#CraftyBrunette: How a $30 purse and I fell in love, broke up, and fell in love again.

Hi y’all.

So, we need to talk about the Coco Quilted Large Handbag from Dailylook.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 7.03.42 PMThis bag is my recent obsession. Of course, it is a shameless dupe of the iconic Chanel Classic Maxi Double Flap Bag, which is my dream handbag of all time.

As it turns out, not all dreams do come true, at least not for $4,000 — not for me anyway! I’m a sassy brunette on a budget. When I have enough disposable income to blow $4k on a bag, you won’t be hearing anything from me because I’ll be too busy partying on my yacht to do any blogging!

In the mean time, this little designer inspired knockoff from Dailylook has been my best friend since the moment I laid eyes on it, and it’s $22.95 price tag. I have owned this bag for two months and it holds all of my assortment of random crap and looks dang cute while doing it. Seriously, I’ll have to do a detailed “What’s in my fauxnel bag” post one day, but off the top of my head I can tell you I’ve got two sets of keys, a full size hand lotion, a pair of headphones, literally 30 pens, my giant wristlet, a makeup compact, 5 or 6 lip products, a mascara, AND my giant iPhone, with room to spare. OBSESSED. If I try really hard, I can even shove my entire GINORMOUS Plum Paper Planner in the back pocket — but that’s really pushing the limits.

That being said, a $25 bag is a $25 bag, and you’re definitely going to notice a difference in quality when you compare to a $4,000 designer bag. So, as much as I love this purse, my one huge gripe is this:

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UGH! Can you believe?! Only two months in and I was devastated to see that whatever nonsense paint Dailylook slapped on this thing was peeling and fading off EVERYWHERE on the bag. The corners and sides of the bag were the worst parts, as you can see, as well as the fabric running through the chain strap.

I was so upset about how worn and faded it looked, that I went back to using my stupid old backpack for every day/work use. Fun fact about me: when I wear a backpack, I look like a legit 8th grader. I am a grown up, damn it! So I try to avoid backpacks if I can.

I’ve been getting more and more into crafts lately, though (blame the aforementioned ginormous planner), and after some internet research to boost my confidence, and some hunting at my new mecca, Joann’s Fabrics, I decided to take matters into my own hands and save my $25 bag from inevitable ruin.

I picked up a small bottle of Leather Studio Leather and Vinyl paint in black, for $2.09. I grabbed a handful of small makeup wedges. I laid out some paper towels on my workspace. And then, I went to town on this bag.

Using some barely dampened makeup sponges, I dabbed into the black paint not very carefully, and just went at it, covering up all the faded parts. I was worried the paint wouldn’t quite match, but it was actually a perfect match. I used 1-2 coats depending on how badly faded the area was, and was completely finished within 2 hours. It was dry to the touch within an hour, and I let it dry overnight just in case. By the morning, it was ready to use!

Look at this newly restored beauty! I even fixed up the straps, which was more difficult than I care to remember, but worth it in the end.

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I am indeed so impressed with how my little $25 bag looks, that I am excited to see what other projects I can create for myself! Is this the beginning of the crafting addiction? Is there a helpline I can call in the future in case I get buried under a mountain of glitter and foil paper in Joann’s? Let me know.

I am feeling so confident, that I am ready to take on this ridiculous project of decorating my own dang water bottles. Maybe I’ll blog that when I get around to it sometime later this month.

At this rate, I’ll be starting my own homemade soap shop by the end of the year! Then I will make so much money off of my specialty soaps that I will have enough disposable income to buy a REAL Chanel flap bag and/or a yacht.

It all comes full circle.

#SASSYOVERTHIRTY: In memory of my Nokia 3300

I’m back! Posting two days in a row whaaaaatttt?! I know. It’s crazy.

Yesterday while playing in my favorite playground, the internet, a Buzzfeed video caught my attention. It featured a bunch of teens using flip phones for the first time, you can watch it below. This comes hot on the heels, by the way, of my friend telling me that she works with a bunch of children who don’t know anything about JNCO jeans. SCUZE ME? A 90S FASHION STAPLE. But that is for another post.

Seeing these little kids not knowin’ anything about the joys of a flip phone got me thinking about my favorite pre-smartphone-era cell phone. I have lived happily and with loyalty in Kingdom iPhone for almost 8 years now, but before the original iPhone took over my life (DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN IT DIDN’T HAVE AN APP STORE??), my best friend was the Nokia 3300!

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.19.11 AMThis little beauty had a full QWERTY keyboard which made it easy to rack up those expensive text message bills of 2004. It also had the at the time unheard of feature of 64 MB (yes, MEGABYTES!) of storage which I used to store 5 whole MP3s.

In fact, I am pretty sure those songs were:

  1. In This Diary – The Ataris
  2. This Year’s Love – David Gray
  3. Seven Days a Week – The Sounds
  4. Faded – Soul Decision
  5. Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard

I only remember this tiny playlist because when you only have 5 MP3s on your phone, you listen to them A LOT on the long cross-town bus ride to class.

Anyway, while technically not a flip phone (I wouldn’t know the joy of the amazing Motorola RAZR until 2005), my little Nokia was the best phone in the entire world. I kept that thing for like three years. THREE! YEARS! Nowadays, if I make it 13 months without upgrading, I feel accomplished.

I also really appreciated the durability of these pre-smartphone phones. I could throw the 3300 across the room at a wall and it would be just fine. And I did throw it across the room at a wall. Many times. I was a teen! These days, my iPhone never leaves its protective Kate Space Contour case. It’s beautiful gold facade has never seen the light of day. I am too afraid of smashing it’s delicate little body. You could take a lesson from the phones of yesteryear, iPhone!

My little baby Nokia finally kicked the bucket in 2005 when I took it to China and somehow shorted it out. It never turned on again. I was devastated. But ad astra per aspera, I upgraded to the aforementioned RAZR which finally gave me the satisfaction of being able to slam it shut to end a phone call, which somehow felt even better than throwing it across the room at a wall. Thanks Motorola for helping to curb my violent teenage tendencies!

Here’s the Buzzfeed video for your viewing pleasure:

Kids these days, I swear.

Nick MIller