New Category in the shop:Matched Sets, great gift options

I thought I'd add this option to the shop. I know some people love to have their accessories match. Plus, when shopping for gifts it's nice to find a set in a print you know the giftee will love. It makes the gift that much more special. Especially since most of the matched sets I will be making will be one of a kind.
I have set no parameters on what each set will contain. I'll be looking at the print and doing what it tells me to do, as usual!
I've done a few messenger bags with matching Sweet Pea wallets in the past. For my first offerings, in the new category, I made a few sets of zipper bags, a Scooter and a Raven Coin Purse, or a Scribe Pencil Case and a Raven. I also did a SueBee Drawstring Bag with matching Scribe and Raven.

Here's the Matched Sets category in the shop.


Winter Wagon Ride Tallullah Purse

With 18" of snow on the ground, I thought today was the day to share this bag with you. This fabric looked perfect to feature on the Tallullah. I added the dangly trim, and gimp braid to finish it off. This is a bag you can pull out, and use, every winter. I love it! I hope you do too.

Find it in my shop


Custom Tilly with Kona Bay Fabric and a special offer for my customers

Kathy, owner of Far East Fabrics has kindly offered a 10% discount for my customers who want to purchase their own fabric for my bags. She will even ship it directly to me. Use Zoe as a coupon code during checkout.

She sent me a piece of one of the Kona Bay fabrics, she carries, to make a Tilly Shoulder Bag. She wanted a mesh bottle pocket on the outside, so I turned the inside bottle pocket into a regular pocket. She also added a matching Scribe pen and pencil case. Gorgeous print!



New way to buy flaps for your size bag!

When I first began setting up my own shop there was a lot to learn. It was pretty overwhelming!
As time has gone by, and I've become more proficient in the inner workings, I finally discovered how I can have options in a listing. You know how many sites let you pick size and color for the item you are buying? I couldn't figure out how to do that for my shop. Well, ta da I finally did, last week.

What this means is that I can offer all Morphin flap sizes in one listing. Up till now I've done one listing for each size. That's a lot of work, and I have only done it for a few popular prints. I don't have any listed for the Lynx line or the Panthers. Now I can list one print in all sizes, in one listing. This is a great find!

Now people who have more obscure Morphins, such as the Falcon, the Hawk and the Panthers can have the same selection as owners of Zeldinas and Zeldas. If your flap isn't listed it's because the fabric motif is too large for your flap, or your flap is too large for the piece of fabric.

Due to the small amount of fabric I buy, in each print, there won't be enough of most, to make a flap in every size. A Panther flap might take all the print in one order. This means everything is still limited and if you love a fabric don't wait around thinking there is a lot of it. :-)

I will adjust the flap options available for each print as someone buys a flap.
You can still order directly from me, of course, but this lets you browse and buy any time you like.
There will still be some listings, for some styles, the Zeldina and the Zeldas, but I will begin to slowly go through the listings and add the options to those that qualify~

Here's the new category
I started adding the Winter fabrics first. I hope it will be more useful to my regular customers!


Frida Kahlo Tallullah Purse

I made a Britta tote with this fabric a while ago. I had enough left to make something else. But what? The Tallullah Purse turned out to be the perfect showcase! I used the remainder of the print on the front and back, so you could carry it with either side toward the front.

You can find this one of a kind bag in my shop here!



4 new Christmas/ Winter Fabrics in stock

Winter Berries

Lacy Snowflakes

Snowflakes on Sapphire

Golden Scrolling

Based on customer input I ordered these four beautiful prints. I only have a half yard of each so they might not last long. They are all listed, as Morphin flaps, all sizes, in the shop. You can find them in a brand new section that allows you to order all sizes from one listing. I'll be blogging about that soon. As always, you are welcome to drop me an e-mail ordering your flap , or bag, made with one of them!


Custom order Coyote BackPack makes two people happy!

