Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Little Women Creation

-Little Women Collage-
Amy, the youngest of the March sisterhood, is known as the artsy one – as she loves to paint & draw, etc. In my creating, I used her as a sort of muse, thinking to myself, ‘What would Amy do?’ For this collage I used lots of various items that I had in my stash (old buttons, scraps of paper, some old trimming, etc.)(collage is one of my fav mediums by the way). The black & white photo (taken from a magazine) is an image of Orchard House, Louisa May Alcott’s family home (I can just picture Jo running about the place with Laurie making mischief next door). I also typed up a quote that I particularly love from the book & pasted it on (it’s also from one of my favorite chapters, “Under the Umbrella”). It comes after Professor Bhaer learns Jo's feelings (and Jo learns his), & he states that Jo has given him much in the way of "hope & courage" & he feels he has "but a full heart & these empty hands" to offer her. =) Here is the quote:

“Jo never, never would learn to be proper; for when he said that as they stood upon the steps, she just put both hands into his, whispering tenderly, “Not empty now,” and, stooping down, kissed her Friedrich under the umbrella. It was dreadful, but she would have done it if the flock of draggletailed sparrows on the hedge had been human beings, for she was very far gone indeed…”
-Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

How lovely is the improper Jo! Well, it is very sad, indeed, to see Little Women week gone! Thanks again to Rebecca @ A Young Lady's Blog for creating & hosting this literary challenge! It has been most enjoyable! =)

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Well, this is my 10th post… & I have 10 Gal Pals (well, actually 11, now – which is even better)! Thank you to all who take the time to read my blog & a big THANK YOU to all my Pals… I wish we could all sit down together with a pot of tea & yummy cakes & chat. Thank you… Ashley Nicole, Atlanta, Natasha, JessicaMae, Hanne-col, Emily, Rebecca, Bridget, Lulu, Rose, & Karis!

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Bess…
1. The drone of a bagpipe makes me smile!
2. I’ve gone to public schools for all my elementary, middle, & high school years.
3. I love Nancy Drew books, & it’s my secret ambition to be a super sleuth. Shh!
4. I was 16 when I was baptized & accepted Jesus as my Lord & Savior. I grew up in a loving & active Christian family, but it took me awhile to make my decision – the most important decision in my life…ever. I’m so glad I made it & Jesus is in my heart & washes me of my sins (& gives me the hope of everlasting life)!
5. I’ve waded in Loch Ness!
6. I teach a preschool class at my church on Wednesday nights with 3 other ladies.
7. I heart a good fairy tale.
8. The word ‘zephyr’ is one of my favorites.
9. I RARELY use my cell phone.
10. I think it would be cool to be a mermaid… I know, I know, it sounds like the reverse of a Hans Christian Andersen fantasy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Louisa, You're Such the Literary Fashionista!

In typical Jo-fashion, I'm out-of-doors with bare feet & a stack of marvelous books. I intended to work on my writing, but as you can see from my crumpled companions - I had a bit of trouble.

What I've donned: a denim skirt I found at a yard sale (with a white lacey petticoat underskirt); a Ralph Lauren button-down (I unearthed this at a thrift shop); a Mossimo bolero (Target); a silver pen necklace (it actually has a working pen hanging on the chain - also from a yard sale); vintage rings; & a sweet little book & bow locket pin (you guessed it, from another tag sale) (my book is Louisa May Alcott's masterpiece, Little Women, of course).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial: The Book Clock With Disney!

I just love Disney (yes, that’s her 1st name) over at “Ruffles & Stuff.” She’s an artistic genius! For today’s tutorial I’m linking over to her blog for her “Book Clock” tutorial, cause I thought what better in honor of “Little Women of 2010” week than to create a clock out of an old (or new) Little Women book (or any book =)! Click the link to see how Disney creates her fantastic book clock (& be sure to visit all of her tutorials & thoughts over at her blog (“Ruffles & Stuff”)). You can also visit through my fav links on my sidebar (it’s the “Calling All Crafty Girls” one)! Enjoy, & thanks to Disney for doing all the work for me on this one!


