Wednesday 29 February 2012

What's in my bag?

Generally speaking I'm not what you would call a nosy parker, until handbags come into play that is, one of my favourite things to do in an idle moment is google  'What's in my handbag?' to read through a few blog posts or watch a couple of YouTube videos of people revealing the contents.  I blame Margaret Thatcher. Why Margaret Thatcher you say?  Well, it's simple really - I remember seeing a trailer a few years ago for either a documentary or some spoof-type sketch called 'Inside Maggie's Handbag' - the infamous bag in which she kept many a paper to keep it from being leaked, and it set me to imagining the innards of most handbags I see!  After all the glee I've had from being a handbag voyeur it seemed about time to put my own post out there and redress the karma balance slightly.

So here she is - my current baggy love, I've had her for a good 5 years now and she came from the most beautiful shop I've ever visited, a little place called 'Joy' which was open for about 2 years in Nottingham. It was tucked away down a little side street in the city centre and stepping inside was like entering another dimension, a dimension oozing elegance and quirky, girly, airy loveliness.  Oh how I wish I had taken pictures - scores of them so that I could share them with you all because everything from the flooring, the wallpaper, the music and the displays to the stock itself was a feast for the eyes.  It was rare to walk out of that shop without a tissue-wrapped little parcel inside a beautiful paper carrier, but I'm getting off-tangent here!  I was wooed by this bag partly as I'd made something similar for my GCSE Textiles project - a bag from a recycled blazer and a skirt from recycled denim - only it hadn't looked nearly as pretty. This was made by a Paris-based company called Les Cakes De Bertrand who produce gorgeous accessories and have two boutiques in Paris, one of which used to have a gorgeous tea salon but they are also stocked in a couple of places in the UK (sadly not in Joy any longer since it closed! *sniff*). {A little editing - even Joy's website is gone now, but this is a leftover index page full of the sort of loveliness  they once sold: Joy)

It has a back of heavy brocade fabric (possibly old curtains?!).

The sleeve of the old blazer acts as a top flap to the bag and I love that the cuff-buttons are still there.

Last but not least - the contents, pretty dull actually - take from that what you will!

  • Pop-out Denman hairbrush because I have very un-glamourous and knotty hair.
  • The green ball thing? It sticks to the back of my iPhone to prop it up for watching videos
  • A little leather bound notebook
  • Behind that another tiny notebook from Penguin
  • A couple of teabags because you never know!
  • My very battered green leather purse with tooled peacock courtesy of my lovely Mum
  • A purple pen I take everywhere
  • Max-Factor Masterpiece mascara, my only makeup essential - wear it almost every day
  • A book just in case, this one is Tennyson's Later Poems
  • Vintage Stratton mirror compact - this goes everywhere too
  • Headphones for my iPhone, like to have music to fall back on if it's too rainy/crowded for a book

My iPhone would have made an appearance too had I not been snapping the pictures with it, oh and my house key which is currently in the door as I'm at home, curled up on the sofa writing this.

I'd love to see inside your handbags too! Feel free to tweet me if post something similar and I'll be over to check it out in swift fashion! 

P.S - My fabulous friend Sara writes a brilliant Plus-Fashion (and related musings, there are all kinds of thoughtful posts) blog called Scribblings of a Brit Girl and happens to share my handbag contents curiosity so we cooked up the idea of posting simultaneous handbag posts, sneak over and take a peek here.


  1. i love seeing in peoples bags :) I love your leather bound note book

  2. Oooh i love this 'whats in the handbag' blog post! I have so much rubbish in my bag its embarassing. Maybe i'll do one for a laugh somewhen;. The shop sounded like it was amazing! Scarlett x

  3. I adore this bag! And I really do too miss was such a wonderful shop, and I'd always come out with something I didnt mean to buy but would really rather like and treasure.

    Really love how the contents are so totally you....and people, that purse is stunning close up, having been lucky enough to see it in the flesh so to speak!

