Friday, November 23, 2012

Support Small Business, Locally and Online!

Saturday, November 24th is designated "Small Business Saturday".  With all the Black Friday big box store deals, let's not forget all our local privately owned shops.  Not only on this special day, but through the year when you need something special.  Most of these businesses offer outstanding customer service, gift wrapping, and unique items for gifting.
Being a proud member of TAG, The Artisan Group, I get to view all kinds of gifts, meticulously handcrafted, for every age group.  So, visit some independent artists online or at a local show, you may be pleasantly surprised!
FYI, is offering a 20% off shop wide discount with code, thanks12, at check out along with free shipping within U.S. until December 31, 2012!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Haven't Talked to You Lately!

Had to bring in several plants about two weeks ago because of the frost at night.  One of my favorites is the crown of thorn plant that I started with a tiny cutting in water.  Look at it now!

Started a hydrangea bush this year. Excited to have gotten about twelve beautiful blooms for the first year. Cut two when the lime green color turned pink and white. They're pictured here drying in a vase.
   Had a wonderful surprise not too long ago!

 Received a load of beautiful genuine leather, next to new, garments which were out of style, so no longer worn. I can't wait to turn  them into upcycled leather bags.  Pewter metallic leather, gold leather, lots of black, many cool colors.  My head is just spinning with ideas.

 Really like how the black military inspired bag turned out, using a leather jacket.  Adding it to my shoppe as soon as I get some better pictures.
So, Franciebags is moving along with some new ideas and soon a new direction.  Have been very busy with Alterations by Marie, so time is limited lately for handbags, blogging, etc.  Although, I have been working in the evenings on my titles, key words, etc.
With the holidays soon approaching, visit my two shoppes, and for some unique gifts.  Plus, if you need a certain color or such, contact me, I'm always doing custom orders for gifts and weddings.
See you, Talk soon. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hibiscus is Bloomin' !!!

Promised a photo of the Hibiscus I cut back last season, if it bloomed this Summer.  Well, here it is!
Can't believe the beautiful flowers and the many buds to open soon.
I don't have a green thumb, so this is a big deal to me.
The only thing I'll do different this Fall, is not cut it back so far.  I think it's blooming so late in the season.
So happy with this plant!

                     Talk soon.

Monday, July 2, 2012


The weather is definitely HOT here as in many parts of the country!  Franciebags has some HOT news!  Also, some HOT new designs are in the shoppe and in the works!
I've changed my diet a bit, seems like French vanilla iced coffee in the morning has replaced the usual hot cup of coffee.  Could become addicted to this, love it.
Flavored ice pops seem to instantly make me feel cooler. Hugh salads with several types of greens, tomatoes, whatever other suitable vegetables are in the fridge, and strips of  chicken and ham satisfy my appetite at this HOT time of the year.  And of course, lots and lots of bottled water!
HOT news as Franciebags prepares to participate in the GBK Primetime Emmys Gift Lounge!  Right  now, the fabrics, etc. have been chosen.  A couple of design ideas are on the table.  More updates on the progress of this at a later date.
Christmas in July Sale, offers some HOT new scarves and accessories.  Time to think ahead.  COLD, COLD, COLD will be here all too soon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

FYI..Activity Updates

Lots of activity here at Franciebags!  The black Leather n' Lace Wristlet designed especially for Katie Holmes has officially been delivered.  Fingers crossed that she likes it.  Franciebags was recently selected to include the wristlet in an exclusive collaborative gift bag prepared by The Artisan Group for Mr Tom Cruise and family.
Four new Summer bags are now in the shoppe,  along with two unique quilted bags.
Another exciting happening, come September, will be Franciebags' involvement in the Primetime Emmy Awards!!  More on that at a later date.
And last, but not least, a picture of the hibiscus that was cut back in the Fall and is now sprouting leaves.  Hopefully, it will bloom, and a picture will surely be posted!
Talk soon!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

pleased to announce.............

