A friend was out perusing a local antique market & called me with a great find- A vendor had a pile of vintage canvas library bags. These big bags were used to empty out the bins to return the books to the shelves. When I first got them, I was trying to figure out how to make the best of the pieces already available. The grommets were brass but not spaced evenly on each bag so I addressed each bag differently when it came to attaching handles. I also liked the front window aspect of each bag & thought a nice piece of natural vegetan leather with a little design may be a nice neutral way to pull them all together. I also thought, this leather would darken & age over time so it would end up with a really beautiful patina after it oxidizes. The handles were treated with the same idea. Let me tell you too, I took a bag along with me on vacation to the beach & by the end of just one week my handles were so soft & at least 3 shades darker than when I left. The best part about these bags is that each one is unique from the actual wear of the canvas, the colors & also the straps & stripes that were painted on each one. This to me is the classic canvas carry-all that will never be out of style.
Just wanted to share some pictures of some hand painted metallic leather totes I made a while ago. I wanted to contrast the silver & gold outside with a heavy linen on the inside. I also found these bags a great vehicle for a little added embroidery. The stitching gives each bag a unique look that contrasts to the shiny leather. The straps are horse bridles & for a pop of color I carried the embroidery detail onto one side of each strap.