    But overall, such a classy contents....and I'm now going to follow suit and carry teabags in my handbag from now on!

  4. ooh wow this bag is so amazing and I love what you have in it too, not surprised there are teabags and notebooks! the vintage compact is stunning, id love one like that x

  5. That bag is just adorable and have to say the contents of yours are very tidy most the stuff in my bag is junk id be embarrassed if anyone looked in it lol

  6. Love how you carry two of my favourite things - Tennyson poems and a vintage compact. I might have to follow your lead with the tea bags.

  7. Right up my street too Jem. Where's the tissues, wet wipes, plasters, safety pins, painkillers, emergency tampons...just my bag then?!

    Lovely post, your contents are just what I'd imagine of you.

    Lucy x

  8. I have a tupperware pot of decaf coffee in mine, I wish I drank tea, so much more streamlined!

    Lovely bag and stylish essentials - I thought it must be planned when I saw Sara's post and yours in my reader! x

  9. Joy is alive and well! Check out where your nearest store is -

    1. It's sadly not the same place - but thank you very much! Unfortunately the little shop called Joy that was in Nottingham was a tiny independent shop, it used to have a website but even that has gone now. xXx

  10. Those penguin notebooks are the cutest! I've written an 'in my bag' post too :)

  11. Oh wow what a lovely bag. I love what's in your bag posts. I think it's mostly because I'm nosy!!

  12. Would you believe I do not have a hand-bag! I can't stand the things and squeeze what I need in my purse - except when my husband's with me, and then it goes in his pockets...he's very handy like that. Ha!
    And dear Jem, I don't think the things in your hand-bag are boring. At all.

  13. Very interesting Jem, I like it. I think you would like the leather wallets we sell where I work (Victoria Station handbags and luggage) and I LOVE the emergency tea bags. Unfortunately I carry a suitcase wherever I go, it would be a very long post as I tend to carry the world with me... then again it would be very amusing too!

  14. Very tidy! My handbag is full of bus tickets and receipts from shops, a few paper handkies, fluffy mints which escaped from their packet, pens (broken) and my purse, which is also full of receipts and bus tickets! Not very glamorous, I'm afraid!!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  15. What a lovely handbag, I just love the pretty fabric on the back. You carry around far more interesting things, then I do..mine is cluttered and pretty dull (it can take me a good few minutes rummaging around in it, just to find what I am looking for :P).

  16. We’re all just nosey really, but what a lovely bag with shiningly neat contents!

  17. You're funny! Just a hoot.

  18. I'm guilty of bag nosiness too, gotta admit! Yours is far nicer and organised than mine though; mine is like Mary bloody Poppins' bag with all the stuff I hoard about. Nice choice of stuff (and good call on the teabags) x

  19. Very cute. Love your handbag.

    P.S. We are having a giveaway on our blog for a personalized necklace. If you have time please stop by and enter.

  20. I love seeing the classic 'what's in my bag?' posts, they never fail to intrigue me! Your bag is lovely and certainly treasured, it's such a shame the shop closed down.
    Also I wouldn't be without a notebook in my bag either, it's always an essential xxx

  21. i never get bored seeing the "what's in my bag?" post, maybe coz i'm nosey? hehe and I love your bag, the story and how you came by it is just priceless, wish the shop is still open, from your description of the place, sounds like heaven! :) i love your stratton mirror compact and your purse with tooled peacock from your mom! and ohhh TEAA is a must to bring coz you'll never know! loveee that! will pop over to sara's blog after this!

    x susan

  22. I love your bag Jem, not sure I've ever seen something like it! It's funny, there is a chain of shops called Joy which I've seen around London, not sure if it has anything to do with the one you knew.. it sells clothes and trinkets and tea cups etc.. Glad to see you carry tea around with you!! :) I may do a similar post soon <3 xxx

  23. It is interesting to read these kind of posts. You obviously like your little modern gadgets as much as your vintage. Love that bag too - what a shame Joy closed down!


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