Ms. Indie

I had a visit from a very old client, and a great friend yesterday, December 30.  We have known each other a very long time; we have a relationship that has endured.  She is self effacing to a fault, and equally independent in her thinking and her gardening. This is a long way of saying we have been reliable friends for decades.  The moment she walked in the door, I could not take my eyes off her handbag. Did I know she made things such as this? No.  I persuaded her to let Jenny photograph it.  This hand knitted handbag is studded with no end of buttons and beads and holiday bits arranged in what amounts to a very personal celebration of the Christmas season.

My friend SW is very reserved.  Should you challenge that reserve, and should she decide to respond,  you would be graced with a completely unique and utterly independent view of the world.  Her landscape and garden is entirely of her own invention, but for some occasional coaching from me.  I see her infrequently; we have no regular social relationship.  But I am always happy to see her.  Her holiday visit-unexpected, and welcome.  We instantly had a topic of conversation.  I wanted to talk about that bag.  Nothing interests me more than heartfelt and original expression.   

Creative people of the utterly independent sort make my world a vastly better place to be.  People like SW expose me to ideas I would not otherwise be able to access.  As for you, Ms. Indie, your hand knitted and hand decorated holiday handbag is beyond gorgeous.  

I find it hard to believe that people do not flag her down in the grocery store or the library to talk to her about it, but she says not.  That might be attributable to shyness, or the reluctance to address a stranger.  I find any truly individual expression worthy of interest and acknowledgement.  This is one person’s vision and represention of the idea of celebration.  It has a quirky, funny, and visionary quality about it.   

Each button and bead has been collected with an idea in mind. The back of the bag has fewer B and B’s-I forgot to ask if she adds to this bag as she finds things she likes.  The holiday light bulbs sewn into the fringe-this is more than enough fun to make me laugh out loud.  The top of the bag reads just like a thick coating of snow.   

The handles, spirals and side decoration are skillfully fashioned.  Love that pink with the red.

Getting a good look at this bag was a treat.  I will confess I am a fan of handbags.  There are so many made with great style and interesting materials.  A daily bag permits me to haul around what I feel need carry.  This includes my camera, and may include a three inch pot of this, or a cutting from a troubled plant.  My orange bag is old and worn, and I would replace it with exactly the same bag if it were still being made, or if I could find a vintage copy in better shape than mine.  So far, no luck.  I love the color, and greatly appreciate the rubber bottom- the dirt from a garden wipes right off.  A gift of a clutch encrusted with rhinestone flowers I have yet to carry-I just look at it.  Would I carry a bag such as this-absolutely. This is much more than a place to stash a wallet and keys. It is a celebration she carries with her the entire month of December.   

 SW actually had another reason to stop by-she had a New Year’s gift for me.  The yummiest colored warmest hand wool and mohair knit mittens it has ever been my pleasure to own.  Of course I had to test drive them.  Not only are they comfortable and very warm, I could focus and push the shutter on my camera wearing them.

I am always glad that my Christmas gifts routinely include warm winter gear.  New coat, new boots, new hats-and now new mittens.  I hate being cooped up inside all winter-my friends know that.  New winter clothes help me gear up for the longest part of the gardening year.  Am I ready for winter, for the New Year?  Yes I am, in part thanks to you, Ms. Indie.