All About Enid

As you all know, I love me some Enid Collins purses.  I have 32 of her box purses, mostly displayed proudly as art on my craft room wall:

Enid Collins was a designer based right here in the Hill Country of Texas in the 50s through the 70s.  Mostly during the 1960s her purses were sold in high end stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks 5th Avenue.  Her bags were THE thing to carry.  They were either wood box purses or canvas bags, all decorated with jeweled pictures of flowers and animals.  She began in the 50s making bags out of her home with the help of her husband Frederic.  By the 1960s they were being sold across the country!  In the 70s she sold the company to the Tandy Leather Corporation.  Now for the fun part – pictures of my bags!

This one is one of my all time favorites.  I think it’s pretty rare because I’ve only ever seen one like it come up on ebay, and it was in bad condition.  But seriously — My Heart Pants 4 U??  How freakin adorable is that?

I also really love this Love Birds bag.  It sort of reminds me of my chickens.  I especially love the mod colors and design of it.  It’s a bit different than the usual Enids.

I’m pretty wild for these skunks, called 2 S¢ents Worth.  And they’re picking flowers for each other!  Awwww….

And how cute is the little worm on this Early Bird?  Little does he know he’s about to become breakfast…

From 1966-1968 papier mache purses were created in Puerto Rico.  They are much more rare, and often smaller than the wood box purses.  Don’t you just love this little owl?

They were signed a little differently inside, and usually were painted inside rather than bare wood.

You can also sometimes find papier mache  jewelry made from this venture.  I have a turquoise flower brooch that I just love.  These will always be signed on the back.

Purses were often created in series.  In this shot you can see a couple more owl bags, and a couple of ones with cats.

I love the colors in this For the Birds bag as well as the more uncommon, large square shape.

Money Tree was another often repeated theme.  I especially love the mid century modern design of the trees on this one.

This Money Tree has some scratches, but I just love the plastic starbursts, the aqua, and the design of the bird!

Transportation was another common theme for Enid’s purses.  This Cable Car bag is too darn sweet with its pink and gold and flowers!

And here are a couple featuring sea life.  This one is called Gifts From the Sea (a nod to Ann Morrow Lindberg perhaps?)

And this one is called Sea Fare.  There is nothing cuter than a seahorse, no?

Peacocks were yet another popular theme.  Here is one example:

I have one bag with the original tag – this Roadrunner.  And why yes, I DO have a flair for the truly distinctive, thankyouverymuch!

Notice how all the bags shown so far have a lowercase ec in the bottom right corner.  This means the bags were produced prior to Enid selling the company to the Tandy Leather Corporation in the 70s.  After that, the bags were marked with a Collins of Texas logo instead, like as seen on this child’s size purse:

Also seen above is one of the many do-it-yourself kits made for people to try to replicate an Enid Collins purse at home.  These are NOT Enid Collins bags.  When buying, be sure to look for one of the two marks – the ec or the Collins of Texas logo.  There are many knockoffs out there.

I have some canvas bags I could post pics of and my papier mache brooch if anyone would like to see those too, but otherwise that wraps up my Enid Collins collection!  Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do!

Lookie what came in the mail for me!!

Yippee!!  A Singer Genie 353!  I’ve wanted one for a long time and after faithfully keeping my eyes peeled on Craigslist for like YEARS and never coming across one locally, I bit the bullet and bought one off etsy from this lovely seller.  She’s got loads of great vintage machines.  Ok, I didn’t need a new machine.  I have a Singer 301a and a pink Jaguar which are both really cool vintage machines.  In fact, I love my 301a so much I don’t really need anything else.  But the Genie has a built in blind stitch!  And it has flower power!

Isn’t she gorgeous?  Speaking of gorgeous, look what I couldn’t leave behind at an estate sale today:

More bakelite!  Oh my how I love bakelite.  The bird pin needs a little repair, but for something so darn cute and unusual, I’m willing!  It’s just missing it’s eye and pin closure on the back.  And the butterscotch carved bangle!  Delicious.

Efficient Use of Space Feels Awesome

Now, our new house is not small.  It’s not huge, but it has plenty of space for us.  Almost 2200 square feet, which is pretty big for an older home.  But one thing we didn’t really seem to have the right space for was an office for the Mister, who works from home a lot.  I mean, a girl’s craft room needs to have precedence over an office, amiright???  We were both getting tired of the visual clutter of his taking over the dining room table when I had the mother of all brainstorms.  We have a fabulously decadent wall of storage in our family room.  Observe its opulence:

Our cup totally runneth over with built in closets, cabinets, and drawers!  It’s a most awesome feature of our home.  The middle closet is our media center with our tv, electronics, and other unsightliness.  The far left closet has books.  The cabinets and drawers and right closet are totally without purpose or direction.  So in a moment of brilliance, I came up with this to solve our office space dilema!

Now, we are not huge fans of IKEA furniture.  In fact, all we have besides a couple shelves is the couch you can see in this room.  We sacrificed one of  our gorgeous but totally uncomfortable danish modern couches when we had Little Betty – we needed something comfy that we didn’t mind getting dirty, and our IKEA couch fits the bill.  But this little desk fit absolutely perfectly in the closet with just enough room to open the drawers.  And I quite like how the orange compliments the turquoise paint and knotty pine!  Best of all, we can close the doors and once again have a tidy room without having to pack everything up.  I have spent the whole day patting myself on the back for this one.  The Mister is pretty much thrilled too.  I’m also spending my day pretty grateful to the previous owner, who decided when building this addition that what was needed was a whole wall of storage.  Well done sir!

