile result. Having one higher quality item is always going to be more sustainable than ten cheaply made items because it will last longer, thus reducing the need for so much production. Fast fashion in and of itself is not sustainable because of the model of consumption that it is built upon. For example, vintage clothing is a testament to the longevity of a well made item- garments from the 1960’s will outlast a newly purchased item from Forever21 because of the craftsmanship of the items.

closeup of a vintage styled leather satchel purse with a buckle

Another worthwhile result of investing in clothing purchases, may be in having less items in your closet because the one item you truly love is better than having multiple items that you don’t love as much. I am not advocating for coveting fashion pieces, but if there is one particular piece that you want, then it’s not worth buying something else and being unsatisfied with it. Saving up to buy this one specific purse that ticked off all of the boxes was a better choice for me, than settling for a purse that I would end up decluttering down the road in favour of another because I wasn’t truly happy with it. As I’ve been going through my own wardrobe, I have tried to be careful to not turn around and immediately replace everything I’ve gotten rid of. Instead, I have been taking my time to see which are the items I should be concentrating on, and “investing” in, rather than continuing to have a closet full of clothing (or purses) that I don’t wear.

I have a few more posts coming up related to the topic of personal style and creating a purposeful wardrobe, so I think I will end this post here for today, but what do you think about “investing” in clothing? Have you ever saved up for a long time to be able to finally buy something your really wanted for your wardrobe?

a lady wearing a vintage styled outfit with a plaid skirt, cardigan and beret on a winter day

wearing a vintage styled brown leather purse

a lady wearing a black vintage styled trenchcoat and beret on a sunny winter day

a lady wearing a black trenchcoat and beret walking down a snowy lane

Minimalist Christmas

berry and branch christmas bouquet

There are only 8 days left until Christmas!

Does it seem like December has been going by quickly? It definitely doesn’t feel like it’s the middle of December already…

I decorated early for Christmas this year. Well, early for me, at least. For some people, “early” would mean the beginning of November. For some, it would be any time before December. For me, it means I decorated the last weekend of November. Usually I wait to decorate until the first weekend of December, but this year I was gone that weekend… so November it was!

white berries and branch bouquets in milk glass and miniature evergreens

I don’t have much room to display things and decorate in this apartment, so I went for a very minimal Christmas decor this year. I already tend towards natural, minimal holiday decor for all seasons, so I focused on natural and simple elements to decorate with. I kind of want my decor to look like it was gathered while on a walk in the woods; which a bunch of it actually was! I added evergreen bouquets, berry and branch bouquets, a garland, pinecones tucked in amongst pictures, and fairy lights to create that cozy Christmas feel in my apartment. I wasn’t able to pull out my vintage ornament collection this year, since I just don’t have any place to display them because of the way this apartment is set up.

I did pick up a few new items (the perils of working at a decorating store!) but they are items I am going to be glad to use for years to come. The red berries really added a nice pop of colour to my branch bouquet. I tried the bouquet without the red berries, and it was just a little too boring. Also you may recall, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, that I used this vase (which is actually a candle holder) last year with an evergreen bouquet in it. Well, that was a mistake. I lined the vase with a bag, then filled it with sand and was able to keep the branches watered and alive for several weeks with that. However, in January, when I went to empty it out…when I pulled out the bag, all of the silver paint came off the glass too! I was left with a clear glass vase, that looked quite terrible. Fortunately I do have some old silver glass paint I bought years ago for a project, and was able to repaint it over the summer. Thus- this year was a branch bouquet that didn’t involve any water!

miniature house in a glass cloche

I also found this tiny sparkly wreath and fell in love with it (even though it’s not “natural” in any way) so that one had to come home with me too. And, the little cloche, which I picked up a few months ago (I do have a weakness for cloches…) originally had a miniature crown under the glass, but I got it with the express idea of making a little house to display under for winter. I like that I can use it for all seasons, so it’s been quite versatile that way.

I’ve really been trying to cut down on my spending and collecting, and have been on a total minimalism kick lately. I’m nowhere near as minimalist as some people are- I still love my decorations and books and pictures and “stuff”, but I’ve really been thinking about how much decor I want to own and store, especially because I’ve moved so many times in the past couple of years (and moving is hard, when you own lots of stuff!). I’ve decided that I will only have two boxes of seasonal decor…and deciding this in the past few weeks has actually helped me a lot of avoid some really cute holiday decor impulse buys!

