Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Things got a little spooky around the iTaggit Offices this Halloween.... see our scary pictures in the iTaggit Halloween Gallery of Freaks!!! (or just look at them below!)


Hanging by a Thread

The Matrix is Real



Eyeballs, Anyone?

What kinds of creepy, crawly things do you have? Post them on iTaggit!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Maker Monday: Ballistic Sweater Girl and Kailo Chic

Ladies night is always fun - and last week I had the pleasure of spending an evening with Wendy Irwin, owner of Ballistic Sweater Girl Designs, and Kara Whitten, owner of Kailo Chic.

BSG Logo Kailo Chic Logo

These two girls are super fun, laidback and very talented. Today's Maker Profile will feature a little bit about both of them - and can you guess, they will both have a booth at STITCH!

Wendy is the daughter of a custom car upholsterer - what a cool job for Dad to have! She knows all about sewing on tricky materials, and has access to some awesome industrial machines. I am sooo jealous! Her handbags are so amazing - almost all are one of a kind, and she uses materials ranging from vintage auto upholstery and decals, glitter vinyl, and unique found objects. Wendy also makes a fabulous line of wallets for men and women.

BSG Funky Wristlet BSG Car Decal Bag

Kara comes from the opposite end of the spectrum - she is completely self taught! She started out making a few simple bags, and quickly honed in on her signature style - bold retro inspired fabrics in classic bag shapes. She offers a hobo, a tote, a few

clutch options and wallets. In addition, she makes skirts, printed acrylic jewelry and hair accessories. Check out her new Laptop bag - an exclusive design by Kara for Pacific Design - premiering this Thursday at Parts & Labour in Austin, Texas.

Kailo Chic - Small Clutch Kailo Chic Laptop Bag

Look for these two fabulous women at STITCH on Saturday, November 10th in Austin, Texas.

Blog by Anne Marie Beard

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sewing with Stilettos!

Did you know that Wednesday night is my favorite night of the week? My assistant, Kat, comes over on Wednesdays to help me work on my bags. She has been great to have around for the past year and a half, and I don't know what I would do without her!

As STITCH approaches, her help is especially important. I love my full time job at iTaggit, and it takes a lot of drive to come home after work and start sewing purses for 4 to 5 hours every night! That's why Wednesdays are so great - I have someone to help me out, chat with and have fun.

Last night Kat brought her roommate for some extra help - as she came in the door I said "welcome to my sweatshop!" I think I am a pretty laid back "boss" - but you'd have to ask them...

Scmetz Jeans Twin Needle

I had Kat working on some cosmetic bags last night, and proudly pulled out my new double needle for her to use. I finish off my seams with a double row of stitching - all that drop in lining mess is too much for a cosmetic bag!

Cone Thread

Then we ran into a problem - all I have is cone thread. I buy everything SUPER SIZED - thread by the armful, interfacing by the bolt, velcro by the 50 yard bolt, zippers by the dozen - you get the picture. What to do when we didn't have another thread holder for the cone thread?

Sewing with Stilettos!

"We could just use my shoe..." volunteered Kat - and I said, "huh?" "The heel of my shoe - I do it at home all the time!" She pulled out her Stiletto Heel, placed it heel side up on the table - and VIOLA - it worked! She is such a genius, that Kat!

Kat Sewing!

Seeing as how I don't own a pair of stilettos, I never would have thought of this. She finished the cosmetic bags, and her roommate did a superb job ironing on interfacing, and the "sweatshop" closed up at 10:00pm... I can't wait to see what new ideas Kat will have for me next week....

Check out some of the fabulous crafts and jewelry I've made in my iTaggit Collections! And mark your calendar for November 10th - STITCH! I promise to take oodles of pictures of my new bags this weekend!

blog by Anne Marie Beard

***check out my blog for a list of great craft and sewing suppliers if you need to buy in bulk too!***

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Treasure Tuesday: Husak Design Fine Jewelry

Many designers don't spend their lives saying, "I am going to design xyz." For the most part, they are creative from an early age, experiment in lots of materials and techniques, and end up discovering their calling along the way.

Husak Design Logo

This is certainly true of Courtney Husak, owner of Husak Design, a line of Fine Jewelry with a focus on Bridal Jewels. Courtney studied Studio Art at the University of Texas at Austin. She embarked on a jewelry line when her sister needed stylish and affordable pieces for her wedding. After apprenticing with an Austin based Jewelry Company, Courtney founded Husak Design.

