“Possessing a creative mind, after all, is something like having a border collie for a pet: It needs to work, or else it will cause you an outrageous amount of trouble. Give your mind a job to do, or else it will find a job to do, and you might not like the job it invents (eating the couch, digging a hole through the living room floor, biting the mailman, etc.). It has taken me years to learn this, but it does seem to be the case that if I am not actively creating “something, then I am probably actively destroying something (myself, a relationship, or my own peace of mind).”

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

While it is never my goal to hawk or promote cigar boxes or smoking (don’t start, kids), I want people to be able to see the beautiful detail of this box before I did a thing to it. It’s a larger box and those “ribs” on the front and back give the box the look of an old suitcase. So I “took it on the road” in my imagination and envisioned something organic and tropical. I cut out pieces from my huge remnant of grasscloth wallpaper to put in those front and back panels and used my beeswax paints to color it to the lovely shade of peridot green you see in the photos. Then, a World Market paper on the sides of the box and a green textured paper that looks like reptile skin to frame the grasscloth. I couldn’t be done though. I needed to add some rhinestone sparkles in those “frames” on the front and back. Gold stitched fabric appliques fit perfectly on those “ribs”.

Inside, you may recognize butterflies from the Art Deco artist Emile-Allain Séguy, whose beautiful Pochoir patterns adorned clothing, fabric, wallpaper and other surfaces in the 1920s.

The vintage wooden handle looks almost like olive wood to me, with it’s riotous grain and burnished warm color.



Mother’s Jewelry Box

My memories of this jewelry box as a kid:

I recall thinking of the myriad ways which I could make it part of Barbie’s “house”, which for me was usually fashioned out of a chair turned on its side with a towel for the walls. This chest seemed like a perfect doll-sized “armoire”. (“If only mom would find another place for her jewelry and just give it to me.”) It had gold velveteen-lined drawers and those doors that closed the whole thing up neatly with a satisfying magnetic “clunk”. These jewelry chests like this were commonly made in Japan back in the 60s and 70s. I believe my mother got this one at Cost Plus in North Beach, in San Francisco, when it was truly an “Imports Store” and not the chain of mall stores it is now, known as “World Market”. Cost Plus back then was an eclectic mix of incense burners, kites, teak Danish style furniture, and other assorted imported and inexpensive gewgaws. When we shopped there, I recall there was usually something that appealed to each and every member of the family. No one went home empty handed, and no one broke the bank on their allowance. And this was my mother’s choice. Or it might have been a gift from my father. Or she got it at JC Penney. Whatevs.

These chests nowadays all over eBay and Etsy, and there are some lovely decoupaged works of art made from them. So suffice it to say, this was a project that I had in mind to try for quite some time after my mother finally did give me hers. Those “swirly” shapes are outlines from some rather unattractive bent cane or bamboo that I removed moments before I snapped these pics and remembered I needed to take “before” photos. But after I removed them and the Asian or even Filipino theme they imbued, I heard The Muse in this thing say to me: “I have always wanted to be French Shabby Chic”.

Ok. French… shabby chic… sure.

I’ll pause here to add that this was long before I listened to Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, a book that discusses among other things, how creative ideas come to us, what happens when we say no to them, and what happens when we say yes. I can think of a million reasons, most of them nostalgia-based, to leave this chest alone and ignore its pleas to be transformed. It belonged to my mother. What would my sister and only sibling say? That I destroyed an heirloom, cheap as it was at the time? What would my MOTHER say? “Really? You’re going to paint over natural wood?” Some people would call that “ruining it”.

I think I procrastinated for a good 2 years before I decided last summer to take it all apart for the photos above, when I heard the little Voice Idea. Or I saw it. Elizabeth Gilbert calls it entering into a contract with inspiration. The following photos are me, following through on the contract.



The gold velveteen STAYS!



Furniture medallion “bows”, which I already had on hand, seemed to be waiting for this perfect moment.


No one was upset with me. My sister saw it last summer and loved it. My mom flipped and thought it was incredible! Yay! Not everyone reveres nostalgia to paralyzing effect like I do!


