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.
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.
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.
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!!!!!!!
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.
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!!!!
So, this being a hobby of mine, I hope you will understand my absence. We run a small graphic design business and I am the bookkeeper. From November until late February or March, I’m working for the accountant and the tax preparers, and making purses when I have free time, or when I’ve had just about all the bookkeeping that I can stand! And then I need to work with my husband to find time to get these babies photographed. And here we are, another winter done and gone. It seems completely appropriate to start with a purse I made late last summer called “Holiday”.
This might be one of my personal favorites. The cigar box I used was a perfect size and shape (7″ x 7.5″ x 3″).
Let me tell you however, in spite of how fantastic this turned out, it was also one of the most challenging purses I have ever made. Why? Because finding a fairly non-toxic glue that adhered the G.D. appliques to the G.D. cork surface without making a mess was just about impossible. Shoe-Goo, E-6000, seemed like the best bet. But it DID NOT adhere it. It was a nightmare, and especially upsetting because I could see the purse’s loveliness, I was becoming attached and the darn things would not stick. I’m sure if I tried hard enough I could still pull them off. But I won’t. The winning glue was Gorilla Glue. But given that it requires water, it was not the cleanest experience.
Anyway, it will survive my fashion demands. But after making “Holiday”, I definitely needed a vacation.
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!
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”.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The wee collection grows. The “Peacock Bag” is not actually an EC bag, but a collectible kit bag, inspired by EC bags back in the day. My sister had the identical purse. She did all the embellishing, following the instructions to the letter. Every time she and I got into a fight, I would slyly pick one or two of the stones off and throw them out until the purse was destroyed. I could kick myself now for it.
Anyway, about 8 years ago, I was walking around in Petaluma, California where I lived for a time, and there in an antique store was the bag you see here. In all it’s glory, with every stone intact. I bought it along with a genuine Enid Collins bag. I kept the peacock knock off and gave the EC bag to my sister, by way of an apology for being a horrible kid sister.
By the way, I composed and published this post using WordPress for the iPhone. I hope it helps me to be a better and more spontaneous blogger. We will see.