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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"Temporarily Employed" Author @VickiBatman vs. Margo in a Battle Royale! The Purse-Off!

To celebrate the release of her new book, "Temporarily Employed", author Vicki Batman is joining me today for a bit of fun. Here on Margo's Red Light Fiction District, I mostly talk about books, but that's not my only hobby/addiction. I also have unholy love for handbags in general, and Kate Spade in particular. Vicki loves handbags so much she features a new one on her blog each week. If you haven't checked out her blog or her Pinterest page, I highly recommend doing so. She's not just a great author. She's also got fabulous taste!
 From Vicki Batman:
When Margo invited me to her blog, we decided to post about something we love: handbags.
I adore handbags and have acquired many over the years. I have vintage, handmade, and designer ones. But mostly, I look at vintage. For a while, the designers were churning out the same ol’ style: large garbage bag. That was so not buttoned-up, nice, value-conscious me. And I would much rather buy a whole passel of bags for $100 than one. Of course, it depends on the bag.
So Margo and I came up with three categories: Best Bargain; Most Over-the-Top; and Least Practical. I doubt Margo can top mine. LOL


If you have a favorite amongst these handbags, don't be shy - let us know in the comments.  If you don't, how will we determine a victor?

Vicki's Handbags

Best Bargain: This is a lovely rectangular, green kid leather bag, definitely vintage, and I can’t read the manufacturer. The handle is short which I like as shoulder bag handles fall off my shoulders. The catch is plastic with a fun gold latch. Surprisingly, it does hold many items. But I bet you are wondering how is this a best bargain? I paid $3.00 for it at a flea market. Go me!
I’ve purchased many a vintage bag and some have never been carried. Surprising—right? So that makes them brand new in my book. But if it had been carried, wouldn’t it be lovely to think of that bag belonging to someone special who had been given it by someone special or picked out for a special occasion.
Most Over-the-Top: Many of you will recognize this sparkly embellished with everything from the kitchen sink handbag from the sixties. It’s an Enid Collins. Collins of Texas opened its doors in Medina, Texas in 1959, producing whimsical, happy handbags. Enid Collins, owner and designer, operated the company until 1970, when it was purchased by the Tandy Leather Corporation. Each purse was decorated by hand with paint, sequins, and rhinestones in themed designs. They were intended to be good quality, fun day handbags.
Mine is entitled “Cable Car.” And in case you are wondering, I do have six more Enid bags, all different (and two papier mache brooches). I probably paid about $70.00 for this lovely one. A lot of things fit inside. It does get a tad heavy as the bottom is wooden—rare nowadays!

Least Practical: Sometimes, when I go out, I carry a party bag. This little pink box with a very long chain was gifted to me by my sister. Being small in size, I can get my phone, a couple of cards and cash, and a small lipstick in it. The case is plastic covered in a pink Parisian themed fabric. Can you say A-DOR-A-BLE!
I have no idea about the cost as this one was a gift. However, what I like about handcrafted handbags is they are handcrafted. And sometimes, you can work with a designer to create a unique piece.
But for every day wear, yeah, not practical. Sometimes, I like to carry a small needlepoint project and that wouldn’t fit; yet, I wouldn’t be taking a needlepoint project to a concert. LOL



