Wednesday, February 25

There's just something special about a really nice handbag!

My daughter and her first good bag...a Kate Spade.

I raised children for a long time and money was tight.  My handbags often had to carry diapers, snacks and bottles along with a lip gloss tube and mascara that was the extent of my makeup routine. Many times a half eaten banana got shoved into my handbag and the change I had thrown in there made for an interesting combination.  This was also a time when everyone said you had to have a handbag to match your outfit or shoes so if I forgot about the half eaten banana as I hurriedly changed bags to match a new outfit, well...a whole new level of science project outside of the refrigerator resulted!

My handbag selection was mostly whatever was on sale at Target.  I was proud of my large selection of inexpensive and colorful bags.  I had something to go with everything but storing them was a whole other issue.  Then I went to work at Saks Fifth Avenue.  I remember the first day the store opened and watching the Chanel bag specialist carrying a bag up the escalator like the rare and exquisite jewel that it was (as the most expensive bag in the store) to a high profile client.  I felt like I was in a movie as the poor shopgirl working in the lesser accessories department selling hosiery.

On occasion the Chanel bag specialist wasn't available so I was trained to show the exquisitely made bags, or the Fendi's and even the Pradas!  I recall selling a Chanel bag for $1800 to a young woman as a diaper bag.  She wasn't pregnant but she might be one day and she wanted to have a bag ready just in case.  Then one day I helped an older woman who was looking at Fendi bag during a special event sale.  She carefully examined the bags under consideration and held the bag, tried it out filled with the contents she would carry taking her time with her purchase.  She told me she learned long ago how good quality has value.  A great quality neutral handbag would go with much of her wardrobe, last for years and made her feel great just carrying it.  She was insistent that classic handbags never go out of style and saving for a new one every couple of years was worth it.

I used to make fun of the cult of designer handbags.  I didn't understand why anyone would want to carry a garish brown initialed Louis Vuitton bag for the status when it was so ugly.  If it lasted forever, big deal.  It was not beautiful or stylish.  (Now the luggage is a whole different story but then you have to fly private planes since the trunks equal the yearly salary of a baggage handler).  I did learn to appreciate the quality and beauty of a classic handbag.

I was in Seattle for a photography thing and wasn't treated very well by a young producer.  I was hurt and angry but friends and family were far away.  Since I had free time being dismissed as unimportant I went into Nordstrom.  I love their cafes so I thought I'd spoil myself with a lovely lunch.  As I passed the accessories I decided to have a look at their handbags.  I felt the buttery soft leather of a cute little  Marc Jacobs bag with a sweet gold clasp in a bird shape.  It was a small bag perfect for holding essentials while exploring the city and way beyond my budget.  I bought it anyway.    My handbag budget is not nearly Chanel worthy maybe enough to buy a Prada cosmetic bag but I'm thrilled with the quality of what the Marc Jacobs.  Two years later I bought another one at the Nordstrom Rack store.  A big brown slouchy thing I throw around and still looks great.

I've given or thrown away all my other inexpensive bags.  At $5 to $20 a bag it's really not been a cheap habit.  It's been two years so it's time for a bigger beautiful handbag, black or taupe maybe?  But I'll wait a bit longer.  I bought my daughter her first good bag, a taupe Kate Spade on sale at the Nordstrom Rack store.  Bananas and snacks are banned from her bag!


My first Marc Jacobs bag being abused as a camera bag.

Wednesday, January 7

Free Floral Calendar by the Month!

Flowers in the garden in January are hard to come by so I picked a pretty bouquet photograph to make a calendar for my bedroom.  I like this idea, I like seeing something cheerful when I wake up next to my alarm clock.  I often forget about fresh flowers since I don't go back to my bedroom til bed time.

I am living by calendars and lists this year so I can be more productive.  I have lots of goals and things to accomplish, how about you?  We all have our organizers, pocket calendars or apps to keep us up to date but a I thought a pretty reminder that time passes quickly and we need to keep track for those odd places we need to know the date was in order.  So I decided to give my blog readers a 5x7 calendar month for free to download and print on card stock.  Hang it on your fridge, tuck it into your list making notebook, tape it to your bathroom mirror.  You can place it on a small plate stand or easel to stand it up on your desk.  Every month there will be a new calendar with pretty flowers to enjoy and remind you to get out there before the month passes and smell some real ones!

To download this calendar page go here and use the code 2170 to download your calendar.

Now that I've had so much fun planning my year, wait til you see how I've been decorating my office and getting things done!  I'm kind of liking this planning for the future and accomplishing my goals!


Wednesday, January 1

An Organized Life...

We all start out with lots of ideas, we clean out our desk and our closets usually to be sidetracked by photographs and letters, maybe an idea to write down or a forgotten bill.  We find things we bought still wearing their tags, still new.

Because I was very sick last year and a close friend recently died after a long and happy life, it made me realize how quickly time was going by and how some things just aren't that important.  As I was sitting in the doctor's office I read an article in Time magazine called "The Art of Living".  I realized I couldn't neglect my creative dreams any longer.  As I've gotten healthier I spend a bit of time every day cleaning and organizing, purging myself of the junk for a more stylish and productive life.

I got to the Pinterest idea of a chalkboard in an old frame.  I found a place for the funky twig tea cake stand to hold my chalk and flash drives as well as the cell phone I usually misplace.  I wrote out my goals and pinned them to my pretty gold framed cork board I dug out of the garage and I have a mason jar from my daughter's wedding to start throwing change in.

The computer is getting a clean out as well and it's feeling great to get to the things that are more important.  Big things are in store for this year and I am making the space for my priorities and dreams to become reality!

Did you notice how tiny my desk is?  I found that I am less likely to fill it with junk if it's small.