The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Great Purse Caper

I bought myself a new purse recently.
I do not remember what it is that finally set me off about my black one no longer being's beat to heck and back,'s years old...but it's's sturdy and it holds all sorts of garbage, including what my kids hand me and/or stuff in there....I think what did it is the realization that I no longer actually own black every day boots, except the French ankles, and I have no black loafers--all those loafers and none in black!?! I am so slipping here.

Then again, I can blame the easy lure of etsy, and being stuck on calls with darn near insane clients and needing to keep my brain occupied with other things so I don't get sucked into their insanity. I have enough of my own, thank you.

Now, I knew when I started looking at purses what I had in mind. What I want is my neon pink sling hobo bag from the 80s, minus all the mesh, and not at all pink. I never really liked pink, but I SO loved that stupid purse. When I took off when I was 16, guess what the one thing I regretted leaving behind was...yep...that purse. And when all the junk I had left behind came back to me years later after everything settled down, guess what was totally gone...that darned purse. I would have dyed it...I would have done tons of things, terrible things, to it, but I'd still have that ugly thing. It was the best purse.

So, I spend weeks at a time, sifting and searching and randomly popping through way too many things on etsy. Etsy is especially nice when I am trapped on those 2 hour calls where all we do is gossip and not much else.....This technique is especially beneficial of late when talking with my best friend and I want to keep my emotional attachment to what he's talking about nil. Hey, keeps me from freaking out and hanging up because I can't deal with it can't be all bad.

There are a gazillion bags and totes and wristy things and pouches and cozies and you name its on etsy. Ninety-nine percent of which I have zero interest in. Some are very unique and I love them, but won't buy because shipping is too outrageous. Or the price itself is too outrageous. Shoddy construction...ugly patterns and even worse colour combinations. The wrong materials. My list goes on and on. I have three purses still sitting in my favourites, with me thinking one of these days I may want a different purse. But this is me, and I am so weird it is not funny. I may never buy another one either, until this one ruptures and dies, may it never happen....

While I was wandering through all this garbage on etsy, I decided what I really needed in a purse. I'm fairly simple. I like pockets, inside pockets, divided sections of a purse, with pockets. I don't like the strap too short, but don't care for it too long either. Says the nearly six feet tall lady here. Then, again, after I had all my ideas pinned up together in my head--I actually woke up one morning with a very clear idea to deconstruct this size 3 skirt I had found in my closet -- how a size THREE got there I have no clue--cause I haven't worn a size three since I was about oh 10? Maybe 8? I had the idea so clearly in my head, what to cut where, where to put pockets, even the decorative stitching I was going to use on the inside and outside pockets....and then I decided I do NOT want a denim purse....I do not want something as big as I was planning to sew up myself...and I surely did not want to make it myself right now.

Step into my storage room, where I have a pile of items cut out, but not sewn. All but three of these are from about 2006? When we left MO for MD when we fled the stupidity of the ex and his b/s lies. I know there are two bags sitting there waiting for me to remember which bag I cut out (since they are the same--I have a set of patterns I like and I was making bags for people)...not to mention I think I have a set of yoga clothes cut out...and some other stuff...I have yoga pants cut out from WV before we moved back here too--but those never went farther because I grabbed my sewing machine to bring w me when we left originally--and left the foot and wires for the machine--in WV, in a box. I know--I am SO smart....let's not go there.

This should explain why I was perfectly comfortable paying someone else to make me a purse.....I mean, other than I am essentially lazy and just not in the mood....

It took me about two weeks to decide on colours. I have a very weird thing for the combination of red, black and white. They mean something to me on levels I cannot always garner comprehension ... but I love the combination. I found two purses that were these colours. I also found a nice brown bag and an even nicer olive green type colour bag--those are still saved for later on...I am still thinking.....

