Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Here are some pics of Lola all dressed to kill!

Ta-Da...allow me to introduce LOLA!

Whatever Lola wants...Lola gets....well, not really. You see Lola didn't exactly want to have a closure....she wanted to be loose and free...but her new best friend, Kathy, "really really really" wanted a closure. So...Lola got a magnetic clasp so that Kathy won't "feel exposed" when they go out together. It actually turned out great. sometimes the interior magnets sort of squish this design of bag and they get distorted with the side panels poking out....but Lola is quite the lady and has cooperated nicely. The guinea feathers I used are SO striking. They compliment the gray silk and the lavendar silk perfectly. The plum handles add such a sense of charm to her. So kathy, Lola will be on her way (after I take her to work to show her off). Love you sis!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy B-day Erica!

Today is my friend Erica's bday. so I made her this little ditty. Hope she likes it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lucky to Live Hawaii...

I was on my way to work today and it was so beautiful. One of those days that you just sigh and say to yourself, "I am so lucky to live here". I could see Maui crystal clear and the ocean was just sparkling. I am not sure if it was really an exceptional day or if I just was taking time to stop and smell the plumeria! The saddle road was closed due to snow and ice. I hope the mountain clears so we can see the snow. Two weeks ago there was snow on both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. What a site! I just had to share....

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Map Bag Debut

So here is the first one to be offered in my Etsy store. It is a map of Tokyo by ITMB (thank you Jack Joyce) It has the Imperial Palace on one side and Shinjuku Train Station on the other side along with several other areas of Tokyo. The fabrics I used are a lime green cotton with sushi, kokeshi dolls and chopsticks for the exterior panels...and a black cotton with red chopsticks for the lining! Very cute. The handles and loop closure are black poplin. This is a very trendy bag. I love Tokyo.

My next map bag will be of....NYC!
stay tuned!

Yo Biker Mama!

Okay, today was a football Sunday for Earl (my husband) so I retired to my sewing studio. I had been inspired by a request by a return customer of mine, Jo-Anne, who mentioned she has a friend who likes motorcycles. I figured I had to incorporate some faux leather somehow, some black denim, motorcycle print fabric, and lots of chunky hardware. I am tempted to keep this one...but can't do that or I would have a million kazillion bags! The black denim was from a pair of skinny jeans that I had been stashing with the hopes of "getting back into them". Ha! Imagine how liberated I felt taking the rotary cutter to those babies! Instead of "getting back into them"....I "got back at them"! I think they will look much better on someones wrist then they did on my tush!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another Diva Bag

So this is the bag I have been working on and waiting for her to tell me how to finish her. She is made from a vintage Obi that I imported from Kanazawa, Japan. the Obi hung in my studio for quite a while because it was so beautiful that I hated to deconstruct it. This Obi is 100% silk...front and back and is exquisite! The colors are delicate mauve, lavendar and sage green with creamy white lotus blossoms and gold metalic threads making up the stems and vines.

The lining I am using in this bag is silk that was lining from a Haori in its previous life. A Haori is a Japanese coat, if you will...much like a Kimono but only shirt length. I have had this bag 1/2 finished for a couple of weeks and am waiting to insert the lining. (thus the pins that you see sticking out the top of the bag)

I have had a challenge locating wholesale suppliers for my magnetic clasps, o-rings, d-rings, purse feet etc that ship to Hawaii and do so at a reasonable shipping rate. So my mom to the rescue. Yesterday she called me from Idaho and found magnetic closures for 50cents each. I had her buy over 100 of them for me and that made it possible for the coupon queen. aka "MOM", to use her coupon and save me and extra $15. Thank you so much mom! (I am hoping that atleast my mom reads my blog!)So now I can quit being stingy with my clasps. Here at the fabric store they want to charge $4.29 for each clasp! Sorry, just can't pay that!

But once I get the clasps, I can put the lining in. I have a name picked out for her already but will wait to introduce her formally until she is completely dressed.

Its back to my sweat shop....
have a great day!

Friday, November 16, 2007


I finished two bags tonight. The Ladybug and now....ta-da! ...Patches! These were custom requested orders for one of my returning customers. Patches is made from yellow and blue patchwork cotton fabric and a pair of recycled faded denim blue jeans. I used yellow piping for all the pockets and chose a metal button with a flower motif for the closure.


I just finished this bag. It has black denim for the straps and front pockets. I used existing pockets from recycled jeans for the pockets and there is even a "Bongo" tag still attached to one of the pockets. I used red piping to accent the pockets inside and out. The lining and accent fabric is an adorable ladybug print on sunny yellow. The ladybugs are outlined in a thin turquoise . There are two pockets inside and a distressed red button closure. I hand sewed ladybug buttons randomly onto the black denim. I really like this bag. It is so bright and fun.

More Custom Orders

I love that I am getting return customers. One of my "preferred" customers just put in a request for two bags for her daughters. I went to town last night and found some great fabrics that I know she will love! Stay tuned, Jodi! Ladybugs and denim...and yellow and blue patchwork will be making a weekend debut. I will work on them tonight and post photos so you can see how "the girls" are coming along.

I am also looking high and low for the perfect fabric to make a bag for my sisters boss. You would think black dupioni would be easy to find! Not here! I think I will have to drive up mauka today and check out Mrs. Kimura's store. Sometimes I find some absolutely wonderful fabrics there. I like to buy locally when I can to support our economy and Kimura's have had their little store in Kainaliu for over 40 years I believe.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm such a Goof!

