Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Enid Collins Bags and a Decorating Challenge

Look what I found for practically free at the Goodwill Warehouse last year. I figured I probably paid .50 cents for it. Some of you might think that I paid too much! I rediscovered this recently when I brought my boxes of fall decorations down stairs and it was thrown in there with all the other pumpkins and scarecrows. I bought it because I remembered similar purses like this from when I was a little girl and thought that they might be collectible now. Also, with it being black with a jeweled encrusted owl on the front, I thought perhaps I could use it somehow in my fall decorating.
It has a wood bottom and is made with excellent craftsmanship. I found these pictures on Ebay and learned that they are quite collectible going for as much as $130.00! My first memory of these fantastic purses is from when I was a young girl about the age of 8 or 9. I saw my mother's very fashionable friend Desta carrying one. I was enthralled with all the beautiful jewels! Do any of you out there remember these bags?
These are patterns that for some reason trigger something with me. I don't know if I saw other women at church have these bags or if they were something similar to what Desta had.
If I could buy one, it would be the one above. I like it a lot.
I do believe that my mother did buy one too, but I don't know which one she had. Maybe my sister Kathi can shed some light after she reads this post! This train one looks awfully familiar too, could this be the one my mother had? These bags are made by Enid Collins in the 1960s. They were very high fashion and in the beginning they sold for $100.00!!! Just think what they would go for today if she was designing them now. Enid and her husband soon started mass producing them in factories and brought the cost down to about $20.00, so all women could own one! In the 1970 she sold her business to Tandy Leather Co.
She also made wooden box style purses too and they also were covered with jewels. They were very whimsical and fun! These wooden purses are very collectible now and demand high prices on Ebay. Now that I have learned about these wooden purses, I will be on the hunt for one!
Many of them have her signature or initials in one corner and the name of the design in the other corner. Mine does not have any markings on it, so I am wondering if mine could be a knock off. It is okay with me since I just want to use it for decorating.
So here is the challenge for you. Can you think of something clever for me to do with this bag? Until I get inspiration, it will just be hanging in the hallway on the closet doorknob.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

"Kind words are like honey - sweet to the taste and good for your health." Proverbs 16:24

Love, Sharon


Carol said...

I do remember the jeweled bags. Your bag is very cute.
Ideas for using your bag:roll up towels for the bathroom,fall flowers & leaves for a floor vase,magazine holder, hide your chocolate candy inside :0),carry it on Haloween for your purse. Can't wait to see what you do!
Carol ~ in Oklahoma

Kathi said...

Sharon, Yes, Mom did have one! I think she had the one that you like best. I know she had tear drop
jewels on hers. I love those bags too. They are so cool. I can just imagine Mom and Desta shopping and going to lunch with those bags on their arms.
I love you and can't wait until Saturday.

Garrett still had the flu as of last night; slight fever. I hope and pray he is better when I wake him this morning. Have a lovely day. Huggies, Kathi

lady jane said...

My grandmother had scads of those bags, probably 10 or so if I recall correctly. When she passed on, the bags went to Goodwill. Seeing them again brought back sweet memories. :o)

Mrs.Ruiz said...

Those bags are beautiful, I would carry one. I will keep my eyes open at the Goodwills. i think Carols suggestions were great ideas:)

luvmy4sons said...

Those are such neat purses. I could never imagine anything more creative than what you could come up with...It is decorative in its own right.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon, I say use it for a fall shopping bag, since everyone is going green, or you could fill it full of fall flowers, pumpkin picks, etc. and use it for a fall floral arrangement, or last but not least how about filling it full of fall goodies for a giveaway gift to someone special, your new soon to be daughter in law, maybe fall style cook books, fall hand towels for the kitchen, fall pot holders, fall themed candles, or go another direction and fill it full of autumn scented soaps, towels, candles, candies for a bath bag. Good luck.

My Grandkids ROCK said...

Sharon I keep thinking about you and your family getting ready for the wedding. It is such a busy and happy time. Enjoy every minute of it. Can't wait to see pictures. Pam

littleladyboutique said...

It's real cute by itself..... but you could put that green floral styrofoam on the inside and attach flowers coming out of the top..... and have a fall floral arrangement coming out of it and set it on a table.

Jocelyn said...

I think my Gramma Rachel had one of those bags! Your table for Brittanys party was fabu-tastic!

I would carry it as a purse myself, but the idea of using it as a decorating element is cool too. :)

Talk soon,

Lille meg said...

All these bags are so beautiful!
I really don't know whose the best.
It may be so many things you could use it for. Me too thought about shopping.
You can also use it when you take a trip to the nearest city, or you can have your knitting in it (if you have).....
It is soon bedtime in Norway now, so I just say HAPPY NIGHT!

Rosemary said...

