Ugly thoughts

Many years ago, a friend came to visit me. She exclaimed excitedly that she’d been walking by a vintage clothing shop in Portland, Oregon, and in the window display, she noticed the ugliest handbag she’d ever seen, which made her think of me. So she bought it for me as a gift. (This would not be the last time she made similar purchases for me, with similar statements.)

Now, you may think that I would be insulted by this statement, but over the years I’ve grown to realise that when people say that ugly, gaudy, ostentatious, or tacky accessories make them think of me, they mean it as a compliment, and I take it as one!

This is one of my largest vintage bags, measuring 10.5” across; 6.5” high; and 4.5” deep. (Add another 5” to the height with the handles.) It’s constructed of wicker then has a burlap overlay on the front with Bakelite flowers attached to it. The handles and the top of the bag are made of a tortoiseshell Bakelite with small brass tacks used to fasten it to the wicker underneath.

Anyhow… This bag won today’s bag grab because I was heading to the big-bad-city for a root canal (yay!) and thought I’d do a bit of shopping beforehand. One of the things I was shopping for was golf shoes which meant that I need to bring a pair of socks with me. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but most of my vintage bags are too small to accommodate socks. I also figured I’d take the opportunity to stop off at the little vintage shop “Finders Keepers” whilst in the area.

Sadly, the shoe shopping was a miserable failure (who knew it could be so difficult to find ladies’ golf shoes?) and some serious road construction in downtown Spokane meant I couldn’t get to the vintage shop. But, happily, three people gave me awesome compliments on my awesome bag. Which almost made up for the shopping failures and the root canal.

7 Replies to “Ugly thoughts”

  1. It’s cute. I actually started checking out estate sales and caught myself wondering what kind of vintage bags and hankies you like. I know you have posted some of them but I’d like to see motr. I think you have good taste in vintage. You should start your own Etsy vintage store.

    1. Thanks, Sharon! I actually have a very wide range of likes – just depends on my mood (and finances!). I’ve had a few people request more photos of handbags, so I’ll make it a point to do that. And hankies, too! I was thinking about a trip to the vintage shops this weekend, so maybe I’ll find something great to post then!
      I thought about an Etsy shop a while back and looked through my stuff. But in the end, I couldn’t bear to part with anything!
      Hope you had fun at the estate sales! x

      1. It is fun, but it’s also sad since I know most are the result of someone passing. And sometimes I catch myself wondering what the deceased would think of all these people rummaging through their things and calling it nothing but junk. I’m sure a lot of it meant a great deal to them. It’s especially sad to see photos still in photo albums and picture frames. But, then I think that at least these things are having a chance to find a home that appreciates them. Another plus side is that I get to look at a lot of nice homes since they are usually for sale. I’m not planning to buy now, but it’s interesting how a house can look so amazing outside and be horribly cramped on the inside. I need to find another loser with no life like me to go with. I have non-loser friends that would love to go but most of them are during work hours. I might try going to an auction soon. I went once with my grandmother and it was interesting. But first, I need to see if I can sell some of the stuff that I got already. I think my boyfriend is getting worried though. I asked if I could buy a box truck the other day LOL! He said no. How rude! He’s not being very supportive of my ventures. Oh well, I’m trying to stick to stuff that’s easily mailed anyway. Hope you have fun at the vintage shops and that you find something you can’t live without.

  2. Hi Frances,
    That’s funny that you got three compliments on this purse, that’s a day’s worth of joy! Sort of like some little creature who is so ugly he’s cute. The bag is awful—oh what fun to carry though! Any clues on when it was made or who made it? Any tags inside? Do you think there are more like it?
    It’s a work of art. I can see it arranged on a table, staged, photographed, in a still life…
    Hope you’re recovering from root canal. Ugh.

    1. The only tag inside says “Tropical Miami, Florida”. It’s style is likely 1960s or early ’70s. There are similar ones for sale on eBay from $35 up. The condition of mine would be on the very low end of that!
      And more fab compliments on it today! I find I get a lot of comments on my vintage bags. I think it’s because they’re not seen often – and as I don’t live in a metropolitan area, things like that are even less common.
      It really does make me smile to see how many people enjoy looking at my bags. Even men!
      But then, I long ago set my stall out as being the ‘different’ one…
      I’m recovering OK from the dental work. It’s my jaw that hurts more than anything! No steak for me for a couple of days!

    1. Yeah, after a while, you get used to ugly! I’m 36 years into it and am happy for it!
      I work in pr/marketing/communications for a university. It’s a great job but I’m looking forward to getting back to my studies so that I can finally earn my Ph.D. Then I can talk a load of rubbish followed with a corny tag line of “You should listen to me. I’m a doctor, you know.” 😉

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