It’s in The Bag

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Anne Sylvain isn’t just any handbag company, and Patricia Raskin isn’t just any creative director. Anne Sylvain, born of many years of careful thought and education, along with several years of testing to find the right U.S.-based manufacturing facility, turns out beautiful one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted handbags of ostrich, python and American alligator.

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Patricia, a corporate lawyer by trade (17 years to be exact), has always enjoyed creating beautiful things, and she comes from a long line of artists on both sides of her family, including painters and a concert pianist. So, while her company is a mere five years old, being the creative director of Anne Sylvain is very natural, what she was born to do. Patricia knew she wanted to create something to augment a woman’s everyday life. As she explains it, no matter what you are feeling on any given day, carrying a beautiful handbag makes you happy. I agree.

img_5656Anne Sylvain bags, accessories and home products are made by hand with careful attention to details such as turned edges (rather than edges which have been cut and painted), and, whenever possible, she uses continuous pieces of material, greatly increasing the value and durability of her products. Anne Sylvain bags are classic shapes, which stand the test of time. The inside of the bag is just as carefully created as the outside, often in a contrasting colored leather for a nice “pop.” The side view of a clutch is also considered, using the prized belly of the python, for instance (photo above). No detail is overlooked. For these reasons, Anne Sylvain bags and products are authentically luxurious.

In 2017, Anne Sylvain is launching a home collection including coasters, boxes and catch-alls. Patricia is also turning out smaller personal items such as zip pouches, notebook covers, eye glass cases, card holders, men’s accessories and women’s cuffs.

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On December 10-11, Turner Helton Antiques & Interior Design is hosting Anne Sylvain at a preview launch party for the Anne Sylvain home collection. The event will also feature the full fall and holiday handbag collection. You don’t want to miss it!

Enjoy the slideshows featured in this post, and trust me when I say each piece is more lovely than a photo is able to capture. Any Anne Sylvain piece would make a special holiday gift for a loved one.

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Not to be overlooked, Anne Sylvain offers bespoke! The options and combinations are almost limitless. Your product can also be stamped with initials or numbers (like the catch all in the slide show above).img_5662

All photos by Bethany Siggins.

Note: The large black bag at the beginning of this piece is Anne Sylvain’s newest addition to the family, the Artemis. It features a 2 way zipper, 2 exterior pockets and 3 interior pockets. In short, it is the perfect bag for your next adventure!

Twilight Gallery, The Cool Girl of West Seattle

Walking into Twilight Gallery in the Alaska Junction of West Seattle is akin to stepping into a cool, artsy friend’s living room filled with elegant yet cozy furniture of various genres, arranged in funky, thought-provoking ways, the walls covered in obscure art pieces which beg you to step in for a closer look. You feel at once comfortable and a bit on edge for the mixture of energies around you. It’s a delightful space, a wickedly wonderful feast for the eyes where you could hang out all day and see something new every time you glance up. IMG_1667

But the best thing of all is the jewelry. Oh the beautiful, masterful, “how did they think of that?” jewelry. Many of the pieces in Twilight Gallery are one-of-a-kind, wearable art, true investments. Some of the featured artists in the gallery are local, but there are many jewelry designers who are based on the West Coast, around the U.S. and some are also international. The earrings I am wearing in the photo below (taken by my five-year old son) are by a designer who lives in Bali.

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Jewelry is my Achilles heel.  I have been investing in jewelry (mostly semi-precious) since my mid-twenties, and it is fascinating to see how my taste has evolved since that time, much like my style overall.  My early twenties were about looking “right,” proper and conservative. From there I began to participate more in fashion, most notably after a trip to San Francisco when I was in my later 20’s. I have never felt so plain and boring-looking as I walked around the city in awe of the fashionable gals confidently striding past me in their tall leather boots, knee-length skirts and trench coats. Now my style is more modern, clean and relaxed. I am not spending energy or time wondering what other people think about how I look. I know what I like and I wear it. Period. Love it or leave it.

Enjoy the sampling of photos I took this week in Twilight Gallery, and if you have not been there in a while (or ever), go as soon as possible and return as frequently as you can. It changes every time you go. She’s tricky that way!—BethanyIMG_1683

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Who doesn’t need a ram head ring?!
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These are so lightweight.
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Get a rope.

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A Beaver with a Six-pack

IMG_0505.JPGOn our way to their school each morning, I drive my twins through an interesting part of West Seattle called White Center. We enjoy a variety of artistic murals along our route, which boost the look of an otherwise fairly run-down section of town. One mural in particular has us scratching or heads. My son Nathan announced one day as we drove by it that he didn’t like “that guy with the tooth.” To be honest, I did not know to what he was referring. On my drive home, I made a point of looking, and there he was.  I started laughing. What in the world is he?  I finally determined from the prominent teeth and the flat tail (which took me a while to decipher) that he is a beaver. Why this beaver is in such excellent shape and working construction with no shirt on is beyond me.  But there he is. Sometimes I like to tease Nathan as we drive by saying, “There’s your favorite guy, Nathan.”  Of course, he always protests with a little smile on his face (he’s in on the joke).

Besides the beaver, here are a few others we see…

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9:00 a.m. in the blazing sunlight was obviously not the right time of day to shoot this, but at the same time, I kind of like the imperfection of the light pole shadows going across it and the girl walking by on her way to school.

Here are a few more.

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I find this last one particularly interesting and cool.  It is messier looking than the others, but I think that is one reason I like it so much.  The rich colors of these art pieces are captivating, and they definitely brighten our mood on days when it is otherwise gray or raining.  Thanks for taking a peek.  Have a wonderful Tuesday!—Bethany Siggins