Pivoting to a personal note: I made a recent decision to undergo professional hypnotherapy to stop a life-long habit of nail and cuticle biting. As an ex-smoker, I can tell you that quitting cigarettes was easier for me than leaving my hands alone. After just two sessions, I was able to eradicate this disgusting habit from my life. For good! But in the process of reintegrating my conscious mind in the discovery of why I was doing this to my hands, I learned that I really did have some hang-ups and rather negative thoughts around my creative gift and that my primitive brain was indulging in this habit because of some deep dissatisfaction over beliefs and personal views about my creativity. I have to believe that other creative people wrestle with this from time to time. If this is something you struggle with, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic is a book I cannot recommend enough. After hypnotherapy, I was able to reaffirm what I had been suspecting for some time; that listening to the horrible news of the day is absolutely toxic to my creativity. It might be the motivation for other people’s muse. And if that’s your vibe, that’s great. But for me, it’s a creativity killer. For this reason, and because I like to practice Cognitive Anchoring when I work in the studio, I HAD to replace my habit of listening to NPR, and Canadian Radio (which I felt were calmer alternatives – WRONG!) with something more positive. So I made the decision to listen to, rather than read, Gilbert’s book. Her reading voice is pleasant and witty and it was five hours of my time that I will never regret investing. I feel like I’ve been on an amazing journey, and I’m happy to tell others about it. If this helps anyone as we begin a new year of making and creating together, then I am glad.

P.S. The link on Cognitive Anchoring above takes you to Heather Ordover’s site. Heather’s podcast Craftlit is fantastic! I’ve been creating while anchoring to Craftlit for 15 years. If you like classic literature and loved your High School English Literature class and wished it could go on forever, check out Craftlit. (She’s starting Anne of Green Gables next. Whoo hoo!)



A friend decided to crash the photo shoot.




Slowly, slowly… as Winter grinds on I’m getting back into the swing of things. I’ve had to take winter off from everything but the most simple crafting projects, which is my custom every year due to my company’s yearly bookkeeping obligations. I did make my usual holiday purse ornaments for my girlfriends and family members and for the third year in a row, failed to take a picture of even one of them. This purse, and the six to follow were ones I made last Fall.

Here we have Andrea. I love cork, as I have mentioned many times here. I put a light white wash with gold sparkling accents on the front cork, which is padded. The handle is “New Old Stock” and acquired on eBay. The trims are all synthetic leather, making it 100% Vegan, to the best of my ability to know.

It turned out lovely, but there is one drawback to this purse and many other small purses that I have made in the past: it’s too small to hold most current cell phones. Alas, one needs a pocket for that, which sort of defeats the point. But I am still happy with how it turned out.

San Julia

As I have mentioned in a previous post, if there is some event to celebrate or if I desire to personalize a purse for a friend or loved one, I always shop my sources to see if there are any cigar, tobacciana, or other ephemera that fits and I am often rewarded with a match. My step mother’s name is Julia and there was a label bearing the name with a sweet scene of two love-birds smooching. It was perfect.

These are also some of my favorite papers and colors, particularly the yellow. I am so happy with how this one turned out. Lots of fleurs, roses, rhinestones, vintage scraps, vintage handle and an upholstery tassel. Happy Birthday, Julia.

San Julia1IMG_6702IMG_6704IMG_6703San Julia2San Julia3IMG_6707IMG_6705IMG_6706FullSizeRender


Another hinged-flap purse. This purse’s paper from World Market is a clue to why I call it Pucci-esque. It’s mod, bright, colorful and has an Italian flair to it. The gold paper tape trim is vintage French wallpaper stripping. Now, I confess, I don’t really know what that is. Perhaps it was a tape strip that is applied over the seams where two sheets of wallpaper meet on the wall. I am just not sure. I acquired this style plus two other different styles from an Etsy seller in France. And if I recall correctly, the seller’s name was Sonya too. Just a neat coincidence.

Those are small gold coins glued at intervals over the tape and a vintage handle. I just love the Spring colors.



Here are the group of three “mod” purses in a group shot. Bloomberg on the left, Pucci-esque in the back, right, and Marlo in front.