I would still like to find a nativity, but I haven’t found one yet that I really like. I’ve been looking in the thrift stores for the past several years hoping that someone will have decided to part with a nice, simple ceramic one like my mom has…but so far I haven’t found anything. Oh well, one day I will find a set!

wooden christmas garland

wooden slice christmas garland

I wasn’t sure at first how I was going to decorate my place for Christmas, since I don’t have a buffet, or mantle or anything like that to decorate and briefly debated whether I should decorate at all, but I’m so glad I decided to dig my boxes out and put a bit of festive decor up, because it certainly brightened things up and added some lovely holiday cheer. I honestly don’t love living in this apartment, but decorating and making things look nice can make such a big difference to the atmosphere of your home, don’t you think?

Do you like to decorate for holidays? Are you a minimalist when it comes to decor, or do you like to go all out? And what is your favourite Christmas decoration?

cloche filled with pinecones and fairy lights

evergreen christmas bouquet

On a Winter’s Day

winters-day-pinecone, the artyologist

Since moving to town last fall, I don’t get to enjoy the winter frost as much anymore. We don’t get the ice fog, and resulting frost, in town the same way that my family’s house in the country does. And when we do, there are a bunch of obnoxious houses in the way blocking the view ūüėČ So, a few weeks ago, when visiting my family on a frosty day, I took the opportunity to run outside and take some photos of the landscape, as it was so incredibly beautiful.

Have I already taken many photos of the frost in winters past? Yes! Does that stop me from taking more? Nope! Sorry there are so many photos- everywhere I looked was another interesting detail or view I wanted to capture! Also, even though these photos were taken a few weeks ago, and we almost into March now, (and with that: spring!) it still looks every bit of winter out there, so I thought these photos wouldn’t be too out of place.

winters-day-red-shed, the artyologist

On another note, I’ve been quite busy this past week, as I was preparing for, and then showing my artwork at an art show this weekend. (The same one I went to last year, and talked about here) (Also- hi and welcome to anyone who has found my blog through the show!) The show went well, but even though it is now over, I think things are going to keep getting busier, because. . . I start a new job tomorrow! I am very excited about it! With that change in my schedule, though, I am going to have to make some changes to the blog.

I’ve been keeping to a fairly regular schedule for the past year or so, posting on Tuesdays and Fridays, but lately that hasn’t seemed to be working very well for me. Since the fall time, my schedule has changed a lot, and I’ve had things keeping me from blogging. I think it is time to let the pressure off, so I have decided that it is OK to post less frequently. That was a self imposed rule anyways ūüôā I still want to post once a week- and as I have time, maybe some weeks I will be able to post more than that! Anyways, I just wanted to let you know why it might get a bit quieter around here. Oh, and because this blog wouldn’t be much without you, thank-you to all of you Dear Readers who follow along! I hope you all have a wonderful last week of February and first of March! (Spring is just around the corner, I can feel it!)

winters-day-3, the artyologist

winters-day-gas-tank, the artyologist

winters-day-seedheads, the artyologist

winters-day-2, the artyologist

winters-day-chicken-shed, the artyologist

winters-day-pine-branch, the artyologist

wood stack, horizontal, the artyologist

winters-day-gas-tank-2, the artyologist

winters-day-1, the artyologist

winters-day-tire, the artyologist

winters-day-4, the artyologist

A Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to You

nativity, the artyologist

Well, here we are only a few days away from Christmas now. . . I can’t believe how quickly 2017 has gone by! I’m going to be taking a bit of break this week to spend time with friends and family, although I do have a New Year’s post planned for next Friday. Today I thought I’d just share some pictures of my Christmas decorating. This was the first year decorating in my own new home, and I had a lot of fun with it. I love collecting ornaments, especially vintage ones, so I enjoyed being able to finally display them all in my new place. (And my nativity, which I made in kindergarden, and¬†is still going strong! ūüėČ haha)

Anyways, as this is my second to last post for this year, I would like to say thank-you so much to everyone who has been following along this year! All of your comments and support for my blog have been wonderful and have made this hobby entirely worth it. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour!

