Check Out My Totally Cute Tote!

As a writer, I always carry either a paper notebook or my AlphaSmart Dana (pictured above) with me everywhere I go. I used to carry my purse and a brief case, but that was such a pain. On top of that, there just aren't any pretty brief cases out there--and yes, pretty is a big factor for me. Three years ago, Joni Gardine, who is a creative genius, offered to custom design a tote for me to use as both a purse and a brief case. She even designed a nifty cover for my Dana to keep it safe.

Fast-forward three years and I need a new tote. I still absolutely love my old tote and didn't want to give it up. Both Joni and I had moved away from Utah and lost track of each other. I started shopping around, canvassing the stores for something to replace my tote. The only thing that came close was a messenger bag by Vera Bradley. It was totally cute and would have worked but was also totally expensive and, honestly, just not the look I was going for.

So I took a long shot and emailed Joni at the last email address I had for her. Luckily, she still occasionally checked that email account AND was still designing custom bags. Joni sent me out to a few websites to check out fabrics. I loved the Freshcut designs by Heather Bailey. I sent Joni a list of my three favorite fabrics, but told her to be her creative self and make me a totally cute tote. And of course, she came through. Check out my new tote below!

My cute tote! Don't you just love those fabrics?

The inside of the tote. There's a divider to separate my Dana from my planner and other every day things. In the picture, you can see my Dana cover inside the tote bag. On the every day side, there are three deep pockets which I use for holding pens, gum, a little wallet, etc. When I just have my paper note book, I can put a few diapers and some toys on the "writer's side" and Voila! Mommy/Writer on the go!

The new cover for my Dana. Isn't it awesome? You can't tell in the picture, but she quilted the Dana cover.

The inside of the Dana cover - cause you know it has to be stylin' too.

For all of you envious readers out there, Joni has tons of gorgeous designs for purses and totes of all different sizes. If you'd like more info, feel free to email me and I'll send you her email address.

Now, please wipe the drool from your chin before it drips onto your keyboard.

Would you like to comment?

Tristi Pinkston said...

Way cute bag -- and how fun that I got to meet Heather Bailey! Yes, she's LDS, has some small children and we talked about how to work around their schedules and write, too. She's really nice and mega talented.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

I'm so jealous, Tristi. You meet the most interesting people!

I agree. Heather Bailey is very talented. I love her FreshCut fabric designs. And am loving my new tote - as I'm sure you can tell by the blog. :)

Unknown said...

Gorgeous tote! Put me in contact with Joni, I need one too. (

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Hi Candace -

Check your email, I just sent you her info. Please send me pics of your tote. I would love to see it!

Joni just announced on her blog ( that she is designing a line of church totes, scripture cases, etc. I can't wait to see what she comes up with. I'm already planning on getting a new scripture case!