Sunday, 22 September 2013


In this second Post Series about where the fabric I use comes from, I am taking you to ......
  • Country - Japan
  • Area      - Kyoto

  • ·         Toji Temple & Flea Market              

     Toji Temple or "East Temple", was founded just after the capital was moved to Kyoto in the late 700s.

    The large temple, together with it's now defunct sister temple Saiji or "West Temple", flanked the south entrance Temple to the city, and served as the capitol's guardian temples. Toji Temple is one of Kyoto's UNESCO world heritage sites.
    On the 21st of each month, there is a flea market in the grounds of the temple from early morning until late afternoon. There are a wide variety of stalls selling new and second hand goods, including clothes, tools, sculptures, kimono, antiques, pottery, toys, plants and food.


    • Story
    Well it was raining heavily when we arrived at the Temple and there were very few people around. It didn't look as though the flea market was set up and I was really disappointed. I mean, to come all the way to Japan and hope to buy a secondhand kimono and be lucky enough to visit on the day that the monthly flea market is held and then for the weather to be so bad that no stalls are set up!!
    We had a look around and were just heading back to the entrance when I saw 2 stalls in the distance. I persuaded Mr F that we should go and check them out, even in the pouring rain, and lo and behold one of them was the kimono stall!!
    I couldn't believe my luck, and started rummaging through the boxes to find something suitable. I bargained for a good price but didn't bargain too hard as the poor man who owned the stall had set up in the appalling rain. However, I did purchase this beautiful kimono and obi sash. I would love to know the history behind these kimonos. Where were they made and by whom, at what cost .... and who was lucky to own and wear them?

    What I Was Hoping To See!!

    Beautiful Obi Sash

    And this wonderful fabric was used in the following bags ...
    Teamed with soft black leather.

    What do you think?


    Thursday, 19 September 2013



    These Carpet Bags are extremely roomy and close securely with a large frame. Open them up and you have a roomy bag with the addition of a large zippered pocket and also 2 other pockets! Oh, and the knowledge that you are the only person with this bag!!

    More on their way .....

    Saturday, 14 September 2013


    When I talk about my work at the hospice, many people either change the subject or pull one of those faces and say how sad that must be.
    Whilst people don't like to talk about death, the reality is that death is the one certainty in life for all of us. With the approach of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day on the 12th of October, I would like to take the opportunity to describe a typical day at my workplace, a Hospice.

    First off, the Hospice is not just a place for patients with palliative illness to come and die.
    The staff work together as a multidisciplinary team and provide physical and emotional care to patients and their families, understanding and dignity.

    The patients coming to the Daycare unit arrive and it's smiles all around as we give them a cheery welcome. Chatting is done over a cup of something warm with hopefully a good choice of biscuits! I think it is important to see them as individuals first and foremost and their illness second. For some patients, this is the only day in their week that they are able to leave the confines of their homes and mix with other people. I like to give them all nicknames which they like and it makes relationships more personal.
    Some will enjoy aromatherapy massage treatments and they chatter away and tell me about their week, things they have done, people they have seen etc. But above all, we just have a good laugh, tease each other, share stories .... normal things.
    When its time for afternoon tea, it's common practise for me to go around them saying that they can't possibly be hungry and won't want a piece of that yummy looking cake. We all know that this is a ruse so that there will be cake left over for me! Oh they all know what my weaknesses are!!
    They leave for home feeling happier, more relaxed after having had a lovely day outside of their normal routine and already looking forward to their next visit.

    I will maybe treat outpatients who just come for complementary therapy and also go and see patients who are on the inpatient unit. They all want to know what I have been up to since they last saw me, what plans I have for holidays just as friends are with each other.

    Having lost my mum to lung cancer 17 years ago at the age of just 60, from a disease that took her away from her loved ones within 6 weeks of diagnosis, I thank God for Hospices and the care given to people who stay in them. My mum was able to die with comfort and dignity, with a feeling of security whilst surrounded by her family. I wish that for anyone who is dying.

    The flip side of the coin is what we as people who work in Hospices get out of working in such a setting. Sometimes it can be very sad as you do form attachments to patients but above all else, I get back what I put in ten times over. Yes I really do!
    I feel immensely privileged, humbled and lucky, to get to know so many of these patients. They come from all sorts of backgrounds and careers, and share their journeys with me. They are courageous, brave and dignified and make me feel so so proud of them. I love hearing about their lives, their families, their hobbies and what is important to them. They tease me, joke with me and I really don't mind in fact I love it! They are truly inspiring!!

    I hope that I have raised awareness and understanding of hospices and palliative care.
    I also hope that I have shown how rewarding the work is and maybe encouraged some of you to volunteer at your local Hospice in the future.