This was an interesting project. The order came from a person who wanted to get a back pack as a gift for her sister. So I worked with her sister to create her perfect backpack. Since she was using it for work she wanted it to be subtle. She had specific needs in pockets, so we worked on making them fit the things she carried, rather than the other way around.

No Zoe Pocket Set in this pack. Instead, we put a full panel front pocket, accessible from the top rather than the side, one side pocket, and one lower front, zipper pocket, also accessible from the side. She wanted to be able to reach around and grab her sunglasses, wallet etc. while still wearing her pack. Padded shoulder straps, and a carry handle, finished it off. But she wanted to have color on it somewhere, so we made the back brown. Then she wondered if I could add some color to the inside of the pockets. Sure I said. I lined the pockets with bright colors of pack cloth, each one different!

She was pleased with the pack, but the comments I received from her sister really made my week.

"Karen, big giant THANKS for the fabulous backpack. Susan called me last night and went on for nearly 15 minutes about all the ways in which it is absolutely perfect, and even better than she had dared to imagine! It's exactly, exactly right for her - fits everywhere she wants to put it, holds everything she needs to hold, and is sleek and stylish and sturdy, too. She was really impressed with the craftsmanship. She's also so happy to have something that was tailored precisely to her needs - nothing wasted and nothing missing.

Being able to give somebody I love such a PERFECT gift really made my day/week/month/season. Thanks so very much for your excellent work, and for being so easy to work with!!



Asian Soaring Cranes and Pagoda Panther Messenger Bag

I made a few of my largest size messenger bag, the Panther Deluxe, for the shop a while ago. They sold quite quickly, so I got a few more into motion. This is a Panther, so no side pockets, but the print is incredible. A real beauty!
Find it in the shop by clicking here


A custom Zeldina and some kind words!

"My purse was in the mailbox when I got home from work yesterday and within 10 minutes I had everything switched over. Same great quality as the first one and I love it. They are so sturdy but yet so pretty. One thing I did with the first one and then with this one,was cut a sturdy piece of cardboard and put it inside on the bottom. It now stands up tall without falling over after I filled it up. Just a hint for anyone that is using it as a purse and not for a laptop. Take care and good luck in your business.

Eclectic mix of flaps for a Morphin Zelda Deluxe

I think this selection of flaps illustrates, perfectly, how versatile this style bag is. This customer can completely change the look of her bag, simply by putting on a new flap!


Custom painted Pet Portraits

Last year I blogged about a custom Morphin bag I did for a pet walker. That same customer has returned a few times to pick up new flaps and today she told me about a new business she has launched.
She can paint portraits of your pets, and even does Christmas ornaments with their little faces! They are adorable and she is very talented.
You can find her blog by clicking here.
Tell her Karen said hello!


Christmas Prints for Morphin Bags. Do you want them? Part 2

This looks to be a spectacular print. As I said in the previous post, the snowflakes are 5" so this would be great on the large flaps, such as Lynx and Zelda's, maybe a bit overpowering on the Zeldinas
Let me know if you want one. I will only order the fabric if I hear from you!


Christmas Prints for Morphin Bags. Do you want them?







I am looking at getting a few more prints for Christmas. If you are interested pleased let me know what type of print you might like. I'm not going to offer suggestions because I want the ideas to come from you!
I posed the question on my Facebook Fanpage and the first suggestion was sparkly snowflakes.
Here is an assortment of snowflakes I can order. There are 6 here that would work for all sizes. The largest snowflakes are in the 2.5" range. I will do a following post of a print that has 5" snowflakes, that would work well for the larger Morphin bags. Drop me a note, or post in the comments here on the blog, letting me know if you want one of these for a Morphin flap.



Are you thinking about getting a Morphin flap for Christmas, or winter?

Hello regular blog readers! I am trying to decide if I should get a couple more Christmas themed prints in stock. There are so many to select from that I am overwhelmed.
If you want something in that theme do you had a type in mind? Let me know and maybe we should do a Fabric Frenzy Shopping Spree and see if we can find the right couple of prints for all who are interested!


