Handbag or Manbag?

I have been invited by Frances from Fairy Lanterns who in turn accepted an invitation from Frances of City views, Country dreams to reveal the contents of my handbag.
Both of the aforementioned have wonderful blogs, which are well worth a visit.

Now them, I don’t actually use a handbag as such but I do carry a rather scruffy shoulder bag on most excursions outdoors. I bought my bag in Bruges three years ago and have been using it constantly ever since. It reminds me of the kind of bag Isaac Walton would have taken with him on a fishing trip; it could well be a described as a manbag!

Inside, slightly more feminine and even a little bit canine. In the small front pockets, a hair appointment loyalty card, tissues and what are sometimes rather politely called “dog waste bags”, unused I hasten to add!

In the main part I have the usual, purse, keys, mobile phone, camera (you never know when the next photo opportunity may arise) and glasses. A tiny notebook with a tulip cover, which a friend brought back, from The Rijks Museum. A handmade leather notebook, one of my many attempts at bookbinding. A tissue holder which I made using some Debbie Mumm fabric and a little coin purse which I sewed using some of my own fabric which this holds change for the car park and two lipsticks. I also have two Oyster cards from a recent trip to London; these are used by Londoners on buses and tubes and can be topped up when needed. Last but not least I have my trusty green umbrella and lovely silk lined soft black leather gloves both of which were presents from my mum.

I would like to invite you to play along if you have the time or the inclination. Do you favour the handbag or the manbag?


  1. judging by the volume of materials that emerged from your portable vault i'd say it should be called a carry-all!! steven

  2. I've recently returned to using a black leather 'rucksack' style bag I bought 10 years ago in Florence. It's useful when out and about as the strap divides with a zip and then you wear it as a back pack. In the outside pocket I found a compass, a pack of loo paper and a little fabric bundle of sacred sage from a First Nations reservation in Canada.

    Mmmmm what does that say about me?

  3. Your contents are so orderly and practical, I'm inspired to go through my own purse and put it to rights!

  4. I enjoyed the meander through the bags Valerie, yours and others. I have just bought a fairly posh bag from M&S and I am really enjoying it. I do have love affairs with my bags. This is a combined handbag and shoulder bag which I find very useful. I only carry the bare miniumum in any bag as I always worry about losing them...oh and they have to be soft and pouchy. I cannot bear rigid bags.

  5. I love the tardis like qualities of our bags don't you? I especially love your little pup - he looks like he'd like to jump in your bag and travel along with you.

  6. I love your little dog, looking like he'd fit in the bag and enjoy the trip. What a very nice and tidy bag, and original and creative contents - the hand-bound notebook and the pretty fabric pouches for things.
    With the umbrella fitting in as well I'm reminded of Mary Poppins - everything tidy and magically collapsible.
    Thank you for taking part!

  7. Hi Valerie, what a nice post!
    There is always something interesting and fun in prying in private things of others! I have a brown and blue heavy canvas shoulder bag, now ten years old that is too small to contain everything I need, but I can not get rid of it because its small size forces me to go around with little weight! See you at the next post. Eli

  8. Sounds like it must be quite heavy, Val!

    I'm so taken with your adorable dog - just look at that little face! Bfn, Lesley

  9. Valerie, yours is definitely a handbag, due to its well-ordered contents. Isn't it fun to see how we each decide what we must have with us "on the road?"

    I used to have much smaller handbags. Think that it was the entry of reading glasses into my life that made me go upsize with my shoulder bag.

    Great to see that your handbag holds some of your very own wonderful creations.

    That firt photo with the charming pup is a winner. xo

  10. My handbags are huge! There's an iPod and a regular old-fashioned notebook. Dog biscuits, of course. Dark plum lipstick, lots of sharp pencils, a book and an apple.

  11. Your little dog- friend, looks Fantastic! Beautiful guy! :)
    It's good that you don't have in your Handbag, one brick, just in case ;)

    P.S. Acornmoon! if you want you can found yourself in my last post! :)

  12. That was such a fun post! I'm afraid my handbag is rather dull. I use a very tiny bag because it prevents the buildup of clutter in my purse. Wallet, cellphone and lipgloss. That's it! Now that I have a baby, things have changed a little - I'm having a harder time learning to manage her clutter!

  13. I carry a fairly large bag, too! As well as the usual purse, phone and keys I also have a small folding umbrella, sun glasses - I have to cover all eventualities - comb, lip salve and paracetemol. Pen, notebook and a book to read just in case I have to wait anywhere and my camera just incase I see anything unusual to photograph:)

  14. Organize! I love it... I had the perfect handbag years ago, but nothing lasts forever... Have not found one like it since... a place for everything and everything in it's place.
    Great post... and your dog is such a sweetheart!

  15. what a fun idea for a post :o) i carry a cloth shoulder bag or my little rucksack both filled with goggie paraphernalia. poop bag, treats, lead, water bottle and often a frisby! the other things i tend to have are tissues, camera an apple and a small water colour kit (still not used, but i keep meaning to) and my favourite little notebook, which incidentaly is one i bought from you :o).

    hope you are having a good weekend

    warmest wishes xxx


  16. I can't decide if Ted is keeping guard of your hand-bag, or his doggy-bags in the front pocket! x

  17. I love Steven's carry-all suggestion! :-))

    I always make sure that my carry-alls (!) are big enough for my camera. Lately, though, I carry a girl's necessities more in my camera bag than vice versa, after leaving by accident my shoulder bag on the seat of a tram (it was found by a passenger, and I was able to collect it at the end station some nerve-wrecking two hours later).

  18. Your wonderful large postcards of your bunny painting have generated lots and lots of lovely comments from all the relatives I have sent them to. My children also adore them.

  19. I like that your creativity shows up in your handbag with your handmade items.
    Really have lots of catching up to do, not been on the computer much.
    Now over whatever I had, felt really unwell.
    Yes, it is crazy weather we are having. Easter used to be sandals and pretty dresses when I was little. This year definitely still warm clothes.