Margo's Handbags

Best Bargain: This pink Coach beauty ended up costing me a grand total of $27. I bought it at a fabulous site for like-new clothes and accessories called Thred Up. I used a coupon for new customers, and scored big. It's the perfect size for me to be able to carry everything I need, without being so big that I end up with shoulder/back pain. I love a big purse, but it doesn't always love me back. It's a little plain, but I have plans to fix that by next spring. I'm thinking of adding a flower garden to the front flap to really make it pop. Yes, I'd be defiling a Coach bag, but it was so inexpensive I don't care. If I screw it up, I'll replace it.
Most Over-the-Top: I have a confession. I'm a Pinterest junkie with a crochet addiction. Sometimes I see fabulous designer bags, and I think to myself  "I could make that." Especially when the designer bags cost over $2000. So I decided last winter to put my hook where my pins are. I bought a basic leather handbag from Amazon, and some black size 3 crochet thread from Michaels. I found a free pattern for a modern type of fan lace on Pinterest, of course, and got to work. It had to re-do the lace several times to get it the right size/shape, and glueing it on to the purse took several tries. Finally I bought a gold bracelet, and broke it apart for the gold embellishment. The links are individually sewn on to add a touch of bling. Sewing through leather is tough! This purse may not be completely over the top in appearance, but it sure is in effort.
Least Practical: I found this salmon-pink, snakeskin beauty on sale at Franklin Covey. Who knew they sold purses? I didn't, but I was happy to take this large handbag home at a bargain price. It was supposedly big enough to hold all my stuff including a 14 inch laptop, and had all kinds of little pockets in it for phones, pens, lipstick, etc. Perfect right? Not so much it turns out. The only laptop which actually fits in the purse is too small for me to actually do any work on. Also, if I do stick a laptop and all my purse contents in the bag, it's too heavy for my shoulder. The shoulder strap is painful to use when the bag is fully loaded, and is not attached to the bag well enough to actually support the weight. Using it for any time at all results in a big pull in the side of the purse. Good idea and looks practical, but does not deliver.

Author bio:

Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm--the list is endless, giving her plenty of material for her writing.

Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.
Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

Find Vicki at:

Plotting Princesses:


  1. OMG Margo, I think we have a tie on best bargain. $27 for a Coach bag??!!! And go coupon girl you! Your blingy one is pretty clever and glad to find a fellow Pinner in you. But I think I have more. Lace, rhinestones--pretty unbeatable combination. The least practical-I really dislike spending money on something that looks like it will deliver and doesn't. I feel your pain on this one. You want it too, yet... Good job!

  2. I'd have to pick the pink handbag, only because it has a side pocket perfect for cell phone. I hate small bags. I am a bag lady, but not necessarily purses. I like to carry an Ipad mini, makeup, pens, wallet, anything else I think I might need. And receipts cause I'm bad about cleaning them out. And change. When it gets too heavy, I clean it out.

    1. Hi, Shirley and thank you for posting today. I only carry little bags for evenings. Just a lipstick, cards, a few dollars and most of the time, not my phone. Large handbags that are full can hurt your back and cause sciatica. Yikes! So be careful loading up. Hugs.

  3. I love all these bags. I'm so stuck on just one at a time. Until the lining rips and the handle is falling off! Can you please come help me go shopping?

    1. YES! I absolutely will go purse shopping with you. There are so many pretty ones available. I recently made a trip to the Kate Spade outlet and came out with two new bags. They're gorgeous and you'll really have to work at it to use them until the handle falls off. The best part? It was a 50% off sale, plus I had a coupon. I got 75% off one bag and 60% off the other. Wahoo!

    2. Hi, Janie! And a yes from me too. For me, it is the *eye*. Look at handbags wherever you go. And do what Margo did and use those coupons. (BTW, great score on the Kate Spades!)

  4. Hi, Margo and well rats. I wrote something and it didn't appear. So am trying again. Girl, for best bargain your Coach is rocking. And go Ms. Couponer you! Excellent value as Handsome would say. lol. As for most bling-I think I won because not much is blingier than an Enid Collins. However, you do get lots of points for trying pinterest things and I will definitely have to go look you up. As for most impractical- you might win this won too. What's sad is spending money on something we have high hopes for and the hopes don't pan out. Thank you so much for having me today!

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  6. I love your vintage bags Vicki! They're so unique, especially the one with the wooden bottom. If I had to pink one though, I'd steal your little pink bag. It's adorable!

    1. Thank you so much, Margo. I like my Enids. They are blingy with great taste. However, not all Enid Collins bags look like this. I have a gorgeous red one with an incredible closure of pea pods and birds. Just cruise through Etsy or Ebay sometime and look at them. And yes, I have Enid papier mache brooches.

  7. The bags are so pretty! I love them. The green is my favorite color but the $27 bag is the right size for me, just the wrong color. Great job both of you! :)

    1. Hi, Melissa! I like the green bag color too. Right? $27 is an excellent price. I have a similar one in the typical Coach tan/brown. Thanks for posting.