Friday, 31 December 2010


From now on only biodegradable bags will be allowed.
It is such an admirably bold move,
no messing about the 'deterrent' of charging for the polluting plastic
or making it optional or advisable - an outright ban.
It will be interesting to see how this works and whether
other European countries follow suit.
If it is possible in Italy..... fingers crossed.

I wish you all the happiest of years in 2011
with much love & peace


Sunday, 28 November 2010


I love the seasons and this year each one has been very clearly defined - although thinking back I'm not quite so sure about summer. Still, moving on, autumn colour seemed more glorious than ever and now we have proper snow before December. I love snow.
Next week we have a stand at the Midwinter Fair
It is being held in huge heated marquees at Bedgebury Pinetum which is just off the A21. We were at this event last year and can thoroughly recommend it for getting into the Christmas Groove. I am sharing the stand with my husband Stewart and the recycling project PLEASE watch their new film about their Christmas Trees on YouTube
I shall be selling purses, tiny bags for the tree, spec-cases and The Little Hastings Fish Cook Book which is now in its 3rd print edition.
Life gets pretty hectic from now on
but you know, there should always be time
for a cup of tea with a friend
Love & Peace

Sunday, 17 October 2010


The seasons have not been so clearly defined this year. There is usually a day when you see the change and feel the difference. The trees have hung onto their green leaves and the sun, when it shines, seems too hot somehow. But last night we had our first log fire and the house now has a homely aroma of coziness. Bring it on - I'm ready.
My husband Stewart and our son Roo are busy making hundreds of wooden Christmas Trees, wreaths and stars from recycled pallets for the Conran Shop's Christmas displays worldwide. It's been a huge operation and I am super-proud of their achievement. If you live in Paris, New York, Dublin, Tokyo or London you MUST visit the Conran Shop and see them. The Hastings & Bexhill Wood Recycling Project really know how to raise the bar & hats off to the Conran Shop for commissioning this work in England.
We will be sharing a stand at the Wealden Times Midwinter Fair again and this year it is being
held in giant heated marquees at the awesome Bedgebury Pinetum just off the A21 where they grow the largest assortment of pines in the British Isles. This is a superb and atmospheric Christmas Fair held on 2nd, 3rd & 4th December - please come and say hello. .

So what with that, the Christmas Trees and at last beautiful Autumnal colours to inspire me, I am snipping and stitching lots and lots of new purses & bags. Watch the website for new additions to the range plus the revival of my most popular shopping bag - the organic calico shopper.

But today I'm having a day off. I shall be looking at the leaves & taking Bizzy the dog for a run on the sands at low tide.

Love & Peace


Thursday, 9 September 2010


It's Farmer's Market Day in Hastings today and the sun is shining. We will go with our Market Bags and fill them up with seasonal treats - English apples and perhaps the first fat pumpkin. Autumn has been trying to creep up on us but here on the South Coast we resist until the very last minute. I am continuing my collaboration with the lovely people at Aveda and have just finished a very special order of gorgeous linen and velvet purses that are heading off to New York for fashion week. I wonder whether their handmade-ness will be appreciated...I hope so.
I heard this week that plastic bag take-up has dropped by 47% nationally. That's really is something to celebrate. Look around and notice that people everywhere are now carrying shopping bags. It has become second nature to reach for a bag before leaving home. Success! I am going to be re-introducing my original shopping bags to celebrate - watch the website for a promotional offer on organic calico bags at the end of the month.
Till then carry-a-bag, ride a bike & greet your neighbours
with a smile.
love & peace


Saturday, 24 July 2010


Blogging has taken a bit of a backseat this year for all the right reasons - I've been very busy working and playing. My collaboration with AVEDA continues and I am up to my ears in striped, printed bags due for delivery by the end of the month and there are lots of other interesting projects on the go - more of that later.

I am happy to still be getting online orders from devoted customers all over the world too - so thank you for loving your bags xxx
Anyone who follows the blog will know that I do love a summer festival and this year we has been better than ever with sunshine and warm nights. Glastonbury and Latitude were glorious and I spotted quite a few Carry-a-Bag's which brought a warm glow. (The one in the pic is a 2005 shopper now carrying baby stuff)
My blog entry would not be the same without a little rant and this week I am concerned about the plastic containers used by restaurant's around our way for Take Away food orders. Margins are tight so I am certain they are used because they are the cheapest option - as are plastic bags as opposed to paper bags or cardboard boxes.
"These are absolutely reusable" I thought as I fished them out of my kitchen bin, where my son's tidy friend had deposited them. And they will be used many times in our household but it makes me wonder how many thousands of these perfectly reusable lidded plastic boxes are sent to landfill every day in the UK?
WAY TOO MANY is likely to be the answer. I'll let you know how my research goes.

love & peace & sunshine



Sunday, 2 May 2010

Searching for the Environmental Good News

Yesterday I was close to nature walking in bluebell woods but today is
a rainy Sunday so I nipped out early to get a newspaper. I don't buy them very often anymore but I like to see what reviewers recommend music and book-wise and read the clever funny people's columns.
Environmental news always catches my eye and I read that a dead whale was washed up on the shore in California with a stomach filled with plastic bags and an assortment of other man-made items.(PLEASE DON'T USE PLASTIC BAGS) The oil slick from the ruptured pipeline in the gulf of Mexico is 135 miles long and growing. The oil threatens all marine species and people who make their livings from fishing these waters. ANOTHER MAN-MADE ECOLOGICAL DISASTER THAT NOBODY KNOWS HOW TO FIX.