I LOVE the owl bag and you should carry it! ITs adorable :) My mom had those purses too. I think i need to raid her closet to see if she still have any of them! LOL! With my luck she got rid of them. Oh gosh, now i gotta start looking for me one :) Rosemary

Simply Heart And Home said...

Those bags are adorable. I don't remember them but I'm oblivious sometimes.

A thought of what you could do with your sweet little owl bag is to put your trick or treat candy inside and leave it by your front door. That would look very cute.


Lady Farmer said...

I was raised by my grandparents and grandma had lots of them! (I know she had an owl one, but I think it was cream colored, not black.) Seems funny that they (and everything else) are popular again! I think a fall arrangement with twigs/branches would look neat.(Branches like the owl's in a tree.)All of the ideas have been great.
Waiting to see what you do with it.

Connie said...

I don't know, sweetie, but I'd have to say there is no hope for it! Not too fond of those kind of bags, but go for it! What do I know???? ;-)

Ruthie said...

That is quite a find! You have a knack for finding the special and unusual things and finding ways to use it in your decorating. So I'll look forward to your creative way to use this interesting purse!

Sondra said...

OH oh oh! I love them. I can't say I remember anyone having them when I was little. Me- I like the one with all the flowers too and the one with the horse and carriage.

Judy said...

I remember those bags. One thought came to mind is somehow display it in your guest room. But, how you could do that, I don't have a clue...sorry.

Sharon said...

Hi Rhonda! Thank you for stopping by my blog and thank you for all the great ideas! I still haven't decided what to do with it yet, but I am leaning towards a dried flower arrangement in it or use it to hold candy for Halloween night.

Have a great day!

:0) Sharon

junquelisa said...

Your bag is just perfect for the season. I think you should meet your sister for lunch and proudly carry your bag. Maybe you could wear a piece of jewelry that was your mom's. Then order something retro like a bloody mary and eggs benedict!

Or, tack a hook up in your kitchen and use the bag to put dish cloths in to.

It certainly needs a better spot than your doorknob...

Sharon said...

Dear Lisa,

Hey, that's a fun idea to go out for a retro lunch with my retro bag! I know it needs more of a place of honor, but at least it is where I walk by every day and I get to see it! I think I'll end up putting dried flowers in it or candy.

Thanks for stopping by! Come visit again!

:0) Sharon

Kimmie said...

Hi Sharon;

I've never seen one before...but now I want one. What a great find...and I don't know what a Goodwill warehouse is...but I so want to GO!

thanks for sharing your fun...I think I'd just use it, as it is way to cute to keep it from the public eye.

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Anonymous said...

Good morning! Just wanted to give you some more Enid Collins info if noone else has been able...
My 1st 1 was a kit, made by General Crafts, that included the canvas purse with a preprinted, numbered design, a wooden bottom, straps & hardware, & a packet with glue, trim, ricrac, sequins & Genuine Acrylic Gems. One put the whole thing together, then decorated it according to the "jewel-by-number" sheet.
These kits were put out in response to the popularity of Enid Collins' purses, from her paper-mache ones to the jeweled ones, during the 60s & 70s.
My first one was a peacock; I was 12yrs old in 1968. 3 years ago, I ran across that same kit at an Atlanta, GA antique mall. I now have 5 of the kits & 16 various Enid Collins purses. You can guesstimate the year by the design of her signature, when she sold the company, etc.; but all Enid Collins purses will say EC or Enid Collins on them. Any purse that does not have this clearly visible is one of the craft kits.
If lucky, one sometimes finds the kits that still have their gems; one needs only get a new bottle of Ultimate glue!
When buying EC purses, always be patient. If the latest one is too dear, the next one may be just within your price range!
Halloween is the ideal time to display your jeweled purses! Owl purses are easy to find, as are really lovely Autumnal designs!
These also carry well, though expect to lose a gem or 2 if carrying out for an evening if the glue is from the 60s!!!
Cat Camp

Kasheri CA said...

I have very fond memories of my mother carrying her Enid Collins 1963 Carriage Trade bucket bag on special occasions. It always smelled of Channel no.5. I have started collecting these bags now that I am a middle-aged mother myself.

If you have an authentic Enid Collins, then it is best if you do not hang it by the strap as this is one of the areas where these vintage treasures are most likely to breakdown. However, I believe that what you have acquired is an Enid Collins *style* bag: vintage to be sure and collectible in its own right, but not an EC original. As such, I would not hesitate to decorate with it just as you have. In fact, I own that exact bag in tan. I have it out on a horizontal post that it is part of the architectural decor of my home. I have several EC style bags that I let my young girls carry, and also use myself when I'm doing something where the bag may very likely get knocked around. They always garner attention, compliments, and conversation of fond memories.

Media Center Blog said...

I have the bag you like the bet. It was my mother's. I also have the zodiac cancer symbol bag. They both are in great condition.

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