PowWow (or proof there is or was a cigar label for just about everything in life)

When your friends get two new adorable Brittany Spaniel puppy brothers, named Pancho and Dash, it is normal for my mind to search for a way of commemorating the event with a cigar box purse. (Heh. Okay, I guess that’s just me.) But, oh my gosh, how lucky was this cigar label find? Two puppy brothers, one darker with a blaze on the snout. I swear, it was a random find. I did not draw this thing. I couldn’t, even if I tried!

And of course, the design of the purse had to be sporty, with houndstooth and plaid. But also feminine because these boys’ moms are about as feminine as the come. I’m sure I couldn’t even come close to making this as stylish as they truly are. But it’s okay because… PUPPIES!!!!!!!

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Here is Marlo. A mod little hinged flap purse. Paper is from World Market, scrap trim, coins and a large tassel from an eBay seller. Handle was purchased with pony beads included.



Here we have beautiful Claire. With lots of trim, coins, fleurs, pearls, and a whimsical bird bath scene on the interior surface. It is a smaller purse and the bird bath inside was so lovely and large, thus this would be one of the few purses I made without a mirror inside. It just didn’t fit.



And so we begin another spring…

This is Bloomberg, named simply because I was watching a lot of the channel by the same name on my iPad in my studio as I made this. Why? I really don’t know. It’s a one-off, I suppose.

This is a World Market paper with “blooms” on it. German scrap painted a shocking fuschia pink was applied to the edges along with a vintage shelf edging “lace” (the “woven” looking blue and white border on either side of the front and back). The latter was a little too yellowed and aged for my liking, but I tried to whiten and brighten it with paint. Vintage handle. This one will probably stay in my private collection, because you know…PINK!!!!




Born out of necessity for “something blue” in the wardrobe, my final purse post for the evening is Disco. Hard to say if this is the ultimate blue purse for all my blue needs, but it has filled the need a few times. This is a decoupaged paper from World Market. NO CORK in this one. LOL

I’m working on more purses now, and will have more to show you, hopefully without the long delay this time.

Thank you, as always, for visiting and for your support.





Here is Maiden, named for the collage image inside of the purse. I purchased the image on Etsy. I love the native, Caribbean feel of it. I wish I knew more about it.

Again, we have the persnickety appliques on cork (see the sides). But I learned a lot from the previous purse I made.


If anyone knows anything about this image, I’d love to hear from you. I added all the gold elements to it.


That’s not an optical illusion. The paint on the edges is “hombre”.


Kathy’s Clock, and a further update. (And thanks!!)

And now, for something a bit different.

Here is a “purse” I created that was meant to hang on a wall. One of the things I love is displaying both my purses and my collection of Enid Collins purses on the wall (with a shout out to my very tolerant husband). This inspired me to make a purse (or is it a clock?) for my sister-in-law Kathy as a sort of house-warming gift since she recently moved. I just LOVE how it turned out. I’m figuring out how to make a desktop version!

Well, that’s all for now. I have other purses to blog, but need to schedule  photography day for them.

Thank you, friends, for your encouragement and positive comments. It means a lot to me. I’ve been struggling with several health issues, most aggravating being a bad case of tendonitis in my dominant hand. I find it very hard to limit my activities in the studio, but I did break down and buy a power screwdriver. Hand therapy continues apace (relief coming at a GLACIAL pace) and I’m trying to stay positive. Soon I will have to start working on the financial books for my family’s business, to hand off to my accountant for the end of the year, so purse blogging may slow down once again. One thing I will try to do is be more present on my Facebook page. You can try following me there. Be well!



Here is is, hanging “in situ”.


I feel like I created this purse out of thin air! The paper is my own design, which I painted with water color paint and had printed into a roll of wrapping paper. I then added the gold and iridescence. It looks distressed, but it really has added depth. And then there is the female figure on the cigar label. She was a plain as a brown mouse. So I did tart her up a bit. (Oh yes, I did.)  I opted to not put any smoking related graphics on her, since this was another one of those labels that had no branding on it.

And so, she became to be known as Belle. What else would you name this gal?

I snuck in a photo of business cat, Office Floor Manager, Finnegan T. Butters on photo-shoot day. (The T. stands for “Trouble”.)