Monday, February 22, 2010

Jo: Little Woman

“Never till I’m stiff & old, & have to use a crutch. Don’t try to make me grow up before my time…” That is Josephine March’s rebuttal to her older sister Meg’s nagging & agitated question of “When will you stop such romping ways?” Jo, as she is known, is well suited to her boyish nickname, as she revels in such activities as fence-jumping, tree climbing, & running about most unladylike.
Jo, the second oldest of the four March sisters in Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women, has been beloved by generations. In her I find a dear kindred spirit & a very sympathetic soul, indeed – in fact, looking at Jo March is often like looking in a mirror.
Meg’s question has come at me many a time or two. I have enjoyed pastimes that others have deemed too frolicsome, futile, & silly. Climbing trees & jumping over things has always allured me, as well. True to tomboyish nature I have been known to run rather than walk.
Jo is also the
writer of the family; scribbling stories as fast as they come to her mind. Louisa May Alcott based Little Women on her own sisterly crew, & Jo is most definitely a close representation of the author herself. I, too, have ambitions to be a writer – it is, truth be told, a very great dream of mine. If I could be a mile near as great a writer as Louisa May Alcott I would be pleased. Jo’s early troubled authorship is very like my own.
As Jo grows up (as she couldn’t stop it); she has a muddled time of it (as I suppose most do). But in her trials I see my own feelings unearthed – needing new horizons & adventures; being uncertain & angry at her family’s ever-changing state (as she loses a beloved family member & sisters marry); not wanting to be romantically entangled or matrimonially captured. She states, “Nobody will want me, & it’s a mercy, for there should always be one old maid in a family.” Yes, those have all been my feelings. Jo is my kindred literary counterpart.
We can read all of Jo’s story & no secrets are left to be had, but my story is still unfolding – and like Jo, I seek to face it & feel it & totally & completely live it, in order that I might see the details, secrets, & ending God has in store.
Quotes Taken From: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Grosset & Dunlap, 1993)

If You're a Jo, Too - You Just Might Like:

Here's a Jo-inspired Polyvore creation I quite liked:

Jo from Little Women
Jo from Little Women by ♥charlotte♥please join my group on

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The "Little Women of 2010 Literary Challenge" Is Officially Open!

I’m a true Louisa May Alcott fan! Her sweet characters & stories just make me smile! There is something timeless & pure in her words – a rare ingredient, indeed, today. Of course, I definitely recommend reading Little Women (if you haven’t) – it’s one of my favorites!
When I found out that Rebecca was hosting a Little Women event on her blog (“A Young Lady’s Blog”), I got truly excited! Be sure to visit (if you haven’t) & see what it’s all about (click the Little Women 2010 button on my sidebar)! And, Rebecca, thanks so much for creating & hosting this event! QUICK NOTE: You have until Sat., Feb. 27th @ 11:59 PM to enter into any of the 5 categories (you can enter as many categories as you like)!

*Louisa May Alcott’s Birthday: November 29, 1832
*Little Women – 1st published as 2 volumes in 1868 & then as 1 volume in 1880!
*Favorite/Most Like: Jo
*Favorite Film Version: Little Women (1949; with June Allyson, Janet Leigh, Margaret O’Brien, & Elizabeth Taylor) – When I 1st saw this version I watched it twice in 1 sitting! (Little Women (1994; with Winona Ryder) is a close 2nd)

I must admit that I had not read the original book until a couple of years ago. When I did I was so inspired (or maybe crazy’s a better word), that I created replicas of the sisters’ “Pickwick Portfolio” & the letter accompanying Beth’s piano (given by Mr. Laurence) – either way, you can tell this book was truly important to me.
I’ve got more Little Women posts to come – (including my entries) so be sure to stop back by! Oh, & be sure to cast your vote in the Girl Talk Poll, Special Edition!

Friday, February 19, 2010


Hey, I need help promoting Bess’ Bag! I’m recruiting you! I’ve created a “button” you can post on your blog. Now, remember I’m new to blogging – so it’s not technically a button (I don’t think). It’s an image you can right click on & save to your computer & then upload to your blog with a link leading here, please. I really want Bess’ Bags to become known!
Thank you, thank you, thank you to my 1st 8 Gal Pals – you are such a blessing to me! I can’t wait to get 10!

Thanks so much (& God’s blessings),

P.S.: Word of mouth doesn’t hurt either, right? (OK, so I’m shamelessly begging!)


P.P.S.: Here’s a clue to next week’s postings! Be sure to come back – I’m excited! =)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bess' Bags - No Really!

Hi everyone!
Since my blog is called "Bess' Bag," I thought I'd share some bags that I find charming! I know most are kinda pricey, but it's nice to dream & find some inspiration while we're at it! =) Bags in order from top to bottom:
Anthropologie, Alloy, Modcloth,
Modcloth, Roxy, Anthropologie, & Modcloth
So, what do you think? What kind of bag do you carry (& why (I'm curious))?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tuesday Tip & Tutorial: The Cutie Beanie

On Tuesdays I think I'll post a tip (tips about fashion, life, guys, random stuff, God... anything) or tutorial (craft/diy) (What do you think?). Each Tuesday you can be surprised with either a new tip or a new tutorial! And, since it's my 1st Tuesday blogging, I'll do both!

