Posted in Art Bags

My Functional Art

Today was EKKA Public Holiday in Brisbane which, for those who do not live here in Brissy, this is the day of the Exhibition Show/Carnival.

I didn’t go.  I’m not much for massive crowds of people jostling to get down an alley to stand in line for a ride that most likely would result in my throwing up at the end of the experience.  Pass on that one, thank  you very much!

So, I stayed home and did a whole lot of boring stuff.

Then I thought about the fact that I have joined the gym and bags keep falling apart on me.  It is SO frustrating.

That was when I started looking at the owl I had hand drawn onto some un-strected canvas a while ago.  It called me to create and who am I to say ‘no’ to that?  So I said ‘yes’ and began fiddling around with the canvas and before I knew it, my old faithful sewing machine was wurring madly as I created a tote bag.  No pattern, just play.

Here it is – Front and Back.

Created: 14/8/2013 Canvas Tote Bag and free hand drawn original image Artist: Selina Shapland
Created: 14/8/2013
Canvas Tote Bag and free hand drawn original image
Artist: Selina Shapland

I gotta say – I am so proud of myself!

Created: 14/8/2013 Canvas Tote Bag and free hand drawn original image Artist: Selina Shapland
Created: 14/8/2013
Canvas Tote Bag and free hand drawn original image
Artist: Selina Shapland

Yes, I am because I just played and this is what created itself.  And most of all I love it!

It’s rough.  It’s ready.  And it’s perfect for me.  Internally, I am skipping around like a five year old expressing joy for living.

Functional art ROCKS!!!

Posted in Art Bags

Hairy Monster Bag…

Last night I had an inspirational moment and decided to create a bag.  Yes, it was one of those moments where the creative itch took me out shopping where I randomly picked up things that interested me and then allowed it to create itself.

I’ve been thinking a lot that I would like to show a creation in the making with progress photos, so I decided to photo-document the creative process to share with you.

Here is how it all came about…


While wandering aimlessly through Lincraft I was taken with this Fat Quarter fabric that many people use to do quilting and fancy things like that.  I couldn’t resist the colours in the fabric, so I picked up a quarter and bought it having absolutely no idea what I would do with it.  The fire-like colours attracted me in a way I cannot explain.  The colours speak to me and I felt invited to create something with the fabric.

As the afternoon progressed, I kept seeing a visual of a hairy bag and as I had faux fur from creating collectable teddy bears, I thought, ‘hmmm… why not give it a go!’

IMG_4491  IMG_4489

So I got my tracing paper out, a ruler and a circle drawing thingy which I can’t remember the name of right now and created a simple pattern.


This is the faux fur that I had used for a teddy bear recently.  It’s super fluffy, furry and lush.  I love it.

I cut out the pattern, cut out the fur, the lining from iron on interfacing and the inner bag from the Fat Quater.  I dug out my sewing machine that my mum bought for me when I was 16 years old.  Yes, that’s right, I still use my Janome from my teenage years.  So… it’s about… 24 years oldish. Whoa! And still going.  Awesome huh!

Thanks mum for buying my sewing machine for me all those years ago.  I’ve dragged it all over the east coast of Australia with me and it has deep sentimental value to me.  I love my mum!

IMG_4503I ironed the interfacing onto the back of the Fat Quarter fabric and got on my sewing machine, zipping it together while dancing to my fave music.  Yes, I sew standing up.  It’s just easier for me to stand than to sit hunched over.

IMG_4509The inside of the bag is shown above before I started to sew it to the faux fur.

IMG_4505Faux fur flap and inner fabric ready to go!


Added my ‘Shapland Art’ label so that it is an authentic original by me. 🙂  I love sewing my own label onto my work.  It’s a fantastic feeling to know that my name is on my work.  Not in an egotistical way, but in a… I feel good about myself kind of way.


Here’s a photo of my hairy bag sewn together inside and out with the label showing.  That’s my hand and it may just be the leanest part of me! 😉 ha!


This is where I got to at the end of the night, after cutting, sewing, singing (slightly off-key) and dancing in my creative shed.  Of course, it’s not finished yet, but the bag is together and this is a photo of what it looks like with the flap open.  Once it was all sewn together I realised just how hairy it was/is and decided that I had better let my imagination go to work on creating a special kind of feature to bring it to life in a holistic way.  So I went to bed to see what my dreams would reveal.


I woke up thinking about my bag however I still did not have an idea for finishing it.  But the more I looked at the hairiness of the bag and the way the flap opens, I kept seeing a monster in it.  That’s when I decided that I loved the idea of the bag having monster features and made a gargoyle nose and teeth out of sculpey.  I’m not sure if I will add the teeth just yet, but it can’t hurt to have them made and ready to go.  Inside my head and in my imagination the bag reminds me a lot of the book in Harry Potter where it tries to bite him.  😉

I haven’t glued the nose or teeth onto the bag yet as I have decided that I need to make some ears, a handle and add some big eyes too.

So my Hairy Monster Bag is a work in progress; a lot like me! 🙂