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This Montecristo cigar box came partially encased in a lovely reddish-brown suede, which I cannot tell is “real” or not. As many of my boxes are, it was gifted to me and it had a lot of the finishing done and the hinges “on board” were some of the best I could ever install on my own. It only needed a bit more decoration in the form of grasscloth, some fake leather flowers and cork.

Inside, I used some French wallpaper tape border, a unique find on Etsy. It came from a seller in France, and was vintage. Apparently, this was a “thing” in decorating some years back. I have a few yards of it (in three different styles) to play with. Expect to see more of it in future projects.




Close up of French wallpaper tape.



Earlier this year, my friend Charlie asked me to make a purse as a surprise for his wife, Barbara. He provided me with a stack of her favorite nature and bird oriented greeting cards to choose images from. Together, we selected this beautiful image by air brush artist Wendy Morgan to make into a cigar-styled label for a purse. For the image itself, I only gave it an aged look and then added the bijoux and some jeweled eyes and a rather generic “Havana Finest Cigars” graphic. The paper I used for the interior is one of those lovely World Market papers I am so fond of lately.

I am very pleased with how it turned out. Barbara was thrilled and very surprised!




The back of the greeting card, giving credit to the artist, Wendy Morgan.

Oh Boy… So behind. So… so behind.

So, I greet you and apologize for taking this long to end my hiatus and get back to blogging here. That is not to say that I haven’t been making purses. Making purses is always easier than blogging, for me. I think I have purses to blog here backed up from May. Wow. Anyway…

Here we have a purse I made for a friend Betsy. Betsy and I met online through a group dedicated to supporting a favorite big cat sanctuary. So, it only made sense when Betsy was faced with a health crisis that any purse I made for her be beautiful and empowering, embodying strength and grace. And have a pacified tiger on it! This old label was something I had acquired a couple a years ago. I don’t even know if it is a cigar box label. It had no text on it. But hey! That just meant I could add my own. So I give you… Betsy’s Victory! Betsy, if you are reading this, may this beauty of a purse carry your strength and victory on those days when it’s hard. I wish you only the best of health.

More purses coming over the next few days…



When you have a beautiful handmade antique hand strap like this one, you might hesitate to use it unless the right purse presents itself. That finally happened. I had this lovely red leather handle for ages. It really belonged on this purse.

World Market paper (again). You’ll be seeing lots of WM paper in purses coming up. It’s extraordinary stuff, and it is also good quality paper. I love the neutral interior (that’s a Paper Source paper) with the pops of color added.

The giant studs just seemed to belong.

Thanks for visiting.



A beautiful handmade paper from World Market. This is one of those ones that photos does not do justice to the paper. It almost resembles cloth in “real life”.

The shiny, shiny coins are turning out to be the hardest to source. The Internet is loaded with antiqued stamped Republique Francaise coins.But those shiny ones in larger sizes are proving to be tough.

So, here’s where I admit to a flaw on the design. Can you see it? I reveal it below…



Another one of my “bikini connector” hand straps. It seemed perfect for this elegant purse. 



And there’s the flaw. The box slides open from the bottom and could potentially spill out the contents. I figured this out after the thing was made. Still, I’m fine with how it turned out. And I’ve already take it to dinner with no problems. 


More cork fabric. This time stenciled and hand painted with a “trellis” design. The handle is what is nifty with this one. It’s a vintage leather briefcase handle. And it’s meant to fold down flat, neatly tucked next to the purse in the back. The cross-over strap is removable for another option.


Now you see the handle…


Now, you don’t see the handle.



Here’s a fun one. Another one of these gorgeous World Market wrapping papers. But I also stenciled Dimensional Magic in the shape of flowers over the paper giving it a textured, almost wet look on the surface. The sides of the box are covered in cork fabric and then I added that floral trim over the cork plus on the handle.



It’s amazing, but that is just paper. It looks like gold metal.


French Quarter

My nephew Lorenzo, now all of nine years old, had a very specific theme in mind for his Mother’s Day gift for his mom. He wanted it to be New Orleans themed and spooky. Generally, either myself or his grandma help him with his gifts, and this time it was my turn. I decided a purse as a great gift box for some spooky or NOLA themed items would be the best option. And hey! Any excuse to make a purse, right?

