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August 7, 2012

PP Vicki Batman on Handbag Mania!

Handbag Mania (1) -
Margaret Smith of Gardiner Maine

When I have visited my sissie in Tulsa, we always-always-always went to the flea market on the state fair grounds. Mostly, the prices are excellent, and I load up on goodies, like the homemade strawberry jam that tasted like berries, not sugar. Or vintage postcards, books, etc.

One of the first times I went to the flea market, my sissie introduced me to a woman who sold Margaret Smith of Gardiner Maine handbags. I broke down and bought a nice tote and still use it today. On a second trip, I purchased a smaller one and carried it to death.

Here's a bit about Margaret Smith:

Margaret Smith made beach bags and totes in the forties, eventually leading to the formation of the Margaret Smith Company. Her bags were considered the Kate Spade of the fifties, sixties, seventies. She became the first woman to represent Maine in the Senate and the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress.

I love handbags. Not long ago, something caught my eye on eBay, and I investigated. I found a Margaret Smith bag, one totally different from the ones I have. And the price was fantastic, way more affordable than the garbage bags currently found at the department store. (I really should have been a handbag buyer or designer in another life.)

I bought several more in various prints and sizes. Here are my precious babies:

 Aren't they adorable? I can't wait to carry the holiday one (far left)!

So what's your favorite style of handbag? And do you change weekly like I do? Or are you a "one bag fits all occasions" gal?

Leave your email addy in a comment, and we'll have a drawing for a never-been-carried Margaret Smith bag!

(entries from PP, Handbags, Books, Whatever..., She Writes are combined for the drawing)

With a diet coke in hand, Vicki is currently thinking about heading over to eBay or ETSY to look for a new "prize." She can be found at: or at: 

"Store Wars," a hilarious romantic short story, is available in August from MuseItUp Publishing:


Sylvia said...

Hi Vickie,
You do love handbags. I'm a one bag fits all kind of girl, but I have to say, I have to love the bag. Right now, I'm not loving the bag I bought for conference and I'm probably going to ditch it. I looked at the Coach store to buy myself a special handbag and my husband talked me out of it. Now I'm considering going back and taking the plunge. But I love this story about vintage handbags. You always find unique ones and I love them. I may have to check out Ebay. Haven't been there in a while.

Terri said...

Love my Margaret Smith tote! Mom has quite a collection too! Fondly remember the shop til you drop weekends with the girls. The Tulsa Flea Market is going strong. Great Christmas in July sale a few weeks ago.

Liese said...

I'm afraid I'm a one-size-fit-all kind of handbag girl. I have one bag I carry until the handle falls off. So I'm more concerned about durability than anything. But I certainly understand others' appreciation of them!


Elizabeth Essex said...

Oh, Vicki, you took me on a walk down memory lane. With that picture you instantly brought back the bags in my very chic grandmother's closet. I'm afraid I picked up my handbag addiction from her—she used to make most of her clothes and would then make clever handbags to match, which she embroidered with her initials in lovely cross stitch. So lady like. :)

I'm a handbag and shoes have to go together, but not match, kind of girl. And I LOVE evening bags. Must have a dozen.

Thanks for perking up my morning with your bag collection!

Kathleen Baldwin said...

You crack me up Vicki!

You are such a delightfully girly girl. Look at all these purses! Some little girl part of me calls out and says "Ooooh look at the pretty purses..."
But then the horribly practical part of me that has carried the same bag for three years says, "No time. No space. No money for that sort of thing."

My brothers tell me I have not fully assimilated into the female culture.

You may not remember but you gave me my first tube of lip stain which I love and still use to this very day. maybe you will convert me to purses too.

chris k said...

I guess I'm a one 'working' bag firsl all kind of gal, but it has to be very practical. Sections and pockets so I can find things easily. An oustide pocket for the cell phone is a must. I prefer one in brown and one in black.

Then- since I'm a shoeaholic and a product of my grandmother's shoes must match purse shopping sprees- I also like to have mostly matching bags for special occasions. A tea, a shower, a party- lol.

And like Liz - lots of evening purses!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Sylvia! Coach bags are cool (and I do it two? I think what is surprising about ebay and etsy is so many have never been carried.