I decided I would try to find a hobo bag, since i like them. What I ended up ordering was a recycled hobo bag, made from an old quilt. Which also means alot to me. Here are the details of the bag:

I bought this from 1oddbird, who is terrific to deal with and ships very fast-I can't tell you what it shipped in as I never saw it-the second it got her my daughter had it in the house and opened and basically walked in and tossed the bag at me and walked out. She came back a few minutes later and handed me the receipt very nicely. Never said another word about anything.

Upcycled Red and Black Hobo
Handmade by myself using a vintage quilt (the underside of one anyway!- the top was a ripped nightmare!) the hand stitching is visible (check out the pics) adding a very cool vintage-y feel. She is 21 inches wide at the widest point and 13 inches tall in the center. Fully lined in a white linen tablecloth with 2 interior pockets and a vintage button closure.

Thanx for checking her out!!

First of all, the colours were perfect. The price was more than decent. Shipping was excellent.
It means a great deal to me that this was made from parts of a quilt. It gives me a connection to the past...quilts in general have meaning for's a very good thing.
I should have actually taken a tape measure and measured out her size, because I wanted something about half this size, but I am not complaining. As my one friend snarkily keeps picking on me, it'll make a great diaper bag one day (grrr!) (Again-not pregnant-not trying to get that way-planning to wait a bit for that again, thanks :-) )
The colours have symbolism to me. The fabric has symbolism to me. The shape is awesome. The button is not at all tacky or out of place.
In person, the workmanship is impeccable.
And it smelled GOOD when it got here. You have no clue how much that makes me feel better about things. As bloody weird as that makes me sound...but still...I am extremely sensitive to scent...

Now Alexis started this thing, well, her friend did, but showing us what is in her purse. Click here to see.

I am envious. There is no way now I can get away with something like that. Then again, I am the nutter who would stick a pen and notebook in a tiny bag--and forget my ID.
Then-I had kids. That was the end of the being able to carry small things.

So, as you can see from the above pictures....I carry alot of garbage around with me. Crayons from about five different restaurants...lotion samples, a mini bottle of lotion, 3 tubes of chapstick, my wallet, my emergency bag stuffed with Band-Aids and prep pads, and stuff to clean my glasses, eye glasses repair kit, coffee sticks (don't ask) , three kinds of pain killers (2 for me, 1 for the kid), a mini manicure kit, a package of emery boards (because the girl swipes my manicure kit when I am not looking and I always need an emery board when we go out...), garbage that the kids hand me when we're out--literally, just trash, tons of old receipts, bobby pins, 2 hair sticks-one of which I thought I had lost! business cards which I never give out because I never think of it, my tattoo artists business cards-which I do give out, Kerry's business cards--which I also give out like candy :-) keys, a stain removing pen, notebook, about ten pens of various colours......oh boy, does the list go on........and on.......

Not all of that made it into the new purse, thankfully.

All the business cards did. Even mine. :-) My keys. My wallet. I cleaned out the emergency bag and cut its contents nearly in half. My notebook and only four pens. All the pain killers made the transition. Or else I will only buy more because my loving daughter is a migraine creator when we go out.....she gets them-she gives them-she is one....Only two tubes of chapstick (one for me, one for the kids). Manicure set--and emery boards, just in case. Gum.
And not much else.

As I said earlier, this bag is way bigger than I had thought it would be....
every time I walk out the door I can tuck whatever book I am reading into it...or whatever knitting project I am working on (even though it's been so long since i have touched my knitting my daughter mournfully asked why I never did it anymore the other day....which made me sad...and stop it...that was the morning I woke up with the visions of finishing the other twin blanket for the pair of blankets I am making for our future twins......the fertility jokes must stop now...really.....please! )
I have lots of room in this bag. That is both cool...and annoying. I had to stuff the pain killer bottles into a smaller bag to keep them from rattling so when I walk. I do like I can flip the strap over my head and carry it across my body with the bag on my hip, especially when I am in a rush to go drool over art supplies ... but that's just me.

So, that's my story...and that's my purse.....

that's all there is...for now....