Thursday, July 09, 2009


All good things must come to an end. It's sad, but true. I made a good run of it for a while there, but the time has come for me to pack up my sewing machines and reflect on all the good times. From having Nick Mashburn order my first bag back in November of '05 to collaborating (kind of) with Adam of Zugster bags, to being featured in the local newspaper, it's been a blast.

For everyone who's gotten a bag, thanks so much for your support! It's truly been a pleasure making bags these past four years.

And for those few of you who I still owe things to, I more than likely haven't forgotten -- I'll be delivering before I move at the end of the month.

Once again, thanks for everything. It's truly been a pleasure.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Formatting Apology

Just as a side note, if you haven't been here before, I just messed up the format somehow, so none of the pictures line up anymore, and everything just generally looks pretty sloppy. Sorry.

A real update soon? Yes!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Arena Baggage

There's a fairly good chance I've been hiding under a rock for a few months. There's not too much time for words (busy as a beaver!) so I'll simply leave you with a barrage of pictures and some sparse explanations. It'll have to do for now!

The Sopo Bike Co-Op of Atlanta once again put together the annual Broken Hearts and Bike Parts alleycat, which they graciously allowed me to help out with again this year. Although I've never actually been to this race (or even Atlanta for more than 30 minutes, for that matter), it's always been one of my favorites, and had a soft spot in my heart. Unfortunately, a busy schedule prevented me from attending, and even dashed my hopes of the gaudy, overly embroidered bag I usually bestow upon such momentous events. Oh well, the plain, understated heart design will perhaps find itself a home a bit more easily.

While on the subject of races... the local boys (and gals) of the Cycle-Logic race team were putting together a three part training series called "Bring It On!" up at Progess Park in Alachua. Flyboy Ken asked me to sponsor the race, and while I was wary at first (this would be my first sponsorship of a sanctioned race, as well as my first time participating in a sanctioned race - quite impressively, I might add) I jumped at the opportunity. We settled on a more-intricate-than-you-would-think wheel design, which turned our fairly well. As people who see my work are wont to do, Ken fell in love with the bag and demanded one for himself. His is an olive bag, without the "Brought It 2008" embroidered under the decorative line.

Continuing backwards in time, we arrive once again at the month of October. We all know this means it's getting time for winter beers, pumpkins, and racing in Tallahassee. The shenanigan-riddled kids up there pulled it off once again with an impressive showing at Talloween 3! I've had to narrow down some of my sponsorship commitments recently, but with Talloween being the first race I ever sponsored, they've got a soft spot in my heart, and I just couldn't say no.

In an unexpected turn of events, Lex of Villin Cycle Works has recently sold his shop Bikes & More to a wonderful gentleman by the name of Paul! The shop is truly growing by leaps and bounds. You should certainly stop by if you're ever in the area, and make the trip if you're not. Paul immediately contacted me and asked if he could stock a few of my bags in his shop. If only he knew what he was getting into. Paul is an extremely patient man, but I do believe he's going to punch me in the face the next time he sees me, as I've been ducking out on him for nearly four months now. Paul, if you read this, I swear there's more coming soon!

I did manage to get two bags to him so far, though. First, we've got a Roman Catholic air freshener inspired likeness of the Virgin of Guadalupe. What could compliment that better than a Brooks saddle sailing over some Midwest farmlands? Nothing if you ask me. The proof is in the pudding.

A while back a delightful bloke named Chad had asked me to make him a bag. After telling him it would be a few months, he went ahead and placed an order for two - one for him, and one for his wife. If you ask me, there's probably nothing cuter in the world, and I was happy to oblige. Chad opted for a large bag with a map of the United States, highlight where he's lived through out his life, while picking up a medium with neon pink stars for his wife. Quite the adorable combination. I hope to see them one day, riding hand and hand into the sunset, wearing nearly matching Arena bags.

A local riding buddy named Joel opted to pick up a large a while back with a design inspired by a fifth grade art project of his (although I can assure you his artistic skills have since surpassed that level, the project still had quite a deal of class). After seeing the design, I immediately told him he wasn't allowed to change his mind. I'm a long time fan of M.C. Escher, and had planned on doing some sort of tessellation-themed bag for myself, but could never quite find the motivation. At last, here it was. Thanks, Joel!