My personal twist - there is always one, you know! - I went to school with Courtney and her sister, and found out about her Jewelry line from a friend. I have since had the pleasure of doing a few shows with Courtney - and we are teaming up for another fabulous Holiday Shopping event in late November!

Faith Bracelet in BlueCourtney is my featured artist today in the lead up to Stitch - the awesome Indie Design Shopping event and Fashion Show in Austin, Texas on November 10th. There is no way anyone will be able to miss Courntey's booth - her display is always AMAZING, and her smile is so infectious that it will radiate across the entire Convention Center.

Gold & White Pendant NecklaceOne of my favorite pieces of jewelry is this necklace. It has this fabulous hammered metal pendant, and gorgeous white beads very elegantly graded by size. I get lots of compliments when I wear it, and it actually started my obsession with white clothing. I figured that I can wear white now that I am all grown up and don't spill on myself anymore (yeah right, that's what stain remover is for!)

Courtney has ALL KINDS of jewelry - I know her website already looks amazing, but I also know she will have a ton of new stuff at Stitch.

GiGi Earrings

These GiGi earrings are so elegant and bold in this color combination. The stones are Amethyst and Cape Amethyst in a chandelier setting.

Be sure to check out the Husak Design website, and come see us at Stitch on November 10th in Austin, Texas! Check out more of my jewelry collections on iTaggit!

blog by Anne Marie Beard

Monday, October 22, 2007

Maker Monday: The Glam of Glitzkrieg

Glitzkrieg Logo

She is glamorous, luxurious, gorgeous, sexy, and one of the most talented women I know. She is Leslie Bonnell, owner of Glitzkrieg - the Austin, Texas based line of handbags, jewelry and accessories. I first met Leslie in while I was studying Costume Design at the University of Texas at Austin. I had just landed my first professional design gig with Zachary Scott Theatre, and she was the Costume Shop manager.

Leslie has worked as a Costume Designer, Milliner, Jewelry Designer, and Chantuese for over two decades. She has won many awards for her designs, and her knowledge of design and construction techniques just blows me away. A few years ago, Leslie left her full time Costume Shop Manager role, and started her own business.

Glitzkrieg Booth Picture

She now teaches sewing, jewelry and design element classes in her studio in Austin, Texas. I have had the pleasure of watching Leslie grow into an even more fabulous artist - and participating in shows where we both had booths. Having her right across the aisle from me makes me nervous every year - and makes me want to step up my game and make the coolest stuff I can! The fact that she has purchased some of my handbags is one the best compliments I've received.

Glitzkrieg Earrings

This year, Leslie will be joining the fabulous line up of designers at STITCH - an indie fashion show and designer craft fair on November 10th. I can't wait to see all the new stuff she has been working on. These earrings are right up my alley - big, bold, and a fabulous mixture of materials. I think it's czech glass and vintage beads mixed together.

Glitzkrieg Purse

This glamorous purse features one of Leslie's signature handmade silk flowers as the main design element. She makes tons of these flowers as pins that can adorn anything you own!

I hear that Leslie has been taking silk screening classes, and she has some great pictures of new bags featuring her own designs, hand screened onto fabric. See more pictures of her work on Flickr.Glitzkrieg Silkscreened Bag

Leslie is really a master of her craft - and her background in Costume Design really shows in her work. Who else do you know that can create clothing from any time period from her own pattern, design jewelry, make handbags, teach classes, AND sing? If you're in Austin - be sure to check out her class schedule, and I will see you at STITCH on November 10th!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Fashion Friday: Men's Clothing by Rural Rooster

Rural Rooster ClothingRural Rooster Clothing is an independent design label based in Austin, Texas and owned by J.J. Campbell. I found out about him a few years ago when I was looking for a designer to create custom t-shirts for my family. Working with J.J. on this project was a pleasure - he was professional and his design ideas were right on target.

J.J. is also a very talented graphic and web designer. Today I want to focus on his men's fashion. In just a few weeks - STITCH will take over downtown Austin for one's a huge shopping event featuring independent designers and is capped off with a fashion show. Men's fashion is not the majority of the work for sale - but J.J. represents some of the best that will be there!