    Thursday, 12 September 2013

    FRIDAY ....


    What do you have planned for the weekend?

    Mr F and I are going to look at a Nissan Micra to maybe lease as a second car, and it's my birthday on Sunday ...... hopefully breakfast in bed and lunch at a lovely restaurant for me!!

    And another Friday Fascinating Fact for you :

    Nomophobia is the fear of being out of mobile phone contact! Is this something that you suffer from?

    IT'S BEEN A WHILE ....

    Hello..... I am back!

    Well my sewing machine took a LONG time to be repaired and I have felt bereft without it. I have though, managed to catch up on some jobs around the house, like painting all the outside window frames etc. We hired a cherry picker lift for 3 days and this was a great help reaching the highest areas as neither Mr F or myself fancied getting up a ladder at that height.
    I am busy catching up on my sewing and have completed 3 Doctor Style Bags, which should be in the shop by the end of the week!
    In the meantime, here are some pictures of zipper clutches that I promised way back when!!!

    More on where I purchased this beautiful fabric ....

    Friday, 23 August 2013


    Well my week started off just fine, until my sewing machine decided to give up on me and play silly beggars!! After managing to fix it, or so I thought, I have now come to a complete standstill and think the only solution is to get an engineer to service/fix it for me. I managed to nearly complete 3 new Doctor Style bags, but as it's bank holiday this weekend, that will have to surfice which is SO annoying.

    I have been doing a bit of research into colours for Autumn/Winter and came across this report from Pantone.

    I love Autumn, it's my most favourite season and these colours are beautiful, especially the rich purple and the orange. I look forward to incorporating this colour palette into my new bags.

    I will hopefully post some pictures of new zipper clutches over the next few days and wish you all a great weekend whatever you have planned.



    The lead guitarist in one of the greatest rock bands of all time, Queen, has a PhD in Physics. He began the program before he joined up with Queen, but then dropped out, finally going back and completing his PhD in 2007.

    Monday, 19 August 2013


    After spending a lot of time trying to sort out a new bag pattern and not getting the result I wanted, I have decided to start a new week with this quote in mind!

    I havn't made any Doctor style bags for a while, so armed with some great fabrics, this is my plan for the rest of this week. I will post some of the newbie bags on Friday!

    Friday, 16 August 2013


    The Fear of dinner party conversations or dinner parties in general is known as Deipnophobia.


    Friday, 9 August 2013


    I read recently that you can count your REAL friends on one hand.
    We all have aquaintances and friends that we chat with and have a laugh with but how many of these people could you realistically call up in the middle of the night and ask for their help?

    I am extremely lucky to be able to count one of my dearest friends in this latter catagory. Her name is Tina although I call her Old Bird and we have known each other for over 10years. She has been through some very tough, devastating and heart breaking times in her life, but her strength of character has pulled her through. She is one of the kindest, caring, thoughtful and selfless people I know, and we have laughed and cried together during our friendship. She inspires me, encourages me and believes in me and I place a very high value on her friendship.

    Sometimes in the mundane routine of our lives we get caught up in the day to day existance of work, chores etc and don't spend as much time with friends as we could do. Sit and think about those dear friends and tell them how much they mean to you. Take them out for lunch, buy them some flowers ... but above all, treasure them!!

    Monday, 5 August 2013

    FABRIC - Where Do You Come From?

    Have you ever wondered where the fabric used to make your purchased handbag came from?

    In this Post Series, I will take you on a journey of discovery, that involves purchasing the fabric through to viewing the finished product!

  • Country - Singapore
  • Area - Arab Street, Little India

  • A bustling, scent filled, colourful street, packed on both sides with traditional businesses selling endless choices of silks, linens, batiks to tempt every shopper.


    I was like a child presented with endless shelves of sweets to choose from. The owner took me under his wing while his wife gave Mr F a seat and opened a packet of biscuits for him while he waited! I could have spent all day in there, it was like aladdins cave! My choice was the beautiful linen/silk/wool blend fabric in rich orange, green and brown, which was brought back home from our holiday and used to make the following bag, accompanied by a rich orange wool fabric!

    What do you think?

    Top Zippered Pouch

    Sunday, 4 August 2013


    I am venturing into the world of blogging!

    Hello ....... let me start off with introductions. My name is Angela Farrow, an English gal currently residing in North Wales, UK. I am married to the wonderful Mr F and we have 2 cats, Jenny and Mr Whitey Woo.
    I work part time in my local Hospice, as an Aromatherapist and have done for the past 17 years and love my time there.

    I am self taught in crafting and run 2 shops on Etsy, heavenlyhandbag and thesimpleword.

    Follow me on a journey of discovery where I aim to inform you, entertain you, and make you laugh.