The surface of the purse is covered with a metallic, almost bronze-looking wallpaper remnant resembling ceiling tin that I got on eBay for about $11 for a generous amount. (I will be making more purses with this paper. It’s stunning.)

The handle is a NOS metal arch style that had lost some of its luster sitting in someone’s garage or someplace unprotected from air. It was the perfect shape, but was too tarnished. So I constructed a “scrunchie” tube from some panne velour velvet and anchored it to the handle with rivets. Ugly tarnish covered, and it feels nice to hold.



The image inside was purchased as a digital file from Etsy. The photographer is Michael Collins and his shop is BienvillesSouthPix. Check him out. I purchased a few images from other photographers. But I thought his with those vibrant colors would look the nicest in this purse. FrenchQuarter3

I really wanted the feeling of looking at that balcony as though the viewer is physically across from it and on their own wrought iron balcony. So I pieced together several Dresden scrap pieces into a collage that resembled wrought iron, and then painted it black. The Mardi Gras colors were an afterthought, and I added the doubloons and the beads around the mirror. I’m pleased with the outcome. FrenchQtrDet4FrenchQtrDet2FrenchQtrDet3

For the final perfect touch, one vintage French silver bullion metal tassel. Easily the most expensive thing on the purse. I added the Fleur-de-Lis charm and the pearl and rhinestones. It was made to be on this purse.



My nephew also asked for some jewelry (I got an inexpensive, but beautiful wrap bracelet that matched the pale tones of the purse’s exterior) and #6 in the Dark Shadows DVD series. Both fit perfectly inside the purse. My nephew impressed me with his detailed request. You can tell he gave it a lot of thought. And when he gave it to his mom he said “It’s made of diamonds, pearls, gold, and silver, and is worth at least ten thousand dollars” which gave me a laugh!  Well, I think I impressed him, at least.

Happy Mother’s Day to all and to my sister. This was lots of fun to make and share with you. Thanks for stopping by.


Marbled Ocean

I’m gushing with pride over this one. Sometimes these purses just take on a life of their own as I am creating them. Ocean, here, demanded more and more bling and an inspired hand strap that I created myself out of a bikini connector. For those not familiar, these are the connectors on the side of very expensive bikinis that are generally used for competition. Not being familiar with this at all, I really cannot account for how I discovered them, other than stumbling on it. Right off the bat, I noticed that it has a nice squared loop at either end that lends itself to attaching to a strap which I made with stud rivets and vegan leather.

The front is grasscloth that I decorated using the ombre technique that I am so hooked on at the moment. I’ve included a photo of the “latch” which is constructed out of various bits of gold scrap that I cut up using manicure scissors. Tedious, but worth it. The actual latch is really not very pretty alone, and it needed something to tie it with the gold embellishment on the front. The interior is lined with brown cork fabric and decoupaged bits of paper. This purse has it all, pearls, fleur de lis, rhinestones and a tassel, of course.




Marbled Lava

This is my first ever clutch. Why the hesitation, you may wonder. Even though the decoupage medium that I use is a hard coat, I really have no idea how it will hold up under the grip of sweaty or oily hands. But my purses are nothing if not experiments. So, here is my experimental clutch.

The paper reminds me of a Pucci scarf. I highlighted the gold with a bit of Perlex pigment mixed with glitter since the hard coat will naturally take some iridescence away. Of course, I wanted that back. I just love this one.





Clean hands only, hopefully.

Placemat #2 (The one with Banksy on it)

Another purse decoupaged with a serving paper from Hester and Cook. Sadly, this particular one appears to be out of stock. What I loved about it was the distressed look of the paper. I really had very little to do with that part of it, other than adding a gold heat embossed Banksy image (which is also, sadly, gone.) The edges are covered in a chocolate brown cork fabric and I placed the studs in flowers around the edge.

Inside is my favorite pink marbled paper. I made the hand strap myself out of gold-flecked cork flat ribbon. Another horse hair tassel was attached (I am loving them so much lately), and it was done.




Purse with the serving paper. 


Placemat #1

I am constantly looking for neat and interesting paper. This one happens to be a paper placemat, made for one time use. These are from Hester and Cook and they are so lovely. Almost too pretty to eat off of. They come in a pad of tear-off sheets, and I will be making more of these!