Guitar Angel Shirt

This "Guitar Angel" shirt features an intricate design and an asymmetrical placement on crisp white dress shirt. Here in Austin a plain white shirt just won't do. For the fashion forward guy, you need something like this! It's very hip and masculine at the same time.

J.J. studied Studio Art at the University of Texas at Austin (GO HORNS!), and "believes that studying and responding to the world around
you is necessary to create innovative art and communication.

Albatross Jacket

This "Albatross" Dress Jacket is sure to make a statement. Men look good in jackets - they really do - and I know I would be impressed with a man who left such a lasting impression as he walked away. The graphics put a fresh twist on a classic piece of clothing - and the birds remind me of a traditional crest.

If you need a fresh look for fall, check out J.J.'s website, and get yourself a shirt! In Austin? Come to STITCH on Saturday, November 10th, and bring lots of shopping money!

blog by Anne Marie Beard

Thursday, October 18, 2007

New Bag Pictures!

I am notoriously slow at photographing my work... I take the pictures on my front porch on a cloudy day on a piece of paper - soooo professional! But hey, in the DIY world in which I live - you do what works!


So right now I am shoulder deep in sewing sewing sewing for this huge show - STITCH :) I went through some pictures I took this summer - which are new because they've never been posted anywhere.
Today I am featuring a new style called Casey.

For those of you who don't know, I have always named all of my bag styles after a friend or family member. Casey is a super fabulous gal I work with - she is stylish, very smart, and she rides a sweet bike!

The Casey bag by Anne Marie Beard

This is one of those bags that really speaks to what I am all about - it's super pretty, but very practical. The bag is very light, so you can load it up with stuff and your arm won't fall off. The bottom is made of vinyl - so it's easy to clean, and the feet make the coolest "click" sound when you set it down. (Or, as my grandmother calls them - legs!)

Come check me out at STITCH on November 10th - Casey will be there - the fabulous bags and
the fabulous gal!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I am trying to hack my blog's template - with some success. Notice the pretty new background? I still need to get rid of the rest of the dot images, but for my first try at hacking into Blogger HTML - not too bad, eh?

Oh how I wish I was only 10 so that I could grow up learning all this HTML stuff - I literally used DOS programs for the first 14 years of my life and have no official computer training whatsoever....

Treasure Tuesday: Jewelry by Ornamental Things

If you haven't noticed - I am a bit obsessed with Jewelry - I mean OBSESSED! Everyday when I get dressed - I save the highlight of the morning for last - picking out what jewelry will go just perfectly with my outfit. (Matching my lipstick perfectly comes in as a close 2nd).

Handbag by Anne Marie Beard
In just under a month - a huge event will take over Austin, Texas - STITCH. It's a fabulous indie designer shopping event and Fashion show. I will be selling my handbags there, and am getting more pumped everyday. As the show approaches I am featuring many of my friends and colleagues who design fabulous jewelry, clothing, accessories and more.

White Pod Ring - Ornamental Things

Today it's all about Ornamental Things - a jewelry line by Austin designer Natalie Tischler. I have had the pleasure of knowing Natalie for several years - and each time we do a show together - I get to drool all over her booth at her new creations.

Most of us are putting our things up on iTaggit so we can manage our collections, show them off, and know their value. Value is not all about how much you paid for it or how much it will sell for. Value has a LOT to do with what an item means to you. Where jewelry is concerned - there is a story behind every single piece I own. Scarily, I have been carrying this knowledge in my head for years - iTaggit has allowed me to put each item out on display, and keep track of its story and value.

Pink & Brown Earrings by Ornamental Things

Take these earrings by Natalie - they are so gorgeous! In and of themselves they are worth a lot - but what makes them special to me is the story behind them. I was shopping in a local boutique with my Mom and her best friend - my "2nd mom." It was close to my birthday, and my "2nd mom" bought these earrings for me. It was a special night, and best of all, I know the jewelry designer.

Deco Necklace by Ornamental Things

Natalie is a true artist. She scours our great State of Texas for all kinds of vintage jewelry - and then reworks it into fabulous, of-the-moment and yet classic pieces. I can testify to the longevity of her work - as I still wear the pieces I got from her 5 years ago. She has styles that range from deco-influenced to 60s kitsch to just outright sexy. Check out her website,, and don't forget about STITCH!

