Shopping


I’m addicted to tarot bags.

If I could sew, I’d probably start making my own. But since I can’t, I have to rely on others to create what I can’t.

I haven’t yet found The Perfect Bag™, but I’m definitely giving it the old college try. I’ve discovered a few things about my preferences as my bag collection grows. I’ve discovered that I don’t like duplicate bags — I only have (and want) one of any size/pattern/colour/style bag; I prefer padding, coordinated linings, and double drawstrings; I really love charms, beads, and other dangling doodads on bags and drawstrings, provided they are well considered and securely attached (some of the early bags I got were factory-made and the beads fall off at the least provocation); and I prefer patterns rather than pictures.

Even though I’m constantly on the lookout for new bags, I do have some favourite bag makers that I keep going back to whenever the urge hits.

My top three favourite bag creators are:

1. Little Moon Originals

Little Moon Original tarot bagsKerri Walters is hands-down my favourite bag creator. Her velveteen tarot bags are not cheap (at about $28 US each, they’re in the same range as Baba Studio’s bags), but they are well worth the price. They are large, padded, double-drawstringed, and feature lovely appliqués, beads and charms, and decorative fairy stitches. She doesn’t always have bags in stock in her Etsy store, but she takes custom orders. Have a look through her sold items to see some of the bags she’s made and sold previously to get an idea of what she does. (Her patchwork bags are well worth it, as well.)

(The image above shows four of the bags. The mandala on the front of the blue velvet one on the left perfectly matches the Deviant Moon cup court cards so that’s the deck it holds; the brown velvet bag in the middle holds my Faeries Oracle; the purple on black velvet one on the right holds my Tarot of Dreams; and the green velvet one at the bottom holds my Druid Animal and Plant Oracles.)

2. Annabelle’s

Annabelle's tarot bagsNancy Towne makes lined and unlined bags in a variety of sizes from a wide range of interesting cotton fabrics. My favourites are the lined, double-drawstring tarot bags, which are approximately 5″ X 7″, large enough to hold the Tree Affirmation Cards deck and book without the box (that’s what’s in the autumn leaves bag on the left). They are very simple bags, but are extremely solidly crafted. And some of the fabrics she finds are among my favourite fabric patterns of all-time. (The sparkly purple bag on its side at the front, which contains a matching tarot spread cloth, is a particular favourite.) Her bags feature side seams so prints that have a up side and a down side (like animal images) are going to be upside down on one side of the bag, but that only detracts slightly from those bags.

She also offers free shipping if you buy $25 or more worth of stuff, which is very easy to do. (I just bought a number of bags from her and I could easily find another batch to order.) And she ships really quickly. You can probably find other lined bags elsewhere for $5 or less but they tend to be factory-made and I doubt they’re as well-made as these.

3. Baba Studio

Baba Studio tarot bagsThis is the brainchild of Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov at Magic Realist Press in Prague. My addiction to Baba Studio bags began when I bought the Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot gold edition from them last year. With the gold edition, you could buy a special bag that featured your choice of card image, a special cat charm, and metallic cording for the drawstrings. It was so beautiful that it hooked me on Baba Studio/Magic Realist Press in general and on their bags specifically.

I’ve wanted to buy additional bags featuring images of their BBC and Bohemian Gothic tarots for ages, but instead I’ve been sidetracked by their Art Nouveau prints (some based on vintage Liberty of London prints) and the bags featuring gorgeous paintings by Arthur Rackham and John William Waterhouse. The bags are impeccably crafted, the silk fabrics they use are sumptuous, and the print images are gorgeous. The only minor annoyance for me personally is the tag sewn into the bottom of the lining, but it’s easily cut off without damaging the bag itself.

(In the image above, the purple bag on the left holds my Reincarnation Cards deck, the coppery gold one in the middle holds my Legacy of the Divine Tarot, the one on the right holds my daily-use Bohemian Cats, and the Arthur Rackham one on its side on the right holds my Mystic Faerie Tarot. The other two bags are awaiting appropriate tenants.)

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You know, it pays to clean your bookcases every now and then. I found a load of things that I was having trouble locating, including my wayward Druid Animal Oracle as well as my Karma Cards and Tarot of the Witches (both of which were tucked inside a chocolate cigars box) and the book for my Fortune Teller’s Mah Jongg cards. Now, if only the wayward book and 5 stray cards from the Faeries’ Oracle would turn up, I’d be a happy camper. (I think I tucked the cards in the book after the last reading I did so if I find the book, I should find the cards — if not, I have no idea where the cards disappeared to and that would be disastrous as they are my favourite deck.)

