Monday, May 11, 2009

Bag Lady

I am a one-bag lady. I like to have a neutral-colored purse that I can use every day. I keep a little black evening bag for occasional use, but other than's the same purse, day after day.

For the last three years or so, I've been using a handmade, hand-tooled, leather purse made by my fantastic father-in-law. I've carried this beautiful purse with pride.


I really love this bag. However, it's gotten scratched and stained, and, well...after three years, I was ready for a change! But after using a fantastic, custom purse, how could I buy something "off the rack"?

So I decided to look on Etsy, a fantastic website where creative sellers hawk their wares. I looked through photos of thousands of handmade bags--some adorable, some hideous, and all unique.

Finally, I found just the right design--the Nap Sack by MimsMaine. But there was a problem. The only one they were currently listing was made of white fabric. I am way too clumsy to keep a white bag clean.

So I contacted Natasha from MimsMaine, and she happily agreed to make me the bag with my choice of fabric. I found a beautiful, dark brown, home decor fabric and sent it to her. I let her choose the lining.

It arrived Saturday, and I love the result! It's a great size. I'm very petite, and it doesn't overwhelm me, but it's big enough for a lot of stuff.


And here's what is just ingenious about this design. In the photo above, and the one below, it's a shoulder bag.


But by tugging on the straps, it becomes a nap sack (backpack.) This will be fantastic when I need my hands free for kid-wrangling. My shoulders are nearly nonexistent, so bags often slip off if I move around too much.


Natasha did a great job choosing a bright, fun lining fabric.


This is a worthy follow-up to my homemade leather purse. And the experience of ordering a custom bag was exciting.

But I'd better be careful on Etsy's handbag section. Spending too much time there, I might become a two- (or three- or dozen-)bag lady. That could be a dangerous thing.


Fannyfanackapan said...

Great Bag Beth! I am a handbag fanatic, the polar opposite to you. The Imelda Marcos of handbags! Well not that bad, but I do own a few. Just to avoid confusion, in the UK what you call a purse, we call a handbag and what you call a pocket book, we call a purse!

I had never heard of Etsy until I read your blog/tweets and of course, had to go have a look. Yesterday I ordered a lovely handmade pendant and can't wait for it to arrive. On to the handbag section!

Anonymous said...

Beth -- What a great custom bag!

I went to this site and LOVED these bags. If I hadn't already bought one for summer (yes, I like just one too), I would definitely snag that black and cream one. And it's obvious these are really well made.

They ought to hire you -- you're great advertising for their product! :)

Barga said...

maybe you should write advertisements for these people...

Barga said...

though, is your father in law up to making a wallet?

Lindsay @ Makely said...

What a cool design! Man, there are some smart and creative people out there.

Isabella said...

Wow, what a gorgeous bag! My trusty purse is falling apart...I'll have to give etsy a look. :)

Unknown said...

Very nice!! I'll have to check it out now!!

Call Me Cate said...

Beautiful bag! Looks great, very functional, and adaptable! Can't really ask for more than that.

Etsy looks like a very dangerous place.

Janell said...

So cute - I really like that design! Thanks for sharing.

caryn said...

I love Etsy! What a great bag, I love the bright lining. The bag that your father-in-law made is fantastic, even if it is scratched and stained it was still made with love and you'll have it forever, what a great gift. Handcrafted by someone you love what could be better.

LEstes65 said...

Nice. And very you. This puts me in mind of the fact that I need to grow up and stop thinking that my courier bag will suffice. But man, I am SO not a purse chick.

C. Beth said...

Fannyfanackapan--Uh oh--if you love bags, you may get lost for hours looking at them on Etsy! Don't blame me! :)

Sandra--Yes, I really love this seller's designs too. They re so professional-looking, aren't they?

Barga--Unfortunately, he's not doing leather tooling these days! I'm glad he made me a few things before he stopped doing it.

Lindsay--Ha! Yes, as someone who is highly creative & very smart, you have a good eye for other smart, creative types!

Isabella--If you find one, let m eknow!

Kris--There's some great stuff on there!

Call Me Cate--Oh, yes, Etsy could be very, very dangerous.

Janell--Thanks! I'm glad you like it.

caryn--Yes, the old bag has had a lot of meaning for me! It's definitely not one I plan to ever get rid of.

LEstes--Hey, nothing wrong with a courier bag!!

Our Scoop said...

Super cute! Love how it turned out :) How neat that you got to choose your own fabric!

2cats said...

What a cute bag you found . I rally love that web site. I am going to start listing some crochet items and some embroidery that I do.
Currently I have 4 leather black daytime bags, 2 leather black evening bags, 2 leather red, 2 leather green, 3 leather brown, 1 leather gray, 1 sequin bag, 2 canvas bags, 5 totes bags, 3 some strange kind of fiber bags. I change my purse very often. At least once a month.