The perils of working intuitively

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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 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.

11 thoughts on “The perils of working intuitively”

  1. Another masterpiece! I love the look, the texture and the narrative was priceless. I think so often we settle for something that is less than perfect because we don’t have enough patience to make it just right. Thanks for sharing this–it is beautiful.

    1. wow!! wow!! wow!! was it worth it OMG!! yes it is stunning and I am enviouse
      i am a newby to textile art and I am like a sponge as at age of 59 I want to learn all that I can while I can.
      I am so happy just looking at textile art emagine the greater joy of being able to make things I never dreamed of plus some I have dreamt up myself all thanks in a great part to sites like yours.
      thank you .
      kt n critters xxxx

    2. Thanks Karen. Well my work is never perfect; you just have to be a master at knowing how to repair the damage that occurs along the way 😉

  2. GORGEOUS! Of course I love all your bags, but I really like how you added the grommets/holes and the chain on this one. Worth the effort!

  3. Forgot something. Would you tell us where you purchased the hole punching tools? I’ve been looking for something like that, but no luck. Don’t know the proper name of them, I guess, or the places I usually shop just don’t carry anything like that. Thank you.

  4. So glad u r normal. I thought I was the only one racing back and forth for materials. Love the results. Trying my hand at bag and wallet designs. Wha( printer and canvas do u use for large format. Not sure where to shop for printer options. Thanks. Great Job!!

    1. Gillian this particular bag wasn’t printed, but when I print I use an Epson 1100. I got it online. Keep a check on Epson’s website and they have them on sale from time to time.

  5. What a beautiful bag! Your vision of colors and texture are beautiful and have great synergy. The process brought forth the personality of the bag. One word, Stunning!

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