Still waiting for the last of my shopping spree items to arrive. If I’d known I was going to be laid off last week, I wouldn’t have bought so much (damn, it’s a hard lesson to learn). But the packages are nice to receive. I think there are 4 packages still to arrive: the Maroon Tarot, the Tarot of Prague and Bohemian Gothic Tarot, some marvelous padded, lined tarot bags, and some worry stones (amethyst, goldstone, and jade — I already have a moonstone worry stone). I feel like I’m missing something but those are the ones I remember.

Once the last of the tarot decks arrives, I had plans to start my tarot studying in earnest but, for the time being, I need to concentrate on finding a job. That includes brushing up on my French. So my posts over the next little while will be more general tarot/oracle/spirituality posts, rather than what I’d hoped for.

Weeks-in-advance-I’ll-never-be-able-to-break-even kind of broke. I’d like to say it’s just the cards and card sets that are doing me in but a tarot bag fetish has broken out that is showing signs of surpassing that.

It started out because I wanted a few new bags for the decks I’d ordered in December. I don’t like to have two identical bags so went on the hunt for new bags. I bought some bags from Dreaming in Color a couple of years ago that I really liked but they are charging astronomical shipping fees now to ship outside the US (understandable but still really pesky). Mind you, I also found the wholesale source for the bags they sell as well — if I ever decide to get more of those bags, I can always get them from the source instead.

So, I went to eBay. This was before I really started investigating things, before I joined Aeclectic and other forums, before I really knew how many wonderful crafters are making tarot bags out there. So, I bought some that I saw on there. Some are just OK. Some are absolutely brilliant custom creations. I also bought some Lo Scarabeo bags, which, despite being mass produced, are actually really nice.

And then I found Etsy. Damn Karen at Magic Realist Press for even reminding me that Etsy exists. As I mention before, I ended up buying one of her custom Baroque Bohemian Cats bags. I also ended up finding the most gorgeous one-of-a-kind custom bags from another Etsy seller that I ended up buying. I know what decks are going in those. I currently have more bags than I have cards to go in them, but that doesn’t stop me wanting more bags. After all, I have more decks on the way, too. They’ll all need their own protective homes, right?

Tonight I made the mistake of visiting Tarot Totes while combing Aeclectic threads for links to list in the Open Directory Project*. It’s a good thing I’m broke. Well, if I wasn’t already, I surely would be now. I’ve had to settle for bookmarking the bags I want for a later date, when I’ve broken even and can afford to buy more. It’s a long bookmarks list. They offer bags in so many sizes, colours, patterns, and styles (including padded cases and double silk sleepers). If only I’d come across them before I went nuts on eBay. Not that I don’t like the eBay purchases, but I would have spent my money here rather than buy most of what I bought there. My favourite bags, I think, have to be the High Priestess bag (just love the pattern on the material), the Swords bag (it’s minimalist but I love swords — used to have a small collection of them but had to get rid of that when I moved), and the Celtic Dreams set (bag and laycloth — who doesn’t love purple?). I also love the double silk sleepers (little sleeping bags, if you will) for cards. I’ve gotten into a habit of double bagging cards, since some of the decks I have are quite slippery, and the sleepers look like perfect little inner sleeves. And they’ll customize the colour combinations. Let’s see — when does my income tax refund come through?

They offer a list of patterns by colour but, unfortunately, don’t hyperlink the lists so that you can easily find those colours/patterns in the catalog. (I know they offer a search engine and tips for using it at the top of the page but it’s still extra work and I’m lazy at heart.) Actually, maybe that’s not a con — if they were all linked, I might find myself buying even more than I’m tempted to buy now. (Laziness wins out over obsession every time.) I also like how they show decks which complement the bags (er, decks that the bags will complement?), though that also sparks my interest in even more decks that I don’t own.

*The ODP is a human-edited directory that provides data for a number of search engines and directories, including the Google directory. <shameless plug> We’re always looking for good editors so consider this an invitation to apply. More information is also available at the ODP’s public forum.</shameless plug>