Also of recent note is the coming of age of Camp Cupboard Designs right here in Gainesville, FL. Nathalie started making bags around the same time I did, and has truly perfected the art of making hip pouches. Let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, if you need a hip pouch, she's the person to see. You will certainly thank yourself, and definitely thank her for the intense amount of thought and effort she put into the design. I've yet to see a finer hip pouch. Check 'em out!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Arena Baggage

Finally the pictures can come make the leap from camera to hard drive, and finally the quintessential leap across the world wide web!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present for your viewing pleasure the one and only, adequately coined by the owner himself, Mt. Bikemore bag! A good friend changed my life with a beautiful shift lever and in return, what else could I do but make him a bag? When given free reign over a design, my tastes tend to go toward the ridiculous. What you see here is (starting on the left) the venerable Eddy Merckx, followed rather goofily by the Ronald-McDonald-haired Greg Lemond, followed, appropriately, by the great Badger, Bernard Hinault. Who could that last famed rider be, you might ask. Why it's none other than Mr. Dan Action himself, immortalized in thread. Cheesy? Perhaps. But hey, if it wasn't, what fun would it be? Ride-Rite!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Arena Baggage

Oh dearest Internet, it's been far too long. Let's not pretend like I haven't been busy though. Although the crucial link between my camera and computer has somehow been misplaced, I've got a few pictures back-logged. So let's get rolling!

Ty up in Oregon snagged a medium with a beautiful lotus flower on it. The Sanskrit 'Om' is also found in the lower right hand corner of the flap. Someplace on the bag is a hidden pocket too.

Ben was kind enough to pick up a size large for his friend's birthday. It's got an exploded bike on the flap with all the main players labeled. It's recurring theme is definitely 'bright' with an emphasis on 'pink'. If I remember correctly, the outer pockets are also day-glo florescent pink. I definitely got a chance to perfect my lettering technique on this one...

Nate decided to pick up a hip pouch of a custom size. After a few snafus in the process, we were finally both happy with the results. The design on the flap is one of those fish with a dangly light attached to it's head to lure in fish. A blinkie clip-on strap is strategically placed where the dangly light should go. This was my first real foray into the world of plain 'ole embroidery as opposed to applique, and I think it turned out splendidly, if I do say so myself.

More to follow hopefully soon, as soon as I can finish unpacking in my new space and I can find all the delightful things that make sewing ever-so-much easier.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Aena Baggage

Now available for immediate shipping! A customer and I recently decided to head in a different direction with a bag order, but I went ahead and finished the bag, as I

was fond of the design and overall aesthetic of the bag. It's now available for sale (e-mail for price) or up for trade for a rear disc wheel and aero front wheel. The bag details are as follows:

Size Large
Black outer, black liner
Ballistic nylon base
Double lined outer pockets
Shoulder pad
The artwork was done by Mike Giant and used with permission. The print of the artwork is available for sale on his site.

In other news, Price went ahead and picked up a size large bag with an anatomically correct heart drawn by his girl friend. The red, blue, and black color scheme worked astonishingly well, and I was quite pleased with how it came out, as was Price.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Arena Baggage

Eric Stubbs asked me to be a sponsor for the Gainesville Bikes, Camera Action! photo-scavenger race in Gainvesille back in January. Along with several other local businesses and framebuilder Brendan McGrath of McGrath Bicycles, I pitched in with a prize (Brendan is actually building a custom frame for the first place winner!). It's a size large with a few additional features, and a Polaroid on the flap to commemorate the photography aspect of the race. Lucky Danny from Tallahassee won it for the best individual photo!

Shannon from Tallahassee also picked up a bag from me. It's the same medium/large hybrid that Mark got a while back with an outline of a beautiful ballerina dancing across the flap.

The annual Broken Hearts and Bike Parts race in Atlanta came around again (the third one!) to benefit the Sopo Bike Co-op. Amy rode an amazing race and won the bag in the end. I'm told a fellow named Austin snagged the hip pouch by getting a bonus for riding all the way out to Decatur and back. Speaking of which, now introducing the Arena Baggage hip pouch!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Arena Baggage

Well, it's time for a much needed update. I've been busier than usual and had a bit of a holiday run on bags to boot.

Zach got his order in early for this delightful bag for Sarah. It's a custom size, somewhere in between a large and a medium. It's as wide as a large, but not quite as deep, making it slightly more envelope-like. It's got a wonderful yellow and blue color scheme and a freshly redesigned 3/4" thick closed-cell foam shoulder pad.

Pat picked up a size large as a Christmas present to himself. It's got a small white bear with the word Libertas embroidered just below. Also included are reflective tails on the strap ends.

Megan went all out and surprised Mark with this delightful messenger bag. It's a custom size, based on a large, but made just a few inches narrower across the shoulders. It comes with freshly redesigned double lined outer pockets and a thick, comfortable shoulder pad.

Jenny picked up a custom bag to take to her office holiday party as a (very nice) Secret Santa gift. It's a custom size, designed to hold just a few file folders and notebooks. The company logo is sprawled across the front of the strap, and the orange, white, and grey color scheme is continued throughout the bag. Jenny's boss, who ended up receiving the bag, was more than pleased.

