Friday, April 15, 2011


angel purse
Painting fabric is so much fun!  And at some point, I'd really like to design my own fabric.  Oh, and learn how to batik fabric too!  That's exciting to think about.  I enjoy designing and making purses and I'd like to design a specific fabric, more than just one, to line my purses with.  Actually, this is the first purse I've made in quite a while.  As with all of the creativity I play with, I enjoy every part of the process and I get so excited each step of the way.  I start hopping and dancing around and singing, "I'm loving it!"  It's fabulous.  It may seem crazy to some people but I don't really care about how anyone views it because that's my place of joy and that's what life is truly about, experiencing joy.

This is my latest purse, and as you can imagine, I love it!!!  I was reminded of a couple of things it's important to remember when creating fabric projects such as purses.  The most important being, "Seam allowance is my friend."  I'm thinking of writing that on a piece of paper and gluing it to my work space but I get so excited when I'm starting a project that sometimes I forget to stop and take seam allowance into consideration.  That's what happened with this purse.  I had planned on the sides being a total of two inches and so that's what I cut the fabric for.  Until I started sewing up the sides, I had totally forgotten to take seam allowance into consideration.  Oh well, it is what it is and at least it didn't really make that big of a difference to the design.

burlap people purse
The second thing being, "Try to think it through before cutting and sewing."  Again, I get so excited and wrapped up in the idea of creating a new design, I just want to start cutting and sewing and doing.  And then I get to a certain point, like sewing the liner in or the handles, I realize that I hadn't quite thought that through.  I have some great ideas and then I don't take the time to think through how certain parts of it will come together.  And really, I'm okay with that because it truly is a learning process.  I remember that the solutions to all of those things are waiting there for me and once I focus on the solutions and the answers, they come.  I know that if my mind can conceive it, there is a way to make it happen.  So, it's okay that I forget to do that on occasion because those occasions help me to remember the solutions.  I wouldn't trade the energy of creating a new project for anything, so if I get caught up in it and forget to think something through, then that's just the way it is.  At some point I'll stop to consider what needs to be thought through and sometimes I'll focus on the solutions and sometimes I'll get caught up in the problem.  Either way, it's all good because I grow and expand from the process of it and the artist and designer I'm becoming is as a result of those moments.

undersea purse

I think this "burlap people purse" is one of my favorites.  I love putting things together that don't necessarily look like they go together.  I love making purses out of materials that you might not think would make a good purse material.  I love that this purse is made from burlap.  I love the faux-suede material paired with the burlap.  I also love the painted fabric people, which I glued to wooden people figures.  I learned a lot from this purse.  And I know I get a bit repetitive when I say this but, I appreciate all that I learn from designing and making anything.  This poor purse fell apart a little.  This purse design was definitely me, the raw burlap, painted fabric people, and of course the message, "b. you."

Of course, I have my sister to thank for my journey into purse making because we were planning on starting a business making purses.  Although our ideas for our business have grown and are on hold for right now, I still love designing purses and plan on continuing to do so.  I have a number of ideas for purses and a number of them in-progress, waiting for a solution :)  I check in with them so often and see if they have anything new to tell me about who they want to be and if not, I let them sit.

Before I got clean and sober, and part way into my healing process afterwards, I wondered what part of me was in my art and my designs.  Looking back now from a confident place in who I am and who I am becoming, I see me a lot more than I did before.  I see that decisions such as pairing together a faux-ostrich with denim, two things you wouldn't think would go together, definitely speaks of who I am.  I like to do things different, I like to try things that seems like they may not work, I like sew metal on purses...anything unique and out of the ordinary.  It's a blast!  And when something doesn't work out, then I know.  And when it does, it's beyond words!  And that's where part of my passion lies when it comes to my creativity.  Part of what I so love about this journey!

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