The interior is a collage of images that I hoped would be an unexpected surprise when the purse is opened. I’ve also been playing some more with cork fabric, which is wrapped around the edges of the purse and rivets added for decoration.

I’m calling this Placemat #1 because I have another one to show you next.


Yep, that’s a placemat!




Yep, that’s a placemat on there!


This one is for fun. A hexagon shape with a wrist strap. The tassel is dyed horsehair.

The Last Battery Purse – Anise


You might remember my other purses of this type. I call them The Battery Purses. That’s how the cigars that came in them were branded and the shape is evocative of a battery. I can tell you now, these boxes are as scarce as hen’s teeth. I feel lucky that I managed to get my hands on three. This is the last empty one. (On the planet! I’m convinced!)

I imagine this being used as a pretty awesome wedding purse. Forget getting a cell phone to fit in it. This is also the first purse I have ever made with silver hardware. Because my original inspiration to start making purses was mainly artistic interpretations of traditional-looking cigar boxes, and cigar box labels are mainly gilt in gold coins and other bijou and rarely, if ever, in silver I didn’t have any supplies on hand. Since I have taken more evolutionary steps towards more fashionably modern purses, I believe you will be seeing more of my bags with silver hardware.

This again is that same reptile embossed paper that I have used on several purses now. I love the stuff. It comes in a beautiful, almost iridescent cream color but can be colored. It’s a staple in my craft studio.

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So here we have Obelisco. It’s a large purse. The reptile “skin” on the front and back is paper. (No animals were harmed… etc.) I am also experimenting with cork fabric. That’s the brown colored material you see on the sides.

Again, the desert dry air messed with me a bit. The box was in my closet drying out and by the time I got around to finishing it, the box no longer closed completely. My only idea was to buy supply of gold colored corded fabric piping and use a few layers of it around the edges of the box to close the gap. I decided I really liked the way it looked and I will be using it on other purses in the future. It gives it a nice finished look.

Inside, the box came with some partitions that confined the cigar product to a small area of the box. I flipped those over, decoupaged everything inside and it made some nice compartments to keep things organized. I like how it turned out.

Obelisco_Front Obelisco_AngledFront



If you are lucky, you know a friend like Karie. She’s sweet, funny, caring, and she’s got great taste. And she likes the color green. She also makes you think about things and pushes you to stretch and grow. So it is only fitting that by making this purse, I have learned a LOT! The cork was a new thing for me. And even when I asked her “Do you like cork?” and she said “No”, I had to find a way to make it work. So, I made the cork gold. It plays like leather, so I decided to teach myself a thing or two about setting studs. I like the look of eyelets, and had them on hand. And there you have it. Dressy and sweet, just like Karie is. Though the handle is pretty, I’d like a slightly thicker handle on it, and so I will allow one guess who is now exploring making her own purse handles. I am up for the challenge and the growth. Karie would really have it no other way!


Image shows front, using grasscloth, cork, and eyelet rivets.


I wanted the interior to feel like a mini-vacation.


Close-up of ombre technique.

eBay + World Market + Vintage = Glam

Here is a recent bag. The paper is a handmade one I got from World Market. The stones are a junk jewelry necklace I acquired from eBay and cut apart. The handle is NOS. I thought the overall effect was very glam. Dolce_Front Dolce_Interior

A bag of many issues

You must excuse the busy-ness of this bag. After the arduous task of moving last year, weeks went past before I was able to get back in the studio to work on anything. One night, I decided to pick a box that wasn’t in the best shape (the desert air warps many of my boxes) and “get back into” the swing of things. The result was this very busy, very overworked box. This is why I say that my boxes are for decorative purposes only although certainly, they will withstand an evening or two out on the town for dinner. But mainly my boxes are to ogle. The box is my canvas. I also tell this tale as a way to answer the question of why I am currently not selling my boxes. I would simply not know how to price such an object. I do, on occasion, “rehab” a purse to make the latch closeable and firm, but I mainly try to use existing hardware which often times was not meant to do more than enclose cigars for transport to the cigar retailer or the consumer.


There is A LOT going on here. Embossing, decoupage, many clashing stones. Oh! And a tassel.


