REVIEW: FranMadeBags

Bag

My first encounter with a FranMadeBag was when I ordered Kat Black’s gorgeous Touchstone Tarot. I had read that it came in a handmade bag by her mom. Ok, so that wasn’t a selling point for me since I expected–you know–just a bag.

Boy was I wrong! Not just a little wrong but a whole lot wrong. The bag was a heavy tapestry fabric lined with some silky interior. The top featured a ribbon edging along with a solid drawstring closure. I think I was as impressed with the quality of the bad as the details of the cards.

Because of purchasing the LE Touchstone Tarot and registering it (just a matter of a simple email to the creatrix), I received notification about a website that Kat put together to highlight the Touchstone and take advantage of the online love of free readings. 78Friends remains a favorite stopping point of mine (more on that in a future blog). There I learned that Fran aka She was going to be launching a tarot bag business.

Honey, I was all over that like a kid offered free ice cream. After reviewing the bags, I ordered two. One for me and one for my best friend and writing partner, Kacey Smith. The price for each bag was twenty dollars. Shipping was $3.50 (from Australia to the US).

One thing she also offers are her tarot bag/reading cloth sets. The multi-colored quilt for the reading cloth really tempted me but I was limited to about 40 and wanted to buy Cai a gift as well. So I had to forgo the cloth this time. But trust me, I’ll be back.

Set
Set

Waiting for the bags was long because they had to make the trek from Australia to Texas. I know someone who ordered after me (I think I was the first order actually) got theirs several days before me. Ah, the joys and mysteries of the United States Postal Service. Only the High Priestess holds more secrets I think.

My bag
My bag

My choice of bag was the purple microsuede with a gold Celtic knotwork and matching gold cord for drawstring. The interior is lined in gold as well. A truly royal bag was my first thought. Cai (aka Kacey)’s bag was the black one. She was thrilled to get it.

This roomy bag is now home to my brand-new Faerie Tarot (Hertz, USGames) which recently came to live with me. I’ll be doing a review on this uniquely charming deck very soon. I know I will order more bags from FranMadeBags soon. The craftsmanship is unparalleled in my collection of cloth bags. One thing that really stands out is the obvious care Fran makes in choosing the fabric.

The pricing structure is very fair for the quality of bag. I paid $20 for a microsuede satin-lined drawstring bag that has all the earmarks of old-school craftsmanship and pride in work. The only thing I would change would be to use a different style of drawstring but that’s merely a personal preference.

Cai's Bag
Cai

I encourage you to take a look at these gorgeous bags. FranMadeBags are well made and well worth the price.



4 thoughts on “REVIEW: FranMadeBags”

  1. That’s my Mum – she never does anything ‘near enough is good enough’ – if she’s going to do something, it will be the best she can possibly do it! Leisa ReFalo and I wanted something really wonderful for the LE of Touchstone to live in, and we just couldn’t buy anything special enough – at least, not without pushing the price up a lot, and also there was nothing ‘special’ that we could buy 500 of. So I spent months sourcing materials from all over the world, and asked Mum if she’d help out with the sewing. 500 bags later I thought she’d be totally sick of it – but she has got as much fan mail as me from the LE 🙂 Now she knows how much people love her bags, she’s decided to keep going. I’m so thrilled, because they really are beautiful and it’s something that she can easily sell online. That’s important as she lives in a small town and there’s not much of a local market for handicrafts. So, thanks very much for your support Arwen, I’m very proud of my Mum’s lovely work!

  2. Fran is having difficulties leaving a comment so I’m posting it for her.

    —–
    Arwen, thank you so much for your lovely words and encouragement. Thanks to Kat, too, for her love and support. I am very proud of her too. I must say that the apt choice of materials, braids and cords was all made by Kat. Not being one to do things by halves, by the end of the 55 bag project we were left with a considerable amount of materials. What better thing to do with them than make more “special” bags for “special” decks. After this project I was asked to do an altar cloth for a friend starting up a new local branch of the Spiritualist Church, and that has been the inspiration for the sets.
    —–

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