Ho, ho, ho! It’s starting to feel a bit like Christmas – and here’s my 2012 gift guide. It’s jam-packed with gift ideas from online bazaars, the coolest Etsy stores and a few real-world shops as well. Don’t forget when you see that cut-price heart symbol, that means a Yuletide discount just for RC readers. Happy shopping, Merry Christmas, and feel free to share! Mwah.
Melody Nelson RC DEAL
Jewellery, cool keyrings, off-beat cushions, wall decals, paper garlands, beautiful teatowels and more… this lovely online store has an inviting oldy-worldy vibe and the kind of gifts you don’t see anywhere else. Don’t forget to check out the Erica Weiner jewellery; it’s unusual, beautiful and reasonably priced. I also love these We Dream In Colour Brass Bangles ($25). Plus, RC readers can receive 10% off if you enter the discount code XMASCHICK at the checkout.
Man, this is one Etsy store you do NOT want to miss. In short, they breathe new life into vintage dictionary pages by printing all manner of cheeky quotes on top. I’m a bit of a word nerd and I love the ‘Talk Nerdy To Me’ print ($9) but there are also some great Christmas options and super-romantic gift options such as Oh How I Love Thee print. Sigh.
Books for chicks
Sadly, I couldn’t get any book deals for you guys, but I’m putting these front and centre because I want to impress upon you just how good any of these would be for a gift. First on my list would have to be the totes hilar memoir Is It Just Me? by comedian Miranda Hart. Let’s just say I was unable to consume any beverage while reading this book, for fear I would snort it out of my nose with laughter. Caitlin Moran’s Moranthology, a compilation of her columns over the years, is another great read (especially for fans of How To Be A Woman), as is Judith Lucy’s rollercoaster read, Drink Smoke Pass Out. For chick lit fans, you can’t go past anything by JoJo Moyes – one of her latest, Me Before You, is one of her best books by a long shot. (PS, if you buy through most of these links, you can get the books shipped to you for free by www.bookdepository.co.uk – and you’ll be supporting RC as well. Thanks!)
Akimbo Design RC DEAL
The tagline on this Adelaide-based boutique stationery studio, ‘clever hellos’, really says it all. I found blogger and stationery maven Alicia Parsons through Etsy, where her stuff elicits the kinds of oohs and ahhs in me that is bad for my credit card. Faves? The Oi Christmas cards, right (10 for $26), and the funny prints – everything from ‘I Carried A Watermelon’ ($36) for the die-hard Dirty Dancing fan, to this simple but awesome ‘Mwah’ print ($23), above left. The lovely Alicia is offering RC readers 10% off – just pop in the code RCNOV12 at checkout.
Inspiring Additions RC DEAL
Lovers of homewares will dig the retro tin signs, industrial furniture, stunning antique mirrors and other beautiful homewares and gifts at this character-filled online store. They’ve helpfully split their gifts into under $25, under $50 and so on and gift vouchers are available. Spend over $100 here and you’ll receive a free tin sign to the value of $24.95 just like that one above. Just enter RCDEAL at the checkout.
Stamps, stamps, stamps
I can’t be the only writer out there who goes bonkers for beautiful stationery, stamp sets, letterpress goodies… and so on. If you have a scribe in your life, go the stamp-kit as a stocking stuffer. I promise their face will light up with joy and rapture. My favourite stamp stores include Tara Hogan’s Ink+Wit, which is packed full of eclectic stamp sets. I’m also mad about Ann-MarieLovesPaper, who has Xmas stamps available and other cool stamps like this XOXO stamp, left ($20). Ampersandity is another fab Etsy store with stamps galore, including this super-cute ‘Thank you’ speech bubble stamp ($18).
My hubby’s a keen guitarist, and I was instantly sold on the simplicity and the beauty of these wallets ($31) from Ryan Barr’s online store. It’s a great find if you’re seeking a unique gift for the muso in your life. In Ryan’s ‘about’ section he reveals a brief history of trying to make it as a muso, going to work for a leather company, learning leather production in Mexico and … the rest is history. Talented guy. Check it out.
Got a loved one who lives and dies by their signature dish? My gift picks this Xmas include Easy, by Bill Granger, with its fuss-free but yummy recipes for everything from Chilli Chicken and Skordalia to Yellowfish curry and coconut rice. Delicious Home Cooking, by the delicious magazine’s food guru Valli Little, would suit any die-hard entertainer (the Radicchio and Gorgonzola Risotto, Goat’s Cheese Truffles and Spring Sausage Bake are droolworthy alone). For the seafood lover, the Sydney Seafood School Cookbook by the School’s manager Roberta Muir includes 80 recipes from leading Australian chefs, including Kyline Kwong, Neil Perry and Tetsuya.
Leafcutter Designs RC DEAL
I found this online store via one of my all-time favourite bloggers, WeeBirdy, and it’s packed with special little stocking stuffers. Best gifts, I reckon, would be the Tactile Poetry, left ($14), three-dimensional poems which you lay out in your recipient’s palm, after asking him or her to close their eyes. They then ‘feel’ the poetry in their hand. Sweet. I also like the Recipe Dice, right ($16) – perfect for the person who always says they have no idea what to cook. Or these trade tokens ($1 each or $13/set). Enter RCDEC12 at the checkout for 10% off.
Curious Kids Portraits RC DEAL
Artworks that take your kids on a ‘storybook adventure’? Just the gift for their wall (or yours!). Curious Kids Portraits take a normal photo and do something a little bit out of the ordinary with it, bringing together artists Sarah and Lesley’s handpainted, handdrawn and sewn pieces, and turning them into graphical contemporary artworks (from $140) any kid would love. RC readers can get a 10% Xmas discount off all portraits in the range! Just type the code 2222 when you get to the checkout.
