Ask Shona: Your Questions Answered

I arranged my very first live Q&A session on our Facebook page last Sunday morning. In one hour I answered all kinds of questions from customers and friends of friends.

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Here are a couple of great questions with my answers.

 Sarah Gabrielle De Marcos Hi Shona, I am looking for a bag to see me through winter and want something small and easy to wear. I carry around a Mulberry black willow tote for work everyday, however it becomes very heavy with files and I need something to put my purse, iphone, reading glasses and other small items in but don’t want to carry around anything else bulky. I have a bright orange wool coat from Hobbs that I wear, red puffa jacket and brown waxed jacket that I mostly wear to work. Any ideas??

  • Shona Easton Hi Sarah, Thank you for the question I’m guessing you would want a bag with a long shoulder strap so that you could wear it ‘hands free’ across the body? If you want a really small bag, my black glazed kid leather mini shoulder bag is good and would go with all your colours. It’s also small enough to put in inside your tote if you want to keep everything together.…

    Mini across (X) body handbag, perfect for a night…
  • Sarah Gabrielle De Marcos Just about to look on your website now! Thanks

    And another great Question:

  •    Marcia Guyot Do you plan on doing diaper handbags something like JJ Cole in the states?
    • Shona Easton Hi Marcia, It is something I’ve thought about in the past but I’ve never got around to putting one into production. My idea was to design a bag that had the spaces for all the baby things and then a special separate part for Mum’s purse, phone, etc so that you only need one bag when you go out. How does that sound?
    • Marcia Guyot It would be brilliant! I bought one like that 4 years ago in the states but now it’s all worn. If you could also include a changing mat as well that would be brill. Will look for the old one I have to show you.excited at the thought of a replacement:)
    • Shona Easton Yes, it would include the changing mat – it needs to be made to fold nicely and fit into the bag! May I ask how much you would expect to pay for this bag? Mine would probably be in fabric with leather trim or an all leather version. Thanks, Marcia!
    • Martha Fraser Yes I would love a nappy bag !! Room for nappies,bottles, clothes, purse, changing mat and maybe have an extension compartment for when you go out for a day trip or you get the second child and you need to carry more stuff!!
    • Martha Fraser Most nappy bags that are sold in baby shops range from €30-80, however even the €80 ones are not amazing…so for you to design and create a nappy bag I imagine it would probably be €200-€300 ? This would be a great gift for a first time mum to last her through out her child years.
    • Shona Easton Thanks Martha and Marcia. Looks like I’d better get my designing head on
    • Marcia Guyot If it was leather then defo the €200-€300 or a material that’s easy to wipe clean. This my one really loved it.…/jj-cole-technique-diaper-bag…

Melon Pear & Orange Smoothie

A lovely sweet breakfast smoothie. Recipe: 1/3 to 1/2 a Charantais melon 1 cup orange juice 1 large pear, peeled and cored 2 or 3 ice cubes Mix all ingredients together in a blender and drink immediately. Serves 2.

Harris Tweed Collection: Preview

 Please click to view.  Click here to order: there is limited availability from mid November 2014.

Twin Set: Tweed

I sometimes get asked if we do matching purses to go with our handbag designs and so, this year I’ve started making purses to go with our tweed bags. Here are a couple of examples. Both these fine lambswool tweed fabrics are from Johnstons of Elgin in the highlands of Scotland. I love the colour…

Pear Smoothie

Hello. If you’ve seen my recent photos on Facebook and Instagram, you will have noticed that I’m dealing with a lot of pears (and apples) right now. We inherited 4 beautiful espaliered old and knarled pear trees, in Normandy, France, about 7 years ago and I’m still learning how to care for the trees as…

Where To Find A New Handbag

The great thing about selling (and designing of course) handbags, is that there are a whole host of different kinds of outlet who want to offer your designs to their customers and clients. Today, I’m featuring a rural stockist in Normandie, France. Normandy Inn, France Kevin and Steve run this amazing B&B or Chambre d’Hotes…

From the Archives: Spot

The ‘Spot’ collection of handbags and travel bags is 8 years old! Hands up if you still have one. I’ve definitely seen a khaki spot handheld around Cranleigh recently. I loved the fabric, it was a pure linen twill from an Italian fabric mill. The actual base colour is the natural spot and the khaki,…

A French Tart

I’m dealing with a glut of apples and pears this year so I thought I’d experiment with my favourite apple tart recipe. Simple Tarte Tatin This upside down apple tart is usually made in 1 large flan tin but I’ve decided to experiment with making individual portion tarts in a silicon muffin tray. Put the…

St Malo Sunrise

Hello from France. Yesterday, I woke up to a beautiful sunrise, as we sailed into St Malo harbour.

New Pockets Tote: Navy

I just thought I’d post a photo of last weeks best selling handbag, the navy pockets tote. It’s a particularly nice shade of navy, not too bright and not too dull and the slightly contrasting thread shows off the seaming and stitching detail on the bag. Only 3 navy left now!