Archive for the ‘bags’ Category

The "Pittie in the City" bag with removable flower/bow

My latest — a one-of-a-kind tote bag, created for the upcoming auction to raise money for the outstanding pitbull rescue group, Even Chance. The San Diego-based group is devoted to re-educating the public about these exceptional dogs and helping temperamentally sound, abandoned pitties get a second chance at forever homes.

The “Pittie in the City” tote bag is an homage to the over-the-top style of “Sex and the City,” a show I rarely watched but wrote tons of ad copy for back in my copywriting days. The show was okay, but the clothes were so much fun!!! And if there’s one thing people should know about pitbulls it’s that they are FUN! Smudge, my pit-mix (looking unusually serious, below), is just as much of a puppy now, at age 9, as she was at nine months. Forget the nonsense about them all being dangerous. When they’re treated with love and respect, it’s just their nature to be little clowns.

My dog Smudge, part pit bull, part goof ball

Anyway, back to the tote bag …Not long ago, this bag was a pair of vintage velvet pants, just begging to be deconstructed. The front of the bag (shown up top) can be dressed up or down, with the removable flower and bow, all made of scrap fabric. It’s lined with recycled black fleece, so it’s pretty durable and easy to clean.

The other side (below) has a cell-phone (or dog treat) sized pocket with a hand-made “button” closure. I embroidered the pocket with cotton and metallic black and gold yarn, so it wouldn’t get lost in the black velvet surroundings.

Bag from the back showing pocket

At the last minute, just as I was about to mail the bag to the organizer, inspiration struck — how about a matching dog collar decoration? So I made one (below):

but wait, there's more ...a matching flower for your dog's collar!

The dog collar flower is equipped with a velvet cord loop on the back. You can slip it on (or off) easily, so you and your pupster can get some style on together.

And now the bag and decoration are in New York, where they’ll be photographed for the Even Chance auction. As soon as there’s a link, I’ll post it. Thirty-plus other artists have designed bags for the fund-raiser, so there are going to be  some fabulous pieces! In the meantime, you can check out all the contributors’ bios at artforpitties.

This little purse is kind of cute — at least in person. But for some reason, it’s not photographing very well.

It’s knit from recycled silk sari yarn, which I love to use, since it means income for women in remote areas of Nepal, who otherwise don’t have many options for earning money. Plus, it’s reversible!

The fuzzy pink material is from an old top I found at a thrift store.  It’s a nice little everyday purse, very eco-friendly and all.  But for some reason, it does not photograph well. I should probably fire my photographer, but since I am my photographer,  that’s not a really good solution. Halp!!

That’s not something I say very often — at least about my own images. But this one came out very nicely. Unfortunately, I have no idea why or what I did, so it may never happen again.

What’s in a name? Plenty, I think. Example: as soon as I saw the shop name “Miss Ruby Sue” I just knew the store would be filled with things that were fun and different and creative. Wow, I couldn’t have been more wrong!!

Because the offerings at Miss Ruby Sue are actually way, WAY beyond fun, different and creative. They are firmly entrenched in the “dazzling, knockout, holy cow I’ve never seen that before” category. In fact, MRS pretty much owns the entire category! Just check out Exhibits A, B and C, below:


From adorable tote bag to trendy, bib-style necklace to dazzling headpiece, it’s clear that Miss Ruby Sue is all about being unique. Store founder, Lori Ward, describes her distinctive style this way:

“…a one of a kind Fashion Label with romantic vintage curiosities. Often using upcycled clothing, thrifted trinkets and extinct vintage cuts in an artful blend of melodious chic and neovictorian deconstructed elements. You may even see a little punk fun come thru as well.”

Okay, no argument here. Miss Ruby Sue’s colorfully eclectic collection of bags, accessories and body art is hard to describe. But that’s exactly what clients love about Lori’s work. Even though she’s fairly new to etsy, the shop’s had plenty of sales. And Lori gets extra credit for cultivating her over-the-top style from a conservative small town where out of the ordinary is not exactly celebrated. As she explains at her blog:

“That has been a challenge for me- that’s why I’m so in love with the internet- I can reach a worldwide audience and not just locals. My work is a little eccentric for my town, but I have found people who do like that sort of look and will find me. I had a friend tell me ‘you’ll never sell that here- it’s too expensive and eccentric.’ I just smiled because I know women want to feel and look beautiful no matter what the economy is like.”

Exactly! It’s nice to know that even though the world seems to be going to heck in a hand basket, there’s a place where none of that matters. In fact, I have a feeling that just slipping into a delectable little item like “Scary Mary – funky punky princess wears hairpiece in pink and black set on headband or clip” is the perfect antidote to so many of the “woe is me” moments that come along. And for that, I just have to say “Thank you, Miss Ruby Sue!”