Monday, June 18, 2012

Shopping Bag Collection

For many years I had a really big obsession with collecting shopping bags. I liked to keep bags from nice shops and boutiques I visited. I'd even ask my husband to bring home a bag or two from shops he went to when he flew to London or Paris. And, I am not ashamed to admit that I would sometimes purchase something very affordable just to get a bag from a certain shop. On occasion, when the sales clerk tried to give me a plain flat bag for my simple purchase, I have asked, "Could I please have a handled paper bag instead?” Sometimes there would be "a look" of disapproval - but I didn't care.

The cover of my exciting book find in london

Once on a visit to London I found a book titled, Shopping Bag Secrets. The tag line says, “The Most Irresistible Bags From The World’s Most Unique Stores.” Wow, what an exciting find for me . . .  a book about something I had been collecting. It was even more exciting to note that I had several bags listed in the book. 

Why do I like shopping bags? I can’t really remember why I started holding on to bags - maybe because of a special name (Tiffany) or a great bag shape (Takashimaya) or a beautiful design (MacKenzie and Childs.) The book states that bags are “three-dimensional, portable works of art, status symbols and phenomenal advertising vehicles.” I agree.

An early memory of wanting a bag to keep goes back thirty years or so. I lived near South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. They created a new bag several times a year. They were always very pretty and really big. You had to pay a quarter to get a bag from the stand that dispensed them.
A few of my south coast plaza oversized bags

The great triangular shaped bag from the now-closed Takashimaya in Manhattan
Bags from a trip to Paris

One of my favorite stores in New York is ABC Carpet & Home

From the Victoria & Albert Museum in London - check out that purple interior!!

Some of my New York shopping bag collection

This bag came with its own gift tag attached from MacKenzie and Childs
Random bags

Vendor sample bags from buying trips I took for the shop I owned

More bags . . . 

My bag collection stuffed in the biggest of the bags - after photographing my bags I found another full bag of bags!!
Whatever the reason, I love shopping bags and I am not ready to even consider letting any of them go. Maybe one day in the future when my granddaughters are older, they will have fun playing “shop” with some of them. Who knows, paper shopping bags might become extinct soon . . .

For now, the really special ones will stay folded in the safety of the larger bags in the back of my closet.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Comics

We do not get the newspaper delivered these days - not even the Sunday issue, which was my favorite because the comics were in color (and it had the design features too.) 

When I taught redesign classes I included some comic strips in the manual to lighten up the serious stuff. Here is some of my collection.


SALLY FORTH by Greg Howard

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wedding Activity - A Scrabble Word Board

For my daughter's wedding we wanted to do something special to highlight the theme of the bohemian-style event. We titled the wedding "Words of Love," so a Scrabble magnetic board was the perfect activity that guests could have fun with. 

Here's how we did it:

I found a big frame at a thrift shop. My husband cut a piece of sheet metal and created a grid on it - then he glued the metal onto a thin board and secured it into the frame. 

The couple's names were hot-glued onto the board so they would not be able to move

We cut squares from sticky-backed magnetic cards to fit the tiles and filled the perfect glass bowl (thrifted, of course) with the tiles. A sign suggested guests create a "message of love."

Starting with the names of the bride and groom, I hot glued them into place in middle of the board. I found bags of Scrabble tiles online and decided to use dark tiles for the bride and groom and the lighter tile for the guests to use. After deciding on a beginning word, I hot glued HOME into place as a starting point for more words. 

The board sat on a big easel at the wedding and guests could add their message at their leisure.

The bride and groom can now hang the board like art in their home. They can leave the words as they were after the wedding, or have a bowl full of the tiles out for their guests to play when they come over for a visit. Only their names and "home" were secured and will always be the starting point to play.