Thursday, January 21, 2010

Awesome Product: Unframed Art Bags

Today's Awesome Product, on its face, seems like a bit of a departure for me.  I am not a "bag" person.  I'm not really an accessory person either.  I own one purse, which I never use.  I can count the number of necklaces AND earrings I have on one hand.  I spend most of my life thinking I don't need things like this...until I need them. 

Case in point? My husband's company Christmas party last month.  It's a snazzy affair, one of only a handful of nights each year that find me in dressy clothes and sparkly jewelry.  I went to a favorite store, armed with birthday money from my dad, picked out a couple of dresses, a necklace, and some earrings.  As I was standing in line, I thought, "A clutch!  I need a clutch!"  After realizing that thought was actually in MY head and that I wasn't talking about a car, I had to admit I didn't have time for purse shopping and would have to attend the party without anything to hold my cell phone, lipstick, keys, or spare cash for parking.  All of that ended up staying in the car, and I went to the party clutchless.

You know what would have helped in that situation?  Owning a clutch.  I mean, if I know I'm going to dress up at least 2-3 nights of the year, I should probably have dressy accessories on hand.  These are things I don't realize until I have 30 minutes left to dress, primp, and fix my newly cut hair.  I think, "I really need to invest in something like that," and then promptly forget about it until the next desperate moment.

I think having had that experience recently helped as I took a look at this week's Awesome Product, Unframed Art Bags.  I found the site after Liz Krieger, one of the makers of the bags, became a Facebook fan of The Mother Load and enthusiastically offered to donate one of her creations for my next fan goal. 

People, I read that offer and in my mind I saw a sweet little grandma with her crochet hooks and knitting needles making kitschy sewing bags at home.  I thought, "Aw, that's sweet.  Someone crafty wants to help."

And then I looked at the site.

And then I fell in love.

I am not a bag person.  I am not an accessory person.  What I am, though, is an art person.  I looked at my computer screen and tried to describe what I was seeing.  When I realized I hadn't exhaled in several seconds, I settled on it.  These bags are breathtaking.  They are beautiful, colorful, unique, and breathtaking.

I looked at the price and the Frugal Mom in me thought, "I would never pay $350 for a bag."  But the Frugal Mom in me also knew she wasn't looking at bags.  She turned the meeting over to the Art Lover in me. Art Lover knew $350 for a piece of art this eye-catching was a steal.  She turned to Frugal Mom and said, "And it's art you can USE!  It's functional!  YOUR FAVORITE!"

The bags are handpainted and handsewn, signed by the artists, and available in custom designs.  The designs are so varied, any art lover can find a bag that works for her.  Personally, I'm more in love with the quieter designs and subdued colors.  My friend Becca?  She's probably drooling over the animal prints right now. 

This Christmas, when I'm standing at the checkout counter, birthday money and new dress in hand, I will not be worried about finding a clutch for the big party.  I'll have my custom made Leah clutch from Unframed Art Bags waiting at home.  It will be my gift to myself after I run the 5K for breast cancer.  Or maybe it will be my husband's gift to me.  (Hey, Richard!  You're buying me a clutch!  THANKS!)

The best news?  When you're preparing for your dressed up night out this year, one of you will have a FREE Leah clutch waiting at home too.  Liz is offering the clutch, a $120 value, for our next Mother Load giveaway!  The even better than best news?  I'm keeping track of fan referrals, and every fan you've already referred counts toward this giveaway as well as the Perfect Brownie Pan giveaway.  If you've already referred a bunch of fans, refer a bunch more and up your chances of winning the clutch when I reach my 1000 fan goal.

For the men in my readership:  Trust me.  You want to win this too.  Give your leading lady a $120 Unframed Art bag and you're on the "Best Husband/Boyfriend/Fiance/Son" list for the rest of the year.  Fill it with chocolate and you're set for life.