‚ÄúFor to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David‚Äôs throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.‚ÄĚ

Isaiah 9:6-7 

bookshelf-decorations, the artyologist

ornaments-over-window, the artyologist

wreath, the artyologist

china-cabinet-decor, the artyologist

peacock, the artyologist

top-of-bookshelf, the artyologist

branches-and-ornaments, the artyologist

ornaments-over-window-closeup, the artyologist

presents, the-artyologist

side-table-decor, the artyologist

Outfit + Gold & Sparkle = Holiday Outfit

Outfit + Gold & Sparkle = Holiday Outfit, the artyologist, vogue 8789

Now that it’s the Christmas season, it is time to start dressing for the occasion. (OK, it’s been the Christmas season for a while, I’m just kind of late¬†at getting a holiday post up). But how do you dress for the holidays when when you don’t own “Christmas” clothing, or you just don’t like wearing novelty prints of Christmas trees? I’m all for a festively, kitschy holiday¬†outfit. . . ¬†on other vintage loving gals, but it’s just not for me. However, I do love¬†to dress for the season. So how do you dress for the season, when you don’t want to wear poinsettia dresses, red is not your best¬†colour, or¬†you don’t want a wardrobe full of themed items that can¬†only be¬†worn at certain times of the year?

My go-to solution for dressing for the holidays, whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, or Family Day (wait- no- you don’t really dress up for Family Day. . . ) is to take a regular outfit, add different accessories to it, and thus turn it into a holiday outfit. For example, at¬†Christmastime, take a whole bunch of gold bling and sparkly jewellery, and voila! With a few changes, it’s suddenly a holiday outfit!

vintage holiday outfit, vogue 8789, the artyologist

I wore this exact same outfit last week, minus all the gold, and it looked like a regular old unholidayish dress. But taking the same basic pieces: a striped dress, a black bolero, black tights and black pumps and then restyling them with a gold belt and clutch, metallic gold nail polish, sparkly eyeshadow, and sparkly rhinestone jewellery made it suddenly seem more festive. Making those few changes made it the perfect thing to wear to the Christmas lunch at our church.

I’ve also worn this dress in the springtime, here, and the accessories I paired that time made it look the farthest thing from Christmas you could think of. Imagine if I had paired this dress¬†with spider jewellery, a veiled hat, and a velvet jacket- suddenly it would look perfect for Halloween.¬†Accessories really are a girl’s best friend- a few key pieces can completely change the look of your outfit to suit whichever holiday you are going for.

So, if you aren’t into outfits that scream “CHRISTMAS!!!!”, but you do want to add a bit of a festive touch, accessories are where it’s at.

gold and sparkly necklace, the artyologist

Here are some more ways to add a bit of holiday cheer to your outfit:

  • Wear a bow in your hair. It’s like dressing up as a present. . . only more subtle. ūüėČ
  • Plaid is the perfect Christmas material¬†because it has nothing to do with Christmas, and yet it looks so festive when worn this time of year. And¬†you can wear it any other season, and it looks lovely- I’m all for fabrics that do double duty.
  • Wear darker hued shades of “Christmas colours”. Instead of wearing bright red and green, try jewel tones like burgundy and emerald. Rich colours like¬†navy blue can look very winter appropriate too, with some silver jewellery added, for example.
  • Christmas jewellery adds a festive touch, but is a bit more understated¬†than a Christmas dress. And, it doesn’t take up tons of space, so collecting Christmas earrings and brooches doesn’t take up your entire wardrobe, but adds a nice festive touch.
  • ‘Tis the season for rich and sumptuous fabrics like velvet and taffeta. They are great for both Christmas, and also New Years, and as most people don’t get the opportunity to wear them year round, it’s time to bust them out of the closet!
  • As I said before: gold and sparkles is where it’s at. In a society where¬†people are more likely to have ugly sweater parties, I say- bring on the glam and the glitz! Any excuse to break out the cocktail dresses is good by me.

So, do you like going all out dressing for the season? Or¬†do you like your Christmas¬†outfits to be a bit more subtle? Or maybe you don’t dress for the holidays at all? Do you have any other holiday¬†outfit tips?

gold and sparkle holiday outfit, the artyologist

holiday outfit, vogue 8789, the artyologist

vintage clutch detail, the artyologist

ps. This is the same vintage Laura Ashley bolero from last week– and here you can see the fabric better!

holiday outfit the artyologist, vogue 8789

vintage gold clutch detail, the artyologist

vintage holiday outfit, gold and sparkle, the artyologist