There was also some GOOD NEWS....
The Danes are building incinerators that burn any non-recyclable household waste to provide both heating and electricity. These new-style incinerators filter out all the bad stuff so that it does not escape to pollute the air or the ground. Toxic compounds are isolated and securely stored in facilities deep underground in abandoned salt mines. They can be sited close to the homes that need the power and heating without the usual protests because they do not emit smelly smoke or dominate the landscape. People want to live nearby to gain the benefit of low cost heating and energy. I think whoever is in government after our election this Thursday should be encouraged to take a serious look at this option.

love & peace

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Nadja's Very Special Card

Those who work from home will understand that sometimes you miss
the daily interaction with the rest of the human race, especially your customers.
Being an online shopkeeper is a lot less chatty than selling your wares over the counter.
People order and I post their parcels and occasionally they email or send a card back to tell me how happy they are with their new bag - and that makes my day.
This week I was blown away by Nadja's purple thank you card.
I was asked to make a bag printed with "Nadja's bag of love" and lots of hearts and stars.
I didn't know anything about Nadja until I received this card - and it made me smile all day.
I'm going to take a leaf out of her book and send more cards - spread the love!



Saturday, 17 April 2010


What an extraordinary week it has been. If someone had told us that this would happen nobody would have believed it but here we are with a volcano close by and the travelling public are all over the place. We all know someone who is either stuck here waiting to go or stuck somewhere else not able to get back. My darling daughter was in the queue at the airport on Thursday waiting to fly to the US and now hopes to go on Tuesday (she says by the way that British Airways staff have been incredibly helpful - credit where its due!) other friends have been taking Trains, Boats and Automobiles to get back home.
It's a tough one.
I met a lady today who should have been in Russia at her only son's wedding and there will be tragic stories too. It's all too easy to say GREAT NO POLLUTING PLANES but it isn't great if you are a flower grower in Tanzania who won't be paid for flowers that could not be delivered or a surgeon who cannot cross the world to save a life.
Perhaps the best thing that could come out of this is more funding for solar powered planes - they are being tested now in Switzerland.
Maybe......the volcano will calm down and everything will get back to normal.

Nobody knows the answer right now.
love & peace
and get home safely

Sunday, 4 April 2010


I recently gave up buying newspapers in a big sulk after the
Observer changed everything I liked about it but today I woke up early and succumbed to Sunday Paper Temptation. Tucked inside the Observer is a section of the New York Times which I like to read because it makes me feel more Metropolitan. Anyway, this morning there is a diagram of the Plastiki craft which has begun its journey across the ocean. The craft is constructed from plastic bottles and is travelling across the ocean to focus the world's attention on the massive floating island of plastic wste in the Pacific. They are following the route of the 1947 Kontiki expedition, which was one of the more inspiring things I remember from my schooldays. That expedition leader Thor Heyerdal's name, although probably not its correct spelling, is one I always remember despite forgetting those of my closest friends when I turn to introduce them..." this is friend" I digress. Read all about the Plastiki and track their progress on this site
There is a button on their site where you can pledge not to buy any more bottled water - its a tough one when we have all grown so used to it but I have good intentions so I have clicked on that button. A shocking fact on their site is that 50% of all plastic waste is in the sea. We have to start picking up after people who don't know any better and perhaps someday they will notice and join in.
love peace
...and a bit of chocolate


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The antidote to grey

I live by the sea and I'm lucky, I know.
When the sky is brilliantly blue so is the sea, but the same goes for grey and these grey skies are spoiling my sea view. My antidote to this is to surround myself with colour. My workroom is a riot of pattern and colour so I gather up an armful of fabric, sweep aside the breakfast dishes and clear the kitchen table for fabric cutting. I delve into a box filled with ribbons, rick rack and fringes and spend half an hour sorting out old buttons from the tin. Now my old Bernina is raring to go and I've finished my mug of tea so I'll sign this off and make beautiful bags to brighten up the day.

love & peace

Wednesday, 13 January 2010



It has been ages since I've posted a blog one of the reasons is that something has changed on
blogger so my saved sign-in details are no longer recognised. Remember when we only had a pin number to remember those were the days! Now I have long lists of combinations of letters and numbers stored in my head - and inevitably they do get mixed up. Anyway - that's why I've been so quiet.
Two thousand and ten has a good ring to it and I am full of hope. Hope is good but I have heard that optimism should be diluted with a good dash of realism. So I shall hope for a good year but
not pretend its going to be a breeze.

Love & Peace


About Me

My photo
Hastings, East Sussex, United Kingdom
Carry-a-bag began about five ago when I was fuming about plastic carrier bags stuck in trees, washed up on the beach and generally messing up the planet. It began as a little idea but one morning I woke up thinking "don't take a carrier bag just remember to carry a bag. And now I make bags all the time.


Take it shopping or digging...

September 11th 2007

September 11th 2007
Blue sky day


time to save the planet dudes + me in the hat