Franciebags is pleased to announce our participation in the 22nd annual Madonna House Tea & Fashion Show held at the Renaissance Hotel, Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 9:00 A M in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Tea & Fashion Show benefits Catholic Charities Madonna House, a residential program that serves women in crisis pregnancies, without regard to race or religion.
The Madonna House program is best known for their Adoption & Pregnancy services
Our contribution to this worthwhile fund raising event is a replica "leather n' lace" wristlet as designed and gifted to celebrity Katie Holmes via The Artisan Group.
You can now purchase this wristlet, a very limited collection, at  and click on Bridal!

More exciting news for Franciebags soon.  Stay Tuned!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Random Thoughts

We haven't had much of that four letter word, snow, so far this winter.  Still, I am ready to fast forward to Spring!
Took a picture of the last hibiscus to bloom on my plant several weeks ago.  Cut the plant back and it is sprouting all new leaves now. Hope it will survive and I can show it to you this Summer.
Love flowers!  Added some silk flower bridal headbands to .
Thinking about our last year's vacation and the 90 degree weather and looking forward to this year in Las Vegas.
Need to decide on which three or four craft or bridal shows will participate in this year.  By the way, Franciebags has gone mobile!  Visit us on your mobile device.
Well, it's been nice thinking about Spring and Summer, but until it gets here I guess I'll still need the above.
Talk soon.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Welcome 2012! Changes in the Works!

This year is moving along, as planned, with some exciting changes for Franciebags.
First of all, the new website for  is nearing completion, but is open for business.  Take a look!  It was designed by my son at who has just recently launched an online site for his business.

Franciebags has also started , an online boutique offering affordable, unique, accessories, handbags, bridal items, hats, scarves, etc.  Give your outfit an extra touch of style or brighten a "basic" outfit with these fashionable, handmade, accessories.  Great affordable gifts!

So much for promoting.  Wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!!
Talk soon.

Friday, June 3, 2011

June Brides

This month is the, often thought of, most popular month for being a Bride.  Having done Bridal alterations and Bridal dressmaking for many years, in this area, October has always out numbered June for Brides.
Nonetheless, one of the Mother of the Bride gowns I'm altering now, for one of this month's June weddings, is the subject of this and  my next blog.
The hem, which has four layers, has been pin fitted and I am going to hand baste each layer for a basted fitting.  After any adjustments in the second fitting, it will be machine stitched and cut.
This is where this gown becomes the subject of my next blog.  What to do with all those beautiful chiffon cuttings.
How obvious!  I think I'll do a Bridal handbag!

Stay tuned for next time to see what I come up with.  In the meantime, visit my new page, Bridal Boutique, to see a few bags, like the one above, completed with " leftovers".
Talk soon, have a good day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring! Finally!??

I've been wishing for Spring for several months now.  It's certainly warmer but where is the sun?  SOOO much rain.  Well, the lilacs say Spring so I guess it is!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

For Your Royal Wedding!

Well, I finally finished the design for the Bridal Zipper Clutch Bags.  Nine of them are listed in my Artfire Shoppe.  It's amazing what can be done with fabric cut off a too long bridal gown train or the bottom of a gown with extra length.

Anyone interested in having a purse made to match their bridal gown or to match the bridal party gowns?  Contact me through my Studio for details. You can also choose to purchase any of  the "one available" sample wedding purses,( ready for immediate delivery), listed in the studio.  Until next time, much joy to you!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Behind the Bags-Update Report

Haven't blogged in a little while, because I have been busy as a bee doing some new bags and accessories suitable for the warm weather coming sooner or later.

Took a little timeout to show you the two listed in my shoppe, so far.  Lots more to list, but I'm kind of slow with the picture taking.
These bags are all handmade by me using never worn or hardly worn leather skirts and jackets.  I've added a hand crocheted front to the creamy white tote, one of my favorites.
Back to work, talk soon!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Behind the Bags-Grandma's Apron

The History of 'APRONS
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.. And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.

After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

We would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...

