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.

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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.



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.

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Enid Collins Purse Collection


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.