Well, I have taken the plunge and designed a bag with leather and antique kimono obi. It really turned out well for my first self designed bag. Here is the first one I made, and I called the Red Ginkgo Hobo bag:
You can see the inside lining is where it got its name:
My friend said that I needed to put more bling on it and I resisted at first because I am not into all the stuff -- buckles, and hardware and jewels and embellishments on things. I like it to be simple outside and really have all the surprise and wow factor inside the bag. But I did figure out a way to put something on it to satisfy those who want a little bling by using these crystal rivets to attach the handle. Understated and a little more classy, I think.
At first I put the silver koi zipper pull, but it didn't feel substantial enough so I began haunting Michael's and JoAnn's bead shop. Here is the zipper pull I came up with.
I think it turned out very well, don't you?