A book for crafty types
If you know someone who loves a project, new book granny chic, by craft bloggers Tiff Russell and Rachelle Blondel (their blogs are Dottie Angel and ted & agnes), offers bucketloads of inspiration and tips on how to breathe new life into vintage fabrics and second hand objects. It’ll thrill anyone who loves the thought of handmade notebooks, lace lampshades, ‘dingle-dangle’ door screens and crocheted tea cosies.
Lord Coconut RC DEAL
It can be
downright flipping impossible rather difficult to find good gifts for a guy. If he’s a man friend with serious taste, take a peek at Lord Coconut’s online store (or Melbourne shopfront). You’ll find over 300 individual jewellery pieces and designer cufflinks from the likes of 35+ Melbourne and interstate jewellers, artisans and designers. I’m digging these ‘Swallow’ cufflinks ($270) by Metal Couture for a super spesh present. All RC readers get 10% off – just enter the word CHICK at checkout.
The Melbourne Shop By Lumbi RC DEAL
One day soon, all my loved ones are going to club together to force me into iPad Rehab. But until then, I’m giving my fave device the love it deserves, and that includes a case. Or cases. (I have a few). I’m mad for the unusual iPad cases at The Melbourne Shop / Lumbi, like this striking green bird stripe case ($49). The peeps at Lumbi have offered RC readers 10% discount, limit 2 per person, for all iPad Covers in the ipad category in the main menu. Type in RC-iPad-Cover after adding the item to the shopping cart. Valid until December 7, 2012.
EcoYoga RC DEAL
The Zen master in your life will be chillaxing in no time with these organic cotton and eco-friendly Zafu meditation cushions ($54). This online store is chockers with all manner of meditation, yoga and pilates goodies, including mats, yoga CDs and DVDs, books and more. EcoYoga are offering RC readers 10% off all Zafu and Zabuton meditation cushions when you enter the discount coupon code: realitychick at the checkout.
Did I mention my slight stationery obsession? Well, it continues with this Etsy store; a store I have shamelessly frequented not one but three times to buy pencil sets. My favourite are the Office Space pencils which are foil-stamped with classic quotes from the movie: ‘Yeah…hi’ / ‘TPS Reports’ / ‘OH Face’ / ‘The Bobs’ and so on. You’ll find themed pencil sets here for Zoolander, The Big Lebowski, Spinal Tap and just random sets like ‘Good Things’ and ‘Reasons I Love You’. At $6 a set, it’s a stocking stuffer no-brainer.
Over buying stuff for people? Consider a life-changing gift that’ll do some good in parts of the world that really need it. CAREgifts are part of a Care Australia charity project empowering women and girls in impoverished communities. You could give a piglet ($40), a goat ($45), a cow ($190), send a girl to school ($69), train and equip a birth attendant ($50), help a woman start a small business ($100) and many more.
Madonna Bain Eco-Intimates RC DEAL
I am seriously, madly, crazily in love with the stuff at Madonna Bain. Like this sweet PJ set ($89). Hello Saturday mornings in bed, with my vegemite toast, my book and this. Or, to feel more Marilyn-Monroe-ish, how about this little honeymoon number. Madonna Bain is kindly offering RC readers 15% off orders over $60 and complimentary gift wrapping when you use the code REALITYCHIC at checkout.
Ustar Novels RC DEAL
Personalised erotica? Hello yes please.The lovely peeps at Ustar Novels gave me a chance to test-drive their service recently and this is one seriously fun gift for a partner. You’ll want to be there when they open it and start reading, that’s for sure! All you do is log onto the site, choose your novel, fill out the online form with details about you and your lover, your look, likes and dislikes and so on … then wait for your book ($39.99) to arrive. It’s sexy fantasy fodder that’s, well, all about YOU. This particular little number, Fever in France, has a distinct James Bond flavour – how very timely. If you enter the discount code DCRSMITH at checkout, you’ll score an extra 15% off.
Got a health nut in your life? Don’t go past the Harvest Box, for possibly one of the healthiest Christmas presents ever. Instead of a magazine subscription, you can gift someone a cool little box full of healthy nuts, dried fruit and other goodies – and arrange for a new box to rock up at their desk or home weekly, monthly or just as a one-off gift. Nom nom nom I say.
A UK store I discovered via design blog Swiss Miss, I first pinned these modern Welsh love spoons, with their ends dipped in paint, onto my Pinterest gift guide. But I’m popping them here because I think they’d make a gorgeous little stocking stuffer for any keen cook.
Down That Little Lane Another sweet online store I stumbled on this year. It features a mish-mash of sellers and lots of unique gift ideas. For something special and unique, like these Kanimbla Clay ceramics ($60), it’s well worth a peek.
The Le Edge ($39.95), a stainless steel ‘blade’ exfoliator for use on wet skin which collects (yuck alert) dead skin, debris, remants of your last spray tan etc… to leave your skin lovely and smooth and ready for moisturisation, or a spray tan. I got one last week after using Le-Edge and it has stuck around for far longer than it normally would, so a big thumbs up from me as a gift. Available at chemists.
The Tiny Book
We all know a total Instagram junkie. I know several in fact. So how cool are these mini-books from Prinstagram? Super cute. Choose 72 images for 3 unique books – 3 for $10. Oh, and they double as fridge magnets!
A late addition to the guide, but this is such a fab store for die-hard jetsetters, I can’t go past it. I love their cheeky luggage labels, totes and cosmetic bags but I think the best thing has got to be this scratch map mini travel edition ($20) – the ultimate gift for any loved one who’s seriously got the travel bug.