Hi, Sissie! I think you and I have supplied Mom (who loves handbags too) with the MS bags. Those shoptillyoudrop weekends were crazy. ox

Hi, Liese: You know, everyone thinks I spend tons on bags, but I don't. I have spent $3.00 on one.

Hi, Ms. Essex: I would have loved to have seen your grandmother's bags. What a talent she had. And me too, I have many evening bags.

Hi, Kat! I guess I am a girly girl. lol. I have a trick I use on Handsome for birthdays and holiday gift-giving: tear out a picture, circle with a sharpie, put where he will find it--like his pillow. Works every time. heheheh

Hi, Chris: I am a mostly matchy girl too. However, as you discovered, some bags transcend the matchy part. Sometimes, I match to outfit instead of shoes. It works!

Penny's Tales said...

Great post Vicki. The thing is I HATE purses, yet I am constantly on the search for the perfect purse. I don't like carrying wallets so I want a purse that has a place for all my cards, check book, a special place for my phone, not to mention all the crap that I carry around. And truth be told, sometimes I fit in the "hick" section cause I wouldn't know a coach from a walmart special - LOL The pics of those purses are great!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Penny: One of my favorite handbags is actually a daypack by Longchamps. It is small and easy. BTW, I buy handbags at Walmart, too. I'm not so much a large wallet person. Since I change about once a week, I use a snall one and a small needlpoint makeup bag (I made it!). Thank you so much for posting.

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Vicki,
I love your collection of purses! I like to look at purses, but I hate carrying one. If I'm with The Hubster, I just stick my license in my back pocket and my phone in a front pocket and leave the purse at home. Unfortunately, if I'm out with friends, I need to carry a purse for the car keys. :) So I tend to buy one purse and carry it until it dies. :)

Liz Lipperman said...

Handbags have never been my thing. I like one with a shoulder strap and if it's an organizer, I'm there. I know. How boring is that. Now watches are a whole other subject, though!!

Alisha said...

This post really makes me want to go to a Flea Market!!! I LOVE looking at all your gorgeous handbags. I hate to say it but I normally buy some giant handbag at Wal-Mart or Target that generally resemble a beach bag so I can use it as a gym bag too and carry all my kids' stuff like sunscreen, extra clothes, beach toys, etc. to the be.ach You make me want to pay attention to these! They really are lovely. Like Liz has a love for watches, I have a thing for antique lamps! I LOVE lamps. I just drool when I go into an antique store and see all those lovely stain glassed lamps and beaded lamps..sigh.

Phyllis said...

Vicki, I like the post.

I have a collection of all leather, practical bags of various sizes for various circumstances. I change to soot the situation.

I have started collecting various types of 'totes on wheels' where I can carry everything with me! Now that's getting a bit much...

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Karilyn: I think most of us don't want to carry anything, but we have "baggage" we need. So why not go in style? lol

Hi, Ms. Lipperman: Watches are cool! Handsome does watches. You do cool nails too.

Hi, Alisha! I just looked at some vintage one at an antique mall the other day. Came home empty handed tho. Sigh. Lamps are way cool, too. And very useful. ox

Hi, Phyllis: I confess I have a toter with wheels and have taken it to the big flea market an our away. Stuffed it full too.

I'll confess, I've had some handbags since high school. However, I also confess, I've thrown some away.

Cara Marsi said...

Vicki, the Margaret Smith handbags are beautiful. I confess I've never heard of them. I'm not a big handbag fanatic, but a green designer handbag figures prominently in one of my books. I've got two handbags by B.Makowsky. Had to have them because with the exception of one letter, that's my last name. I love carrying bags with my name on them.
Here's my email:

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Carolyn! I can't wait to look up the one with your last name. That's so cool! I just love the black and white houndstooth MS and the crewel one too! I'm off to check....

Lynn Cahoon said...

Anything that's big enough for a book, a manuscript, my calendar, my phone, keys, and, oh, yeah, a wallet.

I got a Vera Wang as my 15-pound weight loss reward.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Lynn: and congratulations on your Vera Wang! And the weight loss!

I had to carry larger ones when the kiddoes were smaller. My criteria was being able to put a book in too. Reading has always been my go to.

Thanks for posting.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

I'm happy to announce Penny Estell is the winner of the Margaret Smith handbag. Congratulations, Penny, and thank you to all who blogged with today!

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