Tuesday Tip:
Where Are Your Helmets, Girls?
It’s winter & in most places it’s “baby, it’s cold outside” kinda weather. We need hats to protect us! See below on how to create your own “Cutie Beanie” in the 1st ever tutorial on Bess’ Bag. Did you know as Christians we need to protect ourselves from the “climates” around us? In Ephesians 6:17 it states, “Take the helmet of salvation…” Do you remember in old storybook scenes how the knight always wore heavy armor & a strong helmet? The head is so important & we need to keep it safe! So, as you don your hats to brave the cold, remember that as a believer you should protect your mind from evil & impure thoughts – whether that means not watching that TV show, not going to that movie, guarding what you say & think, standing up for your beliefs when faced with the crowd that uses curse words & crude humor, or simply asking God to help you maintain a pure heart. Don’t forget your hat… & your helmet! =)
Don’t know God & have a relationship with Jesus yet? Feel free to ask/talk to me about it!

Tuesday Tutorial:
First off, in the realm of craftiness, I am a frugal princess (actually I'm pretty much thrifty to a fault all the time), with just the basics of sewing knowledge, to boot. So, most of my crafts are simple & could be created by lots (I hope).

So, I've always wanted a cute embellished beanie (I especially heart those cuties from Roxy)! But, being thrifty as I am I could never see myself dishing out the $$ to buy one. So, I made my own... & it cost me about a $1!

1) Find a beanie. In my quest for the hat I looked for two things: a great price & a color that I thought I could wear with lots of different things. I found my beanie at a Dollar Tree (the store where everything's a buck - I definitely heart Dollar Tree)!

2) Choose/create embellishments. This is definitely a craft to personalize & show your individual style (I love those crafts)! I used things I had in my stash, but you could find lots of embellishments at a local craft store. Here's what I did: with fabric scraps & a pair of scissors, I created free-form petals + I added a button to create the center of the flower + I cut out a small heart out of faux gray leather I had lying around... & Voila! I simply sewed the embellishments on in a simple "no rules" way, to give it that cool, carefree crafty look! Ta da: 'The Cutie Beanie' is born!

3) Wear your Cutie Beanie with a smile! It's sure to keep you warm & cute!

"Take the helmet of salvation..." -Ephesians 6:17
& be sure to come back next Tuesday for a new tip or tutorial...

Hey, It's Free Christian Music!

I love freebies! Yep, I really do!
In honor of my brand-spanking new blog you can download my Song of the Moment: "Who Is Like You" by Meredith Andrews on Amazon for free! All you need is an account.

Just click on the "What I'm Listening To" tape on the right!

While you're there you just might want to download a few more free Christian tunes available! These are my favorites:

-"Hello Sunshine" by Barlowgirl
-"Amazing God" by Anthony Evans
-"Adore" by Jaci Velasquez
-"In Christ" by Big Daddy Weave
-"You Lift Me Up" by Rachael Lampa

I'm not sure how long these deals will last, so snag em' while you can! Enjoy your freebies & thanks for stopping by!


Outta the Bag!

Welcome to Bess’ Bag & my 1st ever post! Hi, I’m Bess & I look forward to meeting you! First off, confession: I never thought that I’d have a blog – I was totally ignorant to the blog world until this year, & even after discovering the “blog scene” I didn’t think I’d be a blogger, but here I am – surprises are grand aren’t they? This whole thing is sort of an experiment for me, & we’ll see how it goes…

Let me introduce myself…the real me…
I’m a Christian girl trying to please my Heavenly Father & grow ever closer to Him. I love… books, art, fashion, imagination, the book of Romans (in the Bible), family, writing, Emily Dickinson, & ice cream (to name a few).

About the Blog…
This blog was created to encourage girls in their walks with the Lord (whether the walk is strong & true, a mediocre stroll (I hate the word ‘mediocre’), a crawl, or a path that has yet to be taken (at one point or another we’ll likely find ourselves on all of these paths & more)). I will be posting on a variety of subjects: fashion, crafts/diys, true beauty, guys, great deals I think you’d like the heads up on, tips, & of course God (in all my posts I hope to point to my Heavenly Father who gives us the abundant life, purpose, the hope of everlasting life, sets us free of sin & guilt, & loves us even when he’s seen all that we’ve been) .

I’ve also got some fun monthly features:
-Girl Talk Poll – Let your voice be heard & give us your honest opinion through answering questions on a variety of subjects. Vote!
-Memory Verse of the Moment – Each month I’ll post a new Bible verse. I encourage you to try & memorize em’ with me!
-Song of the Moment – I’ll post a new fav song each month + a link to where you can hear it, too – can’t leave you out!

P.S.: Now, I don’t want to be one of those people chained to their computer (figuratively), that rarely see the light of day (unless they take their lap top on a picnic =)), so I won’t be posting & checking for comments daily, but I’ll be around. Hopefully you’ll see 2-3 posts a week. Now, don’t stay handcuffed to your mouse & keyboard, either – go out there & live the life that God has planned for you – I know His plans are special! Nice to meet you & I hope to have you visit again – this has been nice.
With Christian Love,