You can’t see it in this photo, but the lid is quite warped and I used a chipped mirror. Practice, practice, practice.

I am exploring ways that I can justify selling. But for now, enjoy them here in my gallery. As always, I welcome your comments and thank you for visiting.

And now for something a little different…

This was one of those smallish paper parasols that you can buy or rent for outdoor events like weddings to provide shade for guests. These were, in fact, used in my brother-and-law’s wedding in their pure white form. For their 1 year wedding anniversary, I decoupaged it in my sister-in-law’s (also the recipient of this purse) wedding color – purple – and gave it as a gift. I think the photos turned out exceptionally well too. untitled-103 untitled-105 untitled-106 untitled-108-Edit-Edit untitled-110


I made this purse for a very special young woman in my family who is currently going through treatment for breast cancer. Her father, who happens to also be my husband, told me that she and her sister find special meaning in the song You are my Sunshine. I had never made a musical purse before, but this seemed like the perfect blending of music box movement and purse. It is an ornamental purse, for sure. Meant to sit prettily on a shelf and cheer a fighter on, or to play the music box in case of an emergency need of a hug. Even though it looks like it is made of leather, the box is clad in a paper product made to look like a brownish red crocodile skin. Winning, all around.

And, yes, together we will and ARE winning over cancer.

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Another one of those nifty Flor Fina boxes. This one has sort of a Mediterranean feel to it. Kallos is a classical form of the Greek word for beauty.




The Battery Purses

These were very fun. I have one more blank box left and they are extremely hard to find. I’m thinking an all white one would be pretty. But grasscloth would be lovely too.
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I’ve been wanting to do a round purse. (I’m always on the lookout for unusually shaped boxes.) As soon as I saw this box, I envisioned a musical instrument of some sort.  Also, it’s worth mentioning that I do switch straps around on my bags, so that rather pedestrian-looking one will at some point be swapped out with a gold one. I like this one worn cross-body, resting on the hip.


Here it is next to the box in its original form. Yes, that is a gasmask on the original (which I find to be a bit weird on a cigar box.)




The Tourist

Last summer, we bought a house in central Oregon. We made plans to meet my Bestie and her husband in town when the sale of the house closed and we were going to have the big signing. About the same time, I ordered this dress online. When it arrived, I knew I had to make a purse for it and wear it to a nice dinner with my BFF and family in our new town. I am very pleased with how it turned out. I give many of my purses away, but this one is meant to go with this dress and it’s just “for me”. I can’t wait to wear it again, when nice weather returns, which won’t be long now. I called it The Tourist in honor of it being the one last time I was a tourist before becoming a “resident”.


The Tourist

I needed a purse to match this dress!

I needed a purse to match this dress!

Materials. Paper, napkins, cigar box

Materials. Paper, napkins, cigar box

The Tourist

Front"ish" view

Front”ish” view

Yoiks! Look at that dirty mirror for the photo!

Yoiks! Look at that dirty mirror for the photo!


Hi there!

I’m trying to catch up. One bit of (now old) news is that I moved households. Like 6 months ago! So, I have been making purses. And taking photos of them. But blogging? Nay.

And I see the WordPress interface looks nothing like its former self, so I have no idea what I am doing. I have to learn it all over again. Six months WP people! I’m lost.

So let me start with this little purse. I gave it to my former neighbor who is affectionately called “Sundrah” by her hubby. I miss those guys so much. But she has a purse to remember me by.  And I hope you like it too.



Cupido Exquisito

I love the Cupido label. I made another one with the label prior to this one that turned out quite nice. Shhhh… this one is a surprise birthday gift for a special friend.


No. 35 Music

Padron No. 35 box, a favorite of mine.
Grasscloth wallpaper remnant, Inka Gold paint, embellished

You can see the first purse I made using a Padron No. 35 Serie 1926 box here.

No. 35_Music_SideNo.35_Music_FrontNo. 35_Music_InteriorNo. 35_Back

Corn Flower

Another one using one of the La Gloria boxes.


The Aristocrat

Sometimes I don’t have exactly the right label for a box, so I make one from various bits of scrap. Here is one I made from a copy of a page from an old costume book.