   I don't know where this originated, it was sent to me by my Sister, so credits cannot be given.
My last week's blog showed an apron cut from an unwanted man's shirt.  Check it out.
 Shows the shirt prepared to cut,  I just eyeballed the cutting.
 Shows all the pieces as the book suggested, plus some trims.
  I went to the thrift store yesterday, (they were having a half off sale on clothing) to get a large man's shirt in a bright printed cotton to try doing the suggested "upcycled" apron.  So, for $1.50 plus some trim and buttons from my stash, the cutest apron was designed.  Give it a try!
Next week it's back to the bags.  Have a nice day!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Behind the Bags-And Aprons??

Good Morning Friday!  Had a busy and productive week.  I have a collection of old sewing books, the one below from 1925.  Sometimes, it's fun to divert from what you normally sew or create and try something different.  While dusting, I flipped through this particular book and came across recycling (it's called remodeling in this book) a man's shirt into an apron.  Thought you might be interested.  I'm going to try this as soon as I find a bright printed cotton shirt at the thrift shop.  Will post when it's finished. 
They even made use of the shirt sleeves.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Behind the Bags-Thinking Spring!

Oh yes, the weather here the past few days required being outdoors enjoying the sun and NO SNOW!  Going back out to enjoy, in a bit, but wanted to keep you posted on some of what I accomplished this week.  Next week I'll do more in the studio and more listing in my shoppe because our weather is all downhill starting tonight.

I'm doing some things for the warm weather ahead, including Easter or Spring hats for Mom and Daughter--and leather zipper wristlets, that I just love for all the casual activities of Summer which require only a "grab n' go" type bag.
Talk to you next week.  Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Behind the Bags-Finally!!

"The Dead of Winter" is behind us!  January 10 to February 10 is the designated time frame for the lowest period of the winter season.  It's all "up" from here.
Time to think SPRING!  That's what I'm doing.
Time to think brighter colors and Proms and Weddings.
Time to dust off my ceramic friends and think about where they will fit between the flowers.  Ahh! the thoughts of Spring and Summer!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Behind the Bags-Long Gloves, Tutorial

This is the time of the year when I purchase stretch gloves in all colors at 50% and higher off of the regular price.  Hence they end up being 25 to 50 cents a pair!
Then, I try to think of unique ways to use them for the craft shows during the year.
In the past few years, these "magic" fit everyone gloves have been embellished every way possible.  Always a great seller.
Last year, while visiting one of my favorite upscale, (too expensive for me) boutiques, I saw some colorful long gloves.  "I can make something similar."  And I did.  Every pair I made, sold.  Thought you might be interested in how I did them.
 Some of the different colors of gloves.  I have many, many colors.
You will need a pair of stretch gloves and the sleeves from a SOFT, felted, wool sweater.  Felted sweaters are very warm and will not fray when you cut them.  Putting 100% wool sweaters into hot water and a hot dryer once was a terrible mistake.  Now we do it on purpose.
 With sharp scissors, cut the cuffs off of the gloves.  Need the fingers, not the cuffs.  Cut any thick side seams from the two sleeve pieces.  Decide on a length for your sleeve pieces and cut.  (These were cut 10" long from the edge of the green cuff to the edge of the pink line and 8 1/2 " wide.)
Fold sleeves in half, right side to right side.  They now measure 4 1/4" wide by 10" long.  Pin 1/4" seams and sew.  Since I wanted a foldover cuff, I only sewed to the green cuff, clipped, turned to right side and sewed and serged the cuff. This way, you will not have a seam showing on the folded cuff.  Also, you can taper the cuff a bit, for a better line, if you wish.
Next, divide both the sweater and glove fingers into 4 equal parts with pins.
Turn the sleeves wrong side out, place gloves inside, right side to right side.  Match pins to divide equally, and pin 1/4" seam.  Sew seam and serge.
 I don't serge the long seam because it won't fray, and I like it to be soft.  The ones I sell have a handcut felted wool flower with a button sewed in the center.  You can embellish how you wish, or not.