Thursday, May 26, 2011

things we carry

left to right, bottom row: bucktoothedbunny bag, vintage change purse, vintage measuring tape. Middle row: Kiehl's hand salve, Burt's Bees lip shimmer, Smith's lip balm, silver hairband, beat-up iphone, envelope from dad, Muji ruler, Moleskin notebook, Muji pen, other pen, Robert Marc custom clip-on shades in vintage leather case. Top row: keys to the warehouse with Tekserve lights and gym pass, sports tape, 1950s vintage mirror from mom's high school dance purse.
Jana's bag

Hi. I'm Jana, from luncheonettevintage. The truth is, I don't really have one bag. I have about five of them going at any one time, some vintage, some not, some big, some not. I just use the one that suits the day. The day I photographed this was a go to town day: trips to the organic supermarket, a thrift shop, and a stint in a cafe to work on an article (there's nothing like a soy cappuccino from this place). And the best go to town bag is the Alice in Wonderland shoulder bag by bucktoothedbunny, which I use all the time. Having Alice with me is a nice reminder to enjoy the ride.

All laid out on our kitchen table (1950s, from a yard sale) is what you might call the daily carry. The bag may change, but the daily carry doesn't:

Wallet, a pebble grain leather Tusk which my mom gave me years ago. It holds an amazing amount of stuff. See Fellini's concept of a film within a film: it's my carry within a carry.

Vintage see-through change purse that was a welcome surprise from someone I did a shop trade with. I was really after a 1960s green-flocked paisley recipe binder, but this has proved far more useful. The binder sits on a shelf look. And haven't used but like to admire.

Very weathered, softened, faded (to the point of not being entirely readable in dim light, but I'm loyal) measuring tape I got from my great friend and superb artist and metalsmith Carolanne. She moved to LA and I miss her big terrible. Great to have a measuring tape in your bag when you're looking at vintage and can't figure out a size, or just feel like whipping it out to look official.

iphone. not the 4g. the 3g. As in, I'm not fallin for your hype, apple. Not until I've saved up enough to upgrade.

And the photo on the iphone is my sister, posing in front of a barn from a recent upstate jaunt. Sisters rule!

Kiehl's ultimate strength hand salve, a must. We live a farmer's life around here, and then there's all that hand-washing after rifling through vintage. If you spend any time at your local Salvation Army thrift shop, you know what I mean.

Smith's minted rose lip balm, which tastes delicious, and was a present from my sister. Every year we give each other lots of little items like this. We're both hard workers who sometimes forget things like brushing our hair. So often, we give each other hair brushes

Note there is no hair brush in this carry. Draw your own conclusions.

Burt's Bees pink lip shimmer. My Chanel lipstick lives in the night bag, I swear.

Hairband, silver, which unfortunately matches at least 20 strands of my brown hair.

Sports tape, to tape up the arch of my foot before I go for a run. This way I never lose the tape, at least theoretically.

Set of keys to the warehouse with a great little Tekserve flashlight tab on it and the "You're #1" key-fob from my friends at the RV sales place. Sometimes they have airstreams, and I get to look and dream.

Very delicate and worn out clip-on shades (custom-made) to my very delicate and worn out Robert Marc eyeglasses.

2 essential pens: a Muji multipen with 6 different colors, and a black uni-ball Signo.  Muji rules.

The anti-moleskin moleskin notebook: it comes in packs of threes, and the pages are big enough to hold my notes for the article or story I'm writing. I color code them by month by coloring in the spine stitches (e.g. 5 stitches colored in = this book was used for May). I go through a lot of these.

Envelope from a letter my dad sent me recently, because I love his handwriting, and he's been writing to me at nearly a hundred addresses all my life.

Mirror in a satin case from a 1950s clutch that used to belong to my mother in the actual 1950s. I think she wore it to a high school dance, and no doubt looked absolutely elegant. I find myself keeping all sorts of these little artifacts close: they remind me of her, but they also remind me to check in the mirror, as she might say.

Debatable as to whether or not this is necessary, but I love the muji aluminum 6" ruler.

The only thing missing is my car key, but that lives on the end of a bandana that I've kind of twisted and tied to make it very large and unmistakable. That lives in my car, unless I am in town and tie the bandana around the shoulder strap of the bag, then tuck the key inside where it can finally have a nap.

That's it. That's the daily carry.


  1. Fun!!! You don't want to see what's in my bag lol... things go in but they don't always come out... it is like a great black hole! Pretty funny when my phone rings and I have to try to find it!

  2. Jana, you are hysterical! I think I need to start carrying a measuring tape so I have something to whip out to make me look official! I SO love that Alice is still a part of your trips to town :) Thanks for this fun look into your life!

  3. Jana, this is fabulous! Great work and it's so interesting to see what others carry to and from in every day life. ♥