A Bakelite Repair

You may have picked up from me by now that I really REALLY adore bakelite jewelry.  I love it’s casual, but quality, look, and they way it stands up to the test of time.  I don’t often worry about wearing out my bakelite pieces, even though some are close to 80 years old.  But I recently purchased a piece that required some repair.  I always buy bakelite at the Antique Weekend and this spring was no exception.  My favorite bakelite vendor didn’t have anything that knocked my socks off and I was feeling a little let down at the idea that I might actually not go home with any new pieces this time.  All of the sudden I said to my shopping buddy  “In here!” like I had a bakelite divining rod or something.  Sure enough, inside the building it was waiting for me.  A bakelite cherry necklace.  It was glorious, and it was mine in under 5 minutes.  The only problem is that the cherries were held on by wax covered strings that were beginning to fray, like the one in this picture:

Photo credit:  Morning Glory Jewelry

The first and only time I wore it cherries were falling off like it was picking season.  Luckily I didn’t lose any and headed straight for my favorite jewelry repair guy.  I was nervous because he had no idea what bakelite was and concerned that the cost to fix it ($65) was going to be more than what the necklace was worth.  Um, no.  I took this opportunity to educate him on the value of bakelite.  Anyhoo, I was kind of worried that I would ruin the necklace – that it would look too new, or repaired.  So, Betties, tell me what you think!  Did I ruin it or is it ok?

He replaced all the fraying string with green copper wire.  I really don’t think it’s too noticeable, and now I’ll be able to wear it without fear!  The cherries still lay pretty well too – here’s a terrible shot of them on:

What’s the verdict?  Have any of you ever had to repair any bakelite?  What were the results?

Dreams of sewing…

One nice thing about the Mister going away for work is presents!  He picked up these really great vintage packages of colored pencils at a flea market in Berlin:

Aren’t those graphics to die for?

But wait!  There’s more!  He also stopped into the Cath Kidston store in London and loaded up on some sewing goodies for me!  How great a husband is that?

Yippee!

All this great sewing swag got me daydreaming about sewing projects.  And you know how they say if you visualize something it can bring more of it into your life?  Well, wouldn’t you know it, a couple days later I scored the motherload of vintage barkcloth fabric:

That blue geometric panel at the front is so fabulous and in such perfect, brand new condition I’m seriously considering framing it as art.

This estate sale was nuts, y’all.  The homeowner had owned an antique store at one time and had a house packed to the gills with amazing stuff!  It was one of those sales you’ve got to hit every day to get the good stuff on the first day and all the overpriced stuff on the 50% off day.  I walked away with TONS of goodies!  Draperies, old tins, wall art, dishes, glasses, pottery, vintage baby clothes, and something I NEVER find at estate sales….

BAKELITE!  I couldn’t believe it!  On the 50% off day too!  I was pretty much beside myself.  Also on the 50% off day?

A Turner flamingo mirror!  It’s in perfect shape and lovely in every way.  This was one of those sales you dream about and was a perfect way to wrap up by buying trip.

Freshly Picked!

We’re out of town on a buying trip and spent our day treasure hunting.  Today was reasonably successful, and we found some exceptional stuff!

Yes, I did about have a stroke when I spotted this Enid Collins Copy Cat purse.  It’s one of my all-time favorite Enids and very rare!  I already have this one, though, so it will be looking for a loving home.  And how about that fresh hot coffee sign?  The hubs has a whole different picking style than me – we saw this in the window of a funky little coffee shop and he waltzed right in there and talked the owner out of it.  I was super impressed.

We have 3 more picking days ahead, so here’s hoping for lots of good luck!

Alpine Chalets – I Heart Them.

I haven’t shown you much from my massive estate sale haul last weekend because almost all of it was for the shop, not for me.  I was so proud of my restraint!  But I did walk away with a few things that ended up in my house.  I’m only human you know!  One thing I was REALLY excited about was a small novelty cuckoo clock.  In the last year I’ve begun a pretty moderately severe fascination with vintage Alpine chalets – cuckoo clocks, music boxes, weather houses…as long as they look like a little Swiss chalet I’m all over it.  Especially if it also has a deer and a mushroom outside.  So imagine my delight and surprise when after a good hour of shopping at an estate sale loading up on tons of goodies for the shop I spot this little beauty that had somehow escaped my attention thus far:

I snatched it up like it was a Cabbage Patch Kid at Christmas in 1985.  It now joins my burgeoning collection of novelty cuckoo clock decor:

As you can see I still have plenty of room to add more!  The little weather house made a cameo on this blog recently.  Not shown is an actual functioning proper cuckoo clock in another room.  It all started with that shadow box.  The hubs got it for me for Christmas one year after I saw in on Etsy and about lost my damn mind.  After that I started seeking out little chalets.  My favorite is this little piece of heaven:

There’s also these sweet music/jewelry boxes:

You may recognize the one on the left from an estate sale a month or so ago.  If you are to know anything about me, know this.  If I love something, I will not have just one.  I will buy every example I come across until my house is bursting with repetition and obsession.  It’s what I do, people.