Morphin Lynx Deluxe Messenger Bag at the Gettysburg Battlefield

Thanks to a wonderful new customer, for taking shots of her brand new bag while on a trip to Maryland.
Taken at the Gettysburg Battlefield, just at sunset, and in the gift center with some Civil War canteens.



Blue Wolf Honeysuckle Zippered Tote

I love this fabric! The print I used on the back, is, clearly, a companion fabric. I imagine it's long out of print since I've had it for a few years. I knew it would be perfect for one of my bag styles. When I bought it I didn't even make the Honeysuckle Totes, but I ran into it while looking for another fabric and knew it was time to make something special.
I hope you agree, it's pretty amazing!
Find it in the shop by clicking here


DIY! Paint your own bags blanks now at Zoe's Bag Boutuque

A few months ago I had one of those light bulb moments. I know I have some artistic people who buy my bags. I had this flash of them painting their own Morphin Messenger Bag flaps. Since the flaps are removable I thought it might be of interest to them to get a "blank" flap and decorate it with their own art work.

I asked a couple of them what they thought. Both were enthusiastic. So I went in search of a fabric. Found something pretty quickly, an untreated cotton canvas, and sent a swatch to each of them.
They were kind enough to provide me with their feedback on the fabric. Both positive.

So I made a flap. Then I thought, hmmm there is no reason why I can't do more of my products in this fabric. So I did a coin purse and a zippered bag. It seems to me that it would be of interest to those who want to give a gift of their own work to a loved one, but also, a nice gift to give to an artistic friend or relative as well.
Click here to find these items in my shop
But I am also open to making some of my other products in this fabric so please feel free to request a custom item!

Feedback from my artistic consultants!

Hi Karen!

I did get the fabric swatch you sent me and got around to painting it today! This is my first time working on any kind of fabric so it was a new (and slightly nerve-wracking) experience. I went for something simple, just a lily on a solid background. I did not have any fabric paints nor did I have the money to purchase some, so I chose to go with what I did have, Gouache paints. They worked very well for my purpose, and the only issue I had to deal with was my colors bleeding when the fabric was still too wet (common problem with watercolors and the like anyway, so I should have expected it).

I was honestly expecting my paint to bleed through the fabric and show through the back, so I was really surprised when it didn't, except for in one tiny spot (which I really overworked so that was my fault). My only concern at this point is that the paint I used is a water-based paint, so getting it wet would be a major no-no without mixing my paints with an acrylic medium of some kind to make them waterproof. Or I could just use a non water-based paint such as actual fabric paints or acrylics. :P Even markers may work (I've seen people use them to color white shoes, very cool).


Hmm... I think that most painters would already have a feel for what they could do with it, although it will take a bit of experimentation to figure out what works best. Acrylic artist's paints would work best if they have a fabric "medium" added. That allows more flexibility once the paint is dry and allows a more fluid paint application without bleeding. Obviously, paint that is manufactured specifically for fabric would be a safe bet, and fabric markers work very well on this material. I would recommend hand-washing or just wiping with a damp cloth for cleaning any of those materials. Anything oil-based will cause fabric breakdown and staining of adjacent fabrics, so I wouldn't suggest that anyone go at it with their artist's oil paints! Cracking would be a problem as well with oils.

As Bonnie discovered, overworking when painting directly on fabric causes problems. When paint is thin, it bleeds, when it is thick it will tend to pile up layers as you work but those layers will be prone to cracking and peeling. I am thinking of starting with fabric markers to sketch on my flap, then using acrylic with fabric medium added to intensify/modify the image. I have been playing around with the fabric markers on the swatch and they work very nicely.



Great new Day of the Dead Sugar Skull fabric

Just got this in. The newest Day of the Dead print from Alexander Henry, called Azucar. Another winner!