Famous last words … It’s almost done! At this rate I should be finished later today.

I am finished now, but that was a long day. It was eleven days ago in fact. But here it is finished, my latest art bag, Lavender Crush.

Handbag: Art Bag

It’s difficult photographing this style bag because of the shape, and it was kind of challenging photographing this color because blue/purple doesn’t photograph well with my little Canon Powershot. Add to that I’m photographically challenged anyway. I was lucky the photo turned out as good as it did.

Handbag: Art Bag

I love the texture – and the color!

Handbag: Art Bag

So what happened to delay things?

Two little words.

What if?

I was originally going to use the same design as this art bag, but at the last minute thought – what if I turned this bag into a handbag instead of a clutch; what if I used some chain for the handle. I think that could be kind of exciting.

And it was. Kind of.

After spending too many hours (I’m ashamed to admit it but I fiddled with this for two days) trying to figure out a way to cut a round hole through the bag opening which is made up of two layers of fabric, two layers of heavyweight interfacing, one layer of Peltex, and one layer of 2-ply chipboard, I decided this called for new hole punching tools! I love new tools! (Waiting for tools to arrive – five days)
Update: For anyone looking for these, I got them here on amazon.com. If you scroll through the pricing, you’ll find them quite cheap. I was concerned about the cheap price, but when using on fabric, they work just fine.
Metal Hollow Punch Set

Hollow Punch

A trip to the store to get some grommets and some chain for the handle. (one day)

Another trip to the store to the store to return those grommets because they didn’t fit, and pick up a different type as well as some new chain because I wasn’t sure I like the first choice. (one day)

Finally happy with the grommet.

Handbag: Art Bag

Note to self

Get rid of “lady” hammer which is only good for pounding thumb tacks.

Handbag: Art Bag

Use a “man” hammer instead. And an anvil instead of the floor.

Handbag: Art Bag

Then another trip to the store to get another different chain for the handle. (one day)

After settling on the first chain (sigh), it’s done! Finally!

Handbag: Art Bag

If I had decided to go with my original design plan, this whole process would have taken only a few days. Instead it took about two weeks.

Was it worth it? Of course.

Working with a process such as this – slow work – generally does not provide instant gratification which is what most of us are used to. Instead it brings gratification of a different kind which touches you on a much deeper and less superficial level. Following your intuition is often about taking the road less traveled and learning new things (and sometimes finding new tools!) along the way. It’s what defines you as an artist.

The “what if” scenario can be fun and exciting, but do be prepared to have patience.

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