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Maker Monday: CHIA, an Austin Favorite

Today I want to feature the work of my friend and colleague - CHIA. A few years ago I went to one of her trunk shows at Big Red Sun. I had just started making bags to sell, and didn't know anyone in the Austin Indie Design community. I introduced myself to her, and she was kind and gracious - and a friendship was started.

CHIA got her start making adorable fuzzy hats with ears - she still sells them, but has since branched out in many directions. Her signature CHIA bag is a reversible messenger style that can be spotted all over Austin on a regular basis. She loves vintage fabrics, and masterfully combines textures and patterns in her clothing.

Did I mention clothing? Ohhhh, CHIA makes the most comfortable skirts, dresses, and tops, as well as children's clothes. In fact, she was just voted "Best Fashion Designer" in Austin by the readers of the Austin Chronicle! That's two years in a row she has received this honor.

Stitch is just around the corner - and CHIA's segment of the fashion show is always highly anticipated. Her mind and spirit are that of a true artist - you can expect to be blown away by her innovative designs.

Chia's work is available at Pink Hair Salon on South Congress, and at her website - Don't miss Stitch on November 10th - she will have a booth and will be selling like crazy, i'm sure! Cheers to CHIA on her award!!!

Anne Marie Beard

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thrift Thursday: Glamorous Gold

It's funny how my taste fluctuates - just a few years ago, I thought anything gold was icky. I would not wear any gold jewelry, accessories, or tolerate any gold decor. The thing is, I was obsessed with it for awhile - my high school bedroom was "romantic" with lots of fancy gold frames or angels and cherubs and flowing white curtains - you know, the mid 90s look.

Now that gold has firmly re-established itself in fashion and home design - I am noticing how much I am in love with it - again! Except this time, it has a decidedly more "ethnic" vibe to it.

Gold Asian Lamp

A few weeks ago - the gals and I hit up the two week long massive antique shopping event in Round Top, Texas. The first morning out was very successful. My friend scored these two fabulous lamps for $35 - that's for the pair!!!

Gold Asian Lamp Detail

The detail shot shows just how cool the asian floral motif is. Her fiance is not so sure he loves them - be we all did!

Green & Gold Czech Glass Necklace

Today I am wearing my fabulous Green & Gold Czech Necklace. I love green anything, and these beads literally screamed at me from across the room at the bead store.

Green & Gold - detail

They were labeled as 1920s Czech Glass - for those of you who know Czech Glass - it is very collectible. I strung them together with gold jump rings, added an old earring as the pendant - and viola! Sexy vintage style - with GOLD.

And the quest for gold continues - today I got a pedicure - and had my toes painted gold... I just wonder what's next.

I love having my funky jewelry posted on iTaggit - I have so much, I can hardly remember it all - but iTaggit keeps my collections organized!

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Let the STITCH countdown begin...

Today is 30 days until Stitch - the annual fashion show and indie craft bazaar in Austin, Texas.

Back in 2002, a few friends of mine decided to put on this show. It was at a Coffee Shop - Ruta Maya on South Congress. The show was a huge success - we sold out at about 300 people.

*That's the 4 producers to yer right! Tina, Jesse, Jen & Karly*

Fast forward 5 years - and the show is gaining national acclaim. I am proud to be one of the few vendors who has had a booth every year! Many fabulous artists will be there selling their designs. From HOT jewelry to CUTTING EDGE clothing and everything in between - we are going to rock Austin.

Look for features of some of the designers in my blog in the coming weeks - and MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!! I am working hard on some new bags that are sure to be kick ass; look for pics soon.... that one there is my "Karly" bag in a vintage print with shimmer details...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Roundtop, Texas - Fabulous Antique Shopping

A few years ago, a friend of mine told me about this bi-annual antique and collectibles show that takes over part of the Texas Countryside. Her name is Jen Perkins, and she and her family have been shopping this show for years...

Florentine Trays

Commonly referred to as "Roundtop" - the show takes over fields and fields of farmland in Roundtop and Warrenton, Texas every October and April. Dealers come from all over the country - and shoppers descend with trailers to take home their goodies.

Art Deco Cabinet

My friends and I have been going for a couple of years - and the shopping just keeps getting better. The show continues through October 6th - so if you're in Central Texas - get on down there.

Asian 50s Lamp

Look for lots of blogs about the treasures we saw and purchased at this year's show.... See more of my iTaggit Blogs here!

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