I love bags…..

I’ve never really been a shoe person, to me they are functional and I just want them to be comfortable to work and play in but bags can lead me astray. They don’t have to be named brands. Its more the shape, style, size, occasion and colours that attract me. As my son’s have got older, I’ve noticed the size of bag I prefer gets smaller – thankfully, I’m no longer carrying toys or Gameboys around with me.

My sisters introduced me to Cath Kidston and her amazing range of fabrics, home wares and bags. Every time I’ve been home I’ve been allowed to explore her cute, shops in Brighton, Chichester, the Portsmouth outlet store and we even peeped into the window of the shop in Lymington late one Sunday afternoon. I love her colours, the use of polka dots and fun prints from flowers to cowboys. I’ve even been able to buy some her her fabric and have eked it out into hip bags.

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This bag using her Monuments print (places in the UK) is one of my favourites.

This year I’ve been exploring new styles of bags upcycling clothing and linens into bags…

denim skirt 1

Denim – jeans and skirts, embellished with vintage lace, crochet flowers, pearls and rhinestones

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Tea towels – they present a challenge because of the linear patterns. Even so they make great tote bags and they are a way of using souvenirs.

 IMG_20140820_113027                        green spot bag secret pocket

Upcycled girls dresses – this was a flounced dress. I made a bag to go inside and covered the bottom of that on the outside with some of the left over fabric. I used left over fabric in the handles and with the last bit from the back I made a “secret button pocket”! I made a simple drop pocket and lined the front of it  with the last piece of back. In a similar bag there was just a little piece of fabric left which I was able to make into a coin purse.


Vintage linen – lined hip bag, lace strap – I just love the incredible applique

When I was home in the summer I saw some Central London fabric and I’ve made this into 2 styles of bags.

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Larger hip bag…. which I discovered was big enough for a friends IPad and the lining is more London fabric.


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My friend Jill suggested I thought about a different shape so I experimented with this “A line” shape.

And then I went home this summer and my sister showed me my niece’s Monica Boxley leather handbag. Soft Italian leather and a fabulous clip to open and shut it with a great “click” sound.

Marianne Bag Large   Marianne Bag Small Marianne Purse Bag

Large Marianne Bag, medium, small, the purse bag, and regular purses. She even makes jewelry. I must confess to treating myself to a lime green purse bag and at the same time I found a small Marianne bag on Ebay… Wow, I don’t know which one to use. Its fun to be spoilt for choice.

Oops, October is only a couple of days away!

I started writing a post and got distracted! I thought I’d catch up and discovered its now 2 days to the end of the month, and 87 days to Christmas! And best of all, its cool today, cool enough to wash the AC filter and have all the doors and windows open. Will is back at uni, Matt is finishing the school year with independent study! Geraint has gone home as a birthday present for his Mum and I’m here busy, busy, busy!

Looking at my little list from August!

My studio – I started but got distracted and started making things, but have tried to potter and tidy as I go along – really!

Christmas fabrics – I bought some more fabrics …. No more!

Plan a couple of Christmas tree throws – 1 made and I’ve found loads of blue fabrics so might make a blue tree!

Plan a Father Christmas throw – I started one last year and will finish that one – maybe.

Squares for wall hangings –  some now cut and have found bags with other cut squares from previous years!

Make 2 cushions for me – no time

Plan out Fall Season shows – its in my head… Olive Market was Saturday, Art on State Street – 26th October to coincide with Redlands Art Walk.

I had a great morning dying cotton canvas duct, so I could have alternative backs for my bags, with Candy just before she went back to teach the new University year, and heard about some of new projects including her book.

Sewing … new bags

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Central London fabric… found in the UK this summer. Hip bag back on the right is big enough for an II pad and I’ve sold 2.

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A Cath Kidston Monuments bag with hand dyed fabric for the back,  a black spotty bag, and Rapunzel from Heather Ross’s Far, Far Away, again with hand dyed fabric back. A Paris hip bag, with hand dyed back, a similar size to my Central London Map hip bag to be found in my Etsy shop, Something Old, Something Blue. The body of the bag is made with fabulous hand dyed canvas duct (by me) and the front pocket is Kokka linen with a Paris print. It has a lovely contour stripe in the interior with key fob and d ring.  And yet another Heather Ross “Sleeping Beauty” from the Far, Far Away collection.

I’ve made a couple of children’s throws for my friend Lesley.

Two Halloween throws. One went to Australia.

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2nd Halloween Throw for sale in my Etsy shop.

In between times it’s the usual domestic trivia… and this afternoon I want to get ahead on the week and do some housework! The kids have already lent a hand, Will’s cooking lunch, and Geraint’s asleep in the UK so he can’t complain!

So as  October marches in a new list….

Christmas tree wall hangings – 3 or 4

Christmas tree throw –2 blue and green trees

Central London hip bag – with blue/green back, possibly 2 bags? I was thrilled to discover its big enough for an IPad.

bracelets – I’m out of my “tulip” bracelet in all sizes

A possible commission for a baby throw

Some new jewelry as well… have ideas need the time

Get an electrician in and get a quote to repair the lighting upstairs so I can work in the evening – ah but that means tidy up the studio some more!

Happy Birthday Dad

A poignant day for me. It would have been Dad’s 86th birthday and I want to remember him how he was not how he ended up. Dad (1928 – 2014), we are the same age, he in this photo and me today. My sisters went out for a picnic at Burpham to celebrate, a littleContinue Reading

Its been a long sad month

My June to do list and life got put on hold for 6 weeks. My sister rang to say my father had been admitted to the local hospital with a view to transferring him to St. Thomas’ Hospital in London for a heart operation. After a week I can home to the UK, and joinedContinue Reading

June already – time for a “to do list”!

June already – time for a “to do list”!

The end of the school year is just round the corner for Matt and Will finished May term at the university! The City decided, in its infinite wisdom, to resurface roads – one of which was on our daily route to the university and of course the other one is on the route to andContinue Reading

So busy and so little time  – “Art in the Park” is ONE week away!

So busy and so little time – “Art in the Park” is ONE week away!

I’ve been plodding along this month, making butterflies and bags! And sorting out paintings for a one man show for my husband but I think this deserves its own post later in the week. Its time for a speedy check of the “to do” list because the show is exactly ONE week away and I’mContinue Reading

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

No Art in the Park this weekend, as in previous years. It was permanently moved to tie in with the Celebration of Redlands Arts, Memorial Day weekend, after its huge success last year. Instead, we had a quiet day at home and dinner out at my favourite Thai restaurant, Thai Bowl Café in Loma LindaContinue Reading

Paris in the Spring

Paris in the Spring

Well something like that! No, I’ve not been whisked off to romantic parts for a few days instead I’ve made myself a summer bag! Paris hip bag 8 x 7 x2.5 with long strap. I’ve walked passed this Fabric in Hancock’s since early Spring and thought it was wall paper! I looked closer last weekContinue Reading