P.S. Jenny is really adorable, and it was a pleasure to work with her! (Not that all my customers aren't equally as enjoyable...)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Arena Baggage

I helped sponsor a bike race in Tallahassee October 27th. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend Talloween 2. Around 50 riders competed and I think the bags went to the first undead guy and the first undead gal. Custom frames and other goodies were among the other prizes. Tallahassee really knows how to throw a bike race, apparently.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Arena Baggage

*Sigh* It was a shame to send this one off. It truly was near and dear to my heart. For Adam of San Francisco in the great bag trade of '06. Size large, double layer bottom, compression straps, double outer pockets. I still have the sketches hanging up over my workspace.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Arena Baggage

After months of promising the world's best college graduation present, Nick finally came through with an order for a medium bag for his fiance Gwen. It's olive green with a grey liner and a Domo-Kun on the flap. Gwen can now be seen riding the streets of Boston with this bag and a shiny ring.

Brad hooked me up with some amazing flap designs for some bags (absolutely incredible - pictures to follow hopefully soon), and had me make him a size large. This bag has loads of extra features, include a ballistic bottom and double lined outer pockets. The Denver flag is appliqued across the flap, with a small penta-bike in the lower left. Brad has some incredible skills. More of his amazing work can be seen here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Arena Baggage

Matt from Gainesville wanted a fully customized (flap and body) Extra Large bag. The state of Florida is angled across the flap, so it's perfectly horizontal when he puts it on. Matt wanted to incorporate part of his old, defunct faux-leather bag, so I used it to make the outer pockets. Matt also does a lot of bicycle touring (his Bradenton-Gainesville route is outlined on the flap) so he wanted to be able to extend the flap of the bag across his entire bike trailer for rain protection. Voila, a tarp/messenger bag hybrid is born! This bag comes complete with only one flap buckle, extra tie down straps, an over the right shoulder strap, and more other custom options than you can shake a stick at. Matt will be traveling all across the country this summer with his bag. See if you can spot him (he'll stick out like a sore thumb)!

Jaim'ee wanted a slightly modified size large (an inch or two shorter) with two red chickadees. She was going for gaudy with this bag, and the brown, red, gold, white combo certainly fit the bill. This bag comes complete with custom pockets, internal divider, cell phone holder, compression straps, and a reflective strip on the flap. I altered the strap slightly to fit a girl's body better.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Arena Baggage

Mark from Kentucky wanted a floating pyramid on a size large bag. After much, much debate, the vibrant and coordinating color scheme was settled upon. The bright colors give the bag a mystical, yet slightly playful appearance. The pyramid gives the bag an added depth, as it is made of the vinyl liner material to alter the texture of the image.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Arena Baggage

I wanted to make a nice bag for myself with all of the bells and whistles. This is a size large with a ballistic bottom layer, two 3d pockets, compression straps, and a few more goodies. I like muted color combinations, so I chose olive green with brown and maroon accents.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Arena Baggage

This seems like a more professional outlet for my work. I'll keep this updated with information about what I'm working on and pictures of my most recent projects.

First, a backlog of photos, starting with some of my most recent.

This one started as a rush job for Dane in Michigan, with a one day turnaround time from initial contact to shipment. The only guidelines were an anchor in the center, and "Learn_not2burn" across the bottom. It's a stripped down, basic size large.

Luke from Illinois got a little more creative and wanted a protein ribbon emblazoned across his back. It's a size large with a neon green ribbon and molecule spanning the flap. I've included the original inspiration for the bag, for comparison.

Nick from Gainesville decided he was bored with his green stripes (see below) and requested a large, purple octopus complete with reflective eyes on the flap of his medium bag.

Before he ditched Gainesville for Brooklyn, Adam snagged a large bag with a cuddly panda on it. Afraid he wouldn't be able to fight off all the girls flocking to its cuteness, he requested that a bloody panda claw be added. This bag also has double 3d outer pockets, a double cordura bottom layer, as well as an X-strap to distribute especially heavy loads over both shoulders.

Javier in California requested a large/extra large hybrid with the Spanish word for struggle, Lucha, embroidered across the bottom. This bag reminds me of a tuxedo with it's white and black color scheme. This bag includes an internal divider, U-lock holster, and external water bottle pocket.

This medium colored block bag was made for display in a craft fair in Orlando. After it didn't sell, I snagged it for personal, light-load use around town. The medium is the perfect size for summer classes and light picnics.

Lex at Bikes and More ordered a run of four size large messenger bags to sell in his shop. He requested two city themed bags, one flying anvil, and one road. This is what I came up with. As far as I know, only one is left in the shop.

Nick from Gainesville started me off with my first sale. One extra large bag with neon green stripes across the flap. This bag used seat belt webbing for the strap, and an actual truck tarp for the liner. After I used these materials on my own bag for about a week, I realized it was a bad idea. Nick doesn't seem to mind though, as he's refused replacement of both.