Sunday, November 27, 2011

New in the shop: Leather!

I have been toying with the idea of making leather bags for quite some time now. Nothing complicated, totes and clutches that are simple, but stylish and elegant. I came upon a couple of pieces of leather that I couldn't pass up: one half-hide in the  softest, most luxurious black leather I have ever seen, eco-friendly too (came from South American cattle that were NOT raised anywhere near the rain forest, and the hides were processed using only natural extracts and oils, no metals in there- yay!). The other piece of leather is  a gorgeous brown, oil tanned leather that feels like silk.
So after a couple of hours in the studio, I came up with a couple of clutches. I think I am in love. Tell me what you think:

Maybe it was the turkey, maybe it was the whole week at home, but the creative juices were flowing; I also made another waxed canvas tote, in graphite gray with black leather this time- I really like it :)

All three pieces are available on as well as
Have a wonderful week!
Take care,

Friday, November 25, 2011

New in the shop: the Waxed Canvas Tote and Thanksgiving Sale on Bag du Jour

I love the day after Thanksgiving, don't you? After a few days of frantic cooking, cleaning, and entertaining, I can finally relax a bit; there is plenty of food in the refrigerator, so I won't have to cook until possibly Sunday!
I woke up early on Wednesday morning with an idea for a new waxed canvas bag: a tote big enough to carry my laptop, textbook, files and other teaching devices around school. So, I spent pretty much all day running between the kitchen and the studio, cooking a little, sewing a little, and by dinner time, I had completed my new beautiful waxed canvas and leather tote. Here are some pictures:

I love the waxed canvas-leather combination, and the detachable leather strap! Check out the bag on Zakken. I am thinking it would look great in gray canvas with black leather too!

On another topic, I am having a 10% sale on all in stock items at Bag du Jour (
Happy shopping!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Still looking for a great cranberry sauce recipe?

I've got you covered!
This is- in my opinion- the best homemade cranberry sauce you can make. I adapted it from a "Silver Palate Cookbook" recipe. This cranberry compote has it all: it is tart and sweet, chewy and crunchy, delish.....
You will need:
- 1 lb cranberries, rinsed
- 1/2 cup small raisins
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 organic orange, chopped
- 1 cup chopped walnuts

Main ingredients, missing walnuts
Place all ingredients except walnuts in medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15 mn. Remove from heat and stir in walnuts. Transfer to your best cut glass compote dish and refrigerate.
This compote is delicious with turkey and roast pork. At my house, we love to include it in a post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich, along with stuffing and gravy. It is heavenly on a slice of toasted homemade sourdough bread.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Reflection on Craft Fairs

As you know from my previous posting, I recently participated in two craft fairs: one in Denver last weekend, and one in Colorado Springs last Friday. I met a lot of nice people there, notably Stephen and Brian, soap makers extraordinaire (, Moni (a chalkware artist:, Jen, and Kristen ( I also received a lot of compliments on my bags- always good for the soul.
On the other hand, both fairs were a financial disaster. I barely sold enough bags to cover the entry fees - that is not counting time spent there, cost of material, mileage, supplies, oh my...
I am a bit disappointed, but this was overall a good experience, if only to make me realize that craft fairs are not really my thing.
Studio news: I am working on a gigantic duffle/travel bag in natural canvas and olive linen with leather handles. It should be read to post this week.
I have a bunch of pictures to take today - mostly wine totes and a couple of Japanese inspired totes. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I will be able to take the pictures outdoors.
I will post again very soon.
Take care,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Craft shows in Denver and Colorado Springs

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I have posted...
My excuse is that I have been busy with work and sewing :) Lame but true...
Next weekend, November 11-12, I will be participating in my first EVER craft show. It will take place at the Grant-Humphries Mansion in Denver. I am sooooo excited!!!!!!!!! I have been sewing up a storm, and my husband has been helping me a TON figuring out displays and lighting and logistics...(thanks J!)
My whole display is set up in the basement right now with tape on the floor -to figure out the space- and bags hanging, and tables set up and everything :) Mmm, I realized that I really could not display every bag I have in stock right now- and I TRIED :)
Joe made two six foot high, three-sided towers out of shelving (from Home Depot) with a five foot length of shelving in between, to use as a display counter. There will be two tables at either end of this main display. I will definitely take pictures next weekend.
Here is the link to the show's blog:
On November 18, I will be doing another really fun, low-key show at Phelan's Garden Center in Colorado Springs from 4 to 8. This one is for ladies mostly , with prizes, wine and cheese, pampering stations, and an opportunity to do some holiday shopping. The link for this show is:
I will post pictures as well after the 18th.

In the meantime,  here are some pictures of my new items.

Check out the new items in my Etsy shops- Zakken at or Bag du Jour ( or on Bag du Jour @ Cargoh.
Have a wonderful week.
Take care,