Thursday, May 22, 2008

Handpainted Silk Bag - Dong Song


I am thrilled to be releasing this line of handbags. I have several silk paintings on order that I will be making into bags in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. I have a Chinese painting of a man by a waterfall and a couple of paintings with chinese women that are SO beautiful. I can hardly wait to show you!

I finished the exterior of this bag a couple of weeks ago. I even made a laotian silk lining to slip into her interior....but it just didn't seem to match her personality. So I waited. Well, yesterday, my beloved postman delivered some fabric that I got from Jacki over at, a great fabric co-op. In my little box was a couple yards of an Amy Butler print that I adore. I got it thinking it would look marvelous if I hand beaded some of the paisley type designs and used it as an exterior of a bag....but last night, this fabric spoke to me and before I climbed into bed, I had finished the lining for this new handbag.

This is the first in my new line of Hand Painted Handbags. I actually used a silk painting in my Hanoi Map Bag, but I decided to make this a more elegant look.

I named this particular beauty "Dong Song" which translates into Vietnamese as "To sail up the river". (according to an online translator site, so forgive me if someone knows otherwise!) The painting which is on the front panel of the bag, was done by a Vietnamese artist. It is a scene of a small boat filled with seven women making their way to market.

I see so much symbolism here....
1. Women facing the world together....
2. Overcoming obstacles...
3. Taking time to enjoy girlfriends

What a great gift this would make for a girlfriend who has been struggling with an illness or overcoming a divorce. Just reminding her that "we are all in this boat together, honey!"

This may be WAY more than the artist had in mind when he/she painted it...but in Barb's world...(and that is where you find yourself right now, by the way!) I can make up any story I like and stick to it! ha!

The colors in this painting include shades of blue, ochre, tan, soft yellow, and green.

The Thai Silk that was used to construct the rest of the exterior of this bag is a golden tan color with a luscious sheen.

There is one exterior pocket on the rear of this bag.

The handles are light brown faux leather with antique bronze hardware. They are 13" long.

The interior is an Amy Butler 100% cotton print. It reflects the same colors of the painting plus a few colorful additions of peach and rust.

There are two interior pockets accented with brown piping.

This bag closes with a gold-toned magnetic snap closure.

This is a one of a kind bag. You will be the only person on the planet earth with this bag!

10" tall
6" wide
This bag is a wristlet due to the length of the handles.

Dong Song was born on May 22, making her a Gemini. Being a "good twin" Dong Song has a multi-faceted personality. She may appear self-assured and confident but at times she is still shy and self-conscious. She is comfortable in groups but thoroughly enjoys her own company. Maybe that is why I like her so much!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Here Comes The Bride

This beautiful bridal handbag was constructed of dupioni silk. The majority of her exterior is an antique ivory color with her front and rear pockets faced with a soft ivory (whiter)dupioni silk. I utilized an ornate embroidery on the front pocket. The embroidery is two-toned, blending both colors of silk used on her exterior.

I decided to make this bag two-toned because I have found that there are many shades of white and ivory. So, instead of having to match perfectly with your dress, she will blend beautifully.

There are two exterior pockets accented with antique ivory silk custom piping.

The straps on this bag are approximately 18" long.

There are two decorative "pearl" and antique gold-toned buttons on the front above the pocket with an east-west orientation.

Inside is the buttery antique ivory silk making up every component from pockets to piping.

There is a gold-toned magnetic snap closure on this bag.

The fabric on this bag is very rich with a soft sheen to it.

10" tall
6" wide
straps 18" long

On your wedding day here are a few of the items you may want to pack in your handbag:

compact face powder
water-proof mascara
bobby pins
safety pins
breath mints
travel sized deodorant
tissues (in a beautiful tissue tote)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Knit One Purl Two

This bag can be used either as a sock knitting bag or a cute wristlet for your favorite knitter! There is a firm stabilizer sewn in to make this bag able to stand on its own.

The exterior fabric is a cotton print with a black background. The words say, " decrease, stitch, bind off, rep knit, purl, tog, increase, skip, row, yarn over, p2, cast on, yfwd, ssp," and other knitting instructions.

There are two exterior pockets that are both accented with a maroon piping and black ribbon with white woven sheep on it. The pockets are lined with a yarn print fabric that is on the interior.

The bag closes with a loop and metal button. The button has scrolls and hearts on it.

The handles are 16" long making it a wristlet.

There are two interior pockets accented with maroon piping. The fabric is a white cotton background with balls of yard and knitting needles on it.

10" high
7" wide
straps: 16" long

Thursday, May 1, 2008


May Day is Lei Day! Happy Lei Day to everyone! To celebrate, help me to welcome a new Geisha into my line. Let me introduce Geisha Tamiko.

Tamiko was embroidered on gorgeous shimmering "platinum" dupioni silk. The pocket she is embroidered on is layered upon a panel of silk fabric that I recycled from a vintage kimono. The Kanji characters on the fabric, according to the Japanese source I purchased the kimono from, represent "Wealth and Congratulations".

There are two external pockets which are accented with custom dupioni silk. They are lined with the Kanji silk fabric. As an embellishment, there is a ceramic fan dangling above the Geisha. It is for decoration only.

The straps on this bag are lined with fleece for structure and comfort. They are of the Kanji fabric also. They are 16" long making Tamiko a wristlet.

The interior of this bag is lined with more of the Kanji fabric. However there is a lush surprise inside. To line the pockets I used a red tone-on-tone silk fabric from yet another vintage kimono. It is a beautiful fabric. Almost too lovely to have hidden on the inside of a bag!

This bag easily goes from day to evening. The richness of the Platinum silk dresses Tamiko up exquisitely. But the casualness of the Kanji fabric makes her go just as well with a pair of jeans. I can imagine a gal carrying this bag while wearing dressy indigo denim jeans and red heels!

Tamiko was born on Thursday, May 1st making her a Taurus. She is thoughtful and sensitive to others feelings. Her friendship is valued by any who meet her.