The challenge Therese Frank and Christine Altmiller gave us for A Time to Stitch 8 was to bead a bag. Any bag and any portion of that bag. Which was great timing for me, because I had decided that I needed a money bag to take to art and craft fairs so my hands would be free while I tended to customers.
I decided on a belt bag from Mona B’s Live Work Create line of handbags because, well, I love their backstory. Each bag is made from upcycled truck tarps or military tents. Which means I had my work cut out for me because the bag was already constructed and I was sewing through, in some cases, two layers of tarp and the lining. Many, many needles were snapped, bent beyond recognition and otherwise mangled until I finally tried a tapestry needle and found success.
Here’s the bag as it appears in the Mona B catalog:
And here is my embellished version.
The rugged lines and canvas texture of the bag made this the perfect project for incorporating additional hardware into my beadwork. I took a component class from Laura McCabe several years ago and adapted some of her techniques in my design. I love the look of cobalt blue and classic red with olive, and even though I used pearls and a crystal rivoli, I made sure to use lots of the black and brass of the antique zipper to keep the industrial aesthetic.
I may not wait until my next art show to take my new bag off the shelf. There are lots of other times it would be great to be hands free!
Many thanks to Christine and Therese for always encouraging us to explore new places to take our beading. Below is a list of today's participants. I can’t wait to see how everyone tackled this challenge!