So here is your laugh of the day. Yesterday, I was hurrying about getting ready for work. I was curling my hair with a curling iron. (yes, Kathy, it has grown out enough to do that) and in a move that will not be forever known as one of my brightest, I laid the curling iron down on my eye glasses! Now, let me just say that I do not own a pair of contacts (I'm too low maintainence for that)and I am 46 years old with eyes that are coincidently the same age and showing their wear. When I was all done with my hair I went to put my glasses on and realized that they were strangely WARM! Then I tried to look through them and it seemed like I had smeared vaseline all over the right lens. These were the nice $200 trifocal progressive lenses! And they are ruined! But with no time to lament, I had to find a pair of glasses to take to work since I am doing computer work right now. All I could find was my drugstore mini SUNGLASS TINTED readers! It was pretty funny. Everytime my coworker Suzanna looked at me I could see her wanting to crack up but trying to be so sweet! So now I have to go to Costco and order another pair that will take about 2 weeks to get here. I am sure there is a moral or lesson someplace in me out!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More on the Map Bag...

Well, I have been in contact with 3 international map companies with regards to using their maps to make my bags. Rand McNally said that as long as I don't reproduce their maps, I can legally use a purchased map in the manner I am wanting to without charge or copyright infringement.

The President of ITMB answered my email personally. I had read his profile on his website and admired his determination and zest for life. In his email he even seemed to have a sense of humor and I immediately like him. I told him that I would be happy to create a custom map bag for his wife, Lan who happens to be Vietnamese. Today he responded and gave me permission to use his maps for my business and also requested a bag for his wife made with a map that he will send to me of Hanoi, Vietnam. I am so excited! I went online and ordered a Vietnamese silk painting of the Vietnam countryside that I hope works to make the "non-map" portions of the bag. If that turns out to NOT be how I am envisioning, I will order some Vietnamese silk perhaps...I just want it to be special and hope that she likes it.

When I got home from work today, I put out calls to get the names of all the retail purchasing agents from the local hotels. I think I may find a market for my map bags with the tourists.

I should be sewing right now....but I called my dad and chatted for over an hour. He just got home from hunting so I hadn't go to talk to him for awhile. My sewing studio is such a mess that it is blocking my creative flow....So before I sew another thing...I HAVE GOT TO CLEAN THIS PLACE UP AND START FRESH!

Here I to find a vacuum cleaner!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wow, so much is happening right now. I got a wholesale order on Monday for 87 more bags for the coffee shop that I sew for. They are participating in a show for a Japanese company today so wanted to see how many bags I could have ready for them by this morning. So I was up early this morning to deliver the 16 bags that I had sewn so far. They said they anticipate all of what I brought in this morning to sell today. Yeah!

I have been trying to gain permission to use maps (which have copyrights) to use in my new line of map bags. Yesterday Rand McNally replied and told me that I can definately use their maps. This really opens a door to me. I have plans to make map bags of major cities. Already people who have seen me carrying my map bag have stopped me and asked me to make one of a particular city or state. I will have them available within a month to sell on my Etsy store. I only wish I had more time before the holidays....*sigh*...

You should see my sewing studio today! Yikes! Earl and I have been cutting out burlap coffee bags and there is burlap schmuck all over the place! I may have to break down and clean this place up before I can proceed.
Well, its off to my real job....have a great day!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Good Morning!
I was up late last night working on an idea I've had for a Sasaki Bag. It isn't finished yet but I had to share a couple photos. It is all silk. Gray silk exterior and lavendar silk interior. The front of the bag is embellished with new guinea feathers. They are the coolest black with white polka dot. Love them! I took a long time deciding on how I wanted to apply them but am happy with the outcome. I put plum colored faux leather manufactured straps on this beauty. When I get home from work I need to sew in the lining. So without further adieu, allow me to introduce to you my first in my "Diva" line.....Lola!

Friday, November 9, 2007

A Virgin Blogger...

Well, I have finally decided to attempt a blog. I have such lofty dreams that someday every woman will have a Sasaki Bag on her arm. So this will be my forum to show what I have been making and to share a little of "me" along the way.

The first bag I ever made came about because I had shoulder surgery, not on one shoulder...but both! So out of a necessity I wanted a smaller bag that I could carry on my arm or wrist. But I wanted something that still had lots of pockets and other features. I try to include something "interesting" on each of my bags. Some have buttons that are 24kt gold plated. Others are more fun and funky.

I find that each bag is unique. I might even confess that they "speak" to me. Certain bags cry out for magnetic clasps, hooks, O-rings and hardware. Other bags are much more demure! I am working on a bag right now that is made from the most elegant, exquisite silk obi. The colors are of mauve, lavendar and dusty sage green with yummy gold threads throughout. I know she will be extremely special but she has only spoken in whispers and I have yet to decide on a closure for her. I promise to post a photo when she is ready to be unveiled.

I am also working on some bags that utilize recycled maps. They are just fun. The idea struck me when I was working with a customer of mine on a custom order for a friend of hers....I was brainstorming to try to find out what type of person the friend is so that I could sew something to fit her personality. The map bag was one I had to just attempt to see if it were possible for me to make in the way I was imagining. It turned out so cute! It wasn't what my customer had in mind so I still created something special for her using an embroidered babies denim dress as the fabric for a bag. It had butterflies, bees, and ladybugs on I added another ladybug in the form of a button. The fun part is that there will never be another bag exactly like it in the world. I love OOAK (one of a kind) pieces!

I am also currently working on a bag for my sister. She has commissioned me to make a luxury OOAK for her boss for the holidays. It will be black silk with feathers on the front. I really want to use the new guinea feathers I ordered off of ebay but the adhesive they used in making a pad is really overwhelming. I have them airing out in hopes that the smell will go away. My second choice will be to use black and white curly goose feathers on the front. I am thinking that the lining will have to be black and white polka dots...just to take away from the seriousness of it all! (come on girls! have fun with your bags!)

So lots to do...and here I sit at the computer.
Perhaps I had better sign off!