>Steel Town

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Before I show you plans for my next piece, I’d like to take a moment to show you a beaded treasure. It is an antique beaded handbag that I inherited from my grandmother a few years ago. I was surprised to find it amongst her belongings. It was hidden somewhere in the back of a dark closet in an old box, and it had probably been there for decades. When I picked it up, it felt old and dirty, but it was still beautiful. I imagined what it must have looked like when it was new, which was probably in the 1920’s or 30’s, or maybe even earlier…

This handbag measures 7″ x 6″ wide, and it has a 3″ netted fringe on the bottom. When you look at the photos below, you’ll see that the entire bag is made from antique metal seed beads. Most of them are French steel cuts, which means they are faceted and very sparkly. These steel beads are also quite heavy, so I’m not surprised that the bag came apart at the frame. I can’t imagine adding even more weight to it by carrying lipstick, makeup, coins, and cigarettes inside…

(click for more images)

Antique beaded handbag - front

The funny thing was, when I packed this handbag into my carry-on luggage at the Pittsburgh International Airport, it made all the metal detectors go off! Suddenly several security officers were standing before me. I think they thought I had some kind of weapon inside… They were certainly surprised that it was only a handbag, and they let me pass through…

Since this handbag is a beaded piece of history, I’d like to eventually find someone to restore it, although I’m not sure that it’s possible. This bag is in rough shape, and I’m not even sure it would be worth it to restore. If it is, I’m not skilled in this type of beadwork at all, nor would I have the patience… LOL. So, if you know anyone who could possibly do this kind of work, please let me know!

Also, just a couple of quick announcements:


Princess Cat’s Pajamas was kind enough to bestow the Nice Matters Award upon me. I thought that was so sweet!! I’m passing the award along to Beadexplorer, Crymson, and Phoenix. Please stop by all of their blogs to say hello:)

And, here’s one that Jafabrit will appreciate. Today, my latest piece, ‘History Repeated’ made it onto the Urban Art website. This site is powered by Flikr, which is how my piece was discovered, and it is listed under the Banksy Graffiti category! You can view the entire page HERE.

That’s the news for now. Please stop by tomorrow to learn about my next piece:)

15 thoughts on “>Steel Town

  1. >These kinds of handbags are always so beautiful. You are indeed lucky to have inherited it–I only wish I knew someone who could repair it for you.There are societies who specialize in dressing in antique clothing. Perhaps you could locate one and from there find a lead to someone who could fix it.

  2. >Awwww Thanks LB!!! That bag is really precious and you should definitely have it restored. Antique store owners might know of someone who specializes in restoring beautiful bags like that. I have a small box of those antique faceted steel seed beads. They truely are treasures, I’ve always been worried they they’d cut through any thread used to sew with them.

  3. >Thanks, LB! That’s so sweet of you.🙂 And that is one gorgeous bag! It brings to mind an image of a fabulously glam and bobbed flapper girl out on the town sipping a cocktail at the bar. I wish you luck in being able to restore it.

  4. >It must have been all the metal beads. Pretty funny that it set off the dectors at the airport. The new peice sounds pretty interesting too, although how you’ll top the last one, I’m not sure!

  5. >We were lucky enough here in Milwaukee to have an exhibition of beaded bags a year and a half ago. The exhibit spanned centuries – one of my favorites was a bag done in the 60s with white plastic beads.Your bag, however is so cool and to think that your grandmother owned and used it…I’ll check with some of my beady friends to see if they know of anyone who can do restoration.

  6. >Supple eh? And heavy? Have any of the beads rusted? I saw a piece like this from a friend who worked at the museum. It’s incredible! I don’t know if she has any ideas on how to restore it, but I’ll ask. Could take awhile as she is in italy at the moment.Cheers, Denise

  7. >You made my day! Not only because you have passed the Nice Matter Award along to me (I need to remember to pass it along, too) but also because of that handbag. Is it loomed??? You had never told me that you possess something like that. I will have to show my Mum! I would love to see it in person!🙂 And ask again in a few years, maybe I would be able to restore it then.🙂

  8. >Urban art! Yes I do appreciate, that is VERY COOL!!!!!!!!!!!What a lovely thing to find (the bag). It is a shame that it’s in such poor shape because it is beautiful.still grinning about urban art, NICE one lone beader.

  9. >Lovely handbag!Yes, you must find someone to restore it!It’s so precious!!I don’t have internet as before so I stopped updating my blog.But when I can I still visit one blog or two!:-)I saw you changed your avatar!It’s no longer that nice dog!!!Why a skull?!!!!Dog was so much nicer!!!Anyway can yo utell me how you do to display that small box with html to the skull?I would like to do that for my avatar…In Spring I’ll be updating again, i hope!!So you have a lot of time to answer me back!!

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