Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Gypsy Bags Coming: Steamship Keys & All The Gorgeous Details

Details from the new XL Gypsy Messenger Bag from Urban Heirlooms.  Shown while still in progress, this one is lined with a classic ticking stripe and features an inside zippered pocket and cell phone pocket, plus a patch pocket on the back with a leather tie.  Coming soon!

I had so much fun with and got so much attention from my last collection of leather and crochet lace gypsy bags, I decided to continue in that vein and work on another collection.

This group will feature a burnt sugar brindled leather (think caramel colored with darker striations of color throughout the hide), more fabulous antique keys and matching antique brass hardware, plus lots of special, nifty little details I think you'll really love.

Making History:  An antique key from the Commonwealth Steamship makes a special souvenir on the new XL Gypsy messenger bag.

The gypsy bag I just finished stars one amazing antique key!  It's a stateroom key from the steamship Commonwealth; Room 176 to be exact.  I wonder what guests slumbered in that fancy cabin?

Contemporary painting of Commonwealth by amateur artist James Bard, c. 1860

"Commonwealth was a large sidewheel steamboat built in 1854–55 for passenger service on Long Island Sound. The most celebrated Sound steamer of her day, Commonwealth was especially noted for the elegance and comfort of her passenger accommodations, which included gas lighting, steam heating, and an "enchantingly beautiful" domed roof in her upper saloon...

"The saloon deck also featured an after cabin fitted with thirty large sofas, allowing passengers to "sit and enjoy the magnificent prospect of the evening passage on the Sound with comfort.  The main passenger deck (housed) 120 staterooms, fitted with two beds each, and a number of bridal suites. The staterooms were large, well-ventilated, and designed with "Oriental elegance", incorporating materials such as satin damask, moquette, lace, velvet tapestry, and rosewood furniture.  Also on this deck, abaft of the engine room, was "a spacious and splendid ladies' cabin, unsurpassed in style and finish."

"During the American Civil War, (the Commonwealth) was part of the transport network that moved northern state Union regiments to the battlefront. Commonwealth's end came prematurely when she was destroyed by a dockyard fire at Groton in December 1865." - Wikipedia

How's that for history in the making?


  1. Wow this is AWESOME! I love how you have the little key there! It is so creative!!

  2. Thanks, Heather! That's my favorite part, too. :)

  3. So much history to your creation - that is wonderful!

  4. Thank you, SisterBatik! I got really excited when I found out where this key came from.

  5. I can't wait for the reveal,looks great so far.

  6. Its so beautiful. Such a rich story to go with the bag.

  7. Jacqueline, thank you! It's not very often that I find out that much detail about one of my keys.

  8. Already love this collection, we know I'm a sucker for lace and there's so much history behind these pieces! Awesome work, can't wait to see the final products! :-)

  9. Thank you, Wahkuna! I'm glad you love it as much as I do. :) By the way, you can see the finished product here (she got swept up pretty fast. Yay!)

    I'm happily working on a few more to round out the collection, so do check back soon for a peek.


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